Posted by: FDMC | March 22, 2017

Live Stream your business Today!

Live streaming video refers to broadcasts in real time to an audience over the internet. While the concept of live streaming has been around for years, mobile-first video platforms with user-generated content have just recently begun to make serious waves thanks to improved video quality, faster broadband speeds, and enhanced mobile technology.

Online video has become a key part of the strategic business model for both brands and marketers as they seek more innovative ways to capture consumer attention. Creative live streaming video initiatives and campaigns are a way for companies to cut through the digital clutter and have emerged as the medium of choice not only for person-to-person sharing, but also for business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) communication.

Brands are increasingly using live streaming to reach audiences. Its importance has grown significantly thanks to substantial investments by social platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter to build and enhance their live-streaming platforms.

And advertising dollars are likely to follow. 88% of agency respondents stated that they “might” or “definitely will” invest in live stream video advertising over the next six months, according to a recent Trusted Media Brands survey.

Live streaming video will further accelerate streaming videos overall share of internet traffic. Streaming video accounts for over two-thirds of all internet traffic, and this share is expected to jump to 82% by 2020, according to Cisco’s June 2016 Visual Networking Index report.

·        Live video’s value comes from its unique ability to add an authentic human element to digital communications. As a result, brands are leveraging three main streaming methods to connect with their viewers: tutorials, product launches, and exclusive and behind-the-scene footage.

·        Advertisers will continue to invest heavily in online video, especially as live streaming video gains traction. Already in the US, digital video ad revenue reached $7.8 billion in 2015, up 55% from 2014, according to figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau.

·        While live streaming is still in its early stages, brands are leveraging micropayments, mid-roll video ads and direct payments from social platforms, to monetize their live streaming videos.

·        The success of live streaming video hinges on brands overcoming a lack of measurement standards in the space, as well as changes in social media sites’ algorithms that affect what content users see. As of this month, live streaming is available (mostly via your smart phone or desktop) to the platforms of Twitter, You tube, Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Media

http://www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

Posted by: FDMC | March 15, 2017

Promoting Your Brand On Instagram!

·                  Instagram like Snapchat is becoming very popular in brand promoting. Here are some steps you will find helpful in getting your brand out on Instagram.

1. Optimize Your Instagram Account. The best brand Instagram accounts have a compelling bio, memorable profile picture and a connected website that drives to their homepage. It’s one of the first things you have to set up for your account but it’s also one of the first things people look at before deciding to follow you or not. Make your bio descriptive, compelling and don’t be afraid to use emojis.

·        2. Follow Industry Relevant Accounts. Think about the types of brands, media companies or people in your industry that are already using Instagram and go find them. Follow their accounts and interact with their last few posts by pressing like or leaving a comment. These accounts might follow you back and help you get started with your initial audience.

·        3. Find Popular Hashtags In Your Industry. Many people on Instagram use hashtags as a way of finding new photos and new people to follow.  Each day, thousands of hashtags shared on Instagram. At first glance it might seem overwhelming but Jason offers some great advice on the topic: “Look through the pictures posted by influence’s in your niche. What hashtags do they use? Write these down as potential hashtags to use.

·        4. Get Shout Outs From Others. Note that brands leverage the power of influencers to grow their account. Research the popular accounts that are relevant in your field, reach out to them to see if they’ll be willing to do an Instagram shout-out for you. As you conduct this outreach, build a spreadsheet that highlights the different accounts you’ve reached out to, their follower count and the price they’re looking to charge.

·        5. Share Your Posts On Instagram Regularly. You want to post often enough that your brand stays relevant. You also don’t want to post so frequently that you overwhelm your followers and they unfollow your account.”  One of the most frequently asked questions about Instagram is how frequently a brand should post. While many brands try to put a number on it, the reality is that what works best for one brand doesn’t always work for the next. Run your own experiments and determine the best frequency for your audience.

·        6. Use Hashtags In The Comment Section. One of the most underrated tricks in the book for Instagram market is the usage of hashtags in the comments instead of main post. Rather than stuffing your posts caption with a handful of hashtags and giving the perception of reach desperation – comment with the hashtags after pressing share. The impact is the same except your caption doesn’t look as bad!

·        7. Run Instagram Contests. A good contest can hands down be one of the best ways to drive new followers & activity on your Instagram account.Instagram has the flexibility to allow you to just run your contest on your feed, the advantage of this is that it’s easy to setup & encourages participation via Instagram. The downside to contests on Instagram is that it can be quite challenging to test. Use the link your bio as a place to send your followers and have them enter another contest. Sites like Gleam.io offer an easy to build contest form that will serve all your needs for a random draw with a social sharing component.

·        8. Tell Your Followers To Like Your Content. Tell People to Double Tap If They Agree. It’s a simple idea that asks your followers to tap a photo twice which results in a post like. That means the post will be shown to more people because of the Instagram Algorithm and show in the activity feed.

·        9. Build Relationships With Other Influential Accounts. The fastest way to grow an Instagram account is by engaging accounts with a larger following than you and having them promote your account. If you’re already creating great content, you might not have to pay them to give you a shout out. You might be able to get organic shout outs simply by building a quality relationship with one of those influencers.

·        10. Comment On Photos From Other Accounts. I thought it would be enough just to like other people’s pictures in order for them to follow me and like my photos. As it turned out, I got way more interaction when I commented on other users’ photos then when I merely liked them. As Instagram has grown in popularity, people have become less surprised and flattered by likes. As a result, brands who are looking to truly stand out will need to take it a step further by leaving comments.

·       11. Use Instagram Stories On The Regular. There are plenty of great ways to promote your brand with Instagram Stories. If you’re not familiar with Instagram Stories, it’s a section on Instagram where you can share temporary video clips or images that all of your followers can see but the content disappears within 24 hours. The approach is a direct spin-off of Snapchat Stories. When using Instagram stories, consider mixing static content that you may find on your camera roll with content happening in the moment. Don’t forget to also use strategies like collaborating with other Instagram accounts and taking over their stories to reach an even broader audience.

·        12. Use Both Images & Video Content. Instagram videos see twice the engagement rate of photos” showing that video content is a great investment for brands looking to catch the attention of their audience. When thinking about your Instagram video content, create clear, fun, and engaging videos that people are going to want to tag their friends in. Creating images or videos that inspire people to tag their friends is a great way to drive virality for your account. As friends tag other friends, the content officially starts to spread like wildfire and take on a life of its own!

·        13. Run Instagram Ads. One of the best parts of Instagram is the fact that it shares data with Facebook. As a result, you have the ability to use the advanced demographic targeting offered on Facebook with Instagram as well. If you want to target people who live in a specific country and follow a specific band, you can do exactly that using Facebook Ads Manager.

·        Instagram advertising offers photo based advertising in a square or vertical format and video ads in a square or landscape format. Most recently, Instagram also launched a carousel feature which offers an even more dynamic advertising experience on Instagram.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social & Digital Media

http://www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

·

When budgets are tight, marketing might be the first expense you look to cut. Let me stop you right there. While traditional advertising methods are costly and hard to measure, small businesses have never had greater access to cost-effective, trackable marketing tools. But with so many digital tools available, how do you know where to start?Email marketing is the tried and true digital marketing channel with an average return of $38 for every $1 spent. Email and social media marketing are just the start. Here are ten marketing strategies that can help you market your small business on a shoestring budget.

1. Craft an elevator pitch

You should be marketing all the time — wherever you are. Therefore, you need a compelling elevator pitch. Research shows the average attention span of an adult is about six to eight seconds. That’s all the time you have to grab someone’s attention. If you successfully engage them, then you only have a little over a minute to really sell them on your product or service. Invest the time to craft a killer elevator pitch. The return on your investment will pay huge dividends in terms of creating business opportunities.

2. Leverage your community

You don’t have to think big when it comes to your marketing efforts. Think locally. What’s going on in your community? Sponsor a Little League team or a 5k charity walk/run. Print bookmarks and leave them at the local library. Get to know your ideal customer and think about how and where they spend their time. Then search for opportunities to get in front of your customer with your marketing message.

3. Collaborate

Put together a group of synergistic, non-competitive businesses in your area and agree to cross-promote. You can use coupons, fliers, reciprocal website links, bundled promotions or social media platforms. By collaborating with each other, you can expand your customer base because you’ll be reaching new people.

4. Network

I’m a huge fan of networking. I don’t think there is any better way to build a business than to get out there, shake some hands, and get to know people. Networking requires a time commitment and it doesn’t provide instant gratification, but a strong network is one of the greatest assets any business person can have.

5. Give a speech

A lot of people hate public speaking. However, there are many organizations looking for qualified, subject-matter experts who can present to their groups. Take a deep breath and volunteer. You don’t have to be a pro as long as the information you share is helpful to the audience. And the upside — the more you do it the easier it gets. Plus, it positions you as a credible authority in your field. Also consider doing a professional workshop.

6. Create buzz

I started my corporate career in the field of public relations and the business has changed significantly because of technology. Today, a small business owner can accomplish a lot without hiring a professional firm. Subscribe to Help a Reporter Out. You can respond to reporters’ queries that are looking for story ideas and resources. Some are small media opportunities, but others are major media outlets that use this service too.

7. Ask for referrals

Don’t be shy about asking for customer referrals. The majority of people say they are willing to provide a referral if asked, but very few take the initiative to do it on their own. Referrals make it easier to get in the door with new customers. If you aren’t asking for them, you are missing opportunities.

8. Build relationships

It is a lot less expensive to keep a customer than it is to get a new one. That’s why establishing strong relationships with your customer base is crucial. One of the ways you can do that is by keeping in touch with people through email marketing. Ask your customers or clients for their email address when they visit your store or website. Then, make your communications informative, helpful and professional — something your customers will look forward to receiving. Just don’t spam them with worthless junk and be annoying as they will dump or block you as fast as they gave you their addy.

9. Offer coupons

Coupons are a good way for many businesses to attract new customers. Research shows that people will go out of their way to use a coupon, proving that this method is successful in expanding your customer base. Coupons can also generate return visits. For example, if you give a customer a coupon for a discount to use on future business, there’s a high probability they’ll be back.

10. Give it away

If someone has the opportunity to experience your product or service, chances are they will want to purchase more. Don’t be afraid to give someone a free trial  or a sample. In today’s economy, people are more comfortable purchasing something they have been able to experience first. These ten, inexpensive marketing strategies will help you engage customers, build relationships, and ultimately keep your brand top-of-mind. It’s not always about the money you have to spend on marketing, it’s about the time and effort you put into it and above all, the relevance it has for your customers.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC

http://www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

Posted by: FDMC | February 28, 2017

One Dot Can Be Worth A Thousand Tweets!

Busy day today so for my weekly blog, I thought I would share something quick that you may be aware of. The “secret” Twitter dot. For those of you who use Twitter frequently, especially for marketing, you may not be aware of how to make sure your message gets out to all of your followers when you may be tweeting to say, just one person. Use the ol dot. Example:

You have to put something before the username to trick Twitter into thinking it’s a regular tweet for mass consumption. Perhaps you’ve seen people start their tweets with a period? Tricking Twitter is exactly what they’re doing. If you haven’t seen this before, here’s a sample:

.@rachelsklar just took at the stage at #SXSW to talk about trends for women in comedy. Any questions I should ask her?

Now this tweet will get pushed to everyone following me, regardless of whether they also follow Rachel. Pretty slick eh? You all have a good rest of week!

-Roy

FDMC Social & Digital Media

http://www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

Posted by: FDMC | February 22, 2017

Facebook and YouTube Videos Changing Again!

In the past week, Facebook and YouTube have both announced some changes to their video advertising formats. These changes won’t take place until later this year (or perhaps early next) but I know video marketers, too. They HATE to change things. But, with that kind of advanced warning, who can really complain?

So, what are these changes? Nothing too super radical but they are going to be noticeable. And why did Facebook, whose mantra for developers has long been “move fast and break things,” and YouTube, which changes at a rate of 33% a year, decide to alert us to these alterations in their video advertising formats several months in advance? Well from my research, here is what is coming down the pike.

New Ways to Watch Facebook Video

On Feb. 14, 2017, Facebook announced four news ways to watch Facebook video. The biggest change involves bringing sound to videos in the News Feed between now and the end of the year. As video marketers know, videos in the News Feed have played silently up to now — unless a user tapped on a video to hear the sound. But, as younger people have been watching more Snapchat videos on their smartphones, they’ve apparently come to expect sound when the volume on their device is turned on. Who knew? So, Facebook has decided – after testing sound on in its News Feed and “hearing positive feedback” – to carefully follow in Snapchat’s footsteps and slowly bring sound to more people, as well. When this update rolls out, sound will fade in and out as Facebook users scroll through videos in their News Feed.

Now, if your smartphone is set to silent, then Facebook videos won’t play with sound. And, if you never want videos to play with sound, then you can disable this feature by switching off “Videos in News Feed Start with Sound” in Settings. Facebook also says it will be showing in-product messages to tell people about the new sound on experience and controls.

In other news, Facebook also announced changes to make vertical videos look better on mobile devices. It made it possible to minimize the video you’re watching to a picture-in-picture view that keeps playing in the corner of your screen while you browse other stories in News Feed. And it announced a new Facebook video app for TV. But, these changes are less likely to ruffle anyone’s feathers.

All media companies have to carefully balance what their readers, listeners, viewers, and users want with what their advertisers would like to have. Back in the 1980’s when I still had hair and “gag me with a chainsaw” was a popular catchphrase, two-thirds of the advertisers in PC/Computing (an example) wanted their ads to appear in the first third of the magazine, even though reader research showed that the most popular part was the middle of the publication where the cover story ran. Today, advertisers may prefer that their videos autoplay with the sound on, but that may or may not be welcomed by the vast majority of Facebook users. Snapchat users are used to sound because the audio they hear instantly typically comes from their friends videos. Not from advertisers.

With the advent of Facebook Live, we may see a similar response, but it’s too soon to tell. So, why would Facebook hear “positive feedback” after testing sound on in its News Feed? Well, not every Facebook user sees videos in their News Feed. The stats sate that only 500 million Facebook users even see videos, so the test may have been conducted using the most video-friendly segment of the social network’s users. And 85% of these Facebook users currently watch videos with the sound off. So, did Facebook conduct its test using the 15% that currently watch videos with the sound on? And as the social network rolls out videos that autoplay with sound, will the feedback continue to be as positive? In other words, kudos to Facebook for giving everyone a “heads up” that changes are coming down the road. For a company that just celebrated its 13th birthday, the social network is showing a lot of maturity. But, video marketers should still watch this particular change like a hawk, because sound may not be welcomed by as many Facebook users as advertisers would like. The jury is still out.

YouTube to End 30 Second Unskippable Ads

Google provided an official statement on Feb. 17, 2017, that said  YouTube will drop the unskippable ad format beginning early next year. A Google spokesman added that YouTube will “focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers.” The 30-second unskippable ads were popular with advertisers. So, apparently this format didn’t work for YouTube users, who have apparently come to expect the ability to choose which video ads they want to watch – which is what TrueView video ads gave them seven years ago.  Advertisers will have until 2018 to make adjustments to their plans. And video ads that are shorter than 30-seconds, including 20-second spots, can still be made unskippable. Plus, YouTube has been touting its six-second unskippable bumper ad format since its introduction in April 2016. Again this is nice that YouTube gave consumers and advertisers a “heads up” that changes are coming down the road. For a company that just celebrated its 12th birthday, the video-sharing site is showing a lot of maturity. But, video marketers should recognize that YouTube appears to be giving its users want they want while Facebook is testing the limits of what its advertisers would like to have.

Although both video platforms and trying to balance the two competing forces that any media company feels, one is zigging, while the other is zagging. That means this isn’t a horse race where both competitors are trying to pull out ahead of each other on the same well-defined track. This is more like cross-country running where two different teams are competing in a race across open-air courses over natural terrain that is not well marked. That makes the changes to Facebook and YouTube’s video advertising formats well worth watching – even if we won’t know the outcome until next year.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC

http://www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

Posted by: FDMC | February 15, 2017

Is Your Business Using Pinterest?

On Pinterest – the social platform built on beautiful, shareable imagery – opportunities for shopping come cleverly disguised as outfit inspiration and smoothie recipes and DIY centrepieces and VW bus renovations and french bulldog puppies. These collectible, bite-sized visuals feed our human instincts to covet and hoard and categorize. For consumers, it’s a place to hunt and gather. For brands, it’s a goldmine. saying “Take my money!” Last year, Pinterest was the second largest social source for traffic (over Twitter), and resulting visits had the third highest average order value (beating Facebook). If you’re still not convinced, consider this: sales and traffic from Pins can occur long after the item is pinned. In fact, 50 percent of visits happen after 3.5 months, according to Piqora. Compared to Twitter and Facebook where the content half-life is around 5 minutes and 80 minutes, respectively, Pinterest is more bang for your social buck. As a merchant, there are several ways to maximize your efforts on Pinterest, including choosing the right content, running contests, and engaging with your community. Here are seven ideas to add to your Pinterest marketing strategies.

1. Use Rich Pins

Rich Pins are pins that contain extra information right inside the pin. Your customers can benefit from Product Pins which include real-time pricing and stock availability. Rich Pins can improve CTR and discoverability of Pins, by making them eligible for Pinterest’s own curated feeds. Another advantage of Rich Pins is price notifications. If you reduce the price of your product, customers who Repinned that product image will receive an email from Pinterest notifying them of the price drop and prompting them to buy.

2. Pin Smarter

Quality over quantity is a long-revered rule of thumb when it comes to, well, just about anything. With Pinterest, make it your mantra. Volume matters for the sake of consistency – pin every new product, engage frequently, keep it fresh. Knowing what types of images work best on Pinterest is even more important. When shooting and choosing photos for your product pages, make them highly Repinnable. What makes an image Pinterest-worthy? Let’s dig into the data:

·        Keep it Anonymous. Images without faces receive 23% more Repins than those with faces.

·        Use Color Wisely. Pins with multiple dominant colors are Repinned 3.25 times more than those dominated by a single color, and red images fare better than blue.

·        Size Matters. Images on your product pages should ideally be at least 600 px wide with the optimal Pin width being 736 pixels wide (the maximum display size). Taller images are more likely to be Repinned.

·        Listen. Pay attention to your analytics, either through your Pinterest business tools or via other apps like Piqora, Tailwind, or Curalate. While summer salad recipes and DIY treehouses may have high virality potential overall, be relevant – find out what resonates with your audience specifically.

·        Timing is Everything. Pin and engage when your customers are doing the same. The time periods 2-4pm and 8-11pm are roughly the best times to Pin, but it can depend on where and who your customers are. Pinterest research also suggests that certain categories perform better on specific days of the week.

·        You Need a Blog. You already know why your ecommerce site needs a blog. Use it as a place tocreate beautiful content for your Pinterest boards, too. Even if you’re not a designer or photographer, you can use easy tools to help create great content.

3. Sell the Lifestyle

Inspire your audience, don’t just sell to them. Create boards around lifestyle themes that include your products, rather than just product boards (“The Great Outdoors” vs “ABC Company Outerwear”). Great brands understand their customers and the kind of content that they crave.

4. Piggyback on the Popular

While I previously cautioned against pinning content simply based on viral potential, you can tap into the most popular pin types and search terms if they’re actually relevant to your audience. Are your customers predominantly men? Your slice of the Pinterest pie is small, so maximize your efforts. Create boards and pin content in the categories of photography, art, design, and home decor. Do you sell food or beverages? Develop easy recipes containing your products. Are your products related to fitness, health, or beauty? Pin inspirational and inspirational content with quotes. Is your ecommerce store a source for tools, craft supplies, or fabric? Use them to create DIYs and tutorials.

5. Run Pinterest Contests

Contests are a great way to increase engagement on Pinterest. Brands, however, should pay attention to Pinterest’s contest guidelines. Certain types of contests are not permitted, nor is spammy behaviour.

Done well, and within the platform’s parameters, Pinterest contests can drive sales and traffic for your ecommerce site. Jetsetter used contests to increase site traffic by 150% and Overstock.com saw a 1000% jump in referrals from Pinterest.

Contest tips:

·        Be Creative. Modcloth wins at contests by keeping them fun and original.

·        Make it Worth it. Forever 21 asks followers to create an entire board, but puts a $1000 gift card on the table as incentive.

·        Get Inspired. Look to other brands for contest ideas that might work for you.

·        Use an App. Apps like Gleam.io, Wishpond or Woobox can help organize your contest and host it on your site or Facebook.

6. Leverage the Power of Influencers

Partner up with Pinterest influencers and bloggers to give your product some clout on the social network. Many brands get access to new audiences by inviting Guest Pinners to create boards on their accounts. Often, influencers will charge a fee for this service, but social media love in exchange for your product may be possible, too. Choose to work with Pinterest users whose audiences resemble your desired customers.

7. Engage Your Community

Involve your community to help increase engagement. Group Boards can be comprised of many contributors – customersstaff, a select group of influencers – or can even be open to anyone to join. The contributors to your group boards become brand ambassadors, creating content on your behalf. Celebrate the selfie! Tap into narcissism and encourage your customers to share images of themselves with your product. This is an especially useful tactic for fashion brands to gather alternate, accessible images of products worn by real people.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC

http://www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

Posted by: FDMC | February 8, 2017

Getting Social The Right Way With B2B

B2B buyers take their time researching, consulting and getting approvals before making any decisions. As a result, it’s unlikely that a decision-maker would see an ad and make an impulse purchase the way a consumer might. Rather than using social media to drive direct sales, B2Bs should leverage it to share valuable content and position themselves as subject matter experts throughout the buyer journey.

LinkedIn automatically comes to mind when discussing social media for B2Bs but there’s plenty of untapped potential on other networks as well. For example, Twitter is a better platform for driving conversation. Facebook can be a powerful tool for B2Bs. Facebook helps us drive registration to events, whereas on LinkedIn, we focus more on thought leadership,

Consumer brand marketers advocate developing fresh content for each social platform whenever possible, but because of the investment B2Bs make in producing white papers and customer case studies, it doesn’t make sense not to reuse content. The key is to present it in a way that resonates with each social platform’s unique audience.

B2Cs often use social media to participate in live conversations surrounding current events. B2Bs have a similar opportunity at industry conferences and trade shows. Companies can share contextual information and drive meaningful conversations with a leaned-in audience.

Though B2B companies may often have more modest social reach than consumer brands, B2Bs can build niche decision-maker communities where questions are answered and industry-specific matters are discussed. The reach may be smaller, but with more room for one-to-one conversation, the impact could be greater.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Media

http://www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

Posted by: FDMC | February 1, 2017

Networking With Your Business

Networking. The mere word conjures up discomfort: There you are, making forced small talk with complete strangers while balancing cube-shaped cheese or veggies and a pool of dip on a plastic plate. But networking isn’t just an activity you do over cocktails and finger foods or with conversations centered around safe topics like the weather or what you find most “rewarding” about your job.

Networking is simply any act that builds strong personal connections with other people. And it’s an essential activity—a necessary evil, some may say—for advancing your career or, if you’re an entrepreneur, for securing new business and meeting investors. Since it’s a human-focused undertaking, you’re actually networking every time you interact with another person—or at least you can be. Each tap, tweet, post, message, and comment is the chance to make a connection—therefore, it’s networking. That means that in the space of an ordinary workday, you have plenty of opportunities to network in a multitude of micro-ways, hold the micro-cheese. Here are a few of them.

YOUR EMAIL SIGNATURE

Come what may of other communication tools, email isn’t going anywhere soon. According to a recent Radicati report, the average number of business emails sent and received per user each day totaled 122. And that figure is set to grow; by 2019, researchers estimate, we’ll be trading 126 emails a day.

So rather than groaning about the state of your inbox, consider the 122 networking opportunities you have each time you hit “send.” Set up an email signature line if you don’t have one, and take a fresh look at it if you do. Do recipients know not only how to reach you (off email) but also what they should be seeking you out for when they do?

Does your signature line appear at the bottom of each email sent, or do you have to remember to drop it in each time? Send yourself an email and consider how it looks from the perspective of a recipient. Would you like to talk to that person on the basis of the signature line alone? If not, change it.

LINKEDIN UPDATES

You may have a polished, professional, up-to-date profile on LinkedIn, but that only tells part of your career story. To use LinkedIn to its fullest, you can’t just treat it as a directory. You have to share updates pretty regularly in order to tell connections what’s on your mind, whether it’s your point of view on some industry news story or just congratulating a colleague on a business win. You can break out of your own immediate professional sphere, too. Consider sharing updates on a nonprofit cause you care about; many business connections deepen around shared charitable interests, not just professional ones. And yes, updates are a chance to toot your own business horn—but just as the best networking isn’t all “me me me,” you should also use updates to cross-sell your colleagues’ talents or promote the services of vendors you trust. (Just remember that LinkedIn is still a business platform, so keep your LOLs and selfies for other social networking sites.)

YOUR SPEAKER OR AWARD BIO

Okay, maybe you aren’t exactly invited to speak or receive an award on a daily basis, but the further you go in your career, the more often these opportunities may crop up. As they do, you’ll need to craft custom bios that are tailored to each one. And as counter intuitive as it sounds, even if you’re the main-stage attraction, the bio you submit should be all about the audience, not about you: Who are they? Why do they care about what you have to say or what you’ve accomplished? How can you draft your bio to connect with them more meaningfully? The bio you submit won’t just appear in a program handout, it’s also likely to be posted on the event or organization’s website, included in online marketing materials and even a press release (where others will readily find it with a quick Google search). So take the time to craft a targeted bio each time you’re asked for one. Use the opportunity to not only just tell them what you’ve done in the past, but also to show them what they should be seeking from you in the future.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC

http://www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

Posted by: FDMC | January 25, 2017

Blogging and Video To Increase Business

If you are running your own business, then you know how tough it can be. A blog significantly improves search rankings and gives you a chance to connect with more customers.

But what if you’re not an amazing writer? And what if you don’t know what to blog about?

Don’t worry. The first blog post is always the hardest. That’s why I collected examples of different kinds of posts for your inspiration.

Check these out and consider writing to tell your story, announce a sale, or give a guide to your products today.

Make a List of Influencers to Follow

Here’s an easy way to create good content – and offers the potential to be widely-shared:

Make a list of the top 25 blogs, Twitter accounts, or even Tumblrs, for someone interested in your industry to follow. Compile that list, write a few sentences about why you included each blog or Twitter account, publish it, and send it to the people you feature. If you do it tastefully, there’s a good chance that they’ll share the post with their audiences. That will get you lots of traffic – in addition to improving your SEO.

Answer Questions About Your Industry or Vertical

Some of the most successful pieces of content marketing ever comes via Marcus Sheridan of River Pools and Spas.

River Pools and Spas installs fiberglass pools, the cost of which is not always transparent. Sheridan decided to write blog posts about every aspect of fiberglass pools.

Sheridan’s posts were so good that the New York Times profiled him with a headline: “A Revolutionary Marketing Strategy: Answer Customers’ Questions.”

His blog posts often rank on the first page of Google for their search terms. And that’s driven both traffic and sales.

 

Profile Your Team or Staff

Your team is made up of interesting people. Why not feature their stories? There’s a variety of things that you can do. You can write up a short bio of them that includes their interests and where they’ve been. This can also take the format of a Q&A, when you spend 15 minutes chatting with someone on your team and then write up the questions and their responses.

This is an especially easy way to generate some good content. Most importantly, it gives your customers a sense of who they’re dealing with. When they purchase a product from your store, they know that they’re buying from real people with real passions.

Give a Sneak Peek of New Products or Services (and Ask for Feedback)

There’s two ways that this tactic can be valuable:

First, it generates excitement from your customers for a new product. If they like what you do and are loyal towards your brand, they’ll feel especially good that they get to see a new thing first.

Second, it has the potential to increase engagement. If you manufacture your products, consider floating a prototype for people to see; they may offer valuable input on what can be improved. And if you don’t manufacture your own products, ask your readers which of the options you can stock most appeals to them. Let them anticipate something that they’ll buy from you.

Make a Tutorial for Your Products

Everybody wins when your customers know how to use your products.

Not every product needs an in-depth tutorial on how it’s used. But for certain products this can be a big help.

Does your product have cool, non-obvious uses? Is it best enjoyed in a certain condition? Is there something that the customer should do to make the most of it?

Point these things out. Potential customers may see one more way to use your product and existing customers may be pleased to discover a new way to use it.

Announce a Sale

This one’s obvious. When you have, a big sale coming up, announce it on your blog. It’ll give people something to link to.

Use the space to talk about the products you have on sale, and if it’s applicable, why these products are right for the occasion. (It may be, for example, the perfect present for Mother’s Day.) And if you’re able to design something, put together a graphic.

 

Run a Contest

Running a contest is like announcing a sale. They’re both effective and attractive ways to get more attention for your store. Just make sure that you’re not making the common mistakes with giveaways and contests.

You can have all sorts of giveaways, of your products, of gift cards, or even special experiences like a visit to your store. And entering the contest can take a variety of forms. The easiest way is to submit a comment at the end of the post. You can also ask people to tweet about your store or share it on another social media platform.

Set up Gleam to make the most out of your contest. Gleam offers one-click entry, built-in viral sharing, and multiple ways of picking new winners.

Write About an Event You Participated In

If you help put on an event then you should definitely write about it. But you can also write about something that you don’t own, like your thoughts on a conference.

Write up your impressions and thoughts about a conference or meetup you went to. It shows that you’re paying attention to where your industry is going and people will appreciate the insights. Make sure to snap a few pictures and post them up too.

Tell the History of Your Company

Being an entrepreneur means something special. Few people think of it, and even fewer people act on it.

So, what’s your founding story?

Share the story of why you decided to become an entrepreneur. Was it driven by an event? Was it the result of a special trip? Were you struck by inspiration of some sort? Tell the story and connect better with your customers.

Make a Video: Product Tutorial

Okay, we don’t want to give the impression that content marketing is only blogging. It can be making videos, writing emails, and other kinds of content-generation too.

Sometimes you just can’t write about how to use a product. You have to show, not tell. Then it’s time to post a video on YouTube (or some other platform).

Besides, video marketing is effective. By one estimate, consumers are 64% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video.

Shoot a product tutorial to introduce your product, its benefits, and how it can best be used, or talk to us here at FDMC Social and Digital Video on how we can help you.

Make a Video: How Your Product Is Made or the Service You Offer

Our last suggestion for an easy piece of content: Make a video of how your product is made.

Do you have a very interesting manufacturing process? Does it require special tools and equipment? Is the process fun to look at? Shoot a video of its production.

Conclusion

You know your business well, and there are lots of opportunities to create good content by telling people about cool things in your industry. Write a blog post, shoot a video, or generate some other type of content today to tell your story and improve SEO.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Video

http://www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

 

Posted by: FDMC | January 18, 2017

Are You Using WhatsApp Yet?

Although I don’t have a ton of friends or contacts on WhatsApp, I continue to use this app and have been now for several years. I like it and now advertisers are starting to see the benefits of WhatsApp. The traffic is less crowded and there is a lot of potential here at lower advertising costs.

Right now, brands are finding that a WhatsApp strategy makes sense for the always-time-strapped consumer. Instead of asking them to seek out the brand’s mobile app for a personalized experience, brands will come to them to talk where they already are. And since only 20 million of WhatsApp’s 1 billion users are projected to be based in the U.S. in 2017, according to Statista, the app serves as a door to an international audience.

On WhatsApp, customers can select items they want to be delivered by scrolling through the latest updated stock. A Reliance Brand representative said in 2015 that conversion rate was as high as 80 percent, and that “cash-rich-time-poor” customers appreciated the convenience of the direct conversation. It helps that that conversation doesn’t cost the brands a lot, either.

“One of the most appealing things about WhatsApp is its success rate. 98 percent of WhatsApp messages are opened and read. “Second, it’s cheap. Cheaper than any customer service or advertising on any traditional media, with the bonus of the automatic opt-in, since the customers gave you their telephone numbers.”

Over the holidays, high-end lingerie brand Agent Provocateur set out on WhatsApp with a goal to help couples buy items. The customer service strategy was aimed at the “time-poor” customer, a brand spokesperson told  Digiday, and also the retailer’s VIPs, who are becoming increasingly important in a competitive retail market.

WhatsApp’s current advantage: It’s less crowded by other brands than the Facebooks and Snapchats of the world. “The challenge brands have is finding an uncluttered environment where they can talk to customers,” said David Cooperstein, an advisor to the programmatic platform Pebblepost. “They know people are spending time on WhatsApp, and they’re looking for ways to get visibility.”

Outside of WhatsApp, brands have tested conversational-driven customer service and marketing on apps like WeChat and Facebook Messenger, as customers are becoming more open to the idea of chatting with a brand. So far, WhatsApp’s full potential is still yet to be tapped.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC

www.floridadudemarketeingconcepts.com

Older Posts »

Categories