Useful content should be at the core of your marketing
Traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the minute; as a forward-thinking marketer, you know there has to be a better way. Enter content marketing.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.
Content marketing is used by leading brands
Our annual research shows the vast majority of marketers are using content marketing. In fact, it is used by many prominent organizations in the world, including P&G, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and John Deere. It’s also developed and executed by small businesses and one-person shops around the globe. Why? Because it works.Here is just one example of content marketing in action:
Content marketing is good for your bottom line — and your customers
Specifically, there are three key reasons — and benefits — for enterprises who use content marketing:
Better customers who have more loyalty
Content is the present – and future – of marketing
Go back and read the content marketing definition one more time, but this time remove the relevant and valuable. That’s the difference between content marketing and the other informational garbage you get from companies trying to sell you “stuff.” Companies send us information all the time – it’s just that most of the time it’s not very relevant or valuable (can you say spam?). That’s what makes content marketing so intriguing in today’s environment of thousands of marketing messages per person per day.
Marketing is impossible without great content
Regardless of what type of marketing tactics you use, content marketing should be part of your process, not something separate. Quality content is part of all forms of marketing:
Content strategy: Content strategy is part of most content marketing strategies.
What if your customers looked forward to receiving your marketing? What if when they received it, via print, email, website, they spent 15, 30, 45 minutes with it? What if they anticipated it and shared it with their peers? If you are intrigued and ready to learn more, we can help. Here are a few popular ways to dig in:
New to content marketing? Check out our getting started guide, where you’ll learn the definition of content marketing, as well as basic steps for putting a content marketing plan in place.
Need a content strategy? Read the CMI Content Marketing Framework, which outlines the essential building blocks for a successful content marketing program.
Are you in marketing leadership? Subscribe to our free magazine, Chief Content Officer, to stay on top of the latest industry trends.
2019 Content Marketing and Social Media Strategy:
Here Are 5 Content Marketing Trends That You Can’t Ignore This Year
Lilach Bullock l Forbes
Technology is evolving at a very rapid rate and as marketers or business owners, this means that you constantly need to be aware of the latest changes, developments and be prepared for change at any minute. And it’s not just technology that keeps changing, but so do your audience’s preferences.
When it comes to content marketing, it’s essential to stay on top of these things if you’re going to make a real impact with your content and get results.
So what should your 2019 content marketing strategy look like?
Here are 5 content marketing trends that you really can’t ignore this year.
A lot of powerful AI technology already exists; however, it’s not highly accessibly. As this changes over the course of these next few years, that’s when we’ll truly see the impact of Artificial Intelligence on content marketing.
One of the biggest ways that AI will affect content marketing has to do with analytics and machine learning. Artificial Intelligence can gather and interpret huge amounts of data, amounts that would take months of work from dozens of people, while AI can handle it in seconds.
So, what does this mean, specifically, for content marketing?
For one thing, it will allow marketers to build better content marketing strategies. The more data you have about your audience and their interests and preferences, the easier it will be to create and deliver the types of content that they actually want to see.
What’s more, with all of this data you can also build powerful, highly targeted audience segments; this in turn will allow you to create truly personalized content for each of your audience segments: personalized based on their personality traits, their shopping behavior, their interests, their location and their needs, among other factors.
A real need for an actual content strategy
So you have an editorial calendar; but do you have an actual strategy behind your content marketing efforts?
Surprisingly, as many as 63% of businesses don’t have an actual content strategy – but while that’s bad news for them, it can be great news for you if you start developing a content marketing strategy that aligns with your business goals.
That said, it’s important to understand that a content strategy is not just an editorial calendar that you plan a few weeks or a month in advance. Rather, it’s a documented strategy that involves:
Setting goals for your content marketing strategy, particularly goals that will align with your overall business goals so that any content you produce helps you reach more business goals:
generating more traffic, more leads, making more conversions via your website, blog or email, and so on.)
Audience segmentation for increasingly personalized content
Content repurposing strategy
Content curation strategy
Different strategies for different customer acquisition channels
Get your content ready for voice search
FILE- In this Oct. 9, 2018 photo a Google Home Hub is displayed in New York. Technology companies are pushing the “smart home,” selling appliances and gadgets that offer internet-connected conveniences you didn’t know you needed. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
If you’ve not yet taken to using voice search in your day to day life, you might be surprised to learn how popular it actually is and how many people use it on a regular basis. And chances are that with the increasing popularity of devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa along with services like Apple’s Siri, voice search will only continue to grow – until, perhaps, it even becomes the new normal. Some even believe that as many as half of all online searches will be voice searches by 2020.
When it comes to content marketing, this means that marketers need to start optimizing their content – or, at least, some of their content – for voice search. Unfortunately though, each device seems to be pulling data from different sources and offering completely different results; that said, there are still things that you can do to get ahead of the competition and make sure that your content is the one that voice assistants will recommend.
One of the most important aspects is that you need to get your content to be the featured snippet – the short blurb that sometimes appears at the top of a Google search result that answers your search query – and know which searches result in featured snippets.
A different way of collaborating with influencers
Usually, one expects influencer collaboration to mean having the influencer promote a brand or its products/services on their own channels.
And while that’s definitely still a great strategy, there is another approach that is starting to trend right now: having the influencer create content for your very own brand channels (your blog, your social networks and so on).
This has quite a few advantages for brands, from boosting credibility to boosting traffic and followers as you attract that influencers’ audience.
So how do these types of campaigns work? Quite simply, by having known and respected influencers from your niche creating content for your channels. They can then promote this content on their channels and help drive traffic to your platform.
For example, if you sell food products, you could have popular chefs sharing exclusive recipes on your blog – that will likely attract a large audience of foodies to your blog. Or, you can take things one step further and have an influencer take over your channel for an entire 24 hours – similar to Snapchat takeovers.
As I mentioned before, these types of influencer marketing projects can help you boost your credibility simply by associating yourself with a respected and well-loved influencer from your niche as well as help you with more practical goals, such as building up traffic to your blog and website, helping you generate more leads, as well as helping you make more sales and acquire new customers for your business.
Incorporate more types of content in your strategy and reach a wider audience
Headphone, movie clapper board, note pad and virtual reality glasses on white background
Content marketing isn’t just blogging; it’s also social media content, it’s marketing videos, email marketing, podcasting and so much more.
People consume a lot of different types of content every day, using various devices; in order to reach these audiences, it’s important to not only have a presence on multiple channels but also to create different types of content for different segments of your audience:
Video is one of the most popular forms of content right now. People watch as many as 5 billion videos on YouTube every day and 100 million hours of video on Facebook – and these are just 2 platforms
Podcasting is rapidly increasing in popularity as well, with 44% of the US population having listened to at least one podcast in the past few years
Interactive content such as AR lenses can help you reach a huge audience; for example, Taco Bell’s Cinco de Mayo Snapchat Lens generated an impressive 224 million views
Content marketing is widely used by a large majority of marketers and businesses; in fact, as many as 91% of B2B marketers claim to use content marketing to reach customers, as this study from the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs found. That is a lot of content to compete with and, unfortunately, it’s easy to feel this competition when your content isn’t appearing in search results or in your audiences’ newsfeeds.
In order to perform well this year and generate great results from content marketing, stay on top of these trends and use them to inform your strategy: create a documented content marketing strategy, leverage AI, optimize your content for voice search, leverage different types of content and collaborate with influencers in unique ways.
8 Step Social Media Marketing Strategy for Businesses in 2019
Source: Influencer Marketing Hub
Too many businesses go into social media marketing on an ad hoc basis. They know they should do something about social media, but they don’t really understand what they should do. Some firms just give access to the company social accounts to some junior staff member– merely because they are young, so should know all about social media.
However, in 2019 we are well past a social strategy of post and hope. All businesses need to create a social media marketing strategy and operate the business social accounts in a thoughtful, measured way.
If you don’t, you risk the danger that your competitors will, and as a result, they will gain market traction and exposure over you.
Firms can’t ignore social media, however. According to Ambassador, 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. Yet, 96% of the people that discuss brands online do not follow those brands’ owned profiles.
Even if you embrace the wonders of influencer marketing, you still need to operate some social accounts yourself. Often the goal of influencer marketing is to direct visitors to your social sites. You should consider influencer marketing to be merely an extension of your business’ social marketing strategy.
Here is our 8-step social media marketing strategy for businesses in 2019.
8 Step Social Media Marketing Strategy for Businesses in 2019:
1. Set Relevant and Realistic Social Media Marketing Goals
One of the most significant problems faced by many businesses engaged in social media is that they have never spent the time to set relevant and realistic social media marketing goals. They know they need to be on social media, but they have no idea why they are there.
Of course, your social media marketing goals need to fit into your business planning as a whole. Ideally, you will have set strategic goals for how you want your business to progress. Your social media marketing goals should complement your overarching business goals.
All too often people set woolly business goals that have little meaning if you scrutinize them. Remember, you’re not creating goals merely for the sake of it. You are building them to help you devise the most suitable social media strategy for your business. Therefore, you will want to ensure that your goals are SMART
The SMARTer your goals, the more likely you will be able to meet them – and just as importantly, know that you are meeting them.
While you want to challenge yourself, it is essential that you set attainable, realistic goals. You might love to have one million Facebook followers, but that is unlikely to be attainable within the next year for most businesses, even those that perform exceptionally well.
This is where it is prudent to set some limitations. Don’t attempt to succeed on every social network. There are too many, and you would spread your resources too thinly. You just need to perform well on the same social networks your target market spends their time.
Suitable Social Media Goals Your Business Could Set
Your goals will be personal to your business and complement your overarching business goals. However, typical types of social media goals you could consider (couched in a suitable SMART-style) include:
Increasing brand awareness
Achieving a set higher quantity of sales
Improving your ROI
Driving people to increase in-store sales
Grow your fan base
2.Understand Your Social Media Audience
Not all social media audiences are alike. Different types of people use social media in varying ways. If you’re going to meet your goals, you need to be using the same social media networks as your target audience. Similarly, if you intend to engage in influencer marketing, you need to ensure that you engage influencers whose audience matches your target market.
You might be a middle-aged executive who uses Facebook. However, if you personally don’t match the target market of your business, you can’t automatically assume that your customers will also be spending their time on Facebook. Sure, there may have been 2.27 billion monthly active Facebook users (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. in Q3 2018, but if you target a young demographic, you are far more likely to reach them on Snapchat or Instagram. However, if your business targets people aged 25 to 34, they make up 29.7% of Facebook users, and are their most common age demographic.
Look at your social media marketing goals you have previously set. Which social channels will best help you meet those goals?
To be successful at doing this, you need to have a solid understating of your customer base. If you have ever established personas for your ideal customers, now is the time to dust them off. What do your customers look like, and how do they spend their time on the internet?
The better you can understand the demographics and psychographics of your target market, the better you will be at reaching them on your social channels.
3.Determine Your Most Relevant Metrics
Too many businesses create a social presence and spend time and other resources on using their social accounts, without ever establishing whether they are seeing any success or not.
Ideally, you should look at the marketing goals you set above, and determine which metrics will provide you with the answer as to whether you are meeting that goal. For example, if you have a goal that aims to increase your brand awareness, then Post Reach is a relevant statistic. It will tell you how far your content is spreading across social channels.
If your goals are more sales-based, or you want to drive people to take a particular action, then you should take notice of the number of Clicks. Tracking Clicks per campaign will give you a good indication of what drives people to buy or do what you ask of them.
You will often take most interest in the engagements on your posts. This shows how people interact with your content, and whether it resounds with them.
4.Investigate How Your Competitors Approach Social Media
Most firms don’t operate in isolation. You will usually have competitors who will also run a social strategy. You will definitely need to know what they are doing. What is their focus? Whom are they targeting? What key phrases are they trying to dominate?
You can quickly conduct a competitor analysis to help you better understand their strengths and weaknesses. This should give you a better understanding of what potential customers expect from businesses in your industry.
You might spot your competitors’ weak social areas and be able to exploit the gaps. For instance, one of your competitors might be influential on Twitter, but have a weak Facebook presence, despite your target market using that network. In that case, it may pay you to put more resources into Facebook, rather than competing head to head on Twitter.
5.Create Suitable Content to Share with Your Followers
Of course, to be successful on social media, you will need high-quality content to share. One of the biggest mistakes that businesses do is to share excessive promotional material. Remember social networks are designed to be social – they were never intended to be a marketplace for you to sell your products.
Therefore, you need to balance the content you share socially, to be a mixture of informative and entertaining items, with a small percentage of promotional material added in. You will also need to like and share other peoples’ content.
This is probably the most significant reason that most influencers gain that status. They know their audience well and create the perfect content to interest their followers. As a brand, you need to do the same.
If you have previously determined your goals and discovered what works (and what doesn’t) for your competition, you should have a reasonable idea of the type of cornet that will resonate for your target audience. There is little point creating content for other types of people, who will never help you meet your goals.
Each year, video content appears to increase in popularity, too. According to YouTube, mobile video consumption grows by 100% every year. 64% of customers say they are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.
6.Engage With Your Audience
People don’t just go onto social networks to read, look at, or watch content. They go online to interact with other people and to be social. Successful businesses do not just broadcast to their social audiences. They engage with them too.
This is why you should not attempt to cover every social network unless you have a very diverse target market and an army of personnel dedicated to this task. By focusing your attention on the social networks your target market frequents, you can use your resources efficiently.
Some firms have found it very useful to create custom hashtags. Not only can these encourage discussions and sharing, but they also make it easier for you to search for posts that reference your business.
Ideally, you should respond to all social mentions of your business and demonstrate that customer care is a priority for you.
7.Establish the Best Times to Post and Set up a Content Calendar
While you could manually make all of your social posts, that is inefficient, and may not lead to the best results. Most of the social networks now use some form of algorithm to filter the results they give people. This means that if you post at a different time to when your target audience is online, they may never see your content.
Of course, no matter how much you plan your social efforts, there is no guarantee that things will work as you expected. If you don’t track your results, however, you will never know the success of your social campaigns.
You began the process by setting goals and then determined your most relevant metrics. Therefore, you will want to keep a constant eye on how these metrics are progressing. Are your social campaigns having the desired effects on these metrics?
Use these tools to track your success. If they show that you are producing popular, well-shared content, create more of that type. If your content doesn’t perform so well, take note of what does work, and adapt your social sharing to focus on the kind of material your followers preferred.
You could also consider surveying your social audience to discover what they think of your social strategy. Your followers may come up with valuable ideas that you hadn’t thought of.
Don’t be afraid to make changes if there is a chance that you can further improve your social success.
The Social Media Analytics Compass: What and How to Measure
On a weekly basis assess your audience growth and compare this with your competitors. Also assess the people that are unfollowing you where possible.
As you are growing your audience you need to make sure you have the right audience profile.
On Twitter you can run a report to see what categories of people are part of your profile. For example, are they entrepreneurs, marketers etc.
On Facebook you can set up an ad (you don’t have to run it) targeted to your Facebook fans and then change the targeting options to work out the profile of your audience. For example, add an interest and see how many of your fans has that interest.
With a bit of smart thinking you can do this analysis across other platforms. If you can’t do the analysis with the tools you can always run a survey to your audience.
Reach and Engagement
How much of your audience are you reaching and how much are engaging with your content?
Reach without engagement is still important because a lot of people pay attention to your content but don’t respond to it. This doesn’t means to say they are not interested and they won’t buy from you.
Engagement is also important to monitor because you expect that some of your audience will engage with your content. If no one is engaging with your content you have either the wrong content or the wrong audience!
In an audience you will typically have the following:
Lurkers – People that monitor what you share but don’t interact. This is usually the majority of your audience
Influencers – These are people that have access to a larger audience and have the potential of influencing this audience.
Engagers – These are people that are more active in your community and you’ll start recognizing some of the names
Typically you will want to generate traffic back to your website from content you share and you’ll need to measure the impact of that traffic.
For some companies traffic is enough. For example, if you are media site you get paid for advertisements and more traffic means more money!
For most of the rest of us you want to generate leads and sales.
Creating and sharing content is an expensive task. On a regular basis you need to analyze your content to see what’s working/not working.
Are videos, pictures or text updates working best?
Do you have the right mix of content?
Are you getting engagement on your questions?
What changes have happened on the platforms that means you need to change? (e.g. changes to profile images).
You’ll need to monitor this on an ongoing basis.
If you’re not responsive to your community they’ll stop interacting so it’s important to measure this. This is particularly important if you are using social media as a customer service channel. The response rates are going to be equally important as an email support request.
We should all learn from our competitors as they are probably learning from us!
Do a comparison of your account versus your competitors.
What are their engagement stats like, audience profile, audience size growth etc.
This active monitoring will give you ideas. Thing to learn from and things to avoid!
This is where you analyze positive, negative, or neutral mentions of your product or service. Sentiment analysis tools are not 100% reliable but they can give you a good indicator when there’s a problem.
Here’s a full description of sentiment analysis taken from wikipedia: “Sentiment analysis (also known as opinion mining) refers to the use of natural language processing, text analysis and computational linguistics to identify and extract subjective information in source materials”
When you are going through all your analytics you’ll need to start splitting out paid and unpaid media. All social media channels will require some paid media over time but this will affect your statistics.
NOTE: Thanks to the following people for contributing to the social media compass: Brian Carter, Mark Schaefer, Lilach Bullock, Dan Purvis, Martin Jones, Mark Fidelman, Steven Eisenberg, Stephan Hovnanian, Julia Bramble, Emeric Ernoult, Gregory Bailey, Beatrice Hunt.
How to track product/service campaigns
Creating a campaign to sell a specific product or service on your website needs a special mention.
If you want to track sales from various channels, shared in various ways (e.g. post, ad, pinned post etc.), you’ll need to use unique tracking links.
Check out tools such as Agorapulse or SproutSocial who provide very good analytics as part of their platforms.
These are social media measurement tools that only provide social media analytics functionality. As their entire focus is analytics, you can find some great functionality as part of these platforms. The only thing to consider is that they are accessing platform analytics so their analytics can be only as good as the data provided by the platform!
Tools used for Social Media Analytics
In the following we have focussed on tools that are dedicated to social media analytics.
To access the paid reports, pricing starts at $500 per month for 10 social profiles with an audience of up to 250k. After this the pricing is tiered e.g. $1,500 per 20 social profiles, $2,500 for 50 social profiles. If you are an agency you will need to get a quote.
Wide range of standard reports are available for each platform
Web traffic and conversion analysis – You can connect to Google Analytics and view detailed information
Competitive analysis and benchmarking – Run reports against your competitors to review your performance
Influencer and Trend Analysis – Figure out who the key influencers are who you need to connect with and track trends
Brand, Keywords and Hashtag monitoring – Get email alerts based on criteria you set
Professional reports, all of which are available in Excel and Powerpoint
Multi-channel analysis so you can compare many accounts at the same time – for example, compare multiple Twitter accounts
Scheduled reporting – Get reports delivered to you automatically.
How does it work?
When you connect your social profiles, you have a choice of a wide range of standard reports. On the left-hand side, select the category you want. For example, select Twitter if you only want to view reports that are relevant to Twitter.
As an example, when I selected the Twitter Account Report, it brings me to a screen where you can provide details of your Twitter account. You can then name this ‘collection’ and assign any tags that further describe what the report is about.
You then specify the type of report you want to run. You’ll see there’s also a menu option for alerts. This allows me to set up monitoring on this account and get alerts.
There is good configuration on the alerts, where you can set up options such as only delivering alerts based on someone having a high number of followers or Klout score.
When you run a report, you can either view it online or as an Excel report. The reports are very visually appealing, well designed and full of great content.
If you don’t like the black background there is also a light-colored theme.
What I love most about the Excel reports is that it’s not just the graphs that are exported to Excel. It also creates multiple sheets that contain all the data that back up the graph.
Having the data means you can analyze it even further and maybe start changing the data to predict future results.
As well as social media accounts, you can also run off reports from your website. For example, this is one of the charts in a report that shows you the Twitter users who are driving the most traffic to your site. This is very useful to know as these are people you need to engage with more.
Simply Measured is a really powerful social media analytics platform that provides an extensive range of really nicely designed reports that are available either online, or through Excel and Powerpoint.
Their free reports are a great starting point and definitely worth using.
The fact they support such a broad range of social media platforms, together with their high starting price point, means that it’s really suitable for the larger brands, and they do have some very large brands already as clients.
The platform is really nicely designed and easy to understand so you’ll get benefit from it very quickly.
How much will it cost you?
Pricing starts at $199 for 15 tracked companies and up to 90 social profiles. For $299 this goes up to 25 tracked companies and 150 social profiles, with additional functionality.
What are the main features?
Supports Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+, Pinterest and YouTube
Tracks multiple markets or clients through the use of landscapes
Monitors social metrics across all channels supported
Analyzes data relevant to SEO
Monitors and improves on social bio information
Monitors the best-performing content shared by you or your competitors
Monitors AdWords traffic generated.
How does it work?
You connect your social profiles on Rival IQ and also add on any competitors you want to track.
You can group companies into different landscapes (e.g. partner, competitor etc).
Here’s an example of a landscape showing the most engaging tweets for companies in that landscape:
Your can create reports based on all this information.
I have set up a weekly report from Rival IQ, which gives detailed information on our performance across channels and against competitors.
One other area that is really useful is the alerts. Here are alerts when people in the landscape update their profile descriptions:
The SEO section provides some basic information related to SEO. While this is certainly not a replacement for an SEO tool, it does provide you with some valuable, high-level information.
Any of the reports can also be exported to a Powerpoint presentation, enabling you to produce some great management reports that contain nice graphs and statistics for each of your competitors.
This is a very intuitive platform with good social media analytics. I’d like to see integration with Google Analytics as it would also be great to see the traffic generated and results achieved from your social media interactions. I’d also like to see more detailed SEO analytics, for example, being able to drill down on the most popular external links from competitors. This is a nice-to-have feature as opposed to an essential feature!
Here are some of the main features in relation to social media analytics.
Track traffic from social platforms – You can drill down by referrer and look at the traffic generated from each of the social platforms. If you use a custom URL, you can track traffic generated from a specific link you shared.
Isolate traffic using a segment – If you want to drill down on traffic for a particular channel, you can create a segment and view information just related to that channel.
Social media dashboard – Create a graphical dashboard that shows a summary of your social media activity and the results of traffic generated.
View real-time traffic – When you share out content on social media, you can view your website traffic in real-time. While you’re not going to do this all the time, you may have an important campaign that you have want to track more closely in the early stages, and monitoring the real-time statistics can be useful.
Social media conversions – You can set up goals and track the conversion rates of these goals broken down by social channel.
In the Acquisition > Social section, there are other social media analytics worth considering. For example, in the Data Hub section you can view the conversations related to your content that happened on various social channels.
There are other areas within this section that are also worth looking at.
As well as tracking the activity on social media channels, you also need to track what happens when the traffic comes back to your website. Google Analytics is a useful tool for this.
Pricing starts at $249 per month, which gives you access to all platforms, unlimited fans and up to four competitors.
What are the main features?
Analytics support for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+, Pinterest and Instagram
Compare your posting activity with your competitors and also analyze their paid posting strategy
Leaderboard showing your performance in comparison with your competitors
Discover the posts driving the highest engagement so you can determine the topics you should be writing about
Create a social media benchmarking report
Influencer report showing the most influential users, which can be sorted by likes, engagement, shares etc.
Integration with Google Analytics
Set up daily,weekly or monthly email reports.
How does it work?
When you login, the menu on the left allows you to select the social media channel and area you want to view analytics for. The initial screen shows a dashboard showing fan/follower count for each competitor across all channels supported. This leaderboard table is available for all platforms supported.
If we take Facebook as an example, this is broken down into the following:
Benchmarking – See how your brand is doing in relation to your competitors – fans, engagement, share of voice, trending content, etc. Here’s an example of the share of voice section.
Publishing – What content is working, when is it working, what is getting the most likes/comments/shares? Here is an example of Twitter posting volume. The larger circles indicate when most activity occurred. This is a view for a particular brand but you can also view overall stats to show you and your competitors all on the same chart.
Community – This shows you the most engaging content shared by fans, the key influencers, what the community are talking about, the content fans are posting, etc.
For Twitter analytics, benchmarking and publishing analytics is supported but there is no option for ‘community support’ feature. For YouTube channels, only the benchmarking analytics is supported. For Google + and Instagram, the only supported functionality is leaderboard analytics.
Price starts at $15 per month and you get access to all analytics for up to 10,000 profiles for one brand. At $70 per month, you can analyze up to 100,000 profiles, you get competition tracking and can analyze three brands. There is also a platinum and gold version.
What are the main features?
Support for Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter
Data-driven tips and recommendations – based on your analytics, you can access tips to improve the results
Highly customizable reports
Competition tracking and industry benchmarking
Workflow management via tasks
How does it work?
You connect your relevant social media accounts to your SoTrender account and allow it a few hours to gather data. Then, you can start to look at your analytics in the form of charts and graphs.
Here, we see the engagements stats…
And here, the days of the week on which we get the most engagement.
These can all be accessed in the left-hand menu on the page.
SoTrender also offers users tips to improve their social media accounts, an analysis of the types of posts you share, and a summary of your fans’ demographics.
There are some beta features, too, that look like they could be promising in the future.
If you want a way to look at your social media analytics in a way that is nicely presented and accessible, SoTrender is a good, affordable option. It may not be as high performance a some, but it will give you a new perspective on your social media stats and help you to improve your performance and engagement.
There’s a free option with limited Facebook analytics and then a starting price of $69 per month that includes analytics for the 4 platforms and 7 profiles (each account/page is a profile). Further options are $199 for 20 profiles and $399 for 45 profiles.
What are the main features?
Analytics provided for Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn company pages
Create multiple dashboards that contain a different set of clients or customers
PDF reports that are nicely formatted and presented
Competitive analysis reporting.
How does it work?
When you add your social profiles (and those of any competitors), you are presented with a customizable dashboard with widgets containing graphs/data. You can also set up multiple dashboards.
Here is an example of the graphs.
You can customize the dashboard according to your needs by adding/removing any widgets.
Reports are available as PDF, JPG, PNG, XLS or CSV.
How To Leverage Your Social Media Campaigns For SEO
Source: Drew Hendricks | Small Business Trends
The challenge for small businesses today is how to leverage social platforms to effectively get in front of their target audiences through better website positioning on search engines to grow their revenue streams. However, there are specific strategies that you can put into motion designed to make your social media campaign do double duty: engage users on social media and work toward building up your search engine ranking.
Social Media and SEO
Here are some of those ideas for leveraging social media campaigns for SEO:
Focus on building local brand awarenessthrough social media strategies designed for local search. Snapchat offers on-demand geofilters that you can use to select certain geographical parameters and dates. Then, you can promote your brand by using social media campaigns that generate buzz and links tied to those geographical parameters. This is an ideal strategy if you have a local event that you want to attract your audience to through any searches they might conduct.
Another approach is to use Quora to elevate your brand in search engines by answering industry questions that are submitted to this community forum social platform. For example, if you are in the payments industry and can answer questions about digital payments, how to get your clients to pay on time, payment security or new payment technology, then you could post those responses on Quora community sites where those questions are asked and link back to a page on your site or to a blog post, creating the search engine connection.
Improve indexing by using direct link sources. Some social media sites encourage direct SEO links through the content that you post on your pages. This content is continually crawled by search engines that are then attracted to these direct links, providing a way to index pages and gain traction on the search engine results.
Take advantage of the high domain authority and ranking potential of certain social sites by using reputation management campaigns. By working on creating profiles that build your brand while also including targeted keywords, you can improve your search engine ranking by creating multiple opportunities for a search listing. The more search listings for your brand, the better your campaign results will be in terms of attracting the largest part of your audience.
Leverage new social media content integration into Google and Bing search results. Search engines are now incorporating other social media content into search results, providing more opportunities for social media campaign content to increase ranking. For example, you can consider campaigns that use business reviews, videos and images as well as social status updates. The syndication of these social sites can provide more exposure, which means it makes sense to emphasize more social media campaigns that incorporate this type of content.
Utilize social paid search to garner more link building. Your social media campaign strategy can include paid social ads that also help with your search engine ranking. Target those people who can then link to you, such as journalists and major publications to build more links that will capture the attention of search engines. While it can dig into your budget to do social paid search, it has been shown to generate results that have provided a return in the form of higher ranking, greater traffic and more leads.
While not every aspect of your social media strategy and accompanying campaigns have to be directed at SEO activities, adding this tactic to the overall plan does offer an additional way to generate greater traffic to your site. Just remember that much of your social media plan also has to consider existing customers and include ways to maintain loyalty and increase engagement levels. Together, these two methods are designed to help you attract and retain more customers in a targeted way that provides further return for your overall marketing efforts.
7 Steps to a Successful, Integrated Social Marketing Strategy
Thanks to its key role in our everyday politics, culture and communication, social media is a consumer relationship opportunity you can’t afford to ignore.
But that doesn’t mean you need to abandon or focus less on other, more familiar marketing channels. In fact, social media’s biggest marketing strength comes from its ability to push consumers through to other, more traditional media—and vice versa.
Because consumers engage with a variety of media daily, it only makes sense to engage them across multiple channels. Take direct mail for just one example: direct mail and social media can complement one another in many ways. For example, you can:
Use social media to create anticipation about an upcoming direct mail offer
Include social icons on direct mail pieces to encourage customers to share offers
Post direct mail campaigns directly to social media pages and more.
When used together, both channels can make your current marketing more effective while delivering valuable insights for future campaigns.
Building an Integrated Strategy
Not all consumers are created equal. Their needs, wants, and behaviors are as varied as their lifestyles and personalities. They communicate and connect with brands both digitally and traditionally – sometimes simultaneously.
Build your strategy around questions like:
Which channels do my audience occupy?
What kind of information are they looking for?
What products or services do they want?
Through the decision-making process, your consumer will likely toggle between several different channels on more than one occasion. Successful brands streamline the customer journey across all channels to achieve an end-to-end journey for every sale. They also take the time to test different promotion mixes to see what brings you the greatest ROI.
In the Fusion Marketing Bible, author Lon Safko notes that companies like IBM are reporting that prospects respond at a 3-5% rate on average to integrated marketing campaigns, an increase of 73% over standard email campaigns. Businesses such as TransUnion have learned that the missing component to their ROI was the integration of social media, earning $2.5 million in savings in less than five months while spending just $50K.
While these are big players with great resources, there’s little reason smaller businesses can’t achieve similar results at scale. In fact, Safko outlines seven steps to properly integrate social and traditional media for maximum performance:
1. Analyze your current approach
How much are you spending to communicate your message? Look closely at the costs associated with customer acquisition, as well as return on investments biannually and after each campaign closeout. From there, determine the overall effectiveness of your efforts.
2. Focus on the Big Three
Try not to stretch your social media presence too thin, too fast. Hone in on the “Big Three” for social media and content marketing purposes:
either Facebook or LinkedIn.
3. Build your social presence with digital tools
Once you’re well-established on the Big 3 platforms, start integrating your digital tools into your social media efforts. We’re talking SEO, SEM, CRM, email, etc. Infusing the analytical and technical power of digital tools into your social media will give it a supercharged boost that will elevate your efforts to the next level across all channels.
4. Push online visitors in store
Traditional media delivers a single message through one-way communication to a diverse and uncontrolled audience. Social media delivers several messages through two-way communication to a targeted audience. Recruiting first-time buyers today requires a number of touch points.
Be on the lookout for opportunities to link these two forms of communication, fusing their strengths together to amplify your message even further. Consumers often view online shopping as a research tool before making an in-store purchase. Supplement your messaging efforts with targeted campaigns that use engaging, targeted content to drive sales in stores.
5. Promote social channels with offline tactics
Especially if you’re just getting started on social media, use your established channels (like print or radio) to promote your social channels. Invite customers to join the conversation with exclusive offers or contests, with access codes available only through traditional channels.
6. Drive social engagement via traditional media
Give a positive Facebook review more mileage by publishing it somewhere on your website or repurposing it in headlines or body copy. It will give the customer a boost and demonstrate your social listening skills.
7. Use social to tell a bigger story
While traditional media succeeds in mass reach, it offers a limited window for communicating your message—basically whatever you can fit into the window of a radio spot, TV commercial or newspaper placement.
Engaging and Influencing with Social Media Marketing
Source: BTC BUS129 class
Social media marketing (SMM) uses social media platforms (sites) to positively influence consumers toward a company’s brand, product or service. In other words, the goal of social media marketing is to persuade consumers of the value of a company’s offering. While traditional marketing tends to be interruptive by nature (e.g., a TV commercial), social media marketing consists of engaging and influencing people (e.g., enticing online users to participate in conversations and offering them something of value in hopes of eventually persuading them to view your offering favorably). Social media marketing often involves creating a “buzz” online, so that complementary content about the company, brand, product or service goes “viral,” with consumer-generated media endorsements spreading like wildfire across the Internet (–think of a highly watched YouTube video extolling the virtues of a particular product).
It is not hyperbole to say that social media marketing is fundamentally changing the way businesses communicate with consumers. In fact, social media marketing has become so powerful it is now driving search engine results. Today, people are using highly accessible social media tools to find, create, and share content online. Social media enables people to collaborate and form consensus opinions, connecting and forming relationships in ways never before possible. This presents a new challenge and opportunity for businesses—to positively influence this ongoing conversation about the company’s offerings.
Think of it this way, social media marketing is the 21st Century digital “word-of-mouth” promotion. However, instead of discussing a company’s offering in person or over the phone, Internet users have turned to social media portals to express their opinions.
Social marketing is such an expansive topic, we will be spending the next two weeks covering it. Some of this information will act as a review for you learned in Social Media Marketing. Along the way, we will delve into how this medium can contribute to your overall digital marketing plan.
Chapter 6 (The Art of Digital Marketing) explores the first part of a four stage iterative social media marketing strategy. Next week, we will cover the last two elements of this strategy. After studying this chapter, you will able to:
Define social media marketing
A form of Internet marketing utilizing social networking sites as marketing tools, thereby gaining traffic, brand exposure, and interaction with customers through social media. “Flirting with your biggest fas!” -Ian Dodson, The Art of Digital Marketing
Identify the four stages of the social media iterative planning process
Goals, Channels, Implement, Analyze
Describe the concepts and mechanics of social media and how you can use them to your
Explain how to set up engaging Facebook and Twitter business profiles
Set up a professional LinkedIn profile and participating in LinkedIn groups to expand your network
Describe how to run effective Google+, YouTube, and blogging accounts
Earned= free publicity generated by fans/customers
Owned= communications that a brand creates and controls via its own platform (ie. Facebook Page)
Paid= any paid activity that drives traffic to owned media properties
Recognize the most common forms of social media
Facebook and Twitter (considered top 2 by our textbook author)
Blogging platforms, ie. WordPress
YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, Instagram
Describe what makes social media marketing effective and the implications for businesses.
Identify different SMM goals and explain how to set your own
Set up a Twitter business account
Recognize the best ways of interacting with other users
Describe how to effectively promote your Twitter profile, utilizing features like social plug-ins and lists
Create an engaging LinkedIn profile
Use the platform effectively by participating in groups and engaging with other companies’ pages
Advertise job vacancies and career opportunities in your organization
Describe what Circles are and how you can use them to connect with other users
Explain the benefits that Hangouts can have for your business
Create an engaging Google+ business page and track its results
Describe how YouTube works and what some of its key features are
Set up and promote your own channel
Explain the types of video you can use and how to promote them across the web
Recognize that blogs provide strong SEO benefits and give credibility to your business
Describe best blogging practices
Explain how blogs can be shared on social media platforms to increase awareness
Setting Goals for Social Media Marketing
5 Goals of Social Media Marketing
source: eClincher (some information has been updated from original post)
Everybody uses social media, there’s no avoiding it. It’s our number one place to stay connected to friends, family, colleagues, news, and, most importantly to marketers, companies and brands.
There are now more than 3.2 billion active social media users, which makes social media an unavoidable part of your marketing strategy. Unlike the past where marketers blindly advertised and hoped for the best, social media provides your company the opportunity to engage with customers in real time. Customer complaint? You can solve it. Positive customer review? You can thank the user and offer a gift or promotion.
Simply being there isn’t enough. Your company needs to engage and interact to grow a loyal following.
Setting S.M.A.R.T. Social Media Goals
The most important aspect of any social media marketing strategy is to set S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goals. Posting blindly and expecting to achieve massive amounts of new sales would be like cooking without the right ingredients and expecting perfection. By setting goals before you begin, it’s easier to measure success or failure. These goals aren’t always focused on money or return on investment, and they shouldn’t be. Social media marketing is more about engagement and providing solutions to problems rather than selling.
5 Goals of Social Media Marketing:
1. Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is all about your brand becoming relevant to potential buyers. This means posting content regularly that answers the questions your customers are asking. That content includes links to blog posts, infographics, statistics, and relevant articles. But don’t forget to show the world who your brand is by posting photos of employees, the office, and company events. You can also post humorous, relevant memes that support your brand. This will help build a connection with customers.
Analytics to Track:
Example of S.M.A.R.T. Goal: Gain 1,000 Twitter followers by the end of the month.
2. Enhance Public Relations
By following your company’s mentions, you can find out what customers are saying about your brand, and respond to complaints in a timely manner. In fact, according to Social Media Today, when companies engage and respond to customer service requests over social media, those customers end up spending 25% – 45% more with the company. Responding quickly and solving problems allows you to stay ahead of large-scale complaints and create brand loyalty.
Analytics to Track:
3. Build a Community of Advocates
Brand loyalty has always been one of the most important factors in long term growth. In the past, companies relied on word of mouth. Now, social media provides an entirely new platform where brand loyalty can be shared with thousands of people in real time.
For instance, as the amount of photos of food increases on social media, restaurants are offering promotions and discounts for those that post pictures of their food on social media. That provides the restaurant with exposure and the customer feels connected.
Analytics to Track:
4. Research and Development
By consistently engaging with customers, your company can stay up to date on the problems they’re facing and develop solutions. Just as importantly, follow your competitors on social media to see how they engage their customers, if they’re facing any complaints, and if they’re rolling out any promotions or new products. A great way to track competitors is using , where you can create and save feeds based on specific keywords.
Analytics to Track:
Keep Track of Competition
Insights into Customer Problems
5. Driving Sales and Leads
If you’re not leveraging social media to acquire leads and generate sales, you’re not using social media properly. This is what most companies strive for first, but fail to realize that without time spent on the first four goals, it’s unlikely that sales will grow.
Social media provides the perfect opportunity to interact with potential customers, both on a personal level and an organizational level, to gauge their pain points, and to understand their basic corporate culture. This knowledge allows for a warm call when you first engage, as opposed to a cold call.
Aspects to Track:
Increase Web Traffic
Click Through Rate
Call To Actions
Leveraging Social Media Marketing to Grow Your Business
Social media marketing is a multi-faceted approach that, when used properly, can help grow your business by creating brand awareness, engaging with customers, and finding new customers. It is, however, impossible to be everywhere, which is why you need to find the social media channels that are right for your company and your brand. For instance, two-thirds of Instagram users are under 35. But even if that’s your target market, it still doesn’t mean Instagram is the right channel for your brand.
Your organization needs to set S.M.A.R.T. goals so successes and failures can be measured properly. More often than not, especially in the beginning, it is better to focus on engagement and building a presence. If you jump right into selling, you may lose traction before getting started. Use your knowledge and expertise to provide solutions to problems, and you will present your company as a trusted advisor that people want to buy from.
Identifying the Best Social Media Channels
3 Questions To Ask To Identify The Best Social Media Channels for Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Sarah Patrick | Salesforce.com
Social media is increasingly seen as the digital marketing strategy of choice for small and large businesses, alike. According to the 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 90 percent of marketers believe social media is important to their business. And, as the social media giants continue to update their platforms and transform how users interact with content and communicate with each other, social media marketing surely will play an even larger role in the future.
Despite social media’s popularity, businesses that fall on the smaller scale, with 20 employees or less, tend to forgo social media activity. As these small businesses prepare to enter the social media game, it is important for them to choose the channels that best meet their needs. This article explores three questions that businesses should consider when navigating the social media channel selection process.
Understand the Social Media Channels that are Important for your Business
The list of social media channels available seems never-ending. The big three – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – remain relevant, but Snapchat, Pinterest, Medium, and more, now join the ranks of popular and effective channels. So, how do you know which channel is best for you?
“I think people generally go toward the things they understand the most or have heard of before. … Whether they are the right channels for the business is another question.” – Jeff Gibbard, President and Chief Strategist, True Voice Media
Choosing a social media platform that is not compatible with your audience’s online habits can be detrimental to your social media strategy.
Here are three questions to facilitate the process:
1. Who is your audience?
Depending on your business’ focus – business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-community (B2C) – the type of people interacting with your brand and using your products, services, and resources, may differ.
For example, if you own a local running store, your goal is to interact with runners in both your immediate location and the larger community. This audience is broad, representing an array of demographics and levels of experience.
Because of this diversity, the social media channels you use should be a good mix of new and familiar platforms. A Pew Research shows that Instagram is most popular with young adults between the ages of 18 to 35, while Facebook remains popular across all age groups and demographics. Therefore, it would not make sense to use Instagram only. Rather, using Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook represents a more inclusive approach.
2. Where is your audience?
Communicating with your current customers and catching the eye of potential new customers requires being in the same place as them. Returning to the example above, the running company’s audience most likely is on Instagram and Facebook, platforms where they can post photos, share encouragement, and organize meet-ups.
Conversely, if you own a boutique web design agency and are seeking to generate leads for your company, Snapchat most likely is not the best option for you. A better alternative may be LinkedIn, because it is a hub for B2B companies.
3. How does your audience consume content?
Some social media channels support different types of content better than others. As creating quality content becomes an increasingly popular digital marketing tactic, it is important to understand where your audience will consume what types of content.
For example, long-form, research-driven articles may appeal to LinkedIn users who seek to learn about an industry or improve their professional skills.
Meanwhile, an image may gain more traction on Instagram than Snapchat, where it will disappear in 10 seconds or less.
Finally, Twitter is ideal for companies that emphasize customer service, such as Uber, Lyft, airlines, and restaurants. The platform allows quick, nearly instantaneous interactions in response to questions, criticism, and praise.
An effective social media marketing strategy goes beyond simply making profiles on as many platforms as possible. Selecting the social media channels that are a good fit and can meet your business goals is a crucial part of the planning process.
“Not everybody needs to be on every channel, but they need to focus on the channels that will give them the biggest returns.” — Marty McDonald, Co-founder and CEO, of Bad Rhino, Inc.
How to integrate email marketing with a social media strategy
Source: Aaron Beschel
We talk a lot about the value of email marketing. After all, email marketing is the king of the marketing kingdom with a 3800% ROI and $38 for every $1 spent. Email can help lead prospects down your sales funnel, and encourage existing customers to spend more time with your brand.
But email marketing isn’t the only way marketers are getting traction in the digital space. Content marketing, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads, and social media are all helping marketers achieve their goals.
There’s more power when these tactics are used together, so in this post, we’ll explore how you can integrate your email marketing efforts with a social media strategy. The two can complement each other to take your marketing to the next level.
Why the most successful brands have a holistic view
The most successful brands are able to integrate all branches of their marketing together to create an amazing customer experience. These brands have a holistic view of digital marketing and believe that email and social media work best when they’re used together.
When a company has a holistic approach, the connections are seamless. Whether a customer corresponds with the brand on Twitter, gets help troubleshooting through customer support, or walks into a brick-and-mortar store, the customer feels that they’re getting a consistent experience.
But many brands don’t provide this experience, and it can negatively impact marketing efforts. When marketing teams are siloed, communication breaks down, and it’s hard to integrate new initiatives. It becomes more difficult to run and promote campaigns, and team members become frustrated because they feel they’re limited in what they can do.
If your brand is struggling to provide a seamless digital experience, you should consider integrating your email marketing and social media efforts.
Assess where you stand with your team
Before you can start sending your social media following asks to sign up for your email newsletter, you have to assess where you stand right now.
If you have a separate social media team, start by meeting with them. When you do, ask the following questions:
How are we already integrating email marketing and social media?
What social media goals can I help you reach using email?
Do you have any ideas for how we can use social to reach our email marketing goals?
What resonates on social media that doesn’t seem to do as well in email?
What resonates in email that doesn’t seem to do well on social?
Having answers to these questions can help the two teams work together to develop a plan for moving forward.
Get calendars in sync
You might already have an email marketing calendar, but does it effectively loop in your social media team? Is your social media team using a calendar that you don’t have access to?
Sometimes, teams wind up doing the same work twice simply because they’re not aware of what the other team is doing. For example, your social media team might have a comprehensive holiday calendar that could help your email efforts. Alternatively, you might have a holiday calendar that your social media team could leverage.
Integrated calendars can help ensure that everyone is on the same page, and has an idea of when campaigns begin and end. Calendars can make it easier to work together to promote initiatives, and can help you schedule without conflict.
Using a calendar tool can make coordination easier. Here are a few favorite options for marketing calendars:
Once the email marketing and social media teams are on the same page, you can begin to figure out ways to further support each other.
Email marketing can help increase engagement on social media by reminding subscribers that your brand has an active social community.
Fruit of the Loom encourages subscribers to engage with their brand in a fun and interactive way through this email:
Fruit of the Loom explains the benefit of social media to their brand and what you’ll get from the two main channels they use. They also have a contest to win a product of your choice when you follow the brand on Facebook.
This strategy not only helps increase engagement on social media, but it also gives subscriber’s value, and can help keep them even more connected to your brand. By focusing on the promotion of one social network– rather than three or four– it makes it easy for subscribers to make a decision about what action to take such as following your brand on Facebook for updates.
Encourage people to sign up for your email lists via social
You can promote your brand’s social media profiles in your emails, but you can also encourage social media followers to sign up for your mailing lists.
One of the best ways to do this is through the use of Twitter Cards, which allow subscribers to sign up for an email list without ever leaving the social media platform.
Here, Moz encourages Twitter followers to sign up for the Moz Top 10, a bi-weekly email of curated articles.
The Barista Bar uses the same strategy to encourage followers to sign up for their Coffee Club, which requires an email address.
Just as you use Twitter Cards to promote your email initiatives, you can use your Facebook page to promote joining your email list, as well.
To do so, add a subscribe form to your Facebook Page. (It’s a simple set-up process, just follow these instructions. SXSW uses this strategy on their Facebook page to encourage their social fans to subscribe to their mailing list.
You can also remind social media followers of the cool stuff that happens on your email list, encouraging them to join. For example, Birchbox teases the benefits of signing up for their email list in many of their Facebook posts. Here, they share that people on the email list get exclusive offers.
Upload your subscriber lists to social networks
One of the absolute best ways to integrate your email and social media marketing strategies is to upload your subscriber lists to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media networks.
You can use these uploaded subscriber lists to follow subscribers on social media, run promoted social media campaigns to those who are already interested in your brand, or simply create a customer list.
Facebook’s Custom Audience Feature is particularly good for this, and is used as a tool to increase your success using paid reach.
Uploading your subscriber lists will help put a name and face to your email subscribers. It will also help you listen to them. What are they gabbing about? What is interesting to them? What are they sharing? Knowing more about your subscribers can help you craft better emails as well as better social media posts.
Retarget ads on Facebook and Twitter to interested email subscribers
Ads are expensive, so you want to be deliberate about where you spend your funds. Retargeting those who are already interested in what you have to offer leads to better conversion rates and eliminates the chances of sending out irrelevant ads.
To set up a retargeting campaign to hit interested email subscribers, you’ll install a tracking code on your website. If you send an email to subscribers that leads to your site, you can then target ads to only the people who clicked to that page.
Marketers are finding more and more ways to integrate email marketing with other efforts. There are many ways to marry email and social media. We’d love to hear about how your team uses email and social together to achieve success.
Integrating email with your display advertising campaign is a great way to increase your response rate from your advertising methods. Throughout history, marketers have always searched for creative ways to target consumers via email or display ad campaigns but few have tried to integrate the two methodologies into one seamless campaign- until now.
Integrating email marketing into a display ad campaignboosts recall by 13%, according to Smart Insights. Many business owners report having a close relationship with many of their regulars and email marketing has long been a great way to stay in contact. When you integrate this with display advertising, you have a win-win scenario.
Email marketing can be an excellent choice for keeping in contact with the customer. If you’re located in the US, you can use a service like ConstantContact, Aweber or MailChimp to help you stay in touch with your customers. Just be sure you adhere to CAN-SPAM act (penalties are up to $16,000 per email sent that does not comply with CAN-SPAM).
How to set up email marketing
Getting a list started – this is the most difficult part. Sending the list is easy but first you have to build the list. Some people will be interested in signing up but keeping them on the list means you need the proper balance of marketing messages; not too much and not too little.
Signups on website- one of the easiest ways to start building your list is to place a sign up form on your website. One method is to add it on the blog as well and use your email list to send out updates on the blog.
Social media- You can also use social media to help drive consumers to your email list to sign up. You can direct them there from your social media networks and Facebook also has apps that allow you to integrate this directly into your fanpages.
Choosing an email service- choosing a service to send your emails and newsletters is important. MailChimp is an-easy-use, popular service that is free to up to 12,000 emails a month to a list of up to 2,000 subscribers. There are many great, free templates to make it easier as well. Other services to consider are ConstantContact and Aweber but there are many more if you do some research.
Now that you know how to set up your list and your email marketing campaign, the next step is to integrate it with your display ads.
How to integrate with display
Include links to your website – you can place links to your website in your ad as well as a call to action (CTA) that sends the viewer to your site. You can even use a CTA that says “Go to our website to sign up”.
Place a cookie on your website, remarket display ads to that cookie
Remember that to be in accordance with the spam laws, you must have the “unsubscribe” link at the end of the emails and occasionally people will use it. Don’t take this personally. Sometimes they will even say they never asked for your updates (although they clearly did). Don’t feel upset about this. The point is to allow the consumer the choice. If you’re giving them quality content and interesting info, there’s a good chance many will stay around.
A study done by Smart Insights show that online advertising campaigns are enhanced when the email marketing channel is added. This works because you are increasing reach and awareness. Their study found seven interesting facts:
The combination of display and email advertising improves advertising recall by 13% compared with just display advertising
Email increases disposition to buy in 47% of cases and is therefore ideal for increasing conversions
Spending power as a target group – by using email you can precisely reach your target group
Email allowed the required level of advertising to be reached three times more quickly than display advertising
Email advertising is welcomed and viral effects significantly improve the reach of campaigns
Advertising/brand association is exceptionally strong within the younger target group
The mix of email and display campaigns boosted web traffic by a factor of 4
When you learn to integrate email marketing with your display advertising campaign, you will have a successful method of reaching more consumers, interacting with your customers on a different level as well as increasing traffic and ROI.
Chapter 5 (The Art of Digital Marketing) – How to create an effective email marketing campaign.
The following article provides some insightful tips for optimizing your email marketing efforts.
How to Create Successful Email Marketing Campaigns in 2019 l Lane Harbin
Every year, marketers face new challenges. From changes in the way marketing campaigns get delivered to new technologies that revolutionize the way we do things, there’s always something that needs adapting to and altering.
And even though email marketing is going nowhere in 2019, there are going to be some key shifts and challenges that marketers need to overcome.
Below, we explore what changes you need to watch out for before showing you how to create email campaigns designed for success in 2019.
Gaining a better understanding of your audience so you can offer them the personalization they expect.
Building better relationships with your existing customers rather than replacing these with new ones.
Generating more ROI from your email marketing campaigns as other methods become less effective, e.g. pop-ups.
Thankfully, adapting to these changes doesn’t have to be difficult, nor does it mean drastic changes for your marketing team. Instead, you just need to make sure you’ve got the basics in place and implement the following tactics in order to design email marketing campaigns you can be proud of this year.
Segmenting your subscriber list isn’t a new concept but it is an increasingly important one.
The fact is, customers now want to feel like companies are speaking directly to them—not a mass of people. They want to see relevant content that means something to them and helps them get to where they want to be.
Recent studies demonstrate that nearly a third of customers want a more personalized experience than they’re currently getting, and almost 60% would be happy to share personal data if they received personalized discounts or offers in return.
Despite this, just 7% of companies have listed personalization as a priority. But this means you can be one of the first to offer this unique experience to your customers.
However, you’ll need to go a few steps further than simply adding the recipient’s name to your subject line. Just 8% of recipients are encouraged to engage if their first name is used within an email, and this is perhaps due to the increased number of emails that include this type of personalization.
Instead, you’ll need to use all the data you’ve gathered to offer key personalization through the content of the email, the images you include, and the discounts you offer.
Ultimately, personalization will only work if you’re creating the right message for the right customer. You need to anticipate exactly what your customers want. This may mean you send follow-ups after recent interactions or make product recommendations.
Decide what personalization you feel will work best for your customers and look at the ways you can gather the necessary information. Don’t be afraid to get creative: Consider using surveys to gather your subscribers’ opinions.
2. Understand the data
In order to offer the aforementioned personalization for your customers, it’s important to know what data you need to gather and how best to utilize it. However, with so much data available, it can be difficult to know where to start.
And you’re not alone. As Forbes recently reported, the vast majority of companies are overwhelmed by the amount of data they have access to.
Put aside those graphs and spreadsheets and start looking past this data to see what it’s actually showing you: how your customers are behaving. This data explains what your customers like, don’t like, and what actions they’re happy to perform.
For example, look at how many customers downloaded that eBook, how many used their discount code, and how many shared it with their friends.
Answering these questions, among others, will give you a far greater understanding of your audience and what inspires the best results for your business.
It’s also important to integrate all of your data points with each other, utilizing platforms like Google Analytics alongside your email metrics. This will give you a holistic picture of what your customers want and expect from you, allowing you to spot and overcome any potential challenges you face.
3. Nurture and engage your existing audience
While growing your email list receives most of the attention when people talk about the success of email marketing strategies, it’s just as vital—if not more so—to engage your existing audience.
Focus on nurturing the existing leads you have, offering them the best experience possible and connecting with them on a personal level. This includes making sure your emails are optimized for mobile devices.
People want to be able to do everything on the go, including when they skim through their inbox. From standing in the queue for a coffee to being on their lunch break at work, you need to make sure your emails are easy to digest in just a glance. If not, they might go straight to the trash, or even worse, straight to the spam folder.
So always ensure you’re using a mobile-optimized template and keep your content as fresh as possible.
The latter means changing up your email offerings so they don’t become stale and predictable. Send a newsletter with helpful information one week, followed by a product promotion the next. You need to keep your subscribers engaged and intrigued with every email you sent.
Other great ways to do this are to include GIFs and videos in your emails as these are far more enticing than static images and text.
4. Bring in plenty of automation
All of this sounds incredibly time-consuming, doesn’t it? Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be intimidating or time-consuming, not even if your marketing team is only one person.
You can easily maximize your efforts by incorporating automation within the email campaigns you create and you don’t need to forgo personalization to do this, either.
A lot of email marketing platforms allow you to automate emails so they’re delivered to your customers at the right time, either by pre-determining a date or time or by establishing an action that, when performed by your customers, will automatically trigger an email send.
One study highlights how click-through rates are 152% higher and open rates are 70.5% higher for automated emails, compared to standard marketing messages.
Welcome emails, for example, engage your subscribers from the get-go. They allow you to showcase what recipients can expect from your emails, how to connect with you (e.g. via social media), and let you provide new subscribers with a discount as an incentive to sign up. You can even use the opportunity to let your subscribers update their email preferences which is great for segmentation.
Automated emails can also work to re-engage inactive recipients, offer special discounts for birthdays, and provide content that’s relevant according to your subscriber’s behavior.
5. Discover your strengths and weaknesses through A/B testing
A/B testing involves sending two emails to two subsets of active subscribers in order to see which email performs best. A/B testing allows you to make subtle changes between your emails to see which delivers the best results, without running the risk of an entire email flopping.
For example, you might take a group of 100 recipients to test the email on to start with. That way, if your new strategy doesn’t work, it won’t have had a detrimental impact on your click-through rates and overall revenue.
One of the most obvious places to start with A/B testing is your subject line because it’s the first thing your customer sees. And even the most amazing email won’t mean anything if you can’t get customers to open the email in the first place.
So use A/B testing to see which subject lines resonate best with your customers, then roll out the email with the highest-performing subject line to the rest of your subscribers.
And don’t just stop there.
You can also use these tests for almost any aspect of your email, from the images and copy you use to the call-to-action you include. Just remember to tweak small things one at a time so it’s clear what is and isn’t working.
By testing and using data, you’re taking steps toward understanding your audience. Every email you send becomes a fantastic opportunity to get to know your customer, helping you maximize your results quickly.
As technology changes and strategies evolve, being one step ahead will ensure you continue to drive your business forward.
Implementing these key steps within your campaigns for 2019 will allow you to create emails that resonate well with your customers. You’ll be able to provide them with a one-of-a-kind experience that skyrockets your email marketing results.