HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Like a moth to a flame, every business owner or marketer needs to be where their audience is at.

And social media platforms are the places to be in this 21st century.

With Facebook and Instagram boasting 2.23 billion and 1 billion Monthly Active Users (MAUs) respectively, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be on at least one social media.

….unless you are happy with how your business is doing offline!

But if where you are now is not yet where you want your business to be, even with a high converting website, then you probably need to get on social media.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

You need to do an inventory of your business.

Before even thinking about which social media to go on, it’s important that you go through these 3 D’s – DEFINE, DETERMINE, DECIDE.

  1. Define your objective on social media.

    Do you want to engage more with your audience, increase web traffic or improve customer service? Having objectives that would bring in value to your business rather than just going for vanity metrics like follower count would increase the likelihood of your audience converting into customers.

    Once you know your exact objectives, you can align them with the platform that will complement your goals.

  2. Determine where your audience hang out and their behaviours.

    When starting your business, you should already have your target audience profile. Knowing how they behave and what they do would give you a clue on where they might hang out online. This way you wouldn’t be wasting your time and money on a platform that your audience is not on.

    Do some research to discover which social media platform your target audience is spending their time on the most.

  3. Decide the resources and skills you need.

    Each social media platform works differently, so you may need different skills or tools for each one. For example, if you intend to put out Facebook ads, you would need some knowledge on how to set up the ad effectively so that it targets the specific audience. If you plan on improving your customer service, then you may need someone to handle a Whatsapp or Twitter account.

    If your current resources or skills don’t match up with what you need, we can help you!

REMEMBER…

Not all social media platforms suit all types of business.

A tailor’s dress-making business is different than a food & beverage business. And so the way they communicate with their audience on social media would be different.

Yes, you would also need to understand the nature of each social media platform, which we will discuss in a minute.

But you should first understand the nature of your service or product.

If you’re selling shoes, how else would your audience be compelled to own them? Perhaps you’d need to post visually-attractive photos. Maybe you need to create a product video to help people understand why your collection is unique. And maybe you could increase engagement by doing giveaway contests.

So instead of just looking at your business as a B2B or B2C, try to understand how your service or product can add value to your audience. That way you can then see how you can market it efficiently on a specific social media platform which serves that particular purpose.

A LOOK INTO TOP SOCIAL MEDIA SITES TO HELP YOU DECIDE

Now that you have an idea about your social media objective, audience behaviour and how you can better market your service or product, it’s time for you to decide the best platform for your business.

And of course, you can choose more than one platform, if your current resources and skills would allow!

Here we list 7 social media platforms which are common and actively used.

  1. FACEBOOK (2.23 billion MAUs)
    – perfect for companies with visually-driven products
    – commonly used by B2C companies that offer discounts, coupons and contests
    – also used by brands for relationship and branding purposes, as well as smaller companies for product awareness campaigns
  2. YOUTUBE (1.9 billion MAUs)
    – especially for visually-driven brands that intend to publish product videos, behind-the-scenes videos and educational videos
    – also for brands in the media and entertainment industry that rely on viewership for brand awareness
  3. WHATSAPP (1.5 billion MAUs)
    – great for individual or small local businesses
    – typically used for customer support, updates and the occasional promotional message blast
  4. INSTAGRAM (1 billion MAUs)
    – perfect for companies with visually-driven products
    – similar mechanics to Facebook but focuses more on high-quality photos and graphics
    – also great for individual artists to display portfolio for commissioned work
  5. TWITTER (335 million MAUs)
    – suitable for publications as the platform focuses more on written words
    – great as a customer service platform especially for large businesses
  6. LINKEDIN (284 million MAUs)
    – perfect for B2B to build brand awareness, share content and network
    – besides establishing authority, businesses also use LinkedIn to attract talents to their company
  7. PINTEREST (250 million MAUs)
    – industries that thrive on Pinterest include fashion, food and e-commerce
    – great for a business with mothers or homemakers as target audience, as 60% of Pinterest social traffic is from home & furnishings category
    – people go on this platform to seek inspiration, so businesses with visually-attractive pictures or graphics may gain a high following

ON TO YOU!

Are you ready to take your business to the next level?

Here’s a summary checklist for you to get your business on social media. (Click here for the pdf worksheet)

Yes, there are a lot of choices out there and it may be hard to come to a decision.

But that’s why second opinions are always helpful.

If you find that you:

  • still struggle to determine which social media platform is best for your business
  • have figured out which platform but don’t know what kind of content to put out
  • are already on social media but not seeing the results you desire

 

…TALK TO US!

 

For the price of $0, we will hear you out and give you our expert advice on how to grow your business on social media.

Claim your free consultation now!

WHY YOU NEED A WEBSITE — Even If You’re A Small Business

As a small business or startup, you’re very careful about your spending.

You go with the most affordable options so that your profits can one day cover up your costs.

So in terms of marketing your business, you’ve decided to only use social media platforms and forgoing building a website mainly because of budget constraints.

You might only need to pay for the ads that you plan to set up.

Everyone’s on social media anyway… right?

Yes, social media is free and easy to set up, and your audience is already there for immediate engagement.

But you’ll probably only go so far as building brand awareness and fans, but not generating the revenue you desire.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA IS GOOD FOR

We can’t deny the benefits of social media. It has helped many businesses to grow and gain popularity.

The 3 main things that social media does well for your business are:

  1. Engagement – being where your audience is, you can directly communicate with them and understand what they like or don’t like.
  2. Brand awareness – creating consistent content on social media helps to get the word out there.
  3. Customer support – as a fast-paced platform, social media is perfect for responding to queries immediately and publicly.

HOWEVER…

Social media reach is declining. This means that not all your followers will see your organic posts.

In 2018, Facebook began to “shift ranking to make News Feed more about connecting with people and less about consuming media in isolation.”

So organic posts may only work well if you’re sharing content with your family and friends who you may interact with daily.

But as a business, it may be a little bit difficult as you need to always be present online.

If you can do that, GREAT!

If you can’t, the solution may be to publish paid posts or ads.

But even if you invest in ads, it’s unlikely that your audience will follow through the sales funnel.

Think about it, when you see a product on Instagram do you usually feel compelled to purchase immediately each time?

The chances are slim to none.

You need to remember that social media is a “see” platform. People go there mainly to browse, not to buy.

So unless you don’t plan to scale up your business, social media is good enough only for awareness and engagement.

WHY YOU NEED A WEBSITE

  1. Social media reach is declining

    With the change in algorithm favouring relevant quality content, organic posts can no longer reach as many people as you’d like. Depending on your business goals and how well you use the targeting feature, paid posts may not be as effective either. So although social media is good in some ways, it’s always better to have your own website as an anchor.

  2. Google conversion rate is higher than Facebook

    Facebook’s conversion rate (4.7%) is a third lower than that of Google at 8.2%. This is because people tend to search for products or services through search engines with a higher likelihood to follow through to checkout. They’re unlikely to do so on social media which is designed as a “browsing” platform rather than a marketplace (although Facebook is trying to make that a thing).

  3. You own your platform

    Being on a third-party platform like Facebook and Instagram means you’re bound by their rules and regulations. This gives limited freedom in terms of content and campaigns. With your own website, you would have more leeway to be creative and customize the way you want your brand to look.

  4. Consumers judge the quality of the company’s website design

    When shopping, we tend to include the website’s design into consideration, sometimes even unconsciously. It’s reported that 75% of consumers admit to judge a company’s credibility based on their website design. Just like going into a physical shop, our buying experience is as important as the product itself. That’s why being able to customize your website is crucial to give a certain impression to your audience which social media can’t provide.

  5. All information can be easily found in one location

    While you may be able to share all necessary information on social media, it can be difficult to retrieve specific information if you’re posting new content every day. The specific information that your audience is looking for might have been buried in the timeline. But with the search toolbar on a website, your audience can easily search for any information that’s even a few years old.

  6. Web analytics provide more insights than social media analytics

    Where social media gives you a look into your audience activity on your posts, web analytics can give you much more especially if you’re an e-commerce business. Your audience’s buying behaviour as well as how they browse your site can be tracked and measured. Web Analytics may come in the bigger picture of Marketing Analytics which cover a lot more than on social media, as it provides a wider integration between platforms.

 

ALL POINT TO THE NEED TO ESTABLISH CREDIBILITY

Having a website shows that you’re serious and willing to up your game.

There are thousands of competitors in your industry and the big names have millions of followers on social media.

So how can you top that?

You establish your own credibility not just through social media but also with a beautifully-designed and user-friendly website.

WHAT YOU NEED FOR YOUR WEBSITE

  1. Hosting – the service providing space on the internet for your website
  2. Domain name – your website identity shown as www.yourcompany.com
  3. Design – to create a pleasant user experience
  4. Plugins and extensions – to add specific functionality to your website

Think of creating a website like buying a house:

You choose your location.

You put your name on it.

You design it so that it looks welcoming.

You invite people to come over.

Your website is a lifelong INVESTMENT worth your time and money!

“BUT I DON’T HAVE THE BUDGET…”

To be perfectly blunt, no one’s stopping you from not growing your business. 

But do you compromise on registering your business or get a legit certification?

No.

So why would you compromise on investing on a website that would help increase business revenue and customer trust?

Tip: Set aside your budget for website building. It will pay off if you put in the work.

“BUT I DON’T NEED MORE BUSINESS…”

Say you’re a restaurant owner and your offline business is doing well. You think you don’t need a website because your business is already doing well. Or maybe you’re not an e-commerce business and you don’t think a website would help your business.

If you think a website’s function is only to make a profit, then you might not understand it very well.

Even if you’re a restaurant owner who doesn’t necessarily need more customers, you could add value to your existing customers by providing them services such as online booking or a display of your menu. This convenience may seem insignificant but it may be just the thing that helps your brand grow.

Tip: Think of a website more holistically – how can you add more value to your audience even if you don’t need to generate profit directly?

“BUT I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DESIGN A WEBSITE…”

Now that you know it’s better to have a website in addition to social media in terms of ownership, design, analytics and convenience, it’s time to take action.

Good news is that you don’t need to know how to code or design a website.

You can either…

  1. Set up everything yourself (purchase hosting and domain, design your website, add plugins yourself) while making more mistakes than necessary, or… 
  2. Let us do all the work for you so that you get only what you truly need for your website.

OUR PROVEN RECORD OF INCREASING LEADS & SALES

As mentioned before, your website is an investment. Together with a strategic marketing tactic, you’ll be seeing leads and sales coming in.

And that’s what Dr Ko Skin Specialist, an Aesthetic & Beauty company, gained by working with us.

Result #1 – 300% INCREASE IN LEADS​

We optimized their main website – KoSkinSpecialist.com – and witnessed an increase from 40 leads to 150 leads in one month.

Result #2 – 300% INCREASE IN SALES

We build their e-commerce site – DrKoSkinCare.com – with an initial cost of RM 40,000 that was essentially paid back as they gained a profit from RM 120,000 in sales within the first month.

This is not an isolated case, as we have launched more than 500 websites with over 400 satisfied clients!

Remember, your website is just the beginning of an amazing journey for your business.

What comes after is what would set you apart from the rest.

Wait no more and grab this opportunity!

6 Strategies to Strengthen Your Brand

You’ve been in the game for one year, two years or maybe ten.

What started as a passion project has turned into something more meaningful to you. But what may be meaningful to you doesn’t seem to be so to others.

You’ve done all the funnel sequences, yet you’re not reaching your sales goal.

You’ve put out content every single day, yet your follower count hasn’t even reached 10k.

You begin to doubt whether your product or service actually brings value to your audience. You begin to doubt whether they even know what your brand actually is.

Why Do You Need A Strong Brand?

You want your brand to stand out from your competitors. You want your audience to know and trust you. You want your customers to choose you over any other.

That’s why you need to be unique, different and interesting.

Think about Nike. There are thousands of footwear and apparel companies out there but Nike is one of the biggest – if not the biggest – companies out there.

Everyone knows Nike.

Sure, Nike has years of experience to their advantage but that doesn’t discredit the tremendous amount of effort they put to make their brand stand out.

From holding true to their core message to creating various campaigns, Nike has earned the recognition they deserve.

The longer you keep at it and continue to find new ways to strengthen your brand and message, the better you can build credibility along the way.

How to Create a Brand?

A brand is not just a name or a logo.

Your brand is what people think or say about you. It’s what you give out to your customers. It’s their experience with you.

Here are six guidelines for you to consider when building your brand:

1. HAVE A PURPOSE

Why are you doing what you’re doing?

If you can’t answer that question, you can’t expect your target audience to resonate with you.

Before you can persuade your audience to support you, you need to persuade yourself why your business matters and why it would be worth every hardship that will come your way.

Building a brand is not a one-off thing; it’s a journey. And your core purpose is what would keep you going when the going gets tough.

2. BE CONSISTENT

On a business perspective, it’s good to keep things fresh.

It’s alright to change things up a bit to give something new to your audience. But you shouldn’t change your core message too much. Otherwise, you may risk confusing your audience.

Once Nike had found their empowering message, “Just Do It”, they have stuck to it since. They then play around with how they present that message in their campaigns to introduce fresh ideas yet still keeping that core message intact.

Now everyone associates the “Just Do It” tagline to Nike.

Many even use it as a form of motivation to live their day-to-day lives.

If you consistently put out one clear message that adds value to your audience’s lives, you’ll surely be remembered.

3. BUILD EMOTIONAL CONNECTION

When we buy something, we’re often guided by our emotions.

Most of the time, we would buy something that would solve our problems or make us feel good.

Your job is to plan a marketing strategy that would tap onto your audience’s emotions or pain points.

This does not necessarily mean having to be negative, but rather looking at the perspective of making your audience’s lives easier or better.

When you connect with your customers, you’re building a sense of belonging and trust in them. Once they realise that your product or service is helping them, they’re more likely to be lifelong customers.

So building emotional connection is not just for the spur of the moment but also to create a sustainable relationship with your customers.

4. BE FLEXIBLE

While it’s important to stay consistent with your brand message, your marketing approach can be as flexible as you want it to be.

You can create as many campaigns as necessary with as many creative ideas as possible. Your aim is to capture your audience’s interest and convert them into buying customers.

This would take a lot of trial and error but as long as you do whatever it takes to get your core message out there, your brand will strengthen over time.

5. REWARD LOYAL CUSTOMERS

When you’re at a point where you’re seeing returning customers, it means your strategies are playing out well.

But you shouldn’t stop there.

This is an opportunity to further strengthen your brand by rewarding your loyal customers. Remember, without your customers, success wouldn’t have come easily.

Give them special discounts or even free gifts. Set up birthday rewards when they sign up as a member. Give them a shoutout on your social media.

Whatever it is, make sure you communicate to your loyal customers that you appreciate their support thus far.

6. EMPOWER EMPLOYEES

What has your employees got to do with strengthening your brand?

While your customers support your brand from the outside, your employees support your brand from the inside.

Your employees are the backbone of your business. Without them, your business wouldn’t have been built to what is today.

Give your employees the chance to actively contribute to building your brand.

When you and your employees are on the same track and holding onto the same core values, it would be easier to deploy strategies to strengthen your brand.

How Do You Present Your Brand?

Now that you know how to create and strengthen your brand, now it’s time to show it.

There are many ways you can present your brand to the world and no doubt that you would change your strategies from time to time.

But here are the main points you need to consider:

  • Design a Brand Identity including logo, typography and colour
  • Set up a website, sales page or landing page to direct online customers
  • Create a social media strategy with eye-catching designs and clever copywriting to lead potential customers to your sales page

Remember, a brand is more than just a nice logo or aesthetic social media feed.

It’s the effort you put in to give value to your customers in every step of their buying journey.

Let Shock Media Studio help you strengthen your brand!

We offer an all-round digital marketing service that not only creates amazing designs for your social media and website but also helps you figure out the best strategy to place your brand at the top of the market.

Contact us for FREE CONSULTATION!!

 

Organic VS Paid Advertising on Facebook: Which is Better?

The market is competitive.

There are more ads than ever bombarding your news feed space.

As a result, your posts aren’t showing up first on your audience’s timeline.

Face it — organic reach is declining.

Your regular posts aren’t reaching to as many of your fans as you’d like.

And it doesn’t help that Facebook has tweaked its algorithm to show only relevant content to users. How can you possibly reach more people, especially those who don’t already know about you?

Paid reach is the number of people who had a paid post from your Page enter their screen. Organic reach is the number of people who had an unpaid post from your Page enter their screen.

Although this is the reality that we are facing, it doesn’t mean we should neglect organic marketing altogether.

PERKS OF ORGANIC MARKETING

Yes, we’ve just said that organic reach may not be the best, but hold your horses! Organic marketing still has its value.

If you’re just starting out your business without much budget for marketing, you can publish your marketing posts on Facebook for FREE.

You will be more strategic and creative with your ideas and how you structure your content.

This means you would put 100% focus on meeting the exact needs of your target audience.

No fluff. Just being real.

When you know exactly who you’re selling your product to and truly give them value WITHOUT even putting money into your posts, you might actually gain more trust from your audience.

Furthermore, you can set the targeting according to your audience interest. Yes, you can do this without boosting your post! Just make sure that you turn on the targeting option on your Facebook page at:

Setting > General > Audience optimization for posts

And from time to time, remind your audience to turn on post notification on your page so that they don’t miss out any of your posts.

HOW TO KEEP FB FANS ENGAGED

Bear in mind that if you are starting with zero contacts or network, it would be more difficult for you to get the word out there.

However, there are some tips for you to acquire some following and keep your fans engaged:

  • Give a reason for people to keep coming back to your page. If you’ve established a Unique Selling Proposition that actually adds value to your audience, then you’re winning. Remember, always ask yourself “What value am I providing for my fans?”
  • Post quality content that would encourage engagement. You can put up content such as giveaways, competition or surveys.
  • Interact with fans by responding to all queries and complaints. Show that you care about their thoughts and make them feel like a part of the community.
  • Put in effort on offline word of mouth marketing. As much as online marketing may be helpful, actually talking to your peers or even relatives would help you get some following to your page. All you need to do is talk about it and ask people to like your page.

PERKS OF PAID ADVERTISING

The purpose of boosting your post, or in other words paid advertising, is to reach more people.

These are primarily the people who have not yet liked your page or know about your business but show similar interests to and/or fit the demographics of your target audience.

Facebook said you should assume organic reach will eventually arrive at zero. Considering that, it’s wise to include paid ads into your marketing budget.

HOW TO SET UP PAID AD

With a Facebook Page, you can easily boost your post:

  • Click on the ‘Boost’ option on your post that you’re creating
  • Select the audience type
  • Allocate the budget for the post
  • Select the duration for the ad to be boosted

You can then publish immediately or schedule your ad so that it goes up at a specific time.

AND THE WINNER IS…

Knowing that Facebook organic reach is declining, boosting your posts is probably the best way to reach a wider audience of similar interests.

However, you would need to be more intentional and specific so that Facebook doesn’t see either your organic or paid post as irrelevant to your audience.

Technically, you can boost all your post. But if your budget does not allow, consider what the purpose of your post is and which would be worth boosting.

Here are a few guidelines to go by:

  • If you’re aiming to just connect with or update current fans, then it’s not necessary to boost the post.
  • If you’re aiming to get more leads or engagement, then you may boost the post.
  • If you’re offering a product or service, then you should definitely consider boosting.

HOW SHOCK CAN HELP YOU

While it’s easy enough to boost one post, it can get a bit complicated when you’re planning a whole campaign and boosting several ads at once.

We can help you with setting up ad campaigns via Facebook Business Manager, as well as planning your social media content and execute the creative direction.

Essentially, we go beyond the basics.

We make sure to be more specific in terms of interest targeting, using custom audience from your existing email list and make full use of Facebook Audience Insights to learn more about your audience for better targeting.

If you’re interested to win your audience TODAY and be better than your competitors, then we’re more than happy to help!

Contact us for FREE consultation!

3 Engaging Videos You Need For Your Business Right Now

Brand video — check.

Explainer video — check.

Product review video — check.

Your viewers know who you are.

Now, they are hungry for more.

How else can you build interest and hold their attention to your brand message?

Here are 3 videos you may want to create to add value to your viewers and increase engagement:

1. VLOG

People relate to people.

An individual’s story may resonate so much more than just a product video. That is why video blogs are powerful in terms of gaining interest, leads and customers. So if your business has a personality or voice behind it, use it.

With the likes of Casey Neistat and Gary Vaynerchuk making it a popular method to connect with an audience, there are already blueprints for every business personality to start vlogging.

The great thing about making vlogs is that it’s easy to produce. You’d only need as few as one camera or smartphone to start with as well as an editing software.

Once you’re ready to take the next step, you may employ a full production team to shoot and edit the vlogs for you, giving you the full focus to win your audience.

The most important thing to remember is to be consistent with your message and post your vlogs regularly to gain traction.

2. INTERVIEWS

People like to watch people talk.

Conducting an interview with an influential person would not only benefit your viewers but it would also mean broadening your network and knowledge for the benefit of your business.

That influential person may be someone your audience already knows (an author, a well-known entrepreneur, a motivational speaker, etc) or it may be someone they don’t know but would enjoy listening to.

A great example would be Marie Forleo who is a life coach and motivational speaker. She puts out valuable content online and has interviewed many well-known entrepreneurs and personalities such as Elizabeth Gilbert, Tim Ferriss and Tony Robbins.

3. COMPANY CULTURE

People want to see what other people are doing.

Showcasing your company’s culture in a video would give your viewers and customers a sense of your organisation’s values, mission and the dynamics between team members.

This may help them understand why your company is different or even better than your competitors. It would also help strengthen brand loyalty as you give your customers the inside scoop.

Company culture videos would also attract prospective employees who would help grow your company to greater heights.

In any part of your marketing or sales funnel, videos play a valuable role in your business be it attracting new leads, turning them into paying customers or retaining them.

Implementing the right tips for effective video marketing will make your video stand out among the crowd.

The key is to have a solid marketing strategy to figure out what kind of videos that would best represent your brand message.

Need help with creating engaging videos?

Contact us for a FREE session to discuss what kind of videos that may just make your brand go viral!

Plan Your Social Media Content and Enjoy Your Holidays

It’s Chinese New Year season but you’re stuck in front of the computer.

You need to make sure that all your social media posts are ready and you need to post them at the right time. Otherwise, you’ll lose out on the clients.

How you wish you had planned this earlier and schedule your post ahead of time.

Now you’re missing out on all the festivities.

This is why a solid social media strategy and advanced planning is important to keep you worry-free, get ahead of the game and allow you to enjoy the holidays when you need to!

THE MACRO

social media strategy checklist

click to download checklist

The first part in your social media strategy and planning is to get your building blocks firmly in place so that whenever you think you’re falling off, you have something to get back to.

Stating your social media mission will help you to know what you want out of your social media marketing. Why do you want to share your products on social media? What do you want to get out of this? What do you want to achieve?

Profiling target audience or ideal customers like a forensic agent will guide you to getting your content to the potentially interested audience quicker. Once you know your buyer personas such as age, location, interests and pain points, you can better curate the content.

Choosing the right social media platform is crucial. You wouldn’t want to be where your target audience is not spending their time at. This is also another reason why you need to know who your audience is. You don’t have to prepare content for every social media platform there is. Unless your aim is to create brand awareness to a wide range of audience. But if you’re just starting out, be where your audience is.

Fill out the brand’s profile on every bio section so people know who you are right away. Create a killer one-liner if you have to. Tell your audience who you are and what you are offering to them. This helps generate interest and make your audience want to know more.

Determine the brand voice and style so that it’s consistent throughout. This would also help you be in the right character when curating the content.

Know which metrics to track from the get-go. It helps if you know your social media mission first so that you know which metrics to keep an eye on.

THE MICRO

The second part is zooming into your content mechanics i.e. strategizing the best ways to get your content out there and actually curating the content.

This is how you’ll get things done way ahead of time so that you can (finally) enjoy your holiday.

Strategize Your Social Media Content

First thing’s first, you need to decide how often you’re posting on social media and at what times. There are numerous guidelines on ideal posting time and frequency, but we suggest that you pay close attention to your followers’ activity.

Next you need to decide what type of content you want your post to be. Is it a short video, a flat lay photograph or an infographic? Whatever it is, make sure that it’s the type of content that your audience wants to see and that it’s suitable for the platform it will be posted on. Then, go ahead and create and curate the engaging content that will attract your audience.

Finally, schedule your content to ensure that it gets posted on time. You can either create a content calendar and manually keep track or you can save some trouble by using a social media management tool. If you’re posting on multiple platforms, it’s worth investing on software such as Hootsuite, Buffer or CoSchedule that helps you plan, schedule, post and track the performance of your posts.

A tip to get your Instagram grid looking top notch, you can use feed organizer tools such as Unum, Plann, Preview and Planoly which help you arrange the grid to look like how you want it to look like before posting them. You can also allow the app to post it on your behalf.

Now that you have set up your social media plans and let automation tools do the posting for you, there’s only one thing left to do: ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY!

AFTER HOLIDAY – Track, Analyze, Optimize

Once you’ve come back from your well-deserved break, all you need to do is to track the metrics, analyze the performance and based on the results, optimize your content strategy!

Remember, social media is supposed to be fun and engaging.

To embody that spirit, you must make social media planning as least stressful as possible.

Having years of experience, we at Shock Media Studio know the right tools to get your content out there in the most efficient way.

Claim a free consultation with us and find out how to win at social media without compromising your holidays!

5 Marketing Tips You Can Learn From Gary Vaynerchuk

You’re sat there wondering, “Why isn’t anything working?”

“Why am I not hitting my ROI?”

“Why isn’t my email list growing?”

“Maybe I’m missing something…”

Maybe you’re right.

The harsh truth is that many business owners out there only think about themselves or their company.

They work so hard to create the most attractive ads, the most responsive websites and the most brilliant product.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with doing the best for their business; it’s their baby after all.

But they forgot one important element to feed their baby: CUSTOMERS.

You may have the greatest product, but without building a relationship with your customers — the heart and soul of your business — your product is just a thing.

This is what entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk always talks about on his social media, speeches and books. It’s not the idea of ‘the customer is always right’ or ‘customers come first’, rather it’s the effort of adding value to your customer.

Here are 5 top tips for marketers and entrepreneurs who wish to take their business to a more personal level.

1. GIVE, GIVE, GIVE

Before you sell anything, you have to give.

Free tasters, free offers, free knowledge… you name it!

Like movie teasers, these free offerings create anticipation towards your core product.

They show your potential customers what they could expect when they purchase your product.

You may tap into their problems, worries or difficulties and offer simple solutions (for free) that are actually a supplement to your main product.

Once they realise that your simple solution is effective, they would want more.

So put out as much free content as possible to not only build your audience but also allowing you to subsequently have the audacity to ask them to buy when it’s time for your sales pitch.

2. Connect with Customers

When you give, you’re inadvertently building a relationship with your customer.

This includes giving your time and attention to them.

You need to establish that 1-to-1 relationship so that they feel valued or that they matter.

They want to know that you truly care about them.

This is why replying to messages on social media and emails are so important. It may seem like an insignificant process but to the eyes of a customer, it may mean a lot.

And once in a while, make the effort to ask for feedback. Again, this would show that you care about their opinion and want to listen to them. Then, make improvements according to the feedback. Your customers would see that their suggestions were truly valued.

3. Be Relevant

It’s okay to play by the book, but sometimes you need to get your nose out of it and meet your customer eye to eye.

Know your customer well and cater your content to them. Tell stories that they can relate to and information that they can learn from.

And it’s okay if the creative work you put out is not always sales driven or has no mention of your product.

Most of the time, it’s the content that surrounds your product that may be more impactful. So you have to find ways to use it and somehow relate it to your product.

4. Be Adaptive

With so many different platforms out there, there are so many opportunities to market your product or service.

It’s tempting to get on every social media platform so that you may reach a wider audience. While this is in a way strategic, for some businesses, this may not be productive at all.

Not all your target customers spend time on every social media there is.

So you need to identify where they spend their time most.

This is so that you can shape your content or how you market your product in a way that suits the platform.

You can’t just standardise everything; it doesn’t always work well.

And if most of them are not on social media, bring your business offline.

Know which platforms your target audience is spending their time on and apply different strategies for different platform.

This is why you need to keep an open mind and always ready to adapt when the situation arises.

In short, always be aware of current needs and trends. Then, adapt them to your current marketing strategy.

5. See Big Picture

If you’re in it for a quick buck, know that you won’t last.

To really succeed in business, you’d need to ensure that your business model provides lifetime value to your customers.

That way, you’ll see a higher retention rate over time.

Have a goal in mind and ruthlessly pursue it.

Put in value in every part of your marketing strategy and people will soon notice your worth.

marketing tips by gary vaynerchuk

(click to enlarge infographic)

Are you actually adding value and improving people’s lives with your product?

Here at Shock Media Studio, we ensure that every content we put out benefits not only our clients but their target audience as well.

Sign up for a free consultation with us and we’ll discuss more on how you can shape your marketing strategy in a way that would add value to your customers.

Here’s How to Build Relationships With Sales Email

In the previous article, we laid out the core structure of your sales email.

Now, you need to fill it in. We’ll give you four key points to guide you to flesh out your email that will:

  1. grab your prospect’s attention.
  2. maintain their interest and not lose them halfway.
  3. not sound awkward or pushy.
  4. close the deal.

The idea here is to treat your prospect as though you are in a committed relationship and you want to take it to the next level. Put yourself in that mindset each time you’re communicating to your prospect and you’ll see how your relationship with them evolve.

SECURING THE RELATIONSHIP WITH CONTENT

All relationships require time, effort and meaning to last.

If you treat your prospects the same way you would a relationship, then your prospect would keep wanting to read your sales email. To them, it won’t feel like selling anymore; it would feel like a two-way committed relationship.

There are many ways to construct your email. You can give a short, straightforward but all the same impactful email or you can bring them on a journey with an exciting story. You can tell it all in one email or you can spread it out in several.

Whatever it is, make sure you don’t lose their interest at any point.

The quickest way to ruin the relationship is if you offer them a ring without putting any meaning or experience to it.

So please do us a favour: do anything but selling. At least not in the first paragraph or the first email.

In short, take it slow but impactful.

Start On The Same Page

When you first meet someone, you tend to find some common interest that would keep the conversation going. If one finds the topic boring, they might just not pay attention anymore.

Same goes to emailing your prospect.

You’d want to talk about something that might interest them and meet them where they are assuming you already know who your target audience is. But here’s the catch: don’t start talking about your offer just yet.

Instead, talk about a topic surrounding the theme of your product or service. Tell a story that shares similar themes or qualities that you’ve already picked out from the product or service you wish to sell.

Why tell a story rather than getting straight to the point?

Well, it’s because you and your prospect need to get on the same page, meet eye to eye, and develop the relationship on an emotional level. This will keep their attention and make them feel like they matter in the conversation.

You need to get to the mind of your prospect and uncover the problems that they might be facing as well as the dreams that they want to achieve.

Hook Your Prospect With Interesting Stories

The more interesting, entertaining or even weird the stories you present, the more memorable they become. The point is to keep your prospect engaged.

But remember to not stray your stories away too far from the main point you wish to convey. You may lose their interest and make them confused rather than excited. When in doubt, stick to just one story.

How do you create the stories?

Good news is that you don’t have to create from scratch. But you do need to find interesting articles, meaning you need to develop the habit of reading. (But if you’re not already reading, why are you writing?)

Then, you need a story bank to keep all the links to the articles so that you have easy access for when you need them.

There’s no right or wrong to picking a story. The challenge is to relate the story to your product or service.

Transition Without Sounding Awkward

So you’ve told your story and your prospect is all ears. You’ve spent quite a bit of time over a course of a few emails to get them hooked.

Now it’s time to take the relationship to the next level and introduce your product or service.

But how do you do it without sounding awkward, abrupt or pushy?

Well, there’s no other way around it other than just saying it. But you can make it sound like it’s a part of the story you were telling. It will seem natural and effortless once you’ve set your prospect on the journey of discovery with you.

One tip to ease them into it is to add a transitional copy. This could be a paragraph that could connect from the story to your product or service, a series of quotes or existing testimonials, and even pictures.

Close The Deal

This is where you give that ring and ask them to take action. After pouring all your heart out to them, it’s now their turn to react and hopefully say YES!

You may want to add some pressure by introducing scarcity or perks to the offer. Remember, the more time is lost, the more likely your prospect will forget about it.

Also, don’t be afraid to be direct while still keeping to the same tone and manner throughout. You don’t want to ruin the moment all of a sudden. Besides, you still need their trust for them to click through to the next step.

READY TO WRITE YOUR SALES EMAIL?

There you have it! We’ve given you the recipe to write the most compelling and well-structured emails to your prospects.

All you need to do now is to curate those emails on your preferred email marketing software and watch your sales grow.

Key takeaway points:

  1. Tell interesting stories to keep your prospect’s attention.
  2. Uncover your prospect’s problems and dreams.
  3. Only introduce your product or service towards the end.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask your prospect to take action.

Need some help on actually writing your sales email? Contact us!

How to Effectively Structure Your Sales Email

You’ve managed to get your prospects to willingly give their email addresses to you. It almost feels like you’ve got a girl’s number after a night out. All you need to do now is ask her out and keep her interested in you.

What do you do next?

Well, you need to keep her interested and eventually ask her out.

This is the same concept for writing a sales email. It’s like writing a love letter but with an advanced system which is more sophisticated than just sliding into their DM.

There are two things to consider when writing your sales email: structure and content.

We’ll break down each of those two components further into actionable steps that would help you to:

  1. grab your prospect’s attention.
  2. maintain their interest and not lose them halfway.
  3. not sound awkward or pushy.
  4. close the deal.

Sounds good? Let’s begin!

LAYING THE FOUNDATION

Like any other writing technique, you need to structure your email. The main goal here is to get your prospects to read it. From the subject line all the way to the signature, we’ll guide you through the five components needed in each of your sales emails.

Treat Your Subject Line As Your Life Line

Here’s the harsh truth: the first impression is everything for a Sales Email.

Your prospects do judge the email by the subject line. They wouldn’t want to open an email that may not be worth their time, especially considering the hundreds of emails in their inbox, all waiting for their attention.

The important emails that would surely get opened would be work-related emails. Promotional emails would most likely be ignored. And if they use Gmail, your email might just get tucked in the Promotions tab, left unread.

Your job is to make your emails sound important.

This is why you need to consider the Subject Line of an email as a matter of life and death.

Take a house. People would most likely stop and stare at a beautifully built mansion rather than a shabby old terrace.

If the subject doesn’t catch your prospect’s attention enough to want to open your email, then you automatically miss out on the chance to even tell what your product or service is about, let alone sell it.

The key to creating an interesting Subject Line is to already have your idea or content ready, which would give you a better understanding of the main point you wish to convey. Similar to building a mansion, the structure and interiors would have already been done prior to making the exterior look presentable.

This means you don’t bother with the Subject Line until you’ve written out the content of your email.

Give A Welcoming Embrace At The Opening Line

While your Subject Line determines whether your email is opened or not, the first few lines will decide whether your prospect reads through the rest of your email.

This is just like a video on social media; if it doesn’t capture a viewer’s attention within the first 3 seconds, then all hard work is lost.

So what you’d want to do is to make your opening line sound welcoming, like you’re inviting them to come into your mansion and making them feel at home. They would inadvertently think that they should stick around for a bit to see if there’s a swimming pool at the back.

But here’s the catch: don’t say anything about the swimming pool just yet. You’ll lose the sense of anticipation and surprise which are key to holding your prospect’s attention.

You don’t want them to leave too soon.

At this stage, all you have to do is create the situation – the interior design – to be interesting enough that would make your prospect’s mind wonder whether there will be more to come.

Tell Compelling Stories In The Body Copy

Continuing on from the Opening Line, you need to build up a story that would eventually relate to your product or service, without actually revealing your product or service just yet.

This is the main chunk of your email.

This is your chance to show around your mansion, the inspiration behind it, what struggles you went through, your interactions with the construction workers and so on. Paint a picture in your prospect’s head that complements the current situation to evoke certain emotions.

Selling is all about storytelling. Make your stories sound important, relevant and relatable.

Once you’ve painted that picture and created even more questions in your prospect’s minds, then and only then you’re ready to introduce the solution i.e. your product or service.

Ask Them To Do Something At The Closing Copy

Once you’ve described what benefits they will get from using your product or service, how their problems would be solved or their desires would be achieved, you then close the deal.

Most people are afraid to sound too pushy or not popping the important question. So they end the house tour abruptly and expect the prospect to just jump into the pool.

At this point, the prospect is in fact itching to jump into the pool. However, you’re the host and they don’t want to seem rude. Perhaps they don’t even know the right protocols. Should they change to proper swimming attire? Should they wear sunscreen first?

What exactly must your prospect do?

This is where you need to give them the push (though not so roughly) and encourage them to take the leap.

You need to spell it out and give them the right direction. You’ve done most of the part not talking about your product or service so this is the time you do just that. You’ve earned their attention so you do have the right to ask.

If your offer is compelling enough, then your prospect would take the leap and click through the link you’ve asked them to click on.

Give A Good Send-Off With A Signature

Before leaving your prospect to enjoy the offer, you need to let them know that they’re always welcomed and that the offer is theirs for the taking.

Sure some prospects might have already jumped ahead but the signature at the end of the email is to give the final push for those who are still having doubts.

This is when you use the “P.S.” to good use.

You emphasise to them the offer again in a concise manner and add pressure.

They need to get into the pool quick before it rains or before more people come and crowd the pool.

That would compel your prospect to act there and then.

READY TO WRITE YOUR SALES EMAIL?

Let’s recap the 5 key ingredients you need when structuring your sales email:

In the next article, we’ll talk about the actual content of your email and how you can go about telling a compelling story to keep your prospects engaged.

Need some help on actually writing your sales email? Contact us!

3 Tips for Choosing an Email Marketing Software

Once you know how significant email marketing is, you’d want to get straight into it!

“But how do I actually start?”

“Is there a software to automate the process? If so, which one do I choose?”

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

With a lot of email marketing software and automation tools out there, it can get kinda (very!) confusing. Obviously, you’d want the best features but with reasonable pricing.

So we’re here to break it down for you.

Before looking at any email marketing software, you’d need to do a few things first to figure out what you truly need.

1. Evaluate your business strategy

Each email marketing software has various packages and pricing. They differ in terms of features and/or the size of your email subscribers.

The general rule is that the more subscribers you have and/or the more features you require from the software, the more you’d have to pay for the service.

It’s tempting to go straight for the best features, but we’d recommend you to take a step back and see where your business is at.

Are you a small business or a corporate company?
How many customers do you currently have?
What value are you giving to your customers?
What’s your company’s growth projection?

These may sound like some serious life questions but you’ll thank us later!

Knowing where your company stands and the number of customers you currently have would help in determining which email marketing platform is the right fit.

Figuring out where you’re going with your business and what value you’d bring to your customers would help in eliminating much of the potential issues you might face with an email marketing platform.

In short, analyse your current situation and determine your future goals!

2. Decide the features you need

When you browse through an email marketing platform, you’d find that there are a lot of features — some of which you might not know what it’s for!

It would take time and experience to really understand the features and what suits your business, but we’ve picked out several to help you consider for a start:

  1. A/B testing or split testing
    This is to compare two or more variations of an email to see which performs better. This feature may be limited in certain email software, but having it is useful for you to know which strategy works.
  2. Automation
    Most email marketing software does have automation that responds to a time schedule or trigger based on a customer’s behaviour. But as with A/B testing, the extent of which may be limited. A simple automation response should be good enough for a start.
  3. List segmentation
    If your company deals with different types of customers, it’s better to consider a software that allows you to separate your email list. That way you’re able to tailor your email based on the different types and behaviours of your customers.
  4. Reporting
    You’d need to know whether your target customers are reading your emails and taking action. Generally, all email platforms provide reporting but some might not be as detailed as others. So it’s important to decide to what extent you need the data.
  5. Template
    If you’re fussy about template designs, then you’d probably need to consider the platform that offers a variety of customizable email template. But whatever it is, make sure it’s easy on the eyes!
  6. Integration
    Almost all email marketing software has some form of integration with other marketing software such as WordPress and WooCommerce. Again, it depends on your business strategy.
  7. Migration
    If for some reason you’re not satisfied with the current software, you’d want to migrate your list to a different one. Most software offer free migration only if you’re on the highest package. Otherwise, you might need to pay a fee. This may be less of a concern for now but it’s good to be aware of this feature.
  8. Customer service
    We’d all want a smooth operation, and a good support system would mean a richer experience. All platforms boast about their great service so it’s worth the time to read the reviews, just to be sure!

It’s quite a lot to consider but it’s essential to know what you need to improve your marketing strategy. Having this in mind would help in determining which package to choose from and ensure that you don’t pay more for fewer features!

3. Determine your budget

Once you have analysed your business capacity and have an idea of what email marketing features you need, it’s time to look at the pricing.

Here’s where you need to be realistic. You can’t expect the greatest features if you can’t afford to pay for it. And it all depends on the size and potential of your business.

That’s why you first need to analyse your current business strategy and decide on the features suitable for your current needs. As your business grows, only then you’d take on more features that would help support it.

So if you’re starting out as a small business, it would mean that your number of subscribers is relatively small. In this case, you’d probably not need the list segmentation feature and settle for the limited A/B testing and automation.

As your business grows as a large company (or perhaps your business is already at this stage!), then you may opt for the list segmentation feature to manage your growing subscriber list that may consist of different types of customers. At this point, you’d also need a more advanced automation system.

We’ve compiled and compared several email marketing software and automation tools that may help you decide to use for your marketing strategy.

email marketing software comparison

Shock Suggests

If you’re a small business or a non-profit organisation, MailChimp is a good start as it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers. Although the features are limited, we’d say it’s good enough for a start.

For us, we prefer ActiveCampaign. It’s one of the most affordable tools that are easy to use and provide an extensive range of features. Starting from $9 a month for up to 500 subscribers, it’s worth the try for even a small business. Larger companies would definitely appreciate the targeted email campaign whereby segmentation of contacts based on actions, location, behaviour and social data is possible.

If ActiveCampaign is a college student, it could be described as “An All-Rounder” in the yearbook. It’s favoured by many companies and has been dubbed the best overall email marketing tool!

Excited to get started on your first email campaign?

We’ve got your back!

From setting up the backend automation procedures to curating a series of email content for conversion, we’ll make your emails as exciting as receiving a handwritten letter complete with a waxed seal from your Spanish friend.

Just fill in your details below and we’ll talk over your grand marketing plan!

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