It’s been a hell of a ride here at SXSW 2017!
From seeing the always impressive Gary Vaynerchuk discussing entrepreneurship and social media changes, to Mark Cuban and tech execs discussing the government’s role in “disrupting disruption” (plus the occasional movie premier…here’s looking at you, As I Walk Through the Valley), it’s safe to say Cobalt’s very own Moe has soaked in more than enough to last until next year’s event.
But we know why you came here, so on to the good stuff…
There’s been a lot of talk here at SXSW ‘17 about the ever changing digital world and its effects on marketing. First and foremost, as per Moe’s “good friend” Gary V., it’s important to recognize that “the creative is still the variable of success.”
While there may be certain industry standards and tried-and-true methods to help you develop your marketing strategies, the truth is that every business still has the opportunity to tell their own unique story and develop their brand in a manner that separates them from the pack. Basically, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all system, and because of this, creativity is still key.
So where else should your focus be while digital marketing? Chew on this…
Start with the fundamentals.
If you want to get from point A to point Success, you are going to have to understand your target audience. This means you have to know your business and be able to answer some very existential questions:
- Why does it exist?
- Why should anyone be interested in your product or service?
- What are your business goals and how do you plan to actually get there? (Hopefully it’s not through a lot of luck.)
- What are some things you’re not willing to compromise about your business and yourself as owner?
You’ll also want to keep a diligent eye on your data. This means tracking both qualitative and quantitative information for user engagement. Analytics will continue to play a vital role in digital marketing as it allows you to see what platforms your target market is using most and what is and isn’t working for you.
If you’re really on top of your game and effectively using that data, you’ll be able to see trends and better understand what type of engagement most resonates with your audience. Again, you have to be tracking this data effectively, but if you’re doing it right, it’ll pay off with a better idea of how to strategically have core-users interact with your brand.
Content—let it reign.
One of the main components of a solid marketing strategy is going to be site content. But it’s not enough to merely just type away and simply say a lot of amazing nothing, it’s important to have real conversations and interactions with your audience and consumers.
Don’t just talk to them, actually talk with them.
Quite a few industry leaders and forward thinkers kept bringing up the value of authenticity in content and marketing. If you really want to be the digital elephant in the room, make sure to have a real story to tell.
And let’s see who agrees…
“Mike McKenna and Jon Keegan discussed Keegan’s Blue Feed Red Feed project in the Wall Street Journal that revealed that your Facebook feed tends to reflect your political and social views, which can create “echo chambers” and confusion around real versus fake news. The key takeaway was that authentic information grounded in facts will always prevail and resonate with readers.”
– Alison Kwong, North America Public Relations Manager at “Which Truth Do You Like Best?”—The Dangers of Curated Content
“The panel focused on how brands can flourish in the sacred spaces of social feeds without annoying users or appearing inauthentic. Steve Patrizi of imgur said that for brands to succeed, they must understand the culture of each space and give more than they take in terms of value.”
– Kerry Brunelle, Social Media Strategist, at Shopping & Sacred Social Space
Wrapping it up.
Ultimately, social media is meant to work as an added value for your customers. Through social, you are able to provide meaningful information, knowledge, and expertise for your customers (plus the occasional funny and refreshing content).
Developing social media strategies can be a major process and take some time to “master,” but there are some essentials you should be aware of:
- Just like content, your social media posts need to be authentic and engaging. They don’t always have to be product information or sales posts; sometimes your audience just wants a quick laugh or interesting blurb to engage with.
- Posting frequently is going to be essential to stay relevant in the minds of your followers. By keeping your content fresh, followers are more likely to engage and connect with you. Today’s tech-driven world moves at an incredible pace, so today’s post needs to be relevant to today’s news.
- Make things easier for yourself by using content scheduling software. MeetEdgar and Hootsuite are great platforms that can help you to manage your social media marketing in one place.