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How to Use Content Marketing to Grow Your Business

Posted by YM Social on October 26, 2015

y.marketing.colorContent marketing is the reigning king and has been for over a century.

 

Enter ‘The Furrow’. Unless you were born very early in the last century or even the century before that, you’ve probably never heard of it but it was one of the earliest pioneers of content marketing. First published by John Deere in 1895, it is widely considered to have begun the trend of large companies offering consumers helpful resources geared toward their product owners while piquing the interest of potential consumers in their industry to expand their market share. This, along with other marketing tactics by the company obviously worked because the John Deere company is ubiquitous and hugely successful in the farming, agriculture, and riding mower industries.  It all started being the helpful brand.

 

Now we fast forward 120 years and content marketing is everywhere, and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, all the moves that Facebook is making places an even larger emphasis on original content.  Last year Facebook changed its algorithm to focus on what it called “high quality” content. If marketers don’t adjust their tactics, they will lose relevence and their audience completely. So what’s a marketer to do? Follow the POES, it always knows!

In this case, POES stands for Paid, Owned, Earned, and Shared Media.

Paid Media – Display ads, banner ads, pay per click search ads, and sponsorships. Paid Media is effective for advertisers because there is a degree of control, scaling, and it can be implemented on demand. Marketers now have another option to grow their brand as the helpful and trustworthy brand that, if done properly, can add a tremendous boost to your marketing efforts.

A big player in this space is the ever-expanding world of Social Advertising that is now available on various social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest. If done correctly (not spammy, too sales driven, or too pushy) they can help all other marketing efforts simultaneously. Remember, you are advertising to people during their free time, when they are talking and connecting to their friends and family. Respect that, and use it to your advantage when crafting your content so they promote your brand through media sharing, (more on that later).

 

Owned Media – All media assets that your brand owns and controls. Websites, blogs, newsletters, and social media accounts fall into this category.  Major brands are now staffing entire content marketing and editorial teams to manage, steer, and promote their content creation streams online.  Much like ‘The Furrow’ that I introduced you to earlier in this blog, companies now count on this modern content marketing to facillitate brand discovery through social channels and online search. This content informs, engages, and fosters relationships between the brand and customer throughout their lifecycles, so the customer can count on these brands to be the trustworthy authorities in their field.

 

Earned Media –When your public & media relations earns brand coverage through various publications online and off. When businesses establish a positive brand presence, they create a buzz without having to advertise. They let the news media outlets, bloggers, and their satisfied customers share brand laurels on social media and beyond.  Brands have recently utilized the strength of their social audience by empowering them to share and publish content on behalf of the brand, thus inspiring even greater word of mouth. This can also be done by a tremendous customer service component in your business. We have an instant feedback loop now. A marketer and a company needs to listen closely to your audience. They are trying to help you improve your organization.   Someone complaining online is your opportunity to turn this aggressive complainer, into a company advocate. Earn their respect, and earn them as an amplifier for your brand. Should this case turn into a positive resolution, you can likely turn the client into a case study and use them for testimonials content marketing if they agree to participate in your study.

 

Shared Media – Where all of the aformentioned marketing efforts come together with the help of your audience. Remember that loud-mouthed disgruntled tweeter turned brand advocate? He will spread your brand’s good word if you use the relationship your brand has fostered with him properly. A company’s social media presence today should be built to make it simpler for fans to share with one another. This is an opportunity to spark conversations regarding your brand through the content you create, publish, share, and promote. In order to for all of these facets of content marketing to work synergistically, your content needs to speak to your audience in the way they want to be spoken to.   This is shared media.  When wanting to leverage shared media content, keep the end user in mind, as well as the actions you would like them to do with your content.  Whether it’s sharing, watching, or engaging through comments, make sure you are creating the right content in the right channels to optimize for shareability.

 

Remember, when your brand is providing consistent, informative, authoritative, and helpful information, your brand builds trust. The more your audience trusts you, the more they share your content. The more they share your content, the more positive sentiment around your brand is nurtured.  The more positive sentiment around your brand, the more successful your company is as a whole. Content marketing can contribute to the five attributes of successful search engine optimization: QUART: Quality, Uniqueness, Authority, Relevance, and Trust. Do this by utilizing all of the above media, and your brand and audience can work together synergistically to create a holistic marketing machine to drive your business for years to come.

Find your key market segment. Build you brand.  Build your reputation.

One post, tweet, and customer interaction at a time.

 

 

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5 Facebook Facts for Marketing Brand Pages

Posted by admin on May 23, 2012

In Facebook’s recent report, Best Practices for your Page and Media Strategy, they outlined some key rules to follow in order to get the most engagement your posts.  We read through it and found some useful information; alongside the not-so-subtle “advertise more on Facebook” undertones. The guide is broken down into 5 main points. To save you time, we’ve summarized these “5 Facebook Facts for Marketing Brand Pages” below. 

1.  Get the basics down

Keep the posts under 250 characters so that it is easier for the fan to read. Consistency is key.  Release similar content on the same day of each week.  It’s comforting for fans to know that when visit the brand page, there will be something familiar. Ex: posting a tip every Thursday, uploading a new video every Monday morning, or during a promotion announcing the winner every day at the same time (this can also help drive more people back to the page daily).

Also, it’s important to find the times of the day that get the best engagement rates. Facebook included a graph when different age demographics are most active on the internet. One thing we noticed was the dramatic dip of people Age 18-24 in the early AM (after a long night?); contrasted with most of the other age groups who seem to “wake up to Facebook” around this same time. You can also see that while weekends tend to shift activity about an hour later, use per age group is fairly consistent 7 days a week.FB Chart Weekday resized 600FB Chart Weekend resized 600

 

2.  Be specific and relevant

Talk as if the fans already know your brand.  Besides a promotion, fans usually ‘like’ a page because they are a genuine fan.  Including a current event or mentioning a holiday can increase engagement rates on a post by 90%. Know what your fans are interested in.  Try sharing articles that they would care about (it’s not about you!).  Sharing articles and posts, and “tagging” other brand pages, are also a good way to reach a larger audience and increase engagement.

3.  Make a visual impact

Photos, photos, photos. Attaching a picture in a post usually generate 100-180% more engagement than a non-visual post.  Images with bright colors or a clear close up focus do better.  Produce visual content that can be recognized as instantly as the brand.

4.  Craft compelling content

Find the voice for the page and always stick to that persona. Be the expert of your field. People come to the Facebook page because it is one of the easiest ways for a customer to directly contact a brand.  Keep in mind that fans are 2x more likely to be loyal to the brand in real life, so reward them.

And lastly, sweepstakes and promotions. They build a larger fan base, increase a page’s reach by participants sharing that they have entered. Promos can also drive users to the brand page every day for winner announcement and new entries.

5.  Get your audience involved

Strive for fan feedback through engagement.  This includes likes, comments, shares, polls and fill-in-the-blanks, which generate 90% more engagement than the average text post.  The posts should include a call to action.  Tell your fans what you would like to do with a particular post.  Also, include your fans on your page by sharing ideas or questions from them.

What Do You Think?

Did you read Facebook’s report? What did you learn? What else have you found that works well for Facebook engagement? We’d love to hear from you; please comment and share your thoughts.

 

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Facebook Targeting. How To Reach the Rich!

Posted by admin on March 31, 2011

The advantage of digital marketing is that it allows you to target digital marketing facebook to your exact audience.  For example, if you happen to sell high end products, you want to make sure your messaging reaches that demographic that can actually afford your products.

As a digital marketing agency, we have found that Facebook is an effective channel through which to promote our clients’ expensive products. Naturally, the key is creating relevant messaging, but with Facebook’s demographic targeting, we’ve found that not only can you reach your intended targets but also a broader market which you may not have thought of.

Here are five categories of Facebook filters that can help you hyper-target the high income demographic to sell them high end products. Keep in mind this information is normally disclosed voluntarily by most Facebook users when they fill out their profiles.

1. Education – Chances are if you went to an Ivy League university, the odds of them having a pretty decent job and income would be much higher than one who did not attend college.

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2. Job title – Most people will input job titles that will indicate the level of income so target high-paying titles like founder, CEO and the rest of the C-Level suite of titles.

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3. Where you live – A quick search online will quickly help you identify where the wealth reside. Facebook allows you to get really granular with this so target specific affluent neighborhoods instead of just whole cities.

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4. Interests – Facebook’s new broad category targeting feature (currently in test mode) allows digital marketers to reach an entire audience interested in luxury items instead of targeting them by individual brands.

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5. Things you like – It’s one thing like and join the  Ferrari cars page but it’s another to own one and engage in the activity as part of your extra-curricular activities. We chose luxury automobile clubs and horse owners. It’s one thing to like horse riding but actually owning horses requires a lot more capital investment which goes back to disposable income.

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We hope we gave you some ideas on how to target certain demographics. Usually, a more out of the box approach is required.

If you are interested in finding out more about optimizing your social media marketing, we’re happy to help you. Contact us here

Image credit: daylife.com

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Facebook Advertising: Top 9 Reasons Why Digital Marketers Fail

Posted by admin on June 9, 2010

We recently blogged about reasons why Search Engine Marketer’s typically do not achieve their campaign goals when running an ad campaign on Facebook. We have further explored the common mistakes companies make when venturing into Facebook advertising for the first time.

Here are the points we mentioned in our first Facebook Ad Best Practices for Search Engine Marketers POV:

1. Facebook is not a Traditional Search Engine
Facebook is in a category of “people search” and “social search”.

2. Campaign Objectives: Alignment
The typical experience by a search marketer who tries to port an Adwords Campaign into Facebook advertisements.

3. Having a Custom Facebook Page
Serve custom content the Facebook social network with a Custom Facebook Fan Landing Page.

Here are some additional Best Practices for creating a successful ad campaign in Facebook:

4.  Target Demographics

“Who is my ideal customer/target market?”

Most Search Engine Marketers (myself included) are so obsessed with keywords, ad copy, landing pages, budgets and bid management they’ve Facebook Adscompletely lost sight of the Marketing part of Search Engine Marketing.

Best Practices for Profiling your Target Markets’

Demographics:

    • Survey your Existing Customer Base
    • Analyze your Site Traffic using a
      3rd party tools (Quantcast, Hitwise, Compete, etc)
    • Run Facebook Ads on “broad match”
      (i.e. no demo targeting selected); pull some Demo reports after-the-fact

5.  Audience Targeting

“Where do I enter my Keywords?”
Hint: It’s a trick question folks keep asking themselves. (See the Facebook Ad Strategy Download)

We have to preface this by saying Facebook Targeting is extremely more sophisticated than traditional search.

Facebook enables you to laser target based on over a dozen settings at the Ad Level instead of campaign:

  1. Location
    • City
    • State
    • Country 
  2. Demographics
    • Ages 13-64+
    • On Birthday
    • Gender
    • Interested In (Gender)
    • Relationship Status
    • Language(s)
  3. Likes & Interests (formerly known as ‘Keywords’)
  4. Education & Work
  5. Connections/Friends of Connections

6.  Ad Testing

“I thought Multivariate testing was only applicable to landing pages?”

Search provides the ability to A/B/n test ads at the Ad Group Level for optimization while Facebook enables you to Multivariate test several variables at the Ad Level.

Best Practice: test these variables using individual ads:

      • Title
      • Body Text
      • Image
      • Age
      • Location
      • Gender
      • Likes & Interests

Hint: Name your ads w/these same variables to keep track of them when you pull some performance reports.

7.  Creative Burnout

“My ads work great for a couple days, then…nothing!”

Best Practices:

      • Have lots of ad variations in the cue for testing.
      • Refresh creative (ads) as soon as you start seeing diminishing returns (daily, weekly, or monthly basis)

Run out of ad ideas?

Here’s how you can create over half a billion ad variations in < 5 minutes using variations of those same variables:

      • Titles: 10
      • Body Text: 10
      • Images: 10
      • Ages: 50 (Age 13-64, separately)
      • Location: 50 (states)
      • Gender: 2
      • Likes & Interests: 11 (None + 10 specific)

Do the Math: 10x10x10x50x50x2x11= 550,000,000

Hint: frequent ‘refreshes’ are required!

8.  Day-Parting

“My ads seem to blow through their budget.”

Hint: Running ads during peak usage time(s) actually creates performance derogation (this is counterintuitive to the traditional maximize ‘reach’ mindset, it’s best to reach users when they are less engaged w/socializing). That’s all we have to say for now as it’s not a fully accessible option to most Advertisers.

9.  Bidding Strategies

“What does CPM stand for again?”

Not gaining any traction when purchasing clicks on a cost-per (CPC) basis? Try CPM!

describe the image 
Download More Facebook Advertising Strategies
and Best Practices

Best Practice: Backing into an effective CPC using CPM based pricing has proven to be more efficient and scalable

 Facebook Targeting

 

 

 

Need help with your Facebook Ad campaign?
877.736.4321

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