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Is content still king?

DMB1544UIAArCo1Is content still king?

The reign of content as the king in the world of digital marketing has been of an unusual length. But has its tenure come to an end? We raise this question because we are seeing a dramatic decrease in organic reach from business pages on Facebook and Instagram compared to two years ago.

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Brands on social media will have noticed that the ‘create great content to reach and convert your fans into customers’ formula is no longer working without budget. Creating memorable and ultimately shareable content continues to be king, but a powerful queen has emerged: dissemination.

So what does this mean for your marketing strategy?

Frequency

Finding your sweet spot in terms of frequency means being memorable instead of annoying. Frequency depends on factors like: audience receptiveness towards your content, their familiarity with your offer and your average lead time.

As a rule of thumb, you don’t want your ads to be shown more than four times to the same person in a week. It is also worth considering to build an audience based on their responsiveness to your content.

Reach

Facebook offers an abundance of options to build your target audience. Keep in mind that you want to build your target audience based on people who are most likely to respond to your offer. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to target those who are most likely to engage with your ad (unless your goal is ad engagement).

Your target groups might use social media quite passively. Nonetheless, they are most likely to buy your products or services. The extensive audience building tools on social media allow you experiment and compare. Once you found your niche audience you can start tailoring your offers to their individual profile.

Let’s say you’re a pizza company and your customers consist of young adults, students and families. You have found out that these three are your three most valuable target groups. Chances are that students won’t respond to promotions offering discounted meal deals for three as much as families hoping for an affordable family lunch. Creating an ad set recognising the needs of these individual target audiences allows you to reach the right audience with the best impact.

Content

The better you understand your customer’s sense of humour, their interests and problems, the more relevant your content will be. A customer who thinks ‘this brand just gets me’ should be the ultimate goal to keep in mind during this self-exploratory exercise.

You will need to do some soul searching.

To conclude, content deserves a seat in the front seat when it comes to advertising strategy. However, it is pretty much worthless if it is not seen by the right eyeballs. Just like a king struggles to rule over a kingdom he does not understand, understanding reach and frequency will give your content the authority it deserves.

 

 

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Instagram added polling stickers to stories

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This week we saw a new exciting feature on the ever-expanding list of Instagram features.  Meet the polling stickers-a fancy little functionality allowing brands to directly request feedback from their fans.  The new polling feature can be added via the “poll” sticker and allows brands to see results in real time.

Adding polls is similar to adding any other sticker on Instagram: simply drag and drop it onto the image in your story, and you can automatically  customise both the question and choices.

Ever since Instagram added the stories feature, they have been investigating ways to make it more interactive, from adding story search for hashtags and locations to integrating it with live video and so forth. The average engagement lies at 20%, at Seventy Nine PR, we managed to achieve an engagement rate of just under 35%.

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People viewing your story will be able to tap on a choice to vote, which will then show them the overall results so far. To see the results for yourself, simply swipe up then click the viewers list, and it will show you the total number of votes, who voted, and what they chose.

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 Just like the story, your poll and its results will disappear after 24 hours, so we recommend to  gather the data within the allocated time period. Considering that Instagram shows the profiles of the users who answered, it is possible to add their accounts to a database. You can then  can re-target them or approach them via direct message on Instagram.

This tool will be pivotal in shaping the future of Instagram marketing for businesses. It will allow businesses to get fast input from those who matter the most- their consumers. From a restaurant planning a new dish, to a fashion outlet considering releasing a new clothing line. This tool will allow for businesses to directly communicate with their audience like never before.

You can expect to see Instagram themselves use the polls, for their own research. Perhaps, this will be a way for them to get feedback from users on updates or features they want to add. So hopefully we will see less A/B testing and more conversations.

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WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA AND RUNNING A MARATHON HAVE IN COMMON

Vanessa Sumpmann, Social Media Manager at Seventy Nine, talks about how she discovered running her first full marathon and her job have a lot of shared traits.

‘Keep on smiling, keep on smiling’ the woman on the side of the road keeps on repeating as my breathing becomes heavier and heavier.

We are at mile 19 of my first marathon and smiling is the last thing on my mind.  Nevertheless, inspired by her positive mindset I manage to break out a little smile.

In reality, it probably looks nothing more than an amicable flashing of my teeth. This was the best I could muster given the circumstances.

She does her best to smile back acknowledging that this part of the race is no longer down to legs.  I had reached the point that was drilled into me during my training that we needed to dig deeper to make it out on top.

A simple mind trick like putting on a smile, despite being in agony does the trick for now.  The line between easy and simple is not a fine one, I begin to realise. But what does all of this have to do with social media you might wonder?

The difference between easy and simple.

FB_IMG_1506952459275To sign up for a marathon is simple.  Fill out an online form, pay the fee and voila.  What comes next is to simply train for the most strenuous of distances. This means running consistently 3-4 times a week; two short sessions, one quick and one long run. Again, this looks easy on paper, but with other commitments like work, family and friends simply sticking to the plan becomes a challenge.

In the world of social media which is part of my professional commitments, I am often faced with a similar discrepancy. Swap running for simply producing engaging content consistently and soon business owners, marketing managers will realise that their resources are limited. Time, creative, monitoring and staying on top of the latest social media developments are a few of the many challenges social media marketing.

Posting consistently about news, products or awareness days relevant to the brand is not won in a sprint, it is a marathon.

 

Consistency is key

Consistency is the daughter of patience and focus.  The average runner trains for at least on year before starting the marathon training. The training itself lasts just about four months.

marathonSince I got injured just three weeks before my first marathon in April, I had the pleasure to embark on eight months of marathon training before finishing my very first marathon.  This might have been my biggest lesson on patience so far. Combining consistency with flexibility has been the key to my training plan.Similarly, consistency is the live blood of social media. To keep social channels alive and well, meeting the expectations of fans and followers is crucial. This means posting consistently. Having a plan e.g.  posting a mix of product, lifestyle and industry news is the backbone to any social media strategy.

donuttAt the same time, a degree of flexibility allowing brands to spontaneously react to sudden events is equally important. Dunkin Donuts, for example, build a social media campaign around the snap election earlier this year. The #snackelection  campaign was a social media-driven vote aiming to introduce a new donut to the brand.

 

 

 

Experimenting and making sense of the data

One of the biggest challenges has been to figure out how far I could possibly push my body. To be able to make an accurate assessment, I started to track my training data.

Looking at my weekly progress in each training segment allowed me to forecast my overall  goal. The data however is only the bottom line, developing an awareness for the different kinds of pains and strains is just as important.  Warm and fuzzy means I am good to go, sharp and sudden is a warning signal, that should not be dismissed.  I learned the hard way.

In the spheres of social media my advice is to check your qualitative and quantitative data. The latter helps to set your short-, mid- and long-term goals and allows you to put a price tag on paid campaigns.

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Allowing some time to experiment in the beginning identifying which format works best for you.  An analysis of qualitative data means staying in touch with brand image and identity.

The subjective reality check could consist of an analysis of customer feedback on social channels, identifying posts that were most relevant. This way brands can avoid pitfalls like failing to stay relevant.

 

Visualising success and setting milestones

The last tip takes us back to the race course. Picture yourself at mile 20. One the one hand it seems appropriate to visualise success, to once again remind myself that I am here to cross the finish line.

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The problem with this mindset is that it skips all the miles in between and lets my mind jump to mile 26.2- a dangerous thought at this point. Instead, I focus on the next mile; I exactly visualise the length of a mile and force myself to only think about what the course is going to look like for that mile.

In terms of social media, it makes sense to set ambitious goals.  At the same time, knowing how exactly you will get there requires milestones. A milestone could be to create a community of engaged followers, who are looking forward to hearing from your brand.

A different milestone could be to convert a follower into a customer.  It makes sense to revisit the overall goal and see if it can be broken down. This way it is easier to figure out where on the journey to social media greatness we stand.

 

 

If you want to talk social media, or even discuss marathon tips, please feel free to contact me. vanessa@seventyninepr.co.uk or call me 0116 319 0990

Vanessa.

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