Digital media marketing isn’t as straight cut as traditional marketing hence, you need to identify the right channels that work for you and then put your money in it. What works for a competitor might not work for you so conduct a proper research of the available tools and channels for your brand and product before you create your strategy. It is very important for a brand to assert a strong online presence to make a mark. With the help of social media marketing, your brand will be able to reach a wide audience but how will you know which channels work the best for you? It will mostly depend on your business and the kind of people you’re targeting.
Familiarize yourself with some of the popular channels on digital marketing before creating your strategy:
- Email marketing
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Social media marketing includes: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest
- Content marketing
- PR on digital media marketing
Once you get to know how each of these channels work, you can formulate your plan of action keeping the following points in mind:
- Define your business or company goals: Take a close look at your company’s needs and then you can decide on how you want to use the social media to help achieve them. While there are many goals that might traverse between personal and actual business goals, the common ones are – brand awareness, customer retention, sales & lead generation and reduce cost. Concentrate on the more important and primary ones and go ahead then proceed.
- Budget: Off late, brands have been allocating a greater part of their marketing budget to social media marketing. When deciding the budget, keep in mind the following things: fees for digital marketing crew, paid advertising, content creation services fee, fees for graphic artists, photographers and videographers…depending on the kind of posts you want. It makes sense to first have the strategy in place and then plan the budget.
- Define your marketing objectives: Marketing objectives help you measure the success of your strategy within a specific period of time. The objectives must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Ensure that your objectives are in line with the company’s overall vision and have a deadline.
- Target audience: Before you choose to use the channels for social media marketing, you need to know where your audiences/customers are and where the competitors stand. Research the demographics of the main social media channels listed above to know where your customers are. After studying the demographics closely, choose the channels that best suit the target audience interests and online behaviour. Most social media channels will give you a broken down report of the users so go through it carefully and also keep an eye on industry reports and surveys.
- Choose the right channels: As mentioned in the previous point, different social media channels can provide you with reports on demographics of the users. Depending on these, choose the channels where you find the customers you are targeting instead of wasting time on all the different channels. Many brands create accounts in multiple channels that don’t really help. For example, if the data tells you that your prospects spend 40% of their online time on Facebook and 20% on Twitter, you know which primary and secondary social networks you should focus on.
- Create content strategy: It won’t be wrong to say that social media marketing is content driven. The best marketing strategy will not work if not supported by great content. The three main components for any successful social media content strategy are: type of content, time of posting and frequency of posting. The posts you make on different channels are form and context dependent. The tone and voice of the posts should be in sync with that of your brand.
- Assign specific roles to people: To avoid confusion and waste of time, to increase productivity, avoid confusion and overlapping of duties assign specific jobs to the staff. Once the roles have been decided upon and assigned, it’s time to execute. You can plan the marketing activities on a weekly basis that is less confusing or on a daily basis, avoid monthly basis as it is too long a time and things might change in between.
Now that you have got your tips handy, go ahead and choose your channels and strategize your activities. We at Unspun have experts working closely with clients on a daily basis helping them formulate their plans.
Recently, a popular brand of international repute was under the scanner for containing certain amount of metal beyond permissible levels when tested by the Food Safety and Drug Administration (FSDA) The market value of Rs 1300 crores strong brand went down and eventually was taken off the shelves in many states. But, the FSDA report was not the only factor that contributed to the whole controversy. The bigger blow came from the brand maintaining silence over the matter for a long time and not communicating with the customers that proved a PR failure for the brand.
Instead, it reportedly asked its company officials to engage directly with stakeholders, dealers and tradeholders, but not to talk publicly about developments. A report in a well known business newspaper said, “Any engagement needs to be approved and vetted by the company’s legal team only.” When there was a personal touch required in such a sensitive situation, the company opted to communicate through its website and digital media. They included a new section on its website—for Indian consumers—with a detailed FAQ to deal with the concerns of consumers and other stakeholders.
The company has withdrawn the product from the market maintaining though that it is safe, because of a “state of confusion” they are taking it off the market. Meanwhile, the brand relied on press statements that were presented on social media in PDFs discouraging customers to actually go through them. It was an automated response and hardly had any emotional connect with the audiences. This showed the not so supportive or customer friendly nature of the brand whose PR activities were limited to just advertising the product until a few days back.
This wasn’t the first time that the brand faced such a crisis. Earlier, when a certain group, raised an issue about one of the chocolates produced by the multinational brand, the brand had an arrogant response that time too. But, no lessons seemed to have been learnt from that episode as the Indian arm of the brand chose to remain nonchalant about the product tests failure until some days ago when they held a press conference with CEO addressing the press that many PR experts feel came a tad bit late. They started taking baby steps towards damage control and announced the recall of its existing produce worth billion rupees. They even rolled out an ad out in the paper stating customer’s trust as their utmost priority and called out to millions of its customers who may still have the product at their homes and would wish to give them up.
This is one of the biggest crises that the brand has ever faced and has cost it dearly. Could the brand have avoided this crisis? Instead of taking it in a positive way and letting their PR machinery do the damage control, the brand chose to go defensive which hurt even more. This is quite amateurish coming from a brand that is 110 years old.
So how could the brand have managed this crisis in a better way?
- Quick response: When the FSDA had declared the results of the test, the first communication following that should have come from the brand. Considering that India is an emotional country and the brand engagement with the customers is huge, the brand completely failed in this regard. All the brand had to do is have a press conference and state their side of the story instead of leaving the customer in a state of confusion.
- Appoint a spokesperson: When faced with a crisis, the first thing that a brand needs to do is appoint a spokesperson who will be only point of contact for that crisis. This spokesperson should be a senior staff member or management committee. This will not only provide consistency to the voice of the company but will also be professional and show people that the brand is serious about solving the crisis. This was lacking from the multinational brand.
- Make a statement: As a brand, make a statement that will adhere to the following format: 1. Show sympathy to people adversely affected 2. Explain what you are doing to tackle the situation e.g. cooperate with an enquiry, conducting further tests etc. The brand in question had many chances and yet failed to do so.
- Communicate: What the brand forgot was that one should never leave the audiences in the dark and let them make up their mind based on one side of the spectrum. Communicate with them! It could be in any form – website, email networks, newsletter and face-to-face contact. Reassure your users and stakeholders that you are taking the issue seriously and let them know whether there are any changes to your products or not.
- Investigate: Even if it means that you have to set up your own enquiry or co-operate with an external investigation. Make sure staff and volunteers are supported through this difficult time.
- Give importance to social media: Social media plays an important role in crisis management so give its due and use it diligently. This could be your easiest mode of communication with the customers and stakeholders. When you are sending out a message, ensure that the tone of your response is aligned to the tone of your company. It is important to react on time; even a genuine and credible response will fall flat if it is not delivered at the appropriate time to make sure that you don’t rush to make a statement.
The success of an event depends on the number of people who turn up for it. One of the key elements of event management is to get people to attend an event. That is not always an easy thing since there are always so many other options to take up the audience’s interest. But, there are events held often and they are successful too…so how do events become successful, i.e. how do people get guests to attend their events? Of course, publicizing and talking about it so much that it creates an interest amongst them and, social media plays a crucial role when it comes to creating that buzz. In this blog we’ll get to know about the different ways that social media can be used effectively to get people to attend your events.
- List out the social media channels: Social media is an umbrella under which different channels exist and operate. First identify the channels that you want to use to promote your events in. The most commonly used channels are: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. These channels have become powerful tools of communication because they allow you to contact and get feedback from people in real time from across the world. Once, you have listed the channels you wish to use, it makes sense to integrate them because it gets easier to navigate and market your event.
- Create events page: One of the basic rules of getting people to attend your event is to create an event in the social media channels. Facebook and LinkedIn have the option to create events and you can post those links on Twitter. On Pinterest you can pin the event while Youtube can have a video promoting the same.
- Use social media to compliment your traditional methods: Social media marketing cannot be a replacement for the traditional methods instead it goes on to add value to the existing ways. So, when you are sending out your weekly or monthly newsletters, make sure that you include the link to your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn event link.
- Create a viral video: Videos work great when promoting an event as a lot of today’s communication involves the visual medium. If you create a video that goes viral and gets people talking, then half your battle is won. It will not only engage people but will also raise the curiosity levels. But make sure that it is short and sweet.
- Use infographics: Infographics are the next big thing in the world of communication and are being used by every brand, big or small. They are a fun and interesting way of sharing information and are easily consumed by the audience since the data shared is in a very easy format. Create infographics promoting your events and post it in the different social media channels that you chose to use.
- Create hashtag: Today’s insta generation is a big fan of hashtags and they work great when you try to create a buzz about anything under the sun! The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet and helps to categorize messages that help people interested in a particular topic to easily identify and converse about it. So create a hashtag that will be short, easy, catchy and unique. Create it early when you start promoting the event and use it till the end.
- Share event links on different groups: Facebook has different social groups ranging from professional, to party to city specific. You can become a part of these groups and then promote your event on their page by posting the link to the event.
- Engage audiences: While promoting events in social media channels in the ways mentioned above is a must, unless you win audience’s attention, your event will not be a success. So what will you do to win their attention? Audiences attention are drawn only when there something to engage them. Get your potential attendees early on by enabling some kind of feedback related to the event. You can also have contests that can have passes to the event as a prize. Engage them by inviting suggestions on the planning of the event.
- Share takeways of the event: Once an event is over, you don’t have to stop talking about it! Instead, you can use it to create hype for the next one. You can share takeways of the event in the form of pictures, thank you notes, lessons learnt, asking for feedback and also by sharing your future goals. You can even write a blog about the same and share it with audiences.
The key is to experiment with different ways and identify in the process which one works best for you. What works for others might not work for you and vice versa, you won’t know until you try. Once you identify what works best, you can keep at it to drive home the point.
Our experts at Unspun offer creative ways of social media marketing depending on the clients’ requirements.
Social media serves as a great platform to not only market one’s brand but also to strengthen the brand image and reach. It is one of the most widely used mediums today as the reach is humongous and advertisers and marketers swear by the results of social media. It can be used for building both personal as well as an organization’s brand. But not everything can bring you results; there are a few effective ways that the use of social media can be leveraged. They are stated as follows:
- Choose the right channels to market your product: Social media is a huge space that needs to be explored bit by bit. But the best thing about it is that it is compartmentalized better thanks to the different channels that exist. So you can make your pick from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and so on. You can use either one channel or a combination of them but you need to first identify which will work for you the best. Facebook is perhaps the only channel that works for all kinds of brands because it is used by people from all walks of life. Pinterest though used mostly by women for fashion purpose also has pins related to infographics and the likes. LinkedIn on the other hand is a great channel for B2B branding.
- Leveraging social media visually: Social media relies heavily on visual appeal. According to a study by a research firm, images on Facebook constitute 93% of the most engaging posts compared to status updates, links, and even video. So you can imagine how influencing visuals can be and hence you need to use it very carefully. Colours catch the eye very frequently so when you’re using social media for your brand’s marketing make sure that the colours are appealing. Choose two to four colours to use consistently throughout all of your social media posts and marketing. Use fonts that suit your brand’s personality and use images that convey the right message. It is also great to have a particular template for your social media posts as it will maintain uniformity and also help people identify easily with your brand.
- Share content that people can identify with: Let’s just be clear about the fact that content on social media should be easily consumed by the audience and for that the content should be easy on the eye. Each of the posts should support your brand and though be easily understood, should also make a statement strong enough for people to identify with the brand. Use a lot of images and infographics as they register with the users easily. Brand building though on Twitter is tough, has a greater impact.
- Take help of people who have a strong follower base: If you are a relatively new brand, it will take time for you to garner followers. So, for immediate results you can use the help of someone who has a lot of followers in the social media channels to market your product. But will they do it so easily for you? Not really! What do you do in that case? When posting content mention their names or references that will make them share your post or tag them in posts that you think will be relevant. Apart from that you can also email them. You have to pursue them consistently to share your content but will be worth the effort!
- Create social media campaigns: Social media campaigns work very effectively when it comes to brand creation and strengthening especially when you offer incentives to the audiences. To engage an audience you need to think from their perspective and answer the question – “What’s in it for me?” and then create campaigns around it. Organize contests and so on where the audience stands to earn something in return after participating that is how most brands reach maximum audiences.
- Promote content through social media channels: One of the most widely used strategies to build a strong brand in social media is the paid campaigns. Big brands are hiring agencies for the same and running contests and campaigns designed by these agencies to create a better brand.
These are a few steps that you can take to build a stringer brand on social media. You should make it a priority to share fresh and identifiable content on social media which will help you win followers and in the process increase your brand reach.
But it will not work unless you have an effective social media strategy in place and that is where Unspun can step in and help you. We specialize in all of the above areas and more.