- On : April 30, 2021
Do you know that, according to Facebook’s analytics, there are now more than 50 million small businesses using Facebook Pages to connect with their customers and 4 million of them are paying for Facebook advertising to reach more customers? However, despite the intensive competition in marketing, some businesses are still slow in integrating social media in their marketing strategy. What can we learn from their mistakes?
- Lack of engagement with the target audience
Without a social media presence, it’s very hard to communicate with your customers on a frequent basis. High interaction is perhaps the most important thing social media can do for a business.
Social media enables businesses to easily share daily posts, make announcements or simply keep your customers updated with latest products, offers and events. In the long term, it helps businesses get more personal with customers to build the bond of trust and loyalty.
Not to mention the wide reach of social media, as we are all aware of. Social media usage is ever-increasing with currently 3.5 billion active users, equating to about 45% of the world population. One of the reasons for such huge numbers is the optimization of social media on mobile platforms, especially for on-the-go users.
If the business is not available on social media, business owners would be unaware of what customers are saying about them online. Consumers nowadays won’t hesitate to share their experiences on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. And being online can help you monitor negative feedbacks and improve your products/ services.
- Inefficient marketing spending
Throughout its life, businesses will have to invest in some form of marketing channels, and the truth is, online marketing is much more affordable than traditional, brick-and-mortar marketing like print, television, radio spots and other display ads. Paying for ad space like TV commercials is not cheap and thus, traditional marketing can be out of the financial reach of many small business owners.
On the other hand, social media is the most cost-effective way to promote your business, as every organization has the chance of catching the audience’s attention on the same platform. Of course, there will always be additional costs associated with getting professional help in social media marketing – but it’s much more bearable than producing TV commercials and airing them on prime time.
Without any social media account, businesses would find it hard to spread the word about new products/ services or any announcements they need to make. Booking an advertising slot on radio, TV or prints can’t be approved instantly – therefore businesses lose the power of real-time marketing.
- Difficult data collection
Without technology, it’s more difficult to measure ROI. For example, how can you estimate the number of people seeing a print ad on the street? Seems impossible.
Social media is actually insightful once you get used to it: social media analytics shows how users to view, share and engage with your content and helps you optimize your content.
When it comes to social media like Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube, data and results are recorded daily. Online platforms enable business users to easily target an audience by providing detailed analysis of customer’s behaviors, age, locations, interests, hobbies and personality traits – as well as track customer engagement and interaction rates, reach percentage, sales numbers and conversions. Almost all the statistics a marketer needs!
As such, it’s essential to match your goals to actual metrics and measure them on a frequent basis.
How to avoid those mistakes?
- Be on social media (now)
Digital marketing is becoming more important than ever. But not every business owner is aware of how vital digital channels are for expanding business reach and connecting with audiences.
Social media marketing is more affordable, has high interaction and engagement rate, produces measurable results and targets more accurately. If you’re late in the social media marketing game, you’d better hurry.
Today, we are living in a technology world. Not to mention there are a lot of changes in the business landscape since COVID-19 hit the world and the global pandemic is shaping customer behaviors in many ways. For example:
- 45% of customers surveyed by PwC indicated that their mobile phone has become a shopping channel.
- The engagement with mobile ad increases by 15% during the pandemic
- Social media usage consumption rose by 58%.
- Do social media marketing the right way
OK, are you ready to adopt social media marketing now? Setting up an account is easy, however not all business is using social media the right way.
There are few key points to remember:
- Have a specific strategy
Remember, marketing on social media is not a short-term task: it requires long-term commitment to achieve such digital success. That is why a social media marketing plan becomes increasingly essential in the long run.
- Study your audience
You must first identify your core customers (regarding age, location, hobbies & interests, certain behaviors) and tailor your social media activities accordingly. Once you’ve decided on a target market, figuring out relevant social media channels and adjusting marketing messages becomes much easier.
- Not all about sales
Instead of constantly promoting your brand, product or services, let’s see social media as your top-of-the-sales-funnel stage where customers get to know you. Focus on building a loyal fan base first before driving them to your website where the sales actually begin.
- Track analytics frequently
What makes social media more advanced compared to other traditional marketing methods is its measurable results, which are conveniently provided by social network platforms. Otherwise, you can find a third-party analytics tool and assess your performance on a daily or weekly basis.
- On : April 27, 2021
I am currently in my final year of a marketing degree at University and amidst my first internship program. However, one sinister thing has quickly come to my attention… I really don’t know much.
This shocking and eye-opening realisation has left me feeling quite ill-prepared. I assumed what I was learning at university would be easily transferrable to the professional world, what a fool I was.
Whilst the experience of starting my first marketing internship has been exciting and more educational than my previous 3 years at university, I just wish I had something more to offer them.
A silver lining of this ordeal is that I have learnt I am not alone, and this feeling is quite abundant amongst university students. The Conversation outlined that only 37% of University students in later years felt that their studies have contributed to their work knowledge and skills.
Granted, theories and textbook lay the foundations of a proficient marketer, but in most instances, I have found they are not applicable in most real-life circumstances. Simply quoting a theory to your client will not magically grow their product.
This has led me to develop a list of things that I wish university had taught me about marketing in the real world.
The development of marketing strategies is crucial when first taking on a new product. Providing a clear and detailed strategy to present to your client as well as a guide to follow will help lay the foundations of a successful marketing campaign.
University has offered a brief opportunity to learn how to create a strategy, however, I have found that it’s quite useless and non-applicable. The assignments they give you are outdated and hold little relevance to the fast-changing marketing world.
Everyone creating a marketing plan for the same fake business does not sound like an individual and genuine learning experience. I was extremely overwhelmed when I realised that not all business structures, markets, and products fall in line with the blanket marketing strategy, learnt at University.
After learning this generic marketing strategy, I have no idea how to even implement it so that I can achieve my goals. This seems like a no-brainer for universities to teach as it is the logical next step.
Universities should be attempting to excite young and inexperienced marketing students and allowing them to develop specific strategies for companies they are connected to. This way students can gather advice from their expert tutors about where they have gone wrong and how it could have been done better.
Social Media Management
In my time studying marketing at university, it is criminal how much they avoid talking about the giant technological elephant in the room. The extreme lack of education towards social media management and strategizing is mind-boggling.
3.6 billion people use social media platforms, and this number is set to keep increasing to 4.41 billion in 2025 (Sprout Social). Something tells me that this may be a large audience that should be given more focus. However, it feels like University has tossed this to the wayside in favour of more traditional types of marketing.
One thing I have always known, even before studying marketing, is Social media is an efficient way to reach consumers. University should be acknowledging its power and preparing us for the marketing world of today, not yesterday.
I have now realised that a lot of small and medium-sized businesses cannot afford traditional styles of media. So social media marketing should become a priority. Providing students like myself with the tools to efficiently manage social media marketing is key to prepping them for the real world.
It is a little ironic to be reading that the author of this blog submission, does not know how to write a blog. But, writing pieces such as blogs onto the long list of things my marketing degree did not prepare me for.
Blogs are integral for increasing a company’s visibility, which is important as it increases your interaction with consumers as well as strengthening your SEO. If your company continues to write relevant and engaging blogs then they are more likely to appear in searches, thus creating higher rates of traffic.
I had never even considered the importance of blogs when marketing before my internship, but now I see their value. Learning of this value I would have enjoyed one of my tutors or lecturers educating me on how to write in a blog format.
I would have thought facilitating engaging content would have been necessary to teach, but I guess tired and worn-out essay structures is what the consumer wants to read.
Numbers. Some people love them, and some hate them. But you cannot discredit the importance that they hold when trying to successfully market a product.
However, whilst university tutors will explain what the numbers mean, they will not teach you how to use the platforms that they come on. Platforms such as Google and Facebook analytics are at the forefront of measuring the success of online marketing campaigns.
Being able to easily navigate and use these numbers to manage my marketing strategy best and effectively grow my audience would be a terrific asset to have. This should be a practical skill taught in a marketing degree, not something you learn on your first day of a job.
The university networking experience I gained was somewhat dismal. The cornerstone of university networking is a group assignment. The mention of a ‘group assignment’ is one sure way to strike fear into any student and bring back memories of pain.
However, this is the only type of networking they really teach. Networking is crucial in the world of business and can be the make or break of someone’s career. Whether it is with fellow staff members or clients, there needs to be more focus shifted on it.
- On : April 22, 2021
The two words “sales” and “marketing” are often used interchangeably in a business environment. But do you know they carry very different goals and functions?
- On : April 15, 2021
Marketing automation is about turning your marketing practices or communication with customers into processes that are systemized and automated.
- On : April 9, 2021
2020 witnessed a massive digital migration as everything shifted to the virtual space, easily fast-forwarding the anticipated digital transformation by years.Read more
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