Last week I was asked a brilliant question that sparked a lot of thoughts around the state of marketing right now - that question was: There seems to be such a focus on creating content and focusing all your energy on Instagram and TikTok at the moment? Why do you think that is, is this something you recommend?
Although I do not recommend you focus all of your time and energy and marketing efforts on social media alone, the truth is if you’re running a business right now, having a presence on social media is pretty much going to be a non-negotiable for you, whether that’s on Instagram or TikTok or whatever your chosen platform is.
There is honestly no one, single answer for this - however I had a couple of suspicions around why this might be the case, and I put the question out there to a few of my peers and people I know who are running a business - who confirmed a few of my ideas, and this is what I see happening too...
Your customers are on social media, they’re looking at your page, devouring the content, seeing what other people are saying about you - they’re learning all about your brand and building that know, like and trust on social media.
One of the first things I suspected was that Social Media platforms are generally relatively easy platforms to learn. Chances are you’ve already been using social media personally, so creating a business account is a logical and easy next step.
One of the things that we love about social media is we’re generally in control, we get to choose when we post and how frequently, the narrative, what specifically is shared and said, the look and feel, the experience for our customer… Everything. And we like to feel in control.
Social media also provides almost instant reward or gratification, we can see the likes, the comments and how many times our Reels or TikTok’s have been viewed - it can be motivating and frustrating all at the same time depending on how well we feel a piece of content performs.
However one of the biggest reasons I feel social media platforms might be the biggest focus for business owners is simply because they don’t really know what else they could be focusing on, or have a really good understanding of the other things they could be doing to help them grow their business.
And this is going to be totally normal for so many business owners, especially those in the earlier stages of their journey.
I came into running my own business with a marketing degree and close to 10 years experience, but that didn’t mean there weren’t any hurdles along the way and things I had to learn.
If you don’t have a marketing background and open your own business, marketing is an entirely new skill you will also need to take on (unless you’re outsourcing of course).
And while there is so much education and noise out there when it comes to marketing your business on socials, however nowhere near that level of focus, interest or education in so many other areas of marketing.
And some of those other things are what I would like to chat with you about here today.
Interestingly, social media and these 4 other marketing tactics I am going to mention here work together really well and all go hand-in-hand. They work together to help you get in front of more of your ideal customers, to drive more traffic to your website and help you make more sales…
And the best part is, when you begin to implement some of these other things you get less reliant on social media, you’ll begin to see that you can step away from socials for a bit and the sales will still come through, you’ll still be attracting new people into your business.
So, lets get into it.
Number 1 - is customer reviews.
Customer testimonials are considered the most effective content marketing tactics… Further to this, 85% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts such as friends and family.
Your customer reviews have the power to turn a potential purchase into a sale in a matter of moments.
Social proof is one of the most powerful and effective ways to market your business.
You should be seeking out a review from everyone who makes a purchase from your store, there are ways that you can automate this process to make it easier for you too (so you don’t have to individually email everyone who makes a purchase).
Reviews are also great for SEO, can be used across your social media channels and also provide you with valuable customer feedback that’s going to help you create an even better customer experience.
Number 2 - Cross Promotion and Collaboration
You want other people talking about and sharing your brand, sending more ideal customers your way.
Both Collaborations and Cross Promotion build trust and can help to reduce the lead time of a new purchase, moving your new customer through the customer journey at a much quicker pace. They are both great for brand positioning and as a way to get your brand in front of more of your ideal customers.
They do tend to look slightly different though…
You could collaborate by creating a joint promotion, going in on a photoshoot together, conducting a giveaway, going LIVE with each other on social media or even doing a blog swap, where you each write a blog for the others website, backlinking to your own (also good for SEO). Or you might team up to create a product that you both contribute to and sell.
Where as a cross promotion tends to look a little more like a recommendation - similar to that of a customer review, however it’s from a peer…
Number 3 - Blogging
And if you think blogging is dead, think again!
Around 77% of internet users read blogs, and blogs have been rated as the 5th most trus
tworthy source for gathering online information.
Blogging is a great way to produce high value, long form content that you can also repurpose to create short form content for all of your other channels
One blog post can be turned into an email, several social media posts and pinterest pins. Long form content helps to build trust in a brand and allows you to really shine a light on what it is you do.
And of course, blogging is great for SEO.
Which brings me to my last point, which is…
Number 4 - SEO - Search Engine Optimisation
According to statistics released by BrightEdge, 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine.
Although social media platforms are working towards becoming more search friendly - at this stage, it really isn’t easy to find what you’re looking for using their search functionalities.
Your website is your home, it’s where your purchases are made - we want people to be able to find your organically and easily when they are searching for your product, or a product just like yours.
If I’ve decided that I want a great pair of wide-leg pants and I haven’t seen anything in particular I want - I’m going to google them.
If I’m looking for party supplies for my sons upcoming birthday - I’m going to google them. Yes sure I am going to look to socials particularly for inspiration, but it’s also likely I’m going to search and try and find someone located close to me.
You want to be there, in those first few pages of results so that when your ideal customer is searching for a product just like yours, you’re one of the first few options.
Activities such as blogging, customer reviews, referrals and collaborations are all going to contribute to improving your SEO - as is driving high quality traffic to your website from your socials.
Links and resources:
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