Social Media Marketing for Construction Companies

Social Media Marketing for Construction Companies

Social Media Marketing for Construction Companies

When it comes to social media marketing, companies that function in commercial industries tend to shy away. 

There’s a misconception out there that no one cares about seeing something like a construction project on Facebook. But for many construction companies, social media marketing can be another useful tool in your arsenal of inbound marketing tactics. 

When used properly, you can harness social media marketing to grow your brand and even deliver qualified leads. 

But it is a brave new world. For construction companies especially, it seems that social media isn’t always a natural fit. If you’re looking for ways to market your construction company, get the word out, and build up a bit of brand awareness and industry authority, social media marketing is a useful tool. I’m here to tell you why, and how. 

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Let’s start with the basics: what social media marketing is, and why you need it. 

When we’ve got that all figured out, we’ll move on to some quick steps that will help you successfully implement social media marketing for your construction company. 

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is any kind of unpaid activity you do on your social media channels. If you post your blogs to LinkedIn or Facebook, or if you share regular business updates on Twitter, that’s all considered social media marketing.  

Social media marketing is often confused with social media advertising. They’re actually two very different things, though they’re both useful marketing tactics. 

Social media advertising is any paid social media activity. So while posting your blog post to Facebook would be social media marketing, boosting that post and putting a bit of money behind it would be considered social media or Facebook advertising

Yeah, it’s confusing. If you want a bit more background check this out for everything you need to know about the social media marketing vs social media advertising breakdown. 

Is Social Media Marketing Actually Useful for Construction Companies?

Most construction companies we talk to tend to be a little reluctant about jumping into social media marketing. If you primarily do construction work on commercial buildings and for other companies, it’s hard to see how social media could add anything to your bottom line. 

Even if your construction company does interact directly with consumers or homeowners, social media might not feel like a natural fit. 

So why invest in social media marketing for your construction company?

Let’s think about it. 

Do you have a social media account? Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram?

Do any of your coworkers have social media accounts?

What about some of your favorite clients? 

It’s important to remember that even if you’re strictly a B2B construction company, every company you work with is made up of people. 

Most people these days have at least one social media account, if not multiple. 

In the United States alone, there were an estimated 243.6 million social network users in 2018. That’s about 75% of the nation’s population. 

Realistically, that number has only gone up in the past couple of years. 

If you think about it, somewhere in those 243 million people, there are construction project managers, facilities managers, homeowners, business owners, entrepreneurs, and more. To put it plainly — your target audience and ideal buyer is on social media. 

You should be too. 

Your Ideal Buyer is on Social Media, But Can Social Media Marketing Actually Drive Results?

We know your ideal buyer is on social media. 

How does that drive results for your construction company and potentially contribute to your bottom line?

Great question!

The answer is, it depends on the quality of your social media marketing strategy, and your goals for your social media accounts. 

Social media marketing works in a few ways. It can be:

  • An amplification platform for your brand. A way to get your great news and exceptional content into the hands of the people who want it.
  • A tool to increase your brand awareness. The more recognizable your brand, the more people are likely to remember you, and choose you for their next construction project.
  • A way to connect with your audience. By engaging with your followers on social media, you can invest in some social listening. When you’re able to determine common pain points and questions your audience has, you can develop solutions that address them. 
  • A lead generation machine. If done well, you can use social media to drive leads to your website and construction company. It’s important to understand what that looks like, however, so you’re measuring your results properly. 

All of these methods work. All of these methods are useful. All of these methods will help your construction company grow. 

From gaining a better understanding of what your ideal buyer wants and needs to amplifying your brand awareness, all these benefits of social media marketing can drive results for your construction company. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how your construction company can get started with social media marketing. 

How Construction Companies Can Get Started with Social Media Marketing

Getting your social media marketing strategy off the ground can take a bit of work. For construction companies especially, the toughest part seems to be just getting started. Follow these 6 steps to give our construction company’s social media marketing a bit of structure, so you’re sure to stick with it. 

01. Set a Goal

Social media marketing is a powerful tool, but it’s only going to work for you if you understand the platform, your goals for that platform, and how to measure your progress towards those goals. 

For example, let’s say you’re planning to get started on Facebook. You want to get the word out about your construction company and how well the projects you’re building turn out. 

If your goal is getting the word out, you shouldn’t be measuring clicks. 

Yes, getting clicks and visitors to your site from your Facebook page is awesome, but it’s not an accurate measurement of your awareness goal. 

Instead, you’d want to measure impressions and views. How many people are seeing your posts? Are they getting shared? The more visibility you get, the closer you’re coming to reaching that awareness goal. 

And now that I’ve mentioned it, you should have a tangible awareness goal. Maybe it’s to average a certain number of views or impressions per post. 

Maybe it’s to increase the number of followers you have. 

Choose a number and a time frame that’s realistic, and then measure that goal as time goes on. 

The same method applies to any other goal. Maybe you want to drive conversions through LinkedIn. Decide how many conversions you want to see in the next month. Then, measure the clicks from your LinkedIn posts. Track those visitors’ journey. Do they convert on your site once they make it there? If not, why? 

Goal setting and progress tracking are keys to ensuring that your social media marketing strategy is producing the right results for your construction company. 

02. Pick a Platform

This brings us to our next point — choosing a social media platform. 

Not all social media marketing for construction companies will produce the same results. Each social media platform has different advantages and features. You’ll want to choose the platform that’s best suited to your construction company’s social media marketing goals. 

Here’s a brief rundown of some of the best social media platforms for construction companies, and what goals each platform best serves:

  • Facebook. Great for general awareness. If you want to get the word out about your company, and get more eyeballs on your projects and your brand, Facebook is a good place to start. 
  • LinkedIn. A smart choice for commercial construction companies. You’ll find content here is geared to professionals, and you can do a lot to raise brand awareness in a professional setting here, as well as drive some very targeted conversions. 
  • Houzz. Perfect for construction companies that have contact with direct consumers. If you set yourself up as an authority in your industry, Houzz is a great place to start. Houzz provides plenty of opportunities for construction pros to interact directly with consumers to offer advice and build your reputation as an authority in the industry. 
  • Instagram. Another great place to highlight your work and drive brand awareness. Best for sharing before and afters, highlighting new products and beautiful work. Instagram is visually-focused, so this isn’t the place to drive conversions, but Instagram is an effective tool for growing your brand. 

We recommend you start with just one platform. 

The key to successful social media marketing for construction companies is consistent, quality posting. 

Start with just one platform, two at the most, and focus on growing your following there first, before you expand. 

03. Post Consistently

Like I said: 

Post at least twice a week to start. 

And be intentional about what you’re posting. 

I won’t go into all of it, but different types of posts get more attention from different platforms. 

For example, Facebook is likely to limit the reach of a post that it thinks is marketing in preference of what it calls, “meaningful content” or content that brings people together. A post about how great your company is probably won’t get the same reach that highlights a photo of your team or a project you’ve recently complete. 

Do some research into the platform you’ve chosen and come up with a plan that includes:

  • Posting best practices for your platform
  • How often to post
  • What to post

Deciding what to post is often the toughest part of social media marketing for construction companies, so let’s take a look at some best practices there.

04. Vary Your Content

When your construction company is getting started with social media, it’s easy to think of one type of post: say an employee spotlight, or before and after project photos, and stick to those while you get a feel for the platform. 

It’s great that you’re posting consistently, but it’s likely the followers you have will start to grow weary of seeing the same types of posts in their feed all the time. 

Do your best to vary your content so your followers always feel like they’re seeing something new or interesting from you. 

For example: 

  • You might post one employee spotlight post. 
  • Then, a few days later you could post a before and after project post. 
  • A few days after that you could share an article you found helpful from someone in your industry. 
  • Next, you could share one of your own blog posts.

Varying the types of content your construction company put out works for you in a variety of ways. 

  1. It helps ensure you’re putting out content that speaks to more than one of your buyer personas. You’re likely to pull in more followers with varied content. 
  2. It keeps your followers entertained, with new content they can get excited about. 
  3. It’s likely to help you maintain a solid reach with each of your posts. 

Any social media platform is likely to start limiting your post’s reach as they see that fewer and fewer people care about the content you’re putting out. 

When you put out new, different, and exciting or interesting content each time you post, you’re more likely to increase the engagement that the post gets. 

When more people like, comment, and share your posts, you get a larger reach, which eventually turns into a greater following. 

If you ever get stuck, consider incorporating video. 

There is nothing that social media users love more than video. Whether it’s a timelapse of your job site or a quick video how-to, video constantly drives the most engagement regardless of social media platform. 

Not sure how to make sure you’re always posting something new and different?

Consider a content calendar specifically for your social media platform. 

This can help you outline what you’re going to post, and when. This way, you can decide what types of content you’ll put out, and you’ll be able to see at a glance that what you have coming up is new and different from what you’ve already posted. 

05. Get Involved

Once your construction company gets your social media marketing strategy up and running, it’s time to get involved. 

If someone comments on your post, respond. Even if you’re just thanking them for their comment. 

If you’re on a platform like LinkedIn, Houzz, or Facebook, get involved in groups that are relevant to your construction company. LinkedIn is especially great for this, but Facebook and Houzz also have a ton of industry-specific groups you can get involved in. 

Find a few groups that are interesting to you or relevant to your construction company, and start a conversation. Respond back to other group questions, ask questions yourself, and when it’s right, share some helpful information. 

The more involved you get on these social media marketing platforms, the faster your presence is going to grow, and the more authority you’ll build in your industry. 

Even on Instagram, your company can get involved by commenting on the posts of others in your industry, sharing posts you find interesting on your Stories, and just by responding to your followers when they comment on your post. 

If you’re actively involved with followers and other industry pros on your platform, you’re going to see much better results than if you’re just passively posting once a week or so. 

06. Make Social Media Marketing Part of Your Construction Company’s Content Marketing Strategy

Like any other inbound marketing tactic, social media marketing is just one small weapon in your construction company’s arsenal. 

It’s going to provide you the very best results when you use it in conjunction with other marketing tactics. 

Social media marketing can fit seamlessly into your existing content marketing strategy

Here’s how it works: 

You produce content, on your website, for construction magazines, for other industry professionals, etc. 

You share that content, probably via email marketing at the moment. The more eyes you get on your content, the greater your lead generation potential. 

Social media marketing is another amplification tool. In addition to sharing that great content to your email subscribers, you can get it out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Houzz, or whatever social media platform you choose. 

That style of content marketing opens you up to a significantly larger pool of potential leads. And if you stick with social media marketing and put in just a little bit of effort, that pool is just going to keep growing with more and more qualified leads. 

As your following grows, you’re sharing your brand and your message with more of those qualified leads. 

That will keep building on itself according to your social media marketing goals. 

Implementing Social Media Marketing for Construction Companies

Social media marketing might feel like a big plunge, but when implemented properly, and with a bit of effort, it can be exceptionally successful for your construction company. 

Start small, and stick with it.

The more quality content you post and the more you engage, the larger your following will grow. 

This generates more brand awareness, and will eventually contribute to more qualified leads coming right to your construction company, ready to make a purchasing decision. 

As you become more comfortable with social media marketing, you can work to expand your tactics to another social media platform, and even start investing in social media advertising campaigns. 

Social media marketing for construction companies is a great way to increase brand awareness, grow your following, and help expand your pool of qualified leads. But, it’s not always easy.

If you’re new to social media marketing, or if your construction company wants to start social media marketing, but isn’t sure how the Evenbound team is here to help. We’re here to answer any questions you’ve got, and we’ve got a ton of experience helping construction companies grow. Just let us know what you need

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7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level

7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level

7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level

Content marketing tends to get a bad rap. First of all, it’s hard. It takes a lot of effort, and no matter what type of content marketing strategies you’re invested in, you need a writer to make it happen. 

As a content strategist and writer myself, I could be a little biased in my love for content marketing, but study after study has shown that content marketing is one of the most effective inbound marketing methods to take your company to the next level when it comes to digital presence, lead generation, and most importantly to you — ROI. 

Once you have a good content marketing strategy in place, it can provide some of the highest returns, with very little investment on your part. With all of those awesome benefits in mind, then how do you get started with content marketing? 

Are there some strategies that are better, more proven, or easier than others?

We say yes. 

While nearly all forms of content marketing are effective, there are a select few that are proven to drive serious results, especially when implemented and executed properly. We’re here to talk about those seven. Use the menu below to jump to the strategy you’re most interested in, or read all the way through for everything you’ve ever needed to know to set your company apart from the competition with intuitive content marketing strategies. 

7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level

#1 Blogging Strategy

Blogging feels like a given, but we’re going to talk about it anyway because it’s that important. If you want to up your company’s digital presence — that is, rank ahead of key competition, be the first in search results, and more — you need to blog, and you need to blog with intention. 

Start by developing a true blogging strategy. Do keyword research and figure out which search terms are:

  • Relevant to your business
  • Highly searched
  • Easy to rank for (that is, they have low competition for organic search results)
  • Interesting and useful to your ideal buyer personas

Then, develop a blogging schedule and strategy around those keywords. When you’re developing a blogging strategy to stick to, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Blog regularly (on a monthly or weekly schedule)
  • Write blogs that satisfy a buyer persona’s pain point or question
  • Ensure that your content creation structure makes sense. This is important for SEO and ranking purposes. See this blog on topic clusters for more information there. 
  • Write blogs that are long enough to satisfy readers and search engines alike. We recommend at least 1,000 words.

If you blog regularly, on topics that are relevant and useful to your ideal buyer personas, you’ll start to see results. And if you’re honest, and your information is actually helpful to those ideal buyer personas, you’ll keep rising up through the SERPs for those keywords that matter most to you, and your ideal buyers. 

#2 Email Marketing Strategy

If blogging is how you leverage content marketing to reach strangers, then email marketing is how you leverage content marketing to reach leads you already know. 

Email marketing gives you a decided advantage when it comes to nurturing leads through to close: 

  • You already have the lead’s contact information
  • You have a general sense of what they’re looking for — which product or service they’re interested in
  • You likely know what company they work for
  • You know that they already have at least some interest in your company — they did give you their email address, after all. 

Use this information to your benefit. Email marketing is about strategy. Given what you know about your contacts, what information will they need to keep moving towards closing a sale?

And, considering that many email marketing tools allow you to automate workflows, you can use these features to set up email workflows and let the tools do the work for you. While you can’t quite forget about your workflows, you can check back on the analytics and optimize as you go. 

Email marketing is one of the only tools that allows you to market directly to people who are already interested in the products or services you’re offering. If you’re looking to boost your digital presence and close more deals while you’re at it, a solid email marketing strategy is a must. 

#3 Social Media Marketing Strategy

If we’re talking about taking your company to the next level, we have to talk about social media. 

There’s no better way to get the word out about your company, and build a brand and personality, than on social media. And remember that building your social media presence is about more than just getting likes and comments. The more followers you have, the wider reach the rest of your content will have. 

Your social media marketing strategy should be just as calculated as your blogging strategy — it’s a common misconception that keywords don’t apply to the wild west of Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter. 

That’s not true, especially for a platform like Linkedin, where people are searching for companies and employees by the keywords you’re already trying to rank for. For a killer social media marketing strategy check out this post, and keep the following tips in mind: 

  • Follow a regular posting schedule
  • Curate content that’s specific to each platform. What resonates on Instagram isn’t what resonates or is appropriate for Linkedin.
  • Vary your topics. Don’t just talk about what’s happening in your office or promote your blog posts. Share great posts from other industry leaders, share fun content when appropriate, and make sure you’re curating an interesting feed for followers.
  • Incorporate your keywords where it’s relevant. Don’t spam your followers with unnecessary hashtags, but do be conscious about what terms you’re using in social media copy. 

If your company is new to social media, we always suggest starting small. Pick one platform, like Linkedin or Facebook, and put all of your efforts into building a following there. When you feel comfortable managing one platform, and you feel like you have a handle on how to get and maintain followers, you can expand into additional platforms. 

#4 Video Strategy

Video is hands-down one of the best ways to engage visitors. 

People love video content, search engines love video content, and you should love video content, too. 

That said, we know that developing a video strategy can be a little scary. It’s a much more involved process than writing a blog post, and it takes more time and money than any other content marketing strategy out there.

Remember that you don’t always have to produce professional-quality videos. While you might invest in professional help for videos that are going up on your website, a simple how-to video can be done on a smartphone, as long as your audio quality is good, and you have plenty of natural light. 

It’s true that video is a lot of work. It’s usually one of the last content marketing strategies that companies tend to invest in, for that reason. But if you’re really looking to stand out online, video is a surefire way to do it. Don’t take my word for it, though. Here are a few stats that should convince you, if I haven’t already:

Okay, so not only are most marketers already using video content, but one-third of all the internet activity online is spent watching video. Put that with the fact that video is highly shareable, and that most marketing professionals report it as having a very high ROI, and you really can’t go wrong. 

We live in a visual culture. 

People are watching videos constantly. 

Most millennials would prefer to watch a two-minute explainer video that tells them about your services, rather than read about it. 

Investing in a quality video strategy will boost your digital presence far beyond your competitors. Just make sure you’re transcribing all of your videos, so search engines can rank that valuable content for you, too. 

#5 Content Offer Development

One of the most tried-and-true content marketing strategies to exist in the digital world is content offer development. Plain and simple, content offers work. 

When you take the time to put together a valuable resource that someone interested in your product or service genuinely wants or needs, it’s going to pay off. 

Since we’re content marketing strategy fiends, we’ve tested, written, rewritten, and retested about a million content offers. I can tell you with confidence, nothing converts leads better than a quality content offer. 

So what does this do to grow your company? 

Well, if you have an awesome content offer, you can share it around social media and promote it on your email marketing strategy. It’s great for your company’s digital presence in that way. But, if we’re talking big picture, which we should be, content offers are what get you leads. 

If someone is interested enough in what you have to say that they give up their email address, they’re a qualified lead. 

And when your content offers are drawing in qualified leads, your company is going to see some growth. 

But how do you develop content offers that work?

Think about the questions you get the most often.

What holds people up from making a purchasing decision? Do they have trouble deciding between your products? If so, create a product comparison guide. Are they on the fence about how much of a difference your service will make for their company? Create a content offer that talks about the specific benefits your service provides. 

Develop content offers for specific stages of your buyer’s journey.

You know who your buyer personas are. You know what they’re looking for. You should know the places that they tend to fall out of the buyer’s journey. Whether they get stuck comparing your product to a competitor, or they just can’t decide if your service is worth the money, develop content offers that speak to those specific stages of the buyer’s journey. 

When you have at least one content offer for the awareness, consideration, and decision-making phase of the buyer’s journey, plus content that nurtures potential leads through some of your most common sticking points, you’ll start seeing more leads convert, in less time. 

Only gate the content offers that matter most. 

No matter how many content offers you’ve developed, make sure you’re only gating the ones that matter most. 

The new, most effective trend in digital marketing is to leave most of your content offers open to the public. Instead, you can offer those content offers as downloadable PDFs. This works to help you weed out unqualified contacts. Readers who are really interested in what you have to say, and want to take your offer home with them to read again, are likely to download the PDF and give you their contact information.

While you can still gate a few content offers — like checklists or product pricing guides — try to make your content as accessible to leads as possible, while still giving them the opportunity to give you their contact information. 

#6 Targeted Landing Pages

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times — your home page is NOT a landing page. You’ve dedicated time and effort to a specific, relevant content development strategy that’s designed for multiple buyer personas — why would you send them all to the same bland, basic landing page?

They don’t have the same goals for your company, they don’t have the same needs, and they’re not all at the same place in the buyer’s journey. Targeted landing pages are one of the most effective content marketing strategies you can implement to directly improve your company’s digital ROI. 

Don’t take my word for it though. This company increased online ROI by 60%, just by optimizing their landing pages. 

That’s so easy! Landing pages are some of the shortest, most simple pages of content. Just write a lot of them, and develop them with specific keywords in mind, and you’ll start to see some serious results. 

Before we get off the landing page rant train, let’s just close with one more example. 

Say you’re scrolling through Instagram, and an ad comes up for a really awesome hoodie. It’s exactly what you’ve been looking for, and you’re ready to make the purchase. But when you click the ad, instead of being sent directly to that hoodie’s product page, you’re sent to the Amazon home page. 

What a disappointment. 

Are you going to search through Amazon’s massive website to find that specific hoodie and checkout while you’re on your 10-minute coffee break? Yeah. Didn’t think so.

That’s all targeted landing pages are. Pages that offer your ideal buyers exactly the content they were looking for in the first place. Invest just a bit of time in landing pages that are targeted to specific buyer personas and specific content offers, and you’ll start to see results. 

#7 Content Promotion Strategy

Our final content marketing tip is to have a content promotion strategy. All of your other content marketing strategies — your blog, your social media, and even your email marketing — won’t mean much if you’re not working to get the word out. You should spend at least as much time promoting content as you do creating it. 

When it comes to content marketing, you can do all the work of building and developing an awesome content marketing strategy, but if you’re not drawing people into your website to read your content, you’re not going to see the benefits you were looking for. Here are a few ways to take your content promotion strategy to the next level:

  • Cross-Channel Promotion. Promote your blogs on social media channels. Add social media buttons to the bottom of your email newsletters. Share your email subscribe link on social media, at the bottom of blogs, etc. You’re creating content in a variety of channels, as this blog has shown. Make sure your followers know about all of the opportunities you’re offering them to read more amazing content. 
  • Search Engine Optimization. The better optimized your site and content are, the more likely you are to boost organic traffic coming to your site. And when you have more traffic, you have a greater potential for leads. Check out this blog for tips on ensuring your content is following SEO best practices. 
  • Paid Search Advertising. If you’re just getting your content marketing strategy up and running, paid search is a great way to draw in the traffic you need now, without waiting for your site to organically come up in SERPs. Make sure you’re only bidding on relevant keywords, and stick to a budget, but with a little help from paid search, you’ll start seeing the traffic you’ve been looking for. 
  • Boosted or Paid Social Media. Boosted social media posts and paid social media promotion is a great way to get your social media marketing strategy off the ground, too. Boosted posts help ensure your content is reaching all of your followers. Social media ad campaigns can help you expand your reach, by getting more likes, more followers, or just getting the word out about your company.

Start with one or two of these content promotion tactics, and see how they work. Then, make sure you’re adding them to your content marketing strategy and schedule. When you’ve scheduled in time to focus on content promotion, you’re more likely to make it happen.

Content marketing is tough. It takes a lot of work and it takes a good writer — or three. If you don’t have a writer on staff, or if you’re just not sure how to jump into more content marketing strategies, we can help. Get in touch with the Evenbound team for more information, or check out the case study below to see exactly how we’ve helped our clients stand out from the competition with killer content marketing strategies.

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How to Get Your Social Media Ad Campaign Off the Ground

How to Get Your Social Media Ad Campaign Off the Ground

How to Get Your Social Media Ad Campaign Off the Ground

If your organization is like most, you’ve probably been using social media platforms organically for your business for a while, posting occasional company updates or sharing your content. To level-up in the social media space and use social media to its best advantage for your business, you need to start investing in outbound marketing and running social media ad campaigns. But that can be a daunting task. Here’s our guide on how to get your social media ad campaign off the ground.

Why Run a Social Media Ad Campaign?

You want to reach people. Everyone is using social media. It’s really that simple. According to Hubspot, 42 percent of people in the world are using social media. That’s 90.4 percent of Millennials, 77.5 percent of Generation X, and 48.2 percent of Baby Boomers using social media, and on average, they’re spending over two hours every day on social networks. If you want to reach people, social media is where you can find them. Click To Tweet

Because of this, social media ad campaigns are scalable, relatively inexpensive, and can have a huge ROI. Most social media advertising platforms also have great analytics to help you analyze and hone your strategy and report on campaign performance.

Determine Your Social Media Ad Campaign Goals

Like any and all advertising campaigns, for your social media campaign to be successful, you need to begin with clearly defined goals. What do you want this campaign to do? That can depend on your industry, position, brand, and current situation. Some common goals include:

  • Brand awareness
    • We’re a new company and we want people to know that we and our products/services are out there
    • We’re an established company who wants to stay top of mind for our consumers
  • Engagement
    • We want people to like/share/comment on our content
  • Traffic
    • We want to drive traffic to our website or a specific page
  • Lead generation
    • We want leads for our new product line
    • We want leads to subscribe to our email list
  • Sales
    • We want people to buy this product or service

Social media ad campaigns can help you reach any of those goals, and your goal will determine who you target with your campaign, the ad creative and copy you use, and how you target your desired audience. Your goal will also determine how you calculate ROI and the effectiveness of your campaign.

Determine Your Target Audiences

One of the major benefits of social media advertising are the targeting options available to you, so determining your target audience is crucial to taking advantage of these options.On social media, people are just giving away useful demographic and behavioral information about themselves that you can use to find interested and decision-ready customers. Click To Tweet

Social media users enter their names, locations, age, gender, and other demographic indicators, plus indicate their interests by their behaviors: watching certain videos, liking and engaging with posts, people, and brands, and clicking on all sorts of things that catch their eyes. Social media platforms leverage this information to serve the most relevant ads—the ones most likely to result in a like, click, or conversion.

Who Do You Want to Reach?

So, you need to determine who you want to target with your ads. This will depend in part on the previous step, determining your goals. You might have various different groups of people you want to reach, but because of the differences in these groups, like their industry or stage in the buyer’s journey, you may have different goals pertaining to them. 

Check Your Buyer Personas

If you don’t already have buyer personas, creating them would be helpful to understanding who you want to target with your ad campaign. Knowing basic demographic information about your ideal client, as well as their roles, goals, and challenges pertaining to your offerings can help you know who to try to get your ad in front of.

Let’s say that you’re a book publisher who publishes historical fiction. You want to grow your email list to send marketing content to readers of historical fiction who are likely to buy your books. Your campaign goal is lead generation, and your target audience will be historical fiction readers… but you want to be more specific than that, and social media can help. You know that people who like certain historical fiction authors and titles will like your books—and you can target them based on their demonstrated interests.

Select Social Media Ad Campaign Platforms

Guess what? This depends on your industry, target audience, and goals (ugh, we always say that). 

That historical fiction publisher has an audience of women between ages 18 and 70, skewing toward 45-65, and they want to generate leads. For them, Facebook is going to be their primary advertising platform, though they might also use Pinterest, etc.

But for an industrial manufacturer who is selling to B2B clients, specifically, sourcing specialists/buyers who work for other large manufacturers, LinkedIn is probably going to be the most useful and relevant platform. This is both because that’s where professionals will be engaging with content related to their work and the targeting options that let you target audiences by their company and job title.

Maximize Your Budget

There are several factors to maximizing your budget, including choosing the right audience and targeting them precisely, using the right platforms, and having clearly defined goals for your campaign that guide all aspects from creative to targeting to placement. Another critical factor is actually setting the right budgets and parameters, and adjusting those as needed.

Keep an Eye on Your Social Media Ad Campaigns

One of the great things about social media advertising is that you can monitor campaigns in real time and make adjustments as necessary. “Set it and forget it” sounds nice, and if you’re a social media advertising pro with lots of experience, maybe you can do that. For everyone else, monitoring your campaigns is crucial. Why? You might find that your budget is too low or too high, and you’re spending too much without seeing results or seeing marginal returns for additional spending.

Adjust Social Media Ad Campaigns According to Data

If a campaign is spending all of its percentage of the lifetime budget for that day before noon, you might decide to end it sooner so the daily budgets would be higher and the ads would serve more each day. You might also discover that a campaign is working really well and you want to extend it past your original end date—that’s a great way to maximize your budget, because you already know it works and has the necessary ROI to be worthwhile.

Social media has so much potential in the marketing and advertising space because an audience—your audience—is already there, engaging with content. Taking advantage of that with advertisements can boost your advertising reach and ROI immensely, and the first step to doing that is getting a campaign off the ground. With a little practice and experimentation, you’ll see the benefits of those campaigns in your bottom line.

Still want a little help getting those social media ad campaigns going? We got you.

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Social Media Marketing vs. Social Media Advertising

Social Media Marketing vs. Social Media Advertising

Social Media Marketing vs. Social Media Advertising

TL;DR Social Media Marketing vs. Social Media Advertising

Social media marketing is any social media action you take that is unpaid. If you’re posting about your blogs, sharing info with your followers, or commenting in social media groups, you’re marketing. Social media advertising is any action you take on social media that is paid. From boosted posts to full-on ads to like campaigns, social media advertising is what you pay for. 

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If you don’t know the difference between social media marketing and social media advertising, it’s okay to admit it. The distinction can be a bit confusing, especially if you’re new to the social media world or to digital marketing—especially since they’re sometimes used (carelessly) as interchangeable. There is a difference between social media marketing vs. social media advertising, and it pays to know that difference and to incorporate both into your overarching digital strategy.  

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is a crucial facet of any digital marketing strategy today. It encompasses your business’s online profiles on social media platforms, along with the social media activity of those platforms: posting, liking, commenting, sharing, and so on.

Social media marketing begins with creating company pages or profiles on relevant social networks. The networks that you choose will depend on your industry; B2Bs will likely find LinkedIn to be the most relevant network, since they’re marketing to other business professionals, while home builders and developers might make use of platforms like Pinterest, Houzz, and Instagram to show off images of their homes and properties.

But it doesn’t end with just a page or profile. To effectively market using social media, interaction and engagement are key. Click To TweetYou need to interact with others on the platform by liking, commenting, and sharing their content, as well as by posting and sharing your own content. This will drive engagement, which is when others interact with your content—liking, commenting, sharing, and clicking.  

What kind of content should you share and post? 

Again, this depends on the platform and your industry. Industrial manufacturers may not have much luck posting photos of their products on Instagram. (Are the insides of factories usually very aesthetically pleasing? No.) But, they’ll have more success posting content about their processes, sharing their blog content, sharing relevant articles and news from industry publications, and posting infographics on LinkedIn. 

Twitter is great for sharing links, but because tweets are limited to 280 characters, it’s not the place for longform content. 

Instagram is designed for sharing images, and while you can use an image to promote a piece of content, you can’t link from a post directly. You have to include the link in your bio, which might not be the most effective way to direct people to that link. 

Why Do Social Media Marketing?

One of the major principles of inbound marketing is bringing your ideal customers to you. Since your ideal customers are using social media—everyone is—having a social media presence is a necessity if you want to draw in potential customers. 

Creating a community through social media marketing has some major benefits, like building brand awareness and helping to establish your industry reputation as an authority in your field. Also, it can establish your company as enjoyable to interact with, which can result in people converting to customers when they do need your company’s products or services.  

What is Social Media Advertising?

Social media advertising (also known as paid social) involves running paid ads on various social media channels, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc. These can include banner ads as well as native ads and activities like boosting posts or like campaigns. Social media ads are often charged on a pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-impression basis. 

You can use paid social to promote content, like a whitepaper or guide that your company or marketing agency has created. You can develop an ad around this content you’re offering, or boost the posts where you shared the content offer. This increases the reach of your content, which can lead to more website traffic and conversions of visitors to leads. 

Why do Paid Social?

Targeting

Promotional posts on social media don’t have a ton of reach on their own and aren’t likely to get a lot of organic engagement. Paid social allows you to specifically target audiences. This targeting is no joke, either. Depending on the platform, you can target audiences by criteria such as location, age, gender, search history, interests and activities, device use, even things like employer or job title. 

Since you’re paying either by the number of clicks or impressions (views) your ad gets, you want to ensure that you’re getting the most for your social media ad budget. You do this through targeting, which ensures that only the most relevant people (aka, your ideal customers) see your ads. This makes paid social a high-ROI advertising strategy. 

Additionally, the analytics that social media advertising platforms provide you can help better understand your audience and fine-tune your advertisements for better reach, engagement, and ROI.

Social Media Marketing vs. Social Media Advertising

Essentially, advertising is a form of marketing that uses advertisements, which are paid notices that appear on public platforms. Not all marketing is advertising, but all advertising is marketing. 

When we talk about social media marketing vs. social media advertising, however, we’re generally making a distinction between paid and unpaid methods of marketing using social media. Social media advertising refers to the paid methods (like PPC ads) and social media marketing the unpaid methods (like your social media posts and shares). Click To Tweet

Which is Better? Social Media Marketing or Social Media Advertising?

If you’ve read this far, you probably already know what we’re going to say: you need both. 

  • Social media marketing helps you build a community and foster relationships with current and potential customers—it’s a long game. 

  • Social media advertising puts your name/products/services/links in front of people who are looking for what you offer right now

Both of these strategies can generate leads and sales, and they aren’t mutually exclusive. Using social media for both its organic (unpaid) and paid methods of reaching your intended audience is simply the most effective use of the vast power of social media. 

Marketing vs. advertising: that is the question. Click To Tweet However, when you use both, you can optimize your results for the best possible outcome. Not sure you have the team to handle both advertising and marketing? Get in touch with Evenbound. We specialize in both inbound and outbound marketing and would love to help. 

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What is Lead Nurturing?

What is Lead Nurturing?

What is Lead Nurturing?

What is Lead Nurturing?

Lead nurturing is any action your company takes to develop strong, trustworthy relationships with potential buyers at every stage of the inbound marketing flywheel. Most often, lead nurturing refers to the communication your company has with specific prospects — people whose contact information you already own.

What is Automated Lead Nurturing?

Automated lead nurturing uses automated marketing tactics, like email workflows, sequences, or even chatbots to build trust with leads. The goal of automated lead nurturing is the same, its approach is just a little different, and often a little easier.

Why Should I Care About Lead Nurturing?

If you’re into inbound marketing (and you should be) lead nurturing is important because it’s what keeps your flywheel spinning.

​In the past, we used to talk about lead nurturing primarily in the engage stage of the buyer’s journey. Now, with inbound marketing’s flywheel in mind, it’s clear that any interaction you have with any potential or previous customer can be lead nurturing.

When your company leaves a good impression on a potential client, you’re nurturing that relationship and increasing the trust they have in your company. The more trust they have in you, the more likely they are to choose your product or service.

The fundamentals of inbound marketing are at the heart of lead nurturing: you're aiming to deliver the right content, to the right prospect, at the right time. Click To TweetThis is applicable to every stage of the inbound marketing flywheel. When done properly, delivering the perfect content with the right context keeps those customers and potential customers happy and keeps your flywheel spinning.

So, how can you implement lead nurturing in your inbound marketing strategy?

Understand Your Buyer Personas

The first step to lead nurturing is understanding your buyer personas. The best way to deliver the right content, at the right time, to the right person, is to know who you’re talking to.

Take time to sit down with other departments in your company and really flesh out your company’s individual buyer personas.

  • What are their pain points?
  • What are their business goals?
  • What are their personal goals?
  • What kind of content do they like best, and what channels do they prefer that content on?

Email, social media, blog posts, and even phone calls are all great examples of media channels you can use to deliver quality, lead nurturing content.

When you have a clear picture of who you’re marketing to, it’s easier to develop content that will solve their pain points and leave a good lasting impression, nurturing those leads closer to a sale.

Lead Nurturing Through Email Automation

With your buyer personas in place, you can get started on the actual work of lead nurturing.

Email automation — also known as email workflows, or email sequences if you’re a HubSpot fan like us, — is one of the most well-known ways to nurture leads. The basic concept is to deliver targeted content to a qualified lead in a way that pulls them through the buyer’s journey.

Here’s an example:

Step 1: A Lead Converts

Let’s say you’re a custom home builder, and someone on your website just downloaded a content offer about “6 Design Tips for Building Your Dream Home”.

Now, you have their email address, and given the content they’ve downloaded, it’s not too much of a stretch to assume that they might just be looking into building a new, possibly custom home, in the near future.

Step 2: Your Automated Email Sequence Begins

With email automation tools, you can set up an email sequence or workflow that’s triggered by this content download, and set up to deliver more relevant content to this buyer persona.

For this example, you might have your workflow send along a “Custom Home Budget Planner” a few days after they read the first content offer. Then you could send another email that asks if they’d like to see a few of your most popular floor plans, or even set up a free consultation with your sales or design team.

Step 3: Your Email Sequence Helps Nurture that Lead to Close

By delivering more content that’s relevant to what the lead has already shown an interest in, you’re offering great customer experience. They don’t have to go looking for the next step of information, it’s being delivered right to their inbox!

If the lead has already been delighted by your content and quality service, they’re likely to appreciate your effort. When they trust you as the best resource for home building information, you’ll be at the top of the list when they finally do decide to take the plunge.

Lead Nurturing Beyond Email

Lead nurturing has always been talked about primarily in the context of email. For the most part, that makes sense.

When you’re emailing a lead, you already know a little bit about them. You can ensure the message you’re delivering is personalized to that lead, which guarantees high-quality results.

The problem is that most marketers report less than 20% open rates on lead nurturing email. You can’t limit your lead nurturing to just email, because it’s not speaking to all of your potential clients.

That’s where some of these additional lead nurturing tactics come in:

Multi-Channel Lead Nurturing

Like we mentioned before, any action you take or resource you offer that improves someone’s perception of your company is considered lead nurturing. There are so many ways you can nurture leads outside of the small sphere of email. In fact, a multi-channel approach to lead nurturing is most likely to deliver the best results.

On the whole, it takes a consumer or prospect an average of 7 to 13 touches to convert to a lead or sale. Whether your marketing team reaches out to them, they see your product advertised on LinkedIn, or they see a paid search ad a few times while they’re researching, each of these touches helps you convert that lead.

And if the only place they’re hearing from you is through your email, you might not have huge success nurturing that lead. That’s where multichannel lead nurturing comes in.

A multichannel lead nurturing approach is one that makes use of all sorts of marketing channels, from social media and remarketing advertising to paid search ads to blogging and content promotion to direct calls from sales and marketing representatives.

Obviously, you don’t want to hit people over the head with your brand, or cold-call prospects before they’re ready to talk. However, delivering quality information, and remarketing products and resources people have already looked at is an intuitive method of lead nurturing on channels other than email.

If your email and automated lead nurturing strategies are already up and running, you might consider branching out into a few more channels. The more lead nurturing you do, the more warm, qualified prospects you pull into your flywheel. The end result?

Overall company growth, as a result of closing quickly on warm leads.

It’s all well and good to say multi-channel lead nurturing can help grow your company — but how? Let’s take a look at social media specifically because many people forget to consider its potential as a lead nurturing platform.

Can You Nurture Leads Through Social Media?

Sure! Any interaction your company has with a lead, from the time they come to your website and even after they close is a chance for you to continue nurturing that lead through to a sale.

Like we mentioned above, the best way to nurture leads today is to take a multichannel approach. Social media can play a big role in that.

Social media is the perfect platform to boost quality content, to implement remarketing ads, and to run ads that speak directly to your ideal consumer.

It’s true that social media lead nurturing will look a little different than email lead nurturing. For the most part, you’re going to be nurturing leads who you don’t know, and who might not know you. This is outbound marketing, but we promise that’s not a bad thing.

What makes social media viable, non-disruptive lead nurturing tactic is your ability to target your ads and conversations to your ideal buyer.

For example, remarketing ads are an excellent social media lead nurturing tool. They only target people who have already been to your site.

Other forms of social media advertising can also be lead nurturing. You can target people who already like your company, or who have an interest in your product or service.

Finally, boosted or promoted posts are excellent examples of lead nurturing through social media. For the most part, boosted posts only go to people who have chosen to follow you. By throwing a little money at the post, you succeed in making your post visible to a greater number of your followers.

If that post offers great content, solves a buyer’s pain point, or lets your followers learn a little bit more about your company, then it’s helping you nurture leads.

In the end, it’s just important to remember that you should be communicating with your clients and potential clients regularly. Any form of positive communication, whether it’s on email, social media, a sales call, or even a newsletter update, is a type of lead nurturing.

The better your relationship with your clients and potential clients, the more warm leads you’ll see flowing into your inbound flywheel. And when your flywheel is spinning, your company is growing.

Got more questions? Whether you’re not sold on outbound marketing, or you need a bit more info on lead nurturing or inbound marketing, we’re here to help. Feel free to reach out, or schedule a conversation with our team! We’d love to chat.

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