There is one great caveat to all marketing regardless of industry or budget. Before you can sell someone your book, have them register for your course, inspire them to join your organization, convince them to donate to your cause, or take any action you’re hoping to transpire — you need to get their attention.
These days the majority of that attention is focused online, specifically on social media. Just as the advent of iPods cut away at radio ads, so too have DVRs and Netflix all but eliminated that once shining pinnacle of attention ownership that was the 30-second television spot.
An alternative landscape has risen in the form of social media marketing, and this new paradigm requires a new strategy. Organizations that have realized how to use audience demographics provided by popular social media channels to push targeted content to potential customers have started engaging with those leads in ways traditional marketing channels could never have matched.
Creating a Facebook page or Twitter account is easy, but claiming a username doesn’t engage an audience. Sure, you can hire a “social media expert” to manage your posts, but five tweets a week doesn’t necessarily close a sale and 20,000 followers means very little if none of them become customers.
For most businesses, the simple truth is they're never going to get lots of traction with an organic social media strategy. Their service or offer doesn’t warrant a ton of “likes” and shares. In an effort to counter this and to constantly push out content to their followers, many organizations revert to off-brand posts that have little to do with their core business: silly contests, holiday announcements, memes, etc. This requires a lot of effort with very little upside and typically results in yet another abandoned account — a ghost ship in the social media sea.
The problem is most organizations are using organic social media strategies in which you regularly publish new content to your existing followers in the hopes getting shares and likes to increase exposure and gain more followers. This can work if you’re a popular consumer brand that people would actually want to follow and hear from on a daily basis. But if you’re like most businesses, this strategy doesn’t make very much sense at all.
The majority of your followers are folks who already use your product or service, or they're employees of your organization. They clearly know who you are, so spending a lot of time marketing to them doesn’t really have much value. That's if your content is even seen in the first place, as most social media users follow hundreds of people and brands all with their own content. Getting attention organically for most businesses is failing proposition.
The people you want to be speaking to are NOT currently following your page, but they are on social media and you can push your content to them using a paid social media strategy. You can track and measure the performance of this content against certain audience groups, drive those leads to your website, and then utilize re-marketing techniques to continue pushing content to these individuals, as if they were followers. We call this a social media sales funnel and its the most effective way to market your product or services in 2018.
DEFINE YOUR AUDIENCE
The first step is to define your audience. As we'll be paying to place your content in front of viewers, you want to qualify these viewers as much as possible beforehand to properly manage your spend. A common mistake for beginners is casting too wide a nest in their audience selection resulting in a quick burn with minimal traction. We take into account multiple factors when defining audiences, including: geography, age, gender, profession, marital status, recent purchases, upcoming personal events like birthdays or anniversaries – anything someone might engage with while logged into their various social accounts can be used as an audience criteria.
PUSH YOUR CREATIVE TO AUDIENCE
Once we've defined our audiences, the next step is to develop content aimed at their particular interests or needs. Our goal is to create compelling content optimized for the platform at hand, that encourages the viewer to learn more by following a link to your site. This content will then be A/B tested and optimized based on tracking metrics to drive in the most visitors at the lowest cost-per-click.
SEND TRAFFIC TO CAMPAIGN PAGE
Capturing the traffic we receive from social is key, and so we create a landing page on your existing website or unique campaign specific website. The landing page you send viewers to should speak specifically to the content pushed on social media and should have a clear call-to-action. The site is tracked and measured to optimize for performance and increase conversions.
PUSH ADDITIONAL CREATIVE WITH RE-MARKETING
The landing page also includes code that will allow us to push future posts to the visitor with a technique called re-marketing. Any viewers of our initial content funnel can then be placed into a secondary pool of viewers who expressed initial interest in your product or service.
This technique works regardless of industry or offers. While the audiences and creative will change, the core strategy remains the same. Below we show two examples of social media sales funnels from recent projects. The first is a community credit union that began pushing educational financial videos on Facebook and YouTube to people who live in the community and could be potential future members. The 60-second spots drive folks to longer articles about those topics on their website, which then pushes membership. The second example is a vacation rental service that targets individuals in regional cities with specific interests that coincide with local events and seasonal activities, to increase bookings. For both campaigns, monthly tracking reports provide actionable insights into how folks are engaging with the content and offers. Changes are then made to improve performance and optimize our budgets.
Hopefully a light bulb has gone off as you've read through this page and you're beginning to see how an alternative approach to social media – one that focuses on defined audiences and clear goals – could have a major impact on your marketing. If so, the next step is to develop a plan.
In our Social Media Strategy Workshops we help clients evaluate their existing social media efforts, define the goals for their future campaigns, identify potential audience for those campaigns, review existing creative, and define the budgets needed to roll-out a successful social media marketing campaign.
The process begins with an in-depth meeting where we not only review what your organization has done up until now, but also discuss competitors in the space. We review the offline sales process to see how things are done in the "real world" to better integrate sales with online marketing efforts. As we narrow in on what our specific offers will be, we discuss what creative exists to promote these and what might need to be developed moving forward. If new videos or animations need to be developed, we scope out the costs involved as we begin to develop our budget.
With this information and more in hand we put together a strategy that identifies ideal social channels, a content strategy for those channels, the tools needed to track and measure our sales funnel, and estimated budgets for ad spend as well as creative to launch the campaign. We'll then meet again to review the strategy, answer any and all questions as well as discuss next steps for rolling things out.
Organizations with internal creative teams can take the plan from this point and tackle things themselves, while organizations that are looking to outsource the creative and management of campaigns can hire us to produce the content and turn those recommendations into action in what we call our 90-Day Action Plan.
The entire process typically lasts 2-3 weeks depending on schedules.
If your organization is ready to finally start taking advantage of this revolution in marketing strategy, then this workshop is right for you. Whereas social media may have been a confusing time-waste to your organization in the past, with a defined plan specific to your industry and business-model, your organization can finally start generating leads instead of likes.
Cost of workshop: $1500
Questions? Email us any inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org