Social media marketing is an area which seems to divide businesses. Some companies embrace it, invest in it, and generate fabulous returns from it, whilst other businesses are pensive, scared and unwilling to get online and start competing via social.
Since launching the UK's first fully-managed blogging service in 2005, it's been interesting to see the fortunes of some firms as compared to their competitors. The early adopters of blog marketing, for example, are way, way ahead of their industry competitors.
Trying to catch up a thought leader is a virtually impossible task, after all. But, some are still unwilling to invest in social media.
There are also those companies getting online and making a hash of it, then claiming social media marketing doesn't work for them – even though, with the right guidance, their products and services could have successfully been marketed via social media engagement.
Today, consumers are watching video everywhere, and marketers need to be prepared. Here are some best practices to help you succeed in the brave new world of video convergence.
1. High Definition Matters
Quality matters. Video isn't just for TV anymore, so it's imperative you plan for your spots to be on all screens. 75% of homes today are HD capable, and nearly all laptops and PCs can play HD. Even the latest round of tablets and smart phones are high resolution and designed for the HD experience, not to mention connected televisions. In an environment when files are transcoded for each publisher and broadcast format, you don't want quality to stand in the way of a great viewing experience. If you're not mastering and delivering your spots in HD, you're already behind the curve.
2. Sharing Means Caring
Production is expensive, so every spot produced should be considered for use on all screens. And there's no better way to ensure your spots are shared between media and creative teams across broadcast and digital, than by storing your masters in a digital asset management (DAM) platform. These systems not only make it easy to share spots, but they ensure all spot metadata is visible to all parties. And for global campaigns that need to customize and localize spots, it's a requirement – not an option. From asset IDs to talent & usage rights, metadata transparency is a critical component of convergence and shouldn't be overlooked.
If you are a proud business owner, you likely want to drive as many customers to your business as possible. Unlike in the past, modern times call for tactical strategies if you want to maintain a competitive advantage. Social media is undoubtedly one of the fastest means of driving traffic to a website, which subsequently makes it a very resourceful marketing tool. The big question here is: how can you utilize social media to your business's advantage?
The following are the top 5 expert tips to social media marketing success:
1. Identify your clients' hangout zones
Before committing your precious time and effort, it would be wise to find out which specific social networks are frequently used by both your clients and potential clients. If you're in a B2B niche, LinkedIn will likely be an ideal option. If you are looking for a more engaging and interactive platform, then Facebook and/or Twitter will do the trick. The results of your marketing efforts will skyrocket if you focus your time and effort on where your target audience is, rather than 'hanging out' in areas where very few people understand your business, your product or your service.
Content is the cornerstone of social media of any online marketing strategy. Over the past couple of years an increasing number of companies are pouring huge amount of marketing dollars in creating marketing content. But to become successful at social media you need to have a good content marketing strategy in place as well.
Here is a great place to start: a top social media and Content Marketing Web Conference & Certification program is starting this week from Friday, June 14. Some of industry's top authors and content marketers are speaking at this online series so it is going to be one awesome content marketing learning series!
There are two content marketing training tracks - Web Conference track and Certification track with a total of 21 live online Content Marketing sessions. Some of the speakers include Brian Clark (Copyblogger), Marcus Sheridan (The SalesLion), Tim Ash (Author of Conversion Optimization), Jonah Berger (Professor at Wharton School) Arnie Kuenn (Author of Accelerate!), Heidi Cohen and many, many others.
Check out complete agenda here: http://www.instantetraining.com/online-marketing-workshop/content-marketing-training
As group members you get an additional discount of $100 on the Web Conference track & $200 off of the Certification track. But you must sign-up by Thursday, June 13 to take advantage of this special discount.
Editor's Note: This is Part I of a two-part post about the importance of content marketing planning and distribution. Part II will focus on best practices for measuring engagement, reach and Total Media Value (the notion of quantifying the combination of paid, owned and earned media).
If brands want to engage with information-hungry consumers, they must be doing content marketing. They must have a strategy for creating content that is meaningful, authentic and strives to add value to the consumer's purchasing decision rather than "sell to them."
But creating content is just the beginning. Generating thoughtful, relevant content without making sure it gets wide-spread distribution to your target audience with a measurable impact is like investing in a Ferrari and only driving it to the mailbox! Content for content's sake is not a strategy. Successful content marketing is 15% content creation and 85% planning, distribution and reporting.
I'll be honest. I am getting so tired of reading article after article of people writing about how marketing on Facebook is a waste of time. Whether you are a B2C or B2B company it doesn't matter. If you are not getting results from Facebook you need to change your strategy plain and simple. While it does take a bit of time, effort and budget there is no doubt Facebook is effective and should be at or near the top of your company's digital marketing plan.
Below are my top tips for creating a successful Facebook page:
1. Understand Facebook's EdgeRank System
If you want to be successful using anything you need to first learn how to use it. Facebook uses a system called EdgeRank to determine where and how your post shows up in a user's news feed. By creating new posts that best follow the EdgeRank criteria you can guarantee that it will be seen by the most possible people. While its worth finding a resource that outlines this in greater detail my quick recommendations include: posting regularly around the same time, include videos, photos and links not just text in your posts, have clear call to actions such as asking questions or creating a poll, and post relevant content to your audience. Essentially, the more engagements your post get the longer they stay in the news feed.
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