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Oct 09

5 Pillars of Your Social Media and Content Marketing Strategy

By bonusadm

5 Pillars of Your Social Media and Content Marketing Strategy @DreamGrow 2017

With a glut of social media outlets, does it make sense to limit yourself to just one. And if you want to take advantage of several, how do you link them together in a way that makes sense for your marketing plan.

The 5-pillar approach is to create your own network of sites that feed each other, with each element attracting a slightly different audience and each presenting somewhat different content. That means, of course, that you have to work on the balance part. But no one has ever said that social media needs no work.

The 5 pillars are the following:

  • Your primary site
  • Facebook, of course,
  • A blog
  • Twitter
  • And any number of more specific sites, many unique to a specific industry

Each of these five has a unique role, addresses a specific audience, has a unique objective and can add to your overall marketing approach. Each requires separate content and a separate approach.

The key element of the 5-pillar plan is to tie all five areas together. Each element supports the other four, all with the objective of increasing your bottom line by attracting inbound leads. Each element must create a draw from the target audience it is designed to reach. This approach takes some work, and requires a fair bit of content, but will spread your image across a larger audience that if you simply use one of these social media.

Your Primary Site

Your primary site is designed to sell your product, service or ideas. Your site is where you want to attract people that are potential customers. It can be an e-commerce site, selling an actual product. It can also be a site that simply describes your products, services or ideas and directs the reader to a place where they can make a decision. A Realtor, for example, cannot sell a home from a site, but can certainly describe homes available for sale and let the reader know who to actually visit the place and who to contact to make that next step. It is the site you want an inbound lead to find.

Objective – As with any entity, the objective is a sale. Whether it is a product sold through your site, an idea that an NGO, political organization or non-profit entity wants to promulgate or a funnel to move a prospect to a sale in the real, non-internet, world, the final objective is to make a sale – an affirmation from a potential customer.

Facebook

The quintessential social media is Facebook, and it is hard to imagine any social media strategy that does not have Facebook at its core.

Objectives – Apart from a common use of Facebook, like constantly knowing who is at Starbucks, our objective is to create inbound sales leads and to drive people to your primary site. We need to be quite subtle about that, as most if not all others will resent a bald-faced attempt to sell your products, services or ideas.

There are some issues, and there are these concerns:

  • How do you portray your business interests without turning everybody off?
  • Since Facebook is truly social, is it enough to attract consumers?
  • Is it truly limited to personal acquaintances?
  • How do you effectively link back to your primary site?

Target Audience

The target audience for your personal page is your friends and acquaintances – some would call it your sphere of influence. Your business page would start with that, but would gradually expand to others that have an interest in your product, service or ideas.

Approach

First, it makes sense to have more than one Facebook account. At the very least, have one for your personal life and one for your organization. You will attract a different group of friends to each of the two accounts. One group will be interested in you – the other will be interested in your product or service. If you have a third interest, create a third account.

Keep the majority of your comments completely away from your business or organizational interest. When you do mention a business idea, don’t make it a sales pitch. A Realtor, for example, can occasionally mention a new listing as a public service with the idea that someone reading the comment may know someone else who is interested in that neighborhood. Just don’t make it your only comments or you will antagonize your friends.

Cross Marketing

The reason for the 5-pillar approach is to link your Facebook page to your primary site, blog, Twitter and any other accounts that you have. Let everyone know that you have other sites and that you post different information on each.

The 5-pillar approach is to create your own network of sites that feed each other, with each element attracting a slightly different audience and each presenting somewhat different content.cross marketing

Your Blog

A blog gives you the opportunity to expand on issues that are more complex, and deal in depth with topics that are a part of your business or organization. For example, a Realtor may have a site and a Facebook presence, neither of which is an optimal place to discuss complex issues of the title, loans, home inspections and the like. The Realtor can become a source of knowledge for others outside a sphere of influence and attract readers to the blog that may not be likely to visit the primary site. The blog lets you become the topical expert. It is a subtle way to keep you And your business top of mind for a large number of people, many of whom can be potential customers.

Cross Marketing

Links to your primary site, your Facebook pages, Twitter and any other social media sites must be prominently displayed. Add a short explanation what type of content the visitor can find in each of those sites. This is the KEY reason to create your own network of interconnected sites.

Make use of RSS feeds to ensure that elements of your blog appear as many places as possible. Let the world know that you know what you are talking about.

Always keep in mind that you are promoting your own mini-network of sites. Use a bitly URL to your primary site in every tweet that goes out. Even though the tweet is limited to a small number of characters, you can fit in two URLs and a short descriptive caption.

Above we have proposed the idea of 5-pillar social media network to support your business and open up to inbound sales leads. It is a mini network of sites, cross-linked, each with you in the middle, but with different target audiences and different content. Having addressed the broadest social media, the fifth leg of the approach includes the wide variety of other sites, many of which are unique to a given industry. 

You can incorporate all of these sites can into your 5-pillar system.

Pam Velazquez is a content writer for www.RecordsProject.com


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Sep 14

The Very Best Online Marketers Happen to be Mad Scientists

By bonusadm

Image: Shutterstock / Kiselev Andrey Valerevich

We have come a long way since the Mad Men era of marketing and advertising. The modern online marketer is as much mad scientist as inspired creative, thanks to the proliferation of data and tools to access and analyze it. Just as inventor Thomas Edison was able to run 10,000 different experiments, changing a little something here, a little something there, until he found the formula that worked, the best internet marketers today use their creative side to come up with hypotheses, and can then perform experiments to prove their usefulness.

The science of online marketing has become increasingly, well, scientific. Given the revelation that hyper targeted marketing is more effective marketing, its no surprise that almost every marketing department or digital agency out there will tell you they’re data-driven. But at this point, data-driven marketing is more of a minimum requirement than a differentiator.

Without data supporting them, any online marketing recommendations would be no better than opinions, and analyzing ROI would be imprecise, at best. But if every marketer is incorporating data into his or her campaigns, why is it that most marketing messages, no matter how they’re delivered to consumers, seem to be forgotten within a matter of seconds? And why is it that marketing funds get spent with executives and teams struggling to answer the simple question.

What did we get out of that? Jon Brody, CEO and co-founder of Ladder, a growth marketing agency, says The problem is that people have too much data and are making fewer good decisions because they’re so data-driven. You need to be ROI-driven, he says. Effective marketing strategy is about optimization.

That’s why Brody and his team, who have worked with everyone from startups backed by Y Combinator to Fortune 500 companies, approach marketing like scientists in a lab. In short, he says, We run marketing experiments to help businesses grow. This type of approach has worked for Ladder, and it can work for any team that takes the following five tips to heart:

1. Dont be afraid to take risks

When you’e experimenting, you’re going to find out what doesn’ work on your way to finding out what does. Data driven marketers build hundreds of audience segments and cross them against thousands of targets, says Dennis Yu, Chief Technology Officer at BlitzMetrics, a provider of courses on Facebook marketing,

But with so many combinations possible, each experiment can have only a few dollars of budget and a few units of effort against them. Most marketers cannot scale to this efficiency, since they are of the I already tried that mentality. Don’t fall into this trap. Keep experimenting, keep taking risks. Failure is built into the process. Learn from it, and proceed.

2. Take advantage of the Online Marketing Tools available

There are new technologies appearing almost daily that allow marketers to measure performance. Native platforms like Facebook are increasingly as good (or better) at optimization than any human or even the current crop of ad tech tools that were built to optimize what you’re already doing, Brody says.

The opportunity that these platforms present is enormous. Larry Kim, CEO of mobile marketing software company Mobile Monkey and a popular speaker at digital marketing conferences, is one of the top marketing mad scientists of our age.

He uses tools like WordStream to give him the data he needs to analyze how large the rewards are for having an above average CTR (clickthrough rate) in Google Adwords, leading Kim to conclude that Google so greatly rewards high CTR/Quality Score ads (and conversely penalizes keywords with lousy CTRs) that an awesome hybrid solution becomes apparent: use your content marketing efforts to cover informational keywords with SEO content and commercial keywords via PPC. Sound mad? Don’t worry, read Larrys case study and youll see how his experiments can help you save a lot of money on your next paid search campaign.

3. Do Not work in silos

You’ll be using much of the same data to inform all aspects of campaign development from strategy, to creative, to execution, to placement. When your team works closely together throughout every step of the development process, each team member gains a better understanding of how his or her work affects the efficacy of the entire campaign and drives ROI. Every member of your team should be ROI-driven.

4. Remember what you learn

Your team shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you begin a new project. Ideally, you should be keeping track of what you learn what works and what doesn’t for certain types of businesses or industries, how audiences respond to certain messaging, what tools are most effective so that you’re able to start building some institutional knowledge that new employees can later tap into.

5. Do Not stop optimizing 

Just because you’re seeing a lot of success with a particular campaign doesn’t mean you should rest on your laurels. There’s always room for improvement. Plus, the more you experiment, the more you learn. If you’re keeping track of that additional insight (see above), you can apply it to your next campaign. The more you experiment, the better understanding you’ll have of which data actually matters. Moreover, collecting additional data that ties marketing spend to campaign performance across the marketing funnel will give you a better idea of how to best spend the money in your marketing budget. That’s what being ROI-driven is all about, and that’s what leads to real growth for your company.

Josh Steimle is the author of Chief Marketing Officers at Work and the CEO of MWI, a digital marketing agency with offices in the US and Asia, and despite being over 40 can still do a kickflip on a skateboard.

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