Convey It – Storytelling via Social Media

Once Upon a Time …

Storytelling through Social Media is highly effective. A recent example of an amazing storytelling scenario is the Starbucks red cup. But, more genius than the red cup is the widely know “campaign” in which baristas intentionally make errors in spelling the name of its customers. We see daily posts displaying botched names written on cups … red, white or other.

Starbucks customers branding their product, service and moniker – their followers post, tweet, and snap all about their brand! This is the goal of any business on social media, and at Conveyance Marketing Group we want you to be successful in your attempt to engage your audience.

Here is a list of some helpful articles to help you along your storytelling journey on social media! ‬

‪How to Get into the Hearts of Your Audience with Emotional Branding‬
‪Big companies have built their empires not on the products they make, but on the relationships they have with their customers. By adding an emotional dimension to their brands, they’ve managed to cultivate loyal advocates and legions of lifelong paying customers. Here is how they do it.

5 Ways to use Storytelling in your Social Media
‪Building your social media campaigns around stories helps you stand out from other brands, and grab the attention of consumers. In this article you’ll discover five ways to use storytelling in your social media marketing. Read More.

Trigger Emotional Response on Social Media‬
If content is fire, and social media is the gasoline, as Jay says, make sure you’re throwing the gas in the right direction. Learn to provide ignition for your content.

How to Tell a Story with Video‬
Telling stories with video increases engagement, triggers social sharing and gives people a reason to talk about you online and offline.  This article highlights eight ways to combine storytelling, video and social media. Read More.

We are happy to help you craft your story and distribute it using the proper social channels. Content marketing is what we do best.

 

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media, content marketing, inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Convey It – Prepping for the Holidays

The Holiday Season is Upon Us …

We know… it feels like we are being a little premature.  But the truth is the Holiday season is upon us and as a business owner, or Social Media strategist it’s time to start formulating your marketing and social media plan of attack. If you’re not already on top of your Holiday Social Media Campaign, here are some of our favorite articles both new & old, to help you succeed in being merry & bright and in getting your business noticed this holiday season.

This weeks Top Five …

Resources for building a social media campaign this holiday season
Do you have Social Media plans this Holiday Season? Are you looking for ideas to improve your social media marketing over the holiday season? Whether you sell a product or service, social media can help you engage with holiday shoppers and generate more sales. Click here for some holiday campaign ideas.

7 Tips for your Holiday Marketing
Christmas is coming, and New Year’s Eve is almost here. December gives you great opportunities to drive sales and engage with your customers. According to a recent study almost half of the shoppers answered that social media affects their holiday shopping process. Very good news for you! Read on for some tips and strategies.

4 Festive Tips for Holiday Marketing
The month between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve is the biggest opportunity brands and retailers have each year, but it’s also incredibly competitive, so it’s crucial to reach and communicate with your customer audience in the correct way.  Click here for four simple holiday marketing tips.

8 Stellar Social Media Ideas for the Holidays
Before the Internet business celebrated the holidays by decorating their stores and playing festive holiday music, sending clients and service-based organizations greeting cards, and giving gifts to key clients. But with so many people getting information from social media, it’s important to find way to make the most of the season!  Click here for some tips on how to stand out in the holiday crowd.

2015 Social Media Tips to Prep for the Holiday Shopping Season
It’s never too early to build your strategy and start planning for the increased interest, activity, and sales online. As most people prepare for relaxing beach vacations and sunny park picnics, e-commerce brands spend summertime preparing for the online holiday shopping season that occurs in November and December. This article will help you leveraging social media channels leading up to and during the holidays; to help you boost awareness, drive traffic, and increase sales. Click here for eight great tips for preparing your site and social media networks.

I know, we promise FIVE but here is a bonus read, too good to pass up …

Think Outside the Gift Box: 6 Fun Offbeat Holiday’s to Celebrate on Social Media
Holiday campaigns are a great opportunity to connect with your customers, think outside the box, and use a more casual tone in your messaging while still remaining on-brand. Here’s the catch: during most major holidays, such as Christmas or Halloween, your brand’s campaign will be competing against hundreds of others, possibly with bigger teams and budgets at their disposal. And while this doesn’t mean that you should give up all attempts to connect with your audience on these occasions, it’s a good reason to consider ways you can personalize your holiday campaigns to your industry and followers. For more information and clever ideas read on. 

Convey It – More on Social Media

Here’s What’s Trending in Social Media

As a marketing firm, our clients often ask us for information on trending technologies, tips, and tried-and-true techniques for marketing their business. So, we have set out to find the “Best of Marketing” articles each week on topics we feel you need to know & start putting into practice.

In this week’s Convey It, we’ll shine a light on: Social Media, Brand Awareness, Psychology, Leads, Consistency, and Networking.

As always, at any point you think to yourself, “This is just to much!” reach out to us and we will be happy to help you. Sometimes you need a little more than an article to pull it all together and put it into every day practice.

This weeks Top Five …

What else you need to be doing beyond Social Media
You have a Facebook business page, a Twitter account, an Instagram account, a LinkedIn account, and a Pinterest account for you business. You feed them regularly. You are mindful about creating posts that are interesting and helpful to your customers. You respond to people who talk about your company online and reach out to people who might need your product or services. But what else could you be doing to create buzz about your business? Click here to read more.

How to generate Leads with Social Media
Do you struggle trying to generate leads via social media? Listen to what these seven experts on social media, social selling and lead generation have to say about it. Click here to listen in.

Branding your Social Media Presence
‪We all get wrapped up in the day-to-day operations of Social Media; where to post, what to post, when to post it … sometimes it’s hard to see the forest through the trees. It’s important to take a step back and consider whether or not your social presence, as a whole, is reflecting the brand of the business it supports. Click here to read more. ‬

‪Being Consistent in Social Media
With so many irons in the fire just to keep your business up and running, finding time for social media marketing can become tremendously challenging. You know you need to do it, but trying to find the time to fit it into your already packed schedule can feel like an uphill battle. Here are three tips to help you maintain a consistent and relevant social media presence, click here to learn more.

‪Social Media Profile Psychology
What if I told you that your profile could attract people to your business, create a sense of trust with your customers and clients, and build your brand better with the correct photo? Click here to learn how.

Seven Steps to LinkedIn Marketing

Many see LinkedIn as a sales prospecting tool, but what is sales prospecting anyway … it’s marketing. Use LinkedIn the way it was designed to work.

1. Be There
The first step in the process is to have a presence on LinkedIn. Company pages are fine but LinkedIn groups are the best places to get leads because you can create groups by topic or vertical and engage people. Monitoring activity allows you to see how interested people are in you and your company.

2. Raise Awareness
Implement the perpetual promotion machine, in which you re-market, re-message, and then re-target. By doing this, you reach people everywhere, appear bigger and more important, get people coming back to your content, remain number one in your potential customers’ minds and get the most of your dollars spent. LinkedIn can help by providing relevant content to an interested audience.

3. Market for Leads
Content is a great way to market for leads. There are a number of things that increase sharing among content and engage those who may end up being leads.

4. Leverage Employees
Your employees can be a great brand army. Get them on LinkedIn, actively grow their networks, and ask them to share news and content to their LinkedIn feeds. Your employees are visible, and can spend time in your groups to help foster relationships at all stages of the funnel. In particular, this is great for grabbing attention at the top of the funnel.

5. Prospect for Leads
Find new prospects with the Advanced People search in LinkedIn. LinkedIn can help you get in the door, and the advanced search functionality allows you to search for granular groups of people such as CEOs at companies with more than 5,000 employees, or people who work in a specific industry with a certain job title, among a number of other search functionalities.

6. Nurture Leads
LinkedIn groups show you interacting and helping and having a positive impact on an established social community. LinkedIn positions you to be viewed as a viable choice. Contact leads via InMail. LinkedIn helps you take a cold call and make it a hot lead. But remember don’t act like a used car salesman, but instead to be authentic.

7. Advertise
LinkedIn advertising is still an evolving product and it is mostly used by B2B companies, targeting job titles, companies, industries and LinkedIn groups. Some of the major metrics, according to his presentation, are more costly on LinkedIn versus Facebook and Google AdWords, but it is still quite affordable. It costs just seventy-five cents to reach 1,000 people advertising on LinkedIn. LinkedIn advertising allows you to narrow your targets on a platform where many of your prospects are spending time and, perhaps most importantly, keeping their profiles up-to-date.

(This post is based on a webinar held by Brian Carter of Social Media Examiner.)

 

5 Tips for Improving Your Social Media ROI

Almost 90% of marketers want to know how to measure social media ROI, and yet calculating the social ROI still remains elusive to many companies. It’s true that it’s difficult to put a number on a “like” or “comment” or this thing we call engagement. And yet, engagement is the name of the game for social media. If you’re not engaging with the people following you, then really you should just delete your account now.

However as more of the buying cycle falls into the laps of marketers, we are increasingly being asked to prove the ROI of our efforts. So just how do we measure what we’re doing on social? Unfortunately the fact is that not everything related to social media is quantifiable. However, when you start to track what you’re doing on social, you’re able to get a much clearer picture of your ROI.

Here are a few tips to follow when developing a strategy to calculate the ROI of your social media efforts:

  1. Align with the goals of your business. Are you a new start-up and trying to build brand awareness and/or establish yourselves as thought leaders? Do you need to field a lot of customer service questions and complaints? Are you trying to establish a community through a social network? Do you want to use social to capture new leads? Simply put, don’t create a Facebook page just to say you’re on Facebook, but go where your audience is.
  2. Define relevant metrics. Once you’ve decided which business metrics matter most to your organization, you then need to figure out which metrics are viable and reportable. For thought leadership, maybe it’s reach and impressions across the web. For customer service, maybe it’s response time, and sentiment.
  3. Align again! Now that you have your goals and metrics, it’s time to establish a publishing schedule based on your content calendar. See what campaigns are coming down the pipeline. Sync with your PR team to see what announcements are being made and what publications they are working with. Talk with your events teams so you know what webinars and conferences you have coming up that you can drive people to.
  4. Social + Marketing automation = ROI! Track all your URLs. Create unique links within your system platform to be able to see which social networks are bringing in traffic and downloads. Connecting these systems helps your tools work a whole lot smarter so that you aren’t necessarily working harder.
  5. Nurture and build. Once you’ve captured data on the people you’ve brought in from social in your Marketing automation system, you can then put them into a nurture campaign and track what other interactions you’re having with them. From there you can score that lead and potentially pass it on to your sales team.

Social media is really about building relationships, and it’s important that among all the tools and processes you put in place, to always have a human touch.

 

Why a .3% Click-Through Rate for a Banner Ad Is Perfectly Acceptable

I have seen this blog by Michelle Eichhorn of Apologia Educational Ministries, reposted several times this week. So between me thinking the information here is really worthwhile to share and all of my marketing peers thinking it is worthy to share … here it is!

Back in 2007, Ford ran a banner ad that was a simple yet attractive photograph of the inside of an Explorer. It was a sleek-looking interior, and I could easily envision myself sitting in that vehicle, my young children safely strapped in the back seat. It made me feel good to just imagine that for a moment. However, at the time, I drove a year-old 15-passenger van, so a new vehicle purchase was not on my radar.

Did I click on the ad? No. What would be the point? I wasn’t ready to purchase.

Three years later, a driver crossed the highway median, hit us head on, and totaled my 15-passenger van. The replacement vehicle purchased with the settlement money was (surprise!) a Ford Explorer.

And that is why a .3% click through rate is perfectly acceptable.

Because what are the odds that at the very moment people see a banner ad for a product, they are going to have their wallet open, ready to purchase?

So, why bother with online ads if consumers aren’t going to click on them and purchase?

Online ad response looks even more daunting when we look at reality. According to Pew Research, in 2011 companies spent $32 billion dollars on digital ads an increase of 23% over 2010. Online ads make up 20% of all advertising in the United States.

Looking at those numbers, it’s obvious that consumers cannot possibly make a purchase with every ad that is presented on their screens.

What is important about online banner advertising?

It’s not all about the immediate click-throughs and immediate purchases your digital banners produce.

What is important is “potential eyeball and retention” PEAR. A key goal with online advertising is brand retention and recognition. You want to have the consumer seek out your product when they are ready to make a purchase.

Here are five ways your company can achieve PEAR.

1. Design banner ads that reflect your brand and keep your message consistent

If a single banner placement brings a .3% click-through rate, don’t interpret that as an immediate message failure. The goal is to repeatedly get your consistent brand message in front of customer eyeballs.

You may want to test several designs that reflect your brand and message, but with slightly different graphics or a different accent color. Then test to see whether there are any differences in response. Note, though, that it takes more than one week on a site or one appearance in an e-newsletter to conclude that a banner ad is ineffective.

2. Research your audience and be selective about placements

Who is your demographic? What types of sites do they visit? Do they visit blogs? Are they reading hobby-related e-newsletters? Carefully analyze your placement options. Don’t simply place an ad on a site because its pageviews are high. What’s more important is that the audience demographic match your product.

Study the blog, site, or e-newsletter placements you are considering. How many other banners are visible at the same time? Will your banner rotate with others each time a customer lands on the page? Are you the sole banner in the e-newsletter or is it buried somewhere near the bottom?

3. Use visual opportunities via your social networks

Study your blog, Facebook wall, Pinterest boards, and Twitter account for available visual spaces.

Create a Facebook Cover graphic that is a larger version of your latest digital marketing banner. When Facebook implemented Timeline’s large Cover graphic, a major car company used a photo of its office building as its Cover photo. Was the brand message that it wanted to put in front of consumers really a steel and metal building? Was the company using the same building in its digital banners and advertisements? Likely not…

Build a presence on Pinterest, and create a Pinterest board for your digital ads and banners. Pinterest now drives more traffic than Facebook. Do what it takes to get that traffic coming to your boards where they can view your digital ads. A board or two with your current digital and print ads is acceptable among your other, content-driven boards.

However, just as with other social media, you should also aim for conversation, not just repeated broadcast of marketing messages; you’ll want to have more than just promotional boards on Pinterest, for example. Don’t forget to disseminate links to your boards via tweets and Facebook updates.

4. Partner with key bloggers in your market

Do not underestimate the reach of bloggers. Some may not have the large number of pageviews that a business site enjoys, but they have engagement with a very targeted audience.

Banner placements on blogs may bring extra perks. Some bloggers will also promote their advertisers on their other social networking accounts. That may not yield direct click-throughs to your site, but it does get your brand name in front of eyeballs. Again, think PEAR.

Arrange reviews and giveaways. In a survey of consumers from March to June 2012, About.com found that 84% of respondents needed to view the brand as trustworthy before they would “interact” with the brand, and 41% of those surveyed said being able to read reviews on social networks increased their trust in a brand. Nielsen surveyed 28,000 Internet users in 50 countries, and 79% of the respondents said they trust online reviews of products.

So, before approaching blog owners, read their other reviews and get a feel for their review style. How do they handle features they think need improvement? Is it a writing style that meshes with your brand? Do they blog photos of their family using products? In the About.com survey, 34% of respondents said seeing pictures of other customers using the product was one way to build trust in brand.

When arranging the review of your product, provide the blogger with a graphic of your banner ad, links that maybe of interest, and product to give away. If as a result you attract 300 participants in the giveaway, that is a very targeted 300 sets of eyeballs learning about your product (and, possibly, looking at your banner ad).

Bloggers often promote such giveaways on Twitter and Facebook, and some even require entrants to tweet a specific message about the giveaway again an opportunity to get your brand in front of eyeballs and in the memory of your target customer.

5. Commit the funds and time

Two or three well-placed banner ads over the course of a year will get your banner in front of your audience, but it most likely will not get your product retained in consumers’  brains.

Unless a banner ad is so creative and memorable that it goes viral on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, you will need to plan on placing your banner ads repeatedly and consistently in front of your market’s eyeballs.

Companies are allocating a larger percentage of their ad dollars to digital marketing. Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism reported a 25.5% increase in dollars spent on digital ads from 2009 to 2011. Your competition is most likely following this trend, so you need to as well.

Here are the five takeaways:

  • Focus on PEARpotential eyeball and retention rate. If you focus solely on click-through rates, you’ll miss the long-term goal of ensuring that consumers think of your product and brand over the competition’s when they are finally ready to make a purchase.
  • Pageviews and subscriber rates are important, but also consider the demographic of the audience. Sometimes the focus can be solely on the quantity of the audience and not the quality, but think both.
  • Review the available digital spaces on your social networking accounts. Are you fully making use of those spaces and bringing a consistent banner campaign, message, and branding to those available areas? Each can be effective on its own, but to have a collective and consistent message across social media spaces boost PEAR.
  • Partner with bloggers for reviews and giveaways. The quality of engagement they have with very targeted markets can exponentially increase the PEAR opportunities through their Twitter and Facebook reach. In addition, research indicates that brand trust is gained through reviews.
  • Budget for repeated placements. The spend on digital banner ads is increasing. Most likely your competition is following the trend, so you need to as well.

About Michelle Eichhorn

Michelle Eichhorn is director of marketing and events for Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc.. She can be found on the Web at eyecorn.com and @eyecorn on Twitter.

 

Handling Negative Comments

Social media tools such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn are used to promote business and build brand. Many also rely on online tools such as Yelp and Angies List for third party endorsements.

These leave us EXPOSED!

Whether bad-mouthing a product via Twitter or leaving a scathing review on Yelp, unhappy customers or mischievous competitors can and will sully your business, often through anonymous accounts.

While brand-bashing is nothing new, the tools of the web and social media make the comments from these meanies even more lasting and impressionable.

Here are some simple ways to fight back?

Determine whether the comment deserves your attention. Some people leave outrageous comments with the sole purpose of generating conflict. If they don’t seem to have a following, and anyone can see their comments are routinely malicious, their venomous feedback might not rate any reaction.

Make a quick response your first priority. The longer you let a negative comment go unanswered, the more credibility it gains with a user’s friends and followers.

An immediate response shows that you’re paying attention and concerned about the problem.

Apologize, even if the customer is incorrect. A petty argument about who’s right and who’s wrong will accomplish little.

Plus most observers see silly complaints for what they are.

Continue tricky conversations in private. Provide an initial response in public, but move ongoing discussions with difficult customers to private channels.

Thank customers for their feedback. Treat any complaint – however harsh – as though it were constructive criticism.

After you’ve apologized for their unsatisfactory experience, let them know their feedback is appreciated and that you’ll seriously consider their suggestion for improvement.”

Be sure you follow through on your promise.

Remember … When social media attacks, fight back with kindness and understanding.

This blog was adapted from MarketingProfs

Undeniable Benefits of Social Media

Social Media is a Worthy Investment

Social media is cheaper than most other marketing methods
Many businesses thrive while using social media, all without spending much money at all. Only a few promotional techniques yield a higher return on investment (ROI). Most of the costs of using social media involve design and implementation.

The most popular social media platforms today, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr and Instagram (in order) are free to use; the biggest investment is time. Building up a successful online network requires time; but once a company gains some traction, things often take off and grow quickly.

Social media results are measurable
Tracking social media marketing results is quite easy. One simple way the success of a campaign can be measured is by the number of followers, fans, shares, likes, and additional website visitors it generates. All of those can directly relate to increased sales and leads as well. At Conveyance Marketing Group, we take that a few steps further and apply our ECHO approach to measuring our clients social media successes.

Businesses cannot afford to miss out on the opportunity
In the past, having a social media presence was beneficial but not something that most businesses were doing. Today businesses that are not using social media are not only missing out on an opportunity but also sustaining damage because of their absence.

The domino effect of social media increases results over time
Consumers today are conditioned to share – especially the 40 and under crowd. When something entertains, educates, or inspires them, they are very likely to share that content with their own networks. That can be described as the domino effect of social media.

Social media content lives on forever
Yet another benefit to marketing online via social media is that content shared on the Internet usually lives on forever, unlike a one-time advertising campaign that takes place and then is forgotten.

Every piece of information shared by a business via social media is archived. Each interaction that businesses have with potential or current customers can be seen and referenced publicly for years. That is why you must be diligent in you social media campaigns. As long as a certain level of momentum is maintained, online social networks continue to grow and become more effective marketing tools over time.

Cloud Surfing: A New Way to Think About Risk, Innovation, Scale, and Success

Northern Virginia is known as “Innovation Central” due to its mix of technology, business, universities, research, and green initiatives. Innovation surrounds you … do you know about and use the Cloud? The Cloud is not a new concept but so many business, especially small businesses, are not taking advantage of the full value of the Cloud.

With Cloud services, small businesses in Northern Virginia can reap the benefits of not having to deploy physical infrastructure like file and e-mail servers, storage and backup solutions, and brick-and-mortar software and application purchases. The primary benefit to businesses of any size is the “anytime, anywhere” ability for business collaboration among owners, employees, partners, and customers.

I just finished the book, Cloud Surfing by Tom Koulopoulos. It presents a very concise explanation of how the hyperconnectivity of the Cloud will influence how people work, play, learn, innovate and socialize now and in the future. I believe it is an invaluable resource for all businesses, I am recommending it to all of my clients.

In the book, Koulopoulos addresses

  • How to optimize your company’s use of the Cloud
  • How the Cloud will affect how people live, work, learn, create, and play
  • How to exploit the opportunities in the Cloud, today and in the future

Koulopoulos defines the Cloud as the first megatrend of the twenty-first century, one that will shape the way we will address virtually every challenge we face for at least the next 100 years. It is where we will all live, work, and play in the coming decades. It’s where your kids are when they dive into online play. It’s where you meet and make friends in social networks. It’s where companies go to find the next big idea. It’s where political campaigns are won and lost. It is the social and economic network that will soon connect and define more of the world than any other political, social, or economic organization.

If you are uncertain as to how to integrate Cloud services in your business operations, Cloud Surfing will explain how to access the full value of the Cloud.

Conveyance has presented to Northern Virginia small businesses, a robust presentation on the Top Cloud Services for Small Business, we have it posted in LinkedIn.

Happy Birthday Twitter!

Today, March 21, 2013, Twitter turns 7! I’ve been flying with them for more than six years.

To celebrate its birthday, Twitter has posted a short video showcasing the Company’s history … from co-founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, to its status as one of the world’s largest social networks. In seven years, Twitter has gained more than 200 million users worldwide and 400 million tweets per day! This is certainly worth celebrating.

This fun video not only highlights the Company’s history over the past seven years, it also reminds us of some of the most significant world events over the past seven years. From real time Tweets in 2008 of the “Miracle on the Hudson”, to the first text from outer space by Mike Massimino, to the 2012 Summer Olympics. Twitter is certainly our global town square!