The internet is one of your best and most cost-effective tools for marketing. However, to use it right, you need to understand the mentality of the average web user. For most people, it’s all about finding the most appealing, concise, and easily accessible information and solutions to their problems. The vast majority of the younger web users prefer images and videos to written content. If you’re trying to reach that younger audience, you need to use video marketing!
Video marketing is effective for the simple reason that EVERYONE loves well-made, clever, and interesting videos. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, videos are worth far, far more. You can deliver a powerful, engaging, funny, clever, or interesting message in a matter of seconds using video. You can also tell a story to entice web surfers to click on your link and see what more you have to say. Well-made videos can stop any casual web surfer in their tracks, perhaps even long enough to get them interested in your product or service.
Video marketing is also effective because it’s entertaining. Go to YouTube, and you’ll find HUNDREDS of videos on every topic under the sun. Many of them are created to make you laugh, cry, think, and be interested in something new. Videos present important information in an entertaining way. People love to be entertained, and it can make learning a whole lot more enjoyable. You can teach useful things through the medium of entertainment.
Best of all, video marketing is available to anyone. You don’t have to be an internet marketing genius to use video marketing. All you have to do is know how to make a good video. That may mean hiring a video expert to help you create something informational, engaging, and entertaining. Once you have the video, you can post it to your website, blog, social media accounts, and even a YouTube channel. If the video is well-made and engaging, it has a much better chance of being shared around.
Videos tend to “go viral” (being shared all over the internet) much more often than written articles. Viral videos can get millions of views in a very short amount of time. If you’re the one who created the video, all those viewers will link the video to your company/business. The viral nature of the video means thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people around the world will find out about you and what you have to offer.
The truth is that video marketing is one of the most effective tools in your arsenal. If you want to reach the widest audience possible, it’s worth investing in making videos that entertain, educate, and engage in a clever, interesting, and animated way!
Have you ever heard the expression “Content is king?” It’s one that has become very popular in the last decade, especially with the drastic shift in advertising and marketing caused by social media and the internet.
Once, your best means of reaching people was via billboards, TV ads, radio spots, and newspaper ads. Now, the most time and cost-effective methods of marketing is using the internet (social media, company website, etc.).
The internet is designed to be an information superhighway, where people can access anything they want in a matter of seconds. Search engines provide relevant results for millions of searches every day. Guess what those results are? 9 times out of 10, they’re articles, blog posts, and content posted on websites.
If you want to get people to visit your website and find out more about your business, you MUST create content that is relevant, valuable, and consistent. Content allows you to establish yourself as an authority, which increases the likelihood people will seek you out for answers and help. Regular content posting also keeps you in the forefront of potential customers’ minds. If they keep seeing your content when they’re looking for advice or help with a problem, they’ll end up thinking of you when they need your business.
Content marketing is important for customers, as it’s a “soft sell” tactic. By delivering consistent value through your articles, blog posts, and other content, you slowly convince customers to take advantage of your product or service. In this modern day and age, most people prefer the soft sell than the in-your-face “Buy or try my product/service!”
Content marketing also matters to search engines. When people do a search for a problem or question related to your business’ product or service, you want your content to be as highly ranked as possible. The higher the ranking, the greater the chance of a search engine user clicking on your website and reading the article or post. Content allows you to take advantage of people’s desire for more information and knowledge, yet still entice them into buying your product or trying your service.
Content marketing also allows you to build a relationship with your customer. You provide them with daily or weekly solutions and answers to their problems and questions, and that endears them to you. That positive association in their mind will make them think of you next time they need your product or service. Once again, it’s about the “soft sell”.
The internet can be a highly useful tool to promote your business, but you have to learn how to do it right. Providing regular content is the key to being a smart internet marketer!
You’d be amazed by how many people use social media incorrectly. They post content that tries to hit “everyone”, without any sort of targeting or strategy to reach the demographic best-suited for their product. If you’re serious about using social media to reach your target market, you can’t just post whatever springs to mind. You need to come up with a plan, targeted content that is visually appealing, and learn the ins and outs of the various forms of social media marketing. That is the only way you’re going to read that audience!
Here’s what you need to know:
Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube all offer access to a different target audience. Pinterest is more popular among women, Facebook is more commonly used by businesses, and Twitter is the short-form social media for busy people on the go. Understanding what each platform offers—mainly in the demographics that frequently use the platform—is the first step toward using your social media effectively.
Learn how using the right hashtags can make your Twitter posts more engaging and reach a broader audience. Learn how Facebook Ads effectively help you to put your published content in front of the right people. Learn what sort of YouTube videos are most effective for promoting your content. The more you learn about the platform, the more easily you’ll be able to plan the marketing strategy.
Sticking with just one social media network isn’t going to get you the results you want. You need to learn to use multiple networks, and learn how they can cross-promote each other. Twitter posts can be automatically posted to Facebook and vice versa, or short YouTube videos can make your Facebook feed more engaging. Instagram photos will do well on Facebook and Twitter. Learn at least three or four of the primary social networks, and you’ll have a better reach!
The primary purpose of your content is to get people to stop what they’re doing and focus on what you have to say/share. Your content needs to be visually appealing, offer entertainment or real value, but most important of all get people engaged. Ask a question, offer advice that’s likely to be shared, or solicit your readers’ opinions. The more people engage with your posts, the more likely they will be to engage with the posts marketing and selling your product or service.
Your social media followers want to feel they’re getting something special for their interaction with you. Offer them discounts, special deals, or coupons as a reward for their engagement. This offers them value, which in turn increases future engagement.
If you’ve ever talked to a web developer, they will no doubt have harped on the importance of building a mobile-friendly website. You may have no idea why it matters, but they certainly believe it’s important. But why? What makes a mobile-friendly website so vital for the success of your business, product, or service?
Here’s the truth: more and more people are using their phones to shop. You can still go to your local store and buy goods, but your phone is useful for calling a cab (Uber), staying in touch with friends (social media), ordering dinners to go (Grubhub), finding good places to go and activities to do (TripAdvisor), even booking flights and hotels (AirBNB, Expedia, etc.). 55% of consumer shopping time in 2014 was spent on phones, while only 45% was spent on computer. That means more people are buying using their phones. If you have a product to sell, your customer are probably most likely searching for it on their phone.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t directly sell products; the average person spends more time surfing the internet on their phone than they do on their laptop. If you succeed at driving them to your website (where they can find out more about your product or service), you want them to stick around to find out more. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, they’re all but guaranteed to click away and go to another website that IS mobile-friendly. Your customers—both current and potential future customers—expect you to make their life easier. A mobile-friendly website is one that is “easier” for them to use.
As mentioned above, most web-surfers are likely to leave your website if it’s not mobile-friendly. But here’s something you might not know: Google may also penalize your website for not having a mobile-friendly design. Google may display it when someone is searching from their PC, but not when searching from a phone. Given that 55% of web surfers are using their phone, you could end up losing a huge chunk of business because you don’t have a mobile-friendly site. You want Google to drive as many clients to your website as possible, which means building a site that is compatible with mobile devices.
Yes, it will likely cost more to create a customized theme that is responsive to mobile and desktop users. In the end, however, it will benefit you—both in terms of customer ease of use and search engine compatibility.
Marketing is all about putting your message in front of the right people in the right way. Thanks to social media, that has become easier than ever. If used correctly, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, and all the other social media platforms will allow you to engage directly with your target demographic.
First off, social media is where people go to relax and distract themselves from work. It already has a positive association in their minds, meaning the things they see while on social media will also tend to have that positive connotation. If your marketing campaign appeals to them, inspires them, or catches their interest, they’re far more likely to engage with it than they would while surfing the internet for education or information.
Social media also provides you with a surprising amount of information on who people are. Facebook, for example, compiles not just names, but also locations, interests, ages, likes and dislikes, and so much more. You’ll be able to use the social media profiles to target the right people with the right message. If you use the platforms’ various paid options, you’ll tap into their compiled databases to ensure your marketing campaigns are targeted at the customers most likely to be receptive to your message.
Social media gives you a much broader reach than you’d get from other sources. While Google’s SEO rankings are dependent largely in inbound links to your website, it does take into account links from social media. The more people post links to your page or content, the higher your SEO ranking. However, that also increases your visibility on those social media platforms and increases your authority.
People are always looking for new and interesting, content that educates, entertains, and gets them thinking. If you approach content creation with that mindset, you’ll find that the images, videos, and articles you post to social media have much better engagement. The more people engage with and share your content, the more you are perceived as an authority. This in turn increases the chance that people will seek you out when they have a question they need answered or a problem they want solved. Your reputation as an authority is worth gold!
Social media also allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s trending, popular, and of interest to your target demographic. If you “join in the conversation” with your marketing and content, you become relevant and trending as well. You’ll find that social media enables you to stay current with the times in a way classic content marketing never could!
Twitter is so much more than “just another social media platform”. It’s actually one of the best platforms to use for business, as it offers a broader yet more targeted reach than any other social media network. With 300+ million users and 500 million Tweets sent per day, it’s a small business’ most valuable tool for expanding your audience.
Why is that?
You can find your competitor brands on Twitter, and the last thing you want is to be left behind!
All you have to do is type up your message in 140 characters and hit the Tweet button. You can share info about a new product, offer a discount, or announce big changes easily.
To get hundreds or even thousands more people to see your content, all you have to do is use the right hashtags. Hashtags increase the visibility of your post beyond your immediate network. If used correctly, they can help you reach a much broader audience than you ever could on your own.
Any business that isn’t on at least Twitter and Facebook are “behind” and “antiquated”. To stay relevant and modern, you need to be using social media networks—even if you don’t master them, at least use them!
Want to find out what’s “in” or trending? Use Twitter Search to help you find out what people are saying about a certain topic. Get in on the conversation or create content that makes you relevant. It’s a great way to ensure you stay in touch with the world around you.
You can talk to anyone in the world just by tweeting to them. There are no limits on reach, so you may find a broad range of opportunities you’d never have found otherwise. All you have to do is keep your eyes open and think creatively.
Instead of spamming your social media with useless content, Twitter enables you to start a two-way dialogue with people. You can make jokes, share interesting content, or talk to people directly. You’ll find it will help you to refine your brand and message!
If used correctly, Twitter can be your most effective tool for engaging with your customers and followers. Be smart with your Twitter use, and it will help you to improve your brand and message.
Go on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram around the holidays and you’ll find nearly every brand and company making a holiday-themed post to try to capitalize on the special day. Why is that? What is it about the holidays that’s so special?
Holidays are a time of year people look forward to. They want to relax on Memorial Day, Labor Day, Independence Day, Christmas, New Year, etc. Holidays have a positive mental association in their mind. A smart brand will take advantage of that association and link it to their product or service. A holiday-themed post shows that you are relevant (you create fresh, up to date content), but it also creates that positive association in your viewers’ minds. After all, if you’re as happy as they are about the holiday, you’re no longer a faceless company—you’re an individual like them who is interested in the same things.
There’s a certain emotional appeal to holiday-themed social media posts. People tend to be happier than average on holidays, and each holiday has its own emotional touchpoints. Labor Day is all about hard-working people. Earth Day is about protecting the planet. Christmas is about family. Using those emotional touchpoints in your social media post can help you to connect emotionally with your viewers.
You’ll find that using social media for holiday posts can also foster a sense of community. You can offer a holiday-themed deal to your customers, or simply ask a question to engage them. Use your post to encourage engagement and connection. Remind them what’s important for the holiday and ask them to share the things that matter most. The more interactive the post, the better.
If done right, a holiday-themed post can be highly shareable and buzzworthy. A well-crafted post has beautiful visuals related to the holiday, an emotional message, and an interesting call to action. It can be something as simple as “Tell a family member you love them on X holiday” or something more complex like “Bring attention to a social injustice on X holiday”. Anything can go viral if it has the right message, hook, and visual. A good call to action can encourage people to purchase or click on something they normally wouldn’t, especially when paired with the other components.
Don’t worry about hitting EVERY holiday in the year! Find a holiday that is “on brand” with your product or service, and focus on just that one. Create awesome, engaging, funny, and emotional content for that holiday and hit it hard. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, start using more and more holidays to drive interest in your brand.
The day of long-winded, text-heavy articles is coming to an end; now, people want to SEE rather than read. They say that an “image is worth 1,000 words”. Thanks to Instagram, a well-crafted image can be worth a whole lot more!
Instagram is a photo-based platform that allows you to share images, GIFs, and videos, using the same hashtags that make Twitter one of the best social media platforms for visibility. It’s a platform that you should definitely be using for a number of reasons:
Anything you post to Instagram can automatically be posted to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. It’s a simple one-click platform that will allow you to spread your images far and wide.
The average user on Instagram is between the age of 18 and 45, with more than 50% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 owning an Instagram account and using the app regularly. If your product or service caters to the young, trendy, and tech-savvy, you NEED to be on Instagram to find your target audience where they’re at.
Facebook and Twitter still have the largest user base, but Instagram hit 600 million accounts in late 2016. That’s an enormous number of people taking advantage of the photo-based platform to share their content! It’s also one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, with new updates and upgrades on a regular basis.
And by this, we don’t mean you, the marketer. We’re talking the users who browse Instagram to find new and interesting content. The layout of the app makes it incredibly easy for users to get access to content from all around the world, not just within their network of friends and contacts. Anyone can access any public Instagram account, giving you a much larger platform to work from.
With Facebook, you have to spend money to make your posts visible. On Instagram, everything is visible to everyone. The number of user comments is also much higher on Instagram, leading to better engagement with followers and strangers. People are also more likely to follow an account that hooks them, as well as give a “Like” to great images.
Instagram has its pros and cons as far as social media marketing platforms go, but any smart marketer will take advantage of the benefits it offers. You’ll find that Instagram can provide you a much more efficient way to reach your target audience!
The addition of videos to Facebook revolutionized the way brands and companies can reach new fans and followers. Now, you can give people interesting, valuable content in the form of a short, snappy video. If a picture says 1,000 words, a video is worth a whole lot more.
Here are some tips to help you use Facebook Videos that will serve your brand:
If you’re doing a physical product launch, use Facebook Live to show people what’s going on during the launch. Even if they can’t be there physically, your fans will be able to enjoy the experience from the comfort of their home and still feel like they’re part of the buzzy new product.
People love to feel like they’re getting something special or exclusive. To make your fans feel special, take them behind the scenes of your business operations, your new product, or some special event.
Facebook Live allows you to interact with customers and followers in real time, answering questions, giving information, and even sharing tutorials and how-to’s. The more you interact with people, the better!
Give your Facebook fans the chance to hear from someone else: an expert in their field, a celebrity, or someone else who will pique their interest. Interviews can be fascinating and provide a lot of value in just a few minutes of video.
Videos are a great way to get people interested in sales and promotions, and you can share a lot of info in a few seconds or minutes. Plus, you’ll find people are far more likely to share the videos to others they believe will be interested in the sale or promo opportunity.
People connect with stories more than they do anything else! Use your Facebook platform to tell stories: of people whose lives have been improved or changed by your products, funny and interesting things that happened to your company, or the process of creating a new brand or product. Stories are always more interesting than marketing content or product feature lists.
There will always be something happening in the world around you, and Facebook Videos give you a chance to discuss them at length. Trending issues change on a daily basis, so make sure to “strike while the iron is hot” and get those videos uploaded before something else becomes more relevant.
People don’t like being told to buy products, but they often want to buy products that their “idols” or “heroes” wear. When they see their favorite celebrity, athlete, TV personality, or talk show host wearing or using a product, they immediately want to give it a try.
Big brands have learned the value of “influencer marketing” and give away hundreds of thousands of dollars in free products to “the right people”. All the influencer has to do is mention the product or brand, and their dedicated followers will go out and buy it. It’s a subtle form of marketing, one that can lead to very high returns if done right.
The question is: is influencer marketing right for your business? Here are a few elements to consider when evaluating influencer marketing:
Is your product something that people would want to a) try out, and b) buy because they saw it on their favorite influencer’s social media profile? You wouldn’t use influencer marketing to promote a cutting edge sump pump, but you may find it useful for cosmetics, beauty products, clothes, shoes, accessories, vehicles, and other “showy” products.
You wouldn’t reach out to Kylie Jenner with the request to promote your testosterone supplement, and you certainly wouldn’t want Michael Jordan to talk about erectile dysfunction medications. It’s all about finding the right influencer, the one whose personal brand would enhance and be enhanced by your product. A relationship with the right influencer can be worth its weight in gold, but the wrong influencer or pairing can lead to a lot of money wasted.
In most cases, you will be reaching out to influencers and asking them to feature your product. However, if you have a product or company that is quickly growing, they may reach out to you. Both are viable options. It’s always nice to be contacted by an influencer, but you need to be prepared to invest in reaching out to them.
When working with any influencer, you always need to consider their reach and influence. Do they have thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions of followers? Do they actually sell the products they showcase? Can they deliver sales or raise product awareness effectively? Always consider the influencer’s real reach and audience before signing any deals.
The truth is that influencer marketing, if done right, can be a very effective way to grow your business and extend your reach. Ask yourself the questions above to ensure you’re going about it correctly.