By: Jordan Steen
Founder at Rest&Bar Marketing
1. Tell your Brand Story
Let's first look at the basics. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. were all developed with the same basic goal in mind-- to provide a place where people and communities can come together and engage with each other. That being said, a business page should act accordingly. People don’t come to Facebook with the intention of being sold something; they use it to connect with friends and keep up with trends. If they happen to come across something that interests them they MIGHT make a purchase.
So how does a brand story relate to individual social engagement and interaction and how in the WORLD is it going to help me increase sales? Your business does a lot of work assembling sales and marketing materials to disperse to other businesses. Yes, these are extremely important parts in the process of a sale, but today, there is one piece that tends to be forgotten-- connection. One thing we can learn from big business is that loyal customers tend to become consumed with a brand they love. A great example of this is Apple. Several times I’ve ridden down the road and seen a car in front of me with an Apple window decal on the back. When is the last time you saw a Microsoft logo on the back of a vehicle? This is a result of the brand Apple has built around its product.
A brand story is developed by getting into the roots of the company. Where and when did the company start? Why did the owners want to start the company? What struggles or successes did the company have in their journey? Today, you even need to consider strategies used by companies like Younique. Everyday moms are running their businesses from home with videos from their phones promoting Younique’s products while their kids are playing in the background. The best part is, their fans LOVE it. So remember a few things...make them like you, make your story relatable and don’t be afraid to be authentic. There are so many generic brands that exist already and people crave originality.
2. Constant Contact
The principle of constant contact is simple-- you want your business to be active on as many platforms as are relevant and beneficial to your business. Once you establish a presence on those platforms you want to consistently update, post, comment, etc. with useful information so that you are constantly in front of your potential customers. Some things to stay away from are irrelevant posting, bait-posting, political or religious conversation and spamming. All of these actions can result in a negative reputation online accompanied by severe long-term damage to your company’s online presence.
Though the principle of constant contact itself is rather easy, the execution can be extremely difficult. The most important thing you can do to ease the process is establishing a digital marketing plan. Figure out which platforms are going to be crucial for reaching your typical audience and create a brand story and content around that platform. At the very least, I recommend every company has a website, Facebook account, and an email distribution list. These three pieces of a digital marketing plan will instantly increase attention and engagement online whether your business markets B2B or B2C.
So how do you marry these three products to stay in front of a potential customer? In a general sense, the website is your money page while email and Facebook push users to your website to engage and research more information. Your website should have CTAs (call to action) that push the user to call, contact you, sign up for an email list and ultimately, to make a purchase. It is important to have a well thought out email content/automation strategy as well as Facebook content that is going to entice users to comment or share. Lastly, you need to keep the theme, contact information and content relatively consistent throughout all platforms. Congruency in your advertising message is key.
3. Utilizing Analytics and Reporting
One of the best features of marketing online is the ability to track results more accurately. Your website, social accounts and email dissemination program will all have tracking capabilities that allow you to build profiles of your customers based on the backend data recorded from your marketing efforts.
With Facebook, you are able to target audiences based on interests, behaviors, demographics and location. Analyze your reports and use successful campaigns to build a more precisely targeted audience segment in your industry. Reporting tools for Facebook give information about your ads like age, gender, location, which device they used to view the ad and other specific information relating to the process. They also allow you to see engagement with your page (comments, likes, shares, etc.), buttons used (contact us, sign up, etc.) and how large an audience your page reaches each week. All of this information is key to revising your customer profile as your company grows.
Website and email management platforms also provide excellent reporting abilities. You can link any website to Google’s analytics tool which allows you to see time spent on specific pages, what actions were taken on your page, IP address and more. This is useful for determining if a page is actually causing more damage to your site than improvement or if your CTAs are effective. Your email management platform is able to track more specific things like did your viewers open the content you sent them, have they taken an action within the email or did they simply just ignore it all together. These insights allow you to adjust your strategy for dissemination and even your content if necessary.
It requires time and attention to effectively market through social media. Conducting an effective online marketing presence is a full-time job. All of the different angles of online marketing that need to come together to make it successful require a full time professional. That doesn’t mean a small business owner can’t run an effective online marketing campaign-- it happens all the time, but new tools and updates in the industry change the landscape of marketing on almost a daily basis making it harder and harder to stay on top.
If you would like to talk about how Rest&Bar Marketing can help your business we would love to hear from you. As always I hope this has shed some new light on digital marketing for you.