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Revisit Your Digital Marketing with a COVID Lens

COVID changes mean that every brand needs to reassess the approach to marketing. Make sure your strategy is in line with the times, both in terms of the needs of your customer and the relevance of your products and services.

With people spending more time online than ever before, brands need to shift focus to their digital operations and look for effective ways to connect, interact and transact with their audience. Brands need to be in step with major themes:

  • Transition to remote work and school
  • Health and safety
  • Supporting others

Consumer behavior and market dynamics are changing. Some restrictions get lifted only to be reimposed. The way of doing business and providing services is changing. It is essential to monitor brand communication at all times and quickly adapt to changing circumstances.

This can be a good time to reach out to your existing brand community and initiate new and meaningful conversations. You want to let your customers know that you want to be part of helping them to navigate COVID changes. You want to learn what they expect from you as a brand.

Show people what you are doing to be relevant. This can start with posting your COVID policies on your website and elsewhere online. Nothing is standard anymore. Help people to know how you are operating for their safety.

Social Marketing in Six Easy Steps

Guest Post by Ryan Ayers

Any successful marketing strategy aims to influence consumer behavior. Generally, the behavior a campaign aims to influence is the behavior of purchasing a product or service. Social marketing aims to influence a recurring behavior.

The popular Truth anti-smoking advertisements that influence people to stop smoking are a well-known example of social marketing. Regardless of the message, there are effective steps to create a great social marketing strategy.

Step 1, Evaluate

All steps in the social marketing process require some evaluation, but in this case we’re talking about evaluation of the issue that the social marketing is looking to address. Research is not only important, but it’s also a moral obligation when you’re aiming to inform the public for societal good.

Step 2, Plan

Planning comes after analyzing everything that was collected during the evaluation phase. This, too, is dependent upon the message, but generally the plan involves creating a message that can be shared across multiple channels. Social media if often a key channel when trying to reach a younger audience.

Step 3, Development

Having a plan is very important but sticking to it is even more important or else you wasted your time planning. Some parts of the plan can be released while others are still being developed, as long as it is logical.

Step 4, Track Progress

Part of the plan and the development process should be making the success (or lack thereof) measurable. Google analytics and other analytic programs make this much easier than it used to be, and social media is also very trackable.

The same tactics used to evaluate the landscape can be used to track your own progress within said landscape. Surveys and questionnaires about how often people saw the messages and how much of an effect it had on them, should be a regular part of the process.

Step 5, Make Needed Adjustments

Tracking progress doesn’t do any good if the analyzations are not utilized in making changes deemed necessary to increase reach and effectiveness of the social marketing campaign. With social campaigns, success is a little more difficult to measure, but the more times things are evaluated and adjusted, the easier changes are to implement.

Recap

Social marketing helps things change for the good and motivation is a key component in any successful social marketing campaign. There are plenty of resources online to help with each of these steps, and most campaigns have a similar campaign to learn from. Advertising within social media (Facebook ads, sponsored content on Instagram) is a good way to up the ante a little bit in that medium.

Everything should be evaluated regularly, and change should be more than expected when starting out. If your message is strong and hits people in the heart, it will most likely find success if these steps are followed.

About the Author

Ryan Ayers has consulted a number of Fortune 500 companies within multiple industries including social media, information technology and education. After earning his MBA in 2010, Ayers also began working with start-up companies and aspiring entrepreneurs, with a keen focus on communication and marketing.

Increase Your Online Reach with Links

Often we focus our online marketing efforts on things we publish online. That’s great, but we also need to expand our audience to optimize on the impact of our content. Links increase our audience and help with search engine optimization (SEO).

Here are the steps to follow for a successful link building strategy.

Good Links Defined

Good links help get more traffic to your site. Good links are at sites that generate traffic to your own site.

To get good links:

  1. Get to know your audience
  2. Make a list of websites which appeal to your desired audience
  3. Write amazing content
  4. Match content to websites
  5. Reach out to site owners
  6. Use social media to amplify your content

Focus on Your Audience

You need to know your audience well to build effective links. What do they care about? What places do they go online? The answers give you a sense of the links that will get attention, and where they need to be.

Develop a List of Valuable Websites

List the websites that could help you reach more people in your target audience. Find the websites that already appeal to them. You can do your research on Google and also look at the websites that people in your audience share on social media.

Focus on Great Content

You knew I would get to this, right? It’s always all about great content. In order to get other websites to link to your content, your content has to be a worthy addition to the site’s content.

Ask

Now that you have target sites AND great content, you need to ask for links. Take time to find one or more places at the site where a link would make sense.

Don’t bother making a general ask like “please link to me.” Be specific: please link this page and this content to this page at my website. The more specific you are, the easier you make it for the receiving website to act.

Assess Results

Use your web metrics to determine which links drive traffic to your website and the behaviors of the users. This can help you determine the most effective links and give you insight into your ongoing link building efforts.

A successful link building strategy should always be aimed to bring new valuable visitors to your website who engage with your content and your brand.