Businesses have different options when it comes to content marketing promotion. Two options that always come to mind: Facebook versus LinkedIn, which is highly debated right now on the internet. As the head of Michael Marchese, the CEO and Founder of Tempesta Media with almost 25 years of industry experience, says it really comes down to audience and purpose. LinkedIn is significantly better for companies who focus on B2B marketing. Facebook is significantly better for those companies with B2C marketing initiatives.
Facebook = sales; LinkedIn = leads
The people that sign up for LinkedIn are employed by some sort of company, whether it’s their own company or another one that they work for. The purpose of why they’ve signed up on LinkedIn is to network from a business perspective with other people, either within their industry or they’re looking for prospective customers. They can also be looking for a specific vendor for a need that they have internally. Just by nature, these people are looking for other businesses.
Facebook, on the other hand, is used on a more social and personal perspective. Facebook users want to stay in touch with their friends and family. They want to learn about various interests that appeal to them personally. Simply put, they’re not looking to do business on Facebook. They’re trying to maintain a social lifestyle. So at the very root of it, Facebook is geared more toward companies that are trying to go and attract consumers.
A great example would be 7-Eleven. They sell all kinds of food and other products through their stores to consumers. For them, it makes a lot of sense to go and advertise on Facebook because the audience that’s there is interested in purchasing things for their own benefit. So if they can see a coupon off of a free Slurpee at 7-Eleven, that’s going to appeal to them personally.
Likewise on LinkedIn, if Tempesta Media ran a campaign offering content marketing solutions to businesses, those businesses are going to be very receptive because the whole point of why they’re on LinkedIn is they’re trying to go and advance the objectives that I mentioned earlier. So if you’re going to build a professional audience and you’re a B2C-oriented company, Facebook is where you should center a lot of your operations. If you are a B2B company and looking for a significant presence, you want to focus on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn will do a good job for B2B companies in generating leads. Facebook will do a good job on to be for B2C companies in generating consumer sales.
Google AdWords as an alternative to Facebook and LinkedIn
For those companies that are looking at using Facebook as an advertising medium, the targeting platform that’s used within Facebook is incredibly robust and is similar to Google AdWords in terms of its granularity for targeting purposes. Regardless of the size of your budget as a B2C-based company, Facebook is a good alternative to Google AdWords. While incredibly good in terms of its audience, Facebook has limited targeting capabilities. For companies that are looking to use LinkedIn, they should prepare to spend at least a couple thousand dollars in marketing costs just to get their campaign started and get the initial optimization out of the way. You’re not going to have nearly as many targeting options as you would see within Facebook. I think Google AdWords is also a good alternative to LinkedIn for B2B companies, and that should certainly be included in their mix.
One last tip
However, overall, these are just solutions, and they’re part of what I call paid media. Most companies should make sure that they also have earned media and owned media as part of their digital marketing strategy. Content marketing is a perfect example of owned media. Guests commenting or posting is an example of earned of earned media. You need all three working together to make your digital marketing program successful.
With so much focus on social media marketing, it’s easy to overlook that email marketing is still alive and working well. In fact, according to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing yields an estimated 4,300 percent ROI. AdStation reports that every dollar spent on email marketing offers a return of $44.25.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to zero in on members of your target audience. This is why you want to continually build your list. Facebook is a great source for doing just that.
Facebook has the numbers
For so many people, Facebook has become the ultimate one-stop where they can get information on everything from intimate updates from friends to information on their favorite brands. Facebook now has more than 1.23 billion monthly active users, 945 million mobile users and 757 million daily users. With numbers like that, it is common sense to tap these users to gather new email addresses and potential customers.
Create a sign-up form
If you haven’t done so already, create a sign-up form on your Facebook page. Make it easy for those who already are connected to your brand to easily subscribe to your list. Many email providers such as MailChimp, Constant Contact and GoDaddy provide step-by-step instructions on the process. Go to the support portion of your email provider to get information about how to add a form to your Facebook page.
Once you have the form in place, encourage subscribers by providing information along with the link.
Add an incentive
To further encourage subscriptions, take time to create an incentive. It’s not necessary that you give something away; you can just provide a link to “learn more.” For example, say you have a conference or speaking engagement coming up in three or six months. Promote that now and let your audience know that if they sign up today, they will be the first to learn the event details.
If you do offer e-commerce, consider providing something special for those who share their information: discount on purchase, a value-added thank you or in-store coupon.
Whenever you create an incentive, make sure you have a good visual and the call to action is clear.
Provide exclusive content
Even if you don’t have a product to discount, it does not mean your business doesn’t have something vital to offer. To gather sign-ups, provide exclusive content for users. Solve their problems. Be their go-to source. Content could be a downloadable guide, e-book, or even a recipe that you won’t provide anywhere else. Get creative and think about what you have to offer. Remember your target audience and what it expects from you.
Host a webinar
Facebook is a great forum to get the word out about webinars. When you host a webinar, you can collect information about the participants and add them to your list. As with incentives, whenever you advertise your webinar, make the promo visually enticing. Be clear about what you will offer during the webinar and make the call to action easy to find. Make sure the time of the webinar is front and center and take into consideration time zone differences.
Contests, sweepstakes and giveaways
Facebook used to be a great source for getting out the word about sweepstakes and contests. Changes at Facebook altered the way those promotions got shared with “Friends.” Today, only 11 percent of users share sweepstakes and other giveaways.
However, Convince and Convert suggests there is still a way to get to this group of users. They say using the “frictionless sharing” based on Facebook Open Graph is much more effective. As they explain, “The Open Graph Frictionless Sharing feature is automatic. Frictionless sharing will not require your participants to click on a button in order to share their participation in your sweepstakes. Instead, once they have installed your Facebook app and have accepted the automatic ‘share’ dialog, their participation will be shared automatically on their timeline as well as their friends’ newsfeeds, and tickers.”
Once you’ve got ’em, use ’em
Continued growth of your email subscriber list is a vital element in the success of your business. Once you’ve taken the time to gather new subscribers, remember to use that data to your advantage. According to Capterra, there are 251 email marketing software solutions currently on the market that can get your email marketing message out.
Always keep in mind the mobile audience and optimize your mailings to be read on a mobile device. Data from Litmus Software states 33 percent of email opens occurred on an iPhone. TechCrunch found that 75 percent of Gmail’s 900 million users access their accounts on mobile devices. Thus, it is still very possible to reach your target audience via email. They just may not ever read it on a desktop.
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