If you own a business and haven’t jumped on the social media bandwagon yet, you might as well pack up and ship out, as you’re quickly becoming irrelevant in the minds of your customers. I work with businesses every day that still think this “fad” is nearing the end of its lifecycle, and the good old days of radio and newspaper are on the verge of a 90’s pop band comeback tour.
Let me tell you what I want, what I really, really want. I want you to open your eyes to the incredible amount of opportunity that’s available today. The essence of marketing is capturing the attention of your current or potential customer. Now, think about today’s consumer and where their attention is the majority of the time. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see where I’m going here.
Since the iPhone launched back in 2007, our colleagues, kids, employees, and customers have been glued to their smart phones. These devices have become an extension of our lives, with a majority of us spending more than 3.5 hrs per day, it’s where we go to get our news, socialize with friends, and even get some work done every once in a while. In fact, I know a majority of you are reading this article on your phone right now!
So what does all this mean for your business? Well whether you choose to believe it or not, no matter what industry or service area you’re in, the vast majority of your customers are all on some form of social media every – single – day. Whether they’re creeping a former significant other on Facebook, checking out what Donny T’s up to on Twitter, or headhunting a new employee on LinkedIn, most of us are guilty of spending more time then we’d like to admit scrolling through newsfeeds.
Our team at CR Creative has spent the last number of years investing a significant amount of time and energy into learning everything there is to know about digital marketing, to help you navigate the murky waters of your ever-changing social platforms. Throughout this journey, we’ve been able to identify some key elements that are integral for running a successful online marketing campaign.
Know Your Ideal Customer
The first step in any story is the main character. You need to establish a deep understanding of who you are going to be speaking to throughout your marketing campaign.
Where do they live? What are their interests and habits? What problem is your product or service solving? Think about who your dream customer is and then speak directly to them. When you’re marketing online, you have the opportunity to cast a mighty large net, and although there is plenty of fish in the online sea, you only want to attract that trophy marlin for your brand.
Develop a Hook, Story and Close
Remember the movie Field of Dreams where Shoeless Joe Jackson convinced Kevin Costner that “If you build it, they will come.” When it comes to marketing your business online, Joe couldn’t be more wrong. Customers will not come to your business unless you tell them to.
When preparing a campaign strategy, it’s important to consider the following elements for your ads and website landing page (where you will send interested customers):
How are you going to stop that thumb from scrolling past you? By developing a attention grabbing headline that will stop them dead in their tracks.
Two very effective ways you can do this are, to hit a pain point in their life, and then offer a solution, or show them how your product will increase pleasure. Whatever you can provide, make it memorable. The best practice for this stage is to test out multiple Hooks and analyzing which one performs the best.
Nothing engages users better than a great story. Educate your customer and provide as much value as possible, while encouraging them to take the next steps to buy. The elements that make up a great story are:
Background – How did you get to this solution, and why are you the greatest on earth?
Benefits – How is your product or service going to improve the lives of your customers?
Proof – Provide testimonials from past customers who have had success with your product or service.
Once the customer is engaged with the story, it’s time to go in for the sale. Many people are scared or lack the confidence to ask someone to buy something, but it’s time to put that aside. All strategies should include:
Offer – Clearly explain what it is you want to do for them, and how you’re going to do it.
Urgency – Provide a deadline for them to take advantage of the offer you’re proposing.
Bonus – Everyone loves something extra.
Call to Action – Tell them EXACTLY what you want them to do, and how to do it.
The Power is in the Ads
Organic Posts (the type of content you post to your page and hope for the best) are reaching far less of your followers today due to Facebook favouring family and friend’s posts over business content. These posts are still an important component of a well-rounded digital strategy as active social activity demonstrates professionalism and attention to detail, unfortunately, they rarely move the needle forward at the rate they did years ago. You need to run ads to reach more customers.
Put your Hook, Story, and Close to work and cast a line in the right direction using the vast number of tools available through all native social media ad platforms.
Complexity Kills Execution
The truth is that digital marketing is quite complex, and small adjustments can make the difference between success and failure. The key to it all however is execution. You’re not likely to get it right on the first try. If it was that easy, we’d all be driving Tesla’s and hanging out with P Diddy (bonus point if you know who I’m talking about here!)
Strategy, planning, brainstorming, and creative are important, but execution trumps everything. Start testing and tuning, learning and growing, and don’t be scared to reach beyond your comfort zone. If at first, you don’t succeed, use the numbers to analyze where you’re going wrong. Consider not only your ad copy and targeting but also the customer journey after they hit your website.
You’re Not Alone
Now I know that a lot of this may be overwhelming. This high-level overview is meant to be a starting point. If you don’t have the time or desire to jump on the social media bandwagon, we are here to help. Our team lives for this stuff and would be happy to provide a helping hand, or gentle shove over the edge to help you get started.
This article was written by Matt Pasut, the President of CR Creative Co.
Follow him on LinkedIn for more business insight and advice.