Where is Your Social Media Audience?

November 27, 2013

As marketeers spend loads of money on their social media campaigns, they are looking to reach out to their audience but are they focusing on a specific demographic? If a business focuses on a certain demographic, they would be able to gear their ads towards their audience more. A social media audience survey by Strata shows the breakdown.

In general, women between the ages of 18-29 yrs dominate in social media networks. They communicate constantly on almost all devices and networks more than men. It is also surveyed that Hispanics with an low income that live in an urban area use social media the most as well.

Social Media Breakdown by Strata

We know women, Hispanics, those with an income under $30K and those who live in an Urban neighborhood are the most active on social media networks. However, we need to understand it more in depth as this information is too general. Let’s break down the different social media networks with their most active users to see what audience to cater to with each network.

Facebook Breakdown by Strata

Facebook has the broadest age band as it has been around for awhile. Those from college students to those that are middle-aged are all pretty active on Facebook. It isn’t just limited to college students, but also involves parents that want in on it as well. They often join as well to connect with their kids on the same level and also monitor their activity while they are away in college. This gives you an opportunity to have a larger reach.

Twitter Breakdown by Strata

The usage of Twitter is significantly lower than that of Facebook. It is for those who constantly put the effort in engaging in the network and therefore, those who are older do not partake. Those between the ages of 18-29 have more to say and complain about and therefore, Twitter is their venting go-to. It is a quick way to get feedback and allows brands to communicate with their audience easily through almost instant customer service.

Pinterest Breakdown by Strata

Pinterest is a female dominated social media network. It is mainly for those that have time to engage in DIY projects and new recipes. Those who have money also engage as they get ideas to redecorate and change their lives. Because of this, the demographic for this can be between women in college to those that are housewives. With the constant ideas flowing through the site, the site shows how to better your life to make every aspect from fitness to house decor visually pleasing. If your brand is related to clothing, jewelry, decor, food, etc. Pinterest is the place to go for your target demographic.

Instagram Breakdown by Strata

Instagram is the most recent recent social media network and it is still growing. Photographs with captions and hashtags combine all other social media networks into one. It is visually appealing, presents a status and is categorized by hashtags similar to Twitter. There are also likes and comments involved for engagement with each post. Because it’s a newer network, only the younger generation is stronger participating as of now. However, Instagram is a already a very strong network and is still growing.

It’s important to understand your audience and what social media networks they participate in. Marketing costs a lot of time and if you place your efforts in the wrong areas, you will be wasting your time. Check to make sure your demographic is being reached in the best way possible. Social media is growing more and more each day with each network and it’s important to understand where each network is heading in relation to your business and audience.

The Cornerstones of Content Marketing

November 22, 2013

Content marketing focuses on your customer’s needs. In order to deliver measurable results with for your business needs, it’s necessary to understand the basics of your marketing strategy.

1. Context gives you a framework for your message. It helps to draw prospective customers in and engage them with your product or service. Content allows you to tell your story. Stories are better than facts as they are more interesting and memorable. They bring your brand to life with your voice and allow others to respond to it. Structure is important in this sense as you need a beginning, middle and end that offers information that is of value. Once that information is taken in, your audience will be able to respond to it.

2. Channeling involves the communication and distribution of your content. Be sure to place such context on all different networks, online and offline, including social media, direct mail, email, live events, etc. By including a wide range of content distribution formats, your brand reach increases exponentially. In relation to context, include text, audio, graphics, video, etc to create a variety for your channels. Also, don’t hesitate to cross-promote on platforms. Initiate other markets by cross-promoting as well to give a mix of content to attract and maintain your audience. The more ways others connect with you, the more ways you can reach out and promote to them.

3. Community involves the relationship you, your audience and their audience. Reward those who get involved by sending special offers to those following you on social media. Participation is the best kind of relationship because you are not forcing anything, but rather they are coming to you. In turn, they can get involved and bring others along as well. Context draws prospective customers and fans, but it doesn’t stop there. Your audience is also an influencer that is valuable to your marketing needs. They expand your reach and build more relationships on top of the ones you already achieved so engage with your customers as well as your prospective ones.

4. Commerce doesn’t only involve the actual purchasing of a product, but everything that comes before it as well. Make sure you offer useful information and answer all your customer’s questions to ensure that they will get to that purchasing step. This will build customer trust and deem your reliability. This also includes the physical process of purchasing. Make sure your product or service is available for purchase on several platforms including mobile, online and in-store so customers are at ease. After the purchase, you can go even farther by offering how-to’s to expand your product and services. Be available after the purchase as well to ensure quality customer service.

These four cornerstones of marketing allow you to attract prospects, build relationships with them and give customers ease when finally purchasing what you have to offer. Encouragement and trust is the basis of every relationship and if you provide the stepping stones for your customers and are deemed reliable, your sales will increase.

Reevaluating Your Social Media Networks

November 19, 2013

In order for your brand to grow, you must reevaluate different aspects of your marketing. This includes social media, especially because it is the most evolving and fastest growing aspect of marketing in this digital age. Here are some steps to ensure that your social media presence is still on the road to success.

1. Reassess your goals. What are you trying to achieve in social media at this point of your marketing strategy? Are you building your brand? Are you increasing your audience? Are you driving sales? Different strategies lead to each result and it’s important to understand what your primary focus is. By specifying your social media objectives, you allow your brand  to measure its results appropriately and see how you improved in that area.

2. Evaluate your audience. Not only does the content of social media change constantly, but so does the audience. Check what kind of people are following you and responding to your content. You could find a new potential demographic that is interested in what you have to offer. That opens up a whole new marketing playing field. However, don’t just look at those who are reaching out to you. Check those who opted out and unfollowed you as well. This will allow you to understand if you need to either change your demographic or if you are spreading it out into a larger one.

3. Examine your competitors. This includes those that are on the same level as you on a marketing standpoint and those that are the top competitors in your field. Which social media platforms are your competitors using the most? Do they have multiple pages? How engaged are they with their followers? What type of information are they sharing? By analyzing how your competitors are doing, you have a basis for your own brand. Check to see if you are aligned with their prospectives. Your social activity could potentially be be aligned with your sales.

From the content itself to the platform to your audience to your competitors, there are so many factors that can affect your social media marketing strategy. All of these things can evolve really quickly or slowly over time. It’s important to stay up to date on these things in order to be on par with those you associate your brand with. It’s important to sustain a constant social media tactic, but if you are falling behind in a certain area of your business, look to modify your social media marketing to see how you can better the company as a whole.

Marketing Trust Through Content

November 18, 2013

When you build content, you want your readers to invest their time to hear what you have to say. This can be ensured by making relevant content that is unique and trustworthy to others. You can set the standard of your content from your strong designs and compelling visuals but when it comes down to it, the content is what is going to really set you apart from others. Here are some questions to think about to market your trust through your content.

User Experience by Usabilla

1. Who are you? Think about what you can bring to your readers. Your goal is to show your audience you know what you’re talking about. However, don’t just be like an information robot either. Give some unique personal information about yourself so that people can see that you are real. A quirky human is much more interesting than an mundane information robot. To add to this, use a human voice. Don’t just state facts on top of facts.

2. Why should people buy from you? What makes you stand apart from others? You need to show that you bring something of value to your audience. Have presentations of how your product or services can be used. This can include how-to’s, styling, recipes, etc. This can also contribute to the demographic you are trying to reach. Think about their interests and how you can incorporate your product or service into their lifestyle.

3. Where is your proof? What credentials and experience do you have? By including your history, background and experience, credibility is shown to your viewers. Use photographs to show your company itself and the products you have. It’s also great to have photos and reviews of those using your products as well. Reviews allow others to see what is good and bad about your product. It’s good to show this to your viewers up front so that you seem more real. You can then show how you are trying to improve your product for the future as well. Also, if you don’t have reviews about your product viewers will try to find them elsewhere and you don’t want them to leave your website.

4. How can prospective customers contact you? Whether it is your address, phone number or e-mail, you need to make sure it’s easy for viewers to contact you. Your hours should also be written somewhere on your website so viewers know when you are available to respond. Include social media as well so people can follow and promote you. Tagging people allows social media to be one of the quickest methods of contacting businesses. It is a straight shot message to the company about your own personal opinions and you can reply to them in a manner that make you look good to the public by apologizing and thanking those contacting you.

5. What are your rules and policies? Privacy policy, terms of use and a copyright notice make your business more legitimate. You need to be precise in these pages to protect your brand. You also need to ensure privacy protection for those that opt in to your newsletter, e-books or services. Your audience is trusting you with their personal information and you don’t want to break their trust.

Content is very important to build your brand but building a trusting frame around your content is the start of it all. If you don’t have that, then who will believe what you have to say? Gain the trust of your audience and build your brand from there. The potential results will increase greatly and you will have a great relationship with your audience.

Business Questions to Help You Succeed

November 13, 2013

In order to become more successful, you must evolve and in order to do that, one must question oneself constantly. Your brand, whether it is small or large, always has the ability to become better that it already is. Here are some questions to ask yourself to further your brand with higher goals:

1. Can you extend your expertise to a broader audience? You can’t just throw a sales pitch out there. In order to be effective, you need to think in terms of providing practical help for your audience by presenting them with information that they can actually use. Offer webinars with tips and step-by-step processes to bring them to success. Create e-books that provide valuable information connecting your brand with the information your audience needs to build your brand. And, most importantly, share your content on all networks to reach more people. This will spread all of this new useful information your brand offers.

2. How can you give prospects useful information that relates to your product? You must develop how-tos that connect your product with your audience. When you give people your product, they may not know how to incorporate it into their lives. You can’t expect people to know exactly how your product works without showing them. For many products including food, clothes, jewelry, makeup, etc. there are various ways to incorporate these things in your life. Give your audience ideas like different recipes, outfits, etc. to make their lives easier. The more innovative you present your product, the more likely people will purchase it.

3. Can you show your product off? The best products are the ones that people are proud to have. You want people to want to spread the word for you. When you create a product that is appealing, people can use blogs or social media to incorporate their own how-tos for your product. This will make even more opportunities for prospective customers. If you are unsure of whether someone will be like “That is so cool! Where can I get that?”, you need to enhance you product by adding some new features in order to bring your product to that level.

4. Does your product create a community? Do you give your prospects a reason to get together? Yes, you can get people together by having a large discount sale of your product, but think farther than that. Think of events like food or drink tastings to test your new products and flavors out. Think of pop-up shops that give free makeovers or test other kinds of products on people. When you have events like these, you get to advertise, test out your products to see what works and what doesn’t and give people a chance to try out your products so that they are more confident in purchasing them.

These are some of the many questions you can ask yourself when you’re in a marketing rut. This is most helpful for those that are small businesses looking to expand. With questions, comes answers and the ability to move forward. You don’t want to stay safe and just have the potential customers you now have. You want to push yourself in order to build your brand to become something bigger.


Embrace the Good and Bad of Brand Engagement

November 11, 2013

Social media gives brands an opportunity to reach out to their audience and respond to their customer’s needs instantly. However, many brands make the mistake of only responding to negative reviews from their customers. Promotional statuses are just as valuable, if not even more valuable, than the ones that are complaints.

People like telling their friends and family about their great moments and when you have a customer that is happy using your product, you should be proud. Once mentioned, conversations can be started with not only the tweeter, but with his/her followers that respond, retweet, favorite or like as well. The effort of a customer tagging you should be one to recognize, especially if that status is stirring up responses from several other people.

Although GeniusPack didn’t respond to Scott’s positive tweet, they immediately responded to his negative tweet. When customers actually tag the brand itself in a status, they are reaching out and looking for a response. Any opportunity for engagement should be taken so that customers feel like they are important to brands. It’s not to say that brands need to necessarily respond to every single mention, but responding to both positive and negative comments from customers is important.

Whether it is a retweet, like, favorite or response, acknowledge those that mention you. Positive feedback is like your customer holding their hand up and all they want is a high-five back so acknowledge them with some thanks. Negative feedback is there for you to reach out and apologize or right the wrongs. Responding will make those feel like you really care and will keep your loyal customers.

The Effect of Story Branding

November 8, 2013

Stories, unlike random facts, give your viewers a memorable idea. Your brand’s story will resonate with your target market and bring them closer to your company. They allow you to connect the different aspects of your brand’s history, current status and future to understand your importance.

You need a beginning, middle and end. Just like you won’t watch a movie when it’s already halfway through, people don’t want to see just see where you are now and wonder how you got there. Background history about the products, brand name, company itself or the founder give way to understanding. When people see the struggles and inspirations and values that underlie your brand, they will feel a connection that leads to emotional brand attachment and loyalty.

Characters are a must because who else are your viewers going to relate to. From commercials and print ads, you should have either a character that represents your brand or a demographic that does. Whether it is a cartoon like the Trix rabbit or someone real like the red-headed girl in the Wendy’s commercials, you need someone that people see and associate with your brand.

Storylines allow for messages to be placed in the minds of their viewers. These two characters share a similar storyline that make the products seem exclusive. That is the key to both of these marketing strategies. The Trix rabbit yearns for the cereal but the kids always manage to keep him away and the Wendy’s girl, on the other hand, has the exclusive Wendy’s sandwich that everyone else wants to get from her. Though these characters play opposing roles, the message sent is still the same: exclusivity.

“Want to see a funny video?”
“Want to see the cutest thing ever?”
“Did you see that new _____ commerical?”

Those are questions you want your viewers to ask about your story. Is your story worth retelling? This is a major aspect of this marketing tactic. You want to tell a story that is worth sharing to your viewers that will continue to spread to others. Storytelling goes hand-in-hand with things like social media as the ability to share connects the two. Create content in a story that is worth retelling and through that, you will have a widespread viewership that can enhance your brand and build more prospects.

Developing Your Brand

November 6, 2013

When developing your brand, there are many points you need to take into account. It is your basis and what everything you produce should revolve around. We know it’s difficult to break it all down and finalize so we are here to help!


1. Your name. This is your identity. It is the core of your marketing. Use your name consistently before you finalize it. Think about how it sounds rather than how it’s actaully spelled. This is important because you want people to be able to pronounce it well. This will allow it to be said easily and spread to others. It will also allow people to use the phonetics to figure out the spelling when trying to look you up online on search engines.

2. How are you defined? This can often be condensed to your brand’s tagline or slogan. If you can’t say what you stand for in something as simple as that, it is way too complex. You want to be able to tell people what you’re about easily. Most of the top brands use few words such as Nike’s “Just Do It.” and Apple’s “Think Different.” Think about what position you want in your prospect’s mind. Consider things that are associated with your brand as well. This can include things like how a small blue box is a symbol of a Tiffany & Co. box. Create meaning to simple things with your branding.

3. What’s Your Story? Stories are much more easy to remember rather than a bunch of facts. If you creating a background history with a middle and a foreseeable future, people will understand your brand more. Stories from how your brand or product came to be to your location or demographic can make it. With this, you have a basis to develop from just like you do with your name. Your fans own your brand as well in this world of social media so maybe your demographic can evolve with your product as well.

4. Have a visual identity. Just like the blue box makes women think of Tiffany & Co., you want a look and feel for your brand. From colors, the logo and typefaces used, you can brand yourself across all platforms from print to web and intermingle them so that people will see that it is your brand. This will allow more followers on all networks and also give your audience an understanding of what you’re about.

5. Why your brand? You need to set yourself apart from your competition. What problems do you solve for your customers? Why do you matter? People need to know these things about you before they give in. From there, they can remain loyal to your brand and choose you over your competitors.

6. How do you treat your customers and employees? How you treat people plays into how loyal your customers will be to your brand. Make your brand one that has compassion and becomes one with the people rather than setting your brand apart from the people. With social media connections, you can constantly keep up with how others feel about you. You can also make sure your customers are all happy with customer satisfaction.

7. Representation keeps your brand alive. What is the face of your brand? Is it a character you’ve created? Your CEO? Who owns your company’s identity? You want to make sure that your brand can live on. What happens when employees leave? Will they take followers with them? How much of an impact does your specific brand have on your audience. You work so hard on creating your brand and you want it to last.

5 Constant Key Marketing Trends

November 5, 2013

Marketing has evolved over the years but there are many key trends that have remained the same over the years. This is due to the effectiveness of these marketing strategies. From attracting new customers to converting people into leads, your marketing strategy will definitely be positively impacted by implementing these tactics.

1. Social Media. By engaging people to participate by commenting, liking or sharing your content, you have more interaction and will gain more prospects. Make a presence across all platforms to really make a point as people use different types of social media for many different ways to impact on your branding potential. Participation and effort is also necessary. You can’t just make an account and let it be. When you create content on social media, that information can be shared so you don’t want to fall short there. However, remember that anything you post can be shared so be careful about what you post as well. Don’t post misleading information and lose your credibility.

2. Content Marketing. Think of yourself as a publisher. You are creating content for others so make sure that you are creating quality information that people are seeking. Your writing must be written well and have meaning to your readers. This mean constant blogging about anything your brand can relate to. Don’t just focus on one aspect of your business to write about. You can’t expect people to only be interested in that one aspect and you will minimize your demographic that way. Provide different types of content that all revolve around your brand and you will make the most of your writing.

3. Mobilize. In this day and age, people can access information on any device which means that you need content that can be viewed on different sizes. Look towards adaptive or responsive design. You want content to be visible on all mediums as that will lead to the most viewership. Many Google things on their phones all the time when they want to find out about something. Mobility is one of the driving forces now as people are on their smart phones almost the entire day. The key elements that should be available on all devices should be your contact information including your name, address and phone number. This will ensure that they can at least contact you for information.

4. Multidirectional Interaction. You can’t just depend on people to go to your website or visit your store to contact you. By using social media, you have the opportunity to respond to your customer’s needs. You can reply to reviews to either explain bad situations to others or to simply thank them for their great ratings. You should also rewards those that have opted in to your subscriptions or followed you on social media with special deals via social media or email. This will make them seem exclusive and more likely to engage with you. You can’t just depend on customers to come to you; you must go to them as well to get the most potential prospects you can!

5. Be consistent. You must ensure that everyone in your company is on the same page when it comes to marketing. You don’t want people to repeat themselves through social media and blogging and other content. That would be redundant unless you are mass posting through all networks to ensure the largest audience. Time is of the essence and wasting it hindering you from potential business. Make goals and objectives and stick to them. Have checklists and mark them as you go. Make sure everyone understands what they should be doing so that everything will be in place to market to your customers. Don’t fall behind because of unorganization. You can be your own enemy is this manner and only you yourself can help you overcome that.