Connecting with customers through social media engagement

Connecting with customers through social media engagement

Social Media Engagement – While social media has proven to be a remarkable tool for projecting voices, it’s important not to forget one of its most powerful features: connecting with and engaging your audience. So how can you go about this?

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Reasons to use social media to connect.

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Benefits of social media engagement.

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Ways to engage through social media.

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Connect with Root & Roam.

You’ve got the content down: Facebook fans thoughtfully respond to your well–written captions, while Instagram followers excitedly comment under your high-res, eye-catching photos. The audience is there, the engagement steadily rising—what’s next? Rounding out your social media engagement strategy through connection!

Reasons to use social media to connect.

  • Build brand loyalty. When a customer encounters your product and a competitor’s product down the aisle, your product will be the one they consistently put in their basket.
  • Encourage further user engagement. This means more direct messages, comments, reviews, current audiences directing other users to your page, etc. And discover more ways to engage through social media!
  • Discover new audiences. As your current audience thrives and grows, you’ll encounter new viewers and have the chance to direct them to your page.

Benefits of social media engagement.

By adopting new ways to increase social media engagement with customers, you’re humanizing a brand, both building its trustworthiness and influencing the feeling it evokes. This is one of the greatest benefits of social media engagement, since this feeling ultimately carries some brands (rather than others) to the forefront of a customer’s mind. 

As the relationships between audiences and businesses grow, social media engagement ensues, strengthening your brand image even further and creating more opportunities for connecting with potential customers.

These conversations are vital to bolstering connections and broadening your audience; they work to personify your brand, allowing it to stand out better and become more relevant in users’ lives. As discussed earlier, with each positive one-on-one interaction, the memorability of your page grows! Plus, it allows others to feel seen and included, rather than talked at. Taking this conversational approach with your social media engagement strategy is about engaging with audiences, answering questions while asking them some of your own, and allowing them to feel heard by your business in an entirely new way.

Ways to engage through social media.

The first thing is to get acquainted with your audience. Learn about them! Who are they? What are their interests? What do they respond to? 

Then, develop content based on this information, and balance it with what resonates with you. Let social media be a way to build trust and relationships with your community. (Check out this article on Hootsuite, which covers this in-depth.)

When looking to increase social media engagement, be sure to

  • enthusiastically respond to direct messages;
  • thoughtfully answer comments;
  • post user-generated content (UGC); and
  • engage with other users’ content.

The key to these practices is to be genuine. A social media user can tell when efforts to engage are merely made with the intent of promoting pages rather than contributing to the community. Inauthentic attempts at connecting with customers can backfire! 

Instead, try to meaningfully comment on things interesting and relevant to your brand or social media page. This can help build positive associations with your page and encourage users to start conversations with you, presenting more opportunities to reap the benefits of social media engagement!

For this reason, the daunting influx of comments and direct messages occupying your notifications shouldn’t be seen as a chore, but as multiple ways to positively engage your audience through social media. 

Take time to answer questions, address concerns, or have a leisurely and enjoyable conversation! While you may hold several of these conversations throughout the day, this is likely an infrequent occurrence for your follower/customer, making it more exciting and memorable. It’s what social media is for—connecting and engaging!

Reposting UGC serves a similar purpose as holding conversations with social media users. It helps users feel included and convey a sense of community—which ultimately encourages more engagements, connections, brand loyalty, and in turn, far more chances to make a sale!

Connect with Root & Roam.

All in all, prioritizing customer/audience connections can play a significant role in propelling your social pages forward, allowing you to define your brand through one-on-one engagements positively. And, in case you need a refresher on building your brand, check out our last blog post! If you’re looking for more in-depth help finding ways to engage through social media, the experts at Root & Roam are always here to help. Call us at 325-455-3130 to learn more!

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Event Marketing—How to plan and market an event

Event Marketing—How to plan and market an event

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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What is event marketing, and how can Root and Roam help?

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Why is event marketing important?

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Event Marketing Plan

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Event Marketing Plan—The Questions You Need to Answer

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Event Marketing Strategy

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Develop Event Marketing Assets

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Marketing Ideas for Events

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Our Experience with Event Marketing

What is event marketing, and how can Root and Roam help?

“Event marketing describes the process of developing a themed exhibit, display, or presentation to promote a product, service, cause, or organization leveraging in-person engagement.”Adobe Experience Cloud

As an event marketing agency, Root and Roam aids clients in planning out the finest details of their events. This includes putting together a marketing strategy and asset creation. We even provide photography and videography services during our clients’ events. 

Our team of event marketers is skilled in creating event marketing strategies that help our clients succeed in achieving their event goals. The process of creating the strategy requires diving into the who, what, when, where, and why of the event and building on those answers to paint the larger picture. In this article, we are going to take you through the process of event marketing planning.

Why is event marketing important?

Event marketing allows consumers to get a small inside look at your business, the values your company upholds, and the value that your product or service can provide them. Event marketing spans from trade shows to charity events and even conferences. 

At these events, you have the opportunity to form personal connections with consumers, and the personal connections you form at these events have the potential to blossom into long-term client relationships.

Event Marketing Plan

Your event marketing plan is the base starting point for marketing your event. This is where you plan out the date, time, and theme of the event, what you will offer your audience, and the overarching goal and purpose of the event.

Event Marketing Plan—The Questions You Need to Answer

Similar to any other marketing plan, the first step you need to take when planning a marketing event is to create the strategy. To create the strategy you need to determine the when, where, who, and how of your event.

  • When will the event take place?
    • What is the time and date of the event?
  • Where will the event take place?
    • What is the city, state, and/or country of the event?
    • Will the event be indoor, or outdoor?
  • Who?
    • Who is hosting the event—are you the host, or is someone else the host?
    • Who will be there—is the event open to the public or strictly private?
  • How?
    • How will you be participating in the event?
      • Are you speaking?
      • Will you have a booth?
      • Are you donating?
      • Will you be providing a demonstration?

Event Marketing Strategy

The event marketing strategy is the second step in marketing your event. Let’s walk through the pieces of an event marketing strategy together.

Event Goals

Let’s nail down the goal of your event. We need to know what you are looking to achieve in order to create the best plan for your event. A few goal ideas for events are to raise money for charity, create brand awareness, or generate leads.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Start with your KPIs for the event. KPIs are how you measure the success of your marketing event. KPI’s should always be reasonable and attainable, based on the projected event attendance and your budget. Your event marketing KPIs can include but are not limited to

  • Obtaining a certain amount of contact information (email addresses, phone numbers, or mailing addresses)
  • Speaking to a certain number of people per day
  • Performing a certain number of demonstrations per day or per event
  • Giving a speech that hits on specific topics
  • Achieving a certain number of sales at the event
  • Reaching a certain threshold of dollars donated—this usually applies to charity events

Your team can even look into KPIs that are achieved post-event courtesy of your efforts at the event. Those include

  • Phone calls 
  • Door swings
  • Sales
  • Contracts

All of the above are achieved because the client learned about your business at the event.

Audience

The next step in the strategy is to determine who your target audience is and where to reach them. We determine who the audience is based on your niche market and the goal of the event. If the goal is to raise money, we will want to target an audience with a certain level of income. If the goal is to create brand awareness, we can target a broader audience within your niche. Staying within your niche is also important so that you don’t waste precious resources on those who are not interested in your business type, to begin with.

You can find out where your audience a few different ways, you can survey new potential and existing clients, you can also rely on quality research regarding your target audience’s media habits. The Root and Roam event marketing team is equipped to assist you in the process of determining the best avenues of advertising for your event.

Budget

Determine your budget for the event. Not only do you need to know the overall budget, but you also need to break that budget down into necessities and non-necessities.

Necessities

  • Permits
  • Building/space rental
  • Transportation (plane tickets, rental vehicles, gasoline)
  • Passes—to enter the event and parking
  • Room and board—food and hotel expenses for yourself, employees, and participants
  • Products and tools for demos
  • Advertisements
  • Wages for attending employees

Non-necessities

  • Entertainment
  • Gifts

It’s important to factor in necessities (the things you have to pay for) first, then tack on the non-necessities if there is room in your budget. This way you have a firm grasp of how much the event will cost your company or organization.

Develop Event Marketing Assets

Event marketing assets include messaging and visual elements of your marketing efforts.

Event Marketing—Messaging

The messaging should be informative and easy to skim. Messaging includes all of the need-to-know elements of the event, along with any fine details that your audience should know. The messaging should also match the event theme and meet your goals of what you want your audience to feel when they read it. Need-to-know information includes but is not limited to

  • Event name
  • Event time, date, and location
  • Entertainment—live entertainment, speeches, tradeshow vendors, food and beverages available—ALWAYS INCLUDE FREE ITEMS IF AVAILABLE

Fine details to include in your messaging are

  • Entry or ticket cost and where to purchase or pre-pay
  • Parking information if applicable
  • VIP opportunities
  • Age limits if the event is not child friendly
  • A web address where your audience can learn more about the event

Event Marketing—Visual Elements

The visual assets are the “pretty pictures” that go along with the event messaging. Visual assets include graphics, infographics, websites/landing pages, photographs, and videos. To create these pieces, you will need to hire graphic designers, website designers, website developers, photographers, and/or videographers. 

Luckily for you, Root and Roam is a full-service event marketing agency—meaning that we are fully staffed with team members that can cover all of the asset development pieces for you.

Marketing Ideas for Events

Based on Root and Roam’s experience, there are a few marketing avenues that we suggest looking into when planning marketing for your event. Our suggestions include pay-per-click advertising, a website or landing page on your website, social media posting and paid ads, radio, newspaper, and magazine ads, flyers, direct mailers, email blasts, newsletters, billboard ads, and word of mouth (tell everyone).  The marketing avenue that will work best for your event depends on your target audience, discussed in the “Audience” section of this article.

Here are a few other marketing ideas for events that we can offer, depending on your role in the event: 

  • Prepare a speech that delivers the purpose, goal, and good of the event and your company or organization’s role there;
  • Purchase booth equipment—this includes the booth fee, tables, chairs, and sectioning screen or curtains if needed;
  • Purchase fliers, banners, pamphlets, a digital slideshow, or free gifts for guests at the event;
  • Prepare sample kits—include any products that you are willing to give away. Remember that consumers are more likely to purchase what they can taste, smell, and touch;
  • Prepare a demo stage—include the equipment you need to produce a demonstration, including safety equipment;
  • Stock up on checks with your company’s name on it, and/or order a giant check for photos;
  • Post on social media—post lives, photos, and videos, and schedule updates throughout your time at the event. You can even let your fans know where to find you at the event.

Our Experience with Event Marketing

Root and Roam has specialized in event marketing in a few different forms, the largest being the production of Bacon Bash Texas, held annually in Cranfills Gap since 2011. Our team is fully involved in the planning and production of Bacon Bash Texas every year. This means that we assist with things as small as hiring judges for the bacon cook-off to the setup and takedown of booths on the day of the event. We also handle all of the pay-per-click, social media, and website marketing for the event year-round.

Outside of Bacon Bash Texas, we assist our clients in preparing for conferences and trade shows by designing and ordering banners and signs for booths. We can even let your fans know that you will be at an event in their area via social media or pay-per-click ads.

Needless to say, Root and Roam has the experience to assist with your event marketing needs. Click the button to kick off your event marketing plan.

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Ep #04: Digital Strategy with Eva Marie Guido

Ep #04: Digital Strategy with Eva Marie Guido

Ep #04: Digital Strategy with Eva Marie Guido

The show is about digital marketing, creative services, office culture, and everything in between. In this episode, I talk with Eva Marie Guido, Digital Marketing Manager and Root & Roam’s super digital nomad. We talk digital strategy, trends, and her recent adventure to the Lone Star State.

We’ll be back monthly to tell you more about what’s going on behind the scenes at Root & Roam.

The History of Marketing

The History of Marketing

The history of marketing – Marketing is defined as the action of promoting and selling products or services. For as long as there has been something to trade, barter, or sell, there has also been marketing. From the first example of branded materials to the invention of the printing press to modern technology, let’s take a trip through time and discover the history of marketing.

The_history_of_marketing, The history of marketing goes back thousands of years. In this image, we explore the history of marketing from 1450 (the first appearance of printed advertising) to the more recent boom of social media in the early 2000s-2010s. This timeline of marketing history takes you through the major events that made the industry what it is today.

Looking Forward

As we step into the new year, marketing looks a bit different than it did 200 years ago. Cutting-edge technology and business practices, coupled with new consumer habits, require brands to step up with new marketing techniques in 2022. Forbes magazine predicts that this year consumers will be more inclined to purchase a brand than a product. Buyers want to do business with brands that share their values. Forbes also predicts that consumers will prefer to be taught, rather than sold on the ethics of a business. They understand that company X may have the best customer service around, but they are looking for companies to educate them on their biggest questions.

SWOT Analysis for Marketing—Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat Analysis

SWOT Analysis for Marketing—Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat Analysis

SWOT Analysis – Completing a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat (SWOT) Analysis is an integral part of completing your business’ marketing strategy. While working on your marketing plan, it is important to check in with and take into account what the competition is up to in your market.

Read on to learn about what a SWOT analysis is, how to perform one, and some of our favorite insights.

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SWOT Analysis for Marketing—Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat Analysis

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WHAT IS A SWOT ANALYSIS FOR MARKETING?

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WHY SHOULD I COMPLETE A SWOT ANALYSIS?

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HOW DO I DO A SWOT ANALYSIS FOR MARKETING

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Marketing Strength Analysis

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Marketing Weaknesses Analysis

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Marketing Opportunity Analysis

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Marketing Threat Analysis

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How Do I Use a Marketing SWOT Analysis?

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Gain A Better Understanding of your Marketing Plan and Strategy.

WHAT IS A SWOT ANALYSIS FOR MARKETING?

A SWOT analysis is a great way to get an overall picture of your standing as a company. You can complete a SWOT analysis on any area of your business or the business as a whole. A project, department, campaign, or new idea may warrant completing a SWOT analysis. 

There are 4 aspects of a SWOT Analysis that will allow you to better understand your company or project.

WHY SHOULD I COMPLETE A SWOT ANALYSIS?

Completing a SWOT Analysis will help you to gain a better understanding of your market at large. If completing an analysis for a full scope marketing plan, this analysis will shine a light on the areas of your business that are doing well; where your competition may be outperforming you; where there may be opportunities for your company to get ahead; and threats in the industry that you will want to keep an eye on. 

This will also allow you to analyze your project or marketing plan. For example, you may realize that there is heavy competition or that some of your company’s weaknesses need to be strengthened for you to be able to compete and stand out among your competition. That’s exciting because that’s where the growth happens! You can start thinking through training, hiring, or outsourcing these pieces to ensure your success.

HOW DO I DO A SWOT ANALYSIS FOR MARKETING?

Ready to dig in and get the insight you’ve been craving? It may seem daunting, but when broken down into segments, you’ll find more information than you thought possible!

    1. The first thing to do is to have a clear idea of what you will be researching. Check in internally to define your scope. Are you analyzing your full marketing capabilities? Are you looking specifically to kickstart a new effort or campaign? Make sure you have a clear idea of the project so that you focus your research in the right direction.
    2. Next, determine who your competitors are. If your research is for your full scope of marketing capabilities, you likely know who your main competitors are. Keep those competitors in mind, but also run an audit in your favorite SEO tool (We like SEMRush!) to see if there are any newcomers in the market to include in your competition. It’s always a great idea to keep an eye out for changes—consider scheduling a report weekly or monthly with this data so you can continue to grow and pivot as the market does!
    3. Finally, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of it: completing each analysis. For each section, review the questions below as a guideline for where to start. For strengths and weaknesses, you’ll focus your research internally. Opportunities will include internal and external research, and your Threats will come from external sources, including your competition’s website(s), market research and reports (there are many specialized market research companies as well as free information available across the internet), and Google Search Trends. If your company subscribes to any industry publication, this would also be a great resource!

As you begin your analysis, you’ll come up with additional ideas, thoughts, and questions. Include them in your analysis! Our following factors are a jumping off point, not an end all, be all!

Marketing Strength Analysis

Internal Factors

    • What internal efforts are you running that are performing well?
    • In what areas does your company or team excel? 
    • Is there a particular aspect that brings in more conversions (sales, leads, traffic, or any other Key Performance Indicators) for your company? 
    • What are your key distinguishers that set you apart from competitors?

Marketing Weaknesses Analysis

Internal Factors

    • What internal efforts are taking more time because they’re not optimized? 
    • What is not performing well?
    • In which areas do you see that your team isn’t properly trained? 
    • Is there a position you need filled immediately?
    • What are your team’s pain points?
    • What internal obstacles do you face?

Marketing Opportunity Analysis

Internal Factors

    • What strengths, if any, aren’t being used to their full potential? 
    • What great ideas have you and your team been mulling over that haven’t come to fruition yet? 
    • Do you have yearly goals to meet that can be met through identifying new opportunities?
    • Is there something your consumer has been asking for that you could provide?

External Factors

    • What areas of the market aren’t being served?
    • What is the current landscape of the market? Review industry reports to identify the pain points that you may have not yet considered. For example, are manufacturing costs estimated to increase? Is the supply chain facing weaknesses?

Marketing Threat Analysis

Internal Factors

    • Is your company prepared to take on the extra orders, leads, or other business that you are working to achieve?
    • Is the market saturated? How much work will it take for you to compete in the arena?

External Factors

    • What areas of the market aren’t being served?
    • What is your competition up to—and what are they doing well?

How Do I Use a Marketing SWOT Analysis?

A common visualization tool for a SWOT analysis is to include all of your information in a matrix. This matrix is a simple 2×2 grid layout of these categories to help you analyze, at a glance, where you may have matches in your strengths and opportunities, as well as in your weaknesses and threats. This allows you to note areas where you can quickly take advantage of the market and your skills as well as areas where it will be important for you to grow and track your competition. Below, you’ll find an example of a completed matrix. This visualization may help you to identify trends that are working well for your marketing plan or areas where your plan may not be working as you strategically intended. Reading across rows will help you to clearly see your internal or external factors, while reading down columns will quickly identify areas to focus on marketing efforts or strengthening your team.

AREAS TO ACT ON NOW AREAS FOR GROWTH
INTERNAL STRENGTHS
(What you already do well)
WEAKNESSES
(Where your performance can be improved)
EXTERNAL OPPORTUNITIES
(Gaps in the market)
THREATS
(Changes in the industry)

If you are working on a marketing strategy for a burger company, your SWOT Analysis for marketing may look like this:

AREAS TO ACT ON NOW AREAS FOR GROWTH
INTERNAL STRENGTHS
3x faster than our competition
Our product is grass fed
Repeat customers
WEAKNESSES
Small Team
Only offer 3 products
Cost per Acquisition is high
EXTERNAL OPPORTUNITIES
Market shift towards locally sourced
Sustainability more important than ever
Customers willing to pay more for a higher quality product
THREATS
Beef prices rising
Supply chain shortages

From your SWOT matrix, you should be able to—

    • look down the left column and see that customers are looking to buy a product at a higher price, like a grass-fed burger. That would provide insight that your product and offerings are in line with the market—this is a great marketing opportunity to promote the high quality and sustainability of your grass-fed beef! 
    • look at the right column and see that you only offer 3 types of burgers, and supply chain shortages may cause a problem here, leaving you with only 1 type of burger left to sell! Knowing this up front offers you the opportunity to grow: you could make a Plan B, source alternate products/suppliers, or consider diversifying your menu in these situations.
    • look at the top row and see that your staff is great but thin. Make a plan to round this out before your marketing plan gets into high gear! 
    • look at the bottom row and see that the market is pushing towards a higher quality product and is willing to pay more—which is great, since the cost of the product is increasing. Make moves now to increase your prices to gain the ROI that you need! 

Other insights you may glean from your analysis—

    • Once you convert a lead into a customer, they are loyal. Consider a rewards program to lower your cost per acquisition.
    • Cost per acquisition is high, and prices in the industry are rising, which indicate that your competition will also be preparing to spend more per acquisition. Consider alternate ads/spends that target an untapped market.
    • Your team is a key selling point. Promote your team and their unique value to the marketplace!

Gain A Better Understanding of your Marketing Plan and Strategy.

As your marketing strategy grows and evolves, use a SWOT analysis to gain a better understanding of your marketing plan, its effectiveness, the market, and areas where it may be necessary to pivot. Your SWOT analysis will provide an effective and simple way to quickly identify your marketing’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats! If you’d like more insight into your marketing efforts and to complete an audit of your marketing situation, Root & Roam can help. Complete the form below, and we’ll be in touch!

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