7 deadly social media marketing sins

7 Deadly Social Media Marketing Sins

That Your Fans And Followers Will Never Forgive

So, your boss asked you (or you’re the boss!) to create a Facebook page for your business…

And… Maybe a Twitter profile too.

You are thinking you could add a YouTube Channel!

And Pinterest doesn’t sound as bad either.

So you set all of these up.

DONE.

Now you’re good to go!

You are now everywhere…

But! Where is everyone?

Keep your sanity and your job!

Before running for the hills ask yourself…

Am I innocent? OR not guilty?

What we can say is you are guilty of the following:

1. Unpersonalized content.

You are guilty of virtually ignoring your fans and followers on all social media sites.

Before you know it, you’re just about to a write off the entire process because you simply can’t remember why you created these accounts in the first place.

2. Unused accounts.

You don’t even use the accounts you do have!

I know some of you are thinking, “But I’ve looked at them a few times to see if there were any interesting posts!”

Well that’s just not enough.

For all you know, the algorithm could be working against you, or you could be missing out on something that would skyrocket your social media presence.

3. It’s all about you.

I know, it is difficult to find what other people are saying on social media, but try to take a moment and read through.

Check out the feedback from your followers – and don’t get upset over negative comments; use them as an opportunity to improve! You need feedback – good or bad.

If you aren’t getting any, your followers are just waiting for something more interesting to show up on their feed.

4. Too many posts.

You see, it’s quite simple: if you put a lot of time into an account, you will get a lot of followers and likes!

It’s true – but it’s all going to go down the drain if you don’t manage your Facebook account correctly.

Thousands of fans may not care about your latest event once they have seen every single post you have ever posted in your whole life – trust me!

5. Not enough information.

Now, you may think that I am talking about you!

Well, it could be that someone is actually talking about you – but they aren’t saying it in a nice way!

Many people that are starting their social media accounts do not know how to manage them.

This is a big mistake, because even if you search for yourself on Google, there is a very good chance that you will land on your Facebook page – or some other social media profile – as the first result.

Take the time to learn how to edit and publish posts (and comments too!) with confidence in order to control what people see about your brand and company.

6. No links included.

If you are trying to get links over social media, you should know that it’s not always the easiest thing in the world.

In fact, if you are looking for quality links from well-known and trusted websites, you might be disappointed.

But, what can you do if someone has blatantly stolen your content and copied and pasted portions of it?

Who is in charge of social media management?

You!

As long as they are posting on their own behalf (and not as a guest), they need to mention where their content is coming from. And that’s where you come in!

7. Not enough activity on profiles.

If you are not using social media to its maximum potential, you will be losing out on extremely valuable information and advice from your target audience.

Use a Facebook or Twitter search to find out what people are saying about your brand, and don’t hesitate to join in the conversation – even if it’s negative feedback!

As long as you can stay calm and collected, there is no way that this feedback can harm you.

And finally, the fact that your Facebook profile is not linked to your other profiles certainly doesn’t help out an algorithm that is trying to steer people to credible sources.

Facebook has its own search function, but it can only do so much if there are hundreds of profiles and profiles of accounts just like yours in the network.

Be sure to “Link” up on all social media accounts in order to further legitimize your presence!

search engine marketing

Social Media Marketing vs Search Engine Marketing

As a brand, where should we focus more of our budget on, Social Media Marketing or Search Engine Marketing?

There is no hard and fast rule on which is better or which you should prioritize over the other.

However, it’s important to remember that the two are not exclusive to one another.

In order to have a successful marketing campaign, both Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Social Media Marketing (SMM) must be utilized together.

It’s important for companies to create comprehensive social media marketing strategies in order to ensure that they reach their audience and are able to connect with them in an authentic way while also ensuring that they follow SEO best practices as well, such as optimizing site content for organic search engine listings.

SMM vs SEM

The biggest advantage of social media marketing is that its cost effective, especially when compared to the advertisement costs incurred through search engine marketing.

With search engine marketing, you are paying to reach your audience, which could be good or bad.

The main downside of SMM as opposed to SEM is that it’s a time consuming and reactive method of promotion.

You can’t necessarily control your follower base or manage them in the same way you can with SEM.

But you can offer promotions through different channels and target your followers based on their online activity and behavior.

Because social media is such an organic presence on the web, you have to be careful about what content you post to your page(s).

It can be a tool business owners use to get the word out about their company and products, but it’s also a great way to socialize with existing customers.

The benefits of social media are many, and it may be something you want to begin using in your company’s marketing campaign.

You just need to make sure you’re doing everything correctly so that your followers are engaged, coming back for more, and becoming loyal customers.

You also want to make sure that your content is engaging and useful.

It’s okay to promote your business and offer deals now and then, but don’t make this the focus of your page(s).

What might be considered effective in terms of engagement on one platform, might be seen as spam on another.

For example, if you post too many pictures on Pinterest, many users will lose interest and stop following you.

The goal is to strike a balance between search engine marketing and social media marketing that ultimately generates leads for your company while also building up your social media presence and reputation.

Social media can be seen as a way for companies to connect with their customers and promote themselves in ways they might not have thought about before.

Because SMM is an organic process, it requires more work on your part to maintain your online presence.

You need to spend time interacting with your audience and engaging them with valuable content.

Conclusion

If given a choice between spending time on SMM or SEM, choose SMM because it’s cheaper than SEM and can generate a lot of interest in your brand simply because users are more likely to follow or like your page if they see others doing the same.

Search Engine Marketing is something you can focus on once it starts to produce results.

As many companies are turning to social media marketing as a way of promotion, you want to create profiles for all available sites that allow businesses like yours the opportunity to establish an online presence.

How Lookalike Audiences Can Increase Advertising Efficiency

How Lookalike Audiences Can Increase Advertising Efficiency

Lookalike audiences are used on all social media platforms as a great way to target consumers based off your past customers, specific website events, or even email lists.

Essentially, these lookalike audiences allow you to target people who have similar interests, traits, and buyer behaviors as your current customers.

What is a Lookalike Audience?

Lookalike Audiences are created by placing your past customers into a database that has the characteristics of your target market.

For example, if you own a content marketing agency, you would target your email list and the customer data you have on file with Google Analytics for the same segment of people who are interested in content marketing.

Creating these lookalike audiences is important because they emulate an audience’s behavior or interests without requiring any additional effort from the marketer.

Rather than targeting all of your current customers based on their behaviors, interests, and demographics, lookalike audiences give marketers a way to target consumers who have similar traits as their previous customers.

Let’s break it down:

  • The business finds a list of customers who are already on the platform (e.g., Facebook).
  • The business creates an ad that displays the same characteristics of their current customer base, such as age, gender or zip code.
  • That ad is then sent out to people who are in that similar demographic location around the world (or in specific geo locations).

This type of advertising is effective because it allows businesses to expand their reach and target new people who may be interested in their products based on what people similar to them have already said.

Facebook has an advanced Ad Create tool that allows businesses to create a customer list and then find other users that are a good match for those customers.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Step 1: Start with your current customer base. If you don’t have a list, just input a few key profiles of the people that are likely your customers (e.g., age, gender, zip code).
  2. Step 2: Lookalike audience is created by filtering users based on what you input. Facebook identifies similar users to your current customers.
  3. Step 3: Ad targeting is based off these lookalike audiences. Which means that if you were to send an ad out to potential customers, those who match the characteristics of your initial customer base will get the ad on their Facebook feed.

There are several benefits to lookalike audiences:

  • They are easy to set up and can be set up within minutes.
  • They allow businesses to target the right buyer, based on what people who are similar said about their products.
  • They save time as it allows businesses to achieve the results needed without having to spend months or even years searching for a new buyer demographic.

The main argument against lookalike audiences is that they do not provide enough unique information.

Because people have similar traits, interests, and behaviors to those in your customer base, they may not be different enough to springboard into a purchase.

Let’s take an example:

Let’s say you are a shoe company (you know your demographics – let’s use the average shoe size in the US as an example).

You could create a lookalike audience of 1,000 people who are around your average shoe size.

This means that if you wanted to target the exact same audience that is already buying your shoes, you would need to get 100 people into those 1,000 lookalikes.

This is obviously not very useful.

However, with a lookalike audience, you could target the right buyer demographics (i.e., people who like your product and are in an area where they are likely to purchase).

If you showcased ads to these 1,000 people that were a similar match to your current customer base, chances are they would get the ad that you would have been able to target.

Another argument against lookalike audiences is that it relies on past data.

People on a platform today do not represent the buying behavior of a brand’s past customers.

This can be especially useful in an environment where there are so many brands.

If a business’s customer base is large enough, they may find that they have to create a lookalike audience of customers who had similar traits, interests, and behaviors as their own main customer base.

As we mentioned above, this is a problem because most people do not share their buying habits with the brands they purchase from.

However, if more businesses used lookalike audiences and placed ads to these more loyal customers based on their past customers’ traits, interests and behaviors – those that shared their habits with the brand – those ads would probably be more effective.

In summary, lookalike audiences are great for businesses that have a small customer base, and when things are more in sync with what their customers are buying.

They do not work as well to target new customers and for larger businesses who would need to devote more resources to create these customer lists.

NOTE: When using the Lookalike Audiences tool:

  • If you want to use the US as the example, you must be using a Facebook Page or a Business Page rather than a personal profile.
  • It is recommended that you use these audiences mostly for non-US audiences (e.g., UK, Australia, New Zealand).
  • It is also recommended audience size are between 2,000 – 4,000 people. Any more or less tend to give poor results.

11 Ways to Make Money on Instagram

Instagram is the most engaged with platform, out of all the social media platforms.

The average user on instagram engages with around 67% of content.

Even just having a presence on IG will increase your brands perceived value by 79%!

So, in 2021, Instagram is a must for your brand and your business.

In this post, we’ll explore how you can make money on Instagram.

Depending on your unique brand of Instagram content, your audience, and your level of commitment, you can make money in the following ways:

  • Work as an influencer and promote brand products.
  • Be an affiliate marketer selling other people’s products
  • Become an entrepreneur and sell your own products

Stick to the Best Practices to Make Money on Instagram

Instagram is a visual platform, but that doesn’t mean that you can only post photos.

1. Videos are highly encouraged as well.

It is advised to post frequently; 15 to 20 posts per week is the most optimal number.

If you’re having trouble coming up with content, use third party tools like Canva and Gramfeed (aff) for your image creation and scheduling needs.

If you don’t have the bandwidth or time to manage multiple social media platforms yourself, consider hiring an intern or an assistant who can help you with this effort.

2. Use Hashtags and Stickers

Hashtags enable your posts to show up on Instagram algorithm searches.

Use hashtags in your captions, in your photos, and in the descriptions of your videos. If you aren’t using any tags on Instagram, start now.

Adding tags increases engagement and is important for finding new followers.

For photos that feature people: use people’s names in their captions and hashtags to increase engagement.

For photos that feature products or places: use the hashtag name of the product or place you are featuring (e.g., #skincareproducts will increase engagement).

Stickers and emoji are optional extras, but they do increase engagement by 50%.

Use all three elements in every post; hashtags, stickers, and emoji.

3. Use the Right Hashtag When You Post to Increase Engagement

If you want to drive traffic from your posts, use the right hashtag.

Using an unrelated hashtag will increase engagement from users who are part of that specific community on Instagram, but it won’t attract the followers you really want if they aren’t part of that community.

vegan recipes hashtag

Using a broad hashtag like #instafood will help bring in some new following, but it won’t be as targeted as a more niche tag like #vegetarianrecipes or #InstagramForBusinessTips (as shown in the above graphic).

4. Include a Link in your Posts and Have it Open in a Separate Tab

You can use links in your posts to drive traffic to your website.

Make sure you have those links on each post set up so that the link opens in a separate tab or window to ensure that it isn’t obstructed by any other social media elements (e.g., tags, hashtags, stickers).

Configuring your links this way will also increase conversions because users won’t have to re-enter their Instagram login information.

5. Use Hashtags that are Related to the Shoutout

While you should always use the hashtag(s) related to your shoutout, it is also important that you use relevant tags on your posts.

Try to find out from the influencer what they usually tag their posts with and include those tags in your post.

If they tag their photos with #organic, make sure you add that hashtag to your post.

If they tag their photos with #menwithtattoos, add that one as well (all in moderation of course).

6. Don’t Overuse Hashtags

Don’t abuse hashtags, just use the relevant ones.

Using irrelevant hashtags is a sure way to get your posts flagged by Instagram or Facebook.

7. Use the Right Instagram Algorithm in Mind When Posting Content

If you want to make money on Instagram by earning ad revenue, be sure you are posting content that will appeal to Instagram users who are part of the targeted audience of your product or service.

In other words, if you’ve made a post of a company logo or an advertisement for your product, that won’t get the same engagement as a photo captioned with #skincareproducts so you should think about what type of audience you want to reach when posting content.

8. Post-Publish Optimization (PPO)

Use PPO if you are running ads on Instagram.

By doing this, Instagram will optimize your ad after it is published.

This will help it show up more often and increase ad engagement, which can lead to increased conversion rates from those that see your ads.

9. Use Instagram Stories and Live Videos

Use stories on Instagram to give users behind-the-scenes looks at your brand’s life.

This will definitely increase engagement as people want to know more about the company that they are engaging with.

Make sure you notify users when you go live, this way you can engage with multiple people at once using live video.

Live videos have a higher ratio of engagement than regular videos on Instagram, so use them for your best chance of success.

10. Get Other Influencers to Promote Your Brand or Products

This is the best thing you can do.

Have an influencer promote your business by tagging your business on their posts or mentioning it in their stories.

This will give you access to their followers and also create engagement with your own followers since they will be enticed to check out this influencer’s products and see what they are selling.

Influencers are specifically targeted in Instagram ads, so if you get an influencer to post about your brand, you’ll be getting a lot of highly targeted traffic for free.

11. Use Instagram Attention Graph Tool

Instagram has a tool that tracks users’ attention when they view your posts and how well your content is received.

Use it because it will help you know what type of content is working for you and what isn’t helping your engagement rates.

You can also use it to find influencers who are interacting with your content on Instagram so you can get in contact with them later.

In the end, this tool will keep you updated on the engagement trends of your content, which will help you make better decisions regarding future posts.

Summary

At the end of the day, there are a million ways to make money on Instagram.

Whether you’re selling other peoples products or services, or your own, it’s 1000% about understanding your audience, their problems, and how to communicate with them.

No matter who you are or how big your audience is, you can absolutely crush it on IG if you know this information.

Even 100 engaged people can drive insane value to you, as long as you’re driving insane value to them.

linkable content promotion

Linkable Content Promotion: Turning Prospects Into New Customers

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last decade or so, you’ll know that the world wide web is an absolute juggernaut.

In fact, there are more people online on any given day than there are people on the planet earth.

It’s no wonder then that businesses are racing to get their content in front of as many eyeballs as possible in order to increase their conversions.

So, how do you get your content in front of your audience online?

Well, this is where content promotion comes into play: a great way to make sure your content reaches the right audience online.

We’re exploring the fundamentals of content promotion and then dives into ten ways to promote your content online.

Let’s get down to it…

Content Promotion Essentials For You To Know Before We Go Any Further…

There are a number of ways you can promote your content online; we’ll break them down for you here…

Non-linkable (Non-efficient) Content Promotion This is promoted through things like social media, email campaigns and advertising.

This is promoted through things like social media, email campaigns and advertising.

Linkable (Efficient) Content Promotion involves things like SEO, article marketing and social media.

This chapter will examine the fundamentals of content.

Let’s get started with our topic…

What Is Linkable Content Promotion?

Conceptually speaking, it’s nothing more than promoting your content to people who already know a lot about your niche.

It’s simply that; passing along your information to people who are already hungry for what you have to say.

This is a great way to get your content in front of your target audiences.

If you are considering the use of promoting content for your business, this chapter should provide a great foundation to get you started.

In a nutshell, it’s about getting your information in front of potential leads who are already hungry for what you have to say.

They need and want wisdom from people just like you; people with the same experiences, knowledge and expertise.

For example, if you are a marketing manager in the e-commerce world, you may be looking to get your content in front of your target audience.

These would be people who are already interested in some of your products or services.

You could produce an article that consists of all the top performing keywords you’ve been using to help market your business…

This is linkable content promotion .

Or you could produce an article that provides wise advice for marketing success.

Clearly, these are different types of articles… In fact, they would do much better if they were exposed to different audiences.

Let’s explore the benefits of promotion like this.

Benefits… What Are They?

Linkable Content Promotion Benefits:

  1. Strong Link-Based SEO Linkable content promotes higher search engine rankings and better positioning in search results; this helps your page rank rise.  Your page will be more visible, more interactive and thus more valuable in the eyes of your target audience. Your page will be more visible, more interactive and thus more valuable in the eyes of your target audience.
  2. Improved Conversion Rates Helps get your links passed along to people who will be interested in what you have to say. This can help improve your conversion rate.  Once the person clicks on your link, you will have a higher chance of them buying or signing-up for whatever it is you’re selling or offering them.
  3. A Better Way To Build Your List It’s a great way to get people to opt-in to your list. This could be a targeted list filled with people who are interested in your products and services. These people would be much more likely to buy from you and sign up for things like webinars, e-mail courses and other such things.
  4. More Brand Authority It will help you build more authority around your business’s brand. You will become the go-to authority for whatever it is that you do. This will help your business grow among your target audiences and in the eyes of search engines.
  5. A Longer, More Accurate List It’s a great way to get your list of subscribers and customers. If you have a well thought out list with relevant information for them, they’ll be more willing to opt-in and buy from you.
  6. More Career Exposure Helps you appear more relevant on social media sites or in job postings… This can help you land more job opportunities or better positions on different sites that are related to what it is that you do.
  7. Easy To Set Up is easy to set up. You can even outsource it to a team for support if you have a big launch that will require some extra hands on deck.
  8. A Great Way To Network Linkable content is great networking tool for your business and your career growth. It’s a great way to connect with other professionals in your industry and make contacts that could help you move up the ladder in your field or industry .
  9. Better SEO Linkable content helps increase search engine rankings for various keywords, which can get you better SEO results and more traffic overall.
  10. A Great Way To Get Your Blog Post Seen In The SERPs Keeps your blog posts in front of the people who will want them. If you have a high-quality piece of content, this will help it get seen in the SERPs, where it can help improve your traffic and SEO.

Conclusion

Promoting your content is a great way to get more traffic and sales from your blog, website or social media posts.

It’ll increase the visibility of your brand and help people find you through social media if they do business with you.

It also helps you get better SEO results that can increase your traffic and sales in the future.

You can also use this strategy to promote your e-book or other resources on your blog or website as well.

ecommerce customer lifetime value

Increasing Your eCommerce Customers Lifetime Value With Retention Campaign

Ever seen that one person in your company constantly saying “why should we do ‘x’?” or “that’s too expensive.”

But when you explain the actions and reasoning behind it, they are finally on board?

That’s retention.

Retention campaigns can help increase your customers lifetime value to your brand by incentivizing them to return to spend with you.

In this post, we’ll walk through how many companies use these strategies and the results they’ve achieved.

Whether increasing customer lifetime value is a priority for you or not, this article will give a few valuable insights into what getting more out of your customer touchpoints looks like.

Lifetime value is a big term which I like to think of as the “calculator money” that your customers will spend over the course of their entire relationship with you.

It’s a metric that most businesses look at, but some are more dedicated than others.

The 10% Rule

Before describing retention campaigns, let’s talk about the famous “10% rule”.

This was popularized by Leslie Deutsch (founder of angel investor group Stanford Angels) in her book No B.S. Business Advice for Smart Entrepreneurs.

From her experience as an angel investor she noticed that typically businesses had one or two investors who believed in them enough to invest and bring them to market.

Then there were some that had enough faith and money to get the business started.

Then there were the fringe cases, those businesses that were startup failures or those “whales” that thought they could be a whale.

The following is her description of the behavior of each group:

The 10% rule says that companies should aim for 10% of their customers to become repeat customers.

When you reward them with a loyalty program, the thought is that these are customers who won’t need to use your product or service again but would come back to you if they had problems with your competitor’s offering.

This can boost lifetime value because it gives your business another point of retention from which they will be loyal for years to come.

The 10% rule is often used to define the minimum threshold for creating a loyalty program.

Since it’s a minimum value, it doesn’t take into account things like churn and some other metrics that may not directly increase your lifetime value.

Retention Strategies

There is an entire new branch of marketing dedicated to retention strategies.

Retention campaigns can be as simple as sending out an email campaign to your customers on their one year anniversary with your business or as complex as offering different levels of rewards for a customer who purchases from you but does not redeem any reward.

The following are examples of some retention strategies that are used by many companies in order to increase their customer lifetime value.

Advocates: Give customers a reason to return to interact with your brand outside of purchasing.

This can be done in a variety of ways such as informational email campaigns, an updated blog, social media interaction or customer success stories.

Giving customers a reason to return to interact with your brand outside of purchasing.

This can be done in a variety of ways such as informational email campaigns, an updated blog, social media interaction or customer success stories.

Loyalty programs: These are one type of retention strategy that increases the chances of customers coming back to purchase or otherwise interact with your business.

The two main types are product-based loyalty programs and point-based loyalty programs.

The main thing we want to avoid with loyalty programs is having a bunch of customers who are racking up points with you and then redeeming those points years down the road.

Content: These customers want more than just your product.

Provide additional information to help them explore the possibilities that your products and services open up for them.

This can be as simple as giving them an email newsletter or perhaps they’d like a video tutorial series on Youtube.

Discounts: Provide customers with a reason to return while also increasing their lifetime value.

Imagine someone who bought from you for $100 and then you send out an email offering 20% off their next purchase on your site.

If they buy again, the calculator money is now $80 instead of $100, thus increasing their lifetime value by 20%.

Partnerships: Send out special offers to customers if they have the partner’s app or use their service.

This can work particularly well if you have a loyalty program in place and they are willing to add on value to it.

Referral: Generate word of mouth and increase your customer lifetime value by launching and running a referral campaign.

This can be done in a variety of ways but is most popular through email campaigns which offer rewards to the customer when they refer you.

One-time offer: Send out a special offer or discount if they spend $100.

This can work particularly well if you have a loyal customer base who has consistently been spending with you for a long time.

Content & Advocates: If your content is compelling enough that people want to share it with others, then create a way for them to share it on social media and other channels.

By turning your customers into advocates for your brand, you are building up your brands trust and reputation which will eventually turn into customers.

Conclusion

These are just some examples of loyalty programs that you can create and implement within your eCommerce business.

As mentioned earlier, they can be as simple as adding in a 20% discount on a purchase for your existing customers or as complex as offering 14% to your advocate customers and 15% to partner customers if they share an exclusive offer with their friends.

Regardless of what strategy you decide to use, remember that in order to make it successful you first need a base of loyal customers.

These are the foundation from which you will build upon when implementing any type of loyalty program.

It’s worth noting that many businesses will create retention strategies by simply surveying their most loyal customers and asking them what they’d like added onto their loyalty program.

This is an easy way to gain direct insight into what exactly your most valuable customer segment desires from your business.

DTC brands

21 Strategies DTC Brands Need to Implement In 2021

In a world where DTC brands are becoming ubiquitous in the market, with customers demanding more accountability and transparency from companies, there is certainly an extra bit of pressure on the shoulders.

Fortunately for those of us that have taken the plunge already, it’s possible to thrive as a direct-to-consumer business in this new era.

We’ve compiled strategies that will help you survive and thrive.

1. Align content production with your customer base

Content is king when it comes to DTC businesses, but which type should you be focusing on?

Screen capture videos may be good enough for some demographics while educational blogs might work better for others.

The brand’s target demographic will help guide which content is best for producing.

2. Think open and transparent

As a direct-to-consumer business, the brand may not have to worry about maintaining stock levels of a certain product as there are plenty of customers ordering in bulk.

This means that keeping your customers updated on your progress can be challenging when you’re unable to do so on a regular basis.

For example, if the brand produces a limited edition product and labels it as something else along the way, people may be confused by the lack of updates about its release date or production status.

3. Design for your customers and not for yourself

There’s no better way to get onboard with this new marketing method than by answering the question, “What do my customers want?”

The brand’s target demographic will help identify what products are needed, which again, can then be used to direct content production efforts.

However, one subtle but effective way to create relationships with your customers is by making their problems your problems.

The brand should be able to replicate the pain points of its customers and work toward fixing them when redesigning or creating new products.

4. Give your consumers a voice in the product creation process

The DTC business model was built on innovation.

The brand should always be implementing new solutions into its products that will benefit customers.

Giving consumers the opportunity to voice which problems they’ve been experiencing with your products makes the brand an active participant in their lives, as well as providing them with a sense of accountability for these issues.

5. Consider consumer feedback when redesigning

DTC brands have a unique opportunity to test and implement new ideas across a large customer base.

However, it is vital to do so responsibly as it’s easy for customers to feel lost if there’s too much product redesign or iteration occurring at one time.

By creating new products to help solve specific problems, the customer will know that they’re receiving a product that actually solves their issue and not just a reformulation of the same product.

6. Validate your business model

DTC businesses are often focused on providing customer service in addition to content.

This marks a drastic shift from the traditional brick-and-mortar premise where the business is only concerned with providing products.

It’s important to adjust the balance of resources between customer service and content production, especially if there’s not enough human labor to answer inquiries while generating high levels of production for videos and other media channels.

7. Understand the importance of consistency

For DTC businesses, consistency is often viewed as one of the most important pillars of the business.

Customers will get bored if a new product is released and it doesn’t have similar components or print quality as its predecessor.

The brand should be able to explain why a new product is being produced in order to help alleviate any confusion about what they’re getting.

8. Create an internal team to help troubleshoot issues

DTC brands are relying on their customers more than ever before, so it only makes sense that they create and employ internal teams that can better suit their needs and expectations.

This can help the business optimize its efforts by receiving suggestions and feedback from its people.

The process of developing new products may rely on customer feedback for unlocking new ideas.

If a customer has been experiencing issues with a certain item, it might make sense to employ other customers to voice their opinion on the newly introduced product and incorporate their thoughts.

9. Partner with a third-party marketing agency

DTC businesses will find that partnering up with an outsourced marketing agency will be invaluable as they can leverage the creation of content and the fulfillment of orders to free up resources for other things.

A DTC business may benefit from hiring someone to create videos on their channel while they focus on the fulfillment.

Marketing agencies are tuned into the nuances of DTC brands and will be able to provide additional services related to strategy that might not have otherwise been possible for the brand in-house.

10. Consider selling additional products in a bundle

While it’s easy to sell one product, it’s much harder to convince customers that buying multiple items is worth their time.

However, bundling multiple products can help alleviate barriers such as shipping costs and production logistics by giving customers a discount rate for buying more than one item at once.

Also, a bundle can provide satisfaction to customers by giving them a sense that they’re making a smart investment.

11. Allow customers to contribute to campaigns

The easiest way for DTC businesses to create content is by allowing customers to directly contribute and/or offer suggestions.

For example, the brand might have an acting contest where it uses customer video submissions to create content, or they might run a Kickstarter-like campaign where they ask their followers for feedback on which products should be incorporated into their line and then implement their suggestions into production.

12. Always be thinking about the future

The future of a DTC brand is often viewed as another cash cow for the business due to an increase in sales beyond the initial novelty that attracted customers in the first place.

The needs of customers can change over time, and it’s important for brands to invest in ways that allow them to better serve their customers.

The rate of change should be factored into the decision-making process when creating new products, especially if there’s no precedent on how customers will receive them.

DTC businesses need a sustainable business model because they are relying on paid subscribers instead of free visitors to generate ad revenue.

The key to creating a sustainable DTC brand is ensuring that the customers you have are engaged and returning.

13. Create content for all of your products

The easiest way to keep customers engaged and coming back for more is to provide them with free perks, or additional information, that is exclusive to their brand.

DTC brands might include special access to behind-the-scenes videos or backstage looks at upcoming projects as a part of their email subscriptions.

This type of content can hold audiences’ attention because it’s authentic and informative as it’s relevant to the goals of the brand.

14. Create stronger brands for customers to identify with

DTC businesses create a sense of belonging and identification between their brand and the products they create.

Professional modeling agencies may include a reference in their email newsletters to showcase the new photos of clients that they have just been sent.

DTC branding is created by creating an opinion, following, or voice within the market that is tied into your brand.

15. Create exclusive products for customers

There’s nothing more engaging than having something that only your customers can have access to, so it’s important for DTC brands to think about how they can keep followers engaged by offering exclusivity to them.

The Yacht Club created a mailing list for select customers that offered them early access and exclusive information about upcoming tours and cruises.

16. Create a consistent voice across platforms

DTC brands use social media to actively engage with their customers in order to build brand awareness and create a following of users.

Social media gives DTC brands the opportunity to create a unique identity that will be remembered among the many different products that they offer.

For example, Bella Petit, an online boutique known for its feminine and fun clothing collections, uses its Instagram account (@bellapetit) as a way to communicate daily inspiration by posting pictures of their collections or featuring models wearing the clothes from their most recent collection.

17. Use social media to engage your customers

Social media platforms are an integral part of DTC brands’ marketing efforts, and they want their customers to feel a sense of community with the brands they choose to purchase from.

The more that customers feel a sense of belonging with a company, the higher likelihood that they will purchase its products in the future.

Engaging on social media is one way DTC brands are able to build this bond between their products and people that they serve.

18. Target an audience that is influential in your industry

The DTC business model depends on social media to build and maintain relationships with customers.

While social media can be a cost-effective way for brands to increase awareness, it requires them to adjust their tactics based on the type of audience that they serve.

A customer who spends more on beauty products are more likely to share the brands that they buy from via social media.

This allows DTC brands to find people that are influential in their market and target them with ads in order to create brand awareness among potential buyers.

19. Plan your post schedule carefully

When creating social media content, DTC brands will want to plan their posts well in advance of when they’re actually going to be posted.

The reason for this is because social media is often flooded with other posts that compete with the ones that DTC brands want to promote.

If a DTC brand wants to post a special offer for its customers, it will most likely need to promote it several days before the actual offer goes live.

This helps prevent potential customers from being fooled by fake offers and promotes legitimacy among those who can be affected by the promotion.

20. Make the customer feel like they are part of the process

DTC brands are constantly creating new products, so it’s important for them to make their customers feel like they were part of this process themselves.

For example, The Yacht Club only recruits its customers for feedback in order to gather opinions from people who have already shown an interest in these types of products.

This way, the business is able to validate its products and maintain a sense of transparency with customers.

21. Create a brand that is memorable and easy to recognize

It’s important for DTC brands to make sure that their social media accounts are memorable and easy to recognize so that they can generate more engagement from their target audiences.

It’s also crucial for the business to use its platforms as a way to connect with customers on a personal level.

For example, Bella Petit uses its Instagram account (@bellapetit) as a way for customers to share photos of themselves wearing the brand’s clothes or using the products in the Bella Petit collection. This helps strengthen the relationship between customers and DTC brands by establishing a sense of exclusivity that is valuable among followers.

In addition, paid social is a great way to build relationships with customers and increase loyalty to the brand.

If a customer interacts with your brand through paid ads, they will be considered as a “fans” of the brand.

This increases the likelihood that they will purchase from your product lines again in the future.

Social media also can be used to create viral campaigns that bring awareness to products that otherwise would not receive much attention in traditional marketing channels like television and radio advertisements or print ads.

Harnessing The Power Of Social Media Marketing

Over the past several decades, DTC brands have learned how to use social media in order to promote their products and companies effectively.

In terms of generating awareness for their brands, DTC businesses especially do it well. According to a report from the 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report (PDF), 92% of DTC businesses post daily on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Overall, these brands produce about 4 posts per day.

This creates a sense of affinity that is valued by their audience and is crucial to building brand awareness in the market.

gdn vs dv360

Comparing GDN vs. DV360: What’s The Right Display Media Platform

Whether you’re just starting out as a marketer, or you’re a seasoned professional looking for a better solution to take advantage of the ever-changing digital landscape, it’s important to know all your options when it comes to Google’s platforms.

In this post, we’ll be diving into two different types of display media – GDN and DV360. We’ll go into what they are and why they might be right for your organization.

When we talk about display, we’re not talking about the actual digital display where you put ads. We’re talking about the platform that Google uses to deliver your ads and measure their performance.

There are two primary platforms that are used by Google: GDN and DV360. The difference between them is that GDN is natively integrated into AdSense while DV360 is completely reliant on another third-party service for all of its traffic data.

Why GDN?

GDN was released in the fall of 2014 with the promise of a new and improved Google Display Network.

GDN is a better platform for performance advertisers, those who have higher eCPM goals, and those who want a more fluid relationship with Google. It offers greater customization options, advanced testing capabilities, and much more.

Here’s why it’s better:

1) GDN has access to high-quality inventory that other platforms don’t offer. With GDN you can run ads on any page on the web – there are no limits. You have access to all AdSense content as well as non-AdSense content.

2) GDN has higher eCPM potential. Take a look at the screenshot below. You’ll see that the eCPM for DV360 is only $0.28, while it’s $0.33 for GDN. And GDN reaches more than 50% of the internet, where as DV360 reaches less than half:

3) GDN has better reporting capabilities and you can get more out of it if you’re an optimization pro. You can set up multiple campaigns within the AdWords interface itself. You can also set up multiple reports across different campaigns, campaign goals, ad groups, and campaigns.

4) GDN gives you more granular reporting. You have more options to report on your performance: eCPMs and view ability, for example. DV is less flexible in this way.

5) GDN has better ad delivery flexibility. You can deliver ads through a number of different delivery mechanisms: Desktop, Mobile Web Display Network (Desktop-Mobile), Mobile App Distribution Network (Mobile-Mobile), and Traditional (display) display campaigns will always be delivered using the Desktop interface in HTML format only.

Why DV360?

DV360, on the other hand, gives advertisers a more holistic traffic view of their campaign performance, which is ideal if you want to know how well your ads are performing across multiple channels.

DV360 was released in January 2015 with a focus on enhanced performance marketing and more highly targeted campaigns. It has all the features of GDN but adds some new bells and whistles that you may find helpful when it comes to performance.

Here’s why it’s better:

1) DV has access to high quality inventory that GDN doesn’t have access too. DV360 has a proprietary algorithm that filters out the low quality traffic.

2) DV is more targeted and therefore has less wastage of impressions and clicks. It also tends to give you better performance for your campaigns.

3) DV can help you out with reporting in more ways because it’s a more highly targeted platform, meaning you can utilize reports more effectively because they’re going to be much more useful. You can also use certain reporting tools that DV360 doesn’t have, such as the cost per action metric.

4) DV is more flexible in terms of ad delivery. You can deliver ads through a number of different display tactics, including: Mobile Display Network (Mobile-Mobile), Mobile App Distribution Network (Mobile-Mobile), and TrueView in-stream video (Video).

5) DV360 has a cool feature called Cross-Device Targeting. It will track your ads across multiple devices and provide better data and performance for all cross device users on your behalf. This feature is still in beta, but it’s cool nonetheless!

Overall, DV360 is better if you’re running highly targeted campaigns or if you’re an optimization pro looking to give your campaigns an edge over competitors’. However, GDN has more potential for performance and you have better flexibility over other platforms.

What Platform is Better?

Ultimately, there is no “best” platform because which one you use depends on what you’re looking for out of your campaigns. GDN tends to be a better platform for performance advertisers, while DV360 has a more enhanced feature set.

Retaining eCommerce Customers Through Facebook Advertising

7 Core Strategies for Retaining eCommerce Customers Through Facebook Advertising

Facebook ads can be incredibly cost-effective for scaling your customer base, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon other digital marketing strategies like Paid Social or content marketing.

By focusing on customer retention through Facebook ads, you can not only boost your eCommerce sales but also improve the ROI on your ad spend, because you’re reaching customers who are more likely to make a purchase.

According to this report from Aberdeen Group, 90% of eCommerce merchants that use Facebook regularly are pleased with their results.

Customers are liking and sharing your content and coming back to purchase more products. Great! But here’s the clincher: 70% of these merchants also said they have had trouble with retention.

To get the most bang for your Facebook ad buck, keep these 7 core strategies in mind.

1) Upsell: Educate customers with a more expensive product.

If you have customers in your market who like to shop, then it’s probably not a bad idea to offer them a more expensive option or add-on.

In one of our most recent Facebook campaigns, we started seeing an uptick in the number of people completing their purchase after reading an article on one of our themes.

This was our first clue that it might have worked and, sure enough, we started showing those ads to similar customers who were interested in buying another theme or discount package. We ended up selling two extra themes and three more bundles as a result.

This strategy can be especially effective when you’re launching a new product. If you’ve got a new product that’s difficult to explain, then start by writing an explainer article and focus on the value of your product to the potential buyer.

Keep in mind that this strategy doesn’t work if you’re targeting over-the-top buyers who are interested in every single item all at once.

2) Cross-Sell: Inspire them with add-ons to make the original purchase even better.

If you’ve got a product that’s already selling like hot cakes on your site, then it might be worth adding some cross-sells to your Facebook ads.

Sometimes, the best way to get customers to buy an over-the-top product is by starting with an add-on.

Maybe it’s a complimentary item or accessory…

Or even one of the many other products that you sell.

You can even leverage this strategy to get people to buy multiple products.

Do you sell two different types of complimentary products? Try offering a discount bundle with both (all) of them.

3) Use Dynamic Ads Based on Customer Data: For example, show related products or services.

Instead of showing the same ad campaign every time, try showing ads based on customer data like previous purchases or interests.

You can also take things a step further and use dynamic ads to show related products.

For example, if they’ve bought an expensive product from you, then try and offer them a complimentary products through your dynamic ads catalog.

The same goes if you have smart bars on your site for email signups or social sharing.

Show those customers ads based on their signup actions and get them to engage further with your products.

4) Use a broad audience: Include all Facebook users within your target list.

How many people do you know who only use Facebook?

Do you really want to exclude them from your ads? You can also focus on a narrow audience to boost ROI.

If you only want to focus on high-value customers, then target a specific group of potential buyers.

This strategy works well if you have a large enough audience that includes all or most of your target viewers. It also allows for more precise targeting since you’re not relying on an unknown audience segment.

You might even consider showing different ads to these high-value customers depending on the season, time of year, etc. (see #3 above).

5) Use Email Lists: Engaging with past customers to bring them back and buy again.

If you’ve got a list of customers who have proven to be loyal customers, then it might be worth mailing them directly to encourage them to buy yet again.

This can also work well in the opposite direction – if you know that a customer has bought from you in the past and is likely to buy again, then consider sending them an email about your new products, special offers or new releases.

Do you plan on running emails on a regular basis?

Consider creating bespoke email templates for each type of customer.

If they’re interested in blogging tools, then create an email that contains useful information about those tools rather than just sending them an advertised discount code.

6) Branding: Best time to build your brand presence with your audience is right after the buy.

While contrary to traditional marketing, we fully believe it is easier to share your brand with those who just purchased from you, and turn them into evangelists, then it is too for cold prospective customers.

If you sell T-shirts and see a spike of purchases around summertime in your country, try running special promotion on Facebook that includes your most popular designs.

You could also encourage sharing of your brand once they’ve purchased from you, which will appeal to those who are interested in your products but haven’t made the decision just yet.

This could take the form of a discount code for that particular design or something similar.

7) Content Promotion: Reaching out to past buyers with more unique content.

If you have content on your site that isn’t directly related to what you do (or sell), then it might be worth using Facebook ads to promote that content to people who might find it useful.

For example, if you run a blog that explains social media marketing, then you could promote your blog posts to people who are interested in that topic.

This is particularly effective when used in conjunction with ads for similar products and discount codes.

If people like your content then they’re more likely to be interested in your products too – or at least more likely to take an interest when they see those ads.

How does it work?

The only difference between this strategy and the others is that this one isn’t directly about bringing people back after they’ve made a purchase from you .

Managing Social Media Comment

Don’t Feed The Wildlife: Managing Trolls Who Comment on Your Social Media Posts

Hate the trolls?

Ever endured the insults, the general nastiness, and just plain old rudeness of someone who left a comment on your Facebook post?

You know, the kind of person who is so envious of you that they’re forced to go out and find some way to tear you down or at least make themselves feel better by making you feel bad?

And then there are those people who comment without really reading what you wrote because they want a cheap laugh.

Yeah… those people are hurting too.

We’ve got some tips on how to deal with that particular brand of hostility – but first let’s take a look at what’s actually going on.

What is a troll?

The word “troll” has two major uses.

In the first one, it’s a creature in Scandinavian folklore that lives in caves and under bridges.

It’s usually depicted as a grotesquely ugly humanoid with an appetite for mischief.

According to Wikipedia, this use of the word seems to have originated in 1873 when it appeared in Geijer & Afzelius’ History of Swedish Literature:

The name troll is also applied to other things that are tall and slimy.

In old ballads trolls are often described as hideous and hairy monsters.

Figuratively, “troll” is used to describe an obnoxious, ill-mannered person who thrives on causing trouble.

Today the word “troll” is used predominantly in the Internet sense of a person who posts commentary anonymously in online forums or chat rooms with the intent to cause trouble.

In other words…

Trolls are people who post inflammatory statements with no real concern for how they affect others or if they cause any harm at all.

It’s a common misconception that trolls are just disgruntled people who don’t have a way to vent their anger about life in general.

While it’s true that there are many instances of people trying to get a reaction from you online, this type of troll isn’t interested in your reaction.

Trolls have no desire to understand or be understood.

They simply want to target their next victim and make an example out of them for everyone else to see.

Besides, they’re not really thinking at all.

The poster is mostly just typing random words after hearing those disturbing repetitive sounds when a computer keyboard is being pressed too fast.

The viewing audience doesn’t matter greatly here either…

The person who is actually typing the words might not even look at the screen while they do it. They may have been up all night, drinking something with a lot of caffeine in it, and may be on a sort of autopilot.

So what can be done?

1. Delete

Don’t get sucked into their game.

It’s easy to feel an urge to respond but that’s exactly what they want you to do!

To them, this is just some sort of sick entertainment for them and adrenaline rush for you.

If you feel tempted to respond, ask yourself, “Is it really worth the effort to take this troll down and make myself look like a fool in front of everyone else?”

Eventually the troll will get bored and go away.

And if they don’t? All you can do is ignore them until they give up.

2. Block

If you’re going to ignore them, why let them bother you at all?  Block their comment so it doesn’t show up for everyone else to see.

That way the troll isn’t getting any sort of satisfaction out of bothering anyone and no one else has to see his or her nonsense either.

3. Chat or PM

If there are more than one of them, you should ask the other people to take down their inflammatory statements so that it doesn’t continue to spread.

This is also a good way for others to see who these trolls are and to expose them for the attention-seeking jerks that they are.

4. Report the troll publicly

If the troll won’t give up after you’ve tried the above suggestions, create a Reddit or Facebook post with screen shots showing all of their comments put together, along with a copy of the first sentence of each comment they made on your page and then post this on their respective site and tell them why you’re doing it.

Honestly, if you can’t find a way to resolve the problem without starting drama, it’s probably best to just remove the comment altogether and get back to appreciating your life and those who make it so wonderful for you.

The people who are constantly “trolling” other people on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are either:

  1. People who have nothing better to do with their lives than try and make someone else feel miserable; or
  2. Two or more trolls working together to have fun at the expense of everyone else’s feelings.

Trolls thrive on a feeling of power…

The “high” they get from making other people feel bad is just as addictive as using drugs or alcohol.

It doesn’t matter if the troll has a “real” life or not, because he or she will always be unhappy.  They are forever looking to spread their misery to every corner of the internet because that’s all they have in life.

They feed off your anger and hatred and this is what gives them a sort of temporary (or eternal) satisfaction.

Anonymity is the biggest draw for trolls, specifically on sites like Reddit: You can comment and post anything you want without anyone knowing who you are…

But what we really need to do as marketers and brands is understand the underlying causes here.

First of all, we must stop letting this happen. To understand why, let’s take a closer look at how and why this phenomenon started.

Hobbies are Exploding…

A while back I wrote about Internet Scraping and why it was important for brands to know who their target demographic was.

I won’t go into all of that now, but I will say that the explosion of hobbies and the sharing of information online has allowed people to find a niche for themselves.

Hobby-based niches have led to Facebook groups being created which have in turn spawned Reddit forums and even their own websites.

The Trolling phenomena has been around since the beginning of Internet forums, but it wasn’t until people started creating forums on their own that they really began to be disruptive.

Once people were able to use the Internet as a platform for creativity and individuality, they could also use it as a bully pulpit for making others feel bad about themselves.

The Internet is a medium which gives people the power to make themselves heard or ignored by others… The Internet has created communities that existed before it existed…

For example, when I was a kid I used to play in the woods, which is like being part of a community.

When we had “adventure club” as kids, we had a place where we could go and have fun with our friends but also learn new things about ourselves. It was how we grew up.

Later on in life I found facebook and you can actually play games there, which is how people who never even met each other could interact when they are far away from one another.

When you’re in a “community” like this, it allows people to self-select.

But when someone starts talking about how they don’t have enough friends or something that has nothing to do with the community at all, it becomes toxic.

Secondly, the Internet has also introduced people to the creation of “memes”.

The message itself doesn’t have to have any actual meaning behind it because the way it is disseminated makes it much more important than it actually is.

These kinds of messages are used by people who just want to make fun of others or by extremists that are looking for attention, but they can also be used to create positive change in communities and change how we think about things we think should be changed.

Which can sometimes be hilarious, and even get your message across more easily than an entire essay.

However, it can have a negative effect on your brand as well – given, someone takes the time to go out of there way and make one of you / your brand.

Summary

Trolls exist in every field from marketing to medicine (and everywhere in between).

You should be fine as long as you steer clear of the trolls, don’t take it personally and don’t feed the troll (just ignore them).

To quote another wise woman, “don’t stop believing.” If you do stumble across them, or they you, just block or unfollow them and continue to do yourself proud.

ecommerce trends 2021

11 Emerging Omni-Channel eCommerce Trends to Implement This Year (Part 2)

*CONTINUING FROM PART 1

6. BEYOND FACEBOOK ADS – CHATBOT MARKETING

Facebook ads are an amazing tool for marketers but they are not the only tool in your toolbox.

Used correctly, chatbots can be a powerful resource for businesses, turning customers into life-long advocates… Without ever having to pick up a phone!

In fact, according to Business Insider (2018), nearly half of Americans (around 68 million people) have tried out chatbots for customer service or information on a product or service in 2017 alone.

There’s a reason why this is so huge.

It’s because consumers are moving their attention from desktop to mobile on a daily basis.

This means that by using chatbot technology to engage with consumers, you are giving them the information they need when they want it.

And when someone searches for a product on their mobile device, they are 2 times more likely to purchase than if they were searching on a computer!

But there’s more.

You can also use chatbots for lead generation and brand awareness campaigns too…

And because it’s all automated, you can scale up your lead generation and increase your brand awareness without breaking the bank… Or hiring people.

Recart (https://recart.com) is an amazing tool that can help kick your chatbot marketing into high gear.

A chatbot will hold a conversation with your consumers and will be able to provide them with the information they need in real-time.

It’s like your virtual sales rep!

With Recart you can also engage with current customers through Chatbot Messaging and Chatbot Voice Calls.

Think of Recart as a platform that will help you create all types of digital experiences.

In fact, it’s an all in one tool for success for both Facebook & Instagram Marketing and Chatbot Marketing.

So where do you start?

Check out their article HERE (https://blog.recart.com/messenger-marketing-for-shopify-a-comprehensive-guide/) .

7. THE IMPORTANCE OF 1ST PARTY DATA (DUE TO iOS-14)

Most of us know by now that Apple’s recent iOS update has changed the way consumers purchase products through ads.

They no longer get driven to “apps” (or “click-pages” or “landing pages”) in an ad but rather they are driven to iTunes.

In addition to this, if you go to your “purchased section” you will see if there are any products you have previously viewed and/or purchased.

Now Apple does say that if you want links in your ads (i.e. click-throughs) they will allow them but they also say that the links themselves are not linked to your name.

Now this is important for a few reasons.

First, it’s simple, as link tracking is fairly easy to do and most of the time it can be done for very low cost.

But more importantly, it’s because first party data can be used in a better way.

What do I mean by that?

Well, in an age of data privacy, first party data is a huge priority for consumers and brands alike.

Because Apple has your credit card information and has a record of what you have purchased in the past, it’s possible for brands to access this data.

By using tools like Jumptap (http://www.jumptap.com/google-analytics-integration/) it is possible to track this first party data with Google

Analytics and Facebook Pixel tracking.

This gives you the ability to better understand your customers so that you can create better quality content to reach consumers who are more likely to convert.

But there’s more.

Because you have the data available to you, you can now take it and do all sorts of crazy data-based marketing!

You can figure out what types of products that you are selling are popular in certain parts of the country and use that information to tailor your content and targeting.

For example, if we know that there is a particular demographic of people who are buying a product (for example, sweaters in New England) we can create content (say a video campaign) based on this data to target these consumers more specifically.

In addition to this, brands can identify their best customers and better target them with newsletters, discounts, offers and promotions.

This is the reason why it’s so important for a brand to have a first party data set that they can use to create content for these consumers.

So even if you’re going to be working with 3rd parties like Facebook & Google (Google/AdWords) you still want your own first party data set.

8. MULTI-CHANNEL ATTRIBUTION TRACKING

While we’ve talked about the importance of first party data, it’s only a piece of the marketing puzzle.

What you should know is that there are other ways to gather data and use it for better targeting your campaigns.

You can take a look at attribution tracking in Google Analytics.

What this does is help you understand how your content performs in relation to other content from various mediums.

If someone views an ad on Facebook and then goes back to your website they will see that they came from Facebook and not from your website.

But what if you want them to see your website as the source? Simple – just track where they arrived from – i.e. Facebook.

Now you can use this information to determine whether or not the viewer is a match for your audience, which will result in better ad targeting…

For example, when you sell products online, if someone comes from Facebook and not from your website you can create custom landing pages for that person.

Another thing that you can do is take a look at the landing page that the viewer is sent to after coming from Facebook.

If it’s a different website than your own, then don’t convert them into future customers.

And if it is another website, then convert them right away!

It’s pretty amazing how much value you can get out of just a few pieces of technical data from Google Analytics.

You can do the same thing in Facebook.

Here’s how:

  1. WHAT TO DO: Go into your Facebook Business Manager (https://www.facebook.com/business/development) and create a new campaign (the ones that are pre-made might already have your desired audience).
  2. HOW DEFINED CONTENT IS DETECTED: In order for Facebook to detect content you need to select one of the following options: Universal Brand Tags, Dynamic Products, Product Listing Ads, or AdWords Conversion Tracking amongst many others…
  3. YOUR CUSTOM AUDIENCE: Once you have selected the option that best fits your situation you will then want to define your custom audience.  Facebook does create a custom audience for you but it’s limited. You can use it as a starting point but if you want to be more specific, then you will need to define this yourself.
  4. TOP TEN METRICS: You also have the ability to select up to ten metrics (to track) when using Facebook Ads.  You can track conversion events and export them while also tracking offline conversions, website conversions, and even sales volume (or other metrics).

Now with this data it is possible to create content that targets the same audience but in a different medium…

This will help you to build a better relationship with your customer base over time.

You can use this information too, when it comes to selecting the right location (or location-based targeting) to target by using Facebook’s location feature.

This way your ads are shown on relevant pages and websites that are related to what your customers search for, which means more conversions!

9. CONTACTLESS TRANSACTIONS

One of the biggest problems with e-commerce is that a consumer can’t check out in store.

But thanks to advances in technology, contactless payments are now possible.

In fact, customers are more likely to use contactless than store credit cards.

This means that you can collect data on your transactions (such as whether or not your customer is a repeat customer)… While they’re still in the store!

For example, say you sell coats and have a mobile company and it would be awesome if you could use that data to create targeted content for those customers.

You could send them emails about the new coats you’ve got in stock and make sure they get one.

Why does this work?

It’s quite simple, really.

When you sell a coat to someone, you ask them to pay using a mobile device, which will then give you a bunch of data that you can use as a marketer.

Now because brands have the option to run programs like these at the point of sale, they have incredible opportunities when it comes to targeted marketing.

The challenge is not having access to this data… But rather how to interpret it and use it for better marketing.

And this is where you can use a tool like Zeta Global.

Zeta Global (https://www.zetaglobal.com/) is a tech-driven marketing platform that provides brand managers access to the tools they need when it comes to data management and reporting.

This includes, but isn’t limited to, the ability to easily interpret data from multiple channels, create unlimited audiences and custom templates for lead nurturing… And even automate campaigns.

It’s basically your all in one marketing platform all built into one application.

And, when it comes to getting all this data, you can even do it from your existing e-commerce software!

For example if you use Demandware (https://www.demandware.com/) then you can get all this data without having to hire any new people or spend any money on developing new software…

And of course, all of this is powered by the Internet of Things (IoT) where most of the development is actually happening right now.

You can think of IoT as just that: Everything interconnected and moving data around like there’s no tomorrow!

10. CUSTOMER SERVICE WILL GET AN UPGRADE

There’s been a lot of talk about customer service these days.

We’ve heard from the big guys that they want to transform their customer service experience in-store with mobile checkouts and self-service checkouts.

So while these new innovations might be great for consumers, they are also great for brands themselves!

The reason why is because you can really represent yourself in a better targeted way…

Let’s say you sell suits.

You would want to know everything about your customers—like where they live, how many suits they buy, and what kind of size jacket or shirt they wear—if you’re looking to offer them a deal.

One of the ways you can get this information is by using zeta global to find out what device they are using (for example, an Android or iOS smartphone)…

But this only gets you so far.

What you really want is where they live.

This will help you to figure out if they live near a store (like maybe in a mall or on a street) because it’s possible that these people are actually your target consumers!

Now let’s take it one step further… And say that they aren’t located near a brick and mortar store.

This means that you can use your technology to reach out to them and tell them about their unique opportunity to come to your store.

You can send them an email with a good deal and then follow up with them until they come to your store.

And if they do, then you can give them an offer that is 10% better than what they would have gotten at the store.

Now these consumers have grown accustomed to these offers on the Internet so it shouldn’t be too hard for you to give them something even better!

The point is that better customer service and tracking will help brands move towards a new marketing reality where data is king.

The challenge for most brands is figuring out how to use it!

11. PERSONALIZATION IN RETAIL THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

Brands are using social media to connect with their customers and find out what they like.

But what they are doing is a bit different and can be segmented into two different types of social media for retail:

1. Social Media as Portals (HUMANIZATION IN RETAIL)

The first type of social media (portal-based) that we will talk about is the idea where a brand will use a social networking site to direct consumers to more information about themselves.

If Nike wants to pitch running shoes to someone, it might use the various social media channels to present its message.

In the same way that Nike can do this, you can also do the same thing with social media.

The difference is that you won’t be pitching a product (or service) to someone based on their demographic.

You will be doing it based on their passion for something and targeting them in a more customized way… Which is when we get into the second type of social media related to retail.

2. Social Media Advertising (BRANDING)

Another way that brands can connect with their consumers is to do so through advertising.

Now if you have a customer that likes a particular brand, then what you can do is directly target them with certain offers and promotions.

Let’s say you are a coffee company and want to sell your product to someone in the United States based on the data that you have already collected.

You might create a Facebook ad for your coffee to promote the product… And let’s say that there are several other coffee companies competing for this same consumer.

Because of this, you’ll need to find a way to make yourself stand out from the competition.

Well, you can do that by using social media advertising to highlight your brand rather than just selling your product.

What really sets you apart from the competition is not necessarily what you have but how you implement it.

If you sell shoes then maybe the biggest benefit that people receive from your product is comfort… And not price!

But then again, no one cares about comfort if they don’t like how they look in your shoes.

So while this is a different way that brands are doing advertising, they are still using social media to reach out to their consumers.

They just use it in a different way in order to serve them better.

The benefit of these two types of social media for retail is that both allow you to engage the consumer and create affinity… Which means that your message has been received by someone who cares!

There are some drawbacks however, which will be discussed later in this book.

In addition, the best bet for most brands when it comes to social media is using it as a portal rather than an advertising avenue because if you do then you will have far more control over the type of information that your consumers get.

SUMMARY

This guide talked about the various types of social media available for brands to use in order to engage their target customers.

It also touched on the three ways that brands can connect with their audience and the benefits of each.

We also concluded by addressing what social media is all about: How brands should integrate it into their marketing plans and how they should be using these different platforms to do so.

And to be more omni-present.

With Sprague Media we help brands open up their campaigns to the success of omni-channel, by using social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Our expertise in social media, analytics, customer acquisition and data allows you to find the right audience and inform them at the right time.

Emerging Omni-Channel eCommerce Trends

11 Emerging Omni-Channel eCommerce Trends to Implement This Year (Part 1)

Omni-Channel…

“This is the Way” [Mandalorian voice].

Siloing channels is a mistake, and you will lose so much in the long run.

Consumers are engaging with content across all platforms and your brand should be no different.

With the rise of TikTok garnering so much attention from consumers, other platforms (like FB & IG) are quickly trying to jump on the band wagon of quick, catchy, social media videos.

With Instagram Reels, IG TV, FB Stories, and IG Stories, these are all examples of where the future is headed.

That said, we are not seeing an abundance of people choosing one over the other.

In fact, the inverse is true.

When creating content for one platform, people are posting across their entire network.

Showing us the real importance of being omni-present as brands.

WHAT IS OMNI-CHANNEL ECOMMERCE?

Seems like a made-up term, right??

Well, it’s pretty self-explanatory…

“Stores selling both online and offline — likely also selling through multiple online channels (i.e. on Amazon, eBay, Facebook, B2B). We’ve also been referencing the importance of listing your product wherever consumers are already spending their time. This is increasingly known as contextual commerce, a more strategic take on the overarching omni-channel term.
” – Big Commerce

Be everywhere – sell your products everywhere.

Now that we’re on the same page, let’s dive into the fun stuff!

1. OMNI-CHANNEL: THE NEW NORMAL

As 2020 has come to a close and 2021 has begun, albeit, a bit better then where we left off last year – the transition hasn’t exactly showed itself yet.

We are really starting to see the results of working across multiple channels vs just a single channel.

Back in 2016, you could’ve scaled an eComm brand to $10MM+ just off FB alone!

Nowadays…

Not a chance!

Why is this?

Because attention has been garnered across multiple channels.

You might feel, “…damn, wish I could’ve done X”.

Of course!

We all do… Hindsight is 20/20.

That’s the past, this is the present.

And as we look at our strategies, we need to consider the past, present, and future.

So, the “New Normal” has quite the meaning here in 2021, in more ways than one.

What we’re talking about today though, is marketing & advertising.

As newer platforms, such as TikTok, have been created and promoted we haven’t seen a decrease in active users on other platforms.

In fact, we’ve seen the opposite.

Active monthly members continue to increase on every platform.

The reason for this?

In today’s attention economy, if someone posts a video on TikTok, they’ll also post it on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.

This also means that people are more likely to see your brands message if it’s also on multiple channels.

Because what we do, Social Media Advertising, is based on performance, numbers like this excite us.

By simply running ad campaigns on, at least, three or more channels, you increase your purchase rate by ~3x!

Image Link: https://www.omnisend.com/blog/ecommerce-trends/

Does this seem too difficult to do?

It shouldn’t, but if you’re already not doing this, it could feel overwhelming.

Well fear not!

It’s simple.

As simple as this (follow these simple instructions):

  1. Create a video – this could be an amazing piece of work or could simple be a slideshow video, showcasing your products. You can do this right inside the Facebook Business Manager if you don’t know how.
  2. Run that video in a campaign on Instagram.
  3. Then download that video and run a campaign on TikTok.
  4. Repeat with Snapchat.

It’s really that simple.

There are a handful of other things you are going to want to do, but in essence, it’s that easy to get 3-campaigns up and running today.

2. BUY NOW, PAY LATER

Financing eCommerce purchases is on the rise.

Brick and mortar department stores have been doing it for ages!

Getting you to sign up for a credit card and having that card cover your purchase.

Remember?

Back in the day when you would go “inside” a store (pre-pandemic).

Now you might ask…

Well, what does have to do with omni-channel?

Great question!

It’s all about conversions… And at the root of it, Omni-channel is all about conversions.

In the US, around 70% of shoppers abandoned carts.

Abandoned carts equate to around $34 Billion in sales left in carts.

With a Buy Now, Pay Later app like Klarna, we see an average of:

  • 58% increase in average order values (AOV)
  • 30% lift in checkout conversion rates

These are staggering numbers and a definitive factor in creating success for your marketing & branding campaigns.

And as I previously mentioned, buy now pay later isn’t new.

It’s just now entered the digital age.

That said, there is still risk involved with consumers falling behind in payments and, in their minds, your brand affecting their credit score.

However, what this really opens up is that Gen-Z & Millennial trillion-dollar market.

Allowing for the ease of conversion.

3. MORE CONTENT – INFLUENCER-BRAND PARTNERSHIPS

Now that the age of Omni-channel is upon us, we must also step up our content game.

I understand this is what marketers have been saying for years, but it’s really hit its zenith (so far).

Because consumers are on all these different platforms, as brands, we must also be on all these platforms.

It is as simple as that.

But how does one go about creating all this different content.

Well, there are a few ways to do this.

  • Repurpose old content.
  • Make a single piece of core content (longer form) per week and break it into chunks (short form) for distribution throughout the rest of the week.
  • Get influencers to create content for you.

You ever scroll through TikTok or Instagram and wonder how these seemingly nobody influencers are advertising products?

It’s all due to the need for more content.

While you, as a brand, can always create your own content, if you’re wanting to step up your game you add influencers into the mix and bump up your production 10x.

Even with the influencer phenomenon some major brands are still having trouble creating enough content in this noisy internet-atmosphere we’ve created.

But that’s okay, even is you’re a small business.

As there are many micro-influencers looking for work. And frankly, they’re way more appreciative about the opportunity than the big guys are.

The best part about getting influencers to make your content for you?

It’s a double-whammy.

What does that mean?

Not only are you getting content but they (the influencer) is also sharing said content with their own followers.

Even if they only have 1,000 followers, they tend to be 1,000 true fans.

That’s a big deal because it means that it is easy for them to get their content seen by those 1,000 true fans.

It’s a relatively simple process.

So what are you waiting for?

Get out there and find some influencers to help promote your content!

Think of it as a budget-friendly way to get your content out there.

4. SOCIAL SELLING THROUGH SHOPPABLE VIDEO

Shoppable video has been around a while.

Previously, making you go in-store to purchase your products.

What we’re talking about here is the rise of Shoppable Video.

But unlike old days, where one would only be able to rely on their store to get them into the store, now they can also rely on a video (with a shoppable element) to get consumers to buy on your brands website.

Now you’re no longer relying on store traffic.

In fact, you could even run your campaign on Instagram without posting it to a storefront.

Shoppable Video is the new way for shoppers to shop on-the-go and is the most common type of video that consumers are watching today.

Which means…

You can potentially get them to buy online!

This involves integrating your app into all of the major ecommerce platforms – i.e. Shopify, BigCommerce, etc…

However, there are two major challenges to this.

The first is technical in nature.

The second is budget-friendly.

Since this isn’t something you can just do through shared ads – this requires a certain level of capital to get done properly.

But it’s worth it, as Shoppable Video is the future of video marketing & eCommerce.

5. DTC ON SOCIAL WILL MEAN MORE THAN JUST PHYSICAL PRODUCTS

DTC (Direct to Consumer) continues to be an important strategy in eCommerce.

This is because of the ease of which consumers can purchase physical products.

However, as time goes on, we are seeing social selling evolve into Social Sharing & Referrals.

This is when your customers share your product with their friends, family, colleagues, etc… Which leads them back to you for more.

A new approach to this would be creating a community based platform with exclusive content from influencers who want to create DTC campaigns themselves.

Think of it like a “Product Hunt” but instead of discussing the newest tech gadget or app, it’s clothing and accessories.

The clothing industry is slowly becoming more and more social.

But it still feels like there’s a gap between the influencer community (Facebook & Instagram) and the real world.

That said, if your brand creates video campaigns that showcase influencers promoting your products this could be an opportunity to bridge this gap.

And with that, we would be able to truly say that there is a “little bit of the digital” in your physical store now too.

So don’t worry!

This isn’t some big leap.

It’s merely taking the modern-day digital approach to physical product sales.

On top of that, we’re seeing a trend that goes beyond physical products.

Whether you’re in the automotive industry, housing & real estate, or even digital products, we’re seeing a huge surge in these types of companies focusing their strategies on DTC.

This trend will continue and increase as CPMs remain low and results fly in.