It’s rather easy to see why a small to mid-level business, in any industry to be sure, but especially in those that don’t lend themselves to the creative inspiration of eye-catching content for internet proliferation, would decide that social media marketing, and perhaps even digital marketing as a whole, is time and/or money better spent elsewhere in the business. This aversion to one of the most important aspects of the company’s brand (i.e. its digital presence) could manifest itself as any number of rationales. Although in the vast majority of cases, cited reasons most likely include:
- “It’s too complicated. Computers are confusing and so is the software needed to run a digital marketing campaign. I don’t have the time to waste on figuring out how to use my brand’s social media accounts.”
- “It’s too expensive. I would pay someone to manage my brand’s social media accounts, but we don’t have room in our advertising/marketing budget to accommodate a full-time employee.”
- “It’s not a worthwhile investment. We manage our brand’s social media accounts ourselves with little to no success. Our following doesn’t grow, we get very little feedback, and the whole thing seems like a hollow endeavor that’s getting us nowhere.”
Since opening our “digital” doors this past year, we at South Platte Brands have sought out companies with this exact profile, and these are, in almost every case, the responses we get from the small business owner to the marketing officer of mid-major companies alike, who all have yet to harness the power of digital marketing and make it work in their favor.
Across the spectrum of these businesses, there are invariably two common threads: a devastating lack of account management and an ever-more glaring lack of quality content promoting their brand.
According to a 2013 study, “85% of consumers say that they read online reviews for local businesses (up from 76% in 2012),” and additionally, 79% say they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. These figures have surely risen even further in the last two years giving credence to the idea that, in today’s economy, even brick and mortar establishments are increasingly subject to the consequences of their digital identities, furthering the necessity for professional, reliable account management.
This increased focus on business reviews illuminates a wider trend, one which is rapidly changing the way businesses are being perceived. For instance, 71% of consumers are more likely to purchase based on social media referrals (see Figure 1), while 81% of US consumers indicated that friends’ posts directly influenced their purchasing decisions.
The results of such studies help clarify what marketers around the world are beginning to proclaim: that digital marketing, and more specifically social media marketing, is quickly becoming one of the most essential forms of advertising that any business can utilize. To be exact, 92% of marketers consider content creation to be either very or somewhat effective in optimizing for search engines (see Figure 2). While those that do not, failing to embrace the realities of a digital marketplace, will be promptly cast aside by 80 percent of the market in favor of a well-branded business with the shining reviews.
Yet, necessity does not bring about strategy.
So how exactly does one create a successful online marketing campaign? That is the underlying question that every brand manager in Scenario 3 (listed above) is struggling with. What makes a campaign successful and the know-how of implementing those strategies is what puts third-party brand management and digital consulting firms like South Platte Brands in business, but I’m here to share the secret: Content is King.
To take a rather simple example, a page with video content is 53x more likely to appear on the first page of a Google search. This has to do with the way Google ranks its results, giving a heavy preference to video content. Not only are videos more likely to be seen, but they also receive “a 41% higher click-through rate than plain text.”
In much the same fashion, photo content increases search optimization. In fact, articles with featured photos get 94% more views than articles that do not (see Figure 3). This may prompt some businesses to opt for cheap, unedited photography in the hopes of gaining the advantage cheaply. However, given that 67% of consumers say the quality of the product image is “very important” in selection and purchase, content quality directly relates to your brand’s digital identity and thus consumer perception.
By now, it should be evident that not only is digital marketing an essential node for any marketing strategy, without high-quality digitally optimized content, your posts will be harder to find, will have a lower click-through rate, and a higher bounce rate.
It is this very need for professional grade content generation and account management that inspired us at South Platte Brands to open our consulting firm, so that we might provide these services to companies that could greatly benefit from the increased exposure and credibility, at a fraction of what the competition is able to offer.
So if your business is struggling to find its digital identity, you’re having trouble managing your online reviews, or perhaps you just want to boost your SEO with eye-catching professional grade content creation, we here at South Platte Brands would be delighted to discuss your digital marketing strategy and provide a free quote for your customized service today!
Feeling intrigued? Please don’t hesitate to contact us.