Why Use Social Media Marketing For Advertising?

Social Media for Advertising

Social Media Marketing is one of the most important tools available to any business.

Whether you operate online or offline, you can take advantage of the power of social media marketing for advertising.

The resources available to you are nearly infinite. Starting with this blog is good, but never forget that there are thousands of blogs out there with new ideas that you can use to improve your social media advertising.

mrcangrejero on Flickr

Thanks to mrcangrejero on Flickr for this CC image.

What Makes Social Media Marketing Effective?

I’ll try to explain the answer to the simplest way I can.

There are thousands of reasons that social media marketing is incredibly effective. Different people will probably give you different answers too, but there are three iron-clad aspects of social media marketing that make it incredibly effective for advertising.

1. Social Media Provides Social Proof!

Wikipedia define Social Proof as:

Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.

Put simply, this means that people affect each other people’s decisions.

The closer one person is to another, the more likely they are to affect their decisions.

If your best friend was raving on Twitter about a new product they had just bought, you would probably have a look at it.

Social media is an outlet for normal people to voice their opinions. Seeing ordinary folks verify a company or another person is more effective than any other kind of advert.

That’s one of the keys for social media marketing.

Having ordinary people singing your praises will help attract new customers. It really is that simple!

Social media marketing is the easiest way to do this.

2. Social Media is Instantaneous.

What other marketing channels lets you get feedback in an instant?

Newspaper ads? Nope. Banner Ads? Not really. Business cards? Not at all.

Social media advertising however, will allow you to gauge a reaction in seconds.

If you’re creating good content and people are sharing that content as soon as you share it on your social media channels … Congratulations, you’re doing well!

If you’re creating mediocre content, which isn’t bringing you any retweets, shares or likes, you need to rethink your content strategy.

When people have a great experience with you or your company, they can instantly voice their opinion on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ (This helps you get even more social proof!). You also get the chance to respond instantly!

You can literally react to any kind of feedback. Positive feedback is great, keep the conversation going. Negative feedback can help you improve your operation.

The instantaneous nature of social media marketing is one of it’s biggest advantages.

3. Social Media Is Global!

Social Media is a truly global phenomenon.

Without it, it can become extremely difficult and expensive to reach new markets and attract readers / customers / visitors to your site.

You can send out a Facebook post or a Tweet and within seconds (see point 2) can reach people across the globe.

From Sydney to San Francisco, everyone has access.

Social Media is also being received well in emerging markets so there’s no sign of this trend ending any time soon.

Conclusions

Social Media really is revolutionary.

You can reach a global audience in an instant.

Social Media for advertising is a natural use of this most incredible social technology.

I see businesses all the time taking full advantage of the opportunities, but sadly, I also see many that don’t!

Take the plunge today and make your business social!

You won’t regret it …

5 Landing Page Tips from the Pros

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I’ve always been very interesting in sales psychology. What takes a visitor and turns them into a customer? It’s the never ending optimisation battle that constantly rages on. One thing might work for a period of time, then consumers get bored and another innovation takes over. Think about ‘banner blindness’. The effectiveness of banner ads has rapidly decreased as more and more people started using them. Over time, internet users have become more and more blind to them because they see them everywhere and they know it’s a blatant marketing tactic.

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Landing pages are pages that are designed for one purpose. Whether that’s capture a lead, get some social media attention, get the visitor to spend money, or any other purpose. Your landing page is designed to guide someone to a certain action.

I’m often browsing pages of company websites that perform terribly as landing pages. There’s no guidance for the visitor. If you want you websites to perform effectively, you need to think about the actions you want the visitor to take. The better you guide those visitors, the more likely they are to convert!

The sheer amount of content on this subject is incredible. There are some fantastic blogs that cover the topic and plenty of influencers out there pumping out great advice every day! In the interests of convenience, I’ve selected some of my favourite bits of advice and put them together in a single post for my readers.

1. John-Henry Scherck

If you want to rank you need a landing page content strategy that provides (or generates) the most unique, relevant and conversion driving content for your target keywords.  

In a recent post entitled ‘What’s Your Landing Page’s Unique Ranking Proposition?‘, John-Henry discussed exactly this aspect of any landing page.

Landing pages are designed to walk website visitors through a certain path. However, if your landing page doesn’t get any traffic … it’s not guiding much.

In order to make sure your landing page ranks well and attracts lots of traffic, you need to think about the power of the page you’re creating to rank. Have a quick check of your competition. How are their landing pages ranking? Do you think you can produce a better quality landing page than them?

All in all it comes down to content. Does your landing page educate as well as sell? I hope we all know how important good content is on the modern website. The better the content on your landing page, the better the engagement. The better the engagement, the better the links. The better the links, the better the ranking.

That’s a pretty long winded way of explaining the virality of great content, but it’s true!

Takeaway:

Make sure your landing pages contain remarkable content that’s engaging and relevant!

 2. Amy Nokinsky

Amy is a graphic designer and SEO consultant from Canada. One of her recent posts had an enormous amount of resources regarding landing pages – ‘Anatomy of a Successful Landing Page‘.

You must be able to explain the purpose of the entire page within your headline. If you feel that you have more than one point to get across, then you are going to need more than one landing page.

This mirrors the point I was trying to make earlier that there needs to be a clear path for your visitor to follow.

It’s all well and good trying to highlight a million advantages of your product or get all geeky and explain exactly why you’re the best in the industry, but think about what the user actually wants.

A reason to click where you want them to!

Giving them one good reason to click that signup/order/follow button is all your landing page really needs to do.

Takeaway:

A landing page should be there to accomplish one end goal. Not seven.

3. James Gurd

James wrote a guest post on ecommerce landing pages on smartinsights.com. Now many of the points he’s mentioned may apply just to ecommerce pages.

Landing pages where the action is buy this product.

However, there are also some really interesting nuggets within this article that can be applied to any kind of landing page on any kind of site!

The creative design is consistent with the marketing campaign that generated the visit.

This might seem a little complex but the essence is simple.

Keep things consistent!

If a user sees a post on Facebook, a photo on Instagram or even a PPC advert, they need to feel like they’re getting what they expect.

The key to meeting customer expectations is to be consistent. If you’re broadcasting on one channel a ‘free’ product, then don’t give away a ‘free trial’. If you’re asking the user to sign up for your newsletter, don’t ask them to also give their address.

This goes right to the roots of your landing page. Colours, graphics, fonts and message should always be consistent.

Takeaway:

Make sure your visitor gets what they’re promised from your landing page.

4. Anum Hussain

Anum’s recent post entitled ‘7 Key Design Tips for High-Converting Landing Pages‘ is a fantastic post on how the visual layout, design and content of your landing page can heavily influence conversions.

She covers a number of points, including branding your landing pages (which I referred to in my last point when talking about consistency), getting to the point and a number of other issues.

The key one for me though was this:

While displaying extravagant visuals on your landing pages may sound like a fabulous idea, A/B tests at HubSpot have repeatedly shown that including too many over-the-top images doesn’t actually help conversion. In fact, oftentimes it distracts the reader from the main point of the landing page, creation more friction on the landing page instead of supporing conversion.

That say’s it all!

We spoke before about single landing pages having a single purpose. Well this is what I mean!

The less said about peripheral issues the better.

Focus on getting the user to the end goal. Nothing else!

Takeaway:

Make sure images, graphics, videos and anything else on your landing page. Don’t distract from the end goal!

5. Tim Ash

Tim is the CEO of SiteTuners, a CRO specialist.

He was recently interviewed by Usertesting.com.

One of the things he said in that interview really resonated with me, mainly because it’s something I think most people miss out completely!

On testing, he said:

You let them have a “horse in the race.” You think people like a landing page with a lot of information, we think a stripped down experience might work better. Then you test to see what visitors think. This makes things a lot easier. When the new version converts a lot better and brings in more money, it makes it quite a bit easier to convince the CEOs to change their minds.

Following best practices and making changes is all well and good. But if you’re not able to tell the difference in conversion rates between one version of a landing page and another, how are you going to be able to prove that the change has been effective?

The best way of doing that is via A/B testing. See which landing page performs better and refine again.

Keep doing this over and over again until the margin of improvement is so small that you can’t improve any further. Congratulations, you now have the perfect landing page …

Evidently that’s madly simplistic, but I hope you see what I’m getting at!

Takeaway

Test, Test and Test again! Make sure you can measure what effect your changes are having.

So there you have it folks. There’s some key features of a landing page which you should investigate on your own sites.

It’s never a quick fix, but with the right attitude, you can all create better converting pages, which all boils down to more money in your pocket.

That’s the reason we do any of this after all right?

photo credit: Ducklover Bonnie via photopin cc

3 Habits Every Good Online Marketer Should Have

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There are lots of things which I do every day.

I get up, make a coffee and whack on the TV to catch up on the news. This helps me wake up and gets me ready for the morning ahead.

I was sitting there yesterday morning thinking about what other processes I go through every day and what they do for me.

As a Social Media Marketer a lot of my time is spent on social media. Some of the time I’m just browsing, reading content and creating more relationships. But I do have a number of set processes that I’ll follow every day.

1. Open Your RSS Reader!

This might seem like a relatively simple process and I’m sure most of you are already using your RSS reader on a daily basis.

My first thought is, which of these bits of content can I share? Will this content be useful to any clients, any followers or anybody else that I work with? Every day I see at least two or three bits of value adding content that will help me throughout the day or week.

It also helps me identify trends in current content. What content is popular? Why is it popular? Are there any people engaging with this content that would also engage with mine?

There are so many takeaways that it can be a little overwhelming. Especially with an RSS feeder like mine which normally contains at least 150 – 200 new articles a day. Normally I won’t read even half of these. Even then, I’ll still find 5 or 6 articles that I really enjoy or take value from.

Without this process, I wouldn’t have engaged with half the people I have done so far in my career and I would certainly be way behind the times in terms of breaking news and content trends.

2. Check Our Your New Followers, Fans or Circles!

Again, this is something everyone should be doing already but I want to reinforce the point. If people are following you, circling you or pressing that like button they want to connect! The least you can do is go back to them with a little personal message of some description and let them know you’ve noticed.

If they’re an influencer, make a special effort, find out what they’ve been writing about or tweeting recently and ask them about it.

Ask if there’s anything else you can do to help them. There’s so many things you can do to make your followers feel special. The more special they feel, the more engaged they’ll be. The more engaged they are, the more successful your social media marketing will be. #Simples.

3. Write Down 3 Ideas for Content

Content ideas aren’t always easy to come by.

Without realising it though you’ll come up with a few ideas during the day where you’ll be reading someone elses content and think “Hmm… That’s an interesting point!”.

Write all this stuff down in a spreadsheet.

At the end of the day, take 10 minutes to turn this list of random points into blog post ideas! I’ve been using this technique recently and found it to be incredibly effective. You’ll be amazed at how much content you can produce if you write something down every time one of your synapses fire!

So there you have it. That’s my daily social media routine. What about yours? Do you agree with these points? Is there something really important that I’ve missed out? Please let me know on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ when you can. Thanks Guys!

photo credit: Nanagyei via photopin cc