Most definitely! It’s been proven again and again by business after business. In fact, notutilizing social media marketing can actually harm your business, since having an online presence on social media is simply expected of any reputable firm these days.
Whether your business is taking advantage of it or not, social media has forever changed the way that consumers communicate with businesses, and vice versa. Being accessible to your customers – and your prospective clients – via social media is a vital means of developing relationships with them and helping them through the sales funnel.
One thing is for certain – social media marketing is never free. Whether you’re spending your own valuable time on it, asking an employee to add it to their workload, hiring a social media employee, or outsourcing to a marketing firm, there is always a cost. The key is to get the maximum ROI out of the time or money you put into it. It’s important to remember, however, that ROI doesn’t have to mean revenue. It can, but it can also mean meeting other objectives, such as getting new leads, increasing email subscriptions, or even boosting customer satisfaction. The ROI you end up with is the direct result of how focused your social media marketing strategy is.
Facebook is the social media platform of choice for over a billion people worldwide. Use it to connect and interact with your audience, and to share your content in a way that encourages your fans to share it as well.
Yes! A blog is one of those non-negotiable. Apart from all of the benefits it provides on its own, such as increasing your credibility as an industry expert, and providing fresh, keyword-rich content on a regular basis to please the search engines, a blog is a vital component of social media marketing. One of the most effective types of content to post on social media is a link to a blog post. Without fresh blog posts being shared on a regular basis, you won’t have nearly as much to talk about with your fans, and you won’t be driving as much traffic to your site, either.
LinkedIn has over 467 million users. It is a great place to share your credentials with the world, but more importantly, it’s the perfect place to interact with your audience online. Using LinkedIn Groups, you can answer questions and contribute to discussions in order to demonstrate your industry thought leadership as well as your willingness to help others generously.
Taking “control” of your brand isn’t really possible anymore, thanks to social media. Whether you’re in the conversation or not, people will talk about you online, and there’s no way for you to “control” what they say. But what you can do is join in those conversations, and influence them by being a part of them. From negative reviews on Yelp to customer complaints on Twitter, the way to influence your audience’s perception of your brand is to participate in the conversations, and steer them in a direction you’re happy with.
The importance of content in an online marketing strategy has undergone a meteoric rise over the last few years, so it’s only natural that businesses have questions about just how to harness this marketing tool. And as usual, we’re here to help.
Content marketing turns traditional marketing on its head. Instead of focusing on a company and its products or services, it focuses on the consumer’s needs first. The goal of content marketing is to provide valuable, genuinely helpful information to consumers for free, in order to create a relationship with them based on trust, which eventually leads them to make a purchase.
When most people think of content marketing, they think of a blog. And blogs are certainly one of the easiest and most effective means of content marketing available. But they aren’t the only forms of content that can be employed in a content marketing strategy. Any valuable information, conveyed via any medium, can be considered content. Videos, infographics, slideshares, PDFs, blogs, articles, podcasts, white papers, ebooks, webinars – the list goes on and on.
Though it can be tempting to jump right in and start writing a blog without much forethought, the only way to ensure that your content marketing will be effective is to take the time to create a strategy first. Without a clear plan in place, all the time you put into developing content is wasted.
The most common content marketing mistake is to fall back into the old habits of traditional marketing. Writing blog posts that are overly salesy, or that promote the company and its products excessively, is a big no-no. Content should be valuable to consumers, and sales pitches are not only not valuable – they’re off-putting. There’s a time and a place for sales, and it’s not in your content.
Email marketing can seem like a deceptively simple task at first glance, but once you get into the trenches, it becomes clear that it’s anything but. Luckily, we’re here to help point you in the right direction.
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways for a business to reach customers directly. Think about it. You’re not posting something on your site and hoping people will visit it. You’re not even posting something on a social media page and hoping fans will see it. You’re sending something directly into each person’s inbox, where they definitely will see it! Even if they don’t open it, they’ll still see the subject line and your company’s name each time you send an email, so you’re always communicating directly with your audience.
Actually, statistics show that email reaches three times more people than Facebook and Twitter combined. That’s a significant difference. Social media marketing is wildly popular, and becoming even more so every day, but it is definitely not taking the place of social media marketing any time soon. On Facebook, for example, each post only reaches a small portion of your users. If you have users opted into your email list, however, everyone on that list will receive that message.
It can be tempting, but you’ve got to resist that temptation. The only way to get an email subscriber list that will be beneficial to your company is to grow it organically. First of all, many email service providers won’t even allow you to use purchased lists. And secondly, the email addresses found on lists like those are not high-quality leads, to say the least. They will not contain people truly interested in your products or services, since these people didn’t opt-in to your specific email list, so they’ll also be much more likely to mark your emails as spam.
Any kind of content that will be seen as valuable by your particular audience. It can be an eBook, a white paper, a video, a webinar, even a coupon – anything that is attractive enough to potential customers that they are willing to give up their email address in order to get it.
For some businesses, a newsletter is the way to go. For others, a different approach works better. Newsletters usually feature several different pieces of content, such as recent blog posts and current specials. But it’s also perfectly fine to send an email featuring only one piece of content, or an individual marketing message. Tailor your email structure to your unique audience, and see what works best through experimentation.
As often as you can, without getting annoying. How’s that for a vague answer? But it’s true – you want to send frequent emails, but not so frequent that people start unsubscribing or worse, marking them as spam. Where’s the happy medium? Unfortunately, it’s different for each business. For some, once a month is plenty, while for others, daily emails are just fine. Again, it’s a matter of experimentation and testing to see what your particular audience responds best to.
Once again, the answer to this question differs from business to business. And once again, testing is the way to find out what works best. As a general rule, weekends and mornings seem to be the times when more emails are opened – but since your audience may have different habits, it’s best to experiment and then use your own data to decide.
The average person will only spend about 20 seconds reading an email, so use that as a guideline. If your email will take longer than 20 seconds to read, make sure that the most important information, as well as your call to action and links, are located near the top, where they can be seen without having to scroll down.
The single best piece of advice we can give when it comes to writing a marketing email is to keep the following in mind: The purpose of every email you write is to deepen your relationship with each individual subscriber. That means writing to them as if they were a friend, or at least a real-life person, rather than sounding like a used car salesman.
The two most important metrics for email marketing are the open rate and the click-through rate. If your emails aren’t getting opened, subscribers will never see your full marketing message – and if they’re opening them, but not clicking through to your site, your emails aren’t converting.