Facebook is one of the best places for marketing your business these days.

 

It is potentially one of the best places to market your business that ever existed. Think about it for a second…

 

What did it take your parents to grow their business? Did they had the luxury to grow their business by sitting on their couch in pajamas and reaching 30,000 potential customers a day simply by uploading some text and banner to a social network?

 

If you want to maximize the growth of your company then there is simply no way around Facebook.

 

On the other hand, the competition is not sleeping… It seems that these days everybody is on Facebook and fighting for the attention of potential customers.

 

The potential is still huge. Given the fact that more and more people spend more and more time on Social media the potential is even growing on a daily basis.

 

Especially for these companies who are applying the right strategy that gives them an edge over their competition.

 

Below you can find and apply the elements of an effective marketing strategy.

 

Having all of these elements set up as a foundation for your marketing effort will allow your business to outperform your competitors. It is the wisdom that we have learned spending over 1.4 Million USD on Facebook ads and growing 40+ with Facebook over the last 12 months alone:

 

Vision Statement

 

To always “[b]egin with the end in mind” was one of my biggest take aways from Stephan R. Coveys bestseller “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. I have found this advice to be tremendously useful for everything in life including (Facebook) marketing.

 

Just imagine you don’t know where you are going with Facebook and why you are using it? It is very unlikely that you will ever achieve your goals. In order to be successful, you need to bring your long-term goal(s) on paper. 

 

Let’s have a look at a few vision statements of successful companies and see how much it has set the groundwork for their marketing strategy:
 “To put joy in kids’ hearts and a smile on parents’ faces.” (Toys’R’Us)
Joy in kid’s hearts and a smile on parents’ faces. This is probably the best briefing that your designer can ever receive and he might come up with something like this:

 

“To fulfill dreams through the experiences of motorcycling.” (Harley Davidson)
These look like a fulfilled biker dream if you ask me, don’t you think?!

 

 

 

 

Heck, we can even take the vision statement from Facebook and it basically gives us the blueprint of how to be successful on Facebook for our businesses:

 

“People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”

 

As long as your Facebook marketing strategy fits into a place where people stay connected with friends and family, discover news and content that matters to them (big hint) you will be successful on Facebook.

 

We highly recommend to go deeper and to ask the question how your Facebook marketing will bring you closer to reaching your vision. 

 

Facebook Campaign Goals

What do you want to achieve and how can Facebook help your brand to get there? This answer will lead to your goals.

 

Some of our clients use Facebook marketing 100% to drive sales (= highest short-term ROI and a full bank account today) while others focus 100% on building their brand (= potentially a hole in your bank account today and highest long-term ROI).

 

For most businesses, the golden path is somewhere in the middle. This great infographic from SimplyMeasured explains what is possible and how different Facebook goals/objectives have to be tied to different steps in the customers buying journey:

 

Branding or Sales?

 

This is a big question. My quick answer is that most brands do need both. Without sales, there is no money to drive branding. And without branding, there is no awareness and trust to buy in the first place.

 

Example: If a customer has never heard of your brand he is very unlikely to buy something from you (unless it is an impulsive purchase). In this case, your first goal needs to be to create awareness. You do this by placing your brand content in front of your target audience. Over and over again.

 

Social Fresh made a survey to identify the most common social media goals:

 

 

These are all reasonable goals that can surely be achieved.

When it comes to Facebook Goals companies usually make 1 of the following mistakes:
  1. No goals at all
Many companies “know” that they need Social Media. But they don’t know why exactly they need it for their business. The result: A mix of a lot of unrelated posts with little to no impact and the wrong conclusion that “Social Media does not work”.
  1. Unrealistic goals
What usually happens is that people think it is enough to hire a “Social Media Expert” and then to expect X return in sales. For some companies and businesses it works, for most of us, it needs a lot of hard work and the right LONG-TERM strategy before we can actually reap the benefits.
  1. Only 1 goal
Do you remember the buyer’s journey from the infographic above? There is no reason why you should be spending a lot of money and effort on creating brand awareness BUT not asking for the sale. There is also no reason why you should stop marketing to people after the sales. Especially once you understand that gaining 1 new customer is almost always more expensive than keeping this customer. If your product/service is good then it is easy to have the customer buy again or to get referrals. Think of it like dating/relationship: You would not ask for the marriage (sales) before the first date (awareness). And the relationship should not end once the marriage documents have been signed…

 

Bottom line? In order to be successful on Social Media, you need a mix of the right and realistic goals for your brand. In most cases and for maximum effectiveness it is usually a mix of brand awareness, lead generation/sales, brand loyalty and customer service at once.

Target Audience

You have to understand to whom you are talking.

 

This is something that we have all learned as young kids and teens but we easily tend to forget it since we are grown up.

 

Think back and remember how you would ask your parents for permission to stay over at your friend’s house when you were 14 years old. Or how you would present bad school grades to your parents. No matter of your agenda you would think twice if you would talk to mum or dad first. You would even make sure to wait for the perfect timing and have a detailed plan of how to say it.

 

Why? Because you know them and how they would respond. You know that certain messages and times work better than others.

 

This is marketing at its core. And it is the same reason why the majority of Facebook posts have NO impact.

 

They simply don’t talk to their audience.

 

The solution is easy: You need to know exactly who your target audience is. Many businesses have different audiences and hence need to segment their audience into different groups.

Facebook Page Audience Insights

This is a helpful tool to understand your audience better. In the best case, you have already a lot of customers. All you need to do is to upload their information to Facebook and then you will receive a lot of valuable insights from this data.

 

The truth is that Facebook probably knows more about you than you know about yourselves. Seriously. I mean they have been monitoring every little reaction of you for years.

 

For example, we have been selling a product to 2000 customers a few years ago without knowing a lot about them. This was before there was Facebook marketing. Now we have uploaded the information of the customer data (phone number, email, name etc) of these 2000 customers from our database to our (safe and secure) Facebook database. Facebook was able to find 1100 of these people and showed us who they are:

 

– 89% women with the majority been aged between 35 and 54 years old

 

– 40% of these people are working in “Education and Library” and another 40% are working in “Management”

 

 

Now if you have even more data, let’s say a few thousand people in your database, then you have access to even more insights such as:

 

 

 

 

You can see what pages they like, how many people are living in their household, how much their house is worth and more.

 

Scary? Absolutely.

 

George Orwell was obviously right with his predictions…

 

There is no such thing as privacy anymore. I don’t like it either.

 

Now we can either accept the reality and use technology to our advantage or complain and see our competitors using it for their advantages. What do you choose?

 

Personas

 

Remember the insights from our customers above?

 

Most of them are between 35 years old up to 65+. And most of them are working in “Education and Library” or “Management”.

 

You are absolutely right when you say that a 55-year-old woman working in a library is different than 38 years old women working in a management position. And they will react very differently to different kind of messages. This is why segmentation of audiences matters and why you need to have a set of very specific personas based on your target audience.

 

Here is an example of how such a persona looks like:

 

 

Her name is Ella Crowe. If we have 1 Ella Crowe buying our product, then chances are great that there are more Ella Crowes.

 

Don’t judge me.

 

Nobody likes stereotypes.

 

But in marketing, they simply work.

 

What do you think will Ella Crowe do once an add pop ups showing a video with our product in a nice and exotic holiday setting that is embracing freedom? She will watch the video and then read the caption to find out more.

 

What will she be doing when the caption says to “buy our product and feel free and unique”?

 

If you have paid attention to the buyer’s journey then you will agree that she probably does not buy immediately just yet, unless her credit card it sitting loose and it is an impulsive purchase. But at least she will be highly aware and even interested in our product. And whenever she is ready to buy, she will see our ads and buy.

 

Once you have the personas you start thinking differently about your product/service.

 

The question is not any more “What do we post today?” but the question becomes “What will catch Ella Crowe’s attention today (and leads to sales of our product)?”

 

Content Pillars

We have our goals and we know exactly who we want to target. Now we need to relate different types of content to different goals. And then match them with the right formats and the right audiences.

 

For example:

 

Target: Ella Crowe (Audience 1)

 

Pillar 1:
Goal: Brand Awareness
Content Pillar: Emotional Storytelling about our product benefits
Formats: Video or Banners
Audience: Potential New Customers

 

Pillar 2:
Goal: Engagement
Content Pillar: Educational Lifestyle Content
Formats: Banners
Audience: Potential New Customers + Already interested Customers

 

Contentmarketinginstitute has an informative blog post and a nice graphic that explains the possible content pillars from the bird’s view:

 

 

If you want to learn more about the impact of having different content pillars for a different audience than you might be interested in our case study on how we have increased the revenue for the Shark Tank-start up Coco Jack by 126% within 5 weeks.

 

Brand Tone & Voice

i could be writin’ da most useful content in da ghetto. but if i write like “this” dis content would neva work. N’ yo’ would leave dis blog before yo’ even start readin’ dat shit.

 

You see where I am going… If you want to talk and to connect to gangsters in the Bronx, then you need to talk like one. Or you use the lingojam gangster translator (https://lingojam.com/GangsterTalkTranslator).

 

If you want to talk to kids, then you need to talk like kids. Use simple terminology.

 

And most important: It needs to be authentic and constant. Chances are high that there is more than 1 person involved in your marketing. They should all be communicating in the same tone & voice. Using the tone & voice of the people they want to connect to.

 

For this reason, we always set clear guidelines on the brand tone & voice that can then be applied by the whole team, including the sales and customer reps who are taking the conversation further.

Brand Elements

Usually, there is performance marketing and then there is branding.

 

The performance marketing advocate is spending all his efforts and money on campaigns with an immediate payoff. He spends all effort and money where he can see a positive return. If the Facebook ad with the ugly stock picture is making a 2,5x return today, then it will be scaled. Negative comments and feedback will be ignored.

 

The branding advocate does not mind spending hours and hours on the smallest details to get them 100% correct. Even though this specific banner ad would never be seen by more than 5000 people. The branding guy could not tell you and care less what the (measurable) impact of his work is. Did we win or lose money? Hard to say and not so important, as long as it presents our brand well.

 

I have been person 1 for most of my life. This is where I had most of my (measurable) success. Recently we had the pleasure of working with bigger companies including leading advertising/branding agencies likes Ogilvy and Brandaholic and we have been more and more exposed to the branding side of marketing.

 

From my experience, the truth is somewhere in the middle. To get the best results both performance marketing and branding should be working hand in hand. And most important they should be aligned with each other.

 

Let’s have a look:

 

 

Even if you cannot read Thai a quick glance is enough to know which brand is advertising here.

 

This is a quick and random screenshot from the last 20 Facebook posts of Coca Cola.

 

The result is no accident. It is the outcome of a strong brand design strategy implemented in their day to day Facebook marketing activities. And you can be sure that a company of this size and age (84th biggest company in the world) knows a thing or two about marketing. Especially if you consider that they need to sell on emotions, as this is the only real value the drink provides. Nobody would otherwise buy water with an overdose of sugar…

 

We are not saying that your company needs the same 324 slides brand book as Coca Cola. This would be over the top (read: over the budget) of most companies. But at least you need to make sure that the branding delivers on its purposes:

 

You want to be remembered and you want to trigger the right emotions. Design empowers you to directly influence both.

 

We have found that covering the following brand elements is enough for most brands:

 

– Use of Logo

 

Should you use your logo on all content pillars? On all backgrounds? In different colors? Good questions and you should have the answer ready before publishing Facebook posts.

 

– Colour Palette

 

A set of primary and secondary colors make it easy to stand out and to be remembered. Just scroll up to the posts of Coke and see the patterns.

 

– Typography

 

Most brands want to have 2-3 fonts that match their personality and overall design. Consistency is key.

 

– Moodboard

 

A mood board is like an anchor for your design team and makes sure that you are consistently sending the same signals and are triggering the right emotions. Just scroll up again to the posts of Coke and study the patterns.

 

– Photography Mood

 

Stock pictures can be a helpful add-on, but most businesses should be doing their own photography for more authenticity on a regular basis. A photography mood board helps to assure that the photographer “gets” your brand.

 

– Marketing Materials

 

Marketing materials are the result of all of the above. You want to have a set of great looking design styles that you can constantly use for your Facebook posts. It saves time and ensures consistency.

 

Competitors & Market Research

 
Last but not least is an in-depth competitor & market research. In fact, it is one of the first things that we always do when working on a new marketing strategy.

 

Basically, every little detail that you need to know to be successful is already out there. Every little detail. This is the beauty of the information age. All you need to do is to read and apply the knowledge.

 

Do you want to know which Facebook page in Thailand got the most interactions in June 2017? The winner is Allianz Ayudhya. 2 061 457 Interactions.

 

Fastest growing Facebook page? Keep it up Chilindo. 170 020 likes in a month are impressive!

 

Facebook page with the best response time? Hello, AIS Call Center. It takes 9min on average to get a response from you guys!

 

You want to compete with Starbucks and understand which of their posts in the last 3 month (August 2017) got the most and the least comments?

 

Most comments:

 

 

Least comments:

 

  

 

Video versus picture format?

 

 

Best times and days for engagement?

 

 

These and many more valuable insights are out there four business and for your competitors. It is not about re-inventing the wheel, but much more about reading and understanding the available data and making the right decisions based on it.

 

Especially when creating your content pillars and specific post ideas this becomes a powerful tool, as you can see what works and what does not work. Of course it still needs judgment and evaluation by experts, but basically, all the information are out there on the silver-plate.

 

We usually look into the following:

 

Direct competitors:

 

First of all, we need to list of all direct and indirect competitors. This is helpful for benchmarking and for staying up-to-date with latest trends of what works and what not. If you always see what works for your competition then you can use this as a starting point to create even better content. Plus it helps to avoid making the same mistakes (creating content that does not work) than others.

 

Local similar audiences / no competitors:

 

The information from above is helping us to stay on eye-level with our competition. Now with this and the next pieces of information, we will be AHEAD of your competitors, as we can gain additional insights. Let us say your target audience are business people in the age of 30 – 40 years and we are selling premium suits. We can see what their preferred barber and shoe brand are doing well and apply this to your business.

 

International competitors:

 

Thailand definitely has its own culture with very own and special behaviors, especially on Facebook. But 90% of what works great for international brands with the same target audience will also work in Thailand. Having an eye on international competitors adds a LOT more information and inspiration to your strategy.

 

International similar audiences / no competitors:

 

Same as the above. The more great pages you monitor, the more great content ideas you will have.

 

Most parts of the Marketing Strategy are static and it is important to see them as a long-term guide. However the competitor research and analysis should be an ongoing process. It is a huge help to use the research to set the best possible content pillars to start with. Afterwards we recommend to review and analyze what competitors are doing on a monthly basis. This allows you to stay on top of trends and ahead of the competition. Most importantly: You stay up to date about what your target audience cares about.

 

You might still be thinking that you don’t need a proper marketing strategy. Maybe you can do it yourself. Or your marketing manager can do it. I certainly agree. All the information are out there and everybody can learn it with the right amount of time and experience.

 

If the business that you are building needs to compete with other businesses then I highly recommend getting professional help. Consult with professionals who have actually grown businesses with Facebook marketing before.
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