What are the tips for successful branding in 2017

Tips For Successful Branding In 2017

A digitally connected world has made it easier for brands to connect with their target audience. With a touch of a button, content from brands can reach a customer’s smartphone, smart watch or tablet. The social media channels are the new ‘advertising’ platforms, although this time, brands have to earn the audience’s trust over time before making a killing in sales. Arguably, the digital age is enabling brands and bringing them closer to customers. How can brands utilize the different digital channels without messing up? Here are the golden rules of successful branding updated for the digital age.

 

The 10 rules of branding in 2017

 

1. Brands have to connect on a human level

 

Humans have persona, feelings and values. To connect better with humans, brands have to possess some of the human qualities. This doesn’t mean that brands have to be their customer’s best friend-it does, however, imply a level of empathy and trustworthiness. People buy from brands they feel connected to and can trust.

 

2. Brands needs to have authenticity

 

Brands have to express their core values and stay consistent in their mission/message. Customers want to know why a brand exists (the driving force behind creating a brand to really help people) and the ethical way they conduct business. A level of transparency is expected in how the brand source their products and run the business. A brand that acts as if they only care about revenue will not last long.

 

3. Brands needs to listen

 

Brands become powerful through their customers. If they displease customers through a poor service and attitude then their power can be taken away. Sometimes, brands only hear what they want to hear and are surprised when customers leave them in droves. Successful brands listen to customers on social media and resolve any problems in a timely and transparent manner.

 

4. Brands have to be relevant

 

When brands pay close attention to what their customers are saying, they can stay ahead of the curve. They absorb all the fresh and new ideas from customers and can anticipate changes in tastes. A relevant brand is constantly changing and obsessed about providing a great customer service.

 

5. Brands should not treat sales as transactions

 

Customers like to feel appreciated when they make a decision to buy from certain brands. A friendly and personalized service can make customers loyal and recommend the brand to their social circles.

 

6. Brands have show off their personality

 

Having a strong brand persona can polarize audiences. Still, it is better to have die hard customers love your strong personality than to be bland. Many brands are afraid of alienating customers and adopt a neutral stance to everything. Like the generic brand video shown above, brands withholding their personality can disappear quickly without a trace.

 

7. Brands should adopt the community spirit

 

Tying in with relevancy, successful brands are often part of their customer’s social community and contributing. This way, customers can feel more connected and build a better relationship with the brand.

 

8. Brands have to provide an experience customers can share

 

Whether it be amazing customer service, or providing value in content marketing, brands have to be exceptional in some way for their customers to share the same great experience.

 

9. Brands have to move away from a hard sell

 

The in your face hard sell no longer works because customers have more choice and do not respond well to orders telling them what to do. Brands have to persuade using good content and cultivate trust over time. Once people see that a brand is authentic, consistent and eager to provide value, they will empty their wallets.

 

10. Brands need to reward client loyalty

 

It is said that attracting new customers is much more difficult than retaining existing ones. Brands that concentrate on keeping existing customers loyal will win in the long run. The lifetime value (LTV) provided by loyal customers is high. In the digital age, it is hard to get attention, let alone to keep a customer loyal. Acknowledging customer’s loyalty and rewarding them with goodies, discounts or exclusive products are some of the ways successful brands thrive in the digital age.

 

Alvomedia marketing agency provides customized branding strategies for clients. Contact us for more information on info@alvomedia.com

How to get more Twitter leads for your business

How To Get More Twitter Leads

Tips To Get More Twitter Leads

The popularity of Twitter is growing. It has proven itself to become one of the best social networks in the world. Therefore, it is important for your business to include Twitter in your social media marketing campaigns. In fact, it is possible for you to generate Twitter business leads. This social network can be used for discovering qualified leads for making your business a success.

 

Social media marketing via Twitter

 

Twitter has a variety of features. If you wish to make the best use of this social network, you will have to find out the features that can be used for your social media marketing needs. You can use the following tips so as to make it easier to search and gain more qualified leads.

Twitter Adverts

 

You can promote individual tweets or your Twitter account using Twitter ads.  The beauty of Twitter ads is better targeting for users who are already following similar businesses and interested in your type of product. Businesses on Twitter can select the geographical location, time zone, budget, user interest and gender to promote themselves. The disadvantage of Twitter ads is the cost, which is relatively steeper than other social media marketing methods. You will need to pay for each follower as a result of seeing your Twitter ad.

 

How to use Twitter ads to gain Twitter business leads

Research your hashtags and keywords

 

It is certain that you will find your targeted consumer base and audience on Twitter. After all, it is used by over 300 million people every month. You will have to take advantage of this huge reach by searching out your audience actively and engaging with them.

In order to do so, you should first make a list of hashtags, as well as keywords, that are related to the name of your business and products. You can also take note of the competition and the hashtags used by them for their businesses and products. With the list you just compiled, you can conduct a simple search.

Through the results, you will be able to locate potential and prospective customers who are possibly interested in your products and business. You should start engaging with them by getting their tweets shared or mentioning them in yours.

Using Twitter search bar you can find what popular hashtag to use for your social media marketing campaign

You can make use of the advanced search options in Twitter to filter the results and target in a more specific manner. After all, you may want to target customers based on their location and proximity to your retail store. You can even use the search filters to find people who are tweeting about you or looking for products that you sell in real time. You can make use of this feature to reach out to those people and engage with them. You should not forget to look out for influencers.

 

Find out the interests of your customers

 

It is important for you to learn more about the interests of your customers so that you can improve your digital marketing campaigns. Twitter makes it easier for you to search out the interests of the customers. After all, people love to talk about their interests, lifestyle choices, motivations and a plethora of other topics. You will have no problems in making use of these pieces of information for your social media marketing needs.

While searching for your customers, you should also pay attention to the other topics they tweet about. This allows you to find out more about the possible interests of your targeted consumer base. You can use the common hashtags you have found to understand more about the audience. By understanding the demographics of your audience, you will be able to improve your marketing campaigns.

Start Twitter contests

 

Voting contests can be very effective at garnering the attention of your customers and improving engagement rates. However, they can do more. Voting contests allow you to gain invaluable insight into your customers. You can also increase your mailing lists which can be another way of gaining leads. The contests can also help you to learn the preferences of your customers with respect to your products and services.

In order to make the best use of contests as a lead generator, you must offer a suitable prize. The prize should be related to your business or it can be one of your own products. The prize can act as an incentive for people to participate. Moreover, it will attract those who have a genuine interest in your business and products.

Share interesting content on Twitter

 

Content marketing is essential if you are trying to make use of social media networks for generating leads. Of course, you need to modify the content based on the network you are using. For Twitter, you can opt for trivia, quotes and even questions to get the maximum number of shares. Of course, you must ensure that the entire post fits in the character limit of Twitter along with the appropriate hashtags and possible comments from your customers while retweeting. For many businesses, content marketing is the hardest thing to accomplish on Twitter since the competition for user’s attention is fierce. The best thing is to schedule Tweets using social media marketing tools for the optimal times and outsource content creation to a digital marketing team.

Make use of Twitter Cards

Using Twitter cards you can create more impressions for your brand to increase Twitter business leads

Twitter cards can be invaluable for your business as it allows you to add multimedia such as images and videos along with textual content such as product descriptions. You will require a website developer who can attach the code to your website. There are many cards out of which one has been specifically developed for helping you generate leads. Called Twitter product cards, they can give your prospects and customers the information about a particular product. You can use them to collect emails for further leads.

How to manage social media effectively

How To Manage Social Media For Your Business

Social Media Management For Your Business

Social media management is a phrase that online business owners hear often. Businesses that are unfamiliar with social media marketing are afraid of the time commitment and real time engagement with people that they would otherwise not talk to offline. However, statistics showing that 89% of 18-29 year olds are engaging on social media platforms means that companies targeting a younger demographic can no longer dismiss social media. In addition to reaching more people, marketing on social media can build trust. It was found that 92% of consumers trusted a friend’s review on social media.

The way brands are interacting with their customers has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. It is almost second nature to follow a favourite brand on Twitter, or like photos in Instagram. When brands talk to us in real time, that is considered great customer service as opposed to being intrusive. Some of the world’s biggest brands have caught on to social media marketing and are now dominating platforms such as SnapChat, Instagram and live video streaming Periscope.

 

Using social media to engage with your customer base

 

The main purpose of social media is to gain greater visibility and engage with your customer base. Although not considered a direct factor for SEO, social media can direct more traffic to your website and alleviate search engine rankings. When implemented properly, social media marketing can lead to sales.

Instead of spending hours online building a social media presence, companies can outsource their social media management to digital marketing agencies. The expertise and connections from a digital marketing agency can increase brand awareness and conversions for that business. It is understandable why some businesses are hesitant to outsource their social media marketing, however it is a smart decision if your business requires 24/7 social media presence across 3 or more social media channels. These days, businesses are international in scope and customers expect communication to be in real time across multiple time zones. Your business reputation will surely improve by using a 24/7 social media management team.

 

Outsourcing social media management for your business

 

The time required to manage social media accounts for business is considerable. Businesses have to constantly engage with customers on the various platforms and reputations have to be defended in a timely manner. In addition to free social media marketing, businesses are advised to use paid social media advertisements to drive even more leads. If all of this sounds like a headache to you, then an online marketing agency can help to promote your business and establish good relationships between your business and customers.

It is true that outsourcing social media management will not be the same as you communicating with customers yourself. Rest assured that a professional marketing team will learn about your business inside out and engage in a meaningful way with your customers. Furthermore, you will be given helpful tips about how to manage your social media accounts in a more effective way-to drive sales.

What is the ROI of social media and can it be calculated?

What Is The ROI Of Social Media?

Calculating ROI Of Social Media

Social media marketing ROI” is a big term and often misunderstood by entrepreneurs. Some argue that there is no social media ROI, whereas others disagree. However, if you have a clear understanding of what goals you want to achieve for your business and how to calculate it right, things might just be the way it should be. Read on to know how you can make calculating the social media marketing ROI easier for your business. Given below are tips to help you understand how you can apply ROI to the social media marketing efforts of your company.

Defining social media marketing ROI

 

To understand the return on investment, you need to understand business finance. Businesses calculate the ROI to understand the amount of returns that they are getting per unit amount of money they invest in their business. In the same way, social media marketing ROI is the amount of money you get in return of the amount spent in doing social media marketing for your business. However, do not expect to see the amount return to show up on the “like” and “retweet” numbers. You must know that most of the social media marketing channels are free and you spend zero amounts of money to do marketing on these sites. However, the return on investment in the social media is generally noteworthy.

 

Steps to measure social media marketing ROI

 

You need to create social media marketing goals that complements the digital marketing goals that your company is making. For instance, if you are setting a goal of generating a certain number of goals this quarter of the year, make sure that you set a target of lead generation driven by the social media marketing alone. Track the conversion rate of the people who are landing on the website through your social media profiles. Check your existing social media performance in order to establish baseline targets. Now, you can set goals for the required amount of improvement. The main social media metrics that you need to track includes website traffic, reach, number of leads generated, registrations and conversions and the amount of revenue generated. It is important for the social data of the company to be relevant to the stakeholders of the company. So, connect the social media to your company’s goals.

 

Use social media analytics tools to measure ROI

Measuring the social media marketing ROI can help you direct your digital marketing methods

Once you plan the social media goals, identify the processes and tools to measure the return on investment for your business social media profiles. You can do that by adding tracking codes to the website URLs and building customized landing pages. Each social media analytics tool tracks a specific thing about the website of your business. Google Analytics tracks the website traffic, sign-ups, and conversions. Salesforce codes are added to the links that are shared on the social networks. With it you should be able to track sales leads from specific campaigns and social messages. Hootsuite Analytics is another tool that you can use for tracking URLs, conversions, and the reach of your company to the potential customers.

 

Calculating the social media marketing ROI

 

Once the social media goals are set and the analytics tool is chosen, it is time to track the social media marketing ROI for your business. Whatever you do on social media should be tracked and you should be able to prove the success of the social media campaign with the help of the data, thus obtained. You should check the social media metrics frequently and make sure that the social media marketing goals are being met.

Identify what works and what does not. When it comes to social media campaigns, there are certain things that you can and cannot do. Adjust the strategies accordingly. Remember, the social media ROI tracking is not just to prove that the social media campaigns are important for your business, but to make sure that you are increasingly giving more value to the campaigns for the growth of your business.

How to use social media marketing for your business

How to use social media marketing for your business

Why Social Media Marketing Is Integral For Your Business

Social media marketing is a marketing tactic that is often maligned for being too time consuming. Many businesses use social media marketing as an after thought rather than their main strategy. This may have been acceptable in 2008, but in 2015, social media is the main way people, that is, potential customers communicate and connect with each other. The biggest social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat and Instagram have hundreds of millions of users log in every month and this is the way people communicate to one another about great products, services, events, news and celebrity gossip.

Consumers in 2015 are no longer influenced by blatant advertisements telling them to buy a product or service. They would rather trust recommendations from their friends and family members. The power of the consumers as product advocates cannot be underestimated. The effectiveness of social media marketing where businesses reach out to potential customers is reliant on trust and great communication.

If you don’t believe the power of social media marketing, look at the most powerful brands and celebrities in 2015. They are all expert marketers on social media and use their social media presence in an effective and far reaching way.

With social media marketing you can connect with and maintain a relationship with your existing and future customers like never before.

Always be closing (ABC) is a phrase most people in business are familiar with. The ultimate goal of marketing should be about closing (or making a sale) and this is something that social media can help you do.

 

Misconceptions about social media marketing

 

There are many misconceptions about social media marketing but the following are the most common:

1. You have to post a lot and all the time

This is not true at all. You need to post regularly, but not post a lot. Once a day on your main social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook will be enough to keep your customers updated and in the loop about your business. You must post something relevant that is targeted to your audience. Do not be afraid to let your business persona show and engage with your followers with retweets, messages or tags.

2. Social Media marketing is too slow.

All forms of marketing takes time and effort. Social media marketing is worth the effort and time because you can reach a wider audience and nurture leads. Nurturing leads means maintaining your relationship with potential customers so they become buyers further down the sales funnel. Social media marketing is never too slow when you consider the long term effects of being able to engage with a wider customer base.

3. You cannot target customers like you do in email marketing 

Email marketing should be used alongside social media marketing! Both are effective ways to target customers but social media marketing have a wider reach. You can cast a net wider with social media and engage with a community of customers rather than one-to-one as in email marketing. The beauty of social media is that you can engage with celebrities, authority figures in your industry and influential bloggers that will be able to help your business grow.

4. You cannot advertise on social media

This is simply not true. Social media advertising can be just as effective, if not more than Google Adwords. Facebook advertising allows you to target your specific demographic of customers and be more cost effective with your advertising budget. Google Adwords, on the other hand, only helps you target customers by customer intent (they will search when they need answers to their query). With Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, you can place adverts, or promoted pages that could get you more click-throughs and potentially conversions.

5. Social Media marketing is unpredictable

Many business owners get the wrong impression about social media marketing. They think that their audience on social media are difficult to engage with, or, that their behaviours on social media are unpredictable. The truth is, successful social media marketing requires some trial and error to find the right tone, right persona, right target audience and even the right message. If you look back at the social media interactions of successful brands you will see that their first interactions are clumsy or not as refined. Keep to the goal of reaching more consumers and social media marketing will get results.

 

Social media marketing can increase your sales

 

 

Social media is starting to incorporate ecommerce elements that will make it easier for businesses to sell products or services. Twitter is aiming to launch a buy button for retailers, Facebook has been testing out an impulse purchase button and Instagram is making their photo display format better for ecommerce sites. The integration of ecommerce and social message is a sign of things to come. Businesses would not only generate more leads through social media, they would also be able to convert those leads into buyers!

Invesp claims that social commerce will represent 5% of online retail revenue by the end of 2015. This percentage may seem small but that accounts for $14 billion of sales. Where the larger businesses go, others will follow. Brands such as Burberry are already starting to invest millions in a more seamless and personal retail experience. Smaller ecommerce businesses can also leverage social media to drive revenue.

Here are our best tips for driving sales on social media:

  • Don’t be afraid to let your personality show. Your customers like to relate to you and mixing sale messages with personal content might be an effective tactic. Anything that evokes emotions on social media will lead to more engagement and sharing of content.
  • Let your sales message take a back seat. Display your brand and business mission statement clearly, but do not overwhelm your audience with advertising content. Content that is helpful, relevant and fresh about your industry would fare better. Your audience might like to learn about insights and your analysis on your particular industry.
  • Customers come first. If your customer have queries or any complaints, make sure that you respond quickly and with respect. Complaints will be seen by the public on social media but the way you handle complaints will speak volumes about your customer service and business ethics. Provide a resolution to any complaints, or if the customer is set on destroying your reputation, hire the help of reputation management professionals to quickly remove the content. When customer give you great feedback, be sure to share this.
  • Use the hashtag. Using hashtags on Instagram and Twitter will help potential customers find your product and make a purchase. On Twitter you can use hashtags with a tweet that directs people to your ecommerce store. On Instagram, you can use hashtags under your photograph to inspire people to buy your product.
  • Do use Twitter scheduling tools. You can schedule tweets and make your tweets more regular by using Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. Your followers will see that you tweet regularly and will feel as if they are being updated around the clock.
  • Do use social media mobile apps. Installing the Facebook, Twitter and other apps on your smartphone will make life easier for engaging with your customers on the go. Nowadays, posting on Facebook or Twitter is as convenient as sending a text.
  • Integrate a shopping cart to social media pages. The aim is to convert leads into buyers as conveniently as possible. You can integrate a shopping cart for your Facebook page to allow users to start buying immediately. Do not underestimate the power of impulse buying!

 

Effective Social Media Marketing Tactics to get more exposure

 

The whole purpose of marketing is to get you more attention and sales. Social media marketing is effective in getting your brand more attention if you do it right. Here are some ways to rise above the noise!

Unleash your creativity

Social media platforms such as Tumblr, Google+, Instagram, Facebook and even LinkedIn allows for longer form content where you can express yourself in creative ways. By creative, we mean through videos, photographs, infographics, gifs and long form blogs (blogs longer than 500 words). You need to have a unique voice, or brand persona in social media marketing and some of the platforms mentioned above allows you to engage with your audience in deeper ways.

Action, more action!

Call to action buttons such as ‘subscribe!’ ‘read more,’ and ‘buy now,’ create a sense of urgency and can direct your audience to do something. Using dynamic tone of voice will get you more attention in social media as opposed to a more passive voice.

Polish your marketing efforts

Create  a profile that looks professional, well thought out and interesting. Do not copy and paste the same links and content across all your social media accounts. The beauty of social media marketing is that you can communicate differently on every platform and you should exploit this fully. Creating different high quality content on every platform and doing this on a regular basis will signal to your customers that you are just as meticulous in your product or service.

Be consistent

Having a strong brand persona and being consistent about this will help to cultivate loyal followers. Audiences on social media prefer a consistent and cohesive message that does not confuse them. They like to follow accounts that stay true to their persona. This does not mean that you are being boring; it just means that you stick to what your audience likes and expects of you.

Use imagery more than words

People will remember images and videos longer than words. This is even more effective if the image evokes some emotions. Attaching images, videos or infographics to your content is not an option but a necessity in the busy and noisy world of social media.

Get conversations going

Dive into conversations, respond to questions. take part in discussions, make polls and make yourself known as the expert or voice of authority in your industry. If you cannot become an expert then at least become someone that people can trust and listen to on social media.

Network like a pro

Linkedin is the ideal social platform for professionals. Use advanced search to target profiles you would be interested to employ or form connections with. You introduce yourself through alumni networks, or any other connections you have in common.  Who knows, you might find your next VC, hire, customer or mentor on there.

Go Viral

Some people claim to know a formula for viral content. In reality, viral content is not common and can be due to many different factors. Viral content or viral sharing on social media is a very quick way for you to get noticed, but it may not be the best choice for advertising your product or services. You can attempt to create viral content in order to get views for your social media accounts but viewers may not interested in what you are selling.

Run Contests, polls and surveys

People like to take part in contest, polls and surveys where they can win something. This is an effectively tactic on Twitter and Instagram where participants can get prizes and acknowledgement.

Sharing and Caring

Social media is an excellent platform for sharing and helping other users. You should make a habit of retweeting, reposting or sharing your audience’s content on your account. When other users say something nice about your brand, share this with your audience.

Alvomedia is a digital marketing firm providing social media management services for companies. For more information please contact info@alvomedia.com

Video Streaming For Business Can Improve Your Content Marketing

How To Use Video Streaming For Your Business

Video Streaming For Your Business

Are you looking into live video streaming for the benefit of your business? Two of the most popular apps that let social media users send live-streamed videos to their followers are Meerkat and Periscope. Through such streams, entrepreneurs can share almost anything with the prospective users – from demonstration of the products to information about any specific event. Let’s see what these two video streaming apps are all about:

Meerkat supports live streaming. But it also allows the video watchers to re-stream the video to their viewers in real-time. However, the videos in Periscope can be saved and replay up to 24 hours after live streaming. Additionally, the Periscope video streaming application allows the users to send icons to the live-streamers, just like the “like” button in Facebook.

Both Meerkat and Periscope rely on Twitter as the main platform. With Meerkat, you can schedule broadcast for a desired later date. If none of the users are streaming the videos, it appears blank. However, in the case of Periscope, there is a list of all users whom you are following on Twitter. Periscope actually provides a large database of users’ videos to tap into. Videos by users from all around the world can be checked using the application. Meerkat users can save streaming videos to their phones.

How to use Meerkat and Periscope for business?

Businesses, whatever the type you are involved in, can capitalize on the popularity of both Meerkat and Periscope. You can use live video streaming in a way that provides value to the contacts, prospects, and clients. There are several different ways in which the marketing, customer support and the sales team can use Periscope and Meerkat. Given below is a list of some of the ways:

Webinars are possible by live streaming

By using applications like Meerkat and Periscope, it is possible to organize, present, and watch webinars. If you want to organize a webinar to present something important, it needs a plan, coordination, and execution. However, it is sometimes best to organize webinars and engage with the users in real time. Experts consider it important for the growth of the company. With these live video streaming applications you can turn the webinars into casual opportunities rather than formal presentations. This would help to bring more people together. You will be able to connect better with your customers.Through these applications, the users can send their questions via emails and also connect with them via Twitter. These two apps behave in different ways when it comes to watching streamed videos. In the case of Meerkat, the users can watch a live streaming of videos. Through it, the watchers can re-stream their favorite videos. In case of the Periscope, the watchers can enjoy the videos live streaming or at least up to 24 hours after the initial broadcast.

You can create a live support group

If you are planning to launch a new product, service, or announce a new update, you must have a strong support team in place. With the live video streaming applications Meerkat and Periscope, you can respond in real-time to multiple requests. With the applications, there is a minimal requirement of resources. In place of a complex email, you can provide connection, nuance, and instructions clearly through the two live streaming applications.

Showcase new product features

If you are planning to launch a new product or present a new update in the market, you must use Periscope or Meerkat. With the streaming videos you will be able to show them live demos and “how to use” instructions. Unlike traditional commercials, promotional streaming videos on Meerkat and Periscope are much more attractive, interactive, and engaging to the users. It is possible for the companies to monitor the questions and queries of the customers and solve them right away.

Make video announcements

Through the Periscope and Meerkat, you can make important announcements and tell your supporters about the things that are happening in your business or company. You can also send teaser advertisements to the potential customers about any special product launch or upcoming event. You can also give a preview of the product or service that is coming up.

Crowdsourcing is possible with video streaming apps

If you are planning to get immediate updates on your opinion about a certain person, product, or service, you need to use live video streaming applications like Meerkat and Periscope. With such applications you can ask for comments and advice. You can also use call to actions and also raise funds with the use of the applications. Celebrities like Madonna are also using Meerkat and Periscope as fund-raising tools and platforms to attract professional investors.

Live streaming of promotional videos can expand the reach of the concerned companies beyond the social networking sites such as Twitter, Snapchat,or Pinterest. It is important because not all users use Facebook or Twitter actively. So, using a platform where live, streaming videos can be watched, is a good idea for forward thinking businesses.

Alvomedia digital marketing agency forecasts the trends in content marketing

Content Marketing Forecast

Content Marketing Trends 2017 And Beyond

2017 is only half a year away.

As we head into the second half of 2016 it is time to start assessing the content marketing trends that are predicted to be the most important over the next year. Today’s blog is all about content marketing trends that will affect digital marketing in the years to come.

 

Content marketing for influencing

 

Content marketing-the techniques in content creation and distribution-will inevitably change with technology. What will never change, however, is the purpose of content marketing: to influence people’s decisions. Great content marketers will always have an intuitive understanding of buyer’s emotions to get what they want. Technology is simply there to facilitate the process.

An improved understanding of consumers emotional state will better inform content marketing in the future

Appealing to consumer’s emotions will influence the course of all future content marketing

A move towards increased personalization and emotional connectedness will be a trend in future content marketing. So, what are the other trends?

 

Optimization for mobile devices will become more important

 

It is estimated that nearly 40% of all online commerce occurs via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and this number is estimated to increase dramatically over the next five years. If your website, booking engine or shopping cart is not optimized for mobile devices, and Google AMP, you will be left behind – and more importantly, you will lose sales and hurt your financial performance. 

 

High quality content still rules

 

You’ve heard it before, and you will hear it again: to ensure you are practicing results driven online marketing, you must regularly publish high quality content that is of use and interest to your key marketing demographic. This will not only appeal to your existing clients, prompting them to share your links across their social media platforms, it will also attract new potential customers who are intrigued by your thoughtful output. According to recent studies, 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. Most importantly, a steady stream of unique content is guaranteed to organically boost your SEO rankings, as it is the most effective of all of the inbound marketing strategies.

 

Improve your ‘dwell time’ for the best SEO results

 

You must prioritize the visual content on your website in order to maximize your search engine ranking. By including numerous photos, infographics and videos, you will increase your “dwell time” – that is, the amount of time your visitor spends on your page.

 

Video content will overtake other mediums

 

Video content is becoming more important for SEO ranking. According to Forrester, ‘on Google, videos are 50 times more likely to receive first page ranking than traditional web pages.’ Video SEO (using the correct tags, meta description and text will help Google crawl the video content). Content marketing using videos will use a lot of social sharing as well.

 

“Cookie Cutters” marketing strategies are out

 

 The days of formulaic, ‘one size fits all’ SEO marketing services are ending, as search engines become increasingly savvy to the tricks and strategies that unscrupulous marketers have long used to boost their clients’ rankings. Heading into the future, you need to ensure that your content marketing services are tailored tightly to your unique brand, and customized for your target clientèle.

 

Semantic SEO becomes even more integral

 

Building on the last point, semantic SEO is more important than ever, and so you must ensure that your digital marketing agency is fluent in this concept. With the release of their Hummingbird update in 2012, Google takes contextualization into account for its searches. Therefore, keywords mean less than user preferences, search engine history and website quality – randomly popping keywords into your text is therefore less and less effective.

Content marketing lessons we can learn from Star Wars Force Awakens

5 Content Marketing Lessons From Star Wars

Star Wars: Master Class Of Content Marketing

The highest grossing UK film release of 2015, Star Wars: The Forcer Awakens was the blockbuster that put James Bond Spectre and Jurassic World in the shade. This should not be a surprise looking at the box office takings of the Star Wars franchise. Star Wars: The Force Awakens may be the first film of the Star Wars Trilogy but it is not unusual in the success it has garnered. All of the Star Wars films have been very successful.

Part of the new Star War’s success can be accredited to the film’s content marketing. In 2015, the prevalence of internet marketing has made marketing efforts more fragmented across different channels but Lucasfilm has made sure that the new content is consistent with the entire franchise.

Star Wars content marketing in the digital age

Social media marketing has become one of the most popular ways to promote new film releases. Big film releases, such as Star Wars, distribute content on social media channels that are shared virally. The timing and context are incredibly important for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It has to implement a content strategy within the context of the entire Star Wars franchise and market it just in time for the box office release.

What are the content marketing lessons we can learn from Star War’s success?

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has an aggressive content marketing strategy

In a world of fast content and even faster consumption, it is hard to get the audience’s attention. Star Wars has an aggressive content marketing strategy that gets attention through effective channels of online marketing. Marketers of the Star Wars film produce high quality content that are engaging for the target audience. They produce content that would resonate with fans of the Star Wars trilogy and appeal to newer fans. They then distribute this aggressively along all the channels where their audience would have access to it. In other words, they focus a great deal on their content strategy and getting it to their target demographic.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is very active on social media where thousands of content are distributed and produced every day in the lead up to the film release. Star Wars Google+, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts are followed by millions of fans and the content is shared virally across wider networks. This content marketing approach gets more impressions, engagements and leads for the film.

 

2. Big budget on mass media marketing

Lucasfilm have spent tens of millions on traditional media; in November 2014, Lucasfilm released an expensive teaser trailer across cinemas in United States and in 2015, another trailer to screened at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim California. The first trailer generated 88 million views and second one 30.5 million within the first 24 hours. The content marketing lesson from this is that spending a lot where it gets you the most attention, i.e on YouTube and in cinemas, is a smart investment.

3. Star Wars creates engaging and nostalgic content

Star Wars understands the context of content marketing for audiences that would later see their film. Original visual content is created daily across Star Wars social media profiles, official websites and video platforms. The official Star Wars website and Facebook are full of engaging videos, games, photo stills from the movie, exclusive behind the scenes feature, premier night footage and other fun content. Star War’s weekend opening success is mostly due to the nostalgic trailers and carefully created content distributed across the internet.

4. Context marketing is king for Star Wars

The target audience for Star Wars are general cinema goers and fans of the franchise. Content was created to entertain, fascinate, inform and ultimately to convert their audiences. To appeal to children audiences, Star Wars have interactive content and game apps too readily available for download on iPhone. Adult audiences can follow the official Star Wars blog or go behind the scenes. Clearly, Lucasfilm understood that behind the scenes features and nostalgic content would appeal to adults whereas games would appeal more to children.

5. Content marketing for the target audience

Star Wars has shown that advertising and distributing content where their audiences is is an effective tactic. Instead of concentrating all their marketing on traditional cinema trailers, Lucasfilm have embraced creating content for new channels of online marketing, such as Instagram and Twitter. Lucasfilm understood that the majority of their customers (by age and interest demographic) will be on social media platforms. Posting content where your audience is most likely to consume it is the underlying factor of Star War’s content marketing success.

Conclusion

Disney/Lucasfilm has targeted large audiences both offline and online to get the attention it needs to make Star Wars: The Force Awakens a success. The content marketing strategy used by the film studios is aggressive, contextual and highly nostalgic in creating multimedia content. The movie industry is spending big budgets with modern channels of marketing such as social media and Star Wars has captivated it’s audience with content long before the film release.

The best content strategy for startups have combined impactful marketing and growth hacking techniques to attain greater growth

Growth Hacking Content Strategy for Startups

Content Strategy For Startups?

Content strategy is a phrase we hear often enough in marketing but is it an effective growth strategy for startups? If the aim of content strategy is to gain exposure, increase traffic and nurture relationships between the potential customer and startup, then the simple answer is yes. A smart content strategy and growth driven content marketing are the foundations of startup growth. It can get a startup the attention it needs for fast growth!

There is a misconception these days that startups focused on growth cannot sustain a loyal customer base. This cannot be further from the truth looking at case studies. Startups that focus on growth believe in accelerated client acquisition, which means building that relationship fast! A startup has to cut right to the core of what consumers want and deliver that to their expectations. In order to build relationships quickly, startups use a different content strategy to everyone else. In their content marketing, a startup identifies the pain points, knows what their users are willing to pay, what they are paying for and how they want to pay. A startup focused on growth develops customer relationships quickly.

A great content strategy will maximize the exposure of your brand to potential customers online. The blueprint of your content strategy will inform what content marketing techniques you can use. The fastest growing startups of recent years have all started with an effective content strategy in mind, and reverse engineered their content marketing accordingly to reach their goals.

A strong content strategy for startups is reverse engineering

The fastest growing brands in recent years have all started off with a strong growth driven content strategy. Some marketers call that content hack, which means the same thing. Many startups look at companies with fast growth and adopt similar content strategies. Others identify content marketing metrics, such as high rates of subscriptions/conversions and reverse engineer their growth. They use a growth driven content strategy to plan:

  • How to get a potential customer’s attention
  • How to use the customer’s pain points and desires in their content marketing
  • How to distribute content virally through social media platforms
  • How to make story telling more compelling in their content marketing
  • How to give out cohesive and consistent messages about their brand
  • How to market their content so they get the most impact and not waste time. Growth hacking is all about A/B testing, trial and error and reiterating within a relatively short window of time
  • How to rise above the noise with minimal investment (many startups are bootstrapped)
  • How to remain authentic to their brand philosophy
  • How to market content across different channels and have a focused message
  • How to track every marketing method so they know that it’s working!

When you look at the content marketing techniques used by the fastest growing startups, you will see that this is no coincidence. There is a single-minded content strategy, the blueprint of their marketing, behind every one of them: Airbnb, Uber, Dollar Shave Club, Munchery, Washio, TaskRabbit, Zenefits and Zaarly.

A content strategy that focuses on growth

 

The growth funnel for startups with a strong content strategy

Growth hacking means being obsessively fixated on growth. Every action the startup undertakes must drive growth and they must be eliminated if they prove to be ineffective. In the growth funnel diagram above, acquisition, activation, retention and referral are all growth tactics used by startups. They define their growth goals and reverse engineer the results.

Here are some of the ways the fastest growing companies use content strategy for growth:

1. Startups reach users through specific marketing channels

Instead of advertising or creating content on every marketing platform, startups that are serious about growth go straight for the jugular. By concentrating on fewer content marketing channels, startups could create content that makes an impact. During the early stages of their startup, Airbnb did not have the organic traffic through SEO or conversions through marketing. In the early stages, Airbnb targeted users through Craigslist, which had an enormous base of people looking for apartments and renting them. Once on Craigslist, Airbnb would direct users to their own website; to differentiate themselves from other listings on Craigslist, Airbnb created engaging and beautifully presented content.

For Uber, the app that connects drivers to riders, the user experience was their greatest selling point and they trained Uber drivers to be the best at what they do. Uber utilizes a lot of PR (they drove entrepreneurs around San Francisco Bay area in 2014) and word of mouth recommendations that would target the discerning types of users they had in mind. Cheap razors for men startup Dollar Shave Club targeted potential customers through a quirky Youtube video dollar shave club. The videos on Youtube were so shareable they became viral and Dollar Shave Club exploited the fact that their razors were the cheapest on the market.

2. Content marketing becomes more focused 

To engage and provide value to drivers, Uber launched Momentum magazine as part of their content marketing. The magazine tells the story of drivers joining Uber and include helpful tips for health. For apartment renting startup Airbnb, they concentrated on sleek content that looked great on their website. They also made ratings an important part of their content strategy to convert users.

Food startup Munchery allows users to buy meals directly from local chefs so they provided all the benefits of their services using Instagram, Pinterest, blogs and Twitter. They shared content via photos of food, written experiences and great feedback; all with the purpose of generating leads in their content strategy. Munchery uses both short form and long form content marketing to good effect. An on demand dry cleaning and laundry service for people short on time, Washio taps into a specific market. They market on mobile devices through their Washio app and also through word of mouth and recommendations. Their content marketing always emphasize the premium customer quality, eco friendly and competitive pricing of their services.

Munchery content strategy for startups involve sharing on social media

3. Content marketing revolves around a unique selling point (USP)

A successful content strategy starts with a clear goal and understanding of a startup’s unique selling point. When this unique selling point, or USP, is emphasised in the content marketing, it can be very effective. For Uber, the USP is a great chauffeured experience from pickup to drop off. For Washio, it is a convenient and premium customer laundry/dry cleaning service. Both of these brands focus their content marketing around their USP. Dollar Shave Club emphasises the cheapness of their razors in their content marketing and Zenefits offers a free and convenient software for HR personnels to organize all aspects of payroll, benefits and compliance. When Zaarly first launched in 2011, it used content marketing to show that it was a reliable and convenient service to use in hiring local home service experts.

4. Storytelling across multiple marketing channels

Storytelling is an essential part of content strategy for startups. The impact of storytelling has helped some startups such as Airbnb and Uber catch the attention of millions of potential customers. Uber tells a cohesive story across all channels of marketing using their strong content strategy. They emphasize the safety, convenience and human quality of their chauffeur service. Uber uses video marketing such as ‘Why UberX is so popular in Australia‘ to tell a story that is very human and easy to empathise with. With so many people using Airbnb services, the storytelling of the Airbnb brand becomes an integral part of their content marketing.

Airbnb uses the experience of people renting flats and going on vacation to reach even wider audiences. In addition to providing a hospitality service, Airbnb also creates content marketing in the form of neighborhood guides, vine videos, a microsite called Stories and studies to show the impact of Airbnb in cities as well as a quarterly magazine Pineapple to keep travellers and hosts updated. By creating compelling content such as articles and stunning photoshoots in print, Airbnb is telling their story in a persuasive and memorable way. Celebrating good food and passion for cooking, Munchery consistently creates content marketing about their food order service. User generated content via customers can sharing their dinners using Twitter and an engaging Instagram account shows the different culinary creations on offer.

AirBnB uses engaging content as part of their content strategy

5. Content marketing persona for startups

A growth hacking content strategy will involve cultivating a clear persona for the brand. When Dollar Shave Club launched their Youtube video, they appealed to a demographic of men that were price sensitive and trendy. Their brand has a cheerful and masculine persona. By letting their brand take on a persona consistently, startups were able to engage better with potential customers. Their audience would come to associate certain qualities and project human emotions onto their brands.

Airbnb’s content marketing portrays their brand as adventurous and great with people. A content strategy that defines the startup’s persona will help to make content marketing more cohesive for their audiences. A brand without a clear persona is seen as unpredictable in the eyes of consumers and this makes it harder for them to gain traction fast. Munchery adopts an authentic and customer-centric persona from the very start to convince busy people to use their food order service, and this has been the core of their content marketing ever since.

Conclusion

Content marketing is essential for start up growth and a strong content strategy needs to be in place in order for this to happen. For brands such as Airbnb, Munchery, Uber, Washio, Zenefit and Zaarly, content marketing is being refined over time to target new audiences and keep their existing customers engaged. Many startups do not initially have a lot of cash to burn and a growth hack strategy will eliminate any wasteful marketing efforts. Within a short period of time, it is possible for a new startup to grow exponentially using great content marketing and an effective content strategy.

Methods of content marketing such as blogging, video marketing, story telling through Vine, visual content in Instagram and Pinterest should be part of a well defined content strategy that knows its aim: fast growth! Some people associate growth hacking with black hat SEO and even slapdash efforts, but brands such as Airbnb and Washio proves that you can be ethical in your marketing and still gain many new customers that will remain loyal. When startups approach traditional marketing agencies, they will not get a content strategy that focuses single-mindedly on growth. It is therefore imperative to communicate the aims of the startup with the marketing agency and find a growth strategy that focuses on customer acquisition, conversion and profitability.

Content Marketing For Millennials

Content marketing for millennials on social media networks and across different devices

Marketing For Millennials That Grew Up With The Internet

It can be hard to imagine the world through the eyes of a so-called ‘Millennial,’ the generation that has been loosely defined as those born between 1980-2004 and who follow Generation X. To put yourself in their shoes, just imagine that the internet has been fast and omnipresent for as long as you can remember, that you have had a mobile phone (and camera) since your early childhood and social media has been a key part of your friendships your entire life. Seem strange and foreign? It’s just another day in the life of a 20 something – and something you need to consider when marketing for millennials.

What do the Millennials Think of Traditional Media?

 It has been widely reported that this new generation is simply not fussed with traditional mainstream media. A 20 something student or early 30s banking analyst are far more likely to express a distrust of heirloom media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times than their parents’ generation, instead preferring to rely on the links and content shared by their friends and colleagues online. This acts as a sort of bespoke media filtering service that helps people access only the news stories that are important to them on any given day. Product and service endorsements are spread in much the same way.

Is this a good thing?

Well, it truly depends on who you ask. The Washington Post recently reported on a Pew Research Survey that showed that Millennials are the least informed generation when compared to all other age groups, only able to answer 7 current events questions out of 12. While much ballyhooing by smug older generations occurred over these results, do they really represent reality? Perhaps a different sort of daily news is important to this generation, and they prioritize their media consumption differently.

On the positive side, it is inarguable that Millennials are far more connected with each other than previous generations, able to muster support for fundraising, personal crisises and social activities far more easily than ever. It is this aspect of social media fluency that marketing for millennials are keen to harness.

Social Media Marketing for Millennials

By the sheer ubiquity of sites such as SnapChat, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Buzzfeed, Millennials are far more influenced by their friends and social media channels than they are by mainstream media sources such as television, newspapers and radio. In order to stay relevant, a lot of heirloom brands are shifting their focus in order to capture this market, and so too should you.

You are well advised by any savvy digital marketing agency to pay attention to these platforms, and to spend time and energy creating unique, effective content aimed at this lucrative market. Ensure that your online marketing strategies include paying special attention to social media channels, mobile or wearable tech devices and the ever powerful Millennial market, otherwise you will get left behind as they continue to gain spending power and one day dominate the market.