In 2016, in Romania, more than 50% of the 65,000,000 EURO invested in digital marketing went to Facebook and Google. While there is still room for anyone to promote themselves on these platforms and effective strategies can be found, over time they will become increasingly expensive for smaller businesses.
An effective alternative would be to reorient to other social networks. For example, Instagram has about 418,000 users in Romania, of which over 130,000 are active according to Zelist Monitor. Instagram is ideal if you are primarily targeting a female audience, both young (16-24) and older, 25 to 45/50. But men are not to be ignored either, especially those under 24 are quite active on Instagram.
Instagram is relatively different from Facebook, both in terms of how users use it and what we can promote here.
How we promote ourselves on Instagram:
Two aspects are critical to promoting on Instagram:
a) Understand the #hashtag game;
b) The visual;
Unlike Facebook, discovering new things on Instagram is done with #hashtags. These are keywords we add to the description of a posted image.
unosoft tip: Put hashtags in the comments, not the photo description.
For starters, I’d recommend 2 ideas for promoting on Instagram.
a) Paid promotion.
If you’re familiar with paid promotion on Facebook, you can easily make the switch to Instagram. Why is it worth doing so? Because most people who promote on Facebook don’t do it on Instagram. That way, people pay more attention to each post, and aren’t bombarded with so many promotional messages.
The important thing is to adapt your creative side to the specifics of Instagram, i.e. the format of the images should be square and in the style of the platform. If you do a little research, you’ll understand what I mean.
On Instagram it’s harder to grow followers than on Facebook. And one of the best ways to do this is through partnerships. It’s best to start with people in your field who have a relatively large following.
These can be bloggers or simply more popular people on the platform.
You can get in touch with them via a direct message and discuss a partnership where they make a post or mention your page in exchange for the product/service you offer.
Also, once you start growing, you can find pages complementary to yours and exchange promotion. For example, if you sell handbags, partner with someone who sells other women’s accessories.
The organic part of Instagram, meaning unpromoted posts, is difficult until you get used to the platform. Start with ads and influencer involvement (even for direct product promotion and not page promotion) and you’ll get results fast.
Other social networks that are growing in Romania and are worth getting familiar with are Snapchat and Pinterest. Soon, their paid promotion opportunities will reach Romania and you need to be prepared!
Idea: Use advanced targeting strategies on Facebook
Although Facebook promotion is quite popular in the UK, most of us only use a little of its possibilities.
And I’m not talking about the fact that many people boost posts from Timeline and not from Ads Manager, thus missing out on many possibilities to improve their ads. Although, you should stop doing this now and create ads from Ads Manager!
Here you are, in Ads Manager, you have much more possibilities for ad enhancement!
You can show ads to people based on demographics, based on interests, based on pages they’ve liked. But even more, you can show ads based on different online behaviors like whether they’ve shopped online or other types of behavior.
Just play around with the options, you’re sure to discover a lot of possibilities for your business.
Want to learn more about how you can attract first customers on Facebook? We’ve written a complete guide here.
Idea: Use Lookalike Audiences to find new customers
Like I said, just because you’re spending a lot of money on Facebook promotion doesn’t mean you’re doing it well or to its full potential.
A great example is related to Using Lookalike Audiences. Basically, this feature allows us to find more potential customers, people similar to those who have bought from us.
Creating a Lookalike Audience is very simple and you can do it from the ads interface. Go to Audiences/Audiences and choose Create New Audience.
Then you have the ability to find potential new customers based on:
a) An email list.
If you have a significant number of addresses (e.g. you have an online store) Facebook can identify Facebook profiles linked to those email addresses and then find others with similar interests/habits/characteristics.
b) Based on site traffic
If we don’t have email addresses, but have decent traffic on the site, we can find more people similar to those who have visited the product/service page (so are interested in what we offer).
Idea: Use carousel ads to tell a story
Facebook is starting to get more and more crowded. For one thing, the number of brands promoting themselves here is growing, and for another, we’re also competing with pictures of cats, dogs, toddlers, and what else our customers’ friends are doing.
A good way to get customers’ attention is to use Carousel ads in a different way.
It allows us to attach multiple images or videos to a single ad.
From experience we’ve seen that these work very well for the commerce side, when you can attract the customer’s attention with multiple products and so they find themselves in at least one.
But Carousel is a type of ad that can be useful for any kind of business. What we can do is use the 4-5 slides and create a little story. Each image and headline should contain something about us that catches the attention and piques the interest of the customer to click to see more.
Idea: Convert more website traffic through retargeting
Very often, we invest large amounts of money to attract people to our website. The problem is that we often stop there. Basically, we accept that “if the man didn’t buy this is“.
However, the chances are very slim that anyone will buy in the first place, especially if we have a more expensive product. Statistics show that it takes 6 to 9 interactions with a customer for them to buy from us.
That’s why we need to remind them about us and possibly give them extra motivation to buy.
Both Facebook and Google offer the option of Retargeting or Remarketing.
In other words, showing ads only to people who have visited your site. Or, if we want to be even smarter, we can show ads only to people who have visited certain pages or, even more specifically, if they have visited certain pages but not others.
Let’s say we have a dress shop. Someone enters the site but doesn’t buy. We can run a campaign just for these site visitors with an ad like “Hey, now you can have the dress you saw yesterday for 20% off. Use the code personal20 at checkout. Hurry, the offer expires in 24 hours!”
Et voila! With a minimal amount you’ll significantly increase the conversion of site visitors brought to your site from other sources.
See more details here.
Idea: Encourage virality
Virality is every entrepreneur or marketer’s dream. Having customers bring you more customers without investing more money in marketing? Who wouldn’t want that?
But most of us think that virality is something that either happens or it doesn’t. We don’t think we can influence that.
Well, that’s not exactly the case. Virality is actually math. It’s about one customer bringing you another customer and so on. Which leads to growth like in this graph:
But we shouldn’t get discouraged if our business doesn’t grow like this chart. What we need to try is to see how we can get one customer to bring us another customer. We won’t succeed with every one of them, but if out of 10 customers one of them brings us another one, then all our marketing efforts will pay off 10% more.
There are lots of ideas by which we can “encourage” virality, i.e. for a customer to recommend us:
- Let’s add social sharing buttons to the website and make them visible;
- In the emails we send, ask them to forward it to a friend;
- Put a voucher in the parcel in which we send the product to give to a friend;
You get the idea. Find ways to encourage people to recommend you further. And remember, the best way to get people to recommend you is to have a product/service that exceeds their expectations.
Also read: How to market on a budget.
Idea: Bring in massive traffic with a giveaway
Sweepstakes are popular for good reason: they work. That is, of course, if you organize it well and it’s not a Partikip.
A well-organized contest, or in this case the more specific English term “giveaway” would be, will make you much better known to your target audience and give you contacts or ways to reconnect with them.
That’s why my recommendation would be to not just run a Like & Share contest on Facebook (you can only do that if you want to increase the number of Followers on the page). My recommendation is to bring people to the site.
That way, some of your visitors will not only enter the contest and appreciate you for the work you offer, but they will also visit other pages and get to know your site better.
In addition, you can also find other ways on your website to get people to share your content even more. There are various technical solutions, not complicated ones, that will help you get people to share more of your contest and invite more friends.
One example would be KingSumo for WordPress sites. After a user enters the contest, they are told that they can increase their chances of winning by sharing on social networks, inviting friends, etc.
And that, my dear/sweetheart, is how you end up with a truly viral contest.
Plus, with people entering the site, we can still communicate with them through retargeting campaigns for example.
Also read: Best online marketing strategies
Idea: Create a referral program
At unosoft we try as much as possible to automate marketing strategies and ideas. After all, that’s how a growth hacker thinks, right?
A very simple tactic is to create a program where other people bring you customers in exchange for a percentage of sales (or whatever way of reward you think is best for you). These are very cheap or even free to implement and you only pay for results.
Nowadays there are many online tools that allow you to do this without having to invest in technical development yourself. Just Google “referral program software”. These are very well developed and allow you to automatically track who brings you customers and reward them. Also, being external, it’s also transparent to whoever would promote you.
An alternative is to sign up to affiliate sites such as 2performant or profitshare. These platforms would come with the benefit that they have access to bloggers or other people who could send traffic to your site.
Through such a strategy you will also have other side benefits, such as new external links to your site, which helps with SEO.
Also read: SEO guide for beginners