How a Customer-Centric Approach Paves the Way to Success

How a Customer-Centric Approach Paves the Way to Success

 

As a marketer, how do you measure success?

What signs do you look at to truly say that all the blood, sweat and tears have paid off?

Some of you would probably give me a few numbers and graphs.

The increase in the number of page visitors. The rising number of social media followers. Engagement getting better.

But will those really give you a good grasp of your success?

Truth be told, only your customers can tell you whether your marketing strategies are working or not. One trick may have worked for a top brand you know, but that’s not a guarantee that the same thing will work for your own.

This is why at the end of the day, understanding your customers will always be the best marketing strategy.

Why You Should Apply a Customer-Centric Approach

How do you apply a customer-centric approach?

The term itself tells you that this approach requires you to put your customers front and center.

What do your customers need? What pain points do they have? What solutions are they looking for?

These are the first questions you should be asking.

From there, you can craft content, messages, products and other materials that will come across as more personal. These are the types of things that would make each person in your audience say, “Hey, this is for me.”

Now, here’s the tricky part – this should not just be a marketing effort. It has to be an organization-wide culture. The customer experience has to be seamless. Otherwise, the customers will feel that the special treatment they were expecting is short-lived or shallow, and they’ll go somewhere else where they’ll feel more valued from the inside out.

Here are a few numbers for you to seriously consider:

  • 90% of consumers are attracted to a personalized approach.
  • 80% say that they are more likely to do business with a brand that applies a personalized approach.

Where did traditional marketing fail?

Traditional marketing TOLD people WHAT TO DO. Traditional ads would say, “This is what you need. This is what you want.”

Well, the numbers show that consumers are tired of being dictated upon. They want to make their own decisions. They want their own sentiments to be heard. They do not trust brands that intrude in their daily routine and apply in-your-face advertising. Instead, they want to build relationships with brands who actually get to know who they are, listen to their concerns, and provide solutions based on that information.

Online ads would be another perfect example of why you should start taking a more customer-centric approach.

 

1 out of 3 consumers dislike online ads, and now, you already know why.

By applying a customer-centric approach, you can turn things around. Traditional marketing requires you to produce generic, all-in one ads that reach a lot without assurance of conversion. A customer-centric approach, on the other hand, creates content that directly and intentionally targets each audience’s unique need. Because interest and intent are already there, conversion will be less of a challenge.

The airline industry can actually be a good case study when it comes to customer-centric marketing.

Remember United Airlines’ string of mishaps?

From dogs being placed in overhead compartments, to passengers (yes, an actual customer!) being dragged off a plane, people in the United Airlines team obviously did not get the memo about putting customers first.

Now, 67.3% of consumers see the airline in a bad light.

But look at how Southwest Airlines fares in comparison.

Just to be clear, it’s not about having better amenities. In fact, Southwest does not even have TVs or first-class seating!

But guess what. They give their customers the freedom to sit wherever they want to sit. You don’t even have to pay anything to change your flight.

The best part of it is that they keep their employees happy. And because they have happy employees, their employees happily serve the customers as well.

THAT is what a customer-centric organization looks like, and the customer satisfaction numbers serve as proof.

 

 

Why Knowing Your Customers Well is Important

Blogs are among the most used digital marketing tools today. But just because you have a blog does not guarantee success.

58% of content marketers admit that audience relevance rank higher than compelling storytelling and convincing calls-to-action in terms of their contribution to a blog’s success.

In other words, your blog could still flop even if you have a way with words. After all, who’s going to read it if nobody’s interested?

With the amount of blogging competition, your target audience can easily click on someone else’s content if your blog proves to be irrelevant to them.

But what happens when you stick to what’s relevant to your target audience?

You end up with a group of happy, loyal brand ambassadors who will not only keep coming back for more – they will even urge their own families and peer groups to do the same.

82% of US consumers prefer getting recommendations from family and friends before deciding to make a purchase. Just imagine how huge the numbers are if these people end up recommending YOU.

Did you know that loyal customer are worth 10 times their initial purchase?

The first sale could be a little tough. There’s a lot of convincing to do.

But when that’s done and over with, you skip the convincing part in the next purchases.

REPEAT CUSTOMERS ARE EASIER TO SELL TO.

That’s one marketing fact you have to keep in mind.

This is exactly why you need to know your audiences.

It was never meant to be a guessing game. Instead, it should be a conversation between you and your audience, with you doing more of the listening part.

Just look at Harley-Davidson.

You don’t just see the bikes. You see other merchandise. You see groups of people getting together regularly to celebrate not only the product or the brand – they celebrate the lifestyle.

This lifestyle was embraced by so many people that total membership for Harley Owners Groups went over one million.

Now, that’s a brand that did it right.

How Do You Get to Know Your Customers Better?

This is not going to be easy peasy.

It’s a long and tedious process.

People change. The markets change. And you’re going to have to do a lot of keeping up and adapting.

But it’s all going to be worth it.

Amazon is another brand that seems to have mastered the same art we’re aiming for here. The belief of their CEO, Jeff Bezos, says it all – “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”

Of course, making the experience better means knowing what your invited guests are looking for in a party.

Here’s how you can get to know your customers better:

1. Build a solid buyer persona.

Buyer personas are basically profiles of your most ideal customers.

It does not just include age, gender, and income. A buyer persona tells you if Mary the Manager enjoys quiet breakfasts and poetry. It tells you if Sam the Single Man enjoys going to the gym every day.

Just take a look at this buyer persona template from Iron Spring Designs:

 

See how deeply this buyer persona goes?

Just imagine how well you can craft a marketing strategy from data like this.

You can easily create content that directly addresses people within your target audience! It’s going to be the type of content that will make them stop, read through, and follow any call to action you have.

Sure, you might feel that some of the data are not even relevant to your brand. But the more comprehensive you are, the more you’ll know the language they speak.

Here’s another great example:

Now, remember that buyer personas aren’t things you create solely from your imagination. You need in-depth research to make sure they actually describe your current customer base (the most loyal ones), and not some fictional character.

“But my target market is wide! How can I be specific?”

Well, you just have to build multiple personas. Yes, you can have more than one.

Note that your buyer personas would also have to be revisited every so often. Anticipate that your audiences may evolve, so expect to possibly tweak your current personas in the future.

2. Listen to what they say on social media.

When you think about it, social media is doing you a huge favor.

Gathering data about consumers used to be thrice as hard. But now, people use social media as their public diaries, showing you what brands they’re using, what brands they’re complaining about, and why.

Social listening is a habit that you can definitely get a great deal of information from.

Social listening involves looking at customer conversations and looking at what kind of insight you’ll get from them. Not to be confused with social monitoring, which is only limited to looking at and responding to social mentions.

When it comes to social listening, you don’t just look at what people are saying about your brand. You also look at what they’re saying about other brands, what their biggest concerns are, how they make buying decisions, and a lot more.

Chipotle can give us a good view of what we mean here.

As you can see from the graph above, quite a lot of people are concerned about food safety.

However, their customers are also talking about guac, coupons and queso.

That’s pretty good insight to start with to figure out how to proceed with your marketing.

So how do you listen in on your customers?

You can start by searching for your company name on different social media platforms. This will give you a peek at who’s talking about your brand, regardless if they post it on your own social media profile or not.

Even better, you can use social listening tools like Mention.

This is what the Mention dashboard looks like:

As you can see, it gives you a great look at who’s talking about you and why they’re talking about you.

Just imagine what you can do from here!

Not only is this a fountain of relevant data, this is also a great way to engage with your audiences.

Feedback? Respond to them accordingly. Questions? Answer them the best way you can and in a timely manner.

With 42% of consumers expecting a response within an hour, the best way you can follow through is with the use of tools like these.

Here’s an example of how amazing tools like Mention can be for your brand:

That’s a one-minute response time! Can you imagine how ecstatic the customer was, given the immediate attention given?

3.Trust in the power of surveys.

Yes, surveys still work.

We understand the apprehension, though. You probably hate filling out surveys yourself!

But that’s the trick, isn’t it? To adjust to what people like or do not like?

Check out this survey from The Yard.

It’s a single yes-or-no question, answerable with one click.

That’s easy!

Don’t overthink your surveys.

Stop asking a hundred questions – this is the best way to turn what could have been a great customer experience into a bad one.

Get Feedback has a case study that can show you the numbers.

They did an A/B test where one email had an embedded survey, while the other contained a link leading to a survey.

Look at the results.

That’s a 210% increase in starting the engagement and a 125% increase in terms of survey completion.

Humanizing your survey will also be a big thing. Tell them why you’re asking them to answer the survey. Messages like “We’d love to hear what you think,” or “This would be a big help for us,” will make your customers feel like they’re important. It tells them that their thoughts matter.

If you have longer surveys, a progress bar may be a bit of help.

Look at this example from SurveyMonkey:

Because you have a progress bar at the bottom, people know how far they have to go.

Just make sure your questions are direct to the point and easy to answer.

And, of course, the less questions you have, the better.

Track the dropout rate as well. If more people are not completing the surveys, look at where they start dropping out and find out how you can change that.

4. Monitor the type of content your audience engages with.

Can you imagine how many different types of content your customers see in a single day?

However, they do not engage with each and every one of those.

There’s always something that stands out and makes them want to comment, share or hit like.

That’s the kind of content you need to start creating.

Start with your own content. Which of your pages are getting the most engagement?

Google Analytics is your best buddy when it comes to this.

Keep track of what kind of content on your pages they prefer. Are your videos getting more attention than your infographics?

Looking at what kind of content your competitors have and how their audiences react will also be a huge help for you and your team.

Just note that when it comes to studying your competitor’s strategies, it’s not about copying what they do. It’s about getting tips on what works for them and thinking about how you can do better. It’s also about knowing what failed and avoiding the same problem.

5. Look at the customers who are not converting.

Although much of what we’ve discussed here tells you to closely look at your customers, you can also learn a lot from people who aren’t converting at all.

Why aren’t they buying?

Why aren’t your current strategies working for them?

The buyer’s journey could give you a good idea where you’re losing leads.

Each and every buyer goes through this journey. For your current customers, they stuck with you until the decision stage.

But what happened to the others? Where did you lose them?

This is why you have to make sure you have targeted content for each step of the journey as well.

Assess what you have at the moment.

Are you losing people at the consideration stage? Then you may want to look at what strategies you have for that area. Your current content may be weak, or you may not have anything in place at all.

Experiment with different types of post. Be creative with your calls to action.

Also, find ways to track what influences your audience in every step they take. This could help you remove or improve what you already have.

When you think about it, there’s one basic principle at work here – STOP ASSUMING and START LISTENING.

Don’t underestimate your audience. They’re armed with resources now. They know that they have a lot of options. And they know that almost everything is one click away.

By embracing a customer-centric approach, you can heighten the chances of your audiences clicking their way towards your brand and not anywhere else.

How to Amplify E-Commerce Traffic and Sales Using Social Media

How to Amplify E-Commerce Traffic and Sales Using Social Media

It’s that one thing that draws the line between growth and failure for your business. 

Boo, also dubbed as the “World’s Cutest Dog”, has over 16 million Facebook followers.

You’re an e-commerce business that actually offers quality products and services. How many social media followers do you have?

Well, if a dog can get this much following on social media, so can you.

You see, there is no such thing as “It’s not for us,” when it comes to social media. As long as your target audience stays on social media, it will always be one of the best ways for you to raise brand awareness and pull up your numbers – you just might not have found the secret ingredient yet.

This ultimate guide is for you if you feel like you’ve exhausted all efforts into growing your business through social media, but have not reached the numbers you’re aiming for.

This is for you if you haven’t fully jumped into social media marketing just yet but would like to see what it can do for your business.

This is also for you even if your business is already doing well, but still has endless opportunities for growth.

Why social media is a critical e-commerce tool

Let’s start by looking at how huge of an impact social media can have on your e-commerce business.

Honestly, more users are on the prowl for video and live streaming content. This means that their attention isn’t just on Facebook anymore. They use search engines to search for relevant content.

 

Search traffic was given considerable attention recently, but that doesn’t mean social sharing does not have any place in your strategy, and here’s why.

Remember that live streaming and video content on their own are less likely to lead users to other pages. Sharing your content on social sites, however, would lead people back to your own pages.

Also, social sharing may have taken a slight dip, but the numbers do not lie – social media activity still grows year after year.

 

In fact, Social Media Today predicts that by the year 2020, 90% of businesses will be using social media for their business.

Will you risk being part of that 10% missing out on the opportunities?

Think about it:

  • Consumer spending is higher by 20%-40% for brands who highly engage with followers on social media.
  • There were 2.46B users on social media last year. This year, this is expected to balloon to 2.62B. In 3 years, 3B people will be on social media.

Yes, that’s an open market with 3 billion people.

It’s not even about age anymore! Every age group is represented on social media.

The number of time people spend on it should also be a deciding factor for you. A third of each online user’s time goes into browsing through their social media accounts. That’s around 2 hours and 15 minutes in a single day!

 

For an e-commerce site like yours, you’ll probably think, “Why get them through social media when I can try and make them directly land on my page?” Well, the numbers say it all – people are spending over twice as much time on social media compared to other pages.

Any other excuses you can think of?

How to drive traffic from social media

Now, let’s start working on the nitty-gritty of it all.

As an e-commerce business, you can use social media in two ways – to drive more traffic to your own site or to pull in sales.

For now, let’s focus on driving more traffic to your business.

There are three things that make social media work:

Relationships

Connections

Engagement

These three are the key ingredients that will pull traffic into your e-commerce pages.

Here’s another important statistic for you. Customers who enjoyed their interaction with brands on social media are 3 times more likely to recommend these brands to their entire network.

Yup, you guessed it right.

They’re going to send recommendations using the same medium they interacted with your brand – through social media.

A single recommendation from a single user automatically reaches a number of people in one go. Trust word of mouth the traditional way, and you only reach one person at a time.

This is where the next challenge comes in.

How will your brand create positive interactions using social media?

Ask yourself – do my posts resonate with my target market?

Did you know that 88% of your customers will be less likely to buy from you if they see that you are unresponsive on social media? This is especially true if their complaints are left unanswered or unacknowledged.

Some businesses see complaints as their own worst nightmare. But strategize well, and you can turn these complaints into victories. Those are the customers who can remain even more loyal to you especially when they see how much effort you put into satisfying them after a bad experience.

Even the simple act of chatting with your audience online makes a huge difference. Kissmetrics reveals that 77% of consumers generally have a better perception of businesses they chat with online.

Timely and engaging social media content will make a world of a difference for your brand as well. Images, links and written content prove to be the most popular forms.

Video content may be 4th on this list, but be ready to be competitive in this area as well. 85% of all companies actually plan on boosting their video content efforts this year. And if you want to stay in the game, you’re gonna have to do the same thing.

It’s also understandable if you’re aiming for organic content. After all, we all know how traumatized audiences are with the pop-up ads prevalent in the early days of the internet.

But online advertising has changed so much in the past couple of decades. Now, instead of being too intrusive, ads are patterned to match audience interest and routines. In fact, 94% of businesses using social media actually pay for ads and sponsored posts on Facebook. Furthermore, 67% of companies see that increasing their social media ads this year will benefit them greatly.

Those numbers should tell you two things.

Advertising on social media works.

And for you to join the leaders, you’re going to have to pay.

 

Notice how those who admit that social media works well for them have also paid for ads.

So now, some self-assessment may be required.

Is my business benefitting from social media?

If not, have I actually tried paid ads?

If you have already tried paid ads, then good for you! You’ve already crossed the line between your comfort zone and your courage zone (which, might I add, would be the best path to success).

Now, it’s time to look at other ways to drive more traffic to your e-commerce site using social media.

Facebook Content

Take a look at these graphs:

 

 

Based on these numbers from Kissmetrics, it shows that people prefer long-form written content with word counts averaging around 2000 to 2500 words.

As for video content, anything between 4 minutes and 4 minutes, 20 seconds is optimal and would most likely be shared by users.

Live Streaming

You already know that videos are powerful content tools. On YouTube, people actually consume 1 billion hours of content every single day.

Now, imagine the kind of impact that live videos have.

Regular video content is planned. Recorded. Scripted.

But with live content, audiences are given the idea that things are being done spontaneously. There’s something exciting about knowing that whatever you’re seeing is actually happening, real time!

In the US alone, 36% of netizens watch live content. 22% of them also create live content themselves.

The good news is, most of the major social media platforms have live streaming capabilities. This makes it even easier for your brand to create that enhanced video experience for your audiences.

Of course, you also have to keep the following tips in mind to make sure you get the results you want:

  • Promote your livestream. Make sure followers are informed before it actually happens.
  • Maintain authenticity.
  • Keep it informative.

82% of online users would rather watch live videos instead of other content forms. Take advantage of that statistic.

Instant Messaging

Saying that instant messaging is popular would be an understatement.

1.3 billion WhatsApp users.

1.2 billion on Messenger.

963 million on WeChat.

Obviously, people have transitioned from old-school text messaging to modern instant messaging.

Even when compared to email and online chat channels, 54.5% of social media users in the US still admit that instant messaging is now their go-to.

And it‘s not just for personal messaging! 89% of consumers prefer using these platforms when engaging with their favorite brands as well.

What’s great about instant messaging is the fact that it can be used for so many things. From sending out event or product announcements to sharing new content on your blog, you can create a personalized experience for each of your followers.

Even better, chatbots can be used to automate the entire experience. Just a tip here, though – don’t over-automate! People love the feeling of being attended to in an efficient manner, but they do not like the feeling of talking to robots instead of real humans.

Instagram Stories

Over 250 million daily active users – that’s how HUGE Instagram Stories has become. In fact, Snapchat, one of Instagram’s biggest competitors, only has around 161 million users. That’s a huge margin!

Of course, a lot of businesses have caught on and have started making Instagram Stories a regular part of their social media strategy.

Out of all the businesses on Instagram, 50% of them post stories at least once a month. And out of those stories, 20% would result to a direct message.

In social media talk, that’s a great engagement rate!

Its success could probably be credited to the fact that each Story disappears after 24 hours. The knowledge that it is not something they could go back to later on sends a sense of urgency to users to take action right away.

So we’ve covered the hot points for e-commerce businesses who want to drive more traffic into their sites. This time, we’ll move onto what drives e-commerce businesses to survive and thrive – sales.

How to sell using social media

Where most businesses would only look at social media as a tool to increase brand awareness, social reach, and consumer engagement, others would also see it as a selling opportunity.

Are you part of the former, or the latter?

 

If you also see the huge opportunity for revenue, then kudos to you! It’s a bold move, but a move that has reaped so many rewards for those who have already jumped in.

Before we move onto the selling part, he’s one thing to remember – selling is only phase two of the entire process. In the last section, we discussed ways to drive traffic, and with it, gain better engagement and reach as well. Maximize those steps to make sure your target audience is ready to buy.

Engagement remains to be the key.

You’ve effectively engaged. You’re getting the traffic. Now, it’s time to sell.

Here are effective channels to use.

Paid Advertising

Again, social media advertising is not the old intrusive process consumers shrink away from.

Social media platforms have made it their ultimate goal to make the entire social experience as seamless and as personalized as possible.

But that does not mean this is a sole win for the consumer. If anything, it makes it even easier for e-commerce businesses like yours to convert leads into actual sales.

Yes, you would have to pay to sell your products and services through paid ads.

But Facebook algorithm also ensures that your ads are shown ONLY to the people who belong to your target audience. These are people who will most likely pay for products like yours. This makes the “convincing stage” easier.

Of course, you still have to make sure that your content is worth it.

Don’t waste your investment on mediocre content. High-quality content will capture your audience’s trust and pull up the chances of people clicking on the ad.

If you haven’t set up your Facebook Ads yet, here’s a great guide.

If you’d rather advertise on Twitter, this guide can help.

Remarketing

The term itself describes what it does.

“Re-marketing.”

It’s marketing to the same person again and again.

“Isn’t that a bit like stalking?”

Surprisingly not!

Ever notice how, after checking out a pair of shoes on Amazon and logging out without buying it, you would start seeing ads about that specific pair here and there?

The ads you see as you scroll through your newsfeed would also start featuring shoes similar to it, or maybe, other products or the same brand.

That’s remarketing!

It’s not creepy at all. In fact, it actually pulls up conversion rates.

You see, sometimes, customers leave your product page because they need to be somewhere else at that moment.

Sometimes, they also want to do more research before diving in.

Through remarketing, you remind them of their initial intent to buy, something they could have forgotten simply because life happened.

Think about it. Pulling customers back in is 3 times more likely to click on your ad than those who never took interest in your products before. They are also 4 times more likely to convert compared to brand new customers.

In-App Purchases

One thing that could push a consumer away (especially consumers on the go) would be the process of having to leave the page they are currently on just to make a purchase.

The good news is, there are apps that allow your customers to make a purchase ON the social platform they are on.

Ecwid is one of the more popular apps used by e-commerce businesses on social media.

To make it even more convenient for your consumers, they even have the option to save their credit card info so that future purchases can be easier. This is such a tempting treat that potential customers (especially the impulsive buyers) find hard to resist.

According to Shopify, these products make a killing when sold on social platforms:

Influencer Marketing

Beauty videos are among the most popular content on YouTube. It should surprise you, however, that 86% of these videos aren’t made by beauty companies. They’re made by influencers.

Such is the power of online influencers.

Influencers can bring in up to $7.65 in returns for every $1 you spend. And that’s not even surprising, considering that teenagers on YouTube trust influencers more than they do traditional celebrities.

But don’t think for one second that influencer marketing is only about videos.

49% of Twitter users admit that they trust recommendations coming from influencers. And in general, consumers trust the recommendations of people they don’t know personally (which includes influencers) than they would trust recommendations from brands.

User-Generated Content

Who likes being put in the spotlight every now and then?

Your audience!

Curating user-generated content is as easy as asking your followers to tag you in their posts and featuring those posts on your own profile. After all, social media should never just be about your own brand. It’s about your audience as well.

Instagram

On Facebook, there may still be a percentage of users who are suspicious of brands.

But it’s a different story on Instagram.

In fact, up to 68% of Instagram users openly engage with brands on the image-centric platform.

Just imagine. In terms of engagement alone, Instagram’s numbers are higher by 8% compared to other social media platforms.

Here’s another thing that makes Instagram amazing. Did you know that Instagram followers are more likely to see unpaid posts? This makes it a cheaper option for you, when used well.

To make things even better, Instagram followers have an average order value of $65 compared to Facebook’s $55. That means higher potential revenue!

Take a peek at how Lilly Pulitzer manages to ace Instagram marketing by leading them straight to their e-commerce page.

 

Pinterest

Pinterest is also on top of the e-commerce list because of their Buyable Pins.

Neil Patel, digital marketing guru, actually admits to having used the platform to bring in 328% more sales for his e-commerce client!

Humans are highly visual creatures, so it’s not surprising people can stay on Pinterest for hours at a time. So why waste all those hours of browsing? Buyable Pins are not only easy to set up, it’s free to do so as well.

Tips and Tricks Social Media Experts Practice

You’ve seen how social media can drive traffic.

You’ve learned how to bring in the sales.

Now, let’s talk about making the entire process more seamless, more efficient, and more productive.

Automation works.

Automation is still the best way for you to respond to each and every customer the fastest possible time.

Why is speed important?

60% of users who voice out their complaints via social media expect any form of response or acknowledgment within an hour.

Fail to respond, and you lose these customers for life.

Auto-responses and chatbots, to some marketers and business owners, make the entire engagement seem robotic. But whoever said you can’t customize your response?

As long you still make the responses personal and ensure that you’ll get back to them personally within the promised timeframe, you’ll realize that automation is the best thing that’s happened to you since chocolate ice cream.

Mobile is your bestfriend.

There’s no doubt about it. Everybody stays glued to their mobile device the entire day because everything else they need is patterned for mobile.

We’ve mentioned time and again that videos are exploding all over the web.

Guess what.

Most of these video views are done through mobile.

It is expected that by the year 2020, 75% of the web content you’ll see will be in video form. And as expected, most of this will be viewed through mobile.

How do you create explosive mobile video content?

Facebook shares some tips:

More social interaction, less self-promotion.

It’s social media, so, obviously, you have to keep it social.

Stop filling your followers’ feeds with “Me, me, me” posts.

Start finding relevant industry news your audience would probably be interested in. Share cool and trending stuff that would pique your audience’s interest.

So what if you have to share a few cute cat memes every so often? It’s 80% knowing and showing what tickles your target market’s fancy, and just 20% promoting your product.

You might also want to consider concentrating on one or two channels. Know your audience well – they most definitely would be more active on one or two platforms, too.

Create content that will trigger conversations not only between you and your customer, but between your customer and their network as well.

Don’t forget your social sharing buttons, too!

How to Choose the Right Social Media Platform

In the previous section, we mentioned that zeroing in on one or two social media platforms would be the best way to do it, instead of throwing yourself all over every possible channel.

So how do you choose the right platform for your business?

This infographic by Leverage should be a big help:

If you’re targeting women, Pinterest is your best bet.

If your audience is mostly in the US, Twitter is a good choice.

If you want to concentrate on mobile users, Facebook is the way to go.

If you have awesome visuals, Instagram is the perfect fit.

How to Find Out If Your Social Media Strategy is Working

So you have a strategy in place. You’ve started rolling out your plans.

How do you know whether they’re working or not?

This is one area that a lot of businesses find challenging. At the end of the day, you need to measure your progress to see whether your action plan is working or not. This also gives you an opportunity to tweak your strategy as you see fit.

If you’re one of those businesses who couldn’t figure out how to measure social media success, here’s something that could put your mind at ease – you’re not the only one facing this challenge.

A CMO survey showed that for most businesses, they only see the results in qualitative terms – not quantitative.

 

Here are other numbers that you might find interesting:

  • Only 43% of B2C marketers can confidently say that they are accurately measuring their ROI from social media. 23%, however, have no idea what numbers they’re looking at.
  • 42% of businesses on social media measure ROI in terms of engagement.
  • 45% of B2C marketers admit that they’re still trying to find a way to successfully measure content marketing ROI.

Problematic as it might seem, there are a few solutions to the problem:

  • Use the right tools. Facebook Pixel is a great way to link your social media profile to your website. This way, you can track results across different platforms.
  • Use KPIs that are measurable. Some examples are the number of retweets, the number of shares, or the number of comments you receive.
  • Compare your social media efforts with web traffic and sales. This could show you evident trends, like an increase in sales when you posted long-form content, or an increase in site traffic when you posted a new promotional video.

Social media is not just a trend – it has become the norm. It’s a daily habit. It’s a lifestyle. Now imagine how it would feel to see your e-commerce business become a part of all that. Start boosting your social media efforts and see how much impact it could have in your e-commerce business.

How to Build Game-Changing Content Marketing Strategies for Your Brand

How to Build Game-Changing Content Marketing Strategies for Your Brand

It’s that one thing that draws the line between growth and failure for your business. 

How so?

One look at your content and your target audience can decide whether you’re worth their time or not. They can read the first few lines of a blog post and see if you truly are the expert you claim to be. They can view a few seconds of your video and dismiss it as boring stuff in a snap.

Yes, it’s not just about producing just any kind of content – it’s about making the kind of content that makes a huge decision-making impact on your audience.

Is Content Marketing Worth It?

The numbers don’t lie. Compared to other traditional marketing tactics, content marketing is 62% cheaper.

But that’s not all. It also has the power to bring in 3 times the usual number of leads that other approaches bring in.

It is sad, therefore, to see that only 37% of marketers take time to plan, document and implement a solid content marketing strategy.

 

 

So if content marketing is as good as the numbers claim it to be, why aren’t more people jumping in?

The answer is actually pretty simple.

The people behind the strategies are often overwhelmed with all the work they have to put in.

Can you blame them? An average blog post would take a content creator around 3 and a half hours to write.

3 AND A HALF HOURS! That’s a third of a normal workday!

 

But that’s not all. Content marketers have other tasks on top of that, most of them equally (or maybe more) demanding.

This is why, at the end of the day, you’re going to need the kind of strategy that will produce the best results. Not only will this make all the effort worth it, it will also lessen the burden of having to rescue failing content pieces left and right.

How Do the Content Marketing Gurus Do It?

Every master chef has a secret ingredient. For content marketing experts, the same thing is true. They use all the right elements and mix them the right way to come up with the best share-worthy content pieces that nobody could say no to.

Here are 8 secrets content marketing gurus never forget when strategizing and creating content:

1. Go for visuals.

What strikes you first the moment you land on a page?

More often than not, the visual elements on a screen are the first things the eyes would zoom into. Land on an all-text page and you’ll probably be hunting for something else.

You see, humans are highly visual creatures. Deliver information in text and people would remember around 10% of it. Pair that same group of words with a relevant image and you’ll find that 10% margin rising up to 65%.

Unbelievable?

Well, that’s the power of the brain for you. The human brain actually processes images 60,000 times faster than regular text.

Just how much imagery do you need?

Squeeze in an image every couple of hundred words if you can. This will help your readers’ eyes to take a breather between text. Just make sure you keep your images relevant. Add infographics here and there if you can. That would not only stimulate your audience’s eyes, it would also be an extra opportunity for you to highlight important data.

2. Aim for viral posts.

Let’s be realistic. Not every post will go viral. But that shouldn’t stop you from aiming for content that every person in the world can potentially see.

This is one stumbling block a lot of content marketers have. They stay on the safe side, delivering “just enough” to get through the day. They miss opportunities because they fail to take the necessary risks that can lead to viral content.

Speaking of risky content…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owGykVbfgUE

See that video? Because of it, Old Spice actually enjoyed a 107% sales increase in the next five months.

THAT’S what you should be aiming for.

3. Meet your audience where they are.

When you’re feeling sick, you don’t go to the cemetery. You go straight to the doctor’s clinic.

So if you’re hoping to connect and engage with your audiences, you don’t just stay where you are at the moment. You go right where they are and you plant your feet firmly there.

So what if it’s a new platform you’re not familiar with? That’s the challenge of modern marketing. Audiences shift so rapidly, that you’ll have to keep up with the changes. Remain stubborn and stick to your comfort zone, and you’ll find yourself unknown and unnoticed.

Look at your target audience’s background. What social media platforms are they using? What kind of content are they currently looking for? What pain points do they have and what solutions can you give them?

All this background research is worth it. In fact, 57% of audiences will easily give out personal information if they see content that they can relate to directly.

4. Go beyond your blog.

A lot of people think, “Oh, blogging,” the moment they hear “content marketing”. But that’s just one form of content. And while blogs are important, it needs the help and support of other content forms.

Just look at this blog post. See how I link back to other sources and websites? That’s one critical element in content marketing.

Video content is also a necessary component, knowing that four times as many people would rather watch videos instead of reading text. With people watching around 5 billion videos on YouTube each day, that should be enough clue for you to see that this is also worth your time.

SEO, social media, influencer marketing – these are just some of the other peripherals you can use to support your blog and create an effective content marketing strategy that will take you places.

5. Do occasional content curation.

Here’s a silver lining for content creators. You don’t necessarily have to wring your hair, forcing some creative juices to start flowing. Sometimes, using the content of industry experts can be a great idea.

Content curation is a time-tested practice. Probably its biggest benefit is allowing your own name or brand to be identified by industry experts and influencers. The moment you use curated content (with proper attribution to the original creator, of course), expect that the expert you got it from already has you on their radar.

Does it work?

Well, Curata says that the content of some of the best marketing minds in the world is actually composed of 25% curated work.

 6. Build your buyer personas.

Yes, buyer personas are built, creatively and thoughtfully.

Buyer personas are more than just demographics or psychographics. They’re actual representations of your ideal audience’s beliefs, personalities and more. It allows you to predict how they’ll react to certain stimuli, and what decisions they’ll make when given a specific piece of information.

It’s not just about saying “I think this would have an impact.” It’s about saying, “I KNOW this would make an impact,” because you know for a fact that this is what your audience wants and needs.

Content Marketing Institute gives amazing insights on how to create effective personas here.

7. Manage your content.

Creating and posting a piece of content is not the entire story.

What time should it be posted? Through what channels?

And once posted, how much engagement did it have? How far was its reach? Is this something you can repurpose and reuse in the future?

It’s an entire process of managing content to ensure that you receive optimum results, grab any opportunities for improvement, and create future strategies. It basically helps you make sure none of your sweat, blood and tears will be wasted.

8. Create headlines that hook people.

No matter how much data you pour into your content, no matter how awestriking your visuals are, and no matter how widely you distribute them, if your headlines are plain, you’ll also get plain results.

Copyblogger says that although 80% of your audience will catch your headline, only 20% would click on it and read the rest of your content. This is why you need to structure your headlines in a way that would intrigue your audience enough.

Looking at the graph above, you’ll see that headlines starting with numbers rake in the best numbers. Of course, it would also depend on what works best for the rest of your content.

Know that content marketing should never be a hit-or-miss thing. Every step should be carefully planned, every tactic well thought out.

Of course, if your content marketing efforts were not exactly organized well before, it will be a tough transition into using a systematic approach. But trust me, it will be worth it. It’s always better to be overwhelmed with content work and get 6 times the results, than work 6 times as hard but end up with mediocre numbers.

Start strategizing today. That growth you’ve been dreaming of will soon follow.