You might think: Social Media marketing company? Yes, you can hire one. But in reality, all companies are social media companies. There are different techniques that can be employed for an effective social media content strategy. But in this post I want to focus on one that helps create valuable content. To that aim, let’s highlight a number of steps that have helped many in this context.
Identify your audience : You have to be very creative, your audience is not only the one who buys the product/service, but those you spread your meesage faster and more efficiently to other consumers. For instance, if your target audience is moms in the 50 years+ demo, (and a demo which may be not as accesible via social networks), why not leverage their children? Your creativity is an essential part of developing your social strategy.
Identify their problems : We know, speak with and about real people, with similar passions and interests and similiar problems. What are some of these?
Solve their problems : Make their life easier by bringing them content that gives them some sort of contentment, because you solved their issue. Your solution is something they will remember you by. Keep it going and they will continue to come back to you. Any we’re not just talking tex here. Any format content works: Text, Audio, Video, Photos. Use any and all of them. If you want more brand ambassadors, connect with them, do not try to sell. If your products interests them, they will know where to get them because you have built trust. Show them you are more than just a product, but a solution for peoples problems through valuable content, and the product will sell itself…
Niche marketing involves choosing a subset or a finite portion of a much larger market that has specific needs and problems, and then providing the solutions needed. This isn’t new, as business has always been about solving a problem with a unique solution. Every single industry has elements of niche marketing within it. New niches are being developed by businesses all the time, and that is only good news affiliates. For instance, a unique niche is commercial lockers. Sometimes the nichey-er, the better, and the following methods can be employed:
One effective strategy is to market to different social categories using the same offer. We’re not talking about reinventing the offer or product, just repositioning it. You may be surprised at how effective and doable this has been across the board. Consider that ‘school lockers‘ and ‘steel lockers‘ are all lockers. Of course something like this requires some research and a little creative tweaking, but if could be worth it to expand your customer base. No matter what new niche you choose, the rules will always apply. Once you know what a market needs, you can then fulfill that need.This creates maket differentiation and your target market will be more than happy to pay for your solutions if they feel that you cater to their industry better than your competitors.
Something else to consider with your niche marketing is local markets. Presently local search engine marketing is hot because more and more people are searching for solutions that are in their specific geos.
So for instance, if your niche is “employee lockers“, you could go more specific with it and get more customers – “employee lockers in California”. Such targeted keywords are easier rank for in search and thus enhance your niche marketing efforts.
Niche marketing is not just a trend, but an awesome way to cross promote your products and services in a unique way, garnering more exposure and sales conversions. Try it! You won’t look at marketing the same again…
Social networking has become a common way to socialize with people from everywhere. And while there have always been numerous opportunities for connecting via the Internet, contemporary social networking has proved a powerful took to link people with the online world and connect with new people. One social network that has taken the World Wide Web by storm is Facebook. You might as well not exist online if you don’t have a Facebook at this point.
Every day, people use their Facebook profiles to network with other people that have the same interests, play games together, and communicate on an unparalleled level. This must obviously sound like a proverbial gold mine for you to find new customers in. It sure is! Due to the realization that Facebook can help businesses advertise their products, more and more firms are attempting to use it. And since Facebook has millions of users with a huge range of interests, it’s a virtual goldmine for online marketing. This article will be talking about how Facebook can help you promote your business in the best possible way.
Once Facebook reached a couple million users, they began to monetize their service. Social Ads was launched, which allowed businesses to put ads on Facebook to promote their service or product. It isn’t complicated at all; what’s more, this is easier than most popular PPC services out there like Google’s Adwords. These ads can get a good response because you have an option to target them to users according to their age group, interest, gender, etc. People randomly clicking on your ads, when they are not really interested in your products, can be a problem with these type of ads. But with such heavy-duty targeting, your ad will only be displayed to the right demographic. This means your ad will get a higher click-through-rate, which in turn means more traffic for you. It’s also possible to put a picture on your ad that’s thought provoking and interesting to your prospect. Having a picture along with your ad will make your ad look more trustable, noticeable and highly responsive.
You can also get a group or page of your own to begin marketing if you cannot afford the ads. You can have any type of interest group or page you want on Facebook; they are very open. This is the no cost way to reach your market. All you need to do is create a group or if you want a page talking about your business. Then you need to find people to join your group or become a fan of your page, it couldn’t get much easier. One alternative is to send invitations to individuals, asking them to join your group, and then rely on them to tell others that they know, about your group. But if you create a page, you’ll have to do your own marketing to get the word out about it. Whether you choose to go for a group or just create your own page, eventually, you’ll see a huge response to your business with the aid of Facebook.
Facebook can be a social network achieving an objective for you as a marketer. You can effectively promote your products or services on Facebook, thereby bringing prospective buyers to your site and increasing your sales. Just keep experimenting and testing various options so you can find the Facebook success formula that works best for you.
Technology always provides pro’s and cons. Many times jobs are lost or replaced with new automation technology. But technology also provides a host of opportunity, especially in the Internet Marketing space. Many online money making avenues are overly saturated with people trying get ‘a piece of the pie’ if you will. So many savvy marketers are exploring new ways to monetize online.
Make Money With Social Media
Social media’s the new buzz word. While we know social media to be Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., you may not have known social media is increasingly being used as resource for increasing a companies bottom line. Many companies have gone ‘social’, connecting with the consumer on the consumer level. This translates to more customer interaction, brand recognition, brand-centric conversations, good will and thus higher conversions. And many companies are creating their own social media niches:
Welcome To Zopa Zopa is a social lending organization where members can borrow or lend money from other members. You can borrow money from other members by joining the community and becoming a member. The overhead cost is low, so money is borrowed at a lower interest than the market interest rates Later, after you repay the money, you can start lending money to others when you have a surplus and make money out of the interest you get.
There is huge growth in the Mobile Marketing arena. WeReward is a mobile, location-based app that pays consumers for checking into places they go to everyday. But, business don’t pay unless they have a paying consumer. Businesses make a sale and the consumer get’s a reward that he can turn into cash via PayPal.
Another happening social media activity is crowdsourcing. The ideas of different people are brainstormed to create a new product. There are crowdsourcing websites like 99designs.com that invite people to design t-shirts and logos for various products. If you’re good at designing, this is definitely worth a try because all winning entries are paid well.
The social media landscape is an exciting field that will continue to evolve. Evolve with it. You can become more social and monetize…
Set Specific Goals
Your overall marketing efforts will payoff if if they align themselves to specific goals. First off: Set time management goals. Concentrate on the amount of time you spend each day on writing as opposed to to focusing on the number of articles you want to crank out each day. Quality versus quantity. This will alleviate any stress and anxiety over how many you’re writing.
Secondly, always make your content super easy for anyone to read and understand. The best way to accomplish this is to use an outline – short sentences and paragraphs. That basic format will greatly help your readers to understand your points and the content will be able to be read quickly. For length, a general rule of thumb of about 4-5 sentences.
Ideas for new copy may pop up from anywhere, anytime. So keep a log where you can write down any and all ideas you get.
Article writing isn’t as complicated as it sounds. If you’re like most people, you already know how to create great content, copy that sells because it solves a problem, right? You just don’t try because you are afraid to fail. As long as you can keep in mind what subject you’ll cover and what points you’ll discuss, good copyarticle writing should be.
This past Monday, the Federal Trade Commission made some big changes to its rules on endorsements and testimonials in advertising. It’s the 1st time in 29 years that the FTC has changed them, but it’s a project they’ve been cooking up for a while now. The reason? The Social Media landscape. The agency, charged with protecting consumer interests, has decided to update its policy on endorsements because the Internet has become a compelling medium in shaping consumer decisions. “In 1980 most of all advertising was disseminated by the advertisers themselves; today a good part of that advertising is being disseminated by users,” said Richard Cleland, assistant director- division of advertising practices at the FTC.
The main takeaway is that commercial relationships need to be disclosed, although they did not say how. For bloggers who review products, this means that the days of free-flow giveaways may be over. Gadget bloggers and reviewers on Amazon and such now must disclose freebies and financial interests or face fines up to $11,000 per incident.
What does this mean for affiliates? Affiliate-created blogs, review sites and other pages have proliferated, filled with claims that drive traffic to merchants. However, when this content contains exaggerated claims or fails to disclose connections with sellers, there may be liability for deceptive advertising.
Still, the new rules are fairly ambiguous, but what’s exciting about this is that the social media marketing company I work for (full disclosure, I am not being compensated for this post ) IZEA Inc., has been advocating disclosure for years, and to quote Ted Murphy, CEO of IZEA, the company has “spent thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars building the marketplaces and tools to make social media marketing easy, effective and FTC compliant.”
Here’s a cool video on the social media “revolution” by Erick Qualman. You can disagree on the specific stats or it’s intent, but the video is enlightening as it is entertaining:
Since the traditional newspaper industry is running out of readers, and thus money, The Wall Street Journal is gunning for the LinkedIn crowd and all its monetization opportunities — jobs, ads, and, a marketing pool for WSJ subscriptions — with a new social network called WSJ Connect, according to TechCrunch. Apparently, they’re even calling it “LinkedIn Killer” internally.
Instead of building it internally, like they did with its existing WSJ Community, they’ve tapped another arm of parent company News Corp. — Slingshot Lab. WSJ Connect is still in the planning/conceptual stages, but if it moves forward, it would leverage the WSJ brand as a separate property with out a need for a paid subscription to the newspaper.
Just another example of a traditional brand embracing social media as an alternate revenue source, and of course, another nail in the traditional newspaper coffin.
My main forte at work is SEO. Clients come to me asking for assistance in generating more organic, relevant search traffic which, hopefully, converts. But my company’s main offering is social media optimization. But does social media create conversions? What’s the difference between SEO and SMO?
I read in interesting article recently by Jeff Casmer, an IMer and consultant. Here are a few takeaways:
Humans, for the most part, have a need to feel connected, to relate and interact with others. Social media optimization thrives on that need. Social media is all about communication. Its about sharing opinions, and experiences with others via blogs, wikis, message boards (forums), and videos.
While SEO is still an effective means to gain traffic, the web is no longer two dimensional. It has evolved. It’s become increasingly interactive, taken on a three dimensional shape. One that caters to our visual and audio senses, and allows web browsers to have more control over what they see, hear, and, what is now.
Social media optimization, according to Wikipedia, is a way to optimize web sites so they would be more easily connected or interlaced with online communities and community websites, also called social media sites. Methods of SMO include adding RSS feeds, adding a DiggThis button, and incorporating third party community functionalities like Flicker photo slides and galleries or YouTube videos.
The four characteristics of Social Media Optimization are:
Participation- Consumers are not afraid to participate in communities by generating content and engaging in conversations about topics that interest them. Web masters who know this are constantly encouraging user participation on their own sites and blogs.
Conversation- Consumers today do not want to be marketed to. Blatant advertisements are not as effective as they used to be. Instead, consumers wish to be communicated with through conversation that is being stirred up on blogs, wikis and forums. Consumers now have methods to express their thoughts, recommendations and complaints and they are doing so. Webmasters can now communicate with their target audience in real time, and can take these concerns, recommendations to better serve their audience.
Openess- To build trust with their target audience in order facilitate conversation, webmasters must first be open with them. They need to let them know who they are right off the bat. Pretending to be someone your not is the surest way to lose trust. And because any good business is first built on trust its crucial to be open and honest with your market.
Community- Social media conversation is not pulled out of thin air. Every form of social media is based on the fact that we all want to belong to something; they all have a community component to them. Social media sites are micro-communities that allow people with similar interest to share insight, advice, and recommendations about products and services. Before a webmaster can begin to monetize they must first become an accepted member of the community. This is why the first two characteristics are so important.
Many web sites are still static, meaning they are rarely updated and are used as a storefront. Setting up a blog or adding unique, interactive pieces to sites like Digg is a great way to increase linkage to your website. Site owners can encourage visitor participation by facilitating the conversation that is happening virtually everywhere. Consumers are already talking about products and services and buying them; brands need to help them get their attention on theirs. By not joining in, brands are silencing themselves. And that is pretty un-social…
by Pat LaPointe
Brilliant Web strategy? Check.
Sophisticated analytics package? Check.
Compelling business case? Check.
Closing that one big hole that could torpedo your career? Uhhhhhhh……. Most new marketing initiatives fail to achieve anything close to their business-case potential. Why? Unilateral analysis, or looking at the world only through your own company’s eyes, as if there was no competition.
It sounds stupid, I know, yet most of us perform our analysis of the expected payback on marketing investments without even imagining how competitors might respond and what that response would likely do to our forecast results. Obviously, if we do something that gets traction in the market, they will respond to prevent a loss of share in volume or margin. But how do you factor that into a business case?
Scenario planning helps. Always “flex” your business case under at least three possible scenarios: A) competitors don’t react; B) competitors react, but not immediately; C) competitors react immediately. Then work with a group of informed people from your sales, marketing, and finance groups to assess the probability of each of the three possibilities, and weight your business case outcomes accordingly.
If you want to be even more thorough, try adding other dimensions of “magnitude” of competitive response (low/proportionate/high) and “effectiveness” of the response (low/parity/high) relative to your own efforts. You then evaluate eight to 12 possible scenarios and see more clearly the exact circumstances under which your proposed program or initiative has the best and worst probable paybacks. Then if you decide to proceed, you can set in place listening posts to get early warnings of your competitor’s reactions and hopefully stay one step ahead.
In the meantime, your CFO will be highly impressed with your comprehensive business case acumen. Check.