Social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospects and customers. Your customers are already interacting with brands through social media, and if you’re not speaking directly to your audience through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, you’re missing out! Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business, creating devoted brand advocates and even driving leads and sales.
Social Media Marketing 101: What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing, or SMM, is a form of internet marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve your marketing and branding goals. Social media marketing includes activities like posting text and image updates, videos, and other content that drives audience engagement, as well as paid social media advertising.
We’ve created this guide to provide you with an introduction to social media marketing and some starter social media marketing tips and training to improve your business’s social presence.
With these tips, you can begin developing your own social media marketing expert plan.
Social Media and Marketing: Start With a Plan
Before you begin creating social media marketing campaigns, consider your business’s goals. Starting a social media marketing campaign without a social strategy in mind is like wandering around a forest without a map you might have fun, but you’ll probably get lost.
Here are some questions to ask when defining your social media marketing goals:
- What are you hoping to achieve through social media marketing?
- Who is your target audience?
- Where would your target audience hang out and how would they use social media?
- What message do you want to send to your audience with social media marketing?
Your business type should inform and drive your social media marketing strategy.
For example, an e-commerce or travel business, being highly visual, can get a lot of value from a strong presence on Instagram or Pinterest. A business-to-business or marketing company might find more leverage in Twitter or Linkedin.
How Social Media Marketing Can Help You Meet Your Marketing Goals
Social media marketing can help with a number of goals, such as:
- Increasing website traffic
- Building conversions
- Raising brand awareness
- Creating a brand identity and positive brand association
- Improving communication and interaction with key audiences
The bigger and more engaged your audience is on social media networks, the easier it will be for you to achieve every other marketing goal on your list!
Best Social Media Marketing Tips
Ready to get started with marketing on social media? Here are a few social media marketing tips to kick off your social media campaigns.
- Social Media Content Planning — As discussed previously, building a social media marketing plan is essential. Consider keyword research and competitive research to help brainstorm content ideas that will interest your target audience. What are other businesses in your industry doing to drive engagement on social media?
- Great Social Content — Consistent with other areas of online marketing, content reigns supreme when it comes to social media marketing. Make sure you post regularly and offer truly valuable information that your ideal customers will find helpful and interesting. The content that you share on your social networks can include social media images, videos, infographics, how-to guides and more.
- A Consistent Brand Image — Using social media for marketing enables your business to project your brand image across a variety of different social media platforms. While each platform has its own unique environment and voice, your business’s core identity, whether it’s friendly, fun, or trustworthy, should stay consistent.
- Social Media for Content Promotion — Social media marketing is a perfect channel for sharing your best site and blog content with readers. Once you build a loyal following on social media, you’ll be able to post all your new content and make sure your readers can find new stuff right away. Plus, great blog content will help you build more followers. It’s a surprising way that content marketing and social media marketing benefit each other.
- Sharing Curated Links — While using social media for marketing is a great way to leverage your own unique, original content to gain followers, fans, and devotees, it’s also an opportunity to link to outside articles as well. If other sources provide great, valuable information you think your target audience will enjoy, don’t be shy about linking to them. Curating and linking to outside sources improves trust and reliability, and you may even get some links in return.
- Tracking Competitors — It’s always important to keep an eye on competitors—they can provide valuable data for keyword research and other social media marketing insight. If your competitors are using a certain social media marketing channel or technique that seems to be working for them, considering doing the same thing, but do it better.
- Measuring Success with Analytics — You can’t determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without tracking data. Google Analytics can be used as a great social media marketing tool that will help you measure your most triumphant social media marketing techniques, as well as determine which strategies are better off abandoned. Attach tracking tags to your social media marketing campaigns so that you can properly monitor them. And be sure to use the analytics within each social platform for even more insight into which of your social content is performing best with your audience.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.
All major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have primary search results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. Payment isn’t involved, as it is with paid search ads.
SEO is one of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted terms in the world of marketing. SEO’s unfair characterization as a kind of alchemy over the past decade has caused many otherwise savvy business people to devalue its importance as part of a good, solid marketing plan for small, mid-sized, and even large businesses. Many continue to ask why SEO is important for businesses.
I find this extremely unfortunate because SEO is a very viable marketing outlet that can bring your business more qualified leads and customers. Moreover, studies have shown that SEO can have a better ROI than traditional forms of marketing like TV and print ads. Like any other marketing method, SEO isn’t magic, but it provides a business visibility, branding, web traffic, a high ROI, credibility, and insight into customer behavior. Let’s discuss each of these in turn.
SEO is Good for Business Visibility and Branding
When people search for your products and services, you obviously want to appear as high in the search engine rankings as possible, but the reasons for this are more than just because you want them to click through to your website. In fact, there is a certain amount of value in simply appearing in search results for terms directly related to your business. For instance, most searchers don’t just simply search once, click on some websites, and be done with it. Instead, they search, click on some websites, edit their search terms, search again, click on some websites, further hone their search terms, search again, and so on.
So what does this mean for your business? It means that if you can continually show in all these search results that you are gaining more and more mindshare with each potential customer. Chances are very good that they will eventually click through to your website, and since you continually displayed in all their search results, they will trust you that much more. Which brings us to the next reason why SEO is important for your business.
SEO Provides Your Business Credibility
Searchers make mental notes of the rankings for the terms they enter into Google and other search engines. They may not consciously realize it, but they do. And in the minds of consumers, your ranking is a vote of confidence: “Google says this business is relevant, so that must be the case.” This may sound a bit far-fetched, but let’s look at it like this: back in the golden age of the yellow pages, if you were looking for a plumber, did you feel more confident in calling the guy on the seventh page of the listings, or did you, like most people, start from the first page and work your way through? Your customers may not realize it, but high search rankings make you more credible in their eyes.
SEO Brings Your Business Traffic
Sure, by itself, traffic is not going to make you any money. But would you rather set up your storefront on a backstreet in Davenport, Iowa or right in the middle of Times Square? All those people walking around in Times Square day and night by themselves aren’t going to make you any money, but chances are that quite a few of them will eventually become your customers. Just like Times Square, you still have to make your best effort to sell to your customers once they are on your website, but it’s better to do business on a crowded street corner than it is to set up shop on a deserted island. What’s better is that SEO is usually a good deal more affordable than store leases in Times Square. More importantly, the people coming to your site are almost all qualified leads – they were searching for businesses like yours when they found you, so they already have a need or interest in your products or services. Which brings me to the next point.
SEO Has One of the Best ROI’s in Advertising
SEO rewards your business for its efforts at a higher rate than pretty much all traditional forms of offline advertising — the same can be said for almost all types of internet marketing. The reason for this is because SEO is an inbound marketing strategy; that is, it allows you to market to people when they are looking for the products and services your business provides. You don’t have to interrupt their favorite TV show, you don’t have to take up space on a page where they are reading a news article. You just show up when they are looking for businesses like yours. You don’t have to convince them they need your product or service; you just have to convince them that you are the right business to purchase from. In other words, with SEO, half the battle is won before it even starts.
SEO Gives You Unmatched Insight Into Your Customers
As I already stated, SEO generates valuable traffic. Google Analytics tracks this traffic. Google Analytics is an amazing tool. The data and metrics are valuable because they give you insight into your customers: how they search, how they browse, the language they use, the technology they use, the region they live in, the days they are most active, the times of day they are most active, you name it. This is extremely valuable because it can help you make more informed decisions regarding your business and its strategies, both online and offline.
Every business with a website is familiar with copywriting. They have someone create content for their site and hope that the audience will relate to it. The problem is, most businesses usually go for the most cost-effective option without taking experience, niche, and other abilities into consideration. So they end up with a website that may or may not have a good copy and there’s no guarantee how your audience will connect to it. Alternately, some businesses even make the mistake of hiring the most popular firm or freelancer. Here are the reasons to convince you to pick a good content creator:
Creating great copy requires an in-depth understanding of the niche and subject matters within the niche. The aim is to create the perfect balance between information and relatability. Not every writer can do this , especially for smaller, less popular niches. A good copywriter makes sure to do his/her research when creating copy. Experience also plays a major role in this as it relates to adaptability and conformation. An experienced copywriter can create content for remote niches even though he\she has no personal experience within the niche.
The brand image refers to how a company wants to portray itself to its audience. It affects the customer’s perception of your brand and reflects on their buying habits. Good copywriters are able to understand the image that you can try to put forward and work to create that image through their content. Content reflects brand image through tone, language, and relatability. Content that is average will reflect your company in a substandard manner. The same holds true for copy that is rushed, sloppy or error-ridden.
Every sentence on your website has to serve a purpose in order to get readers hooked, You only get one chance to create the right impression and you have to be purposeful at what you write. Readers look for quality information and insights. A good copywriter understands all this and creates content that provides the right information along with the benefits of your service/product. They know how to create the necessary tone and encourage users to take necessary action. For example, an About Us page is meant to informative while the products page is meant to sell. Copywriters know the difference in content between these 2 pages and create unique content accordingly.
One aspect of copywriting is that you just don’t write to tell what your products or services are. It is to whom you tell your products or services to. Just simply stating facts about your business won’t help. You will know your business has a good copywriter if that person knows how to write for different audiences.
The copy they create for a university would be different from that of a burger joint. Copywriters know the adjustment of presenting their brand to their target audience. They always take consumer’s perspective on what they expect from the product.
You know you need a website, but you just haven’t had the time to make it happen, or you have a website, but you know it’s not what it should be? Perhaps you believe your business doesn’t need a website? Let’s change that – your company deserves a professional business website!
Bill Gates was right when he said: “If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.”Nowadays, any company that desires new customers or clients needs a business website. Whether shopping online or looking for a business’ address or phone number, people often turn to the internet first. They seek information about the company, its products, and services — making an online presence one of the most valuable assets.
Having a small or medium-size business website isn’t just about selling products and services — it is also about providing the added value to potential customers and building your own credibility. In next few minutes let’s go through the main benefits of having a company website and understand why creating a website for your business is a must.
By having a well-structured website you can foster instant credibility with anyone. Your website can (and should) reflect the trust and professional image of your company. It also provides your social proof, since potential buyers are already looking for you online. You can impress potential buyers by including page elements like customer testimonials on your site.
Having a business website means never putting up the ‘Closed’ sign again. Your website is a 24/7 instrument that runs without any supervision or a need to lock it up. You can always be there for your customers. More than ever you can keep the pace with a potential client from all around the world in any time zones since geographical aspect is not the issue once you have a website.
Business website competes your competitors
Consumers typically start their buying journey with research and recommendations found online – educational materials, reviews, and testimonials are those what can compete for your way to a potential buyer. Most of your competitors have a business website, so if you are not staying competitive with your competition, you are giving shoppers a reason to choose another company.
Showcase your products and services
Imagine your website as a platform where you can showcase your company’s best assets. For a successful online approach, you can build product landing page visualized with beautiful images. If you are a service company, tell more about what you do and can offer in video tutorials thus causing interest to the potential customer.
Great marketing exposure
A business website is another marketing channel which gives you an automatic internet presence. You have another chance to introduce people to your products and services, as well as making it easy for people to find you.
Combining your website with marketing tools, like email marketing, SEO, blogging, social media, and online advertising, help you reach new customers and generate repeat business. Much more effective than printing brochures and distributing them to a random audience.
You are searchable
More than 80 percent of consumers perform online research before making a decision. That means they go to Google and type in keywords, like “best bakeries in New York” or “English course in Berlin.” By having a website, you will show up in Google search page results which means you are able to be located by soon-to-be your customers.
If you have a site, you can optimize it for SEO, thereby getting more visibility with potential customers. But if you don’t have a website for your business, the chances of showing up on the search engine page equal zero.
Being online could mean the difference between surviving and not surviving for a business, and it’s clear that the benefits of being online far outweigh any perceived downsides.
From being visible to reaching a wider audience, to increasing credibility and reaping the rewards of customer insights, all businesses should be taking advantage of the great opportunity that’s easier and cheaper than ever before.
Digital marketing options such as Email Marketing, Google Marketing and CRM Databases can be very important but the question that you should be asking is which one is best for your business?
The answer is, all of them. If you really want to start seeing astronomical results in your marketing initiatives, it’s important that you consider all of the powerful tools that can help your brand do well on multiple platforms, multiple channels and multiple markets.
This calls for a well-managed, integrated approach. Being able to seamlessly reach your prospects and compel your customer from one channel to the next while maintaining an integral structure of your brand and messaging at every step of the way can be very important.
To break things, there are primarily two types of marketing strategies; multichannel marketing and omnichannel marketing.
Multichannel Marketing – Refers to the ability to interact with potential customers on various platforms. A channel might be a print ad, a retail location, a website, a promotional event, a product’s package, or word-of-mouth.
Omnichannel Marketing – refers to the multichannel sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated shopping experience. The customer could be shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, via phone, or in a brick-and-mortar store, and the experience will be seamless.
They may sound rather similar, but the truth is that there are very crucial differences between the two. The true meanings and resulting strategies lead companies down two distinctly different paths.
The multichannel approach merely aims to get the word out via the maximum possible number of channels. You’re casting the widest net to get the most customer engagement. Companies usually utilize social media and email for this process.
Omnichannel marketing however, refers to a more cohesive and integrated approach that focuses on the customer’s experience. This brings about the second key difference between the strategies: consistency. Omnichannel businesses are diligent in ensuring that their customers receive the same experience and messaging through each and every channel. A consistent brand image and message helps ensure a heightened sense of familiarity and can establish a relationship with the brand.
Because of this, omnichannel marketing requires that businesses implement strategies that are similar throughout every process. Customer retention, social media and sales must all coincide within the foundation of the brand and this ultimately leads to better customer experience and in turn, more conversion and a stronger brand presence.
How to apply Integrated Online Marketing effectively?
Our integrated marketing solutions have been designed to tackle your issues head on! If you’re completely new to the concept of building an online brand presence, On9BizHeroes is here to help. No matter the speed you decide to move at, we’re here to get you into gear.
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