Blog

Getting LinkedIn With Your Audience

Source

Engaging with your target audience is debatably one of the most important. It seems like I talk about this in all of my blogs, but that is due to its importance. In this blog, I will discuss how create a larger engagement using LinkedIn, Flickr, and Periscope.

linkedin

LinkedIn

  • LinkedIn is 277% more effective for lead generation than Facebook and Twitter
  • 2 million companies have posted LinkedIn company pages
  • LinkedIn has 200 million users across 200+ countries

Source

These statistics are very intriguing. LinkedIn is clearly a must for any marketing team. But how do you get started? Douglas Karr wrote an excellent article answering this question and giving tips on how to utilize LinkedIn as a marketing tool. Three of these tips stood out as being very unique and helpful:

  • Use LinkedIn as Market Research. With tons of market leaders and an audience looking for jobs, LinkedIn can be a very helpful tool to identify how your team should be attempting to reach new audiences.
  • Position Your Company as an Industry Thought Leader. Creating engaging content and marketing yourself as a high-end company will keep your audience interested.
  • Clarify What Your Company Stands For. Being able to make your audience fully understand what you stand for is crucial. LinkedIn provides another platform for you to do so.

flickr

Flickr

Flickr is a great too for businesses. Uploading photos to share your brand is a great way to engage customers. Giving them a sense that they are a part of what is happening with your business. Beth Gasser wrote an excellent article describing 5 ways to use Flickr to help grow your business.

  1. Finding Stock Photography. Using Flickr can be a good resource for finding photos for you brand’s blog. Being able to make your website and blog look sleek will attract more consumers.
  2. Providing Stock Photography. This is a great way to build brand recognition. Everyone that uses your photos will have to give you credit. Thus, anyone who sees this will begin to recognize your brand.
  3. Keyword Opportunity. Each photo you add gives you an opportunity to increase page rank. Seeking higher page rank will increase your chances of reaching new targets.
  4. Inbound Link Building. Adding links to your other social media platforms and websites creating more views to each.
  5. Tell Your Story. In the same sense as Snapchat, Flickr presents a great opportunity to take consumers behind the scenes.

periscope

Periscope

Periscope is essentially the same thing as Snapchat’s Discover function, except a little more advanced. Periscope allows users to broadcast video from anywhere in the world. Other users can join and leave a broadcast at any time. This free app is an excellent tool for marketers trying to spread their reach. Steve Olenski wrote an article describing how to use Periscope and do it well. First, Olenksi suggests building an audience. Just like any social platform, having an audience is the first pillar to being successful online. Second, he suggests making how-to bideos. Viewers will get a sense of being a part of the business and better understanding the brand itself. Last, Olenski suggests creating a weekly podcast to keep your audience engaged.

 

Understanding these social platforms can help you further your reach and create brand awareness. So get out there and get connected!

 

 

The Most Pinteresting Platforms

Source

The three social media platforms I am going to highlight today are very unique. These platforms have a younger audience and a growing population. Marketers are encouraged to use these platforms to again further their reach and spread brand awareness. In this blog, I will list some tips and tricks in order to conquer Reddit, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

Reddit

Reddit is a very simple social media platform that allows users to follow and interact with subreddits. Subreddits are essentially forums dedicated to specific topics. Jacqueline Zenn wrote a wonderful article about this platform. She explains that it is very important for marketers to use Reddit as it has over 35 million different users each month. She then lists 3 reasons marketer should get involved on Reddit.

  1. Subreddits and Market Research. Subreddits enable marketers to understand what topics their target audience is currently talking about. Being able to analyze the different sub topics surrounding your product or service will enable marketers to more accurately connect with their audience.
  2. Ask Reddit. This function allows users to ask questions directly and receive answers quickly. Marketers can use this as a large focus group to get feedback on their select product or service.
  3. Giveaways and Freebies. Just like any social media platform, giveaways are a great way to interact with your audience. By giving away free samples or coupons, consumers feel as if you actually want to build a relationship with them and their business.

pinterest

Pinterest

Despite using Pinterest for my Digital & Social Media Marketing class, I have very limited experience with Pinterest. I have always thought that this platform was primarily used by woman. However, in Jeff Sieh’s article ‘Pinterest Marketing: How to Succeed on Pinterest‘ he explains that this assumption is simply not true and that men are actually the fastest growing demographic on Pinterest. Sieh continues to explain how Pinterest works and tips for marketers in order to be successful. First, users can buy products from businesses through Pinterest. This is huge for marketers as this is another outlet for companies to make sales. Secondly, Sieh explains that 80% of all pins are re-pins. This means  that people are hungry for new content. Building a following will help get your content spread faster and hopefully build a larger audience. Lastly, Sieh recommends making sure all of your content is mobile-friendly. Close to 90% of all users are mobile users so it is very important for you content to be usable on mobile devices.

tumblr

Tumblr

Tumblr is another growing social media platform. Tumblr is a form of blogging called microblogging. With over 420 million users and over 900 posts every second, Tumblr has become essential for marketers. Olsy Sorokina wrote an article describing some advanced techniques marketers can use to grow their following. First, she suggests creating themed blogs for different campaigns. She states that if Tumblr contains a large portion of our target market that you may even want to make Tumblr you main platform for your brand’s blogs. She also suggests that you create themes for different promotions in order to get users excited about each campaign. Secondly, Sorokina suggests linking your Instagram with your Tumblr. Connecting these platforms will also connect uses and build brand congruity. Lastly, Sorokina suggests connecting with other professionals in your industry. This tip is helpful on all platforms as it will help you understand how others are being successful with your audience. Using some of the same ideas and following by their example will help your company be successful.

While these platforms are not necessarily the ones that typically come to mind first, they are extremely important to marketers. Using these tips to help create successful campaigns can help your business grow and flourish.

 

Picture Perfect Marketing

Source

In the past few years, social media has taken a drastic shift from being based solely around status updates and text to pictures and videos. While YouTube has been around for almost 12 years, this shift has allowed for new social media platforms to take rise and become giants in pop culture. With this rise, businesses saw an opportunity to use these channels to market to their select audiences. In this blog I will discuss reasons why marketers should use these platforms and tips on how to be successful.

youtube

YouTube

AJ Agrawal wrote an article explaining the importance of content marketing on YouTube in 3 basic steps:

  1. Create an Image of Authority. YouTube is a great way for businesses to engage and connect with their target audience. By adding video content with tips and tricks, or videos you know your audience will interact with and enjoy, marketers will help create brand recognition and authority.
  2. Builds Credibility and Trust. By uploading helpful video content on how to use your product or service, customers will know you have a genuine interest in their well-being. Taking the extra time and effort to help you consumer base will express your sincerity and thus build a whole new level of trust.
  3. More Engaging than Older Forms of Media. YouTube is more enjoyable and entertaining that most traditional forms of media. Our culture is watching video after video on a daily basis, so choosing to refrain from using Youtube as a channel for your marketing is a crucial mistake.

instagram

 

Instagram

Instagram has over 400 million users and over 70 million uploads each day. This alone should be a signal that marketers need to use this platform to reach a very large audience. Margot da Cunha wrote an article listing 10 very helpful tips for marketers looking to grow their presence on Instagram. Of these, three stood out to me as being very beneficial:

2. Partner with a Good Cause that Supports Your Brand’s Values. Its always good practice for businesses to have a mission beyond the product or service they are selling. Whether it be being environmentally conscious, partnering with a local homeless shelter, or raising funds for medical research, most successful business have partnerships to help the world become a better place. Instagram is the perfect place to showcase these partnerships. Consumers, especially the younger generations, are driven by different causes and are constantly seeking how they can benefit others while benefitting themselves. Showcasing these partnerships will establish a way for consumers to get involved with your business and present your brand as one than is genuine.

9. Showcase Beautiful Experiences Relevant to Your Brand. Use Instagram for what it’s made for: captivating pictures! Regardless of what your business does, try to find beauty in it. If you don’t have the means to delegate someone to photography, start a hashtag campaign and have your audience submit photos of your product or service and use their photos to further capture your audience.

10. Interact with Others on Instagram to Grow Your Following. Engagement is a two-way street. In order for people to want to engage with you, you must continually interact with them. Liking pictures, replying to comments, and setting up contests are great way to engage with your followers and also reach larger audiences.

snapchat

Snapchat

Starting in 2011, Snapchat is one of the newest and fastest growing social media platforms around. With over 150 million daily users, snapchat has become a huge hit in pop culture. Snapchat also recently created a feature that spotlights different businesses and news outlets on a daily basis. These companies update their channels on a daily basis. Additionally, Snapchat has also recently introduced short 10-second ads that display between stories. While this is a great feature, businesses don’t need to pay for advertisements in order to have huge success marketing on snapchat.

Eric Siu wrote an article describing 10 ways businesses can be successful marketing on snapchat. Four of Siu’s ten tips struck me as being very beneficial to businesses:

3. Share Promo Codes. Using coupon codes will make your brand’s Snapchat attractive. Rewarding followers for staying connected will make them want to continue to check your snaps and grow your business.

4. Give VIP Access. Take your followers behind the scenes. Showing them how your product is made or how events take place will make them feel special. It will also give them a chance to see how things work without having to present in real life. Sports teams like the Kansas City Royals are doing this to show what goes on behind the scenes before games.

6. Demo Your Product. Showcasing how your product works on snapchats will make users clearly understand what your product does. Seeing a product in action helps give users a sense of clarity and trust.

9. Give Exclusive Previews. Give information about new products and use tip 6 to demo them before release. Showcasing products that haven’t released yet will build excitement and create a brand following.

Utilizing these social media platforms are key in any businesses photo and video content marketing. With a large user base, these platforms allow for businesses to expand their reach and increase sales.

 

The Big Three: Facebook, Twitter, Google+

Source

Social media has become an extremely relevant part of every day life. Marketing across these platforms are rivaling traditional forms and even becoming more relevant than many. Each platform is very intricate and requires special attention in order for marketers to be successful in reaching their target audience. With each platform being individual of one another, it can be a challenge for marketers to understand  how to differentiate their strategies This blog will cover tips to help marketers better understand three of the most important social media platforms.

facebook

Facebook

Ishita Ganguly wrote a terrific article describing 6 ways improve a businesses Facebook page results. Some of the tips, while relevant, are tips that would work well for any social media platform. For example, Ganguly mentions including calls to action and posting at the right time of day. However, Ganguly also has a few tips that I would like to highlight. First, she recommends using properly sized images. Uploading pictures with a length and width of 1200 x 1200 pixels will result in higher quality pictures for your content. Second, Ganguly recommends using the proper format when using links in updates. Pasting the link into the update will provide additional information about the link. Lastly, Ganguly recommends using Facebook’s targeting options. Using these targeting options can allow marketers to target their audience more specifically and directly.

twitterTwitter

In my last blog, I discussed the importance of having a presence on Twitter. Juan Lopez wrote an article with tips on how to build a larger presence through Twitter. Here are some tips that stood out to me:

2. Stay On-Topic and On-Trend. Twitter has trends that appear on the side of the website. Use these trends and market research to determine what your audience is interested in. Be interactive with these trends in order to gain an audience.

3. Respond to Tweets From Large Accounts. Accounts with a large following will allow you to engage with larger audiences.

4. Thank Those Who Tweet You. This is self-explanatory. Be grateful for interactions will show sincerity and appreciation for your audience.

8. Host a Follower Giveaway. Having followers ‘retweet to win’ a product you offer will not only increase your reach, but also allow users to try your product.

These tips, while some very simple, will definitely allow marketers to expand their reach.

google-plus

Google+

Before reading Kamila Gornia’s article, I had a very limited knowledge of this social platform. Google+ can help drive traffic on your website and make help establish connections with influencers to increase growth. Gornia has 5 tips that will help ensure business growth through Google+:

  1. Take Advantage of SEO Benefits. Google Plus has great SEO benefits. Using hashtags, keywords, and sharing your posts from your website will help increase SEO.
  2. Optimize Your Page. Just like with every social media platform, being detail oriented and brand aligned will make your Google+ page sleek and professional.
  3. Make Your Posts Stand Out. Google+ gives you total control of how your content looks. Be creative and make your page be different than the competition.
  4. Actively Grow Your Community. The more people you have in your community, the more Google will prioritize your posts when showing up in search results. Actively seeking a larger community will help you exponentially.
  5. Engage Your Influencers. There are a multitude of influencers on Google+ that are actively trying to engage with others. Collaboration is key to success, so be interactive and engage with others!

Putting emphasis on social media strategy has a huge impact on a businesses performance. Having a successful mixture of these three platforms can help bring your online social media presence to a new level.

 

 

The Super Bowl of Marketing: Video Content Marketing

Source

“The single most important strategy in content marketing today is video.”                       -Gary Vaynerchuck

Creating videos has become a vital part of social media marketing. Websites like Facebook that once revolved around status updates, text, and photos have now shifted to almost entirely video. Video has become so important that if you don’t use it in your social media content, you will fail and lose to the competition. Users want to be engaged with and entertained by the brands they choose to be a part of. Visual storytelling is what makes videos so much more attractive and user friendly than just text. So what do you need to know before you try to become the Shakespeare of video marketing?

Gary Vaynerchuck wrote an article describing the rise of video in content marketing and its four biggest social media outlets. Vaynerchuck describes the benefits to each and how they should be used to grow your brand:

  1. YouTube. “A library of content.” While still very valuable for growing businesses, YouTube is in a downward trend in comparison to Facebook based on daily video viewership. Youtube is still very effective for growing a target audience and a brand, but isn’t showing signs of healthy growth. In fact, one of the only signs of growth it currently has is competition. This makes it harder to create brand awareness due to market saturation
  2. Facebook. “Smart, shareable, and personal.” With over 4 billion daily video streams, the addition of new video ad products, and one of the best data companies, Vaynerchuck considers this website as a great investment for marketers. Additionally, Facebook allows you to market directly to your target audience unlike any other medium out there today, making Facebook a must have for video content.
  3. Twitter. “Direct, social, and real.” Twitter has become a staple for most social media users. However, Twitter has a more ‘real’ feeling attached to it, as opposed to some of its competitors. Thus, marketers have to put in more effort to see more results, but the engagement that is created can prove to be stronger through authenticity. Twitter has created a function where celebrities and businesses can easily respond to tweets via video. Lastly, Twitter has made it easy for marketers to interpret how well specific tweets are doing among the accounts followers as shown below.
    twitter-impressions
    (Clearly my followers wanted a good Taco Bell deal as much as I did)
  4. Snapchat. “It’s all about attention.” Snapchat is the latest social media craze. Snapchat allows users to follow celebrities and business. These businesses and celebrities can upload videos to their “story.” Stories last 24 hours, giving viewers a sense of urgency to view the stories of their favorite brands. Businesses can use this as a promotional tool for giveaways or special deals. Snapchat also just recently launched the discover portion of the app allowing brands to place ads before ads roll, as well as before stories. Snapchat is now a must have for video content.

NFL.jpg

The National Football League is doing an excellent job with its video content on social media. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat, I see promotional videos for upcoming games and highlights on a daily basis. In fact, the NFL has its own discovery channel on Snapchat allowing users to see new content every day. Even though the NFL is a very unique business, its marketing team is definitely taking home the Lombardi trophy for video content marketing.

 

Eye Witness: Being a Part of the Story

Source

We live in a world where instant gratification is the norm, millenials are on the growing, and videos are constantly circulating the internet. We desire information, but we don’t want to take the time to read about it. We want to help others, but we desire a cause that we care about before we decide to invest our time. Marketers are very aware of these trends and have turned to visual storytelling to grasp the attention of their audience.

Michael Stelzner and Ekaterina Walter co-authored an article explaining what visual storytelling actually is, along with the impact it has on its viewership. Ekaterina describes visual storytelling as “the use of images, video, infographics and potentially presentations and other visuals in social media.” Essentially, information put into a form other than just words. But why does visual storytelling outperform a regular, well-written story? Stelzner gives a few reasons as to why:

  1. Our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
  2. About 93% of all communication is nonverbal.
  3. Typically, there is a larger emotional connection to visuals.
  4. Blog posts with visuals drive up to 180% more engagement than those without.
  5. Attention spans are declining, (currently, about 3-8 seconds) causing marketers to grab readers attention immediately.

Visual storytelling gives marketers the ability to remedy each of these problems and grab the attention of their viewers almost instantaneously. Additionally, it helps readers feel more emotions when they actually see the story unfolding in front of them, which is a key ingredient in engaging the current and growing generations.

P&G.png

Procter & Gamble (P&G) is a business that thrives off of visual storytelling. In 2012, the year some marketers say was the beginning of the visual storytelling boom, P&G released a commercial during the Olympic Games. The commercial gripped the hearts of millions of viewers including over one million viewers on YouTube. P&G has continued to to use visual storytelling on its website and social media pages and has great success in doing so.

thank-you-mama

P&G – Thank You Mama

Charmin’s Ultra Strong Social Media Strategy

Source

Having a thriving social media presence is a key factor to success in today’s society. Being engaged on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as well as having a structured website can help your audience grasp who you are  and the image you want to portray. However, achieving a high caliber social media presence is much easier said than done. Businesses must first create a social media strategy if they plan on having even limited success in the very competitive online world.

Social Media Doodles Elements

Michael Patterson wrote an article describing the 7 steps to creating an effective social media strategy. His steps are as follows:

  1. Ensure Social Goals Solve Challenges. Set measurable goals that will solve current challenges your business is facing, or those that you may face in the future.
  2. Extend Efforts Throughout Your Organization. Integrate multiple departments in your business in order to identify the impact social media has on them.
  3. Focus on Networks That Add Value. Determine which social media outlets your target audience uses most. Allocate resources appropriately.
  4. Create Engaging Content. Make your content useful to your audience through videos, guides, or infographics. The goal is to retain and gain customers through the content on your social media accounts.
  5. Identify Business Opportunities. Determine new ways your business can interact and engage your target market. Keeping track of what your competition is doing can help generate ideas on what is working, or what is not.
  6. Engage Instead of Ignore. Responding to feedback on social media has become extremely important. Being able to quickly answer questions or respond to complaints will help your brand image and give your customers a feeling of importance.
  7. Track, Improve, and Market Your Efforts. Determine what works and what doesn’t. Improve upon your failures, and build on success.

Being able to successfully integrate each of these 7 steps into your social media marketing strategy will help establish your business in the online world. A business that has done an excellent job implementing a successful social media strategy is Charmin. Charmin has a very engaging and humorous social media presence. Charmin is known for inventing its own hashtag (#tweetfromtheseat), partnering with other businesses to promote Charmin products, and even inventing phone applications and games. While toilet paper in and of itself is generally a topic that isn’t brought up in conversation, Charmin has found a way to make the product funny and lighthearted through its outstanding social media presence.

charmin