There are currently 1.79 billion monthly active users on Facebook. That’s a huge chunk of the global population, and at present Facebook’s reach doesn’t seem to be slowing. If you are one of the over 60 million businesses with a Facebook account then you are probably already aware of the impact a strong online marketing strategy can have for your business. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to how you implement your strategy and what tactics you use.
For that reason, we’ve put together a list of guiding principles to give your marketing a boost, regardless of your specific strategy.
1. Practice What You Preach
If you are promoting a product or service, be sure to demonstrate how you use it and the benefits it has provided you. Talk is cheap, and people can sniff out when a business is promoting something they don’t use. By putting your offering to the test you also gain a deep insight as to the benefits and potential issues. That amount of knowledge goes a long way to boost your online marketing. Thankfully, videos on Facebook are getting over 8 billion views a day, and they are possibly the best way to demonstrate your product.
2. Metric Centered
All marketing, but specifically online marketing relies on data. Knowing which post got the most engagement and with what audience is important to ensuring your success. Thankfully, every action on Facebook is tracked and outside of the insights provided by Facebook directly, there are many other third party programs that bring even more data to light. However, simply monitoring engagement online is not enough; you have to incorporate that data into your efforts and continual work towards improvement.
3. Be Opinionated
This might seem a little bit against the grain, but the prevailing thought has shifted. For a while, most people involved with online marketing would tell you to avoid being overly opinionated for fear of driving away your audience. Now that we are able to obtain insights into who your audience is and what they stand for, it has become important to take a stand. More than ever before, people want to know that they are aligning themselves with companies that support their beliefs. Yes, you may lose a few people by taking a stand but chances are, you’ll deepen the connection for the rest of your audience.
4. Customer Collaboration
A big benefit to online marketing is the ability to directly connect and interact with your customers. By including your audience in the conversation, and developing user generated content, you gain multiple benefits, including:
- Real Insights
- Shareable Content
- Customer Appreciation
Not only will your customers feel heard and valued, but you will get honest answers on what you’re doing right and what you could do better. An added benefit is that user generated content goes a long way in online marketing.
5. Elevate Others
Remember; it doesn’t always have to be all about you. Online marketing allows us to connect with more authentic stories than ever before, and that kind of humanity goes a long way to drive results. By promoting, thanking, and highlighting your customers you can show how much you care by elevating others. This could be done with a hashtag campaign, a giveaway, or a special day for people to share their stories.
6. Be Transparent
The truth is, if you are online your audience will be able to find out whatever they want about you already. If you make a mistake or have a negative review, hiding it is not the answer. Not only is it already public, but once it’s online it is searchable and people can, and will do research. So, instead of shying away, embrace transparency, own up and take respectful action right away. Online marketing requires a different approach than sweeping things under the rug, but if handled well, your audience will appreciate you more for it.
7. Gratefulness & Kindness
This is possibly the number one rule of online marketing, put your customers first. Make sure your content has them in mind and not just your business. Also, stay away from any deceptive practices, deliver what you promise, and don’t ever be spammy. Your marketing efforts should be aimed at satisfying your audience’s needs or providing them value through education or entertainment. While this might feel like a slower process, it will yield results in the long run.
As with any medium, the tactics will inevitably shift from time to time. Additionally, while Facebook is the biggest player, for now, there is always a chance that someone else will fill that role in the future. By focusing on implementing the online marketing principles into your strategy, you can be sure deliver well, regardless of how things may change.
To Your Best Online!
Ingrid Griffin, Internet Marketing Consultant. Blue Dress® Marketing, an Internet Marketing Company headquartered in Knoxville, TN. Internet Marketing Developed, Implemented and Managed to Full Circle! Organic Internet Search Engine Guru. Turn Key Internet Optimization Programs Placing You Everywhere and Anywhere You Need to Be Online®