In the last decade, the way we consume content has shifted. Thanks to an increasing number of digitally influenced consumers who prefer to get their information and entertainment from content creators rather than traditional news outlets, the lines between marketing and content creation have blurred.
Traditional marketing approaches of buying advertising and making big pushes in trades journals no longer cut it. Not only do consumers expect more from content creators, but they are also more likely to get their information from friends and colleagues rather than traditional marketing channels.
This shift in consumer behaviour has led to a rise in the popularity of social marketing. Simply put, social marketing is a technique used to influence, motivate and create change in society, businesses and communities through marketing communication and advocacy activities that are embedded in social media.
So, what exactly is social marketing?
Marketing as We Know It Is Changing
In the past, marketers primarily focused on marketing to consumers. Whether you’re a product designer at a consumer goods company or a marketer at a professional services firm, your core duties remained the same: to design a marketing strategy and make sure the brands you represent are reaching the right people with the right message.
The advent of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science is changing the face of marketing. Thanks to these technologies, marketers can collect and analyse massive amounts of data and use that information to understand consumers’ needs and wants. This in turn allows them to create efficient marketing campaigns that will resonate with the audience they are trying to reach.
In a nutshell, traditional marketing is evolving into data-driven marketing, resulting in Marketing 2.0.
What is a Marketing Mix (2.0)?
A marketing mix, also known as marketing 4.0, is a combination of marketing techniques used to reach various target audiences. The marketing mix is made up of four distinct, yet equally important, elements:
- Product – What are you trying to sell?
- Place – Where are you physically located?
- Media – What are you using to get the word out?
- Measurement – How are you tracking the effectiveness of your campaign?
These elements represent the different techniques available to the modern marketer, and they work in combination to form an effective marketing mix. When used effectively, the marketing mix ensures that your products are reaching the right audience at the right time through the right channel. As a marketer, you should be aware of all the different techniques available so that you can choose the right one for your next campaign.
Why is Social Marketing Popular?
The rise of social media has resulted in a significant shift in consumer behaviour. Thanks to the numerous platforms available on social media, marketers can now engage with consumers on a personal level.
On social media, marketers can post content at any time, which acts as a status update for their audience. Additionally, marketers can also engage with their followers by joining topical discussions and raising awareness about a particular brand or campaign. Thanks to the “social” nature of social media, marketers no longer have to limit themselves to broadcast messages.
Furthermore, thanks to advancements in technology, marketers can now track the success of their campaigns and determine the exact ROI of each individual activity. This is extremely important information for marketing budgets. If you’re looking to get started with social marketing, here are a few tips on how to do so:
Set Up A Blog
If you’re looking to get started with social marketing, the first thing you should do is set up a blog. A brand blog is a great place to share information about your company, products, upcoming events, and more. In addition, a brand blog allows you to engage with your audience on a personal level, as every blog entry is essentially a status update.
When creating a brand blog, make sure that you research the relevant topics and choose a stylish and easily accessible theme. In addition, ensure that the blog is populated with relevant and regularly‐updated content. Through a brand blog, you can build credibility, establish thought leadership, and show consistency while also attracting and engaging potential customers.
Join The Conversation
When someone decides to research a topic, they will naturally seek out information on the internet. To attract potential customers to your brand blog, establish yourself as an expert in your field and participate in topical discussions on social media. In addition to establishing thought leadership, participating in topically relevant discussions can help you find new customers and influencers who can help grow your brand.
If you’re unable to spend a lot of time participating in discussions, you can always hire an expert freelance writer to conduct research and create content for your blog. The benefit of using experts is that they will guarantee that your content is 100% original and that it will meet your standards.
Create A Social Media Campaign
After you have your brand blog set up, you can move on to the next step and create your first social media campaign. In order to do this, you will need to think about the platform you will use to disseminate your message and the nature of your content. Choosing the right platform is critical to the success of your social media campaign.
While many people use Facebook and Twitter to share their thoughts and news, other social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Instagram are more useful for marketing purposes. While Facebook is populated with friends and family, LinkedIn is more focused on professionals and Instagram is geared toward the under‐30s.
When choosing a platform, make sure that your chosen platform is used by your intended audience and is as accessible as possible. For example, if you are marketing to millennials, LinkedIn is a great place to reach this audience as it is heavily populated with Generation Y.
Measure The Results Of Your Campaign
Having a clear idea of the results you want to achieve from your social media campaign is essential. To do this, you will need to track the success of your various activities. You can use various tools and metrics to do this, but one of the best is Hootsuite. Made popular by brands such as Spotify, Hootsuite simplifies the process of monitoring and measuring your social media efforts. In addition to gaining a clear idea of the results you want to achieve, using tools like Hootsuite allows you to measure the impact of your various activities.
Once you have a clear idea of the results you want to achieve, you can set your social media strategy in place. This includes choosing the right platform, participating in relevant discussions, and measuring the results of your efforts.