Do you have an online store, Facebook page, or Google Plus account for your business? If so, then you’re already marketing on social media!
But what exactly does that mean?
To find the right answers, we turned to social media expert, Elle MacLeman, Creative Director at Huge, an agency that specializes in influencer marketing, and co-author of the bestselling book, The Influencer’s Guide To Earned And Influencer Media.
Here, she breaks down the fundamentals of online marketing, including the most effective strategies for promoting your business on social media platforms.
The Basics Of Online Marketing
If you’re reading this, I assume you have some knowledge of marketing and online stores. For those of you who don’t, here’s the short version.
In short, marketing is using methods, tools, and tactics to get people to buy your products. If you’re running an online store, you’re already doing some form of marketing. The difference is, retail marketing is aimed at the general public, whereas influencer marketing is geared towards specific demographics.
The Basics of Online Marketing
What Is Influencer Marketing?
If you’ve ever shopped on eBay, then you might have been graced with the presence of an “influencer”, or a celebrity who’s promoted products on the platform.
What is influencer marketing? Essentially, it’s the use of celebrities, bloggers, or other social media influencers to advocate for and promote a brand or product. It typically takes place on social media platforms like YouTube or Instagram, but can also appear in traditional media (e.g., TV ads or newspaper articles).
In the past, retail marketers would buy advertisements in magazines and newspapers to promote their products. However, with the rise of influencers, that strategy has changed. Today, brands will pay handsomely to get their products and services in the hands of famous people, particularly if that person shares their story and promotes the products in some way.
Why Use Influencers In Your Marketing Strategy?
Wellness, lifestyle, and beauty are a few of the largest market segments on social media. For years, retail brands would look to traditional markets (mostly women between the ages of 25 and 54) for marketing their products.
While men still make up the bulk of the audience on social media, women now account for nearly every major social media platform. As a result, marketers are starting to see the value in targeting women on platforms like Instagram, where lifestyle and beauty content is some of the most popular content.
Traditional advertising models, where you’re reaching people who are not already familiar with your brand or product, no longer work on social media. For that matter, neither do most other types of advertising.
Instead, you need to find a way to speak to people where they are — on social media.
Here’s where you need to start:
Instagram is the most popular social media platform globally, with over a billion active monthly users. Naturally, marketers want to be on this platform. It’s fairly simple to set up a profile, and you can use the platform to share any type of content you want, including product visuals, videos, and GIFs.
Instagram started as a simple photo-sharing app. However, in the last few years, the platform has evolved into a hub for content creators, where individuals can engage with their audience, and businesses can grow their online presence.
The most valuable thing an Instagrammer can do for your business is to follow or connect with your account. When a potential customer sees a popular brand or product that they’re interested in, they’ll often dig a little deeper, discovering the business’s social media channels, to see what else the brand or product is offering.
YouTube is another one of the most popular social media platforms with hundreds of millions of active monthly users. Naturally, marketers want to be on this platform. Also, like Instagram, YouTube started as a simple video-sharing website, but has since grown into an all-encompassing content hub, allowing users to discover content on virtually any subject.
Brands and businesses can use YouTube to establish themselves as a thought leader, providing valuable information on topics that matter to their target audience. In some cases, they’ll even provide free tutorials or how-to videos to further engage with potential customers.
As with other social media platforms, brands can use YouTube to gain credibility with a younger audience, especially those who might not be familiar with the brand or product. As a result, you might see a rise in traffic to your website as well.
Twitter is a microblogging platform where users can share short 140-character messages, called “tweets.” Naturally, marketers want to be on this platform. Not only is it simple to use, but you can also use the tool to gain credibility, share important information, and establish yourself as an expert in your niche.
This is also a place where businesses can engage with customers, receiving frequent feedback, and responding to inquiries. Furthermore, with the introduction of “live video,” marketers can now use the platform to stream events, such as webinars or Q&As, and engage with users, providing them with valuable information.
Facebook is the most popular social networking site globally, with over a billion active monthly users. Naturally, marketers want to be on this platform. Facebook started as a social media platform where users could connect with friends and reconnect with long-lost ones. Over time, the site added more functionality, allowing users to create and share content, and to discover and engage with others on the platform who share their interests.
Facebook can be an excellent asset to a business. Not only does it have a billion monthly active users, but it also provides a captive audience, where you can engage with customers, gain credibility, and provide them with valuable information.
Snapchat is a mobile messaging app that allows users to send images and short videos that disappear after a few seconds. Naturally, marketers want to be on this platform. In fact, Snapchat has over a billion active monthly users, making it the largest social media network in the world!
Just like with the other platforms mentioned so far, brands can use Snapchat to gain credibility with the younger audience, providing them with entertaining content that they might not be exposed to elsewhere. Furthermore, since the content disappears after only a few seconds, brands can use the app to their advantage, encouraging users to come back for more.
Reddit is a well-known news and entertainment site where users can post content, including articles, GIFs, videos, and memes. Naturally, marketers want to be on this platform. It’s a highly populated site, receiving over 300 million unique visitors per month, making it the third-largest social media network globally!
Like the other platforms mentioned so far, Reddit has a large audience, which makes it an excellent place for marketers to build awareness, credibility, and brand recall.
Pinterest began as a simple social media site where users could “pin” images to their digital “pinboards.” However, it has since evolved, integrating a variety of features, like video chatting, gifs, and more.
Although Pinterest started as a side project for founders Ben Silbermann and Joe Weisfeld, the platform now has over a billion active monthly users, making it one of the largest social media networks globally!
Like the other platforms mentioned so far, Pinterest can be used to gain credibility with the younger audience, especially those who might not be familiar with your brand or product. Plus, you can use the visuals to inspire ideas, and track the success of your content campaign.
LinkedIn is a business-focused social media network, with over 330 million members, making it the second-largest social media network globally. Naturally, marketers want to be on this platform.
This is also a place where businesses can establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry, gaining credibility, and connecting with potential customers, providing them with valuable information.