02 Aug Starting with Digital Marketing A Startup Guide to Social Media Marketing Introduction
Now is the golden age for Digital Marketing. Unlike before when earning online was just a pipe dream, you can earn a lot ways on the Internet. And one of the most profitable methods is digital marketing.
What is digital marketing? By today’s definition, it is marketing or business done on the World Wide Web. Technically, it is a marketing field wherein your products and services are advertised using digital media such as text, image, audio, and video files.
These digital marketing files, content, or materials are then hosted, served, or displayed in various digital channels such as websites, blogs, forums, image sharing sites, video sharing sites, search engines, and social media websites.
Aside from that, one of the biggest advantages of doing digital marketing is the cost of money you need to invest to get started. If you are a newbie in this field and you want to try earning, you can do it at a price of… none.
Yes, that is no exaggeration. Getting started with this type of business requires no money at all. However, it does not mean that you can get rich with this without spending anything. Also, despite the possibility of earning through digital marketing without spending being high, you will still need to spend something — your time.
That is also the exact reason many people are attracted to this field of business. There is nothing to lose, especially if you have a lot of time on your hands. Also, you can start right away. There is no need to deal with costly government papers and looking for business partners.
On the other hand, more people have accepted that online shopping is the best way to shop. With better shipping methods and money transfer platforms, getting an item online is as easy as performing two to four clicks. Online shopping is the future of retail. And you can get on board as early as now and become a pioneer.
However, is digital marketing truly profitable? The quick answer is yes. The long answer is, “It depends on your skills, patience, knowledge, and money in your savings account.” Yep. If you do not have those, earning online
through digital marketing can be as hard as finding gold in California after the Gold Rush.
Without the knowledge on how digital marketing works, you will fail. Without the necessary tools to make your tasks easier, you will not fail, but you will earn less. Without the patience, you will quit early before earning anything. Without the skills in marketing, you should ask yourself why are you trying to earn in marketing in the first place. And without a bit of money, your venture in this type of business will be too slow.
With all of those said, what should you do? What are the things you need to do to prevent failure? What are the things you do to earn more in digital marketing?
The answer to that is market. Yep. It sounds so simple, yet it is something you cannot easily achieve. And that is exactly why you are reading this book and why yours truly have written it.
In this book, you will be provided with knowledge that you need to market the right way. This will also guide you on which tools you will need to make your job easier. Aside from those, you will be taught the skills you need. This book will also remind you to be more patient. And of course, this book will not give you money. But it will teach you how to get it.
This book is specifically written for beginners. However, it does not mean that experienced marketers will not find this useful. Now, since this book’s lip service is now over, continue reading the first chapter and learn how you can earn more in digital marketing.
Chapter 1: Introduction to Social Media
Almost everybody in the world has a social media account. Do not deny it; you surely have one. But in case that you do not, that will be your biggest mistake. Hurry now and create social media accounts.
All right. Assuming that you have a social media account now, you should know its significance in digital marketing. At this point in time, social media platforms have become the heart of digital marketing. Most marketing and advertising efforts are now being poured into these platforms.
A few of the social media websites and platforms that are being exploited — yes, that is the apt term — by marketers are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and last but not the least, Google+.
Why start with social media? Should you not focus on websites, blogs, and other places where you can start your digital marketing? Here is the thing. There is an old line that successful businesses will tell you when you start your own venture. And that is, “Location, location, location.”
Location? This is digital marketing, right? Location is meaningless if you are dealing with people online, right? Wrong. Location is important, and this is not about the physical location of your house or brick-and-mortar business. It is about where or what site or platform you will do business in.
The number one rule in establishing business is placing your business where your potential clients and buyers are. If you are going to establish a mom ‘n’ pop shop, it will be definitely profitable if it will be near a populous neighborhood. The same goes with an online business and digital marketing.
As of now, where do people spend the most time online? According to surveys and statistics, most people surfing the Web spend most of their time on social media. Gone are the days when people just visit Google, look for something they are interested in, visit that site, and log off.
People back then go online whenever they need to see something on the Web. During that time, they did not spend that much time on the Internet, unless they were a part of an online community — not to mention that accessing Internet at that time was more of a luxury than a necessity.
Nowadays, people are always online, even if they are asleep! How? Mobile devices and apps that let people stay online on their social media accounts as long as they are connected to the Internet (WiFi).
Fortunately for marketers and unfortunately for the human race, everyone has started to spend more time online — to the point that there will be impossibly no party without a bunch of people glued to their smartphones spending time online on their social media accounts.
Anyway, at this point, you should already know the importance of social media in digital marketing. The next section will elaborate on how to take advantage of social media platforms in your digital marketing efforts.
Chapter 2: Setting Up Your Social Media Platforms
So, where can you exactly start your marketing platforms? What are the social media websites that you should work with? How can you exactly market on those sites?
Surely, you have heard of Facebook. It was the thing years ago, and it still is. It is the richest social media platform in the world, and most people on Earth are registered in it. However, did you ever wonder why Mark Zuckerberg earned billions on a website that allows people to get their social services for free?
The answer to that is marketers. Yep. Zuckerberg does not directly earn from people using his website. He earns from the marketers who advertise on it. And you will become one of them.
However, you do not need to pay Facebook to get started on your digital marketing campaign efforts. And here is a quick list on what to do in Facebook in order for you to start:
1. Create a Facebook business account.
2. Create a Facebook page for your business account.
3. Create a professional profile photo and banner for your page.
Depending on what type of business that you will engage in, your actions in Facebook will vary. In case that you just want to digitally market your business online, then you will need to focus on the business page that you have established.
On the other hand, if you want to be a full-fledged marketer that desires to market for other business, then you will need to connect your business account to the pages or business accounts of your client. And of course, despite marketing for other people, you should also market your business/ yourself through your own business page.
Drop Facebook for now, and get yourself familiarized with Twitter. Facebook and Twitter go hand-in-hand in digital marketing. If you want to cover a large number of people, you should sign up for both Twitter and Facebook. Do note that not all Twitter people are on Facebook and vice versa.
If you do not have an account in Twitter, you should create one now. After that, configure your Twitter account’s page appearance to reflect the same design in your Facebook page. The next step will be connecting your Twitter account to Facebook, and vice versa.
The good thing about the last step is that it will allow both your social media accounts to create a post whenever you post in any of the account. For example, if you create a post in your Facebook page and it is connected to your Twitter, your Twitter account will also post the same post you have posted. It is very convenient, and reduces the number of tasks you need to do, especially if you are marketing for different clients.
This social media platform can be optional. However, using it is crucial if your business is more of a B2B (business-to-business) business rather than a C2B (consumer-to-business) or if you are a digital marketer for hire.
Now, create a LinkedIn account. Be sure to put all the necessary information about you in it and connect to all the professionals that you know in LinkedIn. Also, you can create a business page in LinkedIn as well. If you are going for the B2B route, be sure to connect to other businesses that you want to target.
Instagram is another optional platform that you can use for your digital marketing efforts. You will need it a lot if your business or the business you are marketing relies heavily on image marketing. Fashion, architectural, and even businesses can greatly take advantage of Instagram.
Create an Instagram account, and be sure to connect it to your Facebook account. Thankfully, whenever you post something on Instagram, it will be automatically posted on your Facebook page timeline.
However, in case that Facebook is posting it in your personal timeline, you will need to tweak your Instagram account. To do that, go to your Instagram account, go to the menu list, share settings, and change the share photos to option to your business page.
Google+ is another optional platform to work on, but it is mandatory to have a Google+ account for your business. Unfortunately, if you are in the United States, Google+ can be more of a place to waste your marketing efforts. Nevertheless, you will need it.
Why? Because if you have a local business or even an international business, you still need your business to appear on Google’s search engine. Being the number one used search engine in the world, it is a must that people can find you easily there. And the best way to appear in the search engine results is by creating a Google+ business account.
In there, you can place your business in Google Maps and get verified. Create an account and do that now. Make sure to put all the information about your business including your “store” time. Once you do, you will not only appear in the search engine page results, but your business can appear in Google’s smart cards with all the information that your potential customers might need when searching for your business online.
Chapter 3: Social Media Management Tools
As you can see, you already have two to five accounts to handle, and that is just social media alone. Unfortunately, you do not have enough time to handle all of that, especially if you do not have a powerful PC (browsers and websites nowadays are very taxing on midrange computers, mind you) and a good Internet connection.
Also, it will be dizzying if you open all of them in just one browser. Each social media platform has its own interface, and you can easily mess up. What to do then?
The quick solution to that is to use a social media management tool. As of now, multiple social media tools are available on the Web. A few of them are HootSuite, IFTTT, SocialOomph.
Out of all those tools, it is recommended that you use HootSuite. Unlike most of the tools mentioned, HootSuite offers a complete solution. It is complete in a sense that you can use it to manage all the most popular social media accounts that you have. It even includes WordPress management to boot.
Also, it is fortunate that HootSuite allows people to use it free of charge. However, it comes with certain limitations. First, it will only allow you to manage three social media accounts — regardless of what social media platform.
Nevertheless, it will still allow you to use some of its features like basic analytics report and message/post scheduling, which are powerful features of their own.
Of course, it will still be limiting, especially if you plan to cover more social media channels or manage multiple social media accounts for your clients. Due to that, it is advisable for you to get a Pro account, which will surely meet your regular direct marketing needs.
In a Pro account, you will be allowed to manage 50 social media accounts. You will be able to send and schedule bulk messages/posts by uploading a CSV file containing your messages. And you will gain access to its library of premium apps or add-ons.
Do expect that it might get a little pricey. As of now, getting a pro account will require you to pay almost $10 a month. Of course, there are other tools. Find what will suit your needs.
Chapter 4: Starting From the Ground Up
At this point, you will be ready to start posting messages on your social media accounts. However, what do you need to do or post in order to earn or at least get noticed on the Internet?
Establish Your Target Audience
Before you do anything, establish your target audience. They are the ones that you need to follow you and you need to convert in order for you to earn. How will you establish your target audience? Research.
First of all, identify the product or service that you will sell. Then think of the people who truly need your stuff. Get to know their age, gender, occupation, interests, and location.
After that, perform some surveys. Interview some people that belong to the target audience that you have created. Are they willing to buy your product? What are the flaws that they see in your service? Is there any particular interest that you need to exploit for them to consider following or buying from you?
Get Followers Using Your Connections
Getting followers in your account will be your main goal as a new digital marketer. You need to make people get interested in your social media accounts. You must make your “store” visible in the “marketplace,” which is the social media platforms.
But since you are new, you need a few people in your account fast! The cheapest, and even dirtiest (as some marketers brand it), way to gain followers is to use your connections. Tell your family, friends, and acquaintances about your new social media pages and channels. Politely ask for their support, and let them like or follow you.
They will be your foundation. Strangers or people who do not know anything about your and your business’ existence would have lower chances of following you if they see that your account is as empty as a flattened soda can in a junkyard. Unless you have already established your brand offline, nobody will follow an empty account.
Use Paid Advertising
Time is of the essence here. Your first few days in social media and digital marketing is a make or break period. It is make or break in a sense that it
can make you decide to follow this path or break you due to massive discouragement and frustration. Because of that, you need to go full force.
And one of the best ways to get you up and running fast is to use paid advertising. Of course, this is up to you. Do remember that without any money to invest in digital marketing, everything will be very slow.
Thankfully, most social media platforms charge little and are efficient in using your advertising money. Of course, it does not mean that you will just haphazardly create paid ads.
Since you have already established your target audience, the only thing remaining for you to create effective paid ads is to write effective sales copies. For this one, it will be best for you to research on Seth Godin’s sales copy tips or find people who have analyzed his techniques.
Get Quality Photos
This is an essential step. As you might already know, images are powerful marketing tools. Never think about posting link and text messages alone in your social media account. They are not enough.
Also, do not dare try to use crappy images. Only use them if they are truly needed and if you have no choice. Truth be told, social media posts are often 75% visuals and 25% text. Sometimes, you can even let go of the text as long the image that you post has a strong message in it.
According to social media experts, an effective Facebook post can live without text. And in case you need to add text, a few words or two to three sentences will be enough. To be honest, you will be amazed at how some popular social media pages can get a lot of attention on their posts even if those said posts only contain text like:
“Good morning” “Rekt”
There are three ways to get quality photos without facing copyright cases. You cannot just pick a photo from what Google will provide you and use it on your posts. You are just starting, and the last thing you want is paying a settlement.
• • • • •
The first option is to shoot photos of your own. Remember that you can only take this option if you have a decent camera. A point and shoot, DSLR, or a high-end smartphone camera will suffice. However, never use an old cellphone camera, old webcam, or any camera that offers less than 8 megapixels.
Another thing to take note is that you should know how to shoot good pictures. If you do not know how, it is suggested that you start with basic lighting. Learning the three-point lighting technique is a good start.
Your second option is to photos from royalty-free images websites. However, this is a great way if you don’t have time or the right equipment for this kind of photos. You also don’t need to find models or different objects you want on the photo. Some great source are depositphotos.com and fotolia.com.
Your third option is to buy premium shots from websites like Getty. Sure, you will be given access to high quality photos, but the problem there is that you will be submitted to paying too much. Yes. Photos are expensive. And it will be much better for you to spend it on advertising fees.
Thankfully, Facebook ads provide free pictures when you create ads with them. Some of them are from Getty, and are of high quality. So, be mindful of which option to pick.
Why get high quality photos anyway? First of all, you will need to post every day for your social media accounts. It is advisable that you create two posts per social media account — one for peak hours and one for off hours.
Peak hour is when there are a lot of users within your target audience that are online. Off hours are when people are not online. They might be at work, school, or sleeping.
Do note that posts with pictures get more exposure than text only, link only, and video posts. That is especially true with Facebook. On the other hand, when it comes to Twitter, you can get by without posting pictures as long as you post frequently. At the very least, you will need three to nine posts a day to get noticed there.
On the other hand, with Instagram, you will be forced to take pictures of your own, so you better get your camera and your photography skills prepared. With Google+, you can just throw copies of your posts from your other social media accounts in there.