Did you know that you’re losing potential sales while reading this article? The social media icons you see on almost every page of a company’s website are no longer an option; they serve a pivotal purpose in every facet of your business. Are they on your business’ pages? If not, you are missing out on connecting with your target audience. Please hit refresh on your marketing strategy to include a comprehensive social media marketing plan.
How to define your target audience
Here’s a quick checklist that you should complete before reading any further.
- Define your business objectives
- Look at current consumers. Are they the only people who will benefit from purchasing your products and/or services?
- How are your competitors performing? To fully measure this metric, it’s recommended to perform a competitor analysis.
- Review the elements of your product and/or service. What is their unique selling proposition (USP)? In other words, what benefits do they provide that sets you apart from your competition?
- Analyse your target audience’s demographics and psychographics.
Once you have detailed answers to all of these questions, you’ll have a better idea of on which social media platforms your audience ‘digitally resides’.
Social media trends (so far) in 2021
The social media realm is dynamic and primarily dictated by the behaviour and expectations of the consumers. Therefore, you must be on the pulse of social media trends. For example, Influencer Marketing’s social media trends 2021 report explains:
Traditional social media platforms will continue to perform exceptionally well
According to a survey conducted by Hootsuite®, ‘Facebook and Instagram have continued to be popular with their users in 2020. Hootsuite surveyed businesses about where they intended to increase their social budgets in 2021. 60% stated that they intend to increase their Instagram budget in 2021, and 46% plan to increase their Facebook budget.”
Social media video marketing will grow exponentially
A Cisco survey revealed that “by 2022, 82% of all online content will be video content. This clearly shows how important it is to start utilising video content to stay relevant in the social media domain.”
Please read the article, Why your business must invest in video marketing for more insight into video marketing.
Ephemeral content will gain popularity
This is a fascinating new trend with which many businesses may not be familiar. Influencer Marketing Hub compiled a social media trends report and found that ephemeral content: any content that is available for a limited time and then disappears, such as Instagram ‘Stories’, will continue to drive traffic and gain traction, which will fortify your social media presence. See the graph below, which shows the increase in Instagram Stories’ active users on a daily basis.
Which social media channels should I use for my business?
As mentioned above, an inherent understanding of your audience should be as mandatory as paying employees’ salaries – which you may struggle to do if you don’t start marketing on the correct social media channels.
The channels that will suit your business best depends on your target audience and overarching goals. However, the following tried-and-tested platforms will serve you well if your content is appropriate for the relevant channel.
Since its inception, Facebook has evolved from a social chat platform into a multipurpose hub of successful online marketing potential. If you’re an eCommerce business, you can post feature products that will link directly to your website. You also have the choice to embed a plethora of videos to achieve specific goals such as promotions, product demos, explainer videos, to mention a few.
One of the most marketing-centric features is Facebook Live. It allows you to present content in real-time; interviews, product reviews to event broadcasting, whatever you want your audience to see, you can show them via this function.
As Influencer Marketing’s social media trends report mentioned, the use of video will dominate 2021’s marketing landscape. It’s arguably the best starting point to ‘test’ your marketing strategy to determine what type of video content resonates with your audience. Here’s a tip: mix it up. Create videos of varying lengths with slightly different angles; the hits and feedback from viewers will help steer you in the right direction.
One of the most apparent benefits of YouTube, but it should still be mentioned, is that it’s easily accessible on mobile devices; studies have also shown that it’s the preferred method of content consumption. The on-the-go lifestyle has become more mainstream, and businesses need to accommodate user behavioural changes.
Instagram is the mecca of visual marketing. It’s ideal for posting breaking news and daily promotions; you can also tag and sell products. It’s also considered a strong trust signal by Google, which plays a significant role in brand reputation management. It is also arguably the most prominent platform for the ‘Stories’ content concept.
The benefits of Instagram stories: Create your unique narrative
Your entire life is a story, and you choose how you wish to live. Like any well-constructed tale, it’s filled with twists and turns.
The ‘Stories’ concept allows you to construct your narrative (tell your story in your words and visuals, on your terms.) Think of it as a social media-driven biography told in real-time. ‘Stories’ is the quintessential example of ephemeral content.
Its popularity has soared because, like life, changes can happen instantly; you can never predict the narrative. This provides elements of intrigue to which we as humans are naturally attracted. The functionality of content appearing and then disappearing is perfect for marketing your products because you can leverage people’s fear of missing out (FOMO) on a great deal of captivating product launch.
You’ll have most likely seen that Facebook and YouTube have implemented ‘Stories’ functionality on their websites.
At the end of the day, we can all agree that there is an abundance of social media marketing strategies that can work if implemented in the appropriate medium to satisfy your targeted audience. The power and potential of using social media for your business’s marketing success are waiting for you to grab. Ready, set, post!