In many respects, I have saved the best till last in this series. We’ve already spoken about digital ads, see this post so I am not going to go into those in this blog, but I will say that when used correctly, social media is one of the most powerful tools we have. Free to a degree, although I have recently noticed on Facebook that a little spend really helps bump your organic views up and not just on the posts you are promoting.
Here are our top tips for how to use social media correctly, to help get your best results yet:
Don’t talk about your products and promotions all the time. Think of other things you can share, such as blogs and content from your site, interesting titbits you find on other websites and social media channels, humorous images, gifs and videos – everyone likes a laugh, particularly us Brits.
Engage. Don’t just sit around and wait for people to speak to you: it’s social media. Get out there and socialise. Get involved in conversations, offer advice, and even be the conversation starter.
Follow to get followers. You must expect to follow people when you are starting out on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. There’s no point in not doing so, creating all this content and nobody really seeing it.
Do Google+. You do not have to understand it, just utilise it as it really makes Google look more favourably on your site. Share stuff to your own page, but also look to join relevant groups and share your posts in these for maximum exposure.
Use pictures. Not just on the visual platform such as Instagram and Pinterest, but also on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. They insight greater reactions and engagement.
Go live. We think you will be surprised at the amount of engagement you get from going live. Read our top tips for this here.
Collaborations. This is all about strength in numbers, together we are stronger! Partner or team up with another brand or persona online, cross promote your offerings to one another’s audience and pick up some new followers on the way. Some great examples of these that we have had the pleasure to be involved with in the natural products industry are Konjac Sponge Company’s #TeamUpTuesday and Food Doctor’s #PorridgeWednesday
Competitions. Competitions are a great way to get a buzz going, as who doesn’t want to win a prize?! You can even collaborate on a competition for even greater reach, combining the last two points! You can utilise contests for a variety of reasons on social, so be sure to set your goals which could be related to any of the following:
More likes on social media channel
User generated content
Have you got any social media successes to share with us? We’d love to hear from you. If you are looking for any social media support, email us email@example.com
In the e-marketing part of this blog series, we touched on how a blog is a great way to give people a reason to visit your site. We also encouraged you to share your blog with your email customer database.
Many companies start a blog on their website because they have heard it is good for SEO purposes. This is true, but in fact you can get so much more from your content. Here are our top tips for getting the most out of your content:
Share, share and share alike. You’ve spent ages crafting this killer blog post, so give it the attention it deserves. Share on all your social media channels. This will attract more initial traffic to your post, achieving greater visibility and help build customer trust and loyalty.
Make sure others can share the love. Ensure you have sharing buttons on your blog page, so that your readers can share your content at just the click of a button.
Bookmarking sites. Utilise bookmarking sites such as Stumpleupon, Digg and Delicious to help people find your content more easily.
Recycle and update. There is nothing wrong with using old content that has and is performing well to create a new post. Likewise, there is nothing wrong with updating your old content to bring it up to date, perhaps with new research or new products. It is also a good idea to continue to share links to your evergreen content on social media to help increase inbound links.
3rd Party Content Aggregators. Look to harness the power of bigger publishing platforms, such as Linkedin Pulse, Huffington Post and Medium, currently the biggest content site out there!
You would have to have been hiding under a rock not to notice the extent to which video and live streaming is coming into play in marketing. “Going live” on whichever platform; Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook or Periscope to name a few; can seem really daunting, but with thorough planning, this experience can be fun both for you and your audience.
To help you plan for your live streaming, here are our top tips for “going live”:
Promote prior to the event: You’ve made the decision to go live, so tell your audience prior to the event so they can tune in and set aside the time slot. Don’t leave it to chance that your crowd will be online at the time of broadcast.
Introductions: Always start the broadcast with who and where you are, and what you are doing. This gets you and your brand’s name out there even if the viewer doesn’t tune in for the whole broadcast.
Concise takeaways: After the introduction, be concise in what your audience is going to see in this video, and what their takeaway will be. In other words, what information you are going to bestow on the watcher.
Be professional, but with personality: Nobody likes the person who takes everything too seriously, including themselves. Deliver your messages professionally, but don’t be afraid to share your humour (people, particularly us Brits, like this) and let your personality shine through. Be opinionated where relevant, and don’t be afraid to get your point across. Your audience will respect you all the more for this.
Be natural: Never read from a script – there is nothing more dull to watch than someone looking down at a piece of paper and reading word for word in a monotonous tone. You can’t let your true personality show through if it’s on a piece of paper. If you’re worried you’ll run out of things to say, or forget your train of thought, utilise flash cards with 3-5 bullet points positioned underneath the camera. Practice these bullet points prior to going live, repeat them several times so that you have them instilled in your mind to fall back on. If you’re really nervous about how it will go and look on the screen, practice beforehand utilising Facebook’s privacy settings so that only you can see the end result!
Think about the length of your stream and your content: How long a live stream should be is a hotly debated topic. Facebook recommend you stream at least 10 minutes, in order to get viewers on board and watching. We, however, think 5 minutes is probably closer to what people will tune in to watch. Anything longer than this will have to be engaging to make people stay.
No interruptions: Make sure you forward calls on your mobile to ensure no interruptions whilst streaming. If there are any other people in your immediate vicinity ensure they are aware of your going live so that either 1) they don’t disturb you or 2) they are prepared when they join the livestream!
Engage with your audience: Your audience can leave comments whilst you are streaming. To help with that personal touch, always address your viewers by name when answering their comments. To find out more about how personalisation can help you win customer loyalty click here.
Be regular: It can be a good idea to get a regular slot at the same time each week to encourage your viewers and fans to return each week. This will then become part of your marketing strategy and you will remember to promote the activity on a weekly basis. This doesn’t mean that you can’t go live on other occasions that call for it, such as events and special occasions.
Use quality gear for sound and vision: Whilst you’ve probably thought about the device you are using in terms of video quality output, there are some other steps you can take to improve your final end production. Firstly, take any necessary steps to minimise background and ambient noise. Next, think about the position of your phone before you go live. You might wish to use a selfie stick, a tripod, hold it yourself or call upon a team member to be your camera crew. Finally, always ensure you are in a place with a strong broadband connection.
Don’t just use as a live video: Be sure to capture your live stream and host on a platform post-event, such as YouTube or Vimeo. Once uploaded to the web, be sure to promote through social to generate more views. If your live stream is longer than 5 minutes, we would highly recommend editing down the original version to ensure viewers see it through to the end.
Don’t be afraid to experiment: Once you have gone live, think of different scenarios you can use for future live streams. Here are some ideas for you to consider:
Interviews – with your team, clients, customers or thought leaders in your industry.
Launches – let your audience be the first to learn about new products from your brand.
Special promotions and competitions – a way to get people to stay till the very end of your video.
Live events – in stores, blogger events, consumer shows, conferences, team building activities. This is where you can really show all the personalities behind the scenes, and not just the face of the brand!
First came Google Adwords. Next, Facebook ads. Then Google made Product Listings Ads (Google Shopping) and Google Display Network. Now there are ads and promotions on Twitter, Pinterest,Instagram and Facebook Messenger. We can now even remarket to our customers if they were disturbed in their purchasing process.
So, the million dollar question, which one do you choose? Well, just like allocating your marketing budget, there is no one right way to spend. What’s most important is that you measure your return on investment.
To help you on your way to digital marketing success, here are our top tips:
Use your time wisely. The advertising platform that is easiest to manage (which is important if it is just you running your business and wearing lots of hats) is the Product Listing Ads on Google, which show up in Google Shopping. To create these, you download a spreadsheet, complete all the required fields and upload, sharing via Google Drive. Google then pulls from this spreadsheet as often as you cite it should, so keep your stock levels and NPD up to date in this spreadsheet.
Google Adwords. Easy to learn, difficult to master. There are loads of tricks to help you excel, and the best place to learn them is with the masters at Google themselves. They hold regular training sessions, and best of all they are free. (Rebecca has actually attended twice to brush up her Adwords skills!)
Have a clear understanding of what the purpose of your ads is? Google Adwords and PLAsare great for helping you get more sales, when used correctly. However, there are other purposes to advertising, particularly on social:
Brand awareness – look for low cost high volume search terms for this option.
Getting consumers to enter your sales funnel – such as email signup CTAs
Increase likes on social media
Increase engagement on social media
Social media advertising interfaces have greatly improved in recent years, and it’s very easy to see results of your campaigns and check against your own set targets and KPIs.
Experiment. It takes time but if you don’t try you will never know. We highly recommend split testing on your ads. Try different formats on the same platform and campaign to see what really works for your brand and your customer. Also, do not be afraid to work outside your comfort zone: try the new options on your preferred platform as well as experimenting with different platforms.
Have you experimented with digital? Need some help with your strategy? Email us firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d love to hear from you.
Personal service is nothing new. From the waiter at your favourite restaurant knowing your name to the tailor knowing your inside leg length and preferred colours and cloth, personalisation has always been a part of business.
Personalisation doesn’t end there however, and in the future brands are going to have to harness their data to create meaningful customer journeys. This will not always be easy. Consumers have so many different devices they plug in with, and across so many channels, that it is difficult for marketers to establish just who is on the other side of the screen.
But consumers expect this personal touch, particularly when it comes to customer service. Social media and digital media has become a way not just for brands to communicate with their customers, but for consumers to engage with brands, and they expect answers almost instantly. This has led to the development of automated communications systems, such as chat bots and “we’ve received your enquiry” automated messages.
Technology has made us lazy shoppers. Consumers want to be more or less spoon fed. Through the use of data insights, we can build a relationship with customers through reacting to their buying habits, making helpful suggestions be it “time to reorder” messages, a favourites/wish list feature with an alert for promotions on their desired items, or recommended products to go with already purchased or in basket products.
Birthday messages with a gift discount code can be another effective touch. Data insights from Experian suggest that personalised messages, such as birthdays and anniversaries, can result in 300% higher click-rate and a 250% higher revenue rate. Reason being is that 78% of customersequate brands who create personalised content for them with brands who value their business and want to build a relationship with them.
It’s important that you get it right though. When surveyed, 67% of people said they would immediately leave a web page which asked them to donate to a hated political party, 57% said they would do the same if they were married and shown adverts for a dating website, and 50% would quit on a site that recommended to them the wrong gender’s underwear.
Personalisation can be used to provide a seamless experience to your customer. Get it right, win over the customer and they will become your biggest brand advocate and keep on coming back. The time is coming when personalisation will need to have a strategy within every business in order to win over a loyal audience.