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Five Social Media Marketing Mistakes You Must Avoid

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Social media marketing is a strategy employed by many companies. One of the biggest complaints I hear from businesses is that they’re not having much success on social media. The thing is that certain social media marketing mistakes can cause brands to fail. I’ll be addressing several issues that may be impacting your social media efforts in this article.

Are you making any of the following mistakes?

1. Posting Without A Clear Strategy

Many organizations struggle with focus when they first start using social media marketing for business. There are two problems with posting without a clear strategy. First, your results will always reflect the quality of the content you publish on social media. Publishing sub-par content to hit a quantity target will often lead to inadequate results. I’d recommend asking the following questions before posting any content on social media:

• Is this of any interest to our target customer?

• Is this useful or of value to the consumer?

• Why should the target audience care?

Secondly, people generally have an innate ability for detecting inauthenticity. So, if your content isn’t well-thought-out, your business could come off as an organization that doesn’t care about what it shares with others. This isn’t good because it can destroy trust, which is a very important aspect of a business.

2. Being Overly Promotional

Companies can turn people off or make them less interested in their content by being too promotional. The reason for this is because consumers are on social media for what they want. So very few want to pay attention to what you want. The way you turn this around is by building trust. Constantly selling to your target audience comes off as selfish, not trustworthy — even though they may need your product.

Instead, focus on building a relationship with your target audience. The best way to do this is by being helpful and genuine. The former involves sharing valuable content that may or might not benefit your business and engaging with the audience regularly. The latter involves being true about wanting to make a difference. You have to give freely without expectation. All of this can help you connect and build trust with your target audience.

However, I’m not suggesting that you don’t promote on social media. Rather, limit the number of promotional posts. One promotional content for every four social media posts works for some companies, but your business may need a different ratio. I recommend testing the audience’s response.

3. Acting Like A Robot

Some businesses follow their social media calendars on a very strict basis. However, social media marketing isn’t something that should be rigid. There should be room for creativity and inspiration. For example, you don’t have to always share a blog post from your website every Wednesday because the social media calendar notes so. Staff should be able to share something else if it makes more sense.

A social media calendar should serve as a way to keep going instead of a be-all and end-all. Your calendar helps you on those days where creativity and inspiration are absent. Furthermore, your social media calendar should be ever-changing based on outcomes. Sticking to post ideas even when they aren’t yielding results is a waste of resources. I recommend making adjustments to the plan as you receive feedback from data (e.g., the rate of engagement, views, likes, etc.). Don’t be a robot.

4. Not Investing In Your Greatest Online Asset

You’ve probably seen companies on directories like Yelp that use a social media page as their website. These organizations don’t own a website and have chosen to use other platforms instead of investing in one. However, this is a huge mistake. The problem with relying on external platforms is that you have no control. The website may shut down, or they can decide to impose fees, restrict your capabilities and more.

Also, companies usually sacrifice branding possibilities on social platforms. Your business can only do what the social networks permit. I recommend using social media to boost traffic to your website — a platform you control. Use social networks to capture the attention of the target audience and attract them to your site or related business asset (e.g., email list).

5. Not Being Consistent

Every company should be consistent with their brand presence on social media. That means keeping brand assets in line with your style guide and avoid breaking promises. For instance, stick to it if you promised to share a new article from your website every day. Similarly, colors used with imagery should be in line with brand colors. From the tone of voice to font choice to post frequency and others, maintain consistency in everything involving your brand. This way, you’ll be noticed and remembered.

Social Media Marketing Mistakes Can Be Corrected

Mistakes are a part of business and life in general, so you can probably correct course even if your company is making some of the aforementioned social media marketing mistakes. Remember to keep your content authentic, be less promotional and be more focused on the audience. Don’t follow your social media calendar too strictly, invest in your website and be consistent. Lastly, the original purpose of social media is to connect people and foster engagement. Remember that, and good luck.

Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?

CEO of SmartStreetMedia, an award winning full-service digital marketing agency based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Read Victor Smushkevich’s full executive profile here

Source: Council Post: Five Social Media Marketing Mistakes You Must Avoid

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5 Confessions Marketers Are Afraid To Admit, Even To Themselves

As someone who’s been marketing things online for about a decade, I can tell you first hand that the fear of marketing is real. It prevented me from growing my business in the earlier stages, and it still does from time to time.

It also held me back from taking on client work for YEARS.

But thankfully, I also learned that I’m not alone. In fact, most marketers can probably tell you at least one or two things that cause them anxiety when it comes to marketing. Here are 5 of the most common.

1. Can I actually market?

Can I Actually Market for marketing confessions

The kind of SEO results you want to be able to send to a client.

Maybe you’re looking at all the shiny emails in your inbox, trying to figure out how email marketing works, how SEO works, and it just seems like it’s too much. So you think to yourself, “I can’t do this.”

One of the biggest fears for marketing newcomers was echoed by Margo Aaron, founder of The Arena, the first virtual coworking space for solopreneurs.

“I hear from marketers all the time and it’s their biggest fear: Can I actually market?  

They develop niche expertise, like design or editing or SEO or headlines. But actually getting more customers into a funnel or increasing sales (or just awareness) for their clients – that creates impostor syndrome.

I definitely had this when I was consulting. It’s part of what’s been so fun about being on my own, I get to control the entire funnel and can actually judge my chops on their own merit (whereas with clients, you might control the website copy or design, but you’re not responsible for sending it traffic).” – Margo Aaron

Let’s get this straight. No one is born out of the womb knowing how to market. It’s a skill that we all have to learn, and it’s possible. It’s also always changing.

You don’t even have to go back to business school (unless you want to) because the internet is a goldmine of marketing resources. Find a course that teaches digital marketing skills or hire someone who can help you and teach it to you.

The other thing is that doing things for other people is HARD. I don’t care if you’re doing copywriting or mowing a lawn. Sure, I can mow my own lawn, but if somebody else is paying me for it (and paying me well), can I do it to their satisfaction? Maybe not.

The problem is that many people get stuck in the learning phase. Why? Fear. Every time you learn something, go try it out and see if it works for you. This is the only way that I know of to truly learn and get over fear and the imposter syndrome that many entrepreneurs suffer from.

2. I’m a spammer

“That they’re one of those spammy marketer types that everyone not so secretly HATES.” – Kaleigh Moore

I get it. You don’t want to come off as the person spamming everyone’s inbox or be the person behind the website with all the pop-ups. But there are tactful ways to get people’s attention without annoying them.
I’m a Spammer for marketing confessions

Please don’t be this guy. Do this instead.

Take for instance the businesses or person whose emails you can’t wait to read when you see them in your inbox. You don’t roll your eyes but instead, you’re excited to read them. What sets them apart from everyone else? TRUST.

They offer value, they delight, they sound like real people. They teach you something new or interesting. They are not pushing a sale every time they send you something.

When you give – whether that’s offering tips, resources free guides etc., and you are consistent – people will naturally show up at your doorstep when you have something to sell because by then, you’ve already won their trust.

And remember: attract, don’t chase. Chasing is what you do when people are running away. Chasing is what causes us to look for tools to do our jobs for us.

3. I want this tool to do my job for me

“If I buy this tool, it’ll put my marketing on autopilot.” – Me for my entire career, including the horrible purchase below.
I Want This Tool To Do My Job For Me for marketing confessions

But seriously, am I the only one who bought this?

If I asked you to write out the top three marketing “tools” you’ve wasted money on, you’d probably have to think for a second. Not because you don’t have three, but more because you have over ten and you’re just trying to rank them.

We’ve ALL bought tools hoping they’d do our jobs for us: make starting new relationships, getting sales, etc. easier.

The great thing about marketing in the 21st century is that there are many tools to help us automate tasks. We can schedule Twitter or Facebook posts for several weeks in advance or program promotional materials to be sent out automatically.

But this doesn’t mean we should try to put all our marketing on autopilot and pray for the best, especially when you’re just getting started.

No current clients or customers? You don’t need an outreach tool.

No social media followers? You don’t need a post scheduler.

In both of the above cases, you just need to start talking to people.

Most of the people trying to sell you on the dream of entrepreneurship are also trying to sell you some sort of product or tool. You don’t need them.

The world of marketing is always changing which means the strategies you use today will change next year or in less time, so while automation helps, it’s best to devise a strong strategy and keep yourself aligned with it.

And even with the right tools, the human part of marketing is absolutely necessary. Trends change, algorithms get rewritten, comments need responses, but what will set you apart from the rest is you. Your unique voice and perspective is a huge part of your marketing strategy whether you know it or not. And it cannot be replaced by any tool.

4. I’m just selling this to make money

I’m Just Selling This To Make Money for marketing confessions

“Depending on which side of the fence they fall on… That they might be selling something to get a financial leg up rather than something they’re 100% passionate about. Which, by the way, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but sometimes I think those of us who don’t want to be a ‘sleazy marketing person’ go too far to the other side and think everything we sell has to save the world”. – Caroline Zook, Wandering Aimfully

The reason why many marketers struggle with this one is that subconsciously or consciously, we’ve been taught money is the end all, be all. Whether you believe that or not, it still doesn’t dismiss the fact that we all need money to survive.

service@paypal for marketing confessions

I realized this was true when I got on the email list of a famous joint venture (JV) marketer. He’s famous for setting up big affiliate programs and bringing a ton of affiliates on board.

Ever see a big launch where it seems like everybody was promoting a product? That’s probably him behind the scenes. But, what I didn’t realize is that most of the people promoting the product had never even seen it.

He’d sent out videos and slide decks and landing pages that told you all the giveaways they were doing for top affiliates and how to set up your affiliate account, but when I asked to see the product…

he told me it wasn’t even done being produced.

I asked how people could be promoting it without ever seeing the product and he could not, after five more emails, understand why I’d have a problem with that.

Authenticity matters more than ever in marketing so next time you promote a product (or even your own product) consider whether it’s making the world better for other people, or just yourself.

5. I wouldn’t buy what I’m selling

I Wouldn’t Buy What I’m Selling

That’s right, many marketers aren’t even sure about the prices they charge their clients. One marketer confessed he still struggles with pricing. Asking for $10,000 for a consulting agreement when he wouldn’t purchase that himself is a weird paradox for him. He KNOWS that the training he’d provide or the work he’d do is part of a larger six-figure budget in both cases.

“Even though I’d never buy this for myself, it’s still priced correctly. Yep. They’ve budgeted for exactly this. It’s priced at or below market it’s a good option logically but the emotion is what it is.” – Kade Dworkin

There are two main reasons why marketers feel this way:

  1. Lack of confidence in their own skills.
  2. Confusion about what the market rate is.

In order to overcome the first one, you must remember all you’ve accomplished in order to get to where you are today. This means the number of years you worked in a related field, the number of years you spent in school, or even just the soul-searching part of your life that brought you here. Those were all not easy things to get through but I don’t have to tell you that. Factor this in when you are coming up with your prices.

Second, If you don’t know what your competitors are charging, you’re missing out on crucial information. Find out what they’re charging. Do this for several people and you’ll have a good idea of where your rates should be, which should help you stop questioning yours.

You need to know that there are people in need of the skills you have who are willing to pay for it. Do not water down your commodities for clients who will not appreciate it.

The bottom line

Business marketing can be scary especially if you’re just starting out, but don’t let the professionals who’ve been in the game a lot longer scare you. Everyone had to start somewhere and just like any skill, the more you do it, the easier it gets.

Amazing talents or products do speak for themselves but in our overcrowded market today, you need to do marketing to lift it up, otherwise, no one will be able to hear you.

The best piece of advice I can offer is this: continue learning, and try what you learn.

Don’t be afraid to admit and confront these confessions.

That’s the only way you’ll truly get over your fears. Just remember that your skills and talents are unique and someone is looking for them. And when you find those people, charge what you’re worth but also deliver the heck out of the results.

By: Jeff Bullas

Forbes calls him a top influencer of Chief Marketing Officers and the world’s top social marketing talent. Entrepreneur lists him among 50 online marketing influencers to watch. Inc.com has him on the list of 20 digital marketing experts to follow on Twitter. Oanalytica named him #1 Global Content Marketing Influencer. BizHUMM ranks him as the world’s #1 business blogger.

Source: 5 Confessions Marketers Are Afraid To Admit, Even To Themselves

John Crestani

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Can You Get a Degree in Content Marketing? Top Classes for Skill-Hungry Students of All Ages

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Before I co-founded my company, Masthead Media in 2012, the practice of content marketing was very much experimental. Very few people outside of the still-nascent industry had even heard the term before, and it was virtually impossible to find a single class–let alone a full certificate program–that focused on content marketing.

Today, content has become an essential way that brands connect with audiences and its a compelling career field with ever-growing income opportunities.  Because there’s so much interest among would-be students, several companies (and at least two universities) have begun offering courses designed to prep the next generation of content marketers.

If you’re looking to make a career transition, or simply want to expand your skills as a marketer, here are six programs you should definitely consider.

While I wasn’t able to find a university that offers a full-degree program in content marketing (I predict that time will come soon!), NYU’s School of Professional Studies does serve up this eight-session in-person course that focuses on the strategic planning side of content.

In addition to traditional lectures taught by an instructor, you’ll hear from real-world speakers who are actively working within the content industry and break out into smaller groups to work on projects.

During the course, you’ll learn how to align a brand’s goals with specific kinds of multimedia content, repurpose content to maximize its value, and use analytics to tell if your efforts are working. One hidden benefit to attending this course (where I’ve a been a speaker) is networking opps: many students already work for major brands and are in class to sharpen their skills.

Cost: $900

The T Brand Studio (the branded content unit The New York Times) is renowned for executing groundbreaking campaigns with major advertisers such as Delta, Netflix, Adobe, BMW, and GE. Together along with the School of the New York Times, T-Brand is sharing its extensive knowledge of content marketing with students through this five-course online certificate program.

This beautifully shot digital program details the specific tools the T-Brand Studio uses to create high-quality native advertising (a specific element of content marketing) on behalf of brands. Taught by current and former T-Brand Studio staffers, the courses include “Story Mining and Strategy,” “How to Tell Brand Stories with Video,” and “Thinking About the Other Side?” a video geared toward journalists looking to make the switch to from journalism to branded content.

Cost: $1,450

I’ve been turning to HubSpot for years for well-written, insightful articles teaching every aspect of inbound marketing and customer relationship management. Considering the emphasis that the inbound marketing company puts on education, I’m not surprised they developed an 11-course, 32-video series design to teach students the fundamentals of content marketing. What’s amazing is that you can watch the courses online in a single afternoon: It takes just 4 hours to view them all (the related quizzes will take you a little longer)

The Hubspot course will help you learn a basic framework for producing goal-oriented content on a consistent basis, and to create (and repurpose) content designed to please both people and search engines. It’s a great way to learn or brush up on the fundamentals of content marketing before creating and executing your own strategy.

Cost: Free

Even if you’re getting into content marketing because you’re passionate about words, it’s critical to understand how to use the numbers to help you tell a better story. No platform is more widely used to do exactly that than Google Analytics. Most major brands use GA to track how customers are interacting with their content–but content teams don’t always know how to interpret the numbers and use them to make strategic changes.

If you want to make use of all of that incredible data, take full advantage of Google Analytics Certificate program. The course is the gateway to learning how to set up analytics on a website, customizing the numbers and information that you’re viewing, and staying on top of changes Google is making to the program. The videos and quizzes are super short–and you can come back to where you left off during your last lunch break viewing.  For those looking to transition careers, having a GA certification on your content marketing-focused resume is a major win.

Cost: Free

Okay, I’m officially obsessed with LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com), which I originally begin using to amp up my skills as an amateur photographer. Now I know it has a lot to teach me about content marketing, too.

The site (and related app) offer thousands of individual videos and full courses focused on every aspect of content marketing, from SEO Keyword Strategies to Marketing on Instagram to Becoming a Thought Leader.

Because I watch these videos and courses on my commute (and can’t stream content while underground on the subway) I love that I can download and watch them offline. It’s also really nice to see comments and rating from other LinkedIn users which gives me a good sense of whether any individual class or course will be worth my time.

Cost: Starting at $25/month or free with LinkedIn premium memberships

SEO is one of the trickiest aspects of content marketing to master–but doing so is crucial to ensure the content you spend hours and hours perfecting will actually be discoverable by a wide audience.

Udemy offers an easy beginners course (2.5 hours of video, 7 hours of audio), to help you learn how to add valuable keywords, tags, and search engine vocab into your brand’s or clients’ content. You’ll also get a stronger understanding of how to write content with search engines in mind, and check out SEO case studies from the AARP and Southwest Airlines.

Udemy offers plenty of other content marketing courses, which, like LinkedIn Learning, feature ratings and comments to help you hone in on the course that’s right for you.

Cost: SEO training is free; most courses starting at $11 

 

Are we missing any other great Content Marketing courses or degree programs? Please let us know on social @mastheadmedia.com

By: Amanda Pressner Kreuser Co-founder and managing partner, Masthead Media@mastheadmedia

 

Source: https://www.inc.com/amanda-pressner-kreuser/can-you-get-a-degree-in-content-marketing

 

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