How B2B brands can benefit from NFTs

NFT

NFTs – also known as non-fungible tokens – are defined by Invetopedia as “cryptographic assets on a blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata that distinguish them from each other.”

Tons of B2C brands are taking advantage including Starbucks, fashion brands, bands for concerts, and more. So why bother caring in the B2B world?

Recently I wrote about the metaverse and how NFTs are utilized and what came to mind most when it comes to brands and this new tool in marketing is events. The metaverse is one location, but in real life events or brand events such as live streams can utilize NFTs as well.

B2B Brands can utilize NFTs with potentially the following:

  • Event admission with NFT
  • Event bonus content
  • Brand loyalty created through NFT in wallet
  • Brand ambassadorship through specific NFT in wallet
  • Utilizing the cool factor of the popular types of NFTs
  • Partnerships with other brands who are already in the space vs starting from scratch
  • Partnering with creators who have made an impact vs creating your own

It’s not about you in the space, it’s about the person who carries the NFT in their wallet, and what it means to them. What feeling will it evoke? What type of attention will that carry? Will it provide some sort of special place in the crypto space for them? Will it give them loyalty points? Will they get special access to things or events or products/services?

Lots of things to consider here, but the main point is – what is the value YOUR brand is providing.

image source: pixabay 

 

The death or survival of an integrated marketing campaign

It’s easy to say a brand should create content, create an integrated marketing campaign, and ensure it launches on X date for XY purpose. However, is it really that easy? Unfortunately, not.

The clincher isn’t the campaign, it starts with the integrated team. There is a crucial need for content, demand gen, product, creative, brand/messaging, and media to work together as one versus in silos. When teams work in silos, content gets created without consistent brand messaging, look and feel, and proper dotting of i’s and crossing of t’s.

However, when the team members do work together, with one goal, one purpose, the business in mind, the finish line is so much clearer. Ideas come from multiple sources, which is awesome. Alliances are formed across the marketing teams, which allows for better work in the long run. The reward is that much more enjoyable. And the best part, the teammates can grow closer as a unit, versus only focusing on their lanes. It is a win-win-win.

As a marketing leader, ensuring teams are collaborating and working together for a common goal is the first step for creating great content and a truly integrated campaign.

How will you start?

image source: pixabay

Are Instagram reels really for you?

instagram

Instagram reels, are taking over the platform. As announced recently, all videos less than 15 minutes will be considered reels on Instagram. Sound familiar? Cough cough – TikTok. It should.

The question is, what does this mean for you or your brand? What does it mean for your video content and it’s performance?

Here’s the gist that matters:

  • According to search engine land and Instagram: ”When your Reels are posted to a public profile, they may be eligible and recommended for more people to see. This also allows other users to Remix, edit, and add their own spin on the videos using Instagram’s built-in tools like templates and a new Dual feature that records your front and back cameras simultaneously.”
  • “Moving forward they’ll also consolidate the video and Reels tab to create one tab for all of your feed videos.” – Later Blog has stated.
  • In addition according to Later Blog: there will now be 3 forms of video content to choose from for your creation purposes:
    • Instagram Stories: Videos that last for 24 hours, and are split into 15 second slides.
    • Instagram Lives: Videos streamed in real-time, that can be up to four hours long.
    • Instagram Reels: Short-form vertical videos — now up to 15 minutes in length.
  • According to Adweek – “Reels creators can now choose between a green screen, a horizontal or vertical split-screen or picture-in-picture reaction view to add their own video commentary to existing Reels.” In addition templates will be available for use of creators if they so choose to go that route.
  • But what about photos? According to Social Media Today – “Remix for photos: Photos are core to the Instagram experience. In the coming weeks, you will be able to remix public photos. This gives you limitless inspiration to create your own unique reel.”

Why should you care about Reels? According to Social Insider: “In 2022, for example, Instagram Reels have an average engagement rate of 1.95%, which is at least double compared to the other post types.”

So what does this mean and what can you do, now:
  • You can’t rely on images alone on Instagram
  • Want a cheat: Some users re-post their tiktok reels on Instagram as an easy win – however – you should consider that the two platforms have different audiences, and your brand may need a different strategy for each
  • You need a creative and video expert in-house or outsourced to ensure you don’t get lost in the feed (figuratively and literally).
  • You need a refreshed instagram strategy (and in turn Facebook)
  • Your brand needs to determine if instagram is still where you want to be and concentrate your efforts (and budget)
  • Your brand needs to consider influencer content and if that makes sense to help your brand be seen and cut through the clutter
  • Spend and measurement is not just a choice, but a necessity

And stay up to date with Instagram… because there’s always a new update.

What to consider for a Web relaunch for your Brand

website refresh

There are many factors when it comes to a website refresh, rebrand and relaunch for your brand. Have you considered the ones that most for your team?

If it’s a refresh (and not a total relaunch with a rebrand potentially involved) you can consider a few of the following:

  • Have a project manager
  • Establish a sprint / timeline for the work
  • Gather the stakeholders and prep review meetings
  • Ensure you have all the content and creative prepped for your dev team in the environment you use (Jira, etc)
  • Have a launch and QA plan/schedule
  • Have the dev team at the ready for any last minute updates after launch

For a rebrand and relaunch you want to have a few more requirements in your consideration bucket. In addition to the above consider:

  • Have a kickoff
  • Have a longer timeline with built in reviews for designs and time to make updates to the content, creative and design templates
  • Have the SEO team primed for content review and utilize their recommendations during copy timelines
  • Consider weekly work sessions to review with stakeholders
  • Consider daily scrums to discuss goals and blockers for the day and week
  • Have extra budget if extra time is needed, especially when working with agencies
  • Ensure the analytics team has reviewed the current site before updates are finalized to ensure you are not removing what works well, but perhaps just optimizing it
  • Adhere to your digital web strategy (to be discussed more in another post)
  • Have a pre-launch and launch plan
  • Have a larger QA team at the ready along with additional developers if needed
  • Have an announcement plan for the site experience to socialize with your main channels especially for large pieces of content which may be on the homepage
  • Have internal buy-in early so there are no blockers last minute

There’s always a ton to consider, but these are key elements for any website launch.

The last thing you want for your brand is to drop a ball or many balls before go-live. Instead, have a project plan, timeline, and prepped team and feel fully prepared.

 

 

The consumer journey: more than a “nice to have” for your marketing strategy

As a marketer, you hear the word “journey’ quite a bit. What’s the journey for the consumer across content pieces and/or channels within your distribution model. Where will the consumer touchpoints create an action or point of engagement with the brand that matters? What does the journey truly look like?

So many questions. So where do you start?

The considerations here include:

1. The target market – their behaviors, pain points, where they go online/offline, and what they prefer to consume (from a format and topical perspective).

2. The channels at your brand’s disposal – Just because a new social channel has come up, doesn’t mean it’s right for your brand (and your audience). The key here is focusing on the channels that provide the most bang for your buck, and also ensure your target market can be reached regularly.

3. The content – You start with the consumer need, consider their industry or sentiment (b2b or b2c), and create a content campaign that will resonate with them. That campaign shouldn’t be a one-off piece of content but include both always-on and time-sensitive pieces which may be leveraged in unique/different formats across multiple channels. For example if you have a video ensure you have a cutdown, and/or blog post to embed said video for different avenues to consume said video. Derivative pieces are a huge and easy win, and can help expand your campaign pieces with less lift.

4. The actual journey – Create a journey map which leverages each of the above pieces to demonstrate how your consumer will go from one touchpoint to the next, and to your final destination. There should be multiple routes based on content pieces and channels, with the end result allowing you to engage with your consumer where they prefer, and where your brand can excel.

Note, this is always test and learn, and it’s best to test and optimize, than to let your competition get ahead of you.

 

 

So what about the Metaverse?

Lately all we hear or read about is NFTs and the Metaverse. So what about it? What does it really mean for marketers and brands?

However social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. Whether you want to connect with your friends, share your ideas, check what’s happening around the world, share your recorded video, or anything else, you turn to social media. Applications like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are some of the most widely used social media platforms these days. Brands have always been proactive in looking out for smarter ways of promoting their products. Those who started using social media for business long ago are already reaping its benefits and have been successful in reaching a wider audience.

WHAT IS IT

The metaverse, founded by Meta -  is a digital location similar to what we had with second place and if you recall the palace from the nineties but more immersive. It uses AR and VR and blockchain, to create a place to interact outside the “real world.” If you have devices like the Oculus, you can see how it’s already starting…

ACCORDING TO ‘THE WIRED’ TO UNDERSTAND THE METAVERSE…

“Mentally replace the phrase “the metaverse” in a sentence with “cyberspace.” Ninety percent of the time, the meaning won’t substantially change, learn about the productivity at work apps. That’s because the term doesn’t really refer to any one specific type of technology, but rather a broad shift in how we interact with technology. And it’s entirely possible that the term itself will eventually become just as antiquated, even as the specific technology it once described becomes commonplace.”

 SO WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE METAVERSE AND NFTS?

The metaverse gives people a space of their own in the digital sphere for showcasing, having events, and more. While NFTs are how people can price and sell said items such as images you’ve been seeing folks create and sell lately within the art and digital world.

WHY IT MATTERS TO BRANDS

Metaverse participants are able to engage in a new way with an audience who appreciates the online setting as more than just a place. It’s a setting to create another place that is reality, but outside reality at the same time. It’s a new location for experiences, events, content and a way to reach an audience in a way they’re excited about including gaming and more. This includes marketplaces where users can buy, sell and exchange items such as digital items including fashion, NFTs and event tickets. 

EXAMPLES OF BRANDS AND INFLUENCERS PARTICIPATING ALREADY

While the metaverse is still being created, adapted to, and evolving day by day, brands such as Forever 21, Miller Lite, Netflix, Coca-Cola, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Apple and Nike have started creating content, experiences and in turn targeted content for this environment.

Want more examples  - check them out here by digital speaker. 

 EXAMPLES OF WHAT NOT TO DO

Do not treat it as another ad opportunity or place to throw the same content your brand has elsewhere online such as on Twitter or Instagram. It has to be ideated and executed specifically for this environment and experience, even if it’s apart of a larger campaign.

 BEST PRACTICES

  • Create for the platform and use of it
  • Do not be intrusive or interrupt use of the platform or location within it
  • Be apart of the experience that’s immersive or passive

Are you ready?

Brands that leave an Impression

My surprise from Peloton and Emma Lovewell

Having worked at agencies and currently on the brand side in marketing, I know how much brands care for their audience, their consumers, and their loyalists, look at https://www.socialboosting.com/buy-tiktok-likes/ for tiktok marketing and likes. On the flip side, being a consumer, I’ve had the opportunity to feel the love from some brands that have truly left an impression on me. Those are the brands I won’t forget so easily, and will be even more loyal to (or a new loyalist) because of how they appreciate and treat their consumers, look into human resources management.

I encountered brands like Banana Republic who sent me gift cards just by choosing true fans off of social media to surprise and delight with rewards. It was unexpected and a great chance to get consumers to come back in the store and remember how much they loved their products https://www.socialboosting.com/buy-tiktok-likes/.

Nordstrom, reached out with a personal shopper, and provided a guided experience with items that were specific to my taste based on my previous shopping behavior. It was curated just for me in a special and unique way.

Amex has always had amazing customer service. Anytime I ever had even the smallest of issues, they were able to resolve it right away and/or did their best to get to the bottom of the issue with little strain to me. That is clutch with such little time in our lives to be on the phone with customer service.

Mostly recently, I had an experience with Peloton, which was beyond remarkable. To caveat, I am a peloton enthusiast, who rides her bike on the regular, and posts about the brand and my dedication to my health and wellness. I also promote their content, products, and share content about their instructors who I admire and inspire me to be better each day. My favorite being, Emma Lovewell, who has a way of making me smile and excited every time I work out. Well…Peloton reached out to me and selected me to do an appreciation video/photo shoot for Emma to surprise her. They picked me up, brought me to the studio, and everything. To be chosen to surprise my favorite instructor was an honor to say the least.

Now here’s the clincher….the surprise was really for me (and the other honored peloton members who were invited). Emma was there and surprised me on set, in the middle of my video interview. She even brought out a cake for my bday (which was later that week). It was probably one of the coolest moments of my life, outside of maybe meeting Brad Pitt (still waiting on that one).

When brands take a moment and think through what will our customers appreciate beyond the product or service…that’s when they make an impact. When they think about what can we do to show our customers how special they are, that’s when they make an impact. Whether it’s a curated experience, great customer service, a surprise gift card, or an experience in person… small or big, they are all memorable and impactful.

The Rise of the Content Platform Wattpad

 

Why does Wattpad matter?

Let’s start with the stats, because they’re pretty huge (according to wattpad.com):

  • Audience: 90M+
  • Avg Eng Time Per Day: 52 Minutes
  • MIn Per Month: 23B
  • Audience: 80% Gen Z

These aren’t just users, they’re “hyper-engaged” users who not only consume content, but contribute by writing said content too. They’re involved. They want to consume content that isn’t the norm and allows for a new way of engaging with like-minded individuals (and now brands too).

Why should brands care? Well some are already here, and production companies are ahead of the fold by getting partnerships with Wattpad to bring these stories to life through other mediums including video on Netflix and more.

Other brands and studios are allowing Wattpad users to submit their stories to allow them to create a film using their content. These are new unique opportunities to allow a target, potentially less tapped audience, to be apart of the content creation mix. They aren’t just consuming, they are engaging, creating, and being apart of the beginning of a story. A story your brand can tell, with the audience.

Some used to called it the YouTube for writers/stories. But it’s become so much more.

Here’s a cool example with how Netflix got involved and how Lionsgate created a consumer contest for creation … and it appears it’s only the beginning.

Where will Wattpad go next? Maybe your brand can help steer that.

 

When your Story goes Stale

…what do you do when your story, your brand story, tastes a bit like stale bread? It’s gotten old, people don’t care about it, and are making their own assumptions and their own version of your brand story instead. So…now what? What can your brand do to redeem itself and bring back some fresh, warm, out of the oven, share-worthy bread?

Start with:

  • Understanding why your story went stale in the first place – what was the cause, and when did it happen.
  • Understanding what your audience really thinks about your brand – what are the emotions and feelings behind that.
  • Understanding if your audience still cares, or still has challenges/problems your brand can help with. And if they’ve changed/evolved – can your brand fit there too?
  • Understanding the bigger picture, of where your competition has filled your brand’s void while yours went stale.

Then comes the hard work:

  • It’s time to take the story that exists, and start to spin it. You may not want to take it backward, because you want to go forward. What’s your evolved story?
  • Bring your consumers on your journey with you. Ask for their opinion, and let them help you.
  • Work with those who have cache in your field, to help your brand build it’s own cache back.
  • It doesn’t have to be overnight, but your brand will need consistent, regular communication with streamlined content across owned and influential distribution channels to confirm and reconfirm the new story.

Note, It’s okay to be the brand that comes after to learn from others mistakes too, so you don’t make them as well. Bread isn’t made easily. And it sure doesn’t taste great cold or stale. So let it bake, and let it bake some more until you’re ready

 

Why do consumers admire certain brands?

Why do some brands get the treasure box of loyalty, while others struggle to gain advocates who will support them? There are many reasons, but a few ways some brands gain the love and support, others crave, is due to how they extend their brand from beyond just a product or service.

Let’s take Peloton for example.

What does Peloton have that makes people love them so much?

  • It’s not just a bike, it’s a lifestyle. It’s a way to get healthier, at home without having to waste time commuting to a gym. It’s at your fingertips through an app and a physical gym apparatus in your home.
  • It’s a community. People have made multiple facebook groups where you can support one another based on your reasons and passions: including womens groups, weight loss groups, strength training, positive feel good groups, and more. This allows folks to gain friends from a mutual passion point, and extend their bike from just an piece of equipment to something they can share with old and new friends alike.
  • The instructors are extensions of the brand. They communicate with the audience, they call them out to say happy birthday in live classes, and their social media presence allows them to be more than just an instructor in the class.
  • The brand reaches out to the audience/consumers and brings them into the fold. Sends them surprise and delights. Includes them in their social media marketing, and more.
  • The brand incorporates cultural and important values into their monthly themes including LGBTQ, asian appreciation, and more.

Peloton is no longer just a brand, it’s an experience, a community, a lifestyle, and more. The brand has extended itself outside just a bike through the above, and there’s so much more they could probably due including nutrition, health tips, and more.

Not every brand can do this, and it isn’t easy, but it’s a north star worth watching and seeing what your brand can learn from these types of brands, and how your brand can “own” its own story with its own vision. Whether it’s a lifestyle, community or something else, each brand has a way to reach more of its audience/consumers by extending its brand further.

image via pixabay

 

How can your content work smarter?

Content isn’t just “king”, it’s clutch. It’s the key to your marketing success. Without great content what can you really do? I mean your product or service isn’t Brad Pitt, so I highly doubt just a dashing smile will sell for you…

So, we need content. We need great, awesome, make your audience stop in their tracks content. Stop in their feed, content. 

But how can you make your content work smarter, not always just harder?

Here are some thoughts:

  • Create derivative pieces of content from your original piece that can be drivers to the main piece of content. For example if you have a whitepaper or video as your hero piece, consider an infographic, cut downs, social (yes, obbviously) posts, audiograms, podcasts episodes, blog posts, teasers, etc to lead people in, learn how to become an accountant.
  • Get your advocates, writers, influencers, to promote for you. Your brand will have more cache if it’s not always boasting about itself.
  • Create a series. Sometimes a hero piece isn’t enough, but a series around the theme or area of content focus could help leverage it further and allow for greater shelf live. For example ,consider different industry variations, creative flavors for the season, and/or must-haves based on audience targets (based on your product/service of course).
  • Give extra bonus content for people who sign up. Not only will you get their data, but you’ll be able to leverage it to build that relationship.
  • If it really works, rinse and repeat with another hero piece in a similar fashion.

Content can’t do all the work itself, but it also shouldn’t have to take an army to make it work well.

Let your content work smarter, not harder.

image source: https://www.instagram.com/bradpittofflcial

From the consumer’s perspective

As brand/agency marketers we sometimes focus too much on what the business needs are and what we need to market, sometimes we forget, or let slide the fact that the customer/consumer/client and what they need/want is a key part of what is being marketed. Payroll administration services for small businesses cater specifically to their resource-saving needs. All organizations need to save costs, and that’s especially true for small businesses, the decision to outsource.

What it’s not about:

- using the cheapest paid marketing: this is just inefficient spend

- trying to get content out fast: this is not thinking strategically but instead tactically

- creating a bunch of content to serve up: it’s not about quantity, it’s quality (we know this)

- being everywhere at once with the same message: tailoring content to audience and platform is important. The same content format and message will not resonate everywhere.

- just doing what has worked in the past: yes it may have worked in the past, but trends, behaviors, and platforms change.

What matters more in today’s digital marketing world:

- Where the consumer is, and why they’re there: this allows you to tailor the content and message appropriately and/or be there or not be there based on the consumers reason for being there (i.e. does it work for your brand)

Nowadays, hiring the best digital marketing agency has become crucial for businesses to connect with customers and promote brands and products. Since most buyers have smartphones, they prefer online purchases, and digital marketing has the solutions for customers, over at https://www.socialboosting.com/buy-tiktok-likes/ are great at promoting any type of business. It helps both the business and the customers; businesses can display their products to attract buyers, while the customers easily find the products for which they are looking and those are the advantages of digital marketing for business.

- Understand who your consumer is and what their behaviors are: understand your audience before creating your content. They may prefer a type of format over another.

- Think from their perspective: would you want to be marketed this why?

- Understanding where you are marketing: The platforms and channels change constantly, you need to understand the changes and what that means for how your content is displayed, engaged with, consumed, etc.

- Measure, Measure, and oh, yeah, Measure: You need to understand what is working for your client/audience today, not just yesterday. Things change, and so does your audience. Be ready to pivot, optimize, and rejigger your content and digital strategy based on your learnings.

Until next time, keep a pulse on your consumer.

 

digital fatigue has hit the runway

“Digital, Digital, get down”… (quoting N*sync for a hot second), and chill out. We’ve all felt it, the digital fatigue that has run its course through our fingertips on the keyboard, our fake webex backgrounds, zoom filters, and hangouts. After one video meeting to another, it gets a little tiring. You’re literally drained. And you didn’t even have to commute!

So what do brands do, when their target audience is tired of being online?

We have to get creative. We have to remind our audience why they love our brand. And speak to them in a way that shows “you – the brand” care and understand. Reach out to them in a way which is not intrusive, yet fun, helpful, educational, and/or just plain awesome.

Your brand really, really….really has to push out content that matters, and is quality. Just putting out content for contents sake, has never worked, and definitely will not right now.

There’s a lot of chaos and commotion in the digital media air, and your brand can only push through it if your content stands out. Here are a few ways:

1. Entertain: This is the most fun, yet hardest way. Your brand should still be authentic to itself, but consider humor, where possible to lighten the mood. If your brand doesn’t do humor, consider partnering with someone who can help in the entertainment side, to push your brand into new audiences, and impress your current one. For example, use an influencer, musician, comedian, actor, instagram star, etc – who has a way of compelling an audience to “stop, and listen”. It makes them stop in their feed. Aesthetic also matters, so ensure the look and feel is quality, and authentic to your brand’s look and feel, too. One brand that has stood out to me lately is Bala (Bala bangles for exercise), because they’ve put on a nostalgia, throwback, aesthetic to their ads that definitely stopped me in my tracks and in my feed. I mean check out their insta here.

2. Be Helpful: Provide tips and tricks that help your audience whether in a particular area, or in their overall wellness. For example, during the pandemic, a lot of people have been coping with stress, food delivery services, health, wellness, and more. If your brand can help relieve a pain point, or has a product/service that specifically can cater to an area of help, point it out deliberately. Let your people know! Let them know you’re here and ready to give them what they need, at their finger-tips. For instance, getting their food already prepared for the week, a discount on their favorite delivery service, hair and nail essentials that can be done at home, how to make fun cocktails to entertain their friends in a safe environment, and/or how to take learn X hobby online with friends. Make your value known, and make it known easily.

3. Educate: Similar, to being helpful, it’s good to make it known to your audience what you have to offer. Especially if you’re a B2B brand, perhaps offer live classes, demos, webinars, or on demand versions of what your audience can learn from in order to apply to their business, fast and efficiently. Don’t make them jump through hoops to learn what you can offer, and how it can help them – bring it to them on a silver platter. Make it shiny and exciting that this education is ripe for their picking. Make it available easily, often, and when and where they want it. Trust me, they’ll be back for more if it truly helps them.

And in the end, remember, sometimes your audience just needs a break, that’s okay too. It’s not the end of a relationship, so remember to give them a ping once in a while to remind them you’re still there, and ready when they are to continue entertaining, helping, and/or educating through your product/service offering.

Today, social media has a significant impact on the global population. You can get your business on social media to improve your marketing practices and enhance your business reach. By then you have to take every user’s query as a priority and respond to them immediately. This will help you build a strong presence on social platforms and build authority.

Until then, zoom out.

 

image source: pixabay

Live Social: Still worth your brand’s time?

Since Facebook Live, Periscope (Twitter), Meerkat, Snapchat, Youtube, Instagram and Twitch…live social has been an ever-evolving social beast. There are endless engagement benefits for influencers and brands who are taking advantage, and it has yet to die down.

According to Social Media Examiner, “Live social video also has a benefit that even television lacks: the audience can participate. Viewers watching a live stream on a social media platform can write in their comments. The broadcaster can then read and reply to comments, and allow the audience to influence the content of the live video as it’s being created.” The ability to ask about a new medical solution, product launch, fashion line, or a sports tournament while the conversation is being announced is a luxury. It’s an advantage that social media has allowed us to be more connected — as humans — and as brands with humans.

Of course, each platform/channel has its own distinct benefits based on the audience who uses it, the purpose they use it for, and the content typically distributed and shared upon it. For example, Facebook is advantageous for live-action shots from events and the perfect way to reach large audiences. In turn you have Instagram (although owned by Facebook), which due to its disappearing content has a smaller share of said audience despite followers. However, because of the non-permanence of said content, it creates more intrigue, excitement, and a reason to check-in to the stream. It becomes more of a tune in experience as TV used to be before you could record. An exclusive experience to that moment…and if you miss it, you’re left out. And the fear of missing out (FOMO) is too large to allow that to happen.

However, just because your brand uses social media to post content in real time, planning is still necessary, like any other video content. There must be a strategy with a script, crew, cast (if needed), location chosen, lighting, ensuring sound will record ok, storyboards, and of course, running through the story once to ensure it makes sense before the real thing.

So why are some brands abandoning live social within their social efforts and strategy?

Some may believe that live social isn’t providing the ROI or engagement they want or need to be visible to their audience, and make a true difference through social content. However, it’s not always about the quantity of viewers, but the quality. The percentage of folks who engaged from the those who watched. In turn, did they create an action after? Did it create awareness of the brand’s service or product? We can’t expect a 5-10 minute live stream to convert a customer through our mortgage CRM, but we can create awareness, engagement, and provide an opportunity for potential customers to understand the brand better, and truly connect with the brand rather than through an advertisement, blog post or white paper. It provides a connection point that is more human and personal – creating trust, whether you’re a B2C or B2B brand.

My theory? Have a test and learn approach for your social content. Find the channel that connects best with your audience. Create a video plan and test up to 3 videos to see what type of return they provide. Did they go without response or views? Or were you able to engage with your current audience? Find new audience members? Engagement is worth more than eyeballs in this instance, and we must determine what type of engagement matters to the brand and the purpose of the content being disseminated.

Is your competitor kicking butt in live social? Are they taking advantage? Then why aren’t you?

Be a brand that other brands show in best practice manuals — demonstrate that your brand understands digital and social, and how true consumer connections can be made through transparency and trust, using the largest channel in our hands today – mobile and digital/social.

It’s never too late to focus on your digital strategy

With the new year half way gone, brands are going through their budgets—and must determine how to spend the remainder based on previous metrics and business needs to ensure they reach their annual digital goals. This includes but is not limited to digital, which entails SEM, Paid Social, Media, CRM, and lead generation.

The last thing any brand wants is to come up short on their budget or on their KPIs.

An important first step is to look back at last year’s and the current year’s analytics, and evaluate what worked based on your brand and segment’s benchmarks, and what makes sense to increase, continue, and kill in regards to strategy and tactics.

According to Forbes, digital is the best way for marketers to truly reach their audience where they already areand is the most cost-efficient.

Here are five things to consider to increase your digital success:

1) SEO – Review your Google Analytics and Adwords reports to determine the best performing keywords and content, and determine what percentage is coming from SEM vs. SEO.

If your site relies only on paid traffic, your budget will likely end up bleeding dry, unless there is significant investment in SEO capabilities.

Consider the following:

Regular quality content. (And this doesn’t mean quantity!) It means content that a brand’s audience will find valuable. It is content that is distributed in a measured pace so your target audience knows when to expect it.

For example if it’s an article, ensure it’s an article that you can be an authority on, with content your audience will consume thoroughly and hopefully share and/or go on to consume more of in the next installment.

Ensure your content is tagged, and uses proper keywords to compete.

Tag your content in Voice Search, which searchengineland expects to be a major trend in 2018.

Cross-and back-link (where appropriate) to articles with previously well-written content to help direct traffic to your site.

Visit https://victoriousseo.com/services/link-building/ to learn more.

 

2) Leads – After analyzing where the majority of your leads came from, and the associated spend, determine which lead sources are worth moving forward with.

For most brands, especially B2B, leads are critical to the success of the company. Generating leads enables a brand to nurture potential customers through the sales funnel, and hopefully, convert them into customers and loyal advocates down the road.

What more can brands do?

Facebook is known for cost efficient lead generation, because advertisers are able to specifically target their audience down to interest level, and has reasonably priced lead generation ads.

LinkedIn is another helpful channel, allowing brands to target specific career categories. However, Facebook remains one of the most effective platforms for targeting based on cost.

Bottom line: ensure the tools your brand is using are low CPL and capture quality leads, not just quantity.

 

3) Engagement –  Analyze the purpose of the engagement tactics your brand utilized last year, and determine if the results made sense for the purpose.

Was it to get clicks, or was it to get shares, or simply to get comments? Each piece of content has a particular purpose.

If you haven’t already, this year you must determine your brand strategy based on intent and purpose in order to measure and analyze accurately.

For example, it’s very difficult to compare the success of a video, which is measured by views, to an article, which is measured by clicks to your site.

In order for your content to be successful, ensure your analytics marketer is comparing apples to apples.

 

4) Views – As mentioned above, engagement is different and so are views.

Views have different definitions on different channels. Evaluate last year’s numbers based on the channel and their particular benchmarks, rather than the exact amount of views.

Using these insights, your brand can determine which channels are worth continuing with this year, which channels are worth more investment, and potentially, if video works for your brand in the first place.

If video does work for your brand, but not all video, it helps to determine length options (15 vs 30 vs 60), and types of videos (ex. How-to vs. interview).

 

5) Purchase – Last but definitely not least is purchase. A great example is e-commerce, where your marketing team can see exact calculations to determine which tactics led to the most purchases. Seeking the advice of some marketing experts like Andy Defrancesco would be of great help to your marketing team.

For instance, an alcohol brand selling on a 3rd party delivery site can attribute their e-mail marketing campaign with the partner to an exact purchase. They can see how many clicks were true attributions, and which marketing tactics did not help at all.

This year, go a bit further and ensure the brand’s tagging and tracking is set for both internally and for partners, so the products and conversions can be measured back to your marketing action based upon the channel used.

Marketing never ends, and neither do the metrics. Is your brand ready?

 

Originally written for social media club.

How Your Brand Can Win at Facebook Live

Video content is like a hurricane running over anything in its path. “People watch more than 100 million hours of video each day” – sites Simple Measured. Facebook Live has jumped into the arena of video contenders, and it is not taking the fight lightly. But before we weigh the brand benefits of Live video, let’s remember the difference.

Facebook Live is a live broadcast that brands and advertisers can make available from anywhere at anytime to their audience (assuming there is a good connection – Wi-Fi is recommended). It is an opportunity to engage in real time like any live news broadcast or show. And the benefits (partially) include:

  • The Live functionality is all within the Facebook App. Nowadays when it is hard enough to get a consumer to download yet another app, this is a huge win.
  • Brands can broadcast the live session, save it to their channel, and also share it directly to their feed for a recap for those who missed it.
  • Unlike Snapchat or Stories, Live sessions do not disappear.

And of course there are some brands really kicking butt at it lately. Here are two to learn from in regards to creativity and launching new products.

TasteMade- Creativity

A brand known well for its cooking recipes and how-to content on food and drink – took it one step further. Instead of the regular “lets make XYZ” Tastemade made their content fun and creative with a new twist. All their food was miniature (1/12 the size of its regular formats). Sounds silly, but the content is unique and engaging and has given TasteMade a new way to resonate with their audience that goes beyond the regular how-to.

Dunkin Donuts – New Products

Dunkin Donuts, is already a beloved brand where people will really do “run on Dunkin” with their devotion. So what did Dunkin do to create even more ways to promote engagement and loyalty? It allowed a vehicle through Live video for their biggest (and newest) fans to see how they come up with new products, and demonstrate it live. For example, they put together a “donut-themed wedding cake” during a live session. This was unique and a way for their audience members to engage with them in a way that is behind the scenes, and not their norm. According to Melanie Cohn (Social media manager, Dunkin Donuts) on Marketingland – “Our first video provided fans with a behind-the-scenes look into our kitchen for Valentine’s Day, featuring our culinary team preparing a cake made from heart-shaped donuts, and introduced a special February Dunkin’ Hearts Love contest, offering engaged couples a chance to win $10,000 for sharing their story of how their sweetheart proposed.” So in addition to being unique and showing another side to the brand, there was an incentive to watch and the audience will be even more excited to see what will happen next.

 

Before you go, here are a few more nuggets of wisdom to understand why Live is the new video platform.

Video is not going anywhere. According to eMarketer “Facebook…recently reporting that video was a big reason for a strong quarter. The site said it saw eight billion video views a day from 500 million users. Taking queues from YouTube, the company has started to slip in ads to these videos, thus the strong results.” So what does that mean? Video is the wave of digital future. And if you are not sure, just take a look at your Facebook newsfeed and see how many of the posts you see are videos.

When it comes to Live video, specifically according to to Simply Measured: Even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes Facebook will be mostly composed of videos by 2020. Considering that, check out these incredible Facebook Live statistics:

  • Facebook Live videos are watched3 times longer than regular videos
  • Native Facebook videoshave a 13% organic reach and 6.3% engagement rate (much higher than the 1-3% you get on other platforms)

Now it is your brand team’s turn. Ready, set, Live.

 Note: This was originally written for Socialnomics. 
Image source: Pixabay

4 Benefits of Augmented Reality for your Brand

Let’s start with the basics.

What is augmented reality: an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to overlay digital information on an image of something being viewed through a device (such as a smartphone camera) – Webster Dictionary

How is it different from Virtual reality?

Virtual reality usually has a headset involved, and immerses you inside an experience, rather than overlaying it, as AR does through an app.

But why should you care? 

  1. An interactive user experience – Allow your product, app, or ad to give a new use or cool buzzworthy interaction – Ex. Solar panel charger below
  2. An opportunity to show a different side of the brand  – Provide the consumer with an opportunity to see the story behind the product they are  buying with how each piece was made.
  3. Personalized experiences – Allow a customer to customize their product (see converse example below)
  4. Let a consumer try your product before purchasing it – Imagine if you’re a beauty or clothing brand and a consumer can see themselves wearing the product to see if they like it.

This all allows for a deeper connection with a brand.

Here’s the best part – AR allows brands to offer more to their consumers than ever before. It allows an opportunity for the consumers to use a medium they are already comfortable with (a camera or an app) on a greater level on how when and where they want to engage with a brand campaign, product, advertisement or the packaging.

Check out some cool examples below: 

Haggen Das, Concerto

Haagan Daaz created an AR campaign where the consumer downloaded an appand then pointed the camera at the lid. “A symphony musician would appear in 3D on the lid and play you a song for about 2 minutes until the ice cream reached the correct temperature for consumption.” The user had a unique interaction while they waited for their favorite new ice cream flavor (with a lot more patience) and more satisfaction.

Solar Phone Charger

Nivea gave solar panels in their print advertisements for consumers to charge their phones. Imagine a young millennial reading their favorite magazine at the beach but running out of juice on their phone to snapchat to their friends? Nivea to the rescue.

This is not only useful, but it’s something people will definitely brag about and tell their friends.

Converse

Converse used AR to provide a cool experience on their sampler app  – giving the consumer the keys to choose their favorite sneaker – point the phone at their feet – and bam, it’s on their foot (through the phone). They can see if it looks awesome, or awkward, or so good they have it buy it right then.

Why should your brand consider AR over VR? It’s an easier way to step into the land of virtual marketing and advertising. It doesn’t mean it’s better, it’s just a way to get your feet wet, without having to develop as much (typically).

And if your brand has the budget, and the marketing team to put the strategy behind it, give it a shot.

image source – http://www.augment.com/blog/3-consumer-giants-who-used-augmented-reality-for-retail/

This post was originally written for Socialnomics. 

Instagram Stories Ads Are Here…Are you on Board?

It was inevitable…once Instagram introduced Instagram Stories (expiring content as in Snapchat), it was only time before they would allow an Ad

opportunity for brands in this venue as well.

But are Stories really getting enough traction to matter? Yes.

According to Instagram: In the five months since it launched, stories has grown considerably. Now, more than 150 million Instagrammers use it daily. And stories is contributing to more content and engagement. 

A great example from Instagram is one of AirBnB – Global leader in accommodations, Airbnb, is using Instagram Stories to help build awareness and buzz around its largest product launch to date—Trips on Airbnb. Through a series of 15-second videos, Airbnb highlights the ability to access unique experiences by connecting travelers with local experts who share the same interests, from art collectors to avid hikers. Using broad (25-44) targeting of men and women in the US, Airbnb is gaining awareness of its new product by using Instagram’s new immersive, sound-on storytelling format. Airbnb is excited to tap into interest targeting for future campaigns to drive their message home among their most relevant users.

In turn, Stories Ads are going to get traction too. They are going to be less invasive as they are skippable, so the Instagram user decides which ones they watch or don’t watch. The brands have a choice of using an “unclickable” 5-second photo

or a 15-second video.  The videos are sold in auction at a CPM (vs. Facebook where’s a 3 second CPV). Best part? You can ensure your ads are right for the audience through targeting, of course.

4 ways your brand can test Instagram Story Ads:

  1. Show an experience through a series – Since stories are meant to show a consecutive flow (i.e. a story), it provides an opportunity to let your brand share an experience from beginning to end. Perhaps it’s the entrance to an event, or how an influencer is engaging with your product in 2-3 creative ways. For example if your brand is a beauty brand, it could show the influencer examining the product, using it, and speaking to how the experience was.
  2. Product launch – Since Stories are considered new, of the moment content, it’s a great way to show a sneak peak to a new release. Some brands provide influencers and loyal consumers with exclusive releases. Perhaps it’s a way to share this product with a larger potential group of fans with exclusive access before it’s open to the public.
  3. Provide never before seen content – Imagine your brand is about to release a new video series, but you want to test out a smaller version through Instagram to understand the traction for the content. Or perhaps it’s a smaller piece, that will then allow consumers to go to the larger format, on your site.
  4. Give your loyal fan base a chance to feel the love through exclusive features. Perhaps you pick the best fans, and show new potential fans how much these people already love your brand, and why.

How is it different than Snapchat? It’s a self service skippable video format. And although Snapchat isn’t going anywhere, Instagram is definitely on the verge of taking a chunk out of Snapchat’s game.

Is your brand ready?

image source – pixabay 

This post was originally written for Socialnomics. 

Unskippable vs. Skippable Ads

Let’s start with the basics.

What are skippable ads (via Google): A 30-second ad plays to completion, or until skipped by the viewer. The skip rate is an unbiased measure of engagement, and can be used as an optimization metric. You can create re-marketing campaigns based on whether or not viewers skip the ad. Cost-per-impression (CPM) is the same, whether or not the user skips it.

What are non-skippable ads (via Google): Non-skippable in-stream ads are video ads that may appear pre-, mid-, or post-roll while viewing partner content. … It’s up to you to determine the best balance between views/watch time…

For a long time, skippable was the way to go. It gave consumers the option, and didn’t make the experience to get the content they wanted as daunting. However, as time rolls on, the websites and networks have to think about not just the consumer, but also how they’re going to balance the priorities of the brands who are advertising with them. The brands need a real opportunity to be seen to grow their awareness of a campaign/product, and/or create engagement with the content they are putting out (ex. video completion rates – VCRs).

Many media vendors these days are going towards unskippable advertising for shorter ad units (ex.15 seconds), providing more value and investment for ROI by the brands who put their media budget towards pre-roll advertising with networks and websites.

It allows 3 great opportunities for brands:

(1) the opportunity to ensure the brand message is out in its entirety and not cut off;

(2) determine if the KPIs for the video are being met (outside of video completion rates, as that can’t be the a valid KPI for unskippable video ads);

(3) determine which networks are really working for driving further engagement with the consumer, and which ones only provided views (in the past).

In addition to this, YouTube, has said they are taking away the 30 second unskippable ad in 2018. Why? According to Google (via Verge) – “We’re committed to providing a better ads experience for users online. As part of that, we’ve decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers.” This is interesting, as it appears that longer form video pre-roll (30 seconds or more) actually do quite well in the skippable format anyway. Consumers actually do watch the whole ad and are likely not to skip even if it’s more than 15 seconds. What does that mean? Consumers are on YouTube to watch a certain type of content, and if your video content is related and relevant to them, they’re more likely to tune in and finish watching before they watch the video they intended.

Note: they will still allow non-skippable shorter forms of video.

As for other networks, they are providing more opportunities for advertisers to continue to do non-skippable (in the shorter format as mentioned). In the end, it’s not about which ad unit you have, but about where you’re placing your ads and within what context for the end consumer. Next time we can discuss more about this. Stay tuned.

This post originally ran in Socialnomics. 

image source – pixabay

How to Reach your Brand’s Audience on Pinterest

Gone are the days of just Facebook and Twitter as the main players. Nowadays, there are countless apps popping up, and typically being born from the original pack, or at least being acquired by them.

To date we have: Facebook, Twitter (yes, still here), YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat (in no particular order). The visual platforms with content that lasts temporarily seem to be all the rage. They allow consumers to share with less fear, and feel excited to consume content that is more exclusive by brands. However, it doesn’t mean the players like Pinterest are going anywhere. They have a different focus, and a different purpose for the consumer who uses it. As snapchat is for quick consumption, Pinterest is for taking the time to peruse and discover.

Pinterest has been a contender for a while, being known for it’s pivotal role in referral traffic to websites, and hitting the consumer during moments of discovery and planning, with a visual tool that makes it simple and easy. People (although still mainly female) use it to plan life events (i.e. Marriage, babies) and festivities. They look for large inspiration, as well as daily ones. For example, one person may go on Pinterest to find their meal prep recipes for the week, while another may go on to plan their friend’s bridal shower.

But why should your brand care? According to Social Draft, “nearly 75% of Pinterest users have purchased something on the platform or because of the platform.” So you’re thinking, ok great – but will they look at my product or brand? Considering the average time on the channel is about 15 minutes, there’s a good amount of time to get your brand out there, with the right search optimization (keyword strategy) and frequency of posts (on average 5x a day) with bright, quality images that grab consumer eyes on the channel.

The other cool thing is that according to social marketing writing, 80% of content are re-pins – meaning that people are likely to share your content if they find it beneficial to themselves and their own community. And if you’re in the food and drink category, you’ve basically hit a goldmine as it’s one of the top 3 categories on Pinterest. And some of the most re-pinned words include “bake” and “recipe” … Yes, goldmine.

But if your brand has other categories to consider, think through the trending topics as they’re most likely to get repined, and/or hit up your target audience based on categories and days that hit hardest for them. For example: Fitness (Monday), Fashion (Thursday), and Travel (Saturday).

Still not convinced? According to viral woot:

  • A Pinner who close-ups on a pin is 1.6x more likely to sign up or convert.
  • A Pinner who saves is 3.9x more likely to sign up and 1.6x more likely to convert.
  • A Pinner who clicks thru is 4.5x more likely to sign up and 7x more likely to convert.

But before you go there, remember to focus on your content and the quality of it too. For example, the color tone that does the best is reddish-orange. It’s also good to have a couple dominant colors, rather than the blue/white that works better on Instagram. Lastly, it’s best to have no faces/people as objects with minimal background perform best.

In the end, it’s always about test and learn and seeing what works best for your brand and content strategy. This month, pick five pinterest tactics, that ladder up to your overall channel strategy, and see which ones work best for your brand’s content. Then…do it again.

Originally written for Social Media club. 

What’s your Brand’s Digital Refresh

As you wave goodbye to 2016, and January is hitting you right in the planner, your marketing mind is thinking, ok, what is 2017 for my brand? What can I do this year to take my brand further? How can I make a larger impact? How can the brand break through the clutter and demonstrate it’s our year.

First, you start with Data. If you find the time to invest in collecting the right data, and ensure you then in turn take the time to analyze it properly, you’ll find the data as your gold. It’s the ammunition you need to find what is working, and what you need to do more of.

For example for most brands the bread and butter is google analytics, crm, search and social analytics (in addition to any larger media program learnings).

Here are the main areas to ensure you’re looking at the right data (no matter the brand):

SEO and Paid Search:
– Time on Site
– Referral Traffic
– Content engaged with
– Bounce Rate
– Keyword and campaign performance

These are helpful to see how your overall campaigns are performing, which channels are bringing in the most traffic, what people are searching for in regards to your brand, and in turn what times/days your brand receives the most traffic.

CRM:
– open rates
– click through rates
– a/b test on subject lines

It’s best to find your category for benchmarks so you can see if your rates are below or above average and go from there.

Social:
– Engagement Rate
– Best and Worst performing posts (content types per channel)
– Day/time
– Cost per (View, Click, etc)

Each channel will be a little different, but it’s good to look at each separately for social, but also together to see which channels are best for your investment, especially when boosting posts.

With these mandatories, you can see what is working best for your brand across channels. The best part is you’ll probably seen some synergies across channels. For example a certain type of content may resonate well with your consumers no matter where they are. In turn, some types of content may work better on certain channels.

It’s good to evaluate the above every 3 months, and then every 1-2 months thereafter to ensure you’re getting a full yet also recent picture of your brand.

In turn, after you’ve looked at your data, you want to make sure you move fast with it. Once you see something is working well, churn out that content. Get more up on your blog or website for your consumers to engage with.

Another thing to consider as we go into 2017, is the things that matter to consumers. Consumers are searching on their mobile for things that matter to them at that very moment. In moments like this, it is more likely about being both mobile and local. Ensure your product/brand is accessible on a local basis. For example if you have key markets, ensure your product is available to your consumers via online or in store. If it’s only in store, ensure it’s able to be searched online so the consumer knows where to find it. If it’s online, ensure the purchase process is simple and easy. Whether it’s through a third party or your own site, be sure your consumer feels safe with the purchase, and also finds it convenient. So convenient that they can pay through an app or your website in minutes of finding it.

Lastly, don’t forget to be nimble. Be ready to change your tactics, and try new ones. The brands who fall behind are the ones who are unwilling to change and try. Ensure your success by being the ones who do.

This post was originally written for socialnomics. 

Foursquare, a data machine

Foursquare, originally a mobile check in app for getting brand discounts and perks for consumers, was founded back in 2009. Seven years later, the app has decoupled into two apps (Swarm and foursquare) and is still allowing similar functionality, but for brands, this app is a whole new treasure chest of opportunity. It is a data machine.

Why should your brand care? Four reasons.
All the data
As stated in Wired – [Foursquare offers] massive amounts of location data that other companies collect. Lots of apps can access your GPS coordinates, but matching those coordinates to an actual place—such as a restaurant, a gym or a home—is more difficult, [and Foursquare helps with this]. Imagine, knowing where your consumer frequents on a daily basis. When they go to the gym versus when they run errands and where. What types of food and designers they prefer. It’s a goldmine of data for brands to uncover and relate to their own consumer and brand goals.
The accuracy
Not sure how accurate an app like this could be? Well according to Business Insider and Foursquare, it predicted the drop in sales of Chipotle in advance of its actual drop.

On April 12, Jeff Glueck, the CEO of Foursquare, published a post on Medium predicting that Chipotle’s first-quarter sales would be down nearly 30%. That was based on foot-traffic stats built from explicit check-ins and implicit visits from Foursquare and Swarm app users who enable background location.

Some call it alternative data. It’s not like the norm we’re used to in marketing statistics and data collection, in the past, but with our smart phones in our pockets, our smart watches on our wrists, and soon our smart earbuds in our ears, the data companies will have on where we are and what we’re doing will be unfathomable. Marketers rejoice.

Note – Currently this data is more accurate especially in cities versus suburbs/rural areas where it may have less usage.

You know what your target consumers are actually doing (before/during/after).

It’s based on their interests and what matters to them. You aren’t checking into something unless you have a purpose or interest behind it.

According to Fast Company – The company’s 35 million users have helped created a database of more than 50 million points of interest, from bars to restaurants to ice cream shops. While many companies have powerful location databases—Yelp, Yext, the Yellow Pages—Foursquare’s database is unique in that it’s inherently social: It was built on the 4 billion check-ins that users uploaded via the app.

It’s one thing to write a review, or state what you think on Facebook, it’s another thing to actually go somewhere and spend time there on a regular basis. Your habits and where you go, are a part of who you are as a person. Ask yourself, what did you do today? You’re likely to mention where you went, right? There you go. Foursquare has a timeline of where you went and in turn your target consumers. They know the % of consumers who are likely to go a nail salon after the gym or perhaps the grocery store. These trends and accurate points are helpful in knowing when they’ll visit your brand because it’s not just about being near the store/location, but when they actually step foot inside (which Foursquare can tell you).

You can create content and opportunities that really matter to your consumer and target them accordingly

Brands (along with their internal teams and agencies) can also work with Foursquare to determine the right content and approach for your specific audience based off the data collected. For example, your brand could consider targeted offers, or partnering with a retailer to provide a more exclusive opportunity. And with Foursquare’s offering pinpoint your brand can provide targeted content specifically based off of the data, where consumers actually go, utilizing their ecosystem of apps (including publishers/advertisers), audience segments (creating custom audiences based on the data and interests), and lastly working with partners (examples include but are not limited to AT&T, Samsung, and more).

Bonus:

And as a fun little scoop, most recently Foursquare determine who the audience was to visit comic con most and their related habits – as seen here.

Hello  “search and discovery” and “alternative data” – the new Foursquare. The Foursquare that most brands are thirsty after.

This post was originally written for socialnomics.  
Revision: Foursquare currently has 50 million monthly active users, over 100 million venues worldwide, over 10 billion all-time check-ins

Know Your Brand Audience and Give Them What They Want

Knowing your brand audience isn’t just an option, it’s a necessity when it comes to marketing well. It allows you to provide value to the audience that matters most, and ensure you can target directly to them.
Three ways to learn a little more about them include:

  1. See what they’re reading – sounds unexpected, but it’s true. Think about the content your brand would put out and see who else is writing similarly. It could be a competitor, or it could be an influencer, or it could be an author. Consider checking out blogs related to yours and see who is leaving comments. What do they have to say. What do they have questions on? What do they feel is most important? What relates to their needs and interests?
  2. Understand their needs – That leads us here. Listen to what they’re saying. Listen to them in social media. Keep listening to what they tweet, post, and comment. Make a list of what it is that they struggle with. What obstacles they’re trying to overcome. How can your brand help? What can your brand offer to fulfill those needs? For example, can your brand offer content or a product to help? If not, canyour brand partner with someone else who can to share the value given?
  3. Learn their interests – By learning what else they like outside of what your product and service, you can potentially offer more value. You can also target them better. For example, Amex learned their audience loved music, and wanted special access to events. What did they do? They gave it to them. They offered them exclusive offers to events, and an ability to have access that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

Once your brand has a grasp of what they’re doing outside of your brand. What their needs and interests are…then what?

  1. Create the content – Create content that can be geared towards your audience. It can be an email campaign, blog posts, and/or social media content. For example if your brand wants to start simple, perhaps it’s through Instagram and Pinterest first. Allowing your brand to be discovered through hashtags and search. Providing short, visual content, that allows your consumer to receive small snippets of value, while building out your arsenal by learning what works and what doesn’t.
  2. Repurpose It – When you create a great piece of content, leverage it further. For example if you have a blog post that is awesome, use some of it in an email. Take  a quote and post it on Pinterest and link back. Share a valuable point through Twitter with a relevant hashtag. Syndicate it on another medium.
  3. Target it – Use the interest targeting and demographics data and target it to the audience you want. If you want awareness, broaden your target a bit, to get more fish.

In the end, your audience is always a moving target. Like any individual they grow, change, and evolve. Their interests and needs change with them. Keep listening, and learning, and in turn test and see what works.

This post was originally written for Socialnomics.
Image source: 98togo

Battle of the Animated Content: Rise of the GIFs

 


According to Twitter’s blog – “last year, people on Twitter shared over 100 million GIFs…”- no big deal right? Perhaps that’s why Twitter has also allowed brands and consumers to discover, consume, and share GIFs even more easily through GIF search on Twitter. And if that’s not enough you can search more on tumblr. And even dating apps like Bumble allow you to respond via GIF. It’s a whole new world…

Have the GIFs taken over? Are emojis in trouble? Game of the “Animated Content” to show us who will take the Throne?

So what does that mean for brands?

Brands should consider how GIFs can play into their content strategy, especially within social media and blogs. GIFs are shareable content and allow consumers to relate and get a feeling or emotion a lot faster than reading through a bunch of text. Especially when consumers are going to pass through your content in seconds, through their newsfeed, a GIF can catch their attention. It may have actual stopping power if it’s engaging and creative enough (fun, funny, and relatable). And stopping power is a hard thing to do, especially when social media is so cluttered, through both paid content and organic. Both curated and original. Both visual and not. GIFs are a way to grab attention, and then your brand has to remember to take it from there, because a GIF can only do so much.

And if your brand is unsure, there are other visual animations that you can consider. For example, emojis are still at play. Some brands use them in subjects line in email marketing in order to get a consumer’s attention in their inbox. We all know the inbox is a mind field of clutter, and getting a consumer to get past the subject line and preview, to actually open the email is no small feat. Others use emojis in their social media text to represent a certain emotion or feeling, that can be relatable to consumers.

Remember, your brand has to evaluate and consider whether it’s worth curating existing GIFs (or emojis, etc) or creating your own. The key here again is relevance to the consumer. GIFs alone don’t mean anything, but within context and surrounded by key messaging related to the brand, they can provide an opportunity to engage with the user on a different level. For example, consumers enjoy content that allows them to share it with their own friends and audience. If your content can get to that level, then you’ve reached true engagement with your consumer. Because nowadays it’s not about the eyeballs you get on your GIF (and content), it’s about the action the consumer takes when they see it. Will they like it (ok, cool), will they share it (better), will they comment positively (also, cool), and/or will they start following your brand to get more content (even better).

Still unsure? Just look at the new Apple iOS for the iPhone. It allows consumers to share GIFs built into their keyboard. In addition, consumers have had the ability to add and use different emoji keyboards, as well as create their own Bitmoji to communicate with. There are some consumers who only communicate through imagery now (hello, Snapchat). This is a white space for brands to enter. Imagine your brand (example Top Shop) having created your own imagery (emojis, gifs) for consumers to have access to and use as part of their communication. It becomes organic use of branded content or related content. Your consumers are now sharing a piece of your brand, a story through their eyes. A whole new form of UGC.

Always do your research and only enter this universe, if GIFs/Emojis are relevant to your brand. It has to be authentic to work well. For example is the brand voice/tone humorous, entertaining and/or human. We hope so (at least with the third). If so, your brand can find GIFs that are able to be shared within the brand tone, without going against the grain of the brand. For example, an athletic brand could find humor in training, and/or provide a quick tip on how to do something. A financial brand, could find irony in finances, that allow consumers to relate. While a fashion brand could find something fun and entertaining to share. Something that consumers are like, wow that’s cool – I must share this now.

In the end, GIFs are here people. Embrace them at your own risk (i.e. at your own fun). And when you’ve had enough, they’ll be something new and shiny around the corner, of course.

6 Ways to Win on Instagram for your Brand

Instagram strategies

Instagram, a visual social platform, known for memes, gifs, and lifestyle-focused posts is where fashion industry pros live, collaborate, and grow relationships. It’s a place to build your brand from a visual standpoint, and allow your audience to see the story you want to tell.

There are many “tips and tricks” posts out there about using Instagram for your business. But we want to go beyond just “tips and tricks”, and instead delve a little deeper into strategy and tactics to show that…

True success is found through well thought-out planning, consistency, and dedicating time to make sure the channel grows for your brand and your business.

Here are 6 ways to grow your brand within instagram

Hashtags:  We all know that hashtags allow us to associate our Instagram posts with a category, an event, or a point of view. Using them is a great way to help your posts get found.

But how many of you are using them for search, discovery, and engagement? Hashtags can be used to your advantage to identify and connect with new customers, editors and other media, collaborators, and retailers. The thing here that you have to remember is that you need to take the offensive. Rather than just using hashtags in your posts and hoping you’ll be discovered by the people I listed above, you have to carve out the time to go find them yourself.

What are some ways to do that?

  • Search for your competitors, potential collaborators, complementary brands, and people who have already bought from you on Instagram and see what hashtags they’re using.
  • Make a list of the most commonly used hashtags (separate by industry hashtags and customer hashtags) in excel.
  • Search each hashtag and look at “Related” and add any relevant tags to your excel sheet.
  • Regularly search each hashtag, look at the posts under “Most Recent” and open them up. Start engaging with the people who are posting with these hashtags.

Posting Times: Keep in mind the posting times that appear to work best for your audience.

The goal is to test what does work by trying a few different days and times with a similar kind of post and then determining the ones that work the best. This way you aren’t wasting time on posts that aren’t going to reach your audience. However, keep in mind that this isn’t necessarily the case with partners or influencers you work with. Their posting times will vary against yours, and that is great. It means you’re reaching a wider net of people and hopefully gaining followers too.

Notifications: We all saw the “turn on notifications!” posts that lasted way too long across Instagram. While we tended to ignore these for the most part, I would suggest turning them on for a select few top people.

The goal with doing this is to be notified of a few things:

  • When top competitors post a picture, you can be notified to check it out and then observe who is commenting and liking, and how well their different posts are working for them. Take note of types of posts, times of posts, hashtags used, etc. You can start to do some great customer research this way too.
  • When your favorite editors or bloggers or podcasters post a new picture, you can be notified and then leave a thoughtful comment that helps to start building that relationship.
  • When top complementary brands or possible collaborators post, you can be notified and then leave a thoughtful comment that will be seen by the followers of that brand; hopefully they’ll click through to your profile and check you out too! Which would be great since you have the same customer.

Competitor’s Followers: This one is tricky and should definitely be approached with care. But checking out the followers of your competition, clicking through to their profiles, and engaging with them can be a great way to build your following. One big point I’d like to make here:

  • Do not just open up the list of followers and immediately follow all of them.  This is lazy and often a waste of time.  It’s certainly harmless but in terms of the time and energy that the brand/business is spending, it’s pointless.
  • Instead, take time to go through the lists of followers of your competitors, open them up, see if they seem like a desirable follower for your brand and start engaging — follow, or comment, or like a few of their photos.

Strategy and Tactics Take Time: This is something a lot of us don’t want to hear. Clearly, the strategies and tactics listed above are not something that you can do in five minutes time. They take a lot of time and patience. If you decide that Instagram is going to be your main social channel (as many fashion brands do), then it’s important that you take the time to really use it. If you’re simply posting your pics with some hashtags and occasionally commenting things like “nice!” or “love this!” on other people’s posts, then you don’t have an Instagram strategy. You have a social media hobby.

This post was originally written for Startup Fashion. 

6 Specific Ways You Can Promote Blog Posts to Get More Reach

promote blog posts

You have a dedicated blog for your brand and you are penning thoughtful blog posts on a weekly basis. But then what? How do you make sure that your audience is discovering the blog posts, reading them, and following through on your specific Call to Action?

There are 6 areas where your business can dedicate time as part of your distribution strategy for your blog. The main areas are the organic channels you can use within social, supplemented with some paid support, and last but not least, email.

And one thing to remember, social media doesn’t mean as much without great content, so your blog posts are amazing fodder for it. The key is to ensure that your posts and distribution are in line with one another. Some musts:

  • Using key visuals from the posts
  • Linking directly to the content
  • Making sure there is no teaser content that appears to be bait and switch

Be honest and authentic in your distribution and always a/b test where possible to make sure the content that is working the hardest is the one you spend your time (and money) on and if you are using it for work you might want to reed the Good review of spy app xnspy by pcTattletale so you can monitor your workers.

Facebook (and Facebook Paid) – Assuming your brand uses Facebook to distribute overall brand content, it is a great place to promote your blog posts. Although the channel has become more of a media channel where paid media is necessary nowadays to get more eyeballs on your brand’s content, it is a cost efficient place to spend media dollars. You can a/b test different ads and see which ones work for which target audiences. In addition you can dedicate certain dollars to different audiences in case you have more than one.

Twitter – A place where customers typically go to get news and articles (in real or near time), it is a great way to distribute content related to cultural awareness and topical conversations already occurring in the space through relevant hashtags to your blog post.

Pinterest – A channel known for great referral traffic, your blog posts can go further as long as you supplement them with great visuals to use on the channel. Typically it’s good to use vertical visuals, that really pop in color. In addition, ensure that you link to the blog post that it’s referring to directly, and add the appropriate tags (not hashtags) that will allow people to find it within search. i.e. Make sure you are using regular people speak for the description and tags so it will be found easier.

Instagram – Supplement your blog content with short, succinct, quick digestible content for Instagram. This can be a teaser or in addition to to your blog post. And when people want to learn or read more, make sure the direct link is in the bio for them to click on since Instagram still does not allow links to be clickable within the post.

Paid Search – Like Facebook Ads, paid search opportunities on Google will allow you to drive more traffic to your blog posts. You can use keywords that people already are searching for to drive your paid ads in front of the right audience. It’s typical and suggested to a/b test ads on Google and put more money behind the ones that are working better for your content (i.e. driving click throughs).

Email – Your email is a great place to distribute your blog posts because it allows your brand to directly message people versus hoping they’ll discover it. The key thing here is to test your subject lines, and ensure the most prominent content you want your reader to engage in, can be found at the top and they don’t have to get to it.

Nowadays with the likes of Gmail, most people can preview email content without even opening the actual email. So your subject line, first few lines of your email, and headers have to work extra hard. This doesn’t mean dumping everything at the top, but it does mean placing proper keywords and content that your reader will want is prominent and entices them to open it further.

In addition, remember that not everyone turns visuals on in their email when they’re viewing the email, . So, be sure that you have Alt text for your visuals and that you aren’t relying solely on them to do your heavy lifting for consumer interest and conversion. They should be great visuals, but a supplement to your content.

Lastly, it needs to be something they can skim – and skim quickly to get to the parts they care about. So keep it short, succinct, and lead them to the blog post to read more.

And when you’re considering your distribution strategy remember that your customer is interested in your brand and wants content that is valuable to them. Distribute it where they are and where they hope to consume it.

This post was originally written for Startup Fashion. 

What to Put on the “About” Pages of Your Website and Social Media Platforms

your about page fashion brand

The About pages of your social channels and website are important. They allow your community the ability to quickly understand what your brand is, what it stands for, and simply put – why they should care. The About page of your website will be more in-depth; a place where you can refer people from social to learn more, as you’ll have less space in social and need to be more succinct and captivating.

Your Website

Your website is where your brand can be as short or as long as you want in order to tell your story. The key here is to remember that while it’s your About page, it’s really meant to convey how your brand can help your potential customer. So when you are writing “about” your brand, make sure that you are not beating around the bush. Start with a strong statement that represents your brand while also making a connection with your customer.

Once you make a connection with your reader, and make them feel as if they are understood and in the right place, then proceed into your story. Your story should have a short summary and then flow into the details; they can read these if they’re interested in learning more.

Allow your reader to choose what they want to learn about with easy sections to navigate. Bold type, sub-headers, and bullet points are all great tools for this.

Finally, make sure there’s a call to action in your About page. What do you want them to do after they read it? If you have a particular campaign or product release you can direct them there. Or maybe you want them to sign up for emails or follow you on social media?  What ever it is, make sure they can navigate to that with ease.

Some tips on content:

  • Tell your story: Allow people to see who your brand is through some creative and inspiring storytelling. Show how your brand came into being, why your product/service was the one you chose, and why it’s so exceptional. Show its unique characteristics, and even get into the details of how your product was formed. Allow people to see your journey, and feel like they could be apart of it.
  • Be human / have a personality: Don’t just speak in industry jargon that the reader may not understand. Be human and personable and use everyday speak to tell your story.
  • Be visual: Use pictures and video to tell a more captivating story. For example, consider graphics to show how your product was made. Use a video to give a tour of your office or factory.
  • Allow people to connect: Give people different opportunities to connect with your brand. Use email to send direct messaging, provide links to your most prominent social channels, and provide easy ways for them to contact you directly in case they have questions or want to learn more (i.e. email address, physical address, phone number).
  • Be memorable: It isn’t easy to be memorable, but using unique ways to demonstrate your “about us” page can allow your brand to stand out a bit more. For example if you use fun marketing content types such as gifs, short video, and or interactive ways for the reader to navigate your content based on their interests.

Facebook

Since Facebook has a longer About section than any other social channel, it’s a good opportunity to leverage it. Use the short description to be pithy and to the point, and the longer description (in case your follower want to read more) to explain a little more about the brand. Consider it the cliff notes to your website About page.

  • Consistent look and feel: Make sure your social channels have a consistent look and feel to your website.
  • Share your story: Share a story that will relate to your community on Facebook and what they will care about.
  • Allow it to be personable: Considering it’s social, you want your brand to be more human and less like a robot (always, but especially here). Allow your brand to speak as if you were talking to your community through a comment or a post.
  • Link back: Link back to your website so they can dig in more, and/or purchase. Use the multiple link sections in order to link back to specific areas of your website and other social channels.

Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest

Since these social channels have very little real estate for your About content, make sure you have a short one liner that will communicate what your brand is about and why the visitor should care (and therefore follow).

  • Be captivating: Be alluring with your short description. Say something that makes them go “Yep!” The goal is to make the visitor feel completely understood and want to be part of a community.
  • Use your #: If you have a brand or campaign hashtag, place it in the bio for more awareness.
  • Call to Action: Make sure to use words that relate to the link below like “Join us”, “Sign Up”, “Shop Now”, etc.
  • Link back: Link back to your website so people can learn more (or directly to your latest campaign, blog post, or opportunity to purchase).

In the end, the main takeaways are to be personable and tell a story. The About page isn’t supposed to be a doctor’s manual. It’s meant to be another way to reach your audience and show them why they should choose your brand to follow, engage with, and in the end, purchase from.

This post was originally written for Startup Fashion. 

3 Ways to Use Google Analytics to Grow Your Fashion Business

google analytics fashion business

Google Analytics, a free tool through Google, is one of the best resources for brands when it comes to uncovering trends, data, and insights about the consumers who are coming to your website in order to improve and grow your business.

According to Orbit Media, the terms you need to know in order to get started and understanding your dashboard and use it frequently are the following:

  • Users: These are people who have visited at least once within your selected date range, and includes both new and returning visitors.
  • Dimensions: These are descriptive characteristics of an object. For example, browser, exit page, and session duration are all considered dimensions.
  • Metrics: These are individual statistics of a dimension, such as Average Session Duration or Screenviews.
  • Bounce Rate: This is the percentage of single-page visits, meaning that someone left your site from the same page at which they entered; aka, they didn’t interact with your site.
  • Sessions: A session is the period of time that a user is actively engaged with your website.

When it comes to growing your business there are three areas you want to focus on:

  • Traffic Sources – Where they’re coming from.
  • Audience Profile and Demographics – Your visitor information.
  • Behavior on Site – What they’re doing when they get to you.

Traffic Sources

You want to look at your traffic sources to see where your audience is coming from and what sources are working the hardest for you. Let’s take a look at what types of sources may occur and why they’re each relevant to pay attention to:

  • Direct: Visitors that came directly to your website by typing in your site URL. This means your awareness is pretty good and people are wanting to discover or learn more about what your brand has to offer. That is a great thing. If this is lower on the list, then it means your awareness still needs some work, which as a startup is not a shocker. Getting direct traffic is never easy, and is something to strive for, but not be worried about at the start.
  • Organic Search: These results are free and amazing. An organic search visitor is someone who is searching for you or something/someone like your brand. They are interested in your product or service and either want to learn more or purchase. If they find you through organic search, it means your SEO strategy is working well. If this % is lower on the list, it’s an indicator that you should work on your keyword strategy and what could help drive your SEO up against your competition.
  • Paid Search: People who found you through your Adwords campaigns, which is good too. It means your paid search strategy is working. Again if this was lower on the list, then either your budget is low (no problem, you can work on that), or you need to reconsider your bid strategy on the keywords you’ve chosen.
  • Referral: Referral traffic is a great source because it means that other sites are linking to yours and creating more traffic for you. It may behoove you to give them a high-five back and link back to them if it’s appropriate. This could also mean that your syndication strategy is working well across blogs and websites.
  • Social: This section used to be within referral traffic but now broken out to give you a clearer picture to see which social channel are working hardest for you and driving the most links back to your site. It gives you the opportunity to see what channels need to work harder, and which ones you may want to invest more in.
  • Email: The visitors that came from your email campaigns; like social it allows you to see how hard your strategy is working in this channel and if it needs some optimization.

Audience Profile and Demographics

The audience section allows your brand to dig into insights of your website visitors and see a little more about who they are and if it fits who you thought your target consumer was/is. It allows you to dig into:

  • Gender – understanding if there’s a balance or if your brand skews in a particular direction
  • Age – understanding the mindset by age/life-stage
  • Location – understanding where your audiences are coming from
  • Browsers – understanding where to test your content (always)
  • Mobile devices – understanding how your content is being viewed

Knowing this data allows you to tailor your content a little better, and understand which audience is actually consuming it versus not. For example if your audience is predominantly female, you may want to ensure you don’t start creating content that will scare them away. If your audience is younger (millennial), you don’t want to suddenly start putting out content that will not be of interest to them. Not only does this help with the content you create, but it helps with the messaging of the content. You may use more casual tones with younger audiences (assuming it fits your brand tone and voice that you’ve established). In the end it’s always a balance of your business goals, brand voice, and consumer interests.

Behavior on Site

The visitors’ behaviors on your site will help indicate what content on your site is actually working. You can see:

  • What pages people spend time on – to see if where you are driving them is working, or if there are other pages you should be focusing on more (i.e. certain products, particular blog content, etc)
  • Look to see the flow on your site – how do people travel from page to page, where do they seem to go naturally (or get stuck)
  • Where’s the drop off? There is probably a particular place people automatically bounce from or get stuck and leave. See if there’s a way you can route them back around (so they don’t leave) to where you want them to be, or to content that seems to be working well for your brand.

Your Homework: Go play around on Google Analytics and see what it means for your brand.

This post was originally written for Startup Fashion. 

BECAUSE LIVE STREAMING CONTENT STILL NEEDS PLANNING

Today, live streaming has taken a new identity. Multiple identities in fact. From Meerkat (sorry buddy), to Periscope (from Twitter) to Facebook Live to YouTube Live (and many other players we just can’t remember the names of), live stream has become a necessity for digital marketers today. It’s not a tool we are considering, it’s a tool we have to consider as marketers. Especially, if your audience includes the millennial audience, you are already behind if you are not live streaming your content.

So how do you start if you haven’t already? How do you optimize if you are already checking it out?

You need a plan.

As with any digital marketing channel, you have to approach it with a strategy and content plan. You need your content to align with your overall marketing content, but you need to align the content for live stream to that particular channel. You can’t have it recycled to this channel. Sorry kids, that won’t work. It’s a whole new beast. Plus, you can’t edit as you go. It’s live.

Instead strategize the following:

  1. What’s your purpose for being on live stream? Does it work for your brand?
  2. What’s the story you want to tell? Is it about a product? An experience?
  3. What is the end result? What do you want your audience to takeaway?
  4. What is success? How will you measure that?

If the above calculates and makes sense to move forward, plan your content and time how you will execute (and who):

  1. Who’s the cameraman?
  2. Will someone speak or will it be based on the environment?
  3. What’s the script? You need a rough idea if there is someone speaking.
  4. Storyboard the shots.
  5. How long will the videos be? How many do you need to tell the story?
  6. How often will you shoot?

Distribution:

  1. How will you audience know you’re there and how to discover your brand?
  2. Help them find you – promote it. And promote some more. The worst thing you can do is spend time creating cool videos and then no one seeing it.
  3. Ask your fans to share. Why not?

Lastly, see if it works. Pick a measurement plan and test plan to see if your brand is going to be successful at live streaming or not. Sometimes it’s the content you choose that you need to test and not the live streaming part. So test different types, different cadences, and different tune in times. And of course, allow your fans to take part.

This post was originally written for Social Media Club. 

How to Use Promoted Pins on Pinterest to Grow Your Fashion Business

 

promoted pins

Promoted pins opened up to the masses over the past year, which is huge for smaller businesses and startups, and allows brands to reach more of their potential customers through this ultra visual social platform.

What are promoted pins?

Promoted Pins are a paid advertisement opportunity for your brand to choose your best pins to appear in the most relevant places within Pinterest with selected targeting to drive awareness, engagement, or traffic to your website.

Why it works:

The Pins appear natively within Pinterest so it allows consumers to engage with your content as if it were a part of their regular Pinterest experience. It is not interrupting their feed or visual exploration and discovery of pins they are excited to check out.

How to choose your pins:

Remember why people are on Pinterest. They are there to discover and plan. Those are the native behaviors of Pinterest users on a daily basis between fashion, fitness, food, weddings, vacation, so on and so forth. They want to be inspired. They want to discover. And they want to plan their own lives through those ideas.

In addition, because there is so much content on pinterest, especially within the fashion sphere, it is important to be consistent and have regular weekly content. When you see which one of your weekly content is performing well, you can decide which of those pins to promote.

Case Study by Pinterest on MVMT Watches

MVMT Watches started using Pinterest as a way to connect with women. When they saw higher-than-expected engagement, they ramped up their strategy.

The watch company adds Pins of products as well as lifestyle photography, though high quality, close-up shots of watches perform the best.

“A lot of people that come for Pinterest are in discovery mode, looking for products to purchase for themselves or others,” said Jake Kassan, CEO. “Pinterest is different from other channels but when done correctly, it can have huge results.”

MVMT Watches promoted their Pins and saw higher average order values and conversion rates from visitors referred to their site from Pinterest. In fact, Pinners convert at a rate 2X higher than users from other channels.

Targeting:

You can target based on gender, location, and devices. Targeting allows you to reach more people who fit your brand based upon your target audience. It helps if you have a certain offer you want to serve to a particular location so you can zero in. Or if you only care to reach people on the go, perhaps you want to reach people on their smartphones versus desktop. These are things to consider as you decide on your promoted pin strategy.

Keywords:

When it comes to keywords be sure you choose strategically. You can choose and up to 150 keywords – so you definitely want to do your research. Check your keywords using Google Adwords Keyword Plannerunless you have another tool you prefer. Also, be sure to check the keywords within Pinterest, as Pinterest search can be different than on Google. People typically search on Pinterest the same way that they speak, so you want to write descriptions in plain language as much as possible.

Try answering these questions like:

  • What is it?
  • Where is it?
  • Why is it interesting?
  • Why should the reader keep clicking through your brand’s board?

Also remember to write text that will travel well, as your boards and pins will be re-pinned and shared out. Make sure your captions make sense out of context of the Pinterest channel, so that when they’re re-pinned and shared, people won’t be confused by content that’s specific to your brand or your brand’s board.

Purpose of the Pin:

Lastly, but definitely not last in your strategy – you need to consider the purpose of your promoted pin. Is it to gain awareness, engagement, or drive traffic to your website? Knowing the purpose can help you determine the message of your pin, how much money to put behind it, the targeting, and how to measure success.

  • Create awareness for your brand by using a channel full of people wanting to discover.
  • Create engagement for your brand content and particular campaigns by allowing people to interact with certain aspects of your campaign. For example you would pay for a closeup, repin or click, not a view. You can then make each piece of that engagement interactive and allow your audience to get more out of each piece of that content.
  • Create more traffic to your website by allowing people to get more of the story on your site.

Great examples according to Pinterest, of this include:

  • Adore Me increased Pinterest-referred revenue by 4000%
  • Zola increased conversions by 44% and clickthrough rates by 50%
  • Dot & Bo quadrupled the number of people visiting their website, increased repins by 6000% and boosted daily clicks to their site by a whopping 18000%
  • Living Royal saw a 31% decrease in cost per acquisition (CPA) and a 6x increase in traffic within the first month of paid promotion on Pinterest
  • MVMT Watches found Pinners convert at a rate 2X higher than users on other platforms—and with higher average order values

My overall advice: A/B test to see which pins work best.

Test different imagery and copy. After a few tests you’ll start to see a pattern and learn which ones work best for your audience on Pinterest and you can invest more with that specific type of content going forward.

Another thing to keep in mind is the longevity of content on Pinterest. Once your content is on Pinterest, people will re-pin it over and over. It will live across the channel for much longer than your original campaign, so your content needs legs. Will it make sense later? Food for thought.

This post was originally written for Startup Fashion.