It sounds cliche to say that 2020 was an unpredictable year… but it was. Social media marketers are often faced with unpredictability. We need to be able to think on our feet, react and pivot quickly. We are constantly prepping for the unpredictable.
When the pandemic first hit, businesses were forced to adjust. Those who used to communicate with their audiences in-person had to come up with innovative ways to make the same impact online. Event budgets were reallocated as all in-person events shifted to virtual. And in many cases, teams had to rethink their whole marketing strategy with a smaller budget. At the beginning of the pandemic, 69% of brands said that they would most likely be decreasing their ad spend in 2020.
Remote work and virtual events are here to stay (for now). And while your budget may be the same as we head into the New Year, there are ways to keep up momentum without breaking the bank. Here are a few ways to make the most impact, regardless of your digital marketing budget:
Take the time to refine your messaging in the beginning, so that when it's time to create the content, you have a firm grasp on what you want (and don’t want) to communicate to your audience. Developing clear content pillars is a great way to ensure the content you’re sharing across social media helps drive home your one overarching message and build out your thought leadership platforms. This will save you time, and most likely money, allowing you to re-allocate those resources elsewhere.
Having a clear understanding of who your audience is and what they want to hear is crucial. The more you know about them, the easier it’ll be to target people who will actually buy your product/service. And to really understand your audience, you also have to have a clear understanding of your competitors. Start at the beginning by doing a competitor audit, build out customer personas, and use the findings from those tactics to set benchmarks that you can work toward.
Sending 1-2 quality Tweets out a day will go a lot further than pushing out 8-10 Tweets that aren’t optimized for engagement. This applies to platforms as well – focus on 1-2 platforms to start, and as your budget and team grows, add on more where you can. When it comes to choosing which platforms you want to focus on, do what makes the most sense for your business. If your main goal is brand awareness, Twitter and Instagram are probably your best bet. If you’re looking to reach key B2B decision makers, LinkedIn is going to be most effective for you.
Your network is comprised of some of your biggest advocates. Whether it’s asking a customer to draft a guest post for your blog or having an employee do an Instagram Story takeover, there are many opportunities to bring in people from other teams (or even other organizations) to help create content. Cross-promotion is integral in expanding your social presence.
Look at your old blog posts, earned media, virtual event recaps, reports, etc. and see what content can be repurposed. Whether there’s a way to tie it into a trending topic or help you fill in any weekly content calendar gaps, evergreen content is something that is often overlooked and can help your team save time.
Don’t have the budget for a full design team to create branded graphics? Then it’s time to get creative! Turn to employees to create 15-20 second videos on a topic or ask them to share photos. User-generated content is another great way to utilize already existing visual assets to accompany your posts. Take advantage of platform features that encourage engagement from your audience such as polls. These features are interactive and don’t require any additional imagery or multimedia.
The best part about digital marketing is there’s always room to grow. And when you’re ready to move beyond the above tactics (or would like some help getting things up and running), we’re here to help! Feel free to reach out to our digital team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Claire is a digital specialist managing social media for clients including Okta, Nutanix, and VMware Carbon Black.