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By Sierra Powell

With the traditional way of passing news from one client to another, you get clients, yes? But not as many as it should be.

It is a challenge to achieve the number of clients you need for growth through word of mouth. For that reason, stronger, better, and more contemporary strategies are needed to attract new customers. Below we talk about 7 marketing tricks every business should be using in growing its market.

1. Having Incentives for Referral Clients

For a business to grow it needs clients, and for you as a business person to think of marketing it, it means you have an existing target audience. You can use your current clients to help in spreading the word and trust me with an added incentive in your sentences the word will spread even faster.

When we talk of incentives, I mean rewarding the existing customers with gifts or discounts to any referral that turns to a client.

2. Business Cards

Having business cards that can be handed over to any potential customer is essential. it is one of the pillars in marketing for any business. Through networking and the internet you can work better and faster, it does not discard business cards but it strengthens the need for the card. It is easier to get a bigger audience through the network. As much as it is in giving cards.

3. Networking

With the rise and growth of the internet, networking is becoming one of the most used and effective means of marketing. With social media accounts for your business, it becomes easier to communicate with your clients. You can take advantage of social media handles to advertise and promote your business. This can be done by posting regularly to remind your clients or even give updates on existing products, and services.

4. Marketing Through Emails

With being active on the internet; that is, promoting your website if you have one, and integrating social media accounts, it’s easy to get responses through emails. Email marketing campaigns give you the opportunity to stay in touch with your potential customers, leads, and customers.

It also helps in nurturing, as well as strengthening the relationship between you and your audience. The emails can be set to go out automatically probably once or twice a month. These emails may include;

  • An appreciation mail that thanks to new users who sign up
  • Emails that are auto-responders for unfinished or abandoned carts or follow-up emails based on viewed pages
  • This is very important, confirmation mails. This may include receipts, invoices, or purchase orders.

5. Advertising Campaigns using Banners, Flyers, or the Internet

For quick traffic to your business, this is by far the best trick to use. It is best for targeting new clients and should be done regularly to keep generating the traffic of new clients. Banners such as feather flags can be strategically placed in a location where the target audience can see. Just remember to make them attractive.

6. Offering Discounts, Give-away, and Even Trials

These can be listed on the homepage of your website or sent with the information emails sent out. The banners and flyers can be strategically placed where there is people traffic and can be seen easily be seen with the offers available.

However, in order not to run the risk of running your business down it is always wise to state that these are one-time offers for new clients.

7. Doing Follow-Ups

Marketing is a necessary measure for every business that is in operation, be it new or old, however, it is not enough to just do marketing and sit and wait for the results. The best strategy after any marketing campaign is to do a follow-up. For people who turned out as clients, or even the ones who responded to you in any way positive or negative follow-up is very vital.

With a follow-up, you get the chance to know what your clients want and probably make changes where necessary. This is of course on the negative responses.

Bottom-line is, marketing is essential to any business old or new. However, the methods and strategies used will determine the traffic generated to your business after the campaign. With the best being a repeat process occasionally to attract new clients.

By Sierra Powell

Sourced from Digital Doughnut

By

Positioning yourself as an expert is an effective way to level up your marketing strategy.

If you were to ask any seasoned thought leader who has an established track record, he or she will more than likely tell you that marketing is not easy. For the most part, it’s a gamble, as you never know exactly how your content will be received. It’s not a simple matter of filming a piece of content, plastering it with flashy jingles and edits and posting it on social media in hopes it will land with the majority and convert into sales. If it were that easy, everyone would be doing it.

Marketing can be challenging because there are no clear-cut rules about what works best anymore. Thought-leadership marketing, however, remains one of the most effective methods personal brands can utilize to establish their authority and position themselves as experts in their fields  when done correctly. The marketing challenge is then to devise a scalable thought-leadership strategy to productize this knowledge, then monetize it with customers and prospects.

What is thought-leadership marketing?

Thought leadership is a complex, multifaceted position that requires a precise mix of both relating skills and marketing skills. A thought leader is well versed in expressing ideas and opinions that demonstrate expertise and authority, ultimately positioning himself or herself as a leader in his or her industry. Thought leaders have the ability to influence other people, especially in business, and have immense power in changing a single narrative  because their audience trusts them.

There have been many notable thought leaders throughout history such as Elon Musk, Martin Luther King Jr., Dalai Lama and Steve Jobs. Tony Robbins is a public figure who modernized thought leadership and made it popular among today’s entrepreneurs, many of whom run coaching programs, offer educational courses and teach others how to create a life of purpose, fulfilment and freedom.

Why is thought-leadership marketing essential?

In this digital age where competition is fierce, especially among those who are the face of their brands, if you want to improve sales effectiveness and differentiate your brand, a thought-leadership strategy is critical. People want to know, like and trust you before they want to buy from you.

Thought leadership also inspires authenticity, which buyers crave in the modern world where everything seems like a sales gimmick or ad. Thought-leadership marketing is essential because your audience will be paying more attention, take you more seriously, see more value in your offers, and ultimately, it will allow you to become a catalyst for growth.

How to effectively utilize thought-leadership marketing

Establishing your brand as a subject-matter expert gives you exposure and authority, and it shows where you are knowledgeable. My own media platform, Ohwabisabi, features the stories and messages of conscious thought leaders in long-form content format, most of which is written by those who wish to establish credibility as thought leaders through writing and sharing their own unique perspectives. With ever-changing narratives in any field, this is why I also choose to use a range of platforms to share and express my views and messages in areas I am passionate in  and it’s why I started Ohwabisabi this time a year ago.

Having your message or story shared on any kind of media platform establishes expertise because it is written by a third party, endorsing you and what you stand for. When you’ve been featured, you’ll gain your audience’s trust.

Create engaging content

As content continues to reign as king, clever leaders develop thought-leadership strategies to position themselves as valuable to their target audiences. This content can come from research papers, blog posts, books and ebooks, videos and webinars.

Some thought leaders write blog posts regularly that provide value to their readers. Some create visual content on social media around trending topics relevant to their industries. Video and webinars that answer the questions most important to your audience with credible information are also an essential part of thought-leadership marketing.

In basic marketing, we learn that “everyone” is not a target audience. If your messaging to your audience is too broad, your message won’t land effectively. So, rather than defining your audience as “everyone” and spending substantial time and money getting your content in front of “everyone,” focus on those who love what you do, who you are and what you have to say. They’re the ones who will become strong, loyal advocates for your brand.

Related: Connecting With Your Target Audience Through Video

Establishing your organization as an industry thought leader is about building trust, credibility and authority, boosting the public perception of your brand in a positive way. These days, consumers use digital and social media for a large majority of the purchasing process, so how you position yourself in the digital space remains crucial.

By

Founder at Ohwabisabi Media

Sourced from Entrepreneur Europe

 

Sourced from The Drum

This month’s Ideal Insights from Adstra highlights privacy issues and growing trends on the national and state level.

“Renewal is not just innovation and change. It is also the process of bringing the results of change into line with our purposes.” — John W. Gardner

This month’s update

As the world around us is starting to awaken from the pandemic, so too is the level of marketing we are seeing at our clients. We are seeing increases with our clients on both our direct mail and digital audience activities. Interestingly enough, we are also seeing an increase in combined direct mail and digital marketing campaigns. On our Non-profit side, we are seeing more than twice the number of multi-channel campaigns than we have in either of the last two years. So, what is driving this interest? Multi-channel or omnichannel marketing has always been one of those often discussed but has yet to catch fire ideas. While we cannot offer a definitive answer, we can certainly provide some insight and guidance behind the recent increase in efforts.

First up, the need to solve the impact of the announced postal increases. While digital marketers fear the impending changes of cookie deprecation and MAID tracking, direct mail marketers fear the announced cost increases in postal and printing rates. The return on direct mail campaigns is equally driven by response rates and executional costs. Marketers can adjust to small changes in cost but are challenged by major shifts like those proposed. Direct mail certainly has a place for marketers in the future, but it needs an enhancement to make the ROIs continue to work at scale and enable access to newer and younger audiences.

Second up, marketers are faced with the continuous shift away from engagement with mail by the younger generations and the bifurcation of consumers’ attention across multiple media channels. No single media has the scale of mindshare and engagement to make many traditional marketing approaches work. The walled gardens certainly offer some of the best opportunities to engage customers, but it is often on the garden’s terms and eliminates most of a brand’s ability to effectively manage the communication journey. For those brands that can exist off the older traditional direct mail audience, they can still get by, but the runway is shortening as that audience continues to age out of the business sweet spot. Never is this more true than in the non-profit space, where organizations are desperate to find younger donors and secure their long-term relevancy.

Together these two factors are driving the need to try something new. And this is where multi-channel campaigns fit in. Direct mail still has the many benefits of delivering the relevant materials to help convert customers to buy or donate, but digital offers the low-cost opportunity to build brand awareness and stimulate the discussion around a potential purchase or donation. Like anything that is new, however, success on multi-channel campaigns has been limited. In many instances, we see brands simply declare that it just doesn’t work.

Much of this we believe has to do with the starting audiences. Models tuned to direct mail response often misrepresent the value or promise of digitally engaged prospects. And digitally defined audiences do not reflect the ability to engage in a direct mail piece. Brands need to start the audience definition process anew, just like they might with any new product launch. If you haven’t looked into or understand how a multivariate test works, we might suggest educating yourself here. There needs to be far more testing of ideas and approaches before declaring multi-channel marketing as a no-go. Marketers need to better understand the entire customer engagement process and make sure their campaigns fully and effectively support that engagement.

For many campaigns, marketers see the digital component as simply brand awareness building and the direct mail piece still as the method of transaction. But in some cases, and with some audiences, it may be better to invert the thinking. Couldn’t the direct mail piece be the brand awareness piece and the digital component of the transaction vehicle? The problem with this scenario for many brands is that their websites are not tuned to transact but rather to support the company’s broader brand-building efforts.

In one of our client’s recent tests, we saw a 250-300% increase in traffic to their website out of the campaign, but effectively no increase in conversion. This was a clear case of opportunity missed because the website was not set up to close the deal. The overall campaign results showed no lift in performance, but it was clear this was more a self-inflicted failure vs a failure of the campaign itself.

In thinking about customer engagement, we would also point out here the need for consistency and alignment in messaging among channels. Where the messages are aligned at the individual level, brands are far more likely to see success than in those situations where they are not. For one publisher client of ours, they were able to drive an 80+% lift in direct mail performance for an insurance company they were working with by supporting the highlights of the direct mail materials and telling customers to keep a lookout for the mail piece. Given the success of that campaign, the publisher tried to support their own direct mail subscription offers digitally, only to find out they depressed response rates around 20%. The reason, the direct mail piece had long been designed to look like a “bill”, so customers simply paid for the subscription. By raising awareness in the digital campaign that it was an “offer”, not a “bill”, the response lift is driven by a sense of obligation disappeared.

Overall, our experience suggests that if you stay aligned and consistent in messaging at an individual level you should expect to see a 5-20% improvement in ROI. And we believe that will only get better as experience and ability to market at an individual level improve. As we learn more through the campaigns we have in the market now with our clients, we will continue to report back on the successes and failures. There is a future in multi-channel marketing, we just need to get there together.

Privacy highlights on the national level

Senators Amy Klobuchar, John Kennedy, Joe Manchin, and Richard Burr introduced the Social Media Privacy Protection and Consumer Rights Act of 2021. The bill would “give consumers the right to opt-out and keep their information private by disabling data tracking and collection” and “mandate that users be notified of a breach of their information within 72 hours,” the sponsors said. The Verge, Gizmodo, andArs Technica reported on the bill.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced the Data Protection Act of 2021, which would create an independent Data Protection Agency to “protect Americans’ data, safeguard their privacy, and ensure data practices that are fair and transparent.” The legislation expands on similar legislation the Senator introduced last year. “In today’s digital age, Big Tech companies are free to sell individuals’ data to the highest bidder without fear of real consequences, posing a severe threat to modern-day privacy and civil rights. A data privacy crisis is looming over the everyday lives of Americans and we need to hold these bad actors accountable,” said Senator Gillibrand.

R Street called on Congress to take steps to protect Americans’ data from its adversaries by passing a federal data security law and data privacy law. A white paper published by the group “seeks to reframe the need for data security and privacy legislation to acknowledge a stark reality.

Greg Bensinger, a member of The New York Times editorial board, cited the 6% of U.S. daily users who have opted into data collection on Apple’s latest software update as evidence of consumers’ demand for more privacy. “Consumers have no federal rights to privacy, leaving tech companies to put in place policies as they see fit. And critics allege Apple may be coming out with the changes to get ahead of regulatory pressure and an ongoing antitrust lawsuit over its app store. Advertising is only a small part of Apple’s business, meaning it can afford to take a cut in revenue while sticking it to competitors. Ironically, Apple will have to act even more like a regulator itself to ensure that app developers are following the rules of its new software,” he wrote. “Companies did just fine for decades marketing to consumers without access to their every movement or keyboard and mouse click. And with 94 percent of Americans saying they liked it that way, it’s time for advertisers to listen.”

Consumer concerns about data privacy and the need to meet regulatory requirements like GDPR are the main barriers to growth in mobile marketing, according to WARC’s survey of over 500 marketing professionals in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

Privacy highlights on the state level

Connecticut – Bloomberg Law, Connecticut Post, and Hartford Courant reported on failed efforts to include data privacy legislation in omnibus budget legislation in Connecticut.

New York – Legislation that would require companies to obtain opt-in consent from consumers before processing their data for ad targeting and would allow class-action lawsuits over violations was approved by the Senate Consumer Protection Committee in New York.

As we are constantly trying to feed helpful content out to our client community, we encourage you to visit our content blog where you can get our latest thoughts on industry issues. While you are there, you can also check out the new look and feel of our website. Our goal was to provide a clearer understanding of Identity, Data, and all the services we have to offer.

Should you look for more help on these topics, please reach out and we would be happy to help. Email us at connect@adstradata.com

Connect with Adstra

If you like what Adstra has to share or want to learn more about what we do, follow us on LinkedIn @Adstra, Twitter @Adstradata or Facebook @Adstradata. We welcome you to the new ideal in data.

Sourced from The Drum

By Michael J. Collins

Marketing is deeply in flux as rapid acceleration of digitalization and technological advancement continues to unfurl. To better predict the future of marketing requires learning from the past and accepting that the only thing that’s constant is change. The past year, in particular, has been remarkable, albeit disruptive, which has contributed significantly to the transformation to come.

For example, while Facebook advertising didn’t exist ten years ago Facebook generated $26.17 billion in revenue in Q1 of 2021 alone, mainly from advertising – which equals over $100 billion in ad dollars a year. This gets me thinking about where we invested ad dollars a decade ago.  While this is just one example of a major shift, it’s imperative to be prepared for the new technologies and marketing practices that will certainly emerge and shape our business model as we know it.

I anticipate a variety of changes as we look to the future of marketing, but here are some of the ways I expect marketing to evolve over the next few years.

Original and interactive content will rule.

People crave originality, creativity and authenticity in content a lot more now than they used to, but there is stiff competition for share of voice. According to Microsoft data the average human attention span is now only eight seconds, which is shorter than that of a goldfish.

Digital fatigue is real, and consumers are becoming much more selective about the type of content they digest. Businesses and brands will need to invest more in original and unique content and tap into a higher level of creativity to retain and keep their audiences happy and engaged.

Additionally, original content helps gain mentions from media and influencers, which in turn, can drive additional brand visibility and increased website traffic. There’s no question that producing high-quality original content can be challenging.  It requires tons of research, time, and effort; however, if you think about the exceptional benefits that you will get from your content and the impact on your brand you already know that it’s worth the investment.

The role of influencers in marketing will continue to evolve.

Influencer marketing has garnered a lot of interest over the last few years.  In fact, over the last three years, Google searches for “influencer marketing” has increased by 1500%.  This goes to prove that the future of influencer marketing is bursting with opportunities.

We know that influencer marketing is here to stay.  But what does the future of influencer marketing hold?  Just like all other marketing strategies, it’s bound to change with new technologies and trends. As modern consumers become more and more averse to traditional advertising, influencer marketing emerges as a promising advertising channel.

In particular, I predict that micro-influencers will play an increasingly important role. While micro-influencers may have fewer followers, they offer a more personal connection with their audience and an opportunity for much higher engagement.

Events will remain a mix of hybrid for some time.

I predicted earlier this year in a LinkedIn article outlining marketing predictions for a post-covid 2021 that many companies would make a move towards more in-person meetings by 2022. A global survey of event planners found that 30% said they would execute virtual-only events in 2021, versus 42% who said a hybrid approach would be their strategy.

At CFA Institute during the pandemic we found that our digital events were able to achieve high levels of engagement while broadening our reach beyond those who traditionally attended our in-person conferences.

I predict that moving forward, the combination of in-person and virtual elements, especially those that prioritize interactivity, will help businesses continue to deepen connections with their audiences. Brands that figure out how to include hybrid into their event marketing strategies through additional content development will stand out and have higher retention rates.

Audio platforms will continue to emerge as a solution to ease digital and video fatigue.   Digital fatigue also encompasses Zoom fatigue, which today’s marketers are no stranger to. Luckily, the rise of audio has offered marketers and event planners globally a new way of hosting online events.

This past year Clubhouse, an exclusive invitation-only social networking platform, has emerged as a voice leader. Just like a conference call, Clubhouse provides a conversation room and once the conversation is over, the room is closed. The platform offers a sense of authenticity and real-time conversation, a breath of fresh air among those who embrace this emerging channel.

In addition, live podcast events are a great way to deepen relationships with customers, expand audiences and strengthen brand loyalty.  The audio nature of podcasts offer a unique and more intimate user experience, far removed from the visual cues that we’re accustomed to.

The rise of audio options will continue to emerge in the future since listening stimulates a different part of the brain that makes us visualize concepts, creating an entirely different experience from watching on a desktop or smartphone.

It’s hard to know what other technology will emerge, but I’m eager and excited to see what the future of marketing holds.

Feature Image Credit: Shutterstock

By Michael J. Collins

Sourced from Linkedin

By Jeff Beer

From Colin Kaepernick to the U.S. women’s national soccer team, racism to equal pay, it’s all become a part of Nike’s brand message.

On September 3, 2018, a single tweet drew a line in the sand. A close-up shot of Colin Kaepernick’s face, with the words, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Timed to mark the start of the 2018/2019 NFL season and celebrating the 30th anniversary of the tagline “Just Do It,” the post and its accompanying video commercial lit up the cultural discourse like no ad in recent memory. Here was arguably the most popular sports apparel company on the planet siding with one of the most divisive athletes in the world. The message was clear: the swoosh would be on the side of anti-racism.

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder last year, the company flipped its tagline to read, “For once, don’t do it,” addressing ongoing protests and systemic racism in America. Those white letters over a dark or black background embodied a message consistent with past Nike efforts around social issues, like 2017’s “Equality” spot or 2019’s “Never Stop Winning” in support of the U.S. women’s national soccer team and gender equality.

“It doesn’t matter how many people hate your brand as long as enough people love it,” Knight told Fast Company in 2018. “And as long as you have that attitude, you can’t be afraid of offending people. You can’t try and go down the middle of the road. You have to take a stand on something, which is ultimately I think why the Kaepernick ad worked.”

Knight’s outlook on the Kaepernick ad has become the brand’s playbook as it continues to look at a young, diverse audience as its core customer, and then act accordingly. Just as the 2020 European Championship soccer tournament was kicking off in June 2021, Nike released a spot call “The Land of New Football,” that featured a laundry list of inclusive characters – gay, straight, black, white, and everyone in between. It illustrated that the joy of sport should be for absolutely everyone, no exceptions.

In this interview for The Work in Progress video series, Fast Company spoke with Nike’s vice-president of diversity and inclusion Jarvis Sam, and the company’s vice-president of marketing Melanie Auguste, about how taking a stand on social issues has become crucial to the company’s award-winning marketing.

WATCH: How Nike stays ahead of the curve with its socially conscious marketing

Feature Image Credit: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

By Jeff Beer

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. More

Sourced from Fast Company

By

It’s an unpredictable time for us marketers. People are still recovering from a rough year, financially, mentally, or both. The last thing you’d think people want are dozens of telemarketing or cold calls, automated emails and clickbait headlines — and you’re right.

The idea of trustworthy and transparent marketing — or simply, responsible marketing —  isn’t new. Still, it’s taken on more meaning as many companies with initially small online presences finally moved more assets and more effort into digital marketing. The recent increase in digital marketing seems to mean an endless glut of spam from companies indiscriminately marketing to the masses.

So how do we define responsible marketing? For me, it means smarter, targeted marketing with the customer and their pain points always in mind.

Target the Customers Who You Can Benefit

Marketing has a truly awesome ability. It has the power to reach people at a primal level and heavily influence their thoughts and actions. Because our actions as marketers can significantly impact people, it’s our responsibility to promote our product or service in a way that limits the reach only to those whom we believe can benefit from what we are offering.

There is a lot of really great marketing out there, but let’s admit it, a lot of marketing is really spammy. Spam significantly reduces the quality of leads, and more importantly, it’s annoying and gives all marketers a bad name. We need to evolve past the lazy approach of tossing a wide net with the hope of catching the right fish and instead prioritize reaching a smaller, more targeted audience, specifically relating our solutions to the audience’s pain points. Your resulting lead pool may be smaller, but it will also be filled with far higher-quality leads.

How can you tell if you’re in the spammy vs. good marketing camp? First, take a look at who you’re marketing to. Do you know who your ideal customer is? Are you doing your best to reach that customer? Is your content purely promotional, or are you helping that ideal customer understand how your solution will solve their problem?

Your marketing material should first educate. It should demonstrate understanding of a customer’s problem while describing how your offering can help. At Moz, we provide free educational resources on our website because we know that the more we educate people about how to use SEO to increase the visibility of website (for example), the more likely we are to reach the customers who will benefit from our SEO solutions.

It takes patience. You need to respect your audience enough that you allow them the time and space to take the next step and convert or buy at their own pace — not yours.

Build Trust and Connect With Your Customers

I’ve talked before about how storytelling is the best way for marketers to create lasting relationships with customers. People want to experience something human and latch on to a greater narrative. When people feel you’re talking directly to them, it evokes a greater sense of connection and sparks interest in whatever you’re marketing.

Connection creates lifelong customers. Lifers, as we call them, have more value in the long run than higher volumes of entry-level customers. They’ll spend more on premium products, stick with you through rough times and recommend your brand to others. We connect with and retain lifers through a few core values — empathy, transparency and generosity.

Recently, everyone has had a rough time of it. Adjusting to new standards is exhausting, and the last thing a customer wants is to have to wade through clickbait and spam to find the answers to their problems. When I say empathy, I mean taking the time to see the world from your customer’s point of view. It ties back into your responsibility as a marketer to meet the customer where they’re at and guide them through the journey, rather than pushing them towards something they may not yet want or need. When customers see your commitment to allow them to experience the buying process in their own time, they’ll be far more inclined to trust you.

In light of recent data breaches and questionable data collection, transparency is essential right now . Customers and those interacting with your material need to know their data and information are safe with you. It’s also about showing your interest in new prospects and truthfully communicating who your product is right for.

Respect, Responsibility and Success

People get used to the status quo. Right now, the status quo is dozens of robocalls a day, irrelevant emails and other forms of spam. Is this marketing’s future? I would hope not. Imagine what a beautiful world it would be if we all worked hard to truly understand who could benefit from what we’re offering and only reached out to those prospects. Then focused on educating those prospects about how we can help.

The hope is we all use this power we have as marketers to reach targeted audiences, creating lifelong customers and responsibly guiding them along their journey.

Feature Image Credit: ADOBE

By 

Christina Mautz has served as a strategic marketing leader for some of the world’s largest technology companies, including Amazon and Yahoo!, as well as a few Seattle SaaS startups where she earned the nickname “Chief Problem Solver.” She currently serves as the CMO and Head of Sales for Moz, the world’s leading SEO software company. In this role, she brings her passion for strategic problem-solving to the sales and marketing teams, aligning them with creative strategies to drive growth.

Sourced from CMS WiRE

By Ademola Alex Adekunbi

Over the past few years, social media has grown exponentially from something only the geeky boys and girls in college spent time on to something that’s now a ubiquitous aspect of life across the world.

For businesses, it’s clear that social media can be a goldmine of leads and conversions, if handled correctly. That’s why many companies have focused their marketing budgets on social media, trying to build a following and cultivate customer loyalty as well as new buyers. Here are a few tips you can implement to make your social media marketing much more effective in bringing in sales.

1. Focus on your audience

One of the easiest ways to burn a lot of money on social media marketing without achieving much is to attempt to appeal to everyone. What you need to do is to narrow down your audience, create a customer profile and then target your marketing toward that persona’s needs and motivations. It will make your marketing much more effective than if you were taking a more general approach.

You might also need to segment your audience by different parameters to be able to target them more effectively. Essentially, segmentation will allow you to work with multiple customer profiles and tailor your marketing based on their specific characteristics.

2. Pick your platforms and optimize for them

Attempting to maintain an active presence on all the social media platforms available is going to stretch most businesses too much. Whoever is handling your social media will likely be overwhelmed and your efforts across all the platforms will not be effective. Instead, analyse your buyer persona and decide which platforms are best for engaging your target market. Two or three are good, and you shouldn’t undertake more than that unless you have multiple staff to handle them.

When you’ve selected your content, you will be able to optimize your content for that platform and thus get much more engagement. If you’re focusing on Instagram, for instance, you’ll be able to focus your resources on making quality images, since that’s what gets the most traction on the platform. On Twitter, conversely, making highly informative threads will likely see more engagement and get the word out about your more.

3. Create and share content

Content marketing is not just a buzzword. It actually works and the effects are visible on social media too. Publish content that’s short and entertaining or informative and you can be sure you’ll get some social media engagement. Over time, you’ll have some content (whether it’s text posts, photos, infographics etc.) that’ll go viral and bring tons of traffic to your website. Be sure to work with content creation professionals to be sure your website is up to par.

Putting your content out there is the first step to building a formidable brand, and one easy hack is to tweak your content strategy continually, so it’s aligned with topical issues. By creating quality content and using interesting captions for Instagram, Twitter and other platforms, you’ll be able to plug into trends and get your content in front of many more people, such as what brands like Vape4Ever achieved by providing timely information on marijuana laws at a time when there’s a lot of confusion and public discourse about them.

4. Promote user-generated content

People trust their friends more than they trust a company, no matter how loyal they are to the brand. You can take advantage of that by encouraging people to post content on social media that validates and promotes your products or services. One popular instance of this was the “Share a Coke with…” Coca-Cola campaign where users posted pictures of themselves with their soda bottles. You don’t have to start at that level either; with creative marketing or a small giveaway, you can incentivize people to post positive info about your product or service. For a travel service, for example, getting customers to write about their trips in a way that’s authentic and fun will provide solid social proof and encourage FOMO among your target audience, thus increasing the likelihood of conversion drastically.

5. Provide stellar customer service

Positive reviews are great, but many of your customers will also likely reach out via social media when they’ve had unsatisfactory experiences with your products or services. The solution is to be ready to engage with them and find fixes for their issues in a timely manner. Give opportunities for feedback, resolve any concerns they have and encourage them to share their thoughts with their network.

Over time, that will boost your customer loyalty, encourage referrals and the influx of new customers and also help to build a positive reputation on social media. As your followership grows and validates your products or services, your social proof will increase and more people will be attracted to your brand, thereby boosting sales and your bottom line.

By Ademola Alex Adekunbi

Founder of Tech Law Info. Kunbi is a lawyer based in Lagos and is focused on the tech industry, advising startups on regulatory compliance, market-entry and investment (PE and VC). He is also the founder of Tech Law Info, a website to provide founders with essential legal information and resources. https://www.techlawinfo.com

Sourced from Entrepreneur Europe

By

Marketing used to be a thing on the street. Marketers would jump from block to block, convincing prospective customers to try their products and services.

While this traditional procedure achieved a lot of results, there’s something better and easier in town.

Social media marketing has eased the pressure of moving about searching for that customer that needs your product.

Since everyone is now on popular social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., you can quickly reach them with your products and services.

Of course, you are not the only one using this medium. As such, it is not just about engaging in social media marketing, but about doing it the right way.

Without increasing and converting your leads, clicks, sales, and followers on these platforms, you are not engaging in social media marketing the right way.

This article will help you improve your sales and convert more leads with social media marketing.

Why worry about social media leads?

As a marketer, your goal is beyond creating awareness about your product. Yes, you need engagements, but these are just the basics for the final destination.

Only when you collect leads can you truly find individuals interested in using your company’s products or services.

When you collect leads, it will be easier to communicate and stay in touch with individuals that are ready to use your services.

Introduction to social media lead marketing

Here is some of the essential information you need to know about lead marketing before you commence:

Social media lead generation

Lead generation refers to all activities you undergo to accumulate leads on social media.

Social media lead nurturing

After generating leads on social media, the deal is not complete. There is a need to always follow up and nurture the lead. You need to walk them through your company’s process or the sales funnel.

Social media lead conversion

Having nurtured a lead, you can then turn a prospect into a customer.

What platform can I use for social media lead generation?

Use platforms that contain prospects that need the products or services you are selling. One of the most popular options you have is Facebook. This platform offers you diverse means for successful social media lead generation.

Most-Popular-Social-Media-Platforms

Image Source: Oberlo.com

Facebook has more than 2.45 billion users every month. This population means that you have a higher chance of meeting your desired audience within the shortest time.

Most B2B marketers have also enjoyed rich results from LinkedIn. The record shows that around 80-90% of B2B marketers make use of this platform.

Hence, you need to consider the type of products and services you offer. You can then target the right audience that will help you reach your desired goal.

Understanding all platforms’ demographics will make it easier for you to pick the right one for your business.

Now, let’s get to the details!

Tips to increase and convert leads with social media marketing

These detailed tips are designed to help you with your lead generation and conversions:

Hone your profile

The first step to reaching your desired destination of generating leads is to improve your social media profile. Collecting more leads organically depends on the details in your social media profile.

Contact-Form

The basic standard is to include a medium where your prospects can contact you or gain access to your newsletter. If you sell products, you can also include a link for shopping.

Providing your contact information will ensure that customers can get support from you when needed. Valuable options include your email, your phone number, your WhatsApp contact, Messenger, etc.

Adding a call-to-action button to your website will increase your chances of generating leads. Most platforms have more than one call-to-action button. Try exploring the one that works best for your industry.

Call-To-Action

If you want to move your leads to your company’s website, consider adding a direct link to your profile.

Develop a strategy

Without having the right strategy, you can only achieve little results. You need to consider how you will reach your audience, who your audience is, and how you will get them engaged with your posts.

Before you post, be sure that you have the right content that your prospects are expecting. The sort of message sent can motivate or demotivate the reader.

Carefully pick the right platform to meet your audience, then prepare your posts with your audience in mind.

Your message cannot reach all users on these platforms. Even if it does, the chances are high that many will not pay attention to these posts. Hence, you need to be specific to your audience.

You need to know: What gender needs the service you are selling? Is your product age-specific? Who are your competitors targeting? Is your offer seasonal? When you find answers to questions like this, you can then work on reaching your desired customer.

Additionally, you can speak privately with some of your customers and seek their opinion on your products or services. Ensure that you are selecting the right audience, and the result will be optimal.

Work with clickable content

If your content is not compelling enough, lead generation will be impossible. Your business is not the only thing competing for an audience in the social media space. Your prospects are all searching for attention too.

Distractions will always come in the way of your customers. Unless you have valuable content to tie them down, they will be off in a split second.

You might need to seek the help of a professional at the onset. Make sure that your content is well-tailored and detailed to touch the mind of your prospect.

Your clickable content will yield no result if it does not hold values that compel a customer to click it. Hence, work on the details of your content.

Then add links with calls-to-action like, click here for more, learn more here, discover the secrets here, etc.

You can get the right call-to-action on most platforms. Make use of these options.

Try social lead ads

You can only achieve minimal results on your own. As such, when your organic content has generated all possible results, at least at the moment, switch attention.

Most social media platforms provide social lead ads to help you reach more audiences.

To make your ads stand out, you need to communicate in a clear and simple pattern. Viewers should understand why they see your ads.

Providing too much information for viewers who are not patient and attentive to details will do you no good. Hence, let your point be brief and stand out.

Asking a few questions and providing a clear and straightforward answer will result in generating leads easily.

Let’s talk about some of the platforms you can use:

Facebook lead ads

Lead ads provided by Facebook are delivered in several forms. You can then analyze them easily and evaluate the results. It also comes with retargeting tools that make nurturing a lead possible.

Facebook-For-Business

Instagram lead ads

Instagram lead ads allow you to collect information from your prospects. You can also use forms to seek their opinions and answer their burning/crucial questions.

LinkedIn lead gen forms

You can also engage in lead generation with the LinkedIn lead generator form. User profiles are used for pre-filling sections of the ads. Ads are presented in the form of sponsored InMail or Message Ads.

Make your landing page user friendly

If your content and call-to-action are detailed and catchy and distinct, you are likely to get frequent visitors to your company’s website.

Converting leads will be impossible if your landing page is not user-friendly. Hence, your ability to convince a prospect to click your content must also be used in designing your landing page.

The landing page needs a lot of valuable and useful content. If the details are irrelevant, people will close the page. Since other resources battle for attention, they may never consider you again.

Have you brought them to your website to see the products you are offering? If yes, ensure the landing page provides information on getting the product or leading them to the product directly.

By merely scanning your landing page, they should be able to grasp the idea you are painting. The content should not be vague. It should be as detailed as possible for your audience to benefit from.

Will they need to fill in forms upon reaching your landing page? Then make it snappy and straight to the point. Please don’t go too personal on the details. Basic information is sufficient.

A unique landing page will help you get more results from the prospects you attract to the page.

Deliver mouth watering incentives

Who doesn’t love a box of ice cream added as an incentive for buying small chops from their favourite eatery?

When your prospect sees what they stand to gain from you, they end up sharing your services with others. You need to be careful and pay attention to the type of lead you want to generate.

You can go the contest way on social media. When you host a contest, you generate leads effortlessly. You might give them a simple and essential task before they can join the contest. You can also seek their opinions on why they are joining your company’s contest.

Work with influencers and brand partners. Influencers on social media have thousands/millions of followers. They can be the key to reaching more audiences that need your product and services.

Do you know providing a prospect with a discount code for signing up for your newsletter can help you generate more leads on social media? But make sure leads generated can be nurtured and converted with follow-up emails.

Other forms of incentives include giving out whitepapers, webinar invitations, or granting them free access to closed groups. When they can see how beneficial the incentives are, the engagement improves.

Personalize your offers

A key to generating more leads through social media is by personalizing your offers. Personalizing makes reaching your target easier.

Most social media platforms offer tools that make targeting the desired audience easier. You can target them by age, occupation, gender, or social status.

Ensure that your offers are designed for each individual that comes in contact with the ads. As such, they will be able to interact and subscribe to your service.

Monitor your progress

It is best to monitor your lead generation process. There are numerous analytics tools provided by social media platforms. Do your research and find the one that works well for you and your brand.

Google-Analytics

One of the most popular options is Google Analytics. It makes tracking your leads easier and detailed. From your website, you can easily track where your leads are coming from.

It is best to start with multiple platforms. When you detect the one bringing more results, you can then focus on using that platform.

Wrapping up

Generating leads is a continuous process. Your skills and effectiveness will improve over time. The details provided in this guide will help you better understand how to get good results from your social media marketing endeavors.

Remember, your posts must be detailed and clear. They should be straight to the point. Your audience should see how it is relevant and what they stand to gain.

It’s up to you to decide the results you want. Digest the information in this guide, and you will see massive improvements.

Social media lead generation works, but it must be done the right way.

By

Michael is an Online Marketing Consultant, Tech Pr Expert, and also the COO of Visible Links Pro. He shares actionable content which assists businesses to thrive online. He can be reached on Twitter, and Linkedln.

Sourced from Jeff Bullas

BY SONIA THOMPSON

Over the past year, a lot of brands have started to do a much better job when it comes to representation in their marketing. Whether it is in diversifying the speaker lineup at conferences or ensuring the visual imagery portrayed in ads and photography looks more like the people who are attending the conferences and or consuming the content, there is a noteworthy positive change.

For instance, a few months ago, I talked to the chief marketing officer of one brand whose team had even gone so far as to put clear metrics in place as to what representation should look like, by matching it to the latest population demographics of various groups from an ethnicity standpoint, and noting that negative stereotypes should be avoided.

Even though there is plenty of progress happening on the representation-in-marketing front, there are some common mistakes being made that prevent the brands creating them from getting the results they seek.

1. Including the token diverse person

When you’re looking through a conference lineup, and you see the same usual speakers and then one person who is part of an underrepresented group, it feels like the brand did it to check their “diversity and inclusion” box. As a consumer, it feels kind of insulting.

Same goes when you’re looking at the makeup of a brand’s internal team, and they’ve got one person who looks different from all the rest.

If you really want to signal to your customers that they belong with you, particularly your diverse and niche consumers, don’t make representation feel like an afterthought or something you have to do.

Instead, focus on diversifying your network and circle of influence so you’ve got plenty of diverse talent to feature for events and to work with on your team.

2. Thinking that photography is enough

I recently conducted a representation-in-marketing research study with more than 1,000 consumers. One thing that came through loud and clear was that consumers want more than just representative photography from a brand.

Your customers want features, storylines, and more in-depth content from people who look like them and have backgrounds similar to theirs.

That may mean featuring more diverse experts in your educational content, spotlighting the stories of your customers from a number of different backgrounds in your ads and social media content, or showcasing testimonials from your diverse and niche consumers on your sales pages.

Photos can be bought, but real stories and expertise from real people cannot.

If you want to make diverse and niche consumers feel like they belong with you, go deeper than the photos. David’s Bridal does a great job of this. They feature a lot of user-generated content on their social channels that features a broad variety of customers. And on their website, they feature the wedding stories of an impressive cross-section of their diverse customers.

3. Not building a truly inclusive brand

Increasingly, consumers are looking beyond just a brand’s marketing in terms of the products, services, and experiences they deliver to determine whether or not they are truly representative.

They are turning their attention to the internal teams and board of directors to see if they are representative as well. If representation only matters in your marketing, and not in your team building, then consumers get the signal that diversity, inclusion, and belonging aren’t as important to you as you would have them believe.

The fix is to build an inclusive brand from the inside out. Your customers, particularly diverse, niche, and marginalized consumers, want to spend their money with a brand that aligns with their values. They prefer to steer clear of the brands that are only being representative in their marketing just to get diverse and niche consumers to spend money with them, and those they don’t feel truly value or care about those who are a part of their community.

Representation matters. More and more, this is becoming accepted. But not all representation is created equal. Avoid the mistakes above to ensure your representation efforts are seen as authentic and by the customers you want to serve.

Feature Image Credit: Getty Images

BY SONIA THOMPSON

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE STRATEGIST, CONSULTANT, AND SPEAKER@SONIAETHOMPSON

Sourced from Inc.

By Melissa Pepper,

My first real marketing job was at a law firm with about 40 attorneys. It was their first marketing role, too, so we learned together how to do this marketing thing.

One of the sayings I used over and over again when working there was, “Marketing is more than posters and parties.”

Yes, marketing can and may always have a bit of party planning and sign making. It’s part of the territory. But what elevates marketing to become a strategic partner with leaders in your organization is moving beyond these conversations to key questions and imperatives for the success of your business.

Let’s break down what I believe are the key components of marketing in 2021.

1. Digital-First Strategy

Whether your business is B2B or B2C, your customers are likely finding you and interacting with you digitally. But how do we change the ways we market in a digital environment to increase our lead generation?

The first place many often look is through a better optimized, modern website. A client asked me the other day if websites are even relevant anymore. I answered yes, because while new media has come about to connect consumers with brands, company websites still are a primary way leads in your sales funnel learn about you and travel through their decision-making process. The better your website keeps them engaged, the more apt they may be to buy your product or service.

I also recommend focusing on a variety of digital activities, such as email automation, pay-per-click and landing page campaigns, and social media advertising. You may find that a different mix suits you, but regardless of your industry, think critically about the intersection of your sales and marketing functions and how strategic digital marketing can efficiently capture leads to hand to your sales team.

2. Holistic

Marketing cannot operate in a silo. To make your marketing effective — which means to do activities that lead potential customers to become customers — your marketing team should be welcomed into your sales and operations. Marketers can tell a good story, if we know the story to tell. Empower your marketing person or teams to really learn the business so they can adequately communicate your unique value proposition to potential customers.

For example, at my law firm job, this meant meeting with the practice area leaders and attending practice group meetings regularly. I had a weekly habit to make “rounds” to learn what the attorneys were working on, ask questions and understand how they communicated. This habit allowed me to delve into an industry that was foreign to me when I started and to craft messaging that would speak to their potential and current clients.

3. Goal-Oriented

Marketing often comes under fire because it’s been historically hard to measure. Digital-first strategies have changed that because we have data to understand how our marketing efforts are reaching (or not reaching) consumers. How we measure marketing, then, should be a function of the data available to us. Ensure your goals are tied to your overall company strategy and that there is a person in your organization who is held accountable to meet them.

As your business grows, you can seek out more sophisticated marketing metrics. If you’re just hopping onto the measurement bandwagon, I’d suggest starting small with only a few metrics. Be sure to optimize your website to track conversions. You can also track contact forms and conversions on your website. Measure your email open rate. Keep an eye on engagement and bounce rate.

At the end of the day, marketing is a strategic driver for new and returning customers. Can posters and parties bring you that outcome? Yes. But only if you are also considering a digital, holistic and goal-oriented marketing approach.

Feature Image Credit: getty

By Melissa Pepper,

President at Total Solutions and Founder of Lead(h)er. Read Melissa Pepper’s full executive profile here

Sourced from Forbes