Blog

How to create Facebook Custom Audiences

How to create Facebook Custom Audiences

If you’ve heard of Facebook custom audiences then you probably know how useful they are for business owners who use this social media giant to promote their products or services.

If you’ve never heard of it, a Facebook custom audience is created from a customer list or email list. It’s a type of audience you can create using your existing customers.

With this, you can also create a lookalike audience. The idea is to target people like the ones who have already done business with you.

Before you start creating your own custom audience, make sure that the customer file you plan to use is ready, like your email list for example. Now, let’s get started.

How to create Facebook Custom Audiences

Step 1:

In your Ads Manager, click “Create Ad”.  After you select what kind of ad you want to use, click continue. Depending on what kind of ad you select, you may need to answer a question or two before moving on to audiences.

Facebook Lookalike Audiences

Step: 2:

When it’s time to choose your audience, which is the most important aspect of creating a Facebook ad, click “Create Audience”, then select “Custom Audience” from the drop-down. You’ll notice you can also create a lookalike audience based on your customer list or email list here as well.

Note: You need at least 100 people to create a custom audience or a lookalike audience.

Step 3:

Upload the contacts you already have by clicking “Customer File” and adding your CSV file.

Create Custom Facebook Audiences

Step 4:

Follow the prompts. The first one will show you a green check mark. The green check mark means Facebook thinks it knows what type of data this is, but you can correct us Facebook if it’s wrong. This is what it will be using it as a basis to find people on Facebook.

The light orange exclamation point means Facebook is not sure what type of data this is or you’ve asked them to leave it out without matching.

The red exclamation point means the data type has been identified but the format can’t be detected. You may have to reformat the file in order to solve this problem or just tell Facebook to go on without it.

Step 5:

After Facebook is done creating your custom or lookalike audience, it will generate a list of next steps that you can use to get the most of the feature. You can continue to take the next steps immediately or move on to creating your ad.

Read more
digital-marketing-trends

7 Top Digital Marketing Trends in 2018

With the passage of time, technology is ruling and the internet has become so powerful that it has taken the word of marketing, digital marketing, to another level.

Technology coupled with storytelling, that is accessible on your phone, is very much capable of winning consumers hearts… and money.

7 top digital marketing trends in 2018

digital-marketing-trends

1. AI and Chatbots are going to be the rising king

With the arrival of AI, no doubt the credibility of digital marketers will increase. It is already taking over the world at a rapid pace and soon will be seen in every sector of all types of industries.

Consumers will experience another level of customer service and support. In the world of customer support and assistance, they are going to stay as the best-chosen contender to evoke and express emotions like another human being.

2. Videos will remain prominent

Recently, the internet has witnessed an outbreak of videos and video makers. Videos are entertaining and tempting at the same time.

If you are a digital marketer, make user-generated clips and videos.

free-media

3. Content still remains the undefeated king

In 2018 as well, content is king. For successful user engagement, lead generation, and promoting a business, it will be used for all.

Whether the content is in a form of audio, visual, graphics, or written – it will always lead. If you produce original, engaging, and appealing content, you are going to win.

4. Influencer marketing will surge

Getting a business or brand endorsed by famous celebrities would cost a heck a lot of money, but times have changed.

In 2018, people will see more influencer marketing, rather than celebrity endorsements, because people see those plugs as recommendations from friends.

top-digital-marketing

5. Predictive analysis and big data will lead

It’s possible to analyze customers online through online data. With this, you can target your marketing efforts strategically.

6. Digital marketing tools will surge

Digital marketing tools like BuzzSumo, PowToons, Hubspot, Google Trends, and Apester are going to grow in popularity because they make everything digital easier to understand and execute.

These tools can help in publishing and creating interactive content, help in keyword research, video editing, storytelling, brand modeling, lead generation and management, campaign handling, and so much more.

7. Storytelling will remain

To differentiate your content from others, storytelling will play an important role. It helps provoke thoughts and aspires consumers to take a look and feel something from your messaging.

Storytelling is also applicable in all forms of content – words, images, video.

 

This is a guest post by Ankur Aggarwal – a digital marketer and entrepreneur at IncomeBoy.com.

Read more
Six Travel Agency Advertising Samples

Six Travel Agency Advertising Samples

Whether you create flyers or online advertisements, you will probably face tough competition, especially in the travel advertising industry.

A compelling and successful advertisement shows potential clients why they should book to travel with your company instead of selecting another. It needs to be intriguing and informative. Use these six travel agency advertising samples as a guide.

Six Travel Agency Advertising Samples

Six Travel Agency Advertising Samples

1. Use of Graphics

When booking travel, people often choose their destination based on the idea of the trip. You can use graphics to tap into those feelings and encourage a potential client to contact you. 

For example, if your company sells honeymoon retreats, you should include pictures that are appealing and can invoke romance or relaxation.  For family vacations, you could use photos of kids playing. 

Visual pictures or graphics can communicate your agency’s specialty more effectively than any other method.

2. Opt for Magnificence

Travel Agency Advertising Samples

When choosing the pictures to use in travel advertisements, ensure that they capture the viewer’s interest.

Be strategic when selecting images. Beautiful, stunning pictures are the way to go! For example, views of crystal clear oceans, sparkly waterfalls, spectacular sunsets, snow-capped foothills and intriguing festivals are natural more compelling than more common images.

Contemplate what your destination offers and use those photographs to make its attractions more appealing.  A city destination should feature a picture of the skyline and of the city lights. You get the point.

free-media

3. Include a Slogan or Caption to Catch Attention

Travel Agency Advertising Samples

Any advertisement – flyer, website, or newspaper ads may disclose the name of the exact location, but it still might not be enough to attract clients. To enhance their interest, you should include a line or two that explains to potential clients and travelers why they should visit that destination.  

You can use a well-structured sentence to show their chosen destination is the best for explorers or lovers. You can also show them it is a perfect place for fine dining, theater, partying, gambling, or even general exploration. However, this shouldn’t be done by any person; it requires an expert to come up with a very good, memorable caption.

4. Make It Colorful

Travel Agency Advertising Samples

A dull or black and white advertisement won’t attract much attention. People see so many advertisements daily… and they ignore most of them. Going for very colorful schemes for your advertisement may get them noticed more. 

For flyers, you should a variety of colors and designs, however, do not keep changing the logo, as it is the identifying badge of your travel business and means satisfied customers will return in the future.

5. Disclose Your Business

Travel Agency Advertising

Your travel advertising agency should be aware that potential customers have so many travel companies to choose from. Therefore, you should give a clear reason why people should choose your agency in the ad.

If you are a specialist in highly modified travel arrangements or last-minute trips, include it in your copy.  If you have authority in adventure travel, reveal it to potential clients. Similarly, if you are specialized in booking trips for groups and organizing hassle-free vacations, it should appear in the advertisement.

6. Include contact details

The most attractive travel ad can never help your association if potential customers cannot figure out how to reach or contact you. You should make it easy for them by including the name of your agency along with the contact details. 

Remember, many people are going to give up if they need to put too much effort into finding your agency’s contact details. You should at least include a telephone number, email address, and a website in the advertisement.

  This is a guest blog post by Jessica Davidson.
Read more
search engine optimization tips

11 Search Engine Optimization Tips for 2018

When you want to find something, what do you do? Chances are, you Google it. Being found online is so important now more than ever. We are living in a digital world – whether or not you have a digital brand or business, so you need to step up your Search Engine Optimization game in 2018.

Search Engine Optimization Tips

1. Focus on quality content

When people find your website, you want them to love what they see so much, they stay for a while. Jeffrey Bumbales, Founder of JB Digital Solution, calls this a “long click” and it serves as future-proof. When people stay on your website for longer than a few minutes, it means the content is relevant to their search query, it’s valuable and so is their user experience, and it’s current and up-to-date.

2. Speed up your website

Business owners should make sure their website is mobile friendly and loads fast on a mobile device. “56% of sessions are abandoned if the website takes longer than a few seconds to load, Amine Rahal said. She is the founder and CEO of IronMonk Solutions, a Google Partners agency. I don’t know about you, but my attention span is very short when it comes to waiting for websites to load.

3. Make sure your website is mobile friendly

Traditionally, Google has used what is known as a desktop user-agent to discover, crawl and index websites. This essentially means that websites have been graded on how they appear on a desktop platform. In late 2016 Google announced that the more than 50% of searches were now coming from mobile devices, and as such, they would be transitioning to a ‘mobile-first index‘ where websites were graded first-and-foremost on how they would appear and function on mobile devices.

4. Have good PR

Public relations is so important to SEO. When you’re featured or mentioned on popular websites and your website is linked, it increases your domain authority by sending a message to Google and other search engines that your website is important. The more links, the better! PR doesn’t only help your SEO. It increases your awareness, credibility, and authority. For example, all the backlinks I’ve earned myself by acting as my own publicist helped get my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages verified. (No, you can’t pay for verification. You need to earn it.) free-media

5. Conduct SEO research

I mean real research. Don’t just write about whatever you want or use words you think people are typing into a search bar.   I use SEMRush to find out exactly what people are searching, how many people are searching it, then how many results there are. I don’t want to compete with something that has tens of millions of results. Instead, I try to find the needle in the haystack. If you don’t want to spend money on something like SEMRush, try Google Trends.

6. Use the Yoast Plugin

Don’t use this plugin until after you’ve done SEO research. The Yoast Plugin will only work for you if you’re focusing on the right words and phrases. It’s great because it tells you how often to use the word or phrase and where to put in your copy.

7. Make sure Google My Business is current

If you’re a business, you need to create a Google My Business listing if you haven’t already. It can include things like photos, hours, address, phone number, and even reviews. Joe Sloan, a marketing and communications coordinator said keeping your listing up to date will help you rank higher in local searches too!

8. Earn great reviews

Every business benefits from online reviews, but many don’t realize how much it helps with SEO. Reviews are now considered the most prominent factor in influencing results for local search. “For business owners who rely on local search and want to crush it in 2018, online reviews that could have the most impact, said Mark Nicholson, VP of Marketing at NiceJob.Not only do reviews provide signals to help with SEO, they also provide social proof that helps conversion.”

9. Retarget visitors

If you’re not using Facebook ads right now, you may in the future. It’s important to put the Facebook pixel on your website. This will keep track of everyone who has already shown interest in your, your brand, and what you offer and will be able to retarget people on Facebook if and when you do advertise. The average person needs to see something eight times before they take action, so this is online data you want to start collecting now!

10. Don’t forget about voice searches

Who else has an Alexa like me? (It was the most popular selling item on Amazon this Christmas.) If you don’t use Alexa, maybe you use Siri. In 2018, it’s time to optimize for voice search! “How consumers verbally communicate significantly varies from how individuals type out search queries. Because of this variation in behavior, you will begin to see more long-tail keyword queries and this will allow brands to create much more accurate and intelligent keyword search optimization strategies since more granular data will be available around consumer behavior,” said Kent Lewis, President and Founder of Anvil Media, Inc. Local and location-based retailers must also play a leadership role in the “near me” searches.

11. Pay attention to your metadata

You know how when you Google something you see a bit about what you’re getting into before you click on it? That’s called metadata. It’s important to have that text there on any piece of website content because it lets the search engine know what your web content is about to determine if they should show it to someone searching for it. According to Dani Benson, an SEO Specialist at Talent Inc., 63% of website owners completely forget to create a meta description and almost 54% of websites have duplicate meta descriptions. “Duplicate content, even metadata, will prohibit the page from being indexed – meaning, it will lose the opportunity to rank for keywords and, therefore, not show up in organic search results,” Benson said. So, don’t let Google decide who your content is good for. Tell them! Oh yeah, Google’s algorithm is constantly changing… like hundreds of times a year. These SEO strategies are pretty standard but they are also just part of what you should be paying attention to.
Read more
data driven marketing strategies

3 Effective Ways to Implement a Data Driven Marketing Strategy

The marketing world has changed a lot since before we had the internet. It has evolved significantly, and as the internet keeps evolving, marketers must learn to adapt and overcome the challenges the new hyper-consumerism state-of-mind brings.

One of the best tools in a modern marketers arsenal is big data. Using this big data can help make marketing more of a science than a simple guessing game of trial and error. It can help marketers make better decisions, improve the customer experience, and so much more. That’s why most marketers today are focusing on data-driven marketing strategies.

Common Costly Mistakes in Data-Driven Marketing 

When a team of marketers has to develop a strategy and build different segments of that strategy, the data they have is the most important tool they can use. When that data is old, insufficient or otherwise inaccurate, the entire team suffers. This leads to some common mistakes which can really have a negative effect on marketing.

1. Neglecting the mobile market

It has been more than two years since mobile visits to the web surpassed those from desktop machines. Even though this is common knowledge, you would be surprised how many marketers are still mainly focusing on desktop advertising, email receipts, newsletters, and similar strategies.

Using responsive web design, and focusing more on the mobile market can help you evolve, as the data you will be collecting from it will be fresh and mostly clear.

2. Low ad conversions

When it comes to conversion rates, they are usually the symptom of something else and not the cause of problems. Low conversion rates happen for a number of reasons – bad mobile advertising, lack of responsive web design, using irrelevant data, poor segmentation, etc. When you’re faced with an issue like this, you have to stop and rethink your campaign.

Most marketers continue generating ads, even if they have small conversion rates, and that can cost them much more in the long run.

3. Inconsistent branding

If you have outdated data, speaking through your brand may be difficult. Trying to address the needs of your customers and clients while not having the data you need will seem irresponsible and it can affect your company in the long run.

One of the best ways to overcome this challenge is to make sure marketers are always following the needs and activities of the customers. This way you can build mutual trust, and help your marketing team stay on top of advertising campaigns.

data driven marketing strategies

Best Data-Driven Marketing Strategies

It doesn’t matter whether you’re just starting to focus on data-driven marketing strategies, or you have been using them for quite some time, some strategies have proven to be very useful. Here are just some of the ways you can improve your data-driven marketing and use it to your advantage.

1. Build the best possible team

Looking for talent when it comes to big data and data-driven marketing can be quite a challenge. There are a lot of skills that are absolutely necessary.

You will need teams to work with each other and people will have to go beyond what their professions are and help all around. You need data scientists, marketers, IT, etc. You may even need an SEO Reseller Hub to help you out with search engine optimization. Only when your team is at its best can you start harvesting the fruits of success.

2. Think about integration and automation

Big data is called that for a reason. Collecting all of the data is one thing, but to properly analyze it and really get the results you need, is another and it’s will have you planning ahead.

You have to find the best possible ways to integrate the data collected from your customers and their social media to find the best possible way to use it in marketing automation tools, so your marketers won’t have to lose precious time researching.

free-media

3. Don’t lose sight of other brands

Most people will tell you, “mind your own business”, but when you’re dealing with big data and data-driven marketing, you can’t simply rely on your own business. You will have to mind what the other brands are doing in order to understand how to get the most out of your marketing strategy.

Final Data-Driven Marketing Strategy Thoughts

There’s a lot to learn about data-driven marketing strategies, but what we’ve managed to learn so far has proven quite useful when it comes to marketing.

With technology evolving, new opportunities will appear, and only when you have a strategy in place to deal with all the data in the best possible way, you will be able to get the best out of those opportunities. 

 

This is a guest post by Nick Brown, a writer at Media Gurus.

Read more
social media for customer service

How to Utilize Social Media for Customer Service [INFOGRAPHIC]

Customer service has always been an integral part of any business due to the fact that, no matter the size or industry, businesses all have to deal with customers at some point – mainly for inquiries, concerns, complaints, or suggestions.

Years ago, customer service had to rely on the technology at hand, and they had limited capabilities on how the business could reach customers and vice versa. Personal meetings, snail mail, and telephone calls had been the only known form of communication between a business and a customer… and not all attempts to talk with the business and the customer were successful.

In the age of digital communication and vast technological advancements that has connected the world far wider than ever before, both businesses and customers are now able to communicate with each other more effectively, more efficiently, and with a reach that far exceeded what has been in the past decades. Gone are the days of when businesses had to stick with the old, time-consuming, and rather expensive methods of customer service.

Businesses can easily gain access to their customer base through social media.Click To Tweet

Nowadays, businesses can easily gain access to their customer base through social media.

How to Utilize Social Media for Customer Service

In one JD Power survey of more than 23,000 online consumers, 67% of the respondents reported that they have contacted a company via social media for customer service. Reasons for this preference can differ, from the easy connectivity to the convenience of being able to leave messages at any time and be assured that the business will still receive it, even when they are currently off hours.

However, being present on social media alone is not enough. To utilize it effectively, a business must be careful regarding how they listen, and more importantly, how they respond to the questions and concerns of their customers. These factors are very important to consider, as a Gartner study found that companies who ignore support requests on social media see an average churn rate that’s 15% higher than companies who don’t.

free-media

Learn about how you can utilize social media to deliver great customer service, whether you’re just getting started or are taking your social care to the next level, with this infographic by Global Outsourcing AU.

social media in customer service
Read more
engaging content

6 Steps to Creating Engaging Content [INFOGRAPHIC]

Content may be king now, but that doesn’t mean that all content is delivering you the results you expect it to. A study by Moz and BuzzSumo found that up to 75% of a million online articles were not engaging – meaning that the content was not successful in gaining engagement from readers.

No engagement = no transformation. No transformation = no possible conversion of your readers to leads or sales.

This is why creating more engaging content has become the top priority for digital marketers. Engagement, when triggered, can be a great catalyst for conversion, and that is what digital marketers are ultimately aiming for when they create content.

However, 60% of marketers still consider creating enough engaging content to be their biggest challenge.

free-media

When I say “creating enough engaging content”, this doesn’t mean create several forms content, heaps of it, and hope that it’s all engaging enough for a potential audience. Even the most amount of content, if it does not have high enough quality and engaging information, will ultimately fall short of expectations and fail.

6 Steps to Creating Engaging Content

Creating engaging content, however, is not a behemoth of a task. In fact, it can involve some concepts most of us might overlook. Here are the six steps to follow, as key takeaways from the infographic below:

  1. Focus on Current Trends

  2. Write Stories that Appeal to Readers’ Emotions

  3. Drive Engagement with Visual Elements

  4. Support Your Content with Facts and Links

  5. Diversify your Types of Content

  6. Give Them Something to Takeaway

Learn more about these steps, such as how they can help you create more engaging content and how you can successfully pull them off the next time you write your piece of content with this infographic by Digital Marketing Philippines.

creating engaging content
Read more
digital marketing for online startups

5 Incredible Digital Marketing Tactics for Online Startups

Traditional marketing strategies and trends are beginning to vanish due to the advancement of technology. Technology has invented lots of modern marketing tactics, and digital marketing is the most popular marketing tactic of the modern marketing strategies, especially for online startups.

5 Incredible Digital Marketing Tactics for Online Startups

Digital marketing is the most efficient and practical strategy for both online and offline businesses. Most of marketers or entrepreneurs are interested in using digital marketing tactics for the startup portion of their business or to improve the existing system.

Every business owner wants to maintain an online setup for new business or existing business. Incredible tactics of digital marketing are elaborated here, about online startups specifically, for the ease of business owners in online startups.

online startups

1. Evaluate trends in marketing

Obviously, you are going to maintain an online business in the existing market, and you have to compete in the market by understanding the trends of the market. If you don’t understand the requirements of the current market, you will face difficulties building an online business through digital marketing. To start this online journey, you have to conduct market research through digital platforms to explore factors that could grow your business in a positive way. After understanding these factors, you have to evaluate the most top trends in the market for further process.

2. Identify your audience or clients

Once you understand the marketing trends, you will be able to identify your audience – what type of things will be used by what kind of people, users, or clients. It is evident that your survival of the business is dependent on your customers, so you have to attract customers to your business by identifying them first.

3. Define the direction of project

You can move your business toward success when you have clarity about the trends of the market and the intended clients. The next step for you is to define your project timeline that outlines the type of services you will provide to your customers through online business or your startup business. At this stage, you have to give proper direction to your work to provide growth to your business.

4. Engage your customers

A one-time online setup is not enough to succeed in business. You have to engage your customer. It’s not a difficult task in this modern era due to the presence of the contemporary digital trends like:

  • Social media marketing: You can directly share your brand and expertise over a variety of social platforms
  • Content marketing: Your customer will admire your services through the content you provide on your website or any other platforms. 
  • Email marketing: You can directly get into the inbox of your targeted audience… and you own your email list.

5. Serve your customers

After you reach your audience, you have to serve your audience at their level of ease. For this purpose, e-commerce is a popular digital marketing trend that will help you. Ultimately, they will feel relaxed by getting what they want at their doorstep and approach you for services more and more.

Digital marketing makes your life easier if you adopt this trend. The patterns of digital marketing like influencer marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing are top listed trends.

 

This is a guest post by Jessica Watson. Jessica has been writing for websites and blogs for three years now. She has been writing in various niches with her main focus on business, finance, and social media, and technology. Currently, she is working with Aurion UAE that offers company formation in dmcc. They are providing their services across all states of UAE.

Read more
what is a hashtag

5 Brilliant Ways to Use Hashtags in Social Media Marketing

Are you using hashtags when you post on social media? If your answer is yes, you should know how to maximize your hashtag exposure. If you don’t know how to gain the eyeballs of online traffic, these five hashtag strategies will help.

Before you understand the usage of hashtags, let’s learn what a hashtag is.

It’s a number or pound sign (#) used in tweets, for example, to engage in conversations and organize them in a simple and easy way. People use hashtags that are unique and not too common to avoid getting mixed up in other conversations.

hashtag

5 Brilliant Ways to Use #Hashtags in Social Media Marketing

1.    Choose unique hashtags

Your aim should be reaching your targeted audience using a hashtag. Therefore, you must have a hashtag that is unique and not too common or simple. This will help you to stand out from a crowd and highlight your strategies. It could also assist in going viral on the internet while avoiding confusion with other same hashtags.

If you are running an event, webinar or Twitter chats, reaching a community is a must. Choosing a unique hashtag will make sure you are reaching your audience and are easy to find be your ideal audience.

Verizon Wireless is a company that knows how to choose unique hashtags that helps them stand out of crowd and be recognizable. When you search for #vzw, you will see a crowded tweet stream. Some people use this hashtag when talking about Verizon, so the brand makes sure to use the detailed hashtag for their webinars and other events.

2.    Hashtags must be easy to remember

Choose a hashtag that is easy to remember. With many hashtags being used in the virtual world, some people end up creating a hashtag that is not easy to pronounce or spell. Many users will end up using a wrong hashtag, defeating the purpose of using one.

free-media

3.    Spread hashtags on different social media platforms

Once you decide the hashtag that will be used for a campaign, make efforts to spread it across multiple social media platforms. Remember, the use of the hashtag is not just limited to Twitter but is also used on Instagram. This facilitates the user to target the specific audience on a variety of platforms.

4.    Research a hashtag before you start using it

It would NOT be worth the effort to use a hashtag for a campaign if the same hashtag is used for a different purpose by someone else.

This may be the case if you use a hashtag without proper research. Make it a point to search the hashtag to see if it’s being used already. If it is, what is the purpose? This will avoid hampering the campaign before it starts.

5.    Make use of effective hashtags in your social media strategy

When you use hashtags in social media marketing, it is important to make use of the right hashtags, in the right place, to reach the targeted audience in a positive manner. Who knows? Your campaign could go viral and be a great revenue generator.

 

Hashtags in Social Media MarketingThis is a guest post by Ankur Aggarwal. Ankur is a Digital Marketer, Entrepreneur, Traveler, Blogger, and Foodie. He has multiple websites but IncomeBoy.com is his most recent venture. The purpose of IncomeBoy is to share accurate and genuine information about making and saving more money either online or offline in India. Write to him at contact@incomeboy.com.

Read more
Social Media Marketing

6 Simple Secrets To Rock Your Social Media Marketing

Nailing your online marketing campaign is one of the best ways to put your business on the path to success. Yet, with so many avenues to choose from, where should you focus your efforts, and how do you ensure that you are reaching the right people?

For many businesses, whether they are brand new start-ups or larger firms seeking to establish an online presence, social media marketing is an important part of their marketing strategy. After all, the audience is already in place, well-connected, and ready to be engaged.

However, a poor social media presence can sometimes be worse than none at all. If your business has few followers, negative interactions, or stale content, it could be enough to deter a potential customer.

Rock Your Social Media Marketing

It is vital to hone your social media skills and make sure you are getting the most out of your marketing. Here’s how.

Social Media Marketing

1. Choose Your Platforms Wisely

While it may be tempting to create a presence on every social media platform available, this is not always the best idea. By overstretching, you will offer a lower quality service across the board, with no guarantee that you’ll reach more people.

It is far more efficient and cost-effective to identify those platforms on which your target audience is most active. Tools such as Twitter Analytics and Google Keyword Planner are particularly useful for determining how and when people search for things related to your industry and on which platform.

By focusing your social media marketing on a select few channels, you will be able to give more time to your audience and create more valuable engagements with them. This is a great way to build trust, and show that your business is active, interested, and up-to-speed with modern media.

2. Plan Ahead

Every great marketing campaign begins with a plan. Not only do you need to know whom your product or service is aimed at, but also the specific message you want to deliver. Careful planning not only enables you to prioritize more effectively but also enables you to identify potential obstacles before you encounter them.

This can save you time, money, and reputation in the long run, as you will be able to take all factors into consideration when determining your schedule, budget, and short-term goals. You will also be able to develop an effective contingency plan, so if things beyond your control go awry, the rest of your hard work need not go to waste.

3. Advocate Employee Advocacy

Online consumers no longer want to deal solely with faceless enterprises. They are curious about the people behind the brand and they want to know their stories. This is where employee advocacy can be a particularly winning strategy.

Buyers are more inclined to trust recommendations from people rather than companies. Furthermore, when employees are seen talking positively and genuinely about the organization that employs them, it gives the impression that the business is fair, and enjoyable to work for.

Encourage your staff to share your brand’s content, give honest feedback about your products and services, and to give insights into the day-to-day happenings behind the scenes. This doesn’t mean giving away trade secrets, of course. But if a team member shares a snapshot of the new coffee machine or the view from their office on a sunny day, it adds to the humanity of your brand’s image, while also allowing your staff to be creative in their promotion of the business.

Take some time to set ground rules regarding what should and should not be shared, and keep track of which types of engagement have the most success. Over time this can even help to inform future marketing decisions, as you will have collected a valuable pool of data about a wide range of interactions.

Social Media Marketing

4. Listen, Learn, and Evolve

At the heart of social media marketing lies the relationship between your brand and its audience. As such, your marketing campaign, along with your business itself, will need to grow and change in accordance with the needs of your customers.

Listen to feedback, and consider inviting followers to send in questions, or even participate in a live Q&A. If a popular suggestion is simply not viable for your business, don’t simply brush it aside and ignore it. Address the topic and explain your reasoning. You don’t need to go into great detail; your customers will appreciate your transparency even if they disagree with your reasoning.

You can’t please everyone, but the role of social media marketing is to enable your audience to feel that they are not only engaging with your brand but also helping to shape its future. This sense of agency is incredibly powerful when it comes to building trust and causing individuals to feel invested in your brand.

5. Embrace Automation

Of course, one of the things that make social media so appealing is the direct interaction between your customers and your business. However, no matter how great your team might be, they can’t be everywhere all the time. Yet if someone feels they have been ignored or neglected by social media, they will not only form a negative opinion of your business, they are also likely to be quite vocal about it.

Make sure your social media accounts state when someone will be available to respond, and consider setting up an automated reply for direct messages, informing the user of when they can expect a full response. This is especially helpful if you are using an automated content delivery system, which could cause followers to believe someone is active on the account when they are not.

Effective use of automation frees you and your team up to focus on creating more valuable engagements, starting conversations with your audience and fostering positive dialogue across your social media profiles.

6. Make It Amazing

This might sound elementary, but really this should be the foundation of your marketing strategy. Once you’re done your keyword research, pinned down your target demographic, and come up with the message at the heart of your campaign, you have all the tools you need to embark on a truly powerful marketing endeavor. 

However, the toughest part of marketing can often be ensuring that your message is actually seen. By targeting existing customers, incentivizing sharing, and making sure your social media presence is mobile and interactive, you can greatly increase your brand’s visibility.

Many platforms also provide an option to boost your content’s visibility for a fee. For example, Facebook advertising and sponsored posts allow you to reach people beyond your existing network. Moreover, the algorithms that determine when to show a particular ad or piece of content are extremely sophisticated. This means these additional views should come from individuals who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer.

Bear in mind that these ads may be a buyer’s first point of contact with your brand, so it is important to make it count.

free-media

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for social media marketing. After all, its strength lies in its versatility as a means of truly expressing your brand’s personality. By engaging productively with its audience, your brand is able to develop a unique voice and identity, which your customers will come to recognize.

To remain relevant, your brand will need to keep up with the times. However, once you have established its identity, and gotten your team on board, this will soon feel intuitive. The early days are the hardest, but with perseverance, diligence, and enthusiasm for your cause, you will soon develop the following your brand deserves. It is simply onwards and upwards from there.

 

This is a guest post by Victoria Greene, a writer and e-commerce entrepreneur. When she’s not traveling back and forth between the USA and the UK, she’s geeking out on any new social media news she can get her hands on. She loves sharing her marketing experience with other entrepreneurs and gets a real kick out of helping people improve their businesses.

Read more