Scenarios to Avoid when Starting Your First Online Marketing Campaign
It’s natural to make mistakes, especially on the first time you handle something. It is the same way with social media. It’s easy to think about it as a simple venture, as your activity for the whole day is to think up status updates, photos, videos, and other content that will get the attention of your intended audience. But social media is beyond that. In fact, this is the first common misconception that entrepreneurs form when they first encounter the concept of interacting with their customers online. Business owners need to socialize with their target audience, hence the word ‘social.’
Social media is more than attracting the attention of your customers with an online advertisement. It is important to create a website and networking pages that will introduce your business to customers. You cannot hope to succeed in online marketing without these two platforms. This is because customers instinctively distrust businesses that feature only an ad.
If we match this with real-life event, it was as if they just met you for the first time and suddenly, they received a brochure from you. They don’t immediately pay attention to the brochure and ignore it until it’s time to throw it away. This makes it necessary to introduce yourself and your purpose first, especially on the web where there’s no face-to-face interaction. Your website and your networking pages will function as your ‘introduction’ while your ads will become your ‘online brochure.’
The primary goal is to connect with customers and build relationships with them, hence, the word ‘social’ in social media. Entrepreneurs need to ‘socialize’ with their target audience online before they advertise about their merchandise. Concentrating all efforts on marketing, instead of doing as advised, will be your first mistake. This is because social media doesn’t convert as easy as 1, 2 and 3 when it comes to generating sales leads. You need to establish a connection before approaching the customer with a sales pitch.
You have to give something, so you can sell your merchandise. Your agenda for the first three months or so, should be establishing your online presence. Make a short yet detailed ‘About Us’ sections on your platforms. Show pictures of your store and staff, as well as your products and services. Interact with your customers online. It is advisable not to embark on a marketing campaign around this time as you’re still seeking to make yourself known to your customers and trying to get close to them. Remember, it takes time, energy and effort to develop relationships online and get returns on your labors.
Being active in social marketing is not equivalent to success. You may be posting everyday but are you sure your followers are engaging with your content? Make sure your blog, website or social networking pages are monitored with analytics. There are free analytics software from Google and other platforms to help you determine whether your posts receive attention from your intended audience. If there’s positive improvement than when you started, then continue what you’re doing. Are you sure, though, that your goals are aligned with your efforts? Brad Smith, a social media expert, offers advice on making your networking posts effective:
- What is your main goal in joining social media? Do you aim to develop awareness about your merchandise? Do you wish to make customers more loyal to your brand? Or do you want to increase your sales? Choose one goal, and coordinate it with your strategy. Combining all three goals using one strategy will not gain you anything as each goal needs a corresponding series of actions.
- List down each step and measure your progress. This will help you track your progress and see if you’re deviating from your plan of action.
- Identify which activities get the highest ROI. Sometimes, we concentrate too much on the quantity of posts we produce every day. Experiment with different posting times and types of content and monitor each trial with analytics. This will allow you to see which posts get the most engagement from your followers.
- Measure your productivity. Determine if an action offers sufficient returns for your efforts. If not, cancel them to make room for more activities that will yield enough rewards.
- Remain dedicated. Sometimes we get discouraged when we see that there’s only a small number of people responding to our campaigns. When this happens, partner with an associate to keep your morale up and help you maintain your dedication.
Engagement doesn’t just happen; it is nurtured. A video will not become viral if you rely on your target audience to spread it. You must perform marketing initiatives to push your content and reach prospective customers who might be encouraged to contact you. How do you set your campaign in motion? One way you can do that is to roll out newsletters to your existing customer base. This generates interest among your customers on your latest content.
You can also ask other bloggers to encourage their audience to visit your website. Contact online newsletters which welcome guest articles. This has the added advantage of increasing links that will pull up your search engine rankings. On the same vein, look for syndication partners that can run your articles. If you have sufficient resources, you can do your own promotion and advertising. Create a video and upload it to video-sharing sites. Customers can be persuaded to share your video if it is effective in engaging their attention and making them feel that it’s worthy to be shared to their own friends.
There’s no automatic growth when you join social media. Even though this field is relatively new and inexpensive, it takes time before you can successfully establish your presence online. It will be far easier if your target market already knows you, but what if they don’t? This makes it necessary to follow the rules, work hard and adjust your strategy as you go along. This may be new ground, but you can still succeed, provided you follow the basics while making your own path at the same time.