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How to create a social media marketing strategy

Marianna Muscat - Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Social Media Marketing

Setting up a social media marketing strategy can seem like a momentous task and that could be why some businesses end up doing just the bare minimum when it comes to building their online social media presence. Others hire a digital marketing agency to help them out. Challenges abound, like finding the time that is required to do your social media correctly, and then also which platforms to choose? There are so many platforms today that all have enough traffic to merit consideration – so where does one start?

Have a clear vision for your company and set some goals

Your vision for your company should determine your goals. Ask yourself what you would like to achieve from your social marketing strategy. Not sure? Here are some ideas.

  1. Increasing brand awareness
  2. Generating more sales
  3. Growing your audience
  4. Capturing, let’s say 50 or 100 more email addresses a week
  5. Responding to all social media comments and queries

Choose the right channels

 A golden rule here is to do a handful of channels and to do them well. Pinterest, for example, is a graphics-heavy platform with 71% female users so that may not be a good channel to use if you are selling a service or appliance more suitable for men.  Facebook is by far the biggest platform with over 2 billion monthly active users and is great for lead generation and to show the human side of your business. Linkedin, on the other hand, is great for B2B businesses and editorial content and has a slightly older audience than some of the other platforms with most users being between 30 – 49 years old.

Analyze your competition

Keep abreast of what your competition is up to, not to copy them, but to rather gain valuable insight on what is (or is not) working for them. Look out for posts on their pages that perform well and then analyze why. You can then adapt your campaign based on your conclusions.

Plan your content

In January 1996, Bill Gates wrote an essay entitled “content is king” and great content is certainly key to inbound marketing which draws your audience to you. Great content is still key to inbound marketing and also arguably the most important part of your digital marketing efforts. It helps you to build trust and to connect with your audience. 

Create a content calendar to clearly outline your content strategy. If consistency is a problem, think about how a theme could help. For example, on Instagram, you could run all your photos through the same filter to ensure consistency. Or, you can lessen your workload and increase your credibility by inviting consumers to submit user-generated content (UGC) in the form of photos or videos.  And if you’re not a professional designer, there is no need to fret as you can create engaging imagery relatively easily with a free app like Canva.

In summary – Your social media strategy cannot be a static exercise and will need to be constantly adapting and evolving to work for you. Companies with a clear strategy and realistic goals in place will be much more successful with their digital marketing campaigns. Find out more by reaching out to WSI New Media Marketing in Greensboro today.

Three Types of Social Media Marketing You Shouldn’t Ignore

Marianna Muscat - Tuesday, October 13, 2020
social media services

As part of your social media marketing strategy, you should include paid social media, dark social media, and influencer marketing. Here’s why:

Paid Social Media Marketing 

Social media marketing has progressed to a point where sharing the odd post – no matter how well-crafted – with your followers and expecting them to do the rest is no longer effective.

To target your ideal customer, nurture their buyer journey, and ultimately get them to purchase from your website, you need to take advantage of the fact that all social networks now offer post promotion. Not only does paid social media put your message in front of far more users, not using this tool actually puts you on the back foot. According to a 2018 survey, 92% of small businesses are increasing their investment in social media.

Even though advertising on social media gives immediate visibility to your brand, don’t give in to the temptation to spend, spend, spend! From elementary user demographics to psychographics such as values and attitudes, interests and lifestyles, and personality, social media platforms have parameters to enhance your targeting.

But first, you need to determine whether Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Instagram is the best fit for your ideal client. It’s all about utilizing the appropriate platform to target the right audience with engaging content.

Facebook is by far the biggest of all the social networks with 2.41 billion monthly active users. An average Facebook user clicks on 11 ads per month. Their advertising costs vary depending on many factors like your industry, location, and objectives, but the average price for an advert decreased 4% in Q2 2019. Facebook is therefore a good place to start.

Dark Social Traffic 

Not to be confused with marketing on the dark web, dark social media refers to the sharing of your content without your knowledge. Although you cannot track the impact of dark social media with your regular analytics, more than 80% of sharing from marketing websites happens “invisibly”.

If you think of it as a digital word of mouth, it makes sense that this is even more powerful amid COVID-19 social distancing, working from home, and digital communities.

So how do you get in on this action? Make sure that you include buttons on all your output that encourages sharing through email, text message, or direct social messaging. Moreover, include a strong call to action to go to a landing page, read another post, or sign up to your email list.

Having a prominent, respected trendsetter in your niche share your content in this intimate way will drive mass traffic. That’s where the next category comes in.

Influencer Marketing 

As consumers are bombarded with ever more marketing messages, so they tend to filter out an increasing amount. One way to catch the attention of prospects is to leverage the power of humans in your digital marketing.

Marketing guru Seth Godin notes that “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.”

From published authors in serious fields to mainstream celebrities for younger audiences, influencer marketing uses the trust they have established with their large following to punt your product by supporting or endorsing your brand or co-creating content.

This is not an overnight strategy, as you need to build a relationship with influencers in your niche. Engage with them to the point where they value your expertise and enjoy your content. Slow and steady is the name of this game, but the results are well worth the wait.

If you are looking for a world-class social media marketing agency to keep you current and competitive, then you are in the right place. WSI New Media Marketings social media services can help you realize the true potential of social media for meaningful conversations and winning relationships. For more information about our digital marketing agency in Greensboro, contact us today.

4 blog content marketing ideas for every business

Marianna Muscat - Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Content marketing

Keeping your blog posts fresh and informative can be easier than you think. As with most areas of content marketing, blogging doesn’t necessarily require you to draw new ideas out of the ether. Blogging is a means of telling your customers the ongoing story of your company. This story develops naturally as you go about your business every day. 

Armed with this ever-developing story, creating engaging blogs is then a matter of fitting the content into pre-existing paradigms and formats. These have already proven themselves reliable vehicles for marketing content, and offer you inspiration and a structure to help you organise and present your information. They are frameworks and general outlines, into which the story of your business can be molded. There is a saying among musicians that there are only 12 notes but thousands of ways of playing them. The same goes for blogs: there are only so many kinds of blogs, and the key to their substance, variety and level of engagement is your content. Here are four of the most popular blog post concepts or formats into which any business can fit their stories.

1. A success story

There’s nothing wrong with taking a moment to brag a little – provided you do it with style, of course! A well-chosen success story allows you to demonstrate how your products or services work in a real-world scenario. Pick an example, describe the salient details and use the moment to show, rather than tell your readers why they should buy your products.

2. An ongoing series on a single topic

Sometimes a single blog, consisting of a few hundred words, is not enough to communicate the information you want to get across. You may want to explore the background of your industry, analyse complex market trends, or expound on the many uses and benefits of a particular product line. The best thing to do – both for your sake and your customers’ – is to break it up into shorter pieces that you can publish over several weeks or months. It would help if you didn’t let this run on for too long, however. Strike a balance between detail and sustained engagement. 

3. A guide to common mistakes in your field

This is a very popular choice for almost all industries. Listicles that expound on the various ‘what not to dos’ of your industry enable direct and honest engagement with your readership, as well as the chance to present your business as a solution provider. You draw readers in with questions of how they could be doing things better – and then you provide the answers.

4. A spotlight on the latest trends

This is one of the simplest options. All industries are constantly shifting and evolving. If you take the initiative and use a blog to highlight your industry’s condition at any given moment, you present yourself as a business that has its fingers on the pulse. You can use the opportunity to tell readers how your products and services exemplify, take advantage of, or provide solutions for the current trends. 

If you are unsure how to tackle your blogging strategy, why not entrust it to the experts? WSI New Media Marketing in Greensboro is a proud member of the global WSI digital marketing family. In addition to building brands through content marketing, website design, mobile marketing and SEO optimization, we are also one of North Carolina’s top social media marketing strategists. Contact us and see what we can do for your brand and blog content.

Writing meta descriptions to boost SEO marketing

Marianna Muscat - Monday, July 13, 2020
SEO

There’s more to SEO marketing than choosing the right keywords. You should never underestimate the importance of meta descriptions. Those 150 characters are an essential part of optimizing your pages for Google. While the actual text in meta descriptions doesn’t factor into Google’s ranking algorithms, it’s still important because it helps to convince people to click on your search results. The more clicks you get in this way, the better your organic click-through-rate (CTR) will be – and this could lead to indirect improvements in your rankings.

So what is the secret to a good meta description? Here is a step-by-step guide. 

Be careful with the tone

The tone of the description must be straightforward and conversation while still being in line with your brand voice. This may seem like a delicate balancing act, but there’s no need to overthink it. The important thing is to encapsulate the essence of the page content in a simple and attractive way.

Include your primary keyword

This is a fun challenge for a copywriter: to include the primary keyword and a natural way that makes sense to the description. It’s vital to include the keyword in your description, as well as your meta title.

Include a call to action

Finish off your description with a tangible call to action for the reader. “Find out more…” or “Learn more here,” for example. A basic description of the content might be enough to attract a click but often, readers need that definite nudge.

Write in active voice

Passive voice has its place, but it should be a no-no in most marketing writing, especially in a meta-description, which is meant to be short, sharp and direct. So always stick to active voice.

Make sure the description matches the content

Don’t try to trick the reader into clicking with a description that doesn’t actually fit the content. Let your description be an accurate reflection of your page’s content. 

Remember that Google might cut you short

Although the maximum length for meta descriptions is 150 characters, only the first 120 characters usually get displayed in the search results. This means you need to be sure to get your main message across before that cut-off. 

Give each page a unique meta description

Don’t copy and paste one meta description across various pages. Each and every one of your pages must have its own meta description.

WSI New Media Marketing is a proud member of the global WSI digital marketing family. Contact us and see what we can do for your brand. As a leading digital marketing agency, we specialize in effective social media marketing, pay-per-click advertising, mobile content marketing, and SEO marketing. Contact us for more information.

Social Media Marketing: Define Your Target Market

Ken Bowden - Monday, June 8, 2020
social media

Your favorite social media marketing agency, WSI New Media Marketing in Greensboro, North Carolina, has great tips to help you find your social media target market. Because social media has become an incredible platform for businesses and brands to create awareness, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. To ensure that your content doesn’t get lost, you’ll need to find your target market and show them how you can be valuable to them. Here’s how:

Tips from a Social Media Marketing Agency: Defining Your Target Market for Social Media Marketing

Study your customers: 

If you’re making use of a social media marketing agency, you probably already have a few customers who you can study to find out more about how audiences will react to your social media marketing strategy. Use your existing client base to understand the demographics of your audience, including information like age, location, income and spending power, preferred language of communication, and interests. These insights will help you to narrow your target market down to a more manageable group, giving you the power to personalize your content and cater to your specific niche.

Engage in social listening: 

Social listening is one of the most effective ways to define your target market and gain deep insights into what makes your audience tick. With social listening, you’ll monitor direct feedback and relevant discussions on your social media channels. This will help you to compile lists of topics your target market might be interested in, learn about competitors in your industry, and gain insights on essential opportunities you might want to take advantage of. By engaging in social listening, you’ll form a better understanding of who your audience really is, and who you should not be targeting with your social media marketing efforts. 

Experiment with different approaches:

When you’ve gathered information and insights through studying your customers and social listening, you’ll need to experiment with different approaches to your social media marketing strategy. Write copy in different voices, post content on various social media platforms, and create ways for your audience to engage with you through competitions, polls, and lead magnets. Through experiments, you’ll find which approaches, styles, and topics attract the attention of your audience, and you’ll be able to define your target market by matching what you can produce with what audiences want to consume. 

Study your analytics:

From website traffic to social media interactions, you need to get comfortable with analyzing your customer interactions to better define who you want to reach. As each social media platform has its own analytics tools, you’ll need to do some research to understand what their metrics mean and how you can leverage the information you have available to reach your ideal audience. 

Looking for a social media marketing agency to help you to understand and target your ideal audience? Contact WSI New Media Marketing in Greensboro, North Carolina, for more information. 

The Affect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on SEO Trends

Ken Bowden - Monday, May 18, 2020
seo

The global reach of the COVID-19 pandemic is making an impact on every aspect of the digital marketing world, and SEO trends are not exempt from the changes brought on by COVID-19. Digital marketers have seen a shift in SEO trends. These are some of the current SEO trends that could influence digital marketing until the COVID-19 pandemic dies down.

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Using SEO to sustain your presence during COVID-19

Ken Bowden - Tuesday, May 5, 2020
seo

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing the emergence of what digital marketing experts are calling the “infodemic”, but with proper SEO practices and a sincere desire to provide your audience with relevant, trustworthy information, your business can remain pertinent to consumers.

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How to Adjust Email Marketing During COVID-19

Ken Bowden - Monday, April 6, 2020
email marketing

During the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses across the globe are shifting gears when it comes to email marketing, using this platform to communicate a variety of important messages. If you are unsure of the kind of information you should include in your email marketing efforts, take a look at our guide.

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How to Use Facebook for Your Retail or E-Commerce Business

Ken Bowden - Monday, December 3, 2018

Facebook marketing 

Facebook ads are a great way to drive Facebook users to your online store. Anytime you are creating Facebook ads for an e-commerce site, you are going to want to start by selecting a large audience and then carefully narrowing it down to get the most bang for your buck.

If you are in the health and fitness niche, for example, then you can start by selecting ‘fitness and wellness’ as your targeted group on Facebook’s ad manager. This will show you that the ads are targeting over 100-million people, so your goal is to drive this audience down. If you are selling yoga mats, then you can choose to zone in on Facebook users who have listed yoga as an interest. This will show you that you now have an audience of 40 million people, but you can’t just go and market yoga mats to 40 million people.

You need to find a way to further narrow this audience down. One way to do this is segment it down to ‘yoga mats’, which will lead you to a group of 210 000 people, which is a much more reasonably sized audience. This is where a lot of beginners start to struggle. They think because they have found their product niche on Facebook that they are ready to start marketing but showing ads of yoga mats to people who have said they are interested in yoga mats likely will not yield the results you were expecting. If you change your target audience to people who are interested in yoga as well as online shopping and certain yoga brands (such as yoga clothing brands), then you already have a more relevant target audience.

Another great way to use Facebook to market your retail business is to announce promotions and events exclusively on Facebook. If your audience knows that you run promotions and sales on Facebook, then they will have a reason to check out your page regularly. You can also use your Facebook page to share relevant and timely content online. The fact that Facebook doesn’t have a character limit or that your post doesn’t have a timeframe attached to it means you can combine your social media strategy and content strategy and share links to your company’s blog posts or other thought leadership pieces on your site.

WSI New Media Marketing is a social media marketing company in Greensboro, North Carolina.  Contact us if you need help with your social media marketing strategy.

5 tips for creating a successful YouTube campaign

Ken Bowden - Monday, June 4, 2018
YouTube-Advertising

YouTube-Advertising

Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google? People increasingly want to consume content in more digestible formats so if you’re not already including YouTube as a part of your social media marketing strategy, you’re missing out on connecting with a large part of your target audience.

Many times, people assume that a good or quirky video will go viral and bring them tonnes of traffic. More often than not, they miss the mark. Here are a few tips to help you on your journey of creating a successful YouTube marketing campaign:

  1. Tell a story

For a video to go viral, you need to focus on telling a story, not making a sale. People are tired of being ‘sold to’ and they actively avoid content that is centered around marketing messages and sales speak. Tell a story that entertains your audience as well as speaks to their needs or desires.

  1. Make every second count

Most people will never make it to the end of a video they start watching and research shows that the majority of people click away in under 10 seconds. One way to make sure your audience keeps watching after the first few seconds is to make every second count. Be upfront about what your video is about and spark the viewer’s curiosity by asking questions that get them thinking.

  1. Make it FUN

Dull elevator pitches and videos filled with sales speak don’t spread. Your audience wants to be entertained and engaged. They want to be educated and enlightened. People click on videos because they want to escape from the minutiae so make sure your video is worth their while. Even a B2B audience appreciates humor, so keep it light and fun.

  1. Use SEO principles

You want your video to come up in search results when people type in relevant keywords, so include the keywords in the title of your video and your video description. Also include links back to your website for more information.

  1. Consider distribution

Where will you be posting your video besides YouTube? Share your video on all your social media profiles, your website, and embed it into an email newsletter.

Do you need help with your social media marketing strategy? Then contact WSI New Media Marketing today.

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