Tag Archive: Facebook

  1. It All “Ads” Up: How Do I Use Facebook Ads?

    Facebook ads

    More than just a place to keep in touch with old college roommates and Aunt Joanie (you really should call more, you know), Facebook has become quite the marketing tool for companies around the world. Offering a free marketing channel allowing potential customers the chance at product discovery and fans the ability to interact and share their love for the company and product.

    As a user of the social media channel in your personal life, you may be familiar with likes, shares, comments and other basics of the platform. However, many marketers and business owners don’t know where to begin when it comes to utilizing Facebook ads for their business. Luckily, the process is simple as long as you can define a few simple questions.

    Using our client, Old Town, as an example, we can explore our process and strategy of successfully crafting Facebook ads that work.

    Facebook ads

    • What is Your Objective? This goes beyond making money – you must think a bit deeper in order to make the greatest impact. Was the ad created to get more eyes on your brand? Perhaps you want to increase clicks to your newly rebranded website, or maybe directly improve online retail? Regardless of the answer, your ad starts here. 

      For Old Town, a Central Florida amusement, shopping and dining hot spot, our objective was simple: attract more visitors to the attraction, specifically for the “BBQ Throwdown” event.
    • Who is the Audience? Facebook ads are wonderful at targeting audiences with pinpoint accuracy. Age, workplace, job title, education gender, location, device used, purchase behaviors and personal interests are all factors you can use to define who, exactly, you want to see your ad. Furthermore, though this post is specifically focused on Facebook, Instagram is also under the social media giant’s umbrella, allowing you to share ads on that image-based platform as well. 

      Understanding that Old Town’s audience is largely baby boomers and those who enjoy traditional American fare, we were easily able to target these folks for a free, BBQ-filled event.
    • What is Your Budget? Facebook ads are just as substantial as traditional ads and you must treat them as such. They require just as much well-considered strategy when it comes to budgeting, as well as a real budget to boot. Though Facebook’s internal “bidding process” can seem substantially complicated, the process of budgeting for your ad is made easy, allowing for some flexibility based on daily or lifetime run times (budgeting for single 24-hour periods or as one lump of overall time). Keep in mind, a bigger budget does not guarantee a higher success rate. Throwing big bucks behind an ad that’s simply not engaging to your audience is a waste of money.

      The money that was dedicated to our Old Town ad was distributed evenly across four weeks, each week utilizing the similar text but a different image to attract fresh eyes.
    • What’s Your Format? Facebook ads allow you to choose from a number of different styles, including Photo (utilizing a single image), Carousel (multiple images or videos), Video (a single video), Slideshow (multiple photos for lower connection speeds), and Canvas (a mobile-friendly ad experience) ads. One thing to consider, however, is the growing prominence of videos and gifs as a way to catch an audience’s eye. Carousel is also often utilized, giving companies multiple visuals to share at once and adding a bit of interactive “clickability” to the ads.

      In this specific example for the Old Town event, we used a visual that we knew our audience would eat up (pun intended): a photo of sausages sizzling on a grill. This photo does the job of evoking the summer season and whetting the appetites of their audience for the BBQ event.

    Facebook ads

    Because we took on the task of crafting our Old Town Facebook ad with a clear objective in mind, targeted audience locked in, adequate budget secured and effective format chosen, we saw the ad’s relevancy score (which combines impressions, results, reach, feedback and more) climb into a range we were proud to share with the client.

    With the above four questions carefully answered, you too can design and employ Facebook ads to reach new audiences, drive online sales or simply get your message out there. If you want to dive deeper into learning the basics of Facebook ads, we recommend hearing it from the horse’s mouth. Facebook has some fantastic tutorials and support resources, making the social media marketing platform quite easy to “like.”

  2. How #Brands Can Use Hashtags for Big Wins

    For many, hashtags are an enigma–a social media buzzword along the likes of “virality” and “geotagging.” However, this method of virtually labeling and grouping terms has become valuable enough to warrant the attention of any modern businessperson.

    Though a pop culture punchline, hashtags are an essential tool for multinational brands to small businesses, car manufacturers to fast food chains. Using hashtags effectively can lead to major strategic wins for your company, regardless of size or trade, but only if you give the social media staple the respect it deserves.

    Utilizing hashtags may seem a little juvenile to the unpracticed, but trust us when we say you’ll be #winning if you investigate and implement the right hashtag strategy for your brand.

    Starting With the Basics

    So, you don’t know a darn thing about hashtags. That’s OK–we’re here to make introductions. Say hello to #. That guy is called a hashtag. You may know it from its former life as the pound button, but it has taken on an entirely new meaning in the world of the web–specifically within many popular social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

    At the base level, hashtags can be used to “tag” specific key terms involving your post. For example, if Jessica, a proud dog mom, shares a photo of her shiba inu, Charlie, she could hashtag terms like #dogmom, #shibainu and #shibainusofinstagram. She could also start an original hashtag term that allows friends and fans of Charlie to quickly find photos of him on the platform. Such a tag may be #Charlietheshibainu or #Charlietheshiba, as long as no one else is using this tag already (who knows, there could very well already be a shiba named Charlie on Instagram).

    Shiba Inu

    As you’ve probably noticed, these terms cannot contain spaces. They also should not begin with a numerical or symbol, but numbers can be added after a letter.

    Incorrect: #1969Woodstock
    Correct: #Woodstock1969

    Within most social media platforms, clicking a hashtag allows users to see every post that has ever used the tag, which is handy for organizing posts, tracking a trending topic or even entering yourself into a contest.

    It’s incredibly important to understand that hashtags are often used in hot-button issues, political debates and other rather heavy subjects. Before using a hashtag, it is always safer to look up its context before blindly jumping into a conversation in which you do not intend to participate.

    How Using #Hashtags can Help Your #Brand Win

    • Get in on the Conversation: Hopping into the conversation on a trending topic can not only expose your brand to new potential customers, but also establish itself as an entity that keeps up with the times. If the #WorldSeries is trending, you better believe hot dog and beer brands will be weighing in on the game and utilizing that hashtag to reach a wide, targeted audience. However, companies must always be careful not to jump into a conversation that is inappropriate for their brand. Do some research on a hashtag to ensure it’s not being used for dubious purposes, is removed from politics and is something that feels like a natural fit for your brand.
    • Gather a Social Following: Have you ever noticed that most major brands that are active on social media also have a short hashtagged phrase that is closely associated with them? Based on campaigns, the company tagline or a limited contest or event, having a hashtag that fans of your brand can rally behind can help your audience build a community around your product or service. For example, The Orlando EDC has rallied around the hashtag #ThisIsOrlando to display interesting aspects of Orlando life on social media:

    #ThisIsOrlando EDC

    #ThisIsOrlando EDC

    • Create a Contest: Hashtags are one of the simplest ways to conduct a contest. On Instagram, in particular, a common contest involves contestants simply sharing a photo along with a promoted, wholly original hashtag in order to enter. This avoids the use of cumbersome third-party apps or other means that can get complicated and expensive. For example, to support its limited-time ground turkey offering in 2016, our client, Tijuana Flats, concocted the “#GiveYouTheBird” campaign. The company asked followers to post images of people or situations that they want to “give the bird” to for a chance to win free meals. Despite the somewhat risque (yet appropriate for the brand) approach, this not only increased brand awareness, but got customers highly engaged and excited about their company on social media.

    Tijuana Flats #GiveYouTheBirdTijuana Flats #GiveYouTheBird

    A Tool Worth Hashing Out

    Though hashtags first gained popularity through Twitter, all of the major social media players utilize some aspect of hashtagging, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ and more. We understand the apprehension–new terminology, new tech and lots of new rules and jargon to throw on the marketing know-how pile. However, if you choose to simply throw your hands up in surrender and ignore hashtagging, you do so at your business’s social media peril. Much like social media as a whole, companies that do not respect the potential utility of hashtags for branding growth and client cultivation will be left in the #past.

  3. What Facebook’s New “Buy Button” Means for Your Business

    Facebook Ads Facebook Ads

    You know that guy with the bagel cart rolling by your office in the morning? You were busy getting started on your business of the day, then this guy rolls up and well, now you’re hungry. “Ok,” you think to yourself. “I’ll grab a bagel.”

    The convenience of the impulse buy is hard to ignore. And more often than not, it doesn’t feel like we’re being sold or marketed to. We usually feel pretty confident that this is our decision. Yes, we didn’t know we were about to make this purchase, but we are totally in control and definitely want it. Right?

    Recently Facebook announced their new Buy Button which will allow your customers to purchase products from businesses without ever having to leave Facebook, mobile included. Your customers will be able to complete their entire order process (even shipping settings and payment) all in one cozy nook of the world’s favorite social media home away from home. Whether this sounds scary or convenient, it’s time to start planning how your business will adapt. Here are 3 things to consider when examining the new Facebook Buy Button, and what it means to you and your business.

    1. Say Goodbye to distracting ads and hello to engaging content.

    If you’ve ever tried Facebook ads to promote your company or goods and services, the buy button is a good thing. Buying online ads are hard to quantify from a success point of view. Sure you can track clicks and click throughs, even track where purchases came from. But these efforts typically work better in concept than application. Here’s the next step. Stop buying traditional Facebook Ads. With the buy button you no longer have to throw money at distracting your customers. You can, instead, connect with them via your content. Content that they’d be choosing to engage with anyway. Have a cool new product you want to get out to market, or even test? This could be where you do that.

    It’s a fact of life that many content owners are now looking to their “readers’ offers” initiatives to build e-commerce into their content sites. – Forbes (http://www.forbes.com/sites/haydnshaughnessy/2014/07/18/facebook-shopping-button-could-be-amazon-reviews-on-steroids/)

    2. The impulse buy: The next generation.

    This is certainly a whole new (more impulsive) impulse buy. The genius of it is basically this: Remember why that bagel cart concept works? Similarly, imagine a group of yourself and your closest colleagues and friends chatting around the water cooler about the things you collectively are interested in. Coffee, technology, low calorie drinks, impressively sharp knives, a new hybrid car. Now imagine while casually talking with your friends about these subjects, one of them said something like, “Well, if you’re interested I can get you a box of those knives for $20 less than the store.” They don’t have to earn your trust. They already have it. You don’t have to drive out to the store, or search prices online. You don’t have to do anything really. It’s organic digital content for sale. You’re seeing it in your news feed because you’ve already established, digitally, that it’s something of interest to you. This is the benefit of the Facebook Buy Button concept. And this will be the primary reason why it will work.

    Don’t forget to consider when you post also. Since these aren’t traditional social media ads running automatically, you must be conscious of when you post content with the ability to buy. Read our recent blog post on The Perfect Time to Post on Social Media.

    3. The power of viral reviews

    According to Convert With Content 87% of consumers are influenced by positive reviews, and trust customer reviews 12x more than manufacturers’ descriptions. With the new Facebook Buy Button capability, customer reviews will come first and the product second. In a way, customers have already been trained to reverse engineer their purchases online. It’s been going on for years and the new Facebook Buy Button will only sharpen this modern consumer skill.

    You need to understand how this will bring on competition for your sales. Facebook won’t be alone. Already, Twitter has announced it purchased a payments start up for integration in it’s ever-growing platform. Don’t be surprised if more join soon. The time to plan accordingly and add some grey area to your direct and indirect competition matrices is now. Wondering why your customers stopped buying sunglasses from you? Have they evolved where you haven’t?

    The future of online retail may be upon us. LIKE it? Don’t buy it? Tell us what you think with your comments below or let us know on Facebook!

  4. When You See It – Why High Quality Images Should Be a High Priority

    Imagine you’re the customer. You search Google or even Facebook for a local bike repair shop and come across some options. Which are you more likely to click on: a blurry photo of a broken bicycle with grainy text designed across the top promoting a 10% off deal, or a bright, high quality image of a man riding a bike with a text headline in the page content saying something like “For all your bike repair needs?”

    Industry research says, that even though one company offers a discount, most of us will engage with the better quality marketing than the poor resolution effort. For businesses who do the majority of their marketing online it is crucial to understand why this happens, plus how improving the quality of your online marketing efforts will help you Win more business right away.

    A common reason your business might want to use lower resolution photography or creative is website speed and performance, especially in regards to viewing on mobile. Makes sense, right? Since it doesn’t take as long to load the pixels, and the end user can get to the digital content faster, why not skimp on file size in favor of boosting performance? According to Google, load time is still the primary way to maximize page views, citing specifically that a loading time increase from 0.4 seconds to 0.9 seconds decreased traffic by 20%. However, you have to ask yourself if boosting performance is worth a negative user experience. Though it may technically be a solution for getting pages to load faster, you should never substitute quality for performance without knowing what you’re doing. Poor quality usually means poor engagement. 

    So, what’s the solution? There are ways to decrease image file size without negatively affecting the image quality. One way is designing your visual web assets (logos especially) as vectors. Vectors use math to replicate the image by whatever new size specs being applied, so they always stay sharp and in focus. This is different than something in a predetermined pixel ratio which will blur or pixelate when sized incorrectly. You can also make edits to brightness, focus, compression and more, as well as setting specific pixel size ratios when saving your image assets. 

    What if you don’t have a staff of savvy designers and photoshop experts? Don’t worry, there are also tools online for easily editing and creating visual marketing pieces and editing photos for use on your site or social media campaigns. Check out tools like Canva and Piktochart, which are great for simple graphic design that anyone can do, even those always-trending infographics. PicMonkey is a handy tool to resize images to the most popular social media site specifications. Looking for an on-the-go solution? Look in to mobile apps like PicLab HD.

    In addition to the importance of high quality we also have to mention the importance of simply being found. Some simple tips to leverage organic SEO on a highly visual, image-heavy site are easier than you may think. When naming the image files use the you want to attract. This is an often overlooked solution but is a definite factor in increasing SEO. Also if you have a headline or marketing offer, don’t include it only as a designed element in the file. Be sure to include it as page text so Google can find it. You’d be surprised how often this is missed, but take a look around online or the social media pages of your competitors and see if you find any guilty parties of this marketing faux pas. 

    Speaking of social media. One of the easiest ways to ensure your photos and designs are going to look their best on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, is to design them to the correct specs in the first place. Take a look at this handy cheat sheet from Constant Contact for all the current image specs.

    The 3M Corporation revealed in a recent study that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. Utilizing the best photos and designs available will only enhance your online brand experience and customer experience. Low quality images will alienate savvy internet users (probably your best likely potential customers) and can even damage your brand. Remember stay focused. Literally!

  5. It’s About Time: The Perfect Time to Post on Social Media

    If you’re a business owner, you probably recognize how important a social media presence is and may already be using social media to market your business. But why do some posts seem to work better than others? Why do some posts bring in lots of business, site traffic, sales, interaction, all of the above – while other posts just go flat? While content may still be king, it’s timing that is at war for the throne. Want to be social media royalty? Follow these tips for the perfect time to post on social media!

    Tip 1: Get the Day Right!

    When it comes to posting for your business on social media, not every day has the same rules. You could be posting the sale of the century, but if you’re not conscious about when you post, few people may even see it. For Facebook the highest day for likes, shares and comments is Wednesday. If you’re looking for retweets and follows, you have more options with Twitter. Scheduling tweets for Monday – Thursday will ensure your best results each week. LinkedIn also sees better activity in the middle of the week, while visual platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr do better at the end of the week and on weekends when most Americans aren’t at work.

    Tip 2: It’s About Time!

    Early riser? Well, not all of your fans are on board, but some of them are. Posting before noon will ensure the highest activity on your Pinterest page, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts. Post as late as Midnight through 1:00AM for Pinners, while the 7:00AM through 9:00AM range is crucial for activity on LinkedIn.  9:00AM to 11:00AM is prime time for your Google circles.

    The majority of activity and engagement is on social media in the afternoon. The sweet spot for Twitter is immediately after lunch until 3:00PM. Facebook follows a similar timeframe, but will continue activity online a little later in the day until 4:00PM. LinkedIn surfaces between 2:00PM and 6:00PM, while Tumblr and Pinterest rule the night hours.

    There are also dead times on social media to avoid for posting major announcements and campaigns. For best results on Facebook, try not to post before 8:00AM or after 8:00PM. On Twitter, avoid posting before 9:00AM and after 8:00PM, as well. See a trend? Think about the times you are online or checking your phone. These timeframes are directly connected to the standard American schedule and remain true for most students, as well as those on the clock. Unless it’s breaking news, always post when your fans are listening- not just when you’re ready to talk!

    Tip 3: Know Your Audience!

    Although the above statistics should apply to most brands, businesses, and social media behavior in general, never discount what your audience behavior is already telling you. Catering your posting strategy to your specific audience will have produce exponential engagement right away, especially when national trends will fluctuate more often than your audience behavior does.

    One easy way of testing this out is through Facebook’s Insights tool. From your admin dashboard, Page Insights will provide access to valuable data. Get to know your audience better by exploring the “Posts” tab  and view valuable insight on timing your posts and content to correlate with when your fans are on Facebook  through the “When Your Fans Are Online” tab. Measuring your results is as simple as looking a little further down on this same page. Look for your organic reach, which will confirm if you are in fact getting in front of your fans, and review the data reflecting likes, comments and shares. Once you’ve found the sweet spot for maximizing eyes and action, you have gained a genuine edge over your competition, plus a more effective connection to your audience!

    Note: While Facebook’s built-in tools are helpful, it’s also a good idea to subscribe to a third party service that provides the analytics you need for each social media accounts all in once place. We recommend checking out Hootsuite, LikeAlyzer, Fanpage Karma and Must Be Present.

    Tip 4: Don’t Overdo It (Or Underdo It)!

     To truly see results from sticking to a social media schedule, be careful how often you post as well. Even if you’re posting relevant content during your popular time frames, posting too often or not enough may turn away fans and followers.

    Research suggests that brands should limit their posts on Facebook to once a day. Check out at this chart from Socialbakers showing how often some of America’s mega brands are posting to Facebook.

    They also suggest that 3 tweets a day is the magic number for Twitter. Unless your site is a media outlet posting constantly in tandem with the published content on your site, stick close to 3 tweets a day during your heaviest times of engagement. {Pro tip: the lifecycle of a tweet tends to be less than 18 minutes before it peaks, while the average post on Facebook could reach their midlife crisis at the 90 minute mark. Keep these statistics in mind for maximizing results from your social strategy.}

    It’s wise to employ a multi-faceted strategy, factoring in each individual platform and the insights from that audience, as opposed to syncing multiple accounts together. Yes, it is convenient to see a post published on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ all at once, but this form of content scheduling behavior results in churn (your fans unfollow and unlike you).

    Tip 5: Do What They Like!

    Another use for social media insights is to view which posts your audience responds to best, such as links versus images, or posts with text only. Doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t work will save time and resources, as well as increase your social activity. From adding images to including custom infographics,  there is always a way to increase post engagement. Try these cloud-based services for more visual resources: Infogr.am, Piktochart, and Canva.

    Yes, time is money; however, free, organic social marketing should be at the top of your marketing strategy. There is no better way to interact with your fans and customers or to have fans and customers interact with your business. Pay attention to what your audience says and when they’re listening and you will maximize your social media presence towards increased business results.

    Sources:

    http://socialmarketingwriting.com/category/social-media/page/4/

    http://socialtimes.com/best-worst-times-post-social-media-infographic_b141745

    http://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-frequency-guide

    http://tracksocial.com/blog/2012/06/optimizing-facebook-engagement-part-2-how-frequently-to-post/

    http://www.socialbakers.com/blog/147-how-often-should-you-post-on-your-facebook-pages

     

  6. Social Media Marketing Drives Search Engine Marketing

    Every two years, Moz (formerly SEOMoz.org) surveys a group of SEO experts and asks them to give their opinions on what factors they believe will be most important in driving search engine rankings.  Since Google and other search engines do not make the mechanics of their algorithms publicly available, surveys like this are important to try and identify patterns and trends.  The results of the 2013 survey are now available online and there are some interesting conclusions to be drawn.

    In the world of SEO, things change quickly and dramatically.  In order to gain a little context, it may be helpful to review the results of an older survey (i.e. the 2009 survey) to see how the times have changed.  Just four short years ago, having the proper text inside a link was crucial; now, that practice is almost frowned upon.  As such, keeping tabs on these factors is important to any marketer who wants to rank well in keyword searches.

    While some of the survey results are pretty technical in nature, there are some really important generalizations that can be made.  Most notably, social media marketing continues to increase in importance with regard to how search engines rank a particular page or site.  From the survey results, here are some key take-aways on this point:

    • Google+ – How many +1’s (the equivalent of a Like on Facebook) that your page/site has is very high on the chart.  If a company has no Google+ presence, the time has come to move forward in creating and developing one.  Better late than never!
    • Facebook Likes, Shares, and Comments – Your pages must be tied to Facebook and boldly solicit Likes and Shares.  Google looks at the number of times your pages are liked and shared and considers these as votes for your content.
    • Twitter Influence – Your site and content will be measured for its appeal on Twitter.  The more tweets and influence on Twitter, the more favorably characterized your page will be.
    • Content, Content, Content  – This is not a new revelation by any means, but it is a known quantity that high quality content drives search engine visibility AND the three categories mentioned above.  Sites without fresh, interesting, and engaging content don’t receive social media attention from Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.

    There are many other conclusions to be drawn from this important survey, but it’s abundantly clear that truly working on your social media strategy will go a long way toward increasing your site’s search engine visibility.  A brief snippet of some of the results are below, but you might consider reviewing the full survey results for yourself.

    A glimpse of the 2013 Search Engine Ranking Factors survey results.

    A glimpse of the 2013 Search Engine Ranking Factors survey results courtesy of moz.com.

  7. Facebook Advertising – Is It Really Worth It?

    It seems like everyone is spending a crazy amount of time on these newfangled social media sites. In fact, nearly 1 in every 5 minutes spent online is spent using social media. That is a lot of time and it is only going to increase. So what does that mean for you? Well, Facebook has implemented a very advanced advertising system that is just begging for you to take advantage of it.

    Social Media Examiner breaks down Facebook’s ad system which has three sales channels: Direct, Inside and Online.

    • Direct sales deals with the largest global brands, for which Facebook has dedicated account teams to manage the relationship directly with the advertiser and their agencies. These are generally referred to as managed accounts.
    • Inside sales handles the next tier of clients, who may be spending in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on Facebook. These clients will have a sales rep whom they deal with directly to buy advertising, but they don’t have quite the same level of strategic support as managed accounts.
    • Online channel. There are companies developing products on top of Facebook’s Marketing/Ads APIs to facilitate the buying process for self-serve advertisers.

    If you’re willing to shell out the big bucks for advertising on Facebook, it is best to contact them directly. Otherwise head over to the Facebook ad page and get started!

    Facebook makes it easy to target a specific audience. Oh, you’re interested in selling to males, ages 16-18, who live in Boston and play World of Warcraft? Well you can – with just a click of a button. The Facebook advertising platform offers the ability to target your ad to specific segments such as Location, Age, Sex, Relationship Status, Interests and more. This leads to more bang for your buck, because you are not wasting your marketing efforts on users not in your target audience.

    According to comScore, after seeing an ad on Facebook from a major offline US-based retailer, fans and their friends bought 56% more frequently online from this retailer. 70% of brand campaigns also showed a return on ad spend of 3x or better. But, that information comes from a study done in conjunction with Facebook, so take those numbers with a grain of salt.

    So how effective are Facebook ads? Recently released reports suggest that the ROI on Facebook ads are not as effective as  advertisers expect them to be. A recent study found that less than 1 in 20 users returns to a brand page within 30 days of having ‘liked’ it. According to a new poll from the Associated Press and CNBC, nearly 60% of Facebook users don’t click on ads or sponsored content.

    General Motors, the 7th largest advertiser in the US, also pulled their paid advertising from Facebook because GM executives felt that Facebook ads had little effect on consumers’ car purchases. Sources said that Facebook doesn’t provide consistent, clear-cut metrics that prove advertising on their sites works. GM wasn’t feeling the results so they pulled ads – which has caused quite a stir amongst advertisers.

    Another example shows Ajith Prasad Edassery, founder of Dollar Shower, who spent $27.51 on Facebook ads and saw the following results: 1.27million impressions, 303 clicks, and zero sales. So, while a large audience saw his ad, very few clicked it and not one user purchased anything. However, that does not mean that Facebook ads are ineffective. Adam Dion of Synergy Beads has seen a substantial increase in sales through Facebook ads. Every $50 of Facebook ads brings him between $220 and $250 of revenue per month.

    Facebook is a platform built around socializing with friends and sharing information, not shopping. There is something to be said for the ineffectiveness of traditional ads on Facebook. If you’re looking to run ads on Facebook, your best bet is to drive visitors to your Facebook page and earn customers from there. In reality, 45.7% of advertisers use Facebook ads to build awareness and brand sentiment, not generate leads.

    The effectiveness of Facebook ads will vary from case to case. It is best to try out the ad platform with a few different variation of ads and take it forward from there. See which one makes sense for your business. Finding your sweet spot with ads will help drive more fans to your Facebook page and more fans to your services. Just make sure to keep an eye on your results to make sure you’re getting the most from your money.

  8. What is Content Marketing?

    Content marketing is a quickly-emerging area of practice for marketers.  It is emerging rapidly and will continue to be more and more important as time goes on.  But before defining exactly what content marketing is, it is important to acknowledge the shifts in the landscape of consumer behavior:

    • Consumers are no longer using the Yellow Pages to shop for things
    • People are turning to Google, Bing and other search engines to shop for products and services
    • Buyers are reaching out to friends and acquaintances on social networks to look for recommendations and reviews

    If you ponder this shift in consumer behavior–especially the search for products on Google–the challenge of marketing becomes much different the old days of designing a yellow pages ad.

    Content marketing is a term which refers to the development, production and sharing of content in order to attract and engage a specific audience in profitable activity.  In short, content marketing is the practice of using information to gain customers.

    Consider the first time homeowner who has a small hole in her drywall.  Puzzled by how to fix it, she doesn’t even think of looking for a solution in the phone book.  Instead she reflexively enters ‘fix a hole in my drywall’ in Google.  If you are a marketer selling spackling paste, drywall saws, or home repair services, this represents a critical moment–an inflection point.  The goal of your content marketing strategy should be to gain exposure to this consumer at this moment.

    Content can take many forms.  It can be anything from an article or blog post to a podcast or e-book.  Content marketing can be facilitated on company websites, blogs, social networks, and user-generated sites like YouTube.  Naturally, the specific vehicles chosen for a content strategy should be selected according to the audience itself.  And similar to the tenets of search engine marketing, solid keyword research should drive the strategy.

    Getting back to our example about the role of a hole in the drywall, marketers have many many ways in which to capitalize on content marketing opportunities.  Brands like Home Depot or Lowe’s might create home improvement videos containing these search terms.  Makers of spackling paste like DAP might create instructional guides or blog posts about how to fix these holes.  Sears/Craftsman tools might create a home improvement podcast and feature this as a topic.  And all of this content can be shared and referred by customers on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

    Scenarios like these are real examples of actual opportunities that marketers have to use content to sell products.  If marketers take a concerted approach to content marketing, they have the potential to not only acknowledge the big shifts in consumer behavior, but be well-positioned in the eyes of the consumer at the exact moment when they are needed.

  9. Barack Obama & Facebook

    Speaking of Facebook, this New York Times article paints a vivid picture of how the social-networking phenomenon is playing a role in Barack Obama’s White House Bid. There appears to be some very useful thinking for organizations wanting to understand this phenomenon and use it for the benefit of customers and organizations alike.