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Content Marketing

The Evolution of Word-Of-Mouth Marketing

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In a market stuffed with advertising techniques, strategies and gimmicks for businesses trying to reach the increasingly fickle, demanding consumers, one approach stands out above the rest: word-of-mouth marketing.

Word-of-mouth is the process of passing information from one person to another by oral communication. One excellent example of word-of-mouth is in the form of storytelling, a basic form through which one person tells the story to another one about a real event or something that is made up. It is, at its heart, using happy customers to promote the business. Word-of-mouth is not an entirely new term. Consumers always share their experiences, needs, emotions and the products or services which they have used, with their friends and family, all the time. With emerging technologies and changing trends, the role and effect of word-of-mouth have evolved into online communities, or via social media.

The emergence of social media has become an important part of the marketing toolkit and had also changed how word-of-mouth works for businesses. Every year, new platforms are introduced amid great enthusiasm for applications in marketing plans and high expectations that they will improve return on marketing investment. New platforms also create new opportunities to engage consumers abound. However, new problems also arose as businesses have been focusing on “collecting” instead of “connecting.” In other words, brands are too caught up in collecting social media fans, and they forget to actually connect with them.

When word-of-mouth is communicated through digital platforms, it can result in a larger outreach, either via the websites, news feeds or social networks of a brand. The key distinguishing characteristic of social media is that it is social. Individuals communicate with each other and share interesting content, rather than just being recipients of content or a message.

Without the sharing element, this new media would be just another broadcast medium, with content being sent in a one-way direction, from one person (or brand) to a vast population. Word-of-mouth marketing on social media encourages customer-to-customer and customer-to-brand communication. And this is the fundamental difference between word-of-mouth marketing on social media and other forms of traditional media. Therefore, brands should focus on connecting with their online communities in order to reap the benefits of social media.

Here are some tips for using social media to accelerate word-of-mouth marketing.

#1 Give People a Reason to Rave

Word-of-mouth marketing is most successful with brands that are working hard to do right by their customers. This means that brands are providing great offerings partnered with exceptional customer service. On social media, it also means that they are ready to give timely responses and make sure that their social media networks are regularly monitored so that they are listening to their customers. It allows brands to understand their consumers better and hence react accordingly.

To provide good customer service, brands should also be open to all issues voiced out by their customers and try to prove that their concerns are being tackled quickly. By addressing concerns of their customers, brands can build trust and brand loyalty among their communities. Word-of-mouth performs as effectively for brands as it could against them. Therefore, brands should always strive to provide a positive customer experience, to get their names out there.

#2 Active, Engaged Social Community

Word-of-Mouth Marketing - Online Community

Word-of-mouth marketing is more effective as the community grows larger. Brands must tie into that information-spreading process in order to take advantage of social media’s unique capabilities. With a larger community, information can be spread to more people, thus increasing the targeted outreach. At some point in time, there is a potential for content to “go viral.” The chance that for a relatively little investment in content and no investment in traditional media exposure, massive numbers of the audience can be reached via social sharing that cascades from one audience to another in a virtuous upward spiral. Having an active social community also means that brands have brand advocates who identify themselves with the brand and talks favorably about it via positive word-of-mouth messages. In a way, this provides brands with free marketing which can be both compelling and infectious.

#3 Create Quality Content.

Engagement is obviously important, without engagement word-of-mouth marketing is not possible. Social media marketing relies significantly on engagement between brands and its audiences to be successful. When developing content, brands should think about what the target audience are looking for and what they would want to share with their friends. That buzz as seen through Facebook’s likes and shares can come in the form of content whether it is an insightful article, funny video or visually appealing infographics.

These also give people an opportunity to talk about the business or its products/services which can spark word-of-mouth marketing. With the help of social media, brands can directly connect with their online communities to exchange views and information, and to be a part of an on-going conversation for the business.

#4 The Power of Insight

Word-of-Mouth Marketing - Insights

Word-of-mouth marketing is the most powerful channel of influence for brands, and social media will only further cement this reality. In the world of big data, social’s trackable and attributable nature will give businesses insights into consumer behavior, its potential, and influence. It will also enable brands a more nuanced understanding of how their target audience are influenced socially. By studying the data, brands can further improve their word-of-mouth marketing by sharing content or doing things that resonate positively with their customers, and thus increasing the desired result for their marketing campaigns.

Going Forward with Modern Word-Of-Mouth

To harnessing the power of word-of-mouth, companies should evolve with new trends and technologies. Word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful tool, but for some businesses, it can be tough to master. Getting customers enthusiastic about the brand requires more than just a conversation starter. It requires stellar service, a unique identity, solid reputation, and a thriving online community. On top of all these, brands should put their customers first and deliver above and beyond expectations. By surprising consumers with their awesomeness, brands can ensure that they will spread the word of the business all across the land (social media).

Content Marketing

Simple 7-Step Social Media Strategy to Dominate 2019

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Social Media Strategy 2019

Let’s look at the numbers and be honest with ourselves – social media isn’t slowing down, and they don’t intend to. There are more than 1.47 billion monthly active users on Facebook on average, and this number includes an almost 17% spike in two years.

One of the primary benefits of social media is to establish trust and credibility among your customers. If the people perceive your product or service is useful, they will trust your brand, thus making them more likely to buy from you. The University of London also studied the impact of social media on consumers and discovered a positive correlation between trust and perceived value linking to sales.

A sound marketing strategy should drive every action taken on social media. For your business, brand or organization, this channel is unavoidable if you want to create dominance in your market.

 

1) Define your target audience and build relationships

The first step to develop a strong social media presence is to acquire highly relevant fans and followers. Regardless of the size of your company, before you start investing resources on social media, you need to know why you’re there and who is your target audience.

Solely by looking at Facebook, you have nearly 1.15 billion people scrolling through their feeds almost every day, so it’s important to focus on people who are valuable to your business.

Building trust and your brand reputation with relevant people is vital so that they buy today, return to purchase tomorrow and advocate others about your brand. This logic is the ethos behind a strong social media strategy.

If you want to invest in social media because you plan to sell a product rather than build relationships with your audience, it’s time to pause and reconsider your business model. Although you can sell a product using social media, relationship building still comes first.

 

2) Choose the right channel

Social Media Strategy 2019 - Channels

When it comes to the different social media channels, every platform has its own established culture and audience – and they expect users and advertisers to approach their platform similarly.

Spreading your eggs across several baskets will not produce significant results for you. At the same time, you will be wasting resources like time, money and effort. Focus is the key to success.

There are dominant channels for every industry, depending on your audience, type of product or service. What you will need to know is which channels are dominant for your market and focus your resources on winning against the competition in those targeted channels.

In social media, it’s not about quantity, but quality. Doing a few channels well with consistent, highly-engaging content that resonates with your audience is what will lead to conversion or sale.

There’s no single, universal “best social media channel.” But, by understanding how each channel works and you’ll be able to maximize your investment.

 

3) Determine your objective (Be S.M.A.R.T.)

Social Media Strategy 2019 - Goals

One of the first steps to create a social media marketing strategy is to set your objectives and goals. Without goals, there is no way to measure your success or Return On Investment (ROI).

As a guideline, each of your goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Despite this, always keep in mind that while vanity metrics like retweets and likes are exciting and easy to track, it’s hard to prove their actual value for the business. But instead, you should focus on goals such as leads generated, web referrals, and conversion rate.

By aligning your social media goals with the overall marketing strategy. It will be easier to show the value of your effort and get executive buy-in and investment for your social media strategy.

 

4) Create a strategy

You should always put more effort into your social media strategy to engage your audience rather than focusing immediately on getting returns. Growing the audience and brand loyalty doesn’t happen overnight.

A social media strategy defines how your organization will leverage on social media channels to achieve its communications goals and the supporting platform and tools it will use to accomplish this.

At a basic level it’s a simple statement of intent, outlining the goals and measurable objectives, and the target outcomes you hope to achieve. This strategy is done in the context of the overall business and communication plan so that social media isn’t working in a silo but working in parallel with other channels.

 

5) Develop valuable content

Engaging content can help your business in a variety of ways. It can set you apart from your competition and help establish you as an expert. Having generated good content also keeps your business top of mind with consumers, providing the leverage needed to keep your customers returning from time to time. Again, quality over quantity will always prevail.

Creating content for social media can be fast, but creating good content takes time and effort. In addition to written content, such as articles and blog posts, you should also consider creating tutorial videos, infographics, podcasts, and other content media to help build brand awareness.

 

6) Publish and promote your content

Majority of your time is spent on creating good content, but without publishing them, they are useless. When coming up with your social media strategy for 2019, consider what you can do to be more efficient. Having the right publishing schedule can help you save time and push out more content to your audience.

The ability to schedule content effectively also means perfectly timing your posts for maximum likes, comments, and shares. This ability can be easily obtained from the content consumption patterns on various platforms.

As your business embraces social marketing, your social media strategy will likely grow to include social media advertising. Advertising helps to increase outreach to more people outside of your followers based on effective targeting.

 

7) Track and measure the performance

Social Media Strategy 2019 - Track

The purpose behind measuring your effort on social media is to enable you to understand what you are doing that is working and to find out what you’re doing that isn’t bringing you any positive results. One way or another, tracking can help you formulate a better social media strategy.

Ongoing analytics help familiarize you with how your audience is interacting with your updates and more specifically, analytics are the way you get a feel for how your company is perceived on the platform.

Keeping an eye on your metrics also tell you how your efforts are paying off.

 

In Conclusion

The best part about leveraging social media is being a part of the ever-changing technological advancements that this world has to offer.

With the opportunity to innovate at every turn and constant product development happening around the globe, there is an excellent potential for you to engage your audience in new and exciting ways.

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Content Marketing

Top Ways Content Marketing Will Change Your Business Strategies

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Content Marketing Will Change Business Strategies

How will you ensure that you are promoting your business with ease and in the best way? One significant way would be to keep your marketing strategy up-to-date. You must keep the business on the leading edge in an effort to stay relevant and, more to the point, effective and efficient. In today’s context, it means focusing on content marketing, that’s precisely why this article serves as a guide on why the content marketing is vital and you ought to be concentrating your efforts.

 

Content Marketing – What Is It?

Content marketing is a marketing approach to making and sharing useful, appropriate and consistent contents for attracting and acquiring a clearly-defined target audience – with the goal of generating profitable customer action.

For example, say you are a personal coach as well as your small business has plateaued in the last year or even longer. You are still seeking to grow your client base, and thus you begin a blog site and write 2-3 keyword-optimized articles each week, which demonstrate how to exercise, eat healthily, and slim down. These articles start to get ranking in search engines like Google as time passes and when spring hits, individuals will search on the internet for tips on how to improve the fitness for beach time. Due to your efforts, readers run into your blog organically, go through your articles, and keep returning to discover from you on a regular basis. In some cases, readers of your blog will take preferred call-to-actions which drive positive Return-On-Investment (ROI).

 

Why Is The Content Marketing Important To The Business?

Compelling content can assist you to build customer relationships while preventing ineffective “hard sell” strategies. It displays your “subject-matter” skills and increases trust by merely highlighting significant topics which affect your potential customers. Well-crafted articles can draw visitors to your social networks and website, boosting your overall performance on search results. Furthermore, it provides audiences the option to keep sharing your contents with their network of friends.

Here are perfect reasons to start creating expert content for your business today:

1. Build Faith with the Traffic

You can establish yourself as an expert in your industry by making more useful content and sharing with your target audience. People trust professionals and seek the services of them to solve their problems.

2. Increase Brand Awareness

Increase Brand Awareness

For budding businesses, brand awareness is something that is commonly lacking. Most people will not be aware of your business; therefore you should work to change that. By leveraging on content marketing, you can significantly increase targeted traffic to your website, which also means you can have quality, consistent, targeted visitors and back-links. This change can result in the growth of online visibility and awareness, generating more leads for your business via your content.

3. Perfect For (SEO) Organic Search

Perfect For (SEO) Organic Search

Search engine algorithms are often changing. However, one fact that will never change is how they value keywords and content. When you consistently make and keep content on your website up-to-date. Your website generally will get better ranking in search engines.

For example, if a user fires up the search engine and types a phrase or keyword, the search engine will work hard to give him/her the best and most relevant information relating to the search query. If you are making expert contents for sharing valuable and useful information to your targeted buyers instead of spammy sales copy, Google will identify that piece of content to be useful and of high relevancy. As a result, your website will get better search engine positions, driving increased organic traffic.

4. Produce Leads For The Business

Produces Leads For The Business

Generating leads or driving sales for the business is definitely the key purpose that marketers execute any marketing campaign. If you need new potential buyers to visit your website and ultimately buy what you are promoting, content marketing provides an avenue for strangers to get you via your informative and useful contents.

Every content you put forth, and every content that is shared will drive organic traffic. By nurturing these traffic, businesses can push them down the marketing funnel, converting them into successful leads or sales.

5. Give People Reasons To Return To Your Site

When you offer people informative and helpful content, you are beginning to develop a strong and healthy relationship. People will come back to you for information and updates. By building this relationship, you encourage visitors to your website to return, because you are someone they trust and know.

 

Conclusion

There will always be tactics which produce short-lived, quick spikes in leads and traffic. There will also be methods which may have absolutely no business influence whatsoever. However, investing in appropriate content marketing right now is going to pay you back for a long time.

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Advertising

How Can You Use Quizzes to Generate Leads? – INTERACT

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Interact - Step by Step

The state of digital marketing is always changing. Therefore marketers have to keep up with the pressure of adapting when necessary. Digital marketers are continually finding the most creative ways of generating leads or collecting new email subscribers. With the crowded online space, it is increasingly harder for marketers to stand above the crowd. Moreover, research has shown that the average human attention span is rapidly declining. And this will mean that the method you are adopting now for your lead generation or email collection will no longer work as effectively.

There is a rising popularity where quizzes have become a recurring motif on one of the favorite method of lead generation. Quizzes are a method that is slightly overlooked but a potential pot of gold – and it honestly makes lead generation fun.

According to Steve Olenski, you can gather tons of information about your website visitors, when they are having fun answering a quiz, and it is an excellent way to generate leads.

In this article, I will recommend a tool you can use for setting up fantastic quizzes and guide you through how to create a quiz with this tool which can have a potential of growing your email list by 300%!

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Do you want to triple sales growth, understand digital marketing components and improve your competitive edge?

This book is your go-to-guide for discerning digital marketing and social media and understanding how to perfect these as an art, rather than functional steps to build your business.

 

By Vincent Wee