5 Trends That Are Currently Shaping the Digital Marketing Scene

Digital marketing is an ever-evolving practice. It includes many different platforms and channels, with each one experiencing their fair share of constant innovation. From social media marketing to website user experience (UX), digital marketing encompasses every part of a brand’s online presence. This is important because not having an optimised online profile means you’re definitely missing multiple opportunities—hey, everyone’s online nowadays, right?

Digital marketing’s role in the complete marketing mix will only grow. Global spending on digital marketing is expected to reach $335.48 billion by 2020. Whoa!

And with so many ways to apply digital marketing dollars, what’s the best way to allocate them? The answer is never simple and there’s no ‘one size fits all’ response. It depends greatly on your industry, audience, and business goals. There’s also opportunity to test and learn with new trends, which is why it’s a must to always be updated if you aim to use something as dynamic and innovative such as digital marketing.

As such, here are five trends that are worth considering and currently shaping the digital marketing scene.

Personalised Digital Experiences

Thanks to the internet and its various forms, many consumers have become very savvy and sophisticated online. They yearn for relevant experiences when they land on a website. If you have different kinds of audiences (which could be segmented by industry, buying stage, or other factors), it’s important to create a more personalised experience to increase the likelihood of conversion. This is a significant point since research has shown that 70-percent of online shoppers expect a more personalised experience when visiting online retailers.

Personalisation in your digital marketing efforts is certainly possible, even if you’re running a small- or medium-sized enterprise, thanks to various digital tools now available. You can execute this in several ways such as customised email marketing and retargeting ads that will remind users after they leave your website of why they should return.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing involves developing partnerships with those who have enough online influence or following to promote your product or brand. This could entail an influencer writing a guest blog post, creating a video showing the use of your product, or talking about your brand on social media to all their fans and followers. An influencer can be a social media icon, celebrity, or even an athlete who has significant pull on social media.

Influencers have the ability to affect the buying habits of their followers. However, you must identify the influencers who best align with your brand’s values and whose followers align with your target market. Aside from wooing more people to at least check out your products or services, having a partnership with a recognised influencer gives more credence and legitimacy to your brand.

Using Big Data to Develop Better Customer Relationships

Marketing and customer behaviour data can be used to help brands create better relationships with their customers. By using insights derived from analysing data, it’s possible to increase customer loyalty and improve on the customer lifetime return. It’s important to understand that the customer’s view of their decision-making lifecycle is different from how a brand develops initiatives centred on acquisition, on-boarding, retention, and loyalty. The value of data analytics actually increases as the relationship continues. This means that your strategies and efforts on collecting customer data shouldn’t end just because a conversion or purchase occurs.

By utilising analytics, digital marketers are able to extract the needed insights for creating improved, more targeted digital marketing campaigns. This allows them to take advantage of data relating to online customer behaviour and internet usage, painting a clearer picture of what online channels and strategies to use. This is the reason why more and more companies are turning to Big Data in the hopes of achieving more digital marketing success.

Social Media Customer Care

Customers are increasingly turning to social media channels to seek advice and/or to complain. In fact, one in three social media users prefer to seek customer service via social media compared to phone or email correspondence. Approximately 67-percent of consumers also use social networks to seek problem resolution. This shift means customer service is no longer an activity carried out only via voice calls or sending emails. If you want to provide improved customer care, you’re going to need dedicated online resources as well.

There’s always going to be negative feedback, but you have the opportunity to turn the situation around by being responsive and acknowledging the feedback. If you respond in a timely manner and resolve the issue via social media, the customer is more likely to stay loyal to your brand. This also improves how your clients view your business. Responsiveness and being accessible to your target market improves how they see your brand, increasing the chances of them giving positive feedback and saying good things to other people who are not your clients yet. This, ultimately, helps boost your digital marketing efforts.

User-generated Content

User-generated content are becoming a part of many brands’ content marketing plan. When brands engage with their customers and offer them a chance to become part of the community, it elevates the relationship. It can also create trust towards your brand since 85-percent of people view user-generated content as both trustworthy and reliable. Saying how great your brand is will never be as convincing as an actual user saying it.

If utilised properly, user-generated content elevates a company’s digital marketing plan’s effectiveness and gives the brand more authenticity. It also sends a positive message to a consumers that their insights are valued and that the company listens. This is why including it in marketing campaigns is a wise move if you want to reinforce brand loyalty or to communicate the idea that “we’re a brand you can trust.”

Digital marketing is the foundation of how your brand appears and is marketed online. However, due to the many channels, tools, and parts involved, it can be quite confusing, even intimidating especially for newer businesses and SMEs. If you seek guidance and help, we recommend consulting with experts in the field like the hardworking ‘bees’ at Curate Bee.

Common Myths About Digital Marketing, Debunked!

To have a full understanding of digital marketing and remove any misconceptions it must first be defined.

Digital marketing can mean a lot of things; it’s a bit of an umbrella term. Simply put, it’s the marketing of a product or service via digital technologies. That can mean online, through mobile devices, display advertising, or any other digital medium.

Although digital marketing isn’t new, it’s still not as utilised as you might think. Sure, you see lots of banner ads on websites and products in your social media feeds. But how many brands have fully adopted it? According to research, only 47% of brands have a digital marketing strategy. That doesn’t necessarily mean the other 53% are doing nothing; they just aren’t committed or convinced enough to go for digital marketing. And the worldwide spending on digital marketing and advertising isn’t slowing down and is even predicted to grow to a whopping $192 billion within the year.

But there are still many organisations that depend on traditional marketing schemes such as cold calling, direct mail, or other in-person opportunities. For these groups to get on board with the digital trend, they need to understand that their assumptions about digital marketing may be wrong.

By breaking down a few of the most common misconceptions, it will be easier to understand that digital marketing can be a great tool to find new markets, leads, and opportunities, either as your main or secondary marketing strategy.

1. Only certain industries will benefit from digital marketing

Retailers depend on digital marketing and advertising. However, if you own, say, a manufacturing company, you may think there’s not much reason for you to engage online. That’s an erroneous belief. First of all, individuals spend as many as eight hours a day online. Don’t think your audience isn’t online looking for information and solutions. They are there, and you can connect with them with valuable content that interests them. A well-thought-out content marketing plan is often the backbone of digital marketing. Providing relevant, engaging content about specific topics will get you lots of views leading to more conversions.

In today’s day and age of digital communications and dependence, it’s more likely that a significant chunk of your target market uses digital platforms and devices, no matter what industry you’re in. Remember, technology and the internet are not limited to a specific audience or market in terms of adoption and attraction.

2. Digital marketing is only for the big brands

Not true by a long shot. Small- and medium-sized businesses can reap great rewards from digital marketing. It’s a low-cost option, especially when compared to traditional means such as print ads or TV/radio commercials. It’s also much easier to find out the return on investment related to digital marketing than traditional marketing given the numerous analytics tools you can use to track down important digital specifics such as views, reach, and social media shares.

Digital marketing opens up all kinds of opportunities for small- and medium-sized businesses. With little investment or overhead, they can expose a bigger audience to their products and services, helping them develop an effective online brand presence. You could even argue that digital marketing and all its elements (e.g. social media, content) can help small- and medium-sized businesses level the playing field with bigger businesses, to a certain extent, in terms of reaching a wider market.

3. Only the young ones are online

Younger people such as teens and Millennials do love the internet and their devices (how many of them do you see around holding a smartphone or a tablet each day? Plenty, we assume!). However, this is not to say that they are the only ones online and, thus, the only ones who can be effectively reached by digital marketing. In fact, the number of members from all age groups, including the older sets, who are being exposed to and are using social media and the internet continues to increase.

In fact, the number of people over 75 years old who are on Facebook has recently doubled. This means that digital and online marketing is not reserved for the young ones. As such, even if your business targets older people, you still shouldn’t ignore digital marketing or risk being left behind by the competition.

4. Digital marketing is too expensive

This one is simply not true. There are many opportunities to test and try different channels without spending a lot. Try some Facebook ads for as little as $10 a day. Set up a Google AdWords campaign for a $100. Or, you could start with a month of banner ads for a particular site that your audience is likely to visit. Start small and test out what works. Many forms of inbound marketing, such as blogging and SEO, are inexpensive yet will help to build sustainable traffic to your business’ website.

True, digital marketing still requires spending. However, there are plenty of digital tools, platforms, and options now available for your online marketing efforts that won’t require you to rob a bank. Getting your brand in front of more faces will benefit you immensely, and many companies have found success with even a small, focused digital marketing strategy. Take simplilearn for example. This online education platform doubled its leads, increased reach by 50%, and decreased lead cost by 60% in just five months, thanks to Facebook ads!

5. You need to use all social media sites to be successful

Social media is indeed an important part of a well-rounded and effective digital marketing strategy. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to have a presence in many or all social media platforms. What’s more important is first knowing your audience and their digital habits in terms of social media use and the specialities and audiences of each social media site. From there you’ll know which platform you have to focus on. Facebook is a given since it’s used by basically everyone, what’s trickier is figuring out the others.

However, it’s not really about covering all bases; rather, it’s more about making the right choice. For example, if your business is into visuals or photography, Instagram is a great choice since it’s a community that’s all about sharing quality images. Remember, being efficient is key. You don’t want to spend all that time and effort creating a LinkedIn business page when your audience primarily involves teenagers or kids now, do you?

See? Digital marketing isn’t so scary after all, and it’s definitely not a fad! So, if you don’t want to be left behind, we recommend you put more focus on your business’ digital marketing strategy if you haven’t already; you won’t regret doing so!

 

This post was originally published on Smallville.com.au

We Answer 6 of the Most Common Content Marketing Questions!

There’s no denying it: Content marketing is here to stay. For SMEs without the marketing budgets of large corporations, it’s one of the most effective ways to grow your business and build a solid presence online.

But what is it, exactly?

Content marketing relates to the information you share with your audience online. This includes blog posts, social media content, video marketing, and webinars. If you’re new to content marketing, it can be overwhelming—but we’re here to help!

Here are six of the most common content marketing questions (and the answers to each one!) to get you started on your journey of bringing effective and engaging content to your target audience:

1. How will content marketing benefit my business?

According to the 2016 Digital Australia report, the average person spends over 10 hours each day on their devices. Each time they go online, they’re consuming content—making it the easiest way to reach your target market online.

Ultimately, the goal of content marketing is the same with any other marketing activity: To increase your bottom line.

When it’s done right, content marketing will increase your revenue and help you achieve your wider business goals, but there’s more to it than that.

Some of the key benefits include:

  • Helping your business climb the search engine rankings, resulting to more visits to your website
  • Increasing your reach and visibility on social media
  • Increasing trust within your audience and establishing your business as a thought leader.

2. How long will it take for me to get results?

There’s no magic number when it comes to getting results from content marketing. Some established SMEs might notice an increase in traffic straight away. For others, especially those building their online presence from scratch, it may take a little longer.

Content marketing is a long-term strategy. To get the best results, it’s important to develop a consistent approach. With a consistent approach, most businesses can expect to see some results (e.g. increased site traffic, social media followers, business leads) within six months from implementing their content marketing strategy.

3. What type of content should we be creating?

Content marketing is often split into two main categories: on-site content and off-site content. It’s a good idea to create both, as they will benefit your business in different ways.

On-site content relates to the content you share on your own website. This includes things such as blog posts, downloadable ebooks, and on-site videos.

Off-site content is the content you share elsewhere on the Internet, including guest blogging and social media posts.

It’s usually a good idea to include different content types in your online marketing plan, and experiment a little to find what works best with your audience.

You should also aim to include a mix of topical content covering the latest industry news, trending topics, and events, and evergreen content which will continue to stay relevant long after you hit “publish.”

4. How much content do we need?

Again, there’s no magic number when it comes to how much content you should be creating. As a general rule, the quality of the content is much more important than the quantity of the content you produce. It’s a better idea to create high quality content that adds value, rather than trying to rush content through just for the sake of getting more out there.

Search engines and social media algorithms prefer high quality content as well. Taking longer to produce quality content may seem counterintuitive, but it will increase your reach and engagement, making it more worthwhile in the long run.

That said, it’s important to stay consistent. How much content can you create on a regular basis? If you’re short on time or can’t afford to outsource your content marketing efforts, set yourself a target that feels manageable. From there, you’ll be able to manage your content schedule better, and see how much content you need to create to actually get results.

5. How do we know it’s working?

When it comes to content marketing, metrics are very important. Yet keeping track of the results is something many small business owners seem to overlook.

To avoid this, make sure you have tools such as Google Analytics set up properly for your website. This will help you keep track of the results, and determine which content is the most popular with your audience. You’ll also be able to tell where your traffic comes from, which can help you measure social media growth and search engine optimisation (SEO).

Over time, you should see your website conversions increase, too, as your readers become your customers.

6. What’s a brand voice, and how do we get one?

Your brand voice is like your business’ personality online. When you have a clearly defined brand voice, you ensure consistency in the content you produce, and a way to set yourself apart from other brands.

When creating your brand voice, consider how you would like your audience to see you. If you’re going for friendly and approachable, using stiff, formal language in your content isn’t going to cut it. Similarly, if you’re a business that requires a certain level of formality and professionalism, using lots of slang and colloquialisms probably isn’t the best choice of language to convey your brand image.

To determine your brand voice, spend some time thinking about your business’ core values and how you plan to demonstrate them online. From there, you can create a framework for your content writers to follow.

Ready to get started with content marketing, but need more support?

Getting started with content marketing can be tricky and even intimidating for the uninitiated. This is exactly why, especially for SMEs, employing the help of experts is a great way to get started. Here at Curate Bee, we specialise in helping brands enhance their presence online through our digital marketing tools and expertise. Feel free to get in touch with us to learn more about our services, or take a look at more content marketing advice from our blogs.

Introducing, the New and Improved (But Still Super Awesome)
Lite Social!

We’re pretty sure you’ve already heard of the saying “death and taxes are the only sure things in life,” or something to that effect. Allow us to add one more thing to the list: Innovation.

We’re not exactly trying to give a more positive twist to the aforementioned adage. Rather, we’d like to highlight that point by introducing you to the new and improved Lite Social!

Lite…what?

For the uninitiated, Lite Social is Curate Bee’s social media marketing service which helps clients gain a strong online presence via the social media. Perfect for individuals and SMEs which are just starting out with their social media efforts, it’s a great way to boost customer engagement and build brand awareness online. We’ll research the kinds of articles that fit your expertise, niche, or preferences and, using Lite Social, curate and share them via your social media profiles, from Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn and even Instagram. And because we want to make sure you also have control over what gets to be curated and shared, Lite Social also allows you to manage all suggested articles as well as personalise your posts.

All these work towards the goal of establishing you or your brand as a thought leader in your field through the power of social media.

We did say something about innovation, right? We want to serve you guys better so we decided to innovate and make Lite Social even more awesome than it already is!

What’s new with Lite Social?

In many ways, the new Lite Social is an entirely different beast compared to the old one. For example, there’s a new login page (and a new login URL). To make things easier for you, we’ll keep your registered email address and send you a temporary password which you can then change to the one you prefer. You’ll still be able to connect your preferred social media profiles to the new Lite Social. Don’t worry—just like before, you won’t have to share with us any of your login credentials to protect your privacy.

Then there’s the new Dashboard where you can tinker with your all-important Lite Social settings. You can also view posts and tweets shared and your audience’s comments on them via the Inbox, which also allows you to reply, repost, or retweet without the need to login to your individual social media accounts.

Through the Outbox, you’ll able to manage your content, from scheduling posts to approving articles for social media sharing. You can also create and share promotional posts, events, photos, and customised messages by clicking the Compose button—a new feature that we’re sure you will love! You could also view your reports through the Measure tab to give you a better idea of the effectiveness of your Lite Social campaigns. How’s that for convenience?

These features come together to give you a well-managed, streamlined, and more convenient way of building and strengthening your brand presence minus the hassle and stress—we’ll handle that for you!

Last but definitely not the least, for our existing clients, we left something quite important unchanged: the monthly subscription fee. All these super features for the same price! How’s that for a good deal?

Here at Curate Bee, we value innovation especially if it means being able to provide you [our clients] with better and more effective services to boost your digital marketing efforts. This is why we decided to implement these changes. In this case, change is definitely good!

Of course, this blog is basically just an overview of the new Lite Social. So, if you want to get down to the specifics, we highly recommend clicking the links below.

About Lite Social
What’s New in Lite Social?

Need more information? Shoot us an email at wecare@curatebee.com!

Need More Business Leads? Social Media to the Rescue!

Need More Business Leads? Social Media to the Rescue!

As we all know, one of the keys to business success is increasing the number of leads you’re generating. Many business owners don’t instantly think of social media as a tool for lead generation. However, when utilised strategically and correctly, it could increase the revenue of your business by as much as…

We know we have your attention now so read on to see how!

But First, What is Social Media?

We are all aware of social media, and most of us use it. It is any app, digital platform, or website that allows users to connect with other people and interact with the content other users share online. This is generally known as ‘social networking’.

Aside from being used to connect with friends, social media is increasingly being used by businesses to generate and increase audience engagement and brand awareness, as well as cultivate new leads and sell products. After all, 2.34 billion people worldwide now have at least one social media profile. That’s an audience worth tapping into, but if you want to use social media successfully to grow your business, you have to know how to do it right.

Key Advice for using Social Media to Gain More Business Leads

1. Know your target audience

Many digital marketers make the mistake of sharing the same content across a variety of social networks and online audiences. This is a mistake because each social media platform attracts a different demographic, and they interact very differently with the platforms they choose. If you want to get the most out of your social media marketing, you have to know whom you’re hoping to target and use the appropriate platforms.

Here are a few details which can help you out:

  • Facebook is the most popular social network overall, with 83% of online women and 75% of online men having Facebook profiles. The ages of Facebook users typically range from teenagers to those over 70, so it’s good for attracting a wide demographic.
  • Instagram is the fastest growing social network. It appeals more to younger people, 90% of its users are aged under 35.
  • LinkedIn is mostly used by professionals who have more spending power than those who use other social networks. As it is more about business connections rather than personal ones, it’s a primary choice for digital B2B marketing.

There’s no reason why your business shouldn’t use a variety of social media platforms, but you should make sure you research the audiences of each one first and adjust your content accordingly for maximum appeal and reach. Doing so also gives you a better idea of which social media platforms fit your marketing targets and ideals and those that don’t.

2. Post interesting and relevant content

It’s not enough just to have profiles on various social media platforms; you should also be able to build brand awareness through them. This means attracting more followers. This will start to happen organically if you share content that people are interested in – the more people ‘like’ and ‘share’ your content, the more chances their contacts become aware of your brand and be interested in it themselves. 92% of buyers trust products and services that are recommended by their friends and family. Social media works in a similar way. If someone’s friends are talking about your business, he or she is more likely to follow your brand wanting, at the very least, to know what the fuss is all about.

3. Interact with your followers

One of the main advantages of social media is that it allows your audience to engage you and your business without having to be present physically. This can work for you if you also exert effort to interact with them, doing things like taking part in discussions in the comment section of your blogs or social media pages and replying to direct messages frequently. This will make your business seem approachable, relatable, and friendly, and will make your audience feel more involved with what you do.

If you’re consistent, they’ll be more encouraged to interact with your brand on social media, increasing your chances of promoting your brand further, resulting in more leads, knowing what they like or dislike about your business (insights which you can use to improve your products, services or business processes), or even making a sale.

4. Optimise and share for mobile

There are currently 1.65 billion active mobile social media accounts, and this number is growing by a staggering 1 million per day. As such, it’s important that all your content is optimised for mobile devices. This also offers opportunities if you tend to generate a lot of local business. As your audience will be accessing their social media accounts while they’re out and about through their phones or tablets, offering special local promotions or discount codes, for example, will attract them to your business.

Sharing content that’s both mobile and desktop friendly on social media also increases your brand’s visibility, ensuring that what you put out there will be seen or heard by more people. Ignoring mobile in your social media and content efforts, however, is a big no-no. For example, a visual, ad, or graphic that renders badly on mobile will reflect negatively on your brand’s reputation, especially if it happens frequently.

5. Use video

Video is essential as part of your social media marketing strategy. It is expected to account for over 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2020. Also, videos are shared much more than other types of content. Video gives you the opportunity to create narratives around your brand, engaging your audience by involving them in a story that evokes emotion, without being too promotional.

A couple of facts to convince you that video should be an integral part of your social media efforts:

  • Social media sites like Facebook give more prominence to video compared to other types of content.
  • YouTube reaches more viewers aged 18 to 49 than television, with two million videos viewed every minute!

6. Consider paid advertising

Most social media platforms now offer paid advertising, with a range of options to suit your marketing budget. Social media algorithms favour paid advertising over organic content, so your posts will be seen by a lot more people if you shell out a bit of cash. In fact, almost 60% of social media marketers believe that paid social media advertising is more effective than just having organic posts.

An Australian Social Media Success Story

The success of Pearly Whites, a popular Australian home teeth whitening brand, is attributed directly to its social media marketing strategy. 27-year-old managing director Jake Munday grew the business by 10,000% in just over a year by attracting more than three million followers on social media. He now earns around $40,000 per month.

Jake is not alone in having harnessed the huge potential of social media to make a success of his business. Social media works, and it should be an essential part of your marketing strategy if you’re serious about generating more leads and growing your business.

This post was originally published on Smallville.com.au

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Evergreen Content

“Evergreen content” is a popular buzzword in the online marketing industry. But what is it, really? Put simply, evergreen content is content that still holds its value even after months or even years have passed since it was published. It is not beholden to current trends or topical content; rather, it provides information that will continue to be of interest to readers over time.

Due to their nature, evergreen posts hold great potential in attracting hits from search engines and in generating consistent traffic to your business’ website or blog. However, many businesses, especially those which are digital in nature, are still belittling what evergreen content can bring them in terms of online marketing rewards.

Of course, that shouldn’t be the case—and here are the reasons why you need to include this type of content in your business’ digital marketing arsenal:

Stay at the Top of Search Engine Rankings

Although each search engine’s ranking algorithm is slightly different from the others, one thing that they all have in common is that they love evergreen content. This type of content tends to get more backlinks from other sites and blogs, making it more valuable to the search engines which, in turn, results to them sitting at the top or near the top of many search results. These posts also generate a lot of traffic over time, which also speaks positively to the search engines.

Having a strong search engine ranking is crucial to gaining readers and potential new leads from your online content. Most readers do not go past the first page of search results when looking for information, so you want your site’s content to be right there at the top. This leads to more site visits which, in time, can result to more conversions.

Encourage Social Sharing

Evergreen posts are more likely to be shared on social media, even well after they have been published. While topical posts usually only receive significant amounts of shares in the time immediately after posting, evergreen posts continue to be shared over the long-term. What this means for your business is that your post will have a better chances of reaching new audiences with every share, no matter how long it has been since you published it. This is value that cannot be ignored for your digital marketing efforts.

Boost Site Traffic within Your Blog

On your company’s blog page, you likely have a widget or section in the sidebar that lists your most popular posts (if you don’t, you really should have one). This tool encourages your readers to stay on your site longer and read more of your content, thus solidifying your brand in their brains. Because evergreen content brings in a lot of search traffic, these posts will usually be your most popular. They’ll gain even more traffic by being visible alongside your other content.

Most people only stay on a particular site for a few minutes before navigating to another site. The longer you can keep readers on your site, the better your chances are of turning them into customers. As they have already invested a larger chunk of time reading your material, they will be more inclined to choose your business over your competitors.

Establish Your Authority

Evergreen content provides a great opportunity for your organisation to provide your readers with the background information they need to understand your other content and what your business does or offers, in general. Much of evergreen content is geared towards beginners to a topic, so you have a unique chance here to set your business up in your readers’ minds as an authority in your particular industry. This way, they’ll have confidence that the information you provide is solid and valuable for them.

Topical content is great and often has a chance to go viral, which can be a great boon for your business. However, it does not complete the whole picture. You need evergreen content as well to form the foundation of your business’ content marketing. Without it, you’ll likely only receive large amounts of traffic to your post in the period immediately after you hit the publish button. No new posts equals no new traffic. With evergreen content, on the other hand, you’ll generate consistent traffic as your online readers search for the information you provide.

Get Expert Help with Your Content and Digital Marketing Strategy

If you’re looking for ways to strengthen your online marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to seek the guidance of digital marketing agencies. We at Curate Bee have the digital tools and expertise to jumpstart your content marketing efforts and help you gain a truly effective online presence for your business.

Clueless About Social Media Marketing? Here’s What You Need to Know

Social media marketing is a blessing for small and medium-sized enterprises or SMEs. It is relatively easy to do and can be very inexpensive, therefore it can help level the playing field for these smaller companies in terms of marketing their brands online.

An SME can have a social media presence that is as effective as a large company’s. But what if you haven’t started yet? Don’t worry—it’s definitely not too late! Here’s everything you need to know about getting started in social media marketing for your business.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media is a sort of catch-all term for various networks that people and businesses use to communicate online. What makes it “social” is the fact that people share information with other people in their networks. If a person communicates with your company on social media, the people in that person’s network will also be able to see your social media presence.

Social media marketing is simply a way to promote your business using the same social media tools. For example, you use Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch with friends and family. You use them in the same way to stay in touch with your customers, promote your brand, and market your products or services.

How Is Social Media Marketing Different from Other Kinds of Marketing?

The difference between social media marketing and other forms of marketing can be summed up in one word: engagement. When you take out an ad in a newspaper or magazine, you’re assuming that a potential customer will see that ad, read it, and seek out your business to make a purchase. The same goes for direct mail, TV, and even billboards. That’s a lot of assumptions!

With social media marketing, you are meeting your prospective customers where they are. They are already on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If you are there too, you can get in front of them—and here’s where the magic happens. Once you get in front of them, you can engage them and get them to interact with your brand. They can watch a video about your product, participate in discussions, or view photos which they can then share with those in their networks. This in turn creates more buzz for your business. The more people talking about and sharing what you put on your social media accounts, the better your chances of reaching more people and generating more leads for your business.

Social Media Marketing by the Numbers

The number of people using social media is truly astounding. As of May 2017, Facebook—the biggest social network out there—has 1.94 billion active monthly users. That’s 1.94 billion people who use Facebook at least once every month. It also reaches every demographic, most age brackets, and different income categories. Meanwhile, there are over 5 million businesses which use Instagram to promote their wares. Instagram—or simply IG as millennials like to call it—is a photo-sharing social network, so if your products or services have any visual appeal, it will be useful if you’re on IG as well.

According to updated stats, around 95% of people aged 18-34 follow at least one brand on social media. Also, visual content (photos and videos) are 40 times more likely to be shared on social media compared to other kinds of content. In the land of the little blue bird a.k.a. Twitter, there are currently around 320 million active users worldwide. Back to Facebook, there are around 40 million active small business pages.

So what does all this tell us? Simple: Ignoring social media marketing is basically akin to hiding your brand from lots and lots of people.

Advantages of Social Media Marketing

The biggest advantage of social media marketing is its viral reach. You are engaging with your customers and they are engaging with their network. Essentially, you are turning your customers into ambassadors for your brand. Your products may never come up in face-to-face conversations between friends, but they will come up on social media and people might just share them, potentially growing your business organically.

For example, in February 2016, the total amount of views generated by Facebook videos is an astounding 199 billion. That’s just for one month—imagine if a chunk of that was generated by a video you created for your business. Impressive, yes?

Of course, it also goes without saying that you must be careful with what you post and make sure your products and services are actually good before promoting online. Because, while going viral on social media can really be a big boost for your marketing efforts, it can be destructive for your brand as well. You don’t want word to get out about a major mistake your business made or a sub-par product your company created now, do you?

Setting Yourself Apart

With all the people and businesses using social media, it can get a little crowded. Make sure you set yourself apart from the crowd by bringing your brand to the fore. Your social media accounts should have a common theme and be brand recognisable. You could adopt a social media personality that will draw positive attention to your brand and make it stand out more. Be warned though; you should be consistent with how you set up your social media profiles—confusion is never a good thing!

You could also focus on what makes your business better or your products and services unique. Building on your business’ unique selling proposition will directly communicate what you want to say to your online audience, which is probably something like, “Here we are, check out our products, and see why they’re better than the rest!”

You should also devote time to being active on social media and consistently communicate with those on your business’ social media networks. Remember: the social media world, as a whole, has a very short attention span. If you’re dormant for too long or become uninteresting, your followers will soon forget about your brand.

Getting Started

There’s a lot to learn about social media marketing, so try not to get overwhelmed. Take it one step at a time. You can start with the network you use the most—this will probably be Facebook, although it could be Twitter or even LinkedIn—only this time you must adopt a business approach. This will help familiarise yourself in terms of what needs to be done. It also pays to assess your options and answer key questions. Which social network does your target market visit the most? What kinds of content do they like? What kinds of content should I share?

Admittedly, social media marketing can be a hit-or-miss affair in the beginning but, in time, you’ll be able to get the hang of it and know which social media strategies work best for your brand. However, if you really need to jumpstart things and get useful advice and guidance on social media marketing, don’t hesitate to contact us at Curate Bee. Our busy “bees” will be hard at work in helping you build a social media presence that will do wonders for your business!

Still Don’t Have an Online Profile? Here’s Why It’s a Must for Your Business

Any business that does not yet have an online profile is perhaps not aware of the many benefits that come with it and an accompanying social media strategy. Just look at established companies—the likes of Amazon, Google, Dell, and Microsoft are using their online presence to grow and are experiencing immense success.

These companies were early adopters of the internet and established their brand profile online. They also leverage social media to its maximum, continually sharing interactive and engaging content with their customers. With these big businesses as real life examples, it goes without saying that having an online profile for a business, especially small and medium-sized enterprises or SMEs, is a step into the right direction.

But just in case you need more convincing, read on!

What is an Online Profile?

An online profile is not a single item or piece and is not in only one place, but rather is an amalgamation of pieces that together represent a business’ brand on the internet. The components that comprise an online profile are unique for each enterprise. Some businesses have only a domain and a basic non-interactive website; maybe even just single page on a shared domain. This is the minimal online profile and is likely not particularly effective in terms of marketing online. Others have built a strong presence not only through a dedicated website but also by leaving a digital footprint on social media and other online platforms.

What are the Components of an Effective Online Profile?

An effective online profile will, at the very minimum, include a complete website, with the business profile, contact information, and ideally engaging online content the company wants to share with its customers. Next the SME will want to dip their toe into the interactive social media space using the current popular platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Tumbler, etc.). It is wise to participate in a few of these at least, linking them where possible to have a better chance of gaining more followers and interactions.

Developing professional, high quality online content like short videos (leveraging free and paid video sites), the SME can share their content in a manner that engages. Adding further components completes the strategy, with marketing tools like email, newsletters, and a regular blog allowing the SME to tell an ongoing “story” of their business and to help drive views and clicks. With a more complete online profile containing these components, a business can more effectively represent its brand and products/services online.

5 Solid Benefits for an SME of Having an Online Profile

Many businesses are familiar with online profiles but don’t yet see how having one can be a useful tool. The competition online and offline is fierce in nearly every field. According to recent studies there are now 2.1 million small businesses in Australia alone. An online profile is another tool an SME should carry in its competitive tool belt. Below are five reasons why:

Increased sales

An online store is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and requires no additional personnel to man (aside from developers on standby, unless live persons are regularly needed for a live chat with customers). This relates more to those in retail; it’s always better to have more options in terms of marketing and selling your products.

Exposure to new global markets and customers

It is now as convenient to buy a product from a large established company in the U.S. as it is to purchase from an SME online in Sydney. Many people prefer the SME for service reasons. Don’t miss that chance to build new client relationships. Having an online profile makes you more visible and easier for potential clients—even those overseas—to know more about your business and your offerings.

More effective and rapid communication with clients

Having an online profile via digital platforms gives you the speed and convenience of electronic communications and feedback, which in turn bolsters the service (and after-service) capability of your business, allowing it to respond more rapidly to clients. And we all know that happy clients are great for business, especially in terms of promotions.

Increased brand awareness

With an effective online profile, an SME will enjoy the ability to reach more clients than by word-of-mouth in the physical world. More awareness equals more brand power, which ultimately translates into more loyal customers and more sales.

A chance to compete with the big guns online

The internet levels the playing field considerably for all businesses. Online, an SME’s website, social media profile, and other components of their online profile has the same opportunity as the largest companies in the world to get the attention of a potential buyer and close that sale. As long as the online profile is executed and managed effectively, it will be able to bring in the same kind of advantages more established companies are currently getting via the internet.

Many Australian SMEs are Already Succeeding with their Online Profiles

All an interested digital marketer looking for proof needs to do is browse the web and he or she will find a plethora of real-world examples of small companies that have made a large impact using their online profile.

One nice example of an Australian SME that enjoyed the benefits of having an online profile is the company Shoes of Prey. A quick read reveals that 10 million pairs of shoes were sold on their website. It is clear from reviewing their website that the business has been working diligently on their online profile, leveraging social media and online tools like Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, email, online feedback, and more.

Shoes of Prey’s success tells us that the benefits of having a strong online profile are not reserved for the big companies. Diligence, patience, proper management, and the strategic use of digital tools combined with enthusiasm for what the internet can offer ensures not only having an online profile but having one that’s effective as well.

Convinced now that having a legit online profile is beneficial for your business? If you need help to get started or to strengthen your current online profile, don’t hesitate to contact us. Curate Bee’s hardworking bees will help you use the internet to create a truly awesome and effective online presence for your business.

5 Important Steps to Win with your Evergreen Content

Digital marketers know that evergreen content keeps bringing readers back to your website. Wikipedia pages are a great example of evergreen content—that which remains fresh or relevant, and doesn’t lose appeal with time.

News articles, blogs on current affairs, and quarterly statistical reports are some examples of content that might be popular for a period of time, but are not evergreen. List based content like FAQs and How-to articles for beginners are some that never go out of style and will constantly bring visitors to your website. Let’s look at 5 important steps to win with your evergreen content:

1. Choose your topic, content, and keywords wisely

Choose the topic of your page or article with care, as it’s one of the first things that will catch the attention of your target audience, especially in the search engine results. Once you’ve come up with your title of choice, you can then follow the tips below to ensure that your content is engaging enough to prompt more people to read and share it:

  • The tone of your writing should be conversational and approachable, and should be aimed at the beginner rather than the expert reader.
  • Go into the topic in detail, and this means the length of the article would probably be on the longer side. This piece references top digital marketers like Brian Dean and Neil Patel, who often put out longer articles on topics of their expertise.
  • Add links to other resources when necessary, to ensure that the reader can use your page as a central point of information on the topic.
  • Keywords should never limit the scope of your writing, but it is essential that they be interspersed well within the article. This helps not just in SEO, but also in keeping the attention of the reader.

2. Updating and highlighting is key

Just because evergreen content is meant to stay relevant doesn’t mean you should let it stagnate with time. There may be some new pointers or trends that would be useful to the readers of your article, and you should make sure to update the article with these whenever possible. More frequent updates on your website would also contribute to your SEO ratings.

For the times when there are no updates to a subject, you can find other ways to keep an article highlighted on your blog or website. One way is to add links or tabs on the main page, so that readers could easily access the evergreen content. An FAQ article is a good example of this, as it can almost always be referenced from every page in the website.

3. Share, but be smart about it!

Sharing on social media is an effective way to improve readership of your evergreen content, but this must be done with a strategy in mind. Facebook and Twitter will bring in readers for a short period of time, but attention on these social sites is ephemeral, and your article will not stay in the attention of audience for long. Pinterest and Google+ are platforms that are much friendlier to evergreen content, according to the Content Marketing Institute. It’s also wise to use interesting/catchy or stunning photos (or both!) to capture the attention of users, especially if you’re planning to share the article on social media. Collections on Google+ can be used to gather your evergreen content into sub-topics to make them more accessible.

4. Stay flexible and connect to your audience

We’ve already mentioned that evergreen content is aimed more at beginners than at experts. What are some other ways to connect with your readers?

  • How-to articles could provide a download or print option, to make it easier for DIY-ers to save or print out a page for reference when necessary.
  • Step-by-step tutorials could include photos and infographics for every step, keeping readers more visually engaged with your content.
  • Mobile now represents 65% of digital media time, and this figure is only going to get higher in the next few years. As such, it is essential to keep your pages mobile-friendly.
  • Include “like” and “share” buttons that are easily visible to the reader. This adds to the possibility of social media engagement which in turns contributes more hits for your content.

5. To date or not to date?

Some writers believe that content that stays relevant does not require a date on the article. This makes sense for how-to articles, tutorials, and FAQs, for example. There are many cases of smartly-written evergreen content—including movie reviews and parenting articles—that are constantly searched due to relevant topics and keywords, and will keep coming up in search results, even with an older date attached to them. It is up to you as a brand or a writer/editor to make the call and choose what works for you. Some content experts advise to leave out the date, and add it later depending on feedback from your readers.

As with most websites, evergreen content will not be the only type of SEO content on your site. You would also need to write currently relevant and trending articles to provide a well-rounded experience to your readers. Evergreen content however, will only increase in importance, and if planned and used well, will remain a constant source of traffic to your pages.