Five Social Media Marketing Strategies

With marketing strategies consistently evolving, it is important to choose your marketing plan wisely. On many social media platforms, there is a smart algorithm that search engines follow in order to optimize your audience. Here are five strategies for you to consider.

Utilize app installs, web views, or phone numbers. 

By creating an advertisement using one of these strategies, you will allow your customers to access more information about your product or service without having to directly search your company themselves. This may look like a button explaining to swipe upwards, and that will lead directly to your website. If you have an app, you can include a button to press that will take your customer right to the app store on their mobile device.

Highlight customer reviews. 

Reviews can either make or break your company. The review section on your product provides social proof. It has been found that people trust other real customer reviews instead of simply trusting the company. This easy form of user generated content can be the most effective aspect in a potential customer’s decision making process. It’s as easy as posting a survey on Google, Facebook, or Instagram!

Have a specific content calendar. 

Creating a content calendar will help with organization, as well as aesthetic of your feed. With every post planned and laid out, this allows you to see how the color scheme will flow on your page. By sticking to aesthetically pleasing colors that flow together, you provide a more professional look, leading to your customers having more trust in your company.

Constantly utilize social media listening. 

Social media listening suggests consistently looking at social media popular pages, trends, and competitor feeds. By doing this, you will be able to keep up with the current trends, have efficient online reputation management, and control your brand perception. It is critical to stay up to date with trends on social media to increase the likelihood of your brand appearing on specific popular pages.

Be sure to include a unique selling proposition on your website or an advertisement.

Unique selling propositions emphasize a unique quality of your brand. In order to do this, you should come up with a short phrase that will stick with your customer and not require the customer to think too much. Your goal is to associate your brand’s name with your unique claim. 

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With the rise in social media presence, it is important to come up with creative ways to promote your company. Following trends and highlighting key information allows for potential and existing customers to be drawn to your products or services.

Differentiating Your Business in a Competitive Market

No matter what industry your business is in, there’s always going to be similar brands trying to be better than you in any way they can. The reality is no business can be the best at everything. This is where differentiation comes into play; what sets your brand apart from the rest. There are several ways to do this but it’s important to choose one to focus on and put all your effort into rather than spreading yourself too thin. Here are a few areas your brand can look at to gain more of a following, increase market share, and improve brand recognition.

Enhance your user experience. 

This can make or break your business model. A poor user experience has the power to deter potential clients before they even look further into your brand’s product or service. Another piece to think about is that people are more likely to tell the world about a bad experience rather than a positive one. Therefore, improving the way a user interacts with your company is a safe way to stand out from competition. 

An example of this is contactless delivery during the pandemic. This offering caught wind quickly, but the brands who first implemented it were able to boost sales and survive the COVID-19 hardships. Thinking on your feet and having that entrepreneurial mindset is what will create unique benefits for your customers that other companies in the industry won’t provide.   

Challenge existing industry expectations. 

This is a much more challenging differentiation tactic than updating your user experience. When done successfully, you have the opportunity to set yourself apart from some of the most well established brands in the industry. Think about how your company can put a spin on what’s already being done. 

An example of this is the food chain, Wendys, Wendy’s decided to market themselves as a fast food chain but go above and beyond to stay committed to using only fresh meat in hopes of improving the fast food industry altogether. Disrupting the norm is bold, keeps people on their feet, and forces similar brands to rethink their company structure.  

Define yourself as a master in the industry. 

Labeling your company as an expert in whatever field you are in is a great way to gain the trust of your customers and build brand recognition. Market yourself as the go-to source of knowledge using your experience, personal story and best content. People will always be receptive to the emotional appeal, so connecting your brand to your personal story will automatically make you stand out in the crowd. 

Prioritizing content is what will have the strongest impact on your target audience. Establish your professionalism with high quality blog and social media posts. Also, utilize all platforms to ensure your brand is considered a well rounded and reliable organization for which your competition doesn’t have the credentials. 

Be strategic with how you stand out from others. 

Pick one element to improve upon, put all of your energy into making that specific aspect of your brand significantly better than others in the industry. A noticeable difference is what is going to draw the attention of potential customers. 

Remember you want to differentiate yourself in a positive light and not stick out like a sore thumb. The process is a slippery slope because failure can result in losing existing customers. But again, the outcome has far too many rewards to not at least give it your best effort. 

Five Marketing Trends to Look for in 2023

A good marketing strategy is crucial to building a brand. New marketing techniques are constantly popping up and it’s important for companies to stay on top of what is relevant, so they aren’t spending time and money on a useless strategy. Here are five marketing trends to look out for in 2023.

More businesses will use SEO to concur search traffic

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of targeting unpaid organic searches to improve the quality and quantity of traffic your website receives. Mainly, SEO is trying to improve your website’s location in the search results page, to gain more impressions and traffic. These impressions can help a company increase sales and customer engagement. 

Google searches for SEO agencies and SEO consultants are increasing, proving more businesses are looking for help to improve their SEO strategy. Google algorithms are constantly evolving, which means brands are looking for SEO experts to keep up with changing strategies. The growing use of search engines leads to the continuous efforts to improve a company’s SEO to generate more web traffic.

Video marketing will be short and sweet

People’s attention spans are shorter than ever and social media platforms are taking advantage of this by favoring videos under three minutes in their algorithms. Short videos are easier to watch, understand, and share. They also have higher engagement rates because people are more likely to watch the video more than once. 

Platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram have a page created for their users which allows for more videos/reels to go viral and gives brands a better chance to build their platform. The videos are also easy to post across multiple platforms. For example, I could make an Instagram reel and then export it to share on Tik Tok. Over 89% of global marketers plan to continue investing in short-form video content in 2022 which proves this trend is here to stay. 

Brands will work with micro-influencers

Influencer marketing is an easy way to advertise using people who have already built their own platform of trusted followers. When you think of an influencer, you’re probably imagining Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, or an instagram page with millions of followers; however most marketing professionals work with micro-influencers. Micro-influencers have less followers, but higher levels of engagement than major influencers because they’re seen as everyday people instead of big celebrities. Followers are then more likely to trust and value their recommendations. 

One new field of influencer marketing is college athletes. The NCAA has recently allowed their players the ability to earn money off their name, image, and likeliness (NIL). These deals are an exciting way for companies to market products and raise brand awareness by collaborating with college athletes. 

Virtual reality will give rise to new advertising techniques 

Virtual reality (VR) was a $21 Billion market in 2021 and is growing rapidly. Brands are beginning to take advantage of VR as a marketing tool, using it to connect with their audience by offering immersive engaging experiences. Facebook is incorporating VR with their 360 degree videos. Google is using AR to place objects in your space using the phone’s camera. 

Many global marketers are planning on increasing their investments in VR and AR, while more are planning on using it for the first time.  If you haven’t noticed the addition of VR and AR into your favorite apps and services, you will soon.

Companies will prioritize social responsibility

Customers are starting to place a higher value on brands showing they care about customers, employees, and shared causes. Customers today want to make a positive impact with their purchase and are showing their appreciation for companies highlighting socially responsible elements and sustainability in their marketing campaigns. This is why 45% of companies still plan to invest in social responsibility efforts this year, and we wouldn’t be surprised if that number rises next year.

Staying on top of the new marketing trends is an important part of keeping your company relevant. By understanding and utilizing these five strategies, you can help grow your brand in the coming year.

Must Have Skills to Work for a Marketing Agency

In any field you may be looking to work in, it is important to carry the characteristics that allow you to be the most successful version of yourself. Here are a few skills to carry with you when looking to work in a marketing agency.

In any marketing position, creativity is a crucial skill to carry. 

In order to properly promote your company, it is important to keep an open mind to come up with new ways to showcase your service. Aim to set the precedent for new trends and come up with creative ways to stay one step ahead of competitors.

Make sure to adapt to what clients want or what competitors are doing. 

With the rise in social media use, the marketing field is changing on a daily basis. It is critical to adapt to these changes in order to adhere to new algorithms. Not to mention, it is important to adapt to what the client wants. Suggesting new ideas is great, but be sure to listen to what your clients want on top of their needs. 

In order to work in a marketing agency, you must be able to collaborate with your team. 

You will most likely be working with a large group of people in order to give the client what they want. Learning how to delegate tasks will make all the difference. Also, learning how to deal with different personalities in the workplace is important to ensure a smooth process when delivering a service to a client.

Having communication skills will improve your relationships within your company, as well as with your clients. 

With multiple people working on different projects at the same time, it is important to stay in constant communication in order to optimize your time working with a client. Keeping a shared document where tasks are delegated and updated when completed will ensure that everyone knows what to work on and when they should complete their task. It is also important to keep your client within this line of communication, so they can approve or make alterations to your work.

Organizational skills are of uppermost importance when working for a marketing agency. 

Similar to communication skills, being organized will allow for a more seamless process when working for a client. This could mean having organized folders, shared documents, or an instant messaging platform between your team and client in order to optimize the experience.

 Overall, carrying these skills with you into a marketing agency will increase your likelihood of success. It is important to keep in mind that everyone is different, so being able to communicate and adapt to your work environment is crucial.

Steps for Small Businesses to Utilize Social Media and Grow their Brand

Within the past five years, the amount of social media members has almost doubled. Out of those 4.2 billion active social media users, they spend an average of approximately two and a half hours a day on various platforms. These statistics should speak for themselves in terms of how powerful social media can be if your business uses it correctly. Here are a few pointers on how your small business can grow their social media following.

Start with a plan of attack

Social media is such a common thing in one’s personal life, so there’s certainly a level of comfort that comes along with it. Anyone can start an account for their business, but if no plan is in place, nothing will come of it. You can use the free tools that come along with the platform, but even those take time and a level of investment into your business. No end goal means no way of gaining that return on your investment. Don’t let all that time go to waste. Set goals from the start to work towards. A great guide to follow is the S.M.A.R.T framework. It will ensure your social media efforts are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Goals of this nature will produce real results  for your business. 

Look into what competition is doing.

It’s easy to research how other companies in your vertical are utilizing certain social media platforms. Although you don’t want to copy their exact strategy, it is a great way to get your footing in the space.  Find what similar brands strengths and weaknesses are and how they compare to yours. Don’t repeat the same mistakes they already have and odds are what’s working for them will work for you. From there, you can conduct a social media audit on what content you’ve already put out. Take a step back, re-evaluate, make the necessary adjustments based on the competitive analysis, then move forward. 

Know your audience. 

I’m sure you already have a good idea of the demographic your brand attracts, but identifying this is essential to determining what social media platforms you use. This choice does not need to be decided with an all or nothing approach. You can use a variety of social channels at first to see what works. But, don’t make assumptions on where your audience spends their time most. 

For example, a big social media stereotype is that Facebook is most widely used by Baby Boomers, but nearly a quarter of their users are  18 to 24 years old. Therefore, if your brand’s current demographic is Gen Z, that doesn’t mean you should be too quick to eliminate Facebook as a social platform option. Use analytics on current social media traffic to gauge where your target audience has the greatest online presence. Additionally, audience insights can assist you in developing a posting style. Meaning, it will open up further details for popular hashtags, trends, referral sites, and social influencers in your vertical that would be smart to take advantage of. 

Expand your following and build relationships

Once you’ve done the hard work with research, analysis, and implementation, it’s time to grow. After becoming familiar with your brand’s social media realm and getting into a routine it is important to not become complacent. Engaging with your audience is equally important as the content itself. There’s a number of ways to do this such as commenting on posts, participating in conversations, answering questions, posting polls with follow up results, sharing user generated content, addressing complaints, and demonstrating appreciation for customers. Engagement in any form will help your accounts rise in the social algorithms leading to fresh, free exposure. On the other hand, the main piece of content creation to focus on is making relevant, visually appealing posts because no one is going to take a second glance at your spin on a meme that was trending three months ago. Overall, the key is to be consistent with your interactions and posting in order to gain the trust of your followers.

Track your analytics and revisit your content calendar

Even if things are going better than expected, it’s highly recommended to circle back to your plan and goals in case something comes up in the future. Use necessary tools to stay up to date with your social efforts and be conscious of what metrics are most useful for your business. Take the time to fine tune your strategy. Even the smallest of changes will be beneficial in the long term. 

Social media can be overlooked in the business world, especially by older generations. In reality, it can act as a massive tool for your small business when used properly. These simple tips will set your business up for success. 

Website considerations for small businesses

As a small business, it is important to focus on crucial details when building an effective website. The behind the scenes of your website can either make or break your company and the amount of traffic going to your web page. Here are five important things that your small business should consider about your website.

First off, utilizing an effective search engine optimization (SEO) code will dictate website traffic in order to adhere to Google’s algorithm. Through SEO, you are able to target more specific marketing funnels in order to reach your next customer. SEO also optimizes user experience, which is a key component to adhering to Google’s algorithm, as their software can recognize optimal user experience. In May of 2022, Google changed their search engine algorithm, so be sure to do your research and include the items that Google uses to dictate your positioning in the search engine results. 

A clearly stated Call to Action will increase the likelihood of engagement. Something as simple as utilizing a widget where a potential customer can provide their contact information to receive more information may attract more attention and entice viewers to learn more about your business.

Your website should be a direct depiction of what you would like your brand or company to look like. Branding is one of the most important aspects of a company, as this is how you would like a potential customer to depict your company. An eye catching, memorable logo, slogan, or recognizable image are all key brand identifiers. Another strategy would be to create a story for your website. Ask yourself: 

  • Is the website attractive? 
  • Would a customer be likely to explore different pages of the website? 
  • Does the website touch upon important aspects of the brand that you would like a viewer to know about? 

Having a color scheme that the website sticks to is an important strategy to entice customers to want to learn more. Psychological studies have shown that certain colors can trigger emotional responses. For example, a subtle pastel blue often gives a more professional look. For some food companies, it has been found that the color red can trigger a response of hunger. Not to mention, sticking to one color scheme allows for the color to be associated with the brand to make it more identifiable. These subconscious emotions may lead to a higher client retention rate and increased profits.

Increasing your social media platform usage by linking your company’s social media accounts will lead to a more convenient user experience. With almost 60% of the world present on social media, this can be a tool used to your advantage. Social media is a central hub for reviews, user generated content (UGC), and social proof. It has been found that one of the most beneficial strategies for social media marketing is actively commenting on posts, so use this free marketing strategy to your advantage! By having social media icons present on your website, you are allowing for an easier way to navigate the company for the customer.

Whether you are just starting your website or editing a pre existing website, keep these five things in mind. Your SEO, branding, and design all contribute to your ranking in a Google search. Following these strategies will ultimately lead to an increase in website traffic and a higher return on investment.

Common Marketing Agency Myths

Choosing which marketing agency, or using one at all, is an important decision for your company.  This is why it’s important to keep in mind some of the false information that comes along with the industry.

Myth: Go big or go home. 

The most common misconception is that it is always better to go with a bigger agency. Large marketing agencies have more credibility, more experience, and are most likely to contribute to your brand’s success. This is far from the truth. Working with a smaller agency has many benefits that are often overlooked. There is definitely a more hands on and customizable approach when working with smaller agencies. They are able to create a personal relationship with each company they work with since they have fewer clients to cater to. Overall, large agencies don’t have the means to be as responsive and attentive to their clients as a small agency can. 

Myth: Too expensive and lacks ownership. 

The runner up of myths about marketing agencies is that they’re too expensive to work with and don’t take responsibility for the results. It is thought that marketing agencies just take a massive sum of your company’s money and waste it on overpriced events with excess glitz and glam that deliver no value for your company. In reality, marketing agencies take what they do very seriously. Their goal is to use techniques to provide measurable results. 

Whether it’s a single task or an ongoing project, each item of the proposal is carefully thought out to avoid any miscellaneous expenses. If a marketing agency fails to do this it is assumed that they won’t be in business for too long. Firms with a strong reputation will not only give each cost, but will prepare a client for the level of success they should expect.  Marketing agencies develop a very fluid plan for their clients, so they can always re-estimate budgets for both small and large companies. Dedication to this caliber proves that the agency is reputable and one that you can expect a long term relationship with. It’s not that marketing agencies are a waste of money, it’s about choosing the right one that matches your brand’s goals. 

Myth: Leadership goes MIA

Another popular misbelief about marketing agencies is that after the contract is signed, the higher ups  will disappear. People are concerned that the top leaders are brought solely for the pitch and then once a deal is made, it’s handed off to the junior staff.  Again, this is a far more popular approach within companies that are not reputable. It is understandable why clients would feel unworthy or unimportant if they were just passed off to members of the agency that have a lack of experience. 

The truth is that top tier marketing agencies will work as a unit no matter the client. They will utilize the strengths of each member of the team and collaborate to provide the best possible services. For example, a social media specialist will help a client grow their instagram or facebook pages while a website developer would create keywords for the clients website to fall higher up on the Google search results. Leaving specific clients out to dry is not what makes a successful marketing agency, teamwork and strategy is the best tactic for everyone involved. 

Although there is potential for some marketing agencies to take part in these myths, they shouldn’t be the standard for all. Think of these myths as qualities to avoid while looking to partner with a marketing agency. And remember, any company can make use of a marketing agency, just do research before picking one.  

How Social Media Impacts Consumer Behavior

Have you ever been talking about a good or service you wanted and an advertisement pops up when you open your social media platforms? Companies now have the ability to use your data to directly target specific items to you. Through this, these businesses have been able to greatly increase their conversion rates by making their products more accessible to their target audiences.

In recent years, companies have greatly increased their presence across platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and most recently, Tik Tok.

Along with social media comes the idea of social proof, which occurs psychologically when a person sees others using a product and wants to conform to new social norms. Oftentimes, consumers read reviews, posts, and view videos relating to a product they are looking to purchase. These types of posts are called User Generated Content, one of the most influential strategies used to persuade potential customers to make a purchase.

How many timeshave you seen posts including a product in which the person who posted tags the company of an item of clothing they are wearing or a product they are using? This naturally increases traffic to the company’s social media pages, which can end up leading to a purchase. Also, many companies have implemented buttons that allow users to quickly contact them, bring customers directly to their website, or even directly to a purchase. Social media has allowed for easier ways to purchase and review products. Data has found that customers trust their peers more than advertisements, making the implementation of social media a pivotal moment for advertisements and increasing conversion rates.

More recently, platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have created a “shop” icon to the bottom of a user’s page. Here, a business can use powerful tools to scale their business, including a customizable shop, the option to group items into collections for an easier user experience, and the ability to control the shop across multiple social media platforms. These shops allow for specific target markets to be reached in one simple place. Many businesses have also invested in a one-tap checkout option, such as Shop Pay, making it faster for a consumer to purchase a product and less time to change their mind.

Social media has also allowed for an increase in celebrity endorsements. Celebrities have the greatest reach across social media, allowing for a product to be recognized by a large group of people. While this can be a good thing, it also can be detrimental as the celebrity can overpower the advertisement and become the “star” of the post.

Not to mention, social media has allowed for a less costly, more time efficient way to provide content through entertainment content, curated content, educational content, or promotional content.

Social media can be one of the most powerful tools for your company. By creating an account, interacting with followers, and generating content, companies can use social media as a free marketing tool by sparking conversations surrounding the products and/or services they provide.

“Must Haves” for Small Business Website Development

From a coffee shop, to a freelance photographer, to a car mechanic, to a local medical group, a website is an essential piece of a business’s success. Whether you’re a startup that’s at the beginning stages of building your site or just looking for a website refresh, there are some essential tips you want to keep in mind. But, before we look into that, let’s take a look at the main framework of a website. These are the main aspects that every website should focus on, regardless of their developmental stage.

Think about the user’s experience

A lot of small businesses neglect their website, but this is the one thing that everyone should be prioritizing. Today, people are constantly bombarded with information without asking for it. So, it’s important to acknowledge and avoid overwhelming anyone who accesses your site. One of the most effective ways in doing so is to refrain from using pop ups, notifications, or other marketing gimmicks. If there’s one thing you should remember, it’s that you should treat user experience as the backbone of your website design; everything else on your site revolves around it.

Make strategic design decisions

On the other hand, design is like the muscle of the site – it strengthens all the other parts. The key with this is to keep it as simple and straightforward as possible. As much of an urge there is to make the design aesthetic, you also want potential customers to be able to find everything they need with ease. Again, tying back into user experience as the main priority. A website should be clean, minimal, and modern. Furthermore, the design must convey a clear and strong message to the viewers that your business truly stands behind. The last piece of design is so simple, yet somehow always forgotten – make sure to identify clearly what your business does. This should be obvious to the user.

Add strong, concise content

The final part of a website that is crucial is content – the heart and soul of a website. Content should make people feel something. Each piece of content should have an emotional aspect. Now, what specific type of emotion that is depends on the message your brand wants to exemplify. The goal is to create content that will stick with the customer. It’s best to utilize various combinations of words, images, and videos to tell a compelling story. Content can be difficult to produce, but it’s what makes the website. This is why many companies nail the user experience and design, and still fail to produce strong content to fill up those blank spaces. With no informational or emotional content, a website’s value significantly decreases.

Use a unique domain name

Within this user experience, design, and content structure, there are other smaller faucets that must be considered. First being to obtain a good domain name. It’s the first impression, the first thing that people are going to see. When brainstorming the optimal domain name you should make it easy to spell and as short as possible. Try not to use slang or obscure words that your audience wouldn’t generally be familiar with. In addition, search for a domain name that’s memorable while still keeping the price in mind. The most desired website addresses are most likely already taken, so it’s important to decide on one where the price is reasonable for your small business. Overall, a domain name should be something catchy that people will remember, but one that you don’t want to break the bank purchasing.

Implement a CMS

To keep up with the heart and soul of your website, implement the best content management system (CMS) is key. CMS is a software program that manages a website’s digital content. The first step in finding a good CMS is looking for one that will fulfill your company’s specific needs, such as budget or user friendliness. You’ll know you chose the right system if it assists you with maintaining your site effortlessly. There shouldn’t be much technical knowledge needed to use effectively. Some of the top recommended CMSs to take a look into are Drupal, SquareSpace, and WordPress.

Add SEO

With the help of CMS, it’s also crucial to post with quality and consistency. Those are the two elements that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) hunts down. Whether the content is from a blog post or an external link tied to your website, the only way you’re going to move up in the search engine ranking is by honing in on freshness and posting on a regular basis. The key is to give people a reason to want to come back to your site over and over again. Frequent site updates with relevant content is what will increase web traffic.

Add credibility to your business

Another tip to help with consistent posting is using customer testimonials, because it not only gives you content but builds credibility for your brand. Customer testimonials help create an emotional connection with your audience that will contribute toward a positive brand reputation and develop a sense of trust. The best testimonials include the customers full name and aren’t too lengthy. It should be authentic and motivate the reader to chase after the product, experience, or service that is being offered.

Website building is a highly detailed and time consuming process, but if done properly, can draw monumental benefits for your company. Use these strategies to design a website that stands out, speaks to your company’s values, and gives customers a good first impression.