Tag: Marketing

How to Tell Empathetic Stories with Mid-Funnel Messaging

The term “funnel” has been an integral part of marketing lexicon for decades, serving as a strong gauge of consumer interest. While traditionally strategies have favored the top portion of the buyer journey — emphasizing tangible offers and rewards as simple ways to attract attention and drive conversions — social media and mobile have added noticeable pressure to such practices. As a result, today’s content marketers are forced to reevaluate their approach and think beyond commoditized offers in order to compete.

Register for your pass at 10% off and save $250!

During #SMWNYC, Chris Marino, Director, Digital Media Acquisition at American Express, will share insights into how the company is a living, breathing example of a group facing this precise challenge and how they’ve shifted the perception of their brand as more than credit cards by looking to the middle portion of the buyer experience. Pointing to a recent campaign, he’ll describe ways to unlock mid-funnel messaging to deliver empathetic stories that resonate across a multitude of complimentary channels.

Other brands to look out for at the conference weighing in on the evolution of storytelling discussion include Campbell Snacks, T-Mobile, Adobe, Salesforce, Diageo, Under Armour and IBM.

There’s still time to join these speakers and many more in New York this spring (April 30-May 2, at the Sheraton New York Times Square) at 10% off the walkup price– so act fast, and look toward a future of empathetic stories with us!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

The post How to Tell Empathetic Stories with Mid-Funnel Messaging appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/how-to-tell-empathetic-stories-with-mid-funnel-messaging/

How to Tell Empathetic Stories with Mid-Funnel Messaging

The term “funnel” has been an integral part of marketing lexicon for decades, serving as a strong gauge of consumer interest. While traditionally strategies have favored the top portion of the buyer journey — emphasizing tangible offers and rewards as simple ways to attract attention and drive conversions — social media and mobile have added noticeable pressure to such practices. As a result, today’s content marketers are forced to reevaluate their approach and think beyond commoditized offers in order to compete.

Register for your pass at 10% off and save $250!

During #SMWNYC, Chris Marino, Director, Digital Media Acquisition at American Express, will share insights into how the company is a living, breathing example of a group facing this precise challenge and how they’ve shifted the perception of their brand as more than credit cards by looking to the middle portion of the buyer experience. Pointing to a recent campaign, he’ll describe ways to unlock mid-funnel messaging to deliver empathetic stories that resonate across a multitude of complimentary channels.

Other brands to look out for at the conference weighing in on the evolution of storytelling discussion include Campbell Snacks, T-Mobile, Adobe, Salesforce, Diageo, Under Armour and IBM.

There’s still time to join these speakers and many more in New York this spring (April 30-May 2, at the Sheraton New York Times Square) at 10% off the walkup price– so act fast, and look toward a future of empathetic stories with us!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

The post How to Tell Empathetic Stories with Mid-Funnel Messaging appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/how-to-tell-empathetic-stories-with-mid-funnel-messaging/

How to Use Split Tests on Facebook to Find Your Target Audience

With approximately 2.23 billion people logging on to Facebook every month, the social networking service has definitely secured its place in the ecommerce industry as the top platform for both B2B and B2C businesses.

But with over 80 million small- to medium- business pages vying for the coveted Facebook user’s attention, how do you optimize your ads for your marketing objective (whether it be for brand awareness, views, traffic, lead generation, engagement or conversion) and at the same time, make sure you get your money’s worth?

Thankfully, you won’t have to aimlessly conduct trial and error experiments. Facebook’s Split Testing tool enables you to test your campaign by setting a defined budget and duration and then choosing any of five vital ad elements (more on this later) to find out which is most effective.

So how does this Facebook feature actually work? Continue reading on, but before you get too excited, below are five no-nos when conducting a Facebook Split Test:

  1. Don’t go blind: You can’t conduct split tests based on gut-feel. Make use of the insights and analytics tools Facebook provides to help you tailor fit your test design.
  2. Don’t go too big: You can’t be overly-ambitious. While it may be tempting to assume that you can potentially reach Facebook’s billion-people population… Let’s be realistic, you can’t. It’s not like you have an unlimited budget to spend, and nor is your product or service for everyone too.
  3. Don’t be stingy and impatient: Reliable results can only be generated if you spend enough (if you have no clue, the tool provides an ideal figure) on the campaign and let an ad run for at least four days. As well, don’t be tempted to cancel an ad if it’s doing poorly.
  4. Don’t major in minors: While testing which design elements and ad copy your audience engages with the most is a good strategy, you shouldn’t waste precious ad spending on a test that will simply determine which font type or background color works best. Choose a vital element such as the ad headline copy, image, or video to differentiate. Then try to strike a balance between variation and similarity, as shown in the example below that tries to work out which is better—a text only ad or an add with an image.
  5. Don’t disregard optimizing for multiple devices: 95.1% of active Facebook users access the social media platform via their smartphone. In the same way that mobile app testing is conducted to make sure a developed application works seamlessly across different devices and operating systems, the same needs to be done with your adverts. You may create your ads on a desktop computer, but make sure the designs are responsive when viewed in multiple devices with varied display sizes.

Source: Jeff Bullas

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Facebook Split Test to Determine Your Best Target Audience

Now that you know what not to do when creating a Facebook split test, below is a rundown on how you can make the most out of this innovative tool that will help you strategize for meaningful and engaging Facebook content.

1. Setting up your campaign and choosing your ad objective

Once you decide to conduct a test, the first step is to Create a campaign in your Facebook Ad Manager. This is button 2 in the photo below.

Source: AdEspresso

Then, you will be prompted to Choose your objective. Your Facebook ad can either be for awareness, consideration or conversion as shown in the possible options below.

Source: AdEspresso

2. Turning on the Split Test feature

After choosing your desired objective, you can now tick the Create Split Test box. Note that the feature has to be enabled in advance and cannot be simply activated for already ongoing campaigns, unless you edit your ad set (which will interrupt the current campaign).

Source: Social Media Examiner

3. Selecting the variable

There are five variables to choose from when testing out your campaign, each addressing a crucial question in Facebook content creation:

  • Creative: Which design elements work best?
  • Audience: Which specific audience engages with your ad the most?
  • Optimization event: Which ad delivery method will help you achieve your campaign goal?
  • Placement: Where should your ads be shown?
  • Product set: Which inventory items does your audience engage with the most?

Keep in mind that these variables can only be tested one at a time. For this guide, we will be focusing on choosing the appropriate target audience.

Source: Social Media Examiner

4. Making Your Ad Sets

With your campaign basics set-up, you can now create your ad set that will prompt you to choose each set’s corresponding audience (more on this later) and budget, schedule as elaborated in the next step. A maximum of five ad sets can be created and tested against each other.

Source: Business2Community

5. Determining the budget and schedule

If you are new to Facebook advertising, the social media platform makes it easy by setting a default minimum and ideal budget for each ad set you are testing for. The budget can either be split evenly or weighted.

As for scheduling, Facebook recommends a minimum of four days and a maximum of 14 (if you have budget to spare) to get valid results. Remember, scheduling isn’t just about the campaign duration, but also choosing the best time for the post to go live.

Source: Social Media Examiner

6. Zeroing in on your Target Audience

Split testing to determine the most suitable target audience can be done by specifying which group of users will see each ad set, and then customizing other demographic information such as location, age, gender, languages, interests and behavior.

Source: Social Media Examiner

If you have not created a custom audience yet, you can do so based on the different types of users who have already engaged with your page.

Source: Social Media Examiner

You can also choose to generate a lookalike audience based on the demographic of those that have interacted with your enterprise. Take time to understand how customizing and retargeting your audience works.

After you have differentiated the audiences for your ad sets, you should be able to view your Split test summary.

Source: Social Media Examiner

7. Designing Your Ad

After setting up the parameters for your audience split test, now comes the fun part of creating your ad. Facebook has five different layouts (carousel, single image, single video, or canvas) to choose from that features different ways of combining text, image and videos.

Source: Buffer

After making a selection, you can now upload your image and fill in the copy such as in the example below. Then, repeat the process depending on how many ad sets you will be creating.

Source: Buffer

Keep in mind that since you are split testing for the audience variable, other ad elements must be identical or have minimal differences only as exhibited in the example below that had identical copy but modified images.

Source: Business2Community

8. Narrowing Down the Audience Split Test Feature to Target by Key Traffic Type

Your Facebook page traffic can be narrowed down into three types—cold, warm and hot:

    • Cold traffic – users that have zero knowledge or interaction with your brand
    • Warm traffic – users that have heard of you brand and have interacted with your page but have not been converted in buying your product or service
    • Hot traffic – users that have recently purchased from your business and can be encouraged to buy again (upsell) or those that have been converted before and now need reminding (re-engagement)

Attracting cold traffic primarily involves creating ads for awareness by providing content in the form of blog posts, surveys, guides or reports that is relevant to your enterprise’s industry as displayed in the example below. Split testing at this first stage in the conversion funnel usually entails setting up lookalike audiences and experimenting with creative, optimization or placement elements.

Source: Business2Community

On the other hand, testing engagement of warm and hot traffic can be further narrowed down to see which segment will respond best to your goal. For example, if you want to know which ad will drive the most webpage visits, choose traffic as your campaign objective.

Source: Social Media Examiner

Then, set the Audience variable of your ad sets by choosing from any of the readily available Custom Audience category types Facebook provides (as shown in Step 5) or even compare with a specific warm audience that has interacted with a video you have posted.

Source: Social Media Examiner

Custom audiences can reflect users at whatever stage they are at in the sales funnel. By using this split testing feature, you can optimize your ads for each audience segment to ultimately lead the audience from awareness to conversion.

9. Assessing your results and what to do next

Once your campaign duration is over, you will receive a notification and an email of the results. The best performing ad set is determined by the advert that yielded the highest result at the lowest cost possible. Other aspects included in the outcome summary are:

  • The number of times your ad accomplished the intended goal of the campaign
  • The average cost per achieved result
  • The total amount of money spent for the split testing exercise

The results can either equip you with better insights for your next campaign, or you can choose to adopt or renew the winning advert. Facebook provides a confidence level percentage so you can be assured that you will most likely get the similar desired outcome. The general rule of thumb of a clear an actionable result is a confidence level of at least 75%.

Conclusion

Facebook’s Split Testing feature allows you systematically test a variety of integral ad components through an isolated approach to see what blend works best for your target audience. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be disheartened if an ad you run does poorly. Making these kinds of “mistakes” are not a waste of money. Learning what doesn’t work is a worthwhile investment as well.

Now, it’s time to put new learning into practice. Head over to your Facebook Ads Manager, up your game by using other ad tools and management platforms, and create those split tests!

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The post How to Use Split Tests on Facebook to Find Your Target Audience appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/how-to-use-split-tests-on-facebook-to-find-your-target-audience/

King of Marketing WordPress Blog from MA Consultancy

10x’ing my business by helping others to 10x theirs with Sales & Marketing Strategies & Services…

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https://mikearmstrongnews.wordpress.com/2019/03/10/king-of-marketing-wordpress-blog-from-ma-consultancy/

8 Social Media Design Tips – Infographic…

8 Social Media Design Tips – Infographic…

https://matrainingwales.wordpress.com/2019/02/03/8-social-media-design-tips-infographic/
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https://mikearmstrongnews.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/8-social-media-design-tips-infographic/

8 Social Media Design Tips – Infographic…

8 Social Media Design Tips – Infographic…

https://matrainingwales.wordpress.com/2019/02/03/8-social-media-design-tips-infographic/
— Read on matrainingwales.wordpress.com/2019/02/03/8-social-media-design-tips-infographic/

https://mikearmstrongnews.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/8-social-media-design-tips-infographic/

5 Ways Gen Z Has Changed Social Media (and How Brands Have Taken Notice)

With over 61 million people in the United States alone, Generation Z is poised to bring about some significant changes. Indeed, CNBC’s Chris Morris covered how those born after 1996 are already changing the workplace and other aspects of day-to-day life.

Because members of Gen Z have grown up in the digital age, they are more comfortable with it than older generations — and as a result, they are also more inclined to influence and reshape it.

Anyone hoping to succeed in social media should be especially mindful of how Gen Z has already had an impact. Here’s a closer look at some of the ways Gen Z is changing the social media landscape, as well as how some brands have taken notice:

1. Channel Hopping

Unlike other groups, Gen Z isn’t always going to stay on the same social media platform for hours on end. As AdWeek’s Brittany Hodak explains, “Gen Z tends to find new products on Instagram, with 45 percent using it for brand discovery. They then turn to YouTube for product research at twice the rate that their millennial brothers and sisters do. Once Gen Z decides to make a purchase, many head into brick-and-mortar stores, where they’re more likely than any other generation to share their shopping experiences on Snapchat.”

This doesn’t just require that brands have a strong presence across several different social media channels — it also means that companies need to find ways to deliver smaller, bite-size pieces of content, such as by using shorter video pre-roll ads.

“If there is one thing Gen Z values most, it’s time,” writes Gen Z influencer and marketing expert Connor Blakley. “The best brands leverage new technology to provide customers with an added layer of functionality and convenience.”

2. The Rise of Digital ‘Third Places’

Third places” have long been viewed as important elements of building community—the places where we spend our time when we aren’t at home or at work. While third places have traditionally been physical locations like malls or coffee shops, Gen Z is leading a trend that sees digital software becoming its own third place.

One need only look at the wild success of Fortnite to see that digital spaces can become a legitimate third place. Other brands are also seeking to establish themselves in this same way.

For example, the app Squad lets users screen share from their smartphones — perfect for browsing apps together, watching videos or even collaborating on school projects when users aren’t in the same physical location. The app has already seen notable success among teen girls, thanks to its ability to create a digital hangout space.

3. The Power of Internet Influencers

Though athletes and pop stars still gain lots of headlines, Gen Z is far more likely to be influenced by social media celebrities. This could include anyone from fashion bloggers to Instagram travel photographers.

These mini-celebrities often have followers numbering in the thousands, rather than millions. But because they form closer connections with their niche audience, they are often viewed as more trustworthy and engaging when involved in marketing partnerships.

For example, Fiji Water partnered with fashion blogger Danielle Bernstein to create a series of workout videos, linking the influencer’s fitness and style credentials with the brand. Such partnerships will prove even more essential in communicating brand values to Gen Z — 57 percent have made purchases based on online influencer promotions.

4. Seeking Content First

Though connecting with friends through social media is still important for Gen Z, surveys have found that they are far more likely than other groups to use social media “to fill up spare time” or “to find funny or entertaining content.”

The phrase “content is king” may feel like it has been overused in recent years, but Gen Z’s social media habits prove that providing great content is crucial to connecting with this audience. Gen Z isn’t going to appreciate intrusive ads that disrupt their entertainment experience. However, brands that provide quality entertainment in their own right can quickly build a huge following of their own.

Red Bull’s YouTube channel doesn’t simply pump out ads for its drinks …

Instead, it focuses on lifestyle videos built around the extreme sports community. With over 8 million subscribers, it is clear that a content-first, rather than marketing-first approach will yield superior engagement.

5. Visual Content Dominates

Gen Z seeks visual content more than anything else when online, and their preferred social media networks are a clear reflection of this. A 2018 Pew Research Center study found that YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are by far the most popular platforms for teens. In comparison, only about half of teens use Facebook, while less than one-third use Twitter.

The key commonality between the most popular social media platforms is their visual-first function. Videos and photos are more engaging and easier to consume, especially when viewed on a smartphone.

As Gen Z entrepreneur Deep Patel writes, “This opens the door for brands to share more human stories of their own, which will inspire audiences to try out their product. Storytelling feels real, immediate and personal, but it also demands a mix of more time-intensive video, images and graphics, and requires brands to be more creative and thoughtful in the intent.”

Incorporating your brand’s core messaging into visual content will make it much more likely to stand out and appeal to the younger generation.

By 2020, it is expected that Gen Z “will account for 40 percent of all consumers and influence nearly $4 billion in discretionary spending.” Savvy brands understand the importance of adapting to the changes Gen Z is bringing now so they will be better poised for success in the years ahead.

As you learn to leverage social media in a way that appeals to Gen Z, your brand will be far better positioned in our increasingly digital world.

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The post 5 Ways Gen Z Has Changed Social Media (and How Brands Have Taken Notice) appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/5-ways-gen-z-has-changed-social-media-and-how-brands-have-taken-notice/

The Puzzle of Social Content Moderation and How to Manage It

Social media moderators and community managers serve as the custodians of a brand’s reputation…but as any comments section will demonstrate, they may face varying levels of backlash from users in the process. And while Casey Newton’s in-depth report on the horrors of Facebook’s content moderation firms might seem a world away from the work they do each day, it’s not as far as we might think. It’s time to start thinking about how to help these folks avoid their own horrors.

Why worry about this if the platforms themselves have their own moderators? Although moderators for Facebook and other platforms are drastically reducing the number of objectionable posts users see, there are a number of categories of posts that might meet the Terms of Service for a site but may otherwise be distressing or unpleasant to see repeatedly.

What’s more, even exposure to low-grade negativity (look below any brand’s Instagram post and you’ll see at least five unsolicited complaints about service) can rewire the brain– including the hippocampus, the section of the brain responsible for problem solving and intelligent, rational thought. Suffice it to say: you want that capacity intact in the people who represent your brand online!

So what can be done to reduce the impact of this sort of work? Many elements of it are unavoidable—given that 72% of consumers expect a response to a complaint posted on Twitter within the hour, those types of posts won’t go away anytime soon—but their lasting negative impact doesn’t have to be.

Acknowledge the challenging nature of the work

Unintentionally or not, the plight of community managers and social media managers are often minimized in conversation. Time and again, missteps by these folks are attributed to interns or other unskilled workers- implying that their work can be done easily or without much thought. Maintaining this falsehood is what’s contributing to the rise of AI as a “solution” to these challenges. But Data and Society researcher Robyn Caplan identified a major challenge in handing over this work to machines: “the problem with trying to get machines to understand this sort of content, is that it is essentially asking them to understand human culture- a phenomenon too fluid and subtle to be described in simple, machine readable rules.”

Social media managers and community managers are doing intricate and skilled work, reliant upon their judgment and a keen understanding of the brand’s identity and voice. The sooner we acknowledge and affirm that fact, the better they’ll feel as they embark upon the occasional abyss that the internet has become.

Offer breaks

Among the most egregious horrors of the Facebook farms was the “time on task” expected of moderators, even in the wake of seeing traumatic content. “Wellness breaks” were reportedly nine minutes in length, and other breaks were limited to 30 minutes. When these breaks were taken, time away from desks was logged electronically.

But in the world your moderators and social staff live in, more breathing room can be provided- both to facilitate ideation for good content, and to create psychological distance from any challenging or unpleasant information. This should apply to breaks taken over the course of a day, as well as the perceived freedom to take vacation for longer restorative breaks. The time away will ensure their patience, sharpness, and creativity- all qualities we should value in these roles.

Publicize coping options

Even when precautions are taken, negative effects may still take hold. Particularly at peak times around a launch or a publicity crisis, protection from the “tough stuff” may be unavoidable. It’s in these moments that people should know the options they have to cope with the nature of their work. What options are covered by employee health insurance? What programs or offerings can be brought to the office? And how can these options be publicized year-round, rather than at times when stress is most evident or common?

If difficult conditions are a necessary part of the work, it stands to reason that helping to keep these employees restored and at peak capacity should be a key part of the workplace as well. If help is needed, it should be simple to find and non-stigmatizing to take advantage of. By doing so, you create an environment where people can easily and effectively do their best work.

Of the fraught relationship between content moderators and the content that crosses their screens day in and day out, The Verge’s James Vincent said, “the humans tasked with cleaning up the internet’s mess are miserable, and the humans creating that mess aren’t much better off.” And while your social media managers and community managers may not have yet descended to the level of “miserable,” that plight can be avoided. These measures, and others designed to acknowledge their challenging but necessary work, can help.

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The post The Puzzle of Social Content Moderation and How to Manage It appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/the-puzzle-of-social-content-moderation-and-how-to-manage-it/

Mobile Has Collapsed the Marketing Funnel: Here’s How To Capitalize On This Trend

For decades (or centuries, depending on who you ask) marketers have relied upon “the funnel” as a mechanism to gauge interest, direct content, and ultimately achieve the goals of our organizations. But mobile, together with social media has subverted the expectations set by this methodology.

During #SMWNYC this April, former head of social at GAP and now founder and CEO of MikMak, Rachel Tipograph will take you through the playbook of how brands hack their growth in a world where the mobile feed has inverted the shopper’s journey.

Rachel is one of the most dynamic professionals in her field and has been recognized as a leading innovator across the globe, including Forbes’ “30 under 30 Who Are Changing The World”, Marie Claire’s “50 Most Influential Women in America,” and Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business.”

Rachel’s talk is part of our Future of Brands track, dedicated to highlighting where social strategy is going—and what can be done now to prepare accordingly. Being competent is no longer sufficient; marketers and social strategists must also strive to be cutting-edge in their approach…and the sessions on this track will help.

There’s still time to join these speakers and many more in New York this spring (April 30-May 2, at the Sheraton New York Times Square) at 10% off the walkup price– so act fast, and look toward a future beyond the funnel with us!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

The post Mobile Has Collapsed the Marketing Funnel: Here’s How To Capitalize On This Trend appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/mobile-has-collapsed-the-marketing-funnel-heres-how-to-capitalize-on-this-trend/

Mobile Has Collapsed the Marketing Funnel: Here’s How To Capitalize On This Trend

For decades (or centuries, depending on who you ask) marketers have relied upon “the funnel” as a mechanism to gauge interest, direct content, and ultimately achieve the goals of our organizations. But mobile, together with social media has subverted the expectations set by this methodology.

During #SMWNYC this April, former head of social at GAP and now founder and CEO of MikMak, Rachel Tipograph will take you through the playbook of how brands hack their growth in a world where the mobile feed has inverted the shopper’s journey.

Rachel is one of the most dynamic professionals in her field and has been recognized as a leading innovator across the globe, including Forbes’ “30 under 30 Who Are Changing The World”, Marie Claire’s “50 Most Influential Women in America,” and Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business.”

Rachel’s talk is part of our Future of Brands track, dedicated to highlighting where social strategy is going—and what can be done now to prepare accordingly. Being competent is no longer sufficient; marketers and social strategists must also strive to be cutting-edge in their approach…and the sessions on this track will help.

There’s still time to join these speakers and many more in New York this spring (April 30-May 2, at the Sheraton New York Times Square) at 10% off the walkup price– so act fast, and look toward a future beyond the funnel with us!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

The post Mobile Has Collapsed the Marketing Funnel: Here’s How To Capitalize On This Trend appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/mobile-has-collapsed-the-marketing-funnel-heres-how-to-capitalize-on-this-trend/

7 Trends You Must Know For a Successful Digital Marketing Campaign – Serpwatch.io

7 Trends You Must Know For a Successful Digital Marketing Campaign – Serpwatch.io

https://matrainingwales.wordpress.com/2019/02/11/7-trends-you-must-know-for-a-successful-digital-marketing-campaign-serpwatch-io/
— Read on matrainingwales.wordpress.com/2019/02/11/7-trends-you-must-know-for-a-successful-digital-marketing-campaign-serpwatch-io/

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6 Outdated Social Media Strategies That Repel Gen Z

Are you ready for the next generation of consumers? Gen Z brings over $143 billion in spending power plus influence over their parents’ buying decisions. But, if your social media strategies are outdated, expect to get left behind.

As 2020 approaches, a new generation of consumers is taking over the global marketplace. Poised to become the most influential generation ever, Gen Z’s direct spending is an estimated $143 billion, while 90% of them also influence their parents’ buying decisions.

Who is Gen Z?

Generation Z (born from 1995 – 2015) is the first generation of digital natives.

They have high expectations of brands and make lightning-fast decisions when sizing up web pages.

If your social media marketing is outdated, Gen Z will swipe and tap their way to your competitors in seconds – and probably take their millennial parents and friends with them. Find out if your brand is ready for the next generation. Below are 6 outdated strategies for social media that may be chasing away Gen Z’ers.

Outdated Strategy #1: Following “Best Times to Post” Guides Too Closely

“Best times to post” guides can be misleading. Use them as a starting point, but don’t’ stick to them religiously.

Run a Google search on “best times to post to social media”, and you’ll uncover pages of tips and advice. While best posting suggestions can be helpful, you should use them with caution, and only as a starting point.

Best posting times can be misleading because:

  • Studies are often based on when brands post content or when users are online, instead of when people interact with brands.
  • Many publishers form recommendations based on dated statistics. Your “2019 Guide” may contain data that can be traced back 3-6 years (a lifetime in the social media world).
  • Most recommendations are based on averages, which overlook low-competition, high-engagement opportunities.

Even the highest-quality guides can’t predict the quirks of your target audience.

Solution: Update Your Posting Schedule With Analytics

Social media insights offer data that helps you form the best, most productive posting schedules.

For example, you can find out what days and times your Facebook followers are online by visiting your FacebookI nsights page and search under Posts > When your fans are online.

Source: Sharelov

Then, conduct A/B testing to discover when they’re most likely to engage with your brand.

Find what works best for your brand and achieve a higher level of engagement than the best posting guides can offer.

Outdated Strategy #2: Focusing Too Heavily on Self-Promotion

Millennials and Gen Z have a low tolerance for brands that constantly self-promote.

Review your last 10 posts on Facebook. What percent of them include a link to your product, landing page, or website?

If the answer is 100%, your social media marketing strategy is outdated.

Solution: Update Your Social Media Content Plan

Gen Z and millennials want to feel that your brand cares more than just making money. Today’s followers look for content that informs, entertains or supports a social cause.

Instead of constant promotions, update your content plan to include some of the following:

Encourage User-generated Content

More than 40% of millennials and Gen Z expect to see user-generated content before making a purchase.

UGC stats

Source: Statista

There are many types of user-generated content that work well for social media, including:

  • Reviews
  • Images
  • Testimonials

To encourage sharing, use hashtags to promote contests, rewards, and giveaways.

For example, to promote its Marie Kondo series, Netflix encourages followers to create posts about what sparks joy for them.

netflix marie kondo

Source: Netflix on Instagram

Users who tag their posts with #gotjoy get a chance to meet Marie Kondo.

Offering prize incentives is an excellent way to encourage user-generated content.

Create Polls And Questions

Polls and questions are a fun way to connect with your audience.

For example, HelloFresh’s “Just for Fun” stories section packs fun and entertaining food-based trivia questions.

hellofresh IG stories - create polls

Source: HelloFresh on Instagram

Tell Other People’s Stories

Sharing stories about other people never gets old and inspires meaningful conversations.

Uber shared a heartwarming story about one of its drivers who collects doodles and signatures from all of the people that ride with him.

twitter uber - share stories

Source: Uber on Twitter

Uber’s stories turn everyday people into heroes, in a way that’s relevant to its brand.

This is a great way to inspire engagement and shares.

Share Breaking News and Trends

Sharing news related to your industry is a popular way to engage B2B audiences.

Post Relevant Curated Content

Curated content serves 3 purposes:

  • Helps balance out self-serving links
  • Enables you to build relationships with other businesses by sharing their content
  • Keeps your pages fresh and fun to browse

Recommend Tools or Books That Help Your Followers

Recommending helpful tools and books is also a great way to engage B2B audiences.

instagram recommendation

Source: Von Wrede Real Estate on Instagram

The post description explains why the book is relevant to the company’s followers.

Support Social Causes

Millennials are drawn toward brands that take a social stand, but Gen Z raises the bar by expecting brands to support social causes.

A leader in social cause marketing, TOMS actively develops initiatives to help provide basics such as clean water, medical procedures, and local education.

TOMS’ business model also includes social activism. For example, the company delivered over 700,000 postcards and spoke with members of Congress to help end gun violence.

toms on facebook

Source: TOMS shoes on Facebook

Outdated Strategy #3: Faking Likes, Followers, or Engagement

Paying or trading for social media engagement is an outdated strategy that can get you banned, repel millennials/Gen Z, and throw off your data.

There are many ways to “fake it” on social media, but these defeat the purpose of social marketing as they don’t help build authentic relationships with your audience.

Using auto-engagement bots or buying likes/followers are only some of the dishonest tactics. Others include:

  • Mass-following accounts to encourage people to follow back, only to unfollow them the next day
  • Mass-following accounts and unfollowing those who do not reciprocate
  • Mass-commenting on public social media posts and asking for follow

Over time, dishonest strategies compromise your reputation and may also get you banned from social channels.

Blackhat techniques also invalidate the most useful tool at your disposal — social media insights.

Without reliable analytics, your brand may never discover what motivates your audience, what posting schedule works best, or who your biggest fans are.

Solution: Update Your Approach with Meaningful Conversations

It’s good to expand your reach, but don’t forget to that developing meaningful conversations is the priority.

Seek a higher standard of engagement. This includes those sparked by:

  • User-generated content
  • Reviews
  • Customer service inquiries

It’s better to have one valued customer than 100 distant followers. Focus on attracting the right type of followers that are active and engaged.

Follow only legitimate accounts that are relevant to your brand and work toward developing genuine connections by inspiring meaningful conversations.

Focus On Your Revenue

There’s high earning potential in social marketing.

Here’s what some brands do every 60 seconds online:

  • Walmart sells $30,000 of products
  • Apple sells $23,000 of products
  • Amazon Fulfillment delivers 1,902 parcels

You can’t cash in on social media likes, so remember to focus on strategies that drive revenue.

Create a well-written social media marketing strategy to avoid getting caught in the “Like” trap.

A documented strategy requires you to put goals and objectives in writing, helping you stay on track during the planning and execution stages.

10 goals your brand can achieve on social media

Source: Sharelov

Outdated Strategy #4: Getting Stuck on Facebook

Don’t let Facebook become your entire social media world.

Facebook may be the biggest social network, but Generation Z’s favorite, YouTube, is a close second. Some experts predict Instagram may surpass them both.

Additionally, new social platforms are expected to launch in 2019, so sticking to just one (or even two) social platforms could mean missed opportunities.

Solution: Update Your Social Networks For 2019

Align your most active social media channels with your target audience.

When choosing your social channels, pay attention to your underlying purpose: increasing revenue.

Monitor your insights and ROI to determine which channels are most profitable.

Outdated Strategy #5: Relying Entirely On Organic Reach

Organic reach is no longer effective without paid advertising to enhance it.

While organic posts are crucial for building relationships with your audience, algorithms have come to require paid advertising for organic posts to get seen.

Solution: Update Your Organic Strategy with Paid Social

As organic reach declines, brands must supplement their social media efforts with paid advertising.

Social networks like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram make it easy to place ads. The price range is within reach for most small businesses, and audience targeting is sophisticated yet simple to use.

Outdated Strategy #6: Missing out on Multiculture

If your brand image doesn’t include a variety of cultures and personality types, you risk losing younger audiences.

Do the images on your website, ads, and content include people of different cultures and personalities? If not, you’re already old-fashioned and outdated.

People of all ages now recognize when brands lack diversity.

Generation Z is especially turned off when brands don’t demonstrate a multicultural and inclusive mindset.

Solution: Update Your Marketing to Reflect an Inclusive Culture

Review your business’s communication channels by asking the following questions:

  • Are our brand images reflecting a mix of people from different cultures?
  • Do we embrace a diverse approach in our influencer campaigns?
  • Do our products and services cater to people of all cultures?

If you answered no to any of the above, you need to reinvent your brand’s core values.

If you want to resonate with younger generations, taking a multicultural approach is a must.

Review Your Plan for Outdated Social Media Strategies

As Millennials and Gen Zers take over the global consumer market, marketers will need to make changes to their social strategies.

Brands that update their social media approach are set to win over the younger generations and can expect to reap the rewards.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

The post 6 Outdated Social Media Strategies That Repel Gen Z appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/6-outdated-social-media-strategies-that-repel-gen-z/

PODCAST: Bestselling Author Seth Godin on “This is Marketing” and Causing a Ruckus

This week’s episode of Social Media Week’s Leads2Scale podcast features best selling author, entrepreneur, and Marketing Hall of Fame member Seth Godin.

During the conversation, Seth talked about his latest book, This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See and also covered:

  • Why he believes tension is so important in marketing
  • Why empathy is overlooked as a core strength of any great marketer
  • Why he is encouraging marketers to shift their focus to the smallest viable audience
  • What he thinks is at the heart of great storytelling
  • And how we can rise up against the evils of marketing

Seth will also be speaking at Social Media Week New York on May 2 and you can learn more his session by visiting socialmediaweek.org/newyork. Stay tuned for later in the episode for a special offer to attend the event which is only available for Leads2Scale listeners.

Listen to the full episode below:

Subscribe to Leads2Scale on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify, Castbox, Overcast, or Stitcher.

If you have suggestions for who we should interview or what topics you would like us to cover, please reach out to us at leads2scale@socialmediaweek.org.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

The post PODCAST: Bestselling Author Seth Godin on “This is Marketing” and Causing a Ruckus appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/02/podcast-bestselling-author-seth-godin-on-this-is-marketing-and-causing-a-ruckus/

3 Ways Hubspot x Mention’s Instagram Engagement Report Emphasizes Storytelling

“As more and more companies are trying to grow their presence on Instagram, it’s becoming noisy and competitive. In order to stand out, marketers and Instagram users need to know what works and what doesn’t.”

It was with these words that Hubspot and Mention opened their joint report detailing highlights of their Instagram engagement study. Designed to provide marketers and brands with valuable data to inform their practice on the rapidly growing platform, it also implicitly made a case for storytelling as a part of a successful Instagram strategy.

Here, we break down some key takeaways from their report—and how embracing storytelling could supercharge your own strategy.

Takeaway #1: If increasing engagement is what you’re after (as 80% of brands reportedly are), post more video.

Image via HubSpot

These posts receive twice as many comments as other types of posts.

The Storytelling Connection: Create video content that tells a story: the story of how a product or service is created, a peek inside the workspace, a testimonial of how your company impacts lives daily.

Storytelling is powerful precisely because it requires context. When used well by brands or marketers, it helps consumers and prospective consumers see how a product or service could fit inside their daily lives. Video content that aligns with that notion, can create more affinity and connection with viewers.

What are some of the most commonly asked questions about your product?

Answer them with the help of a few company members. What’s a unique story that’s come from using your service? Let the impacted parties tell that story in front of a camera. It’s not enough to just “do” video because it performs well; use the precious time and bandwidth you have to create this content wisely. It will payoff in the quantity of feedback you get, but also in the relevance. More on that in a moment.

Takeaway #2: When it comes to hashtags, it’s not about the quantity, but about the relevance.

Image via HubSpot

Use no more than 4-5 in a post, and consider creating branded hashtags (7 in 10 hashtags used on Instagram were developed and deployed by brands).

The Storytelling Connection: Select hashtags based on where your brand would fit in the story already being told there. Develop your own hashtags based on the narrative you want to create.

Hashtags can serve as a lively community for those who regularly follow them—a process now made easier by Instagram’s “follow hashtags” capability. This means that as you seek to enter that space, you should do so with a clear understanding of what that hashtag means and has come to represent.

How does your story, fit in overall with the larger story that hashtag is telling?

Missteps from companies in this arena can backfire spectacularly, as DiGiornio learned in 2014. It could make sense to hop onto a hot existing hashtag, or it could make sense to blaze your own trail by creating your own. Hubspot x Mention cites Lululemon’s #thesweatlife and Adidas’ #originalis as examples of branded hashtags that have sparked whole communities to include the brand in their own personal narratives. If your product or service is already a part of their lives, a special hashtag could help them show off that fact; if it isn’t yet, a recurring hashtag (and the user-generated content that could come from such a campaign) could coax them in.

Takeaway #3: Tagging users has the potential to help you get more brand exposure, increase engagement, and grow your community.

Image via HubSpot

But you’ll want to do so strategically, not just tagging users at will.

The Storytelling Connection: Tagging users is bringing them into the narrative you’re developing. Do so wisely, lest it clutter your story “arc” or spark plot twists you weren’t prepared for.

According to Hubspot x Mention’s study, tagging more than five people in a post doesn’t increase engagement. So as you consider tagging as a means to bring in a larger audience, do so sparingly and with intention.

Some suggestions the report makes include tagging influencers or thought leaders you reference in your content (yes, even if that content is memes or screenshotted tweets!), encouraging employees and community members to tag you when relevant, and asking contest entrants to tag friends, thus bringing them into the fold through a trusted connection. Whether you realize it or not, to tag someone is to pull them through a door into your world. Allow them to come with a warm welcome or a reason to be there; when you keep this in mind, you increase your chances that they’ll stick around for a while.

As we’ve said so many times before, with great influence comes great responsibility. Instagram is a platform with an incredible level of influence; in crafting an effective and engaging presence there, you have a responsibility to do so in a thoughtful way. Stories can play a major part in informing and living out that directive; we strongly encourage you to explore the rest of the report for more tips on how to “Instagram with intention.”

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

The post 3 Ways Hubspot x Mention’s Instagram Engagement Report Emphasizes Storytelling appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/02/3-ways-hubspot-x-mentions-instagram-engagement-report-emphasizes-storytelling/

New Digital Marketing Packages from MA Web – Digital Marketing Agency Wales…

New Digital Marketing Packages from MA Web – Digital Marketing Agency Wales…

New Digital Marketing Packages from MA Web – Digital Marketing Agency Wales…
— Read on digitalmarketingagencywales.wordpress.com/2018/09/05/new-digital-marketing-packages-from-ma-web-digital-marketing-agency-wales/

PODCAST: What’s Next For Video Marketing with Jason Hsiao, Co-Founder & Chief Video Officer of Animoto

This week’s bonus episode of Social Media Week’s Leads2Scale podcast features Jason Hsiao, Co-Founder & Chief Video Officer at Animoto.

During the conversation, Jason discussed:

  • His early work at MTV and Comedy Central
  • His first foray into digital video in the mid-two thousands
  • How Animoto started out and has evolved over the years
  • How he has kept pace with the rapid changes in video technology and consumer behavior
  • and much more!

Jason will also be speaking at Social Media Week New York on May 1 and you can learn more his session by visiting socialmediaweek.org/newyork. Stay tuned for later in the episode for a special offer to attend the event which is only available for Leads2Scale listeners.

Listen and subscribe via the following platforms: Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify, Castbox, Overcast, and Stitcher.

If you have suggestions for who we should interview or what topics you would like us to cover, please reach out to us at leads2scale@socialmediaweek.org.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

The post PODCAST: What’s Next For Video Marketing with Jason Hsiao, Co-Founder & Chief Video Officer of Animoto appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/02/podcast-whats-next-for-video-marketing-with-jason-hsiao-co-founder-chief-video-officer-of-animoto/

6 New (and Improved) Facebook Retargeting Ideas to Boost Your Brand’s Marketing

Is your remarketing getting the results you’re looking for on Facebook?

No matter how good you’re doing, you could be doing better. Facebook is constantly evolving, and given its recent struggles with public image and algorithm changes, you have to stay constantly on top of any changes.

Targeting people who’ve engaged with your content or your business before is a time-honored and proven marketing strategy, even pre-web. Online retargeting first began to be a thing with the advent of the cookie, a piece of data stored on a user’s machine that could relay information back to a site owner.

Today, online retargeting is one of the most common tactics in a marketer’s tool box, and one that most users are fine with. Thirty percent of all users appreciate retargeting, and only eleven percent object.

Facebook has had a rough few months, but it’s still one of the platforms of choice for most marketing professionals. Its robust tools and user data make it a great choice for anyone trying to reach a potential audience. If you’re trying to retarget users through Facebook, it’s an extremely useful platform—and there are some new ways you can take advantage of the retargeting options available to you, too:

1. One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Especially for those starting out with Facebook advertising (for example, small businesses that started offline), it’s an easy temptation to run “set it and forget it” campaigns.

You can’t do that if you’re going to make the most of your Facebook retargeting. For each stage in your sales funnel, you have to create a separate campaign—maybe several. The old adage that you have to touch someone seven times before a conversion still holds true, but the deeper truth of it is that if you give them content they’re NOT interested in, you might turn them off.

If your customer is still in the information-gathering step, don’t send them product offers. If your customer’s ready to purchase a product, don’t send them a link to your blog. You might still get a bump, but you need to tie each retargeting campaign to a specific stage in the sales funnel.

2. Create Dynamic Product Ads

If you sell a product, your best bet for retargeting those who’ve browsed your selection is probably a dynamic product ad. This Facebook specialty serves up a small gallery or carousel of the products that the person was already looking at.

Eighty percent of customers are more likely to make a purchase when they receive a personalized experience. If you’re utilizing dynamic product ads to touch potential purchasers or abandoned cart shoppers, you can capitalize on that.

3. Target Your Repeat Customers

Forty-one percent of United States e-commerce revenue comes from returning customers. That’s a staggering amount. Once people find a company or a store they like, they return to it, over and over again.

You can drive that behavior yourself by targeting past purchasers with news about new products, special offers, different services you offer, and upsells they might be interested in. Utilizing your knowledge of what they’re interested in already can help you build Custom Audiences that can help you narrow this even further.

Think outside the box a little bit, too—cross-reference interests with people who’ve purchased before to find those who are interested in a new product or service.

4. Remarket Based On App Actions

If you want a really interesting option for retargeting, use app actions. When you create an app specific to your company, you can target actions taken within the app and create campaigns based on those actions.

For example, you could send remarketing ads to people who had gone through a tutorial step to remind them of the different useful features your app has. Or you could reach abandoned-cart shoppers who’ve gone through several of the steps to purchase but not taken the final step, same as you could with a website. Make sure you’re going after mobile specifically, as you already know your customers are browsing mobile …

They downloaded the app, right?

5. Touch Base With Your Free Trial Users

Maybe you offer free trials for your software or service. That’s another super useful remarketing tool. Create a free trial user campaign—either while they’re on the free trial or when the trial has run out.

If you’re retargeting them while they’re still in the free trial, some good options can be reminding them when the trial runs out, or giving them a discount if they sign up now.

You can even give them an easy portal to enter their payment information to convert from the free trial to the full version. There are plenty more ways out there to reach them—the only limit is your imagination.

6. Send Relevant Content to Landing Page Visitors

You’ve been sending people to your landing pages, right? If you want to nudge people a little further down the sales funnel, try creating a retargeting campaign that serves blog posts to those people that are similar to the content they were looking for. It’s a great way to get them that little bit more engaged.

Remarketing is a hugely helpful tool in every marketer’s toolbox. You can make the most of Facebook retargeting—it just takes time, effort, dedication, and a willingness to try new things. With these tips, you can bring your Facebook retargeting game to the next level and make the most of the audience that’s already engaged with your content.

The post 6 New (and Improved) Facebook Retargeting Ideas to Boost Your Brand’s Marketing appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/02/6-new-and-improved-facebook-retargeting-ideas-to-boost-your-brands-marketing/

6 New (and Improved) Facebook Retargeting Ideas to Boost Your Brand’s Marketing

Is your remarketing getting the results you’re looking for on Facebook?

No matter how good you’re doing, you could be doing better. Facebook is constantly evolving, and given its recent struggles with public image and algorithm changes, you have to stay constantly on top of any changes.

Targeting people who’ve engaged with your content or your business before is a time-honored and proven marketing strategy, even pre-web. Online retargeting first began to be a thing with the advent of the cookie, a piece of data stored on a user’s machine that could relay information back to a site owner.

Today, online retargeting is one of the most common tactics in a marketer’s tool box, and one that most users are fine with. Thirty percent of all users appreciate retargeting, and only eleven percent object.

Facebook has had a rough few months, but it’s still one of the platforms of choice for most marketing professionals. Its robust tools and user data make it a great choice for anyone trying to reach a potential audience. If you’re trying to retarget users through Facebook, it’s an extremely useful platform—and there are some new ways you can take advantage of the retargeting options available to you, too:

1. One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Especially for those starting out with Facebook advertising (for example, small businesses that started offline), it’s an easy temptation to run “set it and forget it” campaigns.

You can’t do that if you’re going to make the most of your Facebook retargeting. For each stage in your sales funnel, you have to create a separate campaign—maybe several. The old adage that you have to touch someone seven times before a conversion still holds true, but the deeper truth of it is that if you give them content they’re NOT interested in, you might turn them off.

If your customer is still in the information-gathering step, don’t send them product offers. If your customer’s ready to purchase a product, don’t send them a link to your blog. You might still get a bump, but you need to tie each retargeting campaign to a specific stage in the sales funnel.

2. Create Dynamic Product Ads

If you sell a product, your best bet for retargeting those who’ve browsed your selection is probably a dynamic product ad. This Facebook specialty serves up a small gallery or carousel of the products that the person was already looking at.

Eighty percent of customers are more likely to make a purchase when they receive a personalized experience. If you’re utilizing dynamic product ads to touch potential purchasers or abandoned cart shoppers, you can capitalize on that.

3. Target Your Repeat Customers

Forty-one percent of United States e-commerce revenue comes from returning customers. That’s a staggering amount. Once people find a company or a store they like, they return to it, over and over again.

You can drive that behavior yourself by targeting past purchasers with news about new products, special offers, different services you offer, and upsells they might be interested in. Utilizing your knowledge of what they’re interested in already can help you build Custom Audiences that can help you narrow this even further.

Think outside the box a little bit, too—cross-reference interests with people who’ve purchased before to find those who are interested in a new product or service.

4. Remarket Based On App Actions

If you want a really interesting option for retargeting, use app actions. When you create an app specific to your company, you can target actions taken within the app and create campaigns based on those actions.

For example, you could send remarketing ads to people who had gone through a tutorial step to remind them of the different useful features your app has. Or you could reach abandoned-cart shoppers who’ve gone through several of the steps to purchase but not taken the final step, same as you could with a website. Make sure you’re going after mobile specifically, as you already know your customers are browsing mobile …

They downloaded the app, right?

5. Touch Base With Your Free Trial Users

Maybe you offer free trials for your software or service. That’s another super useful remarketing tool. Create a free trial user campaign—either while they’re on the free trial or when the trial has run out.

If you’re retargeting them while they’re still in the free trial, some good options can be reminding them when the trial runs out, or giving them a discount if they sign up now.

You can even give them an easy portal to enter their payment information to convert from the free trial to the full version. There are plenty more ways out there to reach them—the only limit is your imagination.

6. Send Relevant Content to Landing Page Visitors

You’ve been sending people to your landing pages, right? If you want to nudge people a little further down the sales funnel, try creating a retargeting campaign that serves blog posts to those people that are similar to the content they were looking for. It’s a great way to get them that little bit more engaged.

Remarketing is a hugely helpful tool in every marketer’s toolbox. You can make the most of Facebook retargeting—it just takes time, effort, dedication, and a willingness to try new things. With these tips, you can bring your Facebook retargeting game to the next level and make the most of the audience that’s already engaged with your content.

The post 6 New (and Improved) Facebook Retargeting Ideas to Boost Your Brand’s Marketing appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/02/6-new-and-improved-facebook-retargeting-ideas-to-boost-your-brands-marketing/

PODCAST: Nike, Instagram Stories and Keeping it Real with Bryant Kohler, Head of Brand at Conscious Minds

This week’s bonus episode of Social Media Week’s Leads2Scale podcast features Bryant Kohler, Head of Brand at Conscious Minds, a content agency that believes “storytelling is the currency of human connection.”

During the conversation, Bryant discussed:

  • His past and current work with adidas and Nike
  • How he is adjusting to the evolution of platform storytelling
  • What he sees are the near-term things that need to be addressed in Influencer Marketing
  • and much more!

Bryant also spoke about a documentary that their sister company, Conscious Productions, produced called Social Animals that premiered at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, which peeks into the digital and real worlds of today’s image-focused teenager, where followers, likes and comments mark success and self-worth.

Listen and subscribe via the following platforms: Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify, Castbox, Overcast, and Stitcher.

If you have suggestions for who we should interview or what topics you would like us to cover, please reach out to us at leads2scale@socialmediaweek.org.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

The post PODCAST: Nike, Instagram Stories and Keeping it Real with Bryant Kohler, Head of Brand at Conscious Minds appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/02/podcast-nike-instagram-stories-and-keeping-it-real-with-bryant-kohler-head-of-brand-at-conscious-minds/

How To Drive More Engagement On All Your Digital Assets

Let’s talk about how to drive more engagement for a minute. These days, consumers have plenty of choices available to them in terms of products and services. So, you differentiate your brand by becoming the one that has the most valuable connections (or the best relationship) with the consumer.

Every engagement, every like, click, tweet, and comment you get from a customer is your chance to build those connections and nurture that relationship.

Engagement builds a shared experience between brands and consumers, and that shared experience can take on a life of its own, which is why marketers are always harping on the importance of driving engagement. We know that the thin line between marketing and the customer experience just keeps getting thinner, so we push brands to dig deep and find more ways to encourage those first tentative connections with each consumer. Those tentative connections can be nurtured into something meaningful. Meaningful engagement ultimately leads to meaningful transactions.

How Important Is The Digital World To Consumers?

Consumers increasingly live, work, play, and shop online. The average adult spends 5.9 hours a day on digital media of some form or another. This is almost double the time spent in 2009. All of them are looking for content that’s worth consuming and connections worth making.

The content on your website, your email campaigns, your company blog, your social media posts, your graphics, images, and videos are all your digital assets. These are all mediums you can use to reach your customers and get them to engage. In fact, if you have a digital asset that doesn’t help drive engagement, aid engagement, or analyze the engagement you get, it may be time to reconsider the amount of energy you’re putting into that asset. It’s probably not much of an asset at all.

How Can You Drive More Engagement?

There is a formula for driving engagement. No matter what digital asset you’re working with right now, try these steps.

1. Create Content Worth Consuming

Consumers are sick of ads. They don’t want to be sold on a product. They want information and entertainment. If you provide information they can use or entertainment they want to see that’s somehow related to your brand, you’ll have more success in gaining their interest.

For example, think about Home Depot’s “How-To” videos or Betty Crocker’s recipes. The more a consumer starts to think of your brand as the expert they can rely on, the deeper the customer’s connection with your brand will become.

2. Build Your Brand’s Personality

Consumers relate better to a brand when they can humanize that brand.

Naturally, it’s easier for some brands to find an image or a voice that goes with their brand than it is for others. If you run a tax preparation service you can’t exactly create the next Ronald McDonald or Chuck E. Cheese.

You can, however, still build your brand’s personality into something recognizable. Think about your brand as a living person who cares about the customer, and the brand alike, and then find that person’s voice. Maybe it’s your brand’s creator. Maybe it’s an artful fiction. Put that persona into everything your brand creates. That persona’s voice needs to come through in your blog and your social sites, whether it’s sassy like Wendy’s, visionary like Tesla, or energetic and fun like Red Bull.

3. Initiate The Conversation

Have you ever been stuck at a party full of strangers, wondering how to break the ice and start a conversation? It’s the worst, right?

Well, think of consumers like someone stuck at a party like that. They may want to interact with you, but they aren’t sure where to start. Make things easy on them. Give consumers an opening by asking questions about their wants and their needs and soliciting feedback on their experiences with your brand. Ask their opinions on new products and, whenever you get the chance, have real conversations with them on social. This also helps drive more engagement.

You’d be amazed how engaged consumers can be when they find a subject that interests them. Take, for example, Crayola’s campaign to name a new color when it replaced “dandelion” in its 24-crayon box. It let consumers have their vote and “bluetiful” was born!

You can simultaneously initiate conversations and make your customers feel valued and heard by creating “like” vs. “love” posts on Facebook that ask them to give their opinions, asking them to share experiences that relate to a nostalgic image you post or letting them come up with the caption for a photo.

4. Reward Consumers For Their Engagement

Everyone loves freebies. More than that, your consumers love feeling that their time is appreciated. You can build your relationship with consumers through a combination of free offers (including free trials), loyalty programs that offer increased discounts as a consumer’s level of interaction increases, and other rewards.

Learning to create tiered loyalty programs (through points or some other system) helps you drive consumers further down the funnel toward purchases. It also helps you key in on your best customers and offer something they’ll genuinely value.

5. Respond To Customer Contacts

Responding to your customers when they contact you, where they contact you, is massively critical to your success. This cannot be overemphasized. Consumers react to apparent slights online the same way that they’d react to a snub in-person.

When asked what makes them trust a company, the number one thing that consumers cited was excellent customer service, and 89% of people say that they’ve stopped doing business with at least one company after poor customer experiences.

If you don’t have a friendly, responsive customer service team watching your social sites, responding to emails, and answering questions posted on your blogs, then why are you giving customers the ability to contact you that way? Nobody wants to feel like their questions or comments are disappearing into a void.

6. Meet Your Customers Where They Are

Do you know where your target market hangs out on social?

You aren’t going to get your customers to engage with you if they can’t find you. Sure, the majority of Americans are still using Facebook, at least, to a certain extent, but younger Americans are actively embracing other platforms, like Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter.

If you’re sure that you’re doing everything right, you’ve got great content that informs and entertains, plenty of enticing offers to drive engagement and a killer customer service team that’s asking questions and providing answers, but you still aren’t seeing the number of clicks you should be seeing, it’s time to reanalyze your demographics and see if you’re simply sitting in the wrong place.

The Wrap-Up

Your digital assets may be more important to your brand’s survival today than your face-to-face interactions with customers (although those are important, too!). When you’re building content, you need to think about how that content is going to feel to customers. Can they use it? Will they enjoy it? Does it encourage them to reach out and connect even more with the brand?

If you aren’t getting the engagement you’d like to see through one or more of your digital assets, you need to take a step back and figure out what’s missing from the equation. The odds are good that something on the list above isn’t there.

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The post How To Drive More Engagement On All Your Digital Assets appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/02/how-to-drive-more-engagement-on-all-your-digital-assets/