Tag: small business
2021 Social Media Trends That Need to be Part of Your Strategy
The year 2020 brought a whole new meaning to the term social. With everyone restricted to online video calls and forced to remain two meters apart, social media quickly became a refuge of digital connection.
Dawn of Social Commerce
Since its humble beginnings, marketers have been searching for the answer to the most common (and sometimes baffling) question; what is the real ROI of social media marketing? As we enter 2021, there are now more social commerce options than ever before. Marketers are finally able to see hard numbers and direct results when running ads to market products or services on social media. Thanks to new purchase methods through Instagram stories, product tagging options and call-to-action buttons, it’s now easier than ever to take a customer from interest to purchase with a simple click. Does your small business have a social commerce strategy?
Beauty of Choice
Every platform is battling hardcore to win your businesses’ advertising dollars. What started as a monopoly with Facebook’s ad platform, has now become a marketplace full of ad options for businesses of all sizes. Beware the beauty of choice though; as more selection doesn’t always mean more quality opportunities. As the ad market gets more competitive, you need to be extra cautious with your money and make sure any ads you invest in are fuelled by your business goals and your marketing strategy.
You don’t have to go too far to find a professional that’ll argue that social media controls too much of our everyday lives and public discourse in general. Constant media coverage revolving around anti-trust investigations and privacy violations can cast a shadow on social media platforms regarding their influence on society and general transparency. Keep an eye on the platforms you use regularly as a business because their responses to accusations/allegations can and will influence how users view your businesses association with the platform.
As we move forward through 2021, guarding your brand image will be of utmost importance as brad accountability remains top of mind with customers in the midst of misinformation and public outcries. Understand the social concerns of the customers you’re looking to connect with and have a plan created in advance on how and when to share thoughts on current issues so you don’t damage your brand image in the process.
Need some help navigating the ever-changing world of social media? Contact us to learn more about creating a new strategy for 2021!
How to Adapt Your Social Media Strategy to a Post-Pandemic World
It’s no secret that social media has become critical to marketing during the pandemic. With spending on social media marketing predicted to rise, traditional advertising investments are starting to decline. So how can you, as a small business, continue to build on this growing trend? These five tips will give you a great place to start:
Play Around With New Channels and Features
Having a social media strategy is all about being in the know when it comes to unique features and updates so you can leverage them for success. Whether it’s Instagram Reels, Facebook’s integration with gift cards or TikTok’s opportunities for businesses, there are so many tools being launched that provide a unique opportunity to engage with your customers on social media platforms. Get connected with what’s new so you can quickly create content for new features and take advantage of them to hack your growth.
Integrate Your Social Media Marketing With Your Regular Marketing
A lot of small businesses make the mistake of looking at social media as a separate branch of marketing entirely, as opposed to another leaf on the original branch itself. As social media takes centre stage in our post-pandemic marketing world, it needs to integrate more seamlessly with your broader marketing strategy.
Harness the Power of Social Media Influencers and Content Creators
Marketing budgets that include influencers are on the rise, up to 7.5% from 6.5% a year ago and expected to rise to 12.7% in the next three years! As online traffic continues to increase, it’s so important for brands to identify the right influencers that will attract target customers and identify growth segments. It’ll also be important for social media managers to invest in influencer training and relationship building. Maintaining communication with influencers to discuss product updates and gain feedback on trends they’re observing, will go a long way toward creating a mutually beneficial partnership.
Adapt Your Creative Content to Current Times
COVID-19 is a reality right now all around the globe so why not adapt your creative content to suit it? Searching for stock photos to share with a blog? Avoid photos of large gatherings in public places because consumers will perceive that as outdated, or worse, insensitive. Just because your content lives online, doesn’t mean it’s exempt from the current trends and lifestyle adaptation brought on by the pandemic. On the other end of the spectrum, a lot of customers are beginning to feel fatigued absorbing content that enters on the virus, so tread lightly and do your part to understand the delicate balance before you slap something up on social media.
Take Time to Consider the Right Platforms for Your Business
Most businesses rank brand building as their top reason for utilizing social media platforms. That being said, it’s important to understand how each platform impacts the customers’ perception of your brand. Transparency and trust are huge factors in our current climate so consider which platforms you use based on their policies (i.e. privacy, hate speech etc) and how they might undermine the consumer’s trust.
As the pandemic continues to push more consumers online, social media is becoming increasingly important for small businesses. No matter how experienced or uncomfortable you are with using social media as a business, taking the time to create a connection with the consumer, building up their trust and focusing on brand awareness, will always pay off in the long run.
Not sure where to start? Contact us to learn more about one-on-one training sessions and how they can help empower you to grow your brand presence on social media.
How to Crush Your Email Marketing Goals
By now it’s clear that we’re all spending much more time online! Given the quarantine and social distancing restrictions, it’s no surprise that we’re surfing the web much more frequently than we were pre-pandemic. Despite that, it may surprise you to learn that we’re not visiting the same websites we used to.
As our digital viewing behaviours changed, so did our demand for specific types and sources of content. Just because there’s more people online more often, doesn’t mean they’ll automatically be swooning over your every word. As our lives continue to shift and change, so do our priorities and interests. If you’ve found your email marketing isn’t quite converting the way it used to, it may be time to reevaluate your efforts and kick off a new game plan that’s better suited to our pandemic lifestyle and beyond.
Break Out Your Customer Personas
Remember those personas you created forever ago that seemed useless and silly? Well now’s the time they come in handy! While it’s impossible to identify every customer’s every need, having customer personas to work from can help you stay relevant while continuing to reach a large audience. These personas will help you make assumptions about current pain points, tone and value propositions for individual “niche” markets. You’re still trying to reach the same people, you just need to witch up the nitty gritty details of how you do that in our current environment and beyond.
Lead With Empathy
If you want to bring in new leads and make sales, emotional intelligence is critical. That’s precisely why pandemic-related email open rates saw a 41% increase in March 2020, according to Worldata, despite overall email open rates plummeting. Consumers felt isolated and uncertain, so they wanted support and direction. If creating this empathetic, emotional content isn’t your strong suit, try the age old trick of putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. What do your customers need from you? What are they going through right now? What kind of support will they need in 2021? Try to focus on what possibilities will resonate most with your target audience and lead with that.
In the marketing world, data will always be your friend. While it can sometimes be complex or confusing to interpret, taking the time to learn more about the data behind your choices will pay off in the long run with more efficient and cost-effective campaigns. We’re all moving through uncharted territory so don’t be afraid to take some risks and dive deep into the data behind your email marketing campaigns to determine how to build a stronger inbox presence in 2021. Start small be evaluating your email subject lines and once you’ve mastered that, move on to mastering the preview text, composing an impactful greeting, writing a perfect call to action etc.
While the pandemic has definitely changed our everyday life and email marketing as we know it, you don’t have to throw everything out and start over. You just need to go back to the basics and work on reinventing your messaging to better suit your customer’s current needs. Not a fan of writing content? Don’t know where to start? Contact us to learn more about our content writing services and how impactful content can help you grow your brand online.
2019: The Year Your Business Needs to Invest in Social Media Marketing
Technically we could swap the date in the title with any date in the last 10 years and this would still be a relevant message, but for the purpose of keeping this current, let’s stick with 2019. The marketing opportunities within the realm of social media marketing have done nothing but grow exponentially for years on end and we’ve all been witnesses. Whether we’re spending our personal time exploring these platforms to stay in touch with friends or land a new job, or we’re doing research to see how they could help our startups or employers send their messages out into to the world, social media has become an unavoidable part of our every day lives. So much so, that brands and businesses have caught on and it’s more clear than ever that this is where you need to be to succeed.
That being said, are you keeping up with the times? Are you two steps ahead of your competitors or five steps back? If you’re going to make any resolutions in 2019, make one to really sit down and find your place on social media so you can invest accordingly.
Whether you’re skeptical (seriously? STILL?!) or just need some reminding, here are five reasons why you really really really need to invest in social media marketing for your business in 2019:
It Provides Authenticity
As a society, we’re far past the point of trusting everything that advertisers say. We’re skeptical, educated and bolder than ever when it comes to our outlook on marketing so as a business, you need to adapt. Social media gives your brand a channel to push out messages on a regular basis, that aren’t robotic advertisements, and stay in touch with consumers by offering a transparent view into your company that lends itself well to the overall genuine vibe that all consumers are searching for.
It Helps Strengthen Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the acronym that we’re all familiar with but aren’t quite sure what it means or how to achieve maximum success using it as part of a marketing strategy. Luckily, you don’t have to know much to know that updating social media profiles regularly can help you show up in relevant search results on Google.
It Works Well With Your Other Advertising Initiatives
Research has proven that 81% of consumers research a business online before they make a purchase so where you show up, what information is provided and how you come off to the world are incredibly important. Social media campaigns are just one part of the puzzle. Make sure that when you’re running a promotion or campaign on other platforms (newspaper, radio, television, magazines, in-store handouts etc), that your social channels match. It’s all about using them as part of an overall strategy.
It’s Cost Effective
Seriously, for real. While the platforms themselves are free to join, it’s no secret that we’re not all exactly equipped and confident navigating them on our own. Even if you pay for assistance with platform maintenance, the cost breaks down to just dollars per day and isn’t your time worth much more than that? You could also invest in custom training sessions to help you feel more confident setting and achieving goals online. Either way, the cost is a fraction of what you’d pay for a one-off magazine ad the size of a business card. Plus, the skills you learn are much more valuable in the short and long term than the real estate on any one magazine page.
It Builds Engaged Communities
Regularly updating your social media channels means you’re giving consumers a chance to learn more about you and what you offer. When followers interact with your content, their personal connections can see that they’ve endorsed and supported you and that’s worth much more than a 15 second radio spot ever will be. Over time, an engaged online community builds on itself in ways that other mediums just can’t compare with.
So what are you waiting for?
Reach out today and let’s get social!
Tools To Help You Step Up Your Social Media Game
We’ve all been there; juggling 20 tasks at once, pretending to be a graphic designer and fiddling around website code like you’ve done it a million times before and aren’t in the least terrified to break everything. As a business owner it’s not unusual to wear many hats at once, and often times, limited marketing budgets make this more of a reality than we’d like to admit. But whether you have a plethora of incredibly useful skills, or you’re a one-trick pony that specializes in one realm and crushes it daily, there are definitely some apps, programs and tools out there that can help you make the best of your unique situation and needs. There’s a time and a place to step back and let technology help so just give in and let it happen. Your schedule and your brain will thank you!
Let’s be honest, very few entrepreneurs have what it takes to navigate the Adobe Creative Suite of programs and blast out incredible branded content. Even those who do have the skills, might not be able to find the time. Cue these great tools that can help you do everything from gather inspiration for content, create collages, add text, motion graphics and more.
There are very few people who actually enjoy writing and find it a simple task to accomplish. For most entrepreneurs and industry employees, writing is not fun and for some, it’s downright terrifying. Luckily, there are some pretty cool tools and apps you can use to step up your writing game and get the support you need to communicate your ideas clearly.
So you’ve got some great photos but need to touch them up a bit without uploading everything into a complex computer program and pretending you know how to use the hundreds of special tools they offer. These apps and programs can make this process a lot simpler and keep your editing contained to your device where the photos already live.
We could all use some help when it comes to scheduling updates on our social media accounts, especially since the list of platforms seems to be never ending these days! There are a bunch of popular industry tools that provide free and paid options which are bound to make things a lot less stressful when it comes to sourcing content, scheduling and maintenance.
What Do You Know About Influencer Marketing?
You’ve probably heard about it by now; the new king of content aka influencer marketing. There’s no denying that customers are smarter now than ever before. They don’t trust brands like they used to so they look to real humans to recommend products and services and that’s exactly how influencer marketing was born. If you aren’t familiar with what it means or how it works, you’ll want to take notes because it’s already a huge force in the marketing industry and it poised to continue growing as the years pass.
How To Create Easter Content For Social Media
Easter is a holiday that tends to creep up and catch us off guard every year because the date is always changing! Even if you aren’t the religious type, it’s a time to celebrate spring, eat far too much candy and spend time with family. To me, it’s a little reminder that beautiful weather is on its way and that makes me happy! Ironically, my birthday this year falls directly on Easter Sunday so the holiday is taking on a whole new meaning for me haha! It’s the perfect excuse to indulge in even more goodies and treats. Even though it’s not your birthday and even though you may not be big into the holiday itself, as a business there are many ways you can get involved and encourage your followers/fans to engage:
- Host A Virtual Egg Hunt
Want to get followers/fans involved and encourage them to engage? Host a virtual egg hunt! Create a few custom social media posts with hidden Easter eggs and hold a competition to find them. Both Instagram and Facebook would be great platforms to incorporate for a hunt. You can even offer a prize for finding all the eggs that creates incentive for them to continue engaging through the holiday weekend or the week leading up to the big day.
- Create Seasonal Social Graphics
Changing your cover photos or incorporating easter graphics into your content schedule is a simple and fun way to get involved with any holiday and Easter is no exception. Remember to keep it bright and colourful and don’t be afraid to show off your team (think easter bunny ear selfies, easter egg competitions etc).
- Encourage Followers/Fans To Share Moments
Whether it’s taking a photo of their Easter table or sharing their creative Easter egg decorations, there are plenty of ways to encourage user-generated content for the long weekend. Whether you decide to host a contest or you just want users to share content for fun, there are a lot of options at your disposal. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to give people enough time to share and make it easy for them to do so.
- Host A Special Sale/Event
A long Easter weekend means that there’s more to the holiday than egg hunts and chocolate binging. People will be looking for things to do and experience over the course of the weekend so why not host an event or share a limited-time promotion? Whether it’s generating a simple Easter promo code for your online shop, hosting a family-friendly easter event at your location or including hourly specials to entice more visitors to come through the doors, there’s a lot of ways to have fun with it! Regardless of what you choose, don’t forget to create graphics that will help you promote everything online.
Social Media Marketing In 2018
From the rise of grassroots influencers to society’s response to fake news and misinformation, the world of social media marketing is ever changing and 2018 is no different. If you want to stay current and ensure that you’re leveraging platforms to their full potential, understanding upcoming trends is the key. Below are the six main trends you should take note of as we move further into 2018:
- The Rise of Micro-Influencers
- Focus on Generation Z
- Twitter’s Bot Crackdown
- The impact of Call-Out Culture on Brands
- More Brands Will Use Messaging Platforms
- Social Media Marketer Battling Fake News
The Rise Of The GIF
No matter how you pronounce it, the GIF is making a huge comeback! The glitter text and silly pixelated graphics that once graced our personal MySpace pages have returned and they are way cooler than they used to be. Whether it’s a dancing cat, silly character, popular saying or a ridiculous floating food item, there’s something for everyone. As GIFs continue to grow in popularity, more platforms and apps are adding them to our lineup of cool “stickers”.
Earlier this year, Snapchat started releasing moving filters and stickers and had since launched a full GIF library users can slap on their snaps for fun. Even Instagram recently released a GIF database that users can access when they post stories.
As a big lover of emojis and the personality they add to a standard message/response, it’s exciting to see the rise of GIFs since they open up a whole new door when it comes to having fun with content and creative. Almost every Instagram story Blab has posted since the launch of the GIF feature has included at east 1 GIF and I’m not ashamed to admit that! As a funky, eclectic brand, GIFs are a great way to add some personality and movement to every day messages. If you’re noticing the new found popularity GIFs but aren’t sure how to incorporate them, consider these simple tips:
1. Stay True To Your Brand
Regardless of your brand personality, there’s a GIF that’ll work for you. Don’t shy away from them entirely just because you have a more refined or professional reputation. Take the time to look through the databases and search specific words or objects that you could incorporate without the risk of abandoning the brand you’ve worked so hard to build.
2. Know When Enough Is Enough
Unfortunately, there is such a thing as overkill when it comes to GIFs. Does your post really need fireworks, two dancing cats, a winking pizza slice and glitter text? Know when to use GIFs to enhance your message and when to opt out or pair down to keep things simple.
3. Understand Your Audience
The type of content you share depends entirely on the type of people you’re speaking to and GIFs should follow the same principle. Know your audience inside and out and use that knowledge to determine if certain platforms or messages are better suited for GIFs.
How To Use Snapchat Like A Millennial
Snapchat can be a safe haven and a platform where people can capture and share memories. Although, some might argue that it’s the most confusing and useless platform they’ve ever experienced. Needless to say, you either love it or you hate it. While there isn’t really a wrong way to use Snapchat, there are definitely ways you can ease into it like a professional if you’re interested in trying it out. Whether you’re a born millennial or an old, cranky, retired person trapped inside a 20 year old’s body, you can use these tips to get started:
Adjust Your Mindset
While many have copied the concept, none have succeeding in removing Snapchat from its pedestal. The beauty of Snapchat is also its biggest strength, all content shared on the platform disappears in 24 hours. Snapchat’s core principle is simple: Send that awkward, unfiltered selfie, snap a quick pic of the sky, record yourself lip-syncing to an embarrassing song. It’s not going to stay in your digital archive forever so why not just live in the moment? It’s all about instant gratification, for yourself and for the people you send content to.
Keep Up With Changing Lenses
With all the lenses available within the app, it’s nearly impossible to take a bad snap! Be prepared to laugh at yourself as you play with the voice changes and silly effects. The best part is that they change all the time so there’s always something new to play with. Plus, if you create a bitmoji character and link it with the app, you’ll unlock even more ever-changing lenses.
Have Fun With Filters
While lenses add a really cool augmented reality vibe to the app, filters are another great way to some fun to your snaps. They let you add text, locations, branded messages, time stamps, the current temperature and even the current speed at which you’re travelling. The best part about them is that you don’t have to choose just one! You can layer multiple filters on screen at the same time to add multiple effects.
Create A Snapcode
Are you really using Snapchat if you aren’t promoting your Snapcode? Your Snapcode is basically a personal barcode on Snapchat. You can post it anywhere online and anyone can add you on Snapchat by opening the app and pointing the camera at your code. You can keep it as the basic ghost illustration or you can add a series of 5 quick selfies to jazz it up a bit.
Design A Geofilter
If you’re looking to add something fun and unique to your next event, why not design a custom geofilter? They’re called geofilters because they’re restricted to a certain area so you can create one that customers can use when shopping at your business, dancing the night away at your wedding, or visiting a certain area. While they aren’t free, they also don’t cost a fortune and increase in price based on the area you want to cover.