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4 Strategies Every Marketing Leader should be Using in 2017

marketing-leaders-2017
The very face of marketing is changing consistently, even more so in today’s world. You have to stay on top of the latest trends and topics so that you can compete – because if you aren’t, then you are falling behind. In fact, you should dedicate at least a few hours every week to reading over marketing materials and new ideas. If you put it off until the end of a quarter or a specific day of every month, you will quickly fall behind.

marketing-strategy

For 2017, try some of these marketing strategies:

1) Get Influencers Involved

Influencers are the best source of traffic in the marketing world today. To use them effectively, you have to find someone that aligns themselves with your ideas and has a following that could use your product. For example, sure a big-name basketball star might have a lot of followers, but you don’t want to use him to market a make-up brand. Or just because a comedian has a lot of followers on your targeted audience, some of their humor might turn off customers that you already have. You have to be able to weigh the pros and cons of using an influencer.
Note that it can get pricey to use these influencers as well. The best way is to strike up a deal that works for both parties.

2) Remember That People Have Short Attention Spans

People aren’t going to sit through a twenty-minute video explaining what it is your product does. Sure, those videos have a space, and you should continue to make them. However, you should also make shorter, bite-size pieces of information that people can watch or read in under a minute. You just need to give them enough to whet their appetites for more.
Much of what you push forward in your marketing campaigns needs to be about the people with short attention spans. They will.

3) Focus on Mobile Users

Most importantly, you have to think about your mobile audience. People aren’t performing searches on their desktop computer or their laptop computers anymore. Instead, they are using their phones and Siri to get all of their information. Do some research on the top movers and shakers in your field and find out how their website looks on a mobile device – then look at yours. How do they compare?

Make sure that your text is easily readable on phones, your images aren’t cut-off, and when someone scrolls down your website, they aren’t accidentally touching things with their thumbs. Other things to think about include load times, randomly playing videos, information boxes, and navigation.

4) Get Better Social Media Teams

Social media is one of the most profitable marketing tools companies have today, and they don’t use it correctly. Look at all of the tips above and then look at your social media strategy – does it fall in line? If your target audience is under the age of 35, especially if they are in the age range between 15-30, you have to have your social media skills mastered, and they can tell the difference when you don’t.

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Is It Time to Hire a Social Media Manager?

Hire people who know how to talk to other people online, who know the terms and the ways those platforms operate. It’s important to have someone who understands hashtags, SnapChat, gifs, and especially Memes because they are going to be thrown at you a lot. If you don’t understand them, you can become a laughingstock pretty quickly. If you don’t have the time to understand the current language of social media, maybe it’s time to hire someone that does.

Overall, a little extra attention to your digital marketing strategy will make a huge change in your profitability. You will find that it can even change the outlook on your business. Make sure to read up and reach out to people who can help you with all of the strategies listed above. Remember that there is nothing too bad about having a boring campaign, but a lot can go wrong if you try a new marketing campaign without knowing what you are doing. If you need help building a new marketing campaign that will meet your targeted audience, consider reaching out to Media-Shark.


tomTom Blake is a digital marketing guru at Media Shark digital agency, and all round entrepreneur. Running his own businesses since the age of 20 he’s work has seen him travel the world living in various countries. Now heading up Media Shark in the sunny Gold Coast of Australia. He’s passion lies in helping people with online marketing and providing technical SEO and digital strategies with one goal ROI.

 

How to Use Instagram and Snapchat Stories to Build Your Brand

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We’ve long known a single picture is worth a thousand words, but how many pictures does a whole story involve? If you have spent any amount of time on Instagram or Snapchat in the last year or two, you might already know the answer.

Companies of all sizes and statures have long recognized the value of image-rich marketing, using color to evoke emotion, infographics to simplify complex ideas, and shapes to highlight particular qualities and meanings. Brands create and utilize images to mold their persona, sharing their brand story by giving a peek at the people and purpose behind the logo.

And for some, there’s no easier way to showcase those eye-catching elements than on visual-emphatic social outlets like Instagram and Snapchat, the image-based platforms whose entire existence relies on posting optically appealing elements to engage their viewers.

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But as much power as a single image can yield, a thousand words at a time ceased to suffice when Snapchat’s Stories feature – and later Instagram Stories – rolled out and installed a new era of social storytelling. Pioneering features like ephemeral content has forced marketers to craft stronger, more efficient, more engaging stories within the images they post.

With a 24-hour expiration date stamped on every Story, there’s only one place a Story can survive – in the viewer’s memory, but only if it’s worth remembering.

A Magnified Look at Social Media Storytelling

A Cultural Expectation

Storytelling has existed as long as human language, serving to share experiences and information, and eventually cementing its place as a cultural norm. Some stories we share today, such as fairy tales and urban legends, are ones that have evolved through centuries of retellings and embellishments, changing names, places, and happy endings to fit our purposes. And just as humans did centuries ago, we continue to tell stories to inform, engage, entertain, and inspire, only now those stories do not always come in the form of a book or oral recitation.

Brand storytelling isn’t about cherry-picking stock photos or copying the successes of others. To be effective, every story shared must epitomize the brand identity, rising above competing brands and images to engage, enlighten, and inspire the viewer to either take action or seek more information. These stories serve as a chance for brands to momentarily halt their advertising barrage and give their audience a transparent glimpse into the beating heart of the company.

Brands have become as big a part of our culture as the products they represent, from music to clothing to food to social media and beyond. Some of the most successful brands have integrated themselves so deeply in our society not through their products and services, but via a storytelling strategy that speaks to us on a culturally important level.

The Cash Value of a Brand Story

As transparent and genuine as brand stories need to be, there is no hard and fast rule to deter your story from becoming your Call to Action. You simply need to know how to craft a story that warrants an action.

Consider the following:

  • What do my customers need from me?
  • How can I connect with my customers on an emotional level?
  • What drives my customers to make a buying decision?
  • What honest elements can I add to my story that can help influence a decision?

Let’s look at Coca Cola’s 2014 Share a Coke campaign:

coca-cola

As one of the world’s most iconic brands, the company stayed true to its universal roots by featuring individual names on its bottles and cans, which sent millions of soda drinkers on a scavenger hunt to find the beverage that “belonged” to them. But as obvious as this was a marketing campaign, it was also less obviously a reflection of how people provide the beating heart behind the brand.

In this case, Coca-Cola shared a story about sharing a coke and earned a 2.5% increase in sales from the same 12-week period the previous year. Also, Coca-Cola benefited from an 870% increase in social media traffic, 18 million+ media impressions, and a 7% increase in consumption, among other perks.

A Purpose in Social Media

As digital marketing trends continued to shift to the social sphere, both Snapchat and Instagram rose to the call of an increased need for solid social media storytelling that doesn’t only provide an opportunity for engagement but encourages it. Thus, Stories emerged on each platform to give brands and viewers alike a different, more organized approach to interacting with each other.

Keep in mind, storytelling is not synonymous with story-selling. It’s not just an outlet to promote your good deeds and wild successes to gain positive PR. Storytelling has always been about how we relate to others and the ways we share and understand experiences. Build your social stories around what your users care about, and show them how you understand their needs, likes, and interests.

Truthfully, brands have become so adept at crafting original images and click-worthy content that it often begs the viewer to question its authenticity. But Stories can – and do – change that notion by not featuring your carefully constructed material, but your in-the-moment highlights. And those are the instances that tell the most genuine, unevolved version of your brand story.

A Bird’s Eye View of Snapchat and Instagram

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Say good-bye to the self-destructing snap – if you want to. With Stories, users can look at photos as often as they like until the 24-hour timer dings.

Think of it as a well-honed twist on a traditional photo album: users can post photos or videos in Stories, and others can view those posts anytime while they are still live. This gives viewers a play-by-play of what the user has been up to within a day’s span, but without any content taking a deep dive in their rolling newsfeed. Once a post hits the 24-hour mark, it’s gone forever.

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Posting to Stories throughout a given day creates a unique narrative for the viewer that details what a day in the life looks like for your brand. It also avoids the one-view-only stipulation that formally ruled Snapchat and lets your image’s legacy live a little longer to create a bigger impact. This gives each of your Snapchat Stories a full 24 hours to inspire and engage before time runs out and something new takes its place. If creativity is ever necessary, it’s here and now.

Instagram

The first photo-sharing social platform lifted a page from the Snapchat playbook and implemented their form of Stories.

Similar in form and function to that of Snapchat, Instagram embodies one of the most important elements of telling and sharing stories – the personal aspect. By eliminating public likes and comments to posts shared in Stories, users are encouraged to reach out via private message on Instagram Direct. This gives brands a clear invitation to respond and engage by forging a direct connection with its fans.

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How to Choose The Right One for Your Brand

If you find yourself unable to differentiate between Snapchat and Instagram Stories, you aren’t alone. The resemblance between the two is nothing short of striking:

  • Posts disappear within 24 hours
  • Ability to add doodles, filters, and emojis
  • Similar privacy settings
  • Viewers can initiate one-on-one Conversation
  • Users can post photos and videos
  • Brands use them for similar purposes

Even so, the two can’t be described as identical. Snapchat trumps Instagram with its filters, face mapping, and reverse motion filters, while Instagram beats Snapchat on hashtag functionality within the app and easier navigation through Stories. Also, each app emphasizes Stories in different extremes, with Instagram prioritizing Stories as the top level idea, as opposed to a second rate feature on Snapchat, and are definitely tools all social media marketing companies should be using.

Given the massive similarities and scant differences, which one makes the best solution for your brand?

There is no single right answer. If there were, either Instagram or Snapchat would cease to exist. But whether you are considering a transition from one platform to the other, or are making the first leap into a social media strategy, there are a few things you should consider before clicking the Sign-Up button:

  • What platform does the majority of my target audience use? Don’t worry about which platform has the most users – find out which one can put your brand in front of the right users.
  • What kind of results do I get on my current platform? If you are already active on either Instagram or Snapchat and are thinking of jumping ship because you are not currently getting the results you expect, consider tweaking what you are already doing before you completely abandon your efforts.
  • Do I have the resources and necessity to manage a presence on both Instagram and Snapchat? Some brands can sacrifice the money and manpower to manage multiple social media accounts. But even if you do have the time, funds, and people to manage both platforms, make sure the results warrant the extra resources you’re forking out.
  • Which platform does my competition use? Copying the competition does not always give you the same results as your competitors, but it could be a good indication that they have found their target audience on their current social channel, which means you can, too.

Once you make your choice, be consistent in sharing your stories by keeping your result in focus. Remember, storytelling is about understanding and connecting with your audience, so quality – not quantity – should win every time. Now that’s a story with a happy ending.


benBen Shepardson has been creating and managing websites and web content since the early aughts. From the early wild days of SEO to today’s demand for fully-researched content that users crave, he’s dealt with it all. His latest project is NoStop Content, a provider of original, top-notch written content for business owners and media agencies.

Social Media Brand Meltdown

Social Media Marketing Gone Wrong!

As many of you may have seen or read online already, “Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro” in Scottsdale, Arizona, suffered a publicity meltdown like none other when the owners took to their Facebook account.

The owners were featured on a recent episode on FOX’s Kitchen Nightmares where celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey visits struggling businesses to turn them around. After he dumped them on the show for being too difficult to work with, the owners Samy and Amy Bouzaglo decided they were going to sign onto their Facebook account to respond to criticism from online users. The results were not pretty!

In a profanity laced rant, the owners seemingly added fuel to the fire for anyone reading, and the news has spread like wildfire. Read this Buzzfeed article for a more detailed account and summary.

Internet Marketing Done Right

This brings up two valuable lessons. Social Media is an incredibly valuable tool to use to communicate your message to the masses, and your online reputation can spin out of control in minutes. Social Media Marketing and Reputation Management are critical components to a successful Internet Marketing campaign. We work with companies across many industries, distributing marketing messages on their behalf, posting reviews and testimonials from their clients, and staying active with their client base.

Let us show you how we can help your business by handling your Internet Marketing, regardless what the needs may be.