What Social Media Platforms Should I Be Using to Market My Business?

Social media can be one of your business’s most successful digital marketing channels. It’s an excellent way to build brand awareness, connect with new customers, and maintain relationships with current customers.

Your business needs an active social presence. But there are over 50 social medial platforms in existence, and more are launched all the time. So, which one is going to be the best for your business?

When considering what social media sites to use, keep these questions in mind:

  • Who is your target audience and which platforms do they use most?
  • What message are you trying to deliver about your brand?
  • What kinds of content do you plan to produce?
  • How will social media support your marketing efforts?

Here is what you need to know about the top social media platforms so that you can make an informed choice about your digital marketing strategy.

Facebook

Number of Monthly Users: 3+ billion

Demographics: Men and women, ages 18-65 or older

Facebook is, hands-down, the world’s largest and most active social media platform. The company reportedly earned over $70 billion last year, a lot of it from Facebook ads.

More than 1 billion people are active on the platform daily. But does that mean it’s a good investment for your business? It might be if you want to learn more about your target audience, build an email list, and build an active community around your brand.

Pros: Massive audience reach, powerful analytics, excellent for customer interaction, and targeted advertising

Cons: Takes consistent engagement, ads are expensive, and there is little support if your account is suspended.

Instagram

Number of Monthly Users: 1.28 billion

Demographics: Men and women, ages 18-64

Facebook owns Instagram, but this platform appeals to a younger target audience. In fact, the majority of Insta’s users are under the age of 25. The content on the platform leans heavily towards short videos and photos.

Instagram is an excellent way for your brand to show rather than tell its audience about its products, services, and values. Your brand’s Instagram account can also be integrated with Twitter and Facebook so that you post the same content across multiple platforms.

Pros: More popular with younger audiences, works better on mobile devices, and short visual content performs well.

Cons: Need to post often for the best results, and metrics can be confusing.

Twitter

Number of Monthly Users: 396 million

Demographics: Men and women, ages 18-49

Twitter has a smaller user base than many of the other platforms, but its users there are incredibly active. Practically every major brand has a presence on Twitter, so it’s probably a good idea for you to consider it. Twitter can be a powerful way to make direct connections with customers and referral sources.

Pros: Simple to engage with followers and influencers, easy to target content with “@” and “#,” and ads are more affordable than Facebook.

Cons: The platform is fast-paced and competitive, you have to post a lot, and any traffic you get might not be “quality.”

LinkedIn

Number of Monthly Users: 310 million

Demographics: Men and women, ages 25-64

If you market to other professionals, your business must be active on LinkedIn. This is the world’s largest online professional networking site that allows you to make lasting connections with customers and valuable referral sources. To use the platform effectively, you’ll need to create an engaging profile, work on building connections, and stay active in building relationships.

Pros: Excellent for networking, getting referral business, and promoting business-related content.

Cons: Not ideal for some eCommerce brands and has a smaller user base than some other platforms.

YouTube

Number of Monthly Users: 2.29 billion

Demographics: Men and women, ages 18-65 and older

After Google, YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine. Music and comedy do great on YouTube but so do brands that post the right type of video content. Instructional videos, product reviews, and other educational-type videos do fantastic on YouTube and get massive exposure for the brands that produce and post them. If you have customers with questions (who doesn’t?), you should be posting content on this platform.

Pros: Videos can drive conversions, and video content is highly sought-after.

Cons: Videos can be challenging to produce and ranking your videos on YouTube can be tough.

Pinterest

Number of Monthly Users: 459 million

Demographics: Women, ages 18-64

If your target audience is primarily women, you might want to consider a presence on Pinterest. Sure, the platform is popular for posting cooking and home improvement items. But people also post travel, fashion, and various infographics.

Pros: Simple tools to boost views and traffic, and less expensive advertising than other platforms.

Cons: Not suitable for every type of business and requires a consistent posting schedule to stand out.

TikTok

Number of Monthly Users: 732 million

Demographics: Men and Women (boys and girls), ages 10-34

If your target audience is incredibly young, as in kids, then TikTok is worthy of your time and attention. The video-based app has had more than 2 billion downloads. Over 41% of users are between 16-24, and users spend an average of 52 minutes each day viewing content on the app.

Pros: The platform has the highest engagement rate of any social media site, and the user base in the U.S. has grown by nearly 6x in the past 18 months.

Cons: Not suitable for every business, and it can be challenging to compete with millions of other videos.

Get Help With Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media can help your business engage with customers and drive conversions. You can use it for promotional giveaways, advertising, and to find out what people are saying about your business.

Social media is an excellent way to develop your brand’s voice and increase your overall reach. It can also help you attract new customers and retain the ones you already have. But creating social profiles and social media management takes some know-how and a dedication of time and resources.

At Too Darn Loud Digital Marketing, we help clients build and promote their unique brand on the social channels that make the most sense and will provide the best results. Contact us today to learn more about how our services can help you get found and be heard.

The Importance of Using Video in Your Marketing

Marketers are increasingly using video as an effective means to increase brand awareness, boost engagement, and drive conversions. They use videos for YouTube, landing pages, emails, recorded webinars, social media, and more. Video also helps promote products and services and builds lasting relationships with customers.

According to research by HubSpot, 81% of businesses are using video as a marketing strategy. And 78% of people watch online videos weekly, with 55% viewing them daily.

If your business hasn’t started using video as a marketing strategy yet, it’s certainly one you must add to your marketing program. Not just because everyone is doing it, but because it’s an effective and versatile digital marketing tool.

What is Video Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the creation and digital distribution of informative, educational content delivered with the goal of converting a target audience into customers or increasing client engagement rates. It’s not a one-time thing but rather an ongoing coordinated effort that spans numerous channels and content types.

Written articles and posts are one form of content marketing, but so is video. And video has grown into one of the most powerful ways to distribute your brand’s message. When done well, video is effective and efficient, easily shareable, and highly versatile.

Why You Should Use Video in Your Marketing

One of the great things about video marketing is that it has become easier to do effectively. Sure, it takes a bit more effort than writing some words on a page and adding a few photos. But the benefits make your efforts worthwhile. Here are just a few of the reasons why you should be using video marketing for your business:

Video Builds Trust

While building trust shouldn’t be your only goal, the level of trust people have in your brand impacts conversions and sales. Content marketing is supposed to help you create relationships with people that builds trust.

Some consumers remain skeptical about online marketing because they fear being cheated. But video content can create a personal connection that cuts through those negative aspects of digital marketing.

Most Popular Format on Social Media

By far, video is the most popular form of content on social media. Interestingly, video content on social media sites is generally discovered as opposed to being sought out. People will search for a video on Google or YouTube to figure out how to do something, for example. But on Instagram or Facebook, they are more likely to click on a video while scrolling through their feed.

Catches the Viewer’s Eye

Content marketing is highly competitive. Consumers are presented with an overload of content competing for their time. Video content has proven to attract more attention than other forms of content because it is so simple to consume. People are incredibly busy, and many may not have time to read long posts or descriptions. The preference for video is one of the most important reasons for using this medium in your content marketing efforts.

Excellent Lead Generation Technique

Nearly two-thirds of marketers claim that video content is more effective at generating leads than blog posts. And many consumers use videos to help them make purchasing decisions. Any old video won’t do, though. You’ll need to create and post engaging videos that prompt visitors to hit “play,” continue watching your content, and then take action.

Easiest Way to Explain Concepts

If your business offers a product or service (most do), video is the most effective way to explain or demonstrate how it works. 98% of consumers admit that they’ve watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.

Encourages People to Share

How many times have you clicked on a video that a friend or colleague shared? Cat videos aside, most social media platforms and websites are equipped with buttons that allow the easy sharing of content. And users are likely to share your videos, giving your business even more exposure.

Helps Boost SEO

Search engines have an incredible number of website ranking factors. But many of them relate to how well your website’s content engages visitors. Few things can keep a visitor on a page longer than video content. When you produce videos that are relevant to your audience’s interests, this can improve your SEO efforts and search engine rankings.

Traffic-Generating Machine

Video posted on sites other than your own (YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn) can drive traffic to your website in droves. Video content can generate more traffic than other forms of content, particularly when posted on social medial channels.

You Can Use Video in a Variety of Ways

Marketers have a ton of options when it comes to using video content. This means it’s simple to find a video that meets your marketing objectives. You can add videos to your website, post them on social media, and include them in email messages. Here are a few of the different ways you can use video to promote your business:

  • Educational Videos– Educational videos are short, informative, engaging pieces that give users desired instructions (how-to’s), industry updates, or explanations of important concepts.
  • Product Videos – Create product launch and demo videos that feature your company’s new or best-selling products.
  • Company Culture Videos– Company culture videos give you the opportunity to showcase your organization’s personality and values. You can shoot videos of company events or something that represents your overall brand.
  • Testimonial Videos – Post social proof with customer and employee testimonials that can help establish trust.

You Don’t Have to Be a Video Expert to Get Started

There’s a common misconception that video marketing costs a fortune. This is far from the truth. You don’t have to create a Hollywood-style production to reach your target audience. And, in fact, you shouldn’t. You’ll get the results you want when your video efforts authentically represent your brand’s voice.

If you don’t already have video as part of your content strategy, it’s time to start. At Too Darn Loud Digital Marketing, we help your brand get seen and heard consistently with our results-driven solutions, which include high-quality video production and marketing. Contact us today to learn more about how our services can help your business persuade, convert, and inspire its audience.

REACT and Adapt Your Marketing Plan

Have You Updated Your Marketing Plan This Year?

For all businesses, both big and small, marketing is one of the primary considerations when it comes to short and long term strategy. But what happens when the landscape and your business change overnight?

Understandably, most people will immediately think of COVID-19. No one (hardly) saw it coming, and few businesses were prepared to deal with a global pandemic that resulted in a shocking number of deaths in such a short period.

From a human standpoint, it’s been nothing short of devastating. From a business perspective, it’s been one of marketing’s greatest challenges. How do you speak to consumers? What’s the right message? Or the wrong one? How can your company survive this crisis?

If you’ve been in business long enough, you know that wisdom and the keys to success come from many different places. Retired Navy SEAL Jason Redman knows a lot about surviving through tough times. To overcome any crisis, Redman recommends a specific formula that he calls REACT.

REACT to Adapt Your Marketing Plan

When you’re on the battlefield, what you do in the face of adversity can be the difference between life and death. In the business world, you can transfer some of these same hard-won lessons to ensure the survival of your business.

Even better, when circumstances change, how quickly you adapt and the way you do it can set the tone for something even better. In business, just as in war, everyone gets stuck or “ambushed” at some point.

The behavior formula that works to overcome any crisis is called REACT, which is an acronym for the steps your business can take to adapt its marketing plan.

R – Recognize Your Reality

It’s tough to move forward if you fail to recognize that there’s a problem. History is full of companies that have failed to recognize their reality, only to suffer the consequences.

  • Months before Equifax experienced its unprecedented data breach, a security researcher warned the firm that it was vulnerable to a large-scale attack.
  • Netflix approached Blockbuster video in 2000 with a $50 million buyout offer. The company refused, thinking that digital was a niche market. It went bankrupt ten years later.
  • Kodakwas once the world’s largest film company, but it couldn’t keep up with the digital revolution because it didn’t want to compromise its core business. Instead of embracing digital technology, it watched competitors, like Canon, do it instead.

The common theme in these examples is that these companies failed to recognize their reality. In some cases, it can be attributed to a lack of situational awareness.

Many businesses fall into the trap of having departmental silos, where there are unnecessary barriers that prevent the free sharing of information. If your business isn’t working as a cohesive unit, there’s a good chance you will miss opportunities for growth and fail to recognize when there is trouble on the horizon or at your doorstep.

In short, you want to make sure you have a team and the right processes in place that will allow you to sound the alarm bells when you are in crisis. That way, everyone can assemble quickly and figure out the next steps to move forward.

E – Evaluate Your Current Assets

Business issues can be overwhelming. And it might be tempting to throw money at a problem, ignore it, or toss out the first solution that comes to mind. None of these options is the best approach.

When a major crisis hits, take a breath and consider what tools you have to address the problem. A few of the things you’ll want to put on your list include:

Find Your People

Before you make any drastic adjustments to your marketing message and approach, get your team together. Internally, be sure you are speaking with your senior managers as well as frontline people about what has changed. Externally, tap into your peers, mentors, and networking groups to run ideas past people you trust before launching something that takes you in a different direction. If you have a trusted digital marketing partner in your corner, even better.

Identify Your Top Resources

In addition to your people, consider what tools you have that you can immediately bring to the problem. For example, if you have a strong social media presence, this is something you can leverage to adapt your marketing message fairly quickly.

Some brands like to use video marketing to get their message out and engage with their audience. If you’ve done this in the past and have the pieces in place, it would be an ideal choice. Likewise with email marketing or paid ads.

A – Assess Possible Outcomes and Options

Once you’ve identified the assets in your toolbox, it’s time to assess the various possible options and outcomes. Some companies have ready plans in place because they’ve engaged in scenario planning, where they sit down, figure out all of the potential things that could go wrong (like a global pandemic), and then come up with pivot plans to execute when certain events take place.

If you haven’t engaged in scenario planning, this might be something to put on your list. But, you can still respond to changes in the market and unforeseen events quickly and appropriately.

Gather your team together and figure out the different options and outcomes. Here are a few things to consider:

Gauge Customer Behavior and Sentiment

Long before COVID-19 showed up, consumers had begun to show less trust in big brands and more in local businesses. No matter where your business lands with regards to size, you can work to establish trust by focusing on the customer with your actions.

First, listen to your customers to understand their wants and needs. Use social listening tools and other solutions like surveys. Also, make sure you are completely transparent in your response about what your company can and can’t deliver.

Anticipate Operational Impacts

Speaking of what you can and can’t deliver, make sure your team assesses its capacity thoroughly in light of any market changes. Were your supply chains interrupted? Will you need to find alternative resources? Once you figure out operations, re-assess your budget with respect to optimizing your marketing message.

Look at Your Competitors

For a bigger picture understanding of what’s going on, make sure you take a close look at what the competition is doing. This way, you can see what is working and what isn’t with regards to shifting messages and even taking your business in a different direction. If nothing else, it can give you a fresh perspective as you work through these issues.

Don’t Forget Your Core Values

When weighing your options, don’t forget the mission and core values that drive your company’s strategic objectives. Encourage your team to think about the practices and ideals that make your brand unique. Any solution you come up with should remind customers why they enjoy being one of your partners.

As you go through this process, it’s important to remember that the best long-term solution might also be the most uncomfortable path for your business. Even if you have to endure some short-term pain, it will be worth it if you can achieve long-term success.

C – Choose and Communicate Your Direction

At some point during this process, you’ll need to choose your path. When the unexpected happens, it’s not surprising that you may not have a clear path forward. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting in digital marketing by using the tools at your fingertips, such as engagement analytics and A/B testing.

But, at some point, you need to seize the moment and move forward. Decide how your business is going to address the situation and get everyone on board. The more buy-in you have from your team, the greater your chance of success.

Schedule a meeting to discuss why you are adapting your marketing plan this way and then outline the logistics of your approach. Don’t forget that you also have an opportunity to bond with your team through adversity and make sure you are acknowledging their stress and efforts.

T – Take Action

Finally, the longer your team stays in planning mode, the tougher it’s going to be to get momentum to address the shift in events. Swift execution is vital to the success of your plan. Your customers may be waiting to hear what you have to say, and you want to get your message out there in front of your competitors.

A big part of marketing is being able to adapt and pivot to changing events quickly. For example, when COVID hit, many brands transformed their live events into virtual ones. People who were forced to stay at home were also increasingly drawn to live streaming events over recorded videos. Brands that made these quick shifts were able to achieve quick success as well as make lasting connections with their audience.

Get Help Adapting Your Marketing Plan

When you understand your audience, deliver consistent communication, and adapt your message quickly to market changes, you’ll be able to successfully guide prospects through your business’s sales funnel. These are the ingredients to produce greater brand loyalty and higher revenue.

Sound like a tall order? Too Darn Loud Marketing wants to help your brand get heard in a complex and noisy world. Contact us today, and our specialists will dig into your business to develop a customized plan for success.