For weeks now, I have been reading the recent blog posts and articles about digital trends for 2022. Many platforms have their agendas, but five consistent trends have appeared in all these recent publications. Here I will summarize what I read and provide ideas on how to include these trends in a Marketing Strategy.
1. A continued increase in Videos with more demand for live video. You will also see an increase in gaming and the metaverse and not referring only to Facebook. The METAVERSE refers to the virtual world of augmented reality, virtual reality and 3D holographic avatars and video that create an environment where people work, play, and socialize.
s2. Social commerce will continue to grow. Social commerce gives retailers a way of getting their product/service in front of potential customers through social networks like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. Many retailers say large increases in revenue after opening up Instagram Shops and even larger increases with Livestreams. Rob Illidge, CEO of social media agency Social Republic, stated consumers spend three times longer watching live videos than pre-recorded visual content. Many platforms are quickly developing Shoppable Livestream solutions for businesses. Livestreams have also gotten a boost from the pandemic by offering a safe alternative to in-store shopping.
3. Sustainability and DEI. Research shows that Sustainability and DEI have become increasingly important to consumers. Consumers are switching to brands that reflect their wallet.
4. Integrating data collection methods that prioritize Consumer Privacy. Many marketers do not realize that your audience is owned by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or any other social media platform. In addition, Google is getting rid of third-party cookies after 2022.
5. E-commerce, New ways to Pay for Purchases like cryptocurrency, PayPal, and Venmo. Customers are looking for convenient options when they hit “buy now” or “donate now” for nonprofits. Cut down on the number of clicks and offer flexibility for different types of consumers. 50% of consumers will abort their purchase if they don’t see their preferred payment system available (https://blog.saleslayer.com/)
Do you know what a Nappaccino is or how it can improve your marketing? What about temporal landscaping or input bias? Discovering the psychology behind how customers think can help shape our marketing strategy. Recently, a friend referred me to a self-help book where I learned about chronotype. Chronotype is how your brain’s natural inner schedule works. Learning about my inner clock was interesting, but even more impressive was relating these types of human psychological patterns to Marketing. I ended up reading two of these Psychological Thrillers and there were some great marketing strategies reminders along the way.
6 Marketing Lessons that Psychology Reminds us to Apply in Marketing Strategies
Lesson 1 – Timing is Everything!
Marketers spend an abundant amount of time creating emails and content. These are important marketing tools, but considering the timing of when each tool should be released is equally important. The Psychologists call this your temporal landscape, match timing to when a customer is most interested and available to read about a topic. For example, send emails with information at the beginning of the week when people are ready to learn something new. Send emails at the start of the weekend when you can relate the content to weekend plans. You could say, “The weekend is almost here” or “Now that the weekend has finally come.” You will have more impact on your audience if they are “ready” or “open” to the subject. Thus, thoughtfully timing your interactions with your audience is essential.
Lesson 2 – Life’s Not Fair! But can it be…
People need to find fairness. I tell my kids all the time that life is not fair. But this does not keep them or most of us from striving to find and feel fairness in daily interactions. You can use this in marketing messages like social media posts by appealing to this desire for fairness. For example, a nonprofit could say, “Did you know members of our community are denied healthcare. Do you think this is fair?” Let your customers know you are here to level the playing field. Customers feel encouraged when their business experience is transparent, and when they think they matter to a business. Customer Service comes into play here. As a business, be responsive, let the customer know they matter and treated fairly.
Lesson 3 – Why Pay More - Input Bias
Customers are willing to pay more for services that seem to take longer, or pay more for a product that takes an exceptional amount of time to develop. This is what Psychologists call input bias. People want to know the effort you put into something. You may have become an expert at a skill, so it takes you less time than most other people. It would help if you let customers know what you went through to develop an expertise. For example, “After 5 years of graduate work and 3 years traveling” or “Every piece we make is handmade and quality assured.” These statements work well in an email subject line to get people’s attention. People want quality and make decisions about quality relatively quickly. Because of input bias, business owners should refer to the time and effort taken to create a product or service.
Lesson 4 – “The New Power Nap”
So, this one doesn’t have much to do with Marketing, but I find it fascinating, and I can’t wait to give it a try. Daniel Pin calls this the Nappaccino. You have a cup of coffee, then nap for 20 minutes. You will wake up just in time to get a boost of energy from the caffeine. A boost of energy around 3:00 every day sounds good to me :). He also states the ideal break time is 17 minutes for every 52 minutes of work. You might think you are losing time, but research shows that breaks help increase productivity.
Lesson 5 – You Don’t Control Me
People like to be in control, so customers need choices. When customers have options, they are deciding on how to respond, not if they should respond. Moreover, the more control a customer feels, the more likely they will do what you want them to. Instead of asking, “Would you do this?” ask, “Which one do you choose?” Provide options for getting more information. For example, when you want a customer to contact you, provide options such as, Click-here, email or give them a scannable code to use. Different package options, contact options, and more information options appeal to a customer’s sense of control.
Lesson 6 – A Little Flattery Goes A Long Way - Labeling
Refer to people how they would like to envision themselves. A wellness company could start an email with “As a responsible person taking control over their health” or “As a valuable resource to your organization.” Shining the light on your customers’ visions and goals allows them to see that you know them and understand what they need. Provide your customers with a reference group and compliment who they are. Create a vision, allowing customers to see themselves positively and achieving their goals.
Understanding your customers is a critical piece in any marketing strategy. These lessons help enhance our understanding of customers' behaviors. Supplying your audience what they need, when they need it, how they need it, and why they need it keeps customers interested. And most importantly, make a sale– hopefully from your business!
Help us all continue learning. What other behavioral techniques have you learned about customers from Psychology? Share on Facebook for even more ideas.
Kellie Emrich, DBA
Social Media Marketing Professor
If the essential elements are not present in your content, it does not matter how fancy or the usefulness of the information you provide. The reader will lose interest if they cannot easily find the main points. Don't make it hard on yourself, it takes following some guidelines each time you write. Check off these 9 elements to ensure you have the necessary components for easy reading.
Use this checklist before you post any content for a blog, email, or social media article.
1. Know the problem you are solving for the audience. - Your content should be about the customer and what information they need. Not about your business and what products or services you are providing. Know the type of content that fits your buyer persona and write the content to them.
2. Use headings and subheadings – Have an eye-catching heading at the top. Then, create subheadings to break up every 1-3 paragraphs.
3. Use images – One image at the top and another 1-3 images throughout the content. But, make sure each image is relevant and adds to the content.
4. Keep paragraphs short, on average, 4 sentences. – Stay away from a long paragraph, instead break into 2 or 3 paragraphs. Readers tend to lose focus during longer paragraphs
5. Create lists or bullets where possible. - Readers enjoy looking at and reading a list or a set of bullet points instead of ideas separated by commas. Break processes up into steps and use bullet points to summarize a topic.
6. No underlining in your content, use bold or block quotes. – On the web, underlining text makes readers think there is a link.
Instead of underlining, use bold, italicize, or use block quotes. You are currently reading an example of a block quote.
7. Make sure the writing is scannable for main points - People like to look through readings first. If it does not seem easy to read, and the main points do not stick out, they are less likely to read the content.
8. Add a Link – Pick your call to action and add the link to go along with it—a link to your website, email sign up, or social media. But, do not have a link to everything. Decide the one action you want from a specific piece of content.
9. Edit – Don’t rely on your editing technique. Use Grammarly and Hemmingway apps to find errors. Also, read each sentence backward to help draw out errors in sentence structure and wording.
Creating a habit writing with these essential techniques will increase the number of people who read your content. Get in the habit of including these, then you can start to get fancy and people will notice.
I am often asked my favorite website or blogging platform. I have tried many different ones and all I needed was wordpress and bluehost. They make the process easy and affordable to get started.
Good luck on your writing journey. It's not easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.
Kellie Emrich, DBA
If you do not have a strategy to monitor your brand online, then someone else will do it for you. Imagine a negative comment, a question, or a review online about your business that you or not aware of. 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. 84% of these consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (https://www.brightlocal.com). Social media is an amazing marketing tool, but you must monitor the conversation because there will be one whether you are controlling it or not. Protect yourself by incorporating Brand Monitoring into your strategy.
Be a brand that is quick to respond and a trusted resource in your industry. Remember, if you do not take control of what people are saying about you then someone else controls your image.
Kellie Emrich, DBA
Follow @thesocialprof on Facebook
Promoting content the right way can help you work more efficiently. After all, you spent a ton of time creating content why not make sure the right people can see your content. Social media provides a source to immerse your business with an audience. Creating engagement has proven to be the key to an effective promotional strategy. This is why social media marketing is important for small businesses.
With 3.2 billion worldwide social media users (Source, Statistica) even a fraction of that audience can benefit from your business. To increase engagement you need to promote your business on social media consistently and creatively. Promoting your content with these tools for social media marketing can engage an audience and providing value where others cannot. Here are techniques to help you promote your content.
Follow the social prof on Facebook for more tips and resources for social media marketing.
Many social media organizations are providing small businesses with Free Resources that are extremely helpful during these times of social distancing. Often these resources are expensive or did not exist before. Now, is an excellent time for business to utilize these resources to improve and develop marketing efforts. I will keep the list updated as additional resources become available. Follow my Facebook Page for these updates.
These are challenging times for marketing on social media. But there are opportunities to grow, develop skills and engage with customers to become stronger when this crisis is over. Together we can make these challenges opportunities.
Social Media Resources Available to Small Business
How to Market on Social Media During Covid-19
Additionally, there are numerous resources on how to optimize social media during COVID-19. What should you say or not say in social media marketing? What are some ideas small businesses can accomplish during business closures? There are some themes that I see repeatedly. I have combined these with my findings into four essential tips to keep in mind in your social media marketing. These tips will help you generate ideas and create focus in your current marketing efforts.
1. Do not stop communications on social media: Increase communications that align with the goals and aspirations of your audience.
Kellie Emrich, DBA
Professor of Marketing
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Imagine a news feed filled with inspirational messages, information about your hobbies, or resources on what matters to you. With a little more paying attention this is how social media can transform for us.
Now is an excellent time to pay more attention. Often in our journey on social media, the endgame always seems to be gathering attention. People drop out of the game because there is so much attention seeking. However, social media offers this great benefit that many are not utilizing. Think about all the people and information accessible via these social platforms. Try diverting your focus to using social media to pay more attention, observe, and learn.
For small business owners, now is the time to get online and listen. Find out about your customers and what motivates them, the information they seek, and the struggles they encounter. You can learn ways to engage with customers by paying attention, then provide the information and knowledge they crave. Want to get started in the process? Read more here.
How Do We Pay More Attention?
The search box on many social media platforms is like Google. You can use these search boxes to discover groups and pages you want to follow. There are plenty of groups and pages out there about almost anything. I have joined many groups and followed many profiles and pages on subjects I enjoy. Start with Facebook, the largest social media platform. My newsfeed on Facebook includes information about my hobbies and things I want to learn. Instagram is educational content and inspirational posts. Want to customize what you see on your Facebook newsfeed? - Facebook newsfeed preferences.
I taught my daughter how to do this on Snapchat, her favorite social platform. The search box in Snapchat is in an area called Discover. To find Discover on Snapchat, swipe from right to left on the camera screen. You can use the search box to see stories and pages, then subscribe to what interests you. She has benefited from several resources for her learning and hobbies.
My Hard Truth About Paying Attention?
One day, my daughter asked me to take her out to buy a trash can. However, we have plenty of trash cans in our house, so there was no need to buy a new one. She told me it was for a new idea she had. She’s quite crafty, you see. I fell for it, and we visited three stores to find the perfect trash can. While we were still in the store, she started taking pictures of her newly named trash can Tim, placing Tim on a chair or between stuffed animals. I had no idea why she was doing this, but I helped her find fun spots to take pictures of Tim.
Later, she told me it was her new idea for social media. Apparently, some of her friends were receiving hundreds of likes for various activities they were participating in, so she wanted a similar experience. Her ideas were to bring a trash can into her life and go on adventures with it, like learning to ride a bike, and take pictures of these escapades. In sum, my daughter wanted the same attention she thought all her friends were receiving online. I knew I had to quickly change this way of thinking.
In short, social media is a great tool if you are paying attention rather then trying to get attention. In a world where we are home and need positive images, changing our mindset is a great start. Focus for the sake of focusing, without desiring anything else.
Want to learn about social media marketing and how to make it work for you? Follow @thesocialprof on Facebook.
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There is one concept in the world of social media marketing that proves to be the key to marketing on social media. Businesses who learn this concept state their social media marketing finally improved. Without this knowledge, no amount of time, money, utilizing new trends or modern techniques made much of a difference. What made a difference was making this shift in thinking about attracting customer. Get ready to learn something that will change your marketing for the better.
the Customers do not want to know about what is going on with your business. Customers want solutions and information. Customers do not care about your events, photos, or sales pitch. Customers care about learning and finding content to solve problems. The key to social media marketing is to provide content that fills the needs of the audience. The goal of social media marketing is not to talk about your business, not to sell, and not always posting updates or pictures. The goal of social media marketing is to find an audience, provide the information they are looking for, and solve their problems.
Look at an example - A dance studio utilized many social media accounts. The business was posting pictures at events, key dates, and sales ads. They were posting beautiful images and advertisements that very few engaged with. All this effort and social media accounts were not growing or generating more sales or website visits. Until the strategy changed and became more about what the audience wanted to learn. So the business did research(social listening) and made some key changes that focused more on content. The research led to learning about the audience and what they wanted to learn. The new posts were short instructional videos and photos, how to's, and infographics. Consisting of teaching trendy dance moves and videos to get in shape. They also shared tips to be more flexible and how to use dance to relieve stress. These ideas came from social listening and focusing more on information for the audience. Yes, you do want to eventually sell to the audience, but only at the right time. With social media, 20% is selling, and the other 80% is content. Once you have an engaged audience and built trust, then talking about your business and selling a product or service can be useful.
Think about it, digest and use it. - The goal of social media marketing is to find an audience, provide the information they are looking for, and solve their problems. Doing this is not easy and finding the right audience and content takes time and patience. Starting with this concept in mind will ensure a more success social media marketing strategy.
Please comment here about how you will use this concept. Or, if you already do tell us how you have utilized content in your marketing. Follow me on Facebook for weekly marketing updates.
Dr. Kellie Emrich, DBA
Professor of Marketing
The Social Prof
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Would you want a salad without dressing? What about watching a basketball game without a referee? How about social media marketing without analytics? The answer is No. Without analytics, you would not understand if a strategy is working. There are numerous resources out there, and it can be confusing. Keep it simple to start and build as you learn. Be sure to start by defining your social media goals. Examples include brand awareness, brand loyalty, generating leads, or customer service. Below is a summary of some of the most popular goals for social media and what key indicators you could use.
The great news is that each platform makes this data easy to find and track at no cost. Finding analytics on each platform is a little different. Here are some of the most common platforms and where the platform keep analytics.
Twitter – Find analytics on the Twitter analytics dashboard
Facebook – Find analytics on the Insights tab. These are only available on a Facebook Page (not profile) after receiving 30 likes.
Instagram – To see Instagram analytics, you need a business account and 100 followers. Each of your posts will show “view insights” to click on and you can see how each post performs. You can also look at all analytics by clicking in the upper right corner icon, then insights.
SEM Rush is my favorite analytical tool that I do pay for because I find the resource beneficial. You can analyze data in more detail and bring in your website data and SEO. Also you can view audience behaviors, track competitors, keep up on keywords, keep up on trends and do social media listening.
I suggest downloading some of your key analytics and keeping the data in one excel file or workbook. This allows you to prioritize key performance indicators and not get overwhelmed with the amount of data each platform gives you.
Likes on social media is a measurement that many of the the platforms talk about removing. Instagram has been removing likes for public view in other countries and is starting to do the same in the US. The reasoning is to reduce social anxiety. Click on the social prof facebook page below and look for the recent post on this topic. Vote for if you agree or disagree and in the comments state why you voted the way you did.
I know I say it often when talking about social media marketing, and here I go again, no selling your product or service on a blog. For marketers, I know that it is tricky. Consumers go to blogs for information, not to see advertisements. Too much selling can diminish the value of a brand. Instead, offer knowledge while building trust and respect.
That’s not to say we do not provide links or offers. The key is providing an abundance of information, so your potential audience clicks through to your business to find more. For all content marketing outlets on social media, stick to an 80/20 Rule. Provide content 80% of the time, sell 20% of the time.
Always have these five tips in mind –
Remember, it takes time to establish good blogging habits. Be willing to use trial and error learning from what is working and not working. As you write, you will get better and better and learn more about what attracts an audience in your industry. You can have fun, learn, and blog all at the same time.
Please offer any additional tips especially on how you ensure your writing is properly edited?
Storytelling for Social Media
Content marketing is about telling a story that builds relationships and identifies you as a potential guide to solve problems. Telling stories can transform information into solutions and show we care about helping our audience.
“Developing the content in our content marketing strategy is developing the stories of us. It’s the big ideas that we represent. It’s the differentiated experiences we want to create. It’s what we REALLY do for a living. For better or worse — it’s that simple.” Content Marketing Institute
Not all of us are storytellers. I had to go out and find help. The best resource I found was from
https://www.mystorybrand.com/ created from the book “Story Brand” by Donald Miller.
The story brand template on the website offers a great way to get started with storytelling. Fill in the blanks with his prompts and it will make you think creatively and start to generate a story from your ideas.
Key Points I learned from using the Story Brand Template
Airbnb - https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=10153215613209727
A rather massive brand that has taken the world by storm settles into an amazingly powerful bit of storytelling, and shows the rest of the world how it’s done. Airbnb felt that telling a story that was simply inspirational was surely the best way to get people feeling emotions and buying into the brand it had created. And it worked.
Honorable Mention: Google is Telling a story, literally
Google don’t really have to market anymore, they are simply working on ways to keep their fans happy. And this video is a perfect version of that.
Good luck with your storytelling and please let me know if you have any other ideas or resources to help create stories on social media.
Dr. Kellie Emrich @thesocialprof
After reading this article take a shot at creating your own Buyer Persona.
I love these infographics that explain how to create compelling posts on each social media platform. Each platform is just a little bit different, so it is essential you know how to create engaging posts for each one. After reading and researching articles like this, I have found three specific details that should be in every social media post.
1. 2-3 Hashtags - You might have one branded hashtag, but then you want to research 3-4 other hashtags., Be sure to use more specific hashtags instead of generalized hashtags. (An example of a hashtag that is very general is #socialmediamarketing a better hashtag could be #socialmediaforentrepreneurs)
2. A Call to Action – The information you provide should be so exciting that your audience wants more. Be sure to provide links that continue your audience to explore your business further. Examples – subscribe here, join our community, book today, get more information, risk-free quote
3. Use Keywords and Trigrams – Be sure to do keyword research. These are terms your audience uses on the internet to find information. Including keywords in your post will help you be found on social media. Trigrams are three-word phrases that are the most powerful phrases on social media. The chart below was taken from Steve Rayson’s research on 100 million headlines.
Taking the time to create meaningful posts can help to generate engagement and interest for your product or service. Also click on the You Tube video below to learn how to create your own Infographics for your website or social media platforms.
Speech Bubble – Allows for a conversation view between users. Speech bubble could be useful for businesses to converse with customers and track and manage these conversations.
Social media is an excellent way to find and connect with customers to grow your business. 77% of Americans have a social media profile (www.statista.com). Social media for small business does not have to be scary or too big to take on. Start with an easy tool called Social Media Listening. Social Media Listening is using the internet to learn about customers. Find out where your customers are, what they are talking about and how you can help them.
Hootsuite is a great place to start your social listening, plus it is free (well.. to get the most out of it you may want to pay for the advanced version but it’s not expensive). Open a Hootsuite account here - Hootsuite Account. They will walk you through adding streams and networks. Be sure to search the following;
Hootsuite is great, but also start a spreadsheet or other tracking tool to take notes and keep track of your research. You want to find out what keywords your customers are using on the internet, what problems they have, what content they are interacting with, what platforms are they on, what competitors are doing and any information that is relevant to your business.
Once you have Hootsuite set up you can use the resources below to add to your social listening.
Below is an excellent overview of the demographics on each platform if you are not sure where to start. Click here for more platform data. Think about the demographics of your business.
Once you have started your social media listening you will be in a great position to develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy.
Keywords are those words a potential customer types in a search engine or social media platform to look for information. If you are a business owner you want to be at the top of the search. To do this you need to use keyword on your website and your social media platforms. To find key words Google Trends is an easy place to start. The simple process is below. Also use other free keyword sites like https://www.wordstream.com/keywords. Start a spreadsheet and keep track of all your keywords. Look for themes and words that come up over and over. These are the words you want to incorporate into your website and social media platforms.
2. Enter search terms, click on compare to search for more than one term.
3. Use the drop down arrows across the top to narrow your search for locations, time periods, Categories and web searches.
For example, if you click on the arrow next to each search term below you can make custom selections
4. You can also subscribe to get updates on events/keywords that are being searched. From the menu on the left click on subscriptions and fill in the box that looks like the one below. You can get updates sent right to your email.
Stop Waisting Time on Social Media, Find the Right Platform for You!
Deciding which social media platforms are right for your business is difficult. One thing for sure is DO NOT open a social media account with no goal in mind. Be sure to understand the benefits of each platform and how they fit the goals of your business. Take the time to find the right combination that will benefit your business. Start by finding 1-2 platforms to develop, then start joining other platforms.
Here is a summary of the benefits of some of the top Social Media Platforms:
A short message communication tool that allows you to send out messages (tweets) up to 140 characters long to people who subscribe to you (followers). Also known as microblogging.
Twitter allows you to post breaking news, important messages, announcement and other up-to-date information.
Facebook is the largest social platform in the world, boasting more than 2 billion active monthly users. About 61% of users are Americans between the ages of 25 and 54. Users can post comments, share photographs and post links to news or other interesting content on the web, chat live, and watch short-form video, images to videos and textual content.
Facebook works well for:
A web-based pinboard or bulletin board with greater organizational functionality. A highly underrated platform, Pinterest is a visual-based social network with more than 100 million active monthly users. People typically pin or save images they found on the web (or on Pinterest itself) to different boards (used to categorize their image collections).
If you sell any type of product, Pinterest is a social network you need to be on. Promoted pins allow you to target specific types of users and link directly to your shop or product pages.
According to Shopify, 90% of users plan their purchases using Pinterest.
A photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook. Like Pinterest, Instagram is a graphics-heavy social network. Instagram has a younger audience.
If you’re in retail, beauty, food or art, this platform will work very well for your business.
Offering video-based content, YouTube is ideal for businesses that can offer DIY videos, tutorials and educational information, such as:
What advice can you give about a social media platform that can benefit a business? Or, share Pros and Cons of any platform you have used.
If you were only going to watch one TED TALK and you are an ENTREPRENEUR here is the one you MUST watch!
Always start with the why, even though must of us begin with the what or how. Simon Sinek has studied how leaders act and think. In this Ted Talk he uses that knowledge to explain what, and in what order, Entrepreneurs should think. He describes a golden circle your business should be centered around to tell WHY you are in business. Everything else follows. I believe this TALK is a must for anyone in life as we are all in the business of ourselves. This talk will help you get and stay focused. You will make more money, and attract more customers/jobs when you find out how to start with your WHY.
Sign up for my email list as I am collected Simons Sinek worksheets and resources and will mail them out when I have them compiled. Contact Information
Here is the link to the Ted Talk
How to Stay Focused With so Many Digital Distractions. Use These Critical Programs to Monitor and Limit Access to Social Media and Websites
The time of year has come for final exams, project deadlines, and a need to keep ourselves or our kids focused. I started using an app called MOMENT, which monitors cell phone usage. I could not believe how much I was using my phone (I am not telling!). I also put the app on my children's phone. When they saw how much they used their phones they were shocked too. Having this data for the kids, and myself helped to set limits. The kids could see what they were doing and how long and we used this to talk about making better choices and monitoring their own usage
Limits do not always work so here are some easy to use programs that can block or reduce access to social media or websites.
Anti-Social: Blocks a site for as little as 15 minutes up to 8 hours. It will not let you access a site once you block it, so you are committed to staying focused.
StayFocusd: This is a Chrome app that tracks time and limits access to websites. You can also block an entire site for good.
SelfControl: This one is free and for Mac users. Can block access to websites.
Happy monitoring and blocking!
Share your Social Media Marketing Advice Here
Often we marketers are overwhelmed with new ideas and strategies. Our minds are hard to slow down as information is consistently flashed in front of us. When it comes to content marketing the same is true. So many steps, templates, and strategies it can be difficult to figure out where to start, even when the answer could be simple. Take it from me as someone who has taken certification after certification and used template after template to develop content. The answer comes from looking at SOLUTIONS. Content is created to solve a problem for a customer. For those customers who are researching what their challenges are and those that are already using your product/service as a solution. Content is creating knowledge about the solution you are providing. Notice I said Solution not a product or service. The one thing you need to know about content marketing is to focus on the solution to customers problems. Break out of the current mold concentrating on a product our service and instead talk about the solution the product/service provides. Answer these questions and think of content that could support your answers.
What is the customer doing when they first show symptoms of a problem?
What is the customer doing when they first show signs of evaluating alternatives?
What is the customer doing when they have defined their solution?
It's Not About the What its About the Why!
Social Media is a great place to conduct research about your customers or potential customers. The research allows a business to create buyer personas. Buyer Personas are fictional representations of your customer allowing you to customize content, needs, and behaviors to different groups. Taking target marketing one step farther and the payoff is worth it, see the infographic below. Start defining Buyer Personas by researching the following about your customer. Start an excel spreadsheet to keep track of your research for each of these categories.
1. Demographics - Where do they live, age, gender
2. What are their interests
3. What are their careers, education, income?
4. Buying Motivations?
5. Buying concerns?
6. Favorite websites and platforms?
7. Competitors – Similiar Web
Finding this information is simple but may take some time. You can start with googling keywords you think the customers are using, going on each platform and joining groups or following key influencers. Google trends or Google alerts also help monitor customers. I have a feedly.com account so I can keep track of the blogs, news and websites I follow in one place.
Once you have some research you can group similar characteristics then describe and name similar personas. Look for similarities on who they are, what they do, why they do it and how they do it. Adding a fictional name and a picture helps you remember the persona. Below you will find an example. Remember take your time creating buyer personas and be willing to edit personas as you continue to research and learn about your customers. Share the persona you have created.
Click on the link below to download the Buyer Persona Worksheet
“Don’t get caught up in all the shiny new things” is my favorite peace of social media advice. New Social Media tools pop up all the time and it can be a real time waster exploring new resources. My advice is pick one or two you think can benefit you and explore that resource. Always stay focused on getting to know the platforms you are using in your social media strategy. Start small and expand your platform and resources as you listen to where your customers engage. My favorite resources right now is the Heminway Editor. For a $19 life time member you get access to an editing tool that works from anywhere, even your phone. Social media marketing includes writing whether we like it or not. So, for non-writers out their getting some help with editing content is essential. Grammarly is a great one as well and it is free for you to down load today! What is your favorite social media resource? What advice do you have about handling all the new and shiny tools in social media?
I love my dog Penny!
My Favorite Quote
Blog Presented by
Dr. Kellie Emrich