How much time and money should a business invest in social media? That was the initial question posed by Matt Bailey (@mattbaileysays) as he began his 4 Steps to Building an Integrated Online Marketing Campaign session at SES New York last week.
If this is the first question you’re asking, it’s the wrong one, said the SES board member and president of Site Logic Marketing. If you're attempting to develop a successful strategic marketing plan, then it’s imperative to stand back, and re-evaluate two things. Your:
- Marketing Plan
- Content Development Plan
Re-evaluating these higher-level items will show you how social media, SEO, analytics, blogging, and content development can work together synergistically to aid in online marketing success.
The main thing that successful businesses do can be summed up in one word: Plan. Failing to plan will only prevent you from executing a strategy, as you will be too busy reacting to what is wrong.
Asking the Right Questions
Before you start to deep dive into planning and executing your strategy, you must make sure you know the answers to two critical questions about your business:
- How do you make money as a company?
- Why do you make money in those ways?
Answering these questions will help you define proper goals while also helping you to define your intentions and goals within social media.
How Do You Organize Your Online Marketing?
This is bigger than just social media, so you’ve got to outline how all channels can effectively work together to get your message across successfully. Four ways to organize your message are:
- Narrative: Narrative is creating the story around your brand or product that will best communicate with your consumers.
- Development: Once you have your story outlined, the next thing is to develop the right message and then develop it to the right people in the way they wish to digest the content.
- Interaction: Talks about how will you interact with your consumers across all platforms. Blogging, email and social media are all different mediums and should be messaging should be unique to those platforms
- Planning: Developing content calendars and looking at trends should be a part of your marketing activities. This is done so can you deliver timely content to your consumer when that topic or idea is in the top of mind.
Blogs (if you’re doing it right) are a more active type of medium versus your website, as the messaging on your website tends to be more static and doesn't get updated as often.
Many benefits come about from utilizing blogging as a marketing medium. Not only do you have control over the message and data, but it also has benefits from an SEO perspective.
Using your blog to promote calls to action and build your email list is another great benefit for having a blog. Several other benefits include:
- Increase your SEO efforts
- Build for Long-Tail Content
- Community and Market Education
- Communicate High Trust Content
- Build Lists, Conversions and Reach
- Build Brand Value and Equity
Email is another marketing channel that people don’t tend to really focus on. Email is a great way to segment your customers and market directly to their interests, but you must build the lists first.
Capturing emails within your blog is a great conversion goal you can use. Email consumption is increasing overall and mobile devices are part of this occurrence, as most people primarily use their mobile devices to check their email.
Another reason email marketing is a great is that’s where a lot of your consumers are hanging out, especially first thing in the morning. Bailey mentioned that “Subscribers, Fans, & Followers Exclusive Research Helps Marketers Use Email + Facebook + Twitter” was a great resource to gain further insight in how to further succeed in collaborating with social media and email marketing.
Social Media Tips & Facts
Bailey also mentioned that while social media is a great addition to your marketing plan, it should be considered like all other marketing efforts. Each site is used differently and not all are alike.
Here are some tips and facts around various platforms:
- It’s portable. You can create a video, upload it, then promote it easily to other platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
- It helps out with search engine optimization. Since YouTube is owned by Google, creating video content and optimizing it for terms you wish to rank for, will only help your search efforts. Your YouTube video will have a better chance of being ranked at the top of the page (provided it’s properly optimized) versus your website.
- Pinterest is a good social media platform, but once again isn't for everyone. The ideal Pinterest strategy is highly visual and highly segmented.
- Efforts must be specific and be about a certain topic for it to be successful.
- If you’re in B2B, then you should be doing LinkedIn.
- Linkedin is the most affluent membership as the users either have jobs or are looking for jobs.
- Twitter is a great place to get opinions about your brand from your followers.
- Great way to get ideas from your consumers and discover what they want to hear about.
- Immediacy is a huge benefit that comes with this platform.
- It’s about the conversation so let your consumer’s voice be heard.
- Ask them to share their stories, photos, and opinions to gain insight into what they want.
4 Tips for the Planning Phase
The more you plan your marketing efforts, the only more success you will have. Here are four tips Bailey shared with the planning phase for marketing strategies.
- Rely on your SEOs: Get keywords from that that people are looking for to get to your site or blog. Search data is more than trying to rank but getting ideas for what people want to know.
- Build a long-term and daily content plan.
- Long-Term Content Plan: Use Google Trends to compare products and primary searches.
- Daily Content Plan: What trend terms are big the past 7 days and figure out what is trending right now that your company can take advantage of.
- Create a publishing schedule so you can see what content is going live when. The key is to plan your marketing according to your content.
- Measure your efforts to see what was successful and learn to make more money.
If you put effort into planning your marketing and content strategy you will have a higher success rate and also continue to execute based on a strategy, versus reacting to what is wrong due to lack of organization.