According to Forbes, 81 percent of consumers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by their friends’ social media posts and 78 percent of people trust brand social media accounts to guide them to purchase decisions.
While bigger companies spend millions of dollars on their social media marketing, a significant percentage of small-to-medium sized businesses often don’t have the same amount of money or resources to compete against them. In fact, a whopping 49 percent of small businesses don’t have a formal social media marketing strategy in place, according to Netsertive Survey.
But the beauty of social media marketing is that it is available to anyone and there are smart ways to create powerful content and engage better with your target demographic without costing an arm and a leg.
Turn your customers into content creators
User-generated content is just what it sounds like – it’s content created and shared by consumers around your brand or product. Take a popular camera manufacturer, GoPro, for example. It makes excellent use of user-generated content by asking consumers to submit videos and images they take with their GoPro camera using the #GoPro hashtag. They select the best image each day and share it on their own account.
photo source: GoPro Instagram
Like GoPro, you can turn your consumers’ experiences and reviews into authentic content for your social media accounts. It’s been found that user-generated content fan videos get 10 times more views than brand content videos. Why? The content is voluntarily created by consumers who are satisfied with your product or service and that triggers a genuine interest in others to learn more about your business. Simply stated, referrals are powerful.
Find a niche influencer
More and more people turn to influencers before they make a purchasing decision – 49% to be exact. Having them promote your brand or product is audience targeting at its best. However, it comes with a hefty price tag.
For businesses with a small marketing budget, the alternative is to identify micro-influencers who usually have less than 10,000 followers within your line of business, niche market or local area. This way, you’ll be reaching your core demographic and building credibility in your niche. There are tools such as BuzzSumo, Upfluence and HypeAuditor available to help you with identifying and reaching out to influencers.
For example, BuzzSumo helps you discover and analyze influencers by their reach, authority, and engagement based on keywords. You also get to see what kind of content these influencers post. This can help you find the right influencer who will be an appropriate ambassador for your business.
Another way to discover influencers is to use #hashtags relevant to your business. Hashtags are a great way to tap into relevant conversations in your niche. When researching hashtags, remember to be specific rather than general (i.e. #organicsoaps instead of #soaps). If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly way to leverage influencers, you can ask them to reply to one of your postings on your social media account instead of them making a post.
Don’t split your social share
One common mistake many business owners make is they create different ad designs with the same message and run them simultaneously.
What happens in the end is each ad receives a less number of likes since people’s attention is split into different ads. Rather, you should consolidate engagement into one single ad. The more social engagement an ad has, more often it will appear on people’s newsfeed, lowering the cost per acquisition. Instead of splitting the engagement from your target audience, try to maximize the social engagement by launching a single ad that best conveys the message.
Don’t be afraid to try video creation
Each year reveals that more businesses are focusing on video content as a core element of their marketing strategy, and 2019 will be no different. This trend is fueled by 83% of businesses believing that video marketing gives them a good ROI.
What you can communicate through videos can be, really, anything. Videos can be used to drive brand awareness or educate people on topics relevant to your business. There is a misconception that video production is often time-consuming and complex. Luckily, all of that is changing. There are now affordable, user-friendly web apps available such as Adobe Spark, Animoto, Promo and iMovie. These platforms offer a suite of useful tools to produce videos including editing tools, music, and templates that meet the layout specifications of each of the social media platforms.
Last but not least, content is of the essence. In order to earn consumers’ trust, the narrative of your video needs to resonate with your audience on a personal level. In the end, what people ultimately remember is the story that feels more authentic and genuine, not another product promotional video.