Thinking about making TikTok part of your social media strategy?
Let’s start first with defining what content marketing is, since it’s a term that’s often thrown around loosely. According to the Content Marketing Institute, Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. Sounds straight forward but, it’s much harder than it sounds. What does that really mean? As it relates to content, its social posts, blogs, videos, ebooks, webinars, podcasts and more.
Content marketing is essential to a business’s digital strategy’s success. We’ve defined the “content”. In a marketing context, it’s the aspect of marketing focused on the conceptualization, publication and distribution of content for a targeted online audience.
When combined, and done well, a content marketing strategy will attract and retain customers by providing them with engaging and valuable, usually free, information to learn more about and connect with a brand. The goal of your content marketing strategy is not singular but plural. Effective content marketing strategies will deliver sustained brand loyalty, generate online sales, increase brand awareness and credibility, and build a community of engaged customers.
So, how do you do it? Let’s dive in with these 3 ways to elevate your content marketing game.
#1. Copywriting is essential.
Copy is at the center of all things content. You’ve seen well-written Facebook posts, Tweets, and LinkedIn articles. Those don’t happen by mistake, or happenstance. Copy is an artform; it’s done to increase brand awareness, convey a message and to convince readers (existing and potential customers) to take a defined action (i.e. sign up, subscribe, buy).
Copywriting is crucial to content marketing as it conveys your business’s message in an engaging and interesting way. Copywriting forms the foundation of many content types, from a podcast or Clubhouse room script, to a Tweet, Facebook post, blog, infographic or article. This is what makes it important that your copywriting grabs attention, is relevant and topical to captivate your customers and prompt them to the desired take action.
#2. Engage & Interact with your audience.
Now that you have the crucial step of copy down, it’s time to be a part of the conversation by reaching your ideal audience. If your target audience never sees your content, it doesn’t matter how great the content it, does it? The first step is identifying your target audience. For example, a tweet only lives for 18 minutes while a blog post lives on as long as your site is up, and gives you SEO rank. You might be inclined to only blog but the real question is, which is your audience more likely to engage with? The answer is, most often, both. You want to strategically place content, of interest to your audience, leading to them taking action, which will result in achieving your goals – increased site traffic, subscribers, app downloads, conversions, sales, etc.
Engagement begins before the “action” and continues well after it. It’s critical to transforming your customers into loyalists and developing long-term relationships to move potential customers to actual customers and existing customers to ambassadors and repeat customers. When customers are engaged, you garner positive customer experiences, brand loyalty and recognition, not to mention the valuable customer feedback and insight.
#3. Relevance is key.
Remember that stat about the 18 minute tweet? That’s a great place for newsworthy, calendar-relevant content. So are other social networks as their lifespans are short. The content is there and then gone. Your audience may capture it, so make sure it’s accurate, well written and beautiful, but it has to be balanced with evergreen content. Evergreen content is the type of content, like a blog or an article, that stays relevant over an extended period of time. It’s a double win as it’s great for content marketing garnering attention, capturing a consumer action (subscribe, sign up, etc) and, if done well, pays off in SEO by sustaining high SEO ranks over time. In addition, it can be shared on social media multiple times over longer periods of time.
A good example of an evergreen piece of content is a blog that’s relevant to your industry but not tied to a specific news, or calendar, event. For example, 10 Tips on Home Remodeling, 5 Ways to Stay Fit at Home, How to Manage Analytics Mismanagement, or Grow Your Audience Using Facebook Groups. These are all evergreen topics that you can create content pieces around and keep up for longer periods of time. On the other hand, if you create content titled: Why to Refinance in 2021, Best Places to Eat in South Philly, Hottest Cars of The Year, etc. you have to maintain and update this content. Evergreen content can’t include news reports, statistical trends, or seasonal topics; otherwise, it becomes identified with a particular date and loses relevance. Incorporating evergreen content is regarded as a critical success factor for a business’s marketing strategy, especially because they drive more traffic.
Closing The Loop on Content Marketing Strategy
This might seem like a lot of work but, there are wonderful tools to manage your content called Content Management Systems. The most common, and widely known, is WordPress, which we happen to use and find very useful. There are also social media management systems to organize all your marketing components in one place, including publishing. Technology makes content marketing so much easier.
The efficiency, impact and reach of your content marketing strategy depends entirely upon the content you create and select to convey your business’ branding, message, vision, and mission. By strategically publishing quality content that is unique to your business, you can not only enhance your social media marketing, but also elevate your SEO and establish long-term relationships with your target audiences.
Do you remember the days when going to trade shows, conferences, listening sessions, or maybe even trainings happened in-person? Yes, these were all ways to connect with like-minded individuals in our industries, and in full transparency, it was a nice break from sitting in the office. These were times that allowed us to get away from our daily routine while still bringing value to our organizations. The desire for this type of engagement and learning hasn’t changed one bit. According to a survey documented in Human Resources Today, 68% of employees believe training and development is the most important policy in their organization.
However, we all know that much of that has changed over the past 12 -18 months. So, what do all great marketers do? Let’s say it together – we adapt! 🤩 With these opportunities being revamped to become more digitally focused (no pun intended) it still gives all of us the best of both worlds.
If you’ve ever been on the fence about attending a conference, there’s never been a better time to look around. Here are 10 key virtual events within the next 60 days….here’s hoping next year we’ll be giving you a list of in-person events to attend. Can you say bye-bye COVID and hello vaccine? Btw, to register for any of these, simply click the name and it will connect you to the conference site.
1. Digital Marketing World Forum March 24th – 25th
This conference is as powerful as it sounds. This 2-day conference prides itself on its global brand speaker line-up while using the latest examples & case studies within the dedicated conference tracks. This also is free to attend and will be exclusively for the community of senior marketing professionals within America and surrounding regions! It’s coming soon so if you’re interested sign up!
2. Digital Summit At Home: Small & Med Biz March 29th– 31st
Sometimes you need support tailored not only to your business needs but your business size. Well, here it is! Focusing on developing tactics specific to small-to-medium-sized businesses this conference is designed to help you thrive in a new era of marketing and customer engagement.
3. Email Marketing Virtual Expo April 10th
Email Marketing Expo full of actionable advice around email marketing to help you continue to learn how to maximize your revenue with email marketing.
4. AMA Experience Design: Virtual Conference April 13th – 15th
The American Marketing Association is an organization that provides individual and corporate marketing development with top companies and leaders within the industry. Their Experience and Design Conference is no different. With key sponsors like Lucidpress and Vyond, you’ll explore new methods to best serve your customers and improve customer-employee interactions. And the best part of it all is that it’s completely free. #Savings
5. C3: Be a Part of the Search Evolution April 20th – 21st
With sessions covering accelerating demand and organic marketing maturity, this conference is website is all the SEO evolution and energy you need.
6. Adobe Summit Digital Experience Conference April 27th – 29th
If you’ve been in marketing, or know someone in the industry, Adobe speaks for itself. It’s a brand with a suite of products to support work such as content, graphics, photography, illustration, animation, multimedia/video, motion pictures and print. This conference reflects just that! Providing a well-rounded experience that allows you to learn analytics, marketing automation and listen to key speakers from around the globe!
7. Content Marketing Conference April 27th – 29th
Advance your content through mastering your existing content. This conference is creating a digital experience that will fortify your smartitude with mastery of the six pillars of content marketing.
8. Social Media Week May 4th – 7th
Social Media Week New York (#SMWNYC) is a worldwide event that brings together global leaders, social media practitioners, and digital marketers for a multi-day virtual event that serves as the central meeting point for the entire social media marketing industry.
9. Social Media Strategies May 12th – 13th
This conference is specifically designed for those within the public agency or government sector. Pretty neat if you ask us. A key approach in this conference is how can you leverage social media to humanize your agency and engage your communities.
10. Interact21 May 17th – 19th
Social media, strategy, behavioral design, and email analytics are the key areas that are covered during Interact21. This conference brings a modern and engaging twist that will keep you asking for more.
So, after looking at this list, you’re probably just as energized as us, right?! Awesome. 👏 These opportunities are designed to spark that creative component inside us to birth new ideas, tap into new skills and meet new people to elevate our brand and our work to the next level! With warmer weather upon us, register for a conference, set up shop on your patio table, and grab a notebook as you dive into a new experience!
Social Media has not only become the norm for personal branding but also corporate branding. That said, 2021 will be a unique year where most businesses will have to learn how to kick-off new strategies, brands, and even products virtually – building on the success learned in 2020. This may be a stretch with over 3,000 small business owners listing marketing/advertising as one of the top 3 challenges in 2020, according to Guidant Financial. Nevertheless, social media as much as it has evolved is necessary yet still achievable for all businesses. Here are 3 ways to best utilize social media in Q1:
VOC – Voice of the Customer:
Any size company has the opportunity to hear from its customers; what a gift! This helps inform what your customers want, shows you where, and how, they’re engaged and identifies business efficiencies. According to socialbakers.com, “A report by Forrester projects that digital customer service interactions will increase by 40% in 2021.” An increasing number of customers will leverage sharing their voice via digital platforms, such as social media. Therefore it’s important to have eyes and ears available to capture any and all feedback.
Sets the stage for your brand:
Social media allows you to set the stage for the past, present, and future objectives of your brand. Addressing, and even readjusting, customer perceptions by highlighting improvements in products, services, and perhaps even culture. The oh-so-fun and delicious ice cream brand, Ben & Jerry’s, has mastered this concept. They highlight their organizations mission and culture through their ice cream. Their unique naming conventions, flavors and partnerships create dialogue and brand awareness on their social platforms. Furthermore, they give consumers an easy way to stay connected to up and coming trends. But, let’s be honest, do we really need a reason to eat ice cream?! Sharing your future strategy and seasonal items to show how you’re thinking ahead while also incentivizing customers to stay engaged through multiple platforms. It’s the best mix!
Highlight Your Customers:
Everyone enjoys being valued. Highlighting your customers showcases your target audience. Secondly, it shows that you care about customer satisfaction and not just sales. Lastly, it leads to brand loyalty through repeat and higher transactional customers. Smile.io confirms how “After one purchase, a customer has a 27% chance of returning to your store…[and] if you can get that customer to come back and make a second and third purchase, they have a 54% chance of making another purchase.” Highlighting your customers can be sharing them using a product, a short product review, or a customer testimonial. Plus it’s great content for your social media campaigns!
These 3 ways are best utilized in Q1 to help set the tone for the rest of the year. Creating a brand presence early helps potential customers look to your business first to meet their needs compared to competitors. Furthermore, all can be conducted on various platforms for a very low cost. Kick-off your Q1 social media strategy today. If this all sounds confusing, reach out to us to help – we’re always here for you
Generating a buzz around your brand that appeals to your target audience isn’t for the faint of heart; it takes sound strategy, patience and determination. Of the various ways to rally excitement about your brand, a popular method that savvy marketers have adopted into their arsenal of tactics is hosting a social media giveaway.
You may have your fair share of experience with social media giveaways – whether being a hopeful participant, the host – or even, the winner. Giveaways can be a fun, creative way to build excitement around your brand and products using social media to connect with new potential customers. As with any type of investment, giveaways also involve a fair share of risk – but you know what they say: “no risk; no reward.”
Here are some pro tips to successfully guide you into a successful social media giveaway plan and execution:
Create Goals for Social Media Giveaways
Before you go any further, begin by defining the goals of your giveaway. Having clear key performance indicators (KPIs) is key to focus this effort specifically on achieving your particular goal(s). Without the right goal connected to your brand, your efforts could easily go awry.
Provide an Appealing Customer Prize
Winning a free prize is usually exciting, but a prize also needs to be worth the effort of entering your contest. Make sure the prize you are giving away is relevant and exciting to your target audience, otherwise, you’re wasting your time and energy – or even worse, deterring people from your brand. A truly grand prize should win you over new leads and followers.
Here are some prize examples to get you started:
- A limited-edition product
- Products from influencers in the market
- A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
- Gift cards
Time Your Giveaway Right
When do you want to launch your giveaway? When will you end the giveaway? You’ll want to make those decisions early on in your planning process to optimize your efforts and avoid potential conflicts.
- Look at the calendar. You might use popular events or seasons as an asset to your giveaway strategy. What time of year will it be during the giveaway? Are there any big events that may distract your audience from it?
- E.g.: Consumers are more receptive to making purchases around Thanksgiving than they are on January 31st.
- Ensure the type of prize you are giving and the timing of your giveaway align with the time of year, and will cut through the noise of your strongest competitors.
- E.g.: Giving special Valentine’s Day discounts or prize(s) for your restaurant could add value before the popular holiday, but conversely, giving away a set of lipsticks when a big beauty industry competitor is launching a new product line could render your brand irrelevant and get lost in the shadow of your competitor.
Partner with an Influencer or a Celeb
Industry partnerships can be a powerful way to appeal to your target audience for participation in your giveaway. Think about who your demographic is excited about – is it a celebrity or an influencer? You’ll draw attention and build rapport with your target audience if you can partner with an established pro in your industry.
Encourage Participation in Your Giveaway
Make sure the steps for entering your contest are as simple and straightforward as possible to avoid confusion or worse – abandonment. Believe it or not, many digital marketers over-complicate the sign-up process by adding too many steps to contest entries. Simply put: the easier it is to enter your contest, the more entries and engagements you’ll have.
Several related considerations:
Don’t require an email sign-up for entries. Giveaways are meant to be a fun, introductory way to connect with new users. Many people are turned off by the commitment of signing up with their email, especially if they don’t know your brand very well.
Promote your giveaway to your email list. You might even add an extra incentive to your pre-existing email recipients to enter the contest by sharing a link to your blog or website on their social feed(s) – like on Facebook or Twitter.
Make it easy to enter using the same platform it’s posted on. For example, if you post the contest on Facebook, allow contestants to enter on Facebook. If you post it on LinkedIn, allow them to enter on LinkedIn. Making it easy to enter is essential.
Make sure the steps for entering your contest are as simple and straightforward as possible to avoid confusion or worse – abandonment.
Use Giveaway Tools
One effective method of hosting a contest is by using a giveaway tool to create and manage your contest. Giveaway tools offer an out-of-the-box, cohesive, streamlined system for running your entire contest from start to finish. There are a variety of powerful, user-friendly giveaway tools available – here are some popular options you might explore:
While there are some great benefits to using giveaway tools, the caveat to that option is the range of actions restricted from use on social channels.
Announce your giveaway on all of your social channels
and include one or all of the following actions to organically promote it:
- Follow your profile(s) – and any collaborating partner’s profile
- Like the photo promoting your contest
- Leave a comment or caption under your photo
- Tag-a-friend (or 3) under your photo promoting the giveaway
- Repost your photo promoting the contest
Try to incorporate a viral loop built into your giveaway – another benefit of using a giveaway tool like the ones mentioned above. A giveaway loop is a powerful way to allow your contest entrants to share a custom link to your contest with family and friends. Many giveaway tools have the viral loop functionality, which will encourage participation and attract more unique visitors to your brand. Remember to read up on any restrictions associated with using giveaway tool instead of implementing an organic process.
When your giveaway is over, be sure to celebrate your winner(s)
– it will show your appreciation of their support and could further increase rapport with consumers. You could even post a photo of the winner with the prize – another way to boost awareness, reach new followers and drive authentic user engagement around your brand.
Follow the Giveaway Rules in Your State
There are certain legalities regarding contests and giveaways, so we recommend doing your homework or speaking to a professional to help you determine which rules and regulations pertain to your local and state laws.
We hope this giveaway guide helps you feel confident to use this creative digital marketing method of increasing your brand awareness and reach.
You don’t have to go at it alone.
Dekaf Digital specializes in social media marketing and would be happy to connect with you to determine what type of strategy is best suited to your brand.
Contact us today to learn more!
Whether you’re developing your strategy for 2020, or revising an already developed strategy due to the current market, these 10 digital marketing statistics will help inform and shape your direction. These 10 Stats are ones that every digital marketer needs to know in 2020.
digital advertising is increasingly competitive
1. Global ad spend will reach $6.5 Billion in 2020, a 4.2% increase from 2019 (Source: The Drum)
2. By 2020, businesses will spend $110 billion on digital advertising in the US. This means that businesses will spend more on digital advertising in the US in 2020 than on TV and print ads combined. (Source: eMarketer).
3. The average cost per action (CPA) is $49 for paid search and $75 for display ads. These numbers help illustrate how competitive digital advertising can be for many industries. (Source: WordStream).
social media in the billions
4. Global social media ad spend reached $84 billion in 2019, marking the first year that social media spend outperformed print ad spend (Source: Zenith Media).
5. In 2019, US LinkedIn ad spend reached $1.02 billion. This is a 40% growth in ad spend since 2016. LinkedIn is quickly becoming a preferred advertising channel for B2B marketers (Source: eMarketer).
6. In 2019, US Facebook ad spend reached $25.56 billion. This represents a 107% increase from 2016. Facebook has weathered it’s share of controversy and is still going strong. (Source: eMarketer).
omnichannel delivers stronger results
7. Omnichannel campaigns saw an 18.96% engagement rate, while single-channel saw only a 5.4% engagement rate. Consumers own more devices and bounce between channels during the purchasing process. Marketers need to keep this in mind as they develop their campaigns (Source: ClickZ).
8. Omnichannel campaigns produce a 250% higher rate of purchase frequency than do single-channel campaigns. (Source: ClickZ).
9. Customer retention rates are 90% higher for omnichannel campaigns than for single-channel campaigns. Customers are more loyal to brands that engage with them across channels (Source: ClickZ).
10. 80% of consumers say they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences. Now that’s a case for personalization. (Source: Instapage).
It will get better. Stay positive.
For many businesses things have become very difficult right now. If you’re one of the few businesses thriving, good for you. If not, know that it will get better. As the United States Surgeon General said on Monday, “Things are going to get worse before they get better.”
That doesn’t mean they won’t get better but it does mean we need to stick together to weather the storm.
learn from history and invest in your business
We’ve been through difficult times before, from the 2008 financial crisis to the Great Depression. Take the lessons from those times that companies have learned and invest in your business. Here are 4 of those lessons:
- Innovation counts—Successful businesses offer new products and services often and quickly adopt new technology.
- Get help—Networking, hiring consultants and setting up an advisory board are ways successful businesses get external advice.
- Map it out—Developing a strategic marketing plan with specific targets will help to keep your business on track even as economic conditions change.
- Master financial management—Keeping tabs on your finances allows you to plan better, see trouble brewing and react quickly.
A Harvard Business Review study of 4,500+ companies analyzed three years before, during and after recessions identified the percentage of companies that outperformed their rivals: 21% for businesses that opted for a prevention focus (more cost-cutting) and 37% for a more progressive focus. The study found that “firms that cut costs faster and deeper than rivals don’t necessarily flourish. They have the lowest profitability (21%) of pulling ahead of the competition when times get better.”
In another report, done by Bain, it was found that getting it right during the lean years has a marked impact on a company’s growth rate after the economy improves.
5 Digital marketing ideas during the coronavirus
connect with customers on social media
Whether you’re new to social media or your company is a pro at it, now is THE time to engage your customers on social media. With the majority of the American workforce, and even global workforce, working from home they’re spending more time on social networks than ever before and have a greater possibility of connecting with, and buying from, your company.
For tips on connecting with your customers on social media during this pandemic, read our blog on “Embracing Social Media During Social Distancing”. For those of you doing good deeds, giving back to the community, offering free food to truckers, sewing masks for healthcare workers, giving small businesses discounts, promote those good deeds on social media.
ensure you can be found online
It likely comes as no surprise that Google search traffic has increased significantly over the past week and a half and will continue to climb as we comply with the shelter-at-home and social distancing guidelines. We’re all online, be it on our smartphones, computers or tablets – looking for updates on the news – or looking to get away from the news and find ways to pass the time. For many, that includes shopping online.
Anything online right now will be consumed more than ever before. This is not the time to be hidden online. You should be using search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to climb to the top of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) so your business can be easily found. This is not a time for a business to go become a turtle, disappearing into a shell and poking it’s head out once this crisis has passed.
Google Ads (PPC) are a good move now
Google ads or pay-per-click (PPC) is a great strategy right now as, according to the Washington Post report yesterday, users are seeing screen times increase by as much as 185% on a weekly basis.
In addition, a report last week showed that the cost-per-click (CPC) is down nearly 6.5% across most verticals which reduces the amount of money you for every ad click.
Local seo is more relevant than ever
With people staying close to home, it’s essential that they can find nearby businesses for services and supplies in the rare instances when they do leave home. That’s where Local SEO strategies come in to play.
You want to make sure your business is using Local SEO to optimize your website for “near me” searches. You want customers in your geo region (e.g. Naperville, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Bucktown, Aurora, CO, etc.) to be able to easily find you online so they turn to you first. At a time when we’re all looking for more convenience, this gives your business a chance to provide assistance during this critical time.
get creative with your offerings
If you’re on of the many businesses that’s had to close it’s doors to the public, try to be creative with servicing your customers. For a gym, launch online classes via Zoom. For dental offices, launch an online billing payment portal to process payments and offer to do urgent consults via the web. Are you a therapist and can’t see clients? Offer phone therapy sessions. Do you run a restaurant? Offer free delivery or curbside pick up – even Burger King is now offering free delivery as of last night.
Now is the time to tap into your creative juices and get them flowing. Just yesterday someone in our office received a message from their shoe cobbler saying they were offering free drop off and pick up so they could continue to do shoe repair.
During this Coronavirus pandemic, it’s become difficult to connect with customers in-person. Nearly 10 states have closed bars, restaurants and gyms. Schools are closed in 33 states with more closing them by the day and that presents a new opportunity for engaging with your customers. People who are usually at work are at home with their kids, families and loved ones. Now is the time to engage social media at it’s finest.
Embrace Facebook And It’s Tools
If your business is new to Facebook, now is a time to set up a business Facebook page. Here’s a link on “How to Set Up a Business Facebook page.
This is a FREE service from Facebook. Unlike other social media platforms, Facebook has a built-in scheduling tool, “Publishing Tools”, that allows you to write posts and schedule them to publish at a future date and time saving you time and energy. For example, you can develop all your content on Sunday and schedule it for the entire week to post M-F. Set it and forget it; let Facebook do the work.
Use FREE TOOLS FOR OTHER NETWORKS
There are a host of other free social media tools to publish content on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and the like. One of our favorite here at Dekaf Digital is HootSuite. HootSuite’s Free Plan allows you to manage up to 3 social profiles, schedule up to 30 posts and connect social apps as well. We use HootSuite to manage several social media profiles and find it to be very easy to use and schedule conent.
However, there are a lot of other tools. Some of them include Buffer which offers a free version although there are restrictions on the free version. Agora Pulse offers a free 28-day trial and is a robust tool for social media publishing. It’s a bit pricey after the free trial but allows for sharing calendars with more than one person as well so it’s more than just a social media publishing tool.
Finally, we have eClincher. This is a savvy social media management tool and it’s packed with some great features. It allows you to connect all your social accounts in one place, including publishing and scheduling content. However, it also comes with a social inbox feature so you’ll be able to manage all the live conversations of your social media accounts. They offer a free trial and then you have to pay for the service.
Linked Is best for B2B companies
If your business targets other businesses as it’s customers, you want to focus your energies on LinkedIn. First things first, leverage your company by building a Company LinkedIn Page. Here’s a link on How To Build a LinkedIn Page.
Once you have your page up and running, you want to post regularly (once/day) to keep in regular contact with your customers. Many businesspeople will be working from home and checking their LinkedIn pages more frequently than usual. Now is a good time to reach them. Leverage the social media publishing tools we suggested above to plan, schedule and publish content on a regular basis.
What to do if this is all new
If social media for your business is new to you, don’t go it alone. This is a representation of your brand and you can’t “set it and forget it” or “test the waters” and think there won’t be any harm. You need to have a strategy that aligns with your brand, brand voice and reaches your customers in an appropriate way, on the right social networks. If you need help, reach out to us or an equally qualified social media management agency. We’re here to help in this time of need and are happy to set up a strategy and let you implement it or mange it all for you. Let’s collaborate.