Social media is a very valuable tool when it comes to marketing. If you’re looking to harness the power of social media to grow your brand, take a look at our guide.
Understand your audience
There was once upon a time when marketing to a demographic was as simple as aiming for women, men, kids, retirees, and not much wiggle room beyond that. Today, everyone is an individual. Your perfect audience is far more 3 dimensional, which can be both limiting and freeing. The idea is limiting because it means you are targeting on a very specific type of person but freeing because there are so many elements that make up a person that your product might slot nicely into the lives of lots of different people.
Before you go into actually targeting customers, you need to know who you are targeting, so create a detailed profile of your ideal customer. What age, gender, lifestyle, subculture, etc. do they subscribe to? What are they into? What income do they have? What lifestyle are they aspiring to?
From there, you can create content tailored to them, and target their demographic with your choices, like when using affiliate marketing. For example, if your audience is looking for a way to process safety management with your service or products, you could target B2B blogs with content that would appeal to entrepreneurs.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective means of marketing today, mostly because it ranges from subtle to bold. A user from the outside looking in might recognize affiliate marketing on the Stories from the Instagram influencers they follow, who embed a link into their shoutouts. But if you’re scanning through a blog post, you might not even notice that you are being advertised to with a link in the text.
Affiliate marketing is the idea of trading a commission for user traffic. An influencer (in the broad term, that can be a blogger, YouTuber, etc.) adds a link to the target website to their content, and the website owner pays the creator a commission based on the number of clicks it gets. It drives users to the target site where they can buy your product.
There are a lot of ways you can implement this concept with content, but the best is the idea of an affiliate blog, which is designed to simply present users with products and services that they might be interested in, with little by way of copy or pretense in between.
Play to changing user habits
The pandemic changed a lot of things, including user interaction on social media. We all had a lot more time to spend on our screens, and so our habits changed. For one thing, whether it was presented to us via an algorithm, or we went hunting for it, social media was how we got our favourite items. A lot more retail shopping was happening on social media, spurned on by the installation of shopping features like those found on Instagram. Content marketing taps right into that trend.
However, on the other hand, another thing that changed was users’ rising selectiveness on who they buy from. Users were looking at social media accounts to do research on who they were buying from. Mainly this is to ensure that companies have the same priorities as the user, including supporting LGBT issues, eco-friendly operations and products, cruelty free products, etc.
If you are proud of what you are doing for the wider world, if you have ethical operations in your workspace or operations, etc. show it. People want to know that they can trust you.
Which bring us to the final change in user habits. Users are not listening to big influencers anymore. They don’t trust them. If you are considering affiliate marketing, expand your marketing into micro influencers, who are influencers with a smaller, but much more dedicated audience.
Big influencers have been exposed for everything from photoshopping to scams to outright federal crimes, so users are instead looking to the leaders of their community, which in itself is niche, for opinions on brands and items. These users are smaller in numbers, but a lot more dedicated to the influencer, because they think “They’re like me”.
Understand what makes quality content
The idea of what makes quality content today is changing. With the rise of short-form video content and users catching on to what is an ad from a glance. Users have a short attention span and aren’t about to spend it on ads, therefore the point of social media marketing has shifted from gaining the audience’s attention to keeping it.
This means that quality content has shifted from having the best camera to truly being able to entertain with what you have. If you are selling a product, you should incorporate it into content that does more than simply list off its best qualities.
The good news here is that you’d be surprised what people are willing to watch for the fun of it. Before and after videos demonstrate the product, reviews are engaging because we all want to know what’s amazing and what’s awful, and trends like mukbang and “oddly satisfying” do something to scratch an itch we can’t reach.