Introduction: What are the different challenges faced by Marketers today? Hubspot looked at data from over 3,500 marketers who shared what their biggest problems in marketing were. The results clearly state that brand awareness is one of the biggest challenges faced by marketers in today's evolving world more so when the resources are limited. Branding tactics have drastically changed over the last decade with new technologies and social platforms evolving rapidly. To find a relevant audience that is interested and to get a hold of them without interrupting them is a tedious task.
Traditional marketing which helped getting your brand recognized in the market included things like knocking on people's doors and many other activities. But, with digital marketing there are far more opportunities to reach the right audience. We need to invest our time and resources in the right areas and if we do that, we can benefit from a much higher ROI from our marketing activities and improve brand awareness and recognition. Social media plays an important role in making an impact through creating good content that positions a brand at the top notch level, and by thinking outside the box which helps a brand to stand out.
Case study: Innocent Drinks
What did they do?
In 1998, a group of three friends bought £500 worth of fruit and sold smoothies at a music festival stall. They asked their customers whether they should give up their day jobs and sell smoothies full time by placing their empties in either a bin that said 'yes', or one that said 'no'. By the end of the day, it was a unanimous decision — they were going into the smoothie business! They were about to disrupt a market dominated by unhealthy sugary drinks with a genuinely healthy option. Remember that every business in the world started small. M&S began life as a market stall, and YouTube was started by two friends in a room above a pizza takeaway. Even in today's heavily competitive world, little can still get big says Richard Reed, Innocent Co-Founder. Source: Money Magazine
Growth: Innocent went from a small startup between three friends to recently selling 90% of the business to Coca Cola. Most people now easily recognize the Innocent brand and the company sells two million smoothies a week to over 7,000 shops with a turnover of £100 million. How did they do it? (Without spending a penny on advertising). Let's take a look:
Innocent Drinks now a part of Coca Cola is a well-established brand. They maintain a popular blog which contains valuable and shareable content. 10% of Innocent Drinks' profits go to a charity. They make use of their blog to highlight important news about their foundation. The sharing of valuable content creates good brand awareness. Apart from that Innocent Drinks has also adopted the 'publisher model' of marketing. They have published multiple recipe books which has had a massive impact on their brand growth. They are known for helping people live a healthier life rather than a company who looks to make profits. They also share videos on YouTube, which are highly shareable. Innocent Drinks has been able to identify the audience's need and has managed to keep them engaged by identifying what the audience is looking for.
In 2012, Innocent was voted No. 1 in the top 100 social brands created by Headstreams. This was because Innocent has always maintained a human one to one relationship with their customers and fans. They have encouraged interactions with their fans and customers from day one and have maintained that even on social media. Keeping the audience glue, they keep up with the latest happenings and use a creative sense of humor that results in creation of interesting posts. Again here the key to growth hacking brand awareness is getting your audience to share your content with their peers.
I can go on and on writing about their communication strategy but here are 25 things that we as social media marketers can learn from brands that have done well on social:
I call them – 25 Actionable insights for social media campaigns:
1. Content: Creating engaging and valuable content helps you become a valuable source of information to your target audience. We need to identify with what the audience wants, to gain better engagement and through their network we can also recommend and ask them to share our content with their friends and peers. Remarkable content helps to keep the audience hold on to the brand.
2. Industry Experts: If you want correct and precise information for your content you should reach out to an expert in the given area. We can find experts on the topics by using tools like FollowerWonk or Klout. Be very specific about what content you're looking for, give them an outline. It's also to work out a promotional plan with them so that you can present your brand to their network as well.
3. Content Writer Platforms: There are a lot of freelance writers we can find on content creation platforms. Two such platforms are Zerys and Contently. It's important you do a thorough background check of the freelance writers and give detailed specifics in your project briefs.
4. Answer customer questions / FAQs: You can use frequently asked questions to your advantage by using the content that will get your brand name found in search engines.
5. Curated Posts: Assemble valuable content from the top ranking leaders in your industry make them into a curated post this can really help your inbound links, which again will make your site a lot more visible to the search engines for instance Google.
How to do it?
Social: Find stories on social media feeds, like Twitter and Facebook, but valuable feeds are mainly found on Facebook. You should search for visible, sharable stories and avoid text-driven articles and blogging.
Creating many headlines: When you're creating something that gets maximum exposure for your brand, having a brilliant headline is essential. You should create many headlines for every piece and narrow it down to best four. Coming up with an attention-grabbing headline for your content will help maximize the reach of your content, and your brand.
6. Repurpose Content: Repurposing Content implies using already created content through different social media platforms which helps increase the visibility of your brand. You can create a series of blog posts, presentations for Slideshare etc. Similarly when you create a relevant, educational presentation, whether for an internal training session, a conference, or a webinar, you can upload it to Slideshare.
7. Newsjack: This gives us room for creating brand awareness. By writing around a piece of news that involves and impacts your industry, the audience becomes aware that you are out there and an added advantage is that you become a part of an important conversation. If your content is valuable it can go to the press which only helps you gain more brand awareness.
8. Guest Blogging: This implies that someone else apart from you should create content for your brand. It also helps gain fresh perspective, provided it is an expert writing the content, It's a great way to gain relevant content.
Tips for Facebook
9. Optimize Every Post: To optimize your post use visuals instead of links in your copy. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual as visuals are processed 60,000 times faster to the brain than text. (Sources: 3M Corporation and Zabisco) Photos on Facebook Pages receive 53% more Likes and 104% more comments than the average post. (Source: HubSpot.)
10. Engage Your Audience: Engaging your audience via your content is one of the most crucial things in social media. A good engagement strategy would comprise of funny, attention-grabbing, you can also use a human touch to your content.
11. Invest in paid content: With organic reach at 6.15% which is expected to decrease further, it's advisable to invest in paid content distribution. With targeted campaigns, good content and even small an amount of money, companies can reach a better audience.
12. Use Unpublished or 'Dark Posts': These are posts that do not appear on a Page's timeline but still allow you to send traffic to them via Facebook advertising. Using dark posts you can create a large number of page posts and send different, highly targeted traffic to each segment you are targeting.
13. Incentivise Sharing: This can be controversial and against social networking site rules, but this tactic is highly affective and recommended for brand awareness. Offering discounts or competition entry in exchange for sharing your company posts are common ways to get your brand to show up on the timelines of people who are not much aware about your brand. This will increase your audience on the network and also there will be an increase in visitors.
14. Hold a competition: 48% of your audience who follow brands do so in order to keep up with promotional activities and latest updates on offers of the brand. When you hold a competition it helps keep the consumer engaged.
Tips for LinkedIn
15. Company Status Updates: Make the most of your Company Page by publishing company status updates for all your page followers to see. This will be an added advantage as the users will have more reason to follow your Company Page, growing your LinkedIn reach. Once you have gotten started with Company Status Updates, the next step is to target your status updates to the Network Update feeds of specific users.
16. Use LinkedIn's Trending Content tool: Use this tool to get a sense of what type of content is most popular on LinkedIn in your industry. The interactive tool highlights the most popular content being shared on LinkedIn for various audiences and topic segments. Once you start monitoring this you will have a better understanding as to what your company should be creating and sharing on LinkedIn to generate more engagement.
17. Experiment with LinkedIn Ads and Sponsored Updates: Complement your organic marketing efforts with paid advertising, LinkedIn Ads are a good medium to consider. LinkedIn's PPC ads allow you to target specific job titles, job functions, industries, or company size, to name a few options.
18. Create LinkedIn Groups (or subgroups) for your industry: Create a LinkedIn Group (or subgroups) of your own. Create a group on an industry-related topic, and become a LinkedIn Group administrator. You can then use this group to establish yourself in your industry.
19. LinkedIn's Publishing Platform: Promote your brand in front of a completely new audience with LinkedIn Pulse – the LinkedIn publishing platform. Publishing is now available to all users. Work out how this feature can help your marketing goals by creating content for the platform and promoting through your Company Page.
Tips for Twitter
20. Add lazy tweets to your content: A lazy tweet simply means that it is a way to make your audience to share your content. Using a free program like ClicktoTweet you can pre-populate a tweet that they can send from their personal accounts, by simply clicking on a button.
21. Optimize your Tweets using important keywords: Tweets have content available to the users which implies it shows up in search results which makes it easy to find. Use this as an opportunity to optimize your Tweets with relevant keywords for your business.
22. Join and host Twitter chats: Have organized discussions pertaining to your industry and business related topics with your network on Twitter. They are usually around a specific hashtag which can give your brand good exposure if you're the organizer and have a discussion which is relevant.
23. Build up good relationships with journalist and reporters: Twitter is a good platform for media relations. Free tools like Tweet Grader, Muck Rack, and Sleek or Shout to find journalist on Twitter who have the ability to cover the stories related to your industry. To build a good rapport follow them, start tweeting etc. When you have good content make sure you get them involved they can give your brand exposure of another level.
24. Keep a track of who is tweeting your content: You can use Bitly to collect information about what content is getting shared on Twitter and who is sharing it. Use this as a tool to gather information about the different types of content available on Twitter and identify the influencers who are sharing your content. Be polite and make sure to thank those influencers who are sharing your content. This will encourage them to keep sharing your content as well as it will build good relations.
25. Use Buffer or HubSpot: Using Buffer or HubSpot to manage your social media posts is a smart way to make sure your content is published across all mediums, gaining maximum exposure. One really great way to do this is by setting up accounts for all your employees across all social media networks and schedule posts for when you want them to go live.
Hope you enjoyed the article!