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How Brands Can Leverage Social Media Marketing & Digital Advertising in 2015

By Valerie Jennings, CEO of JSMM & VBM

Once in awhile we hear a client say that their social media marketing is ineffective, unsuccessful or does not return results and that they don’t think it can be amended. Perhaps they were doing something incorrectly or not measuring data. However, under the surface there are typically two or three other problems that indicate the brand is sick; the metrics were never installed or put into place or no one has been watching the analytics. While that may seem like an easy enough answer, here lingers the truth: Don’t amp up your social media marketing if you have any of these three problems going on, or worse, you don’t know how to properly build a quality fan base.

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Photo Credit: Beverly & Pack / Foter / CC BY

Although this may seem like a business-to-consumer (B2C) problem, business-to-business (B2B) brands have many of these same issues. Let’s examine the problems closer.

  1. Sick Brand: A brand that has no visibility or a damaged reputation online. This could be from review sites, no SEO or not high quality content.
  2. Missing Metrics: How a brand measures KPI is critical to the marketing team. Without knowing how ads, social media or SEO positioning is performing, it’s difficult to know where to spend budget from one month to the next.
  3. Analyzing The Analytics: It’s fine if you have the metrics in place, but if you don’t know how to read the reports or don’t bother to do so, then you might as well forget about understanding your key messages, leads, clients or ad spend.

How to Drive Business With Social Media & Digital Advertising

If your brand is clear of these issues, then let’s discuss how to maximize social media marketing and digital advertising today.

  1. Social Media & Digital Advertising Audit: If you have never done one, do it. It’s very valuable to the marketing team, corporate communication, new hires, investors and more. It tells you what your target keywords are for the search engines, what your competitors are doing online, key messages, buyer personas, influencers, editorial recommendations and more.
  2. Editorial Calendar: Even if you don’t want to invest in some of the expensive online editorial software, create an Excel to track your channels, promotions, eblast content, etc. Try to update it weekly and monthly so everyone knows what the forecast looks like moving forward.
  3. Tracking: If you have Google Analytics installed on your website that is a great starting point, but tracking phone numbers, proxy sites, pixel codes to track conversions, screenshots of before and after SEO placement, press hits and social media impressions from Sprout Social are all important to gauging results.
  4. Lead Generation: There are many types of social networking and retargeting products available today, from Facebook’s Custom Audiences to AdRoll’s CRM matching product, to find customers on the Web, mobile and social media sites. The key is to work with a professional who can help guide you through the minutia.
  5. Email Marketing: Targeted email marketing for trade shows, events and prospects is key to understanding which messages are performing and which content is driving results. Test a few lists and strategies before you settle on one tactic. For example, trade show marketing is far more effective if you can market to the attendees or exhibitors before the show to book meetings.

Recap & Next Steps

Here are few pointers to review before your next marketing meetings —

  1. Review the social media and digital advertising audit or schedule one for completion.
  2. Check your online reviews.
  3. If your brand is sick, get help immediately.
  4. Review your analytics and report any trends.
  5. Test two or three ads products that drive leads. You may need to create content and landing pages.
  6. Understand the existing process to capture and convert leads today.
  7. Make sure all tracking is installed before you spend any more money on ads or social media.
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