Blog : Content

Digital proofing aids content development

Digital proofing aids content development

For both agencies and their clients, the proofing process can often be more strenuous than the actual creation of the content. In the digital realm, it has become much more simplified. Today many online tools exist that make for a faster exchange of information. Rather than having to shuffle through multiple emails, the project content exists in one space. A digital interface often allows the project to be more collaborative. Even if the two parties never meet in person, a quality product can still be crafted.

Another benefit of the move to online proofing is that it erases the hassle of scheduling conflicts. An agency can send content out to the client whenever it is finished, and they are able to review it at their leisure. They do not have to be confined to an appointment time. The possibility of 24/7 communication means that a client will have the opportunity to give as much feedback as they want.

If a client likes a Japanese agency’s work, it does not matter if that client is based, for example, in Texas. Efficiency and quality can take precedence over proximity.

The switch to online proofing also saves the client money, as it is less expensive to edit digital content than to produce an entirely new physical copy. In fact, it is estimated that online proofing is up to 97% cheaper and twice as fast as reviewing the work face-to-face.

The process eases the workload on both ends. Therefore, it is becoming more difficult to find an agency that does not do most of their work digitally. In addition, improving technology means that it does not have to be as impersonal a process. Digitizing one’s work also establishes interactive working relationships. In the future, it is more easily shareable for whatever purpose the client desires.

Using market segmentation

Using market segmentation

The internet creates useful technologies for personalizing your marketing content. This is market segmentation. The medium allows you to address your audience by name, give them specific recommendations based on their interests, or send them discounts that they’re more likely to respond to. These technologies allow you to utilize market segmentation and develop strategies to personalize content like no other medium can do.

What is market segmentation?

Market segmentation is a form of targeted marketing that allows you to personalize your marketing campaigns to the taste of the individual client. It uses information about your consumer audience—such as demographic or psychographic—to personalize your marketing strategy. It also allows you to automate this campaign strategy instead of analyzing every client profile individually. You might want to send different email campaigns to clients of different ages, or varying advertisements to clients in different locations. In short, consumers get specified advertisements, and your business wastes less time targeting the wrong audience.

Why use market segmentation?

In addition to leading to an average 19% increase in sales, a personalized web experience allows you to develop strong relationships and client loyalty. Do you know that appreciation you feel when your barista knows your drink before you order? That works for marketing too. Users are constantly bombarded with advertisements. Personalizing your campaign to the individual develops a unique and valuable human connection.

Four points for market segmentation:

  • Determine what your most valuable clients have in common. Age? Zip code? Education? This can give you hints about what they value and what they will respond to. It also gives you insight into what consumers you should be targeting to bring in new clients.
  • Use dynamic content—HTML content that changes based on the viewer. Dynamic content might recognize them by name or change the content of a form based on their occupation. In short, it makes the client feel recognized and valuable.
  • Collect data before you collect an email. Doggyloot, a retail company that sells products for canines, asks subscribers how big their dog is before they sign up for emails. The idea is that products for big dogs are only sent to customers with big dogs. The result? Their click-through rate for these personalized email campaigns is 410% above average.
  • Utilize social media. While automation can be great for setting up campaigns, it can also be frustrating for clients when used too much. Social media allows you to create real person-to-person interaction. The consumer feels cared for when they’re not forced to talk to a robot to get their question answered. Plus, talking with your customers helps you know what they need and personalize the marketing campaigns you send them.

Ultimately, market segmentation works for the benefit of the consumer and the business. The consumer is only getting advertisements that they’re interested in and the business is getting the most from their marketing campaign. Although working to target demographics can take a little more work, it ensures that your marketing strategies are worth the work you’re putting in and will bring the best results.

Content Distribution

Content Distribution

A successful content distribution strategy utilizes already existing channels such as Twitter, Reddit, or the good old-fashioned email list to promote your content. More importantly, it targets your client demographic and reaches out to them through media that they respond to. There’s hardly any point in putting time into creative Snapchat stories if your client demographic is over the age of 50. You’d be far more likely to make an impact through email.

We spend a lot of time talking about the power of content, and that’s valid. Compelling, engaging storytelling is a huge part of drawing in potential clients. But, you may be wrong if you think a posted article or shared Instagram story will create a new stream of clients. Sharing that valuable content is only half the job; the second half is distributing the content for users to engage with.

5 ways to promote your content:

  • Email subscription lists are vastly underrated. Social media gets all the hype these days, but the reality is email is still hugely effective. Its lack of advertisements and ability to act as a portal to other forms of media means it’s still a huge part of marketing to clients.
  • Influencer marketing relies on social media users with a lofty reputation to promote content for them.
  • Twitter ads are effective because of their conciseness. Their short and sweet nature is attractive to the impatient and hurried consumer.
  • Push notifications offer an immediacy and responsiveness that you just can’t beat. Research shows that they boost engagement by 88%.
  • Facebook dark posts are a fairly untapped medium. In short, they allow you to post multiple advertisements to Facebook, each targeting different audiences, without making your own News Feed look cluttered or spammy.

Millions of tweets, posts, videos, and stories are shared every minute. Being selective about how and when you share is vital to your success. While authentic content is significant to reaching potential clients, the value is moot if no one is seeing it. A distribution strategy gives reach and dynamism to your content.

Genuine storytelling

Genuine storytelling

In the world of memes, tweets, and Snapchat stories, it’s easy to assume that engaging consumers means trimming things down. With an audience that has a shorter attention span than goldfish, slimming down marketing strategies to 160 characters seems like the way to go. But statistics show otherwise: engaging and emotional marketing strategies are far more successful than stereotypical promotional advertisements.

Authentic storytelling gives your brand personality. It allows your audience to connect with the company in a way that stands out among the fast-food style content that floods users’ Facebook feeds. This might be through longer-form blog posts, video production, or audio postcards. But the bottom line is that authentic storytelling focuses on developing a human connection. It sells your product or service with discretion, emotion, and relatability.

Tips for authentic storytelling:

  • Use sensory words. Amazingly, your brain cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is imaginary. Smelling coffee and reading about coffee trigger the exact same reaction in your brain. By using sensory details, you create a memorable story that humanizes your brand.
  • Use emotion to your advantage. Research shows that emotionally engaging marketing messages are twice as successful as promotional advertisements. Perhaps one of the best examples of this is Apple’s 2016 holiday commercial.
  • Know your audience and what they value. You wouldn’t talk to your boss in the same way that you would talk to your brother. Similarly, you have to understand your audience before you can have a conversation with them.
  • Be genuine. Numbers, formulas, statistics—it’s easy to get lost in these things. Developing a relatable story that’s organic and fresh will engage consumers in a way that standard promotional marketing just can’t live up to.

This unconventional strategy brings personality and energy to your brand. It gives your company a distinct voice in the industry, actionability to move your brand forward, and deeper insight into the values of your customers. Building these connections with your audience allows you to grow customer loyalty through common interests, beliefs, and standards. It starts a conversation, engaging consumers in a new and vibrant way.

Consumer-Generated Content

Consumer-Generated Content

There is probably no greater assurance in life than human testimony. Seeing someone providing support for a product or service you’re considering may be all you need to make a final purchase decision. If you take a look around, user-generated content is everywhere. Content created by actual consumers is becoming the go-to method to increase customer loyalty. The first-person narrative is quickly becoming a primary marketing channel.

This technique, coupled with the growth and effectiveness of social media interaction, is a deadly combination. This method gives businesses the ability to pass the brand-building responsibilities to the consumer. The purchase cycle begins with the customer and ends with another client. Why create external content when original user-generated content is available?

This new advantage leans on the customer’s interest to hear more views of people who were once in their position. The direction selected by those and have had a positive outcome with a particular product or service.

The more convincing a user can be in their first-person content, the more enriching the experience will be for the customer who is receiving that message. Satisfaction can come from of a picture filled with joy & commitment, a story with an excellent description, or an experience filled with uncontrollable emotion. Comfort can come in many forms, as long as it is a testimony that inspires your users to investigate an innocent way to brand your business.Close to 60% of retailers and 61% of brands are using consumer generated content in their social media campaigns. The most efficient campaigns focus on these five principles:

  • They concentrate on the basics
  • They stay in it for the long run
  • They listen to the customer
  • They let the customers share their story
  • They allow everyone to be a stakeholder

86% of millennials say that user-generated content is a good indication of the quality of a brand. Let’s help each other and share the experience.

If you need guidance to cross that bridge from one customer to the next, contact our Development Team.

The art of storytelling

The art of storytelling

The ability to communicate with your audience is crucial to every business. Your employees, your customers, and your potential audience all have the need to understand what your company offers in the marketplace.

Business Basics

The engagement of consumers with a simple idea is not a new concept, nor does it belong solely to marketers. The art of storytelling has long been central to society’s growth. As individuals, we might remember a terrifying story told to us as a youth, sitting around a campfire at summer camp. Others may remember a writer who evokes warm and cuddly feelings speaking of their first kiss. Be it terror or passion, the emotional component of the story is an element that often binds a narrative to our long-term memory.

We speak to our family, to our children, and to our peers with words meant to evoke a response. Whether we are writers, software designers, digital strategists, or graphic artists, we are all storytellers. The complexity of our stories differs from project to project, client to client. In the end, we ask only one thing – “remember my message.”

Storytelling components

If we are all shooting for the same goal, how do we stand out from the crowd? How do we send a message that is cleaner and more memorable than the competition? Emotion is one component that makes for an extraordinary story. However, knowing with whom you are speaking is incredibly important. A few gray hairs have provided me with these insights:

  • The K.I.S.S. Rule (AKA – Keep It Simple Stupid)

Try to keep your message focused. If you stray from the core of your message, you will lose your customer. Don’t fall victim to chasing ideas down a rabbit-hole. A creative environment allows for the creation of details. If those details are not kept in check, they can often dilute the original message.

  • Understand your audience

Be sure you understand your audience during this process. Be certain that you truly know your customer’s wants, needs, desires, and goals. If you just offer a message without focusing on the needs of your audience, there’s a good chance you’ll miss your mark.

  • Engage your audience

Communication is an interactive exchange of information between two or more people. This function requires a living, breathing relationship between those parties. Be sure that when you offer information to the next party, that they understand both the content and context of that information.

  • Don’t speak beyond your “voice”

As storytellers, we need to speak to our audience authoritatively. If a storyteller uses words, concepts, or ideas that are beyond their grasp, the audience will lose faith in the validity of the writer’s words. Readers have an amazing ability to identify rubbish when they see it. If you have to present an idea that is beyond your intellectual grasp, education, or base of life experience, attribute that idea to someone who possesses those skills. Don’t try to re-invent the wheel. If you have to discuss theoretical physics, don’t BS your way through it. Offer a hyperlink to someone who is qualified to speak on that subject matter.  For example, I’m not a theoretical physicist, but this team at UC Berkeley is pretty comfortable discussing these concepts. In short, you take a potential liability in your writing and create an asset by providing proper attribution to your sources.

Storytelling has been deeply engrained in the human experience for thousands of years. If you visit the Indonesian Island of Sulawesi, there you will discover the earliest known cave paintings. The images on the cave walls date back an estimated 40,000 years. These are the earliest visual stories known to be told by humans. The basic storytelling elements employed during this window in history remain the same today. Communicate an idea that can be clearly understood by your audience.

Sharing your thoughts in a context that is recognized by your audience is crucial to successful storytelling. As business leaders, you provide a material good or service that is desired by the consumer. Before they can appreciate your offerings, they must first be able to understand your story. You, in turn, must be willing to listen to what they are saying to you – not what you think they are saying. If you have any questions about reaching out to your customer base, contact Colure’s team to help you hit your mark.

Content at the core of all media

Content at the core of all media

Business Basics Series

A brand’s voice and personality depend on the type of content it produces. The effectiveness of a brand’s marketing campaign depends on the delivery method of that content. The substance of your media is intimately involved in every step of the purchase decision-making process. It is the most stable mechanism of brand promotion.

Customer engagement, which is a strong predictor of company growth and brand loyalty, is built through providing value to the consumer. This action is most often achieved through value, usually achieved through useful content. “Emotional engagement is far more important to consumers than promotional content,” thus making the quality of the content the main factor in its success.

A reputation…is it owned or earned?

While everyone recognizes the role of content in owned and earned media, it’s harder to determine if content has a place in paid media or if paid media is rendering content useless. Owned, earned, and paid media sources are almost always used together in unison. They’re used to build off each other, but they have key differences worth elaborating.

Owned Media refers to all channels that a company manages and curates, like websites, blogs, and social media. Its main strength is the control it gives a company over their brand image. Its main weakness is its limited reach—though 89% of marketers are using social media around 16% of Facebook fans see the brand’s content on their newsfeed.

Earned Media includes all mentions of a brand on third party channels. Sometimes referred as organic advertising, search engine optimization and mobile app store optimization. It is the shared, the reviewed and the viral. Its main weakness, that of having no control of what is being said when, is counteracted by its main strength, the power of word-of-mouth to influence people’s decisions. The skepticism people have when viewing ads is equivalent to the trust that comes from another person’s recommendation.

Paid Media is comprised of all of the advertisements that you have paid. These include Adwords, sponsorships, and content written by others for a fee. Many times, this can appear as sponsored items, appearing in a news channel feed. Another name is “native advertising”. It is expensive, yet, far-reaching. This is a highly targetable resource. While many have frowned upon it, paid media is important to a marketing campaign because, without it, your best content might remain hidden. It is not a replacement for “true content”, but it is a valuable tool in taking owned media and pushing it to possibly blurring the line toward earned media. Competition online has made it hard to sift through information on the basis of interest alone and paid media allows one to place an ad before eyes who are searching for it.

At the core of all three strategies lies content. It is content that draws people to your website. It is content that makes people want to talk about your brand and share it with their friends. And it is content that keeps people engaging with ads even when they’re savvy enough to recognize and avoid them. Paid media will reach an audience, but it will rarely keep them watching more than they have to.

Content is what makes consumers say, “Wow, I didn’t even know that was an ad for something!” Questions for the ad industry become “Where do we draw the line between advertising and content?” and “How visible do we make that line?”