Facebook Posts vs. Boosted Posts vs. Facebook Ads

facebook homepage

There are many ways to get your message out on Facebook—some paid, some non-paid. Like Google, Facebook is in a constant state of improving the way people see posts and ads. Our Digital Team keeps up with the myriad of changes.

Facebook Posts (also known as Organic Posts)

When you post something to Facebook, the people who see it are your followers or someone who specifically views your page. You don’t pay to post it. Any engagement that happens is based on the caliber of the post and how it resonates with your followers.

Organic posts are significant. They establish your brand, your voice, and your story. They also give pertinent information to your followers. It’s important to post on a consistent basis. Frequency is also a crucial factor—too often and you become noise, too little and you fade away. Every brand finds its own rhythm.

It’s also worth mentioning that you have to “read the room.” Sure, you’ll want to develop a good content strategy schedule, but also understand what is happening in the world. Listen to what people are talking about and determine if your brand can authentically add to that conversation.

Boosted Posts

A boosted Facebook post is a hybrid between an organic post and an ad. They start their life as an organic post, but then, with money, they are “boosted” to reach target users who aren’t necessarily your followers, including on Instagram. Facebook gives you the ability to set basic parameters for a larger reach. (This is also how items wind up in your Facebook feed that you don’t follow—you’ve been targeted in a boosted post.)

It’s extremely simple to boost a post, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can set your max budget for as little as $1. You also set the duration time that people will see your post. The main advantage is reaching more people beyond your followers.

The main disadvantage is that the targeting mechanism is clunky. There is no guarantee that you are reaching the right audience. So wider reach does not automatically mean more followers. Someone might see your post, they might even visit your page, but that doesn’t mean they are going to engage or follow you.

Boosted posts are also very limited in how you can manipulate them. You can’t A/B test to see which version performs better. You can’t turn your post on and off during desirable times during the day. And, like we said before, you can’t drill down to find your perfect target audience.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are created in Facebook’s Business Manager which offers a lot more options. You have the ability to choose from a variety of ad placements, using defined objectives, and advanced targeting tools. There are also formatting options that give you creative control over your messaging, descriptions, and call to action. You can even refine the messaging as you see how the ad is performing.

Facebook also offers a tracking device called a Facebook Pixel. It’s a line of code that is put on your website. After someone visits your website, your ads will appear on their Facebook feed. (It’s how those shoes you were looking at online are now all over your Facebook.) This is called remarketing and is an essential part of your marketing mix.

Facebook ads are designed to go beyond comments, shares, and follows. They can help you reach specific business goals, increase conversions, and drive sales.  Toolbox Studios has the expertise to utilize the Facebook Business Manager tools to get the right message in front of the right audience at the right time.

If you are ready to take your social media to the next level, Toolbox Studios can help you plan an Ad Campaign that incorporates organic, boosted, and Facebook Ads for comprehensive coverage. We work with you to create messaging, graphics, budget, placement, and audience demographics to reach your business objectives.

 

Digital Knowledge Management

puppy on computer

The ways your customers find and engage with information about your business has changed. Simple organic results are now replaced by intelligent answers in maps, apps, voice search tools, digital assistants, search engines, GPS systems, and social networks. These AI-powered services have created an entirely new channel where customers can engage with your business — are you in control of the answers they see across all these platforms?

Free Directory Listings Scanning Tool

Manage the public facts about your business. Try our free tool to instantly see how your business is listed in web directories and search engines. Once you see how the internet is listing you, you can begin the process of getting listed correctly. This process is called Digital Knowledge Management, and its value lies in:

>Brand Consistency & Control
>Discoverability
>Operational Efficiency
>Customer Experience

On average, companies that invest in Digital Knowledge Management receive 49% more views after 12 months. Manage the public facts about your business across the digital universe to drive accurate, complete, and compelling experiences.

Start now!

 

2020 Digital Marketing Trends

mobile marketing

Digital Marketing is our new normal. Technology is improving, bandwidth is expanding, and devices are advancing. This impacts video, augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. But consumers are also getting savvier. They want real content, real interactions, and personalization. So, let’s break down some 2020 digital marketing trends.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality is not new, but it’s mostly been a novelty. We are seeing it start to take hold in significant ways. Basically, Augmented Reality takes a real-world environment and adds a digital input to it.

Fun examples include Instagram filters, Pokemon Go, Warby Parker’s app that lets you “try on” glasses frames, and IKEA’s app that lets you virtually “place” 3D models of furniture into your space. But AR is also changing the way we interact with it in applications for classrooms, healthcare, and car navigation systems.

From a marketing perspective, we see huge potential for AR to allow consumers to experience products, or brand personalities, before they purchase. Innovative applications include Trade Shows, Direct Mail, Brochures, Training Materials, Posters, Sell Sheets, Newsletters, Menus, and even business cards. See how 19 Crimes Wine has used AR in its wine labels.

Interactive Content

Interactive Content bridges that gap between consumer and company. It works by delivering a positive customer experience, building a bond with your brand, and providing a valuable return for both parties. Interactive Content also has the advantage of being different, so it cuts through the noise of the digital space. The best examples include surveys, polls, quizzes, calculators, and AR overlays. Humans have a great desire to “be heard” and these interactions are a great way to tap into that basic human need and listen to your audience.

Another important aspect of Interactive Content is utilizing User-Generated Content (UGC). People trust UGC because it is native content coming from real people. “If it makes them happy, it will make me happy, too.”

Personalization

It’s a fine line between data privacy and personalization. Consumers have less trust in brands when it comes to data privacy but are still more likely to give companies data in exchange for the personalized services and products they are interested in. The trend is toward people not wanting to be sold to—they want to discover products and services in a way that they choose.

From a marketing perspective, social media e-commerce and in-app checkout are trending high for 2020. We’ve also seen huge shifts in marketers’ ability to target consumers via social media platforms, and look-alike lists. So, it’s all about building trust, and creating appreciated personalized experiences that speak to your consumers.

Voice Search

With the meteoric rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), Siri and Alexa can quickly answer a consumer’s question that Google used to drive clicks to your site to be answered. The way we speak and the way we write are inherently different. If we want our content to be found by voice search, we need to communicate that way. Pairing voice with visuals and programmatic ad buying is the next content strategy.

Position Zero

Position zero is the information Google offers at the very top of the search results. Position zero is also called the featured snippet because it features a snippet of content that directly answers a search query. How to achieve Position Zero? —provide great content that is useful. Concentrate on an evergreen (non-changing) topic, go in-depth, and explain the subject thoroughly without assuming prior knowledge. Use Latent Semantic Indexing (we wrote about this topic recently), create a great snippet, and make sure all your SEO best practices are in place with page titles, meta descriptions, focused keywords, H-tags, alt-tags on images, and internal links.

Video

“Live” video options are available via Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, and a host of apps such as Periscope and Livestream. Although the immediate thought runs to the expense of high-production-value video content, the reality is that SmartPhones are capable of producing great videos. In essence, you want to build a community. To do that people generally want “realness” not slick, overly produced hype. Just keep it real and keep it relevant.

All of these tools and strategies overlap and interweave to tell your brand story and product benefits. Contact Toolbox Studios and we’ll help you navigate these new and exciting digital marketing opportunities.

Latent Semantics Indexing – a guide

keywords seo
  • Latent:  lying dormant or hidden until circumstances are suitable for development or manifestation
  • Semantics: the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning.
  • Indexing: an indicator, sign, or measure of something

Your target consumer, “Joe,” is searching for something, let’s say “Blue Moon.” Google will pull up a list of items including a lunar occurrence, a beer brand, and a song. If your website or blog is about the history of the song, then Joe will find his answer by seeing descriptors such as Rodgers and Hart, Billie Holiday, and The Marcels. (Maybe Edward Roman—this song has a scandalous history). 

In essence, Latent Semantics Indexing (LSI) is the relevance of the keywords around the keywords.

The LSI war

There are those who say that LSI is an ancient and outdated mode of thinking about SEO (it was developed in the late 1980s). At Toolbox Studios, we take our cue from Google itself and Google actually gives suggestions for latent semantics. You just need to know where to look.

Where do I look to find LSI? 

Put your keyword into Google’s search bar and Google immediately begins to make suggestions in the dropdown. Jot down the relevant ones to your topic. On the search page is also this feature, “People also ask” jot down anything relevant here.

where to find LSI

Now scroll to the bottom of the page. You’ll see “Searches related to blue moon”.

searches related to blue moon

These are the most common related searches and these terms should be in your article/web page/blog, etc. Click on “blue moon song” and scroll down.

LSI searches related to blue moon song

Go back up to the top and click on “Images” and you’ll see a whole row of new suggestions.

blue moon song images

Now you are starting to gather a pretty decent list of semantically related phrases and subtopics based around your main keywords “Blue Moon” – all suggested by Google itself. There are also many SaaS tools for digging deeper into keyword research. At Toolbox Studios, we use a variety of paid tools and good old Google Analytics.

How do I incorporate these latent keywords?

Gather up your list of phrases and cross them off as you write your content. Just keep in mind, that your content is meant to be read by an actual person, so it has to make sense—just throwing a ton of semantically related keywords into paragraphs won’t be helpful to anyone. As Google’s bots are reading your content, they are seeking quality content that is genuine in offering answers that are being sought. So, use common sense, and write content that will help  “Joe” in his quest for information.

Toolbox Studios can help

We strike the balance of well-curated content that includes top keywords and the semantically related keywords needed to give context to your searchability. As consumers and technology become more sophisticated, so do websites and search engines’ ability to locate pertinent information. Toolbox Studios has the expertise and personnel to manage your SEO, improve your online reputation, and write applicable content.

 

 

Technology in Marketing

marketing plans

In 2017, there are so many different devices being used that marketing companies must find ways to reach all of them.  It is key to be able to understand people’s motivations and use that data to sell a brand or product to the consumer.  Technology allows a marketing firm to accomplish that.  Speed, relevance, and reach all increase when a firm works with technology closely in their business.  To have those kinds of resources at your fingertips it is crucial to have total collaboration between your tech people and your creatives.  In today’s industry, you need to be dexterous in both digital and creative, an experienced marketer uses the data as research and uses creativity on selecting a direction or idea for a job.

Technology has opened the doors to so much information it can be overwhelming but rather exciting.  Big data, social media, digital engineering, and analytics become a great resource for those trying to get the best results in their marketing strategies.  Things like programmatic ad buying, where a computer buys and places online ads in an automated way is a strategy only a few people can really understand.  Some say that a company that diversifies their work force with a mix of millennials and experienced staff takes long strides in the race for technological excellence.

It is amazing the advancements that have been made in the past few years in speed, relevancy, and reach.  The more we grasp with technology the faster we can move.  Allowing our speed in processing, building, and delivery to go way up.  Relevancy might be one of the most exciting discovery we have achieved.  Being able to target an ad to a very select and specific group makes sure the client is getting the most for what they pay for and allows the marketer to be as accurate as possible.  With so many devices being used today and the wide reach of the internet a modern firm has the world at their fingertips.  Companies can now place ads anywhere and at any time giving their business an advantage over their competition.

A modern firm has their creatives and digital working in unison.  Creatives need to be willing to learn and use new strategies and data.  Technologically minded staff use creativity to find patterns, discover fascinating information, and build amazing sites.  Marketing teams could possibly begin having data scientists, engineers, and developers.  Obviously, marketing isn’t an industry grounded by tradition.  Marketing is rapidly changing and it’s the job of a modern firm to keep up with new trends, strategies, and devices.  Technology has shown us what the future of digital marketing has instore for us, but at the end of the day data can only take us so far.  Even though marketing is nothing like what it used to be it still relies on the marketer’s intuition to make the final call.  From what I have gathered from my research it seems the best strategy is to collect as much information from the data as possible but let your experience make the decision.  Data is not here to do the job but rather help you accomplish it.

Hashtags most #FAQ

hashtag toolbox studios

You have most definitely heard about hashtags, what they are and probably have even added them to your social media posts. With their growing popularity there is a lot of confusion about where to use them, how many and when. Below, we have gathered some of the most frequently asked questions about hashtags to help shed some light on best practices.

How do hashtags work?

When added to posts, hashtags act as categories that get indexed by social platforms and become searchable by users. If you click on a specific hashtag, you’ll be brought to a page that contains all the posts with the same hashtag. Once a keyword acquires popularity, it becomes a “trending topic” that when used correctly, can help posts get a lot more reach.

 

Can hashtags be trademarked?

Yes. By trademarking your branded hashtags, you can increase consumer engagement with your business. Make sure they are relevant, unique and memorable. Also, “branded” doesn’t necessarily mean your company name, but it can relate.

Nike twitter post

 

What hashtags should I use?

Do your research. Regardless if you are joining a conversation with an already established hashtag or if you are creating your own, it is important to make sure there is nothing negative associated with those hashtags that can harm your brand, inside your industry or out. Tools like Hashtagify.me [link: https://hashtagify.me/hashtag/smm] and Rite Tag [link: https://ritetag.com], can help you find hashtags, popularity trends, and who else is using them.

When building your hashtag strategy, make sure it is specific to the audience you are trying to reach. The more targeted your audience, the better content you will deliver and the more engagement you will receive.

mcdonalds social media post

 

Avoid using too broad keywords and make sure they are relevant to the topic. Trying to get more reach by using unrelated hashtags to your posts won’t help you in any way. If anything, you might annoy your audience.

How many hashtags should I use?

Don’t over-tag a single post or add them to every word. This might make your post look spammy and confusing. If your post has more hashtags than words, it weakens the message you are trying to get across.

hashtag-spam

 

Where should I use hashtags?

You can add them to essentially any social platform. However, there are some best practices that can make your posts more successful:

  • On Facebook, hashtags can expand your reach to people who are looking at posts about your industry. Try keeping it to 1-2 hashtags per post for more engagement.
  •  On Twitter, they are useful to join conversations or to start one on your own. Studies have shown that tweets with 1-2 hashtags perform better and generate the most engagement.
  • On Instagram, the purpose is to discover new content and follow new users. Even though you are allowed to use up to 30 hashtags per comment, please be wise and always think: “less is more”. Remember, you don’t want to look spammy.
  • On LinkedIn, hashtags can help you increase brand awareness and gain more followers. As with other platforms, keeping them relevant and 1-2 per update can get you better results.

Multiple Touches In Your Marketing Strategy

consumer behavior

We all know in the past 20 years huge changes have occurred to the internet, marketing, and especially to the consumer. But for those who are not ahead of the “learning curve” with ever-changing technology often struggle to reach the modern consumer. Nowadays, people receive information in various ways like blogs, Social Media, etc. It is a marketer’s job to touch all bases to place ads and compelling messages in arms reach of those receiving the information. Marketing strategies must be executed and tracked to collect data to observe what is working and what is not. The catch is understanding that the goal of every step of the strategy is a closed sale.

Without marketing analytics, it can be challenging to decipher if every element in the strategy being used is truly working. The type of purchase or item being sold plays a huge part in the response time for the consumer. Frequently, we are asked why we “touch all bases” if some are not showing results or generating leads. That is when we look into what is being advertised. A consumer looking at their phone and seeing an ad for a pizza would generate a fast response as opposed to a consumer seeing an ad for a new car. But that does not mean that the car ad on the phone did not work. That same person could go home that day look in the mail and see a postcard advertising the same car seen online, creating another layer onto shaping the decision for that consumer. Multiple touches ensure that a potential client becomes familiar with your brand.

Looking at the part of the strategy that generated the lead is fun, the real work is done when looking at the layers built to persuade the consumer into making a decision. Especially with a business to business marketing approach, it can take time for that business owner to choose your company over another. They want to know that you want their business and that you are willing to reach them on any platform to show them that your company is the right fit for them.

Why You Need To Have Social Media In Your Digital Marketing Strategy

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A successful marketing strategy requires companies to know their consumer and understand their behavior to reach them when the moment is right. Social media allows you to learn what your customers are looking for and when. Consumers are discussing brands, companies, and user experience every day on social media. Think about it, when was the last time you tweeted your cable provider about an issue? Or tagged your favorite restaurant on Instagram? Those insights are at your fingertips, and you can use them to meet your goals and ultimately improve your business.

These platforms allow businesses the chance to find their specific market, shape their brand based on what potential customers are looking for, and in turn create consumer loyalty. You can accomplish this by providing shareable and engaging content, photos and videos are great examples, and interacting with your followers. Be conversational and return feedback when a client has a question, comment, or concern. Did you know 89 percent of messages sent to brands via social media go unanswered? A timely response can go a long way in the eyes of a consumer. Another thought to keep in mind is how to leverage trends. Find out what people are talking about and begin to shape your content to remain relevant.

Chances are if your company is using social media so are your competitors. Keep a close eye on them to see how they promote themselves and what content they are posting. Knowing your competition can help you find a way to be different, better, and more interactive.

If you don’t have a full digital marketing strategy developed, don’t freak out. Social media presence is a good place to start. Evaluate your business goals and determine which platforms make sense for you to be on. Keep them up to date and always relevant to what is happening in your industry.

Cross-Media Marketing: Easy Steps to Success

cross media marketing

Cross-media marketing is a method in which a single message is communicated to potential consumers through a variety of different media. Instead of limiting your company’s message to one channel, like television, a cross-media campaign utilizes multiple platforms, from print and social media to outdoor ads and radio.
This form of marketing is more effective because it puts your company’s message in front of consumers, increasing the likelihood that they will see your advertisement and respond.
Here are four easy and essential steps you should follow to successfully implement a cross-media campaign.

Determine Your Desired Outcome

Before beginning anything else, it’s best to determine what you want to achieve through your cross-media marketing campaign. Identify your ultimate goals and you will be equipped to more accurately create a targeted market and measure results. By doing this you will be prepared to develop the right messaging for each channel, to drive consumers to take the actions which achieve your desired outcome. For example: getting you to share this post.

Understand Your Target Market

Consumers dictate how they receive marketing messages, so it is imperative to understand your target market and the media they use. Insight into your target market will help you identify the most effective media to employ. Is it a social media platform? Possibly a radio spot? Basically, who are you trying to reach and how you will reach them. Once you understand to whom you are advertising, you will be better equipped to develop a marketing message that will appeal to them.

Develop One Integrated Message

A consistent marketing message is an essential component of a successful cross-media campaign. The same marketing message must be communicated through each channel you use. However, the message needs to be tailored to each platform. A continuous message clearly communicates to consumers what the company offers them. It also supports your company’s efforts in building a strong brand image.

Measure and Adjust As You Go

Track each channel you use and how consumers respond to your marketing message. Make sure to look at the results holistically, to see whether the current mix of media is effective.
When you recognize any ineffective parts of the campaign, adjust the media mix as soon as possible. Measuring and adjusting should be continual throughout the strategy. Not only will you make your current campaign more effective, you will gain insight for future ones.

These simple steps will help you implement a successful cross-media campaign. In today’s world, digital presence is an essential component of every marketing strategy.

Don’t take our word for it, check out one of our case studies to see how a cross-media campaign helped Wayland Baptist University increase their enrollment.

Recent Facebook Changes

social icons

Toolbox Studios tracks the latest trends in Marketing, including Social Media. Recently, a major shift was announced that impacts Facebook Business Pages.

The following are excerpts from Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook announcement on January 11, 2018:

“We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience.  But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.

 Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions. As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people”.

What does this mean for your Facebook Page?

Essentially it means quality over quantity wins. Posts that create engagement – comments and shares – will rank better than those with only “Likes.”

At Toolbox Studios, we see this as an opportunity to elevate your content in order to inspire meaningful conversation. It’s a perfect time to re-assess your message, listen to your audience base, and create content that is engaging. This means your content calendar becomes even more crucial than before. Lastly, the changes provide an educational opportunity to guide your followers through their “See First in News Feed” preferences.

Contact us if you need help with it.

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