Tools & Techniques required for a successful social media marketing campaign
You have discovered an opportunity, a pain point in the market that you know only you can best address. You’ve worked hard to build your product and a business around it. Now, you’re considering going digital! You’re curious about the do’s, the don’ts and the secret sauce behind a successful social media marketing campaign. Well, look no further. Read on to find out the essentials of successfully implementing a social media marketing strategy for your business.
1. Rediscover your product through the eyes of your customer
Before you begin your journey on social media it’s a good idea to take a look at how your customers perceive your products. Depending on your product, you can begin this process by making a list of your value propositions. Essentially, your value proposition is the solution or value your product offers in response to a pain point, problem, or gap in the market. In this process, you are trying to emphasize what makes your product unique, and why customers should choose you over your competitors.
How can you do this?
- Start by striking a conversation with some of your customers and team members, ask them what it is that keeps bringing them back to your product, and why they think you’re ahead of the pack when it comes to your competitors.
- Understanding the market’s perception of your product is the key to determining what aspects of your product you will leverage as part of your social media marketing campaign. Great, now keep this list handy, it’ll come in to play again when we work on your content bucket.
2. Learn more about your market and competitors
Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. These are people that, very much like yourself, have identified a pain point, problem, or gap in their lives and are seeking a solution to bridge that gap.
Often, these potential customers will begin their journey by searching for solutions on the web. Here, they will be presented with a sea of options, each packaged slightly differently, all vying for their business. This field of competitors and potential customers is your home base, each potential customer is now a member of your target audience.
- Your mission is to comb through this data, understand the digital presence of your competitors by observing their content.
- Next, identify how your target audience is responding to the content your competitors are publishing.
- Start looking for patterns and trends in special offers, communication style, value propositions, and creative approaches that are resonating with your shared target audience.
These trends can serve as a reference for your social media marketing strategy. Analysing this data will help you understand what consumers are looking for, what your competitors are offering, and will help you define the category you’re competing in.
3. Understand the role of social media in your business
After analysing your competitors you’ve probably noticed that each competitor may have a slightly different approach. Some emphasize on special offers, others focus on starting conversations with customers and fans, and yet others may have curated features of their products that their followers covet. In essence, social media marketing is multifaceted and can play different roles for your business depending on your needs. Broadly speaking, your social media marketing campaign can have one or a combination of the following objectives:
- Brand Awareness: Improve your brand awareness if you are trying to reach out to different types of groups and target audiences. It is ideal for campaigns like product launches, announcements, and to garner visibility.
- Community Engagement: Engaging with your community entails having conversations with your followers, churning out highly relevant content and receiving validation through engagement (views, likes, comments, follows) regularly. This a strategic objective for everyone, regardless of market and tentative needs. Engaging with your community is the fastest way to grow your digital presence and work your way to becoming a household name. It often requires businesses to have a clear understanding of who their community consists of and what their aspirations are for the successful execution of a social media marketing strategy.
- Content Distribution: You’ve probably encountered a click-worthy “top 10 ways to ____” list whilst browsing the internet. Content such as these lists, entertainment articles, thought pieces, and how-tos are some of the elements that make up a good content-distribution campaign. This objective is especially useful for businesses that are devoted to providing utility to their followers on social media. It’s a great way to learn who your audience is while at the same time making it easier for them to get to know you better too.
- Sales/Lead Generation: 77% of consumers research a brand on social media before making a purchase decision. And that’s why most businesses on social media have a component that caters to solidifying their sales funnel either through social proof, special offers, or even product demos on their social media to nudge consumers to pick them over their competitors. Depending on how much you’d like to leverage your social media marketing strategy to drive sales, this objective can be an important component of your social media mix.
4. Exploring your target group
Now that you have a clearer picture of who your competitors are, what approaches have worked for them, & what category you are in, it’s time to define your target audience. Your target audience is the group of people that fall into the intersection of consumers that could benefit from your product and those who are in the ideal demographic to purchase your product.
This intersection can be visualized by creating a set of consumer profiles that contain valuable behavioural and demographic information of your target group. For instance, here’s an example of one consumer profile for a cake shop:
Description: A young professional, looking for a wedding cake guests will remember
Motivated by: Unique flavours and designs, attentive customer service to make her wedding planning woes simpler
Can be reached on Email, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest
The idea behind making such a profile is to better understand how to target, reach, & communicate with your target group. These insights of the consumer can be sourced by examining the behaviours and demographics of your existing customers or those of your competitors. Ideally, your target group should include a handful of consumer profiles, with as little overlap between them as possible.
By defining these consumer profiles, you'll be able to craft your social media marketing campaign with a face (albeit a hypothetical one) in mind, making it easier for you to gauge the tone, language, and values to reflect in your content bucket. Now that you have set-up your consumer profiles, let’s move on to setting up your branding guidelines.
5. Setting up your branding guidelines
This step is all about making a blueprint for your visual style on social media. The objective is to provide a seamless, cohesive and exciting visual experience. This entails achieving consistency in the visual style, colours, typefaces, and brand marks. In this creative process, carefully select a handful of colours, fonts, icons, and creative assets to develop your brand’s visual identity.
Select styles that consumers will instantly associate your brand with. The final step is to ensure that you constantly stick to your brand guidelines in all your creative assets. This allows your brand to “own” colours, typography, visual styles, and eventually broaden the perception of your brand in the eyes of your consumers.
Consistency is key when it comes to implementing your brand guidelines.
6. Making your content bucket
To put it simply, a content bucket is an assortment of topics with an overarching theme. By selecting various topics that are relevant to your consumer profiles, you can ensure that you have a well-rounded communication and social media marketing strategy, which will give your target audience a full picture of what your business offers.
Creating a content bucket will help you ensure that your marketing content is varied in type and form, garnering more engagement from people in different walks of life. The consumer profiles we made earlier are the perfect vantage points for you to look through when selecting topics to include in your content bucket. Include topics that you think will resonate with these consumer profiles.
Furthermore, the topics you select must be in line with the objective you have in mind, whether its engagement, brand awareness or any combination of the objectives we discussed earlier your objective(s) should be the overarching theme that connects the topics you've included.
Now that you have a handful of topics in your content bucket, go ahead and mould them into well-constructed posts that leverage an assortment of creative formats such as GIFs, carousels, and videos along with the perfect captions to tag along. When you write these captions make sure that your communication encourages readers to take actions by your objectives.
7. Creating a calendar and going live
If you’re familiar with planning an itinerary for a holiday, you already have the skills to get started on your social media marketing calendar. Your social media calendar is an essential tool to plan out what, when, and where you will be posting your content. It is what it sounds like, a calendar (digital or otherwise) that details the times and days you will be taking your content to live.
To create your calendar, you can rely on a plethora of online templates (available through a quick search) or create one bespoke to you on a simple spreadsheet, feel free to get creative here, you will be looking at this frequently. Within your calendar, alongside the days and times, it is a good idea to include parameters such as post captions, creative briefs, and platforms you’d like to go live on, this will help you add some structure to your campaign and help you easily track your progress throughout your campaign.
After you’ve populated your calendar, with posts on your content bucket and objectives, it’s time to go live. Going live with your content in a scheduled fashion is a fairly doable task provided your calendar is complete, and your creative collateral is standing by.
Make sure all the relevant assets, such as creatives, captions, and your social media login credentials are ready well in advance of them going live.
There are also some tools available online that will help you automate this process to some extent, platforms such as Hubspot, Hootsuite and Sprout Social are just a few of the tried and tested platforms you can subscribe to automate the process of taking your content to live at precisely the days and times you intended.
8. Understanding what metrics to track and what they mean for your business
Now that you have successfully begun posting content on your social media, you’re probably wondering, what’s next? To succeed, and continue to succeed on social media it’s as important to observe as it is to publish. Consumers today are constantly being bombarded with content in all forms and platforms, so it is safe to assume that their attention spans are short-lived. Therefore it is important to nurture and be sensitive towards how your audience is engaging with your content. The following parameters are a good start to determine what's working and what isn't -
- Impressions: These are the number of times a platform like Facebook showed your posts to a user. Ideally: a high number that's growing
- Reach: these are the number of people that viewed your post for 3 or more seconds . Ideally: a high number that's growing
- Impression to reach ratio: this ratio shows you what percentage of your audience is paying attention in comparison to those that have chosen to ignore your posts. Ideally: a percentage that's approaching 100%
- Likes, comments, and shares: these are the number of people that have interacted with your post. Ideally: a number that's growing
- Follows: the number of people following you. Ideally: a number that's growing
Now that you know what these metrics mean and which direction they should be moving, monitor and compare them on each post/piece of content with your competitors around the same time to decipher what resonates with your audience and what does not. Make sure you do this regularly as your audience is likely to change its preference over time. Learn from these analyses to draw inspiration for what to add to your content bucket next, to stay on top of your social media efforts. Publish, analyse, improve, repeat.
A successful social media campaign is a fairly attainable goal for anyone. By maintaining a disciplined approach, being detail-oriented, and constantly aspiring to iterate and improve, unlock the power of social media for your business!
A dummy’s guide to Social Media for Indian Marketers – 2020 Guide
The world of Social Media Marketing is a large and confusing one. Have no fear! With this handy guide to social media marketing for dummies by your side, you are sure to conquer it. In this guide to social media marketing, we will cover the basics of social media marketing, an overview of the most popular Social Media platforms in India and common social media marketing terminology.
As of January 2020, there are approximately 3.8 billion active users on Social Media- that's nearly half the world's population! In today's digital world, it is imperative for brands to leverage social networks to market their product or service. The great thing about social media marketing is that it allows brands to target specific groups of people who are most likely to consume their product. Unlike traditional advertising platforms such as the television and the newspaper, a one-size-fits-all approach will not work on social media. Choosing the right social media strategy for your brand will require a deep understanding of the brand's key marketing objectives and target audience.
How to create a Social Media Marketing strategy that delivers
A strong social media strategy can do wonders for the growth of your business. If you are wondering how to start social media marketing, below are the main points to be kept in mind while planning your social media strategy.
- Determine your main business goals
- Identify your target audience
- Create an engaging content plan
- Analyze and optimize your campaigns
Determine your main business goals
The first question your need to ask yourself is what do you want to achieve through your social media marketing campaign. Your social media strategy needs to be centred around your business's end goal. Here are some of the top priorities for social media marketers:
- Increase brand awareness
- Increase social media following
- Generate leads and sales
- Drive website traffic
- Boost audience engagement
- Build a community around your business
- Improve customer support
- Increase brand PR
It is most likely that you will have a combination of these goals, which is totally fine! Determining your business goals will also help you decide on which social platforms to spend your advertising budget.
Identify your target audience
Once you determine your social media goals, you need to identify your target audience. Answer the following questions to help figure your audience targeting:
- Who- Who is your ideal target audience? What is their gender, age, location, etc?
- What- What kind of content are they looking to consume on social media? Is it entertainment, product information, case studies, educational content or more.
- Where- On which social media platform are your users most active?
- How- How do they consume content? Is it through videos, blogs, social posts or more?
Create a detailed audience persona to help you better understand your audience's social media requirements and maximise the performance of your campaigns.
Create an engaging content plan
In our guide on how to start social media marketing, this is perhaps one of the most important points. Content is king and engaging content is the key for a successful social campaign. The kind of content you put out will depend on your business goals and target audience. It will also vary from platform to platform. To keep your content from becoming mundane, it is best to include different content buckets and styles in your content calendar. While planning your business's content calendar, it helps to go through your competitor's social media handles and see the kind of content they are putting out.
Analyze and optimize your campaigns
With the social media marketing landscape constantly changing, it is important to regularly analyze your campaigns to determine what's working and what isn't. Monitoring your main metrics on a regular basis and making changes on a real-time basis help optimize your campaigns. Use the learnings from each campaign to improve the next one. All the major social media platforms have their own analytics tool to help you better understand your campaign's performance and provide audience insights. Use this to pull out data, create insights and determine actions points to give you the best return on investment.
How to choose which Social Media platforms to advertise your brand on
There are hundreds of social networking sites out there for everyone. The important part is determining which platforms would drive the maximum return on investment for your business.
So which is the ideal Social Media platform if you are wondering how to start social media marketing? Here are the most popular options:
Facebook is one of India's most popular social media platforms with over 241 million active users in the country. Facebook's advertising platform is highly customisable, and allows you to target very specific audience groups. Facebook is also a great platform to form an emotional connection with your customers and gain a loyal following. Facebook allows you to promote many different content types on its platform. Through Facebook's Ad Manager, you can run campaigns for a variety of objectives such as brand awareness, lead generation, website traffic, app installs, conversions, store visits and more. Facebook Analytics and Facebook Insights also provide you with a lot of information on your page's performance and audience behaviour.
This mobile-first platform has grown in popularity over the last few years. If your brand has visually appealing products, Instagram is a great platform to leverage. As compared to Facebook, the kind of content you can publish on Instagram is fairly limited and is restricted to photos and short videos. Now under Facebook's umbrella, you can run campaigns on Instagram through Facebook's Ad Manager. Instagram stories and IGTV are some Instagram assets that could add great value to your brand. The majority of Instagram's user base are millennials and Gen Z.
The second-largest search engine in the world, YouTube has over 265 million monthly users in India. YouTube ads can be run for business goals such as reach & brand awareness, product & brand consideration, driving website traffic and lead generation. Google Analytics and YouTube Analytics provide deep insight into your campaign's performance, audience demographic, YouTube channel and much more.
With its 280 character limit and strong emphasis on real-time information, as a social network, Twitter is used mostly by brands as a PR tool. While it is a predominantly text-based platform, Twitter also supports pictures, GIFs and videos. Twitter's advertising formats include Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts and Promoted Trends. Twitter's built-in analytics tool provides valuable insights into the performance of your tweets and profile activity. Twitter has over 11 million active users in India.
A professional social media site, LinkedIn is the go-to platform for B2B marketing, professional networking and talent acquisition. Over the years, LinkedIn has evolved as a platform for business to establish thought leadership and authority in their industries.
LinkedIn's advertising opportunities include brand awareness, website visits, post engagement video views, lead generation, website conversions and job applicants.
Social Media Marketing Terminology
The world of Social Media Marketing is full of terms and abbreviations that might seem like gibberish to the outside world. The list below explains the most commonly-used terms.
A/B Testing: A/B testing or split testing is the practice of running two or more similar ads at the same time to determine which one performs best. Usually, just one element on the ad is changed (it can either be the creative copy, ad caption, image, etc). A/B testing helps you better understand your audience by showing you which ad people liked more.
CPC: CPC or Cost Per Click refers to the amount of money spent to get your audience to click on your ad. A low CPC means you're getting more clicks at a lower price, while a high CPC means you're paying a lot for people to click on your ad. CPC can vary based on many factors, including who you're targeting with your ad, the size of your audience, and how relevant your ad is to your target audience.
Reach: Reach refers to the number of unique users who have seen your post or ad.
Impressions: Impressions refer to the total number of times your content was displayed to your audience. It differs from reach as it does not record the number of unique accounts reached, but the number of times your ad was seen. If the same ad appeared on the user's newsfeed and story, it would count as two impressions. A single user could have multiple impressions for the same post. Another thing to note is that the viewer does not have to engage with the post for it to count as an impression.
CPM: Cost Per Mille, or more commonly known as Cost Per Impressions, CPM refers to the amount of money you pay per 1,000 impressions. CPM can be calculated by dividing the total amount spent by the total number of impressions and multiplying it by 1000. When doing a brand awareness campaign, CPM is an important metric to track.
Lead Generation and Lead Magnets: As the term states, lead generation is the process of grabbing your audience's attention and acquiring leads. Lead Magnets are tools that capture your customer's information by offering free giveaways, offers or memberships in exchange for their email ID or phone number.
CPL: CPL or Cost Per Lead is the amount spent to acquire a lead. It can be calculated by dividing the total amount spent by the number of leads achieved.
CTR: CTR or Click Through Rate shows how many times your viewers clicked on your post. It can be calculated by dividing the total number of clicks your post received by the total number of impressions and then converting this into a percentage.
Engagement Rate: Engagement rate is a metric that helps you determine how many users are interacting with your post. The higher your engagement rate, the better your post is! It can be calculated by dividing the total number of engagement received on a post by the total number of impressions and then converting this into a percentage. Engagement rate is tricky to compare across social networks, as what counts as an "engagement" differs from platform to platform.
Frequency: Frequency measures how many times your ad is shown to a single user. It can be calculated by dividing the total number of impressions by the total reach. If your frequency is too high, you may be wasting your budget by showing your ad too many times to the same user.
CTA: CTA or Call to Action refers to a cue that catches your audience's attention and prompts them to perform an action such as download a free ebook, submit their contact details, and more. As a best practice keep your CTA short and make sure it stands out from the rest of your ad.
Retargeting: Retargeting is a specific type of audience targeting where you show your ad only to users who have interacted with your post, page or website before.
Lookalike Audience: Lookalike Audience is an audience targeting option that lets you target users with similar behavioural patterns to your current audience. Lookalike audiences are built by uploading existing customer details onto your social platform's ad program which it will use to target similar users.