In-Person Networking- It’s Still as Important as Ever

In-Person Networking- It’s Still as Important as Ever

In-Person Networking- It’s Still as Important as Ever

Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram make it easy to connect to customers and clients. You create posts that show what your brand is about. Followers relate to or believe in your brand and reach out to form a connection. Through likes, comments, and direct messages, a high genuine engagement rate leads to more sales. It’s a flawless process, right?

Although a strong digital marketing presence is crucial in today’s business climate, it shouldn’t be your only focus. Studies show that authentic, in-person networking is as important as a digital presence. Why is in-person networking so beneficial when we have social media?

Clear communication relies on visual cues. The way you stand when talking to someone, your eye contact, and the amount you smile affect their perspective of you. Often, these things allow the person you are conversing with to fully understand what you’re saying. There’s more clarity available in person than in text only. Consider the effort Presidents put in to meet with other leaders in person. Think of the massive industry conferences that allow you to learn from and socialize with each other. There is immense value in communicating in person.

Have you ever noticed how much of your competition is on Instagram? Anyone can start a profile, grow followers, and claim to be an expert. You get real credibility when people see you in-person demonstrating your expertise. That could mean giving a speech, leading a workshop, or simply socializing at a networking event. You can show that you’re the real deal in person, not just another account with stolen infographics.

In-person networking leads to the people you interact with remembering you. Do you remember every profile you browsed through on LinkedIn? Likely not. However, you will remember the conversation you had with that potential client about their upcoming holiday. They will remember you because you showed interest in their needs specifically. The connections you make in-person are far more memorable than digital ones.

Here are some jaw-dropping stats to prove how necessary in-person networking is to your business:

  • Although 59% say they’re using technology for digital meetings, 84% prefer to meet in-person.
  • 85% believe that in-person conferences lead to stronger and more meaningful business relationships.
  • Every dollar that a company spends on business travel for networking purposes results in $12.50 ROI.

All that being said, you need a healthy mix of both in-person and digital networking for success. Exclusively focusing on one over the other will not help you reach your success potential. When you connect with someone in-person, follow up with them digitally. When you connect with someone digitally, let them know about an event you’ll be speaking at or attending. These two mediums complement and support each other. Using them cohesively in your marketing strategy will yield better results than focusing on one or the other.   

If you need help creating a marketing strategy that incorporates both in-person and digital elements, contact us today!

Video Marketing in 2019: What Works and What Doesn’t

Video Marketing in 2019: What Works and What Doesn’t

Would you like to increase your landing page’s conversion rate by 80 percent? Simply add a video. It’s that easy.

Video has taken the marketing world by storm in the last couple of years. 2018 showed us that video marketing isn’t just an element of a larger marketing strategy, it’s an entire strategy in itself. There are so many ways you can use video to boost your traffic, conversions, and sales.

The key to making every video you produce successful is authenticity. Consumers today want real, raw, and genuine videos. That’s a win-win for businesses. It means you can spend less on high-quality camera equipment and editing tools, and still get an increase in followers/customers.

Not sure how to incorporate genuine video marketing into your business? Here are some proven successful ideas.

  1. Screen Recording

Don’t worry, camera-shy business owners!

Creating a video doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be in the frame. With screen recording, it’s just your voice, the mouse, and your screen. Screen recording videos are an effective form of education for your consumers.

If you sell a product that comes with a learning curve, use video to teach about it. For example, the graphics generator site, Canva, regularly produces screen recording videos to show users how to use their online tools. You can hear the creator’s voice as they explain the process and see everything they do with the mouse. If you sell digital software or online tools, screen recording videos are crucial for consumer education.

  • Live Video

Almost every social media platform has a live video feature now. You’ve likely seen it on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Why is it important for businesses to create live videos? Because consumers today care about supporting businesses they relate to and believe in. To know if they relate to your brand’s mission, they need to see the inner workings of your brand. A nice logo and faceless Instagram profile aren’t enough anymore.

Use live video to talk about the behind-the-scenes work your business does. Show the problem your business solves. Interview your employees to give your brand a personality. Talk about the social movements your business supports. Live video humanizes your business to consumers. That’s all they really want in a brand, authenticity, and transparency.

  • Promotional Videos

Are you launching a new product? Opening another location? Rebranding? These are all cause for an epic promotional video. Promotional videos are about getting the personality and mood of your brand across to the viewer. They’re about building interest and excitement. To do so, you might give a tour of the new location at each phase of the renovation. You could make daily videos that hint at what the new product is. You could reintroduce your business, and yourself, with the new branding. When you send out an email about your promotion, skip the walls of text explaining it. Simply post one minute of your promotional video with a link to where they can watch the whole thing. That’s convenient, authentic, and engaging video marketing.

Not sure how to create an epic promotional video or how to make a screen recording? Nervous about getting on camera for a live video? We can help! Contact us today for help with your video marketing strategy.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing – lots of people are talking about this social media/marketing trend and concept! Is it beneficial? Can it drive results? Will it replace content marketing? Will it replace social media marketing in its entirety? Absolutely not. The truth of the matter is that influencer marketing is dependant on social media marketing and cannot exist without it! 

What exactly is Influencer Marketing?

Let’s break it down. As we know, marketing is actionable items used to promote or sell a product or service. Influence is the capability to have a direct effect on something or someone. When we put it together, influencer marketing is practically the promotion of a product/service through individuals who are influential – those who have the capacity to directly impact or effect others. 

Influencer marketing is essentially the same as attracting ambassadors to market your products or services to their networks in hopes to drive business. The strategy has been around for a while, however, we are seeing a big shift in how we are thinking about the concept. Think back to Tony the Tiger selling Frosted Flakes. Tony the Tiger was essentially the “influencer” that drove sales. The same can be said for Santa Claus – an influencer that changed the game for Coca Cola. Fast forward to today’s day and age, we have the Kardashian clan representing brands like Calvin Klein or The Rock representing Under Armour. On a smaller scale, there are micro-influencers – those who have large local followers in smaller jurisdictions. 

How can you take advantage of this blossoming career and marketing channel? By reaching out to influencers with your products or services. However, etiquette matters. Here are some do’s and don’ts of contacting an influencer. 

Do: Have a Full Concept First

Would you show up to a business meeting unprepared? No. Treat your initial contact with an influencer like an important business meeting. You should have your marketing idea fully thought-through. Your goals and expectations should be clear. Present it in a way that is transparent and concise. 

Do: Build a Relationship with Them

Although influencer marketing is now a part of the business, most influencers never went to business school. They value authentic connections with brands before making a deal. Before ever pitching your idea, build a rapport. Comment on their posts; start a conversation. Show that you understand their personal brand and what their audience wants. Be human first, marketer second. 

Do: Offer Something in Return

Influencers make a living (part time or full) by promoting brands. It’s expected that they will receive some form of payment in return for their promotion. Bigger influencers with highly engaged followers will likely expect payment in cash. But, smaller influencers may be okay with free product or cross-promotion. Never expect free promotion. 

Don’t: Get Blinded by Their Numbers

It can be tempting to reach out to influencers with millions of followers. That means they have millions of loyal subscribers who will buy what they say, right? Not always. We already know that many accounts on social media are actually bots and unused accounts. Instead, focus on influencers with high engagement rates. They may only have 10 000 followers, but almost all of those followers care about the influencer’s opinion. 

Don’t: Be Too Strict with Your Expectations

Influencers are generally creative people; they curate their images, captions, and personal brand. Allow some room for creativity and flexibility in your marketing plan. You’re choosing an influencer based on their sense of style, confidence, and well, influence. If they want to change up the wording of your copy to better suit their followers, be open to it. They know their audience better than anyone. 

Don’t: Only Contact Them on Social Media

Popular influencers have direct message inboxes full of subscriber questions, comments, and requests. While it’s good to send a message this way, it’s best to follow it up with an email. Most influencers will have a business email or management contact for you to reach out to. Use this method of contact, not only their direct messages. 

Influencer marketing is the way of the future. More and more businesses and professionals are utilizing the power of influencer marketing. If you need help reaching out to influencers and coming up with a clear marketing strategy, contact us today!

Why Every Business Needs a Social Media Advertising Strategy

Why Every Business Needs a Social Media Advertising Strategy

When it comes to running your business, decisions are carefully planned and executed (or at least they should be) to make sure goals are achieved. Research and experience show that developing a streamlined strategy for social media advertising consistently proves to be effective in optimizing reach, exposure and aids in lead generation, regardless of what industry you’re in.

Focusing your advertising strategy towards a target audience is the first step in making sure that your business is being seen by the right people. There is truly nothing worse than putting effort and money into developing content that is not being seen by your target market. 

Here are some things to consider when developing a social media advertising strategy for your business:

  1. Start with research

Before you can decide how to attract an audience, you need to know who that audience is. To start, determine who your ideal client is – what do they need to take their business from point A to point B? What services/products do they need to maximize their business? How can you help them achieve their goals? This is called target marketing and it will be the backbone of your advertising strategy. Once you know who your ideal clients are, you can begin strategizing the best possible way to market to them.

2. Develop a marketing budget

In today’s digitally-focused market, most advertising is done online and only gives back what you put in. While there are ways to promote your business or product without spending money, you will likely find that you might not get the results you want. By investing a portion of your operational budget in advertising, you’re literally buying space on your audience’s newsfeeds and can rest assured that your ads are reaching prospects.

3. Decide where to focus your advertising

With new social media platforms being developed constantly, it can be difficult to know which outlets are best suited for your clients and prospects. Based on your target market research, you can figure out where your audience spends most of their time and then focus there; however, sticking with household-name platforms is usually a safe bet. Once you decide on an outlet, or even if you’re using multiple, you need to learn how their algorithms work. For example, sponsored ads on Facebook operate differently from Instagram, which is different from Twitter, and so on. You should have a solid understanding of how any platform you’re using works so that you can develop the most strategic advertising campaigns for your business.

4. Tailor your advertisements to the platform

While all social media serves a similar purpose, no two platforms are exactly alike. This means that an advertisement designed for Facebook might struggle on Instagram unless it’s translated to that platforms’ requirements. Setting aside the time, resources, and budget to complete these alterations to ads is a crucial aspect of developing your strategy, so be sure to account for multiple rounds of content development while planning your marketing operations.

Keeping these factors in mind while creating an advertising strategy is crucial when developing marketing plans for your business. If you need any assistance with marketing or advertising strategy, contact us today and we can help ensure your content is reaching the right audience!

Planning Your 2019 Digital Marketing Strategy for Growth

Planning Your 2019 Digital Marketing Strategy for Growth

Tailoring your digital marketing strategy in 2019 for growth comes down to using the latest techniques to expand your reach and keeping your current client base happy. Here are five foolproof ways you can use digital marketing to grow your business this year.

  1. New Mediums for Posting Content– Omnichannel marketing continues to be a winning strategy for diversifying your marketing streams and ensuring that your followers feel heard. In 2019, redouble your efforts and find new mediums for posting content. Whether it’s joining a new social media platform or expanding your content creation methods to include eBooks, podcasts and live videos, there is much to be gained from exploring new ways to create and post content. 
  2. Customer Reviews and Feedback– From Facebook to Google, customer reviews and feedback posted for public view should be constantly monitored in 2019. Since Google’s latest design updates has integrated Google reviews as part of profile cards for businesses, every Google review you’ve ever received is now the first thing seen by anyone who types in your business’ name in the search bar. 
  3. Redesign Your Website for Growth– Conduct an audit of your website. Determine which pages are under performing and seek solutions. Review your transaction pages, call to actions and any other areas where customers are browsing, and upgrade your design to improve usability. A customer-friendly website is your ticket for growth. 
  4. User Generated Content– Last year user-generated content showed itself to be an invaluable resource for new content. Harness the power and creativity of your audience by having your best, most loyal customers create content for you. User-generated content as an advertising tool boasts two big benefits: it’s free, and it’s as powerful and persuasive as word of mouth advertising. 
  5. Consistent Niche Content Creation– There are so many ways audiences can consume content. From YouTube to paid streaming services like Netflix to podcasts to live streaming platforms like Twitch, there are a huge variety of ways customers can tune in your content. It’s impossible to create high-quality content for all of these channels, which is why you need to provide your customers with a consistent source of good content. Maybe it’s a weekly YouTube video, or a live stream Q and A on Twitch, or even just a biweekly podcast – it doesn’t have to be complicated. Dedicating some time, money and energy to creating consistent content loyal followers can consume at regular time intervals. 

Make 2019 a year for growth with these winning strategies! If you need help incorporating these ideas or coming up with new ways to expand your business, contact us today! 

2019 Social Media Trends

2019 Social Media Trends

Social media is always evolving. Last year’s viral trends are old news in this year’s digital world. With 2019 ahead of us, now is the time to get familiar with the social media trends that are destined to elevate your business to new heights. Here’s what to expect in 2019:

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)– Experts predict AI technology will become an invaluable resource for collecting customer and audience data in the near future. Not only can AI help you master customer segmentation, it can also be used to automate certain areas of your business— chat bots, for example. 
  2. Augmented and Virtual Reality– Reality altering tools are not a gimmick. The most successful applications of this technology allow customers to “try out” products in a virtual space. With big name brands like IKEA, Gap, Marriott and more finding huge success with AR and VR marketing, it’s clear that the allure of these tools will not fizzle out. 
  3. Voice Search– Google Voice, Alexa and the Echo have changed the way households operate. Voice search technology is now an integral part of everyday life in many homes across the world. Because so much of the population has adopted voice search so easily and readily into their lives, it is a good idea that your business ensures your website and any online properties you might have are updated to be compatible with navigation via voice search.
  4. Native Ads– When ad blockers were first popularized, the effectiveness of traditional website advertising, like pop up ads, was put into question. Deloitte Global has predicted that 80% of adults in North America use ad blockers in some capacity. That is a lot of people that are not seeing ads when they browse online. Native ads, which are ads designed to look and read like the editorial content on a webpage, are the way advertisers worked around the issue of ad blockers. This year, invest in native ads to be sure audiences are seeing your ads.
  5. Vertical Videos– Mobile browsing is quickly gaining as the preferred way for Internet users to get online. Videos are also among the most popular type of content viewed online. Put two and two together and you have the rise of vertical video. In 2019, your videos will find the most success in a vertical format, especially when you’re posting to platforms like Instagram. 

The year had just begun, which means you have everything to gain by adopting these social media trends early on. Get ahead of your competitors, expand your reach and develop lasting connections with consumers by experimenting with these social media trends.