In the era of digital marketing, social media marketing has emerged as one of the most influential and effective ways to reach large audiences and promote your brand, and you can categorize it in two ways. The first is based on the type of content you create and the second is on the social media platforms you use. In this article, Stiddle will outline the different types of social media marketing and how you can use them.
The Types of Content
Businesses have many options when they decide how they want to market their brand on social media. Organic content, paid ads, and user-generated content are the most common ways to market your products on social media platforms, and your business should include a combination of these to most effectively promote your brand (you can read more about content marketing here).
Organic content is when businesses create content like podcasts, blogs, infographics, photos, and videos and share it for free. When users stumble upon your content, they are indirectly exposed to your brand. It’s free to post on social media platforms under your own profile, making it an attractive option for small businesses. You should make this content engaging to your customers and relevant to your brand to foster interest.
Unlike organic content, you have to pay for paid ads. The type of ads that are shown on social media is called “social ads,” and they display images and videos that market your brand on social media platforms. Just as your organic content should be interesting and eye-catching, so should your paid ads, especially since you are paying for it to be advertised.
One of the most compelling aspects of paid ads is that businesses can selectively display them to the audiences that are most likely to engage with their content. All social media platforms create profiles of their users and their behaviors so that businesses can segment their audiences based on their demographics, interests, and behaviors. You can also choose to advertise your content at specific times of the day and to hyper-specific locations.
User-generated content is often the hardest to come by and can be categorized into two categories. Some users will post referrals and testimonials organically if they really like your brand, which adds authenticity to it. Of course, sometimes this can backfire if they have had a bad experience with your company and posted a negative review. The best way to ensure that your customers have a positive experience with your brand and promote it is to invest heavily in customer success management.
The other type of user-generated content is when companies pay influencers to post about their products. Influencer marketing is growing increasingly valuable, and some influencers are paid thousands of dollars per post. However, there are cheaper alternatives to add influencer marketing to your repertoire where companies offer free products to micro-influencers to promote their products.
Social Media Platforms
Facebook is the world’s leading social media platform with over 2.6 billion users. Thanks to its large and diverse userbase, Facebook has vast troves of data it can use to segment and target its users so that you can market your business to the people who are most likely to engage with your content. Additionally, users often refer products on Facebook, especially compared to other platforms.
Users of all ages and demographics use Facebook, and well over 90 million small businesses use it. Because so many people have a presence on Facebook, it’s imperative for small businesses to create their own pages to attract interest.
Instagram boasts an exciting platform filled with eye-catching photos and videos. Compared to Facebook, companies with profiles on Instagram receive far much more engagement with 92% of users interacting with a brand (which they define as following a brand, exploring their website, or purchasing their product).
Additionally, Instagram is the best platform for influencer marketing where they post photos and videos using your products. Content marketing here focuses primarily on posting pictures of your products and linking them to your profile and website.
If you’re interested in reaching a younger demographic, Snapchat is the place for you. Hundreds of millions of people use Snapchat daily. Businesses can sponsor geo-filters and lenses to increase interest in their brands and products, allowing users to creatively interact with their brands.
Over half of users follow a brand on Snapchat, and half of users open brand stories. Other social media platforms have higher ad revenues than Snapchat, but that means there is more real estate for advertising.
Unlike other platforms, Pinterest has a more unique userbase. Over 300 million people use Pinterest regularly, and of those 300 million people, 70% are women. People tend to use Pinterest for motivation, inspiration, and entertainment. The second most common reason why people use Pinterest is to follow brands, and this accounts for a third of users. Additionally, 60% of millennials who use Pinterest do so to discover products.
Not as many marketers use Pinterest compared to platforms like Facebook and Instagram, meaning that Pinterest isn’t as saturated with other people’s content so your ads are more likely to stand out. Since Pinterest has a far more niche audience, companies whose target market falls into this category will thrive on Pinterest.
There’s much debate over whether YouTube should be considered a social media platform, but, assuming that it is, it is the most penetrative social media platform in the US. Over two billion people use YouTube every month, and people of all ages and nationalities use it.
Like Instagram, influencers are very prominent on YouTube, especially in the beauty industry. People are increasingly going to YouTube to discover new products, and the best ways to market your brand on YouTube is through paid advertisements and influencer marketing, and, if it matches your brand image, produce organic content.
With over 660 million users, LinkedIn is growing more and more popular for marketers. Like Pinterest, it has a more niche audience since it’s mission is to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” 51% of college-educated Americans use LinkedIn, and Americans only account for 30% of LinkedIn’s users.
LinkedIn is especially popular for B2B marketing as it is the most used platform for Fortune 500 companies. One unique element about LinkedIn is that employees are more inclined to share their company’s content on LinkedIn than other sites, so your own employees can organically share your content. One of the most important things to recognize about LinkedIn is that only 3 million users share content weekly out of its userbase of over 600 million people, meaning that your organic content will go much further on LinkedIn than other platforms.
Marketers have many options when it comes to social media marketing in both how and where they market their brand. Learning how to make your content and ads engaging on these sites will give your business the perfect opportunity to stand out.
Stiddle — aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected marketing experts.