Social Media Marketing for Businesses
There is no lack of controversy on social networking ROI. Social media revenue attribution is tricky given the actuality of Facebook and other social networking websites privacy configurations. This challenge is the same for many word-of-mouth customer behaviors. For example, how easy is it to attribute a buyer visiting a new surf shop because of a buddy’s recommendation?
But that doesn’t mean a company shouldn’t evaluate and measure social media marketing and get significant information on the effectiveness of their strategies. Measuring customer investments in a social media relationship reveals the likelihood of along-term payoff, not just short-term results. When utilized properly, social media marketing produces interest, awareness, advocacy, and even loyalty — which all can be measured for ROI.
These key performance indicators should be considered and social media marketers should be focused on seeing measurable results which can be tied to increased revenue. Consider the following factors that can be easily taken and measured:
- Interest: Number of visits to your website, web page views, Facebook post and/or Tweet click-throughs from your posted link, page views on your social networking pages, re-Tweets & Twitter replies, and visits to your blog.
- Awareness: The amount of logo or brand & URL “mentions”.
- Loyalty: How many Fans or Followers you gain, amount of increase to RSS subscribers, Facebook comments, mentions on Twitter, blog comments, and the number of returning visitors to the website.
- Advocacy: reTweets, other people posting your blog link, mentions of your company or brand, and yes – even Facebook “Likes.”
This is just the tip of what you can measure in your social networking campaigns and it goes to show you that you can effectively measure the value of social media. While both customer loyalty and brand awareness are important to a company, having your company recommended online by one of your customers is actually more useful than just awareness itself. Often times, Fans of your brand or company produce more powerful brand action than you yourself can. A company could also start by thinking about what marketing objectives such a blog might satisfy (e.g., brand engagement), why its customers would visit the blog (e.g., to learn about new products) and what behaviors they might engage in once they got there (e.g., post a comment about a recent consumption experience) that could be linked to the company’s marketing objectives.
Here are some tips on developing your own effective ways of measuring social media marketing:
- Measure each of the things detailed above. Consider using both a social media tracking tool and a social networking posting tool to glean the information you need. Then think about a weighting element for each statistic. Are some characteristics more useful than others?
- Once the key metrics are set up, gather information every week or monthly. What matters here is the amount comparative to a competitors’ worth and, furthermore, changing that value over a specified time period. Periodic variations are normal and likely to happen, so improvements and tweaks to your social networking campaign may be necessary. Watch over time for month-over-month increases – as that is what will prove great results.
- Use a Graph to show a visual result — Interest, Awareness, Loyalty and Advocacy — all in one comprehensive report. This provides a summary of how these factors change monthly. Examine where each factor changes comparative to the others.
There are many methods used to market online. Some are more compatible than others depending on the business, what is offered, and how the method is utilized. The online landscape is exceptionally large and any online business can use more than one method to bring traffic and exposure to its online doors. Listed are nine ways to market your business online to bring maximum results.
#1 Local Listings and Classifieds
The online marketing environment encompasses a wealth of untapped potential for local businesses. Local listing advertising is a powerful, but highly under-utilized marketing method. Many new businesses may not understand how best to attract local clients.
Businesses that wish to delve into advertising through local listings should first ensure that the website is optimized by using specific keywords relative to the business. This helps customers find local businesses when they’re searching for specific products or services. You can make this action more effective by placing your local street address and business phone number on the landing page(s), content pages and each internal page of your website.
#2 Search Ads
Businesses use search advertising for customers to find them in the search engines or within specific web pages. Search ads can be modified to target particular demographics or specific consumer interests. The type of advertising most utilized, search ads can be targeted to specific groups, products, locations or topics. Using search advertising is highly profitable and can include paid or free campaigns for efficacy.
Businesses use search ads to attract consumers with specific buying interests by using targeted keywords in their marketing campaigns. When consumers launch specific searches, they are returned a list of relevant businesses. To make full use of this type of marketing, businesses should focus on advertising through the search engines and culling rich content that will draw traffic to the website.
#3 Contextual Advertising
The online consumer drives contextual advertising by providing the template that businesses use to pitch products or services. By using the information gathered through online search results, businesses can create specific marketing campaigns targeted at what the user is seeking. Search engines gather this user information that relates to specific search topics or products. The consumer drives this search because the engine is tracking a particular keyword(s) and terms.
To maximize the potential in contextual advertising, businesses should design ad campaigns that center around specific search terms. To broaden marketing appeal to a specific demographic of consumers, ad campaigns should include a range of media advertising methods that include video, text, and graphics.
Businesses can further maximize their marketing methods by utilizing geotargeting, a method of sending specific messages to consumers by using GPS location devices on smartphones and mobile devices. This type of location-based target marketing is used successfully by businesses that provide specific products or services to businesses that want to market to consumers in specific locations.
Geotargeting finds customers based on their location and funnels specific marketing content to them through various channels that can include online ads, video marketing or content-based marketing. It can include both organic and paid methods, depending on business goals and budgets.
#5 Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing has been a popular marketing method for quite some time. It is rising quickly in popularity and businesses are starting to use this method to market online and draw more traffic to business sites.
To make social media marketing successful and flow easier, businesses should employ a social media manager software or tools like Buffer or Hootsuite. This will assist in a myriad of tasks like managing social accounts, scheduling posts or tweets and creating cohesion across all social media platforms.
Through this style of marketing, it is easy to connect with your audience, whether those are buyers, clients or readers. Establishing a connection is usually done through friend requests, requests to join groups, interacting on pages, or live forums. Even having others follow your business on social platforms can establish connections. After connecting, businesses should start interacting through blog posts, articles, video marketing or through a Q&A dialogue.
#6 Organic Content vs. Paid
The biggest difference in organic content vs paid content is how and at what speed customers arrive at your site.
While consumers may land on your site via search engines through organic content, paid content increases the chance that your content will appear on the first or second page of the SERPs. Organic content can also land on the first or second pages, but it will take longer and more work (building content, keyword focus, etc.). The question then becomes, how quickly do you want your business to appear on the top pages.
Paid content results will end when the ad expires. Organic results will continue because it has no dependency on advertising results.
#7 Display Advertising | Affiliate Marketing/Cross Promotion
Affiliate marketing is a method that benefits the affiliate marketer and the brand. When the affiliate promotes the brand’s product, he earns a commission. Online businesses will find this method easy to implement because it’s simply getting affiliates to market and promote your products to target markets.
Display advertising represents different formats that can include text, images, video or audio. Its main goal is to deliver the advertisement and content to site visitors. It’s important to use display advertising within context and couple it with methods that are conducive to the business.
Businesses can use cross-promotion activities to promote or highlight a particular product or service. Businesses use cross promoting methods that highlight other products and increase potential sales. As an example, this may include highlighting a study guide that complements or pairs with a textbook for sale.
#8 Online Videos
If videos aren’t already a part of your online marketing strategy, they should be. Videos are not only a great way to engage a customer. Depending on your business you may want to create videos that convey a message to your future customers reminding them why they want to engage your business or shop at your store. If you’re selling products online, product demonstration videos may be helpful to consumers as well.
Online videos are also a useful tool for search engine optimization. Typically videos that are viewed often and well-rated will rank higher than blog posts. The key to success with online videos is creating videos that are engaging and fun to watch while portraying the image that your brand represents.
#9 Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing is growing very rapidly as consumers are using their smartphones more to shop, find deals or discounts, and connect. Businesses can capitalize on this growth by implementing mobile marketing in its online campaigns.
To reach more potential customers, ensure that there is a business presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. The business website should be continually updated and optimized for mobile marketing, making it easier to connect with your customers without having issues.
You can use mobile marketing to build and grow your email list as well. By using applications that integrate with your business email marketing program, you can capture email addresses (with permission) and create marketing messages to target your audience and specific demographics.
There are numerous options for promoting and marketing your business online. Each of these methods may not apply to every business model; however, it is reasonable to expect that application of a few them can yield profitable results. Some of them may require adjustments to fit your business model. Simply test each one that seems applicable to your business and develop the online marketing plan that is most successful.
To learn more about how to market your business online, contact the marketing experts at Blackstone Agency for more information.
Most companies have a formal budget that is reserved for marketing. They have an upper level to which they can go. They spend it each month and are most likely unsure that the budget is getting a return. If the marketing budget is spent on your website, an SEO team, brochures or articles, it’s hard to measure a real return in some cases, so you’re never quite sure if your marketing firm is working for you.
Any time that we spend money with a marketing firm, we have to look at that expenditure and ask ourselves how well it working and whether the expense is netting a return. Very few companies actually lay out a plan that allows them to measure whether it is working and how well it is working to determine if the current marketing agency is doing the job or if they need to consider another alternative.
In order to track the worth of your marketing, there has to be a yardstick by which you measure it. What is that yardstick and how do you as a business implement it?
To a large extent, the way in which you measure the return will depend on the way in which you are marketing and what you are marketing.
Logically, different types of measurement will apply to your marketing campaigns, those being:
Initiation of Contact. Customer contacts from the marketed area are one logical measurement to determine if the marketing is bearing fruit. If you are using, for example, a phone book advertisement and none of your calls come from that campaign, it’s reasonable to assume that it is not a workable method.
Visibility-if you’re using a website marketing team and your website is nowhere to be found in search, does not show up on any keyword term, or has no visibility overall in social media, the odds are very good that your particular marketing campaign is not viable.
Creating some bottom lines and benchmarks by which to measure is in the best interests of every company as a means to measure success from a marketing campaign.
When you seek to determine if your marketing firm is working for you, some things that you may want to take into account are these:
Get a starting point for each area of marketing. Determine where you were in search prior to hiring the company and where you are each month. Is there a rise in your visibility?
How frequently did you receive calls prior to hiring the marketing firm that could be linked to your website or your phone ad or other methods that you are using now? Have the number of calls risen dramatically or risen at all?
Once you’ve made the determination that the marketing firm is working for you,(or is not) consider how well it is working and why.
Evaluate what you are spending and how far it will go. Bear in mind that you cannot ask a company to do twice what you want to pay for. Consider the budget, be realistic about what it will do for you and consider expanding on it if you find that the company is giving you a return for what you’ve already spent.
Secure the attention of your potential customers with a good first impression on your website.
When doing business online, every aspect of your online presence needs to be carefully aligned to your overall marketing strategy. To gain leads and ultimately make conversions, you will need effective landing pages.
Although there are many aspects of your marketing effort that work to boost traffic and generate leads, there is sometimes too much emphasis placed in some areas, such as paid advertising, while other critical areas are overlooked. You could have the best advertising in the world, but if you don’t have the landing page that persuades and obtains buy-in, then you’re not going to see results.
At Blackstone Agency, we work with you to create compelling landing pages that can help grow your business.
Gain Attention with Eye-Catching Headlines
Your headline will determine whether your audience stays engaged or moves along to the competition. Are your headlines working for you, and are they eye-catching and relevant enough to keep your audience interested? A powerful headline will immediately draw a reader into your content. It will be to the point, relevant to what you’re offering, and convincing enough to persuade readers to learn more.
What Is Your Value Proposition?
If you’ve pulled the reader in with a compelling headline, then you need to continue delivering content that is of interest and offers something your reader needs. Whatever your niche is, you’re in business to serve wants and needs.
You must position your offering in a way that empathizes with what the audience is experiencing while offering satisfaction for something they desire or a solution to a problem they have.
Relating to your audience is essential. Building rapport through your content will help them determine that you understand their needs, and you’re the authority when it comes to satisfying those needs. This means you will never talk ‘at’ your audience; instead, you will converse with them naturally.
Testimonials, a short list of benefits and interesting case studies are all examples of ways you can relate to your audience and help develop a mutual understanding of the problem or desire while establishing trust in your brand.
Your Content Is Essential
A landing page needs to provide enough information to obtain buy-in but should not overload the reader with unnecessary information. Your marketing strategy should, therefore, have an emphasis on quality content. You should take great care to ensure that every word has meaning, the information is accurate, and there is no unnecessary fluff that adds nothing of value to your reader.
Taking the time to develop effective content, whether you do it yourself or engage with content marketing professionals, will help you to increase lead and conversion rates.
The Right Way to Use Images
Images can add visual appeal, but from a marketing standpoint, the information they provide is limited. Make sure you select images carefully and have a good balance of images and text on your landing page.
Images can be used for branding but also showcase what you’re trying to offer. If you’re offering a service rather than a product, then infographics are a great way to create visual impact while also providing valuable information.
Your Call to Action
You’ve developed strong content and a landing page with visual impact. Your readers like what they’re reading, and they see your value proposition as compelling.
How do you take this opportunity and have the reader opt-in to the next stage? With a strong call to action, of course.
- Don’t underestimate the power of your opt-in button. It should be conspicuous, in contrast to the main copy, and clearly labeled. Text links or simple graphics are most effective.
- Relate back to the content in your call to action. Repeat the need or desire, reinforce why your offering is the best solution, and challenge the reader to take the next step by doing business with you.
Remember, by the time you reach your call to action, your reader should completely understand what it is that you have to offer and why it’s the best option on the market. Even with this, if you don’t challenge them to take action by clicking through, then all of your marketing strategies will go to waste.
Grow Your Revenue with Your Landing Pages
Don’t waste your time and financial investment by neglecting to develop effective landing pages. Your marketing strategy should be viewed holistically, with all of your advertising copy and content being designed to lead your audience to a sales funnel. A landing page is crunch time, where all of your efforts come together to bring in leads.
Highly informative, interesting, eye-catching and relevant landing pages are essential to ensure that you are able to increase revenue and grow your business.
Businesses which don’t have any leads at all may as well close their doors. In effect, if you have no method to generate business leads, you might as well not exist at all. The problem is that many companies don’t know how to generate leads. They rely on the word of mouth advertising that is somewhat effective, but is not effective enough to carry them through economic downturns and is certainly not going to expand their business.
What are the Best Lead Generation Strategies for New Business Strategies?
Every business has a wide range of lead generation and marketing strategies available to them. One of the biggest mistakes that the new or small company makes is to rely solely on social media and free methods of advertising. These methods are not actually free in that they take up the time of you or your employees. Social media is of course important but it is one lead generation strategy that is not always reliable.Time spent here is costly in that it may not net you the return that you need.
Hire a Professional
Hit and miss at best, social media can bring you a few leads, but businesses today require a more full-featured and more dependable method of generating leads. More reliable and more cost-effective is the use of a marketing company which can offer you leads on a regular basis.
Lead generation sites that can be used to give you the business that you need on a regular basis are one thing that a professional marketing and lead generation company can offer you.
Lead Generation Strategies
Full print materials, PDFs that are available on your site and others for the prospective customer to print out and review are other strategies that will generate leads for your business. Small microsites and guest posting, networking on a full scale will give you the lead generation and the new customers that you need to grow.
Isn’t DIY Marketing Cheaper?
While some diy methodology is useful and desirable, don’t make the mistake that many small businesses make today. Saving money is laudable in any business, but if that penny saving strategy isn’t providing you with the means to expand and to grow, isn’t offering you the leads that you need, it’s time to find a new strategy that includes professionals with a well laid out plan to expand your small business.
Blackstone Agency is a company that is one part of search engine marketing and one part branding. That mix makes us a bunch of creative analytical geeks who drink a lot of coffee.
It’s great to have your website rank on the top of the search engines but if your brand is not professional and memorable then you will be quickly forgotten. They will simply click and then you’re gone.
If your logo or web design is not memorable, not professional and doesn’t instill confidence your potential customer clicking from your top ranking page on search engines will just bounce away.
Once they’ve found your page, what keeps you fresh in the minds of your prospective customers? When your business branding has a professional edge and creativity your perspective customers will remember you and seek you out for business.
Creating a design that is uniquely your own brand takes some time and usually requires the input of custom logo design specialists who can work with you to determine how you want to portray your business.
Each facet of your company is symbolic to you. Our graphic designers in Fort Lauderdale can help you to nail down the perfect design that will showcase your company and help your name stand out.
When you make a long lasting impression on someone, it is usually because of your branding. Custom logos designed by one of our expert graphic designers in Fort Lauderdale verses an amateur designer will make a statement about who you are and what you have to offer. Your vision and your mission will be captured in a clever logo design that can brand your company and tell the world what you’ve been doing.
Our staff can guide you through the logo creation process to help you to arrive at a look that you can love and get excited about. Our logo design process has been refined for over 20 years and has become an art form.
With any marketing message, your goal is to educate, entice, and retain customers. No matter how complex your core products and services are, there’s always value to be gained by keeping your marketing message both simple and impactful. Minimalist marketing makes your message easier to understand, and it also helps to keep it strongly implanted in the mind of your audience.
Find a Simple Idea That Sticks
Think about your offering and what it provides to consumers. What need does it serve, or what kind of emotional response can you gain from consumers who are exposed to your offering? Flush out your key marketing messages in detail, and then take the most important ones and condense them into something short that tells consumers exactly who you are, and why your product and value proposition is best suited to their needs.
Communicate Key Aspects of Your Message
Once you’ve consolidated the key aspects of your brand and offering into a simple message, it’s time to share that across all of the platforms that are available to you. Your website, social media, digital advertising, and traditional advertising. All platforms need to carry a consistent message based on a simple idea.
Take Simplicity to All Areas of Your Marketing Presence
The benefits of a simple slogan and short form advertising could be undone if you don’t carry a minimalist message throughout all of your copy. Print media advertisements, radio spots, and your online presence should all be aligned to the concept of simplicity.
When you over complicate your pitch, you’ll lose the attention of your audience. Consumers do want to know about your offering and the benefits they can gain (especially when you aren’t an established company), but they will need to be able to take away the key points, even from a relatively short exposure time. Again, these aspects of your message are most important.
Who you are.
- What you are offering.
- Why it’s the best option/solution for your market.
Focus on these key features in all of your marketing, and you’ll have a better chance of engaging with new leads who have taken interest in your brand.
Coca-Cola, The Epitome of a Simple Message
Coca-Cola is one example of a company that truly understands a simple message. The core of any Coke campaign has been fun and enjoyment. In fact, the company used the simple slogan of ‘Enjoy’ throughout the early 2000s, and in print and visual media, they used simple imagery of people and families enjoying their product in everyday situations.
Coca-Cola didn’t focus on their ingredients, or even the taste of their product. The message was simple – Coca-Cola is something that is ubiquitous with good times.
You might not sell soda or even be involved in the beverage industry, and not every company will be able to take a marketing message down to a single word or sentence. However, you can easily appreciate how such a simple message can be used to grow product sales and keep the brand relevant to existing consumers. Continuing in more recent campaigns, Coca-Cola has again aimed for simplicity and fun, with marketing focused around slogans like “Life Tastes Good”, “Open Happiness”, and “Taste The Feeling”.
Rely on a Professional Marketing Team for a Simple Message That Works
If you’ve found it difficult to communicate your brand and your products in simple terms, it’s time to seek the help of a professional marketing team. Blackstone Agency can help you to refine your marketing message, providing you with a complete strategy that covers all aspects of your local, online, and traditional media presence.
Optimizing your website for the major search engines like Google is really a necessity. And every internet search engine has its very own algorithm and rules to follow along with, making the job rather challenging. Choosing a good internet search engine marketing company to assist you to boost your web business is hard. However, make certain that our internet search engine marketing company includes status on the market otherwise you might finish up wasting a lot of your money and time. Before choosing an internet search engine marketing company, you have to identify your requirements and goals, which support the search engine optimization firm to know your expectation and frame an appropriate online marketing strategy for you personally.
The requirements may vary from business-to-business. Although some are searching for branding, others might be thinking about simple search engine optimization for enhancing search ratings. However, the best goal for just about any business is a great return on investment. Therefore, the first task is to determine which return on investment you’re expecting out of your internet search engine marketing company. To have an e-commerce site or sites that provide items (not always an e-commerce site), one should determine the need for each lead coming with the search engine optimization efforts to appraise the return on investment.
Similarly, sites which have most of the leads coming through someone calling, the aim is going to be a rise in the site’s traffic relevancy. Within this situation, one should discover the need for each click originating from their search engine optimization efforts and the number of total clicks monthly to appraise the Return on investment using their internet search engine marketing company. However, it’s not feasible for any internet search engine marketing company to supply results overnight. Thus, it’s suggested to judge year-over-year increases to look for the return on investment from search engine optimization efforts.
What To Expect From an SEO Marketing Company
Your internet search engine marketing company should have the ability to provide personalized services, according to your needs. Search engine optimization includes numerous online practices including market and keyword research and analysis, site or web pages structure optimization, backlink building, manual directory submission, article distribution, and content strategy and duplicate-writing. All these tasks have unique challenges and never always needed by all websites. For instance, the needs of the recently released website will vary from what high-quality site that lacks visible text and has technical challenges.
Traditional Marketing & What’s Trending
A great internet search engine marketing company will invariably blend traditional marketing practices using the latest trends to create your online marketing strategy effectively. Though social networking marketing and content distribution are attaining more recognition nowadays, it’s impossible to eliminate the significance of manual directory submission or any other traditional backlink building processes. Actually, manual directory submission plays a substantial role in building quality one-way links.
This, consequently, works well for enhancing search ratings too as with getting specific site visitors. The benefits of manual directory submission are manifold. You are able to directly tap your specific audience, as manual directory submission includes posting the website within the specific category where it’s most appropriate. Manual directory submission is among the best ways to achieve quality backlinks. Make certain your internet search engine marketing company tests and reviews you concerning the Internet Search Engine Friendliness from the sites where they’ve posted your website by hand.
Finally, it is crucial that the internet search engine marketing company maintain transparency while educating you along the way. This can also enable you to know how the internet search engine marketing company works and it’ll become simpler to get recommendations carried out to push the general internet marketing program forward.
Each year, just like the last, there are plenty of new marketing and advertising concepts that are thrown at business owners. Some perform well and well….others fail miserably and should never be re-visited. Here are three effective new marketing ideas for 2019 that you may want to consider if you haven’t already.
Pinterest for Business
This is simply a personal bulletin board where you can pin photos and share ideas. Pinterest allows you to discuss whatever you want with other individuals who follow you on the site. For example, you may want to share your images of an exclusive event such as a marriage, party, grand opening or anything else you want. You can give your followers ideas on how to use your products and services in the best way possible. Photos really do say a thousand words – and it has been proven time and time again that great images resonate with people much better than just text.
As a user, you can surf bulletin boards that other individuals have designed. Pinterest for Business is an excellent way to share great content and allow people to bookmark or pin it. This may also encourage others to view your content as well.
A mobile promotion has exploded in the last few years, so much so that many individuals are often using it as their primary place of promotion. In mobile marketing platforms, you have the flexibility to target different types of users and devices which can give you significant advantages in a way that no other marketing provides. As more individuals use smartphones and other mobile devices, the potential for this kind of marketing will only continue to improve and be able to be delivered to the best target audience for your product or service.
In the US, 46% of individuals own a smartphone and that number continues to grow every day. One-third of all smartphone users have made at least one purchase via the internet on their phone. Some do it consistently as the comfort of doing it improves. As this becomes more and more common, marketing opportunities increase and improve.
Content promotion, while not new in itself, is more essential than ever before because of all the changes search engines have made, such as its popular Panda and Penguin algorithm updates. There is much more focus on the value of content on a website than ever before. The search engines want to provide a good user experience. Online searchers do not constantly want to revisit old content again and again. People need to see targeted and relevant content on all sites they check out so they can make educated decisions whether it is to make a purchase or get information.
Essentially, marketing will always change and improve with the times. Smart business owners will change with the times or get left behind in the dirt of their competitors that are doing a better job of tracking what their consumers are looking for and delivering it.
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