WOW Digital Marketing

Words of Wisdom for New Business Entrants


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Content driving business and emotions

By Maija Daujate

(Image by Forbes magazine: Madonna will sing until the year 9328…)

Content has been a buzzword amongst marketers over the last number of years. Buzz quite rapidly raised and turned into the content revolution. Can a start-up boost a business using the content with emotions?

By Marianna Palumbo

By Marianna Palumbo

The main purpose of content is to drive traffic to the company website and ensure conversion. Amongst all content formats, videos give the highest conversion rate and ensure leads or sale. They also boost search engine optimisation for the company website. Therefore content strategy has become central in the digital marketing. Amongst a variety of formats video is the most popular one.

Business and Emotions: Emotions Win

Buzz with content happens in conjunction with brand values. Any brand, product or service contains two contrasting values – rational and emotional, which can be combined in different ratios. An ideal combination of those can provide success to a product. Thus, marketers use either a more rational approach communicating the product with the customer, or a more emotional approach. The rational approach, along with simple educational videos which are quite in demanded, includes some fresh formats, such as infographics which recently became popular in digital marketing.

Currently there is a huge shift towards emotionality in all aspects. Thus, the highest demand in marketing is for formats with an emotional hint. Arguably, it happened after peak recession which caused a demand for strong positive feelings. Now, consumers like never before seek entertainment, laughter, light-heartedness and joy. We can see it in how people share this kind of information on social platforms. Recently, successful content strategy is all about creating a light emotional atmosphere with positive and surprising or funny elements. Even infographics – the new type of rational formats became popular due to their visually and emotional appeal.

profile-of-a-twitter-user

Funny infographic from Cmadigital co.uk

Temperature of emotions

WARC trend pages , providing trends, research and other very important stuff for marketers, allow us to observe what happens with content and the level of emotion over several years. Year 2011 was a year of the Big Idea when storytelling became the most popular digital marketing method. Nostalgia marketing and interactivity are amongst the main trends represented by WARC in 2012. Nostalgia indicates that consumers feel in some way tired. At the same time, they seek to share their feelings, so social platforms should be the best place for this. Though, the temperature of nostalgia could be very different. For instance, there was a very nice original nostalgic BMW X3 ad with Irish music at the background on YouTube last year, showing a family driving the car in a beautiful Irish countryside. But seems that the temperature of emotions in this ad was too low for social platforms and the video ad unfortunately disappeared from YouTube. At the same time, another non-commercial video made in an amateur format, with a much higher degree of emotion and with nostalgic hint, has been viewed more than 14.5 million times over three years (see below). Thus, more emotions means more customer activity.


Video: World’s most beautiful marriage proposal; 14.5 million views and more that 71 thousand likes.

According to WARC trends 2013, marketing shifts from brands to consumers becoming seriously social. For business marketing – getting social means listening to consumers and getting more emotional, as consumers more likely seek and share just emotional content. Therefore marketers try to emphasize the emotional value of brand and connect this with the emotional factor of consumers. In the result, WOW factor appears as a new marketing trend at the end of 2013. This means that content marketing reaches the peak of emotions.


Video: BMW M5 short movie directed by Guy Ritchie. Starring Madonna; Published on 24th of March 2013; After a year 16786 views and 60 likes.

WOW factor has to become more sophisticated in 2014 in the light of polarisation – the new marketing trend. Thus, contrasts will enhance and emotional versus rational will be stronger. Expensive immersive content will exist along with cheap and quick content, according to WARC.

It is interesting that cheap home video can be shared by audiences much more readily than can the expensive. The video below have viewed more than 689 million times. It is not a new video, but it still works on all digital platforms, and the high-budget videos less likely would have reached that sharing level.


No-budget Video: Charlie bit my finger – again; 688.5 million views and more than 1.2 million likes.

Implications for a small business

The hardest thing for a start-up business could be finding its humorous side. However it may be useful for creating the first digital marketing campaign. Happy and funny video content may help you to engage your audience on the social platforms.

Here is a plan of actins and some suggestions:

    • Think about the rational and emotional values of your product or service.
    • Find your audience on social platforms, watch and listen to it. Try to understand the degree of its sense of humour.
    • Figure out the touch-points between the emotional values of your product or service and emotional factors of your audience. How can the audience be entertained?
    • Start your storytelling: create the story which you will tell your audience. It should be to some degree rational but mainly emotional. Don’t forget nostalgic and WOW factors. Take in account that just about 1% of likes of the emotional content on social platforms could be converted into sale. To get a higher conversion rate you have to produce much more emotional content. Anyway, emotional content which collect a big number of likes boosts your brand awareness in the customer perception even if with no conversion.
    • Use the planning approach: Set a strategic goal for each social platform; Set SMART objectives to reach each goal; Subscribe with Google Analytics to see the impact of your activities on social platforms.
    • Don’t neglect a low-budget video; Use creative approach to reduce costs.
    • Be inspired, go ahead and use your story on social platforms.


Small budget video ad: Tesla: Modern Spaceship; Published 14th of March 2014; On 20th day after publishing 362.4 thousands views and 4326 likes.

Big budget video ad: BMW M5 bullet; Published in June 2012; More than 5.2 million views and 29029 likes.

 

 

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New to Content Marketing Strategies – Tips to get started!

Content Marketing Strategies – What to Say and Do!

“Content marketing is a way of promoting your products or services to your target audience, by creating relevant and valuable content that attracts and engages them, and possibly encourages profitable customer action” (WebNetHosting, Visual.Ly).  Website and social media content placement is essential to ensure you strike ‘engagement’ gold with your audience.   You need to leverage both to maximise return on investment and build a following and active community around your business.

 What is the goal of your Content Marketing

Understanding your business objectives and how each targeted channel works is absolutely key to achieving your goal whether it is to:

      • Attract more web traffic
      • Increase engagement levels with social media campaigns
      • Increase conversion rates by lead generation and customer acquisition
      • Increase brand awareness

Content is the key to getting people talking about your main marketing messages and attracting them to your site.  You can share your stories and information about your business and build a dialogue with your audience.  Make your activities interactive – show your visitors’ feedback and comments and allow others to join in.  Have a plan before you begin as social media channels (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) are content hungry.

The Periodic Table of Content Marketing courtesy of E Consultancy Ltd

The Periodic Table of Content Marketing courtesy of E Consultancy Ltd

Uploading content is not sufficient in today’s digital world.  The old catchphrase ‘if you build it they will come’ is no longer valid.  Content needs to be relevant to a reader’s interests, presented to them in a personal manner, and capable of viral activity to achieve likes, comments, and shares.  Think of social media sharing as an electronic word of mouth.  Content Marketing strategies help people, already engaged in your market, to find your business online using a combination of SEO, social media and good content.  Choose social networks that work for you and your customers.

Developing content is an integral business process but it is not all about new content every time: You can use appropriate published material by giving credit and linking to the source.  Remember, once you ‘go live’ it is important to maintain and monitor customer engagement by posting regular content in context.

Content must be relevant, detailed and deliver information to support the objective.

Context means having the right information personalised for the right segment using the right media.

Turning Strangers to Advocates 

Fail to Prepare and Prepare to Fail!

√Before you begin, listen to your audience and analyse your competition

√ Develop a content road map

√ Use a mix of media

√ Understand the power of blogging

√ Think about the importance of keywords when planning and sharing content

√ Create a process to develop content for your chosen social media channels

√ Create a publishing schedule for content.

√ Build time into your working day and week – set reminders on your phone and use Content Management scheduling systems.

√ Take an integrated approach to your visibility online – always include buttons to like, share, and comment to close your communication circle.

Create

Understanding the demographics of your audience will help set the tone and style of your content.

  • Your content must be useful to the reader
  • It must include a ‘Call to Action’ – telling your reader what to do next.
  • Optimise your content by using keywords
  • Keep your content interestinguse a blend of media just as you do in traditional marketing.
  • Build a list of things you can write about on your Website or Blog which will resonate with your target audience
  • Industry Articles
  • Video
  • Images / Photographs
  • FAQs
  • Expert advice
  • Tips and tactics
  • Webinars
  • Case study
  • Q&A session
  • Survey and poll
  • Interview
  • Stories

Publish     

  • Create a monthly publishing timeline focusing on frequency and topics to keep you on target.
  • Publish your content on platforms that you have created

Promote your content

Once published, it is important to promote your content. This places your business brand amongst your intended audience.

  • Re-use content in different ways targeting it slightly differently depending on the channel
  • Use social media marketing platforms to distribute your content
  • Build internal links to create authority
  • Manage comments and feedback
  • Encourage people to hit a button – like, share or re-tweet!

If people love what they read, see, or hear they can share the content on their networks; helping a wide audience to get to know about you, like you, trust you, share your messages and ultimately do business with you.

Analyse

You need to understand if your content marketing campaign is successful.  Track the metrics and measure targets frequently and adapt your strategy to ensure you extract full benefits.

  • Review the reactions and outcomes to published materials and understand how your message was received by your audience
  • Use social media analytics tools
  • Use Google Analytics
  • Monitor performance with marketing KPIs (key performance indicators) identified in your plan.

In summary, you are what you share – does it do you justice?

Onward and upward – SashaT♣

If you like this Blog, please see previous articles

a)https://wowdigitalmarketing.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/digital-marketing-strategies-for-small-business-are-you-lost-or-found-online/

b)https://wowdigitalmarketing.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/digital-marketing-strategy-for-small-business-begin-with-a-plan/

Bibliography:

  • Carvill M. and Taylor D. (2013) The Business of Being Social: A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube for all businesses.  Crimson, England.
  • Chaffey, Ellis-Chadwick F., Mayer R. and Johnston K (2009) Internet Marketing – Strategy, Implementation and Practice.   4th Edition: Pearson Education, England
  • Chaffey D. and Smith P.R. (2009) eMarketing eXcellence – Planning and Optimising your Digital Marketing 3rd Edition Elsevier:England


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Content Marketing Plan

Content Marketing Plan

 

Image

In the modern digital marketing mix it is a customer awareness approach that succeeds. This involves planning and understanding your customer. Knowing how your customers seek out answers online and which formats they prefer is vital. Knowing how to create useful, engaging information which encourages the customer to progress from being aware of your product or service, to purchasing your product or service online. This is why clever content marketing and investing wisely in content gives ROI.

By understanding how your target audience discovers, consumes and acts on information, it is possible by using the RACE Model ( Dave Chaffey’s Marketing Value framework to increase sales) i.e. Reach, Act, Convert, Engage them .

The answer for improved online marketing starts with content: You should think of it as how you are going to help your customers get the information they require but it should also come from the heart and reflect what your company stands for. It should be a commitment to your customer that you are there to help them and they should feel confident purchasing from you.

So how do you decide what to write and how much is enough??

Content should be planned in an editorial calendar and should concentrate on the channels that you know the customers you are trying to connect with are using. According to Heidi Cohen author of ‘Actionable Marketing Guide: “Marketers and media firms must create stories people want to read”.  In her book she emphasizes that content marketers must become storytellers. Stories draw people in and if you want to stand out, becoming a better story teller is a good way of doing this. To discover how much is enough is trial and error, constant monitoring to see what is working and what isn’t is probably the best way to discover this. Sometimes what works is completely unpredictable, there are no hard and fast rules that predict what is going to work and what isn’t.

 

Image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net by Stuart Miles

Image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net by Stuart Miles

 

How does Social Media work with search and where does Content fit it?

Content is where your stories are relayed to your customers and social media and SEO are ways to optimize the reach and engagement to these customers. Analysing your SEO keyword research can review subjects which are in demand and may attract customers who are actively searching online. Search engines favour high value content in search results and Social Media sites favour sharable, linkable content. A small business that combines smart Social Media and SEO tactics can create an advantage for attracting new customers no matter which channels they use.  Also monitoring Social Media Insights and statistics can reveal trends and topics that your customers are interested in. Understanding your customer is the key to being successful no matter which channel you are using. Giving your customer the information they require in a fast and efficient manner helps with relationship building and gives your customers confidence in your company and making it easy to buy from your company will ultimately increase your sales.

Fig. 1

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Content Marketing Tactics for Start-Ups combining SEO and Social Media

freedigitalphotos.net  by Stuart Miles

freedigitalphotos.net
by Stuart Miles

 

    1. Blog

A Blog offers many advantages for both Social and SEO. Blog posts can concentrate on answering ‘frequently asked questions’. It can contain interesting topics for your customers. You can schedule posts to save time and encourage staff to comment on posts etc. It brings a human dimension to your business and builds good relationship with your customers and they can engage with your business on a 24/7 basis.

    1. Newsletters & Email Marketing

Email newsletters are a great way to inform your customers of offers and information regarding your services and products. They can be segmented and targeted to your direct market. While engaging with your customers through whichever Social Media Channels you are using you can invite them to sign up for your newsletter and they can be more informed about your business.

    1. Social Networks & Media

Customers expect every business these days to be ‘social’. Engaging with your customers through social channels that your target customers are using is essential to succeed. The particular business you are involved in will determine which channels are best suited to your business.

    1. Video

As they say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, and using YouTube to demonstrate your products or services can be very helpful and engaging for your customer. Videos can be embedded within blog posts, extending their value as content.

Conclusion

For small businesses or start –ups it is not necessary to use all the above tactics. What is important that you start small and specific and monitor at all times what is working and what is not. Make it a priority to gain an understanding of your customer’s needs, what topics and keywords are important and then socialize and publicize that content. Strive to be the ‘best answer’ for your customer at the time that they need you most.

 

E-Business & E-Commerce Management, Strategy, implementation & practice. Dave Chaffey (fifth edition). RACE marketing value framework (460-1).

Philosophy of Neil Patel (Quicksprout and KISSMetrics: ‘Combine your content marketing with SEO’.

‘Actionable Marketing Guide’ by Heidi Cohen, Content Marketing & SEO Perspective.

E-Business & E-Commerce Management, Strategy, Implementation & Practice. Dave Chaffey (fifth edition). Chap. 8 ‘Content Strategy’.

Figure 1

Content publication and syndication process. Source: Smart Insights (2011) The best tools and tracking techniques to save time on your social syndication. Dave Chaffey, 18/1/2011. www.smartinsights.com/blog/digital-marketing/tools-tracking-social-syndication.

Social Media for Start Ups

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Social Media for Start Ups

 

freedigitalphotos.net by Stuart Miles

freedigitalphotos.net
by Stuart Miles

 

Social Media Strategy

In this modern era of digital marketing, start-up companies with any serious aspirations must enter the marketing arena armed with a killer social media strategy. People are finding their cars, their homes, their jobs and even their partners through the medium of the internet so you best be sure they can find your product/service on there too. For all intents and purposes, if your product/service can’t be found on the internet then it doesn’t exist.

Facebook & Twitter

The two heavyweights of the social media marketing tools are quite clearly Facebook & Twitter. According to Social Bakers.com there are over 2.3m FB users in Ireland, 47% male & 53% female and the largest age group 25-34 closely followed by the 18-24 age bracket.  Twitter has a staggering 600,000 daily users in Ireland sending 1 million tweets each day. So with these statistics a successful utilization of these two digital facets can go a long way in whether your company sinks or swims. They are now crucial for building awareness and creating a buzz for new products & services. A new product can be launched using the scope & audience reach of social media in a time efficient manner. Facebook campaigns and Twitter marketing strategies are now part and parcel of a product/service launch.

 

freedigitalphotos.net 'Social Network' by JSCreationzs

freedigitalphotos.net
‘Social Network’ by JSCreationzs

 

Identifying your Audience

So where to start for Social Media Start ups? Identifying your audience is the first step. You can pinpoint your audience in real-time. Research the sector, industry and competition. Finding out exactly what your competition is doing, what is working and what isn’t will help identify their weaknesses which in turn will help you fill in what they are missing. Metrics on keywords, follower profiles will help define your target audience. There is no point hitting every network when you start up initially. Locate your core customers, and prioritize to reach them and whereabouts they reside online. Facebook and Twitter are the first channels to start with and they can be used for all business models. If your business provides a service for other companies you might consider LinkedIn. Also B2B companies that are focused on lead generation LinkedIn would be the ideal channel. LinkedIn ads are actually a fraction of the cost of paid search advertising with an average CPC at about €3. LinkedIn ads can generate a click through rate that is 60% higher than the average across other social networks. If your business is more of a visual/physical you might need to consider YouTube and Flickr/Pinterest for a more visual presence.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Rules to Follow

There are certain rules that would be advisable to follow when using Social Media Networks. Their main objective and the reason why millions download and use them every day is, quite simply, to help connect people with each other. Try and make every post personal. Ideally put a face to your social media outlets. When a follower interacts with your site they should feel like they’re interacting with a person and not a business. On Twitter follow only profiles that are potential target audience members or profiles or like minded business. Social Media does not only provide a channel to connect with consumers but also to build relationships with other business which can be just as valuable.

Tips & Insights

On Facebook it can be useful to talk to the fans of competitor companies, and can even gain you a few of their fans. Don’t just add people to increase your numbers, followers and ‘likes’ you will gain by becoming friends or following won’t be as worthwhile as the ones you get from genuine interest. It is essential to keep the community active by constant interaction and asking for feedback, which is a valuable source for any company. Facebook and Twitter feedback is the modern day comment cards and are far easier to receive. An example can be seen in Ryanair’s recent foray into the world of social media with Twitter and their improved customer friendly website. This proved as a delivery on a promise to improve customer relations. They had no alternative as they were losing business because other airlines were becoming more successful and Ryanair’s cheap and cheerful, no frills airline was losing business because of poor customer service.

 

freedigitalphotos.net by Master isolated image

freedigitalphotos.net
by Master isolated image

 

How to Engage

Offering something to your valued customers is a sure way of engaging them and getting the community talking. Competitions on Facebook and Twitter is a great way of building your customer base. Most people want ‘free stuff’. Although the prizes don’t have to be costly, they should reflect the image of the company. No matter what image you are looking for, make sure your social media presence reflects it in every way.

The businesses that are getting the most out of their social media outlets are the ones that react first and respond intelligently to whatever is in the news that has grabbed people’s attention.

Remember you’re being social for your brand, but represent it as yourself. Be human and personable and you will find you will build up the strongest bond with your customers and will be the most successful.

Good luck with your new business and share your experience all you new Social Media Start Ups out there!

– Maria –

Useful websites with great insights and information on Social Media:

1.Mashable.com website:

http://mashable.com/2011/06/22/twitter-marketing-guide/

2. North Social Media.com Website

http://northsocialmedia.com/effective-facebook-marketing-strategy/

3. Social Bakers.com – great stats on all Social Media /channels