Digital marketing is growing fast . The consensus suggests that digital marketing is replacing traditional forms of advertising, and big companies are increasing their marketing budget for digital. Every day, business owners are reminded of the importance of content marketing, SEO, social media marketing and mobile first design. It is enough to even confuse industry experts. It is a time consuming task to keep up with the changes in Google algorithms and fragmented digital channels.
When companies approach digital marketing agencies for help with their online marketing, there is a horrible moment when they realize it is not what they imagined it to be. Don’t get me wrong; there are many companies with realistic expectations of digital marketing and how it can improve their visibility. It is just really frustrating when a company presses ahead with plans containing the blueprint for digital marketing failure.
Why online marketing don’t go to plan
Here are some plans that will never take off in digital marketing.
1. Not knowing your market for digital marketing
Digital marketing is more effective when the company knows their marketplace. An understanding of the customer demographics, unique selling point (USP), distribution channels and competitors will help to plan a better digital marketing strategy. If companies do not know who they are marketing to, their plan is bound to fail. Their marketing budget on digital will be wasted. Reputable digital marketing agencies will refuse to execute a marketing plan if they feel it is not in their client’s best interests.
2. Not having a digital marketing goal
Wait and see is not a good way to measure the success of digital marketing. Companies should define their marketing objectives and have some key performance indicators (KPI) to help them measure the effectiveness of a digital marketing plan. A professional digital marketing team will use the KPIs in their evaluations.
3. Not having a defined budget for digital marketing
There is nothing wrong with increasing or decreasing the marketing spend. It is wrong, however, when there is no clear idea of how the marketing budget will be divided for the different digital channels. Knowing how much a company can afford to spend will help digital marketers decide how to spend it. This is especially important for a company with limited budgets.
4. Expecting online marketing to achieve immediate results
Digital is fast, however digital marketing takes some patience to see results. A digital marketing campaign will not only take time to make an impact-it will require constant tweaking. Online marketing agencies promising results in 1 week are not only delusional, they can harm the client’s business. For Pay Per Click campaigns, 3 months is the time for results to kick in; the bidding needs to be optimized and A/B tested for the best wording. When companies pay for SEO, they expect a time-frame for their website to move up the rank results. In reality, this can be anything from 3 months to 12 months: depending on how competitive the keywords are, this can take even longer. The most mysterious of all-social media marketing can take the longest time to target and engage with the right audience.
5. Not doing your research about digital marketing
Digital marketers and business owners have different levels of knowledge about online marketing. Even so, it is the business owner’s job to decide how to spend the marketing budget and check the progress of their digital marketing campaigns. It is never a good idea to rely solely on the words of the marketers. Investing in analytic softwares and learning how to log into Adwords are some of the ways business owners can gain control of how they are marketing. Digital marketing agencies can help to improve the bottom line of companies but it takes an auditor’s eye to see whether they delivering on the promise. Digital marketing is an area where ignorance does not equate to bliss.
Digital marketing is a heavy load to carry on your shoulders alone. How about sharing this burden with a marketing agency? No? Okay, then check out some free online marketing tools available to marketers. These come in many types. They can help you with SEO, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and inbound and outbound marketing. In short, they provide shortcuts for every kind of online marketing.
Free online marketing tools to help you get started
Here is a list of marketing tools that every marketer should know about for his or her online marketing campaign.
This analytic tool tells you how useful Google thinks your website is in terms of relevance, SEO optimization, and the like. It provides you with a list of research and resource tools.
Boomerang For Gmail
This handy software for gmail enables you to follow up on your emails so you can never really forget to reply. You can also use this to send mass mail and even build one.
Buffer is what you need if social media marketing is not working out too great for you. It will collect your posts and then send them on prime time for enhanced visibility and greater social presence.
This little well known Google app is designed for those of us who are in the niche of technical writing or technological businesses. It will provide you with the latest developments in your field of interest using authentic sources.
Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator
Yes, it is a real software. There comes a time for every writer when writers block make writing uninspiring. At that time of need, use Blog Topic Generator to give you great ideas by simply entering a keyword.
This software has everything a marketer needs to establish a good marketing campaign with high ranking for his or her site and products. You can research, measure and gain insights through Google Analytics.
Buzzstream Tools Suite
You can use it as an outreach platform along with a link developing software. They also provide other tools such as email list building.
Google Keyword Planner
SEO is almost impossible without this little software. Hence, all of us who are in the SEO business have already used it but if you have not, try it out the at the first opportunity.
An alternative of Google Keyword Planner, MozBar helps you in researching keywords, finding out the popularity of pages and perform page analysis.
Open Site Explorer
An ideal software for researching for link building and comparative analysis. It lets you see which sites link to you and the backlinks your competitors are using.
This software checks for plagiarism and duplicate content. You can check whether your articles are unique and free of plagiarism. You can also check if someone else has put up the same content on the web.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and so many other social networks have made it extremely easy for small business owners to capture large audiences. It was impossible in the past to attract such huge numbers for any small online business owner. Today however we all feel blessed that an army of people likes to spend most of their time on social networks to “stay connected”. This opens up a vast door of opportunities for the marketers.
However, this means that with so many accounts to manage the marketers are always short of time and lag behind their schedules. Let us see how you can effectively manage all of your accounts without compromising on the quality of the content.
What you should know about business on social media
What does it mean to have a social presence?
For any small business, it is essential to have a constant social presence. It gives them brand mentions, leads, new customers and repeat buyers. It is simply impossible for new businesses to attract sufficient traffic towards them with so many giants in the online world. Social media provides them something they can use to overcome this obstacle, and that is social presence. It is easy to start, but it gets tougher to maintain it with the passage of time.
What things should you have in your routine table?
Like other marketing strategies such as content marketing, inbound marketing and outbound marketing, social media marketing requires the strategy. Digital marketing or online marketing is so cheap it tempts you to go do more and more. So much, so that you go overboard, only to realize that there are time constraints. Therefore, make a schedule before diving in.
This schedule should include how many posts you want per day, how much time should content finding take up per week, how many hours a day you want to devote, how many days you can be available and similar things. You can always set goals for yourself and decide the total amount of time you can spare for your social media campaign. Then, you can dedicate time for each task accordingly. If you are having trouble organizing stuff, consider taking help from a social media marketing agency.
How often should you access your social account?
It depends on the amount of time you have, the amount of work you have, the nature of your business, the set goals, the targets you wish to achieve etc. Organizing social media account take up time, efforts and dedication so be sure you have enough of these before starting any quest.
The most important part of having a successful social media strategy is the amount of time you spend in measuring its effectiveness. Make sure you give it at least an hour per week. You see, this is the gist of all your hard work. If you keep on working on posts and comments and shares without measuring how many leads were generated from a certain network you are wasting your time and efforts. Always ask yourself “ How will it help my business?” before you get involved in any activity on your social account because time is money in business.
Online marketing, or in fact, any kind of marketing aims to persuade potential customers that you are the best choice they can make. To achieve this, you need to use all marketing platforms such as email marketing, inbound and outbound marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing.
At the core of marketing success is the way you deliver the message and inform others about yourself and your business. This calls for an effective approach to developing persuasive content marketing.
How to create persuasive content that converts
1. Be informative in your content
Customers always look for value in anything they spend their money or time on. The same rules apply to content. You need to give them something worth reading. Do not just add words to increase the length of your articles and blog posts. Do not prefer quantity to quality. This will lose your existing audience. Filling in your blogs and webpages with words is not what content marketing is about. You need to optimize the content if you want it to reach your potential customers. For that, you need to please the search engines so that they would give you good ranking. This requires a high quality of content in addition to SEO.
2. Avoid misrepresentation in your content marketing
If your product is a medium range one, then it is bound to give medium results. Why should you say it gives results comparable to the highest quality products available in the market? Be honest to gain repeat buyers and loyal customers. This will also eliminate several problems you have to face in your customer service department. If your customers get what you tell them, they will leave positive reviews that will help your inbound and outbound marketing,
3. Include reviews in content strategy
The effect of reading real customer’s reviews is long lasting. It is an asset for your company because it reflects how well you deliver, how true you are to your promises, and what are the values of your company. It creates a connection that a normal advertisement can never hope to establish. A good review from a customer will show how much you value your customers. This creates a positive feeling towards your company and may earn you more mentions.
4. Be focused in content marketing
Beating about the bush only loses the attention of your readers. Stick to the point. Be clear and concise with your words. This will deliver more information in fewer words. Sure, it will decrease the amount of content you have for show but then again sacrificing quality for the sake of quantity is never a wise move in any business activity.
5. Differentiate from competitors in content
To inform your customers, you can put in blogs and other content showing a comparison between the benefits of your products and similar products offered by other companies. An expert writer can make all the difference in comparative analysis of products. It can be made interesting and spicy to gain larger traffic. There are so many companies offering the same thing all over the internet that customers have a hard time deciding in favor of one. You can influence their decision by providing comparisons and then concluding them.
6. Emphasize the USP in content
It goes without saying that knowing your unique selling proposition (USP) will help make your content more persuasive. What do you do really well that others don’t? Talk clearly and loudly about what makes you different from and better than the rest.
7. Connect with your target audience through content
Once you know who to create content for, you will know what content resonates best with your audience. The tone and delivery channels can be adjusted to get your audience’s attention. What does your audience care about; are there specific concerns to be addressed? Create content that connects with your audience’s values and culture.
8. Do not mislead
Make your headlines interesting but relevant to your content. Make it clear what your content is about and the issue it addresses. There is so much content competing for people’s attention that you need to apply creativity and integrity in your content.
9. A/B Test your content
Test which content gets the most attention with your audience. This is the right approach to content creation because you deliver what your audience wants. Use Buffer’s A/B headline testing to see what headlines get the most engagement.
10. Visual content marketing
Visuals broadly covers the layout and pictures/videos used in your content. Great visuals get more attention and will influence your audience. Find the right balance between relevancy and getting attention with your visual content. With layout, A/B test to see what layout of your content increases impressions and lowers bounce rates.
In conclusion, you can see that the factors for content marketing success is simple. Honesty, value, presentation and knowledge of your USP make all the difference in influencing potential customers. There is no faster track to success than to be the very best you can be.
Digital marketing is one of the most complex tasks that any entrepreneur has to complete in the online world. It takes a lot of effort and patience before it gives you satisfactory results. More than that, it takes up time and brainpower to make it work smoothly.
You cannot simply rely on your traditional approaches in digital marketing. You need to come up with a genius marketing strategy that takes into account everything starting right from SEO, content marketing all the way to social media marketing, email marketing, and inbound and outbound marketing.
Digital marketing strategies to follow
Gone are the days when you can spend most of your marketing budget on TV or mass media outlets and expect success. Customers in a digital era use multiple social channels and their attention is diverted by many competing content. What is an ambitious company to do? Here is a small to do list to help you navigate this area safely and with less headache.
1) Build an online reputation
Whether you plan to do it yourself or use an online marketing agency be sure to place yourself in a place of authority and keep track of all the business activities. Building a great and solid foundation include you coming up with efficient and detailed processes for all the tasks that need to be performed.
This can include the social networks you need to update regularly and the list of blogs that you need to view daily. This may also include the team members that need to perform each task and the hierarchy that needs to be followed in every situation.
2) Focus on the right audience for online marketing
A campaign can only be successful if you know who your audience is. Start researching and think about your target market. Try to find out what appeals to them, what is their common need, what they value the most and what is the general trend. This will enable you to come up with the right kind of strategy to approach your potential customers in the right way.
3) Reach out to the customers through paid digital marketing
Initiate communication with your potential customers by using paid digital marketing methods. Let them know that you exist by posting ads on popular websites and using email marketing. Encourage the clients to subscribe and then reach out to them to make them feel valued and respected. This way you can gain their loyalty.
4) Use inbound marketing to keep connected to your customers
Inbound marketing is proven to generate more revenue than outbound marketing. Make sure you keep connected with your customers. This will let you know about the general demands, their perception of your business and the most popular products. This again leads you to formulate the marketing strategy that works for you.
5) Trial and error with online marketing strategies
There are numerous ways available to an online marketer to reach out to the customers. You should try some of them and see what works the best for your business. Care needs to be taken; however; as when you try to wear many hats just in the beginning, you end up damaging your business more than helping it grow. Focus on one strategy at a time and let it grow and bear fruits for you. It takes years of experience and expertise to be able to handle multiple marketing options. So hang on and be slow and steady.
If you want to survive in this digital economy, you better be prepared for all the huge waves of change that are coming your way. With each passing day a new way to market and advertise crops up and unless you are ready for it you would be pushed down in the waste basket.
One such innovation is social media marketing, a marketing medium that lets you connect with your customers and potential customers through social media networks. It is a fascinating cover to wrap your content marketing and is both cheap and effective. Big brands such as Taco Bell and Coca Cola have shown that getting attention through social media can yield lasting and significant results.
Ways social media marketing can boost your business
1. Pitch your business more effectively with social media
SEO is no longer the only way to get you top ranking. Companies with more emphasis on social media marketing are visibly getting ahead of the others. The reason is that with social media marketing you can pitch your business more effectively. You can let everyone know what you are offering and where you stand. When your business is the subject of conversations on social media channels, that adds credibility to your brand. Earned media (such as mentions on social media) is more influential than paid advertizing. Companies using this strategy have reported huge increase in traffic.
2. Use social media to create awareness
With so many companies focusing on comparatively the same areas, there is a good chance that many people are not yet aware of your presence. Let them know with a great strategy using social media marketing. The best part is that you get to present your brand’s persona in the best way possible and ultimately gain the attention of your target audience.
3. Get in touch with your customers on social media
Social media allows you to post relevant and highly targeted content that makes your customers feel special and recognized. This creates a loyal fan base which is, of course, essential in gaining repeat buyers. Psychologically, customers tend to choose the products of the company they feel connected to. With social media, you can create that connection by introducing personalized messages, posts, and competitions. Inbound marketing is achieved as easily as outbound marketing in this form.
4. Interact on social media and get informed
Social media has made it too easy to interact with your customers. You can simply create content that lets them react and express their views. This will give you more insight than any survey ever would as this is a direct one on one communication. This way you can focus on the recent demands and work on the flaws and difficulties that your customers point out.
5. With minimal investment get wider marketing opportunities
Social media marketing is the cheapest way to advertise your business to the mass population. You do not have to invest huge sums to create a page. All you need is a creative and content generating team to get it all started. A professional online marketing agency can also help you out at this point. The opportunities open to you in social media marketing are endless. You can simultaneously interact with your old, recent and potential customers. You also get the bonus of free marketing through social media. How? Your customers will like or comment on your posts, and those will appear in the newsfeed of their friends and family who will then be directed to your site thus adding to the traffic.
According to a report by Ascend2, 51% of digital marketers blamed bad content strategy for failing to reach their digital marketing goals. In an era of digital marketing, many companies believe that inexperience is holding them back from getting their return on investment. Effective digital marketing is not a pipe dream for companies wanting to outperform competitors in content strategy. Whilst multi-channel,cross device, social media and integrated marketing are all buzzwords of today, companies just need to find consumers and convert them.
Effective digital marketing is all about finding the right consumers at the right time, and giving them what they want.
Digital marketing tips for long term success
There are more channels for digital marketing in 2016 than ever before. This does not mean, however, that businesses have to use every marketing channel. Some marketing channels are simply ineffective for the consumer market and industry that the business is in. One of the vital steps to digital marketing success is deciding what marketing channel is more effective and doubling down on the effort.
In a recent survey by SmartInsights, it was found that marketers had differing views on the different digital marketing channels.
Content marketing, marketing automation and big data were found to be the most highly rated techniques, with display advertising lagging far behind. When it comes to measurable success, choosing the most cost effective channel for digital marketing is key.
In addition choosing the right digital marketing channel, businesses can also use the following digital marketing tips:
1. Marketing inspiration can be found in other industries
What happens when you restrict your ideas to one particular industry? You get tunnel vision, or even worse, an inability to think creatively for a solution. The very essence of digital marketing is creative thinking to reach business goals. Observing practices in other industries is a great way to get fresh new ideas.
2. Great content can be re-used
Great, evergreen content has the advantage over other content because the information is almost timeless. You can use the snippets of wisdom for future posts (repurposed content), or to inspire content creation. I defy you to find any great content that has not been recycled from other great content. Content recycling is not laziness. Great content deserves to be read by your target audience and it is your mission as a content marketer to serve it up. Your audience may not have read your content the first time round; make it easier for them to find it again in future posts.
3. Ask for content marketing feedback
Feedbacks serve the purpose of improving your marketing efforts. How do you know you have a great landing page unless your users tell you so? Find out how user friendly your website is, or conduct a survey as to why people are displeased. You are not being a nuisance by asking for feedback; feedback will make your users happier in the future.
4. Define metrics for your content marketing
You can only measure your content marketing success after defining your content marketing metrics. There are many different metrics and key performance indicators, but most importantly-you need to be able to track them. Decide what tools you will use to track traffic and conversion rates and set the schedule for your content marketing efforts.
A content marketing trends survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute found that higher conversion rates and high quality sales leads were considered the most important content marketing metrics:
5. Use offers to retain website visitors
Good offers will increase the conversion rate of leads into buying customers and retention rate of visitors to your website. You want lower bounce rates and higher conversions don’t you? Offers that catch your visitor’s attention and increase their intention for signing up/purchasing are effective marketing methods.
6. Pod-cast content marketing
Did you think about creating pod-casts for your audience? People like to listen in whilst driving or exercising; help your audience by increasing pod-cast content. Google ranks pod-casts well and you will build a better relationship with your customers. Pod-casts have been shown to increase conversion rates as well. The subject of pod-casts does not have to be about your specific product/service, it can be about the industry that you are in.
7. Publish your own book
Independent publishing can be done with Amazon Kindle now so there is no excuse not to branch out. The purpose of publishing in a fast paced digital marketing space is to establish your authority in your industry. There are many people who regard long form content such as eBooks to be highly authoritative. If you win accolades for your published books, that is even better. Here is a great resource for publishing: The Write Practice.
8. Optimize your landing page
Clean up your landing page so that it looks streamlined, attractive and relevant. Get rid of cluttered ads and remove banners if they distract from the main content. You will increase retention rate of visitors to your site and improve chances of conversion.
9. Steer clear of impersonal automated email marketing
Emails are great ways to stay in touch with your existing customers and convert potential ones. Customizing your email content is the most effective tip. An email for your customer’s birthday, thoughtful suggestions for purchases on national holidays/festivals, and a simple personalized email are all effective ways to build your business relationship and boost your brand.
Many companies assume that email marketing will get them nowhere with customers in the age of social media. If written in an engaging and personal style, emails can be the most personal and direct way of reaching your customers. You can write about offers, tips, helpful insights and anything that you think would interest your customer based on their purchase choices. Whatever you do with email marketing, never automate the content or addressee details.
10. Customer data is valuable
Customer data is the new oil. It is valuable and can deliver insights into customer behavior that you never thought was possible. Nowadays, customers have cross device behaviors that should inform serious marketers about where to place call to action buttons and how to attract buyer’s attention. Consumers behave differently on mobile, laptop, social media platforms and the smartphone. Such data about behavior will help to inform your digital marketing efforts.
11. Express gratitude to customers
Customers love it when they receive personalized offers or product suggestions based on their purchasing behavior. They also liked being thanked on social media and in emails. Showing gratitude in small yet persistent ways will make your customers feel valued.
12. Step into your customer’s shoes
Go to purchase some of the goods and services to assess how well they perform. Join customer forums or talk to customers about feedback. The purpose of marketing is to deliver a better customer service so it makes sense to find out what customers like or dislike about your product/service.
13. Watch your digital marketing spend
Audit your SEM (search engine marketing) efforts so any unnecessary costs for customer acquisition and cost of lead acquisitions are minimized. If the cost of customer acquisition is too high, i.e there is a poor conversion rate from visitors to your website to leads, and from leads to customers, you need to address why there is a poor conversion rate from visitor to customer. Do not increase your marketing spend to counteract the poor conversion rates.
14. Simplicity is best
Digital marketing is becoming more complicated via fragmented channels and technically challenging methods/data metrics. Simplify the purpose of your marketing, and then further simplify the methods. Eliminate analytic software that is not working great and get rid of marketing channels that do not have impact for your target audience. Pared down and simple is the principle behind effective and efficient digital marketing.
15. Tailor content for different social media platforms
Every platform is different in target audience and media used. Do not post the same content on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. Effective digital marketing leverage the difference between channels of marketing for maximum impact. If you’re wondering what social media marketing platform to use for your business, the 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report collected data from a survey of 5000+ marketers. It was found that Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram were the most effective social media channels for marketing. Here is their chart created from the findings:
16. Consistency in branded content
Consistency in the branding is important for digital marketing. Email content, social media marketing, video, mobile, website and blogs should all have a consistent message. In larger companies, breaking down the silos in digital marketing is a good way to maintain consistency.
In the world of digital marketing, content is one of the most powerful methods of reaching out to your customers. If you must implement content marketing for your business, then use it for the purpose of achieving your marketing goals. It is essential to ensure that your content marketing strategies are bringing in revenue. After all, you are investing time and money in it for the long term.
Social media and content marketing are similar as they both provide long term benefits to businesses. However, it is difficult to accurately understand the ROI for them both. Earlier, people used proof-of-concepts to understand the usability of these marketing tactics. However, this is no longer the case as there is a need for actionable statistics before investments are made. At the same time, content has become very important to any organization that wishes to communicate more effectively with their customers.
Content marketing ROI is generally problematic for business owners. However, it should not be a problem, especially for confident, experienced marketers. Content is a great marketing tool. Moreover, its benefits and ROI have now become measurable. Of course, you need to know some figures in order to help you calculate the ROI of your content.
How to calculate your content marketing ROI
In order to perform an ROI calculation for your marketing activities in content, you need to start at the basics. These basics are the generated revenue and the costs. It is critical to make the estimation or the accurate calculation of these metrics in order to calculate the content marketing ROI.
Outgoing costs to content marketing
You should estimate how much money content marketing is costing your business. This cost can be comprised of a number of things. The salaries of your content writers and developers as well as the overheads associated with creating the content will be a part of it. The cost of distributing the content by means of a content amplification platform like Outbrain also needs to be included. If you are using any software for creating or publishing the content, you need to add their costs as well. Taken together, it will be the outgoing cost of your content marketing project.
Revenue generated through content marketing
It is essential to know how much revenue your content marketing tactic has brought in for your company. On the other hand, the efficiency and success of any marketing tactic involving content are generally measured by the engagement it generates rather than its actual commercial success.
You can find out the revenue generated by various means. You can take a look at the number of sales that have originated through the content. Alternatively, new emerging technologies which utilize product-to-content suggestions can be used to show a more transparent link between the read content and the ultimate purchase. There are now technological methods which you can use to understand the effects of specific content pieces on the purchases.
Another vital point to be kept in mind is that personalization of content marketing, is now a possibility and improving with time. This can help you make realistic calculations on various metrics such as lifetime customer value improvement, the monetary value of customer engagement on the basis of each piece of content and customer acquisition costs. Over time, such calculations will improve further giving you more accurate results for revenue increases.
Formula for content marketing ROI
Once you know the costs of marketing and the generated revenue of your content, you will be able to calculate the returns you gained from your investments.
ROI = (Generated Revenue – The Cost of Marketing with Content) / the Cost of Marketing with Content.
Expressed as a percentage, the final number should be multiplied by 100.
Why do you need content marketing ROI numbers?
By calculating the content marketing ROI, you will be able to utilize it to find out more of the value of content on the other aspects of your business apart from marketing. You will be able to showcase the value by saying that the ROI of content is better than some of the other advertising and marketing tactics.
From a marketer’s perspective, marketing with content can prove to be a better option than other methods. A cold hard fact as demonstrated by the ROI will be able to lend their arguments more weight. They can show that content brought in more customers rather than an AdWords campaign. Spillover benefits can also be showcased in a similar manner.
Content can have other uses apart from its commercial impact. Such impacts may not be measurable but they can be effective nonetheless. An example of this is brand awareness. More exposure to content can increase brand awareness and the positive emotions associated with it. On the other hand, the ROI of content will ultimately help you show these benefits clearly. All of these calculations and insights are imperative in showcasing the importance of content in digital marketing.
In business, cold statistics and numbers are needed to showcase the importance of anything. The same applies to content marketing.
Although relatively new to the world of social media networks, Snapchat has quickly become one of the most popular of these networks and an essential part of social media marketing tactics for many businesses. Snapchat is the perfect platform for engaging with the millennial generation demographic which is highly coveted for its lucrative nature.
Being new, many businesses are still confused as to the best way to utilize Snapchat for their digital marketing campaigns. Of course, there are many advantages to using Snapchat. On the other hand, some businesses feel that Snapchat is not a good choice as the platform is based around the temporary existence of messages.
Snapchat for business in 2016
In Snapchat, people can send and view multimedia messages such as photos and videos. However, those messages automatically get deleted after a period of time. Nonetheless, the fact remains that it is hugely popular and you will be gaining access to a large audience base simply by using Snapchat.
There are many ways to make use of Snapchat so as to increase the leads for your business.
Take advantage of the short video format
Short videos are very popular due to their micro format. In fact, their small size makes it easier to share them and even view them quickly. You will find it to be a great way to communicate your messages to your targeted audience. You can create short or micro videos for Snapchat so that you can provide assistance to your customers that need it. Your customers will be grateful for the help and you can gain leads for your business.
You can create various kinds of help videos. You can create tutorials for helping your customers make use of the products they brought from you. You can even help them troubleshoot the product so that they can keep using them. Some videos can be sent when your customers are finding it difficult to locate your retail store.
The use of videos increases engagement rates as they can be quite enjoyable for the customers. At the same time, you will not be wasting too much of your resources and effort as the videos are small enough to be created quickly and cheaply.
Get Snapchat users involved in your business behind the scenes
People love to know more about things that are going on behind the scenes. Through Snapchat, you can open up a window to the world of your business that is hidden to the customers. You can send them pictures of your staff or any hilarious and funny events that occurred in your office or company.
As people love these things, they will enjoy following your brand. You will be increasing the engagement rates greatly through these videos. You can even ask important members of your staff to create short introduction videos so that you customers get to know more about the people that create and bring them the products or services they purchase. In other words, you will be showing the human face behind your brand and that will be greatly appreciated by the audience. After all, it is easier for them to connect with a human face rather than a faceless corporate identity.
Promote with creativity
Snapchat can be a valuable tool in getting your new products promoted. You can even conduct a product launch on this social media network. Your product launch can become even more successful if you are trying to market the product to the millennial generation such as teenagers.
The features of Snapchat can be put to use in a variety of ways so as to improve the response of your product launch. You can ask your audience and customers to sign up for your brand inside the social network. You can then start sending them promotional material such as product images and videos so as to increase their interest on the product. You can send teasers or videos that show the product being created or used through Snapchat.
Give Snapchat users access to exclusive content
Exclusive content can be invaluable in increasing the engagement rates among your customers as people love to be a part of something rare and unique. As such, Snapchat can be used in a variety of ways to send exclusive content to your targeted audience base. You should certainly create a social media marketing strategy for exclusive content as your customers will love it which in turn boosts your business leads.
You can send your customers exclusive preview videos or images via Snapchat. You can even offer sneak peeks to events you are hosting by dropping hints about special guest appearances.
You should not avoid using Snapchat for social media marketing campaigns for your business. It can prove to be very useful especially if you are trying to target customers from the millennial and youthful demographic. Of course, you will have to use it in the best possible manner so as to maximize the generation of leads for your business.
Creating a profitable startup is every entrepreneurial person’s dream. Nowadays, it is possible to make profits online instead of investing in a brick and mortar business. To build a successful startup online, you will need to invest your time and energy wisely in the right product or service. There are many startups which fail because in one way or another, they did not do the right things at the right time to succeed. As much as 92% of startups fail within 3 years due to problems such as scaling and poor management. To say that marketing a startup is easy would be misleading, however it can be done.
What are the factors for startup success?
Some people call it luck. Others say success came after grueling years of building relationships with customers, testing and product development. Many of the recent successes in the startup world-SnapChat, AirBnB and Uber, were disruptive in their business model. This meant that they created new markets (and found new customers) by being very different. It is tempting to say that simply being different will make you successful, but that is not the case. There are so many factors affecting demand in the marketplace that no startup can bank on just being different.
Strategic startups marketing
It is possible to create profitable startups in spite of various factors affecting that probability of success. What does this involve? You can minimize the chances of startup failure by taking the right strategic steps. These strategic steps were taken by all the successful startups no matter what industry they are in. Read on to learn about the tried and tested ways to maximize the chances of startup marketing success!
1. Having a marketable product or service
Your startup can provide a product or service to customers. To bring this into the marketplace, you need to make your target audiences aware of it. If your product or service is hard to define or differentiate from all other competitors on the market, then you will face many obstacles in content marketing.
2. Market a product that solves a problem
Customers will pay money for products that helps them in some way. People prize time the most, which is why time saving products become so profitable. Generally, customers will pay for products that saves them time, energy, money and stress. Startup founders often find their product ideas by observing closely the people around them. They will find a problem to solve this way. AirBnB solved the problem of affordable accommodation for travelers (whilst providing something different from a chain hotel), Uber solved the problem of convenience in summoning/paying a cab, Instagram solved the problem of sharing photos over multiple platforms and editing mobile photography and Washio saved customers time by delivering premium dry cleaning to their door. If you know the specific problem that your startup solves, you will know the unique angle for your content marketing.
3. Go niche with your digital marketing
People with very specialist, niche expertise in a particular industry or interest can market a niche startup. Niche is hyper targeted towards a smaller audience and can differentiate itself from other products this way. There are several advantages in going niche: you don’t need to compete with long established businesses aimed at a broader market; you can gain a loyal client base relatively early, and your marketing will be easier to implement (niche terms for SEO, content marketing and social media communities).
4. Know your product inside out
Successful startups are very clear in what product or service they are selling. They can describe it succinctly in a sentence; imagine having to pitch your business idea briefly in an elevator ride. If you cannot describe your business clearly, then 1. it would be too complex for customers to understand, and 2. you don’t actually understand the product or service well yourself. Einstein said, “if you can’t explain it simply, you really don’t understand it yourself.”
Why is it important to know? Knowing your product or service means you will have a clear idea of your target audience and ways to market to them. It also makes it easier to pitch to investors if you want to get outside funding.
5. Market an existing product better
Sometimes you don’t need to start from scratch. By observing existing startups and the solutions they offer to solve problems, you can find defects or shortcomings in their products. Maybe you are able to provide a faster, more efficient, customized or simpler solution? This was how Periscope, Box and Dollar Shave Club got started. The advantage of improving an existing product is knowing that the demand is already there. People are already paying good money to have x, y and z problems removed. You just have to show potential customers how much better you are at solving their problems.
6. Think long term in marketing
Monetizing from the latest fad may seem irresistible but demand will fizzle out quickly. Long term marketing is all about building trust, credibility, reputation and a wide network of brand advocates. You don’t want to stunt your startup’s profitability in the future by bad marketing. After all, a bad business reputation is hard to fix.
Ideally, market a product with a long term goal in mind.
7. Do not compete on price
It is fine to offer a cheaper solution compared to your competitors, but don’t let this is your startup’s main selling or marketing point. Offer a faster, more efficient or better service to complement the pricing. Make sure that you communicate the extra value you provide in your startup’s content marketing. A very low price usually means cutting corners with the quality of product and losing money. A startup does not have the economies of scale when a bigger competitor decides to sell at an even lower price. As a startup you want your product to be perceived as high quality instead of being the cheapest.
8. Encourage your customers to share
Sharing is caring in the startup world and a launchpad to greater success. Your customer base will become your brand advocates, generating valuable user generated content to spread the word. These days, customers are more likely to trust recommendations from friends or influencers on social media. Sharing content about your startup is the ultimate social validation. Soon you will be generated a lot of social buzz about your product or services.
9. Engage with influencers
Marketing tells the world what problems you can solve with your startup. You may have heard that a good product don’t need help from others but without social marketing your startup will be disappear into obscurity. After spending so much effort in creating and refining the product, now is the time to build relationships with people. Knowing your product, your unique selling point, competitive advantages and who your target customers are will help you to find the best influencers to collaborate with. Working with influencers will maximize the exposure of your startup to new customers. Go where your customers are is the popular saying.
Since marketing is all about building trust, you have to invest more time with influencers and find ways to provide them value.
10. Make it easy for customers to get your product
Setting up a functional and user friendly website is the first step for customers to make purchases 24 hours and in any time zone in the world. If you have a lot of traffic, consider getting a dedicated server. The website has to make purchasing easy. Easy to find information, shop buttons and payment options are a must. Customers value ease, speed and privacy so you making your product easy to buy, secure to pay for and fast to deliver will make your startup product more successful.
11. Scalable growth and marketing
Scalable growth is made easier when you have a scalable marketing plan in place. The strategy of making your startup scalable is to outsource non-strategic work to others, leverage automation and focus on testing for faster growth. Scaling may involve giving marketing work to marketing agencies, outsourced teams and specialist marketing softwares. Automation is essential to expanding startups that need to handle larger volumes of work quickly.
12. Test and evaluate
If it doesn’t work try something different. If it works, double down on your marketing efforts! Testing and evaluating your marketing strategy is essential for startup growth. It helps you to measure your results against key performance indicators and stay focused. A/B testing, multivariate, quantitative analysis and customer feedback are all ways to keep on top of your route to startup success.
With technology developing exponentially and traditional industries getting disrupted by new business models, the tried and tested ways to build profitable startups may seem like a contradiction in itself. No matter what changes in the technology we use and the products we buy, great customer service, credibility and problem solving are the primary concerns of startups. This is essentially what marketing for startups is all about. Perhaps more than ever before, startups will have to observe consumer behaviors and find ways of adding value their everyday lives. Startup marketing is customer centric with a relentless drive for improvements!