Tag Archive | "marketing"

Insta-Success: Instagram Marketing Tips – Part 1


Instagram has become an increasingly popular tool for marketing professionals and companies to use over the last few years. With more than 1 billion monthly users, the photo-sharing platform is a prime way to connect with potential and current customers. Even if you and your business have a presence on Instagram, you may not be using the platform to its fullest potential. With that in mind, we’re going to dive into some tips on how to have more success on Instagram in this new three-part series.

Utilize User-Generated Content (UGC). Brand awareness is key to growing your consumer base. That’s where user-generated content comes into play. With UGC, you’ll curate and share content that others have created that are pertinent to your brand or showcase your product. Not only will UGC promote your company by way of word-of-mouth, but it’ll also mandate you interact frequently with others on the platform as you get permission to repost photos, like posts that include your brand or product, etc. To make it easier for you to curate, inform users that if they want to be reposted by you, they need to use a specific hashtag.

Highlight New Products, Exciting Updates. Besides just posting relevant photos, you can also announce new products, share exciting updates, hiring news, and more, all through your images, videos, and Instagram Stories. By keeping your Instagram current and updated with your company’s news, it’ll become an extension of your business and marketing campaigns and further your branding efforts. If you have an event happening, consider posting on your Instagram Story about it or go Live on Instagram during the event.

Offer Deals/Giveaways. Many giveaways and deals on Instagram are driven by users. You can offer prizes to those who take the best photo of themselves using your product, share coupon codes with your followers to reward them for their business and loyalty, and offer other deals to those who engage with you on Instagram. Make sure that you include a call-to-action that users can easily follow or do in relation to your deal or giveaway. And be certain that for whatever deal or giveaway you offer, the parameters are clear and you follow through on whatever is promised — otherwise, you’ll end up hurting your reputation and possibly losing followers on Insta.

Consider starting to use some of these tips in your Instagram marketing efforts and come back next month to read the second part of this series!

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3 Millennial Mobile Marketing Tips


With millennial and college-age consumers, it’s all about the mobile experience and making sure you’re reaching them where and how they are most often. That’s why thinking about how your marketing efforts come across on mobile devices is so crucial — and here are some things to keep in mind to make sure you and your business are mobile-ready.

1. Is your website mobile-friendly? You don’t want to limit what will show up on phones as many of your potential millennial consumers or return customers will be engaging with your organization on their smartphones. Everything that shows up on your web when you look at it on a computer should be available and accessible through a mobile device as well. That being said, you don’t want your site to take a long time to load so it’s worth investing some time and resources into establishing faster mobile loading times. From browsing to actually buying, you need to ensure your website users can easily navigate and shop on your site from their phones or you may lose business. Additionally, having content that’s interesting, catches the eye, and sized correctly for any mobile screen will go a long way.

2. Are you on social media? Your company needs to have the works: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn — even Pinterest, Reddit, and YouTube may be beneficial depending on your industry. Social media makes up a huge part of what millennials do or look at on their phones — so posting consistently, interacting with followers, and optimizing your profiles and pages will help you reach your target demographic, no matter what device they may be using. A great way to gain more followers and likes to your social media accounts is to advertise that your company offers discounts or promotional codes to those connected with your organization on social media. Millennials love to get a deal and will be more likely to engage with your business if they may get some sort of coupon or freebie out of it!

3. Are you blatantly advertising or trying to sell something? If so, you may want to change up your methods. With the overwhelming majority of Gen Y-ers owning smartphones, and growing up with them, they are less likely to trust traditional advertising and will respond better to collaborative efforts, native advertising, or more covert brand and product placements. Consider using User-Generated Content (UGC) in marketing campaigns, partnering with an influencer, or sponsorship of something in line with your business that will allow you to get your company name out there in a more discrete and less salesman-like way.

Use these three tips to better your mobile marketing efforts to millennials — while you may not see radical changes or increases in your engagement or sales right away, they will definitely improve your company’s standing with that key demo in the long-term.

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Why Your Content Marketing Needs Visuals


So. You’ve got a great piece of content that you are excited to share with the world. Unfortunately, if your content is word-heavy, it won’t do as well. Why? Because humans are visual creatures. Using visuals in content marketing is key to attracting and keeping an audience, and here are just a few reasons why.

1. They’re Eye-Catching. People have short attention spans and are more likely to skim your content — but visuals will help catch their attention and prevent them from getting distracted or bored as quickly. Of course, the quality of your content matters too, not just that it’s visually impactful. According to a Skyword study, web content containing visuals such as images or videos perform better — on average, getting up to 94 percent more views. Twitter data scientist Douglas Mason found that tweets with images or videos receive, on average, a 35 percent or 28 percent boost in retweets, respectively.

2. They’re Memorable. From the start of your content marketing brainstorm process, you should be thinking about what kinds of photos, infographics, visuals, etc., you can create or include in your content to make it more memorable to users. Visuals are easier for users to take in and make a more lasting impression if implemented correctly. Rather than just relaying data in the most basic way, explore other avenues that allow you to condense or still present data but using a more digestible method. Infographics, pie and bar charts, and the like, are great tools to do so.

3. They Can Invoke Emotion. Tying into the memorability of visuals, when done correctly, the image you include in your content marketing can prompt an emotional response. That response will then be better ingrained in the mind of your user and they’ll more likely remember the essence of what was being conveyed to them in your content marketing.

4. They Can Be Repurposed. Visuals, specifically infographics, allow you to keep your content and data fresh. You can take data gathered from a survey and turn it into an infographic that can then be posted on your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels, and it will get users’ attention and give them information. According to Sumo, infographics can actually increase website traffic by 12 percent.

So if you’re about to roll out some content marketing that’s low on visuals, you may want to rethink and revise your strategy — your marketing efforts will be better for it!

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Branding 101: A Must-Read Guide – Part 3


Thanks to our previous two posts in our branding series, you’re no doubt starting to get a good idea of what goes into branding and strategies that will work for your company. In this article, we’re going to wrap up our three-part series with some last factors and pieces of advice to keep in mind when creating and developing your business’s brand.

Explore Mediums. These are many ways to get your brand out there and interact with your audience. Some college students prefer reading, some like videos, some like pictures, and other like multiple mediums. Don’t feel like you need to stick to one type of content in order to stay “on-brand.” Your brand can consist of different forms of content and still be furthering your mission of brand recognition. Exploring mediums also goes for different websites, types of advertising, etc. Try different things to see which are the best fits for your company so you don’t waste time or resources on a medium that isn’t resonating with your consumer base.

Integrate Your Efforts. Branding goes beyond marketing; it’s intrinsic to your company culture. That means integrating your brand is key to its success. The more you can integrate your branding strategies and efforts into social media, communications, etc., the more on-target your brand will be. This also ties in to earlier points mentioned about being consistent and relevant.

Don’t Be Random. Again, consistency is key! Plan ahead so your marketing doesn’t appear random and instead well thought out and strategized. This will allow your marketing effort to be more brand-worthy and further your brand the right way. Additionally, when it comes to your marketing efforts, don’t cheat or veer from your brand guidelines as this will appear random to your consumers. Part of building your brand means carefully creating a guide to your brand and implements them across the board. You don’t want to then stray from those guidelines a few months later because you suddenly want to use a color that’s not part of your brand’s palette or post something that’s not in your brand’s voice. Doing this will weaken your brand recognition and dilute your brand overall, especially if you do it multiple times, so it’s better to not be random but instead stay “on-brand.”

Get Feedback. A great way to help develop your brand or make sure it’s successful down the road is to get feedback. Ask clients, employees, friends, etc., what they think of your brand and to choose a few words to describe it. If what they think of your brand is way off from what your brand is trying to convey and stand for, you may need to spend time doing some further development and tweaking to make sure your business’s brand is doing what you want and need it to do.

Thanks for sticking with us and reading this three-part series — hopefully, you’ve learned some key factors of branding and gained some insight into how to better brand your business to appeal to college students! Brand away!

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Branding 101: A Must-Read Guide – Part 2


We’re back this month with a continuation of our series on branding. As we said in last month’s post, we know branding can be a difficult concept to grasp and tricky to really implement. That’s why we’re continuing our three-part series with this second installment, where we’ll cover some more facts you need to know about creating your brand and maximizing its potential.

Develop Your Brand. You may think after you’ve brainstormed what your brand is that you’re done and it’s time to just create your brand. However, the actual creation of your brand will take some time and is something that really needs to be developed and cultivated. The more questions you can come up with about your business and the more potential questions you can think up that your client base may want to know, the better you’ll be able to develop your brand as you attempt to answer all those questions and have them inform your brand’s evolution. Part of the development of your brand will be creating your brand’s persona and voice, something we’ll discuss more in the next two points.

Be Consistent. Brand recognition doesn’t happen after just one instance of interaction with a consumer or potential client. Multiple impressions are needed to really cement your brand in someone’s conscience. With that in mind, consistency is integral to you being memorable. This is done partially with your logo, colors, fonts, titles, descriptions, etc., but goes beyond that, too. You’ll want to create a voice for your company that reflects your brand and can be implemented across all your marketing efforts. Is your brand more friendly and informal? Adopt a more conversational tone to your messaging. If your brand is more high-class or business-oriented, you’ll want to be a bit more formal in your company’s tone. Once you’ve established what your organization’s voice is, you’ll be able to be consistent with that, along with your other branding tools.

Connect with Your Consumers. An important part of building your brand is connecting and engaging with consumers and getting into their mindset. What do you want them to think and feel when they see or interact with your brand? Once you’ve compiled a list of the emotions and thoughts you want to invoke, narrow them down to five or less. Those few words or phrases should then be the basis for defining your brand and how it looks and comes across to your audience.

Relevancy Is Key. If your content or products aren’t relevant, your whole branding process will be for naught. You want your content to invite conversation and interaction with your target demographic which means they need to find it relevant and interesting. Think about what they like and want and let that inform your content and products.

Don’t miss next month’s blog post where we’ll conclude this series on branding and give you some final pieces of advice and factors to consider when you’re creating your brand. In the meantime, start putting these tips into action!

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Branding 101: A Must-Read Guide – Part 1


When people talk about marketing, the words “brand,” “branding,” and “brand recognition” are tossed around a lot. But what do those words mean and how can you put them into action, especially when it comes to catering to a college student consumer base? We’re covering what you need to know about branding in a three-part series to help you inform your marketing strategy and better publicize your business.

Know Your Audience. What does your audience want and need? What do they like and care about? What inspires and motivates them? And most importantly, how will your business help them achieve the answers to these questions and reach their goals? You need to really understand your audience in order to properly market your company to them — and that means diving into their psyche and exploring who they are and what they stand for. Once you do that, you can move on to actually building your brand, but fail at this first step and your branding efforts won’t yield the best results.

Understand Your Value. Now that you know your audience, you need to position your business as a unique company, offering something different than your competitors. Relay to your audience why your business has value — something that can only happen once you fully understand what your organization’s value is. What’s your mission? What do you stand for? Why should college students buy or interact with your brand — or care about your brand at all? The answers to these questions will help you better brand your business and steer it in the right direction.

Branding = More Than Just A Logo. While a logo is an important part of the branding process, your brand goes beyond the logo — your logo is just a physical representation of your brand. So what colors are you choosing? Why? What does your logo mean and could it be construed as something else? Is it similar to an already existing logo that may confuse consumers? And does your logo adequately reflect your brand? Before you start creating and analyzing logos, make sure you’ve really thought out what your brand is and what your business stands for. Perhaps there’s a phrase or slogan that will be part of your brand and also part of your logo or branding process. Once you’ve made these considerations, then and only then, can you begin playing around with logos.

Embody Your Brand. Every person that works for your company is a representation and ambassador of your company and brand. That means everyone needs to know the brand, share it, and try to be it. Knowing what your brand’s attributes are, what it stands for, its value, etc., is something each employee should be responsible for. You never know who will end up making an impression on someone else when it comes to your brand so you want all your bases covered and every employee to be a potential influencer for your brand, maximizing your brand recognition.

Stay tuned for next month’s blog post where this series will continue and we’ll continue to share advice on branding your business! Until then, start implementing these tips to improve your company’s brand.

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How To Connect With Millennials, Not Just Market To Them


Marketing to millennials, as we well know by now, is difficult — so a new and different approach to your marketing strategy may be necessary. Rather than approaching and thinking about your efforts as “marketing” to them, consider thinking about it instead as “connecting” and “communicating” with them. Below are some tips on how to do so!

Don’t Sell Yourself. Being blatant about trying to sell a product or service to millennials and Gen Z is not going to help you. These demographics don’t want to be pitched anything — so you’ll have better luck opening the lines of communication with them and focusing on real interactions and connections and making sure what your company does and stands for is obvious on all channels.

Relax & Go Informal. Younger generations respond more to humor and authenticity. Show your company’s human side and don’t be all “corporate” when connecting to your target demographic. Consider ditching some of the more traditional forms of marketing and branching out into newer, more intimate ways of communicating.

Don’t Go Overboard. While you want to connect with millennials the way they want to be communicated with, you don’t want to take this idea too far. Excessive use of emojis, slang vocabulary, etc., can make it seem like you’re trying too hard and doesn’t actually reflect well on your company. You need to figure out the perfect balance of being on their level while maintaining your professional vibe — to do this, consider inviting feedback from your consumer base!

Give, Give, Give. This tip is two-fold. Firstly, millennials want to be inspired and feel like they are doing good and supporting good causes. If your company gives to charity or otherwise contributes to society, communicate that as it will go a long way! Secondly, millennials love to feel they are getting a good deal. Offering discounts, coupons, promo codes, or other rewards will definitely entice millennials to your brand.

Watch and Learn. There are other companies out there who are doing a phenomenal job appealing to younger generations and connecting with them. Target, Amazon, and Apple are just some of the top companies that millennials love, interact with, and buy. Look at how they are communicating with younger consumers and strive to emulate their strategies.

These are just some methods you can adopt in your marketing strategies to better reach a millennial audience — just focus on authentic connections and you should see your efforts increase in success!

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5 Facebook Marketing Tips to Know


While other social media sites are popular today, Facebook is still a key site to utilize when it comes to marketing to millennials. So how can you be sure you are maximizing the reach your Facebook marketing has? Read these tips and implement them into your Facebook marketing strategy!

Post with Purpose. Don’t just post for the sake of keeping your feed or page updated with fresh content. Every post you make is a reflection of your business and brand and should be made with that in mind. Be aware of how you are communicating with your target demographic and consider boosting posts if needed to expand your reach. Facebook Insights can help you figure out when and what you should be posting to make the most of your marketing efforts on the site.

Create a Calendar. Part of posting with purpose means planning ahead — and an easy way to stay on top of that is by creating a content calendar to track your posts and marketing campaigns. Websites like Buffer or Hootsuite can be wonderful tools if you are trying to schedule posts on multiple social media sites and allow you to conveniently track all your marketing in one place. However, you’ll still need to monitor your posts and make sure you are engaging with your audience, something not always as easily done when you’re not on Facebook itself.

Update Your Facebook Story. With the recent introduction of Stories to Facebook, a new method of interacting with your audience and keeping them up to date on your business has emerged. Facebook Stories has made posting more casual, as what is posted there doesn’t necessarily have to be as on-brand or company-specific as regular posts. Instead, interesting links, funny memes, cool photos, etc., can be posted to your Story and keep your target demographic engaged, possibly leading to more clicks and views of your company’s profile or page.

Boost Some Posts. Boosted posts allow you to expand the audience of your posts and target a specific demographic at a small cost. All you have to do to boost a post is set your target audience and your budget — and you’ll see a good number more clicks and overall increase your business and brand’s visibility on Facebook. For larger campaigns, you’ll want to go through Facebook Ads Manager and put a bit more thought into your campaign and strategy.

Optimize Your Page. Make sure your Facebook business page is well organized, updated, and easy to navigate and find information. You want millennials to have an effortless and enjoyable experience on your page, which will encourage them to come back and utilize your Facebook profile to interact with your company. For inspiration, look at other business pages on Facebook and see how they organize their pages — then pick and choose your favorite features to roll out on your own organization’s page.

Facebook marketing can be a great way to reach and interact with your millennial audience — so follow these tips for success in your marketing efforts on Facebook!

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How to Improve Your Marketing Efforts to College Students – Part 3


By now you know that college students, while possibly more difficult to market to, are not impossible to win over. In this article, we’re going to wrap up our three-part series with a few last pieces of advice to keep in mind when marketing to college students and getting them to commit to your company.

1. Be Engaging. Along with being authentic, funny, concise, etc., your marketing methods should aim to engage your college student audience. This can be done in many ways, whether it’s adding a question to your marketing campaign to invite comments, feedback, and tagging or directing viewers to your website where they can further explore what your company has to offer.

Additionally, to be engaging means to be engaged. Respond to comments, like posts that mention your company or align with your business’s values, and otherwise interact with users and potential users alike.

2. Mobile Matters. We’re living in the smartphone era; so if your content is not completely mobile-friendly and digestible, you’re going to miss out and drive away potential users and customers. Whatever you’re posting, promoting, and otherwise sharing should be able to be read on any and all devices. Think tablets, phones, and laptops. Make sure your content is optimized for mobile — and being on social media accounts and keeping your text short will only help users on phones and tablets take in your marketing campaigns.

3. Organization Is Key. This goes for your website, business model, marketing efforts, and everything in between. If you’re not organized, it will show in your campaigns and online presence. Track your marketing efforts so you don’t use similar strategies or pictures as other companies and so you don’t accidentally use similar campaigns back-to-back. College students will remember — as will the Internet — so make sure your marketing team is organized, cohesive, and communicates with each other before communicating with the world.

That’s all for this three-part series — hopefully, you’ve now gained some new insight into how to market to college students and are developing different strategies that keep these key components in mind!

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How to Improve Your Marketing Efforts to College Students – Part 2


As we said in last month’s post, we know college students can be tricky to market to. That’s why we’re continuing our three-part series with this second installment, where we’ll cover some more methods you can and should be using when marketing to college students.

1. Add Some Humor. We know we’re telling you a lot of things your marketing should be (and will undoubtedly tell you more), but you can be creative, funny, and on-brand in a short marketing campaign, all at the same time without being “extra.” Even if students may only spend a little while looking at your company’s marketing efforts, there’s still room for creativity and humor in simple copy.

Your campaigns can be witty, sarcastic, funny, or put a spin on slang or a current event, all of which will land with college students and make them more interested in your company and brand. Inject a little humor into your marketing — it’ll go a long way.

2. Be Authentic. College students are good at distinguishing between fake and real — and they can definitely tell when you’re trying too hard or not hard enough to appeal to them and grab their attention. Rather than going over the top in your attempts to win them over, stay true to what your company stands for, what they offer and who they are. You can still be humorous and engage with college students on their level while being authentic and ultimately, that’ll be what makes your company stand out and succeed in the long run.

You can do this by sharing insight into your company and its purpose, stories of how your company gives back to the community, or other personable and real details with your users and followers, mixed in with other marketing messaging or in combination with them.

3. Make Them Feel. There’s a reason people love to watch tear-jerker dramas and listening to Adele as well as enjoy videos of animals doing silly tricks and compilations of funny tweets. Emotion is a key factor to consider when coming up with your marketing strategy. Can you make your college student audience laugh, cry, smile, or otherwise react to your content? If you can, you’re already a step ahead the rest. Think about how your marketing efforts will be received and brainstorm ways you can up the ante and show college students you are “woke,” so to speak.

Stay tuned for next month’s blog where we’ll conclude this series and give you some more facts and advice to consider using in your marketing to college students. Until then, don’t wait to start implementing the above-mentioned methods!

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