The Do’s and Don’ts of Instagram Stories

The Do’s and Don’ts of Instagram Stories

The Do's and Don'ts of Instagram Stories

The Do’s and Don’ts of Instagram Stories

Oh, the ephemeral world of Instagram stories. You could ask yourself why you would even bother to create something that automatically disappears after 24 hours. It creates engagement and studies show that people are more likely to interact with a story than with a regular posting and a quarter of users prefer stories to the feed. All the big brands are doing it and staying out of the loop gives more leads to competitors.

The Definite Do’s

1. Get in the Game

Instagram’s algorithm pushes stories to the forefront due to their short lifespan. By creating stories every day, you maximize your account’s chance of being on top of the newsfeed. You can even post several times a day, as long as you keep the content interesting and appropriate.

2. Use the Provided Tools

Stories are supposed to be fun and a little silly. Use the available items like stickers, text, highlighters, and filters. Geo-tagging the post can make it more useful by providing context. Draw, put some frames and enjoy the reactions. Polls are a tried and trusted tool for further engagement.

3. Get Social

To increase your chances of getting on top of the feed, it’s a great idea to tag others in your post, as long as it makes sense. It could be ambassadors, partners or followers. Just make sure the people or companies you tag are OK with this practice and are in tune with your values.

The Clear Don’ts

1. Refrain From Over Posting

The biggest mistake you can make with stories is to flood the feed with mindless posting. You need to keep things exciting and only talk about ideas worth sharing. Keep it engaging and a bit teasing.

2. Don’t Repost From Other Channels

It might be tempting to repurpose some content from other channels, like Snapchat, especially if the public has already validated it. Restrain from such practices since most followers could be your fans in both places, and this would only appear as lazy.

3. Be too Promotional

Even if you are looking to close a deal, people use Instagram for fun. You don’t want your story to turn into the online equivalent of the TV commercial in the middle of a good movie. In fact, it has to be worth talking about and sharing.

What are you waiting for? Get out that smartphone and jump in the “now” game. Don’t be afraid to experiment Instagram stories and fail fast. If you need a bit of advice about what is appropriate reach out to us and we’ll be happy to provide examples and help.

How to Create a Visually Coherent Instagram Account

How to Create a Visually Coherent Instagram Account

How to Create a Visually Coherent Instagram Account

How to Create a Visually Coherent Instagram Account

The rise of social media gave both users and companies the ability to become content creators. Some have perfected visual coherence for Instagram to an art, while others still struggle with finding the right balance, vibe, and defining their voice.

Instagram as a highly visual platform, requires some artistic taste and know-how about good design rules. The human brain thrives on predictability and coherence, therefore having an appealing feed requires coordinating a few elements.

Theme and Colors

Start with market research of your industry and define best practices. Either go with the flow or take a completely different approach to set yourself apart. For example, most fitness trainers dress in bright and vibrant colors to inspire joy and energy. You could define yourself as the all black, sleek trainer.

Once you decide on the theme and vibe of your account, it’s time to select the colors that best define that mood. Look for inspiration in the pictures you want to use and create a color palette. Try to stick to three main colors and at most three accents of color in all your posts. It’s an essential step of your branding. Coordinate these with your logo or make it complimentary.

Filters & Fonts

Not only the colors in the pictures can transmit a certain message, but the Instagram filters you use in your postings. Different hues correspond to different moods, from highly optimistic to nostalgic or mysterious.  You might think that it is too monotonous to use the same filter for every posting, but in fact, that is what makes a feed look professional, neat and ordered.

The same consistency rule also applies to fonts if you use quotes in your postings. You should select at most two fonts and use them for every occasion. There is the tendency to abuse script fonts for quotes, and it could look just one of the many trying to fit in. On the other hand, using special fonts for your bio can help you stand out.

Planning

Don’t just rely on the spur of the moment for inspiration, think of an editorial calendar and schedule your posts ahead. This practice helps you stay true to your theme and prevents repetition. Seeing the pictures in the right order before publishing them on the feed can help you rearrange and tell a story with every nine blocks.

If you think that keeping visual coherence for a top Instagram account is hard work, don’t be afraid to ask for a little help. We can get you started, or we can offer you full maintenance packages to check this task off your busy entrepreneur list. Let’s connect.

How to Define Marketing KPIs to Drive ROI

How to Define Marketing KPIs to Drive ROI

How to Define Marketing KPIs to Drive ROI

How to Define Marketing KPIs to Drive ROI

They say that what gets measured gets done. Although a marketing strategy can have softer purposes, like awareness and brand recognition, the final goal should always be generating revenue. Enter the KPIs (key process indicators). This is a way to put a number on a dream and create an actionable metric.

However, it’s worth noticing that not any metric is a KPI and not all KPIs have a connection to actual profit. The best way to create valuable KPIs is to start with the result in mind and think about the best ways to get there.

Define Your Vision

Think about the best-case scenario and write down the result you would consider excellent. For example, if you just launched your business, you could hope for $10K sales in the first quarter. Try to be as specific as possible and don’t be afraid to dream big.

Remember to create S.M.A.R.T. goals at this stage:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

Create a Strategy

Once you know the general direction, ask yourself how you can get there. From a marketing perspective, this could mean creating a sales funnel, revamping your social media pages or using new channels. Think about the vision you have and what are the best ways to get there.

Design a Plan

Next, break down the big goal into daily or even hourly smaller chunks. Identify where are your target clients and be present in those channels. Create a simple checklist to be completed. Make sure the sum of the tasks on the list is more than your objective. Always allow a margin.

You don’t have to obsess daily over meeting the goal, but at least a weekly check can help you stay on track. If you fail to comply with your targets three or four consecutive weeks, maybe an assessment and redefining is a good idea.

Each business is different, but here are a few marketing KPIs that trigger changes in the ROI. You can use these as inspiration to define your own:

  • Cost per lead- divide it by inbound and outbound
  • Traffic to lead ratio
  • Lead to customer ratio
  • Landing pages conversions
  • Social media conversions

Still feel confused and overwhelmed by the need to measure? Get out a pen and paper and start drafting a plan before you waste any more money on likes and impressions. You spend hard cash to get even more.

How to Create Valuable B2B Content

How to Create Valuable B2B Content

How to Create Valuable B2B Content

How to Create Valuable B2B Content

If you want to engage with other companies by B2B content be sure to value quality over quantity. For this, keep your information concise, innovative and actionable. In business time is money and if an executive is giving you a chance, it should be regarded as an investment. Simply put, give them back value for their attention.  Here are a few strategies to establish yourself as an expert in your rea and make your blog the go-to resource.

Educate, but Don’t Lecture

Successful business owners and executives are life-long learners, and they are aware they don’t know it all. That’s why they are also avid readers. However, nothing makes a person close a company blog faster than a superior, know-it-all, tone.

As a subject matter expert, share your know-how in a friendly and approachable manner. Don’t use jargon and abbreviations without explaining them first. Focus on the big picture and offer additional resources for readers who want to go more in depth with a subject.

Think Needs, Not Sales

Content marketing is not expected to generate immediate sales but build a trust relationship with a prospective client. Your communication strategy should be an extended FAQ which helps the customers know you and your products better. If they see you as trustworthy and knowledgeable, they will buy or recommend you.

Don’t be Afraid of Data

Most CXOs are looking for numbers to back their decisions and studies about others who already took the steps they intend to make. If you can provide rich content doubled by data about your products or industry trends you have more chances of bringing value to your readers. In fact, 76% of B2B buyers asked for more data and benchmarks as part of the content strategy.

Use Multiple Channels

Don’t be afraid to mix, match and repurpose the B2B content you create. To maximize your audience reach create different types of relevant content and spread them over various channels. Use social media for issues that need public awareness or are visual. Create videos to explain concepts or demonstrate the right way to use your products. Don’t forget about podcasts and interviews to make your voice heard or of getting in touch with your audience. Last but not least, always refresh your blog content to bring news and boost SEO.

Feel like you don’t have the time to curate your company’s blog to bring real value to your partners and potential clients? We’re ready to offer you strategy guidance and even take this problem out of your hands.

How to Use Big Data to Create Valuable Content for Awareness

How to Use Big Data to Create Valuable Content for Awareness

How to Use Big Data to Create Valuable Content for Awareness

How to use Big Data to Create Valuable Content for Awareness

Big Data is a buzzword that has infiltrated in almost every industry that has a digital dimension. Although it seems like a paradox, content creation for marketing and awareness purposes should be driven by data, not intuition. Of course, experience and knowing your niche and target consumer help. Yet, nowadays markets are so dynamic that sometimes it is hard to keep up with trends and preferences. That is where numbers can make a difference.

Google Analytics is Your Friend

A free source of Big Data available to anyone who has a website is the insights offered by Google Analytics (assuming you already have it installed). By glancing at the top reports or drilling down in the content, you can start creating a detailed profile of your client.

Find out where they live, so that you can tailor your content to offer locally relevant tips. Their age and gender could act as the starting point for adapting your brand’s voice to match their expectations. You could even include in your content cultural references that might be relevant to people who are of a certain age.

The traffic from the organic search report shows you what their interests are. Look for the keywords they use to get to your page and create more content on those and related topics. This could help you establish yourself as a subject matter expert.

Social Media Listening

Another excellent source of free data to use as inspiration for your content creation efforts is the back-end of your social media pages. Some of these include information similar to that from the Google Analytics suite, like demographics and behaviors.

Use listening tools to analyze the way followers perceive your brand. Aim to get overview reports and also look at individual posts, both your own and from competitors. Identify those which generate engagement, mainly regarding positive reactions (likes, haha, wow, love) and the number of shares.

Try to create more content within those lines without becoming repetitive or a copycat if you emulate a competitor. Also, set your tools to follow and analyze top social media influencers to have a larger pool of data regarding preferences and trends.

For the next quarter try to generate your editorial calendar starting from data, and not hunches.

Is E-Mail Marketing Still Alive?

Is E-Mail Marketing Still Alive?

Is E-Mail Marketing Still Alive?

Is E-Mail Marketing Still Alive?

Do you know that annoying pop-up that asks for your e-mail just seconds after you’ve opened a site? If it is not working why is everybody still stubborn to have it? Why does every business still work hard to build an an-email list if spam filters are getting stronger and people are more likely to open junk mail arriving by snail mail?

In fact, statistics show that e-mail marketing is alive and well, delivering a staggering 4400% ROI, which is way more than social media channels combined can offer at this moment.

Didn’t Social Media Kill the E-mail Marketing?

Social media is fun, engaging and creates a buzz, but it can’t be personal like an e-mail. Even with the best targeting, it can’t say “hello, Susan” like the greeting of an e-mail. This personalization drives action because people feel responsible. At most, social media influences the design of the e-mail by making it more visual.

Also, social media communication learned a lot from the digital workhorse. The tweet can be regarded as a great subject line. So, in fact, while Facebook and Instagram are the cool kids attracting all the news, e-mail is the working parent bringing home the bacon.  

Subject Lines Matter

The essential component of e-mail marketing is undoubtedly the subject line. What grabs your attention from the vast pile of advertising you get each day? A great line packs at least some of the following items: personalization (name), relevance, urgency, and making you curious. Keep in mind that you need to make it short and punchy.

In fact, there are automatic tools to help you evaluate your subject line. Most of these will teach you how to improve your scores by analyzing the words you use.

Black Friday Every Day

A pair of special events which shows the marketing potential of e-mail are Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Since shoppers anticipate the huge sales and deals for these occasions, they actually look forward to the e-mail announcing them and are more likely to open these and buy.

As a marketer, you want to replicate this behavior as often as possible, even daily. To do so, extend the strategies discussed in the subject line and the spirit of Black Friday. Make your clients look forward to your communication by including promotions and excellent deals for a limited time.

Do you have an e-mail list? If you need help in building one and crafting the right communication, don’t hesitate to contact us.