Using Facebook Organically: #1 in Low Cost Marketing Series

Organic - Facebook Marketing

Businesses need to be fueled by funding, whether that funding comes from a lender, an investor or a customer (i.e., sales).  “Low cost marketing” is not “no cost marketing”.  This post, which focuses on Facebook marketing, is the first in a series on finding low cost marketing solutions.

Businesses need money to survive.

I have had discussions with several individuals who want to start businesses or grow a business with little or no money.  As a marketer, the first question they ask me is: How do I market my business without spending any money?

It is possible to hustle and build a business, but even that takes an investment.  And, the investment is your time—which is valuable.  If you are working with only “blood, sweat and tears”, you are looking for customers to fund your business.  Your hustle, then, needs to focus on what will drive customers to purchase from you.

Through a series of posts, I will outline marketing tools that you can use to get started without much cash outlay.  Let’s start with the ever popular social media space.

Engagement on Social Media

Social media is NOT free marketing.  It never has been and it never will be.  There are many abandoned business social media accounts that belonged to entrepreneurs who thought that they would easily build a customer base on social.  That said, let’s explore what can be done with sweat equity.

Facebook First

Let’s tackle Facebook first.  If you are in the B2C space, it is the behemoth to understand.  The first thing to do is decide what type of content you will post.  Think about your target customer.  What is she concerned about in relation to the product or service you provide?  While it’s acceptable to post content unrelated to you brand occasionally, you will be more successful in finding potential customers if you post relevant content.

Get to Posting

Once you’ve decided upon what to post, get to posting and do it regularly.  If you are not a publisher, the rule of thumb is to post at least daily.  Facebook allows you to schedule posts which will save you from having to log in daily to add a post.

Monitor Your Page

While you won’t have to log in to your account daily if you are scheduling posts, you probably should if you aren’t spending much money on advertising elsewhere.  You will want to monitor your account regularly to respond to any messages or reply to comments on your posts.  Do not feel obligated to reply to every post but use the platform to engage and be social.  After all, that’s what it’s for!

Engage with Others

You also should decide which pages to follow and follow them as you page (not as your personal account).  This will allow you to view your page feed and interact with those you follow.  You may like, comment or share the content of those pages you follow.  Sharing also counts as posting content.

Boost Your Posts

At the time of this post, you can advertise on Facebook for as little as $1 per day.  At that level, you can boost your posts.  Boosting is a promotion for your Facebook posts.  It will allow you to send traffic to your website or drive interaction with posts.  You are able to select geographic, demographic and behavioral targets for the audience you want to reach.  Don’t waste your money boosting to a broad audience.  Instead focus on the individual who will respond to your post.

Advertise

Facebook offers other advertising opportunities that start at just $5 per day.  These include driving traffic to your website, promoting you Facebook page to garner likes, getting more app installations, finding leads for your business and more.

Facebook is a good place to start if your target audience uses the platform.  And, chances are, they do!  In future posts, I will explore other social media, public relations, blogging and other low cost marketing ideas.

How UBS Engaged 5 Million through Content Marketing

Content Marketing - partnership

In July 2016, UBS launched UNLIMITED, an online portal with curated content that discusses life issues relevant to wealthy millennials and women.  The company has reported that its content marketing strategy is working.  Content is being consumed by 35 to 38 year olds and 60% of the readership is women.  The challenge all wealth management professionals face is well-documented.  According to a Fidelity Investments study, only 58% of younger millionaires are working with advisors, down from 72% five years ago.

Develop Relevant Content

UBS has enlisted photographer Annie Leibovitz, among others, to shed the “alpha male”-focused imagery that has persisted in financial industry advertising.  They have also partnered with Vice Media, Vanity Fair and Stephen Hawking to create content that speaks to the target audience in their language.  The company wanted to develop content that spoke to laypersons (read non-finance gurus) about relevant issues while omitting language that requires a finance degree to understand.

They also developed content that is evergreen so that it can be distributed repeatedly over time through social media.  With its partners, UBS created short-form videos which are used to lead readers to longer-form content (7-8 minute articles).  Leadership notes that the longer content is being consumed, despite the fact that 72% of engagement is initiated on mobile.

Engage Target Markets through Social Media

UBS Chief Marketing Officer Nicolas Wright told Marketing Week that the new program is working.  He says that UBS has attracted one million unique users to its online hub and engaged 5 million through social media.  After 15 months, UBS UNLIMITED has nearly 15,000 Facebook followers and 1,650 Twitter followers.  UBS has more than 115,000 followers on its primary Facebook page.  The company has reported more than 5,000 email subscribers in the first six months of UNLIMITED.  Given these figures, it is likely that the 5 million engaged through social media are on partner properties.

Measure Results

Despite the higher engagement, UBS reported a loss of $6.4 billion in customer assets in second quarter 2017.  Not surprising given the hard task of reconciling the social media following with the reported engagement numbers.  However, the company also notes that there is an 18-month sales cycle for its wealth management services.  It’s important that UBS—and you—have clearly defined metrics to help understand how a content marketing strategy will result into leads and sales.  What’s yours?

Good Content That Isn’t Found Doesn’t Matter

Good Content - Shared

Content marketing drives search engine optimization (SEO).  Developing content is relatively easy, but it simply does not matter if it cannot be found by your target audience.  And, if your content is found and found NOT good, it may not matter.

Good content is (highly) rated
In the 1970s and much of the 1980s, we watched whatever was on television—good or bad.  We did not have much choice.  Today, consumers have many choices, including unplugging completely or turning to another device.  This is exactly why we have come to a place where much of the content we have access to is rated.  If we are looking for a movie on Netflix, we check out how it’s rated.  If we search for a book on Amazon, we check out its rating.  Developing content that is rated differentiates the good from the bad and the ugly.

Good content is shared
Shared content is a practical evolution of rated content.  Rated content could come from any source, someone we know or someone we don’t know.  But shared content usually comes from someone within our circle.  When a Facebook friend shares content on our timeline, we value that content a bit more.  So, when developing content , remember that shareable content is more likely to be consumed.

Good content trends
For sure, “good content” is relative.  However, in the spirit of understanding that “good content” is not good until it’s read or viewed, we must acknowledge that good content trends.  Trending content is crowdsourced content.  What we collectively read and watch becomes good content.

You can surely create excellent content that is never read.  It will do nothing for awareness, nothing for growth and nothing for anyone else.  It’s like the tree that falls in the forest when no one is there to hear it.  Did it make a sound?  Doesn’t matter.  Turn your content into something that matters.  Get it ranked.  Find ways to share it.