Category Archives: Content Marketing

Let’s All Work Together: How Marketers and Designers can Collaborate on Social Media

Ways for Both Participants can Join Forces and Work Together

 

Creating a marketing strategy and designing the actual ad can be hard work if both the marketer and designer disagree with each other. It can make a project go beyond the schedule and make it impractical to work anymore. How do we prevent this from happening? One feasible answer is to make it amenable for both marketers and designers to work together. The workload has to be clear-cut and organized, with enough room for creativity. Both must be given guidelines of their responsibilities so they understand the requirements without being hampered with too many rules.

Marketers are involved with the preparation stage of the ad creation. They interview the entrepreneur about the nature of the business, the intended message, and perform consumer studies and content creation. They also create, implement, and monitor their marketing strategies. They’ll answer whether the marketing method is effective enough to answer the needs of the target customers. They frame the basic requirements and make illustrations on how they want a certain ad to look. These plans are given to the designers who’ll be responsible for translating the marketers’ ideas to visual form.

Designers will take into account the marketers’ strategy and the client’s specific advertising needs. They think of ads that will entice customers to view and think of the product. The designers’ goal is to frame the ads according to the intended message of the business. They will then create alternative marketing designs that will be evaluated by both the marketer and the client. One or two pieces will be chosen from the lot to be used for the campaign.

Marketers and designers butt heads when they have difficulty understanding the other’s side of the argument. Marketers can be preoccupied with the ad and website analytics data, and make them insist on changes that designers may find aesthetically unappealing. For example, designers might use animation graphics on all major web pages. Incidentally, this causes the website to hang and be unresponsive. This turns off visitors and causes a downturn on the analytics data. Marketers take note of this and insist on taking down or reformatting the web pages to make the loading time much faster. Analyzing the situation this way points out a workable solution: compromise. Reformatting the entirety of the lagging websites can take too much time on the designers’ part. Instead of insisting on this method, it is more feasible to make the graphics simpler yet still visually appealing.

Involving both marketers and designers in the brainstorming process with the client will be more beneficial for everyone. This will make communication easier and make both marketers and designers fully understand the client’s marketing goals. This will result to more tailored campaigns that will be more effective in attracting leads that turn into customers.

Studying basic marketing and design concepts will also help both groups to understand where the other is coming from. This will result to smoother and more knowledgeable relations between marketers and designers. Being familiar about the marketer’s goals will help the designer to create original ads and websites that comply with marketing standards. Design ideas can also aid marketers in determining whether ads will efficiently garner clicks and leads.

These ways will help encourage the creative process while getting viewers to become actively interested in a business ad or website. Being a little lenient on the rules while emphasizing the basic concepts gives both marketers and designers room for adjustment and inspiration. Combining the two will turn out better marketing campaigns for your business.

 

References:

MarketingProfs.com

LinkedIn.com

TechnoSailor.com

Wiley Online Library

JohnPribbleiii.com

Photo Credit:

FotoSearch.com

Picture Taken From:

http://www.fotosearch.com/UNC251/u21383167/

 

 

Yes, This Looks Like a Trustworthy Site

How to Make a Good Impression with Your Website

Other than the blog, a website is a necessary online real estate you need to claim and start setting up. Once the site’s up and running, you’ll also need to measure the analytics to see if there’s any part of the website that needs improvement. But how do you make your content inspire trust among your users? What do you need to make them trust your message and look up your details on the Contact Us tab?

Website content doesn’t need to be long and too detailed to make viewers feel that you’re knowledgeable in your field. If you need to disseminate information important to your customers, create a Resources page with organized links instead of dropdown menus or tabs. Excessive use of tabs can make your website look cluttered and confusing. A large number of tabs can also slow down loading time of your web pages and cause your visitor count to go down.

When making content for your business website, 3-5 short paragraphs with five sentences each are enough to engage your visitors. Any longer and they will just scan the whole page or move on to the next one. Use quality pictures to break up the content and let your viewers’ eyes rest and enjoy the high-resolution photos. An introductory video can also be uploaded to your website to connect your visitors, especially those who like visual content better.

There are some pieces of ‘signal content’ customers usually look for in websites they visit. These effectively encourage visitors to come back and browse your site. According to Jeremy Schaedler, a contributor on Marketingprofs.com, visitors are more likely to feel brand trust if they see the following types of content:

 

1. Show authoritative sites where you’ve been featured or awards and distinctions received.

Is your business included in Angie’s List? Did your store get awarded for fine customer service or professional conduct? Mention these on your website’s About Us section. If you have a roster of awards or have been the recipient of a certain prize for a number of consecutive years, bring them up as well. You can also include distinctions like being an authorized service center, installer or contractor of a particular brand. This will help make your viewers trust that you’re capable enough to do the job.

2. Get accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Let Better Business Bureau assess and accredit your business. You will be graded according to your track record in the market, as well as, whether you honestly represent your products and services, honor guarantees, and more. Once you manage to pass BBB’s qualifications, you are committing to resolve customer complaints and maintain proper business standards.

All these make customers trust BBB accreditation. Succeeding in the testing phase will allow you to post their badge on your site and declare that you’ve been accredited by the organization. Once users see you’ve been officially certified, they’ll be more likely to buy your merchandise.

3. Post staff bios and pictures.

A page about your staff gives a business more trustworthy feel. This conveys assurance that the business is willing to stand by any promises they make. You can show their educational background, work experience, professional associations, and other credentials. Poor-quality photos will turn off visitors and bump you down a few points in the satisfaction ratings. Their pictures should be clear and well-taken, with your staff projecting the image you want your business to be seen. If you have a dental clinic, you need photos that show your employees on a warm and friendly light. Many law offices, on the other hand, make themselves appear serious and tough to make potential clients confident in allowing them to handle their legal matters.

4. Add testimonials.

Gather testimonials from happy customers and post them on your website. If possible, ask satisfied clients to let you shoot video testimonials. This will help increase customer trust and make them feel comfortable enough to rely on you. You can also allow customers to post their own feedback. This, however, makes it necessary to monitor the testimonials closely. You might encounter negative feedback or spam comments. Try linking your testimonials web page to Yelp and other review sites so your customers can easily see what people are saying outside your website’s online territory.

5. Ensure a secure website.

Security of private accounts, especially in an ecommerce website, is a high priority. If customers can’t trust you with their financial account information, they will not bother to come back. Make it a point to periodically check for hacking attacks, malware threats, viruses and other online threats. Making sure of customer protection will make clients trust you more and come back to buy your merchandise.

6. Add social media plugins.

Facebook like icons can be beneficial toyour website. The number of people liking your blog posts and other pieces of content can influence visitors to check your website out in a more thorough manner. Integrate this with your social marketing campaign to make followers visit your website and engage more with your content.

7. Display your phone number clearly.

Make your phone number appear on every page of your website at the top right corner. Placing the phone number on this position will make it more visible to your visitors. This encourages people to call for more inquiries and open up opportunities to generate sales leads.

8. Make a privacy policy.

Customers nowadays are more concerned with security, especially with threats of online hacking. Make your website a safe place for your clients. Protect their information and make them informed with what you do with their details on a short and comprehensive yet easy-to-understand privacy policy. This will inspire trust and attract more customers to your website.

 

Reference:

MarketingProfs.com

What a Steal: Enticing Customers with Daily Deals

How to Use Coupons to Win New Customers

Discounts and deals have the ability to make customers stop and stare at the signs. The idea of getting a good bargain off high-quality merchandise in exchange for a small amount of cash is widely appealing. Make your visitors stop by your website and social networking page for further announcements of spherical deals. Special deals like a 15% on a best-selling product can interest customers and make them more likely to go to your store and buy something.

Special deals have to be well-crafted to make customers loosen their purse strings and immediately buy your product. It is not enough to offer discounts. They must be attached to products that sell well to ensure your business will not lose profit.

Here are some tips from Leyl Master Black to help you plan your deals:

1. Look at different special deal sites before settling on one.

Like shopping, an entrepreneur must first look around to scope out all the options. Choosing a coupon site from a list without asking a lot of questions about the terms and conditions is not a good way to do it, either. What you must do is to approach all the coupon sites appropriate for your type of business. Learn about their payment schemes, the terms for using their site to advertise your voucher, and the type of customers who will be exposed to your special offers. Weigh all your options and choose the coupon site that provides the right terms and customers for your business.

2. Put time constraints on your deals to book your slow days.

It cannot be avoided to have days when you barely have customers coming in through the front door. Take advantage of coupons to attract more people to fill the tables and fatten up your cashier box in those low-demand days. For example, you’re managing a restaurant. Schedule a coupon for meal reservations on Mondays to Thursdays instead of on high-demand days on Fridays to Sundays. Limit the days or hours this coupon is available to make it seem urgent. This will urge customers to hurry and order coupons as soon as possible.

3. Calculate everything before you sign the fine print.

Offering special deals requires you to lower the price of your products and services by at least 50% to make it especially attractive for people looking for discounts. Coupon sites, of course, would take a cut on each coupon you sell. They would usually ask for a 50% cut. So, for example, you’re selling a product that costs $300. You’re offering a 50% discount, so it’s now only $150. You give the coupon site another 50%, so the amount left to you is $75. This may make you lose profit, especially when the product you’re selling actually costs $100 or more.

The only advantage this will bring you is the exposure to a diverse group of customers who might like a taste of what you’re offering. If they find your merchandise satisfactory, they’ll come back and pay full price without any qualms.

4. Impress your ‘coupon customers.’

According to a Rice University study, only 20% of the people who bought special deals did not return to the store as a full-paying customer. Black recommends making your customers feel welcome and well-cared for to encourage them to come back. Once your customers arrive, have them register their names and contact details so you can send them updates on promotions, special events, and more discounts. You can also offer them extra incentives like a 20% discount on designated items they might want to buy. Customers will feel good enough to come back for more if they’re happy with your services. They might even become regular customers if you’ve managed to make a good impression on them.

5. Measure your return on investment.

When calculating whether your investment on the coupons and discounts raked in enough revenue, answer these questions from David Rangel, founder of Daily Gourmet, an online coupon site for restaurants:

  • How much money did your coupon customers spent above the voucher amount? Sometimes, customers spend more than the actual amount they paid for the voucher. Structure the amount you’re offering as a discount to encourage additional purchases.
  • How many coupons were notcashed in? Some people who bought your coupons will actually use them. The amount they gave in exchange for your coupons may be fully yours, depending on state laws and the terms you’ve talked about with the administrator of the coupon site.
  • How many coupon buyers are new customers? Learn which customers bought your coupons for the first time. This will help you measure whether your coupons are effective enough to attract new clientele.
  • How many new customers came back? How much did they spend? Create a database of coupon customers to learn who came back to buy your merchandise again after coming for the first time with a coupon. Logging in the amount they have spent will also help you determine whether your coupons have been successful in getting your business new regular customers.

 

Reference:

Mashable.com

Photo Credit:

Greatdealscolchester.com

The Old Spice Effect: Business Videos with a Heart

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Make customers stop and pay attention with a story about your business.

We have loved reading stories ever since we were children. We even make up our own as we strive to make the people around us wonder and imagine. Storytelling never fails to stir us, even in the form of unfounded news or hearsays. Marketing is no stranger to stories, as well. They use storylines to generate interest on the products and services they promote. This ability is evident through the commercials we see whenever we turn on the television.

There are the Mentos commercials, which feature the “Freshmaker,” and show how your breath can be made fresh with just one candy. Look back on an Old Spice ad that presented a half-naked, towel-clad Isaiah Mustafa telling viewers to “Smell like a man, man.”This commercial told a story that fans of the Old Spice Facebook page clicked. They then typedtheir comments, liked the posts, and shared the page.

This aptly demonstrates the power of storytelling in an ad. Old Spice, the company, contracted Mustafa, a former football star player, to help spread the message that the Old Spice scent can make a man smell more masculine. The reactions above showed how effective the campaign is, making it achieve 14,393 likes and 7,864 comments. This commercial was released last 2010, and it still got comments up until three months ago.

How do you create stories that will imitate the Old Spice effect and make customers pay attention to your content? How do you make them interested with your products? Here are a few ways:

1. Create introductory videos.

Make a video that introduces your business well. Show footages of your store and merchandise, along with your office and employees. If you have a production area, show that in the video, too. Let the CEO make an appearance and explain how your business can be of service to the general community’s needs. You can show this video on your website’s home page, which gives visitors a bird’s eye view of your business processes. This video can also be featured on your social networking pages to engage your followers.

Doggytopia, a dog day care center based in Kelowna, Canada, uses this technique well to tell customers how they will take care of your pets while you are at work. Brenda McBurnie, the owner of the establishment, showed the place where dogs can play and be taken care of. This video serves as a good marketing tactic to attract more customers to visit and entrust their pet dogs to Ms. McBurnie.

2. Product Videos

You know how great your product is, and how useful it can be to perform a certain function or purpose. Customers don’t automatically know that, so make a video that will show them how special your merchandise is. They key is not to tell them, but to demonstrate how. General Electric effectively used this type of video to feature a machine that detects the presence of cancer cells in a patient. This video showed GE employees telling viewers how fulfilled they felt when they helped create something profound like their cancer health care equipment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJCiZ7J4Al4&feature=player_embedded

 

Here are some examples of the reactions to the ad

3. ‘Competitive’ Videos

Provide a video detailing the reasons your business is unique. Think of special qualities that sets you apart. It can be about your many years of experience, longevity in the industry or the value of your products. Discuss how you started your business and made it grow. Impart some stories about how your family or friends helped you set up your venture and make it through the lean times. This can help customers know you more and make them feel you have something in common with them.

One video under this category is Kathleen King’s story of how she entered into another venture. This was after being booted out of her first bakery, which she established and managed for twenty years. She illustrated how she maintained her strength and determination to carry on and become successful again. These characteristics made her stand out against other bakeries near her locality.

http://www.inc.com/chris-beier-and-daniel-wolfman/how-tates-bake-shop-founder-kathleen-king-lost-it-all-and-bounced-back.html

4. Statement Videos

Shoot a short video that showcases your business commitment or mission. This allows customers to know your goals and what principles you stand for. This can help them decide that they’ll support you to attain yourobjectives. For example, you manage a hospital and commit yourself to ensuring your health care staff provides the highest quality of care available. Illustrate how you fulfill your commitment statement with a video.

Blackboard, a company that fosters online and mobile learning, declares its commitment to be ‘accessible’ to students with a high-speed Internet connection. This allows them to reach students and impart the education they need. Rajeev Arora, former Vice President of the Marketing Department at Blackboard, reiterates the company’s commitment on the video below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiG67InGZ4Y

5. Corporate Personality Videos

How does your company define your business? What are you passionate about your corporate culture? Illustrate how you love your enterprise with a video. Answering this question makes it necessary to go back to the time when you first decided to set up your business.  Why did you choose to establish a restaurant, for example? Is it because you like to feed and make people happy through food? Or you love to cook and create dishes that make people satisfied with the taste?

Kristy Greenwood, the owner of Victory Love+Cookies, explains her passion for baking cookies as a way to “get them out into the world, spreading love and light, sugar and flavor, by whatever means necessary.”According to Ms. Greenwood, her zeal for life and making other people feel good is represented by her cookies – light, sweet, and delicious.

http://vimeo.com/32883545

Bottom Line

Using videos to tell stories is a great way to engage your visitors. Almost nobody can resist a feel-good story, which inspires them to do better. Use this to connect to your target audience. Maybe you’ll reach them the way Old Spice did. 😉

 

References:

MarketingProfs.com

Forbes.com

Adweek.com

Inc.com

Swipely Works Blog

No2Pen.com Blog

VictoryLoveandCookies.com

Photo Credits:

Old Spice Facebook Page

Pinning to Get Customers Pinterested

How do Entrepreneurs Succeed in Pinterest Marketing

Entrepreneurs who do well in Pinterest make it their goal to show off well-taken pictures from their store. As Pinterest is a visual content sharing network, other businesses take a look at the most successful boards to see what pictures get the most likes, comments and ‘repins.’ The usual posts include photos of merchandise taken in a creative and appealing manner. Followers are encouraged to stay engaged as the page continues to get updates with more pictures that entice them to repin and buy. What other posts attract a lot of clicks? According to Synecore Technologies, here are other ways to engage your customers:

1. Display photos of your office.

People who haven’t gone to your office or store will be enticed to visit if you post beautiful pictures that present your place well. Allow your followers a view behind the scenes of your store, create digital scrapbooks of special events or introduce your staff in unique ways. This will make followers more curious to find out what your place looks like in reality.

The Scholastic Store offers a view of their main branch in New York in its Pinterest page. Here, you’ll see a set of dinosaur toys on display and three pictures from a Hunger Games party earlier this year.Followers of The Scholastic Store will certainly find this amazing, especially the pictures from the Hunger Games event. This may tempt them to look for updates on the latest events that will allow them to join and have fun with other book lovers.

Michaels Stores, an arts and crafts retail shop provides art classes for children and adults. They show pictures from their sessions, student artworks, and an exhibit of paintings from their classes. This type of pins, which shows how the store engages customers, has a three-fold effect:

  • Followers who have joined the art classes and had their pictures posted in this pinboard are sure to have been delighted with their inclusion in the store’s Pinterest page;
  • Customers are encouraged to join the art classes, seeing how much fun the enrolled students have achieved; and,
  • These pictures act as a marketing tool to entice more people to become customers of Michaels’ Stores.

2. Add a ‘Pin It’ and/or a ‘Follow Me on Pinterest’ button.

Engage your customers with your Pinterest page. Add on your website ‘Pin it’ buttons for users to click every time they want to share your content in their own Pinterest accounts. An ‘Add me on Pinterest’ button will also encourage your followers to stay up to date with your latest posts. This presents you more opportunity to connect to your customers and help them share your content more.

Mashable shows the ‘Pin it’ button in all its articles. Here’s a snip from Mashable.com:

Martha Stewart also connects to her fans and customers through Pinterest:

Start connecting to your followers today with a finely created Pinterest page. This will engage their attention and sustain their interest further with your business.

3. Allow users to post to your boards.

Make your page interactive for users and allow them to add their own photos on your page. Let them post pictures of themselves using your products, attending your events and mingling with your staff. This will show people how great it is to interact and perform transactions with you. As a result, this would encourage them to go to your website or store’s physical location to check out your merchandise and find out more about your business.

Birchbox, a company that provides beauty products, allows customers to submit their own videos that demonstrate how to use Birchbox merchandise and bring out women’s natural beauty. This encourages prospective clients to inquire and buy from Birchbox. Try this strategy on your business!

4. Use your pinboards to tell a story.

When creating a pinboard, think of a specific theme that would showcase your products well and interest your followers at the same time. This will engage your followers better and make them interact more with your page. Share pictures that your followers will find useful, exciting, funny or creative. Take a look, for example, at Whole Foods’ How Does Your Garden Grow pinboard (http://pinterest.com/wholefoods/how-does-your-garden-grow/).Unique ideas, like Examples 1 and 3, elicit exclamations of wonder from followers. This type of posts exposes how creative Whole Foods is when thinking of marketing ideas that will make them stand out from their competition. Example 2, on the other hand, shares content followers may find useful about taking care of their own plants.

Post content like the examples given above to engage your followers. This will encourage them to interact with you face-to-face and transact with you to buy your merchandise.

 

Reference:

Social Media Today

Photo Credits:

Whole Foods Pinterest Page

BHG Pinterest Page

Scholastic Pinterest Page

Birchbox Pinterest Page

Michael’s Stores Pinterst Page

Mashable.com

MarthaStewart.com

When Viewers Don’t Catch the Bug

What to Do with Videos that Don’t Go Viral

It can be quite disheartening to see videos we’ve spent time and huge effort to make get only a low number of views. We’ve spent many hours preparing and shooting the video, editing it, and crossing our fingers for luck as we upload it on YouTube. But sad to say, it only got 100 views, or maybe even less than in its first two weeks. Don’t lose heart! According to YouTube, only a very small percentage of videos garner more than a million views. In fact, the video-sharing giant declares that 45 hours’ worth of video are uploaded every minute of every day. In that light, how many chances will your video get enough eyeballs against the competition?

Don’t let your videos languish in anonymity inside your table drawers. Bring out the records of your videos and post them with your website content. Set up social networking pages where you can share your videos to your customers. If your videos are shot well, they’ll be more likely to watch them and trust you more as a reliable vendor.

Videos are also beneficial for bloggers. Why not post a how-to video with your article, or tag a promotional post with an informational video about your products? This will largely help your marketing efforts as followers engage more with posts that have visual content. Pictures and videos attract more eyes, and therefore more engagement—the essential ingredient for marketing success.Make your videos more social to generate more viewers. Do you have humorous clips you have filmed before? Post them on your Facebook or Twitter page to get laughs and attract more interest on your other posts. Laughter is the best way to your customers’ hearts. It makes people want to replay your videos and chortle some more. Once they share the video, other people become aware of your brand. Even if you didn’t manage to win your YouTube audience, your luck might turn around when you post your videos with your posts. This may catch the interest of your viewers and make your business more visible online.

Bring out videos you’ve worked hard to film. Show them off with your marketing posts to get more people to check out your content. The more interesting and visually appealing ones will get the most engagement!

 

Reference:

Social Media Today

Open for Business in Pinterest

How to Use the Latest Social Site to Join the Social Networking Race

 

Pinterest is said to be women’s domain. It is estimated that for every 10 users, there are eight females and two males. Although women dominate this newcomer social media site, Pinterest is a leading referral traffic generator for retail brands. In the data gathered by TechCrunch in March 2012, Pinterest brought 3.6% of referrals while Twitter was barely ahead by 0.1%. This is particularly surprising as Pinterest is relatively new to the social networking race, while Twitter is an expert at it since 2006.

Businesses are interested in establishing their online presence through Pinterest because of the level of engagement users invest on this site. An increasing number of visitors go to Pinterest every month, not only because of the novelty it offers, but also the rich content that can be found here. It is also different from other visual sites as Pinterest shows all its content on the home page. All the pinboards are there, allowing you to click and see the pins inside. The interface is easy to customize, which makes it very attractive for users who want to personalize their page.

Excited to use Pinterest for your marketing campaign? Joined Pinterest but don’t know how to fully unlock its potential for your business? Here are some tips from a Synecore Technologies infographic:

It is best to pin on 2 pm to 4 pm on Thursdays and 1 am to 8 pm on Saturdays. Pinning on Thursday afternoons allows you much time in choosing which pins to post just in time for the online traffic rush on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Users are more active during these days because these are common rest days, especially for the working population.

What posts do you pin?

First things to consider are well-taken pictures of your products. If you don’t want to hire a professional photographer, learn how to take good pictures and take some creative shots of your own merchandise. With enough practice, you’ll become adept in presenting your goods in a pretty manner that will attract many sets of eyeballs.

Pinterest users love it when a business is very engaging. Bring your business closer to your followers with pictures of your workplace and staff. Take pictures of how your employees create and prepare your goods. Have old photos of last year’s thrilling team building activity? Show them off to the public. This will be particularly fascinating for followers who are great fans of your business. They naturally want to know more about your business, and this type of posts will further endear them to you.

Infographics are also great ideas. According to Wikipedia, these are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. This allows people to quickly grasp complex ideas because of the clear way the facts are shown. If you need to inform your customers about something complicated, an infographics will be effective in conveying what you need them to learn.

Want to drive more traffic to your blog? Try posting snippets from your articles. Pick out the most interesting statements to prick their interest. Add a link to your blog or place the web address on the end of each snapshot of the blog post so followers can check out your posts. You can also post your resource pages or references. This will help your readers when they need to check some information they see on your posts.

Post videos on your Pinterest page. Make sure the ones you add to your account are short, well-shot and appealing enough to make the viewers watch up to the last second. Consult a professional if you’re not sure how to create videos that would make customers want to replay. Keep in mind that you have to make your videos ‘short and sweet’ to sustain interest.

Customer testimonials can also be posted. In fact, it would be better if you ask pictures from your customers showing them using your product or enjoying a service you provide. The caption will serve as their endorsement on how fine your merchandise is or how satisfied they are with your services. This will serve as proof for your claims about striving for ‘customer satisfaction,’ ‘excellent craftsmanship,’ and ‘reliable customer service.’

One more thing to post can be your proof of certifications, association memberships and other credentials that prove your qualification. For example, you’re a general contractor who wants to get more building commissions for new homes, cottages and residential domiciles. Create a pinboard where can post pictures of your state license/s, organizations and community guilds which you are a member of. You can also post recommendations from your professional associations, which will add to your credibility.

 

References:

Social Media Today

Wikipedia

TechCrunch.com

 

Photo Credit:

BusinessMarketingPress.com

Instagram + Pinterest: A Visual Formula for Social Media

How Filtered, Pinteresting Pictures can Bring New Life to Your Marketing Campaigns

Instagram gained instant popularity when it was first launched in Apple’s App Store in October 2010. This mobile app lets users take photos and apply digital filters. It quickly gained a wide following from 100,000 in October up to 1 million users in December 2010. 2012 rolled in with 15 million users until on July, Instagram announced that it now has 80 million app users. This boom must have happened because Google acquired rights to distribute the app to Android users in April. There’s a noticeable big jump from the number of users in March (27 million) to May (50 million).

How did Instagram gained such huge popularity? This can be attributed to people wishing that some moments stand still for a time. With pictures, everyone can catch a moment to remember. This conveys a human wish to document events for keepsakes of times they want to go back to. Instagram goes a step beyond that, offering features that allow professional and amateur photographers to play with filters and make their pictures more beautiful and fun to look at. These filters alter images to look sharper, older or more vibrant. Take, for example, the pictures below:See how the last picture was enhanced? With Instagram, you can use filters to create entrancing images that catch attention and stimulate interest among your viewers.

Pinterest, on the other hand, is a visual content site that allows users to pin pictures they find interesting. They can create boards that feature different themes, according to their preferences. With its user-friendly features and attractive interface, this social network quickly gained fame, especially among the female demographic. There has been 11.7 million Pinterest users in May 2012, and that number’s still growing as the site did away with its invite-only membership and opened its doors for all users.There’s a possibility of a campaign that combines Instagram and Pinterest winning over the customers of a business. Entrepreneurs can use Instagram to take pictures of their merchandise and post the images on their Pinterest account. It can work, especially if you have a large number of followers on Instagram. You can drive your customers to go to your respective accounts on both social networks. Apply the best practices in both platforms and you can make your marketing campaign work!

Instagram has a balanced demographic with 50.8% male and 49.2% female users. There’s also enough audience from all age groups. With this mobile app, you can attract almost everyone to your business using the pictures you’ve taken. Pinterest can work as your pinboard where you’ll organize the images you’ve taken in artistic and aesthetic arrangements.

If you’re using Facebook and Twitter, you can post sample pictures of what you’re posting on Pinterest. This can entice your followers to check out your Pinterest page. Once users see your high-quality images, they’ll share your content and inadvertently promote brand awareness.

How do you fully utilize Instagram and Pinterest? Here are some techniques:

Well-taken pictures have a way of making ordinary subjects charming. Browse around Instagram and Pinterest, and look for the most popular photos. What are the common qualities of the most favored images? Other than the exceptionally lovely pictures, there are also everyday fixtures and average-looking goods spruced up to look unique. Here are some examples:

Have a cute office pet or mascot? Charm and engage your customers with pictures!

References:

Social Media Today

Quora.com

Wikipedia

ThunderSEO.com

Instagram for Brands

IgniteSocialMedia.com

Lexicalist.com

 

Photo Credits:

LaptopMag.com Blog

Pixoto.com

9BYTZ.com

YumSugar.com

Promoting and Popularizing Your Blog through Plug-Ins

Make Your Blog Catch on Social Media with Pleasing Plug-Ins

A blog is particularly useful in publishing content that helps you engage with customers online. Used by entrepreneurs who want to make their mark in social media, a blog is a good way to reach your fans. Share content about industry news, educational advice, interviews, funny pictures, evocative videos and more. This will endear followers who are looking for answers to questions related to your content.

Liven up your blog with pleasing plug-ins that will make it popular for customers and social networking sites. Plug-ins will add more functionality to your website and make it easier for your users to surf. Here are some plug-ins you can use:

1. Sharebar – The Sharebar is a vertical rectangular box that appears ona web page you want to share. It persistently moves with the page as viewers scroll up and down, calling attention to share a web page through their social networking accounts. Use this plug-in to allow readers to share your content across the social media universe.

This enables readers to quickly distribute your content on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Buffer, and other sites.

2. SexyBookmarks – This plug-in allows you to customize which social media sites you want your content to appear. It features 89 social networks so bloggers have a myriad of choice. Try it now so your followers can share your content in different social accounts.

3. Follow Me – This plug-in can be placed on the side of your web pages. It has a pop-up functionality, which displays all your business social profiles in large icons. This allows viewers to follow a blogger’s social networking accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Slideshare, and other social media sites.

Customize a Follow Me plug-in. Here are subscription buttons from Mashable.com:

4. Thank Me Later – it can be nice to receive a ‘Thank You’ note after commenting on a post you found interesting. Make people feel the same appreciation every time they post comment on your entries. Write the thank-you note in a humorous manner to make it more pleasing. Take this as an example from Blogtyrant.com:

Injecting a humorous note on your thank-you note will help persuade the commenter to subscribe to your RSS feed or check out your blog for new content.

5. Email-list subscription – Some users prefer to receive updates, freebies and content links through email. Accommodate their preference with a box asking for their email on corresponding web pages. You might say, “Want to receive updates by email? Please enter your name and email address to be included in our mailing list!”

Want to create a customized email inquiry box? Here’s an example of what Social Media Examiner has:

Notice that this email list subscription box offers a freebie in return for encoding your email address? This is actually a promotional move to persuade other users to subscribe to email updates. Why not utilize this technique as well? You’re sure to get more subscribers this way.

6. Gravity Forms –These are contact forms which allow bloggers to learn which content users like to receive updates for. Let’s see Mashable.com’s gravity form to illustrate further:With this plug-in, bloggers can gain insights on which pieces are the most and least popular among subscribers. Use gravity forms to allow subscribers to choose updates only on categories they prefer.

7. RSS Feed button – Don’t forget to add this basic button to your blog. Place this on every related web page to entice readers to subscribe for updates every time you post a new entry.

Make your website more interactive with these plug-ins. This will not only improve the look of your website; it will also promote user-friendly features that will endear the site to your followers. Come take another look at the plug-ins listed above or research more to see which ones better fit your website. This will encourage followers to engage with your content more and share it to their own friends.

 

 

References:

Social Media Examiner

MakeUseOf.com

Indiana University website

Moneytized.com

BlogTyrant.com

Widen Your Online Presence with a Social Media Boost

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Make your business soar and succeed online with the help of five social networks.

Using social media to promote your business has the potential to generate big profit for your company. More and more people goonline to shop, look at different products, keep up with the latest news, catch up with friends, and more. This presents the opportunity for businesses to reach customers and build a large online client base.

Choosing which social media site where you can establish your business requires considerations, though. For example, does your target audience frequent this site? How about your competitors? How long have they been on social media? Are they just starting out like you? Other than that, is the social network of your choice fit your company? Is it suitable for your marketing campaigns?

Making a decision about what social media site to choose for your advertising project centers on your customers. Investigate whether they prefer to look at ads on traditional or modern media. Do they like reading newspapers, listening to the radio, and watching television more than browsing the Internet? If so, these are the media you should be focusing on. If your target market is the young adult group, mainly people ages 18-34 years old, then they probably have active online lives. They’re likely to have accounts on the most popular social networks, own a smartphone, and like to spend more than 8 hours surfing the web.

Once you find out where your prospective customers like to hang about, customize your campaigns to include content that appeals to them the most. Your audience might prefer to see pictures and videos more than text updates on your blog and social networking pages. How do you make your brand attractive and encourage them to say good things about your products?

Positive engagement is the key to build relationships with your target audience. Make your online presence active and interactive to better befriend them and make them feel close to you. How do you do that? First, you have to choose a social media site. Here is some information on five of the fastest-growing social networks today:

1. Tweeting on Twitter

Established in 2006, Twitter enjoyed a rapid growth as soon as it was unveiled on the Internet. It quickly garnered more users in 2007 when participants of the South by Southwest Interactive conference used Twitter to keep track of other attendees. They increased the average number of tweets up to 3 times the usual 20,000 tweets per day.

Business Standard, a national India newspaper, appended Twitter with the moniker, “SMS of the Internet.” This is because users can only type 140 characters on the Internet. This makes for straightforward posts, with emphasis on the ‘short and sweet’ type of messages.

How do you use Twitter for your business:

  • Heads-up for the latest company deals and coupon codes. This not only benefits followers but also businesses as well, as special offers and discounts tend to generate interest and increase traffic.
  • Customer service assistance. Customers prefer to reach out to businesses online instead of calling the hotline number. Interact more with customers and answer their inquiries and complaints. React to their suggestions and other feedback, as well. This will make them more satisfied with your business in general.
  • Customer Engagement. Twitter offers different ways to engage with customers using the @mention and Twitpic features. Arrange contests to increase brand awareness and make people come to your website and store’s physical location.
  • Promote the company blog. Encourage followers to keep up to date with the latest posts on your blog. You can share post industry news and company updates to discuss with your followers.

2. Pinning on Pinterest

Imagine Pinterest as a set of online bulletin boards which you can use like scrapbooks. The user-friendliness of this site made Pinterest break into the social media race on 2010. It became popular enough to generate 11 million unique visits, which makes it the fastest to break the 10 million unique visitor count record. Pinterest’s wide reach brought more referral traffic to entrepreneurs than LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+. In March 2012, it surpassed LinkedIn and became the third largest social networking site in the United States.

How do you use Pinterest for your business?

  • Enhance your brand image. What makes your business popular among your loyal customers? Is it the ambiance of your store? The way your products are presented? Adopt those same qualities on your Pinterest boards. If your customers exclaim over the décor of your site, why not post pictures of décor suggestions?
  • Showcase your products in a unique way. Unleash your creative side and think of ways to display your products. Take pictures that show them at their best. If you’re selling wines, show photos of your wine bottles in an unusual position that would display how the light reflects against the wine.
  • Be more social. Make your Pinterest page more social with posts about your customers. Are you providing art classes? Take pictures of the works of your students. Hosting a party with many followers in attendance? Post photos of your best-dressed participants. You can also allow customers to post pictures of how they use your merchandise. This not only increases customer engagement but also promotes your products to your followers.
  • Include other pictures relevant to your products. It can be boring to see the same things posted on one board after another. Be more diverse and post photos of different type of products related to your brand. For example, if you’re a greengrocer, post vegetarian recipes to promote using greens as ingredients. You can also pin images of cooked vegetables in different occasions like Thanksgiving, 4th of July and other holidays.
  • Inject humor on your posts. Humor is a great equalizer. Make people notice your page more with memes, jokes, and comic strips related to your products. If you’re managing a pet shop, create jokes using pictures of your pets. This works well with today’s fad of dog and cat jokes circulating around the net.

Check out the next article for tips on posting on Tumblr, Instagram, and Foursquare.

 

References:

Wikipedia Info on Twitter

Wikipedia Info on Pinterest

Search Engine Journal

TheSocialSkinny.com

Hubze.com