In marketing, new techniques and best practices develop and move slowly...until they don’t. As we start oﬀ 2018, it’s important to both take a look backward, into the past, to see where key developments in marketing have come from, and to see how marketing has evolved to meet the needs of any industry in the new year.
With that, I’m pleased to share with you Blastcap’s Crossover Marketing Basics. We’ll be taking a look at what kind of marketing initiatives can find a home with any sized marketing team, across any industry, and with any amount of resources.
Start of a New Beginning
The year was 2004, and big changes were about to take place in the social space. Facebook, in its first iteration of what will go on to become the most important social tool of the 21st century, is born. Obviously, the advent of Facebook isn’t the only thing that made an impact on the marketing world, but social media since then has certainly changed the way marketers and business owners have approached their space.
As customers and leads began to congregate in the same online spaces, share their opinions, preferences, and information, it started to become critical that businesses themselves adopt the social mentality, and begin working toward creating a digital footprint to drive engagement and foster new relationships.
What’s Working? A Segmented Social Media
One of the most obvious and important aspects of understanding social media today is knowing how powerful social tools are at collecting and organizing new leads, existing customers, and engaged consumers. While all these diﬀerent types of individuals may have attached themselves to social media for diﬀerent reasons, the key takeaway is that social media has created a kind of stable of customers for marketers to access by establishing a corporate or business presence on the same platforms. As social media began to evolve, so too did the strategies employed by brands and businesses.
When Facebook launched, and marketers and business development teams were grasping for any way to co-opt the site into working to their advantage, new ventures aimed at further segmenting social media were beginning to evolve. With the coming of LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, B2B and B2C businesses alike now had a far more granular platform in which to target their marketing eﬀorts, and were able to engage in platform-specific marketing that would allow for the generation of more qualified leads.
In 2018, the same theory holds true. It does not matter if you’re an HVAC manufacturing firm, a software startup, or a clothing designer. Having a curated and active presence on social media is business critical. More so, allowing your customers and leads the opportunity to educate themselves on your product and create for your business the reputation of being a thought leader should be the goal for any organization taking their business into the digital world. Most importantly, it is no longer appropriate to merely “get your company on Facebook”. With the social media space now oﬀering sharing platforms tuned specifically to a certain type of user, your business should know which social tools cater to your client, and develop your social presence with their sharing habits in mind. So our HVAC manufacturer takes to Facebook and LinkedIn, our software startup heads to Crunchbase, Github, and Twitter, and our clothing designer starts placing content on Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat. Being on social media as a business is only a fraction of what it means to be a successful social media marketer in 2018.
What’s Working? Content, In All Its Forms
In pursuit of the next and greatest marketing edge, one strategy has emerged as a promising and eﬀective tool: content marketing. Businesses who engage in regular content marketing on social media oﬀer their leads and customers not only a more engaging insight into a product or service, but a more humanized touch to their marketing eﬀorts. In fact, Facebook posts with images see 2.3 times more engagement than those without (Buzzsumo, 2015), and with 74% of users saying they use Facebook for professional purposes (HubSpot, 2017), it should be a no-brainer to start developing a content strategy to pair with your company’s social media presence.
Content doesn’t (and shouldn’t) just take the form of images. Blogs, for instance, have a very high ROI, require very little resources, and are easy to publish on an organization’s home site. Take this statistic, for instance: B2B companies that blogged eleven or more times per month had almost three times more traﬃc than those blogging one time or less. Being an expert in your industry means that you have knowledge worth sharing, and a blog is a great way to share content with your leads and customers, as well as further establish your business as a thought leader in your space. And the best part about blogging for business is that the eﬃcacy of your blogs rises with the frequency. B2C companies that blogged eleven or more times a month received more than four times as many leads than those that blog only four to five times per month (HubSpot 2015).
There is a moral to this story. Content marketing is a crossover basic. With infographics, blogs, videos, and even simple images, a business can transform themselves into thought leaders that dominate their space by informing and meeting their customer base on the platforms they are familiar with, and with content that applies to their interests.
Is It Really That Simple?
No, it’s not. But the point of this article isn’t to shed light on the newest and greatest marketing tactics. We’re not here to oﬀer new practices to seasoned marketers or marketing leads with big teams. It’s to provide insight into powerful marketing foundations that every sized business can take advantage of. Sometimes it’s less about knowing what works best, and more about what knowing what works often. From experience, and from the data, it’s safe to say that sitting down with your marketing team, or with yourself, and developing a content strategy for the new year will do nothing but increase your leads, gain you new sales, and help establish your organization as a leader in the space.
Good luck, and happy marketing!