The world of marketing has transformed into a digital playground and everyone is invited to play. According to the Nielsen Total Audience Report for Q1 2016, the average American spends over 10 hours a day in front of a screen – that’s more time spent in front of a computer, tablet or phone than the recommended eight hours of sleep that nobody’s getting. Television once dominated screen time and, by default, also dominated advertising spend. That, however, is quickly changing. According to eMarketer’s forecast, by the end of this year television’s advertising spend of $71.29 billion will be surpassed by an advertising spend of $72.09 billion for digital.
With a predicted 34.8% of US digital and media advertising spent on digital advertising over the 36.4% on television advertising, it’s clear that the medium of digital media will soon become king. The question is when your marketing budget is a bit on the conservative end, and your experience in digital marketing borders on elementary and novice, how do you effectively promote your business on this ever-growing medium?
As most people know, Facebook advertising tends to be considerably cheaper than other forms of digital advertising, such as paid search or display. So, as a cost effective solution to where you should advertise, that’s a given. There is, however, more than just a low price tag that makes Facebook advertising so favorable. When 551 social media marketers were surveyed, eMarketer reported that 95.8% claimed that in terms of social media platforms, Facebook provided the best ROI. This is a big deal, especially when you consider that eMarketer also predicts that Facebook will reach an estimated 1.43 billion monthly users by the end of this year.
There are two things to consider when trying to maximize your promotion efforts on Facebook: Paid Facebook advertising and social media management. Though these two avenues may perform different functions – advertising being to expand your reach and drawing in new customers; management focusing on your company reputation, community engagement and branding – both are imperative when it comes to promoting your business and need to be harmonious in your overall marketing objective.
Navigating this new plane of marketing and establishing the best way for your business to reap the rewards of Facebook can be challenging. That said, there are best practices that can help anyone, from novice to guru, get the most of their social media marketing.
Know Your Audience
Understanding your clientele is probably one of the most important aspects of advertising in both digital and traditional marketing. You should have an idea, if not know, what your target demographic is interested in, what their lifestyle is like, how they typically behave, and what they want. When you know this, you actually hold the key to running an effective and successful marketing campaign.
Aside from using your insight to target your demographic on Facebook through interests and behaviors, use your knowledge to speak to your potential customers in a way that relates to them. The voice you use in your ad copy should speak to your audience effortlessly, and your promotions should not only be influenced by traditional holidays and events, but adjusted by how these events and holidays may affect your market directly.
Creating a fluid and harmonious visual experience for your audience that allows a seamless flow from your ads to your website is a best practice which is commonly overlooked. If your ads are aesthetically pleasing, have captivating copy and great branding, but then the corresponding landing page is, well, terrible, there’s a good chance that visitor is leaving and never coming back. You just paid for a click for no reason.
You need a cohesive message and tone, starting from the ad that made that person click, to the moment they follow through to the conversion. If your ad is an image of crystal clear blue waters and a white sandy beach with tiki torches ablaze, but your landing page is offering a work-from-home opportunity that can make just about anyone rich (just watch this 12 minute video), you’re very likely going to get a bounce from an overwhelming amount of visitors. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use witty and clever images that get great responses (Hey, who doesn’t love kittens?), but they should make sense and not be too far off from the product or service you’re selling. When there is a nonsensical disconnect, it’s not only confusing to those who actually click-through, but can lead to a disturbingly high bounce-rate and a ton of clicks that were useless.
Want to learn more about creating an effective landing page? Check out our blog post here.
Test, Test, Test!
Testing is crucial in marketing. Performing A/B tests, trying out different CTAs, targets, interests, and behaviors and optimizing based on that information will allow your campaign to perform its best, gaining you the right audience, a lower CPC and a higher ROI. That said, testing is tedious and can be overwhelming. If possible, automate. As a small to mid-sized business, your resources are limited – including time. Passing off testing and targeting can make the world of difference in the progress of your advertising campaigns and also your peace of mind.
Measure Your Performance
What good is marketing your business if you can’t see what it’s doing for you? Although you need to look at your CPC, CPM, and CTR, and see how they stack up to the competition, there are many tools to track your campaign success – and two are mandatory: the Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics. Aside from tracking your conversions, you should also be looking at your bounce rate, where your visitors are coming from and how many are new or returning, and more. Bounce rate too high? Perhaps change the copy on your landing page. Click-through rate too low? Maybe it’s time to change your ads or try different targeting.
Social Media Management
Find Your Voice
A defined brand voice can only be determined once you have established and recognized your company vision and know your audience. As with the visual cohesion from ad to landing page, having a unified brand voice throughout your social media creates a sense of familiarity and opens the door when you’re building an online community. What does having a defined voice look like? Your post captions maintain the same tone as your comments and replies. Your vernacular doesn’t seem robotic or forced, it seems natural and relaxed. It’s personable. You want to establish trust with those who engage your ads, who like your page and read your posts. That said, this voice needs to remain the same from platform to platform. Whether you’re tweeting, responding to a message on Facebook, or on live chat, that brand voice should be seamless.
Add Value, Not Clutter
A quick way to lose followers is by posting irrelevant and pointless content. The last thing you want is your community to click that “Unlike” button, limiting your organic reach and reducing your fanbase.
Posts should reflect what your demographic is interested in and add value in their lives. Not only does this ramp up your social media presence through organic reach from all those likes, comments, and shares, but also establishes industry expertise. If you’re a hair salon, post engaging articles that show you’re in the know on all the beauty trends, from cosmetics to fashion. If you’re a B2B marketing agency, your audience wants to know the latest trends in marketing and how to grow their business. Again, know your audience.
Taking 24-hours to respond to an email is unprofessional, so is taking a day to respond to a comment or message. Being constantly available to your prospective clients and your community indicates that you value their time and you are a functional business.
The ideal response time is within the hour, the worst is a day. Keep in mind, your Facebook business page indicates your response time on the top right hand corner for all to see. If someone is interested in your product or has a question, seeing that your average response time is a day will likely destroy any chance that they’ll reach out to you. People are busy and they value their time. If you’re not available right away, they’ll find someone who is.
The importance of consistency is not limited to response time, it also pertains to your posts. As mentioned before, you should be providing your audience valuable content and information on your page to drive engagement and credibility. What you shouldn’t do is be providing these captivating and informative posts once every two months. In order to increase engagement and clicks, you’ll need to remain active: post at least once a day in order to sustain and increase relevancy and be an active presence on your community’s newsfeed.
The Bottom Line
Understanding what works best for your company to effectively promote your business can be a case of trial and error. What works for one business may not work for you. That snappy copy you had on your flyers? It may not translate to the high ROI you were hoping for on Facebook. The key is to understand that Facebook advertising is a different beast than other forms of advertising – use the tools you have available to you to their maximum potential.