How to safely navigate the online media marketing minefield
June 29, 2018
In a constantly evolving fast-paced technological world – with marketing professionals abandoning conventional media and cruising down the social media highway – it is now essential that every company knows how to carefully craft just the right message for the appropriate medium and carefully select its audience for maximum impact. While social media promotion has amazing possibilities and opens a world of opportunity for you and your business, it is also full of pitfalls that are hard to navigate.
Action Digital outlines some measures you can take to ensure that your marketing strategy is successful.
1. Craft your message for a targetted audience
Blindly posting on social media and carpet bombing your sponsored message on all available platforms is the equivalent of loading a plane with flyers and dumping them all over the city. It’s spectacularly inefficient and an amazing waste of money and resources. Social media gives you the unprecedented opportunity to craft your message and deliver it to an audience that is as targeted as possible. But first, you must decide on the campaign message, the tone that will be used, and how the message reflects your brand, product or service.
This has to be as specific as possible, as it will affect the second step of the process; defining your audience. Understanding the needs of your audience and how your product/service can help them, will be hugely beneficial. Identify who is more likely to benefit from your product/service and who is more likely to be able to afford it. Take this analysis a step further: what do people in your audience have in common? Are they of the same gender, do they live in the same area or are they of the same age? Analyzing these questions will give you a good idea of your target market, as well as how you might expand to reach other similar groups. It ‘s also a good idea to see who the competition is targeting to get a sense of direction.
A broad marketing campaign is usually not the way to go, as you want to identify specific groups and devote more resources to connecting with them to enjoy an increased conversion rate and engagement.
2. Select the right media platform
Identifying your audience will help with the next step, selecting the right media platform best suited to reach your target audience. A campaign can of course span several platforms (cross-platform promotion is advisable) but you need to prioritize, in order to best allocate your resources and maximize the outcome.
Facebook is one of the most obvious options for social media marketing, due to the sheer size of the user base alone. Around 2.2 billion people were active Facebook users as of Q1 2018, with an estimated 76% of adults online using this platform. Since the introduction of Facebook Live, the platform has also seen a 700% growth in video views. Another advantage of Facebook is its cross-platform promotion potential with Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook. Instagram currently has more than 800 million monthly users and it’s a surefire way to engage with young, visual audiences, particularly in the millennial demographic.
Twitter is also a great platform, with about 319 million active users per month, 80% of which are mobile users, particularly effective for companies who wish to engage with customers on the move. If your product is more female-oriented, then Pinterest should be taken into consideration, as it appeals more to women than men.
When it comes to business-to-business promotion, LinkedIn is the leading social media platform connecting professionals from all around the world.
3. Sort out your content
Your content needs to correspond to your message and branding, specifically tailored to your target audience, but there is a science behind motivating users to engage with your material. Audiences often respond positively to witty, funny posts, especially ones that are capitalizing on trendy topics (this needs to be a priority, especially in ongoing campaigns). Tapping into a sense of nostalgia and engaging competitions also work well.
4. Up your game with email marketing
The final tool you ‘ll need is an email marketing tool, especially if you’re interested in updating your email recipient lists or wish to increase sales through email marketing. One of the most popular solutions is Mailchimp, integrating with other social media platforms including Google, Facebook and Twitter. It also provides users with easy email creator, merge tags and autoresponders, while segmenting contacts into groups, and providing simple tracking and analytics. It also allows you to set up delivery times based on user’s time zones, segmenting audiences based on geolocation. Other solutions are Constant Contact, Drip and GetResponse.
Drafting the ideal marketing campaign for online channels can be very challenging, and with so many factors to consider, a lot can go wrong. But getting the hang of it and running it successfully means that your message will be heard by the right people, in the right tone of voice, on the right platform.
5. Analyse, analyse, analyse!
The last factor you need to consider, is arming yourself with all the necessary tools to better manage your time and analyze the information you gather, to see what needs to be improved for any future campaigns. Google Analytics is a comprehensive solution and is also free. Other options include Adobe Analytics; mainly used by large companies due to its cost.
When it comes to time management, a social media scheduler or general social media management tool is indispensable, especially if you need to post regular content over a long period of time. There are a number of available solutions to help you manage your time, including Agorapulse, Hootsuite and others.
It should be clear that social media offers a world of opportunities, but one needs to be well aware of how to avoid its pitfalls. Once you’ve carefully crafted your message and branding, be sure to pinpoint your target audience, while choosing the appropriate social media platform to make your company’s voice heard loud and clear. And when that message is out there, be sure to analyze the data you gather with the best tools for the job!