Getting Social (Of Course!)
Will social media marketing slow down anytime soon? More than likely not. What may change over the next few years is the platform that will become the leading digital marketing preference and the features that accompany the platform. Will there be new ones developed? Will demographics change for marketers and platform users? Smart markers will need to keep up with technology solutions that engage with their target markets. With FINRA ‘allowing’ social media use, there is no reason for not participating in social media. However, be advised that sharing is considered to be adoption of whatever you post and you are under regulatory monitoring. Keep your personal and professional social media accounts separate, only posting industry related ‘approved content’ to your professional social media accounts.
On a side note, always know what platform you’re using as confusion may happen when your ‘texting on Twitter’.
A proficient social media strategy includes the following elements:
1. Identification of Persona- If you don’t know who you’re targeting, you can’t develop a successful Plan:
Age, Female/Male, Profession, Income, or Region, City, and Neighborhood
2. Identification of Platform- Once you have identified your target’s persona, you’re on your way to communicating your brand or service. Next, you need to determine what social media platform you should use:
Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter to name a few.
3. Personalized Persona Content- When you’ve identified your persona, create your content for them. Regardless if it’s blogs, newsletters, or videos/podcasts, the problem you are going to solve for them should be identifiable through your content.
A study by Demand Metric indicated that personalized content is 48% more efficient than un-personalized content. Personalized content should be categorized through these methods:
Segment Specific: By industry or segment of industry (profession, entrepreneurs)
Persona Specific: Personalized for a ‘buyer type’ (professional, millennial, pre-retiree)
Stage-Specific: Personalized for a stage in the buying process (investigating buying stock?)
Account Specific: A specific prospect organization (Regional hospital, business owner group)
Lead Specific: Personalized for an individual lead (the individual)
Paid Advertising (You Need to Pay to Play)
Paid Advertising uses the same type of strategy in persona identification when developing content for paid strategy. Regardless of the platform you use, paid advertising is an effective lead-generation strategy you should consider for your company. Paid Advertising may be one of your most expensive digital marketing initiatives, but it also may have the highest payout, and it’s up to you and your marketing team to determine if paid advertising is worth the investment . You have numerous options (Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, etc.) available to help create your paid ad once you determine what digital platforms your target audience (persona) is likely to occupy. All paid advertising should lead the reader back to your website; remember those ‘hidden pages’ on your website (week #1)? That’s where the ad readers download a white paper, sign up for your newsletter, or sign up for a complimentary financial analysis.
A study conducted by Polar in 2017 confirmed that when branded content is used strategically together with paid advertising the reward is continuously filled sales funnels. Branded content should appear near paid advertising to lure the reader to take further action. For example, an informational article on a specific topic is in an online publication. Next to the article is an ad that relates to the article and offers the reader ‘more’ by signing up for something or offering them something such as a report.
If you don’t have people on your marketing team that are proficient in Paid Advertising, we recommend you hire an outside agency or vendor that specializes in this. We believe that it is better to pay for skilled experts than throw money down the drain trying to figure out a digital marketing Paid Advertising strategy on your own.