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Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Pay-Per-Click or Facebook Ads… Which is the best fit for you?

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

In today’s business environment, most marketers and business owners are considering Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising or Facebook advertising as a way to help increase brand recognition and grow their business. One problem they face is that a lot of misinformation and confusion exists as to which marketing channel is most beneficial to helping achieve the corporate goals.

Some companies use PPC along with Facebook ads to market to their audience, however, not all companies have the budget to utilize both. Since they are very different advertising mediums, here are some points to consider when choosing Facebook ads or PPC advertising.

Effectiveness at Driving Conversions Through Online Advertising

A successful online advertising campaign is the key to driving conversions for your business. Understanding how to best convert users on a particular advertising channel is how your organization can make more informed decisions on which channels would be the most effective at helping your business achieve its goals.

A PPC conversion occurs when a person takes an action with your organization’s PPC ad after using a search engine like Bing or Google. A person will use the search engine in order to do initial research or for locating follow-up information prior to making a purchase of a product or service. Once your ad is clicked, your products and/or services can be chosen and the conversion occurs.

To convert a user using PPC ads, understand the mindset of your customer in the stage of the sales process where they’re looking for your particular product or service in the search engines. Place a competitive bid on the keywords that best match the phrases that your customer base is looking for by providing a targeted ad to your audience. This ad should include a specific call-to-action for a potential customer to make. Be sure that the content of the landing page is the same found on the ad in order to create a cohesive experience for the user and to encourage a successful conversion.

A conversion from a Facebook ad occurs when someone performs an action after clicking on an ad from your Facebook ad campaign. Facebook ads help drive awareness, a purchase or the download of a resource or app from the variety of ad unit options the platform offers.

To convert a user using Facebook, you need to understand who you’re trying to reach, what their interests are, what action you’d like them to take and cater the messaging, ad unit and visuals used to the user’s preferences and typical actions on the social network. You need to remember that a person is not using Facebook as a means to do research about a product or service. They are most likely using Facebook to look at photos of their family, chat with their friends and see what their personal network is up to. By targeting the audience properly, the ad will have the impact you desire and the conversion will occur when they visit your page and then your website.

Which advertising platform will assist you in reaching your goals?

When it comes to choosing the right advertising platform for your business, match your goals with the unique feature sets of each platform.

Facebook advertising offers:

  • Deeper demographic targeting to best match ads to the interests and desires of different audiences across the sales funnel.
  • Better branding opportunities with creativity on the Facebook platform to help drive awareness for your business in the long-term.
  • A platform to run your campaigns when looking for long-term conversions and the opportunity to build a relationship with your customers since you’re interacting with them as they perform other actions on the network.
  • The ability to retarget an existing customer using messaging that directly matches their interests and shopping habits.

PPC advertising offers:

  • Contextual targeting to reach your customers more closely to the end of the sales funnel when they are actively looking for your products or services.
  • A faster return on investment since many people will convert with their first interaction with a PPC ad due to having a stronger intent to purchase.
  • Better coordination with your search engine optimization efforts to drive increased visibility for your organization and its offerings.

Conclusion

In the end, we feel that experimenting with a few campaigns on both platforms is the best way to determine which method works best for each customer. We have had a great deal of success with our clients using both Facebook ads and PPC advertising. Contact us today so we can set up a meeting to review your needs and end goals. Let our social media expertise grow your brand recognition and help you to meet your sales goals!

Using Social Media as an Effective Marketing Tool

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

In the ever emerging world of social media, marketers are spending more time and money investing in these outlets in order to reach potential consumers.

A recent survey of 5,000 marketers worldwide revealed that 70% will be spending more of their budget on social media advertising. In 2014, 25% of marketers saw social media as a critical enabler of products and services. That number jumped to 64% in 2015.

Social media awareness is on the rise in both small businesses and large corporations, with over 75% having a dedicated social media team. That is a 50% increase from 2014. The reach and power of social networks has become the main focus of digital marketers.

Let’s take a look at the top 3 social media platforms for marketers in 2015.

Facebook

The top social media outlet continues to be Facebook. With 1.35 billion active monthly users, marketers are turning to Facebook in order to engage with their audience. 80% of marketers use Facebook, with 74% of them using it as a tool to engage customers. A staggering 73% of those surveyed, rate Facebook as a very effective tool to use.

The days of using Facebook as a way to connect with old friends and classmates are in the past. Both B2C and B2B marketers are using Facebook for business to create awareness, launch products and services, and drive sales. Targeting options help advertisers reach the consumer audience they are pursuing. By using interests, connections, behaviors and location, marketers can reach an audience that is more likely to include key buyers and decision makers.

Twitter

Of the marketers surveyed, 70% are using this micro-blogging social network. The same survey showed that 79% of Twitter users engage customers on the platform, which is slightly higher than that of Facebook users.

With 284 million monthly active users, Twitter provides a target audience for digital marketers in both B2C and B2B roles. With 68% of marketers rating the platform as a very effective tool, users are able to specify campaigns to work in a number of capacities. Twitter ads can be used to grow followers, facilitate conversations, encourage app downloads and collect email addresses. These ads can feature in-stream video as well as clickable offers. Through the use of Twitter cards, marketers are able to attach media experience to the ads. This provides the ability to further reach the target audience.

LinkedIn

In 2014, LinkedIn announced that it was going “all in on content marketing” and marketers took notice. LinkedIn has developed platforms that allow for the promotion of sponsored content. Through its use of content marketing, LinkedIn has done an outstanding job of promoting the network’s ability to connect B2B marketers and buyers. With its collection of eBooks and videos, LinkedIn has helped marketers understand the possibility of reaching a B2B audience.

According to the survey, 62% of marketers are currently using LinkedIn and 60% of those users rate it as a very effective tool to use. By using sponsored updates, marketers are reaching a B2B user-base that is highly in tune with the business of the day. LinkedIn is viewed as less of a social network with its focus being geared more towards careers, networking and industry insight. This provides the ability to focus on the specific audience your media content is intended for.

While these three networks are currently the most effective platforms to use, they are just the tip of the social network mountain. It is definitely necessary to keep an eye on other standards such as YouTube, Google+ and Instagram. Snapchat and other messaging apps are growing and are great venues to continue to reach your target audience.

At SSMCreative, we take the necessary steps to ensure that our clients use these avenues to target customers, provide information about the services they offer and grow their brand recognition to successfully compete in the online market. Let us help you grow your business through the use of social media. It’s what we do best!

Grow Your Business Through Social Media

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

In the business world today, the use of social media is a great way to increase exposure and generate more traffic to your website. With the advancement of smart phones, touch pads and developing technology, the world is at your fingertips. If you aren’t using social media to update existing customers or to generate interest from potential clients, then you are missing out on a great chance to grow your brand.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest are leading the social media movement for business. Facebook and Twitter serve 1.5 billion users globally. Not only can you reach your current customers, social media allows you to extend your business well beyond your immediate geographic area by allowing you to cross county, state and even national lines. It’s a very convenient and cost effective way to augment your brand’s visibility. The greater the exposure, the greater the benefit to you.

In addition to gaining exposure for your business, social media gives you a great opportunity to interact with current and potential customers. You have the ability to engage in real time conversations about your mission, products, events and services. It provides a great opportunity to learn about your community.

Social media marketing gives you the ability to convert consumers over to your brand. Most significantly, your brand will become more humanized by interacting one-on-one in social media channels. This reinforces that your customers are doing business with other people, not just with companies, therefore, adding the human touch that consumers enjoy.

Consumer confidence in your brand is another key to business growth and development. Studies have shown that by increasing followers to your company through social media improves trust and credibility in your brand. Building your audience improves your chance of gaining new clients.

Another advantage to using social media is decreasing your marketing costs. Approximately 85% of marketers found that as little as six hours of effort per week was enough to generate increased traffic. Not a significant investment for a channel as large as social media.

Lastly, SEO is the best way to capture relevant traffic from search engines, but the requirements for success are always changing. Google and other search engines are calculating their rankings using social media presence as a significant factor. Strong brands are effectively using social media and because of this, being active on social media could act as a “brand signal” to search engines that your brand is legitimate, credible and trustworthy. Therefore, if you want to rank for a given set of keywords, having a strong social media presence should be a mandatory element in your marketing plan.

At SSMCreative, we believe that social media is a tremendous outlet to develop your business and grow your brand. Our focus has always been on getting targeted and quality traffic to your site in order to allow the opportunity for you to showcase to your target audience all that you have to offer as a company. Social media is here to stay and we are here to get you started or to help you refine your social media campaign so that you can reap the benefits of more customers, more traffic and a better presence in your industry.

Why I don’t like Social Readers

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

We’ve all seen them. The Wall Street Journal has one, Digg has one and we’ve all seen what our friends are reading. And THAT’S precisely my problem with social readers. I don’t necessarily want my friends knowing that I’ve read about Snooki’s miraculous weight-loss. Or that I’ve read something about Corn Syrup’s tie to gluttonous appreciation of old Lost in Space episodes. It’s just none of your business and if I want you to know, I’ll share it with you.

So how do you deal with this? First things first, don’t sign up for the service if you don’t have to. Digg gives you the option of signing up, I decided to ignore it (with the little button that says “No Thanks”.

The WSJ is a little more difficult because they require you to sign up for it in order to read the articles (which is really annoying and a bit of a privacy issue I think). So how do you handle it? Easy, sign up for it and then in the app’s preferences on Facebook set it so that only you can see it in your timeline. That way no one else will be able to see that you’ve got a slight obsession with Twilight and Robert Pattinson ~ you twihard you.

My prediction? This is something that a lot of online media outlets will test out and people will not use it. Then again, I like my privacy and I like being in control of what people see of what I’m doing.

If you’re using it, let me know why.

B2B Social Media Marketing?

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

You bet. We’ve seen it successfully work for any number of companies and it’s a smart thing to at least be aware of, even if you’re being reactive rather than proactive.

http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2011/03/01/how-to-integrate-social-media-into-b2b-companies

Starting things off…

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

The first thing I tell people when I first meet with them and they ask me about blogs or social media of any kind is, “don’t half ass it”. What do I mean exactly by that? I mean, don’t do it if you aren’t going to (a) stick with it or (b) put up meaningful or at least interesting information. There are a bunch of traps that people fall into when they’re deciding to jump into online communication, but one of the biggest is that they get really excited about it for a few months and then other things start to get in the way. That’s how life happens so you have to plan for it. Here are a couple of things to help you get started or keep your focus when engaging people online:

  1. Get to know the tools that will make your life easier. If you’re going to be blogging, set up WordPress or whatever you’re going to be using to allow you to manage the site via a phone. You’re going to want to respond to comments quickly and make sure that you’re not being spammed or that someone’s not flaming you. If you’re using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and anything else – find a tool that allows you to aggregate and post to all of them at once. Hootsuite is a great option.
  2. Decide what your voice is. Are you going to be funny or serious? Are you going to be informative or just aggregate? Or are you going to be all of these? No matter what, you need to be consistent. If it’s just you, that’s a whole lot easier than it is if you’ve got a team of people writing.
  3. Put together a plan. Decide how much you’re going to post and how often. Blogs should be at least one a week, while social media should be a couple of times a day – IF IT’S GOOD. As part of that plan, you need to do some research and make sure you’re not just re-hashing something that’s already been written or that shows you’re way out of date (I say this while I’m writing something in 2011 that’s already been covered by a ton of other people long before this, but these are things that I still have to tell people on a regular basis, so I figured I might as well get it down…).
  4. Set aside the time. Once you’ve got the plan in place, set aside however much time you’re going to need daily/weekly/monthly and just schedule it on your calendar. If you don’t, you won’t do it, it’s just that simple.
  5. Turn off the distractions. While you’re writing or researching, turn off your email and phone. If you don’t, you won’t end up concentrating and you’ll get sidetracked. Then even though you’ve scheduled it on your calendar, you’ve now got a stage 5 crisis and people throwing hairy eyeballs at you through the phone and you’re going to put it off until next week.
  6. Spell check.
  7. SPELL CHECK.
  8. And finally, don’t blog/Facebook/Twitter drunk. Just don’t do it. It never leads to anything good and generally ends up being embarrassing. If you want to do that, do it on your personal account and don’t let any of your coworkers, clients, vendors or whatever be friends with you.

There you have it, Josh Lampe’s short list of how not to be stupid when starting to converse online.