Marketing on social media is not simply posting content on your brand’s account with a witty caption and relevant hashtags. Social media marketing can now be broken down into different channels that all work under a brand’s overall social strategy. Below is a brief list of branded social marketing channels and their roles in a brand’s social strategy.
The oldest form of marketing. This kind of promotion takes place when consumers share their experiences, reviews and recommendations with another person. It’s as simple as people expressing what they like and dislike with loved ones, colleagues or even strangers. Word-of-mouth marketing is unpaid or organic and can happen online or in-person.
Berto recently bought a windbreaker from XYZ Supply. Having stayed dry while wearing the jacket to work on a rainy day, his co-worker Jenny inquires about his new windbreaker. Eventually their conversation leads to Jenny looking up XYZ Supply and ordering her own windbreaker for a rainy day. A simple conversation about a product leads to a sale for XYZ Supply — that’s word-of-mouth marketing.
Influencer marketing is the partnership with a social media influencer to drive brand awareness. This generally includes branded posts by people with large social media followings, such as celebrities, bloggers, athletes, etc. The challenges that come with this type of marketing are large costs, disclosure of the paid relationship and the authenticity and quality of messaging.
XYZ Supply is launching a new product: hiking boots. To get the word out, the brand decides to approach Alex. Alex is an avid hiker and posts beautiful scenic photos on his social accounts for his thousands of followers to see. XYZ Supply and Alex agree on terms, conditions and compensation. Alex posts on his social media account, recommending the new XYZ Supply boots with #ad in the caption. By utilizing social media influencer marketing, XYZ supply has just reached Alex’s followers with messaging about their new boots.
This form of marketing is not too far from influencer marketing. While advocates may or may not have large followings, their passion and expertise make them ideal promoters. At ExpertVoice, we are most interested in helping companies build brand advocates. They may be retail associates, industry professionals or just everyday experts that start off as brand fans but with enough development, can help brands drive sales.
XYZ Supply recognizes their competition when it comes to hiking boots. To drive sales in their retail channel, the brand partners with ExpertVoice and focuses on educating and seeding product to retail associates. They hope that as people go in-store for a pair of hiking boots, associates will be knowledgeable and passionate about XYZ Supply boots enough to recommend them. By educating their retail associates and providing them with products to try, XYZ Supply is able to turn retail associates into brand advocates.
There’s omnichannel and multichannel marketing. Being multichannel is simply marketing through multiple channels (brick-and-mortar, social media, apps, e-commerce, etc.). Omnichannel marketing takes multichannel marketing to the next level. While being omnichannel is still marketing through multiple channels, these channels are cohesive and support each other. Each channel is a cooperating resource that aren’t just uniform but are collectively enhancing the customer experience.
Quincey follows XYZ Supply on Facebook. When she saw a post highlighting their new hiking boots, she clicked on it and was directed to the XYZ Supply website. There, she learns more about the boots and decides she wants to try them on to see if they’re a good fit. The website helps her locate the nearest retailer and indicates which locations have the boots in stock. When she visits the retail store, an XYZ Supply advocate is able to supplement what Quincey learned online with additional information regarding her personal needs, then helped her find the right size. XYZ Supply’s omnichannel strategy provided a seamless purchasing journey for Quincey as she crossed three marketing channels.
Consumers now have multiple touchpoints with a brand. Brands must identify which channels to build and focus on to help their customers on their purchasing journey. See how ExpertVoice helps hundreds of top brands enhance the customer journey from initial consideration to point-of-purchase experiences.