29 Reasons to Celebrate the Holidays with E29!

"Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life." – Amy Poehler

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One of the most important elements of a successful team is acknowledging and appreciating the different personalities, skill sets and experiences everyone brings to the table. That’s why E29 hosts a quarterly summit where all team members comes together for a two-day offsite. Time out of the office gives us a chance to reflect on our clients and internal processes, and to enjoy the company of the people we work with on a daily basis.

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This fall our summit was held in Napa Valley in the heart of wine country. We began the day with a team building exercise centered around reflecting on the past quarter. In order to succeed as an organization and move forward it’s important to look back and reflect on what we’re doing well and where we can improve. Our moderator did a wonderful job helping us better understand team dynamics and identifying areas for growth.

After a leisurely team lunch we moved on to our next adventure…wine making! What better way to spend an afternoon than blending, tasting and creating our very own E29 Wine?! The staff at Judd’s Hill did an excellent job educating us about the fine art of blending grapes and balancing flavor profiles. All of us had a chance to mix and match different varietals in an effort to create the perfect red blend. Much like the makings of a good team, we learned it’s critical to appreciate the subtle nuances that come together to make the wine work. After several attempts, lots of tasting (and a lot of spilled wine!) we all agreed on the blend we liked best.  

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Once we finished creating our wine it was time to bottle the final product. We shared a lot of laughs learning how the wine gets in the bottle (hint: it involves a siphon!) and corking the finished product. After all the bottles were filled we had one final job – coming up with a name for our first vintage. Everyone on the team threw out ideas and we ultimately voted and agreed to name our first vintage “29 Reasons.” After a momentous year, we figured we have at least twenty-nine reasons to open a bottle and celebrate. Everyone took their bottle of wine, added a label, and wrote down their reason to enjoy a glass.

Our gift to clients, family and friends this holiday season is our very first E29 vintage. It may be the first, but it definitely won’t be the last as we plan to make this an annual tradition. We hope everyone will enjoy drinking a bottle as much as we enjoyed creating it! Interested in getting your hands on your very own bottle of “29 Reasons?” Drop us a line!

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Are You Confident in Your Marketing Plan’s ROI?

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A successful marketing plan is the sum of many parts.

You need a winning product or service of course, and a team of talented individuals to make it happen.

Key elements to creating a highly successful marketing plan also include a market analysis, target audience insights, strong brand positioning, clear business goals, communication strategies and the ability to measure performance.

Additionally, if you don’t understand the importance of marketing ROI, your chances of success could be limited.

What Is Your Marketing Plan ROI?

Marketing ROI is used to create a better understanding around the marketing campaigns and tactics that work and don’t work for your brand.

Answering questions related to budget-spend versus ROI creates accountability on your part and reveals how well or how poorly your marketing strategies are performing. 

Marketing ROI should focus on improving your marketing activities so they better align with your company’s strategic goals, not just your marketing objectives. Making sure those metrics resonate within your company and support your business drivers will create further transparency and clarity around your marketing efforts.

Here’s the very basic equation companies use to measure a marketing campaign’s ROI:  

ROI = (Revenue – Marketing Investment) / Marketing Investment 

The 3 Benefits of Using ROI to Fuel Your Marketing Plan  

We’ve already covered the most obvious benefit of focusing on ROI when creating a marketing plan: it helps ensure you see positive returns and it helps you to course-correct when you don’t.

However, that’s not the only reason it pays to consider ROI when developing your marketing plan. Here are three more:

1. Prioritizing ROI Means Prioritizing Accountability

Most companies marketing plans feature a number of moving parts. This means that numerous strategies, agencies and tactics can be responsible for a brand’s marketing success.

Sure, it’s excellent to see positive financial returns, but it’s often difficult to repeat those results – much less improve on them – if you don’t know what was responsible for the success.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.

According to the Nielsen 2018 CMO Report, only 1-in-4 marketers are highly-confident they can quantify ROI and, what’s more, 79% of respondents reported that they plan to invest more in their attribution tools and analytics, so they know where their biggest wins are coming from – and where they can cut their losses.

For example, it might look like pay-per-click (PPC) ads are delivering the best results for your business because they result in the most conversions; yet, you might find through further analysis that although your content marketing produces fewer conversions, those customers that do convert lead to much larger returns.

It’s thus important to consider ROI when evaluating the results of each marketing program so you can feel confident in the performance of individual strategies and tactics.   

2. Prioritizing ROI Means Setting Expectations for What Can Actually Be Measured

As they say, what gets measured gets improved. As marketers, if we can quantify current performance then we can measure how programs are contributing to growth over a period of time.

For example, we often need to explain how writing blogs for our company website or running a product giveaway on Instagram contributes to growth. Well, if an ROI-centric approach is taken, then we start by identifying the proper key performance indicators (KPIs) as a first step toward measurable improvement. Since each marketing tactic must ladder up to a greater marketing strategy, and, ultimately, a higher business goal with financial impact, it’s important to determine how each activity contributes to the broader objectives, which activities can actually be measured effectively and how they will be measured. Once it’s clear how each marketing tactic will be measured, we are one step closer to understanding the full marketing plan’s return on investment.

3. Prioritizing ROI Means Using Benchmarks to Set Realistic Goals

This is all about using the data you already have to develop metrics for success, track and optimize along the way. Look at things like Google Analytics, social and sharing metrics, audience and shopper data, sales and/or retailer data, and even 3rd party syndicated data to inform your goals and strategies. 

If you’re lacking any of that information, you can pursue quantitative and qualitative research techniques to gather the data. 

The bottom line is that taking an ROI-based approach means using and evaluating existing data to inform your marketing strategies and measure their effectiveness.

Once you have this ROI approach set up, you can look to build an attribution model for the future of your business. An attribution model quantifies the sales impact of your marketing activities. Based on your past marketing spend and sales, attribution modeling can help you optimize your future spend and maximize your return on investment.

Start with ROI to Improve Your Marketing Plan

Having an ROI based approach to marketing planning is the best way you can be sure to know what strategies and tactics are working to increase profitability and growth.

Otherwise, you’re most likely just using intuition and educated guesses to account for performance – rather than a winning approach based on real data.

Brand Integrity Makes a Big Difference to Consumers

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As a child, you were no doubt taught about the value of honesty. It’s one of the first moral lessons most parents try to impart onto their children.

Closely intertwined with honesty is the expectation that you will be held accountable for your own actions.

In marketing, these very basic fundamentals can sometimes be forgotten. However, these days consumers have a way to digitally voice their concerns about companies who lose their way.

Brand integrity is a big deal. People want to know they can trust companies before engaging with them.

Here are a few ways you can earn the trust of your audience.

5 Ways Brands Can Nurture Trust

Research by the Sprout Social Index shows that millennials are most likely to call out brands on social media. Almost 60% of this group have complained about an issue they’ve had with a brand online.

With a global platform, social media has the power to really influence a lot of people, for better or worse.

Because of this, brand integrity matters more than ever today.

1.    Honesty Is the Best Policy

Trustworthy brands have no reason to lie. They can be totally open about their company, offering full transparency about their values, beliefs, and products.

This is especially pertinent in the food industry. Dining chain, Panera Bread is a great example of this, as they launched a marketing campaign in 2016 that provided customers with “transparent menus,” which listed all the ingredients, calories, and nutritional info for each and every item.

2.    Focus on the Customer

The best brands have a customer-centric focus. They ask their consumers about the problems they are facing and then offer tailored solutions. By providing real value, the brand nurtures more trust with their customers.

3.    Trustworthy Brands Have Got the Customer’s Back

When a company rises to the top, there will always be opportunities to exploit its power for more money.

Apple turned down the FBI when they came knocking. The Federal government wanted the access and ability to unlock Apple’s phones, but the tech giant refused.

This was a major statement of brand integrity from Apple. Customers knew they could trust that their personal privacy was in safe hands.

4.    Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes

When Chipotle had an outbreak of E.coli, it could have spelled the end for the popular chain of restaurants.

However, they were quick to react. By closing down locations, implementing new safety measures, and communicating with the public, they were able to limit the damage.

Of course, they took a hit, but the quick response curried favor with many customers who respected the openness and genuine apology that was made.

5.    Use Social Media to Connect with Customers

Social media enables any company to build brand integrity if they use it correctly. Staying active in niche communities online will help with brand visibility, and it can also humanize your brand so people don’t view your business as just another faceless corporation.

Trust Takes Time to Build

A business can’t develop trust with customers immediately.

It doesn’t matter how fancy the store is or how friendly all the staff members are. Only by offering real value without any strings, and building relationships with your target audience can you nurture the trust that is necessary to make sales.

Brands that put honesty and transparency among their top priorities will get there faster.

By standing up for your customers’ best interests, and protecting them when they need it most, companies can forge stronger bonds with people.

That will serve your business well for the future.

Online Shoppers Prefer Amazon Search Over Google

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Recently, there have been some seismic shifts in the natural order when it comes to search. For many years, Google has been the undisputed king.

However, the “front door to the internet” is no longer on top when it comes to product searches.

Retail giant, Amazon, is now leading the way.

When we look at how ecommerce has grown in the past few years, it’s easy to see just why Amazon search is the preferred choice of consumers today.

6 Reasons Why Amazon is Dominating Product Search

While Google Ads continue to drive traffic, Google’s dominance is now under threat. Amazon has enjoyed an astonishing rise in search, especially when it comes to products.

Here are several key reasons why people are opting for Amazon search when it comes to online shopping.

1.    Ready to Buy

55% of online consumers start their search with Amazon. People that go to Google first are in the ‘research’ phase, whereas the people who go to Amazon first are further along the buyer’s journey. People on Amazon have buyer intent.

2.    Amazon Ads Get More Clicks

Data from Merkle indicates that users click on Amazon headline ads 42% more than they do on Google Ads. Furthermore, these ads from Amazon convert at more than three times the rate of Google’s ads.

This is tied to the previous point, where people are visiting Amazon with the intent to make a purchase. Therefore Amazon’s ads are more valuable than Google Ads.

3.    Mobile Commerce

One of the biggest causes of the increase in Amazon search dominance comes down to mobile use. Mobile commerce has grown year-over-year, and it is projected to account for more than 50% of all US ecommerce by the year 2021.

Considering that Amazon’s mobile app is among the most popular apps with millennials, we can expect the gap between Google and Amazon product searching to widen in the next few years.

4.    Ecommerce Personalization

Amazon’s ability to convert visitors is unparalleled. The company has truly mastered online retail, and much of that comes down to their smart strategies for ecommerce personalization.

35% of Amazon’s revenue comes from its advanced personalized recommendation engine.

5.    Social Commerce

The younger demographic is the most likely to buy online. Amazon has already made moves to leverage this by teaming up with Snapchat to offer visual search and social shopping.

6.    Voice Search

Although it hasn’t gone mainstream yet, voice search is definitely growing. Amazon is already established in this space, while Google is lagging behind. Projections from BI Intelligence estimate that more than 30% of adults will be using voice to make online payments by the year 2022. And remember your friend Alexa (aka Amazon Echo), she is already ready to take your order via voice command.

The Sky’s the Limit for Amazon Search Marketing

Amazon has come a long way from its humble beginnings. It has recently become only the second $1 trillion company and shows little signs of slowing down. With well-established services in publishing, content streaming, and marketing, their advertising clout is virtually unrivaled. By backing Snapchat ahead of Instagram Stories, Amazon is causing more disruption for the latter’s parent company, Facebook.

Now, it is muscling in on Google’s search territory, effectively causing a storm among the digital giants. But here’s the thing: Amazon is fantastic at serving the consumer. The customer-centric approach runs deep with Amazon, and it’s through the ability to offer great value on a personal level that it has been able to be so successful. That alone makes Amazon tough opposition for any company, even one as big as Google. There’s a new king in town, and when it comes to online shopping, Amazon may well rule for quite some time.

The Essential Evolution of Your Influencer Marketing Strategy

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Influencer marketing has been around for decades, but it is always evolving.

The rise of social media has seen an explosion in the popularity of using influencers, with many companies implementing an influencer marketing strategy into their plans for brand growth.

However, as competition intensifies, the game is changing.

If you want to get the most from partnering with influencers, you need to know just what is going on in the current digital landscape.

How Influencer Marketing Has Changed

Today, you need more than a decent Instagram presence to be a credible influencer. Brands expect more, and as a result, influencers need to work harder to deliver the goods.

Influencers Are Buying Followers

Advertising giant Unilever is leading the charge for greater transparency with influencers. This is in response to the flux of “fake influencers.”

People are buying up bot followers to pad their social media accounts in an effort to dupe brands into believing they have a much larger audience.

By doing this, these influencers command a higher paycheck, which will inevitably yield a poor return due to this fabricated following.

Content Reviews Are More Common

Growing concerns about brand safety motivates companies to demand more, as they want to make sure they get value for money.

It’s becoming more common for brands to ask for content reviews, which means influencers could find themselves redoing work more often.

Considering 94% of consumers will show loyalty to brands that are transparent, it’s a smart move to make sure your influencer partnerships run smoothly.

5 Steps to Implementing a Successful Influencer Marketing Strategy

As with anything in marketing, a solid plan will boost your chances of success. With influencer marketing, that concept holds true.

1.    Define Your Vision of Success

Your influencer marketing strategy needs to lay out the end goals, and then chart the journey towards achieving them. You must have a clear vision of what you want before hiring influencers.

2.    Find Influencers Who Are a Good Fit for Your Brand

Ideally, you should look for someone who:

  • Is trustworthy

  • Is passionate about your products

  • Has a genuine audience that is large and engaged enough to help you achieve your goals

  • Knows how to create great content that reaches your target audience

3.    Look for Long-term Partnerships

If you only focus on one-off projects, you’ll always be wasting time looking for a new influencer. Save yourself the time, money, and stress by developing long-term partnerships with authentic influencers that can help build your brand over time.

4.    Focus on Instagram

The world loves visual content nowadays, and it’s likely to stay that way. More than 90% of influencers prefer Instagram over any other platform.

So, if you want an influencer marketing strategy with a mind on the future, then Instagram is your best bet.

5.    Be Unique

As with any other channel, influencer marketing is becoming congested. To cut through the noise, you need to find unique ways to connect with your customers.

Cosmetics giant L’Oréal decided to work with a group of micro-influencers instead of more well-known social media stars. The gamble paid off, as it helped them nurture trust with a much wider audience because people found the micro-influencers more relatable.

The Right Influencer Is Worth Finding

Some of the trust has been lost in this form of advertising because of misleading engagement and dishonest practices by some influencers.

However, having an influencer marketing strategy is still a viable, cost-effective method of spreading brand awareness and establishing a position of authority in many industries.

The stakes may be higher now, but if you can find influencers who are aligned with your brand and goals, they could become great brand ambassadors and take your business to the next level.

The Direct-to-Consumer Paradox; What Should CPGs Do?

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Ecommerce has settled in for the long haul, which is great news for consumers.

But what about big brands?

With the luxury of near endless choice now available at the touch of a button (or even a voice command), there is less need for people to go to physical stores or to buy known brands.  Along with the explosion of drop shipping, the face of commerce has changed dramatically.

CPG companies are not immune from this shift. After having avoided selling direct-to-consumers (DTC) so as not to compete with their retail partners, many are rethinking their strategies.

For many CPG companies to survive – much less prosper – adding a DTC approach may be their only viable option.

Is DTC Right for All CPG Companies?

Before we describe how your CPG company could wade into the DTC waters, it’s best to first establish whether or not it’s a good idea.

As we’ll touch on below, taking a DTC approach doesn’t necessarily mean competing head-to-head with retailers.

The key to deciding how far to go is by first establishing what role a DTC channel must play. In short, does your company want this channel to help with:

  • Discovering Greater Insights and Innovation

  • Controlling the User Experience

  • Leveraging an Omnichannel Approach

  • Overtaking the Retailer

In the case of that fourth approach, it would mean competing directly with current retail partners.

Once you’ve established what your goal is for DTC, you can begin considering which strategy to adopt.

4 Ways CPG Companies Can Take a DTC Approach

The most obvious problem that a CPG manufacturer will run into when they go DTC is the conflict with their retail partners.

To succeed, these companies need to adopt certain strategies that have already proven to be effective in the world of DTC.

Fortunately, there are four direct-to-consumer approaches that many CPG companies have already adopted and found effective for their transition.

1. Discovering Greater Insights and Innovation

Arguably, one of the greatest opportunities for CPG companies looking to transition into DTC is to learn more about their end-users. This will allow them to create better products and nurture greater trust in their companies.

2. Controlling the User Experience

Research by Salesforce found that 75% of people expect a consistent experience from brands. If you want more control over your brand story, DTC marketing will allow you to communicate your message directly to customers.

3. Leveraging Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel retail may be the future, one in which companies engage with customers online before directing them to a brick-and-mortar environment to make their purchases. Manufacturers don’t necessarily need to go to war with retailers. By taking this approach, they can simply drive greater sales while growing their ecommerce footprint.

4. Overtaking the Retailer

Of course, for many CPG companies that first adopt omnichannel marketing, the natural next step will be overtaking retailers. Unless a product needs to be test-driven, tried on, or otherwise seen in-person, these companies will have very little reason to justify the overhead their retail-partners require.

Standing Still Is Not an Option

CPG manufacturers can no longer rely on retail partners to build up their audiences. Instead, they must look for long-term solutions, which guarantee their longevity and sustained success.

One thing these companies cannot do is simply keep up business as usual.

By engaging the market with a DTC approach, big manufacturers risk upsetting some retailers, but they also stand a lot to gain. Not only will they know more about their customers, but they can focus more on their brand story and engagement.

There are much larger profit margins to look forward to, as well.

Elevate Your Marketing Results with These 29 Marketing Tips

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Elevate Your Marketing Results with These 29 Marketing Tips

Want to up your marketing game but don’t know where to start? Struggling to process all the information that’s available?

Then you’ve come to the right place!

To help you implement a stellar marketing strategy that works, we’ve condensed vast amounts of information to bring you these top 29 marketing tips that highlight all the important aspects of a great marketing strategy.

What Do Our 29 Marketing Tips Include?

Within this downloadable sheet, you’ll find easy-to-digest tips that are categorized into 6 actionable sections. These will cover key points, such as:

  • How to implement your marketing strategy and stick to it

  • How to gain traction on social media by making the most of all the tools available to you and ensuring you’re reaching out to your target audience at the right times

  • How to get a head start in digital advertising by applying the right models and strategies and making sure you’re utilizing the most dominant keywords

  • How to use influencers to your advantage while creating long-term, authentic relationships

  • How to revamp shopper marketing to gain shoppers’ trust and loyalty, which includes creating the right “experience”

  • How to make analytics tools work for you by creating a consistent approach to your analytics but without getting too obsessed with the figures so you lose sight of your overall goals

Download Our 29 Marketing Tips Today!

What are you waiting for? Head to our Experiences resource page to download these 29 indispensable marketing tips – and watch as your company skyrockets toward success.

Is Market Research Protected from the “Robots”?

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The rise of machine learning is hard to ignore. It’s happening fast. For the vast majority of digital marketers and forward-thinking companies, it’s an exciting time.

However, there are some concerns over the big picture.

As more companies adopt automated market research and AI, what does the future really look like for business? Moreover, how will it affect the people doing those jobs today?

The reality is, we can all gain a lot from embracing automation.

4 Benefits of Automated Market Research

Automation has been disrupting marketing for quite some time, and the benefits are already clear:

1.    Saves Time

We at E29 have been working with a number of automated market research technology providers for some time now. ZappiStore is one such provider that we’ve had tremendous success with.

Together, we’ve sought to improve the results of concept testing for a number of our less established clients who have significant innovations looming, but whose timelines to market are tight. With automated market research in play, we’ve been able to aid them in making key decisions, often in less than a week.

2.    Improves Accuracy

One of the most widespread uses of automation in market research is in data analytics.

Companies can track users onsite behaviors to gain deep insights into the needs and interests of their audience.

This enables ecommerce companies to tailor brand messaging and offer targeted product recommendations that get more engagement, and ultimately, more conversions.

3.    Audience Growth

With online surveys, your business can curate a global audience of tens of thousands, either in targeted locations or spread across the world.

4.    Marketing ROI

Automation is typically cheaper than traditional marketing methods. With fewer overheads, automated market research reaps a higher ROI on spend.

The Role of Humans With Automated Market Research

Research indicates that 93% of people view AI as a huge opportunity, while 7% consider it to be a threat, as many believe AI will be doing their job better than them within the next 10 years.

The buzz around machine learning and digital transformative technologies is understandable, however, it’s important to keep it in perspective.  

On its own, automation technology still lacks a degree of sophistication. It is only when humans perform deeper analysis on data that the value of the research can be measured.

Take, for example, the instance of an automated survey or interview. Sure, you can garner a wealth of information from numerous participants in a short space of time. However, automation alone is not yet at a point where it can probe or clarify points beyond the basic insights. Without a human present, creative thought is absent.

There’s no doubt that automated tools do enhance our ability to conduct qualitative analysis, which in turn gives marketers the power to improve their campaigns.

That being said, machines aren’t able to connect the dots without us – yet.  

We Must Adapt and Embrace Automation Technology to Our Advantage

The people with the biggest concerns about the dawn of a new era in digital marketing are those who are currently working in market research.

Given that machine learning is already faster, more accurate, and more organized with data than any human could ever dream of, it’s easy to understand why some people are fearing for their jobs.

But they shouldn’t consider this with a doom-and-gloom outlook.

Instead, we should look to adapt and find new opportunities alongside automation.

Many people are already doing that, with 50% of people considering upskilling. Others are finding new roles where they can use automation in their job, rather than be supplanted by it.

For now, automation in market research is an innovative strategy that all businesses can leverage and profit from. But it cannot fulfill its potential without humans.

Learning how to work with these new technologies will set people and businesses up for a prosperous future.

How to Reap the Benefits of Email Marketing

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Email has been around for a long time, so it’s easy to dismiss it as irrelevant in the current digital landscape. However, that would be a critical mistake.

The truth is, email marketing is as powerful as ever, and it’s not going anywhere.

The Real Potential of Email Marketing

Unfortunately, organic reach is almost non-existent on social media now. This forces companies into paid advertising. But there is another way to cut through all the noise.

By focusing on growing an email list of loyal subscribers, you’ll soon find the benefits of email marketing are far greater than many people realize.

1. You Can Generate More Leads

Studies show that 59% of marketers claim email is the most effective marketing channel for their company’s revenue.

You can also encourage your subscribers to forward email content to their families, friends and colleagues.

Between forwarding and social sharing, subscribers can amplify your content to boost future sign-ups.

2. It Boosts Conversion Rates

Once you have more leads, you can build a relationship and ultimately nurture prospects through your sales funnel.

In time, that makes it easier to convert email subscribers into customers.

3. It Reduces Marketing Costs

One of the great benefits of email marketing is that it delivers a great return on investment (ROI).

In fact, research indicates the ROI of email marketing is higher than social media and paid advertising, yielding almost $40 for every $1 of marketing spend.

Better yet, many top email marketing tools have free versions, allowing you to get up and running at minimal cost.

Leverage the Benefits of Email Marketing

With the technology available today, email marketing can do a lot more than simply acquire new leads.

Segmentation and Personalization

When email marketers go niche within their own audiences, it enables them to forge deeper connections on a more personal level.

Segmenting your audiences and delivering targeted content that is personalized to their needs is a sure-fire way of improving the results of your email marketing. It may just cause your revenue to increase 7-fold!

Building Trust

By using more personalization, you can soon earn the trust of your subscribers. People want brands to know more about them, and with your tailored content, you’ll soon prove that your business cares about them.

Automation

With marketing automation, you can add personalized product recommendations to your emails. This can boost sales volumes, especially when trust has been built.

Another method is to use automation for drip campaigns, keeping leads warm until they are prepared to buy something. This strategy has been proven to earn a 300% higher click-through rate than single emails.

The Future for Email

The rise of machine learning is one of the biggest benefits of email marketing. Being able to segment audiences and learn more about your customers from data insights can massively improve the ROI of email marketing.

It has truly changed the game.

Also, as more than 70% of millennials prefer email for business communications, the future truly looks bright for email marketers.

Social media is a tough nut to crack and is only becoming more crowded.

Email is going nowhere. The gold is in your list.

Why Social Media Reach is Really Dying

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Having trouble reaching your audience on social media?

You’re not alone.

Over the past decade, social media marketing has become one of the most powerful tools in the modern marketer’s toolkit, allowing businesses to build an audience with relative ease.

However, times are changing, and it’s no longer easy.

Social media reach is being hampered by several factors, from saturated markets to an ever-evolving digital landscape.

Now, your company must adapt to survive.

How the Facebook Algorithm Has Changed the Game for Marketers

At the start of 2018, Facebook announced some big changes were afoot.

The platform was to shift focus back to connecting people, rather than giving preference to media consumption.

The new algorithm effectively put marketing content in the backseat, which was bad news for marketers hoping to grow their brand on social media.

Since then, some companies have reacted well, while others have made some mistakes. Specifically, they’ve bought into the widespread belief that organic social media reach is dead. 

One of the Most Harmful Social Media Marketing Trends

Research from BuzzSumo found that content engagement on social media has dropped by 50% since 2015. With less interaction on their posts, many companies have turned their attentions to other marketing streams, such as email.

While that in itself holds vast potential for building a loyal audience, you shouldn’t close the book on social media marketing just yet.

A common trend now is for companies to manage their social media marketing in-house, as opposed to hiring an agency. While this certainly cuts on costs, there are drawbacks to employing an avid social media user fresh-out-of-college.

Sure, they’ll know a few things that the rest of the office might not, but when it comes to strategy and marketing skills, you could find yourself falling behind the competition.

Unfortunately, many small businesses persist with this venture, which more often than not, leads to a flood of low-quality content that delivers little return on investment (ROI).

5 Strategies to Boost Social Media Reach in 2018

So, just how can your business deal with the issue of declining social media reach?

Here’s what you should be doing:

1.    Video

When Facebook say video content boosts engagement, it’s worth taking note.

Facebook Live is another option. Although it doesn’t have the same social media reach as native videos do, studies indicate it still trounces text posts.

Native or live, video content is the indisputable king of content now, and it’s here to stay.

2.    Visuals

From GIFs to infographics, catchy images to thought-provoking photos, visuals make a big difference to your content, as proven by the 87% increase in engagement.

3.    Ask for Engagement

Sometimes, to get more likes and shares, all you need to do is ask. But beware of bait-like posts. Instead, aim to incite genuine discussion and conversation.

4.    Paid Ads

With social media reach on the wane, many marketers are exploring paid advertising.

Facebook ads don’t cost much, and with some clever strategy, you can target specific segments of your audience. Ultimately, this ensures your content reaches the people you really want it to.    

5.    Use Brand Advocates

Social media marketing still has the power to build networks. By reaching out to friends, family, and trusted associates, you can get help to amplify your content.

Teams who post their content on personal pages can harness this potential, as people are 16 times as likely to engage in content from a friend rather than a brand.

Quality Over Quantity Is What Matters In Social Media Marketing

Social media reach is not what it was, but it isn’t quite dead yet.

The game has changed, and companies must evolve with it.

Focus more on quality rather than quantity.

By embracing new social media marketing strategies, your company can still build a strong brand on social platforms. Over time, these methods will deliver a solid ROI, and help you achieve real growth.