Important Changes in the World of Digital Marketing: 4 Key Areas Essential Right Now

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By Jacqui Simses

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The digital world is evolving faster than most businesses can adapt. Here we’ll go over 4 key strategies that are, at this point in time, essential of the most digitally mature companies and the best practices tied to these 4 areas. Reading about these changes will help one better understand where a company stands in terms of digital marketing trends as of now and where the marketing is heading.

Data-driven Marketing

Using data to gain insights into your customers and turn this knowledge into understanding. One of the best ways to do this is to invest in predictive analysis. Also, data should be centralized for ease of accessibility and to accelerate insights. Customer data should be used as well to understand and personalize each individual’s journey. Lastly, this area could be practiced by integrating external and offline data in order to enhance audience segments.

Mobile

Businesses should be preparing, if not already, for a mobile-only world. Best ways to do this include the creation of specifically dedicated mobile sites and apps by making sure responsive web design is always a priority. Making mobile a priority by investing in mobile applications and channels is another best practice as well. Use data in order to determine the value that a mobile channel delivers as well as understanding the most valuable mobile content and services.

Cross-channel Marketing

An organization’s message should be consistently delivered across all channels. Messages for each channel should be adapted while ensuring a cohesive story is told across all channels. A good practice for this would be to integrate all systems and channels to share data as well as content and assets. Investing in tools to understand a customer’s journey is another smart practice as well along with investing in technologies and processes for connecting at every point in the customer’s journey.

Customer Experience

The customer’s experience has always been vital to understand and study to ensure successful sales and satisfied customers, who hopefully, will evolve into loyal brand customers. Today, creating more meaningful experiences is key. It will move organizations forward toward digital maturity. To begin, every touchpoint should be thought of as a brand connection. Content should always be developed with the customer’s needs and preferences in mind. The goal is to work in order to develop and maintain a rich customer profile. Lastly, automating the delivery of personalized content is important for the customer’s experience that has changed and become more important for a lot of people due to the constant change this digital revolution goes through.

 

References

Holder, G. (2017, January 6). What will be the digital marketing trends of 2017? Budget Vertaling Online. Retrieved from http://budgetvertalingonline.nl/business/what-will-be-the-digital-marketing-trends-of-2017/

Rigby, S. (2017, April 16). Digital marketing: A constant state of change. Which-50. Retrieved from https://which-50.com/digital-marketing-constant-state-change/

 

Personal Branding & Social Media: It’s Pretty Important, You Guys

By Alexis Long

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Let’s not beat around the bush here: Social media can make a huge difference in the way people see others and your personal branding can either hurt or help you. During Hootsuite’s #Hootchat on Twitter last week, users (including myself) chatted with each other about the topic and it made me question if people my age, or even older adults (“adult-ier” adults as I like to call them), are really building a great “brand” for themselves. You’re basically marketing yourself.

“Branding? Marketing? Like… products?”

Look, I know you aren’t a “product”. You’re a living, breathing person. What I mean is that it’s important to figure out what your assets are and what you want to be known for.

“What I want to be known for? I don’t even know what I want for dinner.”

Uh… moving on.

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran of WorkItDaily says, “If you are the “go-to” person for graphical design, then your personal brand is all about graphical design, even if that is not your job.”

So how does social media play into this? As stated above, it’s something that makes a difference in the way people see you. Let’s look at my Facebook profile.

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Looking at my profile, it’s probably pretty obvious what I post: Gaming stuff. Looking for sports stuff? I have bad news for you. It’s not there. Almost everything I post on my profile is relevant to my career goals in one way or another.

“Did you just want to show off your recent profile picture?”

Pfft… no.

*cough* I look nice in blue though. *cough*

But seriously, what you post on social media really does affect your personal branding. Have your LinkedIn and Twitter account linked on your profile, be clear about the image you intend to project and make sure your “brand message” is consistent across all your platforms.

Personal branding is kind.

Personal branding is smart.

Personal branding is important.

 

References:

Llopis, G. (2013, April 8). Personal Branding is a Leadership Requirement, Not a Self-Promotion Campaign. Retrieved April 29, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2013/04/08/personal-branding-is-a-leadership-requirement-not-a-self-promotion-campaign/#217205e5226f

Tannahill-Moran, D. (2016, September 23). Three Examples of Great Personal Branding. Retrieved April 29, 2017, from https://www.workitdaily.com/personal-branding-examples/

Distractions. Today’s vs Yesterday’s.

By Mackenzy Hand

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For years there have been those who have been aggravated or even angered by younger generations for their apparent incessant need to be attached to technology in some way, shape, or form. Be it their phones, tablets, computers, you name it. But is this aggravation really as founded as they think?

It is a common misconception that millennials are so connected to their phones because they need a distraction from their day to day lives. I believe that this statement is flawed. It is human nature to want and to need distraction from time to time. Humans have always been this way; it has just now become more noticeable.

Distraction comes in many forms, as it always has. Our form of distraction is a cell phone, while our grandparent’s was a newspaper. When we are riding the trains and the busses home from work or to and from class, we aren’t talking to each other, we are browsing social media or perusing the daily news. When earlier generations were riding home on busses or sitting on park benches, they weren’t talking to each other either, they were reading the newspaper, their favorite magazine, or perhaps catching up on a favorite book of theirs. People find distraction in any place they can find it. The only difference between today’s generation and that of yesterday’s, is the technology that has become available over the course time.

Technology and social media aren’t to blame for younger generations’ obliviousness. The problem is that older generations do not understand said technology, and choose to dismiss it with comments like, “Millennials! Always so distracted because they are on their phones!” This is simply a generational error and is purely circumstantial.

It isn’t that we are distracted, it’s what distracts us. Years from now there will be technology that our children and our grandchildren use that we won’t understand. That’s just the way this carrousel turns and I don’t think it will ever stop. What can change is a hard look at the trends, and a fundamental understanding of the human being and its desire for a short reprieve from reality.

 

Sources:
Slate
Odyssey

Photos:
Slate
Reddit
Blog

Coachella 2017 Fashion Looks Takeover Snapchat

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By Jacqui Simses

(Featured Photo Source: Bazaar’s Snapchat channel)

With Coachella 2017 kicking off this past weekend, Snapchat was filled with all of this years’ best Cali-style festival looks. Different channels on the notorious platform that keeps users “up-to-date” highlighted Coachella fashions from all different angles. Snapchat was one of the main and only sources of popular Coachella fashions this year that was continuously updating its viewers. For most people with music and fashion interests, attending this world-famous festival that kicks every summer off is only but a dream. But, having a platform like Snapchat that allows all to see from outside the festival what changes in fashion are taking place this year in all different ways right on their mobile device, is fun, informing and entertaining. Here are a few that are still being talked about.

Bazaar’s Snapchat Channel

The fashion magazine, Bazaar, has its own channel on Snapchat which only featured Coachella-related content this past weekend pertaining mostly to this years’ fashions. One of the magazine’s fun and quick videos featured on their Snapchat channel showed images placed next to each other of previous years’ fashions comparing them to this years’ titled “Wear This…Not That…”.  This fun take on comparing last years’ trends to 2017’s quickly portrayed the major changes made in the fashions that Coachella-goers have been catching onto and wearing everywhere at this festival.

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(Photo Source: Bazaar’s Snapchat channel)

Another Coachella fashion-related thing featured on Bazaar’s Snapchat channel was an article called, “Heading to Coachella? Here’s what to Pack”.  The article began with a brief introduction stating the obvious to most of their readers; that every fashion girl knows that the festival scene is as much for the style as is for the music. The article continued by stating that there are certain essentials one shouldn’t be without in Palm Springs this year and complemented this statement with 12 different clothing styles in multiple variations following it that would be popular this year and where to purchase the ones shown.

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(Photo Source: Bazaar’s Snapchat channel)

Victoria’s Secret Angel Oasis

Victoria’s Secret had its own channel as well this weekend, highlighting custom-made outfits that the Angels wore while snaps were taken of these ladies following them through their journey to the festival and throughout it. There even was a spot designated for the Angels to hang out at during the festival called the Angel Oasis where most of the photos of their festival-vibe outfits were shot at.

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(Photo Source: Victoria’s Secret Snapchat account)

Kylie Jenner’s Snapchat

Lastly, a lot of attention was brought to Kylie Jenner’s fashions this year as she has been known for showing off extreme and diverse styles when attending this festival for the past few years. Not only did she show off her clothing and styles all over her own personal Snapchat account, but they were also featured on Coachella’s Fashion Snapchat channel and a few others as well. Her shocking highlighter yellow hair day 1 and bright purple hair the next day caused a lot of hype and was talked about a lot over the weekend along with her complementing outfits.

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(Photo Source: Kylie Jenner’s Snapchat account)

Fashion Brands Dominate the Usage of Instagram as a Marketing Strategy

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By Jacqui Simses

(Featured Photo Source)

The Rise of Instagram Marketing

It has been evident for a while now that Instagram isn’t just a social network to share photos among friends and family. In fact, Instagram has an astonishing 600 active monthly users as of December 2016, the last 100 million of which joined just in the prior six months. In a world where visual content remains a crucial part of any business’ marketing strategy, Instagram presents a unique opportunity to visually represent brands, showcase its personality and keep it top-of-mind for all users who scroll through their Instagram feeds every single day.

Fashion Brands vs. Other Brands

The fashion industry has become one of the most competitive industries on social media. Fashion brands have capitalized on social with the rise of e-commerce to support revenue streams that complement physical stores. This has resulted in social media becoming the new cornerstone of their marketing strategies.

Although brands from all different markets are finding great success from the usage of their Instagram accounts, fashion brands specifically receive significantly more followers and interactions making these brands one of the biggest and most engaging profiles on Instagram. Due to the natural fit for the highly visual Instagram platform, fashion brands are way ahead of all other brands in terms of Instagram performance.

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Best Content Strategies

The foundation of success on Instagram lies in good content planning. Data from Socialbakers Solutions proves that fashion brands tend to post more photos than videos – in the first half of 2016, 93% of content posted by fashion brands on Instagram were images, compared to the 7% of videos. These numbers do not directly translate into generating engagement, though, as videos received marginally more interactions than images.

Whether it’s photos or videos, it’s no secret that in order to gain followers and generate interactions on Instagram, the brand needs to post exclusive, eye-catching content, But which of the two really works best?

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Victoria’s Secret: The brand doing it differently, but still leading

Victoria’s Secret is leading the pack in followers and interactions, thanks to leveraging a wealth of content – from photo shoots to a hefty amount of brand equity offline to other social channels

Victoria Secret differs from other fashion brands using Instagram marketing due to its slightly different content strategy. The company’s profile is comprised of 18% videos and 82% images, and their images generated on average 10,000 more interactions than their videos – a testament to the importance of creating quality content and in knowing your audience’s preferences on the platform.

Victoria’s Secret posted more videos than the average fashion brand on Instagram – 82% were images, and 18% were videos. On average, their images gained roughly 10,000 more interactions than their video content. Overall, Victoria’s Secret content on Instagram is more engaging than the fashion industry benchmark.

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Who does it best? 

While the top 10 most popular profiles include couture names like Michael Kors, Dior, Gucci and others, high street retailers such as Forever21, H&M and previously mentioned Victoria’s Secret, tend to do a better job at driving up Interactions and keeping their community engaged.

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References

Bowler, J. (n.d.). 50 clothing brands that are on top of the Instagram game. Printsome Insights. Retrieved from https://blog.printsome.com/clothing-brands-instagram/           https://blog.printsome.com/clothing-brands-instagram/

Buryan, M. (2016, September 19). Why fashion brands are thriving on Instagram. Socialbakers. Retrieved from https://www.socialbakers.com/blog/2626-why-fashion-brands-arethriving-on-instagram

Kolowich, L. (2017, February 21). 14 of the best brands on Instagram right now. HubSpot. Retrieved from https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/instagram-bestbrands#sm.00zk3t3616j2dnf11121teyud610z

Leading fashion brands ranked by number of Instagram followers as of February 2017 (in millions). (n.d.). The Statistics Portal. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/483738/leading-fashion-brands-instagram-followers/

 

Let’s Chat: Recruiting Through Social Media? You Betcha!

By Alexis Long

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A few weeks ago, I blogged about how your social media account can send potential employers running for the hill (Haven’t read it yet? You can find it here). This time, I’d like to chat about recruiting on social media platforms.

Unfamiliar with what social recruitment is? According to About.com’s job search and employment expert, Allison Doyle, it’s when “companies and recruiters use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media sites to source and recruit candidates for employment.”

Social media is becoming a more vital part in recruiting and companies are building their own audience with the right social media strategies. I don’t know about you guys, but I think it’s really neat that we can really do things like that. To me, I prefer it because I feel like the potential employer can figure out if I am right for the company based on what I’m talking about through my social media accounts instead of just a 15-30-minute interview. I think the employer has a better chance at getting to know me through that. I believe recruiters can increase quality/quantity of candidates and reduce time-to-hire.

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Let’s be honest here: Social recruiting isn’t “free”, meaning it requires a big investment of time. You need to have the time to find content and your appropriate audience, engage with them and build relationships with influencers in whatever industry.

Something I think is important to note about social recruiting is that different social media platforms have different limitations. If a recruiter is looking to find someone for a specific role, LinkedIn seems suitable for that. Recruiters that are looking to fill a certain number of employers could use Facebook or Twitter since those networks have more of a “community” feel to me.

What do YOU think about social recruitment?

 

Hiers, M. (2014, September 22). Expert Interview with Tony Restell on Social Recruiting. Retrieved April 2, 2017, from http://blog.realmatch.com/news-publishers/expert-interview-with-tony-restell-on-social-recruiting/

Smooke, D. (2014, June 5). What’s Social Recruiting? 25 Experts Weigh In. Retrieved April 2, 2017, from https://www.smartrecruiters.com/blog/question-what-is-social-recruiting/

Walter, E. (2017, March 31). Modern Entrepreneur’s Guide For Hiring In The Digital Age. Retrieved April 2, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ekaterinawalter/2017/03/31/modern-entrepreneurs-guide-for-hiring-in-the-digital-age/#5fd80f087176

Choosing the Right Social Media for your Business

By Mackenzy Hand

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The thought of which social media platforms to utilize for your business can be a daunting one, especially if you have little to no experience. Social media marketing has become an absolute necessity in the last decade. It is one of the most useful tools out there for those in content marketing as well as for all manner of business owners. The fact is plain, no matter what type of business you are running, big or small, you need to be on social media.

Social media is crucial for business owners, not only because it is an extremely effective way to increase both sales and spread knowledge of your brand, but it can also be beneficial in the sense that through social media you can keep an eye on your competitors and be on the lookout for what they’re up to. While not every business needs to make use of every single social media platform that’s out there, it is a good idea to keep up with the trends and make yourself aware of the current social media user stats. For example, a maintenance company probably wouldn’t get much use out of an Instagram account because maintenance workers don’t generally post pictures or videos of their work. They would, however, benefit from having a Facebook page because Facebook will verify their company by way of their incorporation documents, and it would be a quick and easy way for prospective clients to read reviews posted from others who have used that particular company in the past.

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There are almost too many social media platforms out there today, but it is easy to narrow down a few that are highly productive when it comes to content marketing and business utility. Facebook has the largest blend of demographics out of any other social platform. It has more than 1.59 billion users and according to the Pew Research Center, 68 percent of Americans are Facebook users. Facebook is a good tool because you could post an Ad that would take your potential buyer to an opt-in page where you will then be able to hopefully get them on an email mailing list. Twitter is used by 21 percent of Americans and is helpful in the sense that on Twitter your posts have the potential to go “viral”, which could really help your business in the long and the short run. Instagram is used by 28 percent of Americans and would be an excellent platform to use for photo sharing if your business is involved in things like tradeshows and special events. Another great way to get engagement on Instagram is to offer things like raffles or a free giveaway. Things like that stir up excitement around your brand and get people to participate and hopefully bring you future business. LinkedIn, another very popular social media platform, is used by 25 percent of Americans. LinkedIn is great because it allows you to target other professionals by industry or job title and it prioritizes relationship building. This social platform will benefit your business greatly by expanding your brand by way of connecting with other professionals and getting endorsements from others as well.

When you’re deciding which social media platforms to go with for your business, a million things are going through your mind because it really is a lot to take in. Just remember to do your research and focus on the platforms that will work the best for your business specifically, and put your energy into those.

 

Sources:
Forbes
The Huffington Post

Photos:
theodysseyonline
bmet