Scour the internet and you will find no shortage of “Facebook is Dead” types of posts. Modify your search a little and you’ll see an equally large sea of “SEO is Dead” posts. So where should you put your faith when it comes to your business? The truth is that algorithms change but if you’re well-invested in your digital marketing strategies, you will continue to prosper. Think of it like having a basketball team where the star has a bad game but the rest of the players perform admirably and lead the team to victory or how Peter Lynch illustrates how to put together a successful stock portfolio. That should be your approach for effective digital marketing. Whether you’re looking to increase your number of leads/conversions or increasing your sales volume on your e-commerce website, you can definitely use SEO, Social Media and especially email marketing to your advantage. Let’s take a look at the Ready Artwork approach to developing super effective digital marketing strategies:
Facebook has made it increasingly more difficult for small businesses to market organically or ‘for free’. Organic reach averaged 16% in 2012 and now is below 2%. It’s frustrating for social media managers but it’s important to understand why these changes are made by Facebook. For one, Facebook is constantly striving to improve user experience despite how it seems. As a marketer, place yourself in the position of the consumer and ask yourself if you would enjoy seeing ‘salesy’ types of posts throughout your newsfeed. The answer is likely a resounding no. It’s pretty much a step below seeing email spam in your newsfeed.
So what are your options?
- Improve your content
- Pay for Facebook ads & boosted posts
- Quit Facebook marketing altogether
Options 1 and 2 are what we prefer at Ready Artwork. You can definitely take some steps to optimize both your ads and your content. First let’s start with content since that’s the easiest change to make without spending any additional money.
Facebook Content Strategy
It’s extremely important to provide as much value to your audience as possible. Entertain your audience, inform them, make them laugh! Unfortunately, it’s much easier said than done but can be accomplished with some planning, content strategy and a calendar. Here are a few ways that we have engaged our fans on Facebook:
1. Curating Content
The blogging process does take some time. Luckily, content curation can help you provide quality content to your audience without the time and effort that goes into creating a blog post. There are number of resources out there that can help you curate content. You can also perform your own searches on Google to find relevant and trending content.
On Facebook, you can often see “trending” next to posts on popular topics. For example, during the Super Bowl, you can share popular content to your page and reap the benefits of getting your content distributed to your audience while being a topic of interest. Ready Artwork shared Mashable’s article about the Super Bowl commercials.
The benefit of sharing other people’s content builds some good karma but more importantly, it builds brand recognition. You can provide value to your audience by compiling all of the content they’re interested and your business can be a one-stop-shop so to speak.
Just remember, when you curate content in advance and schedule the posts ahead of time, make sure that the content remains relevant on the day it is scheduled to be posted!
2. Stop Being Salesy
The bottom line is that Facebook is making the change towards being ‘pay-to-play’ for businesses. This ultimately means that businesses won’t be able to market for free on Facebook anymore. As a result, posts that are too ‘salesy’ won’t reach your audience and will be shunned by the Facebook algorithm. Part of this change is a result of user feedback. One of the things that users didn’t want to see in their news feed is advertisements and posts that pushed products & services.
So what is the best approach? Think outside of the box and remember to provide as much value to your audience as possible. We can’t stress this enough. For Ready Artwork, we provide a balance of curated content, humorous posts, featured work, and company culture. Find the mix that works right for you and always use Facebook Insights to gauge post effectiveness (or lack-thereof).
3. Post Videos
A study in 2014 showed that more than 1 billion video views are averaged per day on Facebook. All signs point to Facebook favoring videos and so far the results have supported the theory. What this means is that brands can benefit from producing videos to feature certain products or created for the sake of entertainment. You can also use Facebook Insights to see video statistics!
Becoming outraged at the thought of having to purchase Facebook ads is understandable but we need to keep in mind that users would rather not see products being pushed towards them.
There have been countless stories about increasing page likes by exorbitant amounts or making a countless number of sales thanks to Facebook advertisements. Regardless of how you may feel about them, they can be extremely effective if constructed and executed correctly. Understand and define your audience and make those advertising dollars stretch as far as they can go.
Boosting posts for as little as $5 each can also get your content distributed to a wider audience or a larger percentage of your fans. It may sound intuitive to boost posts with lower reach but it’s quite the opposite. Facebook will reward already well-performing posts a bigger boost when using boosted posts.
Otherwise, if you can somehow manage to get all of your fans to opt-in for notifications, you’ll be able to guarantee that your fans will see all of your content. Heres’s a little tip to get notifications for all of your favorite pages! Click below and try it out!
Maybe Facebook Isn’t Right For Your Business
In the end, maybe Facebook isn’t right for your business but you can’t come to this conclusion without fully understanding the points listed above. Other platforms can help propel your business and that’s what CopyBlogger attempted to prove when they deleted their Facebook page. It’s a bold move but there are other options.
In a recent webinar, Hilary Rushford explained the potential and capability of Instagram to help build your business’s brand. She also believes that a presence everywhere on the internet and performing adequately on all platforms isn’t as effective as picking one platform and being outstanding at managing and growing it.
42% of marketers are planning to increase their use of Instagram in 2015. That’s a 4% increase from two years prior. The thing is that people aren’t on their desktops and laptops as often anymore for leisure. The mobile experience is quickly becoming the only experience for many and we’re in a time when the only device people need is their smartphone. That’s what makes Instagram such an intriguing prospect for businesses.
Currently, there is no content filtering but the pay-to-play is likely going to go in effect for Instagram as well but in the interim, most businesses should be on Instagram. The great thing is that there is an audience for just about everything and engagement and reach aren’t an issue like they are on Facebook. In fact, a research study showed that Instagram users are 58 times more likely to like, comment and share a brand’s content than Facebook users.
Many of the same content rules apply for Instagram. If you’re not too salesy, and provide valuable and entertaining content, you can definitely add it into the mix for your digital marketing strategies.
Local SEO and Winning With Yelp
Local SEO is a vital component for small businesses. SEO does take some time and effort and doing the wrong things, as SEO history tells us, can actually be damaging to your website.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to get your website or business noticed in search results is to use Yelp to your advantage. Yelp is often the first thing that people see in search results for local queries.
So here’s what you can do: ensure that your Yelp page has all of the necessary information filled out, the most important keywords integrated and follow up with happy customers and clients and get as many solid reviews as possible. It helps when they have some authority such as a high friend/review count. Otherwise, their reviews might just end up filtered out.
You can also request reviews on your Google My Business listing from your Gmail clients. Naturally, listings with high reviews will take precedence in search engine results pages. Build up that credibility! You can also benefit from a few Yelp tips from our video below:
How are your current digital marketing strategies performing? As a small business, Ready Artwork understands the difficulties that come with trying to market against bigger competitors. Luckily, there are a sea of opportunities to improve rankings, visibility and branding. It just takes the right strategy. Ready Artwork would love to discuss digital marketing strategies with you. Contact us and find out how we can help!