Step 6. Marketing
We have almost made it to the end of our blog series, just 2 more steps to go! We highly recommend you start at the beginning if you haven’t been following along. Check out Step 1 – Research, Step 2 – Goals, Step 3 – Branding, Step 4 – Content, and Step 5 – Engage if you need to catch up. We’ll wait for you here.
All caught up? Good. Now for Step 6 – Marketing.
Social Media Marketing
One of the benefits of social media is that it is pervasive and can reach your audience everywhere and anywhere. One of the cons of social media is that it is pervasive and there are hundreds of thousands of other businesses (not to mention their family and friends, grade school pals and everyone they’ve ever met) all competing for your audience’s attention. It’s hard to break through the clutter, especially with Facebook changing their policy on business pages and content, which makes it harder for your content to appear in your followers’ news feeds. Another reason for their changes surely has to be a result of monetizing their business model and encouraging business pages to pay for ads.
Paid ads have skyrocketed in recent years and quite frankly have become necessary to compete for your audience’s attention. According to figures from eMarketer, advertisers worldwide will spend $23.68 billion on paid media to reach consumers on social networks this year, a 33.5% increase from 2014. They also estimate that social network ad spending will reach nearly $36 billion by 2017. If you have not established a budget for social media marketing, it’s best to start thinking about it now.
Of course you’ll need to be smart about spending your ad dollars so you get the most bang for your buck. Test out your content by experimenting with different types of content and messaging and learn what your audience gravitates towards before you start paid media. Facebook offers a variety of different ad types with different objectives, including: promoting your page, sending people to your website, creating special offers, to reaching people in the vicinity of your business.
Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other platforms have all integrated paid ads into their platforms as well. You may want to place sample ads across the various networks in different formats to see where the ads perform best.
There are dozens if not hundreds of third-party apps that host a variety of different functions and features. One popular form of marketing is to run contests across your social media platforms. Everybody loves free stuff, it works for brick and mortar and it works digitally too (it works to drive website traffic and online sales and lead generation as well)! Contests can take a variety of forms, from sweepstakes to more involved photo and video contests. Other types of promotions and marketing include quizzes, polls, coupons and offers, to even selling your products and providing a secure checkout within Facebook through an e-commerce app. These are great tools to promote your page and attract new followers or simply acquire new emails and leads. Explore around and see what’s best for your business.
Target Your Audience
With paid ads you can attain a broad reach, or target a niche market. You may have specific ads for specific demos. Facebook accommodates this by breaking down not just gender, age and location, but also segmenting education, income, homeowner status, marital status, or political affiliations. Not only that, but you can get really into the minutia and more narrowly target your demo by their interests and purchase behaviors.
No Need for Guessing
Paid ads are also effective in that they take the guessing game out of predicting an optimal time to post. If you miss that window of opportunity when your audience is online then your post is likely to never be seen. All that work developing content has been wasted. With paid ads you are guaranteed a certain amount of reach depending on your spend.
Marketing not only helps you grow your audience, it helps you stay in front of your audience once you have their attention. Once you analyze the results of your tests and initial marketing efforts you can then allocate or reallocate your marketing dollars accordingly. To help you analyze those results come back next week for our final blog, Measurement.
Is your business having trouble finding the perfect social media marketing strategy? Creative Blend Design will help you define a strategic plan that makes sense for your business. Please call us at (844) 223-8326 or click here to use our contact form.