Posts tagged with “Content Marketing”
By: Alex Buchart
It is projected that in 2015, 93% of job recruiters will screen potential candidates’ social media profiles. That’s right, 93% of job recruiters. This means that almost every job you will apply to, a potential employer will be Googling you to see how you present yourself to the world. Additionally, 69% of potential employers have rejected a potential candidate because of what they saw on a social networking site.
Here is some food for thought, why not use social media to brand yourself as the perfect candidate for the job rather than as a liability? In fact, 68% of potential employers have hired a candidate because of what they saw on a social networking site.
We hear about how businesses try to create their own unique brands all the time, but what about people branding themselves? Ever found an Instagram or Twitter user you love to follow because they have so many interesting things to say? Well, that is an excellent example of someone branding themself to be a social media success.
Let me give you two examples of successful “branders,” so to speak, that I have observed on Instagram.
One of the users I follow, a woman named Kino MacGregor , posts detailed yoga poses for each day accompanied by an inspirational caption. Her captions typically involve a message about how much diligence and hard work it has taken her to reach her level of strength – at times even a decade! With 498,000 followers, I began to analyze her success. It’s not just her ability to put her feet behind her head that is fascinating, it is also her ability to bare her vulnerabilities to her followers that ultimately makes her such an inspirational person to follow. She manages to showcase her talents while reminding her followers that it is continuously striving for success after facing failure that makes you stronger.
The other user I follow is named Courtney Kerr , who uses bright photos and clever captions to capture the interests of her followers. Courtney’s posts are a little more lighthearted, yet she is similar to Kino in that she showcases pieces of herself as well. Typically these pieces are brightly colored jackets and bedazzling jewels, but it is the way she pairs these together that gives her followers a taste for her personality, interests and fears without even truly knowing her. Courtney also uses quotes, moments of sadness as well as joy that give her followers the feeling that she is a real person who has important attributes to show the world.
A few of my takeaways from these Instagram personalities are that in order to brand yourself you must showcase what you love in a clever, tasteful, soul-baring way. These are not just photos of a woman doing yoga on the beach or another posing in a hounds-tooth coat; they are windows into the lives of other people.
I have used these women as inspiration to advertise what I love in a manner of self-expression. In fact, my Instagram is full of dishes I have tried, places I have been and hobbies I love. These past few months I have begun using my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as a complete reflection of my resume. Anything and everything I have put in my resume, I have attempted to showcase in some form on my social media. Not only does this prove to employers you are not lying, but it also serves as a portfolio to show my potential employers what I am capable of.
Social media is a wonderful way to brand yourself as a cooking connoisseur, a culture junkie or even a music enthusiast. Let your social media accounts be another voice that speaks truths about who you are as a person and what you can accomplish. Harness the things you care about and put them out there in a way that show your potential employers what you love too!
By: Jack Evans
The rapid emergence of social media has opened a limitless, digital frontier that gives companies, consumers and friends instant engagement. As a company, implementing an effective social media focus in your marketing strategy will provide an efficient avenue to reach diverse audiences. It is vital to identify your position in the market, what type of content reflects your brand’s voice, and ensure that your company is efficient in the creation of your content. These 3 components make up the core of an effective social media strategy.
Market Positioning- As a company you need to find your place in the market and align your social media engagements accordingly. Generating content that is both socially and brand relevant to your specific audience is essential to attracting positive “buzz” in the digital marketplace. Posting should reflect your brand’s voice, lifestyle and above all else, product. In other words, use a variety of social media forums to persuade your audience that your product is the best, before they even realize they need it.
Content- Your company should focus on creating a strategic blend of posting that is brand relevant and engages your target audience. Show the audience what your brand does, the people your company attracts and the lifestyle your brand promotes. Consumers will ask questions, give shout-outs and post comments at all hours, and it’s vital these engagements are managed with quick responses. You want your audience to not only feel valued, but INVOLVED in your company.
Efficient Generation of Content- Compared to traditional advertising and promotion, social media gives companies freedom to blend authentic and professionally generated content. Because most images are either free or already budgeted in your marketing plan, content generation is simplified and requires little additional cost, if any. Behind the scenes or exclusive photos, imagery that shows brand leaders outside traditional settings, or promoting special company offerings are three simple ways your audience can feel valued and part of your company’s family.
By connecting with the official Instagram of the NFL, you see an example of a highly effective social media strategy that has resulted in over 2 million followers. While in season, this feed is loaded with a diverse posting style that blends authentic images showing scores and stats, on field action shots, and exclusive photos only available on the NFL Instagram. During the offseason we see more lifestyle appeals in posts that reflect social trends, league updates, and a more creative blend of brand relevant fodder that connects a diverse body of followers with the National Football League.
By hiring additional employees or outsourcing responsibilities to a firm specializing in the digital marketplace, your company will see a high return on investment as its reach and messaging platforms grow daily. While you may not see an instantaneous impact in revenue, social media engagements greatly contribute to building relationships within your target market that will drive sales over time. These relationships will grow your brand awareness, cement your location in the market, and result in recurring customers in the long run.
By Tiffany Deluccia
John Mayer wrote a line in his song “Daughters” that sticks in my head.
“She’s just like a maze where all of the walls continually change,” he sings of a girl he just can’t figure out. That’s what social media can feel like: a maze where the walls continually change.
Just last week, Facebook tweaked its News Feed algorithm (again) to prioritize trending breaking news". A few weeks back we learned Facebook had made changes to favor links over images and videos. What? Weren’t we just doing the opposite of that?
At the same time, Twitter, which has always been about sharing links, has begun featuring images prominently in its used-to-be-simple stream.
Tumblr waxes and wanes in popularity. Then a study says" Tumblr users have the highest median household income, and brands rush towards the gold.
Pinterest and Instagram were ad-free. Until they weren’t".
Keeping up is brutal. As a businessperson, it can be easy to get stressed out by all of the changes. You can’t predict what change is coming next, and as these networks monetize, the supposed “control” we once had over our content reaching our audience is ever slipping away.
John Mayer’s song goes on to say, “Now I’m starting to see, maybe it’s got nothing to do with me.”
Take a deep breath.
This constant change is just one reason (not the most strategic reason, but certainly a relevant one) we tend to recommend clients don’t do all the social networks at once. It’s better to know the ones your customers like best inside and out, keep up with their ebb and flow, noting changes and evaluating everything. A one or two-level maze is challenging enough; there isn’t always a compelling reason to make it an eight-decker.
We can also be your ally. We’re here to help you navigate the changing walls and adjust your strategies, campaigns and budgets accordingly so you can continue to listen to the marketplace, engage with your customers and drive your business objectives.
By Megan Grubbs
It’s safe to say that everyone loves a good viral sensation… and that every social media marketer would love to have his or her content go viral, whether a video, an image, even a heart-warming story. The truth, however, is that very little content actually manages that great feat.
Creating viral content is an art form, an arduous, strategic process. So how can you accomplish it? Unfortunately, most content will fail, but take notes from Weird Al Yankovic and his recent viral videos, and you just might succeed:
1. Utilize the best medium for your content and audience. Weird Al’s been in the business for more than three decades, and during that time, has learned to design his music and videos to reach fans in the most effective way possible, whether via MTV in the 1980s or on YouTube and around the internet today. Know where your specific audience is and what they want, and you’re heading in the right direction.
2. Humorous parodies are often the way to success, a fact Weird Al has acknowledged throughout his career, with hits like "Fat” and “Amish Paradise.” Recent YouTube sensations like “Do You Wanna Go to Starbucks?” and “I’m So Pregnant” have captured millions of views and shares because of their clever interpretations of already popular media. Capitalize on trending topics, and you’ll increase your shareability.
3. Try and try and try again. Every marketer has experienced it at some point: a timely, clever piece of content you just know will go viral falls flat online. Gather insights as to why your content failed and move on. Fourteen albums and 35-years later, Weird Al has nabbed the No. 1 spot for the first time ever with his new album, “Mandatory Fun.” If that’s not a testament to perseverance, I don’t know what is.
I find most people immediately discount social media as a B2B marketing channel. While on the surface, that may feel intuitive, this philosophy in practice could cause you to miss out on opportunities to build relationships, nurture leads and market successfully. There is a personal component to B2B relationships.
A 2013 Gallup study found only 20% of B2B customers are actively engaged customers. The overall takeaway from the study can be summed up in the headline of the published article:
B2Bs Win by Building Relationships, Not Selling on Price
If that’s the case, social media can work with a strategic approach.
The most important thing before starting any social media campaign is to research which channels you should be on. If you’re a small B2B company, I’d begin that research by talking to current clients about what social media platforms they use and for what purposes. This will be less about the accounts their businesses use for marketing and more about what the decision-makers personally use. Is LinkedIn their first stop for business news and updates in the morning? Are they fanatical about following Twitter trends? Find out how the people you want to reach are using social media.
Second, figure out your content goals. What kinds of messages are you hoping to communicate to decision-makers at the businesses you target? What assets do you already have that you could repurpose online?
Third, plan your content strategy. This marries up the first two points. Once you know the kinds of platforms your target audience uses, plan to communicate your key messages in ways that make sense on those social media sites. If they are mostly using LinkedIn, longer-form blog posts, white papers and infographics could be good tools for communicating your messages. If YouTube, perhaps you could capitalize on the great personality of one of your salespersons and try something like what Moz – a search engine optimization company – does with its Whiteboard Friday series of videos about SEO.
Twitter has also introduced a special kind of tweet through its advertising platform called Lead Generation Cards that can actually help you capture names and email addresses of people who are interested in your offers directly from tweets you send out. I’ve found them to be very simple to use and, astonishingly, they are free!
So, take some time to thoughtfully consider social media as a B2B marketing tool before you write it off. And if you want some examples of B2B companies using social well, check out this Social Media Today article from earlier this year.
By Alex Buchart
Content marketing is a big buzzword these days, with everyone trying to figure out how to get his or her content to go “viral” overnight. The cold truth, according to Rand Fishkin of Moz.com, is that only .01% of content will go “viral,” while about 90-95% of content will fail. So how do you beat these numbers? How do you create blog content people love to read about and share?
Here are a few of my observations:
First off, a lot of big companies don’t do it right. Ever seen your favorite superstore try its hand at a blog post? It almost seems like a giant, forced advertisement that you exit in about 30 seconds. There are ads all over the place constantly trying to goad you into buying a product that will “make your summer great!” It simply seems like a lot of big name brands’ blogs are just a waste of time. So what do successful blog pages look like?
Well, successful pages have very few advertisements, if any. The blogger typically has content that is intriguing, highly useful and entertaining. Great visuals are also essential to helping your blog be successful. Tutorials or how-tos for things your target audience cares about can work well to build a readership base and keep your brand at the top of your readers’ minds.
For instance, I once stumbled across a Lauren Conrad blog post on juice cleanses. I wasn’t sold on the idea initially, but once my roommate started talking about doing one together, I immediately remembered Lauren Conrad’s post and read my roommate tips on how to do one.
The blog post took on an authentic tone, citing each step of her journey with no plugs for specific juices. Before I knew it, I was a regular visitor of her blog because she not only won over my interest with her perspicacity for health, but beauty, fitness and style. After a while I began looking through her posts and without realizing it, I was already considering buying her products because I felt her tone was always so genuine.
So what’s the most important thing to remember about blogging? Keep an authentic tone. If you are trying to sell something to your followers they will recognize it! Do not assume people are idiots. In order to be successful - and yes it may take time but don’t give up - you need to develop an authentic tone. If your readers develop trust in both your writing and your blog, you will develop a network that will surprise you.
Content marketing and brand journalism are definitely the buzzwords of the year for those of us who track these kinds of things. (And in case you’re wondering, “selfie” and “twerk” don’t make the list, no matter what the Oxford English Dictionary says…)
If you’re getting acquainted with the concept, here are three things you should know:
1) It’s not complicated.
Throw out the phrase “content marketing” at a party and someone’s bound to think you’re a trendsetter. But the truth? The concept is incredibly simple—and not so different from a lot of traditional communication methods. Think of it as your company newsletter on steroids. And more fun.
It comes down to this: Content marketing/brand journalism is about creating regular, interesting, share-worthy content your audience would want to read.
Start here: What stories do you enjoy reading? What are they like? What stories does your brand have to tell? What big picture stories is your brand a part of?
2) Without it, your social media program is probably worthless.
You don’t need a social media strategy before you have a solid communication strategy. In fact, social media is pretty tough to pull off without a content strategy. You won’t have anything to say. Have you ever stared blankly at the Facebook box that says “What’s on your mind?” wondering what you should say on behalf of your brand?
Social media is no place to start. You must begin at the beginning: With something great to say, show or share.
3) It’s more measureable than traditional PR.
The better your content, the more you fine-tune it and find out what your audience wants to read, the more people you will attract and the better shot you have at influencing the KPI’s you need to influence.
You don’t want your content to be overtly trying to sell something. (Would you want to read that stuff?) But you can add features to your website that will allow you to see how your editorial content influences things like sales, sign-ups, leads and more.
These direct marketing techniques paired with your content strategy can produce hard data that shows what your efforts are achieving.