Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, there is no shortage of online platforms used to market today. But with organic traffic going down; different channels becoming pay to play to get exposure and heavy hitters pushing their newest tactic, you might be losing at the social media game.
There is no shortage of businesses killing it online today that can set a great example. But looking only surface deep at their tactics won't help you build a successful or profitable social media presence or have a successful online campaign.
Get Clear On What Results You Want
Focusing only on profits is lazy marketing, especially in today's environment of the savvy consumer. It's an overused word but marketing for businesses, even offline, it all about connecting. The number one goal of marketing and reaching out is to connect with other human beings to build a relationship with them. So your goals should align with that.
It is important to make sure what you are doing contributes to your bottom line, but the bulk of your efforts and highest priorities should not be the sale, but instead how you connect with your market and their response. Once you figure that out, you need to focus on how to improve it.
Listen To Why Platforms Are Changing
The online space changes quickly. Facebook today, isn't what it was last year, and neither is its audience. This applies to any social media platform.
The goal for any online platform is to cater to the users, and they will evolve and change according to what users want, as well as who their user base evolves into.
If you look at Facebook, businesses used to be able to build an organic following, where now it's become a pay to play game. This isn't because Facebook wants to make it more difficult for businesses, but instead because users simply don't want your business in their feed as often. Users are on Facebook to connect with their friends and family first, connecting with businesses or personalities is secondary to them.
In a year from now, Facebook will probably change the game again based on user feedback. Restrictions on advertising and their standards on how they want you to market and advertise are not them telling you what to do. It's them telling you how their users want you to market to them.
Use that to your advantage, these platforms have done work for you in figuring out what people want and how they want to be reached.
Be Flexible And Experiment
The marketplace has changed, more people than ever use the internet and social platforms to make purchasing decisions. This has created a marketplace where anyone can hop in and change the game. There is no reason to 'do business as usual' if you can improve upon it. In fact, you should always be working to improve all aspects of your business.
With that being said, you can also experiment and change quickly with everyone else. You no longer have to wait six months to see if something will work. But you also have to be willing to tweak and experiment along the way.
When it comes to marketing online, two things will remain constant: it's not going anywhere, and it is ever changing.
When it comes to developing your online marketing strategy, you need to be ready for that change. At any point in the online space, your primary tactics in generating leads, traffic, or profits will have to change.
The key here isn't to see it as a setback but instead an evolution in your marketing and critical feedback from you customers. Google, Facebook, Snapchat, no platform changes to make things difficult for companies to reach their audiences. Instead, they evolve to the users wants and needs.
You can either use this as free market research to improve how your business grows and evolves over the years or play the game of looking for the next quick and easy tactic that will disappear again. The choice is yours.
At the end of the day, it's the businesses that evolve with the marketplace, and it's platforms that will win big.