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How to Build a Killer Brand Strategy

How to Build a Killer Brand Strategy
23Jan

Brand strategies are the backbone of content marketing! And a good one can help your brand grow in awareness, community, and sales! 

It is what separates you from every other brand out there and how your audience will see you. Here are the best steps to take to build a brand strategy that converts followers into fans and fans into buyers!

  1. Define Your Brand

Your brand includes the following: 

  • Colors 
  • Fonts 
  • Values and Goals 
  • A Unique Selling Proposition 
  • Voice & Personality 
  • Your Services/Products 
  • Your Mission 

You’ll need to define all of those before you create content! It all comes down to who you want to be and how you want your audience to see you. 

  1. Identify Your Target Market 

Once you know who you are, you can start researching who your ideal client avatar is! These are the people who will be buying from you and loving your brand! 

Research where they like to hang out (social media-wise), what their needs and wants are, and what they struggle with. Check out online forums and social media groups, or build surveys to gain the information you need! 

  1. Create Powerful Branded Content 

Build a content strategy that touches on pain points, answers questions, highlights solutions, and builds connections. And make sure your content is staying consistent with your brand’s colors, personality, voice, and style! 

  1. Track Success & Test New Things 

Use all the insight and analytics tools you can to gather information on what is working. Track the progress of your brand strategy by seeing what audiences are saying about you. Are there areas of your brand where you can improve? 

The Recap

Brand strategies help you stay aligned with your content and help your audience know exactly who you are. It’s important to decide what you want your brand to look like, who your target audience is, and how to track your success!

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Why Every Marketer Should Be Including Storytelling in Your Marketing

Why Every Marketer Should Be Including Storytelling in Your Marketing
16Jan

Behold, the hidden treasure of boosting your engagement and increasing your sales…storytelling. If you aren’t so convinced, check out these major benefits to telling stories in your content! 

  1. Stories Encourage Connection

A story has the ability to show who you truly are (behind the brand). It allows your audience to resonate and connect with you and your mission. And, if someone in your audience resonates well enough with your story, they might be convinced to work with you or buy from you. 

Trust and connection are powerful. 

  1. Stories are Stimulating 

Why do people love movies and books so much? Because their stories are interesting and allow us to escape reality for a while. 

In the same way, the stories you use will captivate, motivate, and inspire your audience to act. All those juicy details, drama, and surprise endings are perfect for drawing your audience in and convincing them you are worth dying for…oops, I meant buying for. 

  1. Stories are Memorable 

Our brains make connections when something impacts or interests us. And when someone is telling a story, our brains are making mental images of what’s going on, allowing our minds to store those images as memories. 

And being a memorable brand is much better than being a boring one! 

The Gist

Tell stories, people!! It can change your brand and the way people see it. Stories are memorable, captivating, and connecting – the perfect formula for increasing brand loyalty.

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3 Tips for More Effective Influencer Marketing

3 Tips for More Effective Influencer Marketing
9Jan

Influencer marketing is every marketer’s secret weapon. I’d like to help you wield it with these 3 effective tips for making the most of your influencer marketing strategy! 

  1. Align with the Right Influencers 

It does not matter if an influencer has millions of followers if those followers don’t match your ideal target persona. A kitchen utensil brand isn’t going to gain many sales if they hire Steph Curry as a collab partner (duh). 

Pay attention to who your brand is and what kinds of influencers match your interests, personality, and follower demographics. They should essentially have a similar target audience as you! 

  1. Research, Reach Out, & Repeat

You may hear many no’s when you reach out to potential collab partners. Don’t give up! Most influencers and content creators are always looking to partner with a new brand. 

The best tip for reaching out is this: make it personal. Customize each message you send out to appeal to their needs, wants, and style! And then repeat! 

  1. Track Your Metrics 

How else will you know what is working and what isn’t? Once you have a few collabs going, start tracking link clicks, website taps, engagement on their content (as it relates to your brand), leads, and sales! 

The Bottom Line

Make sure you’re partnering with influencers who match your brand’s goals, values, and target audience. Otherwise, your efforts are wasted, my friend. 

Also, be diligent and patient as you research and reach out to potential partners! And once you’ve started working with one or two, track the performance! Get to know what doesn’t work and adjust for the next campaign!

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3 Key Ways to Boost Your Content Marketing

3 Key Ways to Boost Your Content Marketing
2Jan

If you’re here, then you are probably wondering why your content marketing efforts aren’t converting and what you can do to fix that little issue. 

Content marketing is an art in itself and requires constant adjusting, which can be a lot of work. To help you, I’ll give you 3 key principles to improve your content marketing (you’re welcome). Take a look! 

  1. Speak to the Right Audience

I’m not talking about who you think your audience is. I’m talking about the people who want to follow you, share your content, and buy your products. 

This means doing enough research to know your target audience inside and out. You should know who they really are – what their dreams, goals, struggles, and failures are. You should practically be able to read their minds by the time you start creating content.

Once you’ve nailed your audience, the content you make should be so specific that they say, “Oh my god, how did they know that?” 

  1. Establish Your Point of View and Voice 

How else are you going to stand out from everyone else? I’ll give you the answer. By implementing your own unique tone, voice, and story into your content. 

That is something no one can copy. Your experience is your own and so are your opinions and views of the world. So, don’t be afraid to show who you (or your brand) are! 

  1. Dive into Collabs & Partnerships 

Influencer marketing is becoming more popular. Brands are starting to recognize this and are reaching out to micro-influencers and content creators who have a trusted, loyal community. 

The psychology behind this is that people are more likely to try (or buy) something when someone they know or like recommends it. So, get to collaborating, my fellow marketer! 

The Bottom Line

I know you are super busy creating content strategies for the new year. So, if you skipped to the bottom of this blog, here’s what you need to know. 

Make sure you’re talking to the correct audience by getting to know who they really are, deep down. Don’t be afraid to show your audience who you really are by sharing your story, experience, and point of view. 

And lastly, start dipping your toes in the world of influencer marketing. It’s gaining popularity as we speak!

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5 Reasons Why Social Media Marketing Works

5 Reasons Why Social Media Marketing Works
27Dec

Social media has become ubiquitous in the last few years, and brands of every background and size have hopped on board. But for as common as social media marketing is, it seems like many brands don’t entirely understand how or why it works. Marketers, you know what we’re talking about.

You can provide metrics to clients, but it’s not always easy to put all of that data into perspective. So today we’re going to delve into five of the biggest reasons why social media marketing is so effective.

It keeps brands in customers’ sights. Social media users have fully integrated visiting their favorite platforms and pages into their everyday lives. The primary purpose of marketing is to have your message positioned where your audience congregates. It was the same when we put ads in magazines and commercials into primetime television shows. Today, people spend more of their time on their phones browsing social media, which means that’s where brands need to go to reach them.

It keeps brands active against the competition. If you haven’t been taking your social media presence seriously, you can bet that your competition has. Do yourself a favor and take a look at what businesses are already benefiting from engagement and a strong online presence. If you leave them alone out there, they naturally will reach customers that you could have earned had your brand’s presence been stronger.

It keeps brands honest. Social media gives most people more of a voice and a platform than ever before—for better and for worse. User-generated content, ratings, comments, tagging and other features allow customers and clients to speak their thoughts. As scary as this sounds this is good news for brands. Even negative comments give your business a time to shine by utilizing professional damage control methods.

It keeps brands involved in the community. Because of just how popular social media has become, you need to show that you care about your customer base by participating. You can do this by delivering engaging posts via the avenue of communication your audience prefers. In essence, it is the same as community outreach which, as all professionals know, is amazing for PR.

It keeps brands relevant. Social media has become a giant town square where the whole world talks, leading to an unprecedented exchange of knowledge. People of all different industries use these platforms to network, promote themselves, and share new insights about their respective fields. For brands, that means it’s extremely important to stay relevant and unique, which is good for everyone.

Folks, it’s almost 2023. If a brand isn’t on social media, then it’s missing out on a wide range of benefits and countless potential customers that may never discover it. So marketers, the next time a client expresses uncertainty about the value of social media, you’ll be ready to tell them just how important it is.

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Try These 5 Engagement-Heavy Social Media Ideas

Try These 5 Engagement Heavy Social Media Ideas
20Dec

When you’re looking back at your social media marketing activity in the last year, you may wonder what you should be looking for. ROI? A huge mass of followers? Well, smart marketers will measure an all-important element: engagement.

Which posts rocked? Which flopped? Did a certain subject strike a chord with your audience in a surprising way? Maybe something you were sure of had no impact at all. Well, after studying what’s been done, it’s time to move forward and take the most successful ideas with you. Here are some effective tactics to get your audience engaged with your content and your brand on social media:

  1. Contests. 

Social media is stuffed with contests, and for a good reason: they work. For participants to enter, you can ask for some feedback, a simple like or retweet, or even a well thought out answer to “Why should you win?” 

The best part is, the prize doesn’t even need to be extravagant. Perhaps one of your products or gift cards to a service your company provides would suffice. The prize isn’t always the most important thing to your audience—it’s the game of trying to win.

  1. Blogs and Long Forms.

It may come as a surprise to some people, but many internet users still like to read. Original articles coming from your company are a fantastic way to spread your wealth of knowledge and to establish yourself as an “opinion leader.”

These can come in the form of well-written blogs and articles that you post on your website, or as thought-out social media posts. Both will help position you as a reputable source of knowledge, and give people a way to interact with your brand in a deeper way.

  1. Sales.

Be alert, there are bargain hunters everywhere. Take advantage of this “compulsion to save” by offering coupons, deals, and flash sales often. Not only can a sale entice your customers in the short term, but running sales often gives people a reason to keep coming back to check on your page.

  1. Freebies.

What’s better than getting something at a discount? Getting it for free. This is especially poignant if you have an ebook, PDF, course, trial, or another form of digital product, so you don’t have to be bothered with shipping and handling.

  1. Imagery.

Text-only social media content can only do so much. You absolutely need pictures, videos, GIFs, interactive art, and more. As we’ve said in the past: it doesn’t matter how great your copy is if nobody reads it. A great image acts as the hook that stops people from scrolling and pulls them into your content. 

So the next time you’re wondering how to increase engagement and pull more people into your content, think back to these five elements. 

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How Sharable Is Your Social Media Content?

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13Dec

This might break your heart, but… no, you can’t just post funny cat videos all the time and expect to find social media success. “But,” you might say, “the cat videos perform so well because everyone’s laughing!” That may be true, but it’s not enough to carry an entire campaign. Here’s why:

Content that quickly grabs people’s attention can absolutely be useful to a social media campaign. After all, standing out and getting people to follow you is a major part of what any digital marketer aims to do. Of course, this goes for more than just cat videos. Simple, easily-shareable content can be great for hitting account metrics, but here’s my question for you:

How many people who engage with that content are actually interested in what your brand has to offer?

Remember that gaining engagement and followers on social media isn’t (in most cases) an end in itself. The end-goal is to get people to truly engage with a brand and, eventually, become customers.

Of course, I’m not saying that cat videos (or any other similar content) doesn’t have a place in your campaign—it absolutely does. However, you can’t rely on it to carry a campaign. 

In fact, you might be surprised to learn that serious topics are more “shareable” than anything else. Some of the most-shared content is related to politics, business, and medical topics. 

This is actually great news for clients who work in fact-based industries. In fact, this is so surprising that it’s one of the reasons why some people don’t jump on board with social media. “Who wants to hear about anesthesia on social media?” A lot of people, as it turns out!

The truth is that social media is for everyone, and it’s possible for any brand to find its audience with the right marketing. So, the next time the thought “Nobody wants to read this on social media” comes across your mind, you can forget about it.

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7 Key Tips To Make A Memorable Social Media Marketing Campaign

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6Dec

 

4.7 billion people use social media around the globe. With that many people browsing and posting, the question at the core of every digital marketer’s job is this:

How do you stand out from that large of a crowd?

I’ll tell you this—despite the plethora of content that’s being uploaded every single minute, you have the potential to hit it big and be memorable. That being said, you’re going to have to work for it. Here are some important tips to enhance your social media presence:

  1. Strive for uniqueness. Even if you’re one out of two million retail shops online, you need to make sure there’s something special about your business and brand. Logos, tone, culture, and overall approach will make a world of difference. Highlight the things that make your business unique in your marketing strategy.
  2. Build anticipation. Do you have big news to announce? Even if it’s just a big sale, build up some hype by explaining that there will be something big and exciting coming soon. People will keep a much closer eye on your social media accounts as they wait for your announcement. However, there’s one major caveat: make sure the news is worth the anticipation. Otherwise, you risk making your audience feel cheated.
  3. Focus on quality. People notice the difference between high-effort, high-quality work, and something that you just threw together. True effort, strategizing, and a touch of talent will go a long way. Take your time and fine-tune your content. Remember, once it’s out on the internet, it’s out!
  4. Add personality. No one likes to follow a boring page on social media. Add some pizzazz to your content! Whether you add humor, seriousness, or witty comments, make sure your brand speaks in one consistent, recognizable voice.
  5. Use every tool at your disposal. Make use of your social media tool belt. Whether you’re taking advantage of the hashtag system, publishing tools, social media advertising, or third-party apps, there are tons of tools available to you to help you gain an advantage!
  6. Highlight sales appeal. Think back to Marketing 101. At the end of the day, your end goal is typically to get someone to buy something. So always ensure your efforts put your product or service in the best possible light, and make sure you create a message that’s compelling to your audience. You can do this through copy, images, placement, or even a hefty deal they can’t walk away from.
  7. Make it eye-catching. You should be striving for eye-catching material. Note that pictures, videos (both live and recorded), GIFs, and other forms of imagery are essential to success. It doesn’t matter how great your copy is if everyone just scrolls right past it.

The rise of social media has made marketers’ jobs easier in some ways, but more difficult in others. Having such large platforms openly available means it’s easy to talk to people who might have never found you before—not to mention how revolutionary social media’s targeting tools are. However, due to the sheer scale and frequency of social media, we need to constantly be on our A-games to even keep up. But follow these seven tips, and you’ll be on the path to social media success!

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Staying On Top Of The Trends

Staying On Top Of The Trends
29Nov

Social media and the internet as a whole have ushered in a time when we can find a practically endless amount of information at our fingertips, and keep up with current events as they happen.

Of course, because of that, social media moves extremely fast. That means social media marketers need to move fast too. When social media marketers promote their brands on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms, they need to keep the NOW in mind when creating content. 

Sometimes, the news is to their advantage, while other situations raise the need for delicacy. In either case, it’s important for marketers to stay on top of the latest news and trends to spot anything that could be relevant to their brand.

Of course, incorporating trending topics is always a great way to boost engagement. Whether it’s #MerryChristmas or #ThrowbackThursday, joining the conversations people are having online can be very helpful. However, keeping your brand relevant isn’t only about spreading good wishes. Sometimes, marketers need to watch the top news stories to learn what NOT to talk about.

A perfect example of this would be when Amazon advertised a bowl decorated with the words “Cereal Killer” on their Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, this update was published right after the Pulse nightclub shootings in Orlando. As you could imagine, the feedback was… not so great. 

It was a case of writing the wrong post at the wrong time—surely a mistake, but it still serves as a lesson to all marketers. We have a responsibility to our readers and brand to steer clear of sore subjects and stay aware of what’s happening in the world.

As many marketers use scheduling tools to stay ahead of the game, we need to keep in mind what we have ready to sent out. If something happens that may put certain content in a negative light, you better “stop the presses.” 

As always, be sure to steer clear of anything political, religious, or controversial, unless you’re ready to start a firestorm online. For some brands, this is the desired outcome. For most, however, it’s best to steer clear of sensitive subjects that could alienate parts of their audience.

While “keep things light” is a nice mantra to stick to, sometimes even the smallest comment could cause problems. If this kind of situation does happen, don’t ignore it. Offer a public apology and see to it that it doesn’t happen again.

As you can see, staying on top of current trends is extremely important for marketers. Not only is it the best way to identify current trends and conversations that your brand could add to, but it’s also how you detect potential threats and avoid them.

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6 Ways To Boost Your Social Media Writing

6 Ways To Boost Your Social Media Writing
15Nov

Ever since the early days of the newspaper, people have studied the power of the headline. Writers carefully selected each word so their paper would pull in readers. Today, social media marketing has evolved this concept. 

Social media updates are, essentially, doing the same thing that newspaper headlines did all that time ago, with a few key differences. While yes, a social media update serves the same purpose as a headline—grabbing someone’s attention and getting them to do something—social media offers far more flexibility than traditional headlines ever did.

Social media updates have a whole new, interactive dimension to them that traditional headlines never did. A social media call to action can prompt readers to do far more than to just keep reading.

Despite these powerful tools, many writers don’t make the most out of their social media posts. Here are six important tips to write stellar social media updates:

People love lists. 

Whether your post is “Top 10 Restaurants in Nashville” or “The 5 Most Important Documents For Estate Planning”, lists are inherently captivating and eye-catching. They are easy to read and get right to the point. On some platforms, like Twitter, lists can be broken up into multiple updates, which helps amplify engagement.

Know your industry terms.

Does your industry have specific terminology? Teach them to the audience! For example, “The Legal Terms You Need To Know!” is an excellent way to spread a wealth of knowledge.

Keep it casual.

Today’s consumers tend to like a casual and conversational tone for marketing. “Check out these…”, “Come see our…” further strengthen your brand’s approachable feel.

Ask questions.

“Could These Foods Help With Alzheimer’s?” Crafting a social media post in the form of a question is always a good way for readers to click and search for the answer.

Powerful vocabulary.

Finally, no matter what way you craft your message, your words need to pack a punch. Don’t waste room on weak words. Instill a sense of urgency and importance.

Utilize every feature.

Many social media platforms allow writers to incorporate polls, links, and other interactive elements into their updates. Don’t let them go to waste! Using every feature available to you on a platform helps break up your content, differentiate it from everything else, and often puts you in the good graces of the algorithm.

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