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Can You Market on Pinterest?

Can You Market on Pinterest
19Oct

Here’s the one bit of advice to remember if you want to be a successful digital marketer: look at everything as a resource. Someone who says “X social media site isn’t good for marketing” is a rookie and not someone whose marketing advice you should take. Every platform has its uses; today’s subject? Pinterest.

As a digital marketer, be like Batman. He has a utility belt stacked with gadgets that he uses as and when he needs them. His grappling hook and batarangs get pulled out quite frequently—his bat shark repellent (a real thing!), not so much, there have been instances where he was lucky to have it on hand. Pinterest is a unique tool; it won’t have applications for every campaign, but you need to know how to use it for the opportunities that come along where it’s the right tool for the job.

If you need proof that it can be used for marketing campaigns, let’s look at some recent headlines. In June, Pinterest and IKEA partnered up to create a “Renocations” feature, which helps users find inspiration for their next home renovation via a custom Pinterest board. Also in June they teamed up with Volkswagen to create a virtual test drive feature for the car manufacturer’s first electric model.

Now that I have you convinced, here are five ways you can use it effectively.

If you are new to Pinterest, once logging on and picking your interests, you will see that posts (or “pins”) are arranged in a different way. It’s too cool for traditional linear order! But its content display isn’t the only element that is unique. Check out these great ways to be a Pinterest pro.

First of all, Rich Pins are great ways for businesses to have an advantage over the competition. They will cost you some money, but these posts have extended reach and your followers will be sure to view them easily and your content will be viewed.

Images are the biggest elements of your pins, literally and figuratively. As such, they should be bright, simple, and eye-catching. After all, they will be competing with many posts, so you want your followers’ eyes to lock onto your pins as soon as possible. Longer images work best on this social media platform thanks to its layout, but this can work in your favor, especially if you decide to add overlying text. Speaking of the written word,  you have the opportunity to add captions. You will want to take advantage of this. Pinterest isn’t the place for a long-winded block of text, but a couple hundred words could help get your point across.

If your goal is to reach out to a local audience, you can utilize Place Pins. This will allow you to talk about a specific location and showcase imagery. This is a great way to show some hometown pride.

Lastly, keywords. When writing for Facebook and Twitter, the rule of thumb is a maximum of three hashtags per post. However, with Pinterest’s keywords, you can go crazy. The more the merrier on Pinterest! These will help you get a lot of attention on this popular website.

Pinterest is yet another avenue to tap into your customer base. It is growing in popularity and you should research how you can take advantage of its unique infrastructure.

Has this blog got you wondering if your brand is pin-able? The Go! Agency offers a fully-developed Pinterest service. Here’s a fact to make the decision a little easier: 87% of Pinterest users have bought a product because they saw it on the platform.

We await your call.

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13 Trends Agency Owners Can Leverage To Stand Out In 2022

13 Trends Agency Owners Can Leverage To Stand Out In 2022
18Oct

by Forbes Agency Council | Expert Panel 

From types of clientele to subject matter expertise, practice areas and menus of services, every agency has its particular differentiators that help it stand out in a crowded field and appeal to its target audience. Facing stiff competition to win clients, agency owners need to take note of emerging trends in their industry to ensure success in the coming year.

For insight into the latest movements in the world of advertising, marketing and PR, look no further than the advice members of Forbes Agency Council share below. If you’re an agency owner, learning more about the trends that will impact your business in 2022 can give you a head start on incorporating them into your client work and your own marketing strategy and help your agency stand out from and rise above your competitors.

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com, on October 18, 2021. Read the rest of the article here.

 

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Content Creators vs. Influencers

Content Creators vs. Influencers
12Oct

The use of influencers and content creators has become key in marketing campaigns. Due to their massive audiences or mastery of content, these people can be invaluable when it comes to producing quality work and getting it in front of a massive audience. However, they’re far from interchangeable.

First, it’ll probably be helpful to define a few key terms.

Who are content creators?

While the term content creator is most broadly applied to YouTubers, TikTokers, and other video creators and personalities, that is not the end-all, be-all of what a creator is.

A creator is…well, someone who creates something. When you refer to a content creator you could be talking about a video creator, but you could also be talking about a popular digital artist or designer, a popular writer, someone who does background music, or animates marketing collateral. 

Typically though, when you’re talking about a content creator you’re referring to someone who isn’t a part of your business—somebody that you’re bringing in to help accomplish a certain task not needed for most projects. Content creators work with brands by crafting assets from ideation all the way to delivery.

Hopefully, you can spin this relationship into a long-lasting one and make content creators want to keep working for your brand and producing great material. You can do this by working with them as a partner, not treating them as an employee, and knowing when it’s time to sit back and differ in their particular skill set. Creators have options, and if you micromanage they’ll take their talents elsewhere.

Who are influencers?

Although the terms often get conflated, influencers are on the opposite side of the coin from content creators.

While a content creator makes a product, an influencer is used to sell it. Kim Kardashian-West doesn’t edit her own Instagram posts or other videos, but there is still value to having her or someone of equivalent status onboard your campaign. Influencers have an audience and if you can get them to boost your product via a post, video, or blog, you can get your campaign in front of a lot people who likely wouldn’t know about it otherwise.

Something to clarify: an influencer is NOT a spokesperson. A spokesperson is an element of your campaign who will appear in promotional material. An influencer is usually a one time get who can put your product in front of their audience. Having an influencer promote your business is the equivalent of having your product on a nice display at the front of a store versus it being on the shelf with everything else.

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Why Are You Being Ignored Online?

Why Are You Being Ignored Online
5Oct

Who do professionals listen to online? What influences them to act and buy the products or services that they do? It’s really no secret—it’s thought leaders, the power influencers of any given industry. But there is no ribbon or knighthood ceremony that grants a thought leader their position of power. Here’s the real secret: thought leader status is mostly self-branded.

If your online presence is one of humility and collectivism, being a thought leader ain’t the gig for you. It takes a forceful personality and, yes, more than a little bit of ego to become the go-to guy of your industry. You want to brand yourself as an expert so that people will want to listen to you, share your opinions, and engage with you online and a large part of doing that is leading the horses to water and making them drink.

The Steps to Online Attention

One of the fastest ways to become an expert in your field? Stop talking so much. As potentially toxic as it is, I think it will help to look at thought leadership in these terms: alpha and beta. 

A beta will never stop talking, for two reasons. First, they feel threatened by the lack of their own insight and need to make you feel like they’re the expert. Second, they figure that if they can B.S. for long enough and overload you with information, you won’t realize they’re using a lot of words to say very little.

The alpha knows they’re the expert and doesn’t feel an overwhelming need to convince everybody. They’re content laying their knowledge on the table and if you don’t use it, that’s your loss.

Who would you rather listen to?

Nothing seems more pathetic than some inexperienced web designer, writer, or online marketer who is self-branded as #1 in every marketing piece and on every web page. Achievements are proudly displayed with adjective-filled descriptions and sometimes even proof about achieving vast wealth. I certainly don’t believe it. Would you?

Instead of running around and telling everyone that you are fabulous, you need to pinpoint your expertise in terms of what you have to offer your target audience that engages them with your brand and message. True experts understand their subject deeply, and it’s likely they know how to work it better than anyone else.

There are people all over social media sites who have effectively branded themselves as experts or a specialist in their fields.  Let’s take me, for example. Personally, I don’t like the word “expert” used in my profession, as there is no such thing. The social media world is evolving at such a fast pace that no one can have all of the information. I prefer the term “specialist”, as I specialize in social media marketing.

With that said, I researched online marketing to see what people were discussing, what they needed, and how I could help them. Then I developed a myriad of interesting, engaging content that was centered around my target audience’s needs and concerns. I did this by pinpointing topics that I knew would create engagement, discussion, and comments.

Since I am a specialist, I share my insider knowledge, and I help others by answering questions whenever I am asked.  I try to focus on creating content that is original and helps people grow and expand their business. I anticipate needs and create engaging content that fills those needs.

By generating innovative ideas, helping peers, and engaging with your community members, you can achieve one or more of these goals:

  • Lead the market conversation
  • Build loyalty
  • Stimulate passion
  • Build and maintain a buzz
  • Create excitement

So calling yourself an expert is an ineffective way to become an expert, but repeating someone else’s claim of your expert status is a phenomenal way to become an expert. Why?

Expert status doesn’t stem from what you think of yourself; it stems from what others think of you. When others deem you an expert, suddenly your reputation grows, your credibility increases, and your reach is enhanced. In other words, your fans are your very best source for branding yourself as an expert. This is beyond invaluable in the social media realm.

For example, in the copywriting industry, perhaps the most well-known expert is Bob Bly. Decades ago, publisher McGraw-Hill allegedly crowned Bob “America’s top copywriter.” The title stuck, and today it is difficult to read about Bob Bly without reading this accompanying fact. Whether he truly is America’s top copywriter or not has become of little importance. It is now considered an accepted fact, much like a royal title.

If you’re serious about building a strong business, let people notice your greatness, and they will tell others.  This is why so many of us count referrals as such a valuable source of income.

When you are considered an expert by others, you become sought after for many reasons:

  • Experts offer distinctive services that others cannot.
  • Experts provide valuable sound bites.
  • Corporations seek out experts to certify risky business enterprises.
  • Followers are attracted to expert knowledge. (As humans, we all want the assurance we’re doing the right thing and following the right advice.)
  • Experts sell more products because people are more apt to buy from an expert who is credible and legitimate.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start developing your own expert status!

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12 Trends In Account-Based Marketing Every Marketer Needs To Know

12 Trends In Account-Based Marketing Every Marketer Needs To Know
30Sep

by Forbes Agency Council | Expert Panel 

Marketers today understand that personalizing a campaign for the target audience is the best way to ensure it will generate the desired results. Of course, “personalizing” a mass email blast by only changing each recipient’s name isn’t going to do the trick.

Sending out generic messaging to many people with the goal of getting just a small number of them to take action, check out your goods or services, and become customers is not the best strategy. Thankfully, you can narrow your target audience and generate better results with an account-based marketing approach that focuses on strengthening relationships with your top customers through personalized outreach tailored to their needs.

Here, 12 members of Forbes Agency Council explore important developments and trends in ABM that marketers need to be aware of to build upon the success of their biggest accounts this year and next.

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com, on September 30, 2021. Read the rest of the article here.

 

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How The Pod Structure Can Save A Company

How The Pod Structure Can Save A Company
28Sep

What do you do when the old way of doing business isn’t working anymore? How do you know when small adjustments to the way you and your team work will suffice or when sweeping changes are needed? Every situation is different, so I can only speak from my point of view, but when I recently realized the way my agency worked needed a shake-up, I went big.

I restructured processes for myself, my team and even my clients. Here’s why: Previously, everybody had a segmented role — one account manager handled their assigned clients, the other account managers handled their’s and the creative department was on a different track entirely. This worked fine in our previous environment in a physical office space, but due to the pandemic, the agency went fully remote in March of 2020 (and will continue to be for the foreseeable future). The separation was dividing more than our tasks. It was tearing the team apart

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com, on September 28, 2021. Read the rest of the article here.

 

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Timing Is Everything: The Best Times to Post on Social Media

Timing Is Everything The Best Times to Post on Social Media
28Sep

There is a lot to think about when you are executing a social media marketing strategy. The use of visuals, your content strategy, who will be executing the work, how will you measure your results, when the work will be done. All of these play an enormous factor in your success.

There is such an overwhelming amount of planning that goes into executing a social media marketing strategy and, inevitably, something will be left to the last minute. But one extremely vital point that gets left out in the cold during the social media strategy planning stage is when is the best time to post content to Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter?

Think of an email marketing campaign that you have previously executed.  If you have looked at the studies done on email marketing, you’ve no doubt noticed that by altering the time and date of your blasts, you can increase effectiveness.

This holds true also when finding the optimal posting time on social media. At the wrong time, a well-written post with wonderful content can languish at the bottom of the barrel. But once you know the optimal posting time and use it, you can garner exponentially more engagement by only changing the time and date it was shared!

Have you ever posted something to social media that you truly believed to be earth-shatteringly good and….crickets? This is a prime example of the importance of choosing the right time and date when posting your social media content. To help you along, here are some times that we have found to be helpful when posting content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram respectively.

Below are a good starting point for posting times, and are just what we recommend—you will have to refine based on your own campaigns.

Facebook:

  • Best Time to Post: Daily, between 1-4 pm
  • Peak Time to Post: Wednesdays at 3 pm
  • Worst Time to Post: Saturday and Sunday before 8 am and after 8 pm

Twitter:

  • Best Time to Post: Monday through Thursday, 1-3 pm
  • Peak Time to Post: Monday through Thursday, 8 am
  • Worst Time to Post: Every day after 8 pm, Fridays after 3 pm

LinkedIn:

  • Best Time to Post: Tuesday through Thursday
  • Peak Time to Post: 9 am Tuesdays and Wednesdays
  • Worst Time to Post: Monday through Friday, 10 pm-6 am

Instagram:

  • Best Time to Post: 11a11 am Wednesday
  • Peak Time to Post: 11 am on Wednesday

These are simply guidelines for you to use which will effectively bring you closer to finding the optimal time to post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. This will not guarantee you success, but it will be an important factor that you should abide by when posting.

Try these out and monitor your success. You will need to massage these times and dates to find out what works best for you and your industry or target market. When it comes to your content, what should be the most important thing is that you plan to deliver it to the correct audience at the time when they are ready to receive it. This will create a social media home run not only for your content, but also your campaign!

 

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5 Social Media Benchmarks for Beginners

5 Social Media Benchmarks for Beginners
21Sep

In a time when there is more competition than ever across all industries, it’s important for brands to leverage the insights that a competitive analysis can bring. Along with giving you a valuable look into where your closest competitors are succeeding and failing, studying the competition will help you set goals for your own campaign.

These goals are called benchmarks. 

To form benchmarks, first, you have to complete a thorough competitive analysis of all of your closest industry competitors. Be realistic about this—if you’re a tech startup, Google and Amazon are NOT your competitors. Look for people who are punching in your weight class if you want tangible, usable results.

This is a lot to do for a brand that’s just starting out. The information that you can get from a well-done competitive analysis is very useful, but it’s also likely to be overwhelming if it’s your first time looking at this kind of data. How do you know where to start?

Unfortunately, a lot of brands don’t have a good idea for this—they’re more attracted to hopping on flash-in-the-pan trends than content with longevity, mostly out of a misguided desire to go viral. Here are the five benchmarks I recommend you start with. These were selected because they’re immediately actionable and easy for even newcomers to the concept of benchmarking to understand.

Five Easy Benchmarks to Start With

    • Content performance: Find out what’s considered top-performing content in your space. I suggest tracking three or four of your closest competitors and here’s why: one brand getting good reception on a specific kind of post is a coincidence, but four brands is a trend. Be sure to take note of all the factors that could be playing into how successful their content is—what type of stuff are they posting? Is it image-heavy, video-heavy, or mostly text? How often do they post? What are their key posting times? Producing quality content isn’t enough, you need to help it out a little and play by social media’s rules.
    • Content type: What type of content your posting is going to heavily rely on your audience—but the lucky part is that your competitors will likely have a close audience to you, so you can use their content strategy as a guide. Be willing to be malleable and invest in new methods of content like video if that’s what’s getting the best engagement.
    • Posting methods: Timing plays a huge role in whether or not a brand’s content is successful. You could hire Shakespeare and John Milton to head up your content creation team but if you’re posting at 22 am it’s not going to matter. Take notice of when your competitors are posting and what time slots get the best reaction.
    • Growth rate: Publishing fresh content, rolling out new campaigns, and interacting with your audience is a great way to grow the brand, but it isn’t a flawless method. You need the right combination of these things to attract and win a loyal audience. Invest in a growth analysis tool and see how quickly your closest competitors are gaining their social media following. Then, take their most successful methods and fine-tune them to fit your brand.
    • Popularity: Every brand wants mentions—to be able to participate in a conversation that somebody else started. It’s a sign that audiences are talking about you naturally without you having to solicit responses. Social listening is a critical tool to help you meet benchmarks for mentions—you can find out who’s talking about you and, more importantly for your goals, your competition. But, also take into account that not all conversations are positive for the brand that’s being talked about. You might see one week that your competitor’s mentions shot up 200%, but if your competitor just accidentally gave a bunch of customers food poisoning, those aren’t the kind of mentions they want. Performing a sentiment analysis will help you detect these kinds of nuances.

Once you’ve measured where all of your competitors are at with the above, you can start setting benchmarks for yourself. But remember this as you do: an unrealistic benchmark is just going to make you feel like a failure. Some success you have to work your way up to. Setting benchmarks month over month to get at the level of your competitors might be something you have to do, and there’s no shame in that.

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The ‘New Normal’ Isn’t Coming: 3 Ways to Build an Adaptive, Modern Agency

The 'New Normal' Isn't Coming 3 Ways to Build an Adaptive, Modern Agency
19Sep

by Christopher Tompkins | ENTREPRENEUR LEADERSHIP NETWORK CONTRIBUTOR

There will always be forces that throw your plans by the wayside and recalibrate — whether they take the form of political changes, a natural disaster, a cultural shift or a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. So for marketers, the question is not “How can we plan for the new normal?” but instead, “Why are you expecting one?”

While on a general level the phrase “new normal” just represents a desire to get back to times when we weren’t all constantly stressed out and life didn’t depend on being highly socially and politically aware, what it really represents is a desire for stagnancy. To be able to take a breather. But no matter what’s going on in the world, marketing has never been about taking a breather.

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com, on September 19, 2021. Read the rest of the article here.

 

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There’s No Excuse For Not Having A Blog

There’s No Excuse For Not Having A Blog
14Sep

You’ve been working hard at crafting your social media presence. Much like Rocky Balboa punching hunks of meat and jogging up and down the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, you’ve been working hard to get your brand in peak physical condition. You have been building your Likes on Facebook, your connections on LinkedIn, and your Followers on Instagram and Twitter. You have been posting on a regular basis, curating a content mix you know your audience will respond to. So why aren’t more people coming to your website?

Because you are not directing them to your original content, written and posted by you, on your own website!

Social media marketing gives you the prime opportunity to not only brand yourself as an expert and quickly generate visibility for your brand, but it also enables you to influence the buying decision of your consumers. What your potential customers are looking for on social media are helpful hints that will help to enhance their lives. Who knows how to do this better than you? Your business fits a need and your expert opinion will help satiate this in your potential and current customer base.

And this is why you need to have a blog.

A blog is beneficial for multiple reasons. First off, it helps cement you as an authority figure in your industry and just adds more and more credibility to your digital presence. But more importantly, a blog is just a pathway back to your website—and it’s a more effective one than a generic, salesy social media post, no matter how well you write it.

Your blog will contain information pertinent to your business and of interest to your target market. If you are an assisted living facility, your blog could be focused around topics that would interest the person searching for elder care. You can obviously write about upcoming events and announcements but go a bit further. Write about aging topics such as dementia and caregiving. Write about healthy food choices for seniors.

Are you a tax attorney? Write about new tax laws and how they affect your target client. Write about how a family of four can easily manage their monthly budget. Write about investment opportunities that people can explore.

Now, write an update on social media and share the link to this article and keep it in your content cycle to repost every so often. Ask your connections to share the article. Now you may say “Ok, I’ve done one…but where’s the traffic?”

Unfortunately posting and sharing one blog is not a strategy. You have to regularly write, post and share these. If you are just getting started and looking for a strong content marketing strategy, I suggest writing at least one blog a day or 4-5 per week. Once you bank a fifty evergreen pieces, then you can slow down to one or two a week.

There is enough content within your industry to generate meaningful posts on a regular basis.  Also, imagine the SEO implications of having keyword-packed content being added to your website almost daily. This is a HUGE powerhouse and a wonderful value of having regular blogs done.

“But I don’t know where to start and am not that strong of a writer.”

You don’t have to be! There are people who can do that for you and let you put your name on it in exchange for money. Not even John Grisham writes his own books—he has a team of co- and ghostwriters to do that for him. Hire a content writer or a marketing agency who can churn out well-produced content and formulate blogs seemingly overnight.

Next objection: But no one knows my business like me.

True. But a good copywriter or agency will dedicate the time to interview you and do the research and you’ll have final approval over what gets posted. My point is that if you are trying to make the most out of your social media campaign, a blog is really the cornerstone of success. Beyond social, it is also a powerhouse when trying to enhance the SEO capabilities of your website.

If this is out of your area of expertise, talk with someone who has experience with blogging and writing. They will be able to point you in the right direction. The bottom line is that sometimes it takes a village to raise a blog.

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