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Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.

As an inbound marketing tactic, content marketing is a budget-friendly method which will bring immense benefits for your business both in the short term and long run. It’s a strategy which is particularly effective for educating and nurturing existing as well as potential customers, targeting ToFu, MoFu and BoFu stages of customers. This is why content marketing is one of the core digital marketing strategies for bringing in traffic and encouraging conversions for any brand.

But what exactly is content marketing? And what does a content marketer do in order to reap these benefits?

Read on to find more about the job of Social Media and Content Executive Emily Ng, and discover what goes on behind the scene in an agency’s day of work.

Meet Emily- Social Media and Content Executive at 2Stallions!

Fresh out of university in 2019, Emily joined 2Stallions for her first full-time job as a Social Media and Content Executive. Since then, she has been with our agency for 1.5 years, specialising in copywriting and content creation for clients.

She discovered her passion for copywriting when she started an internship as a copywriter at a local start-up and has never looked back since. Over the years, she has written a variety of social media posts for different categories, from homeware, a fitness gym for little kids to insurance and healthcare.

A complete homebody, you will find her at home during the weekends picking up new skills such as video editing or baking. Currently, she is working on mastering a new language!

What goes on in the day to day job as a Social Media and Content Executive?

Well, as my job title suggests, I create content on a daily basis! The content I create ranges from blog articles, newsletters, copywriting (social media posts and ads), scripts for animated videos to infographics.

Emily worked with the creative team on this fabulous video for our client – Attonics Systems

However, other than creating the content, there’s actually a lot of preparation work to be done. This includes content research, planning, conceptualising content and social media calendar (up to months in advance), and keyword research. It’s also essential that I keep myself updated about the industry’s latest trends by reading up various marketing magazines and data reports such as Think with Google.

These are the foundational work needed to be done, to ensure I’m aware of the current trends to produce content that is engaging, interesting and relevant for our clients’ targeted audience.

As a content creator, I also get to work with other teams in the agency. Two teams that I work closely with include the SEO and Creative team. The SEO team ensures that my content has higher visibility in Google’s search engine. I also work with the Creative team to discuss and align the art direction for a particular project.

Another important aspect of my work includes conducting weekly brainstorming or meetings to refresh the existing content plan. All of these are essential to help our content remain timely and updated.

These weekly meetings also help us to review and incorporate clients’ feedback into our work. Our agency believes in putting the needs of our clients first. Therefore, I always ensure transparent communication and regular updates with the clients about our work.

Why do you think content marketing is important and relevant for businesses these days?

In my opinion, content marketing is extremely relevant these days.

Think about all the times we want to make a purchase or find a restaurant “near me” whenever I’m on the go. What is the first step we’ll do before making a decision?

We’ll almost subconsciously whip out our devices to do a quick search on the product or place that we are interested in. We’ll look up reviews, listicles and take a deeper dive into a particular company’s website. As a habitual instinct, conducting research is the first step we make before any purchase decision these days.

We’re so reliant on search engines that brands need to produce content around what people are searching for, such that you can increase awareness and generate leads for your product or service.

Was it difficult for you to work in a field that was outside of your degree specialization? Any advice for fresh graduates who’re open to exploring different career paths just like you did?

After my short stint in a copywriting internship, I knew marketing was a field I was passionate about. However, finding a full-time job in the marketing industry was a little challenging as my degree was not in communications or marketing.

Fortunately, I took on several internships and part-time jobs during my university days in copywriting. This proved to be beneficial as the internships helped me gained the experience that most marketing employers are looking for.

For those who are open to exploring different career paths, I definitely recommend going for internships to obtain the experience first. Make sure you do your research and find a company in the industry you’re interested in. Before choosing a company, it’s important to understand the company’s culture and work environment. The ideal internship should provide you with ample learning opportunities and good mentoring. Otherwise, it would be a wasted internship as you’ll obtain little value that could benefit your career pathway.

Other than internships, do also consider self-learning and upskilling. There are also many learning tools out there such as Google Skillshop or Udemy that can help you gain relevant and important skills. At the same time, you will also learn and understand the industry better.

You must equip yourself with the knowledge and skills as this will give you an edge during your interview process. Most importantly, don’t feel disheartened when you get rejected by a company. Take it as a learning process and never give up! (I also faced several rejections myself!)

As a writer and content creator, were there times when you experience content fatigue or faced writer’ block? What do you do to help yourself get out of the rut?

Definitely. During such times, I would remind myself to take a short break, walk around a little and try to stop thinking about that particular project. Alternatively, I would also browse through social media to take my mind off the project. Doing so helps me to refresh my mind which is great when you’re feeling overwhelmed or uninspired.

During the Circuit breaker period (working from home), I’ve also come to learn that taking timely breaks is extremely important. If you overwork by forcing yourself to produce content for… let’s say 5 hours straight, you are not going to produce quality work that you or your clients want. In fact, if you take small breaks in between the day to recharge yourself, you can produce better work as your mind is in an optimal state to think creatively and write effectively.

Is it true that an agency life is work without play?

Sometimes when you are handling multiple projects, it can get pretty time-consuming. However, agency life is really not work without play. At 2Stallions, we encourage everyone to work hard and play hard! We have a relatively young team, so it can be pretty fun in the office at times!

Our agency also emphasises on the well-being of its employees. That is why we have regular video calls to catch up with one another, to ensure everyone is coping well with the current situation. I’m grateful for my supportive colleagues who’re always ready to help whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed at work. When things get tough, I know that I will always have my team to fall back on.

Wrapping Up

Contrary to common belief, the job of a Content Creator goes beyond writing articles. Content marketing has moved past blogs and now encompasses so much more. With this article, we hope that you have a better understanding of what it’s like to work as a content creator . Feel free to connect with Emily if you’re curious to learn more the work we do!

Drop by our blog if you’d like to learn more about content marketing and content strategy. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated about all things digital.

Social Media Marketing Has Revolutionized The Way Marketers Communicate With Customers

Over the past 20 years, social networks have changed the fundamental ways in which marketers communicate and interact with their customers. Due to the power of social proof and its high engagement, social media has risen to become one of the must-have marketing channels for many brands.

Social media marketing is now an integral part of the marketing mix of any B2C or B2B company that seeks to have direct contact with its customer.

With a global number of 3.8 billion active social media users, it is no surprise that companies are leveraging on social media marketing to attract and convert customers online.

Marketers who have successfully built a strong social media presence experience greater engagement with their customers and a significant increase in lead generation.

  • 80% of social media B2B leads come from LinkedIn (LinkedIn)
  • 37% of consumers finding purchase inspiration through social network channels (PWC)

Clearly, social media marketing is increasingly an essential strategy rather than an optional strategy for businesses these days.

Future of Social Media Marketing – Take a Dynamic Approach

While social media marketing is immensely valuable and beneficial to your business growth, your social media strategy will have to differ based on which social networks your audience spends their time on.

That means taking on a dynamic approach with your social media marketing strategy.

What Is Dynamic Content?

Dynamic content refers to content that changes based on data, behaviour and interests of the users.

Different social media platforms have a different set of demographics, interest and type of content consumption. Therefore it’s essential that marketers tailor their social media content to suit each platform’s users.

The Components Of Dynamic Content On Social Media

A dynamic approach can be applied to both content and paid social ads (including retargeting ads). Whether it’s content or paid ads, the type and presentation of content will have to change based on the behaviour and interests of the target audience. 

The key is customization and personalisation.

Dynamic Paid Ads

For paid ad campaigns, the most common practice is to customise blocks of tailored content (ads) that are displayed on social media according to the rules for particular subscriber groups.

Using tools such as Facebook Dynamic Ads & LinkedIn Dynamic ads  marketers can customise the “look” of the ad and leverage the various targeting options available.

When marketers create retargeting ads, they can choose to target a group of customers who are most likely to convert (for example, customers who have left items in the cart or have browsed your site previously).   

Creating a Facebook Dynamic Ad

When you create a dynamic ad, choose assets that make sense together when combined. You can choose up to 30 assets for your dynamic creative ad.

You should also:

  •  A/B test best call-to-action buttons 
  • Reach the right people with the use of pixels
  • Keep the text short, clear and to the point 
  • Draw attention to your image with movement/ formats

Dynamic Monthly Social Content

Using insights gathered from your social media channels, marketers should also plan their monthly social media calendar according to their customers’ interests and purchase intent. These can be gathered using the page insights function that all your social channels will have. 

Tips for planning your social media calendar:

  • User Segmentation

Segmentation is a method of dividing your visitors into specific groups and customizing both your content and the user experience for each segment. You may refer to our guide on creating a customer strategy to segment your target audience.

  • Collect Relevant Data

Collect consumer insights based on the products that the user has been looking at.

  • Adapt Your Branding / Creative

Change the content type and style based on all the data that has been collected thus far.

How Dynamic Future-Proofs Your Social Media Strategy

A one-size-fits-all social media content won’t cut it anymore.

Your customers are increasingly demanding. They expect their interactions with businesses on social to be tailored to who they are, their goals and their needs.

For marketers to maintain a competitive advantage, they must adopt a strategy that is flexible enough to reach their customers at multiple touchpoints.

That is why we recommend a dynamic strategy which will deliver long-term value and drive social ROI for any company.

A dynamic Approach Optimizes Your Content to Drive Conversions and Sales Faster

Dynamic content is your first step towards better audience targeting to bump up social ROI and achieve business results for your brand.

It is a versatile and cost-effective strategy which will help businesses receive the most return on ad spend.

With a dynamic approach, marketers are optimizing content which will appeal to their existing and potential customers.

With dynamic ads, you can:

  • Reach more customers: Show people items that are tailored to their interests, regardless if they’ve been to your website or app
  • Complete the sale:  Dynamic ads retarget your website or mobile app shoppers to remind customers of items they’ve left in their shopping cart
  • Find new potential shoppers: Using a function known as broad audience targeting, you can reach new people who’ve expressed interest in your products (or products similar to yours) even if they haven’t visited your website or app yet
  • Save time on creating ads: Marketers just need to create an ad template that automatically uses images and details from your catalogue for products you’d like to advertise

As a result, dynamic ads help quicken the conversion process and increase conversion rates because you are targeting customers who have the greatest probability to buy from you.

Rather than incurring a huge ad spend on a general audience, marketers will achieve better results with the least possible amount of ad spend by selling to customers with the highest purchase intent, across all the stages of the marketing funnel.

Anaconda Stores Case Study – Examining a Successful Use of Dynamic Ads

Anaconda Stores* is an Australian camping and outdoor adventure retailer. Started in 2004, Anaconda’s mission is to inspire and equip Australians with the best value and broadest range of outdoor adventure and sporting products.

The company ran a campaign during the highly competitive winter sales season when there are many local retailers promoting snow gear and related accessories to Australian consumers.

The ads featured a mix of lifestyle photos and videos that showed people in action (camping and skiing). In the ads, there were also clear call-to-action buttons with a clear offer “40-50% off” to highlight the promotion which encouraged customers to click on the ad.

The campaign was also targeted to Anaconda’s Adventure Club members using Facebook Custom Audiences. This allowed Anaconda to measure offline sales through loyalty club sales data, and online sales using Facebook pixel.

Anaconda’s campaign successfully drove online and offline sales during one of the most important times of the year for outdoor retail. Within two months, the retail company experienced a 16.8X incremental offline sales and a 17.9X return on ad spend.

*Anaconda is not a client of 2Stallions. To learn more about 2Stallions’ successful social media campaigns, head over to our case study section and download our FREE case studies! 

Wrapping Up

The steps we’ve provided for you to create a dynamic strategy is relevant for Facebook and other social media channels. Feel free to adopt any of the tips we’ve provided and get started on creating your own dynamic strategy today!

The content in this article is part of 2Stallion’s #SPEAKEASYASIA webinar: Creating A Dynamic Social Media Strategy. If you’re interested to receive the slides of the webinar, feel free to reach out directly to Anish and he will be in touch with you shortly. To stay updated on our latest events, head over to our #SPEAKEASYASIA website for more information.

Increasing Global Digital Population

It is hard to imagine a world without the internet now.  

Billions of people are connected worldwide via the internet. From searching for information to shopping for groceries or banking, the internet has become an essential part of our day-to-day lives.

In the age of COVID-19 when thousands of people are going online for entertainment and more, it has caused total internet hits to surge at least 60% during this outbreak period.

As of April 2020, almost 4.57 billion people were active internet users. That is 59% of the global population

With more than half the world’s consumer going online, any business owner should also consider going digital. After all, marketing is about finding the right audience at the right place, and at the right time. To do so, you’ll need digital marketing.

If your company is new to digital marketing and wants to learn more about what a digital marketing agency does, here are some of the must-knows of digital marketing.

What Is Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing is all about using data to realize marketing objectives. It is the art of using consumer insights to formulate marketing strategies targeted at particular groups of customers online.

Digital marketers leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, emails and websites to help their clients connect with existing and potential customers. They then proceed to collect data gathered from these digital channels (such as checking the number of impressions or likes on Instagram) and Google Analytics to plan their marketing strategy.

The advantage of using data to sell online is that it allows companies to make calculated marketing decisions. Knowing who to target and where to sell online gives digital marketers the ability to estimate budget spend for a certain set of Return Of Investment (ROI) goals.

Whether it’s inbound marketing or digital marketing for clients, common KPIs for digital marketers include increasing brand awareness, lead generations and conversions across different digital marketing channels.

What does a digital marketer do?

Digital marketers have different specializations, but they often work together as a team to make a campaign succeed with their ROIs. Some of the different departments include:

  • A design team to make the creative assets
  • A copywriting team to write the ads
  • A performance marketing team to create and manage paid ads

To give you a better understanding, you may refer to the diagram down. The chart shows you the various aspects influencing a website and or mobile app, plus the array of digital solutions a digital marketing agency could offer to improve those aspects.

For example, a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Manager is responsible for overseeing the performance of websites and web pages. The manager optimizes websites by conducting regular website audits to identify technical issues to be fixed. He or she will also do regular keyword research to rank the site for certain keywords, so as to boost the position of a website (ranking) on Google’s search results page.

On the other hand, a content marketer is in charge of content marketing. He or she focuses on content development and content distribution. Examples of content creation include writing articles and electronic direct mails (EDMs) that represent a brand’s story to connect and engage with the target audience.

The content marketer often tracks web traffic using Google Analytics and also conducts keyword research in order to know the kind of content readers are looking for.

Performance marketers or advertisement specialists are also critical to many marketing campaigns.  These are the people responsible for social media marketing (social media ads) and also search engine marketing (Google’s display ads).

You may also have heard of pay per click or click-through rates. These are some of the metrics used by performance marketers who allocate and manage budgets meant for paid ads. Using data from Google such as quality score, they ensure that ads are paid at the lowest cost possible.

They also make sure that ads are shown to the right target audience to increase the likelihood of customers clicking on the ad and buying a product online (increasing conversions online).

Digital Marketing Is A Crucial Part Of Any Business Strategy Now

Digital marketing is more in demand than ever, especially in times of COVID-19 when everyone is shifting online. The outbreak has been a catalyst for change in consumer behaviour as well as marketing strategies.  Consumers and businesses alike are turning to the internet as countries are keeping people at home to minimize the spread of the virus.

The internet is now being used at a rate never experienced before and it’s believed that COVID-19 is accelerating the digital transformation of businesses rapidly. According to Forbes, 70% of companies now either have a digital transformation strategy in place or are working on one.  

It is also found that tech-enabled businesses are more resilient than those who are not. That is because digitized businesses can respond swiftly to unexpected changes in customer behaviour.

Companies with digital solutions can easily answer customers’ queries online, rearrange budget spend or switch their ads’ targeted audience. Growth strategies can also continue as these companies can refocus investments from offline to online, rather than to stop investing totally.

Amidst this period of uncertainty, only one thing is clear. Digital marketing is likely to be a critical part of any company’s business strategy in the future. It is also evident that digital marketing is crucial for any company to remain adaptable for any market situation. The firms that cannot adapt digitally are likely to be left behind.

Wrapping Up

Now that you have a better understanding of digital marketing, it is time for you to consider how your business can transform digitally too. If you’re interested in making a digital marketing campaign for yourself or need advice on digital marketing, contact us.

To stay updated about all things digital marketing, subscribe to our newsletter!

During the days of TV’s dominance, everyone couldn’t peel their eyes off the screen when a program was “live.” People did so because they didn’t want to miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In addition, they wanted to be the first to know what would happen, something we know as FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

Today, anyone can do live streaming. Social media networks such as Facebook even highlight your profile and send your network a notification that you’ve gone live unless the function is turned off.

Nowadays, marketers consider it a powerful marketing tool. In fact, the biggest brands have used it to successful ends, just like GE’s Periscope drones when the app was still independent of Twitter for #DroneWeek.

The five-day-five-episode live event allowed audiences to feel the scale and impact of GE’s drone technologies. Their efforts helped them gain 3.22 million video views, 50.6 million impressions, and a total of 84.7 thousand live stream viewers per episode.

Live streaming is not just a fad. It’s here to stay and can be your ultimate tool for social media marketing success. Just look at the infographic below:

live-stream

Source: Filmora Wondershare

1. Live Videos Vs. Text Content

More people love to watch rather than read. In fact, 80% of customers would rather watch live videos about a brand than reading posts. In addition, a continuous stream of text and image updates in social media can create fatigue for your audiences and your message gets lost in the clutter.

With live streaming, brands are able to show events as they are happening and capture the essence of the moment. With the power of smartphones and the Internet, it is possible for a single correspondent to give the full details of the live event. People are able to witness for themselves what is happening instead of receiving second-hand information via an article written later that leaves out a few details to make it more succinct.

The reason for the audiences’ unfaltering attention is because a video is an engaging format. One of the reasons why video is compelling is that the human eye is naturally drawn to movement. People are drawn to motion and familiar nuances such as a person conversing and relaying events as if they were at the event itself. It also makes use of audio, which is easy for people to understand and follow what’s happening. Here’s how to add audio to video and create a more unique experience for your audience.

2. Easy Opportunity-Based Production

About 41% of people in social media watch live events featuring breaking news stories. While most people are watching funny or entertaining live videos such as gaming conventions or live comedy events, most people will watch content similar to flash news. For example, it can be the launch of a new satellite, the wedding of a royal family member, or the unveiling of a brand’s newest product in a gigantic press conference.

If your brand has a new product it needs to launch, audiences who follow your page might consider it value-adding because it concerns their interests.

3. Millennial-Oriented

According to Marketing Profs, there are over 2.67 billion social media users in 2018 alone. Millennials aged 20-35 years old spend more than eight hours a day browsing through social media. As a tech-savvy generation, Millennials love the idea of live streaming with 63% from every social network watching live content when they receive a notification.

If your brand appeals to Millennials, then leveraging on live streaming is important to improve your social network presence and overall brand recognition. In fact, 42% of Millennials know how to create interesting live videos themselves making it a great channel of communication between brand and audience.

4. Personality-Driven

Influencers have made their careers through short videos. Their communities love watching their content. Niche-recognized influencers not only receive free products to review and endorse, but also grab the opportunity to live stream events whenever possible because they have a wide reach. Influencers bank on their personality to expand their communities and live streaming is one of their best tools to do so.

Therefore, a single strong-personality host for any brand’s live stream is enough to drive traffic. If this individual adds value to their audience, then they present the brand in a positive, entertaining, and reliable light.

5. FOMO-Powered

Remember FOMO? Majority of social network users have it. Just like at the height of television networks, missing a particular live event means you’ll have to wait for someone to tell you what happened and it’s nothing like seeing it for yourself. Live streaming, which sends notifications to audiences, initiates this particular feeling all over again, compelling audiences to tune in “RIGHT NOW”.

For example, a global audience means that not everyone would get to attend a particular gaming convention where new games are announced. With their fear of missing out, they will turn to social media for live coverage on the event such as on Facebook, Twitter, or others services such as live stream giant Twitch, which has over 10 million daily users.

6. Authentically Interactive

Social media videos allow users to watch content and consume it fully. However, if they have questions about particular topics, they can only make a comment or reply on the page. This form of communication is still an effective brand-building tool, but with live streaming, there’s an extra value-adding rapport created.

Live streams allow hosts or social media agents to respond to real-time messages that audiences send regarding the event, making the interaction between brand and audience more authentic. This allows them to answer questions, create discussions, and find value in the brand. It establishes rapport between you and the hundreds of thousands watching your brand’s live stream quickly.

Conclusion

Live streaming is an excellent tool for brands aiming to expand their reach and create value-adding communication with their audience. While live streaming is useful only in moments such as breaking news, product reveals, how-to-guides, and conferences, it has enough value that urges hundreds or even thousands of your audiences not to miss out on a unique or once-in-a-lifetime event. If you need help with this, feel free to contact us (we’re very friendly!) or you can also check out our social media marketing services here.

Many people use social media in Southeast Asia. In fact, this region has the highest compared to the rest of the world. Southeast Asia’s social usage is at 51% more than the global average of 39% according to the 2018 Global Digital Report done by HootSuite & We Are Social. It also reported that more users are also accessing social media via their mobile devices with the number of monthly active users growing by 19% year-on-year.

It is no wonder then that Chief Marketing Officers are recognizing the power of social media marketing (SMM). According to The CMO survey, SMM budgets can increase from 11% to 24% by 2020. Data from the survey also suggests that 22% of SMM activities will be outsourced.

Data from advertising automation platform Nanigans indicates in its report (PDF) for Facebook Marketing Partners shows Southeast Asian companies who had used Facebook’s paid advertising campaigns have seen a 96% click-through (CTR) rate.

Image Source: EMarketer

According to Hubspot’s study of Digital Marketing in Asia Pacific in 2016, Asia Pacific marketers believe in the power of social media marketing. In fact, 37% of these companies have found success using Facebook’s paid advertising campaigns as an effective social marketing medium.

Image Source: Digital Report

Social media is a free tool. It was once used to demonstrate a “small world” connection between people and their new and old friends. Now, it has become an affordable avenue for publication, advertising, and marketing. Social networks can also create complete marketing funnels from Awareness to Advocacy if used for lead generation efficiently.

If you want to create an effective lead-generating social media campaign, then just keep in mind these steps.

Five Ways to Tweak Your Social Media Campaigns To Improve Your Presence and Leads

1. Create Viral-Ready and Value-Adding Content

You use the Internet to look for the best places to eat in a city foreign to you. In other cases, you use the Internet either to know a bit more about certain topics or for in-depth research. To integrate your content marketing efforts with your social network marketing and advertising, create content that adds value to consumers. These have the strongest likelihood of turning viral in social media.

Viral posts in social media tend to have the following characteristics aside from adding value:

  • Emotional
  • A theme everyone can relate to
  • Displaying uncommon talent
  • Provide a rare experience

Tips and ideas will always be value-adding content. However, any excellent deal that gives the customer an advantage is content that is viral-ready as long as it can deliver on its promises.

Singapore’s Scoot, a low-cost carrier brand similar to AirAsia and the Philippines’ Cebu Pacific is one example. In 2016, it launched its “Minute to Wing It” campaign.

Image Source: Design Prodigy

The campaign was to simultaneously celebrate its second year in business and create an excellent opportunity for promotion by using one-minute videos that asked audiences questions, which ranged from the number of people they can spot in a certain photograph to fun facts and trivia that can be searched online.

Participants who answered quickly received SGD2,000 in travel vouchers daily. Those who won in all their short video campaigns received the grand prize of two airline tickets for any destination the company covers.

The Singaporean Airline’s campaign saw 6,700 shares, 43,761 participants, and 6,017 new customers after its campaign finished. It also won the Singaporean Marketing Magazine’s “Agency of the Year Award 2017” for having the best digital campaign idea and best social media content during the time.

2. Create Engagements Through Continuous Engagement

If a brand responded to your comment, somehow, you feel elated. In fact, you feel that they’re watching their customers’ needs closely.

Engaging your customers in social media from comment threads to direct messaging can already deliver a unique experience.

However, it also helps your social media presence in a technical manner.

Facebook’s latest algorithm prioritizes posts with a high number of comments on users’ feeds including brand pages. Therefore, if there are more people discussing in the post, then the more visible the content becomes. In fact, seeing a great number of reactions for a certain comment brings the particular response as the top reply for the brand’s post

3. Livestream Your Most Important Events

Livestream features from Snapchat are now both on Facebook and Instagram. And if you’re not using it, now’s the time. It is a small social media feature about to become huge in the next few years.

According to Goldman Sachs, China’s livestream video market will grow up to $15 billion in 2020. The statement is based on the feature’s efficiency to gather individuals and create real-time discussion between the brand and their customers, and the audience with other audiences.

Image Source: Wikimedia

ZDnet reports that mobile livestreaming has grown from 60% to 95% in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. Most users are even investing 300-500 minutes viewing a brand’s livestream feature.

According to Skyword, the psychology behind livestream videos and video content, in general, is it creates suspense. Audiences have a fear of missing out. Livestream videos allow audiences to view events across the world instantaneously and communicate with the brand and their fellow audiences in real time, creating a unique experience like no other.

4. No Site Downtime (For Both Social and Company Sites)

This comes as a no-brainer. All social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are reliable networks with no downtime. With just a click of a button, your post is immediately shared with your audience. However, there are tools available out there that can help you schedule posts if you’re planning content in advance.

Image Source: Flickr

With no downtime, businesses should ensure that their pages with linked content also do not have any downtime. While social media can drive awareness and even high traffic to your site, an unpleasant user experience because of a server downtime can drive away potential conversions.

5. Analytics To The Rescue

Lastly, make sure that you have Facebook pixels (if you are linking back to your e-commerce site) and other analytic tools ready at hand. Nothing is more difficult than making false guesses about the performance of your social media posts and engagement. Studying and interpreting your analytic data correctly allows you to develop content that is informative, engaging, and capable of becoming viral.

Image Source: Flickr

Make sure to perform A/B tests based on information you gather on a regular basis. Some social media content can turn stale even after just three days of usage. In this light, make it a point to perform regular checks and updates where necessary for all your campaigns.

Wrapping-Up

Social media is undeniably a powerful tool for business marketing. With millions of people active in each country at every minute, your marketing and advertising efforts have the strongest chance of succeeding. By taking note of these five, you can create a compelling campaign that can help you generate leads and improve your conversion rates.

However, understanding the analytic information your tools collect can be difficult at first. It is important to spend time performing A/B tests on your new promotional material to tweak your strategy for the best results. To help hasten the process and ensure your investments double their returns, it would be best to consult professionals with experience in interpreting, analyzing, and providing insight into your future campaigns.

If you’re still looking for help with your business’ social media strategy, 2Stallions can help! Drop us an email or contact us here.

Know other ways social media marketing is helpful in generating more leads for your business? Share with us in the comments section.

The growth of the Internet has provided companies with a wealth of online marketing options, including social media campaigns. Now, businesses can promote their brands on social media to increase visibility, revenue, and customer reach.

According to We Are Social’s Digital 2020 Global Overview Report, there are 3.8 billion social media users worldwide. The report also found that smartphones account for more than half of the time spent online.

This means businesses, big or small, should be taking advantage of social media platforms. It also means that it time to transition from traditional marketing (i.e. TV ads, print ads, etc.) to social media marketing.

Unlike traditional media, social media fosters a conversation between the brand and the consumer. The audience can comment, like, tweet, share posts, and more. Not to mention that social media posts can be edited or deleted when necessary.

Keep on reading to learn more about how you can harness social media’s marketing potential.

More About Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing uses platforms to establish brand awareness. It also increases customer reach, monitors customer feedback, and a variety of other things.

It involves running campaigns and sharing content to drive audience engagement and conversion. The major social networking services today are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Each platform engages audiences in different ways. Here are the metrics used to measure engagement across the three platforms:

  • Facebook: shares, likes and followers
  • Twitter: re-tweets and followers
  • Instagram: likes and followers

What Is A Social Media Campaign

Social media campaigns are a planned marketing effort executed on one or more social media platforms. Campaigns come in different forms such as polls, contests and giveaways, events, or podcasts, to name a few.

These social media marketing initiatives focus on a business goal. The common goals include:

  • driving direct sales
  • generating new leads
  • getting direct customer feedback
  • boosting web traffic and brand recognition
  • building a strong, engaged and loyal community
  • creating an email marketing list of engaged customers

Inspiring Social Media Campaigns You Can Learn From

Starbucks, Dove and IHOP are a few top brands that have launched successful social media marketing campaigns. Let’s take a closer look at why their campaigns worked.

1. Starbucks: Unicorn Frappuccino

As part of its 2017 Frappuccino Happy Hour, Starbucks rolled out its one-week-only, pastel-hued beverage: the “Unicorn Frappuccino”.

starbucks, unicorn, frapuccino,

Image by: Starbucks

With its limited offer period and  ‘Instagrammable’ appearance,  the drink and its hashtag #UnicornFrappuccino generated nearly 155,000 Instagram posts.

2. Dove: #SpeakBeautiful

Dove promises to deliver body confidence and self-esteem through its campaigns. In its #SpeakBeautiful campaign, the brand partnered with Twitter to show the effect of insults on people’s images.

Video by: Dove

Twitter’s technology identified negative tweets about beauty and body image. The Dove account then sent responses about confidence, optimism and self-love.

3. IHOP: IHOb

IHOP, the International House of Pancakes, flipped the last letter of its acronym upside down and temporarily became IHOb. The brand asked its Twitter followers to guess what “B” stood for—and more than 70,000 users reacted and responded to the tweet.

Tweet from: IHOP

While the name change lasted only for a short time, this gimmick increased burger sales.

Key Components Of Successful Social Media Campaigns

1. A Well-Thought Plan

Your campaigns’ successes depend on your social media strategy. Review your social media goals and identify the ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘why,’ and ‘how.’

Who. Identify who your target audience is. Determine ideal customer characteristics and demographics that your business can best cater to.

Shaping your audience personas will craft the right message and brand voice for your social media campaigns.

What. Find out what social media channel your business will use. Choose the ones that best support your strategic goals.

Explore the big four social media channels—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. You could also look into other platforms such as YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, or Snapchat.

Why. Understand the motivations behind your prospect’s goals, reasons for their challenges, and the issues they face.

Once know the answers to your strategy’s whys, it would be easier for you to proceed with the how.

How. Learn how your brand, products, and services can best address your customer’s pain points.

List your audience’s choices and responses along your customer journey. Then, map out a plan that will entice them to take part in your campaign.

2. Compelling Content

Build social media campaigns around compelling content. A campaign with impressive storytelling and accessible information has a greater audience engagement.

To impress your audience, your content should be:

Optimized for viewing. Social media optimization and search engine optimization are two different things but they support each other. Here are two of the best practices that SMO can borrow from SEO:

  • Keyword Research. This technique identifies phrases and topics your target audience searches for. This way, you can create relevant content for them.

It also helps determine hashtags and phrases to use in your social media posts. Hashtags make it easier to find your content, even for people who are not following you.

  • Profile Optimization. Website optimization is a crucial step to SEO. Optimize your website and its content so search engines know what your website is about.

The same thing applies to social media optimization. Your company’s social media profile contents—profile phone, username, bio, etc.—should be complete and consistent to get the attention they deserve.

Fun and informative. People love sharing useful things on social media. These could be tips, suggestions, fun facts, and quirky stories that tackle difficult topics like science or math for example.

Make your content easily shareable to increase the chances of drawing your audience’s attention. For example, create videos that tell relatable stories or tug at your customer’s heartstrings (like Dove’s #SpeakBeautiful campaign).

Craft memorable content to boost your social media shares. Incorporate the element of surprise into your strategy, like what IHOP did with its IHOb campaign.

Short but sweet. Writing long-form content in today’s time-starved world is not always the best option. Squeeze your content into something that is easily consumed. Focus on a single topic, include a graphic or visual, and feature an enticing headline.

3. Rewarding Promotions

In website marketing, creating an email list is simple if you can offer something in exchange for customer information.

For instance, Netflix and Spotify give a “Welcome Bonus” to new registrants that let them try out the paid service for 30 days. After the promotion period, customers can decide whether to stop or continue.

spotify-rewards

You can use social media to advertise your ‘free’ product. Anything free and compelling has a high chance of going viral. Contests for high-end or high-value products are also great for promotion.

4. Thorough Analysis

Like with SEO, you must measure your social media campaigns performance through their analytics:

  • Are you reaching qualified people?
  • Are you engaging with qualified people?
  • How many of your social media fans inquired about your product or service?
  • How many of them actually become customers?

The things you can measure vary in every social media platform, but tend include:

Engagement. This measures how many people have engaged with your social media posts. It also plays an important role in how far your posts travel (aka social media reach).

Engagement metrics include clicks, likes, shares, comments, brand mentions, profiles visits, and active followers.

Reach. Social media reach is the number of users who viewed or watched a particular content on a social media channel. Unlike engagement, this metric has no definite amount as it is only an estimate.

You can measure reach by tracking the number of followers or fans, impressions, and traffic.

Leads. A lead refers to any information that you can use to follow up with your fans or followers. It could be a name, a phone number, or an email address. This valuable item value could develop into hard leads—qualified prospects or customers.

Customers. The main objective of social media campaigns is to attract new customers. If you have found the right leads and kept them engaged, they will be more likely to buy your product or service.

By tracking customer acquisition and conversion rates, you will know how many fans made it to the finish line. Built-in analytics tools such as Facebook Insights, LinkedIn Company Page Insights, and Pinterest Web Analytics, come in handy when measuring social media performance.

Switch to Social Media

Social media is a gold mine for followers, leads, and customers. It allows businesses to increase exposure, boost traffic, and gain market insights.

If your brand is not making the transition from traditional to social media, now is the time to make the switch. Take advantage of ever-increasing social media users: launch social media campaigns to generate qualified leads and increase your conversion rates.

Need help with your social media marketing efforts? We got you covered! 2Stallions can assist you throughout the entire process. We perform social media audits to optimize profiles and help with content strategy, execution, quarterly review and tweaking.

Have you had a conversation with your digital marketing agency about content marketing lately? You probably encountered topics you do not quite understand. Sure, you understand that content marketing is important for your digital strategy, but how much do you really know?

When it comes to content marketing, you have to research your audience, create an efficient and feasible strategy, and execute your campaign on multiple platforms. It’s a lot to manage for most marketers.

Content marketing is a learnable skill, but unfortunately, it is not something being taught formally in universities. In fact, 82% of digital marketers gained knowledge on the job. So, let’s kickstart your content marketing self-learning journey to help you keep up with your agency.

See: 8 Kick-Ass Copywriting Techniques To Boost Small Businesses

Image by Writtent

3 Ways To Self-Learn Content Marketing

There is a ton of material available for you to learn this. Here are the three most effective ways to do so in this day and age.

#1 Podcasts

Podcasts, when done right, can be a useful, and easy to consume learning tool for people who are willing to give it a chance. Back in 2014, The Washington Post published that podcasts subscriptions have reached over 1 billion and attract over 75 million monthly unique listeners. Recently, even big brands such as GE, Slack, and Virgin Atlantic has started integrating podcasts into their marketing strategies.

With so many podcasts available today, which ones are worthy of your precious time when learning content marketing? We’ve narrowed down the list of podcasts that are easily digestible, fun, and educational.

  • This Old Marketing Podcast by Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose – this podcast is a must for every person who wants to learn more about marketing. Each podcast is quite long (60 minutes) but broken down into three parts, so it is easier to consume. You learn the latest news in content marketing and samples from the past. Learning points are discussed, and content marketing questions answered by Joe and Robert.
  • The Superheroes of Marketing by Alisa Meredith and Kelly Kranz – small and medium-sized businesses can get a kick out of listening to these two marketing superheroes. The podcasts will help you learn from real-life experiences of business owners, project managers, and marketers. They tackle a broad range of topics such as effective marketing strategies, lead generation, and even relationship building.
  • The Mad Marketing Podcast by Marcus Sheridan – It began as a pool selling website, but Marcus Sheridan discovered the magic of doing content marketing and created a tremendously successful business. He is very passionate in talking about how he built his business from the ground up and the lessons he learned along the way. Each podcast usually features marketing leaders, discusses different marketing principles, and a question and answer portion.

#2 Online Courses

Thanks to many online platforms, modules, and lectures can now be accessed anywhere in the world, even in the comfort of your own bed! Content marketing certainly has plenty of courses to choose from. Here are the top 3 courses from our perspective:

  • Content Marketing On Steroids – this paid online course was created by 2Stallions and tackles everything you need to know about content marketing. You have the option of learning from an e-book, video lectures, or even one-on-one coaching through Skype. The course videos are also cut into small, digestible segments, to make it easier for students to learn topics. If you are looking for the best results, you should definitely check out this course.
  • Hubspot Content Marketing Certification Course – is a free beginner course that will teach you the basics of content marketing. There are ten classes in this course that can be finished in as little as 4 hours. At the end of the course is a 60 item test. If you pass, you will get a Hubspot certification proving your content marketing mastery.
  • Content Marketing Training Course – is a 25+ hour online course that tackles content strategies and tactics for businesses whether it is B2B or B2C. The course will also teach you how to achieve your marketing objectives by formulating your own content strategy. It is a bit more advanced than the two courses mentioned above.

#3 Guides

Bits and pieces of material is a good way to start learning, especially if you are finding it hard to commit time. Guides are also beneficial for people who are looking for specific knowledge when it comes to a particular topic. These are some of the most interesting guides online:

  • Content Marketing – The Free Beginner’s Guide – whether you know a lot or know very little, this guide will help you in all aspects of content marketing. The guide is broken into nine different chapters making for an easily digestible read. It even boasts of a cartoon in every chapter to make sure that readers do not get too stressed out and intimidate while going through the guide.
  • The Advanced Guide To Content Marketing – don’t let the word “advanced” intimidate you. The guide is engaging for beginners and experienced marketers alike. Since it is divided into several chapters, it’ll be easy for you to jump into topics relevant to your business. However, I strongly suggest you read the whole thing to gain full knowledge about content marketing.
  • The Beginner’s Guide To Content Marketing – if you are really pressed for time, this guide is for you. In less than 15 minutes, you will learn about the bare bones of content marketing. Some of these are advantages over traditional advertising, fatal flaws of traditional advertising, and tips on making your marketing effective. It might not be as in-depth as the other guides, but it beats knowing nothing about it.

Learning content marketing on your own takes time and a lot of patience. Luckily, there are plenty of marketing professionals who can help you with your business while you are still learning the ropes. You can also check out our Content Marketing Services if you need immediate help.

Do you already dabble in digital marketing? Chances are you have probably created your company’s social media profiles. This is a no-brainer, as social media platforms have exploded in recent years. According to Smart Insights, in 2017, there are already 2.789 Billion active social media users worldwide, so it is important to ‘book’ your vanity URLs on them before someone else does.

Photo By Smart Insights

The same source states that social media will continue to grow in the coming years. 2017 saw a whopping 21 percent growth from the previous year. That is about 482 million new active social media users worldwide in the span of one year. Asia Pacific drives the growth with a 25 percent increase in new accounts or roughly about 303 million new users.

Saying social media has changed the way people live today would be an understatement. Of course, where there is a huge collection of people, commerce is sure to follow. Businesses ranging from billion-dollar companies to small start-ups have already taken to at least one social media platform in the hopes of cashing in on the marketing “gold rush”.

Toprank blog states that 91 percent of marketers feel that social media has an immediate impact on their company’s exposure to consumers. It further elaborates that 70 percent of those marketers experienced a surge of website traffic because of their social media profiles. For the cherry on top – a whopping 50 percent stated that their social media profiles contributed to a spike in sales leads.

Marketers start salivating at numbers like these. However, it is surprising to note that there remains a large group of marketers struggling to even drive traffic to their websites via social media, let alone generate sales leads. If you belong to this group, fret not! We’re going to discuss the best ways you can drive the targeted traffic you desire to your website.

 

1. Get the social media platforms right for your company

Messing up this simple step is an all to common mistake for marketers today. There are a dozen social media platforms to choose from, and not all of them will be right for your company, nor will you have the budget or resources to target all of them.

You must have your intended target market defined before signing up on any social media platform. If you already have a dozen accounts, let the ones that will not help your company in the present moment stagnate without fear, knowing that the majority of your target market will not look for you there anyway.

So how do you decide on the key platforms for your business? First, identify your target demographics (age, location, income status, gender, ethnicity, etc.) since most social media platforms have unique user demographics.

For example, Sprout Social statistics show that 83 percent of adult women use Facebook compared to just 75 percent of men, so if adult women are your demographic, you should probably be on Facebook.

 

Photo by Sprout Social

Your target market or geography is also a major factor. While Facebook rules in countries like the United States and India, it is virtually non-existent in China, where Weibo is the leading social media platform with an average of 313 monthly active users.

If you want to target high-income individuals, then you should consider LinkedIn. A study conducted by Pew Research Center shows that 45% of adults earning $75,000 or above use LinkedIn.

Choosing the right social media platforms to meet your company goals will make it easy for you to focus your content on your target audience on driving traffic to your website via social media.

 

2. Focus on your visuals

In the early days of the Internet, content mainly took the form of lengthy blog posts. However, ever-improving technology and faster Internet speeds have seen a boom in rich media online, especially on social media. Visual material grabs the attention of readers more than just words and the numbers say it all. In a report by Buffer App, visual posts get 39 percent more interaction, 104 percent more comments, and 84 percent more click-through on links than just worded posts.

Visual posts also include video, with video content set to represent 74 percent of all Internet traffic in 2017. When creating your social media posts, your visual marketing can include videos as well as engaging images like memes, infographics, comics, and of course photos.

Starbucks is a company that makes great use of visual marketing. Their Instagram page is always clear, vibrant, and represents what their brand is all about – which is not just great coffee but also a lifestyle.

Photo by Socially.ie

 

3. Limit your posts per day

Bombarding your social media page with a new post every hour might seem like an excellent idea. However, doing this can often be counterproductive for your brand. Audiences do not like being spammed by posts, with information overload being something audiences have been dealing with a lot in the digital age. You don’t want potential customers being turned off by your company because you post 20 different things per day.

If your audience starts shunning you on social media, then there is little to no chance they will direct themselves to your website. If you’re wondering what the ‘right’ number of posts is – you can start by gauging the engagement from your followers until you hit a sweet spot. There is also a study from Buffer App, based on their data, that shares the right amount of posting on various social media platforms.

 

Photo By Buffer App

4. Link to your website on Facebook

Have you optimised your About Us page on Facebook? If not, head over there right now because you might be missing a great linking opportunity. Instead of just putting one general link to your website, try putting additional links to other, relevant pages on your website. For example, people interested in an attractive product or service can directly get there from Facebook while those interested in your blog can be directed to your blog page.

Also be sure to add links to your website when posting photos in the description section. The aim is not to spam your audience though. Great copy accompanied by a link to your website usually works well. Here is a Facebook post from Apple that shows how linking to your website can be done effectively.

By making a visually appealing picture of their product and encouraging their audience with a call-to-action to “learn more” about their product after a tantalising teaser about it is an excellent way to get better clickthrough rates to their link.

 

5. Analyse and learn from your results

Stop guessing which of your posts are working and which are not. Use the power of data to your advantage. There are powerful social media tools that can help you to manage not only multiple social media accounts but also provide detailed reports on your follower’s demographics and interactions. If you don’t have the budget, you can also analyse the data each social media platform provides de-facto these days.

Learn which posts garnered the most engagements and shares, and trace how much traffic your social media is driving to your website.

Use Google Analytics to help you determine which of your social media activity is working for your website by using a Campaign URL builder to track your clicks. This sort of insight provides you with an idea of what posts drive the best engagement and help with developing your future posts.

 

Drive website traffic with a strong social media presence

Marketers are continuously striving for ways to use social media to drive traffic to their websites. Simply put, the more traffic and engagement on your social media profiles, the better your chances of generating more sales for your business. If you follow the tips shared above and put in the extra time for your social media accounts, your website should be buzzing in no time. For those marketers with the budget, an agency like ours can also handle your social media accounts and get you results quickly.

Do you have any stories or experiences regarding our topic today? Then feel free to share them with us in the space below. We’d love to hear from you!

The rise of social media has given small businesses an amazing opportunity to be discovered by engaged audiences that are too large to ignore. According to Zaphoria, there are 1.86 billion monthly active Facebook users while other social media sites like Instagram have a whopping 400 million active users.
Social media has allowed small businesses to get valuable customer insights, as well as a huge increase in loyalty and brand awareness. All of which can be done without breaking the bank.

While simply signing up and joining Facebook and the likes does not guarantee instant success, there are some small businesses that are ‘owning’ social media using various big-brand marketing strategies. There are a lot of examples of businesses that are social media success stories, here are some notable ones as well as tips on how your small business can start rocking social media.

Small Businesses Rocking Social Media

Cupcake Royale

Cupcake Royale is a small business that started out as Seattle’s first cupcake café in 2003. Their Facebook page is the perfect example of using social media as a real-time surveying tool. They keep their customers engaged by asking them questions on their Valentine Day slogan and their summertime cupcake preferences. This technique seems to work really well for them, with high engagement levels from their audience. A great example of this would be a post that they did for President’s day.

Cupcake Royale also has a blog that tells readers how they source their all-natural ingredients. This is a great tool to increase brand awareness and spread their story, as Cupcake Royale prides itself on using all-natural ingredients for their treats.

Coconut Bliss

Coconut Bliss is a dairy and soy free ice cream brand that utilised contests and promotions on social media to gain a big following. Visual storytelling is one of the most powerful tools in social media and Coconut Bliss certainly took advantage of this.

Coconut Bliss encouraged the public to submit their best and yummiest photos of people eating their ice cream. They accomplished this by starting out in-store taste-testing and building personal relationships with their customers. Eventually those people followed them on their social media pages and started participating and encouraging others – creating a snowball effect. This has grown their Instagram page rapidly, as well as opened them up to bigger partnerships with brands like VegNews.

coconut bliss IG

Coconut Bliss uploaded their first post on Instagram a year and three months ago. Today they already have over 14,000 followers.

Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club had a pretty unique offer back in 2012 – sign up for a razor subscription for disposable razors delivered to your doorstep every month. It sounds like a great idea, but the challenge was to get their message across.

Dollar Shave Club overcame this challenge by creating a video that was both funny and focused and cost them only $4,500. I say ‘only’ because the results were mind-blowing and well worth the investment, with 4.75 million views in the span of just three months. Social media played a big part, as the video spread like wildfire through Twitter and Facebook. As of today, Dollar Shave Club is competing with the likes of Gillette and was last valued at over $615 million in 2015. Not bad for a ‘small business’ with a simple idea.

The 3 examples shared above have hopefully whet your appetite for the possibilities to grow your own business online through social media. While reading success stories is great, it’s only through taking action and executing that your business can grow. Here is a set of small business tips for you to implement TODAY to set you on your way to social media success!

1. Set Your Goals and Budget

seo budgetAny marketing, online or offline, that you do requires you to first set your goals. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine the aims for your brand and figure out what you really want:

  • Do you want more people to be aware of your brand?
  • Are you promoting a specific product?
  • Are you looking to widen your reach?
  • Do you want people to know where to find you?

Once you are able to figure out what you really want for your brand, you will be able to prioritise your goals. Focus on what you need most and the rest will follow. As soon as you have determined your goals, you will find it easier to set a specific budget for marketing. Your budget can be determined based on the expected returns on investment as well.

If you’re still having trouble with your goals and budget, we would be happy to discuss social media marketing with you through the comments. You can also look through our social media offerings here.

2. Create unique, but relevant, content

With all the competition out there, you need to stand out. But how? Well, if you want the quickest, simplest answer, you just have to be “follow” worthy. So, maybe that doesn’t really help you much.

What it means is that for your social media strategy to work, you have to create content for your page that captures the imagination of people and provides them immense value, enough to make them want to follow you for more. If you fail to do this, your page will sink into obscurity pretty quickly (yes, it’s harsh but the truth).

Here are ways to develop social media content:

  • Come up with an idea – if you have a shortage of creative ideas, check out tweakyourbiz as it can help you generate outstanding titles for your content. You can also check out other blogs (even in an unrelated niche). It may give you the boost needed to get your creative juices flowing.
  • Research a lot – this might be boring for some people but well-researched content goes a long way. It will boost your credibility and increases the chance of your post being reshared as a resource by your viewers.
  • Make it eye-catching – first impressions matter in the world of social media and reflect on how people perceive your brand. Visuals that are unique, creative, beautiful, and eye-catching that can also get people inspired. Videos are also great.

3. Try to engage your audience

Granted that you’ve already nailed down the “follow-worthy” content, it is time to make sure that your audience finds out more about you. To do this, you have to keep them engaged and wanting more from your brand. Here are some ways to do this:

  • Run regular contests on your social media accounts
  • Create and promote discussions on social media using a customised hashtag
  • Post a fan photo to recognize a follower regularly on your social media account
  • Encourage conversation and idea generation among your audience
  • Give away free stuff once in a while to loyal followers

There are so many ways to keep your customers engaged. If it gets overwhelming, just ensure you’re aligned to your goals when deciding on ways to keep your customers talking about your brand.

4. Use online tools to help you do the heavy lifting

Engaging your audience will require a lot of time and posting. One important aspect of a successful social media campaign is social sharing. This means that you will need to post important stories or links with regards to your industry. This will help you become more of an authority to your industry as well as open up possible important connections and networks. Getting lost with all the content floating around the internet is very easy.

One tool that you can use is called Drum Up. This service scours through millions of pieces of content across the web in real time. You can then sift through the content that you would like to post. The software also allows you to schedule important and influential posts.

Becoming an authority in your industry will get followers to flock to you. This will result in more engagement and, hopefully more business.

5. Start blogging

bloggingBlogging sounds tedious and you may wonder how it is relevant to social media marketing. As a small business owner, you sometimes need to showcase that you are as good as any other brand out there. Even if your business is on all the social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, you still need your own website for followers to learn more and make purchases.

Your blog posts can also be great sources for creating bite-sized content for your social media channels, connecting all of them back to your website as part of your online business strategy. Moreover, your customers will most likely trust you if they see how competent and well versed you are in your industry, yet generous with sharing your knowledge with them.

Blogging is also one of the best ways to build and cultivate your brand for people to connect to. If you have a blog that people follow, then there is a huge chance that those same people will also follow your social media profiles.

Here are 21 reasons why your business should start blogging if you’re unconvinced.

6. Keep networking digitally

Social media is the digital version of the real world. Similar to the real world, your marketing can get better if you keep on networking.  You can join chat groups and forums to meet different industry leaders, and people passionate about the same things as you. Here’s an idea from The Social Examiner that you can try for networking – host a social media event that focuses on your followers.

It is basically a digital party that you host and your followers can share links to their own pages on your page. It creates a community within your page, gets more people to follow you, increases your news feed visibility, generates more business, and get to know more people that can help you.

7. Focus on your landing page conversion rate

conversion rateYour landing page can make or break your business. It is where a visitor gets converted to an actual lead or even customer. According to a report by WordStream, conversion rates vary by industry but the best advertisers have conversion rates at 10% or higher.

Focusing on your landing page conversion rates raises the return on investment from the money, time, and effort you have spent on your social media marketing campaign. If you find that your conversion rate is poor, you need to work harder on your copywriting, your offer, your call-to-action and also determine if you’re targeting the correct audience.

Keep in mind that if you are getting a lot of followers on social media but most are not turning into customers, it may signify something is missing or wrong with your marketing strategy. According to Sharon Drew Morgen, “Marketing is searching for and cultivating leads who are likely to become your customers at some point.” Therefore, your landing page conversion rate is the best way to check if your social media marketing effort is a success.

Not sure what conversion rates are and how to optimize them? Read our article on turning visitors to customers with conversion funnels for a quick primer.

8. Analyse and tweak your social media performance

Not everything is set in stone and although social media marketing is an effective tool, it does not give results overnight and may not work for everyone. Successful campaigns are regularly measured and tweaked accordingly. Your ability to know what is working, and actually being in tune with your audience, will greatly affect the outcome of your social media marketing.

If you are looking for ways to manage your social media statistics, BufferApp made a list of free tools that you can use.

It’s a wonderful age to be a small business as you can finally go head-to-head with bigger brands using social media, without needing a mega-budget (although having that surely doesn’t hurt). If you are willing to take the time to research and execute the various tricks and tools that can help you manage your social media marketing, there is a good chance that your social media performance will be satisfactory. A well thought out plan, together with perseverance, should reap you great results from your social media marketing.

If you have tried out any of these eight tips or have other tips you’d like to share (remember that sharing is the spirit to adopt for social media!), then do leave us a comment below.

You just started a consumer-facing business (Congratulations!) and you’ve heard the Internet is a great way to gain traction and get the masses flocking to your place of business. Without any online business strategy, though, you are likely to jump into the following scenario:

You decide to start small and ‘simple’ – with a Facebook page. After all, almost 1.5 billion people, including all your friends, use this platform. You set it up, and invite your friends to like your page to get the ball rolling.

And then… your business loses its way online.

You post regularly on your page but can’t seem to get anyone apart from friends to like the posts – and even their enthusiasm wanes quickly. You discover that those 1.5 billion people you hoped for are only accessible with a fee. So you pay to promote each post and get more likes but it does not translate to more business in your store.

After a while, you choose to cut your losses and let it slip into oblivion. You decide that you are going to do things ‘old school’ instead and convince yourself that you are not losing out.

You are not alone in this state of denial – plenty of business owners sabotage their online business presence through the lack of foresight and investment in professional guidance. Here is how you can start formulating a foundation for a successful online business strategy.

1. Know Your Motives

It is extremely important to first know WHY you want an online presence. Is it to increase brand awareness? Provide alternative means for customers to make purchases? Generate leads for your business? Or something else?

This motive will aid in determining what assets you need for your online business strategy.

2. Understand Your Customers’ Online IntentCustomer Intent Online - 2Stallions Blog

In order to know what sort of online presence you need – you must understand your customers’ intent i.e. how they find you and why they use a particular online platform.

How: Google conducted a study, which found that 4 in 5 consumers conduct a local search on search engines for product information, directions and operating hours of businesses near them. Speaking to existing customers of yours will also help you answer this question.

Why: The table below shows you the user intent behind using search engines and social media – the two areas in which consumers spend most of their online time.

INTENT ON SEARCH INTENT ON SOCIAL
Navigational: user wants to go somewhere Socialize: user wants to find out what friends have been up to and communicate with them
Informational: user wants to know about something Discover information: user has information – photos, videos, articles, news, brands – fed to him based on his likes and what his network likes
Transactional: user is looking to buy something Share: user posts information on products/services/articles that interest them
 

The user intent explains why Google Adwords – Google’s paid advertising offering – is booming. Businesses know that visitors coming through search will likely turn into customers because they are actively seeking a solution. For social media platforms like Facebook, however, although 66% of marketers claim that social indirectly impacts their business performance, only 9% claim it can be directly linked to revenue. This is probably because users on social media don’t actively search for things – they tend to discover them through their news feed.

3. Your website is the key to an online business strategyKey to an Online Business Strategy - 2Stallions

We came up with 11 reasons why your business needs a website but to go a bit deeper (it gets technical here), it is to have your content appear in search results.

Facebook does not allow Google to look at the content on their Facebook pages (yes, they control your content on their platform) so the content you produce on your Facebook page cannot be found via Google search. This means you lose out on opportunities to be found organically by users looking for your products or services if you do not have a website. Whatever online business strategy you adopt, your website needs to be central to it.

A website is like your physical storefront. Build it according to your brand guidelines but understand that making it look pretty does not guarantee you any “footfall” or traffic. What helps you get traffic? Marketing, of course. Getting your website indexed by Google so that Google knows your website exists, is just the first step in a long journey to online success. The results on the first page of Google get 71.3% of the clicks for all search results. In a nutshell, if you’re not on the first page of Google, you’re not going to get much traffic.

4. Online Marketing To Attract Your Target Audience

So, how do you get on the first page? Focus your online business strategy towards Search and Social media once your website is up.

4.1 Search

Your options for search are Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a long-term approach which helps your website to rank organically, without paying for it, on the first page of Google and Bing! search results. The white-hat technique recommended for improving your SEO is content marketing. Write articles on topics within your business domain that users would search for or find interesting. Share these on your social media channels.

Use traffic drivers like guest posting on ‘authority’ blogs in similar domains to get a backlink and engage an interested audience. Other traffic drivers include YouTube (for videos) and Slideshare (for slide decks). All these pieces of content would end up ranking for a myriad of keywords that drive targeted traffic back to your site from search.Search and Social Media - Online Marketing - 2Stallions

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) provides an immediate possibility of showing up on the homepage of Google through paid advertising. Besides Google, your advertising can also show up on related sites on the network of sites that use Google Adsense.

4.2 Social Media

The number of social media platforms out there means the options here are astonishing. There is Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Reddit just to name a few. What you need to understand is that not all of these are relevant to your business and you should choose what suits your motives best.

For example, Facebook can be a great way to provide customer service and increase brand awareness and that may be the only tool you need. However, an eCommerce brand with product photos could be better off including Pinterest and/or Instagram to their online business strategy.

5. Putting it together for a robust online business strategy

Your strategy needs to frame every platform you are targeting and cover the basics: how, what, and when. All your online assets should have key performance indicators (KPIs) that would be analyzed every period of your choosing (usually monthly or quarterly) and tweaked accordingly.

The following infographic titled ‘Ins and Outs of Web Traffic’ shows how your online actions will drive traffic back to your website. This should give you a clearer understanding of how your online assets rely on each other for the overall benefit of your business and aid in the formulation of your own strategy.Ins & Outs of Web Traffic - Infographic - 2Stallions

The online business strategy you develop serves to keep you focused on your motives. However, it is also important that it remains a flexible document which adapts as you discover things that work or don’t work for your business.

Want to find out more about how we can help refine your online business strategy? We’re happy to have a chat… Have questions or additional insights? Share with us via the comments below!

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