Tag Archives: branding strategy

Content Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing

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Content is an integral part of social media marketing (SMM), but it turns out that most of the businesses are still unfamiliar with the term content marketing. Indeed, content marketing heavily involves social media and social media marketers use content to get their messages across. Barring these similarities the two are distinct entities which focus on different needs and goals. Let’s look at the major ways in which they differ:

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Focus of Marketing

The main focus of social media marketing is concentrated within the social media platforms. When marketers operate social media campaigns, they operate inside Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.  The content is placed inside these networks.

In contrast, the focus of content marketing is to publish content to the business website and then publicize it through various social media platforms. Social media is used extensively to share the links of content published. The content can be blog posts, infographics, videos etc.

Types of Content

Social media content is created for the specific social platform intended to publish the same. Twitter uses short tweets with 140 characters, Facebook uses media like videos and images along with short texts, Instagram uses images and tiny videos etc. Brands model their behaviour based on the users of the social platforms.

In content marketing the context of website allows longer forms of content. Brands can publish blog posts, release a case study, videos, infographics and ebooks. Brands model their behaviour based on the media publishers.

Objectives

Although the two are different forms of marketing a brand/service both differ in their objectives. Social media is primarily used for brand building, awareness, consumer interaction, feedbacks, promotions and lead generation. Social media is an open house where consumers can start a discussion on the brand and services. Hence, SMM is very important to build customer loyalty.

Content marketing on the other hand focus on demand generation. Quality content brings a prospect to the website. Content marketing focuses to develop on that relationship to convert the leads to purchase. Good content marketing focuses on the entirety of the brand’s site. A company with poor content strategy will struggle to force a positive purchase decision. Brands go online and with such competition purchase decisions are vastly influenced by content.

Online Marketing Scenario

Social media marketing is a relatively old term and is practiced by most of the companies. Content marketing on the other hand is a new practice for many. The importance of content marketing rose after the smart device explosion. A brand with no website (but only with all social media accounts) will find it hard to gain consumer trust. A web domain generates trust in the consumer and strategically formed content strengthens the trust in their mind.

Social media marketing is the first step of the process which involves brand building as it accesses the users directly. As the brand becomes more familiar the natural progression will be to move toward content marketing. Brands can engage deep with their customers through content marketing efforts, and the results are more powerful as it drives consumers to its website as the brand has a greater opportunity to gain leads and move them down the conversion funnel.

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Create A Website For Business Purpose

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While starting a business has its own hindrances, but running and sustaining it is quite a challenge in itself. In this digital age, your business needs an effective online presence to thrive and succeed. With the growing number of users accessing the net everyday for various purposes, it is very important for businesses to leverage this for customer reach and engagement.

A website is the front-end of your business, which gives the first impression. And as we know, the long-term impact of the first impression, it is very important to present your Corporate website with a branding potential for your business.

According to the 2015 Digital Marketing Survey, around 74% of small businesses already have a website, while a quarter of them still don’t have a website. Among the people, who do not have a website, around 9% plan to start a website in the near future, while 10% still have no plans to start a website. Experts feel that small businesses still lack the adaptation to the Web and adopt digital marketing as their strategy.

But, gradually they are shifting to a store front online and making their presence mobile friendly as well. A website is the first interaction of the consumer with the Company. It introduces the business, its stakeholders, its products and services, its goodwill and its brand identity. Some of the key factors that influence the type of website suitable for a business are as follows:

Nature of your business:

This is an important factor. If you are looking at sales, then it is advisable to go for an e-commerce site. If your business requires brand building, then you need to invest in a different type of site.

Geographic implication:

Your location or point-of-sales is also one important factor. You need to invest accordingly for web hosting and availability, including accessibility.

Technological aspect:

You need to invest carefully on the technological aspects like levels of security and authorization, based on the business requirement.

Future roadmap:

You need to keep a focussed outlook of your future business plans or expansion, while designing your website today.

The above survey also indicated that around a quarter of small businesses with a website intend to increase their spending on web development, web design and hosting in 2016 as they feel it will be helpful for their business. In addition to this, around 56% of companies have a responsive website to cater to the market penetration via mobile devices, and other platforms, while 17% want to make their website responsive for the same reasons.

Some of the main reasons for creating a website for business purposes, have been discussed below:

Potential online business:

If you are not creating a website for your online presence, you are probably losing out on potential customers. The purchase mechanism and customers have evolved over time and online sales is the growing trend. So, to tap more prospects, sustain growth and goodwill in this competitive market, you need a good website to enhance brand value.

Providing better support to customers:

A website is a platform to engage with your customers. This helps a business to support its customers with information, online assistance, updates, and much more in one place.

Gathering feedback and suggestions:

Having a website comes easy for customers to reach you. They will be eager to send feedback or suggestions online. A website can facilitate online surveys or ratings. These are quite helpful for business’ for improvement and market analysis.

Gearing up for the future:

With more number of people moving into the digital world for their needs and requirements, the online marketplace is virtually real. So, the future of global business is online and if you need to stay in business, you need to adapt and adopt.

Different business needs different types of websites based on their requirements, business focus, marketing strategies and future roadmap. One of the main thing to keep in mind while designing a website is – what is the purpose of the website? Some of the major types of websites for different businesses are:

Sale of product and services through an e-commerce site:

E-commerce websites cater to businesses with an online store. This helps them to reach more customers and also interact and engage with existing one in a better way. They create direct revenues and measurable profits.

Generation of leads through a lead generation site:

They mostly are required for sales lead generation, but they still require heavy funds as it involves a lot of analytics and tracking mechanism.

Increasing goodwill and brand value through a credential site:

These are the least expensive ones and are more information-based. They can be used to increase brand awareness and tell customers about you and your brand.

A Company website is the face of their brand and should be attractive and appealing. Proper content, strong images, useful information, ease of navigation, SEO, promotions, and several other factors needs to be incorporated to set up a user-friendly and effective website.

Your customers will reach you through your website, so make the first impression a good one to ensure a long-lasting relationship.

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The ABCs of Marketing and Branding

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“This is my product, buy it because it is better than others.”  This is all about Marketing, a tactical approach to sell your product or services.

“This is my product, this is who I am, this is how I grew. If you like my product, buy it, share and recommend it.” And, this is all about Branding, a strategic way of selling your product or services and making a name for yourself.

To a layman, the ideas might appear to be similar. However, there is a marked difference between the two – a thin line, which differentiates Branding from Marketing.

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Marketing is the process of making a Brand, Branding is the ideology for sustaining the same over a period of time. Marketing comprises of tools for promoting your business like SEOs, social media, local searches, mobile and many others. However, Branding is like the value system, which guides the communication out across to the audience.

Marketing sells products or services, whereas Branding sells stories and experiences. Branding is to do with the mental aspect, where you try to evoke an emotional connect with the customer while Marketing is more about the physical aspects of the product or service.

Marketing is more process driven, which influences the human thought process momentarily, whereas Branding is more emotion driven, where the human senses are tapped to trigger their thinking process for a long time.

Marketing helps to dig up new customers and activates them, but Branding helps to make loyal customers, more like brand ambassadors. Marketing deals with creating a new or building on the existing customer base, but Branding aims at giving something back in terms of value to the customer base, so that they would like to come back to you again and again.

The success of a Marketing campaign depends on the amount of money and efforts spent, and might easily go wrong, if not researched well. Whereas, Branding is more flexible and a long-term investment, which can be changed over time according to the changes in the ideology.

In simple terms, Branding is like a promise, which you make, and Marketing is how you deliver the promise. Branding will keep the future in mind on how the brand can grow and sustain, whereas Marketing will look to leverage more on the present.

Understandably, there is not a huge difference between the two, Branding starts where Marketing ends and vice versa. They form the basis for each other. The two concepts go hand in hand to build a business, facilitate its growth and help it sustain in today’s competitive market scenario. Though the tools, basic guidelines or expertise might be different, but they definitely overlap.

So, if you are in two minds, on how to get more out of your Sales and Promotion, get both your Marketing and Branding strategies in sync to grow and sustain your customer base and goodwill.

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