How to Achieve Marketing Success in 3 Steps

December 6, 2013

Only you can determine your success and the start of it all is to determine a goal and work from there. Here are the basic steps to achieve success in the marketing field:

1. Determine your primary goal. (Note the singularity.) When you have a whole list of different goals you want for your company, there is nowhere to focus. Making a list will set yourself up for failure because you will end up bouncing from one goal to the other without making any progress for any of them. You must decide on the one main goal you want to accomplish and start from there. It should be very specific and realistic so that you can achieve it.

2. Develop a plan. You can’t stay constant with what you’ve been doing this entire time. You must create a step-by-step strategy to achieve your goal. You must also have a plan that is flexible enough to change when issues arise whether they are good or bad. However, it should be strict enough that you don’t deter from what is important or set it aside at any moment. Find the happy medium between the two.

3. Track your progress. The best way to do this is to set some milestones. This can include some sub-goals that you achieve to reach the ultimate goal. You should never make the mistake of just jumping into your goal just to achieve it. You want to have definitive stepping stones so that you can “build” a sense of success. Though this, you will see progress and will more likely follow through to the next step to achieving your primary goal.

Although these steps seem very simple, they are just the rudimentary template of your success chart. You need to start from here and build your goal and plan for your company from this. By following these basic steps and sticking to them, you will pave the road to success.

The Types of Content You Need For Social Media

December 5, 2013

The success of your social media networks highly depends on the content you present to your audience. It’s important to understand what kind of content is the most effective in order to gain the most followers and social media presence. Here are the best types of content for social media marketing:

News; you can find it anywhere from the internet to newspapers to television to word-of-mouth. However, most people from this generation turn to the internet mainly for news reports. Take advantage of news stories that work well with your product or services. For example, Paul Walker’s recent death was very unfortunate and the release of the Fast and Furious 6 DVDs couldn’t have been released at a better time from a marketing standpoint. The commercials for the DVDs were immediately edited to include a commemoratory montage for Paul Walker followed by message stating that a portion of the sales would be donated to Walker’s charity Reach Out Worldwide. Link current events to your product and people will relate and more likely participate.

Educational information including how-to’s and styling are next on the list. Most people need as much information about what you’re offering before they can commit to your product or services. By giving them how-to’s including styling accessories or incorporating your product into a cooking recipe, you are giving your consumers more than they ask for. New and creative ideas inspire people and with that spark of inspiration comes the purchase of what you have to offer. It is from these ideas that make sites like Pinterest so appealing to those trying to change up their lives or those that have some downtime. By giving people more information about how to use your product, you take those out of their comfort zone and pave the road to new experiences for them.

Consumer input goes a long way. Relevant to the the previous point of giving information about your product, let your consumers give their part as well. Have a feed or gallery of how others have used your product. Whether it is the different outfits they created or the recipes they came up with, more contributors mean more ideas. Ideas are endless and you don’t want to miss out on any! Allow for reviews including likes and comments to increase shareability and feedback. Not everyone has the same taste and not everyone has the same body type so feedback from all different types of people will make a more rounded opinion of what you’re offering.

Entertaining content is also highly shareable content. It can be anything from something funny to really inventive. For example, Cake Wrecks decided to create cakes for their “National Dump Your Significant Jerk Week.” Yes, you read it right and the humor is relative to many and humorous. The celebratory week may not be a real holiday, but Cake Wrecks has definitely made some hilarious cakes out of it such as their “It’s Not You. It’s Me” cake. Cakes are usually given to celebrate something and obviously isn’t usually used to break up with someone but this ironic twist is what breaks this cake business out of the box.

These ideas are the most popular types of content on the web with numerous amounts of sharing throughout all social media networks and websites. Social media marketing discussions are ones that you want to spread virally to order to gain more followers and convert them into leads. You need a variety of different types of content in order to succeed and not bore your audience. Take these into account and watch your network grow.

UUCSR Relaunches with Van West Media

December 4, 2013

As a longstanding congregation, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock (UUCSR) has a large community of those with strong faith in its heritage. With the large amount of content including history, events, photos and more, the organization needed an updated website to preserve and present their content to others. Van West Media was able to align the brand’s voice with a unique design to instill UUCSR’s vision with its prospective community.

New United Unitarian Congregation at Shelter Rock (UUSCR) website by Van West Media

UUCSR wanted a website that was easily navigable by both members of the organization and those in the prospective community. For members, the backend had to be organized in an understandable manner for future access and edits while the front end needed to be easily navigable for visitors for informative purposes. The dropdown menu as well as the left side navigation menu allows those on the site to easily access any page. For example, the links for “Upcoming Services,” “Event Calendar,” and “Join the Community” were strategically placed on every page to incentivize visitors to take action with the organization.

Drop-down Navigation on New UUCSR Website
Left Side Navigation Bar on New UUSCR Website

The brand’s vision and voice is reflected through the soft and playful colors, typefaces and icons used. The design allows for easy-to-read information with a playful twist that is also inviting. The website really portrays itself as an extension of the organization itself and will definitely help to build its online community. Visitors are constantly urged to make pledges, become members, attend events and learn more about UUCSR throughout the site. By integrating the congregation with the an updated design and incorporating the latest social media trends, the website will ensure more sustainability of the organization for the future.

Van West Media is proud to present the new UUCSR website, which is flexible, informative and dynamic as well as easy to maintain. The faith and reach is clearly shown throughout the website and constantly urges those visiting to participate. As the website is both appealing and up to date with the latest trends on the web, the United Unitarian Community at Shelter Rock is sure to cultivate more members, donations and participants in the foreseeable future.

How to Fuel Social Media Conversations

December 2, 2013

When brands become involved with social media, information can easily be spread to others but what makes this networking so valuable are the interactions between brands and their audience. From likes, shares, comments, retweets and favorites, there are numerous ways your audience can get involved with your content. The key to maximizing your content capabilities is to evoke conversations and share it on the web. Here are some tips to help you expand your social media base and spread your content as far as possible.

via Shutterstock

Content Participation derives from posting content on a scheduled basis. This is content you plan, create and publish based on your editorial calendar. It’s in sync with your general marketing plan and contains the main information your company provides your audience. This is the most basic form of content marketing and doesn’t steer away from your usual tactics. It is the safest bet, but doesn’t really give way to maximum shareability unless your content is exceptional.

On-going participation works for cross-platforming and can be anything from a video, image or link; something sharable across all social media networks. This kind of content is the easiest to spread as you can expect your audience to retweet or share it. This content can range from something really inspiring, “cool” or hilarious. Something that you “HAVE” to share with your friends would go in this participation category. It is the most popular content for sharing. It’s also convenient because you can place it on one social media platform or several and others will spread it for you. With something as easy as a screenshot, “share” or retweet, your content will make it farther.

Opportunistic participation involves content that is specifically created to take advantage of an event. Knowing that people look at their mobile devices and social media during a blackout, Oreo’s “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark” tweet is the perfect example of this as it was released immediately after the Superbowl blackout. This is the least common type of participatory content as you need to wait for the perfect moment to release such content. However, it is the most effective and is border-line genius to your audience. It allows them to see your creativity and involvement with current events and allow you to really relate to your audience.

Oreo's Dunk in the Dark Twitter Campaign via Real Story Group

There are many different types of participation and different opportunities that come with each. When it comes to content, you can be safe and have a decent amount of shares and followers but in order to have maximized participation, creativity and timing is really what it comes down to.