What are Marketing Channels and How They Work Together (Updated for 2018)

We’ve been saying that all your marketing channels need to work together to achieve your goals. We say that a lot. Each marketing channel is, after all, part of a tactic in your greater strategy. The trick is to leverage each channel at what it does best. So what are each channel’s strengths?

If you’re going to use any marketing channel effectively, you need to know how to use it properly. That includes knowing what works well for each medium. Social media, with some exceptions (I’m looking at you, Instagram), isn’t a great place for direct sales, bottom-of-the-funnel conversions, or the end of a customer journey, or whatever terminology you choose to use.

Luckily, social media platforms – and online marketing channels in general – aren’t islands you cannot build a bridge between.

All of them have their own strengths and the *only thing* marketers need to learn is how to use them to their advantage.

In this post, I’ll show you how to connect two of my favorite ones – email marketing and social media.

What is social media good at?

  • Building brand recognition
  • Building brand loyalty
  • Building community
  • Driving traffic back to your website
  • Increasing conversion opportunities

The trickiest part of social media is that you don’t control who sees your messages. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – all have algorithms that restrict your posts’ organic reach. Remember, all these platforms are publicly-traded companies now and their main business is advertising. They’re happy to let you pay to get your message out. But they won’t make it easy for you to spread your words organically.

Email marketing has a big difference – you control (almost) everything. For email, the “how to use it” goes beyond understanding how to use your email provider’s platform. Just like social media posts are written in a way to generate engagement, emails (subject lines and body copy) are written to encourage opens and clicking links.

Why is that?

Because email marketing is good at:

  • Building relationships with customers
  • Delivering targeted and personalized messages
  • Converting subscribers into customers
  • Retaining customers
  • Delivering upsell opportunities

Email is a great medium for the bottom of the funnel activities and getting customers to the sales page. Remember that email is how most consumers want to receive transactional and business communications. Generally speaking, it’s where people expect to receive offers and sales messages, so make use of that wisely. But if marketers use email and social media for different purposes, how can they work together?

Treat them as complements

Social media and email complement each other. One is good where the other is weak. So use each channel to build the other. Otherwise known as cross-promotion. You can cross-promote your channels in several ways:

Use organic social posts and paid social ads to promote your lead magnets. This will increase your subscriber list as your exposure grows – if you target well and have a valuable lead magnet.

And if you haven’t heard, we’ve recently released a new social media app that can help you with that.

It’s called Beam.

With just a few clicks, you can create engaging animated social media posts and publish them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to promote your brand.

Choose from 150+ templates, add your own photos and text, apply filters, and more. You should really give it a try!

beam app

Ok, we’re done bragging ;).

But, speaking of apps, you should use a few more of them.

Use apps like a Facebook web form integration to allow people to sign up for your list straight from social media. We do this ourselves at GetResponse – we offer our list-building course as a lead magnet.

getresponse facebook webform integration

Leverage user generated content across all your channels to build community. This can be reviews, posts from visitors to your social profiles, or even Instagram images. Always ask before using!

Look at how Paravel leveraged user generated Instagram content in one of their emails:

paravel user generated content email

Image courtesy of Really Good Emails

Include your social profiles in your email template

This is a little trick you can use via social icons. Check out this email we sent to promote Beam this Black Friday, find the social icons at the bottom right corner of the email. That’s how you can use the template – subtle, necessary, and effective.

beam promo email black friday

Use both channels to get your subscribers to become your social fans – and vice versa. The goal is to get them join your list or follow you on social networks – whichever they have not done yet. Offering discounts specific to each channel, if they perform the requested subscription or follow (respectively) is one way to do that. Check out what Good American did to encourage their email subscribers to become their social fans wherever they were:

good american social media email marketing

Image courtesy of Really Good Emails

Use social ads targeting your email subscribers to direct them to specific product pages. This is a common thing you’ll see in your newsfeed. Here are some examples based on tracking cookies from website visits:

amazon kindle social ads targeting

zappos social ads targeting

Think of the Rule of Seven in marketing. It’s easy for both email and social media to be at least two of those contacts before a customer purchases from you. Which is the ultimate goal, after all.

Use your community, like a Facebook group, to build your email list

There are several ways you can do this. One is requiring those who wish to join the group to provide their email address via group onboarding questions.

member request settings

Another is that you could also use a lead magnet as the cover image, with a link to the lead magnet in the image description.

Share your content between channels

This should seem obvious within the context of a larger marketing campaign. Use the same content, adapted for each medium, across all your distribution channels. That keeps the messaging consistent and recognizable. But it’s not necessary to take this course of action just for campaigns. Use your content wisely across email and social media. If there’s a great video that will help your audience, use both social and email to bring it to your customer’s attention.

Drive traffic to wherever you think is most important for your goals. Create teasers from long-form content to drive fans/subscribers to your destination/lead page. Use more than one channel. Social algorithms mean you never know when a fan will see a post. So, what if they happen to see it on more than one social network? That’s an extra “Rule of Seven” contact.

One is not better than the other

Remember that email marketing and social media are both necessary for a well-rounded digital marketing strategy. One is not inherently better than the other. Each channel has its own strengths and weaknesses. Each has its own place in the marketing ecosystem.

How do you do it?

Have you been successful in integrating both social media and email marketing in your business? What’s worked for you? What hasn’t? Share your successes in the comments below.

How to Make Social Media And Email Marketing Work Together

Related posts

The post How to Make Social Media and Email Marketing Work Together (Updated for 2018) appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

Original Article

Boost Your Brand’s Social Selling Through Employee Advocacy

Social media is a vital component to any business, especially when it comes to sales. In fact, 72% of salespeople that use social media say that they not only reach their quota but even exceed it 23% more often than those that don’t use social media.

The reason? Focusing on the needs of their target audience – a strategy called social selling. Salespeople can engage with prospects as they guide them through their brand’s buyer’s journey. So, they’re not only able to speed up the process. They also increase the likelihood of gaining loyal customers that will make repeat purchases.

Unfortunately, consumer behaviors change. These days, customers have higher expectations for the brands offering a specific product or service they want to buy. On top of this, consumer trust towards branded content has been declining. This can cause huge losses in potential deals that your salespeople can close.

As a business owner, it’s crucial to keep up with the trends and adjust your social selling strategy so that you still hit your revenue goals.

Employees: your brand’s secret weapon

What’s interesting to note is that there’s now a shift in consumer’s trust from a brand’s CEOs and marketing department to their employees, according to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer report.

employers trusted around the world

Source: Edelman

The results from this study echo a study done by the Nielsen Group, which shows that 90% of customers trust product and brand recommendations from people they know. On the other hand, only 33% of customers trust content published by the brand itself.

All these points to one crucial fact: people are more willing to trust your employees when it comes to information about your brand and products. It’s for this reason why brands are now beginning to incorporate employee advocacy into their social selling strategy.

What is employee advocacy and why do you need it?

Employee advocacy is essentially the promotion of your company’s brand message with the help of your employees on social media, your blog, and other online assets.

Done right, incorporating an employee advocacy program into your social selling strategy is a cost-effective way of generating qualified leads and increasing sales revenue. Just take a look at these stats:

  • Brand content posted by employees get shared 24x more frequently compared to those published using the brand’s social media account (Scribd)
  • Salespeople are 7x more likely able to close leads generated through employee advocacy programs. (Find and Convert)
  • 64% of brands implementing a social employee advocacy program can attract and develop new business. (Hinge Marketing)
  • Employee advocacy generates 450% return on investment. (Smarp)

8 steps to add employee advocacy to your social selling strategy

  1. Choose up to two social media channels to use.
  2. Set clear goals and expectations.
  3. Provide your employees with guidelines to follow.
  4. Provide ample resources and tools.
  5. Conduct regular training sessions.
  6. Encourage employees to create their own content.
  7. Offer perks and incentives.
  8. Monitor and track your progress.

 

1. Choose up to two social media channels to use.

It’s tempting to use the top social media networks in your employee advocacy program. However, you’re more able to generate results by focusing on just one or two. The reason is that each social media network have their own guidelines and policies your employees need to master. By narrowing down these options, your employees can learn to maximize the reach and engagement rates faster.

When choosing which social media channels to include in your employee advocacy program, take the time to review your brand’s buyer persona. This is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal client, which contains information which social they prefer using. That way, you can be sure that your program reaches the most number of potential clients or customers.

2. Set clear goals and expectations.

Like with any marketing strategy, you have to make sure that you clearly establish the goals you want to achieve for your employees. Not only would this help you monitor and track your progress, but – more importantly – you’re clear on the expectations you have towards your employees’ posts and participation.

3. Provide your employees with guidelines to follow.

Once you have your goals and expectations in place, the next step is to provide them with a social media policy to guide your employees how and what they should post on their social media accounts.

A social media policy is a guide which clearly defines what message you want to send out, which products you should promote, and what tone or language you should use. Having this in place will ensure cohesiveness among the different posts your employees upload. Also, it will protect your company from unwanted legal and security problems.

4. Provide ample resources and tools.

Your employees have many things to do. So it’s essential that you provide them with sufficient tools and resources to make it easy for them to create, curate, and upload posts in their social media accounts.

Investing in a robust employee advocacy tool is one of them. This can serve as a centralized platform where your employees can go and choose pre-approved branded content created by your marketing department to post on social media. At the same time, it serves as the place where they can submit posts for you or your marketing team to approve. What’s more important – it will provide you with analytics to help you monitor and track the progress of your campaign.

An online logo maker is another tool to provide those involved in your employee marketing program. Your logo is one of the major components of your company’s branding. It’s a visual representation of what you stand for, what your mission is, and what sets you apart from your competitors. So it’s crucial to make sure that it’s presented uniformly in all of your posts.

Be sure to provide your employees with templates that they can use to create their content. These will particularly come in handy if they plan on posting content for the holidays.

5. Conduct regular training sessions.

Believe it or not, not all of your employees are comfortable with posting regularly on social media. Scheduling regular training sessions will make sure that all the employees involved are on the same page when you launch your employee advocacy program. These training sessions are great to teach your employees how to use the tools and resources you provide them with, so they can maximize your potential.

After your employees go through the initial training session, make sure that you schedule refresher courses on a regular basis. That way, you can keep your employees updated on any changes happening on social media and your overall sales and marketing strategies.

6. Encourage employees to create their own content.

Your employees know their network better than you do, and they know which kinds of posts will generate the highest engagement level.

That said, give your employees the liberty to create content. Doing this will encourage them to participate further because they don’t feel that they’re being ordered around. It will also give the employee advocacy social posts that all-important personal touch, making them more relatable to your target audience.

7. Offer perks and incentives.

Very few things in the business world you can get for free. Having a team of employees enthusiastic to participate in your employee advocacy program isn’t one of them.

As I mentioned earlier, getting your employees onboard would mean you’re adding one more task to their list. So it’s only natural that your employees would want to know what they’ll get in return.

The chart below shows the top benefits and incentives you can offer to your employees to make it worth their time.

workforce benefits motivating chart employee advocacy

Source: Workforce

As you see, money isn’t the only incentive you can offer. Ask your employees to find out what incentives and perks would encourage them to come onboard and be consistently participating in your employee advocacy program.

8. Monitor and track your progress.

Once you’ve incorporated your employee advocacy program to your social selling strategy, you’ll want to monitor it to make sure that it’s creating a positive effect on your overall sales goals. That way, you can promptly make adjustments if the metrics are not what you’re expecting.

Social selling has made significant contributions to businesses when it comes to generating revenues. Incorporating an employee advocacy program using these steps will further enhance it as you’re able to tap into what your customers consider as the most trustworthy members of your business: your employees.

Boost Your Brand's Social Selling Through Employee Advocacy

Related posts

The post Boost Your Brand’s Social Selling Through Employee Advocacy appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

Original Article

4 Signs That Your Social Media Campaign is Desperately Failing

Social media is the place to be if you want to be a smash hit with your customers. Businesses can use social media to interact and engage with their customers, convert prospects into loyal buyers, and boost conversions and sales.

However, there can be problems. The first one is a social media campaign that doesn’t even work. All that money, all that time, and all that effort could be for nothing.

The second problem is that it isn’t always easy to know if a campaign is failing or not. Traffic isn’t really an indicator: sometimes, your traffic is down, but you’re building solid relationships. People following your page is a hit-and-miss variable, too – what if these are the wrong people?

When your social media flatlines, you need to be able to spot it so that you can fix things right away. In this article, I’m going to take a look at the four signs that your social media campaign is desperately failing – and how to fix things.

1. You’re spending way too much time on there.

It’s an interesting question: How much time should a small business dedicate to their social media efforts?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer here, but if we were to take a look at what other marketers are doing, 64% of them say they dedicate 6 hours per week to their social media campaigns. Some will devote more time, others will devote a bit less, but the consensus is that you should be aiming for this ballpark. If you’re into double figures and getting a bit stressed about things, something isn’t quite right.

It’s the same if you’ve got a huge team (or even your whole business) working on your campaigns. This is a sign that something (or everything) isn’t working.

Some small businesses hire a freelancer to take care of their campaigns. Others might decide to hire a small marketing company to take care of things for them. Either way, if who you hire is spending a disproportionate amount of time on your social media campaigns, take it as a massive red flag that it’s failing.

A good strategy will help you reduce the amount of time you spend on your campaigns. For one thing, an effective strategy will help you to work out how much time you need to spend on your campaign each week. Here is a checklist to start:

  • Content calendar
  • Business goals
  • Marketing objectives
  • Channels and tactics
  • Content strategy
  • Budget
  • Roles (who will do what)

2. There is no engagement.

When it comes to social media, it’s not the number of people who like your page that matters – it’s the number of people who engage with your page.

If very few people like individual posts, and if even fewer people are commenting and sharing, your social media campaign is in a bad place. You could have 100,000 page likes, but if only 0.5% of them are engaging, it means nothing.

And it means nothing for two reasons:

  1. If your engagement is going down, so will your conversions.
  2. If your engagement is down, Facebook and Instagram will bury your posts so that no one will see them. Not cool.

Engagement is the first variable you should be looking for. If it’s way below your expectations – or if it’s gone down lately – something needs to change.

There are now almost 2 billion Facebook users, and although creating top-notch content is one thing, what’s more important is that you engage your customers. Here are some tips:

  • Make use of images

According to stats, images get almost 40% more interaction than text and account for over 90% of the most engaging posts on Facebook.

  • Hold contests

People like free stuff. They like to win things. Invite people to interact and engage with your social media accounts by holding awesome contests (as opposed to just promoting yourself all the time).

  • Ask questions

The easiest way to find out more about your audience? Ask questions. It’s also a great way to engage them, and it ensures that you give them more of what they actually want content-wise.

  • Comment

As well as asking questions, you or a member of your team should actively reply to people’s comments on your social media posts.

Of course, no one has the time to reply to comments all the time, but taking the time out now and then to comment and engage with people shows that you care and that you actually notice what people are saying. And people love this kind of thing from their favorite brands.

The more you comment, the more others will comment, and the more your engagement will improve.

3. No one is taking action.

Okay, engagement is good. But what if no one is taking action?

If no one is taking action, it means that you’re not doing a very good job of warming up your customers. You’re not making your offer tempting enough. And this means that your social media campaign is ultimately failing.

The ultimate aim of a social media campaign is to get our prospects to follow us from there to our landing page, where they buy our products.

That’s the ideal. Of course, this isn’t going to happen all the time, but if your conversions are way down on your objectives, you need to make changes.

First, take a look at your analytics. If your click-through rate is good, but your conversion rate is down, your landing page could be the issue. On the other hand, if even your click-through rate is poor, something isn’t working on your social media channels – and it could be your CTA.

All small businesses should be aiming to put together a social media funnel that generates leads, builds their brand, makes a connection with people – and gets them to buy from us. A CTA is a final push. It’s the part where a user will either commit to taking action or decide that this isn’t for them.

Not using CTAs? Now is the time to include CTAs in your posts. Some marketers include a CTA in the first 2-3 lines of their Facebook post, and again at the end.

A good CTA on social media should explicitly tell the user what it is you want them to do. Don’t give them two or three options. Instead, tell them the one thing you want them to do next. It has to be simple, compelling, and powerful.

On the other hand, it might not be your CTA that’s the problem because people might not even be making it that far!

What does this mean?

If the information you’re providing in a post on social media just isn’t interesting enough, people won’t read as far as your CTA.

Take a look at your posts. Are they compelling, informative, entertaining, and engaging?

Or are they bland and otherwise too salesy?

Remember, people don’t use social media to be sold to. But, they don’t mind being marketed to (as long as it’s fun, right!?). An overly salesy attitude is overbearing and won’t succeed on social media.

If you want people to take action, you need to show them via content that you’re the expert they can trust. How do you do this? Via valuable content that informs, educates, and – in the right amounts – entertains.

The aim is to provide people with the right amount of information that they need to take action. Don’t provide them with too much – otherwise they’ll have all that they need and won’t need to click. Show them you’re the expert, give them a good piece of info, and make them want to click for the rest.

Remember, people don’t use social media to be sold to. But, they don’t mind being marketed to (as long as it’s fun, right?). @aljazfajmutClick to tweet this quote

4. Your campaign is the same as your competitors’.

What makes your social media campaign different from your competitors’? How do you stand out?

If you can’t answer these basic questions, you’ve got a problem. Your social media campaign doesn’t stand out from your rivals, and that’s the problem here.

If your campaign is the same as your rivals, your customers won’t be able to tell you apart. This might mean that you lose out on them.

Think of all the brands and personalities you’ve ever looked up to in life. They stood out to you because of just that – they were different.

As Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion puts it:

“The fact is, if a company tries to be a jack of all social media trades, they’ll very likely become a master of none. This is why you’re much better off being a “master of one” – dominating a single social media platform and putting all your effort into that instead of spreading yourself too thin.”

Think carefully about what your specific target audience wants to see, and then find ways to distinguish yourself from the crowds.

Stay winning!

These are four signs that your social media campaign is failing. To give your campaign a boost, put in place a strategy that will reduce the amount of time you spend on social media, find ways to boost engagement, and write powerful CTAs that nudge your customers in the right direction.
Share the article with your fellow marketers and let us know if you have any tips of your own!

4 Signs That Your Social Media Campaign is Desperately Failing

Related posts

The post 4 Signs That Your Social Media Campaign is Desperately Failing appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

Original Article