Online marketing firstly, should be referred to as just ‘marketing’ as that is what it is. Approach it the same way you would with television or radio advertising, newspaper ads, flyers and sponsorship – you are looking for a return on investment. Whether that return is new clients or a sale, or perhaps just brand awareness, your marketing efforts online need to have goals and targets.
Spending miserable amounts like $20 or $50 to boost your Facebook posts will do stuff all. Yes, Facebook insights might show you some ridiculous number for ‘social reach’ and then give you a number for engagement, but truth be told, you need to look at what really matters. Did that promotion give you anything back?
Boosted posts need to lead to an increase in page likes on Facebook, more web traffic to a specific page, or enquiries.
We recommend staying away from boosting posts here and there randomly, and focusing on Facebook ads with a decent budget. Decent being $200+ and on crafted ads with multiple ad layouts. By having multiple designs, you can target different people. One person might like one image, whilst another hates it. Get both clients by showing them two different images.
Use demographic targeting to narrow down your audience. This will ensure potential customers in your specific niche are seeing your posts and advertisements.
Facebook advertising works, and it offers you multiple options like carousel and video ads, lead forms, and more. Be sure to use the full arsenal to your advantage if going down that road.
Everyone has heard of them, sales funnels, they work and are essential to capture your hot lead and convert it into a sale. Read more about them on Wikipedia.
People clicking on your online ads in Google search, or web banners, or social media links, are obviously interested in what you are promoting, be sure the page they land on gives them no distractions, convinces them further about your brand or product and leads in to a call to action such as buy now, enquire today or download now.
This will push them into taking the next step. If they followed an ad or search result to get there, they were obviously ready to buy.
Look at contextual advertising as the perfect example. You are targeting people looking for a specific product. If Tom is looking for a Toyota Corolla hatch, and was reading a review on the latest model, it wouldn’t take much convincing to click on a link or enquiry form which leads to your brand that sells new Corolla hatches.
Often referred to as inbound marketing, you are digging down to specific niches, and targeting Corolla buyers, with Corolla offers and ads. Same goes across the board with products and services. If you put a service in front of someone looking for that service, they are more likely to engage and buy.
Don’t fall for the cheap website trick. They are cheap for a reason. If you want a website just so you have a website presence, do it yourself with WordPress or Wix. If you are looking to create a business website that is engaging, and works well on mobile and in Google search results, you will pay a premium price.
All the little things count, including user interaction and simple navigation on mobile and desktop, metadata and image tagging, content distribution networks and caching, favicons and Apple icons, tablet and smartphone screen responsiveness, call to actions above the fold and so much more.
A site that is setup well and loads fast on premium web hosting will perform better in search results, we guarantee it.
To put a price tag on it, web agencies offering your sites for under $1500 are misleading. I cannot count how many times clients have gone with cheaper options only to come back in a year to revamp the site and add all those features they should have got in the first place. Sometimes saving money in the wrong place will cost you more in the long run.
Do your research and find out what you need your website to achieve, then talk to your web designer and get answers on how they can make that happen. We do it, so I am sure all the others can too. Prepackaged deals are sometimes priced too good to be true.
Don’t neglect your web hosting either. We include domain registration and web hosting in our website packages, but its not cheap shit hosting. Its hosted on SSD storage drives with super fast DNS which feeds through CDN hosts to ensure fast loading of your website wherever in the world you are accessing it. Like I said, its those little things that are often neglected.
Getting a return on investment for your marketing is essential for any business. Would you buy a newspaper ad in a community paper in another town you don’t operate in? No? Well showing ads to people not interested in your product or service could possibly damage your brand, as well as cost you unnecessary ad spend.
In 2017, target your audience. Investigate the options that will get you a better return on investment. A better return would include more targeted web traffic to your site or landing page, or more web enquiries through Facebook or your website, or perhaps more sales on your ecommerce site.
We advise our clients to focus on content. Being super helpful and useful, sharing what customers are looking for and giving more than you take, is what will help you get brand attention online.
So start a mailing list with helpful guides, or offer a free download of your latest app. List yourself in every relevant online directory, and research apps that people might try to find your service in like Yelp or TripAdvisor. If potential customers are searching for your product or service, they are keen to buy. Be sure they can find your brand!
Set goals for all your ad spends and marketing campaigns. Be sure you are getting something from them. Ask questions if your digital marketing agency is just invoicing you without getting solid results.
Finally, be fussy with your selection of digital marketing agencies. If you have the time and knowledge to launch your own campaigns, sure, go for it. Like most of us though, we need to focus on the core of our business, and getting help with marketing will suit us best.
Choose an agency that is transparent in what they do, what they charge and what each service actually involves. After all, you are paying for it.
Secondly, be sure that agency can guarantee a positive result. Have they done it before? Have a look through their portfolio, or ask them for past client success stories. A quick indicator for some is checking social media feeds. A good digital marketing agency will have positive reviews, good feedback in posts and comments, and have a half decent page following. Page following can be deceiving though as likes can often be bought and boosted.
Be sure they are staying relevant and not just posting click-bait. Are they responding to comments and posts? Do they respond to page messages? Why aren’t they on Twitter? Is there a photo of the staff on the page? Social media should show a professional, yet personal view of the business.
How does that agency rank on Google search? After all, if they are offering to handle your social media, ads or SEO, shouldn’t they have good results for themselves?
Get a Better Online Marketing Result in 2017
Hopefully these tips have triggered your interrogation mindset and you start asking the important questions. The one thing we really want you to take from this article is that online marketing is marketing. Treat it like your other marketing. Do not believe for a second that its going to be a cheaper option. To get results, it needs budget similar to that of traditional and offline media such as radio and television.
A client of ours last year pulled major money out of his radio campaigns and invested it in an online campaign across search and social media. What he got was measurable results with a better ranking in search results, more interaction on social media and an increase in page traffic.
Online marketing has it’s advantages being the ability to get real time reports on results including clicks and reach, but it works best when tied in with your overall marketing campaigns. Match your flyers, TV and Radio, and newspaper ads with your online advertising and content, and you will get a much better result.
The social network that is loved and hated by many is evolving. For good or for bad, we can only wonder what the future of Facebook will hold.
In the early days of Facebook, there was always much love for original content from users, including family holiday snaps and news about recent outings and happenings. I remember getting on to my Facebook account and creating photo albums of recent roadtrips, happy holidays and family adventures. It was a great place to share with your friends and family, especially those abroad.
With Facebook pushing more sharing of content, the newsfeed of most users started filling up with more staged content from professional users. This included blog articles, viral videos and content that Facebook knew would encourage even more sharing. As a consequence, Facebook has seen a drop in original content. Will this affect the Facebook business empire?
The truth is, Facebook is still growing at a phenomenal rate when it comes to users, although the content being put in front of us is constantly being changed. It seems the latest newsfeed algorithm promotes more original content and status updates, or what Facebook calls “Original Broadcast Sharing.’
With professional content creating a public stage, many users are afraid to engage….
It is a strange turn of events as Facebook once pushed professional content from media companies and celebrities, whilst now, they seem to be returning to their roots putting organic content first.
What does this mean for business pages?
Well we are still finding it super important for business owners to create and manage a Facebook page for their brand. It comes down to the same old reasoning: if you are not on there, someone else could be talking about your brand behind your back. We still recommend having a page, although what you do with it might be a little different now.
If you want your Facebook business page content showing up on people’s newsfeed, you need to create unique content that is useful. ie. content that promotes user sharing such as a guide or review, or something that is super interesting like a video or photo. Keep your posts real, people are not looking for sales pitches and ads, they want to know your brand, from the inside.
Of course, post engagement is nothing without some Facebook promotion through post boosts or page promotional ads. For a business, Facebook advertising is still a great way to find your target audience. It allows specific targeting of demographics such as location, gender, age and interests. We usually recommend a share of social ads on Facebook as part of an online advertising package.
The other three.
Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are starting to jump ahead when it comes to post engagement and content sharing. The once overshadowed social networks are now receiving love for their specific traits. Twitter’s short posts allow more regular tweeting and appeal to this generation’s shorter attention span, LinkedIn is great for sharing business news and brand information, whilst Instagram is all the rage now with people making small fortunes on the platform, and not just business owners.
Which one to choose.
When it comes to marketing your brand, think about where your audience will most likely be. Are they more corporate users that will be found during business hours on LinkedIn? Perhaps they would see your posts between photos of everyone’s lunch on Instagram? Maybe short and sweet Twitter content is what they love, instant information and updates?
It can be time consuming to manage multiple social network pages, but it can also be very well worth it for business owners. Think of your social networks more like another channel of communication. You have your phones and email, now you also have Facebook Messenger and Twitter.
Content creation for all posts still needs to be professional, you are a business after all, but do not avoid sharing news and photos of staff achievements, events and milsetones. Your current clients will love seeing what is happening with the business, and potential clients will get an idea of trust and realism of your brand.
More clients from Facebook.
Since starting off business in early 2009, our clients have come from a lot of social networking. This stems back even before business pages were the thing to have. We found building trust in the business brand and name amongst friends promoted enquiries and sales leads.
Now as they say, word of mouth is the best advertising, and we get a lot of referrals not just from past clients, but also from Facebook where people have shared or passed on brand details. Think about it, when you are looking for a service, are you more likely to call someone you just found on Google, or someone your friends are raving about? Who would you give more trust to?
With over 50 percent of our enquiries coming through Facebook and social media channels, we still find it super important to have an active Facebook business page.
For now, Facebook is not going anywhere, it is just changing things up. For business owners, this means watching your page insights to see what type of posts work best for your audience, and creating content that suits each network accordingly.
We offer online reputation monitoring and social media content marketing. This means we monitor the new channels of communication you now have with social media, as well as create useful content for your audience. From blog articles to images and events, we can keep your social network pages looking great!
Follow our blog for more helpful articles on social media and online marketing. Let us know what you would like to read about in the comments below.
When it comes to building your brand online, I recommend social media as part of your marketing plan. For small business, entrepreneurs and startups it is the perfect way to start creating an audience for what you do or offer.
Social media pages can be a bit overwhelming to setup and there are so many new social networks to choose from. For most businesses, I would recommend starting with Facebook, and then considering at least two of the following; Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Instagram.
LinkedIn and Twitter are looking to be the best for content marketing in 2016, overtaking Facebook in terms of audience engagement. Instagram and Pinterest are great for sharing images of your brand, giving it a personality as well as likable content.
A Facebook page for your business is super simple to setup. First, sign in to your Facebook account like you would normally do. I assume you have a Facebook account here, but if not, visit Facebook.com and sign up.
Once you have logged in, in the main drop-down menu at the top right of your page, select CREATE PAGE.
You will then be presented with a page to select your type of business. Choose what suits your business best. If your business has a physical address or shop, be sure to select local business as this will allow people to check in, add reviews and also creates a map and location on your about section.
From here Facebook just asks a little more about your business. Fill in as much as you can, although remembering you can also update or add to this later after the page is created.
Facebook will prompt you to like your own page first, as well as sharing it with fiends and doing some Facebook ads for it. For now, I would recommend skipping all of this while you setup your page with cover and profile images, about us info, and a few posts to show off what your brand is about.
Be sure to add it to favourites though as this will make it easy to find. Check out the video from Facebook business below for a guide, and if you get stuck, check out this page: www.facebook.com/business/learn/set-up-facebook-page It has a great video tutorial.
Next we need to create likes and followers on our pages.
There are many ways we can create likes for our new Facebook page. If you want to share it with your friends and family, be sure to invite them to like your page. This is a great way to start as then their friends will see that they have liked your page, and they will be prompted to like it too.
Creative content on your page that is both likable and shareable is great. When people start sharing your content, this can then engage more people through Facebook stories. People will see “John liked this photo on this page” in their newsfeed. This is the beginning of viral content, and when it starts getting shared around more and more, your engagement level of your page will go through the roof!
Creating happy and positive content always helps, and not a sales pitch in sight!
We can also look at Facebook advertising. This is nothing like your usual advertising like print, radio or tv. Facebook advertising targets specific demographics such as location, gender, age and interests. This means you can put your brand right in front of your target audience, although bear in mind, no sales pitches needed here.
What works best in my experience for Facebook ads is likable content that gives your brand a personality or story. Of course competitions and giveaways work great too!
Sharing your own content is also a great way to get attention for your brand. If you don’t want it on your own page profile, consider using links to your content on blog posts, your website, other people’s blogs and on other social networks. Be careful not to spam, as this can create negative affects on your brand. I like to create content on my websites and then share that to Facebook. Firstly if people are liking my articles on Facebook, it creates interaction and conversation. Secondly, it lets your social followers find your website presence which creates new traffic that is already interested in your brand, the perfect audience for creating a sales lead.
Two things to remember about Social Media.
Think about this yourself, when you jump on Facebook or most other social networks, you are normally doing so to connect with friends, family and things you like. This means no in your face sales pitch, no spamming with special offers and advertising material. Get creative with your posts and Facebook ads. Create brand awareness through storytelling, photos of your product, shop or staff, and news updates. Think about the audience you are trying to appeal to, their age and interests and post specific to them.
Secondly, work out when to post. The time of day you post content can greatly affect who even sees your post. This also changes between networks. As a general rule, a lot of social media content is shared after hours as this is when majority of people jump on Facebook and other networks. It’s a bit different for networks like LinkedIn and Twitter which works great during the day.
It is best to work out what your audience likes. Try posting at different times of the day and check the insights tab of your Facebook page. This will show you who is engaging with what post at what time of day. There are also a lot of other useful information in the insights tab so keep an eye on it! Use this information to make your advertising better suited to your target audience.
Does this sound all too much? Me and my team would be happy to help with social network page setup, Facebook advertising or content management. We look after some big brands like Maitland and Port Stephens Toyota as well as offer page setup like Performance Spares.