Summit Session: The Social Combo

I recently listened in on a podcast discussion from White Paper Source composed by instructor Lee Odden. The theme of this podcast discussion was on how to integrate your social media marketing with all of your marketing strengths.

Essentially with digital marketing, you want to incorporate social media with other Internet channels such as your webpages or blogging page. Lee makes a point that in today’s social world of digital marketing, we have been given the ability to create, consume, publish and interact 24 hours 7 days a week. And he’s right. Everyone and anyone can create and publish digital content, but how can we control and sift through the content we consume? Were looking for quality, not quality.

Data Overload

Data Overload

Odden also makes a point stating that:

90% of all data in the world has been created within the past 2 years.

WHAT!? Yes. It’s true. Were bombarded with information overload on a daily basis, that’s why as marketers we need to establish this key point: as a brand, how can our content be of value to customers, especially against all of the information out there?? Odden discusses that we need to start thinking of social media as experiences and outcomes, rather than just tweets, Info graphics and video posts. He’s right. There needs to be a tactical shift in optimizing customer’s experience.

Content needs to be created to solve THEIR problems and to answer THEIR questions. Have you ever thought what it ‘s like to purchase from your brand? What’s the journey like from a purchaser’s perspective? Social platforms play a huge role, social channels are there for intent to purchase. Recommendations of products and brands happen on social, and from there that’s when the prospective consumer makes their decision.

If you’re a business and have a webpage, make sure you are active on social platforms and make sure they’re integrated into your site. It’s an easy one-stop shop for viewers to go from a viewer to a buyer. Lastly, key note to remember! The type of advertising and marketing you choose to hit your viewers with, should be different depending on what stage of the buying process they’re in.

Stages include:

  • problem recognition
  • information search
  • alternative evaluation
  • purchase decision
  • post purchase behavior

For example, most brands stop consumer engagement and interaction once the purchase is over. If you want your brand to be memorable and your customer to become loyal, think about direct mail incentive strategies to keep to keep YOU in THEIR minds.

Facebook Money-Grabs to Promote

Of course Facebook is amongst the most popular and favourable social media platforms in regard to marketing your business. Why? Well because it’s free, DUH. Facebook allows you to strategically target your market and provide exposure of your brand for zero dollars. Setting up your Facebook account is timeless and the best part is, you’ll be accumulating metrics like page views and “likes” instantly. It’s a tool that’s FREE and effective! Well, what if I told you Facebook just got a little more expensive?

Side note
I remember one day back in August 2013 when my thirteen year old brother asked me to borrow my credit card. Uh… yeah right. Too bad my heart is putty in his hands anytime he asks me for a favour, and that favour in this case was money. So I walked into his room and he told me he wanted 10 dollars to purchase token things, or whatever, for Farmville. He explained to me that it was a Facebook game and in order for him to proceed within the game he needed money. Real money. I thought to myself, what a sucker money grab Facebook is for luring children into spending their parents, or in my case, siblings hard earned moula for useful Farmville “cash” and “coins”.

Promotional tools for Facebook, sponsored links, status visibility, promoting your Facebook status, increase Facebook likes, increase Facebook viewers

Payed Promotional Tools for Facebook

Although I found Facebook’s Farmville to be a bust, it seems as though the social media network is beginning to provide an ROI for viewers who chose to put money into the site.

Would you pay to promote your Facebook status?

“Promote Your Pages” is a feature that was introduced to the site less than a year ago. Essentially it’s a pay to post option for owners of fan or business pages. The objective of this tool is to expose and promote your content via news feed. You can pay anywhere between 5-200 dollars to increase exposure of your post, to either just your current fans, or you fans and their friends as well. Click this link to find more insights from Cara Pring from Ignite social media on how to increase your Facebook page visibility in 20 ways.

 
We know that not everybody who likes your “page” on Facebook will see all of your status updates, and that’s why users now have the opportunity for their content posts to appear on their friends news feed as a sponsored link. The more money you pay, the more significant your reach will be. Smart thinking Facebook.

Remember, nothing in this world is free.

Don’t Worry, Be Content

The evolution of marketing has made its streak in society over the past decades. We’ve watched business advertise their brands through traditional mediums including print, TV and radio. Although these channels are being used by businesses today, do readers and viewers still find these sources as stimulating as they used to? Unfortunately not.

Digital Marketing holds the crown in terms of how products and services are being promoted in today’s industry. Although there are many online features and platforms for a business to promote their products through, the most important aspect to digital marketing is in fact the CONTENT, that is being published. You can have heaps of content regarding your topic, but at the end of the day how valuable is your content to the person sitting on the other side of the screen? Is it going to spark interest and perhaps enable conversation? Is the information you’re publishing going to help the reader solve an issue they have? There are so many things content can deliver! You’re conveying a story if done correctly, and the objective is to entice the reader with rich information and build a relationship. You want them coming back for more, right? Exactly!

Valuable content, content marketing, digital content, consumber behaviour, social media, social development, content curation

The Importance of Valuable Content

When you provide effective content you build a relationship with your audience. You’re both there for the same reason, getting to know each other on a personal level. Whether you’re the one looking for a solution, or the one providing it, you both share that passion for the product or service at hand. All businesses want profits, but it’s most important to understand what the customer or prospective customer wants, and it’s your job to establish the best tactic and strategies to meet those needs.

Quality Content, Creation and Distribution

There are many ways in which intriguing content can be created.  Always remember that the primary purpose of creating content is to provoke and engage in conversation with your customer. There is an array of possibilities to choose from when you’re creating content. Think about topic and information pieces that provide room for questions and responses from the viewers. Like I mentioned before, you want to build a relationship with the viewer, you want them coming back for more.  An article from Webs 9 states that ultimately, it goes beyond just providing your viewer with a positive experience and content that informs, entertains and makes their lives better. Whether it’s a product or service you’re providing information about, or just providing your own personal opinions, the viewer wants to know and feel like you care about them.

Content curation is fantastic, but you as a writer are going to want fresh context, opinions, insights and perspectives! I came across this info graphic which provides great ways to create compelling content when, well… you don’t even have a clue! Some of these Include:

  • Interview People such as luminaries
  • Ask your readers about their thoughts
  • Share your success and failures
  • Converse within your online community
  • Monitor social trends
  • Host an event

Context is great, but in today’s content marketing and advertising society that isn’t enough. You need to add more simulating and captivating content to attract and retain the viewer’s attention and extract a response, tweet, share or any type of involvement action. So besides contextualizing and distributing content for your target audience, what other valuable digital assets could be added to your social sites? Take rich media for example.  People like real-time photos, videos and action. It creates a sense of trust between a viewer and the product or service. Instead of just writing about it, why don’t you show them! Take your blog for example. When you publish content, context isn’t the only thing on your page, right? Right. You include photos, videos, twitter feed and in bound and out bound links to other webpages for example. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and they’re right. Take a look at this web page I recent read about social media and the effect of visual content. Ekaterina Walker mentions that a study was conducted in 2012. ROI Research found that when users engage with friends on social media sites, it’s the pictures they took that are enjoyed the most.

44% of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures than any other media.

Photos and videos have become one of our default modes of sorting and understanding the vast amounts of information we are exposed to every day. On a daily basis, people don’t have time to sit around and write 1000 word blogs, there for we compensate lengthy context with tweets, posts, likes, sharing, re-tweeting and uploading to our social platforms.  We love in a society where we are bombarded with content overload, therefore publishers need to make sure the content they posted via Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, Pinterest or whatever the social site may be, holds value. Every word, every sentence, every photo. And depending on what social channel you are publishing content to, determines what type and the amount of content that will be distributed.

Social media channels, blogs, facebook, twitter, linkedin, brand integration, web marketing, digital content, valuable content is important

Social Media Channels

Content on social platforms is like picking out the right purse for the day. As a woman, we have many to choose from in our closet. Just as we do social sites. But for the most part, they all serve the same purpose. Like how valuable content entices interest, engages in conversation and communication with the viewers. We wouldn’t use the same purse for a day of shopping at the Eaton’s Center as we would if we were going out for dinner. When shopping, we would want to bring a large purse so we can fill it with larger purchases, like a blog post and its larger amounts of information. If we were going out for dinner, we would bring a small purse only large enough to hold lip gloss, gum and credit cards.  Similar as posting a Tweet.

 

Marketing On The Go

If you haven’t already taken notice, mobile marketing is a hot trend at the moment and I doubt the fire’s going out anytime soon. Cheesy… I know, but it’s true.

This technological revolution has become popular within the past few years, with businesses and brands jumping on the bandwagon ever since its initial entrance.

So why should marketers care about mobile marketing?

The times are changing and it’s evident that technology is as well, particularly mobile devices! With the innovation of software and equipment design, new mobile devices are being introduced to the market annually. Take Apple for example, the brand provides users with software updates and technology upgrades at least twice a year! But that’s not the key reason I’m getting at here. Once again, why should marketers care about mobile marketing?

Mobile marketing, socialmedia, apps, Apple, iphone, smartphone, marketing, facebook advertising, twiter marketing

Mobile Marketing Is Trending!

Let’s figure it out. Do you leave your house without your smartphone? How many of you out there DO NOT, have a data package on your mobile plan? How about apps. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, you name it. More than likely, you have it. (Well, most of us!). We’re almost there… okay, so what does this mean? Think about it. How much more personal can a piece of technology get to a person other than their cell phone?? Mobile marketing is the closest way a brand can get to its consumer! Genius, right? Not really, but it really does make sense!

I checked out an article from Fobres online magazine which stated that Americans spend 2.7 hours per day socializing on their mobile devices. Yes, I am Canadian, but I figured this statistic was relevant either way. So, what better way to market and connect your brand to consumers other than via mobile device. Not only can you connect with the user on a more personal level, but you can use your brand as a captivating tool. This can be done through specialty applications, games, contests and such. If done correctly, the user will be enticed to seek further interaction with your brand which could lead them to other social platforms your brand may be active on.

Here’s what Starbucks did for Valentines day last year which was brilliant! Notice the heart-decorated cups.

This augmented reality program from Starbucks demonstrates the continuing commitment they have to mobile marketing. If you are an owner of an iPhone or Android device, you can download the Starbucks holiday app right to your phone. Although this app is free of charge, in order to send loved ones and friends a video of the “love” scene, you need to have a Starbucks heart cup… which means you need to purchase a beverage. Smart. But they, it’s engaging and enjoyable so why not. This mobile marketing strategy definitely seemed to work for the popular brand with sales rising 16% and profits were up 10%.

So, who do they have to thank? I think you can answer that one for yourself!