In a time where marketing strategy is becoming more and more about authenticity, live videos are emerging as by far one of the most engaging ways to reach your audience. With Facebook Live videos reportedly being watched up to 3 times longer than regular videos, it’s a trend that cannot be ignored. In this blog, we will be looking at what makes live videos so successful and how you can harness their power for your business.
Live video streaming has exploded in recent years, with nearly all major social networks offering them as a prominent feature, with Facebook Live and Instagram Stories being amongst the most popular. As the streaming industry expands live videos are becoming a vital advertising tool, loved by consumers and businesses alike. With their authenticity and inclusivity connecting with customers with the brands and their mass appeal and cost-effectiveness appealing to growing businesses.
By looking at what live video content is most popular you can use that information to plan what content will be most effective for marketing your business. Breaking news actually makes up 56% of the most watched content (livestream.com) followed closely by events such as conferences or concerts. This tells us that people that people crave live content that makes them feel connected to an event or product. Using this information, we have put together a list of content suggestions you could incorporate into your marketing strategy.
Live streaming demos are a brilliant way to let consumers know about your products as well as promote new ones. By streaming these live it fosters an idea of ‘realness’ in relation to your product, for example, if you say your paint is easy to apply this allows you to show that it is.
By connecting with your customers through a Q&A session it creates a content conversation, they feel directly connected to your business and part of a community. This is also a great way to broadcast positive reviews.
Like breaking news, live streaming a new product or a promotional offer makes people feel like they have access to insider information. By making your customers feel special you increase their loyalty.
Whether you are live streaming an industry event you're attending or an event your business is running, making your audience feel as if they are backstage ramps up the exclusivity factor. Not only this but it also emphasises the authenticity, it can’t be edited so people trust that if your event looks rocking, then it is!
Things to remember
Know you’ve got some ideas for content, there are a few things you need to bear in mind when planning your live video.
Your brand identity MUST come through loud and clear in your video. Think about having your brand colours and logo visible in the background and make sure the tone and set up of the video fits your business. If you sell a young and vibrant product, you don’t want a stiff and formal live video!
Whatever your brand identity your video needs to look professional. Factors such as lighting need to be considered if the video is dark and blurry people just aren’t going to watch it! Make sure your live video host knows what they are saying, as
the last thing an audience wants to see is somebody stuttering their way through a hurriedly written script.
Attention-grabbing live videos are all well and good but if you don’t include a call to action this attention won’t convert into sales or sign ups! Make sure you are directing people to buy your products or visit your website.
Promoting a broadcast beforehand is a great way to ensure you get the maximum number of viewers. Especially for content that includes an offer or an exclusive look at a new product.
Live videos have taken the social media world by storm, not only do they appeal to the tech generations mistrust of editing by they create an immersive and inclusive experience that has up to this point been unavailable to the online consumer. By keeping your content engaging and honest and your videos clear and branded you too can conquer the world of live video.
Social media marketing has become the done thing in recent years and if your business isn’t on some kind of social network then you may well be missing out. However, the thing about social media marketing is, for it to be successful and grow, you need to interact with your audience or they won’t want to know. Social media has enabled people to feel connected to the brands they love and feel like they have a real input on products and services, without your interaction this feeling of connectivity just does not exist. In this blog, we will be giving you some top tips to interact with your social media audiences and keep them coming back for more.
A brilliant way to interact with people on social media platforms is to offer something a bit different, by making your interactions fun and light-hearted you will draw people in and enable people to feel a personal connection like they might have with friends.
Take an Interest
Interaction will NOT work if your audience doesn’t feel that it’s genuine, and the best way to make your audience feel like you are is if you take an interest. Both in what they are saying to and about you, as well as what they are saying about themselves. Everybody wants to feel special and taken notice of, this feeling is utilised all the time in social media marketing (user-generated content, for example, hinges on it). By taking an interest in the individual when you engage with them you are ensuring that they come away feeling positive about your brand.
Like in life, with social media marketing you get out of it what you put in and by spending time interacting with your audience you will reap the rewards. Interactions such as responding to comments and taking an interest in your audiences’ content will encourage brand loyalty and new audiences and therefore increase your exposure.
Social media has become an undeniable force in the marketing world and is vital for small businesses wanting to promote themselves and reach their full potential. However, we know that managing your business’s social media accounts can be a little daunting and certainly time-consuming! In this blog, we will be looking at some of the best social media management tools out there to help small business owners.
The following tools have been designed to help with all aspects of your marketing strategy, making it quicker and more effective leaving you time to focus on growing your business.
Hootsuite is a popular social media management tool that allows you to schedule your social media posts in advance. Great for small businesses you can programme content for all your social media accounts at once to ensure consistency and flow between them. It’s super easy to use, it’s simple to add accounts as well as different account managers so it can be a group enterprise! The tutorials and teaching tools are perfect for a growing small business as they not only teach you how to use their tools but provide great insights into how to run a social media strategy.
Whilst not strictly a social media tool Google Analytics can be invaluable when it comes to focusing your social media strategy. Using social media to drive traffic to a website is vital when it comes to small businesses. By using analytics for your website, you can track which social media platform and conversations you are receiving the most traffic from and therefore help you make the most of your content.
Like Hootsuite, Commun.it is a social media management tool designed to make managing your social media accounts quick and painless. However, Commun.it is different in that it helps you manage your relationships on social media rather than your content. Currently compatible with your Twitter and Facebook accounts Commun.it will look at your social media community and highlight who is supporting you and your content (by favouriting, liking, retweeting or mentioning). It will also highlight any posts that you may need to reply or engage with as well as showing you who like or follows you and who doesn’t. This is great for small businesses as it’s a great way to cut down on your social media time by streamlining your engagement.
Mailchimp is moving away from social media a little but nevertheless a very valuable weapon to have in your arsenal. A brilliant way to promote and sustain a small business is emailing out newsletters and offers to previous customers to entice them back. Mailchimp is an invaluable tool for doing this, an email marketing and newsletter service it takes care of everything you need to think about it when it comes to sending things out to customers. It also makes it really simple to set up a database of contact details which you can add information such as age, gender and location to create targeted campaigns.
Making the most out your social media doesn’t have to be a chore, by using these tools you can really cut down on the amount of time you spend as well as making the most out of time you do spend. However, this being said if you prefer a more human approach to your social media you could always use a marketing agency that will look after your social media and website for you.
LinkedIn, despite being popular with small business owners, entrepreneurs and big businesses alike, still remains a mystery to many. In this blog, we will be looking at what exactly LinkedIn is as well as it’s strengths and weaknesses to help you decided if it’s right for your business.
Embarrassed at your lack of LinkedIn knowledge? Well, you shouldn’t be, despite being one of the most popular social networks many people are still at a loss as to what LinkedIn is and how to use it. In it’s simplest form it is a professional social media platform that enables businesses to network, promote themselves and carry out marketing strategies. Professionals can also keep up to date with new innovations and business news as well as look for new employment opportunities. The best way to think about it is an online networking platform, where lots of businesses and professionals are in the same place looking to make connections in the right fields.
Strengths of LinkedIn
Weaknesses of LinkedIn
As you can see there are many positives to LinkedIn and not many negatives, however, that one negative is very important to consider when it comes to using LinkedIn. For making connections within your business, no matter what sector you are in it is invaluable but, if you want to build a consumer-driven brand you are definitely going to need other social networks such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook alongside your LinkedIn account.
Since their first appearance on Twitter in 2007 Hashtags have become a prominent feature in the social media landscape, with nearly every platform from Facebook to Google + getting in on the action. So, we all know what they are (handy metadata tags that create searchable links) but how can they be used to their full potential to promote your business? We have come up with 7 golden rules to help you navigate the exciting world of hashtags!
#RuleOne: No Spaces or Punctuation
Hashtags should be a continuous string of words, spaces and punctuation will complicate things and make your hashtag unsearchable. Instead, use capital letters to highlight words as searching for #FoodAddict will also show you results for #foodaddict keeping you audience broad.
#RuleTwo: Less is More
Limit your hashtags to maximise impact, too many and your posts will look spammy. Keep it to a few hashtags per post, no more than 4, however, with Instagram you can add a couple more (between 2 and 10) to maximise engagement.
#RuleThree: Keep it Short and to the Point
Limit yourself to no more than three words per hashtag, the longer the hashtag is the fewer results it will yield. Do not overcomplicate things, make sure you keep your hashtag relevant to your post and leave out any obscure references.
#RuleFour: Switch it Up
Remember to keep alternating your hashtags to keep your profile looking fresh, using the same hashtags every time may cause your audience to get bored or see your posts as spam.
#RuleFive: Do your Research
ALWAYS do your research before using a hashtag. By doing this first and foremost you will make sure your hashtag isn’t being used for something irrelevant or negative, but you will also find out which hashtags are most popular. You can search for popular hashtags using the search bar on your chosen platform.
#RuleSix: Know your Platform
Each social media platform uses hashtags in a slightly different way. Whilst (most of) our rules can be applied to all social media platforms you will need to bare a few things in mind when hash-tagging across different channels. On visual platforms (like Instagram) hashtags are used in a descriptive way, such as #delicious, whereas content-based platforms (like Twitter) they are used as topics such as #wednesdaywisdom.
#RuleSeven: Be Creative
Try creating your own hashtag that is connected to your company, this will add to your online brand identity. You can also use them as part of user-generated content campaigns, competitions for example.
With these seven simple rules you will be well on your way to mastering the art of the hashtag, and with tweets with hashtags creating two times more post engagement these rules are well worth following.
In Part One we looked at the reasons why the right images are so important for your social media profile. In Part Two we will be looking at what factors make up the perfect social media image from making an impact to size specifications. The ideal social media image will be:
As we mentioned in Part One audiences today are skimming through their social media feeds more and more rapidly, so a well-placed and striking image will help to break up your news feed grabbing their attention. Important points to remember are:
Think about your target audience and who they are? Whether it’s your current customer base or people you are trying to entice over to your brand, you need to make sure you are posting images that are relevant to them and their interests. For example, if your target audience is teenagers you will want to avoid images of families with young children and focus more on current trends.
Part of creating a successful brand identity online is ensuring consistency across your social media platforms. Your images need to be recognisable across the board and portray the same brand message, this recognition over different platforms will give your brand more staying power. When ensuring consistency, you will need to remember to use the same:
The Right Size
Now you have the perfect image there is one last thing to think about, size! The one size fits all approach won’t cut it here, you will need to tailor your images to each social media platform. We view Facebook and Twitter in a column with the pictures set beneath the text, therefore ideally you want a landscape image to make the most of the space. This is in stark contrast to Google+ and Pinterest which are viewed as a sort of grid with longer vertical images. Instagram is also viewed as a grid, but the images are a trademark square. Most importantly make sure your customers can see ALL the image!
Remember image is king! By ensuring your images are striking, relevant, consistent and to the right scale, you will be able to stand out and place yourself ahead of the competition by attracting the right customers attention, inspiring loyalty by building your brand and looking slick and professional.
In the first of this two-part series on social media images we will be outlining why a really great image can make or break your company's social media profile!
In recent years social media platforms have been bringing images to the forefront of our social media feeds, therefore using the right images to promote your business is more important than ever. With Facebook and Google + becoming much more image orientated, and Twitter’s images being brought in to focus, it is no surprise to learn that using the right images will increase engagement with your post and help people build a personal connection with your brand. The right images will:
Grab Your Reader’s Attention
Great images on your social media feed will automatically draw your audience’s attention to your business and help to promote your products or services. The human brain can recognise a familiar object in under 13 milliseconds, an important fact to consider when you think about how quickly we scroll through our social media feeds! Today’s audiences are experiencing content overload which is causing them to skim over information far quicker than they did a few years ago. By using images, especially clear and colourful ones, your posts will stand out and your brand will be remembered.
Using the right images across your social media platforms will generate more likes, shares and comments than a post with just simple text would. In fact, a social media post that is accompanied by a photo is 10 times more likely to receive the engagement you need, it is also more likely to cause your post to go viral. This is because the right image helps your customer understand your products and what your brand is about and therefore encourage them engage with you and want to share your post with their friends.
The emotional response evoked by social media images is sparked through our susceptibility to skilled visual storytelling. The right images will bring out strong emotional responses such a joy or excitement in your audience and this in turn can be used to project your brand culture and personality. By creating an emotional response in your audience, you can forge a connection with the customer and cement brand loyalty.
So are you convinced? Are you now wondering what makes a great social media image? Check out Part 2 where we will be outlining how to make your images work for you.