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How To Build, Engage & Monetize Your Social Media Following In 2022

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How To Build, Engage & Monetize Your Social Media Following In 2022

Social media marketing can be a massively useful tool for all businesses – big and small – to utilize for generating more income and growing their loyal fanbase of followers…

But if you want to really use social media marketing to your advantage, then it’s going to take a bit more strategizing than simply throwing up a few posts every now and then. 

In this article, I’m going to share my top tips & proven strategies for generating more likes, comments, leads, and sales from your social media content marketing. 

Now these tips will apply no matter what social media platform you prefer to use – and no, I’m not suggesting that you have to be active on them all. 

In fact, I’m suggesting the exact opposite! 

Pick the platform(s) you genuinely enjoy using the most, and stick to those ones only. In my experience, that’s guaranteed to give you the best results simply because you aren’t “forcing” yourself to show up on a platform that you don’t enjoy. 

Which makes showing up consistently much, much, much easier!

So whether your platform of choice is LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Tik Tok… utilizing the correct social media strategies in your business is a smart move to make. 

But not just because these platforms can build your brand awareness and grow your reach…

Also because, with literally billions of active daily users, social media is one of the best places to reach ALL of your business goals…

With social media you can:

  • Generate new leads
  • Drive more traffic to your website
  • Raise brand awareness 
  • Cash in on conversions & have bigger launches 

Which all sounds pretty epic, right?…

But what does “social media marketing” actually entail?

Well the short answer is – anything that drives audience engagement! 

Because here’s the thing… 

While there is absolutely no doubt that social media is a great place to generate new leads, build brand awareness, and cash in on serious conversions…

It’s not just as simple as haphazardly throwing up a post every now and then, cramming your caption with hashtags, or asking people to sign up for your email list or buy your products & services… 

You have to remember that #1 purpose of social media has always been, and will always be, to build relationships. 

So your social media strategy needs to be focused on relationship building first and foremost. 

That’s right – your primary focus should not be to make more sales… it should be to make more loyal fans. 

So to do that, you really want to be thinking of things like…

  • Engaging captions, images & videos
  • Reels
  • Tik-toks
  • Going LIVE with your audience
  • Posting polls & quizzes
  • Doing Q&As
  • And honestly the list goes on and on! 

And of course – paid advertising, promotional posts, sponsored content, and user generated content does play a big role in social media marketing… 

But those should all come into the picture after you’ve done the front work into building relationships and trust with your audience. 

So let’s break that all down a bit more… 

Engaging Content 

I know this might sound a bit obvious, but it’s a mistake that I see a lot of people making on social media. 

If every post you make is asking people to buy something from you or sign up for your email list, you’re definitely going to drive away A LOT of followers and massively hurt your engagement.

Aside from the fact that people on social media like to stay on social media (and not click out to other sites or links).

Social media platforms really like their users to stay put. Which means the algorithm doesn’t favor posts that drive engagement away from the platform.

By constantly including a CTA in your posts to click a link or visit a website (which means less likes and comments on the post itself), you’re inadvertently hurting your reach because platforms like Instagram only continue to show your posts to followers if people are actively engaging with it.

Yikes—bummer right?

So a good rule of thumb is to give your followers what they came for—inspiration, education, or entertainment. 

I like to make sure my posts always follow what I call the “Four Pillars” of social media content: Promotional, educational, personal, and engagement/relatability. 

Where…

  • Promotional Posts: You’re clearly promoting your product or service to your audience. This is what you might think of as more “traditional marketing”. 
  • Educational Posts: You’re delivering mad value in the form of free education or inspiration. 
  • Personal Posts: You’re building rapport with your audience. Letting them know more about you, your personal story, your quirks, likes, and all the things you might think are “irrelevant” to your business!
  • Engagement Posts: Your opportunity to engage with your audience, ask them questions, and uncover their needs, wants, & desires. 

I break down these four pillars in more detail—including examples AND swipe copy for you to use—in my free Cheatsheet for writing Click Worthy Captions & CTAs

Now a good rule of thumb is to keep these posts on a consistent cycle. So if you post 4 days/week, you would post a different pillar each day, rinse, and repeat!

This way, your audience won’t get tired of seeing the same promotional content over and over… and over again. 

And here’s another HOT TIP: Remember that you should be posting some of your most valuable content on social media—yes for free!

Especially if you’re in the beginning stages of building out your audience. 

You should be focused more on forming relationships, delivering value, building trust, and getting people really excited about following you!

Now, once you’ve done this very important front end work, you can start thinking about the second phase of social media marketing…

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Paid Advertising & Promotional Posts

This is where your mad copywriter skills can really come in handy!

I mean sure, social media is “technically” content sharing, which means there is A LOT of content writing involved… 

But when you’re utilizing your social media platform(s) to generate leads and gain more conversions — copywriting principles are essential!

This means: 

  • Write compelling hooks
  • Make sure your captions and ads have good flow & are easy to read
  • Pay attention to formatting
  • And never skip a call to action (CTA). 

Every caption or ad you post on social media should follow the ABCs of copywriting basics – and yes, I like to write ALL my ads just like I would write a promotional caption:

1. Attention

First, they need to get ATTENTION, with a great graphic and compelling hook or headline.

On social media, your hook is the very first sentence of your caption. If your first sentence isn’t captivating, then the reader won’t tap “More”… and your amazing caption or CTA doesn’t matter.

2.  Big Promise

Second, they need to provide a BENEFIT or BIG PROMISE  in the form of education, entertainment or inspiration.

Once you have your readers’ attention, you need to keep it! This is done by implementing great storytelling, content or wisdom, and opening loops throughout your caption. 

Always make sure your caption delivers on the hook you opened with! Nobody got time for clickbait captions.

3. Close

And lastly, they need a strong CLOSE. 

They need to give people one clear and concise CALL-TO-ACTION.

Because – remember the #1 rule in copywriting (and all of marketing for that matter)…

If you want your audience to take action, you need to tell them exactly what you want them to do!

Remember that every single CTA is an opportunity for lead generation or conversion.  

And no, that doesn’t mean that every CTA should be “buy from me” or “download this” or “sign up here.”

The fun thing about social media is that you get to be super creative with your CTAs to increase engagement and have conversations!

For example…

At the end of a post explaining how to write better headlines, my CTA at the bottom might say something like “Do YOU want to learn how to write better headlines? Comment YES or NO below!”

Then a really simple, and effective way I could gain new leads on this CTA would be by simply following up with every person that comments “YES”. 

In this case, I have a free headline writing guide that I could send you. 

When the new lead downloads the guide, they’ll be added to my mailing list and just like that, I’ve got a new lead that may turn into a customer if they find value from my free content. 

Another way of utilizing this “back door” strategy for lead generation, is using the CTA to ask an engaging question.

For example…

In a post about starting your own copywriting business, my CTA might be “Tell me, what’s holding you back from STARTING?”

The comments here would likely have a big range of answers that you can directly reply to in the comments – or even better – if you have a free resource, video, or course that addresses their problem directly, this is a great opportunity to DM them the links directly.

Which can result in lead generation or conversion! 

But remember, while your #1 goal for utilizing social media might be to grow your revenue…

When it comes to social media marketing, you have to prioritize the #1 purpose of social media…

Which is to build relationships. 

So no matter what you’re putting out there – images, videos, or ads – they should always be focused on helping first and foremost, NOT selling & pitching. 

Do this and you’ll naturally find that your reach is growing, your audience is active, and your launches are selling out. 

It truly is a win, win! 

To see all these strategies in action, make sure to follow the Copy Posse on Instagram and YouTube (my social platforms of choice!) 

Thanks so much for reading. Until next time, I’m Alex – ciao for now!

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Alex Cattoni

Alex Cattoni is an industry-leading copywriter, marketing genius and founder of the Copy Posse. With over 10+ years of experience working with multi-million dollar brands, Alex is now sharing that knowledge with her students around the world. Since founding a boutique agency and online academy, she now has a global crew 100,000+ strong of authentic copywriters with the same passion for creating community, credibility, and conversions with nothing but powerful and precise wording.

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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