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Lions, and Tigers, and Digital Marketing, Oh My!

Inspired by this week’s Mom’s Making Six Figures Podcast episode with Holly Tillman, founder of Holly and Co., who is a creative marketing strategist, and communication professional helping to make marketing online well-known, simple, and available to everyone.

If you’re a business owner, there’s no denying the need to dip your toe into the pool of digital marketing to grow your reach.  But where do you even start, and what exactly is digital marketing? We’re here to break down the basics and help you to make the most of your marketing this summer by finally taking the plunge!

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing refers to any form of marketing that utilizes an electronic device of the internet.  Marketing strategists, and business owners alike, use various platforms like search engines, social media, email, and websites to connect with their current and future customers.

Why should I use it/invest in it/hone my skills or my team’s skills for it?

  1. You can target a specific audience and tailor your marketing to be personalized to them.

Unlike traditional forms of marketing where you’re essentially taking a shot in the dark as to whether or not you’ll have a true ROI, digital marketing allows you to place the ads where your audience already exists, and tailor your content to them specifically.  For example, your LinkedIn audience and customer is likely very different, in a multitude of ways, than your Instagram audience and customer.  Digital marketing meets your clients where they already are!

  1. It’s more money in your marketing budget.

Due to its nature, digital marketing allows for real time data for you to track the success of your various campaigns and marketing endeavors.  If the money you’re investing isn’t yielding the results you’re expecting, you can divert those dollars into the platform that is giving you a significant ROI.

  1. No More David and Goliath

Or maybe more David and less Goliath, digital marketing levels the playing field of traditional forms of marketing.  Your reach as a small business owner can be just as impactful, if not more so than a large corporation, when you start a social media campaign with a handful of influencers who stand behind your product and your vision.

There are countless more benefits to developing a strategic digital marketing plan, and investing in its development.  Look at this helpful overview for more information: “The Who, What, Why & How of Digital Marketing” by Lucy Alexander.

Where do I even start?

If you’re still holding onto the wall of the pool, here is a helpful strategy to get you started in developing or evaluating your current Digital Marketing Plan.  Begin with a SWOT analysis; this framework allows you to evaluate your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats as a business before you begin making any plans.  Consider this the water safety course of swimming lessons.

SWOT Analysis from: we are marketing

What now?

If we’ve convinced you of the value of digital marketing and you believe in its ability to attract, convince and convert your customers and clients to fall in love with your product or service, now it’s time to make a plan and begin brainstorming your strategy.  Begin by establishing SMART goals for each of your Digital Marketing goals.  Ensure your goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound.

Now that you’ve taken the lay of the land using the SWOT analysis (your water safety course), and you have developed some SMART goals (you’ve let go of the wall and you are treading water beautifully), it may be time to call in additional resources and experts.

Here is a helpful, more in-depth guide to help you further develop your own digital marketing strategy by we are marketing, “A Step-By-Step Guide to Structuring a Digital Marketing Plan”.

If you came of age without your new sidekick of the Internet, and you can still remember the sound of AOL connecting with eerie clarity, you may be surprised to know that the internet is still growing in its audience consumption.  According to Pew Research, for the last three years in a row, adult usage of the internet continues to increase steadily by 5% each year.  Offline marketing just isn’t as effective as it used to be, and it certainly doesn’t bring the crowds to Open Swim hours; it’s time to leave the water wings behind and work on those strokes once and for all.  The best news? There are lifeguards and swim instructors to help you along the way.

social media marketing

Entrepreneurship 101: The Value in Social Media Marketing

Have you noticed all the ads that pop up as you scroll through your social media these days? That’s because social media marketing is now big business.

Gone are the days of ads appearing solely on traditional media channels such as TV or radio. Now, social media marketing rules—and has opened up a valuable channel for reaching potential clients and customers.

To put it in perspective, let’s consider Facebook. According to Hubspot, there are 1.13 billion daily active users on Facebook. Now imagine if your social media marketing goal was to reach just 0.5% of that market—that’s 5.65 million people a day that would see your ad! And that’s just on Facebook alone.

But, how can you use social media interactions to inform your business decisions? And what type of social media marketing will help you reach your target audience and boost website traffic?

Check out my tips for leveraging social media marketing to your advantage!

Social Media Gives You Insight into Your Customers 

Every like, re-tweet, comment, and share on your social media accounts generates a wealth of real-time information about your customers—and your competitors.

Who your customers are, what they like, what they think about a particular product, and what they’re looking for in future products are just some of the data you can generate from social media interactions. Monitoring your competitors’ social media strategy also allows you to stay updated on what they’re doing and adjust accordingly.

Ultimately, the more you engage with your customers through social media, the more data you’ll generate to help guide your business decisions.

Social Media Lets You Target Your Customers

Time is money. The faster you share information with your target audience, the better.

Social media marketing allows you to run targeted ads that generate customer interest quickly.

You can filter your ad campaign by audience location, interests, age, gender, and other factors, ensuring that you get the most out of your advertising efforts. Instead of wasting time and money on widespread, broadly applicable advertising, you’ll be able to selectively target your customers and market directly to them.

Social media posts and ads will direct people right to your website, driving traffic and encouraging business. Plus, the more shares you receive on social media, the higher you’ll rank on all-important Google searches.

4 Tips to Make the Most of Your Social Media Marketing

1. Set Your Social Media Goals

Before starting your social media marketing efforts, identify what you’d like to accomplish with your campaign. Knowing what you want to achieve will help you choose the best social media platform for your needs and help you adjust accordingly if you aren’t getting the results you’d like.

Keep in mind that your social media marketing goals should be in line with your overall business objectives. This will ensure that your activity on social media is driving your business forward—not hindering it.

2. Create the Appropriate Social Media Accounts

Based on your goals, choose the best social media platform for your needs. Different platforms reach different target audiences, so make sure to do your research, identify the best platform for your customers, and focus your attention there.

If you already have existing social media accounts, put in the effort to constantly improve and update your pages to enhance customer experience. Don’t let the content on your account get stale or your audience may lose interest. And be sure to cross-promote across all your social media accounts in order to reach more potential customers!

3. Listen to Your Target Audience 

As I mentioned before, social media helps you get familiar with your target audience—who they are and what they want.

Engaging with your audience will often involve listening to what they have to say instead of forcing them to listen to your message. The more you listen to your customers through social media interactions, the better-equipped you’ll be to provide them with exactly what they need.

4. Specialize, Don’t Generalize

The world of social media is cluttered and busy, so don’t just contribute to the noise.

A focused social media strategy has a better chance of success than one that tries to appeal to everyone. Focus your efforts on building a strong brand identity that appeals to your target audience rather than having an average brand that appeals to the masses.

Social Media Marketing: It’s Here to Stay

When done right, social media marketing can help propel your business to success. The truth is, in today’s world, if you don’t have a social media presence, then you’re doing yourself and your business a serious disservice.

Effective social media marketing is not trivial—your content must be constantly updated and always engaging—but your efforts are likely to be rewarded with increased website traffic and business.

Social media marketing is here to stay, so use it to your advantage!