Category Archives: Social media strategy

What does Content Marketing actually mean for a business?

What does Content Marketing actually mean for a business?

by Ingrida Andrijauskaite

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Content marketing has recently become bigger than ever. Most companies are beginning to focus on the creation and publication of content for marketing purposes, with the objective of selling an idea rather than just a product or service. Due to this, marketing budgets are being actively reallocated in order to gain the best content marketing efforts for brand communications.

What is the Content Marketing?

In order to understand what content marketing truly means for a business, we should become familiar with the meaning of this term. The Content Marketing Institute from United States outlines that content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content. The main goal of this marketing mode is to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience, which means the objective of driving profitable customer action. [1]

Furthermore, content marketing is known as the creation and sharing of content for the purpose of promoting a product or service. The majority of marketing professionals are emphasizing that content plays an important role in B2B marketing strategies. Marketing professionals hold an opinion that businesses should deliver consistent and on-going valuable information to customers and highlight their responsible practices through content marketing. This can help long-term customer engagement and loyalty.

Content marketing can also contributes to an increase in sales, through quality content that allows customers to better understand the added value of a company’s service or product. This could help your company win a significant and appreciable position in the advertising & branding industry.

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How does the machine that drives Content Marketing work?

Creating the right message for the right time is the key element to excellent content marketing. A content marketing strategy starts to gain form when you begin to define the viewpoint and characteristics of buyers, and also determine the main questions which customers ask during buying process. After this, marketers and business stakeholders can decide which types of content marketing strategy are more suitable for communicating their brand to the public. Will you use infographics for your content marketing? Or perhaps blogs or video campaigns, or others?

Content marketing distinguishes three main types of content text for promoting your brand: images, videos and infographics. The content text of a content marketing strategy can be used for describing the company’s services or other company information. For this purpose images can be used to illustrate the location of the company’s offices or organizational structure.

However, videos are more suitable if you want to show an interesting movie of company’s experience and values, or present the value of your product and service, and its benefit to your customers. Infographics can be used as a graphic visual representations of a company’s information. Also, it can be used to present the growth achievements of a company’s business.

Why content marketing is beneficial for small business?

This is no secret: most small business do not have a large enough budget for more traditional advertising tools such as spots on national TV or large print campaigns. Content marketing campaigns can be executed through social media networks, company websites, blog etc. and therefore are an easier and less expensive tool for promoting your brand.

Most B2B small business marketers and stakeholders are using more actively social media content tactics rather than blogs or podcasting, because they believe it do be more effective. This also demonstrates that social media is currently one of the most popular content marketing tactics, being that social media provides your business with the power to engage your target audience and improve brand awareness.

In conclusion, content marketing helps you to sell your brand products or services through the right way, as well as avoid wasting time, financial sources and marketing efforts. This marketing strategy can provide your business with the best solution for presenting content-driven experiences, which are exciting and useful to your customers, and increases the understanding of your brand.

If you need an inspiration, listen to the speech of producer Kevin Spacey about the Storytelling in the Content Marketing:

[1] About Content Marketing more here: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/what-is-content-marketing/

 

Outdoor advertising – an Effective Marketing Tool for your Business

Outdoor advertising –  an Effective Marketing Tool for your Business

by Ingrida Andrijauskaite

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Outdoor adversting goes as far back as the Egyptian era, when laws and treaties were publicized on tall stone obelisks. Also, ancient Greeks advertised the Olympic games on wooden columns along roadsides.

This type of advertising has changed over the centuries, but currently it is still considered as an effective form of communication. Nowadays, this advertising is known as the OOH Media, which means Outdoor advertising or Out-of-home advertising.

Outdoor advertising works very well for promoting company‘s services or products in specific geographic areas. The chanels that can be used for such advertising are: billboards, bus benches, or transit advertising, ect. All of these can be very effective not only for larger businesses, but especially, for the small-business owners.

Why OOH Media is an important tool for business?

Outdoor advertising is an effective marketing tool and is an integral element of an high-quality advertising campaign. Firstly, outdoor advertising provides readily available brand messages and images for a wider audience, since you are targeting people on the go. This trend of advertising has a great impact because it is usually the first form of adversting that potential clients see, and therefore it can influence their opinion or impression of your brand.

Secondly, outdoor advertising can combined with dynamic digital media marketing tools. This means that businesses can use interactive forms of brand promotion including images of 3D characters, virtual environments, or visual graphic design elements of a company’s identity such as logos, colors and ect.

Digital OOH Media can be placed on many different addressable places, for example on: backlit translits, LCDs, kiosks, bus stops, screens, and on other various banners.

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Shaun Gregory, CEO of Exterion Media said: “…We are committed to harnessing the digital opportunity and using increasingly available technology to create the experience the audience we are engaging with would expect. The only way we are going to achieve this is through collaboration, which is why I am hugely excited that so many major players in OOH are coming together to develop this industry standard for measuring DOOH (Digital Out-of-home advertising). The insights it will bring will only help us to provide a better experience for brands, agencies and consumers and accelerate the rapid growth of DOOH[1]

What is a Good Brand Message?

The majority of outdoor advertising professionals underscore that effective brand messages of OOH Media should be significantly eye catching to attract the attention of the customers. The advertising has to be sufficiently informative to let future customers know what you sell and why it is beneficial for them.

First impression is indeed the last impression: businesses never get a second chance to make a first impression, so all companies should endeavor to devote all important marketing tools to achieve the best results of their OOH Media campaign. It is also important to keep the message short since people don‘t have time to read or watch a long advertising message of a product.

Marketing professionals say that when the brand message looks irresistible, customers are interested to find out more details of the product and most of them often end up buying the product.

Present a realistic Brand message: it is essential to focus on the reality of brand messages and to use the relevant promotional tools for the brand advertising campaign. All businesses should  present to the public their social and ethical behaviour and provide it’s customers with reliable brand information, so that they do not feel cheated or misinformed about the company’s products or services.

So, be smart and innovative, engage the audience with your brand message, and win the market struggle with victory through OOH Media.

[1] More information here:

http://www.jcdecaux.com/en/Newsroom/Press-Releases/2015/Outdoor-media-owners-unite-to-develop-an-Audience-Measurement-system-for-Digital-Out-of-Home

 

 

The power of Storytelling in Brand communications

by Ingrida Andrijauskaite

The power of Storytelling in Brand communications

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It‘s no mystery how businesses are reaching the best results with their brand communications. We can find a lot of advice or look at the examples of Apple, Google, CocaCola, McDonald’s, Microsoft etc. We all know how companies use mass social media and digital media channels to help advertise their brand’s products and services.

However a company’s aim is to come up with the “best idea”, which could be different from their competitors’ strategies. The “best idea”  is that which helps a company improve their business, by reaching the target audience or by increasing exposure of their brand to the general public.

Today the trend of “storytelling” has captured the attention of the advertising world. It is believed that great stories help to sell products, motivate consumers and outperform competition in the  business environment. The winner is often the most original story. Telling the story behind a brand is considered a very good way to convey experiences to an audience and allow them to feel emotionally involved. The best brand stories are always based on real facts, contain surprises and are appealing to the company’s selective target audience.

Good stories surprise us and they have interesting characters. Also, storytelling makes us think and feel. The story stays in our minds and the main ideas and concepts are memorable. We can admire the beautiful images and sounds which we can see in video advertisement and, at the same time, listen to the compelling story. If we like and believe in the story then we persuaded to buy the brand’s products/services.

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Basic principles of storytelling in B2B marketing

Storytelling has started to be considered a communication priority in both indirect and direct brand marketing strategies. These days, businesses have to find away to engage their audience and show them why they need to be a part of what they are doing.

The majority of communication experts state that, firstly, all businesses have to know their audience very well. To create inspiration for people to believe in your company, you have to outline who your target audience is. When you understand who your audience is, it is easier to start to design a marketing campaign and decide how to convey your brand’s message via advertising.

The story needs an effective concept. This means that there is a need to focus on creating persuasive and memorable ideas associated to your products. The effective idea is the core of the story – a positive and bright message about why your brand is good and appreciable. So, you need to combine this idea with digital and visual solutions in oder to create something unique and delicious for your audience.

Inspirational elements. It‘s said that a good storyteller has to inspire others with their stories. It means that your brand’s message needs to have a marvelous aspect which can inspire people to believe in the story and to be passionate about it! For this part of the campaign, there needs to be in-depth research, creative thoughts, design and a good development and promotion of the story. Also, you have to understand in great detail what your audience cares about.

The execution of this high-quality idea is fundamental. This means this idea in a manner with both sound and a visual-digital “language”, which can help you to make your audience admire your product due to its charm. It is no secret that now people like advertisements if they contain more  attractive, innovative images and do not last too long.

Also, it is necessary to remember to incorporate more personal, human elements. If you can create a story via personal experience, this has greater potential to touch people on an individual level than an impersonal, fictional one. Also, it will show that the core valuesof the company do not lie solely in their product details but in their appreciation of their consumers as people with emotions, not statistics. This contrasts with the negative side of mass consumerism.

Tell your business stories in a smarter, more attractice and more effective way. Provide your audience something they could can relate to and find appealing.

Examples of Storytelling

It‘s very useful to use storytelling methods for companies, because this allows them to show real-life scenarios, gain more exposure and present themselves as reliable. Also the real-life stories create a stronger connection with the audience and this relationship then becomes more important and central to future commmunications. So, let’s look at some examples of businesses trying to communicate with people via storytelling methods.

Dove – Real Beauty Sketches

The company Dove tried to find another way to advertise their beauty products. They created an authentically touching campaign which aimed to make women feel more beautiful and confident. They wanted to conduct a social experiment researching how woman look at their own beauty in cotrast to how others describe them. The results clearly exhibited that women are much more attractive  to others than they suppose. Everything was created in a ‘story-telling’ way.

This new marketing campaign of storytelling helped for Dove to find a new way to send a message about beauty to people. And this advertisement with a story helped to find a means of professionally presenting a product whilst also focusing on the needs of your target audience.

The next example of storytelling is the British Airways campaign – India – A Ticket to Visit Mum

British Airways focused on the touching true-life story of a man who planned a surprise visit to his mother in Mumbai. It was created in the style of a documentary to show the journey of the man. British Airways in this story was presented as the “bridge” in the long distance between your true home and your work and new life environment. This type of advert creates more connectivity between the airline and the general public.

Hovewer, it also has to be said that using the storytelling generally increases the length of the advert. It could easily become boring to watch if the viewer’s interest is not sustained during this time. Therefore, it is important to find an original idea and original context when presenting this type of advert, in order to better connect with your intended audience.

The evolution of brand communication strategies: a visual approach

The evolution of brand communication strategies: a visual approach

by Sasha Seddon

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Social media has undergone an evolution, changing from lengthier, text-based communication to a more visual approach. William J Ward, Social Media Professor at Syracuse University has described a gradual movement towards visual strategies, from the early blog changing to the status update of Facebook, to the current state where “we are skipping words altogether and moving towards more visual communication with social-sharing sites like Pinterest”.

It could be argued that those brands implementing visual social media strategies will attain the social currency of likes, shares and follows necessary to survive and flourish in the online Darwinian struggle. Detavio Samuals, Director of Client Services at the successful advertising agency GlobalHue, postures that using pictures has “become a short form way of communicating lots of information quickly and succinctly…for publishers, it was evolve or risk losing their audience”.

A study by ROI Research in 2012 discovered that almost half of respondents were more likely to engage with a brand if they posted images as opposed to other forms of media. The market research company World Wide Worx has reported a ‘visual revolution’ in social media usage in South Africa. The MD, Arthur Goldstuck, summarizes the future of brand communication as such: “once the cost of mobile data comes down for the emerging smartphone market, video will become a dominant medium, strongly supported by other visual media.”

In an analysis by the lead generation marketing experts Wishpond, the predictions for 2014 were that visual content would predominate in brand communication strategies. Their reasons for this were based on research finding that: videos on landing pages increase average page conversion rates by 86%, social media posts with visuals receive 94% more page visits and engagement than those without, and 67% of consumers value detailed images over customer ratings or product information, amongst other findings.

Furthermore, a 2013 report by Shareaholic found that, from 2012-13 there was a 66.52% growth in traffic referrals from Pinterest. This increase was the greatest for all the networks examined. YouTube also displayed a high increase, of 52.86%. This shows that social media platforms predominantly focusing on visual material (photos/video posts) have recently shown the greatest improvement when it comes to converting viewers into potential customers. It suggests that the demographic swayed or enticed by visual brand communication material has increased in recent years.

But why has this trend become prominent in brand communication?

Images will always be more appealing and informative for humans. With images, there isn’t the same ambiguity as in text, which deals with the issues of rhetoric and semantics, language barriers and the literacy level of the reader. Pictures may not always say a thousand words, but they can compensate for these pitfalls in the written word, conveying a simple idea to a universal audience. From a psychological perspective, our brains are incredibly receptive to visual stimuli; many of our letters and symbols are based on shapes and morphologies found in nature. We also process visual stimuli 60,000 times faster than text, as all the information an image possesses is absorbed simultaneously – there is no linear narrative as with text – and they are assimilated into long-term memory much more readily.

We are now living in an era of constant multi-tasking and in which our brains are flooded by continual advertisements. We trawl through social media networks while watching TV. Adverts appear on the periphery of websites and on search engines; even when we’re reading news, researching for an essay, trying to find nightlife in our local area, nowhere online is safe from the threat of advertising and brand communication. Internet users and avid social media users in particular have therefore in a way been inoculated against this – we don’t pay attention to ads lurking on the fringes of pages, we install software to block pop-ups, we often only ‘like’ brands when they offer us something in return.

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What determines whether the information seeping in will have any impact is the question perpetually asked by advertisers and marketers. It is not that the answer is elusive, it is that it is by nature continually changing. Companies have to carry on adapting their brand communication strategies in response to changes in technology and the inevitable trickle-down effect this has on social media. The evolution of technology and social media marketing go hand-in-hand, somewhat similar to the predator-prey co-evolution of the social media marketer and the online user.

What is important to acknowledge is that, nowadays, there is a shift occurring towards more visual forms of brand communication on social media channels. This may change in the future; a preference for text may resurge or a form of media not yet invented may pop up and revolutionize the world of social media.

Living in the here and now

This visual-centric paradigm is present now as it is the most adapted or ‘fit’ for our current environment. Using imagery means that brands can attempt to blast through the bombardment of brand communication we receive. In a world where social interaction can mean scrolling through news feeds and picking out items of interest, those items which immediately grab your attention (rather than slowly creeping up on you) will win. Images should do better than long pieces of text which you have to stop and concentrate in order to take in.

What should be considered for a visual brand communication strategy

Incorporating visual communication into social media strategies gives a company a way of showing, instead of telling, their story and showcasing their products. Also, a consistent brand message can be channelled if the company’s logo and pictures all bear similar connotations or themes – whether this be a playful/authoritative, ethical, luxurious/economical, innocent/fiendishly tempting voice.

It is also important for brand communication to account for the impact and connotations of different colours – colour psychology. Coca-Cola’s distinctive red denotes vibrancy, excitement and flavour, Facebook’s dark blue makes it seem trustworthy and secure, which is obviously important for a company involved in handling online security issues and the creation and maintenance of the users’ virtual social lives.

With regards to logos, symbolism is also a crucial factor in brand communication – the logo should not be confusing or complex, but should be unique. Bearing in mind the target audience is also of importance when choosing a colour palette or a design for the logo and brand images.

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Brand Journalism – a new hybrid of PR and business ?

by Ingrida Andrijauskaite

Brand Journalism – a new hybrid of PR and business ?

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It happened ten years ago, when one of the most famous companies in the world – McDonald’s decided to take a new look at advertising and the marketing of their products to consumers. In 2004 McDonald’s started to call it “brand journalism” strategy. This was the first time this trend appeared in the public space. McDonald’s wanted to show that a brand’s story can’t be an over-simplification of a complex idea.

McDonald’s showed that there is a need to look more deeply at the product and the methods of communication which can help to reach the different demographics – different people in varying situations with different needs.

This was exemplified by the new “I’m lovin’ it” campaign; McDonald’s rejected the traditional marketing and advertising approaches focusing on a single, recurrent message in preference of a “content stream approach,” which involves various messages via different channels to multiple audiences.

What is Brand Journalism and why is there a need for it in business?

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Firstly, it is interesting to look deeper at the meaning of brand journalism and try to ascertain why this method has become increasingly popular in the business area.

It can’t be said that this trend is very new in business, because it appeared ten years ago. However, it is just now that this term is beginning to be used in the communication strategies of business companies with a selective target audience.

There are many professionals who analyse brand journalism, but as of yet there is no strict theoretical definition of brand journalism. Brand Journalism is considered as the first wide–ranging practical guide to this hybrid form of traditional journalism, marketing and public relations. Therefore, it can also be referred to as corporate journalism or corporate media. This trend has come from the practical nature of business communications strategies.

The companies are increasingly using and creating journalistic content in their brand communications to the public. They are hiring camera crew and journalists to help prepare the video montage, the text of the news and the content of the brand communications, and to find the best ways of properly representing the company to their target audience.

However, the most popular definition of this trend which is mentioned by communications experts is a method of journalistic storytelling that focuses on communicating messages that consumers care about. It helps attract, inform and engage the target audience of every business companies.

The journalist and author of the book “Brand Journalism”, Andy Bull,  states that this new trend is a response to the fact that any organization can now use journalistic techniques to tell it‘s story directly to the public.[1]

Andy Bull

A journalist has defined the concept as “Journalism produced on behalf of a brand.” This definition sees it as techniques used by any organisations which have ongoing contact with the public. Andy Bull claims that the startegy of brand journalism is also used by companies working in the B2B sector. Brand journalism can be implemented to help businesses sell their products and services to orther organisations and to establish themselves as reliable and trustworthy institutions within their field.

The opinion of McDonald’s Chief Marketing Officer, Larry Light, discussed in “Six Rules for Brand Revitalization” is that mass marketing and mass media no longer work. He explained this: “We no longer live in a world where mass marketing to masses of consumers with a mass message delivered through mass media makes money. In fact, mass marketing as we know it is dead.”

Andy Bull states that it is just as true for mass journalism: “Journalism has always been seen as serving a mass audience. Newspapers, magazines, television and radio – they are all mass media. Or they were. Now journalists are facing just the challenge that Light defined for marketers.”

We all know that every journalist has to focus on comprehensively researching and gathering information without any corruption or influence from corporations, powerful individuals, politicians, or public organizations. Journalists must be reliable informer and presenters of the news to the public. According to this, brand journalism must also focus on the reliable content of a brand and attaining the trust of the public.

One of the reasons why a method of storytelling is very important for all businesses – is that it improves the trust society has in the brand being presented to her. And the main aim is to show that the company is socially responsible across all of their services, products and promises in accordance with the ethical standards of society.

What can be taken from all of this is that brand journalism tries to help businesses to create interesting and original stories about their brand and team. Some great examples of campaigns are HSBC Business without Borders, Survey Monkey, Mail Chimp who are in the lead with their efforts concerning brand journalism.

It is important for companies to remember to create and foster a reliable connection with society. If the company is open and genuine to the public, it helps to build fundamental trust and increasingly garners more interest in the brand.

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Does Brand Journalism split traditional journalism?

Brand Journalism is an ever-evolving discipline within public relations (PR) and business. It‘s not suprising that this trend creates a great deal of disagreement amongst professional journalists and media experts regarding its validity, values and potential harmful impact on traditional journalism.

The watchdog of traditional journalism state that the term of Brand journalism should be referred to as brand communications or content marketing, shedding the word “journalism”. This term is considered to aptly describe the manner of information transfer in the marketing and PR fields. This could be misleading to users and the public, as it does not have the same connotations of media transparency and corporation integrity.

So all the problems with ethics, values or social responsibilities of business will be applied to traditional journalism. This may decrease the trust society to journalism has in journalism and the ethics and worth of traditional journalism. If brand journalism is actively used in the public domain, it may be very difficult to ensure that it is distinguished from traditional journalism. This is the main reason why the majority of media professionals are looking very carefully at this new hybrid – brand journalism.

The new opportunities for business

Although it is harder to find the results obtained by brand journalism, marketing and PR professionals agree that this is one of the best methods to encourage companies to actively use ‘storytelling’ in their brand communications or in the public space.

Brand journalists concentrate on the overall positive impact of brand journalism, because it will provide the novelty, courage, variety and authenticity to companies’ communications. Also, the storytelling part is informative and engaging for audiences, and makes them want to know  how the story ends.

On a final note, Brand journalism can help businesses to improve by finding more effective ways to communicate with their existing and potential clients.

Check out the interview about Brand Journalism and its value for business:

[1] http://www.brand-journalism.co.uk/introduction-to-the-subject/what-brand-journalism-is/

 

Viral marketing: how to create contagious content

Viral marketing: how to create contagious content

by Sasha Seddon

The word ‘viral’ has connotations of aggression and invasiveness. Drop it into the context of marketing, however, and it is instead a potent means of spreading a company’s message and engaging customers. Wilson (2000) has described viral marketing as “any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence”. Knight (1999) has made the far less poetic analogy of a “digitalised sneeze”.

Cultural evolution theories provide an interesting perspective. Social media posts can be viewed as memes, a term coined by the evolutionary theorist Richard Dawkins to refer to “a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation”. A successful meme is an element of culture which self-replicates; it propagates itself from one mind to another, out-competing other ideas and remaining intact (not subject to distortion by Chinese whispers!) Once seeded online, the message can propagate itself via re-tweets, post-sharing and email-forwarding. It can replicate itself exponentially, creating a kind of social contagion. The message is the virus and the mind is its host. However, while planting a seed can lead to the growth of something great, it can just as easily be fruitless; the message can falter and fail – a social media non-starter.

Social media platforms such as Twitter are ideal environments for this; a single tweet can be re-tweeted quickly, can reach a huge number of people simultaneously and, as it is basically copy-and-pasted, the original message stays the same.

Certain memes are more effective than others. What kind of content thrives in the world of online marketing? There are many different factors to consider.

Emotion

Milkman and Berger (2012) examined all the articles published by the New York Times over a three month period, and identified the emotional content of successful posts (ie. the articles most likely to be shared via email). They found that the most popular content does at least one of the following:

  • elicits a strong emotional reaction

  • is practically useful

  • is positive in nature

High-energy emotions such as anger, happiness and awe are more likely to be shared than low-energy ones, such as sadness.

For The Flash Pack, a company specialising in organising small group and bespoke travel, a rather interesting image was the cornerstone of their success – with relevance, humour and positive emotions all playing their part. Their ‘First ever selfie with Jesus’ viral campaign featured travel blogger and photographer Lee Thompson climbing inside Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue and then taking a picture at the top. The photos were posted on Instagram three weeks later, to coincide with the beginning of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The post went viral during the World Cup and 1.4 million hits were received by the company’s website in just four days. Thompson describes this as a “priceless marketing campaign”, as it cost nothing to do but resulted in a huge success. There were about one million hits on their website in six days, the photo has been shared around 50 million times on Facebook and Twitter, and the video received 900,000 hits on Youtube.

Interactivity

Burger King struck gold when they launched their ‘Subservient Chicken’ campaign, which included a website appearing as an interactive webcam. The site enabled people to ‘control’ a man in a chicken costume, using pre-recorded footage of him carrying out actions such as push-ups, moonwalking and laying eggs. It embodied the idea that customers of Burger King can have their chicken any way they like it – “Have it your way” – and to promote the new TenderCrisp sandwich. Within a week, the site received 20 million hits and a month after the debut of their new product, the fast food franchise reported that sales had steadily increased by around 9% each week. Although a causal link between the marketing and sales cannot be established, it is likely that the campaign improved the brand’s identity, associating them with humour and fun, and increased awareness for the new product.

Another, more common example of brand-consumer interactivity is the use of quizzes. These are popular when it comes to shared posts. Many brands use these to engage customers and update them about new products; for example, Food52 regularly posts quizzes such as ‘Which cake are you?’ and ‘Find out your spirit sandwich’. Just three days after posting their cake quiz on Twitter, it had been viewed over 20,000 times, leading to a great deal of brand exposure and customer engagement.

People like posts which identify themselves and let others know what they are like. If it makes them look good, then it appeals to the narcissistic side of sharers, as does the sharing of content which makes a person seem intelligent, thoughtful or successful.

Visuals

Posting images is another way to appeal to customers and increase the number of shares. BuzzSumo’s analysis of 100 million articles identified many factors associated with more success – that is, the more times the articles were shared online. They found that having at least one image in a post results in more shares for both Twitter and Facebook content.

The power of numbers, words and days

BuzzSumo also found that lists are commonly shared posts, with those containing the number 10 to be the most popular, and those containing the number 23 to be the second most popular.

Articles including the word ‘actually’ in their titles are shared more than similar articles without this word – for example, ‘Which career should you actually have?’ is more successful than ‘Which career should you have?’ Quotes are also commonly re-tweeted, more so than questions; this is also thought to appeal to the egocentricism of sharers – posting quotes can make people seem knowledgeable, profound and thoughtful. Visuals may be important but, on Twitter, text is re-tweeted more often than images or videos; for Twitter users, at least, it seems that a picture is not worth a thousand words.

The best day to publish social media content appears to be a Tuesday. Facebook and Twitter show the most activity during the daytime, while Pinterest is more popular in the evening.

Financial incentives

An excellent case study of how incentives can lead to increased sharing is the Bird’s Eye pay-by-picture restaurant. The company launched a pop-up restaurant in which diners could try their new chicken and fish products and then settle the bill by uploading a picture of their meal to Instagram. It was highly successful for exposing people to the products on offer, directly through the incentives and sharing, and indirectly through the media attention given to the campaign.

Relevance, practicality

Blendtec’s ‘Will it blend?’ videos are a perfect example of how to draw attention to a product and showcase its benefits, while also adding in some humour. The series showed scientists testing how different household items can be blended, exhibiting the effectiveness, strength and durability of the product.

Berger and Milkman also found that ‘practical utility’ was a more pertinent factor than ‘interest’ concerning sharing articles.

These are just a few things to consider. The German writer and politician Johann Wolfgang von Goethe observed, ideas are “like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game”.

Let’s hope these tips can help you start a winning game.

How engaging are your tweets? You can find it out with View Analytics Details

How engaging are your tweets? You can find it out with View Analytics Details

By Antonia Di Lorenzo

Twitter

Are your tweets any good?

Twitter is experimenting with mobile tools to figure that out, thanks to the feature View Analytics Details on the bottom of the tweet view, showing the statistics of impressions, engagement, rate and more.

Twitter started utilizing analytics for all users on its website last year. However, the new functionality makes it easier to access on phones.

As explained by The Verge, not all the users have access to it and it is not clear when and if the news will reach all the users.

The idea, as mentioned by The Next Web, is the promotion of the single tweet through an easy process. Nevertheless, the company does not make any comment and the feature has not been included among the news on the agenda, as it is probably still in a testing phase.

The feature gets its data from Twitter’s Analytics platform, which was recently made available for anyone on the service to use. The logical evolution of this new feature would be to directly promote tweets inside the mobile app.

twitter-mobile-analytics.0

 

 

It looks like a sort of social media monitoring on your Twitter account. Basically, you can find out how many people have seen and clicked your tweet. By monitoring your account, you can find out the results of your tweet and eventually increase them by reading the statistics, to be more engaging and improve your presence on the social media platform.

Trevor O’Brien, Twitter Product Manager, in his article The spirit of experimentation and the evolution of your home timeline, says: “As we’ve shared a few times, we constantly try new experiments around here, which serve to inform the evolution of the product. We believe that each successful experiment, big or small, can make your Twitter experience simpler and more relevant to you.”

According to him, the main goal would be to continue improving the home timeline.

“We recently ran experiments that showed different types of content in your timeline: recommended Tweets, accounts and topics”, he says.

“Testing indicated that most people enjoy seeing Tweets from accounts they may not follow, based on signals such as activity from accounts you do follow, the popularity of the Tweets, and how people in your network interact with them. These experiments now inform the timeline you see today.”

According to TechCrunch, the quick glimpse at how your tweet is faring seems like something that would be very useful for brands and others who thrive on social media success. But the feature will probably go unnoticed or unused by most who don’t care about that kind of thing, probably getting close to Facebook, even though it is essential to figure out the different purpose of Twitter, that also involves a different range of users.

On the one hand it fears a poor interest from the general audience, on the other it is believed that these experiments with engagement statistics directly in tweets can open a new frontier of communication on this social media platform.

Also, whoever says that they don’t care what people think, are sometimes not telling the truth.

Neuromarketing: strategies for persuading people to buy

Neuromarketing: strategies for persuading people to buy

by Antonia Di Lorenzo

brain-neuromarket

Neuromarketing is a new field of marketing research that studies consumers’ sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli. It is aimed at the identification of the communication channels focused on buying decision processes, in other words, what happens in people’s brains when confronted by stimuli related to products, brands and advertising. The objective is to determine strategies for persuading people to buy.

Researchers use technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure changes in activity in parts of the brain, electroencephalography (EEG) and Steady state topography (SST) to measure activity in specific regional spectra of the brain response, and/or sensors to measure changes in one’s physiological state, also known as biometrics, including (heart rate and respiratory rate, galvanic skin response) to learn why consumers make the decisions they do, and which brain areas are responsible.

Our brain is divided into three parts:

  • The rational part thinks, elaborating rational data;
  • The intermediate part listens, elaborating emotions and sensations;
  • The primitive part decides, taking into account the results that come from the other two parts.

 Neuromarketing

How does the primitive brain work on the emotional side?

According to an infographic generated by Nashville, Tenn.-based Emma, an email-marketing software provider, the primitive brain controls gut reactions and emotions and works much faster than our conscious mind.

Gut reactions are absorbed by the primitive brain in less than 3 seconds and emotions process information 5 times faster than our conscious brain does.

How does it work with images?

 The primitive brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. It is believed that 90% of all the data processed by our brain is visual and it is easier to remember pictures with text rather than text alone.

According to the infographic mentioned above, the brain is particularly attracted to images of sex, danger and food, but also using facial expressions can quickly grab the customer’s attention and can be a beneficial advertising strategy. Faces and eyes, particularly of women, have a positive impact on feelings of trust, but they shouldn’t disturb the reader from the message.

Why colour matters.

 More than 60% of our feeling about a product is determined by the colour alone. Different colours can actually send various signals to our brain.

 According to an article on Focus.it, 80% of a brand’s recognisability comes from its colour alone and colour has a profound effect on our decisions.

 Blue: safety, reliability, serenity.

Yellow/Orange: vitality, positivity, brightness.

Purple: spirituality and mystery.

Black: value, prestige and sophistication of a product. Used by important Italian fashion brands, such as Armani, Gucci, Versace, Dolce&Gabbana.

Green: calm, health, freshness. Ideal to attract consumers careful of the environmental aspect.

Red: health and victory.

Before you decide which colours to choose for your app, or a new product launch, you should identify the target to which it is addressed. According to research commissioned by KISSmetrics, a web platform that deals with American marketing and statistical analysis, women on the web like blue, purple and green, but do not like orange, brown and gray; men prefer blue, green and black, but do not like brown, orange and purple.

 psicologia-colore-01

 

“One of the best ways to persuade the others is through your ears: beginning to listen to them”

Dean Rusk, former Secretary of United States.

Social Media Monitoring: some tricks to do it better

Social Media Monitoring: some tricks to do it better

Everything you should know to increase your social media strategy.

by Antonia Di Lorenzo

social-media-conversation

 

Would you be able to drive with a covered dashboard, without knowing how much petrol you have, how fast you are going, if you have any problems? I don’t think so.

At the same time, you cannot know how your activity is going if you don’t monitor periodically what happens on your website, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and if you are achieving your goals.

Social media monitoring is a magnifying glass on your company, that allows you to know how, from where and who visits your website. As Jasmine Jaume, Marketing Manager at Brandwatch, writes on the blog, “social media monitoring is the act of using a tool to monitor what is being said on the internet”.

The clients’ feedback is the most effective instrument to orient your brand, to plan your future actions and to optimize your website. Conversations on social media channels reveal authentic users with needs and opinions expressed in a natural environment. It is a sort of crossfire between you and your clients that allows you to understand how and why to act.

Grow3 met Domenico Armatore, Founder of Community Manager Freelance, who explains to us in an interview tricks to create the best social media monitoring strategy.

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  • What is social media monitoring and why should PR start tracking?

Social media monitoring is a set of activities aimed at listening to the conversations on social media. The internet is now a place where people express opinions on certain topics, and very often also talk about the brands they love or hate. Knowing exactly what happens online is therefore crucial for companies. In these activities PRs play a central role because they can anticipate and resolve various kinds of crisis.

 

  • How can it be managed by companies?

My advice is to commit to professionals who are able to read the tone of the conversations and then help companies to take action on any trouble spots. Listening is often not enough, you have to know how to intervene and “enter” into conversations related to the brand. In order to do this, very specific strategic skills are often required that companies do not have.

 

  • How important is Social Media Listening to build a solid reputation?

Understanding what people think about a particular company is central to any brand reputation strategy. You cannot build a solid reputation if you do not know what are your weaknesses. It’s the client who often gives the most useful and relevant feedback and in recent times the internet is the tool most often used.

 

  • How can we gain the trust of customers?

Social media is a great way to create strong relationships with customers or potential ones. Companies must be able to know how to listen and to give definite, relevant and fast answers. Brands must make every effort to show that the customer is always at the centre of their activities. Quite often you can achieve this goal by giving unique and targeted experiences, where the element of personalisation can make a difference. If you look at digital campaigns of the last few months, you’ll notice that the customisation is central to all of them: personalisation of experiences, products and so on.

 

  • Could focusing directly on customers be the key to gaining their trust?

As I said before, the answer is absolutely yes. Social channels are to be used in this way and, in my opinion, companies that are able to do it as best as they can win a very strong competitive advantage.

 

  • How can you handle negative feedback?

As Social Media Community Manager, I often find myself having to deal with negative comments or criticism from various channels of my clients. My advice is to always respond with grace and apologise if necessary. Depending on the severity and the impact of the comment, it is essential to activate different tactics. Most importantly: the crisis management on social media should not be left only to the Community Manager, but always requires the participation of various departments of a company.

 

  • And the positive ones?

The positive comments on social channels are a very important resource for companies. They reflect the reliability of the quality of a brand, its products or services. Surely thanking is the first step to take in the event of congratulations or appreciation of various kinds. If, for example, we find a number of positive comments on a single topic, we could use this insight to develop activities that give visibility to a company’s strength.

 

  • In this regard, some people have said “stop talking about yourself and start listening to the others” can be useful to become number one in your business. Do you agree?

As I said before, listening is one of the most important tasks that the brand has to do. In my opinion, this is for a basic reason: the conversations of people about a company often reflect the perception that these people have of the brand. And sometimes, as you know, the perception of the brand is more important than the brand itself.

 

  • What should we monitor? What is the main aim of an operation of social media monitoring?

It depends. The monitoring must be calibrated according to the needs of the brand. There are not, in my view, unique directions.

 

  • What are the prices of the instruments used for this operation?

Around the web there are several sophisticated tools to help you monitor online conversations and in particular on social media. The prices change depending on the quality of the instruments. Recently on our blog we published two articles analysing the avalaible tools. You can read more here http://communitymanagerfreelance.it/blog/category/tool-2/.

 

  • Are there any free tools?

There are some free online tools, but if you work with major companies, I always recommend buying one that returns accurate insights. Among the free packages, one of the best is SimplyMeasured (link: http://simplymeasured.com/free-social-media-tools/).

 

  • How can organizations get the most out of establishing workflows for increased analysis and management?

I believe that companies should begin without creating any distinction between digital departments and non digital ones. The analysis on social media is an important resource not only for those who create the communication, but also and firstly for marketing departments. The analysis often allows you to have real time views of people about a certain product or service, although it has not yet been launched.

Listening to internet communication can also help in the development of a product that has the features required by the market. As you might guess, it can mean a big competitive advantage.

 

 

Domenico Armatore

Domenico Armatore, Italian, Founder of Community Manager Freelance, co-founder of Pinterestitaly  and teacher of Community Management and Pinterest Marketing for Ninja Marketing, Il Sole 24 Ore and other Italian realities. Co-author of the e-book “Pinterest for the business”.