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.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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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!

Send Us A Message

Choosing a Graphic Designer

Choosing a Graphic Designer

Choosing a Graphic Designer Quality graphic design is a vital element of your business. A quality graphic designer can help your company’s visibility, sophistication, efficiency, and desirability over the competition. It is essential to stand out effectively with your products and services in the marketplace, so it is essential to choose a quality graphic designer who can meet your needs.

5 factors to consider when choosing a graphic designer

1. Skills

It is important that the graphic designer is on top of the latest design, marketing, and Web trends. Knowledge is power, and a quality graphic designer will be able to apply their knowledge to help your company succeed. Another element in their skill set should be efficiency in the latest design software. The more efficient and knowledgeable they are in these programs, the more confident you can be, knowing they are using the best software to create great designs.

2. Experience

No matter if you are choosing a freelancer or design firm, industry experience is also important. A reputable graphic designer will always be up to speed on the latest strategies and best practices. A quality graphic designer or firm should be able to present their work experience to you. This can come in the form of a presentation of their portfolio or customer testimonials.

3. Portfolio

A strong portfolio can give you an idea of the designer’s sense of style, capabilities, and whether they are a good fit for the projects you need. Look for work that shows freshness, creativity, and attention to detail.

4. References

If a designer is able to provide you with references or testimonials from clients they have worked with successfully, this is a good indicator of a positive attitude and dedication to presenting quality, professional design to your business.

5. Personality/Professionalism

A quality graphic designer will take pride in the relationships they form with a client. They should be responsive, knowledgeable, and active listeners. You should get a good sense that they are on your team, consistent, and are understandable to your company’s vision.

Not all designers are created equal. With these five factors, choosing a quality graphic designer can be a long, but worthwhile, process. Adding a quality graphic designer to your design and marketing efforts will not only improve your brand identity but will also help you stand out against the competition.

    Selling on Shopify: How To Set Up An ECommerce Store

    Selling on Shopify: How To Set Up An ECommerce Store

    Selling on Shopify As the world is ever-changing, more and more people are doing their shopping online. From basic necessities to clothing and groceries, just about everything is available for purchase through the World Wide Web. Perhaps you have a brick and mortar store or you’re just getting started and seek only to sell online, but you just don’t know where to start. There are numerous ecommerce-specific platforms available, but the ecommerce experts here at Root & Roam agree that Shopify is the gold standard. 

    Shopify is a full featured, robust platform that handles the most nitty gritty of online selling. They have made it simple to process payments, create shipping labels, and design the actual look and feel of your website all in one place. Shopify has even built in various high-powered and highly effective ecommerce marketing tools. Gone are the days of confusing, clunky, hard-coded ecommerce websites. So, just how do you set up a Shopify store? Read on for our expert guide.

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

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    Selling on Shopify

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    How to set up a Shopify store

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    Utilize ecommerce marketing

    HOW TO SET UP A SHOPIFY STORE

    First things first—Shopify offers a 14-day free trial, and, once your trial period has expired, Shopify offers three tiers ranging in price from $29 to $299 per month. All of these plans will get the job done. However, the higher tiers give you access to more features like advanced reporting and deeper discounts on shipping. Advanced reporting in Shopify allows you access to reports such as a live view of your website, customer statistics, information on how your customers find your website, and more. Once you have selected the plan that best fits your needs, the setup process begins and consists of the following steps:

    Choose a Shopify Theme.

    Shopify offers several free themes, as well as third party paid themes in their Shopify theme store. The free themes are definitely enough to get you started. However, if you want more styling options and features, you’ll want to browse through the paid themes. Shopify’s themes are all mobile-friendly, and you won’t have to worry about configuring for mobile devices. Once you’ve chosen a theme, you can start customizing it and plugging in your content as you see fit. Don’t forget to develop your navigation, customize your checkout pages, and add legal pages like a privacy policy and terms of use.

    Create Your Products.

    Adding your products is relatively straightforward. Shopify has all of the necessary fields within their product listing sections. Be sure to complete as many fields as possible and use thorough, keyword-heavy product descriptions. Add high-resolution images that showcase different views of each product. Input pricing, skus, inventory, etc., for each product. You’ll also need to categorize each product into the appropriate “collection.” The collection a product belongs to will determine how the products are displayed on your website.

    Determine Payment Methods.

    What payment methods do you plan to accept? You’ll need to set this up in Shopify settings. Will you accept all major credit cards? What about Apple Pay, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, or PayPal? It is during this step that you will also need to provide your business information so that you can receive payouts.

    Configure Shipping.

    The possibilities are endless when it comes to your shipping terms. Do you plan to offer free shipping, flat rate shipping, or calculated shipping? Are you able and willing to ship internationally, or do you plan to only ship domestically? Will you use multiple carriers or stick with one tried-and-true option? It is imperative to determine your shipping structure up front and configure all options to match. If you plan to offer real-time, calculated shipping rates at checkout, you will need to shop and install a third party app from the Shopify app store.

    Don’t Forget to Collect Tax.

    Depending on the types of products you sell, where you are shipping them, and where you are physically located, you will need to configure the tax section in Shopify settings. Obviously, it is important to comply with all state and federal tax guidelines.

    Test and Retest Your Store.

    Once you have set up your Shopify store, it’s imperative that you test all aspects. Click around the front side to ensure all links are properly configured. Check to be sure your products are categorized in a way that makes sense and your product listings and individual product pages appear as you want. Add products to your cart, and walk through the checkout process, paying close attention to shipping options and the collection of taxes. Essentially, do anything and everything to try to “break” your site or the rules you’ve set in place. If everything operates as it should, you’re ready to go live!

      HOW TO UTILIZE ECOMMERCE MARKETING

      Shopify offers an assortment of ecommerce marketing tools to help you make more sales. One of the simplest ways to grow your audience is by encouraging visitors to sign up for email newsletters or SMS (text) updates, special offers, and announcements. Once you’ve gained these leads, you can build marketing campaigns to drum up site visits and increase conversions. You’ll want to use a third party service like Klaviyo, Omnisend, MailChimp, or Wishpond to create flows and push customers or potential customers through the funnel. If you choose to run SMS campaigns, be sure to meet all legal obligations in your Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy!

      Shopify Abandoned Cart Emails

      Another simple marketing tool that Shopify offers is abandoned cart emails. These emails are sent out at a specified time if a shopper places items in their cart but does not complete the checkout process. Shopify offers basic abandoned cart emails, but to really make the process more robust, it is recommended to use a third party service like Klaviyo. According to Shopify Partner Ezra Firestone, “Ecommerce customers who receive multiple abandoned shopping cart emails are 2.4 times more likely to complete the purchase than those who receive only one follow up email. And customers who receive multiple abandoned cart emails have a multiple transaction rate 44 percent higher than those who didn’t.”*

      Shopify Integrations

      Shopify integrates with several other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google to boost your efforts to the next level. You can use these integrations to build ad audiences to retarget and upsell your current customers, build like audiences that would be interested in your business based on the profiles of those who are already your customers, and re-engage users who visited your website but did not complete a purchase. Use a free Shopify app like Kit to build targeted social media ads and campaigns. (Kit is free, but you will pay social media platform fees for running ads.) 

      The ecommerce marketing options are truly endless. However, anything beyond basic needs will require the use of a third party app. When you find the one that fits all your needs, the cost is well worth it!

        Shopify Best Practices

        Now that your Shopify store is up and running, and you’ve got some ecommerce marketing campaigns in place, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Don’t get too comfortable just yet, though! Successful websites and marketing campaigns are consistently monitored, weak spots identified, and adapted to be even more effective. The World Wide Web and all of its various algorithms are constantly evolving. Thus, it is important to stay up-to-date on advancements and trends and adjust accordingly. 
        If you find yourself in need of a new ecommerce site, or you’re unable to stay atop of the constantly changing environment, give the Shopify experts at Root & Roam Integrated Marketing Agency a call. We have extensive experience in both developing and designing Shopify websites, as well as running highly successful ecommerce campaigns.

        Resources

        How To Plan For Holiday Marketing

        How To Plan For Holiday Marketing

        TABLE OF CONTENTS

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        Holiday Offer

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        Holiday Marketing Goals

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        Campaign Key Performance Indicators

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        Holiday Marketing Campaign Target Audience and Personas

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        Holiday Campaign Budget

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        Holiday Marketing Action Items

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        Get to Work On Your Marketing Plan

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        Holiday Marketing Summary

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        Final Thoughts

        How to plan for holiday marketing. – The hustle and bustle of the holidays do not come without intense preparation months in advance. Consumers save their money year-round to purchase the best decorations, food, and gifts available for their loved ones and themselves. In 2019, $729 Billion was spent during the holiday season. Whether you are advertising for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or December global holidays like Hanukkah and Christmas, or any other holiday, it all boils down to your campaign strategy. A complete campaign strategy will help your marketing team stay organized throughout the process. Your trusted Root & Roam team has put together this checklist to help you get started on your holiday campaign.

        HOLIDAY OFFER

        The first thing you need to know when preparing for the holiday season is what you want to offer to your customers. Typically, holiday campaigns include discounts and/or limited, seasonal products. When determining what to offer, you will need to consider what will make the most sense for both the consumer and for your business. For reference, you might want to look to the leaders in your niche. The leaders in your industry have likely tried many tactics to reach their audience. They know what works best. Never copy other brands’ offers or campaigns. This is simply an exercise to help you brainstorm your own ideas. Choose an offer that will bring value to your customer and your brand.

        HOLIDAY MARKETING GOALS

        Your goals are the things you want to achieve with your holiday campaign. A few examples of common goals are to generate sales, revenue, contact information (emails, phone numbers, mailing addresses), website visits, and door swings. 

        Your goals will vary depending on your brand and what you wish to achieve. Keep in mind that consumers purchasing products or services during the holiday season are likely expecting to receive their goods or services before their respective holiday. When setting goals, you will need to consider the time it takes to fulfill and ship the item or provide the service.

        CAMPAIGN KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

        Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are specific measurements of success related to your goals. While key performance indicators are similar to goals, it is important to brainstorm each separately. Because there are many ways to measure performance, your team will need to know what they are looking for specifically. When creating your KPIs, keep them reasonable and attainable while challenging your brand’s capabilities. What we mean by that is to set KPIs that are not beyond your reach like selling more orders than your team is capable of getting out in a reasonable amount of time or obtaining a level of revenue that is extreme. Aiming for a 20% increase from the previous year’s Black Friday sale, for example, is a reasonable KPI. Some examples of KPIs are a specific percentage increase in sales or obtaining a specific number of email subscribers.

        HOLIDAY MARKETING CAMPAIGN TARGET AUDIENCE AND PERSONAS

        Your target audience is the group or groups of consumers you wish to reach with your marketing efforts. The persona is a visualization of your ideal customer. Having the persona is helpful in determining messaging and platforms. Each persona is determined by research. Gather the following information for each persona:

        • age
        • gender identification
        • social status
        • job status
        • source of media consumption (search platform, social media platform, television, radio, magazine, etc.)
        • parental status
        • professional status
        • relationship status

        You need to have at least one defined persona. However, multiple personas are recommended if your target consists of a range of any of the factors listed above. A few tools that you can use when creating personas are surveys, interviews with current or previous customers, and research. Feedback from your clients is valuable when trying to figure out status and media preferences. Give the persona a name and a face to aid in visualizing the persona.

        Keep in mind that consumers are typically not shopping for themselves during the holidays. Typically, your persona and target audience are the same. During the holidays, your persona represents the person that would find value in your product or service. Your target audience is the person who might purchase your product or service. Due to this, your team will need to conduct a little extra research to find where they might reach the actual buyer. Depending on what you are selling, your target audience might be grandparents, adult children, parents, friends, or spouses.

        HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN BUDGET

        The next thing you will have to determine is the budget for the entire campaign and how the projected cost meets your budget. The research will need to be conducted to determine the cost of graphics, photography, videography, models, ad spend, landing pages, social media posting and maintenance, radio ads, and/or actors depending on your chosen platforms. 

        The visual piece and labor are usually charged at a flat rate or hourly rate depending on the specifics of what you are looking for. Ad spend is a bit different. Your ad spend should reflect your goals. Ad spend is based on the cost per click or cost per conversion, depending on your goal. Obtaining a sale or a click requires your ad to be shown to anyone who relates to your set audience. Each time your ad shows, a portion of your ad budget is spent. The total amount of your budget that is spent to obtain one click or conversion is the cost per click or conversion. The higher your ad budget, the more people your ad will reach. The more your ad is shown, the higher your chance of achieving your goals. 

        Factors that might affect ad cost include but are not limited to: keyword search volume, keyword difficulty, and keyword cost. The appearance and messaging of your ad may also affect your ad spend. The Root & Roam digital marketing team is here to help you navigate ad placement and budget.

        HOLIDAY MARKETING ACTION ITEMS

        The action items are the key piece of your holiday marketing strategy. This is where you plan out each step to achieve your goals based on your KPIs, personas, and budget. Action items might include creating an ads account, researching keywords, contacting publishers or networks, and creating a social media post or graphic. If you are not sure what is involved in a specific action item, collaborate with your team. Use their input to set each deliverable and their deadlines.

        GET TO WORK ON YOUR MARKETING PLAN

        Once you have written out your campaign strategy, it is time to delegate the tasks and get to work putting your plan into action. Begin with essential pieces like script or copywriting, filming or photography, and graphic design. If you’re doing print ads, purchase your ad space. Lastly, launch your campaign and wait for the engagements, subscribers, and shoppers to roll in. Post-launch you will need to allow your marketing team time to monitor and make adjustments to your campaign as needed. Monitoring and adjusting is the most crucial piece to making your campaign successful. You want your team to correct weak points in your campaign while there is still time to recover.

        HOLIDAY MARKETING SUMMARY

        Holiday marketing is much like everyday marketing intensified. During the holidays, you are not only competing within your niche but with every other brand advertising their product or service. The overarching goal of holiday marketing is to convince consumers that your product or service will make the best gift for their loved ones and their pocketbooks.

        FINAL THOUGHTS

        As you can tell, holiday marketing can take quite a bit of time to execute. Root & Roam recommends beginning your holiday marketing plan months in advance, allowing wiggle room for unexpected events. We know that planning and executing holiday marketing can be challenging. Your Root & Roam team is here to help you through the process. Are you ready to jump-start your holiday marketing plan? Click the button below.

        What are hashtags? Why should you use them?

        What are hashtags? Why should you use them?

        When putting together your social media strategy, you should always consider the tools available to help you meet your goals. A popular tool for over a decade has been the famous hashtag. Hashtags are powerful tools that can help your target audience find you organically across all social media platforms. Hashtags are valuable for every brand in every niche when used correctly. 

        The pound symbol (originally intended to represent numbers) is now a piece of your social media marketing strategy. In 2007, Chris Messina, Product Designer, Product Therapist, and Public Speaker, came up with the idea to group tweets using the symbol. That is when the hashtag was born. Now, more than fourteen years later, social media marketers, influencers, and business owners obsess over choosing the perfect set of hashtags for every social media post. Our team at Root & Roam has created this hashtag guide to help you decipher through the thousands of hashtags in existence and choose the right ones for your brand.

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        What are hashtags and why you should use them

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        How to choose hashtags

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        How to use hashtags

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        Key Takeaways

        THE BASICS OF HASHTAGS

        We now know the history of hashtags, but what is a hashtag exactly? A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the pound symbol. They don’t contain spaces or special characters such as the asterisk or dollar symbol. Hashtags may contain numbers and or emojis. 

        (Example: #howtousehashtags, #hastagguide2021laughing)

        Hashtags are a piece of the pie that help make your social media account(s) successful. Hashtags can help you use the algorithm to your advantage by getting your content to more news feeds of current and potential followers, ultimately increasing your reach.

        How To Choose Hashtags

        Choosing the correct hashtag for your post is the key to a successful hashtag strategy. The hashtags you use should be relevant to your brand and the content of each post.

        Your social media budget also plays a part in selecting hashtags. Hashtags that already have thousands of posts are going to have a higher competition level. You will need to post multiple times per week or even per day to stay at the top of the hashtags news feed. Just like any other newsfeed, a hashtags newsfeed features the latest post first. If you are working with a small social media budget, it is best to use hashtags with lower posting rates to be competitive. However, be cautious of hashtags with low posting rates. Hashtags with less than a few hundred posts total are likely new or dead hashtags with very few followers. Using such small hashtags would not be effective for reaching your goals. 

        The process of choosing hashtags should commence when you begin creating the content for your post. Use this list as a guide of things to consider, before settling on a hashtag:

        Branding in hashtags

        You want the hashtags you choose to reflect your specific niche. For example, it does not make sense to use #shoetrends when you are trying to market massage services. Spamming hashtags is a sure way to get your account flagged. A flagged account could result in your page getting banned temporarily or permanently.

        Hashtags to help you reach your social media goals

        You will need to consider what the post is intended to do before selecting the hashtags. Ask yourself these questions:

        • Am I trying to sell a product or service?
        • Am I trying to entertain viewers with fun content?
        • Am I trying to get viewers to sign up for something?
        • What would I like to gain from this post?

        Relevant content in hashtags

        A social media post includes the caption and the visual element (photo, video, or graphic). If the post is about your latest summer coffee flavor, you might want to use a hashtag like #summercoffeeflavor to maintain relevance to the content or to be found by people searching for new summer coffee flavors.

        Holidays or Special Events Hashtags

        If the social media post is about your upcoming holiday sale, include hashtags for the specific holiday. Pay attention, as some hashtags contain a date. i.e. #christmas2010

        A rule of thumb is to begin using holiday hashtags between 60 and 90 days prior to the holiday. For larger holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year, you will want to begin using the hashtags sooner. Major holiday hashtags will be heavily used by many platform users within the month of the holiday.

        Once you have answered all of the above statements, you will begin searching for the hashtags. There are many tools available to help you search for hashtags. One that we like to use at Root & Roam is the Key Words Everywhere plugin. This tool has free and paid features. It downloads directly to your browser and gives clean instructions for set up. Once you have completed the setup, you will find the hashtag symbol in the upper right corner of your screen when you log into Instagram on your desktop or laptop computer. Click the symbol and begin researching a term or phrase to find all of the available hashtags with their statistics.

        The most straightforward method is to log in to the desired platform that you will be using the hashtags on, go to the search bar, type “#” followed by a word or phrase relevant to your post or brand. The platform will direct you to a list of hashtags related to your search. From here, you will need to search through each hashtag until you find the right one(s). Continue this process until you are satisfied with the hashtags that you have chosen. Note: some social media platforms limit the number of hashtags used in a single post. Others have character limits per post as well. Always do your research on each social media platform you choose to work with before posting any content. 

        Hashtags best practices to start with are:

        • 1 – 2 hashtags on Facebook
        • 3 – 4 hashtags on Instagram posts
        • 0 – 2 hashtags on Linkedin
        • 3 – 4 hashtags on Pinterest
        • 2 – 3 hashtags on TikTok
        • 2 hashtags on Twitter

        There are many different recommendations regarding the use of hashtags on different platforms. Ultimately it all depends on your social media goals and budget. It is always okay to push the boundaries and find what works best for your brand.

        How To Use Hashtags

        Now that you have chosen your hashtags, there are a few ways you can include them in your post. The most common method of using hashtags is to drop them at the end of the caption. Another way is to add the #hashtag in the body of your caption, as we did here. Instagram allows you to include all of your hashtags in the first comment. We recommend using this method if you are using a lot of hashtags to keep the caption reader-friendly. 

        You will want to use hashtags heavily for some social media platforms and selectively for other platforms depending on your social media budget. Hashtags, when used correctly, will put your brand in front of new viewers by targeting a specific interest relevant to your brand. This leads to new followers on your social media account and potentially new customers for your business. All without the use of paid advertising.

        Remember to continuously engage with and nurture your newly obtained audience to prevent losing them in the future. Your social media goals and objectives will continue to change over time as your brand grows. Hashtag research along with many other audience obtaining factors are a continuous revolving door. Starting your hashtag journey and maintaining it properly will serve your brand well indefinitely.

        KEY TAKEAWAYS

        A few key takeaways to remember when using hashtags:

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        Only use relevant hashtags

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        Do your hashtag research

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        When used correctly, hashtags are great tools to help you reach your target audience organically

        Are you ready to increase your organic reach on social media? Our team is here to help take your brand to the next level. Click to start using hashtags in your social media strategy.