Hail & Fail
#4 16th March 2017
Know your target audience. Explore ways of marketing your business well on social media and make sure you make the most of its potential with a good strategy.
In the Frame
This week’s Hail is a great example from University Frames who offer professional frames for all universities. The used the targeting options Facebook offers to provide a product specifically to its target audience.
Facebook can be a great place for you to market your business if your audience is there. You may not think your audience is on Facebook, but they probably are, you just need to approach them in a different way because they may not be in business mode when using it.
For University Frames, it’s highly likely that their audience of university graduates will probably be on Facebook. Facebook provides the opportunity to send targeted advertisements to its users based on the information they have added to their profile.
If a Facebook user has their university listed on their profile, this information can be used by an advertiser to communicate with its target audience. University Frames targeted its advert to university students and in the campaign image shown below was aimed at graduates of Liverpool John Moores University.
A lot of graduates may have their degree certificate tucked away in a drawer at home, so offering a professional frame is a service thousands of people may be interested in. The copy of the advert prompts the graduate to frame their degree and the image is specifically of a Liverpool John Moores certificate.
With the ability to target universities on a specific basis offered by Facebook’s targeted advertising, University Frames will no doubt have targeted other universities throughout the UK.
If you know your audience intimately, you can consider Facebook advertising immediately. If you’re not quite sure who your target audience is and where they are, you need to adequately build an image of who they are.
With Facebook advertising, you can target geographical location, age, gender, interests and of course the university a user attended to help you execute campaigns that will reach the specific segment of your audience you need to reach.
With a well written message and images that speak directly to your audience, you can run an extremely profitable campaign.
- Know your audience
- Segment your audience
- Craft a message designed for a specific segment
Advertising on digital platforms can be the most cost effective way to reach your audience. To make the most of it, you need to understand who wants your product and build up a picture of them. With this picture, you can make best use of the data available and get your message in front of exactly the right people which will increase your conversion rate.
Estate of Affairs
This Fail shows how a good integrated marketing strategy could really take your business to the next level. The example is from Oulsnam, a local estate agent based just south of Birmingham who have a great website and good presence on social media, but could benefit from an integrated marketing strategy.
Let’s take a look at how improving their good example can make your marketing channels work together effectively to help your business grow.
The official Twitter page linked to from their website features many promotional tweets about their latest offerings. This is great, but they’re sharing a lot of Facebook links which don’t even load an image on the timeline.
It’s important to keep people notified about your work, but a timeline full of text and links is something you want to avoid. In addition to this, more interesting content for homeowners could be a great way to earn new followers, likes and re-tweets. We take a look at ways to generate that content below when we talk about blogs.
Hashtag #NewInstruction would be a good way to help people find the latest properties. It’s not an exclusive hashtag, but the fact that it’s used by many estate agents suggests that it’s one that consumers would use to search for their next property.
As with the timeline in general, Tweets with #NewInstruction should also include images to help them stand out. A nice image of the property would encourage more people to click and could secure an all-important sale.
Search offers great opportunities for businesses of all types and sizes. With a great website like Oulsnam has, they’re in a great position to promote their latest properties.
Creating a landing page for a chosen keyword such as ‘rental properties Birmingham’ and their other target areas inside Birmingham would prove beneficial in the long term. Using the hashtag #NewInstruction as the basis for that landing page would help Oulsnam to establish itself as the best place to find new properties in South Birmingham.
Let’s take a quick look at the kind of results we can expect from a few keyword searches estate agents in Birmingham might want to rank for on a search engine.
Below is an example of a Google search for ‘estate agent Birmingham’:
There is a lot of competition here, suggesting that it’s a very valuable keyword. There are PPC advertisements above the map pack as well as at the bottom of the page.
Below is a search for ‘rental properties Birmingham’:
It would be worth doing some research into the type of sites in the Search Engine Results Page for relevant keywords to discover great opportunities for new business.
Putting effort into boosting the SEO of this specific page as a priority would help them to be found for their chosen keywords. Integrated search marketing strategies that combine both PPC and SEO are proven to be very successful. It would be great to make full use of a targeted PPC campaign while building the authority of a landing page for the same keywords for best effect.
Let’s see how good use of a blog can really help search engine marketing efforts.
The blog is updated fairly regularly though not on a consistent basis such as once a week like Hail & Fail. Regular posts would help Oulsnam to build an audience and help with SEO.
With 12 offices, if each office contributes it’s possible to get enough ideas to post once a week. With someone in-house specialising in marketing, it would be possible to post twice a week or at least three times a month. Ideas could come from home shows on TV and similar events as a start and refined over time based on what proves to be popular.
Blog posts can be promoted on networks such as Facebook for a fee, but it is possible to target very specific audiences for little outlay. Promoting posts that showed signs of engagement would really help to promote the brand and reveal the topics most important to your audience.
Another benefit of consistent blog posts is that you will start to learn more about what your audience want and can start using that knowledge to produce email campaigns that speak to their desires.
By combining the insights that will be gained from consistent and useful emails, you can build a better picture of your different customer types and begin to segment your email list. Once segmented, you can send each segment a specific message in accordance with business goals.
There’s no option to sign up for emails from Oulsnam, but it is presumed that they will have a lot of contacts they’ve sold or rented to who would welcome marketing messages from them.
There are many different tactics (Twitter, search, email, blog) that could be deployed individually, but when implemented as part of in an integrated marketing strategy planned and executed by a marketing consultant would produce fantastic results for them.
Knowing and understanding the target audience is the first key to a successful campaign. It is important to understand your audience in general, then segment the audience based on the products they buy from you. In time, you can segment further, using more detailed demographics such as age, geographical location and such.
Once you understand your segments, you can deliver the messages they want to hear in a language that really speaks to them. The way you use knowledge of the segments will vary between channels but the segments and messages need to be tied to business goals.
What segments that align to a business goal could an estate agent be trying to achieve?
- New customers looking to buy their first home?
- New customers looking for their second, third, fourth home?
- Existing tenants looking to buy?
- Existing customers looking to purchase a second home?
- New customers that are landlords?
- New customers looking to rent?
- Customer retention of landlords?
- Customer retention of tenants?
- Tenants that take better care of their rental properties?
- Attract people coming to Birmingham as the city continues to grow?
That’s just a taster of the possible segments. There are many more that could be identified and explored in great depth.
Most of these suggestions could be implemented at no cost, but the use of PPC and targeted advertising on networks like Facebook would accelerate your progress. Make sure your marketing team needs to make sure that it knows your company objectives and the target audience for your products.
You should also make use of content scheduling resources like Hootsuite. Using Hootsuite means that you can add images to links. You can then post those links to several social networks at once. Hootsuite allows you to automate the process and ensure the image will appear, but this could be done manually for each network.
Post blogs regularly, outsourcing the writing if you need to increase volume. It’s possible to plan the posts and provide some source material, then give this to an experienced writer who can produce several posts for you per week.
For email, translate the knowledge of what your segments want into content based on those interests. Use email marketing to stay in contact with your customers that have been separated into segmented lists. If you continuously provide them with value, they’ll remember you, recommend you to their friends and come back to you in the future.
Start with larger segments such as homeowners and tenants for example. Send each segment content relevant to their needs. As time goes on, your efforts will begin to reveal popular subject matter. Once you understand what your audience wants, you can segment even further.
The biggest mistake some companies make with email marketing is sending out a generic ‘newsletter’ full of all their greatest achievements that offers no benefit to the reader. Make sure your email communications offer interesting content and benefits for your audience.
One of the most important things in email marketing is to keep your list fresh.Make sure you give visitors to your website the opportunity to receive marketing messages from you. For an estate agent, their potential customers might want to be kept up to date with the latest properties by email.
- Understand your audience
- Segment your audience
- Use images when you post updates
- Create content specifically for segments
- Learn what works on each channel and use that knowledge to improve the messages you deliver on all channels
Once you’ve established a strategy across one or multiple channels, make sure that you use tools like Google Analytics, Facebook’s page insights and Twitter’s analytics package to monitor the progress of what you’re up to and drive your next moves.