Does your company rely on online sales in order to boost profits? In this guide we’ll look at strategies you can use right now to increase the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts. Customers love social media because it’s an instant two-way communication portal with your brand. They get to stay up-to-date, and you get to learn about your most loyal fans.
Social media marketing goes beyond simply telling people about new products, causes or concepts. Sure, every brand would love to get a brand-related hashtag trending on twitter. But you need to look at social media in a more holistic way.
1 in 3 social media users prefer to reach out the companies they do business with online. Email and phone tech support / customer service is quickly losing ground to social media messenger and direct message requests. Your customer service team needs to be on point.
From sales to service, let’s take a look at how visual collateral can help your brand become more effective at engaging with your customers online.
1) Use “Instagram Siphoning” to Build Your Instagram Audience
When it comes to images, Instagram is the visual king of social media. The entire app is built around users scrolling through images and short videos from their friends and celebrities. In 2016, Instagram finally increased the maximum length of video from 15 seconds to a full minute. It was a herculean feat for Instagram’s technical team, though they had some big help from their parent company (Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012).
Brands can create their own profile on Instagram to share content and even pay to promote their content. Brands also lean heavily on influencer marketing to get their message out on the social media platform.
A major Instagram strategy that I’ve used to reach new customers is called “Instagram siphoning”. It involves looking up your competitors on Instagram and then engaging the people that are already following them. You know they are interested in products or services related to your brand. And if you comment, like and follow a user’s content on Instagram, they will follow your brand back 34% of the time!
2) Promote Your Podcast on Social Media to Engage the Largest B2B Decision-Making Age Group
Statistically speaking, the majority of B2B decision makers are younger than ever before. 46% are 18-24 years old. That means that many have entered the business world during a time when social media was omnipresent. They are far more likely to spend their time connecting in the digital world than the older peers that they are now replacing.
Social selling is a necessity for companies that need to reach decision makers to close a sale. The world of cold calling and marketing emails is quickly losing steam. And, if there’s one thing we understand about social media, it’s the importance of using visual collateral to standout in a newsfeed.
It all starts with targeting the right audience. Who is the decision maker that you need to convert? How old are they? What are their lifestyle preferences? How do they choose to learn?
One strategy is the use of high-quality, informative podcasts. Millennial entrepreneurs are leaning on podcasts more than ever before to get news and information. If you launch a compelling podcast, you’ll have to promote it on social media to generate buzz. And that brings rich imagery into the game.
While developing your podcast, have someone record a high-quality video. A 30-60 second clip of the presenter starting their podcast episode on film is far more engaging than a text post with a link.
Or, hire an experienced graphic designer on Fiverr or Upwork to animate your podcast – visually highlight the concepts that you’re explaining. By offering a visually enhanced version of the podcast on social media, combined with an audio-only option for listening while working out or driving to work, you can inform busy executives about the impact of your products and service in the industry.
3) Help Your Customers Visualize Your Product Unlocking Their Dream Lifestyle
Nike and National Geographic are the most successful brands on Instagram. When it comes to understanding what works, spend a few hours scrolling through their content. You’ll get a master course in using visual collateral to engage your target audience.
National Geographic knows that their audience is connecting to learn and experience the world around them. Nike understands that their audience is looking to propel their physical fitness to the next level.
NatGeo posts photos that give viewers an experience of what their future travels could bring them, and a ton of amazing stats and facts about the development of the planet and the people that inhabit our tiny blue planet.
Nike posts photos of famous athletes putting their gear to use. They also focus on supporting an affirmative, inclusive lifestyle. They know that this is the content their target audience craves.
Brands need to discover what their target audience craves. Then they need to help them visually dream about a better future – achieved through leveraging their products and services.
4) Create Videos That Give Timely, Impactful Advice in Bite-Sized Chunks
Some of the largest channels on YouTube, in terms of audience, are channels that educate their subscribers. These include Khan Academy, TEDTalks and Howcast. The reason these channels are so impactful is that they give their audience something of value. The tuition paid is simply the viewer’s time.
Your brand can leverage this strategy by creating guides and how-to content that speaks to the lifestyle of your target audience. While providing them with information, you can give them a sneak-peak behind the curtain. Show off your company culture. Highlight new products. But, above all else, don’t waste the time of the audience with content that is not instantly impactful in their life.
Quick Video Tips:
- Use high-quality equipment and invest in post-production to give a professional filter to your content.
- Shorter is better. Attention spans are measured in seconds, not minutes.
- Build value before introducing your product or service.
- Establish social validity by leveraging guest speakers with degrees or life experience relevant to the topics you’re discussing.
5) An Influencer Picture Can Be Worth A Thousand Posts
Influencer marketing is nothing new. But if your goal is to leverage visual assets to grow your audience and improve your digital conversions, a picture of a recognizable celebrity can go a long way towards giving your products and services social validity.
No, you don’t need a Kardashian, Ellen DeGeneres or Brad Pitt to use your product. In the world of social media, medium-scale influencers have a much deeper connection with their audiences. They’re not international rockstars. They’re people that have worked hard to curate an audience based on their personal interests and passions – the same ones shared by their fans.
Aligning your products with an influencer is a great way to propel your brand across every social media channel without taking out a multi-million-dollar contract.
- Deeply investigate how your competitors are finding success on social media. Then engage with their audiences through liking their content, commenting on their posts and following their profiles. More than a third will follow you back if engaged in a way that does not feel spammy or forced.
- Use a podcast, promoted with stunning visual collateral, to communicate with B2B decision-makers.
- Tie your product or service, visually, to the future that your target audience wants for themselves. Become part of their dream, and you can cash their checks for decades to come.
- Use videos to teach and inspire. Make every minute count. Avoid overpromotion.
- Engage influencers and secure visual collateral of them using your products or services.
Alright, that’s all for this article! I look forward to sharing more of my hard-earned advice in future articles. Happy hunting!