Each New Year is an opportunity for marketers to try new things, improve on their old strategies, and come up with ideas that have never been brought to the table before. But it’s one thing to come up with a creative idea. It’s another way to start a social media marketing campaign and get your boss’s approval to run that campaign, especially when you consider the impact of the events of 2020 on all marketing.
A powerful pitch requires preparation, proof of concept and an execution plan regardless of the circumstances. In this article we’re going to do a walkthrough:
- Content topics with potential for 2021
- Use social data to prepare your pitch
- Show how your idea supports business goals
- Package and display your seat to get your team on board
What’s the big idea? Inspiration for your social media marketing pitch
In 2021, due to the pandemic and growing concerns about not being in touch or being insensitive to consumer needs, brands could be a little more careful with their content. At the same time, they have to find ways to stand out from the competition in saturated digital space. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to completely reinvent your brand and social strategy.
A great marketing pitch idea can be as big as an original campaign or as small as tweaking your tone of voice on social networks. Think about what’s most important to your company and your specific audience, and use it to influence the ideas you come up with.
According to the 2020 Sprout Social Index ™, the top three reasons consumers follow brands on social media are:
- Learn more about new products or services
- Stay up to date with company news
- Find out more about promotions or discounts
Pandemic or not, those reasons go nowhere.
If the pandemic is still your priority and is causing you to rethink your social media calendar for 2021, come up with ideas for content that will support and benefit your audience. This could mean creating content that highlights the precautions your brand is taking in stores, or investing more in your social customer care strategy. According to Hubspot, the “four Cs” – community, cleanliness, contactlessness, and compassion – will be a good focus for brands, especially brands that rely on personal interactions.
Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons are getting a new, modern drive-thru at 10,000 locations to improve contactless payment and other digital conveniences ? pic.twitter.com/oWLIcyvBhB
– NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 29, 2020
Fourth place on the list of reasons consumers follow brands is to entertain. Also, given that 2020 has been a pretty tense year, you might also consider posting content or campaigns that encourage scrolling with joy rather than scrolling with doom.
The above statistics and data should only be a starting point to potentially build upon. If you have more solid, brand-specific ideas and they’re inspired by third-party data, include the relevant stats in your pitch. When you show that your audience has merit and an appetite for your ideas, you can reassure people that you are into something.
Do you have social evidence that your audience will take up your idea?
Trends can be good for inspiring new ideas, but not every social trend will work for your brand. Social listening can help you engage with certain trends and content that your target audience is most interested in and engaging with. This can spark a social idea worth pursuing.
For example, a restaurant franchise company used Sprout’s social listening tool to determine which menu item to include in a new campaign. After analyzing the topics in conversations related to their brand, the franchise found that nachos were not discussed as often as other foods, but had the highest percentage of positive mentions compared to other dishes. The franchise used these insights to create new content that promotes its nachos and knows that their customers are happy and engaged.
If you already have an idea, social listening can help you verify that something is worth following up on. Set up a listening session with relevant keywords and search terms to find frequently asked questions, demographics, and other qualitative information from your audience and industry, and create new, compelling content.
Listening can also ensure that your brand is aware of the social and political landscape. If you don’t read the room, seemingly well-intentioned campaign or content can turn into a branding crisis.
That tweet from the gap wasn’t just an impromptu post from a social media manager who couldn’t read the room.
It went through several layers of approval and was added to a content calendar for today.
They would publish this regardless of the results.
And that makes it worse pic.twitter.com/BPDxE4qlgz
– Jon-Stephen Stansel (@jsstansel) November 4, 2020
What does your data tell you?
If 2020 has taught us anything, nothing is certain and events can change quickly. However, future marketing success often depends on past results. Browsing your social data can help you understand your audience on a deeper level and spark new creative ideas. When you have collected the necessary data, you can use it to secure your pitch and show your colleagues or customers why your idea has a leg up.
Look back at your content performance and hug your inner data scientist. With Sprout’s Premium Analytics, you can identify topics among your top performing content to determine the direction of your next social campaign. Also, improve the news and tone of these powerful posts.
Note any anomalies that have occurred. If there was some unique content that impressed your audience in a big way, this could be a great starting point for your next campaign idea. Or, if the opposite is true and your content has fallen flat, it’s equally important to know that you can reevaluate and even discontinue the use of any content type, tone of voice, or creative resource that doesn’t serve you or your audience.
Go beyond the metrics and see the comments on your popular posts. What did your audience actually say and say about your brand? Your responses could be feedback that influences the direction of your content and gives more context to your raw numbers.
As you build your pitch, pack all the key data points together to demonstrate social evidence and instill confidence in your idea.
How does this idea support your marketing and business goals?
One of the most important things to consider when setting up a new idea or social media marketing campaign: goals, goals, goals. You hold goals accountable, manage budgeting and inform you about data-driven decisions. Proving how your social plan can support goals like promoting organic traffic or bringing in new net leads goes a long way in securing buy-in from executives.
If you’re unsure how to set your goals, get SMART:
- Specific: The goals should be clear, simple and defined.
- Measurable: Select the key performance indicators that support your goals and create reporting plans.
- Reachable: Can the goal be achieved with your resources?
- Realistic: Is your goal realistic with your current resources in terms of time, bandwidth and budget?
- Time critical: Every goal needs a time frame. Determine when you want to achieve this and identify checkpoints to make sure you stay on track.
Round off your pitch by showing how your idea affects your bigger marketing and business efforts. If you can show that your idea supports product marketing efforts or is fruitful for your sales team, the catchers are more likely to give you the green light.
Download Sprout’s handy social media metrics map for additional guidance on goal setting and determining the right metrics for each stage of the marketing funnel.
How are you going to pack and present your pitch?
How you set up a marketing campaign or idea depends on your company, brand, and internal processes. In some cases, getting your idea set up might be as simple as emailing your manager, but a face-to-face or virtual meeting can be more clout. This option creates a more personal connection between you, your colleagues, the leadership and the idea. People often respond well when they feel like they are involved in the development of an idea. According to the advice of Harvard Business Review, once the people who hear your pitch feel like creative collaborators, the chances of rejection are reduced.
To deliver a pitch that inspires, be it a one-off idea or campaign, you need to sell why it matters and articulate your ideas clearly – before they go into the tactic. Make sure to include the following information in your proposal.
- The big idea: Formulate your idea clearly, the inspiration behind what excites you about it and the data that supports it.
- Why it matters: Are you selling your idea by responding how it will benefit your audience and brand? Make them on your place from the start.
- Gates: What is the intended result that you expect after starting this idea? How do you measure the ROI? Think beyond financial returns. For example, if you want to improve an internal process to drive efficiency, it will increase the bandwidth for your team.
- KPIs: Are there certain metrics that you will be tracking?
- Resources: How much time do you need to devote to this idea? If your social team is split into several different roles, document who is responsible for what and what expectations are associated with each position.
- Budget: Do you need additional investment / resources? If you need an extra budget, specify exactly how, when, and what you are spending it on.
Not every idea is a successful one, but with data, audience insights, your natural marketing intuition, and a solid plan of attack, you can be sure that you will gain the lead and get the buy-in necessary to make your next great idea happen in life.
Do you need a bigger budget and additional resources to achieve this? Use this guide and template to help build a compelling social media business case