SMM

Branding | Building a strong brand through social media in 2019

Image used for the blog post building a strong brand through social media in 2019, posted on Netilly official blog

What comes to your mind when you think of Pizza or a soft drink?

Dominos and Coke, right?

Do you wonder why?

Well, that’s because of ‘Branding’.

Branding is essential in this digital era. It’s like that strong pillar of a building that keeps it from falling.

89% of B2B marketers consider brand awareness as the most important goal, and about 91% of them promote their brand using content marketing methods.

Branding is not just about having a logo and a good-looking website for your company; it’s something more than that.

Human psychology is the foundation of brand building, and if you understand consumer behaviour, then branding is half done.

In this article, you’ll learn how you can build a strong brand using Social Media. But before that let’s understand: What is Branding and Why is it important for any business?

Having a name, logo, and design, differentiates one company from the other but that’s not branding, it’s the basics to get started with.

Branding, in a real sense, is about making a memorable impression on consumers and representing what your business is all about. It’s a recursive process that requires time and effort.

So, what’s the importance of branding?

Why should you consider making it a part of your marketing strategy?

Imagine, you have opened an offline store that sells handcrafted products.

You have an active website, social media pages, contact number, and everything else that is required.

But you don’t get enough leads.

Now, when you set up a branding strategy for the same product and go all out and promote it on all social media platforms, the chances of getting more leads increases.

Not just that, branding your company or business effectively also makes it memorable, increases visibility and consumers are more likely to buy from you when compared to your competitors.

In a survey conducted by Nielsen, 60% of shoppers said they purchase products from the brands that they know, and 21% said the reason for buying a specific product is that they liked the brand.

How An Effective Social Media Strategy Can Enhance Your Branding

Social media is the place where all your existing and desired customers hang out. In such a case, it’s highly essential for you to get started with Branding on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.

There are about 3.5 billion active Social Media users globally; you can’t risk not using these platforms.

To help you get started with branding, we have come up with an easy guide, after thorough research.

Decide Your Target Audience

First things first, know your audience. This is a crucial step, and it requires a lot of market research and social listening.

While it’s an important step, it’s often neglected, and that’s the reason why most of the businesses fail to establish their brand.

About 48% of consumers believe that brands can help them by providing them better products and services based on their needs.

Think of your business; if it’s about photography, then your target audience is more likely to be found on platforms like Pinterest and Instagram.

Similarly, if it’s a B2B product, then you may consider working on your LinkedIn and Twitter handles.

So, the reason why it’s necessary to decide your target audience at first is that they should be able to resonate with your brand. By defining your audience, you can cut out on other social media channels and focus on the ones that are aligned with your business goals.

Choose The Right Social Media Platform

Once you’ve figured out your audience, it’s time to pick the best social media platform for your business.

It’s a time-consuming process to work on all social media channels, given that there are so many of them.

You might as well need a person to handle your social media. Now, that will surely burn a hole in your pocket.

So, to save yourself from this, all you need to do is, pick just one or two platforms catering to the needs of your audience as well as yours.

This will help you stay focused and reach out to the right audience.

That’s not it!

Next, you need to develop a strategy to make your online presence effective.

For instance, if you’ve decided to work on Instagram, then your next steps would be, finding the right hashtags and appropriate images for your posts.

Define your unique factor

Everyone is online, working hard to build their brand. It’s quite challenging to add up to that noise and shout out to people to look at your brand instead.

Well, you can do so by giving a reason to consider your brand by showing them how you are different from your competitors.

Your value, your qualities, and your benefits are the only things that can differentiate you from others.

What is the core value of your business?

How is it helping others solve their problem?

What is one thing that is unique about your brand?

If you have the answer to these questions, then you have your unique factor already.

Build a Brand Voice

Your social media content is nothing but your brand voice. The kind of posts that you share reflects your brand’s personality. So, it’s essential to develop your social media voice.

But how do you do that?

Showcase your company culture across different online platforms. If your company is innovative, then be creative with your social media posts or share innovative content. Whereas, if your company falls under the entertainment category, then it’s not right to share innovative posts, you would instead share entertaining posts and videos.

You choose how you want to be perceived by your target audience. So, build your brand voice.

Be Authentic

In a bid to outrank their competitor, brands and businesses end up playing with their customer’s feelings by making false promises.

According to a survey by Sproutsocial, the number one thing that a consumer wants from a brand is honesty.

Refrain yourself from excess self-promotion because according to Buzzstream, 45% of consumers are more likely to unfollow a brand on social media in such case.

So, make sure you’re honest to your customers.

Post content consistently

“Consistent action creates consistent results,” says Christine Kane.

People have limited attention span; they switch between different apps and platforms multiple times in a day.

If you want your brand name to be fixed into the minds of people, you’ll have to be consistent with your posts.

It’s important to show up every day on Social Media. Otherwise, people will forget you.

To get your brand noticed, a minimum of 5 impressions is necessary.

Besides being consistent with your posts, it’s also necessary to be compatible with your topic.

So, instead of posting about a thousand different things that’ll only confuse your audience, it’s better to decide what kind of topics are best suitable for your business and share content about them regularly.

Provide value to the audience

What makes someone hit the follow button?

The answer is, Value

People tend to follow you only when you provide value to them by either sharing something valuable, exciting and thought-provoking, or solving their problem.

According to a Harvard Business Review, 64% of consumers said the primary reason they have a relationship with the brand is because of their shared values.

Building a brand is not as easy as it seems to be; it requires you to come up with your own branding strategies that add value to the customers.

For that, you need to take all the above steps seriously.

Conclusion

Building a strong brand through social media is not as hard as reaching out to people in-person and advertising your product. So, think about it. You have an excellent opportunity to increase your brand awareness by leveraging the power of social media.

Your social media presence is what your brand is all about. So, make sure it sends out the right message.

Now, that you know how to build a brand, get started with it and do share your experience with us.

If you’d like to discuss how we can help your business or brand, please drop us an email or leave your contact details and we will be happy to schedule a free consultation with one of our Branding expert.

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What is Social Media Marketing (SMM)?

image for blog social media marketing

A decade back, nobody could have imagined that communicating with people anywhere across the globe would become so fast.

Today not only can one connect within a fraction of seconds but also share pictures, videos, and documents over the internet so easily and instantly!

Sharing live updates, stories, experiences, or moments through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are an “in” thing.

In fact, social media has become an essential part of people’s everyday lives. From teenaged youngsters to septuagenarians, everyone alike is hooked onto the social media apps on their mobile handsets.

With an estimated 4.1 Billion internet users and nearly 3.1 Billion social media users, the landscape for today’s diverse social media has drastically changed.

According to a survey done by ‘The Manifest’ of more than 600 social media users, people regularly access a variety of social media channels via a mobile app or computer web browser.

Further, an interesting but scary revelation from the report is that the average person will spend nearly five years, four months of his or her life on social media.

Image showing a pie chart with distribution of time a person spends on various social media platforms
Image Source: mediakix.com

Time Spent on Social Media = 5 Years, 4 Months in a Lifetime

86% of people use social media at least once daily out of which 72% use it multiple times every day.

These numbers are bound to grow, as most people are becoming increasingly dependent on their social networks for advice.

People use social media platforms to reach out to their friends, relatives, or colleagues for things like medical advice and travel recommendations.

Facebook is literally a country by itself, with over 62% of North Americans using it. And that’s just one of the many social media platforms.

With so many people on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., these channels have become revenue generating customer-bases for businesses across the globe. How? Simply through something called ‘Social Media Marketing.’

Social media marketing (SMM) is the use of social media websites to market a company’s products and services and generate organic (free) traffic to their sites.

This helps in optimizing the website’s position on search engines, i.e. it will be seen in the first few results as anyways 90% of users browsing the internet to search something do not usually look any further than the first page of the search engine.

Many businesses also promote their products or services directly on social media platforms.

SMM provides businesses with an effective way to reach new prospects, engage with existing customers and promote their brand, mission or tone.

Creative and engaging marketing on social media can bring phenomenal success to businesses by creating brand visibility and even driving leads and sales.

In fact, SMM has become an integral part of the digital marketing strategy of most small and big businesses as well as professionals and freelancers.

How does SMM work?

SMM experts use social media ad campaigns and various other strategies to develop messages and ‘sticky’ content and have people engage with it.

Individual users share those posts with their online social community of family, friends, and colleagues resulting in the matter going viral.

This strategy provides several benefits upfront, such as:

  • The content reaches a wider audience that an SMM manager may not have been able to access otherwise.
  • Shared content carries an implicit recommendation when sent by someone whom the recipients know and trust.
  • Cost of SMM is low compared to traditional marketing approaches like advertising.
  • Unlike traditional advertising where the reach and effectiveness can’t be measured, social media platforms provide accurate insights into engagement metrics ( like the number of people reached, number of clicks, the number of views and resulting actions).
  • Sticky content gets a user’s attention and increases the possibility that he or she will conduct a desired action, such as purchase a product or service or else share the content with others on social media platforms. This, in turn, helps in search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Some social media ad campaigns encourage customers to share their feedback, such as product reviews or comments, which is an excellent way to engage directly with the people.

Further, many social networks allow users to provide detailed personal, demographic, and geographical information, which enables marketers to tailor their messages such that it is most likely to resonate with the intended users.

This helps companies ensure that the marketing campaigns are specifically targeted at the right audience.

To be able to measure and quantify results for the money, time, and efforts which have been put in ‘marketing campaigns’ is an essential goal for any business.

Social media platforms have in-built data analytics tools that allow marketers to track how successful their efforts have been. Also, the impact of SMM efforts on the traffic data on a website can be monitored using Google analytics.

Some of the metrics used to measure the success of an SMM campaign include the number of likes on a post, the number of shares and reach (can be monitored using tools like BuzzSumo), the number of click-through rates and views and finally, the sales funnel created through the leads generated.

If we dive deeper into SMM, there are primarily two ways of doing SMM promotions- active and passive.

Active SMM Promotion

If sharing your content on various social media platform is a task in itself, then no one is going to do so. Forget people doing copy and paste links of your content across various social networks.

To encourage social sharing among web users, active SMM promotion is the way forward. Active promotion means adding links such as social media sharing buttons (as below) to the content on your website.

You can add these social media buttons to your blogs or content on the website with simple code that allows users to share your content across the web with just a couple of clicks. In WordPress, these buttons don’t even require any plugins.

Image showing the social media share buttons that enable users to share content on different social media platforms

Social networks which can be used for SMM campaigns are listed below (Most have their own terms of use):

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • Quora

With the above mentioned social media platforms, companies also have the option of launching paid ad campaigns to reach wider target audiences, thus improving traffic on a website or a specific web page.

Passive SMM Promotion

Passive SMM promotion refers to promoting activities on social media platforms by updating statuses, publishing images, videos, tweets, or posting blogs.

Traction through passive promotion is achieved by creating content that works well on the individual platform as each platform is different. On one, blog content may work whereas on another, a video may do better and on another probably, pictures dominate.

Hence every platform requires a different strategy but, in the end, whatever content is posted, must be informative and engaging so that people share it more and more with their online communities.

This kind of promotion also seeks customer’s direct feedback real-time, which can be further analyzed to enhance their brand experience.

Preparing an SMM campaign for your business

Before you start creating SMM campaigns, consider your business’s goals. If you for launching a social media campaign without a proper strategy in mind you’ll possibly get lost as it’s like roaming around a jungle without a map

When defining your social media marketing goals, here are some questions to ask:

  • What are you expecting to achieve through SMM?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What message do you want to pass on to your target audience?
  • Which all social media platforms would your target audience use?

Your SMM strategy should be driven by your business type. For example, a travel business can get a lot of traction from a strong presence on Instagram or YouTube being highly visual platforms.

A business-to-business (B2B) company might find more leverage on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Apart from a right SMM strategy, here are a few quick best practices for your social media marketing campaigns:

  • Create engaging content. Can’t emphasize this enough how important it is for your SMM campaign. Until your content is appealing, it will not fetch you any result. Getting a like on a post is easier than getting a comment, so ask people question in your posts or videos to give you feedback.
  • Share your social media posts multiple times. Once anything is out of sight, it’s out of mind. People need to be reminded continuously about your brand for their subconscious mind to register it. Make sure you post regularly.
  • Create a reliable brand image. Your business brand identity, whether it’s a value system or fun or trustworthiness, should remain consistent irrespective of which social media platform you use as each platform has its own unique style and voice.
  • Do a regular competitive analysis to observe the trends. One can get valuable data for keyword research and other marketing insights by keeping an eye on competitors’ social media posts. Consider using the same technique or social media platform, which seems to be working for your competitors and try to do it better than them.
  • Make your presence felt on social networks. Make sure you participate well on the social web by creating conversations and not just uploading photos on social media. Be known to the social community.

 Conclusion

Social media with such extensive use presents an incredible opportunity for marketing. In fact, for a few people, consistent use of social media even opens up career prospects.

Through sharing content n social media with friends, influencer and blogger Christina Vidal made a career out of it. She is a full-time traveler and now has nearly 75.5k followers on her Instagram account. She uses social media multiple times every day.

So it is better to learn social media marketing (SMM) now instead of losing in the long run.

If you find this article and the tips given in this article useful, please share with us in the comments section below.

If you’d like to discuss how SMM can help your business or brand, then please drop us an email or leave your contact details and we will be happy to schedule a free consultation with one of our SMM Specialists.

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How does Content Marketing help Drive Organic Traffic to a Website and aid SEO?

Image used for the Blog on How does content marketing help drive organic traffic on a website and aid SEO

You must have possibly heard that – getting traffic from a search engine is hard, but buying traffic is easy. Though garnering organic (free) traffic is no cakewalk, but it’s the best way to get traffic for any business for two reasons.

Firstly, around 80% of web users ignore paid ads in search results. Secondly, it sends you the most targeted traffic, and once you do it right, its free traffic.

In fact, more than 51% of content consumption in 2018 was majorly driven by organic search. Hence, boosting organic traffic for your website or content is the best way forward!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways to get organic traffic, and the ROI proves to be higher as time elapses.

Building organic traffic through SEO is undoubtedly the hardest effort you’ll ever put into your website. But the time and effort on this can essentially become the most significant investment.

Reason being the SEO content you put on your website today will drive traffic not only today or tomorrow but for the long term probably several years from now.

This is not the case with paid Google AdWords, which will not get you any traffic the moment you stop paying. That’s why focusing on enhancing organic traffic through SEO is an effort worthy enough for the long-term.

When it comes to following the right approach to garner more organic traffic, Whitehat SEO is the best way to stay on top of traffic that is sustainable as we discussed in our beginner’s blog on SEO.

Let us now dive a little deeper to understand how SEO boosts organic site traffic at no cost except your time.

Create Quality Content & Optimize Old Content at Reposting

The intent of creating content is not to fill the website pages or blogs just for the sake of doing it. Publishing valuable content that renders value to its readers is the reason behind the search engines, ranking a good content website higher.

Your website is a representation of your business, and usually, it’s the first impression a potential customer may have of your business.

Essentially your website is a representation of your business, and it forms the first impression about your business in a potential customer’s mind.

You shouldn’t be publishing low-quality blog posts just as you wouldn’t deliver a crappy product or service,

In fact, when you publish unique and information-packed content, it acts as an ultimate marketing strategy where the content ranks higher for relevant keywords.

With search engines becoming smarter over time, they can weigh the content you have posted. If the content is good, it is ranked higher, and that is how organic traffic reaches the website or blog.

So before hitting the ‘Publish’ button, give your content everything you can.

Further updating and republishing older blog posts with new content and good images or insightful videos can grow organic traffic by as much as around 111%.

Using Long Tail Key Phrases

Primary keywords have higher search volumes. However, broad two or three-word key phrases are highly competitive. So rather than going for the most popular keywords, it is better to use keywords that are more specific to your product or service.

Instead of sticking to the addition of two or three phrases of keywords switch to long tail key phrases.

Let’s take an example – if you are running a digital marketing agency, then instead of trying to rank for the term ‘digital marketing agency’, narrow it down a bit more and go for something like ‘digital marketing agency for real estate’.

This will narrow down your content ranking for those specific keywords that are more relevant and will lure potential leads to your website with higher chances of conversion.

Long-tail key phrases are likely to be closer to what a real user would be typing into a search engine while looking for something on the web. Thus the long tail keywords have lesser competition and higher relevancy.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is purely a genuine way to earn links that are valuable to your website. Publishing your content on a high authority website is a perfect way to garner more eyeballs. Make sure you post quality content on these websites and expose it the way you present your own blog on social media channels.

Apart from this, some of the best practices to consider when guest posting are:

  • Aim for publishing guest posts only for trusted websites with high domain authority and decent traffic.
  • Create content in and around your niche o reach your ideal audience.
  • Create relevant backlinks to some of your blogs or content on your own website.
  • Engage with the readers regularly by responding to their comments irrespective of whether it’s a guest post on someone else’ website. This is a great way to build a rapport and establish a relationship with those visitors. 

Create & Use Relevant Internal Links

You need to work strategically to create powerful internal links in your blogs and on your website to guide your visitors to more relevant content.

This can boost your search rankings by keeping visitors on your website for longer. But this will happen only if you have used links in a way that are natural and relevant for the reader and not created just for the heck of creating an internal link. Ultimately internal links should add value and provide relevant information to the visitors.

Once a page is ranked higher in a search engine, you can internally link it to other pages on your website. This way, you can embrace the SEO aspects for those other pages also to possibly get high ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs).

There is no shortcut to it- all you need to make sure is that you keep good links and keep removing the bad ones periodically. However, don’t overuse internal links else it will look like spam.

Utilize Social Media Promotion 

It has become imperative to build a substantial presence across social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Google understands that recommendation for any shared content, on all these social media channels by people within their trusted social community, is a great signal to rank that content or website higher.

All of the social media marketing (SMM) promotional activities help to get your brand and website address out on the internet. Write content worthy enough of sharing and add share buttons within your content and website so that people can share your content or website easily.

Monitor Regularly 

It is very crucial to monitor what is happening within your domain. Use tools like Google Analytics to track visitors to your blog and website.

 You can fine-tune your content after analyzing where the visitors are coming from and what keywords they searched.

It is also advisable to monitor your competitor’s social profiles to see what’s working for them and try to do it better than them.

Try to be in Google’s Good Books 

Avoid using any unethical ways to get good ranking on search engines as it’s unwise to be on Google’s wrong side. You should always look for increasing organic traffic ethically or else be ready to get hit with a Google penalty sooner or later.

Achieving good ranking in search engines through ethical means might be a time consuming process, but eventually, it gives good results in the long term in terms of increasing organic traffic.

Don’t buy inbound links or build cheap links. Also, don’t publish low quality or plagiarized content.

Instead, get into the habit of creating quality content that aids users and provides a solution to what they are looking for. Eventually, that will drive more organic traffic than any other alternate shortcut ever will do. 

Conclusion

Hard work always gets the best results, and it’s no different on the web. If you are looking for more organic traffic, you must put more effort into it. 

That means giving your best effort every time, identifying the niche for content, understanding good and bad backlinks, knowing your keywords, guest blogging strategically, staying on Google’s good side and lastly you need to consistently implement all of these to create an organic reach over your competitor.

The most important task is to closely monitor what SEO technique is bringing you more organic traffic. Once it is identified, keep implementing it consistently to get results that are organic and gigantic. 

If you have any questions or need assistance about building organic traffic for your website, please leave a comment below or drop us an email. We will be happy to schedule a free consultation with one of our SEO experts.

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