When it comes to social media nearly everyone falls in one of two extreme camps. You either love it or you hate it so much you would rather someone else do it for you. For this reason, many marketers love Marketing Automation for the capabilities of that it has. Results which automation brings to the table have been proven for years now that and this trend isn’t decreasing. So, what is Digital Marketing Automation?
Any software that is used to automate portions of your social media marketing action is marketing automation. This type of software is intended to reduce repetitious digital tasks such as email and social media actions. Thus freeing up time and energy to be used for other tasks. With the use of Marketing Automation, you gain the ability to run campaigns on several platforms at once. Such as Email, Social media as well as phone campaigns. It uses your CRM to combine insight-focused capabilities, as well as web analytics and other systems to provide you with powerful lead options.
Why do You Need It?
In the realm of marketing management, speed is king in many regards. If slow tedious portions of your business can be automated, it frees your time allowing you opportunities to engage with your customers more often. These types of engagements can potentially result in new leads and sales. You can then plug these leads into your automated system for email alerts and automated social media campaigns, thus growing your customer base.
Additionally, with good automation tools, marketers are further able to tailor target customers purchasing profiles. This tailored experience will have the added benefit of higher qualified prospective customers spending more time on your website. The longer that they spend on your site, the more data will that you can use to discover more leads and customers in an ongoing cycle.
This information is key to targeted relevant promotions on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. These platforms only focus on relevant new content, making your need for good marketing automation software even more important. The need for a strong CRM database is more important than ever before.
Where do I Start?
Do not be overwhelmed. Start small and see how much automation benefits you and you will be ready to take it to the next level in no time. Build a solid small campaign or two. This smaller scale will allow you to see the things marketing automation does well. As your list of contacts grows, build bigger campaigns to further build your target customer base.
One of the most popular email marketing platforms is Mailchimp. Once you start assembling a database of contacts, you can use this to start a regular stream of content marketing to your audience. You can also use features like welcome messages, birthday messages and notifications of abandoned shopping carts to keep your audience engaged for longer.
Craft an enticing Landing Page
Once you have a customer base built you want to craft a page that will hold your audience for as much time as possible. This must be done in an appealing way, taking in consideration things such as quality content relevant to your audience and a good user experience. Walls of text are a quick way to have your potential patrons clicking over to other sites. Poor developer practices and slow loading pages and poor graphic design choices will also turn your visitors away.
Focus on content that is is build around short paragraphs, bullet points and encouraging short pieces of content that will convince them to fill out forums and sign up for notifications via email and social media. All of your content should be shareable so your consumers can spread the word of your company for you – make sure you include social media share icons and links to your profiles.
You must be sure that once your customers have given you their email that you do not abuse this. You need to focus on finding a pace that your automated systems will send out notifications frequently enough to draw your customers back to your page. At the same time as not to contact them too often and drive them away from your notifications.
Automated calling lists should be treated much like your email list as well. The last thing you want is your customers blocking your incoming calls or sending your emails to the junk folder.
A key to maintaining this contact with your consumers is to do everything you can to make the interaction feel personal. Tailored content will go a long way to repeat customers. This kind of focus on your customers will build loyalty and go a long way to retain your customer base.
Customer Retention is Essential
In the coming years, we will see a stronger embrace of customer retention. This loyalty combined with regular social interaction with your audience will begin cultivate micro-influencers out of all of your happy customers. This will grow your automated marketing files further increasing your brand.
Marketing automation software today can do most of the marketing heavy lifting for you. This can change the way you engage with your customers. You will have the ability to gather much better quality leads as well as freeing you up from tedium of everyday social media activity and enable you to spend the time being the face of your brand.
In life, relationships mean everything. While this is something we all intuitively grasp in regards to our family and friends, should it be any less so when it comes to our relationships with our customers? Of course not. If you’ve calculated that using social media as a means to interact with your customers is a powerful social media strategy then you’re on the right track. Now, let’s break this concept down into two strategic initiatives for interacting with your customers on both a personal and operational level.
Personally Engaging Your Customers
Let’s look at four strategic ways in which social media can be the perfect platform to develop a more personal relationship with your customers.
- Earn their respect: You ask your customers to read and enjoy the content you provide to them. But what types of content might they like? Reaching out to them about their personal preferences engenders respect. Consider using short surveys in return for a form of reward.
- Own up to mistakes: There’s something endearing about admitting when we’re wrong. If your social media presence has made a mistake in some way, be honest with your customers about it. It will only serve to help humanise you in their eyes.
- Share the spotlight: Your customers read your social content, and by doing so, they gain an appreciation for your business or media platform. But what about your customers? Would it hurt to occasionally turn the spotlight on them by soliciting feedback via their testimonials or ideas? Try it, they’ll like it.
- Don’t forget to say thanks: Don’t ever think your customers don’t have other options. There’s lot’s of competition out there and a simple “thank you” to your customers from time to time will keep them coming back for more.
Operationally Engaging Your Customers
Here are six proven ways to enhance your digital marketing efforts on an operational level that will also help to endear your social media platform to its customer base.
- Make customer’s experience personal: Adding a little pizzazz to your content is one way to personalize their experience. When deciding on a tone of voice for your social presence – a conversational tone can make them feel as if you know them and they know you.
- Content needs balance: To ensure a good variety of customers provide a good variety of content. Mix it up. Add photos and video if you haven’t already. Don’t serve them up the same thing day after day.
- Timely responses: Monitor your social media content on a regular basis. Respond to your customers as a matter of priority, not necessity. Treat this as a way to converse with customers on a daily basis.
- Content that is popular: It doesn’t have to be all about business, does it? By occasionally populating your social media with trendy, popular topics you may not be exactly selling through your content, but you’re likely saying to your customers that you care about some of the same trends that they do.
Customers love contests: Social media is a perfect platform for promoting competition or contests which engage customers. Give them something to perk their excitement and their interest. Use the entry form to learn more about them. Prizes work wonders.
Ignore feedback at your own peril: And, yes, that includes negative feedback. If a customer takes the time to share their displeasure with something you’ve done in their eyes, treat it as an opportunity to better understand them and want to stay on your site.
If you’re not already doing so, try one or more of these social media strategy tips. Chances are, your efforts to do so will keep your customers returning and, in the process, positively impact your efforts to build customer relations.
As a small business owner and operator increasing awareness of your brand should be a primary focus of your marketing strategy. Also, being a small business, it is unlikely that you will have the budget to invest in advertising on a large scale. One of the best marketing opportunities to gather momentum and bring awareness to your brand is with social media. There are several things that you can do to with social media to help quickly build an audience and establish your brand.
Get Socially Active
Building your social media brand can be easy with a proper social marketing strategy. In today’s digital environment it takes more than having a Twitter and Facebook profile. You MUST be active on these accounts. Engage with your consumers and build an audience. As some of the current social media cater for different audiences, look at where your business naturally fits within this space – Instagram, Snapchat etc.
Regularly Create Content
Creating relevant content to engage your audience with. The goal is to produce content that your audience will want to share spreading your influence further across other social media platforms.
Embrace Video Content
Video is everywhere in social media today and increasingly more of it is live feed videos on platforms like Live Streaming Youtube and Facebook as well as Periscope and more. This new level of personal interaction with your followers is having a tremendous effect on businesses.
- Nearly all users admit that product videos help them in making purchasing choices.
- More than 60% of consumers that watch a video about a product say they are more likely to make an online purchase after viewing.
- The real estate market has shown that a listed property with a video will receive more than 400% inquires then listed properties without.
Everyone loves Free Things
There no better way to spread the word your brand then by getting it into the hands of your customers. Everything from key fobs to pens and Koozies to carry bags. Having your company logo put on some of these kinds of items and giving them away helps to draw attention to anyone that might see or interact with it. Merchandising is still a valid way to entrench brand awareness with everyday objects.
More than 90% of customers today read product and company reviews before making a purchasing choice. When asked 7 out of 10 consumers will leave product reviews when asked.
Build your reputation on positive reviews all the while helping your SEO. For any poor reviews you get, you should contact the reviewer in an effort to resolve and make your customer happy. Often if you are able to use good customer service, and a poor reviewer is happy with the end result, they will change their review to reflect that.
When it comes to digital marketing, everything is constantly in a state of flux. What worked like gangbusters a week ago may now be saturating the market and proving ineffective. In order to stay current and get ahead in digital marketing, a smart business stays up to date on what’s trending now. Here are some of the latest strategies that are working for other digital marketers so far in 2017:
Be Smart About Social Media Usage
While social media may occupy about 40% market share with users, it is still important to apply some common sense and good judgement to how much you promote your interests on social media versus other marketing channels. If you put your followers on information overload, or inundate them with marketing heavy posts without actually producing meaningful content, traffic and new followers will drop off sharply. Keep content high quality and consistent, but don’t overdo it.
Get Personal With Social Media
We’ve recently explored nurturing client relationships in messaging apps and chat. Following this, pay close attention to what your followers are following on social media. What trends to do they follow closely? Is there a hashtag campaign they seem to feel strongly about? Use this information when composing social media posts or sending out mass email campaigns. You have access to everyone’s interests and dislikes, so it only makes sense that you would use that to add personal touches to email and social media marketing in order to increase the appeal of your content.
Email Still Works
Many companies still draw many of their customers from email marketing lead generation. Just because social media has come to prominence does not mean that email is no longer a viable marketing option. You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take, so cast your net a little wider by still attempting to leverage leads from email marketing campaigns.
Visual Content Cannot Be Ignored
Between the rise of YouTubers running social media empires and so many individuals livestreaming on a daily basis, video feeds are the new normal for social media. Facebook users alone watched 100 million hours of video per day. That’s a massive amount of potential customers you need to be reaching with your media so find out how you can generate content and get involved in that ASAP.
Combined Strategies Are Often The Most Effective
When in doubt, try a combination of visual content targeted at content you know your users and followers care deeply about. So long as it is generally relevant to what is going on at your company and is targeted toward the preferred trends of lost customers, you are actually doubling your marketing impact. Think about this the next time you are developing an original campaign and need to stretch that budget further. Combined strategies make some of the best more-with-less strategies available.
In today’s digital market, SEO strategies for increasing local searches involve many factors. Since over 80 percent of today’s potential buyers begin their search for products, goods and services online, how your local site manages the functions of location and reviews are two of the most critical of these factors.
Increasing Local Visibility
Customers need to find you in order to spend money with you. In the case of businesses with multiple locations, the importance of maintaining a website (ar web page, at least) for each individual location should not be underestimated. Here are some key SEO basics for ensuring shoppers are able to easily navigate to your business location.
Is Your Google My Business Profile Accurate?
To ensure you’re deriving the most benefit from Google products like Maps and Search, you need to populate your profile with accurate and up-to-date data. Make certain your name, as listed in your profile, is your exact business name and not some combination of name and keyword. The same goes for your business address and phone number and for your website URL. Fill out the entire profile. Choose the correct categories. Be consistent from one location to another.
Are You Providing Good Local Content?
This can be as simple as creating pages for such topics as customer testimonials or local news. A blog for each location can be worth its weight in gold if you are telling customers your story in an engaging and personal way. Don’t hesitate to link to some of the clients and businesses with whom you work closely. Don’t forget to include images and video wherever applicable.
Which Leads Us to Reviews
Your reputation is everything. Promoting positive and honest customer reviews will allow your location to stand out and be noticed amongst all of your competition in your particular digital marketing environment. Whether you’re being rated by stars or some other rating icon, the mental signal the 1-5 point rating standard makes is universally understood. To assume potential customers are not checking out your ratings when they navigate to your location is a miscalculation you don’t want to make. Here are three key concerns when it comes to how you manage your reviews.
Set honest criteria and accept the honest feedback it elicits. Be ethical and authentic. Negative ratings and comments can be a signal that you may need to make some adjustments in your business plan. No matter what, don’t be tempted to write your own countervailing review as there are Google’s own algorithms that may detect it.
In any given time frame you want to receive enough reviews so everyone knows you’re still in business, but not so many that they begin to stack up and appear outdated. Remember, over 70 percent of shoppers don’t take a review older than several months as seriously as they do the one that was written today.
As the owner of your business, don’t hesitate to address your customer’s positive feedback as well as their concerns and negative comments. It’s your chance to proactively tell your side of the story. Do so in a professional and dignified manner, letting them know of the solutions you’ve come up with to address their concerns. In the process you’ll come across in a way that may overcome any negative with a positive affirmation.
When it comes to SEO basics, the properly understood functions of location and reviews are a vital key in growing your business.