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How Big Brands Use Digital Marketing for Building Customer Relationships

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Consumers in the modern digital world have a perception of a brand based on the experiences they have with the brand. These moments are created across multiple channels enabled by the rise of the digital world.

Social media made it possible for brands to connect with their customers on an intimate level which was not possible before.  According to Gartner, a decrease in engagement by up to 15% is observed for businesses that fail to respond to messages on social media.

That’s how powerful social media is for companies, especially for big brands.

Crafting meaningful relationships on social media

With the emergence of Facebook and Twitter, social media has boosted like never before. It has impacted the lives of people in more ways than one:

  • 91% of people believe in social media’s power to connect communities
  • 78% of consumers want brands to help people connect through social media.
  • 76% of respondents were more likely to buy from a brand they felt connected to on social media than a competitor.

(Source: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/data/social-media-connection/)

These numbers speak for themselves.

The times are changing and big brands aren’t ignorant. They understand the importance of engaging with their audience and thus are reaping the sweet results. The better the relationship is between a brand and a consumer, the higher the chances of him/her returning to the same brand.

Not just that, if the consumer feels there’s a connection between the brand and themselves, they’ll gloat about it endlessly – in front of friends, family, coworkers, neighbours and every person who might ask them about the brand.

Do you know what that means? Absolutely free advertising which happens to be genuine as well.

So, how do Big Brands do it?

There 7 ways Big Brands use Social Media for building customer relationships

  1. Being Responsive

Responding to customer queries or comments is the reason brands are on social media. It’s extremely important for brands to respond to their customers and big brands know that. 

This is especially true about Twitter where things can get real messy real soon. It takes minutes for something to go viral on Twitter and big brands make sure that they respond to any tweet that might tarnish their image.

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And not only critical comments, praises from consumers should be responded to in a way that the consumer feels valued. Brands like the fast-food outlet Wendy’s have understood Twitter far better and come up with creative tweets for their customers (or haters).

  1. Offering Promotions

If there’s one thing customers love more than a brand is that brand’s promotions and sales. They look forward to any kind of promotion that might save them some bucks which is why it’s important to share promotions on social media.

Giving the customers what they expect is a sure way to have a healthy following on social media and which sticks around. Big Brands promote their sales, promotions, contests, and other offers extensively on social media, even urging the customers to share them which further accentuates the engagement.

  1. Providing Educational Content

Educating customers about a brand is one of the most effective ways of building a strong customer relationship. The more a customer knows about a brand, the bigger the chances of them returning now and then. 

Some brands take it a notch higher by educating their customers about a cause they stand for or support. It could be something they do as part of their CSR activities or educating customers about something important (the way Brands are regularly posting precautionary recommendations about COVID-19 is a good example.)

  1. Being Humorous

Make them smile and they like you, make them laugh and they’ll fall in love with you. Being funny or humorous in social situations acts as an ice-breaker and helps people connect which is why big brands use it to tell their customers that there are people behind those names too.

This makes the brand seem more humane and the perception in the customer’s mind softens a little, opening up ample opportunities for building relationships. 

However, this takes wit and a great sense of humour which is why only some of the brands are able to pull this off. Frankly, if you aren’t funny, you aren’t – there’s no point in faking, it’ll make things worse.

  1. Exclusive Content

Sharing exclusive content with your followers on social media is another way a brand tells them how much they are valued. This is the reason those followers stay because the feeling of being part of an exclusive group of people who love the same brand makes them feel good about themselves.

READ MORE:   How To Make Your Business Successful Using Social Media

It also tickles the primal desire of a human being – the desire to be accepted and to belong. This sense of belonging to an exclusive group or club makes the relationship with the brand a little intimate – so intimate that it almost feels like cheating when buying from a competitor.

  1. Behind the Scenes

People have always wondered and have been curious about how things happen. Whether it’s a movie or the construction of the world’s tallest building, people want to know how it’s made. 

Big brands stimulate this curiosity by sharing behind the scenes images and videos on how they make the products that their customers love so much. This also helps build trust and connection between the brand and the customers as they realise the people behind the brand.

  1. Challenging Competitors

Like being funny, this is something not everyone can pull-off. The rivalry between big brands is not a new thing but social media has made it more visible with brands having one-off on Twitter about who’s better.

This is risky because when a brand tries to challenge a competitor on social media and the competitor responds in a much better way, the whole idea falls flat on its face. The brand itself becomes a victim of its mockery. 

However, friendly banter between brands can benefit them both.

Why is it important for brands to be on social media

A brand-customer relationship is like any other relationship in the world and the key to all successful relationships is communication. The days of broadcasting advertisements might not be over yet but in the near future, it might.

People aren’t looking for one-way communication from brands anymore. They want a conversation, they want to know they are heard when they post a tweet, write a comment, or give a review. They want to be a part of the ideas that transform the brand from what it is to what it will become.

And this drive to hear has become public with social media where one tweet or post can become easily viral and not responding to it might become rude. It’s not like the victorian era where the sender of a letter was still worried if the letter reached the person it was intended for. 

It’s the digital world and anyone anywhere would instantly find something on the internet that’s meant for them. You cannot just ignore what your customer has posted, you have to reply to them.

READ MORE:   How Visual Content Dominates Social Media And How to Leverage This For Your Brand

Moreover, it helps increase your business. As more and more people fall in love with your brand, they’ll not only keep returning but also talk about you to everyone they know and word-of-mouth is hands down the best form of advertisement and absolutely the most genuine which is why it is the most effective.

That’s why big businesses are so keen on making a mark in the social media circles and they are succeeding. But then, is social media only for the big brands? Should a small business use social media to garner attention, especially when they are starting from scratch?

Should small businesses be on social media too?

Big brands have been doing it pretty well but there’s no reason a small business shouldn’t. Even a regional store with a very local audience can have an amazing social media presence where the sense of belonging is even more intimate because of geographical proximity.

Even a startup can become an overnight sensation on social media if they could plan a campaign that resonates well with intended audiences. The story of @worldrecordegg stands as proof that you can instantly become a social media rockstar within days with an interesting idea.

More importantly, there’s not one but enough social media platforms to make space for all kinds of businesses. There’s Facebook for “friendly-stuff”, Instagram for pictorial or visual stuff, YouTube for videos, Twitter for sass and wit, and then LinkedIn for professionalism. 

Based on the kind of business you have and the audience that you are targeting, you can choose the platform you want to be on. You could also have different posts on different platforms for showing a more 360-degree view of the brand.

The more engaging your content on social media is, the more likes, shares, and comments you’ll receive after which it’s a snowball rolling. It all boils down to how well you know your audience and how you make them tick with your words. If you manage to do it well, you’ll have an amazing following on social media.

Alex is a content marketing specialist based in the UK. He likes to write about various subjects and is currently working for digital marketing agency Breakline which is offering SEO Services to UK businesses.

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Secret Sauce for Creating the Perfect Facebook Ads Funnel

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Is your Facebook ads funnel producing the conversions you’re looking for? Are you targeting your end-user audience at the right stages of their buying cycle? 

If you can answer these questions in the affirmative, you’ll have a sales funnel that not only creates awareness at the top of the funnel and converts to a sale at the bottom; you’ll have repeat customers as you nurture existing relationships and build interest and engagement for the long haul. 

That all sounds pretty tasty doesn’t it? Whether you’re trying to build a Facebook ad funnel for eCommerce or just trying to drive traffic to your storefront, this article will share the secret sauce that will make your social content on this platform much more appetizing, filling, and tasty.

Understanding the Facebook Funnel

If you’re using Facebook to help your sales team capitalize on today’s consumer buying journey, the first thing is to understand how your marketing and sales funnels work in light of today’s consumer buying trends. Facebook typically has four primary stages for the customer buying funnel:

  1. Awareness of your product
  2. Consideration of your product
  3. Purchase, when the conversion happens
  4. Upselling and maintaining awareness of your brand

If you’re using Facebook in the right way and you have the right mix of products or services, you’ll have a sales funnel that perpetually fills itself as you both grab new customers and nurture existing clients into purchasing more of your products. You can use free and paid content to reach these goals. However, if you’re only selling one product, then your funnel will really end after step three.

Organize Your Account by Funnel Stages

To keep your campaign channels organized, consider structuring your Facebook Ads account by funnel stages. Targeting, optimization, settings, bidding, and your budget should all be different for each campaign, of course. But if you’re following the Facebook funnel stages, your ad campaigns could be segmented like this:

  1. Campaign 1 – Awareness – Top of funnel
  2. Campaign 2 – Consideration – Middle of Funnel
  3. Campaign 3 – Purchase– Bottom of Funnel
  4. Campaign 4 – Upselling – Sends existing clients back to the top for a repeat or new purchase. This could start a new campaign cycle called Campaign 1a. 

Then you can set your Facebook objectives to fit each stage of the funnel.

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Each of these campaigns represents a different type of audience and messaging. It will be important to select the right naming conventions to keep your account and KPIs organized. This next section will tell you what advertising techniques are important at all four steps.

Creating a Facebook Sales Funnel

Now we can get to the fun part; creating the copy that drives engagement at each of the funnel stages. Remember that Facebook ads are designed to create awareness and not just passively wait for the customer to find you. Here are some strategies to engage at each funnel stage.

Campaign 1 – Awareness – Top of funnel

This target audience has not made a purchase but has a potential interest in your brand. They are the Look-Alike Audiences that simply aren’t warm enough to buy from you yet. 

You can use the Facebook Custom Audiences tool to help you reach people who have previously interacted with your brand but not converted. 

You can use several strategies to target these end-users, but the goal of each should introduce your product and why it’s needed:

  • One thing to keep in mind: You’re not trying to sell your products just yet. Your top-of-the-funnel audience will turn away from something that tries to get them to buy right out of the gate. At this stage, you should focus on providing content that they’ll find interesting or valuable, even if they never convert.
  • You could also do the same thing with a video. 
  • You can use social proof to validate your expertise. For example, your copy could mention awards you’ve won or a client testimonial. 

Remember your goal is awareness, not the conversion, so your CTA should be to “find out more” on your website or with a downloadable.

READ MORE:   Top Tips To Broadcast A Better Social Media Live

For example: Consider a problem your audience might have. During the COVID-19 crisis, people who were no longer commuting to work weren’t using their cars for extended periods of time, and they may not know how to care for long-term parked cars. An eCommerce company specializing in car covers put out an infographic / blog post explaining how to care for long-term parked cars. 

There’s no hard sell there. Even people who never buy their car covers find value in this post, and might share it, or be primed for a later purchase down the line.

Campaign 2 – Consideration – Middle of Funnel

This target audience has engaged with your brand before. They may have liked a previous Facebook post. This ad should appeal to some sort of pain points and reinforce why the prospect needs your product to solve their problem. In the example we used above, the pain point is related to people who have to store their cars long-term without the benefit of a garage.

At this stage in the funnel, you should list the specific benefits and features of your product or service to tell people why they need to buy it.

Campaign 3 – Purchase – Bottom of Funnel

This is where the rubber meets the road, so go for the close. These customers know your product and its value. This is a good place to leverage Facebook’s dynamic ads to create content tied to the exact product the prospect viewed. To close the deal, offer an immediate incentive to purchase. That nudge toward the close could include:

  • Running a discount or special offers such as 15% off or free shipping off your order. 

  • Create urgency with a countdown to the end of a sale, “Only 24hours left!”

  • Target specific use cases for the products they’ve been viewing. Going back to the car cover company, a hypothetical ad could ask if the prospect is worried about street damage from long term quarantine parking and offer a first-timer discount—boom! Done.

Campaign 4 – Upselling 

This sends existing clients back to the top for a repeat or new purchase. This could start a new campaign cycle called Campaign 1a. Or, call it what it is—remarketing.

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The point here is that the journey shouldn’t be over once the first purchase is made. Everyone knows the acquisition cost of a new customer is greater than keeping old customers—so maintain the relationship at this point by kicking the current just-purchased customer back up into the funnel. 

Your goals should be not just for the repeat purchase, but also to capture new customer referrals, and even to drive up the average spending amount per customer. 

Even though technically, the customer goes back to the top of the funnel, it’s more like a slide straight to the middle; they already know your company, so from an ad perspective you can skip the awareness stage. (Unless you’re trying to make them aware of a different product in your service line.) Some Facebook ad strategies could include:

  • Retargeting with a loyalty perk; thanks for your business, here’s $10 off your next purchase. 
  • Mention your referral program: “Invite a friend and get free shipping on your next order.”
  • Ask them to review your product and offer a thank you bonus incentive. 
  • This is also a good place to run an ad campaign based on their unique purchase history. You can set up carousel ads to vary the versions of the products they may be interested in, interspersing the ads with products that are a slightly higher price point to drive up their purchasing averages.

If you take the time to create the perfect Facebook ads funnel you will be able to sit back and watch the conversions come in. If you build it, they really will come, but the trick is to match the prospect’s specific buying stage with the exact strategy to increase your conversion rates. When you’re done, the Facebook sales funnel will work like a machine, benefiting your bottom line with new and repeat business.

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Top Tips To Broadcast A Better Social Media Live

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Gone are the days when we used to stick to our television screen to not miss out on a live event. Now we get notified for it. 

Over the years, live-videos (aka live-streaming) have not only become more popular but also a more powerful tool for businesses. 

Source: Social Media Examiner

Live-streaming on social media came into being in 2011 with the app YouNow. Eventually, we saw other platforms acquiring similar features. In 2015, Twitter launched its live-streaming app Periscope, followed by Facebook launching Facebook Live in 2016, and so on.

With the help of early-adopters like Gary Vaynerchuck, this type of content became even more popular among marketers and now we see almost every business planning a live-video strategy. 

Various Benefits Of Live-Streaming

Real-Time

Live-streaming on social media creates a direct connection between you and your audience. This is where you can have a one-on-one conversation and get real-time engagement.  

Live-streaming also provides real-time information. For example, if you read a blog or watch a video online, you are consuming content of the past. You don’t know if the information is relevant now. With live streaming, you can easily provide (or get) the latest information. So much so that the global media channels use it to deliver first-hand news via go-live feature across all social media platforms.

Cost-Effective

Thankfully you don’t have to pay any given cost to go live. You can easily join, start, or publish live-stream videos for absolutely free!

An hour-long seminar to a quick-minute hack – your live videos can be as long or as short as you want. 

High-Reach

Platforms like Facebook and YouTube favour live-videos more than pre-recorded ones. 

Source: 99Firms

You can easily ask your audience to like and share the video to enhance reach. The more people/likes you have on your live video, the more chances are that it will appear in the search results feed. This means it will be seen by more people. 

Builds Your Brand

It doesn’t matter if your business is small or large, everyone can benefit from live-videos. When you live-stream, you not only personally reach out to your audience but also provide a face to your business – which eventually humanizes your brand. People love to interact with businesses like this.

Source: Livestream

Live-Video Tips And Tricks

Live-streaming is indeed a fun and simple way to get in touch with your audience – that too in no time. But there are a few things that you need to keep in mind before you hop-on to setting up one. 

Here are some tips to create a live-video that your audience will enjoy and fully engage with: 

Tip #1: Pick An Interest-Grabbing Title

Before you go live, you need to mention what topic your stream will be about. It’s very important since a title can either make or break your stream. The audience makes up their mind to join a live-video after seeing the title – so make sure you pick a compelling one. 

For example, a title for someone who owns a bookstore can be “10 Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life”.

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The idea is to create the title and description of your live-video as captivating and attractive as possible.

Tip #2: Create A ‘Hook’

The first 10-15 seconds of your live-video decides if your audience will stay watching the video or not. That is why it is called a ‘hook’. 

A hook is nothing but the beginning sentence or two that catches people’s attention.

So, before you jump right on your topic make sure you introduce yourself to your audience. This is important because chances are new people might be joining in and they’d want to see the video from the very beginning. If they liked your content, they might also give you a follow or a ‘like’. 

Tip #3: Engage!

People do not join a live-video to see a person constantly talking to themselves – they’d rather watch a pre-recorded one instead!

The whole purpose behind a live video is to engage with your audience in real-time. Make sure, you ask them questions, answer some of theirs, reply to comments, etc. Don’t forget to do that at regular intervals!

You can also ask your audience to like and share the video. As mentioned above, the more likes and comments you will have on your live-video, the more the platform will increase your reach. 

Tip #4: Talk Of Something That Adds Value

Now that you have your audience’s attention with the title and the hook, it’s safe to jump on to the most important part – the content. 

Your content needs to be concise, add some value, and is actionable. This is where you do justice to your title that promised your audience to click on the video. 

Remember that on a live-video there are no edits or re-takes for people to not notice your mistakes. That’s why we’d suggest you take rough notes before you plan out to hit the ‘live’ button. 

These quick notes or pointers will help you to not stutter in between and create a smooth live-session. 

Tip #5: Add A Call-To-Action

What do you want your audience to do after watching your live video? Do you want them to visit your website? Buy the next seminar ticket? Buy your product? 

Whatever it is, make sure you mention it before saying ‘Good-bye’. 

A call-to-action is an opportunity you cannot miss if you are expecting your audience to do something after they exit your live-session. So, remind them!

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These were just some simple tips and tricks that you need to keep in mind before you hit your next broadcast. So what are you waiting for? Your audience might be willing to see a live-video from you soon, make sure you plan one. 

But what kind of live-videos can you make? 

You cannot be more wrong if you think live-videos are only meant to answer questions from your audience. You can do an ample amount of things with a live video!

Live-Video Examples

Let’s take a look at some of these different examples so you can choose what may work the best for you: 

Behind The Scenes

‘Behind the scene’ videos are always the best way to connect your audience to your brand. 

People are curious to know how a business functions, what all goes behind, the real interaction between employees, the stories, etc. What better way than to show it through a live video?

Source: Livestream

In 2019, Amazon went live on Facebook and Twitch from one of their fulfilment centres. They toured the whole place showcasing the technology and the people that work behind the packaging process.

Q&A Sessions

Trying a Q&A format is great to get some high-level attraction and engagement in your live sessions. 

People might have a lot of questions they want you to answer maybe about your business, product, or industry. This type of valuable information that people get real-time is not the same when compared to blog posts or pre-recorded videos. 

Source: Livestream

Call up influencers and industry specialists from your niche and do a Q&A session with them! 

For instance, Audible partnered with author Mel Robbins for an hour-long Q&A on LinkedIn to promote her new book.  The live-stream generated a thousand views. 

Announcements 

There is no better way to announce the launch of a new product or collaboration than through a live video. 

Try and tease the announcement through a post and see how you build anticipation among your audience. 

Chevrolet’s live stream unveiling the all-electric 2017 Bolt EV at the CES 2016 attracted over 58,000 views. This is a perfect example of how live-stream can be leveraged effectively for a new product launch. 

Cover Events

You leave a lasting and positive brand impression when you include your audience to something as special as a brand event. 

But unfortunately, not everybody gets to attend it. Live streams, therefore, help you reach those people you miss out on. 

This is what Apple does. All of the company’s launch events are live-streamed and published on various platforms for everybody to be a part of it.

READ MORE:   Top Tips To Broadcast A Better Social Media Live

Conclusion

Live-streaming is a great way if you are looking to boost your brand awareness and engagement. 

The best way to use a live-video is to make it more interesting and compelling. Doing so, you open doors for several opportunities for your business – be it reaching new prospects, engaging current audiences, etc. 

We hope we brought some clarity about the basics of something as broad as live-stream. 

Do let us know your thoughts about it in the comments below! Which platforms do you use for live-streaming?

Submitted by Aayush Narang who is the founder of Spark Eighteen Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd a Digital Marketing Agency in Delhi. He is a Startup Evangelist. Entrepreneur. Business and Tech Enthusiast.

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