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    Marketing vs Advertising

    Marketing and advertising are commonly thought of as the same thing. On the contrary, there is a difference between the two terms. In this article, you will learn what differentiates marketing and advertising, what social media marketing means, and some marketing strategies 

    Marketing 

    Marketing involves design, creation, and research. These steps work towards the common goal of how to create an idea or product that will appeal to the target audience. Basically, marketing is the process of figuring out customer needs and how to satisfy those needs. An effective marketing strategy will help businesses figure out how to best meet the needs of their clients, while making money at the same time. In business-to-consumer marketing, marketing is focused on the consumers. On the other hand, in business-to-business marketing, marketing is focused on other businesses. In addition to knowing the basic definition and idea of marketing, you should also be aware of some key factors to consider.

    Important Factors to Consider

    1- Target Market

    A target market is a specific group of consumers that you want your product or service to reach. Who is your intended customer? Is your product or service aimed towards a certain age group, socio-economic level, personality type, etc.? These are the kinds of questions you should be asking yourself while coming up with a marketing strategy. If you are not sure who you want your target audience to be, start off with pinpointing the demographics of your audience. After, create a buyer’s persona. The buyer’s persona includes information like age, gender, salary, etc. Even though these things might seem random, you need to know these things so you can better understand your target market. Therefore, you can create an effective marketing strategy to cater to your target audience’s needs. 

    2- Communication with Customers

    Even if you have the best marketing strategy ever, it will do you no good if you don’t have an effective way to communicate your message to possible customers. You must be able to clearly communicate to customers why they should buy your product or use your service. 

    .3- Data

    Marketing data allows you to track website traffic, what content gets the most clicks, how long visitors stay on a page, and lots more information. If you don’t watch and analyze your data, you will not grow and improve your business. Use the data to learn what customers like and don’t like about your business. Figure out what draws people in, making them want to visit your website. 

    4- Focus

    In order to establish a successful business, focus on the customer. If you focus on making money over your customers, you will not get very far. The customers are the ones who are making you money. If you neglect your customers, they will not keep buying your product or service. Therefore, you will not continue making money. If you place value on customers rather than making money your top priority, you will see a growth in profits. 

    5- Passion

    This factor might seem cliché; however, it is really an important factor to creating an effective marketing strategy. If you don’t care about your work, you are not going to be enthusiastic or work hard. As a result, your business will not do well because you do not have a passion for what you do. If you do find yourself losing your passion for your business or marketing strategy, don’t be afraid to change it up to make it more interesting. Sometimes all you need to do is make some modifications and it will feel like a whole new business. It’s like the saying, “If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” Choose a marketing strategy that you are passionate about. If you do, you will succeed in growing your business. 

    Advertising

    Advertising is the act of actually promoting the company and its products or services. Basically, advertising is an element of marketing. Here are some examples of advertising: commercials on TV, billboards, social media posts, etc. 

    Important Factors to Consider

    1- Creativity

    You want your business to stand out. The perfect way to do so is by using graphics and design. Create outstanding visuals to make customers remember your brand. People are visual learners. 90% of information that humans process is visual. Therefore, if you have unique graphics integrated with your advertisements, people will be more likely to remember your business over another business that does not utilize graphic elements. 

    2- Research 

    Make sure to do your research! Your advertising efforts will not be as useful, if you do not do your research beforehand. For example, maybe you advertise your product or service on Instagram. However, you should’ve posted it on a different social media platform. Research would have told you which platform would work best for what you are trying to accomplish. In addition, research can help you figure out what your target audience wants in an ad. For example, maybe they respond better to social media posts versus TV commercials. Even though research might give you extra work to do, later, you will see its benefits when your business flourishes. 

    3- Money Management 

    You want to make sure that you spend your money wisely. Don’t invest money in areas that are less popular. For example, you can either spend a ton of money on a TV ad that will reach many people, or you can spend money on a billboard in a small town. Obviously, you will spend your money on the ad that will reach the most people. This is a dramatic example, but it gives you the basic picture. Do your research first and consider all the options before spending money. 

    4- Be Consistent

    You want to be consistent across all platforms. Certain ads might need some adjustments to fit in with that certain platform, and that’s okay. Just make sure to have the same message, no matter where you are advertising. 

    5- Target Audience

    Target audience was already discussed earlier in the marketing section. However, the target audience also applies to advertising in a similar way. If you know what your target audience wants, you can better cater to their needs. For example, maybe your product or service is catered more towards younger people. If that’s the case, you might consider advertising through Instagram versus Facebook. Knowing your target audience will help maximize your time and profit. 

    Overall, marketing and advertising are similar, but not the same. However, business owners need to use marketing and advertising skills simultaneously to promote and grow their businesses. 

    Social Media Marketing

    Social media marketing uses various social media platforms to connect your customers to your company, increase sales, and increase website traffic. Currently, the main social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat. These are all different social media platforms that are good for different things. For example, Instagram is great for posting images and a short caption. Whereas, Facebook posts pictures, but you also have the option to only type a post. Basically, it’s up to you to decide which social media platform will work best for your business. 

    5 Core Ideas of Social Media Marketing 

    1- Strategy

    Before publishing anything on social media, think of the big picture. What are your goals? What do you want your business to gain from these posts? What platform do you want to use? What kind of content do you want to produce? These are all questions to consider in the beginning of your social media marketing process. 

    2- Plan and Publish

    You want to post on social media at the right time, frequently, and with the right content that will appeal to your target audience. Make sure to plan out what you would like to post. If you have a plan, your posts will be put-together and help promote your company. 

    3- Listen and Engage

    As your social media following grows, interact with your followers. People will comment, tag, or message you on social media. Show them that you care by taking the time to respond. Your response doesn’t have to be long. It can be as simple as a quick “thank you” or “liking” their message or post. Social media is also where customers will reach out to you about your service or product with feedback, concerns, or questions. In general, monitor your social media accounts in case customers reach out to you. Nothing is worse than making your customers feel like their thoughts don’t matter.

    4- Analytics

    As you post on social media, you are going to want to know how you are doing. How many people are you reaching through social media? How many people use your hashtag? How many people share your posts? Using social media analytics tools will help you determine if your social media posts are actually effective. 

    5- Advertise 

    Once you increase sales and have more of a social media presence, you can start thinking of advertising to a wider audience. Social media ads will help you reach more people than just your followers. You can even choose where you would like to advertise based on your target audience. 

    Strategies of Marketing

    Now that we’ve discussed marketing in general, let’s dive deeper into some marketing strategies. 

    1- Content Marketing

    Content marketing is not about the products or service that you are selling. Content marketing is about making your audience interested in your company and brand. Content marketing is the most effective marketing strategy because it grows your brand’s visibility and credibility. 

    2- Referral Programs

    A referral program refers to giving people incentives to tell others about your product or service. For example, some stores offer 10% off your next purchase if you share the website with a friend. Referral programs are an effective way to introduce your business to new customers. 

    3- Inbound Marketing 

    Inbound marketing attracts, engages, and delights customers. Inbound marketing pulls customers into your site, making them want to learn more. Inbound marketing is all about the correct timing. People want to visit your site because they aren’t being interrupted, they are finding out about your company right when they need to. For example, maybe you are in the market for new running shoes. Then, a running shoes ad pops up on your screen. You are more likely to click on the ad now, versus if you were not looking for shoes. 

    4- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    Yes, social media is a great way to market your product; however, the other main way people look for something is through search engines. Make sure you optimize your website in order to increase website traffic. 

    There are many other marketing strategies that you can use, just make sure to choose the correct strategy that will work well for your business.  Now that you know the difference between marketing and advertising, and some marketing strategies, it’s time to utilize them! Use these marketing and advertising tips and strategies to grow your business.

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