Updated: Oct 12, 2021
You don't even know how frustrated I get when I see companies I have worked in still not understand the whole point of social media and digital marketing. I get that there are sales numbers to meet, KPIs to reach, stakeholders to please - but why are executives so short-sighted and so willing to put in millions of dollars for outdated traditional marketing tactics instead of investing in something that has proven to work?
Here, let me give you an example, as illustrated in an examination question in Hubspot's social media certification course:
I often see bosses or directors telling their social media or digital marketing managers to use online tools like TV, radio, or other traditional media platforms. All they are doing is blasting out the same old one-way communication via a different platform.
Perhaps you do not agree, or you strongly resonate with what I'm saying. Either way, I think the following list would be beneficial for you. Either it will bring you closer to the fact that you are not doing 21st-century marketing right, or you will learn that your belief is shared by someone like me who also does not believe in traditional outbound marketing.
i) You are paying for "Brand Ambassadors" who does not help you create content
Let me guess, you've hired someone who appears to be influential to your target audience. You've justified the crazy cost because he or she also has a "social media presence" online. Therefore, you believe you are doing #DigitalMarketing.
The fact is you're not.
What you have done is equivalent to hiring a celebrity that shows up in your brand's TV ad. Yes, this endorsement may bring in some revenue, but I can guarantee you it does not cover your cost. Worst yet, the revenue drive lasts less than a month. Before you know it, you're dumping out more budget to hire the next star-face.
The value of having brand ambassadors in the current age of marketing is because they are trusted by their followers for the content that they produce themselves. Now, read that again. That is the core of what you should be paying for, not just for them to share the campaign visual on their Instagram account. If you're only utilizing a brand ambassador for the channel following they have, you are doing this all wrong.
Potential customers trust real people, not the glam-and-glitz you're paying for.
A survey by Collective Bias, An Inmar Company, reveals that 30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger. Consumers can relate more to these influencers and value their opinions more than that of celebrity influencers.
Influencers drive higher-quality leads.
Mediakix has found that 71% of marketers say that customers gained from influencer marketing are higher-quality than those gained from other kinds of marketing.
Influencer Marketing is much cheaper and drives more revenue.
Influencer Marketing Hub has found that ROI on influencer marketing averages US $5.78 for every dollar spent. They have also found that firms with a strong understanding of influencer marketing reported returns as high as US $18 per dollar invested
ii) You are asking your social media person to post your expensive product shots everywhere
There is a limit to how much you can utilize your existing assets across different platforms. To be very honest with you, your glossy horizontal crop product shot looks horrible on Instagram.
I have repeatedly educated people that each platform has its own best practice, and you can't just force things on them because you have spent money on creating these assets. Not to mention, uploading advertisement visuals as organic always-on content is the dumbest thing to do. There will be no engagement, your whole account looks like an ad, and yes, you've guessed it, you just used your social media platforms much like a TV all over again.
It's not as straightforward as adjusting the crop of your creatives. It boils down to the subject matter. No one is interested in looking at a product shot that does not add any value unless the product shot is on your e-commerce's product page, where there are words to support further understanding. This is also the case for video content.
"Cross-posting is like putting a text through Google Translate. You run the risk of getting a very weird result that looks careless and unintentional. Instead, your content should be fluent in the language of each platform. Otherwise you’ll never be able to have a real conversation with your followers." - Michelle Cyca on Hootsuite
iii) The target audience is based on who the boss fantasise to sell to, not who the product can actually serve
More than often, when I ask business owners why they are targeting a specific target audience, they would respond, "because we want to sell to these people." I get so confused about how they have survived until this day if this is what they think targeting is.
They give you demographic details and top it off with the trendy term of "GenZ" and "Millennials" and think that's good enough. Honestly, have you stopped to ask yourself why these people would buy from you or even be bothered to pay attention to you?
You don't speak their language; you never bother to learn about their struggles; you don't care about their desires; why do you even think you can reach them? I haven't even gotten into the real ways of formulating a target audience, which is building their 360 personas.
Your marketer agrees with your targeting only because he/she also doesn't know what behavioural targeting is.
Smallbizgenius has found that 76% of marketers fail to use behavioral data for online ad targeting.
Bosses, your preferences are nothing in comparison to what customers think.
Smartinsights have found that while 80% of businesses that have an online presence believe they deliver great customer service via their social media channels, only 8% of their customers agree.
4) We must be online you say, but we must not be perceived as "too fun" you say
Branding is important. But if you want to be online and be on social media, you need to work with its user behavior. Would you consider Burberry as being "too fun" and abandoning its brand image with its most successful trench coat campaign? Would you consider Burger King's Order from Mcdonald's campaign crossing the line? If you're one of those bosses who are still stuck in that mentality, why are you even online?
The number one takeaway here is you can't just enjoy the advantages of being online and not respect the game. Honor the very concept that you are marketing to human beings who treasure authenticity and transparency. But more than often, people who are higher up in the business hierarchy simply shut down social media ideas and then blame the very same person for not driving enough quality leads.
Online marketing is a completely different ball game, and the quickest way to kill your brand is by copying traditional outbound marketing techniques over and expect that to work. The only way for your brand to survive now is for you to invest in Inbound Marketing and a content strategy. These are the things that can genuinely help you attract customers at a controllable cost and achieve a promising ROI.
And you can do that yourself if you're up for the work. Like I always say, there are no shortcuts, but there are smart ways to do it right. Start by checking out my Inbound Marketing Crash Course - How to identify, attract, and convert your target audiences into customers with content!