Blog : Marketing

Object-Based Targeting

Object-Based Targeting

Object-based targeting allows companies to focus the content of an advertisement to match the content posted by a consumer. If you post pictures of dogs, this technology will marry canine-themed advertisements to appear in your social media.

With real-time social media playing such a big role in the lives of consumers, it was only a matter of time before somebody grabbed ahold of the reigns on real-time advertising. Snap Inc. took a big leap last year by patenting a new technology that will change real-time advertisements in a central way. The technology will allow advertisers to target Snapchat users in a uniquely personal way.

Snap Inc.’s object-based targeting will enable advertisers to promote their product based on the content that Snapchat user posts to their account. If a user snaps an image of a new pair of Nikes, they’re likely to see ads for footwear.

Snap Inc. has yet to enable the technology on Snapchat, but it’s expected that the new features will bring in a significant revenue increase and user growth. In fact, they made $1.2 Billion in 2018 — a big jump from the $59 million they made in 2015.

Consumers repeatedly respond more to image-based advertisements than to written content, so object-based targeting offers a way to speak the language of your consumer audience. Behind Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are the top social media sites. Both of these rely almost completely on visual content. Not only is it more engaging, but visual content makes your advertisement more memorable. Research shows that when people listen to information, they’ll remember 10% of the information three days later. If that information is paired with a relevant image, they’ll remember 65% of the information three days later.

Snapchat’s new feature will mean that advertisements can be targeted even more specifically than they already are. Advertisers will be able to respond to users automatically and instantaneously, virtually serving up a user’s interests on a silver platter.

What is Influencer Marketing?

What is Influencer Marketing?

The emphasis of digital marketing has continually shifted over the past three decades. For the last few years, our industry has been consumed by content marketing. Now, a marketing shift toward influencer marketing has grasped our collective attention. The product or service is falling subordinate to the salesman’s sales-pitch.

Influencer marketing relies on the individual’s popularity or reputation to draw market share to a company’s bottom line. A person’s online persona can sway the choice of thousands of followers in an instant. Their popularity enforces the value of the product, encouraging followers and fans to buy the product. If a consumer finds the influencer enticing, often all that is needed is a simple Tweet to bend a market.

The rise in social media has created a far stronger illusion of intimacy between big names and average people. Instead of relying on traditional media, consumers can go directly to a politician’s Facebook page, or see pictures of a celebrity’s child on Instagram. This direct connection between influencer and follower deceives the follower to trust an influencer in the same way that they might trust a friend or family member. Influencer marketing offers a new type of digital and mobile advertisement that appears far more organic and natural.

Goals when engaging influence marketers:

  • Plan in advance. The use of influencers requires research and focus. A scattered, shotgun approach to marketing runs contrary to the use of influencers.
  • Be strategic in your selection of individuals. Each influencer has a specific audience that follows specific individuals. Each audience has its own habits and tastes. Select a palette of influencers to facilitate your goals.
  • Allow the influencer to use his or her own voice. Influencers have a following because of their brand; they speak with their own voice. This is why you hire them. Let them do their job.

Influencer marketing allows the company to step deeply into the consumer’s circle of trust. In the same way that we are more likely to listen to a good friend, consumers rely on social media to construct their reality. As marketers take hold of this opportunity, consumers become less hostile and more accepting of endorsement by influences.

If you want guidance selecting the elements of you next marketing campaign, contact Colure’s advisory team.

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.
  • 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.

Relationship marketing and customer relationships

Relationship marketing and customer relationships

Relationships. Why are they so darn important in our lives? It’s a question that cuts to the core of the human condition. What is it about this most basic of human interactions that move our minds, our hearts, and our souls? My humble guess is that every person cradles their own, very particular answers to those questions.

Marketers have tried to access that very special part of our lives for many years. Relationship Marketing is the establishment of a long-term interaction between a company and an individual. The goal is to establish a genuine interaction, built on loyalty. That long-term relationship is essential to this process.

The tortoise and the hare?

This concept differs from transaction-based relationships, which focus on promotionally-based sales. Advertising often focuses a select message during a finite time window. Immediate sales and individual ad campaigns often pursue the short-term ROI. A long-term relationship appreciates a long-term return, provided consistently over time.

Forbes contributing writer Steve Olenski describes the concept of Relationship Marketing as revolving around one critical component:

The word I am referring to is “emotion.”

Long the holy grail of marketers and advertisers the world over, the word emotion speaks to that rarified place where few brands and advertisers reside. For just as in any relationship in life, touching on human emotions, preferably the positive emotions, is the key to any happy, healthy and long-term relationship.”

The advantages of this marketing strategy include:

  • strong word of mouth advertising
  • a higher rate of brand loyalty
  • retaining a long-term consumer is less expensive than the cost of acquiring a new customer

Embracing a consumer relationship requires knowing your market, your consumer and having an understanding of your own goals. Familiarity breeds a consistency that benefits both parties. Engaging your consumer leads to long-term gains.

If you are interested in developing long-term relationships with your customers, contact our team.

 

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.

What is social media marketing?

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of Internet marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media in order to achieve your marketing goals. This includes posting text and image updates, videos and other engaging activities. These may include tools such as a hashtag, which drives audience interaction and engagement.

The use of social media in marketing has brought new consumers to businesses by expanding their audience and directly targeting the audience on platforms that they use every day.

Your business type should inform and drive your marketing strategy. When building a social media marketing strategy, it should reflect the following questions:

  • What are you hoping to achieve through social media marketing?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Where would your target audience hang out and how would they use social media?
  • What message do you want to send to your audience with social media marketing?

Gathering data will allow you to pinpoint exactly what the consumer wants and how to engage their social media. When marketing is introduced to social media, consumers automatically participate subconsciously, which then drives sales for a business.

Great content and a consistent brand image are what will drive your social media marketing. By staying consistent with your brand and other forms of marketing, consumers will be able to retain your products and relate it back to your business’s core identity.

Social media marketing has expanded due to the increase in usage of sites that target consumers use the most. The most common social media site include:

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Social media marketing is effective whether the company acts alone or has collaborated with others. Back in 2015, emojis became a trend among social media users. Brands picked up on this trend and started to use the emojis as well.

Taco Bell, who has an interactive social media presence among the youthful demographic joined in on the trend. Users simply had to tweet at Taco Bell with taco emoji and another of their choice, and the brand would tweet the user back with a humorous mashup of the two images.

Other companies such as Urban Decay used Pinterest to get users excited about a new makeup collection by creating a contest on the social media site where the winner would win tickets to the sold-out music festival Coachella.

Social media marketing has become a powerful marketing tool due to the usage among its target audience and growing youth population. It is an advantage to businesses on staying up-to-date with its audience, but also increase sales as well.

International markets drive a new definition of service

International markets drive a new definition of service

For many companies, their market has been redefined because of the internet. A good or service offered to a traditionally domestic market can now catch the attention of an international audience. Being able to understand and respond to the needs of clients from any location provides an advantage to a company.

Most nations employ English as either a primary or secondary language. This approach helps to breach barriers to your business. Having a well-designed website and utilizing search engine optimization strategies will allow customers and clients around the world to see what your company is capable of doing.

Refining the scope of the markets that you want to address is critical when taking your business global. According to Forbes, you want to “Develop a disciplined method to expanding your business and ensure that every new market you explore offers at least one of the following advantages over others:

  • A larger customer base, potentially with a higher willingness to pay
  • Access to cheaper supply of labor or raw material, leading to cost efficiencies
  • Legal, regulatory, or other systemic factors that make it easier to do business.”

Successful international marketing is similar to marketing in the United States. You have to identify customer needs that your company can address. Make sure your products and services, can address them more completely than competitors in that market sect.

Customers will base their loyalty to a company based on how well their needs are tended to, especially on an international scale. Global customer service is important to any consumer. A company with excellent customer service is more likely to get repeat business from customers. Consequently, the company will benefit with greater sales and profits.

As you consider global expansion, one thing to keep in mind is that you never want to make a move that will diminish success and hard work on home soil. Domestic sales are what got you to where you are and will be the key to expanding that success.

Neglecting your foundation and home market to pursue global markets can easily backfire. By maintaining a strong balance between both markets, you will create a strong brand image at home while slowly establishing yourself internationally. This will allow a company to maintain their core mission while responding to its international potential.

It will take time for a small company to take their business international. But with the right steps and commitment, a small business can find itself competing with larger known businesses and gain the same amount of success.

Artificial intelligence and SEO

Artificial intelligence and SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s results page (SERP). Complicated algorithms examine tremendous amounts of data to produce these results.

To facilitate this workload, search engines now employ the use of artificial intelligence (AI). This change has made it necessary for legitimate digital marketers to refine their efforts to maintain quality in terms of technical SEO and content development.

The artificial intelligence learns and uses natural language processing, meaning that AI SEO becomes smarter and more human-friendly. AI is trained by using known data, such as:

  • Content

  • Links

  • User behavior

  • Trust

  • Citations

  • Patterns

The AI systems then analyze that data using user experience, big data, and machine learning to develop new ranking factors. The process is capable of producing marketable results most likely to meet user needs.

RankBrain is Google’s machine-learning, artificial intelligence system that helps process its search results. The system uses an entirely new way of processing queries. This portion of the search engine’s core algorithm looks at search terms that have not been used before and compares the keywords against other searches to determine what type of results the end user is looking for.

Google’s RankBrain is just one form of artificial “narrow intelligence,” which means that, while it can perform things better than a human in one specific area, it is still a relatively weak form of artificial intelligence.

Yet, AI offers marketers insights that will improve ad campaigns. Adopting AI specifically for SEO efforts presents marketers with tactics that enable them to rank higher in search engines and get their ads seen by more people. The data provides insight that enable you to optimize a website, build links with the high-authority domains, and identifies the best keywords to use for each webpage.

Artificial intelligence has now progressed into deeper learning. While combined with search engine optimization, the list of possibilities to perform tasks has brought a whole new way to produce search engine results.

The execution of SEO has changed because Google, Bing, and all the other search engines are employing artificial intelligence (AI) to evaluate the content of pages.

When SEO is combined with artificial intelligence there are improvements in the results that come from search engine optimization.

Project performance and KPI’s

Project performance and KPI’s

Business Basics

The success or failure of any project can be measured if you keep an open eye and know how to measure your company’s performance. You must have measurable data order to understand the significance of any market action. Goals must be set as benchmarks of success or failure. These goals should be realistic and attainable. These measurable benchmarks are referred to as “Key Performance Indicators” or KPIs. These are items that “help an organization assess progress toward declared goals.”-TechTarget.

What is a KPI?

These measurements “are used to evaluate factors that are crucial to the success of an organization,” – TechTarget. KPIs allow organizations to measure the results of their campaigns. These items help to tweak current goals to better sell their product or service. Well set KPIs can determine the success of an organization. Simply stated – if you can’t accurately measure your established performance, there is no way you will be able to modify precisely those behaviors for growth toward your goals.

Differing from group to group

Because organizations in every industry vary, the KPI’s need to reflect those organizations must differ . Each KPI is relevant to a specific purpose. While the basic premise is the same, the goals for each team will be dependent on what the result needs to be. KPIs for a mobile marketing campaign can measure the lead generation and the capture of a customer, but those KPIs will differ from a hospital’s patient ER wait time. The goal of a KPI is to find the best possible way to gain success without spending enormous amounts of time, effort, and money to get there.

Why use a KPI?

When an organization thinks up a new idea, product, service, or campaign, the result and their needs goal has to be assessed. Which means, “before you start assigning KPI’s to everything you can think of, there needs to (be) a clear understanding of your business objectives and strategic directions,” Intouch Marketing. Organizations must ask questions before, during, and after the launch of the campaign to determine the importance of their KPIs.

For KPIs to be successful, an organization must know how to translate the data. “If management cannot translate the importance and understanding of the businesses KPI’s to their employees effectively, they will most likely fail,” Intouch Marketing. Management must be able to quantify the statistics to their employees, so those individuals can execute the campaign to drive success.

Success is something that every organization wants and needs. Measuring KPIs is a key tool to reach those achievements. Organizations must always have an action plan for end results whenever initiating and executing something new into the mix. Otherwise, not setting goals will inevitably end in failure. Be wise and use those KPIs!

If you need guidance on measuring your corporation’s growth and performance, contact Colure’s Project Managers to help you define your next step for corporate growth.

Set your mobile marketing strategy on fire

Set your mobile marketing strategy on fire

When you want to set your mobile marketing strategy on fire, you have to understand your audience. You have access to your customers in an instant through the use of SMS mobile marketing. This is a powerful tool, once you learn how to unleash this power your marketing efforts will show significant results. Whether your business is small and just getting started, or you have numerous locations, you can develop a mobile marketing strategy that reaches customers and boosts sales both online and in person.

Your Opt-In Texting Campaign

You need to develop an opt-in campaign that allows you to send marketing text messages to your customer base. Customers sign up, either in store, through a text, or through email. Once they opt-in, you are allowed to send text messages. The messages must contain language that makes it clear how to stop receiving messages to comply with regulations. You can send customers texts about time-limited deals, send links to your blog content, and offer insider information to your business through text messages.

Make Sure Your Website is Ready for Mobile Use

How your website is designed matters. Optimizing your website for use on mobile devices is essential when you are trying to improve your mobile marketing strategy. There’s no point of getting customers to visit your website if it isn’t easy to navigate on a mobile device.

Develop an App for Your Business

Smartphone users love apps when it comes to interacting with a business. For example, opening up a Dunkin Donuts app, the customer can drive up to the window, order a coffee, and then pay just by having the app on their phone scanned. This makes purchases for the consumer easier using their mobile devices. It takes time, effort and money to develop an app for your business, but the payout is worth it.

Allow Shoppers to Pay With Mobile Devices

When you make paying for your goods and services easier on your customers, they aren’t going to go somewhere else to make the same purchase. This means you need to set up a way to accept mobile payments. This is done by finding a payment processor that can accept payments on behalf of your business for a nominal fee. Look around to find the right provider for your specific needs.

Engage on Social Media Platforms

When you want your mobile marketing strategy to work, you have to engage on social media. Facebook, the number one social media platform, offers businesses a variety of tools to engage with potential customers. You will need to build up a base of followers, but also provide relevant content to your followers. Whether you create links to your blog, or you have great deals you want to share, they won’t mean anything if the posts aren’t seen by anyone. To engage your customer base, ask thought-provoking questions, reply to all comments, and be mindful of what you share on a daily basis. Keep changing up your strategies and try different deals to see what works.

 

Author Biography:  Joel Lee is the SEO marketing specialist at Trumpia, a mobile content delivery service that allows users to customize their coordinated marketing efforts by interconnecting and optimizing all digital platforms.

Exploring the consumer purchasing journey

Exploring the consumer purchasing journey

The traditional purchase decision process has been transformed into the new buying decision journey. What used to be a narrow funnel of steps taken by the customer to reach an investment decision, has evolved into a circular path that takes into account diverse consumer experiences. The purchase decision journey has been compressed, but this compression does not mean that the trip is now simpler. In fact, it means just the opposite due to today’s technology that has evolved within the purchasing cycle. It is a series of consumer experiences, without a defined beginning or endpoint.

The purchase decision journey described by McKinsey begins with consideration, followed by evaluation, then enters the continuous cycle, also known as the loyalty loop. The components of the circuit include the purchase, experience, advocacy, and the bond, which will lead back to the acquisition. The cycle will repeat in a never ending circle, until the consumer leaves. A marketer’s goal is to lock the customer into the loyalty loop. To do this, marketers have to forget about traditional strategies and now must proactively personalize the consumer’s next step in the purchase decision journey.

The mission has changed for consumers and companies. For consumers, McKinsey proposes that the systematic narrowing of the initial consideration set no longer occurs. This is a result of businesses taking advantage of the purchase decision journey. Many companies who understand the buying decision journey have eliminated the steps of consideration and evaluation that consumers would typically undergo. Marketers can optimize competitive advantage by using automation, proactive personalization, and contextual interaction throughout the journey to create and maintain loyal customers.

Advertising and promotion alone cannot suffice with the recent purchase decision journey in existence. To reach success, companies must come to this realization and work toward innovation. As the presence and utilization of marketing, media expands, companies’ approaches must change to reach the consumer before the journey begins. The efforts of marketers do not stop there; it is necessary for them to continue to engage with the customer throughout the cycle to create a personalized experience.

Lastly, communication has shifted into a conversation. Originally, marketers were the sole communicators and consumers were the receivers. A relationship between marketer and consumer has now formed because of the presence of two-way conversation that replaced one-way communication.

The path of the consumer purchase decision is no longer a process that comes to an end. Rather, it is an endless journey. Where the buyer steps on or steps off is unknown. What is known is that the marketer can no longer take the consumer for granted.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the cost of information

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the cost of information

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a growing field for decades, but the uprise in virtual assistants in the home has opened a new channel of advertising. With it comes new challenges. Virtual assistants, like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, give consumers a hands-free, hassle-free way of looking up information, keeping track of their plans for the day, or even trying new recipes. But the marketing industry has been hit hard by consumers’ new ability to make purchases or browse the internet without being exposed to a traditional advertisement.

AI brings both benefits and pitfalls to the marketplace. Marketers have new tools at their disposal, but they’ve also been given quite a few hurdles to jump through.

Pros of AI:

  • Virtual assistant devices offer better, more precise data that’s willingly volunteered by consumers. For example, Amazon gets detailed, individualized data with every task Alexa takes on.
  • AI creates a discrete form of advertising that doesn’t feel like a marching band of business owners trying to sell you their products. For example, ask Alexa to buy you a soda, and she immediately suggests the top two products, one of them being a 24-pack of Izze Sparkling Juice drinks. Izze drinks are getting quick advertising to interested customers disguised as a casual conversation. Consumers don’t recognize advertising as easily in this new and unmarked territory.

Cons:

  • Now that consumers are able to order a new product or search something on the internet without even pushing a button, the emphasis on digital marketing is threatened. Desktop and mobile devices have been the biggest platforms for reaching consumers. Only time will tell how AI will modify the relationship between customers and new businesses.
  • AI devices are always listening to all sound sources in the home, waiting to be activated. AI marketing is supposed to be the next big leap in marketing, but what information is gathered, how, and what happens to that data? What price are customers willing to pay for those advancements. Privacy in our homes is guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Will consumers give up that right by agreeing to a software licensing agreement? Sometimes, with no marked path to follow, a fresh line will need to be drawn when it comes to what is ethical and what is business-savvy.

AI emphasizes the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) more than anything. Recommendations by virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri are based on the top results in search engines. Making sure that your service or product is at the top of the list will allow your business to wedge its way into those recommendations. AI management of various details in our lives can be a great asset. The question becomes, “what will be the cost of that growth?”

The importance of online micro-communities

The importance of online micro-communities

Online micro-communities help to define a customer’s needs and definition. If you follow a fitness ‘guru’ on Instagram, you have probably seen sponsored posts promoting health supplements or gym memberships. This reflects the prevalence of micro-communities in social media. A brand can most easily gain traction among people with relevant interests.

Focused content means targeted engagement. Sticking to what is pertinent to your industry will lead to higher revenue. The best way to grow and keep your following is to only promote relevant content.

A critical action is discovering which social networks your target market. Seeking out popular users in relevant industries is also vital. Their support will direct followers to your page.

Using the power of micro-communities is a straightforward way to find your target consumer group. Once you have cultivated an audience, that user following will expand out. Those with similar interests can be introduced to your brand through social media engagement, such as their peers’ ‘likes.’

“Likes” are not the same as engagement.

Engagement should be valued over community size. 5,000 Facebook Likes is nice, but 5,000 people on a mailing list or using your company’s hashtag is even better. Promote your brand, not just your business.

Having 10,000 to 100,000 followers is statistically proven to be an influencer’s sweet spot. As a page’s follower count grows, their interaction levels tend to decrease. The term is ‘micro influencer’ for a reason.

The effects of going viral are short lived. It rarely leads to continued success. Broader recognition can mean easily getting lost in the sea of other huge brands. It is therefore vital to recruit influencers with a more specific demographic.

Asking Kylie Jenner to promote your investment firm will get you some clicks. Will they convert to revenue and continued engagement? Probably not.

When promoting your company, stick to what makes sense. Utilize the right kinds of social media. If you don’t know how to engage, find people who do. The benefits of finding the right niche will be invaluable.

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 valued.
  • 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.

Data visualization

Data visualization

Data visualization tools create graphic representations of business data to make information understandable and meaningful. By doing so, they can bring insight to your marketing strategies and shed light on trends, patterns, and possible changes that affect your business. These insights change with growing technology. The modern visualization tools make viewing data simpler, more accessible, and easier to apply to your marketing strategy.

These tools essentially allow you to look at data from a bird’s eye view. The wider scope means more accurate results. So instead of taking a small sample of data and applying it to your larger consumer audience, you can rake through your entire customer database for more precise results.

Data visualization also gives you the freedom to uncover trends within highly specified categories in your customer database. You can analyze customer data based on purchase history, demographic, or response rates to campaigns and use it as you fine-tune future strategies. The tools even give you the ability to study correlations between specific services or products so you can personalize future offers to your customers.

One of the primary reasons data visualization is important is that it helps to draw meaningful conclusions from the data and make the most of the numbers. By doing so, it can reveal patterns and trends and give hints into upcoming opportunities to interact with your consumer audience. This is especially significant because it not only gives you a direction in which you can move forward; it also gives insight into previous campaigns. Getting a more granular knowledge of your strategy can show you where you’re wasting money and where to focus your spending in the future.

Data visualization tools do all of this while cutting down on time and resources. There’s no longer a need to hire a specialized IT worker to sift through the numbers. Even marketers with a very basic knowledge of analytics can easily navigate and react to the system.

As technology rapidly advances, data visualization allows for more complex analytics at an almost instantaneous rate. Quite literally, it allows you to do more with less by giving you a more comprehensive analysis of your data with fewer resources.

The cost of running your own social media

The cost of running your own social media

Running your own business is more than a full-time job. If you are like most entrepreneurs, you’re probably already working between 40 to 60+ hours per week handling the day-to-day operations of your company. A huge question that frequently hits the corporate boardroom is “in addition to running my own company, should I also handle my company’s social media?”

First and foremost, we applaud the entrepreneurial spirit. It’s this drive that motivates each business owner to reach for their greatest dreams. Everyone has their own goals and abilities. The drive to “do it all” is often found at the core of success. But everyone has limits on two of their most basic resources – time and ability.

Let’s be frank – You probably would not try to fix your own transmission, perform a medical procedure on yourself or defend yourself in court. If you saw someone else trying to do this, you might be tempted to ask “Is that ego or ability?” The operations of your corporation and managing the corporation’s social media are two separate, full-time jobs. If you can honestly handle both of these corporate tasks, then we tip our hat to both you and your achievements. Not many individuals are able to muster both the time and intellectual resources needed to accomplish this set of tasks. If you cannot perform flawlessly in both arenas simultaneously, it’s only a matter of time before one or both of these two paths will become compromised.

Learning a new skill set, in order to communicate with other professionals, is critical for your growth and survival. However, there’s a huge difference between actually developing a functional skill set and “thinking” that you possess those skills. Understanding the differences between these two positions could be the line between success and failure.

Running a corporate social media mechanism requires time, industry perspective and a refined skill set. The social media manager must possess a social acuity, finesse and the undeniable ability to communicate with others. In most cases, this is NOT a part-time job. Unfortunately, these are not skills you’ll acquire ‘just because you have a Facebook account’.

Corporate owners might consider the actual cost of social media:
  • Do I actually understand what it takes to do the job? The wrong manager will kill a project. It’s that simple. Just because a manager understands some of some of the project parameters, does not guarantee that they possess a broader base of knowledge and experience required to manage the entire project. A solid project manager appreciates when they do not possess the expertise for a given objective. There is a time when knowledgeable experts are needed to facilitate a process or project. 
  • Can I do the job? You need to ask yourself – objectively – “Do I have the ability to dedicate myself full-time to my company’s social media needs?” Can an entrepreneur effectively fulfill the social media needs of their corporation and then spend an additional 60+ hours per week running their company?
  • What is your long-term objective? Do you want to be able to communicate with functioning teams or do you need to be in control of everything? There’s a huge difference between managing teams and trying to micromanage everything and everyone around you. One behavior is healthy. One is not.

A wise choice to consider is hiring a team who can objectively handle your social media needs. Whether this is an internal or an external team is the next question. That answer will be determined by your corporate needs, budget and audience. Knowing the limits of your own skill base is the first step in defining both your corporation and its social footprint.

If you are interested in exploring various social media possibilities for your corporation, contact Colure’s project managers.

Micro-communities and Influencers

Micro-communities and Influencers

Marketing to micro communities – or niche marketing – is an effective method to place your company directly in front of a specific audience. Focusing your efforts to a limited segment of an audience can often create momentum from within a community.

Niche communities tend to be relatively small, tight-knit, and interconnected. Within these communities, there are certain individuals who are more pronounced than other members. These individuals are usually well-respected trendsetters with many followers. Their trendsetting ability earns these people the nickname of ‘influencers.’ Targeting these influencers is key to niche marketing. 81% of companies who use influencer marketing report positive results.

The jewelry company Benique saw a 300% increase on their return on investments (ROI) after starting their campaign. They provided free samples to influencers in return for reviews to their audience. They then collaborated further with the influencers who truly loved the product. Although finding influencers took time, the results paid off.

Context matters when seeking the right influencers. Don’t base your search on a given number of followers only. Katy Perry may have 62 million Twitter followers, but her approach to marketing her music may not be the best choice to promote a software company. Her mass following may actually be a disadvantage. Her overall engagement with followers is low and many of these followers are probably teenagers who are not interested in software. Search for influencers who can create action within your intended audience.

Working with influencers is a business relationship. Popular influencers may receive offers from your competitors. There should be some compensation from your company. The compensation doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary. The web hosting company Cloudways had trouble creating relationships with influencers when they began their marketing efforts. After several unsuccessful attempts, they tried a new approach. Cloudways offered to interview influencers and feature the interview on their website. This allowed the influencers to receive promotional exposure from Cloudways. The business-influencer relationship ended up being beneficial to both parties.

Traditional marketing techniques have moved from their role as a primary tool to augmenting the specific application of niche marketing techniques. The function of each marketing method becomes an additional tool in the ever evolving, media-based world. Creativity is essential to drive your brand’s success. Using influencers in a creative way will keep your business ahead of the competition and in front of those community members who lead the pack.

What is Native Advertising?

What is Native Advertising?

Consumers have become increasingly adept at either ignoring or electronically blocking advertisements from their screens. To battle this trend, “Native Advertising” was created to grasp the readers’ attention. This is the practice of crafting a SEM (search engine marketing) advertisement to look specifically like the content already on a site.

This advertisement is often added into a news feed, blending in with the endless stream of stories from that day’s events. In this way, the advertisement tries to slip past the reader’s defenses, in the area of the web page readers often see as reserved for “real news content”.

This type of advertising is dressing a paid advertisement in the “clothing of content”. Often you will see this if you read a newsfeed, such as Yahoo! News. In their newsfeed, you’ll see a long line of stories. Interspersed with the news articles, there will be great articles and content pieces, with interesting headlines and eye-catching images. All look like original content, but state that they are “promoted by” or “sponsored by” a particular company. This is the separation between sponsored advertising content and news content.

Mashable promoted an article touching on summer music playlists created by a new upcoming pop group.

For those interested in that pop group or in music, in general, this would probably look worthy of reading. Compare this article to an advertisement that interrupts your browsing experience by flashing on the side of your screen or that makes you click out into another window. The native ad experience is executed by “cloaked choice”, not by force.

While native advertising is a popular option, it does have it’s setbacks. Traditionally, news articles are not directly sponsored by an advertisement. However, the ads do often closely surround the news. There is a level of trust that goes into visiting a website and reading content that you believe has been placed there by journalists. These are reporters who value your readership.

If that relationship is tainted by paid advertising, it can taint that brand, but more importantly, it could damage the trust the consumer has for that site. The site must balance the funds raised by the advertisement against the cost of the consumer’s trust.

Keep your brand relevant

Keep your brand relevant

Manipulating a corporate brand to be a part of the news cycle and not the “background clutter” requires timing, social acuity, and the ability to read the pulse of the public. This is known as “agile marketing”. This marketing technique is the opposite of crafting a large project. This requires being aware of current events, trends, and having the ability to act on them swiftly to appeal to your audience and/or to the masses.

Six years ago, the infamous Oreo Cookie Dunk in the Dark tweet went viral, taking the 2013 Super Bowl Blackout headline. A single marketing team used that event to their brand’s advantage. Here, Oreo saw an opportunity to comment on trending news. Since then Kit Kat has taken the agile marketing spotlight with its tweet and trending hashtag #bendgate, which referenced the past iphone6 bending fiasco.

“In today’s fast-paced, multichannel world, marketers no longer have the luxury to spend months crafting large projects; they must innovate and produce on the fly and respond immediately to market disruptions.” – Forbes staff writer Jennifer Rooney

No matter if your company is large or small, relating your brand or service to noteworthy information can draw attention to your company. Agile marketing demands your business be able to adapt and to be flexible to the outside noise-makers.

Many of these agile marketing examples can be seen utilizing Twitter and Facebook to express their one-liners. However, agile marketing is still a fairly new marketing tool. In 2019, we are sure to see more brands use this technique. Recently, during the ESPY’s, a television advertisement by Airbnb grabbed viewers’ attention. Airbnb is known for its home sharing service decided to use the theme of “trans kind” in their advertisement during the awards show. This ad smartly aligned with the ESPY’s choice to award Caitlyn Jenner for her contribution to sports and her relationship with the transgendered community.

With company demands to be relevant, so are the needs of flexibility and speed. These needs make agile marketing a necessity today. Because of the “always-on and always-connected” individuals, agile marketing may one day become the norm.

Marketing is an interactive process that brings together the breadth of both the advertiser and the public. Being able to read the pulse of both parties is critical. Once more, being able to appreciate the space they both occupy marks the difference success and nothingness.

Marketing shift from globalization to personalization

Marketing shift from globalization to personalization

The latest marketing trend consists of shifting from globalization to personalized interaction. Personalization means getting closer to your audience, getting to know them and touching their hearts. Personalization is the current path to success. Personalizing is transporting your consumer to another place, giving him something to think about, making them crave better engagement. Personalization means engaging and embracing your customer.

Today’s business world has automated much of the process of communication. It is mission critical to make the consumer feel genuinely needed and desired. When a company creates a personalized experience with the audience, the trust level between the consumer and the company usually increases. This is the User Experience (UX). This relationship will be the mechanism by which a company may very well sink or swim.

Know your audience

To personalize, the marketer must know their audience on a personal level (names, gender, age and more). What’s more, they must engage that audience on a meaningful level. This means engagement in a way that is meaningful by the consumer’s standards – not the business’ standards.

Personalizing means looking for something that will have an impact upon the client at a personal level. This calls for constant creativity, as the marketer has to predict the wants and needs of the consumers. Clearly, this is a critical challenge for corporations of all sizes.

Personalization affects every company these days. Because it has become so popular, companies that do not practice it may very well lose their audience share. As personalization has revolutionized communication, each communicator must take an active role in order to keep their audience alive.

How to calculate an advertising budget

How to calculate an advertising budget

Every company must stake its own space in the marketplace to survive. In order to successfully interact with your customers, each business must decide on the best course of communication. This function is facilitated by your company’s marketing budget.

Each business owner is an expert in their given area of practice. Everyone needs customers, yet often, stakeholders haven’t been provided with a game-plan of how to reach those customers through advertising.

We’re providing a roadmap for your future marketing budget. The purpose is to help the business owners focus their resources for the best ROI on their investment. If you begin with a focused process, your odds of success greatly increase.

Dollars and sense

When deciding on a typical marketing budget, there is no definitive answer on the dollar amount a business should spend. How much you plan to allocate depends on a number of variables including the industry you are in, the size of your business, its growth stage, your annual revenue goals, your projected sales, your cost per acquisition, whether you are willing to spend on websites, mobile apps or some other long term project.

It may be helpful to examine some methods of determining marketing budgets and average percentages that companies use in their calculations. You need to determine your marketing budget wisely and not depend on what is left over after your business expenses are covered. We are here to give you some guidelines that you can use to determine your marketing budget.

As a general rule of thumb, Colure Media suggests that the marketing and advertising budget should be on an average 10% of the company’s overall revenue. This budget should be split between brand development costs including the channels you use for marketing and the costs of promoting your business (campaign, events, and advertising etc.). The percentage of revenue calculation should account for possible additional factors such as new product launch, new market entries, and mergers/acquisitions.

Calculate your CPA

For companies who are unsure of their revenue goals or don’t know their exact overall revenue, we suggest calculating their marketing budgets using cost per acquisition (or CPA). Using a CPA, we help companies reverse engineer their budgets by understanding their sales goals. For example, if a company wants to sell 10000 units of something and if they know their CPA, they can calculate their marketing budget by multiplying their sales goals of 10000 by CPA.

It is very important to re-examine your CPA, as this is a number that you want to optimize. Your goal is to make it lower since you want to receive a higher rate of return on every dollar you spend on marketing. Continually look around for new and more effective methods of reaching out to your target market. The use of new and improved technology can help you optimize your cost per acquisition.

If you are seeking out the development of projects like mobile applications, website development, and mobile marketing (or some other long term project), our advice is that you pull that project out of your total budget and calculate its own budget as a separate line item. The reason being is that these long-term (5 to 7 years) marketing tactics require an initial heavy investment and small investments later on. You are better off doing an initial investment of around 8 to 10% on these large projects and then 2% of your annual revenue toward web development for the next 3 years. After that, you need to put money only for updates and maintenance for the next couple for years.

These values are not set in stone

Once you have set your marketing budget, remember that it is not a fixed value. There might be times when you will be throwing in another unplanned event or campaign. The main thing is to know whether your spending is giving you your required ROI.

One of the biggest issues facing new and existing businesses is that they may not know what their marketing and advertising budget should be. Often, businesses don’t understand the process of media planning. Many times budgets are set blindly, with a number just being thrown into the air and hoping that it lands on the success outlined in their business plan (if they have created one).

There are three components to every business:

     1. Unique product/service

     2. Profit

     3. Marketing/Advertising/Sales

At the end of the day, a business with unlimited funds can spend plenty of money and time running test after test, but they may sacrifice market share to competitors (who may have inferior products/services) who are knowledgeable and have navigated these seas time and time again. Blindly throwing money at your advertisements is not the answer. Define your goals. Examine your numbers. Start with a solid plan that can be modified, with purpose, as time passes. We hope that this will help your gain a better perspective on your marketing efforts.

If you want to discuss your advertising needs, contact Colure’s Project Managers to help you reach your target audience.

It’s time for your 2018 corporate social media review

It’s time for your 2018 corporate social media review

The end of the year marks the time for a broad review of your corporate social media plan. Take this opportunity to examine your media successes and failures for 2018. Before you step forward into the next calendar year, you should examine what has and has not worked for your company.

This broad overview is a specific year-end event. This differs from the regular monitoring of your media profile. The yearly review is an opportunity to see if you have reached the broad marketing goals you set for yourself and your company.

Key Performance Indicators (or KPI’s) are the benchmarks used to measure social media performance. A KPI could be the measure of website traffic, likes, clicks, or retweets. You need to examine your audience’s level of interaction with your social media profile. Are they interested? Have they been motivated to interact with your media? Are you providing the content they crave? At the end of the day – what service or content have you provided that they value?

Your media team should be analyzing your social media on a regular basis. How often? Daily, weekly, monthly, who is to say? Every company has different needs and resources. No two groups are the same. However, the one constant common to every organization is the clear need to understand their own customers. You need to decide what works best for both you and your customers.

There is one definitive answer – choosing to do nothing will be the most costly option you can select. At that point, you are wasting resources – time, money, and most importantly, your relationship with your customers.

Keep in mind that your social media profile is a living, breathing relationship between your company and your audience. It’s critical you listen to what they are telling you. However, it’s not always a simple conversation. The difference between what your customers are saying and what you are hearing can be immense. Be sure that you take the time to provide an honest evaluation of your media’s track record.

Media analytics tools make the process of analysis clean and simple. As a manager, you’ll be able to read either a brief overview or an in-depth report. Take the time to examine the story that is being presented to your team. As a business owner, this is a conversation you must understand. You don’t have to have fluent media skills, but you must be able to speak the language. You have to understand the basic concepts.

The key steps here are:

  • Research and Plan – Do Your Homework
  • Execute
  • Review your Analytics
  • Modify your Media Plan
  • Re-Execute

Let your media team do the heavy-lifting for you, but as an owner, you need to understand what they are saying. A small investment of time will yield a great reward. Learn the simple mechanics of social media analytics.

This is a polite reminder to re-examine the performance of your corporate social media portfolio for 2015. Before you do anything else, schedule a review near the end of Q4 2016 or whenever you perform your next yearly corporate media review. Don’t allow another year to pass without this critical review.

As you read these words, hopefully, you’ll smile and tell yourself “I’ve already had my yearly media review”. If this is a new concept for you, I challenge you to review your 2015 media results soon. Before you step forward into 2016, be sure to review your performance for 2015.

If you have questions how to proceed, contact Colure’s Advisory Team to help you mold your media profile for 2016.

What is cost per registration (CPR)?

What is cost per registration (CPR)?

In order to measure the fiscal health of a company, businesses must measure key performance indicators (KPIs). One critical measurement is determining the cost to acquire one new paying customer. For subscription base companies this model is known as cost per registration (CPR), or cost per acquisition.

The New York Times is in the media industry. In a simplistic model, the media outlet sells subscriptions as one of its revenue streams. For every subscription that the Times sells, some money is spent to cover the cost of advertising. Their net gain is the amount spent on advertising subtracted from the funds raised by the new subscriptions purchased.

No business can avoid this cost. To stop all advertising is to lose subscribers. Subscriptions cannot be attained without advertising. Yet, if there is no reliable consumer base, the Times cannot afford to spend money on ads.

Casual readers who have not purchased a subscription cannot be counted upon as a revenue source. Their inconsistency does not allow them to be relied upon for long-term sales. However, they can be persuaded to become subscribers. Special promotions that are tailored to their situation or lifestyle will increase subscription sales.

For example, repeat visitors to the Times’ website could be re-targeted for a free trial to the print version of the paper. If enough of these readers decide to continue with the service, the Times will have made more money in the long run. Or, existing subscribers could receive a discount flyer for the New York Times’ weekend edition. The revenue lost by giving a discount will hopefully be negated by a wave of new subscriptions.

A careful balance between advertisements and subscribers is the only way to maintain a successful, profitable business. If properly organized, any additional costs taken on in this model will be negated through sales revenues.

Mobile Technologies and Wearables

Mobile Technologies and Wearables

Technology that helps to improve fitness is continuously growing and expanding. The goal of many of these apps or devices is to transfer information seamlessly from the physical world into an app. This particular niche has proven to be a goldmine. The wearable technology industry is projected to be worth $34 billion by 2020. Tracking is currently a large component of these technologies. By providing the ability to track steps, flights climbed, and calories burned, the fitness technology provides detailed insight into a wearer’s life and fitness habits. From there, the wearer can improve or maintain fitness levels.

This booming industry could be either an opportunity or a threat of independence to traditional gyms and fitness clubs. One fitness club, Equinox, took the opportunity when Apple and Nike released HealthKit. The fitness chain engineered its own digital platform with Apple. Personal trainers could now access customer’s accurate data to tailor fitness programs to the customer’s needs.

One non-traditional fitness app made by a gaming company boosted their net worth by 7.5 billion dollars. The company, Nintendo, created the app Pokemon Go with Niantec and the Pokemon Company. This app features the use of a smartphone’s GPS and camera system to make a highly interactive game. The player must walk around in the real world to move their virtual avatar in the game. The avatar will randomly encounter Pokemon. Then the app uses the camera to place the creature as if it is in your “real” environment. You also need to take a certain amount of steps to achieve accomplishments. The Pokemon franchise is so huge and well known that players of all ages download the game. Many users reported that the game is helping them boost their fitness since walking is a necessary component of playing the game.

All this tracking and fitness apps and technology creates a jackpot for mobile advertisers who use data. Since most use GPS, companies can get a detailed look at the lives of their consumers. Additionally, they can receive information about your general state of wellness, health conditions, diet, etc. from these apps. All this data could be sold to create more detailed advertisements, similarly to the online data tracking that already exists. This may be an issue of privacy for many. Others may enjoy having advertisements that are more relevant to their needs and wants.

The fitness technology industry is exploding with growth. Companies who take advantage of this trend will have the potential to reap major benefits. Contact Colure’s mobile advertising team to provide a solid go to market plan for your next mobile app.

Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) Beacons Are Making Mobile Apps Smarter

Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) Beacons Are Making Mobile Apps Smarter

Advertisements today can be overwhelming to consumers. Especially in the last decade as advertising has come to focus on online consumerism, customers are constantly bombarded with popups for the latest and greatest products. The negative response to this shift in marketing has led to a need for innovative and unique technologies that avoid overwhelming consumers while still reaching an audience. Indoor location technologies, such as Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) Beacons, is one of these innovative designs.

What are BLE Beacons?

Bluetooth Beacons are wireless devices that draw attention to a specific location, within a finite space. A clear example of a beacon is a lighthouse: its light draws attention from offshore ships, letting the ships know their distance from the lighthouse and the shore. Bluetooth Beacons do the same thing in a virtual environment, allowing brick-and-mortar businesses to send out signals to mobile devices in the immediate area.

Bluetooth Low-Energy Beacons, also known as Bluetooth 4.0, are just as their name suggests. They do the same thing in practice while maintaining low energy consumption.

How do BLE Beacons work?

The wireless device draws attention to its location by periodically putting out a radio signal. This radio signal consists of a small packet of data, usually advertisements. A beacon at a sports store, for example, might periodically send signals for current deals on hiking boots. Compatible mobile devices within close proximity to the beacon (usually about 100 meters) would then receive those advertisements, triggering applications to prompt responses like push messages or actions.

Why use a BLE Beacon?

Bluetooth Beacons, in general, allow businesses to deliver highly contextualized and personalized advertisements to their customers. Unlike other indoor location technologies such as GPS and NFC, Beacons are hyper-localized and specified for indoor environments. This means that the customer isn’t going to get advertisements for every store in the mall, but they also don’t need to be standing directly next to a product to receive an advertisement.

BLE Beacons also cost 60-80% cheaper than classic Bluetooth Beacons (although classic Bluetooth is recommended for more complex applications). Their low-energy consumption allows them to last much longer than the classic Bluetooth Beacon. The BLE Beacon stays in sleep mode unless it is actively configuring a connection, so it can last up to 3 years on one coin-cell sized battery.

Who benefits from using BLE Beacons?

Both Classic Bluetooth and BLE Beacons can be beneficial to a company. Classic Bluetooth can handle larger amounts of data, but BLE Beacons are ideal for transmitting advertisements to applications that periodically use small amounts of data. This, in addition to their low-energy consumption and cheaper cost, means that small businesses may benefit from using a BLE model over classic Bluetooth location technology.

The value of in-store retail sales influenced by beacon technology increased by $40 million between 2015 and 2016. The benefit of being able to personalize advertisements to customers continues to appeal to businesses, and it’s expected that 4.5 million beacons will be active by 2018.

Understand social media marketing (SMM)

Understand social media marketing (SMM)

Business Basics

Every hour of every day, social media allows people to consistently create and share information. This constant interaction has driven companies to fully embrace social media as a vital marketing tool. It aids them in displaying their products; manufacturers connect with their returning and future customers. With over 2.3 billion active social media users, a company’s robust, social media presence will continue to solidify the company’s earnings.

Social media marketing (SMM) allows companies to market their brand on social media sites to increase traffic to their websites and stores. The goal of social media marketing is to raise brand awareness on a platform that the customer uses daily. By displaying ads on a site, home screens, or creating a company page with updates, customers are repeatedly exposed to the company profile and products. If the customer likes what the company has to offer, the customer is likely to share videos, images, ads, and articles about the enterprise. This media span reaches potential clients who have not seen the brand’s web presence. SMM allows companies to increase their brand recognition and draw in, as well as retain, customers.

Shoe manufacturer TOMS saw a huge boost in their brand recognition with their #withoutshoes campaign on Instagram. In 2015, Toms designated one day a year as “One Day Without Shoes Day.” Each year on that designated day, the company asks users to post one barefoot photo on Instagram with the hashtag #withoutshoes. For each post, one pair of shoes is donated by TOMS to a child in need. Not only did the campaign rapidly spread, but TOMS also established itself as a socially conscious driven brand. This type of savvy promotion allows customers to feel that their photo contribution and any purchase of TOMS shoes will add to a larger, positive impact on the company.

Camera manufacturer GoPro frequently uses their Instagram account to show the quality of their product. GoPro extensively uses user-generated content for its Instagram page. Besides their company photos, GoPro encourages users to send in pictures of their best shots with their GoPros. This type of social media marketing not only promotes their product but helps customers to consistently use their GoPros and send in their photos with hopes of being featured on the account.

The prominence of social media in society has created a strong personalized sense of marketing. The life-blood of social media is built upon allowing people to create and share information with others. By marketing brands through ideas, social media allows people to be exposed to products they may not find elsewhere. This type of industry is not bound by a geographical location nor an allotted time slot; it is readily available. Whether the appeal comes from an ad, company page, or a friend’s referral, social media marketing is essential in staying relevant in peoples’ lives.

Explore consumer-generated content

Explore consumer-generated content

There is probably no greater assurance in life than that of human testimony. Seeing someone provide support for a product or service 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 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.

Protect your brand identity

Protect your brand identity

Your brand is the most important asset your corporation possesses. More than money, more than real estate, more than anything – if your consumers cannot identify, define, or respect you, you are dead in the water. Protecting that brand is critical to every interface your organization faces. A brand defines your values, creates an emotional bond between yourself and your customer, and it is the anchor upon which you stand every single moment.

A plethora of voices

Anyone can jump on social media to criticize your products and brand. They can write a blog posting that ranks higher in Google’s search results than you’d like. Control has left the hands of the marketer. The issue is multiplied in the service industry, where review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and Angie’s List – all designed to improve customer experience – can seriously threaten your brand’s credibility and identity.

The consumer has a direct voice to connect quality to value. Now branding efforts must address both macro and micromanagement strategies. Companies must be responsive to individual voices of dissatisfied consumers while focusing resources toward broader quality efforts and branding.

This is the price of doing business. Rightfully so, consumers can now put their mouth where their money is. The business community must do the same.

What can you do?

Successful companies leverage positive reviews into word-of-mouth advertising. This remains the single most effective type of advertising today.

If your company is being battered with negative reviews, what can you do? Here are a few ideas to start:

  • Find them. Use focused social media searches to discover what consumers are saying about your company. 
  • Respond diligently. Once you’ve found complaints, don’t just dismiss them. These reviews are actively read by consumers. Consumers are often more likely to embrace a review than an advertisement.  Respond to the feedback openly and solve the issue. Deal with it.
  • Improve. Don’t just make empty promises. Empty lip-service is the worst response you can provide to a complaint. If you have an issue, deal with it. If you get called on the carpet because of poor service – deal with it. If the customer is upset – deal with it. Don’t dismiss the complaint, resolve the issue. Even if it costs you a few dollars and a bit of time – solve the problem. At this point, damage from the mismanagement of a complaint only escalates.
  • Grow from your mistakes. Learn what the consumer wants. It’s that simple.
  • Take feedback. Make this an opportunity to improve your brand – your customers will thank you for it.

Contact Colure’s marketing team. Discover the art of crisis management. Learn from a team that can help you properly manage your corporate image.

Republishing content extends audience reach

Republishing content extends audience reach

Social media is arguably the most crucial outlet to market any product or service. Publishing content on the internet is only the first step to market penetration. The re-publishing or re-marketing of that original content allows for a more specific, finite placement in front of the target audience.

When a company publishes a post it might not initially receive the anticipated web traffic. The next step is to re-post that content onto another social media platform to provide exposure to a new audience. When an idea is marketed multiple times, on multiple platforms, that idea will begin to ‘grow legs’. The danger with reposting is that you do not want to earn the title of ‘spammer’ by an email system. If your reposting is qualified as spam, it will go straight into the trash. All of your republishing efforts will be lost.

Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin are all necessary platforms for a company to reach its audience. When you have successfully connected with your audience, you can begin marketing your company with a specific audience penetration. Pcdigitalmarketing.com had a few interesting words on how to republish across various social media platforms.

When republishing your content you need to keep all facets of the process in mind:

  • Understand the correlation between the frequency of your posting and platforms you are using. If you republish a post every hour on two different platforms, the audiences will probably react in different ways. A Twitter audience may not mind the hourly update. A LinkedIn audience may find that tactic annoying.
  • Develop a tactical move to advance your content. What is the specific reason for republishing? Are you going after a unique demographic which the original platform doesn’t engage? Answer the following questions in regards to your next media move – WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHY, WHEN and HOW?
  • When a company decides to republish, it should not repeat the same exact caption. The content title is used to draw in a reader. It should be written differently to keep the audience alive and excited.
  • If a company decides to repost content, they should know their audience and know how many times a day or week they should republish their post. It is important to republish to increase the audience, but also very important to be considerate of the audience.
  • Republishing is the perfect approach to spreading a message, as long as the person reposting knows when and how to proceed.
  • Most importantly, be sure that you are tracking the progress of your republishing with some format of web analytics. If you are not counting the specific hits – where and when they are falling, you are just shooting into a dark room with no idea as to any progress toward your goal.

Communication is an interactive process. Take the time to map the process of moving your message from you to your audience. To help you move your company’s message, contact Colure’s Project Managers.