The Colony Theatre, located in the heart of South Beach, first opened in January 1935 as a Paramount Pictures movie house.
Today the theatre, managed by Miami New Drama, is a state-of-the-art venue with an impressive art deco design that makes it one of the crown jewels of Miami Beach. The theatre hosts an exciting array of events, including music, dance, comedy, and theatre performances.
On March 7th, 2019, the theatre launched the world premiere play by Rakontur, “Confessions of a Cocaine Cowboy,” based on the award-winning documentary series “Cocaine Cowboys.” This play recreated the outrageous era of the 1980s Miami cocaine boom that riveted and shocked the world and explored how coke, cash, and corruption created the Magic City we know today.
The Colony Theatre wanted to drive awareness and ticket sales- and hired Motion Ave. to do the job.
Here’s how our online marketing strategy successfully increased the visibility of the play and sold more than 550 tickets across South Florida with a return on advertising spend (ROAS) of 5.81, which means that for every dollar we spent, we generated 5.81.
Creative and Content Development
Video Ads Production and Post-Production
Facebook and Instagram Advertising
Analytics and Optimization
We knew the most effective way to reach the target audience of the theatre and this play would be by creating Facebook and Instagram advertising campaigns that would get us direct exposure to the target market.
However, this was the world debut of this play- we had no idea how well-received it would be. Thus, our initial strategy was to A/B test various messages, creatives, and audiences, presenting the play with different angles, before launching a targeted campaign.
To identify the most viable opportunities for awareness, we conducted several audience tests for cold, warm and hot audiences.
For cold audiences, or top of the funnel (TOFU), we tried different audiences- for example, people interested in related upcoming events, theaters, plays, etc., and people interested in topics related to the new play. We also reached lookalike audiences.
For warm audiences or middle of the funnel (MOFU), we retargeted people who purchased a ticket in the past to another play and hence had interacted with the brand.
For hot audiences, or bottom of the funnel (BOFU), we retargeted people who visited the play landing page but didn’t buy tickets. Ultimately, these audiences cost the least in advertising dollars per ticket purchase.
We additionally tested different creatives and formats including videos, images, and carousels. In some campaigns, we used dynamic creatives to find the best combination of headline, copy, image, and CTA. We concluded that real pictures of the play, with copy and headlines providing background, had excellent performance.
Once the play opened, we began adding testimonials and quotes from satisfied audiences to the ad copy, to great success.
To accomplish the goals of driving awareness and generating purchases, we set up an advertising strategy on Facebook and Instagram.
Investing in engagement and brand awareness was key to creating buzz around the play and driving leads to make a purchase. The key was greater community credibility: posts or ads with social proof- comments, likes, and shares- drove more conversion at a lower cost per purchase.
Here are some examples of the assets we deployed:
After just one month of advertising with brand awareness and purchases as primary objectives, the Facebook and Instagram campaigns delivered successfully.
Our work with the Colony Theatre in this specific play generated ticket sales, but also brought more loyal customers to the theatre.
If you’d like to consult a team of skilled and passionate experts to learn how to build your brand better and also find out how we can put solutions like these to work for you, please, say hello. We’d love to talk to you about how to bring your brand to Facebook- and beyond!
Colony Theatre Case Study April 30th, 2019Ana Cristina
Today, Google Ads (formerly known as Google Adwords) is one of marketers’ most essential tools, allowing you to create a variety of ads that can appear on Google and other sites such as Youtube and Blogger.
Just think about it: every second, Google process over 40,000 search queries, That’s a LOT of chances for a high-performing ad to be seen- millions a day, if you invest and optimize. It’s an opportunity you definitely can’t pass up!
To make the most of this space, you need to know the basics. Adwords recently updated its interface to offer even greater benefit to its advertisers with a new ad experience.
If you’re new to the world of digital advertising and want to start learning how to run campaigns on Google, this guide is for you. Read on!
How does Google Ads work?
Google Ads is an advertising platform that displays your ads on the search results page and other partner sites to attract leads and customers who are interested in your product.
Your goal will always be to appear at the top of the results page- however, whether this happens depends on several factors.
What does Google take in consideration to position your ad?
One of the most important features of Google Ads is its bidding system. In order to advertise on this platform and be eligible to appear on Google’s search results page, it’s necessary to bid on certain search terms or keywords. Although it seems like a simple process, carrying it out can be quite tricky, as it requires choosing a bidding strategy.
Google Ads offers you several bid strategy options. Depending on your target KPIs- clicks, impressions, conversions, views, and the type of campaign you want to launch- you can select from several strategies:
Target CPA (cost-per-acquisition)
Target ROAS (return-on-ad-spend)
Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC)
Manual CPC bidding
Target Search Page Location
Target Outranking Share
Cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM)
Cost-per-thousand viewable impressions (vCPM)
In each bid type, you can specify a maximum bid amount, maximum payment per click on your ad, and make these rates adjustable depending on the campaign’s performance.
The quality score is how Google rates the quality and relevance of your ad. Relevance of landing pages, keywords, CTAs and expected click-through rates are taken into account when making this estimate.
Remember, the higher the quality of your ad and its content, the lower the cost of your bid and the better your positioning will be. The best thing you can do is to be consistent, use relevant and VERY specific keywords, and display them in both your search engine ads and landing pages. The idea is to be as specific as possible about what the user will get so, so they’ll click on your ad faster.
The ad rank dictates the position your ad will have in search engines. This positioning is determined by the quality score, and your maximum bid per click.
Keep in mind that this value may change. Your ad rank will be recalculated every time your ad enters an auction, in which Google decides which ads with the relevant keyword will appear on the page, and in what order.
With each new query to the search engine, there’s a new auction and probably a new ranking.
Now that you know the basics of how Google Ads works, let’s move on to the good stuff: the types of campaigns you can create.
Google Ads Campaign Types
Currently, AdWords has a good variety of campaign options to choose from, each built around an advertising goal based on the actions you want your customers to take.
Google Ads goals include:
Product & brand consideration
Brand Awareness & reach
Once you have an idea of what your goal is, you can select the type of campaign you want to launch. Google Ads offers you the following options.
Search Network Campaigns
The search network campaign allows your ad to appear in the search results page when potential customers search for terms related to your keywords:
These campaigns focus on getting a person to take action, whether it’s clicking on the ad or making a call to your company. They are a good choice if your goals are making sales (great for retargeting), gaining new leads, or driving traffic to your website.
Display Network Campaigns
In this campaign, ads can be displayed on several advertising-supported websites- not on the Google results page.
This campaign allows you to attract the attention of customers before they even do a search for your product. Your ad can appear in different places depending on your targeting criteria, such as keywords, topic, placement, and remarketing.
The goals for these campaigns are quite varied: sales, leads, website traffic, brand and product consideration, and brand awareness and reach. The selection will always depend on the actions you want users to take.
If you’re a retailer, this is for you. Shopping campaigns allow you to create ads to promote your products, bring traffic to your website and attract more qualified leads. These ads will also be displayed on Google and all over the web.
Here you can see more specifically where Google Ads will place your ads:
Google Shopping (in select countries)
Google Search, next to search results (separate from text ads) and Google Images
Google Search Partner websites, including YouTube in some countries (if your campaign is set to include search partners)
The Google Display Network (for local catalog ads only)
In this case, Google uses your Merchant Center product data to decide where and when to display your ads. For example, once a user makes a query in the search engine, Google uses the data from the Merchant Center to display the most relevant product for the potential customer.
If your goals are to make sales, drive traffic to your website or win new leads for your retail business, this is the type of campaign you want.
The great thing about video campaigns is that you can create more creative ads that engage better with your audience. The ads generally appear before, after or in the middle of a Youtube video. They can also be shown on Google partner sites (Google Display Network).
Usually, these ads cannot include text, still images, or other ad formats such as bumper ads (6 seconds ads that appear at the beginning of a Youtube video). Video campaigns are ideal for creating brand awareness and consideration, winning leads, and bringing traffic to your website.
This type of campaign works for people or businesses that want to promote their apps. With this campaign, ads are positioned in Google’s properties: Google search, YouTube, Google Play and all partner sites in Google Display Network.
Google creates ads with various formats based on the text and language you propose. Once the platform creates the ads, it will display those that have performed better.
How do you always create high-performing ads? Try different options to see what works best- different bid levels, geographic segmentation, and image sizes. Find the combination that brings you the greatest benefits.
As you can see, campaign types determine where your ads will appear. This variety of options allows you to engage with new customers in different ways and on a variety of sites. However, none of this would be possible without bidding on the right keyword. Let’s quickly delve into keywords- and their counterparts, negative keywords.
Keywords And Negative Keywords
A keyword is a word or group of words, that Google uses to match your ads with the queries people do on the search engine. The more relevant and specific the keywords you bid on, the more likely you’ll appear on the results page and be at the top.
Once a term used by a user matches your keywords, your ad enters the Google auction mentioned above. Here, your keywords play a very important role, as they determine your quality score which directly influences the ad rank of your ad.
The more relevant your keyword, the better your quality score and ad rank. How do you make your ad focus specifically on relevant keywords to your audience? A good strategy is negative keywords.
Google Ads gives you the option to exclude certain terms, known as negative keywords, that are related to your keywords, but are in fact relevant to a different audience or product.
For example, if you are a retailer specialising in orthopedic sneakers, you may want to add as a negative keyword terms such as “running shoes.” Why? While your orthopedic sneakers are running shoes, people searching with the term “running shoes” are less likely to be interested in your specific product- making your keyword a lot less relevant to them, and a lot more likely to lower your overall quality score for appearing to an excessively broad audience.
You want your ad to be as targeted and relevant as possible: excluding words with a large audience is an important strategy. To learn more about how to use negative keywords effectively, watch this Google Ads video:
Keywords are the key to a successful campaign. Choosing them carefully is mandatory when creating new ads. Always look for terms that your audience uses in search engines, and which are related to your industry and product.
We’ve covered the basics of Google Ads! You’re ready to start creating ads and try all the features this tool has for you. Want to explore the full power of Google Ads? Contact us– we’re ready to answer all your questions, and even build your new ad campaign from scratch!
When we talk about marketing trends, we often forget that content marketing is one of the most appealing and underrated; everyone loves helpful and educational content that can help us define and solve a problem.
So, how do you start creating a content marketing strategy that your prospects will value?
Here’s some of the most effective techniques to create a killer content strategy that will not only drive traffic to your website, but that will also drive readers down your marketing funnel.
1. Create Your Business’ Buyer Personas:
I can’t overstate the importance of buyer personas. Without investing time and effort in creating personas, your marketing content strategy WILL FAIL. It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack… with your eyes closed.
If you don’t know the pain points your current and potential customers are facing, you won’t create content they’ll read- simple.
How do you create a Persona?
Start by interviewing your current customers wherever possible. If this is a challenging task, send visitors to your site, blog, or eCommerce store a survey and offer something in return if they fill out all the questions.
This will bring you TONS of information you probably didn’t have:
Their current role at their job
Their most recurrent pain points and challenges
Their daily activities
You can also take this opportunity to gather real quotes from them, and use this collection as part of your persona creation process.
Here’s a very basic example of a single buyer persona for reference:
Speak to the people in your own company, especially your sales and customer support, service, and success teams. They’re a reliable source of insights about customer and prospect motivations and feedback. Ask them about the most frequently asked questions (which should find their way onto a FAQ!)
If you don’t have a lot of information to start off, create a simple template and improve it over time as you gather more information from customers and leads.
We explore the process of building meaningful buyer personas in the following post:
With buyer personas defined, it’s time to audit your existing content, and identify all the marketing assets your business has at its disposal.
This is an analysis of every piece of content your team has ever created! It will help you understand which buying stages and buyer personas need more attention and content- what you have, what you need, and what should be improved.
You can organize your content audit in a spreadsheet, gathering information such as the following for each piece of content:
A content audit keeps your collection organized, keeps your team on the same page, and makes it easier to repurpose past content that remains relevant to your prospects.
3. Set SMART Marketing Goals
SMART goals are:
Setting SMART goals will give you a long-term vision of where you want to go, and short-term motivation since your standards for success are clear and possible.
Your goals should always be realistic and precise- if you have a hard time defining them, look at your old data and start from there. If you don’t have any data from previous months, look at competitors’ blogs as a benchmark – tools such as UberSuggest can give a domain overview, keyword suggestions, content ideas and more.
4. Create Content Ideas
This is the final step to creating a content strategy, and it’s sometimes the hardest. Coming up with topics might be difficult if you’ve already written hundreds of blog posts. Creating or updating buyer personas and doing a thorough content audit will help you get there- consider the example buyer persona above, Amelia, and how her buyer’s journey evokes a unifying topic that would be a great foundation for a blog post, eBook, guide, or all three:
This seems repetitive, but as you write each blog post on the topic, you can make your headline more specific. Don’t forget that content written for the decision stage will always offer your product or service as the final and best solution to the reader!
As Hubspot says, content is defined by purpose, topic, and format. It’s always better to have a few posts that add a lot of value than hundreds that may be skipped- quality over quantity, always.
Don’t forget that you can use various formats for your content offers; the more diverse, the better, unless you’ve already identified one or two types of formats that your audience loves.
Finally, no matter who the target audience of your content- consumer, B2B, or something else- the reader is a human. Write to humans, and communicate as though you’re speaking to humans. The most essential quality of content that is read to completion and acted on is a genuine voice.
Looking to create and deploy a killer marketing strategy with help from the experts? Drop us a line– we’re the experts you’re looking for!
How To Create a Killer Content Strategy For Your Business March 29th, 2019Edgar Guillen
Want to get personal with over 1.3 billion people? Include Facebook Messenger in your marketing strategy.
According to Facebook, 1.3 billion people use Messenger every month. It’s the perfect way to start conversations with leads about your business and build confidence in your brand. As Facebook says, “messaging inspires trust.”
A direct conversation between your potential customers and your business simplifies customer acquisition.
2. Simplify transactions
Building a presence on Messenger allows potential customers to purchase your products and services directly in the conversation.
3. Nurture customers and leads
Messenger provides an accessible place for faster response to your customer’s questions, and the conversation history remains in the platform- providing an opportunity for re-engagement.
Now, let’s dig deeper into Messenger Ads.
What are Facebook Messenger Ads?
Running ads in Messenger is the easiest way to take advantage of the feature’s global reach.
Messenger Ads allows potential customers who see your ads to start instant conversations with your business- and YOU- making them ideal for competitive industries such as eCommerce.
There are three types of Facebook Messenger ads:
How do they work?
FB Messenger ads appear directly within a user’s Messenger app. When people click on an ad, they’ll be sent to the destination you choose when you are creating your campaign- whether is your website, landing page, app or a conversation with your business on Messenger.
People can see these ads on their Messenger Inbox or on their Messenger Stories.
2. Choose an objective for your campaign. The objectives that support “Messenger Inbox” placement are Reach, Brand Awareness, Traffic, App Installs, Conversions, Catalog Sales, Messages. If you selected the objective app install, reach, brand awareness or catalog sales, you can skip to step #4.
3. Complete the “Traffic” section if you selected Traffic, Conversion or Messages objective and choose where you would like to drive traffic- whether to a website URL, your app, the Messenger app or WhatsApp.
4. Select Automatic Placements or Edit Placements if desired, selecting the option Messenger – Inbox.
5. Edit your Audience, Budget & Schedule, and click Continue.
6. Select the Facebook Page and Instagram Profile (optional) you would like to promote.
7. Select your ad format and finish editing your Ad.
2. Choose the Messages objective for your campaign.
3. In the Message Destination section, select Messenger and then Sponsored Messages.
4. Edit your Audience, Placements, Budget & Schedule, and click Continue.
5. In the Message Setup section, select the format Text Only or Text & Image. Then, type your message and upload an image if you selected Text & Image option.
6. In the Customer Actions section, you can add quick replies or buttons to your message.
7. Click Confirm to publish your campaign.
In today’s marketing, making conversations with your potential customers should be part of every marketing strategy.
Facebook Messenger allows you to give your customers a better brand experience, cutting response time and creating personalized conversations. And don’t forget, once you have initiated the conversation, you have access to their inbox to send them messages for the rest of time.
Are you ready to advertise with Messenger? If you’re unsure of how to best utilize this new marketing tool, we’re here for you. Advertising on Facebook Ads can be time-consuming and expensive without the right strategy- that’s where we come in. Get in touch with us and let us build a new Messenger advertising strategy tailored just for your business.
With over 500 million blogs on the Internet, attracting readers to yours is an uphill battle. A medium that began as a hobby has become one of the most essential online marketing tools today.
That’s worth repeating, and remembering: it’s a “marketing tool.” The goal of a useful blog is not only to drive traffic to itself but to also generate leads and (hopefully) conversions.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your blog.
Tip #1: Find your niche
No matter what your business is, finding your niche is the first thing to do before writing posts- think about who’s going to be interested in your topic, what they’re like, and what’s going to motivate them to listen to you.
Once you’ve identified this niche, it’s time to create awesome Buyer Personas to better understand better who this audience is, and tailor your content to their needs.
Tip #2: Focus on quality, not quantity
For a long time, the marketing blog strategy has been “write, write and write.” Now, analytics have made it pretty clear that audiences have become more selective and focused- content quality is far more important. You don’t have to write every day; write once a week or every two weeks- decide this based on your results and research- but more importantly, focus on writing amazing, high-quality content.
There’s a glut of content on the Web. Focus on not repeating ideas already expressed thousands of times elsewhere, and instead offer meaningful, specific information- valuable content that people will actually want to read and share.
Also, remember that better content will bring you more social share and more backlinks; therefore, your blog post will rank higher on Google, which means better search results.
Tip #3: Be authentic
Being authentic means staying true to who you are, what your business does, and your audience.
As we mentioned in a previous post about 2019 digital marketing trends, the future of marketing is more transparent, authentic, and personal. Brands need to follow suit, in the tone and topics of their messaging. Authentic writing makes audiences relate to your business, turns readers into advocates, and builds your identity and image into influence.
Check this authenticity checklist to find fundamental approaches to implement in any business for a more authentic voice.
Tip #4: Tell stories
Our lives are a series of stories, and we’re always looking for new ones.
The best marketing copy is a story. Stories engage, excite, change minds- and sell. The personal connection we feel when hearing a story is backed by neuroscience. Information presented as a story is more memorable and involves us emotionally as well as intellectually: more areas of the brain are engaged when information is presented narratively rather than as a series of facts. Those areas of the brain are the same that become activated in real life social interactions; when you hear a story, much of your brain can’t tell the difference between hearing and experiencing it, becoming more emotionally attached as a result.
To tell stories that sell, use anecdotes to lead your reader into your content and help them understand the message.
Click here for more interesting facts on including stories into your writing.
Tip #5: Encourage conversations
Think of your blog as a communication channel. Encouraging conversations in your blog posts is a great way to create engagement with your audience.
As Neil Patel explains, a fantastic way to encourage conversations is to ask a question at the end of your post to invite your readers to leave comments.
Another strategy to encourage conversations is to write in a more conversational tone using the words “I” and “you.” Writing in this tone will make your audience feel more comfortable and encourage them to leave more comments.
Remember to respond promptly to your post’s comments to keep up with the conversation!
Tip #6: Add CTAs to your post
To get the most out of your blog, you need to include CTAs (calls-to-action) in your blog posts. Without a CTA, readers who could be interested in your products or services won’t know what to do next.
A CTA translates a message into purposeful behavior, and therefore generate leads and sales. Never forget that the purpose of content marketing is to present content that motivates action- in this case, becoming a lead or a sale. A CTA guides readers gently from their content experience to your products and services- or to even more content on your site, to learn more about you.
Wherever appropriate, never forget to use a CTA to allow readers to opt into your email marketing list- this is essential to building a useful database. As Neil Patel says, collecting emails is the most important thing. By doing so, you’ll be able to connect more directly to your leads, build a relationship, gain their trust and then sell your products and services.
Writing unique, authentic and valuable content, encouraging conversations, and adding CTAs to move your audience through your website and your products and services, including collecting emails, will help your blog to be successful.
Was this overview valuable? Let us know! (See what we mean about creating conversations and including a CTA? ????)
At Motion Ave, we’re passionate about creating great content! If you recognize the value of quality blog posts for your business, we’d love to help you get the most out of your site. Whether you’d like us to share some tricks or create content just for you, say hello!
Buyer Personas are a crucial component of every digital marketing strategy; they’re essential to better understanding your target market and tailoring your content and products to their needs.
All of this translates into reaching the right people to drive traffic, generate leads, and close deals. But how do you create fantastic personas?
Creating good Buyer Personas doesn’t seem like an easy task, but crafting them well is like cooking a perfect meal: get the right ingredients, follow the recipe, and voilà. We’d like to share our recipe for awesome Buyer Personas for every business.
Singlegrain: How to develop Buyer Persona
Singlegrain: Science building Buyer Persona
The Recipe for Creating Awesome Buyer Personas [Infographic] January 24th, 2019Ana Cristina
Halloween season is just behind us. As a celebration of all things scary, everyone knows that a good Halloween party would be incomplete without a horror movie marathon on Netflix. Every year, we see an influx of horror movies, ready to keep us on the edge of our seats. However, few of them end up becoming long term classics. Watching House of Wax at midnight may cause more laughters than jitters, whereas watching The Exorcist could give you nightmares for weeks.
What does this have to do with content marketing? Quite a bit. As it becomes more and more prevalent, marketers are scrambling trying to find a way to stand out amongst the noise. In doing so, they risk forgetting the essential elements and may end up with a wilting strategy execution. This ends up being very costly in terms of sales, and also in terms of client engagement.
As we hide under the blankets, eating the discounted candy, there are some interesting lessons epic horror films can give us content marketers.
The Power of a Well-Executed Good Story
It’s not only about creating a good premise, but also about developing it properly. A content strategy, just like a movie plot, is as good as the work behind its execution.We have read movie critics and horror aficionados moan when a movie adaptation fails to live up to the hype, claiming that under another director or actor, it would’ve been better. If you have a great content strategy, and you love it, prove it by putting your best team in charge of bring it to life.
Keep the main goal in mind
And, yes, the main goal when we watch a horror movie is to be scared, at least for normal people. In our case, what’s our goal for each piece of content or for the entire strategy? Lead generation? Engagement? Loyalty? Once you have the answer to this question, then you can create content with this in mind.
In the same tune of scary feelings, don’t forget the emotional goal we want to achieve with our audience: make them happy, pull at their heartstrings, bring positive memories or food for thought. The only worse thing than a horror movie that makes us laugh, is one that makes us feel indifferent.
…but don’t forget the power of the unexpected
If done well, the plot twist is the jolt of energy that separate great movies from the rest. Classic horror films used this resource wonderfully: in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, Norman Bates impersonating his mother, for example. Think about what can you offer your audience that would be out of the norm, but could be well received. Maybe a surprise Live cast, a freebie or a timely current events comment
Shock is not enough
Yes, the standard horror movie features a good dose of fake blood here and there, but it should be done with a purpose. Overdoing it in the shock department can, at best, make the movie seem forced and laughable, and at worse, make us too sick to go on.
In a similar vein, making content for the sake of being viral or controversial is a gamble that brands seldom win. As we’ve said before, customers are smart and are moving away from clickbait and the like. Focus on offering quality over quantity, and the engagement will come.
Attention to detail
A melody, a small trinket, an easter egg are some elements that can give a scene a darker tone. Would the great white shark from Jaws make us feel as uneasy without its accompanying tune? Probably not. Even in a fast-paced world, where messages have a short life span, taking care of details is key.
The horror movie genre has evolved a lot from the days of Nosferatu, and it will continue to do so in the future. However, technology and the latest strange creature won’t be enough to scare us without the basic points that make a horror story amazing. In the same vein, content marketing will continue to grow as new mediums and trends appear, but it will only succeed if it remains faithful to its essence.
Five Lessons From Legendary Horror Movies for Content Marketers November 10th, 2016Samuel Klein
Recently, Sprout Social published their Q3 2016 study on brand behavior on social media channels. One of the best insights of the publication was a series of things that brands do on social media which annoy their customers and followers. While these things may seem small in comparison to major social media gaffes, they slowly erode the relationship between customer and brand, and may lead to an unfollow down the line.
In this article, we’ll discuss each one of these things, as well as how to correct these bad habits to more effectively use social media.
The Promotion Machine
We get it, promotions are important as a sales strategy and make customers’ wallets happy. That doesn’t mean that your social media communications should be an extreme couponer’s dream. The point of a promotion is that it is temporary and rare, motivating the customer to click and take advantage of it in the moment. Too many promotions ruins the novelty and gives the brand an unpleasant, spammy feel.
An interesting example of over promotion can be found with Embrace The Animals, an online clothing and accessories shop. Over the course of a single day, Embrace The Animals published ten posts on Facebook promoting their products and offering free shipping. Their products may be great, but hardly any customers will be reaching for their wallets after post number 10.
Correct this by: Live by the adage: Less is more. Save your promotions for holidays or special industry focused days (for example, if you’re a pastry shop, this Friday, October 14th is National Dessert Day).
BRB, checking out the ROI of the MKT campaign
Being concise in social media is important (maximize the use of those precious 140 characters), but that doesn’t mean you have to rely on industry acronyms or abbreviations that your audience might not understand. Also, when it comes to slang, trying to be cool by speaking like the young’uns has been uncool since the 1950’s. Your audience is smart, and when you sound inauthentic, the response probably won’t be the best
Correct this by: Stay authentic and clear. Stay faithful to your brand’s voice and tone. Make sure that your audience will understand what you’re trying to say.
A Dull Social Personality
No brand aspires to be like Eeyore, and in a world where brands are constantly competing for customers’ attention, being easy to remember is crucial. Those who assume a safe, neutral personality for their social media content come across as robotic and uninspiring.
Correct this by: Identify and embrace your brand’s voice and tone. Give your audience a reason to engage with you.
Bad Stand-up Night
Laughter is the best medicine, but it can be a disaster if misused. Banter may be common in the stand-up comedy world, but in marketing, the wrong joke can bring negative attention and massive unfollows from your audience.
Last year, IHOP fell victim to this when they tweeted an offensive joke, making a reference to their pancakes within the context of women’s breasts. Audience reaction was quick, and the brand was forced to take down the tweet and apologize.
Correct this by: Fully digesting ideas. Something might sound funny in your head, but it may actually be terrible. Many writers step away from their content and revisit it with fresh eyes a few hours later, or even the next day. If something sounds too forced, remove it or add some wit.
The Silent Treatment
What is the point of being on social media if you’re not… social? Many brands still make this mistake, opening an account and not doing anything at all. Or even worse, posting on their account often, but without interacting with their followers at all. This is particularly dangerous when it comes to customer complaints or questions, because this can also affect future sales.
Correct this by: Speak up! Set certain times during the day to reply to as many customers as possible in a friendly, human tone.
There is always room for improvement when it comes to social media and interaction with customers. If your brand is guilty of any of these things, take action and correct these issues before your analytics fall apart.
Five Things That Annoy Customers on Social Media October 17th, 2016Samuel Klein
“Don’t wear white after Labor Day” is one of the most prevalent fashion myths that is still resounding today. There is no reason why it’s such a preposterous sin to do so, other than the possibility of a rainy day (to avoid stains and see-through surprises). But many fashionistas keep spreading it and obeying it faithfully.
Every industry has its own set of hard to kill myths. Content marketing isn’t the exception, and it’s dangerous. Creating and executing our strategy through old, debunked rules will make our product look old and debunked. Customers are smart and are harder to bait with old-school methods.
Here are five of the most prevalent content marketing myths and how to ditch them once and for all.
Your website is enough
A website is just part of a good digital marketing strategy. Telling people who you are and what you do is not enough to get potential customers to find you. In the highly competitive world we live in right now, brands need to offer a reason to click on their link instead of on the other one before or after theirs. Content marketing, SEO and inbound marketing tools are must-haves for today’s websites if they want to get visits from current and future customers.
You have to be in all social media channels
As I write this sentence, there are 209 social networking websites listed in Wikipedia. I bet that by the time you are reading this other sentence, at least two more have appeared. It’s simply not possible, or even necessary, to waste your efforts by being in every channel.
We have to be where our audience is. We don’t even have to be in The Big Four (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat) if our audience isn’t there. Study your customers’ social media habits and be sure to be there when they’re connected.
You have to go viral or bust
Viral, that little word that makes us content marketers go crazy. What was previously associated with terrible things (from the flu to any big pandemic), is now one of the most desired traits for marketers.
I have some news for you: viral isn’t necessarily a good thing.
The key for highly shared content (I like this one better) is to create things that people are genuinely interested in, with no hidden motive, only because they want to educate, entertain or create bonds. We have all seen cases of brands creating something just to cash in on the virality, trying too hard, and getting terrible feedback from it.
The main goal of creating content isn’t fast fame and a short-lived peak of visits, it’s to keep people coming back to your site because they like what you do.
Post all the time, or you will be forgotten
Posting frequency is essential to be seen by your audience. You can’t expect to share one update per month and wait for the RT’s to come out of thin air. But, this doesn’t mean that you have to shower your audience’s timeline with new posts every five minutes. This will definitely lead you to their spam folder.
Look at your analytics and search for trends in your audience. If there’s a big influx on Tuesday at 9a.m., by all means, post at that time to increase the odds that you will be seen. Platforms like Buffer even suggest the best time to share your content, and encourage you to schedule your content at that time.
You can write about anything
This one gets both a yes and a no. Not every topic, in its pure form, is suitable for every brand. Let’s say you have a mobile tech site, and you’re secretly passionate about puppy and kitten cams because baby animals are cute, and people love clicking on them. Maybe writing about pets is boring for your audience; but how about a roundup of cases featuring pets? Or an article about the best tech for your dog? As long as we don’t lose the focus of our main strategy and it doesn’t look forced, you can take elements from almost anything and apply them to your brand.
However, it’s important to determine which subjects are off-limits to avoid harmful controversy and the wrong type of attention. Some current events, such as politics and religion, may be too heavy for most brands. Steer clear from them.
Whether you’re implementing your first content marketing strategy, or you’ve already had some experience, it’s important to review your perspective and make sure that you’re not making mistakes based on outdated rules. Taking calculated risks and focusing on the audience are key factors for content marketing success, so we invite you to get out of your marketing comfort zone and go all in.
Let Go of These 5 Content Marketing Myths September 20th, 2016Samuel Klein
In the age of social media, customers have all the power. In the good old days, when a customer wanted to complain, they would speak with the manager, or call the 1-800 number on the back of the box. Today, they reach for their smartphone and @the brand while they vent on Social Media. This can be very dangerous for brands, especially as it can trigger a snowball of replies from other customers, causing irreparable damage.
According to SproutSocial, 34.5% of surveyed customers use social media to communicate with brands. This outpaces traditional channels, such as the 1-800 number (16.1%) and person-to-person interaction (just 5.3%). Unfortunately, most brands aren’t as proactive in answering customers’ inquiries in a timely manner – While consumers expect to receive an answer within 4 hours of posting, brands take, on average, 10 hours to reply. This very likely means that most marketing departments are underestimating the power of social media.
How can brands open communication?
It’s possible for brands to create protocols or procedures for tracking conversations around them, and tackle negative feedback as soon as possible. Below, you can see four top tips to confront complaints and bring efficient customer support to your clients.
1. Keep a separate account dedicated to customer service: Another insight from SproutSocial is that brands post an average of 23 promotional messages for every 1 response. A customer may feel discouraged upon seeing the brand’s active posting and lack of response to their complaint.
A way to beat this is to keep a separate handle dedicated solely to customer service, and redirect unhappy users (immediately) to it; not to get rid of them, but to improve response times.
A good example of this is Microsoft: in addition to their regular channel (@microsoft), they have a dedicated account for customer service – @MicrosoftHelps. Besides tending to customers’ issues, they also tweet helpful tips and how-to’s for their products.
2. Gather all the necessary information: Something worse than ignoring complaints is replying with mistaken or unhelpful information. Customer support teams must have access to all the facts, in order to give the best answer possible.
Companies like American Airlines (@AmericanAir) rely on this type of strategy to address travel inconveniences such as: lost baggage, delays, and cancellations. Reaching out to customers ASAP and keeping the conversation via Direct Message (especially when it comes to sensitive data) is crucial to reducing the traveler’s stress levels and overcome the (figurative) bump in the road.
3. Set up “business” hours: The human touch that is necessary in social media also affects community managers and analysts. For some brand categories, it’s not realistic to have a 24/7 situation room for complaints. It’s valid to define business hours for your customer service account, just remember to list them in your bio, in order to set customers’ expectations.
American Express’ customer care channel, @AskAmex, not only displays the account’s working hours, it also directs customers to their website for after hours service, and, very nicely, announces the beginning and the end of their work day with corresponding tweets.
4. You are a human being. Act like one: Just as we despise robotic answers in a customer service hotline, copy-pasting replies may be convenient in a crisis, but it displays lack of empathy and tone-deafness.
Brands such as UPS (@UPSHelp) understand this. Having their representatives “sign” every reply with their initials, reminds customers that there is a human being handling the request on the other side.
No brand is immune to mistakes in the trenches, and suppressing bad comments is refusing to listen and learn, which is fatal in the long run. The sooner your marketing team develops a great strategy for customer service, the better. Listening and learning from our customers will always pay off.
Four Ways to Master Customer Service for Our Brand September 7th, 2016Samuel Klein