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Canva is one of the most popular web-tools to create images for social media, invitations, and more. In fact, it’s even used by Twitch streamers to create graphics for their gaming channels. However, if you’re bored of using Canva or find it limiting, there are many Canva alternatives you can use. So, here are 7 Canva alternatives (free and paid) that you should check out.1. Microsoft Designer
AI is everywhere these days, including in Canva. However, Microsoft’s new AI-powered Canva alternative is definitely one of the best tools you can use. Microsoft Designer allows you to start off your design by simply typing in what you need. So you can write things like “an invitation card for a birthday party” and it will generate a bunch of templates that you can then customise to your heart’s content. In fact, you can get an even better head start by giving more details in your prompt. Type something like “an invitation card for Akshay’s birthday party on 23 May, at 8pm” and the generated card will have those details already included.
You can also use Microsoft Designer for creating YouTube thumbnails or Instagram Stories. In fact, if you mention “thumbnail for YouTube”, or “an Instagram Story” in the prompt, it usually adjusts the aspect ratio accordingly on its own so you don’t have to worry about setting the correct dimensions manually.
ProsConsEasy to useCan sometimes create drafts that aren’t quite accuratePrompts generate good quality templates
Pricing: Free2. Adobe Express
Ask any designer, and they’ll likely swear by Adobe’s products for their designing needs. Whether it’s Photoshop, or Illustrator, Adobe’s tools are industry standards for a reason. So, if you’re looking for a high quality tool like Canva, you should definitely check out Adobe Express.
This free to use tool offers every feature you’d find in Canva, and then some. You can start off with templates for popular things like Instagram Stories, Facebook posts, thumbnails for YouTube, and more. It even has templates for flyers, logos, book covers, and more.
Apart from all the Canva-like features, Adobe Express also brings in tools such as image resizing, background removal, and more to make your editing easier. What’s more, you can use Adobe Firefly (check out) to use AI to generate images and use them in your Adobe Express designs as well. Adobe Express has a free to use tier, but you can also subscribe to its paid plan to get access to more features including Adobe’s Stock library, content scheduling, 100GB of cloud storage, and more.
ProsConsFeature packedPremium plan is quite expensive at $9.99/monthHas templates for pretty much everything
Pricing: Free tier available, $9.99/month premium plan3. Picsart
Another Canva alternative you can check out is Picsart. Though you might have heard about it as an image editing app, it also has a web app that lets you create graphics and images for social posts. You can choose from a variety of image sizes, including custom templates for Instagram Stories and posts, Facebook posts, YouTube thumbnails, LinkedIn images, and it even has templates for Twitch banners and more.
There are a lot of templates to get a jumpstart on your design process, including custom ones for themes like Mother’s Day, flyers, posters, and more. Picsart will allow you to add photos, collages, text (with a bunch of cool fonts), background editing, and more to help you create the perfect flyer, poster, or social media post.
ProsConsVast library of templates to choose fromFree plan is quite limitedPre-built templates for Twitch banners
Pricing: Free tier available, paid plans start at $2 per month
Check out Picsart (visit)4. Visme
ProsConsLarger template library than most competitorsPaid plan is quite expensiveFree plan has decent options, and unlimited usage
Pricing: Free tier available, paid plans start at $12.25 per month
Check out Visme (visit)5. VistaCreate (Formerly: Crello)
VistaCreate is a solid tool like Canva that you can use to create designs for social media, websites, logos, business cards and more. It even has templates to let you create t-shirt designs, Zoom backgrounds, etc. You can also use VistaCreate to make animated designs. There are templates for popular ones like YouTube intros, Instagram video stories, Reels, and more.
ProsConsVersatile set of templatesCan be difficult to find free templatesCan create animated GIFs, video posts, and morePaid plan is pricey
Pricing: Free tier available, Pro plan priced at $10 per month
Check out VistaCreate (visit)6. Kittl
Kittl is a solid Canva alternative if you’re looking for something that brings Canva like features, along with AI built in to help you create your designs. As far as the basic features go, Kittl has everything you’ll need. You can find templates for things like creating social media posts, logos, cards, labels, posters, etc., and there are a bunch of pre-made graphics for you to get started with.
Check out Kittl (visit)7. Design Wizard
However, the reason Design Wizard is at the bottom of this list, is because it doesn’t allow you to download created designs in its free plan. Plus, the UI is definitely in dire need of a touch up. Still, if you’re looking for tools like Canva to help you create great looking graphics, and you don’t mind paying for the tool, you can check out Design Wizard as well.
ProsConsMultiple templates and sizes to choose fromDoesn’t allow downloading without a paid planSupport for layers
Pricing: Free usage allowed, paid plans start from $9.99 per month
Check out Design Wizard (visit)
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Every business should have a social strategy backed by a social media budget. Find out how much you should be spending on social media marketing.
If you’re using social media to market your business, you need a social media budget. Here’s how to put one together — and how to ask your boss for the investment you need.
Bonus: Download a free guide and checklist to help you convince your boss to invest more in social media. Includes experts tips for proving ROI.
What is a social media budget?
A social media budget is a document that specifies how much you plan to spend on social media over a specific time, e.g. a month, a quarter, or a year.
How big should your social media budget be?
There’s no set rule for how much to spend on digital marketing in general or social media in particular. However, there are some general guidelines and benchmarks backed by surveys and research.Overall marketing budget benchmarks
According to the Business Development Bank of Canada, the overall marketing budget varies depending on whether you’re marketing to consumers or to other businesses:
B2B companies should allocate 2-5% of revenue to marketing.
B2C companies should allocate 5-10% of their revenue to marketing.
Here’s the average amount each size of business spends on marketing per year, based on the same research:
Small businesses (<20 employees): $30,000
Mid-sized businesses (20-49 employees): $60,000
Large businesses (50 employees or more): more than $100,000Social media budget benchmarks
According to the February 2023 CMO Survey, the percentage of marketing budget businesses will spend on social media in the next 12 months breaks down as follows:
B2B Product: 14.7%
B2B Services: 18.3%
B2C Product: 21.8%
B2C Services: 18.7%
The same research found the amount of marketing budget allocated to social media this year also varies by sector:
Consumer services: 28.5%
Communications and media: 25.6%
Banking and finance: 11.7%
In five years, the overall portion of social media in the marketing budget is estimated to be 24.5%.
Source: CMO Survey
Use these averages as benchmarks. Then, tailor them around your goals and resources (more on that below) when planning how to budget a social media campaign for your business.
What should your social media budget plan include?Content creation
On social media, content is and always will be king. Many social marketers spend more than half of their social media campaign budget on content creation. Here are some of the line items you may need to include in this section:
Photography and images
Talent, i.e. actors and models
Production costs, i.e. props and location rentals
Copywriting, editing, and (possibly) translation
Costs will vary significantly depending on how custom you want your social media content to be.
For example, you can get started with photos and graphics from a free stock photography site, in which case you can budget $0 for photos. However, if you want a more custom approach, or you want to show off your specific products, you’ll need to hire a photographer.
A good guide to rates for copywriters, editors, and translators can be found on the Editorial Freelancers Association website. The median rates based on an April 2023 survey are:
Copy editing: $46–50/hr
Translation: $46–50/hrSoftware and tools
Your social media budget will likely include some or all of the following tools and platforms. You can find more information about the costs associated with each category of tools in our curated lists:
Again, costs will vary significantly depending on the size of your business and your team. Some software tools (including Hootsuite) offer free plans with basic features.Paid social media campaigns
Your social media strategy might start off using only free tools to share organic content and engage with fans across your social media accounts.
Twitter: No minimum
*YouTube says this is what “most businesses” start with as a minimum.
To calculate how much you should spend on your next Facebook ad campaign based on your revenue goals, try the Facebook Ads Budget Calculator from AdEspresso.Influencer marketing
Working with influencers (or content creators) is a good way to expand the reach of your social content. Consider both how much you’ll spend to boost Influencer posts and how much you’ll pay the content creators themselves.
Influencer campaign costs vary, but the basic formula for calculating influencer rates is: $100 x 10,000 followers + extras. Some nano- or micro-influencers might be willing to use an affiliate commission structure.Training
There are lots of free social media training resources out there, but it’s always worthwhile to invest in training for your team.
Social media changes fast, and your team’s roles can change and grow equally quickly. If your team members are ready and willing to invest their time in developing new skills, it’s a good idea to enable that through your social media budget. You’ll be the beneficiary of everything they learn.
Depending on your team’s skill levels and campaign needs, these are a few training options you should consider including in your social media budget:
LinkedIn Learning. LinkedIn’s business courses extend well beyond the use of the LinkedIn platform. They feature instruction from and interviews with subject matter experts including Sheryl Sandberg, Adam Grant, and Oprah Winfrey.
Hootsuite Academy. From single courses to certificate programs, Hootsuite Academy offers a catalog of courses taught by industry pros and tailored for businesses.
Hootsuite Services. Hootsuite Business and Enterprise customers get access to guidance and coaching, with custom training available as a Premier Service.
Industry-expert training. Social media managers are senior strategists, so training and education opportunities should extend beyond the specifics of social media. Hootsuite copywriter Konstantin Prodanovic recommends Hoala’s Professional Master Course in Brand Strategy and Mark Ritson’s Mini MBA in Brand Strategy.
— LinkedIn Learning (@LI_learning) June 28, 2023Social strategy and management
While there are tools that make social management easier, and outsourcing is always an option, it’s good practice to have at least one person in-house supervising social.
Even if you outsource your social media efforts, you’ll need someone in-house to coordinate with your partners and represent your brand in discussions about strategy and creatives.
Your social team also engages with social fans, provides social customer service, and manages your social community. They use social listening to learn about your audience and alert you to potential threats and opportunities. They build a social strategy and — yes — manage social budgets of their own.
When building this role into your budget, consider the average U.S. salaries for social media managers, as tracked by Glassdoor:
Lead social media manager: $54K/yr
Senior social media manager: $81K/yr
Looking to hire or become a social media manager? Here are the essential skills every candidate should have.
How to create a social media budget plan1. Understand your goals
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Every good marketing strategy starts with clear and well-thought-out goals. After all, it’s impossible to determine how much budget to assign to social media if you don’t know what you want to achieve.
We’ve got a whole blog post on effective goal-setting to help with this part of creating your budget, but here’s the gist. Especially when using them to create a budget, your goals should be SMART:
Specific goals tied to measurable results allow you to measure the value of social media, so you can determine an appropriate amount to spend for each desired result.
Measurable goals also allow you to track and report on your success, so you can adjust your budget over time to better support the strategies that work for your business.2. Analyze your spend from previous months (or years, or quarters)
Before you create a budget, it’s important to understand the current state of affairs. How much are you spending on social media now? If you’ve never made a budget, you may not be completely sure.
If you’re already producing social media reports, you’ll have a good source of information to draw from. If not, a social media audit is a good first step to help you understand where you’re currently spending your time on social media. (And remember: time is money.)
Next compile a list of all your specific social marketing expenses from previous periods, using the categories outlined above, so you know where you’re starting from.3. Create (or update) your social media strategy
You’ve now got some good starting information to help build out your social media strategy. This will help you work out how you’re going to go about achieving the goals you set in step 1.
Then, by analyzing the amounts you’ve spent in the past and the efforts you want to make to achieve those goals, you can determine a reasonable amount to spend on each part of your strategy moving forward.
A summary of your social strategy is a good document to attach as a cover letter in your social media budget proposal, since it shows that the amounts you’re asking for are based on real data and solid planning.4. Create a budget proposal for your boss
Now it’s time to get technical. The good news is, we’ve taken care of setting up a social media budget proposal template for you, so all you have to do is enter the information specific to your business and your plans.
Category: Content creation, software, etc. Create a section for each of the relevant items listed above, then break it down into specific line items for each individual expense.
In-house vs. outsourced expense: In-house expenses are based on the amount of staff time dedicated to social media. Outsourced expenses are anything you pay for outside your company, from consulting to ad fees. Some categories may include both in-house and outsourced expenses, so break these out into separate columns.
Spend per item: For each line item and category, add up the internal and outsourced costs to indicate a total spend. List this as both a total dollar figure and a percentage of your total budget so you (and your boss) can clearly understand how you’re allocating resources.
Ongoing or one-time expense: If you’re including any one-time expenses in your budget that will have value over the long term, it’s a good idea to flag these so your boss understands it’s a one-time ask. For example, maybe you need to buy some equipment to set up a video studio. Use separate columns to tally your one-off and ongoing costs.
Total ask: Add it all up to show the total amount requested.
Do it better with Hootsuite, the all-in-one social media tool. Stay on top of things, grow, and beat the competition.
If you’re looking for a powerful language model that can assist with a variety of social media purposes, ChatGPT may be just what you need. ChatGPT has the ability to generate human-like responses to a wide range of queries, from providing quick customer support to generating engaging social media posts.
With its vast database of language patterns and deep learning algorithms, ChatGPT can quickly analyze large amounts of data and provide insights that can help you make decisions about your social media strategy.
This page is part of the How to Use ChatGPT guide. At the bottom of this page, you’ll find links to other use cases.Content Creation & Curation
Brainstorm catchy post ideas
User prompt: Come up with a creative social media post idea for a fitness brand, focusing on motivating people to start working out.
AI response: “How about a post that features a before-and-after transformation of a real client who achieved their fitness goals? You can caption it with, ‘The best time to start your fitness journey was yesterday. The next best time is NOW. Start today and create your own success story! #TransformationTuesday #FitLife'”
Generate engaging captions
User prompt: I need an inspiring and engaging caption for a photo of a beautiful sunset at the beach. The audience is travel enthusiasts.
AI response: “Try this caption: ‘Sunsets are proof that no matter what happens, every day can end beautifully. 🌅✨ Let’s wander where the Wi-Fi is weak and create memories that’ll last a lifetime. #SunsetLovers #TravelGoals'”
Curate conversation starters
User prompt: Create a thought-provoking question to spark conversations for a book club’s social media page. The book of the month is “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
AI response: “You can post the following question: ‘In “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Atticus Finch tells Scout that “you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.” How can we apply this lesson to our daily lives and become more empathetic? Share your thoughts! 📚🤔 #BookClubDiscussion #ToKillAMockingbird'”
Generate content themes and ideas
User prompt: Help me create a list of weekly themes for a lifestyle blog’s social media content calendar for the month of May.
AI response: “Here’s a list of weekly themes for May:
Week 1: Spring Cleaning Tips 🌷🧹
Week 2: Healthy Seasonal Recipes 🥗🍓
Week 3: Mental Health Awareness Week 💚🧠
Week 4: Outdoor Fitness Activities 🏃♀️🌳”
Develop publication schedules
User prompt: I need a publication schedule for a tech company’s LinkedIn page. We want to post twice a week, focusing on industry news, product updates, and employee spotlights.
AI response: “Here’s a suggested publication schedule for your LinkedIn page:
Tuesdays: Industry News and Insights 🌐💡
Fridays: Alternating between Product Updates and Employee Spotlights 🔧👩💻”
Brainstorm post ideas for specific dates
User prompt: Suggest engaging social media post ideas for a coffee shop to celebrate International Coffee Day on October 1st.
AI response: “Here are some post ideas for International Coffee Day:
Share a special offer, like ‘Buy one, get one free’ on all coffee drinks to encourage customers to visit your shop ☕🎉
Highlight the unique aspects of your coffee shop, such as your roasting process, sustainable sourcing, or local partnerships 🌿🤝
Host a virtual coffee tasting event or workshop, teaching customers how to make the perfect cup of coffee at home 👩🍳🏠”Community Management and Customer Support
Responding to support tickets or inquiries
User prompt: A customer sent a message saying: “I’m struggling to get my AI assistant to understand my prompts. What can I do to improve my success with using the platform?”
AI response: “It can be helpful to provide more context and clarity in your prompts. Try making your questions or requests more specific, and don’t hesitate to add relevant background information. Also, consider breaking down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. By doing this, you’ll help the AI understand your needs better, and ultimately, provide more valuable and accurate responses.”
Interacting with community members
In a social media community related to AI Assistants, you can use the AI to engage with your audience in discussions, provide recommendations, or share tips.
AI response: “Great question! To make the most of your AI assistant, try the following:
Spend time experimenting with different prompts and request formats to discover what works best for your needs.
Break down complex tasks into smaller, more specific requests to improve the AI’s understanding.
Review and provide feedback on the responses you receive to help the AI learn and improve over time.
Remember, the more you interact with your AI assistant, the better it’ll become at understanding your needs and delivering what you’re looking for.”
Crafting empathetic responses to negative feedback
AI response: “You can reply with something like this: ‘Hi [Customer’s Name], we’re truly sorry to hear about your experience at our restaurant. We take customer feedback seriously and want to make things right. Please send us a private message with your contact information so we can discuss this further and find a solution. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. 🙏'”
Identifying issues that require escalation
User prompt: A user tweeted about a major security vulnerability they discovered in our software. How should I respond and escalate the issue to the relevant team?
User prompt: A follower on Instagram criticized our clothing brand for not offering enough size inclusivity. Help me address their concern in a positive and constructive way.
AI response: “Consider responding like this: ‘Hi [Follower’s Name], thank you for sharing your thoughts. We’re committed to promoting inclusivity and are always working to improve our range of sizes. Your feedback helps us do better. Please know that we’re actively working on expanding our size offerings to cater to all body types. Stay tuned for updates! 🌟'”Social Media Advertising
Writing persuasive ad copy for a product or service
To generate compelling ad copy for a product or service related to AI Assistants and Social Media Advertising, simply provide a detailed prompt, including information about the product or service you’re promoting.
User prompt: Craft a persuasive ad copy for an AI-powered social media management tool that helps users schedule posts, monitor engagement, and analyze performance.
AI response: “Revolutionize your social media game with our cutting-edge AI-powered social media management tool! Streamline your content creation process by effortlessly scheduling posts, tracking real-time engagement, and analyzing performance data. Harness the power of AI to optimize your social presence and unlock your brand’s full potential. Don’t miss out—start your free trial today and watch your online influence grow!”
Generating targeted audience suggestions for a campaign
User prompt: Provide targeting suggestions for a campaign promoting an AI-based graphic design tool aimed at small business owners and freelancers.
AI response: “For a campaign promoting an AI-based graphic design tool, consider targeting the following audience:
Small business owners and entrepreneurs within various industries (retail, e-commerce, restaurants, coaching, etc.).
Freelancers in fields such as graphic design, web development, copywriting, and marketing.
Age range: 25-54, as this group typically composes the majority of small business owners and freelancers.
Interests: Entrepreneurship, small business management, freelancing, design software, and digital marketing.”
Crafting an attention-grabbing headline for a sponsored post
To create a captivating headline for a sponsored post on AI Assistants and Social Media Advertising, provide a prompt that highlights the main benefits or features you want to emphasize.
User prompt: Write an attention-grabbing headline for a sponsored post about a new AI-powered hashtag suggestion tool that helps brands increase their reach on social media.
AI response: “Boost Your Brand’s Visibility Like Never Before with Our AI-Powered Hashtag Genius – Uncover High-Performing Hashtags Today!”Social Listening and Sentiment Analysis
User prompt: Analyze the sentiment of this customer review: “I usually love this brand’s products, but my latest purchase left me disappointed. The material feels cheap, and the fit is all wrong.”
AI response: “The sentiment in this review is mixed. The customer has expressed both positive feelings towards the brand in general and negative feelings regarding their latest purchase.”
Tailoring your communication strategy based on sentiment
User prompt: Based on the following feedback, suggest adjustments to our communication strategy: “I appreciate the prompt shipping, but the constant promotional emails are getting annoying.”
AI response: “Considering the mixed sentiment in the feedback, you can maintain the positive aspect of prompt shipping in your communication. However, it would be a good idea to re-evaluate the frequency of promotional emails, possibly offering an option for customers to choose how often they receive such emails.”
“The customer service was fantastic, and the issue was resolved quickly.”
“I love the design, but the product itself didn’t meet my expectations.”
“I’ve been a loyal customer for years, but the recent changes in pricing have made me reconsider.”Influencer Marketing and Collaborations
Creating personalized partnership pitches
User prompt: Help me craft a partnership pitch for a travel influencer with 200k followers on Instagram. Our brand is focused on eco-friendly travel products.
AI response: “Hi [Influencer’s Name],
We’d love to propose a collaboration between you and our brand, [Your Brand Name]. We specialize in eco-friendly travel products designed to make journeys more sustainable, which we believe aligns perfectly with your values.
We’d like to offer you our [Product Name] to try out on your next trip and share your experience with your followers. We’re confident that your audience will appreciate the eco-conscious aspects of our products.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this partnership opportunity!
Crafting collaboration messaging for a giveaway
User prompt: Create an Instagram caption for a joint giveaway between our sustainable clothing brand and an eco-conscious beauty brand.
AI response: “🌿 GIVEAWAY TIME! 🌿 We’ve teamed up with our friends at [Beauty Brand Name] to bring you an amazing eco-friendly bundle! Win our bestselling [Clothing Item] + [Beauty Brand]’s must-have [Beauty Product] to elevate your sustainable lifestyle game! 💚
Like this post ❤️
Follow both @[Your Brand Name] and @[Beauty Brand Name] 🤝
Tag two friends who’d love this eco-friendly duo 🌍
Giveaway ends [End Date]. Good luck, green warriors! 🌱💪 #EcoFriendlyGiveaway #SustainableLiving”
Proposing co-hosted events with influencers
User prompt: Write a proposal for a co-hosted virtual cooking class featuring our vegan meal kit brand and a popular plant-based food influencer.
AI response: “Hi [Influencer’s Name],
We hope this message finds you well! We’ve been admiring your plant-based recipes and the positive impact you’ve made on the vegan community. 🌱
We would be thrilled to collaborate with you for a co-hosted virtual cooking class, featuring our vegan meal kits at [Your Brand Name]. We believe that your culinary expertise, combined with our easy-to-prepare meal kits, will create an engaging and educational experience for our audiences.
During the event, we could cook one of your signature recipes using our meal kit, while discussing the benefits of plant-based eating and sharing tips for creating delicious, eco-friendly meals.
We’re excited to hear your thoughts on this collaboration and discuss further details!ChatGPT Guides & Prompts
Interested in other domains also? Be sure to check out our full list of guides:
What is Media Plan?
Digital marketing, conversion rate optimization, customer relationship management & others
Media planning is making a decision to choose the right way of putting your message across to the target audience. The message of introducing the new product to your existing customer and also targeting new prospective customers. This needs to be done correctly in order to make it extremely effective.
During the process of the media plan, a few questions need to be answered.
Who are the target audiences?
What types of media can reach out to how many target audiences?
Which media should be used to place the ad to reach out to the audiences effectively?
What should be the frequency of the ad placed in various ad vehicles?
What should be the budget for each ad vehicle?
Marketing has budget constraints for every organization. Advertising for promoting the goods and services of an organization is mandatory in any competitive market.
Try using local newspapers with limited reach. Local magazines, even in the local language, are perfect, cheaper, or no-cost social media to reach a less targeted audience to spread awareness.
Choosing the right media plan will help you effectively convey your message to your target audience through the right ad vehicle. A media plan is a process that is successful only if planned well.
Of course, social media planning needs many analyzes, objectives, and strategies to implement in order to get the right output. The motive needs to be achieved.
Marketing always aims to create a need for the product and service amongst the target audience through effective content. And that is not it. The content must be displayed and flashed through the correct ad vehicle within the given budget to maximize profits and avoid losses.Process of building an effective media plan
Look at the process of building an effective media plan noted below:
To choose the correct media plan vehicle to promote a product and service, you need to make sure you do1. Market Analyses
Before entering the market with a new product or service, you research the market, the types of audience in the set or given market, their description, preferences, etc.
What is important is to know the market or analysis the market before you introduce a product or a service in that market. In short, you will analyze the market. Once you analyze the market, you will know how to create awareness amongst your target audiences.2. Create an effective media objective.
Your main objective will be to reach out and create awareness about tour products and services amongst your target audiences to increase your sales and profitability within a budget.
Remember that your media objective is very important as it is the goal of your media plan. Your goal should answer the following questions.
How many audiences should your media vehicle reach out to?
How and how much should the ad circulate to be effective enough to meet your promotion and sales expectations?
How much should you spend on what media vehicle?
Remember, your goals that your media objective need to be appropriate to attain the correct profitability by spending as less as you can. It is only about promoting correcting.3. List down marketing issues.
You might face hurdles in different business stages, from production to selling and servicing. Some hurdles might be huge, and some small. However, every problem has solutions, and not one may be more than one.
All you need to do is choose the correct solution and implement it. Like other stages, you will face issues or problems even in marketing. List all the issues you can encounter while promoting your product and services.
Look for solutions. You can solve these problems and hurdles in a number of ways. However, the motive is to get the most effective solution.4. Strategize
These media plan options include television, radio, newspaper, interactive media platform, magazines, and digital media. Choose the media bases on the set media objective; remember that is your goal. Your ad vehicle should be able to meet your social media planning goal.
You should be able to differentiate
Which option reaches the maximum target audience?
How many times will your target audience be able to view it?5. Your media vehicle should be able to do the following
Reach out to<
You have a set number or a certain percentage of audiences you would want to focus on. Your media vehicle should be able to reach that number or that percentage of people. The reaching out can be reaching out to individuals or homes and families in a specified period of time.
You need to know how often the media vehicle flashes your ad, the average daily flashes, or a set period to expose it to your target audiences.
Averagely for a consumer to realize and take action, it takes more than 3 times. Hence considering and knowing the frequency is important.
Cost per thousand customers
The impact that it will create
Degree of selection
You aim to reach out to most of your prospective audience. Now this is true that anyone can be your next prospective customer. However, how many and who can be your most logical prospect, and up to what degree can you select to target your logical prospect audiences?6. Implement your strategies 7. Evaluate the results
After you reach the implementation stage, you must sit and wait for the results. These results can be in sales and profits, as mentioned earlier. However, is it meeting your expectations, was the effort enough, and were your analyses correct? You are aware of your media plan objectives and your media goals.
You need to understand if you successfully met your goals and objectives. Were your strategies successful? If this media plan of yours works out well, it will help you determine your other media plans.8. Follow up and continue promoting
Promoting a product and a service at its launch to introduce it to the public and then not promoting increased sales or publicizing it is incorrect.
You want to reach out to your target audiences in different ways, and discontinuing promotions of your goods and services wastes all the effort you put into understanding the market and promoting accordingly.
Ensure you are in touch with your customers and know them better as you deal with them. Knowing your audiences better will help you promote and expose yourself to your goods and services better than you promoted before.
Keep the follow-ups on and continue to promote your goods and services to get more exposure to gain better publicity and more business.Conclusion
Knowing the market and marketing accordingly is extremely important to be successful in your business. You can sell better only if your products and services are exposed to your target audiences better.
Target audiences can be your existing prospect or logical prospect customers.Recommended Articles
Here are some articles that will help you to get more detail about the Media Plan, so just go through the link
Social media marketing gives new options for segmentation
Since the 1950s, when the practice of market segmentation began, it has been the cornerstone of any marketing strategy.
Accurately define your market segments and then the follow on activities of targeting and positioning are much more effective.
The answer has to be a resounding “No!”, but the way brands categorise consumers is changing.Towards ‘socialgraphics’
Therefore, the basic approach of demographic segmentation, and pigeonholing people into presumed and fixed characteristics, is less relevant today. Grouping people into segments solely by geography, age, gender, profession and income and assuming they’ll never change is not a great way to relate to your online audiences.
Therefore, consumer categorisation emphasis is moving towards the previously less popular technique of psychographic segmentation. Put simply, psychographics is about classifying people by their attitude and behaviour.
Using monitoring tools it’s possible to gain deep insight into users’ sentiments about a product or service, whether positive, negative or neutral. You can also track consumers’ interests, opinions and interests.
This form of social network psychographic segmentation is becoming known as socialgraphics.Go where your segments meet
Using social networks, brands are able to locate their traditional market segments ‘hanging out’ online and engage with them. Self-segmenting groups form around areas of common interest, such as hobbies, sport, health, jobs etc. These are very fertile forums for brands to promote themselves to their exact target segments, conveniently congregating in one place.
These communities of interest are being intentionally fostered by social network platforms, who charge brands to participate in them; for example, Google+ Circles and LinkedIn Groups. But it’s often forgotten that there are scores of other online communities brands can and should join in with in the right way.
But social spaces are places where users go to be informed, educated, supported and entertained – not to be sold to. When brands enter social networks they are participating in people’s social spaces and must earn the right to be there.‘Pull in’ your target market segments
Some socially savvy organisations are using a strategy I have termed segmentation pull. This approach involves setting up your own hosted online community and ‘pulling’ in your market segments.
Britmums – Another good example of segmentation pull, Britmums host an online community of mothers, attracting a 3,000 strong blogger community. Each blogger averages 4,000 page views per month, creating an aggregated audience of 12 million. Mums are an ideal segment for many brands.Nurture blogger influencers
About 10% of social network users generate 90% of the content. These users are referred to as ‘Creators’ or ‘E-Influencers’ – in fact, they are typically active bloggers. These highly influential people could be classified as a new market segment.
Your brand will also have negative influencers, known as ‘detractors’ or ‘trolls’. These influencers will vehemently give brands a bad press and their words are contagious like no others.
There are many examples of ‘trolls’ damaging a brand’s reputation. So, treat these people with kid gloves; and make no corporate or official response to their posts.
Creators and detractors are arguably both new market segments, albeit ones that come and go.
But, then again, that’s how people behave and it’s this behaviour that marketers can now tap into.Is ‘conversation marketing’ the panacea?
One-to-one marketing is only really practical if you have a relatively small number of high-value customers. Yes, marketers need to and can influence their few influencers, but it is not practical to try to have individual online conversations with your whole customer base (as is preached by some self-professed social media gurus).
However, conversation marketing is still possible if you go back to the principles of customer segmentation.
You can have group conversations with communities of interest once you have found where they hang out or pulled them into your own online community.In conclusion
Segmentation strategies are here to stay and are, in fact, becoming increasingly important. So, ensure your social media marketing team is fully trained on this concept and work hand-in-hand with your customer insight or market segmentation teams.
With thanks to Permeative Blog and Vecindad Gráphica for use of the images.
Social media strategy and planning essentials
It’s important to know what other organisations in your market are doing on social media, to give you context for the current role social plays in customer communication. The aim of competitor analysis is to learn from the state of play and identify strategic opportunities.
This article looks at the types of competitor analysis you can and should be doing to help inform your social media strategy.1. Audit scope of competitor activity
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The screenshot below shows a Twitter feed comparison of 3 leading US apparel retailers. It demonstrates the visual similarities and difference between the profiles – you’ll notice that Freepeople and Abercrombie are very similar, dominated by strong visual posts, but Bonobos has more text updates in the timeline.
Is this good or bad?
Check to see where customer activity is greatest. Bonobos actually does a lot of retweeting of other people’s content but has low level engagement and a very low activity rate in general; the 17th – 19th tweets in the timeline dated back to Black Friday weekend in November, as this screenshot is from mid-March!
Seek to answer the following questions:
Are there core channels that every organisation is active on?
How are our key competitors using each channel to meet their goals of sales, brand engagement and customer service?
What is the frequency of updates?
What is the balance between personal vs. automated updates?
What content is being used and how?
Are they creating tailored content for each channel?2. Assess role of social as customer service
Some industries have been smart at aligning social media with customer service, telcos being a good example. Brands like BT have dedicated Twitter accounts for customer care, separate to the marketing accounts. Twitter data shows significant growth in tweets aimed at brand and service handles, rather than general handles. And companies are getting better at responding to service requests – according to Harvard Business Review, 46% tweets had no response in Feb 2014 vs. 38% in Feb 2023.
There’s a 122 page guide from Twitter outlining the era of customer service on Twitter:
“Fifty years ago, the 1-800 number revolutionized customer service. Customers suddenly had a free, live connection to companies from the comfort of their homes. We are at a similar inflection point for how brands deliver customer service: today, people are contacting brands via Twitter with the expectation of a helpful and human response; all on stage for the world to see.”
So take a peek at how well your competitors support and service their customers via social networks. Check to see if there are any complaints – are they proactive in responding, do they make the response public so people know they’re listening?
Also check for the tone and style of response. Are they helpful and flexible, or do they get confrontational because they don’t like criticism? If your competitors are poor at providing customer service socially, it could be a quick win for you to put this in place.
Seek to answer the following questions:
Do any competitors separate customer service from marketing e.g. separate customer service Twitter account?
Do they personalise with the names/initials of the people posting updates?
Are they constructive and helpful in how they handle customer enquiries.3. Assess competitor strengths & weaknesses
You can’t do everything at once, so it pays to use a structured approach to comparing competitors strengths and weaknesses to help you identify gaps. You’re looking for the following things:
What everyone does well that you need to cover as a minimum
What nobody does well, so you can swoop in and become the leader
What customers respond to the most/best.
I find it helpful to create a simple competitor matrix and rate each capability based on a set of criteria. For example, I use FQR criteria (my own made up cocktail):
Frequency – are they doing this regularly, or is it an ad-hoc activity that doesn’t have continuity? Continuity is best as it provides reliability.
Quality – do what degree of quality do they do the activity? Does it come across credible, does it reflect well on the brand? For example, are images high quality or pixelated, is copy accurate and error free?
Relevance – is the content appropriate for the audience? For example, does the copy speak to the audience and is it accessible to them, such as jargon free copy to a non-technical audience.
I split out each channel into a set of activities I want to compare competitors against, and use a simple numbered rating system – whoever gets the highest score is the best performer. It’s not a scientific method but it does give me a useful comparative starting point.
Seek to answer the following questions:
What do competitors do brilliantly that will be expensive/time consuming to compete with?
What gaps are there in the market where we can realistically be the best in class for customers?
What can we learn from what these companies do well/poorly?
There are many tools you can use to analyse your competitors. If starting out with a small budget it’s best to tap into free tools like LinkTally (created by @danzarrella at Hubspot) and SharedCount, which lets you submit URLs and see where it has been shared socially. You can reduce the manual overload by signing up for a paid subscription, which gives access to tools like bulk URL upload.
There are others tools on the market that provide different competitor analysis options, including Social Crawlytics and BuzzSumo (great for seeing which Twitter users have shared content + identifying influencers).4. Identify what customers respond to
Being active doesn’t mean being heard. There’s a big difference between an active social channel and an engaged social audience. Smart marketers measure success based on audience engagement, not level of activity from their marketing team.
So take the time to trawl your competitors’ profiles and see which updates are getting the most attention from followers:
Twitter – which posts have the most retweets, likes, replies?
[repeat and assess relevant engagement metrics for other networks]
Which content formats get the best engagement – text, image, video?
What content style gets people’s attention – serious, educational, funny, provocative etc.?
Does cross channel promotion work well e.g. tweeting about a Facebook competition?
How does this help?
Knowing what works and doesn’t helps you shape your social media content plan. If you know that the core Twitter audience love polls, then you should incorporate this tactic into your activity. Also, if you align this learning with the competitor strength/weakness analysis, you can find the high value opportunities. Below is a quick and easy way to visualise opportunities:
Big win – where competitors aren’t highly active but customer engagement with this type of content is really high
Loss leader – where engagement is high but so is competitor activity, so you need to compete but it will take more resource effort and therefore typically lower ROI
Space filler – customer activity is low and competitors aren’t doing much, so you could actually be the market leader, albeit only engaging a small audience
Low value – with low customer interest but high competitor activity, this is the lowest value quadrant and little justification to invest.5. Use this knowledge to inform your strategy
Let’s start with an obvious statement – don’t seek to replicate what your competitors are doing.
If all you do is the same, what incentive is there for people to pay you attention when you’re not adding value? By all means learn from what they do well but adapt it to suit your organisation and customers – make sure it aligns with your business values. For example, Palace Skateboards has a unique, slang copy style that works for its customers. If you copy that approach, it may not tally with your other content and could come across as tacky if that’s not your personality.
Customers can react strongly to social campaigns that don’t resonate with their vision of the brand. House of Fraser’s #Emojinal campaign is a good example. I’m not saying it’s a bad campaign, I’ve not seen the data, but it certainly divided opinion and attracted negative social feedback because it was a marked departure from the core brand style.
So take the insight you gain from doing competitor analysis and use it to shape your strategy, but don’t let it become your strategy. You may decide to emulate elements of other brands’ campaigns and that’s fine but always apply your brand lens to each activity to ensure it aligns with your goals, vision and comms plan.
So this is step 3 in the Smart Insights 12 step series on social media strategy and planning.
Do you think there are any gaps i.e. would you carry out any other types of competitor research to inform the strategy?
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