There has been a massive shift in the marketing world over the past five years. What used to be sacred is now available to anyone, anywhere. I am, of course, talking about having access to the tens of thousands of guides, podcasts, and marketing content, all of which are aimed at helping you, the digital marketer, improve your brand. This is a unique time in history, as we have never before had such a public distribution of valuable knowledge.
The challenge, however, that trips most novice marketers up is that most of the material out there is mediocre. Many is really just self-promotion trying to sell you something. Few people truly want to help you grow your brand. Luckily, there are people out there who do know what they are talking about.
Here are 6 of his favorite tips (that actually work!):
1. Prioritize content.
There are lots of components that go into building a brand presence on social media. In the most simplistic model, your success will hinge on the effectiveness of your content. As a result, you must learn to create content that is valuable to your niche audience.
And sometimes, you have to make this investment, regardless of the short term cost.
“The most important thing is learning how to serve the right content to your audience,” Mark says. “While it can be really tricky, and even cost a tremendous amount for production costs, it is essential to deliver unique and differentiated content that adds value for your audience.”
2. Build relationships.
This is Mark’s big bet: “As soon as you understand that marketing is more about relationships than transactions, you will be able to 10x the effectiveness of your advertising.”
Talking with your customers (versus at them) is a fundamental change of thought that can dramatically inform your ability to build marketing material successfully.
“Social media is not like any other marketing channel. Unlike most other offline or digital strategies, social media is extremely interactive and people based. It is a conversation that you are having with your audience.”
While it is a subtle change, it can make all the difference. Consumers today are sick and tired of scrolling past advertisement after advertisement displaying the same spammy products. Mark told me, that “when developing a Flavor for a new product, we often let our followers decide which one they want to be released by commenting on our social media posts.” By involving consumers, they increase engagement and build relationships.
3. Make your material interactive.
To differentiate your social media posts, you need to be exciting. You need to be different. The easiest way to do that, Mark says, is to “make your content interactive and fun to play with. Of course, this is easier said than done. While lots of brands try, most fail.”
“The key,” he goes on to say, “is to create a detailed user testing plan. Before costing big pieces of content, go over the material with your users.”
This process of constantly getting feedback from your users will better inform your strategy so that you can understand nuances like “when to post, how the post is designed, and what the call to action looks like” that really differentiates your brand.
4. Be consistent and relevant.
Social media lives at the core of most consumers’ lives. “Most people check their social feeds multiple times throughout the day.” This obsession creates an invaluable place for marketers to appropriately inject their content, in a way that is organic and persuasive.
The opportunity is clearly there. “Social media, if you are consistent, is the perfect platform to interact with potential customers. If you can find a targeted audience (Generation Z), you can quickly dominate the niche online.
5. Invest in influencers.
If you have been paying any attention to the marketing world over the last few years, then you would know just how big of a deal influencer marketing has become. Why? Influencers have an extremely unique and powerful relationship with their audience.
“If you do build the partnership correctly, you can multiply engagement for your Influencers and also for your own channel,” Mark says. It is a win-win situation.
When done wrong, however, “you can really hurt your brand (both in the short and long term).”
6. Remember the bigger picture.
It is really easy to get overwhelmed with details when approaching social media marketing. “Many companies tend to forget about the bigger picture and spend all of their time down in the weeds. As a result, I see lots of companies go in with aggressive ads, discounts, and deals, just to move the needle in the short run.”
More experienced and mature marketers understand that marketing is a long term bet, and constantly remind themselves about a north star toward which they are moving.