If you’ve only been thinking about creating video content for your company, now it is time to make your plans come true. 2019 has been the year of videos and this trend continues to stick in 2020 as well. Let us show you why it’s still not too late to start experimenting with video content, and how you can reach your biggest potentials by making videos the pillar of your marketing strategy.
A career in digital marketing is constantly evolving. Keeping an eye on trends outside of your day job is crucial, as your role is very likely not to exist in 10 years’ time or if it does, it could be outsourced to a robot, called Sally.
I’ve researched online and met some Google specialists to find out the 4 new marketing trends of 2020 and beyond.
1. Optimising SEO to reduce the threat of zero-click results
Ever heard of zero-click results? You’ve probably seen them, without knowing. Zero-click searches happen when users get the search information they’re looking for, right on the initial search results page, which Google shows through a variety of featured snippets e.g. If you type in, “What is the temperature in Tenerife?” Google will automatically show you a result it auto generates. Further down the page, you will see the Adwords results and organic search results.
49 percent of search results in Google are now zero-search results, according to a study. As a result, more and more keywords are becoming less profitable and while the automatic snippet sometimes comes from a website that ranks somewhere on page 1 of the search engine results page (SERP), companies are unsure how-to ensure their content is picked by Google.
Tip: If your brand figures out on-SERP SEO in your sector first, expect to grow your market share significantly.
2. Maximise your content for voice search (Smart speakers)
A leading report expects there to be 200 million installed smart speakers across the world.
Despite the growing number of households asking Alexa, Siri and Google Home questions, smart speaker marketing and advertising opportunities have been limited. But this seems to be changing. Google states “27% visit the website of a local business after conducting a voice search”. Even more telling is that 65 percent of 25 – 49-year olds use voice search once a day.
When people are speaking to their voice assistants, they typically use questions or short phrases, like “What’s the weather?” or “surf shops in Lanzarote”. They might also ask about local offerings like entertainment options in that area. Try to incorporate similar phrases or questions throughout your brand’s content, to gain the attention of these smart assistants.
Tip: Marketers will start investing in sponsored placements on content sites that appear in the smart assistant listings, think about doing the same. With most search happening on smartphones, optimise your content for voice search. Think of popular topics people will search, i.e. “Holidays in Tenerife” or “Broadband in Lanzarote”. The trick is to make your content as conversational as possible.
3. Chatbots are becoming the new low-cost employees
Written content is the main knowledge base of chatbots, which are expected to see increased usage in 2020 and beyond. A leading B2b survey revealed that “80% of respondents said they already used or planned to use chatbots by 2020”. Chatbots are interactive software platforms that reside in apps, live chat, email, and SMS and can behave in a human-like manner.
Any business that has a website with traffic, can benefit from a simple chatbot that answers the most common visitor questions and helps convert visitors into new leads. Chatbots give you time to focus on the things that matter, not repeating yourself again, and again and again.
Tip: Chatbots will help you cut costs, save time and answer customer questions quicker; get them implemented on your site to free
4. Invest in Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) is a type of interactive, reality-based display environment that takes the capabilities of computer-generated display, sound, text and effects to enhance the user’s real-world experience. AR is expected to transform the online experience of customers in the future.
Facebook has provided a new platform to advertisers to display their products by rolling out augmented reality feed ads. With AR feed ads, shopping online will become an even more interactive experience and assist companies in better conversion rates. Imagine trying on beach clothes without leaving your bedroom?
Tip: Think about how AR could optimise your Brand.
Have you investigated in innovative ways to spend your marketing budget? Are you focusing on the marketing channels that work best for your business? Go “Back to the Future” now, before your competitors do.
Will Pointing runs a money saving blog called GreatDealsMadeEasy.com. He works as an Affiliate Marketing Manager at WPP and loves travelling, particularly visiting the Canary Islands.
So email is dead. No one uses it any more, right? Well, maybe I can convince you to re- evaluate that. Yes, there’s social media, SEO and video and they all work well and are great marketing tools. However, when it comes to great engagement, a true 1 to 1 connection with
your customers and dynamic content how YOU want it, email is top!
In this article I’m putting the case forward as to why you should be using email marketing and how truly effective it really is.
1. You own it!
What do I mean by that? You control the channel. Unlike with a lot of other marketing efforts, with email you can pick your audience, the time, the format, the exact copy and images, it’s all under your control. And you don’t have to worry about the channel or platform going under or randomly kicking you out, email will always be around (unlike MySpace).
2. Helps build Reputation and Relationships
With email you’re not limited to character count, you can talk as much as you’d like. And this opens up a great channel for sharing useful and helpful information. In turn this will strengthen your relationships with your customers and keep them engaged with your brand.
Email can be reached anytime on any device, including the all important mobile devices. So you can reach people on their work commute, queuing at the supermarket, even on the loo. Emailmonday reports “59% of email opens occurred on mobile, 15% on desktop and 28% in
a webmail client. – Adestra “Top 10 email clients” (July 2018)” .
ClickZ also stated that a study from Adestra found 73% of ‘millennials’ prefer brand interaction via emails.
Not only that but the study also found that “About three-quarters of respondents aged 14 to 24 have an email address because ‘it’s a part of everyday life.’” Nearly half say that checking email is the first thing they do in the morning, before even getting out of bed”.
You can do this with social media, right? Well yes, but with email it’s so much more targeted and the personalisation capabilities are so much more effective. With proper use of segmentation in your email data you can address your contacts on a one to one basis.
By name, interests, location and content there are so many ways to engage your customers. Only email can provide a service that is totally catered to the individual receiving the message.
5. Easy to Find
Posts on social media may be tricky to find again but emails in your inbox are there until the inbox owner decides to delete or take action. So they can easily refer back to your fantastic offers if they are not able to do so at the time of the first open.
6. Gets the Message Across
According the Campaign Monitor “90% of email gets delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox, whereas only 2% of your Facebook fans see your posts in their News Feed”. This is due to Facebook limitations on News Feed appearances in order to drive companies to their paid advertising options.
7. Quick Results
With email you get immediate results and are able to track how your campaigns are performing. You’ll be able to see what works for your customers and what doesn’t quite quickly.
8. Cost Effective and Easy
You don’t need a lot of money to produce emails. A lot of online platforms and services make producing emails easy and there are many free options out there. You can reach a lot of people for not a lot of money.
When it comes to conversions email is a great option. MailChimp states “the average open rate (for all industries) is 20.81%”, whereas the average click-through rate from a tweet, according to Hubspot is 1.64%.
10. More People Have Email
According to Lifewire “There were more than 3.8 billion email users during 2018, according to a recent Radicati Group study. That means over half of the entire planet uses email right now.” This is more than the top performing social media platform which according to Zephoria has “2.38 billion monthly active users (MAU) as of March 31, 2019.”
Not everyone is on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. These platforms have different audiences; in age, location and interest, so it can be tricky to reach everyone you need to as efficiently. Chances are though that all of these people will have email and with personalisation and segmentation applied you can easily send an email that will reach a lot more people.
By Tania Lawrence
Well, WHAT IF it IS in fact easy and simple writing a post and I am technically creating my own problem by telling myself writing is hard and complicated?
But how can I avoid getting sucked into the vortex of limiting self-belief?
It all starts in my own mind … if I want it to be, it’s up to me!
So I DECIDE and take ACTION!
Some days I take baby steps, others quantum leaps, other days I find myself cha-cha sliding through life.
No problem, pace is individual when growing, as long as I make sure I am growing towards something I have determined to be MY purpose.
As long as I am choosing to take positive daily action towards my purpose and motto “Living To Live” – “Balance Is Key & Love Is The Source”
“Living To Live” – “Balance Is Key & Love Is The Source” is a way of life, a philosophy to a more “Sustainable Me”.
Who are the real people behind the faces of those we see and serve us every day?
Not just their job or their public ‘persona’ but what lies behind closed doors… their lifestyle, background, hopes and dreams?
Well, with this exciting new project, this is what we aim to find out and share with the world…
The guy who remembers your name and your favourite coffee in Starbucks. The lady at the ice-cream stand, who’s always quick with a smile and keen to share stories of her Italian gelato. The hotel porter who seems a bit grumpy, but scratch the surface and there’s a whole rich history of travel, adventure and heartbreak.
You may well be familiar with (and if not, where have you been?) the online phenomenon of Humans of New York which treads a very similar path. And let’s be honest, is a huge inspiration for this project and countless others.
We aim to bring that magic to our part of the world, focusing on hotels for now but that is by no means our limit. We started off with a local hotel here in Tenerife where we tested the waters a little. A couple of our fine friends at Pearly Grey stepped up to be our pioneers, and what a great pair of characters they are.
So what did waiter Luis and sales ace Asa have to say for themselves?
“I love my job and am blessed to be part of a great team, living the dream. Having lived in the village most of my life – over 40 years now – my real freedom is when I’m out on my fishing boat… a true happy place!” Luis
“Nothing excites me more than changing nappies, cleaning paint off the walls and getting covered in homemade soup! Life in Tenerife couldn’t be better for me and my family – playing football with my boys, family days at the beach and the odd night out with the beautiful mother of my children, Alicia. Not to mention, waking up to blue skies, noisy kids and yogurt faces on a daily basis!” Asa
Doesn’t it just make you want you to be out on the open sea, experiencing that fresh air and freedom… or perhaps you can identify with dealing with the little ones and their antics!?
These posts were so well received – 2 of the most successful recent social media postings for Pearly Grey – that we’d love to continue and have you join us for the ride.
And it’s easy to see why this type of content works so well. People want to be a part of something, to empathise, and to see their favourite staff in the limelight and find out what makes them tick. Perhaps there may even be a few surprises… you never know what lies behind the mask (just ask Jim Carrey!).
They’re fun to produce, good for the promotion of the individuals and the companies involved and raises the profile of everyone including the core business. After all, the more engagement you have around social media, the more things get seen, shared and interacted with… and more people become aware of you and want to get involved.
The result of this is more bookings, enquiries and general good cheer associated with your business and a desire to be part of the family.
We set up a page on our partner site, Hotel Community Manager, for those in the hotel trade as that is one of several areas in which we excel.
Do follow along with the Pearly Grey Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts and see what they’ve got going on … you may just want to call in and say hello if you’re ever in the Canary Islands (certainly if you’re here right now!).
We can get that all done for you, and even take care of all the headache of posting, engaging, and being on top of your social channels. We know it’s a lot of work… but it just so happens that’s what we do! So you can concentrate on what you do best and enjoy the most. Find out about the different digital marketing services that we offer here.
Now we’re off to find out what Jane in reception gets up to in her spare time!
I believe deep down we all have a passion for something. Whether that is Sports / Drawing / Music etc. We are not put here on earth to just work 40+ hours a week and then die without using the gifts we’re given. Each and every soul that has ever walked this earth has a unique talent in something. I think you should try everything that you might like – You could be an amazing chef but if you never try, you will never know what you’re capable of.
There is a lot of pressure at a young age especially in your early 20’s. There are so many options and roads to go down that you start to get overwhelmed with all the possibilities (I know I have; I am still going through this). People try and tell you what to do with your life and it feels like they’re always constantly watching your life instead of living their own.
A lot of people go through school and decide on a career like becoming a doctor for example. They go to college; get their A levels then it’s off to University – They get half way through the course and decide it’s not for them. Then they’re back to square one with not a clue what to do or where life is going to take them.
Ultimately, I think you shouldn’t have to worry about having everything figured out. In my opinion, just focusing on the present moment is the best option one can do (as the present moment is all we have). Yes, have goals and aspirations but try not to dwell on your shortcomings. We all feel lost at times but by being lost you can find your purpose.
When nothing is certain, everything is possible.
Everyone you know that is successful (I’m not talking financially; I’m talking about being happy) loves what they do and has a passion for their craft. They worked numerous amount of hours every single day to become a master in their field of expertise. You might see a successful person online that you think was an ‘overnight success‘ but you didn’t see behind the scenes. The late nights. Failures. Self Doubt. Years of learning.
My passion is photography and editing and overall being creative. I love new challenges. Recently, I have been learning After Effects and watching hours of YouTube videos on how to use the software. A 5 second intro took me 4 hours to create – this is the reality of trying and learning new things.
To me, I don’t see it as work because I love testing myself and the feeling when you finish an idea you had in your head is amazing. I would describe myself as a very ambitious person who doesn’t give up when things take longer than usual. If you’re learning and putting in the time and effort then you can honestly become anything in this world.
I have been doing photography for around 3 years now. I started with my iPhone 6 and I fell in love with capturing time and moments. At this point I didn’t know much about editing as I was using free apps on my phone just to enhance the images. I got extremely lucky in my life and had the chance to do a programme called ‘Erasmus For Young Entrepreneurs‘ where I worked in Tenerife for three months learning everything there is about starting a business and advancing my photography skills (this is when I got my first Canon DSLR)
Now 2 years later; my knowledge of photography has progressed a great deal. I have had my own photography jobs in Manchester and had the chance to travel. If I had never looked deep into what I am passionate about then I wouldn’t have had any of the chances I’ve had to this day. It hasn’t been easy and I still have a long way to go but I am forever grateful for everything and everyone I have met along the way.
I’m not saying all this to gloat about my progression; I am saying this to inspire you. For you to go after that idea you have in your mind. Once you make the shift in your life and put all your energy into something, the universe has no choice but to make it happen. You will manifest your dreams. It might take 10 years to get that 1 year that will change your life but it will totally be worth it. Do you want to look back at 60 / 70 and be full of regrets that you didn’t chase what made you happy?
Life is about taking chances – It’s not about what you did; It’s what you do. Let your mouth match your ambitions. So many people live beyond their means and live a lifestyle they can’t afford. Don’t be one of these people. You will be in a constant state of financial worry. Instead, work hard and save money to invest in your passion. Whatever you want to do, you can do it with persistence and patience.
Do not listen to outside voices. The people who drain your energy, who are always negative. No matter what you say to them, they will have a negative answer. This is unfortunately the society we’re living in. Whether it’s your friends who are being negative or even your family. You will be surprised how much your circle of people will dictate the outcome of your future. If you have 3 friends with no ambitions who smoke all day and lay about with no direction – you will probably be the 4th. Instead, surround yourself with as much positivity as possible; even on the bad days.
I use headphones and listen to podcasts and shut out the world and focus on my goals and ambitions.
Family is a hard one to shut out. They are the people you spend most time with. But if they don’t believe in your dreams and always criticise every decision you make then its time to spend less time with them. Put in your headphones or watch motivational videos to keep your momentum going. Write down your goals. Keep going and don’t waiver for anyone. Instead of hating them, respect them because they never got theirs and they are trying to talk you out of yours.
Trust me, I’ve lived this.
Life has a funny way of working out. You may be reading this and feel lost but keep believing in your passion and dreams. Remember that negativity won’t get you anywhere it will only stop you achieving what you’re meant to achieve on this planet.
The fact I have people messaging me telling me I have inspired them and helped them with photography means so much to me. I never thought I would ever inspire people. I did photography to help with my depression and anxiety – to get out and clear my thoughts. The fact I have people all over the world engaging with my posts is amazing.
Whatever you want to do – make music / cook / design – it’s possible. Start believing in your truth and follow your heart. If you’re working in a job and you’re just ‘getting by’, living pay check to pay check and you know you have this calling to follow your passion then change your lifestyle including bills – Get rid of that car / live in a cheaper apartment. Like Gary Vaynerchuk says “Don’t keep up with the Joneses’ If you really want it, then you will get it – it depends if you want to give up certain things for a few years to get the lifestyle you deserve.
Remember this – Allow your passion to become your purpose, and it will one day become your profession.
My Social links :
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/markarronsmith/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MarkArronSmith/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/markarronsmith
Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/markarronsmith/
Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you will know our planet (the habitat we call home) is in a bit of trouble. Question is, how can we deal with the damage being caused and create a living space where everyone and everything, thrives?
You can’t go anywhere these days without seeing messages of decay and destruction. This is all well and good but often doesn’t address the solutions; it merely creates a bit of dissatisfaction and the status quo is resumed.
What we need are people and organisations that highlight all the good that’s being done in certain areas of the world, educate, and encourage others along for the ride. Show the example and others tend to emulate in one way or another.
It was Gandhi who was quoted as saying ‘be the change you want to see in the world’. This line has been so often repeated that it’s virtually lost all meaning – a quick share of a meme on Facebook. But think about those words for a second. Who are you? How are you acting? You want to see peace, be a bit more peaceful. Fed up of people complaining, probably best to cut down yourself. The list goes on.
Various statistics have been bounded around as to the state of the world. How long we have left, what will become of us and this planet and numerous merchant of doom predictions. But humans are adaptation machines and if there’s one thing we do well is the ability to evolve at a rapid pace and have a brain to process conscience and empathy. We have a super computer within our heads which can receive feedback and implement ideas.
Introducing Canary Green!
We should look to the future, but we must act now. And where better place to start than in our own backyards. For us and many others, that’s the stunning Canary Islands and we have just launched a project (no, a movement!) that we hope to help inspire the rest of the world with.
The brainchild of John Beckley who himself has had a long history with the Canaries. Originally from South Africa, he has spent over 2 decades mostly between Tenerife and Lanzarote and wanted to preserve the islands that he fell in love with. It’s been a decade in the making as John first had the idea several years ago but wasn’t able to pursue it at the time. Now, has become the perfect time as people’s awareness is increasing along with having a genuine desire to improve and make a difference.
So, What is Canary Green?
Put simply, it’s a project to showcase the amazing work being done in the Canary Islands in Eco and sustainability (you can see our mission statement here). This isn’t about judgement or superiority, or pictures of dying polar bears… it’s positive messaging about those going in the right direction.
- The farmer with all natural organic, pesticide free products who delivers to your door
- The airline, that despite being an airline and by their very nature negatively affect the environment, have implemented measures to minimise these effects and maximise the good they can do
- The shop selling reusable flasks, avoiding the need for single use plastics
Our website and central base is exactly what it says on the tin – Canary.Green. Makes sense, no? ;).
You can also find us active on the Socials, so please do follow along and engage with us there.
Check it all out and feel free to get in touch with suggestions. This is very much a work in progress and a collaborative effort, so we will be updating as we go. We’re all in this together, and is not an ‘us and them’ scenario.
How Can You Help?
This isn’t about whether you ate some beef and used a plastic straw today. It’s that tomorrow you might have a meat free day, recycle some items that you usually throw away, walk rather than take the car, or ‘find a bin to put it in’ even when no-one is looking. How about just taking a few moments to breathe in the air and look out over the ocean, appreciating what you have and that it could all be taken away?
Aside from these small (and larger) measures you can take in your own life, you can also support us in many ways. We have regular meetups, including environmental clean ups, vegan meetups, coffee meetups and school workshops.
What really drives the boat is financial contribution. We live on an economic planet (whether that changes in the future is another article!) so need money to propel things forward at the rate and scale that would see the most impact. If you would like to assist with donations or to help fund the project then please get in touch… as a supermarket in the UK once said – every little helps :).
And if you’re a brand that’s looking to promote these ideals then we want to speak with you and work together to make this happen.
Things are really starting to hot up at Canary Green HQ – more people are coming on board to do everything they can do to make it a success. Everyone is full of energy and ideas and keen to do all that is possible at this time. And all this from a positive, ‘can do’ place which we hope to inspire all we come in to contact with.
Do join us, for what is sure to be a groundbreaking time in our history!
~ Adam & the Canary.Green team
The world of social media, digital marketing and technology moves extremely fast and from all indications is only set to increase in rapidly evolving and advancing. You only have to think about the changes that have happened in recent years to see how far this type of marketing has come and what kind of incredible opportunities it creates for brands both large and small.
In the space of less than two decades social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram have arrived and countless others such as Snapchat, Pinterest and Tik Tok have also become hugely popular. Overall these services are used by literally billions of people combined to communicate around the world. There are also other services that have dramatically altered the way people work, shop, travel and communicate such as AirBnb, Uber, Skype, Amazon, Netflix and YouTube.
These kind of changes are huge, but could be only the tip of the iceberg with further transformations on the horizon that will dramatically change the way humanity lives, much of which is driven by technology and the internet. This includes artificial intelligence and virtual reality which are set to become mainstream.
What all of this goes to prove, is that it is essential that your marketing team avoids complacency when it comes to creating success for your brand on social media, because nothing can be taken for granted, except that things will change. When companies take success for granted and don’t keep up with the times, then failure is a very real possibility.
You only have to observe what has happened with what were some of the biggest brands in the world. These include Yahoo!, Kodak, Blackberry, Nokia and Myspace. At one time, each of these were global leaders in their respective industries, but each developed a hubris that lead those in charge and those marketing them to start to believe they were too big to fail. Obviously this wasn’t the case as each of these has either gone bankrupt, been bought or completely faded into obscurity.
It has been the companies that have been prepared to constantly innovate such as Apple and Facebook that have managed to survive against newer competitors, through constantly updating their strategies and being quick to notice changing market trends, rather than resting on their success. This is why it is so important that your brand and marketing team keeps up to date with the latest social media marketing trends, because if not you could find your company completely left behind.
Disruption is Inevitable
Airbnb is becoming increasingly ubiquitous in the travel and tourism industry and is disrupting it massively. It allows homeowners to market and rent out apartments, houses or individual rooms to travellers in a very flexible way via their website and app. It was founded back in 2008 and now has over 150 million users worldwide, with over 6 million listings across 191 countries and over half a billion total Airbnb stays!
This represents incredible growth and has been fuelled in many ways by utilising the power of social media directly from the beginning. The company is highly active across all of its social media accounts with over 15 million page likes on Facebook, 4.1 million Instagram followers and 689 thousand Twitter followers.
What is astonishing is that even with all the evidence of how social media is helping startup brands grow into giant billion dollar companies like Airbnb and Uber and how established household names like Tommy Hilfiger, Microsoft, Hilton Hotels and other global giants are connecting with customers and increasing sales, there are still those sceptical of the power of social media marketing!
To some companies within the travel and tourism industry, having a presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and posting a few uninspiring posts once or twice per week is seen as utilising social media effectively. On the flip-side there are other brands within the travel industry like Airbnb, G-Adventures and Norwegian Airlines that truly innovating and seeing incredible results from their efforts.
Influencer Marketing at Marriott Hotels
A great recent example of a hotel company staying ahead of the curve and being willing to experiment with something new is Marriott Hotels with their original, unscripted series on Snapchat called “Six Days, Seven Nights” in which it toured influencers around the world to stay in Marriott hotels. Locations included Dubai, New York City and Berlin and included well known travel influencers from the digital world.
This series showed a big brand’s willingness to experiment with a new social media platform i.e. Snapchat and the mobile format on which Snapchat is based. It also included the use of the new Snapchat Spectacles; sunglasses with cameras built in which can record video of up to 10 second length. This offers a unique perspective of the hotels and locations via these influencers who were showcasing different experiences.
Stop Broadcasting, Start Connecting!
As you can tell just from this example, your social media marketing strategy does not have to merely be boring posts broadcasting your company message, directly trying to sell something. The brands that truly understand and use social media effectively see the huge potential and the nature of how to successfully connect with their customers. People are becoming sick of traditional adverts, but do not mind listening if a brand makes a genuine connection with them.
What may have seemed cutting edge at the start of social media such as having a Facebook page and Twitter profile and posting photos and text, will no longer make your brand stand out. Instead your marketing team should be constantly analysing all of the latest trends within social media to avoid missing out on this huge opportunity due to corporate complacency.
Astonishingly there are some brands within the travel market that are still not fully on-board with social media and see it as an afterthought. Instead they remain focused on traditional advertising such as billboards, printing leaflets and advertising within magazines, the television or radio. These means do not have to be fully abandoned yet, but the majority of your brands marketing focus should be on cutting edge digital marketing and social media campaigns.
Some trends that are hugely popular or are becoming so within social media are:
Video content: This is growing massively and there are some who suggest that within the next couple of years around 80% of internet traffic could be video based.
Influencer marketing: Many brands are turning to influencers to help market their products on social media as it offers a human touch making the advertising more relatable to consumers. It also makes the marketing more interesting and engaging such as the Marriott Hotels example.
Live video: It is now possible across the majority of major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube to directly broadcast live video. This is an excellent feature to showcase excursions, events and moments in real time to encourage your connections to view right there and then.
Creating valuable digital content: While there is a place for content that disappears quickly there is also a huge importance for valuable digital content such as high quality blog posts and videos. These will be seen weeks, months and even years after being originally published creating huge long term value.
Ephemeral content: The flip-side of this high quality content that lasts long term is disappearing content which was made famous by Snapchat, but is also building a huge traction on Instagram and Facebook. These posts create a fear of missing out, leading your audience to view and interact with these ‘Stories’ before they disappear. The popularity of this type of content is growing massively as it shows a more raw and authentic style which especially younger viewers love.
Augmented reality: While virtual reality remains a fairly long way off from being mainstream and may never be adopted by the masses, augmented reality is becoming very popular. Again Snapchat is playing a big part in this, as augmented reality is being overlaid on the real world within the app. This creates many exciting possibilities for marketing which many brands have already picked up on with great success.
Achieve Social Media Marketing Success
Ultimately it is down to your whole brand to embrace social media and digital marketing and the huge marketing potential that is offers, and then realise that you can not remain complacent. There have already been many social media brands like Myspace, Bebo and Friendster that have disappeared, but for the foreseeable future social media is only set to become increasingly popular. What is clear though is that it will continue to evolve which is what your marketing strategy and brand must also do.
If you enjoyed this article and found it useful then please share on social media and tag Canary PR to become part of the conversation online.
With Social Media becoming increasingly important for the success of your brand, it is important to also understand how to successfully utilise these amazing tools. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other popular social media channels are all incredible ways for communicating and marketing, when used effectively.
While it is not simply enough to have a presence on social media, it also involves a lot more than building an audience and receiving likes; it’s about building engagement, communication and a relevant relationship! As you grow a loyal fan-base and community across these different networks, your followers can become your biggest advocates, offering you free advertisement in the process, but you need to understand why they would do this in order to make this happen.
Focus Less on Vanity Metrics
Firstly, it is essential that your brand and marketing team do not get completely caught up in vanity metrics. While it is undeniable that generally the bigger your following on social media networks, the better, this doesn’t always translate into success through more sales.
For example a brand may pay for a campaign on Facebook to increase the number of followers of their company Facebook page. When starting this kind of campaign on Facebook, you will undoubtedly see the number of page likes increase dramatically. Your audience will have increased from hundreds, to thousands and so on, but this doesn’t necessarily mean this audience cares about your brand or is listening.
Ultimately more followers doesn’t necessarily mean more sales. What brands need to understand is that while growing a following and audience is an important aspect of effective social media marketing, it is by no means the most important aspect. So how do we measure social media success?
Likes are a start but often also the end of the Engagement
Another rather misleading feature on social media is the ‘Like’ button. You will find this on almost all of the social media networks and of course it is nice to receive likes, but it often doesn’t translate into your followers clicking on your links or checking out your product. It is a form of engagement, because an individual has taken the time to click the like button, meaning it must have had some kind of emotional effect on them.
On Facebook this also goes a little further as the Like button has been altered to add the option of different emotions such as Love or Surprise. With these emotions it allows you to gauge what kind of emotional affect your posts are having on your audience. LinkedIn has recently added it’s own version of the emotion feature which is similar to that of Facebook but with different reactions such as Celebrate and Insightful, in keeping with the platform’s more professional style.
Even a simple Like on Twitter, Instagram or YouTube can also indicate to your team that on some level your audience is indeed enjoying the content you produce. It is still a limited indicator though, as the time it takes to click this button is less than a second and often this is where the engagement with that post, and therefore your product ends.
Real Engagement is Key
Creating a following on social media is a start for your brand and gaining Likes is definitely one form of positive engagement. An effective part of growing your following on social media though comes from producing great content that people want to engage with.
This can be through a combination of videos, photos, blog posts, live video, competitions or a host of options that will lead to people wanting to follow your brand on social media and sharing your posts with others, that will then lead to more followers.
Social Media is meant to be Social
What many brands still struggle with, is the social part of social media with many too preoccupied with trying to constantly promote, broadcast and sell their product in a boring, cynical way to their followers. People are sick and tired of traditional advertising which is clear to see by the growing numbers of people using ad blockers when they use the internet.
Another example is the huge, growing popularity of Netflix which has reached over 158 million streaming subscribers worldwide. Netflix doesn’t show adverts during its movies or programmes, unlike traditional television and has a massive following on social media through which it engages with its fans.
People don’t want to feel like they are being sold to by a faceless corporation which only wants their money, but instead want to have a conversation with real people. This is why it is essential that brands create engaging content that lead to a positive emotion and creates a conversation with their followers.
Rather than just clicking like which takes less than a second, real and meaningful engagement on your social media channels involves comments, shares and link clicks.
Why Comments, Shares and Link clicks Count
If one of your followers has taken the time to comment on one of your posts (ideally in a positive way), then it has had an emotional impact on them and you are on the way to creating a closer relationship. This is also very important in increasing the reach and popularity of your posts as the new algorithms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and other channels means that the more comments a post receives, the higher up it will appear in your follower’s timelines.
Social channels are favouring posts, images and videos that receive more engagement and promote these to other users, because a higher engagement suggests this will be relevant to more people. It is also very important to then engage with the comments that you receive on your brand’s social media channels in order to create conversation. This will help your brand stick in the mind of your followers more and will help reinforce that there are real people running these social media accounts.
As mentioned before, people like to converse with real people and not faceless corporations and if you thank your followers for positive comments you receive they will be more likely to do this in the future. If their comments are met with silence then they won’t bother in the future. This is also true for direct messages that your brand receives on their social media channels which should always be followed up (apart from spam), as this can potentially turn a follower into a customer.
A share is another excellent form of engagement, probably even more so than a like or comment, because it indicates that not only has the user enjoyed your content but also feels others will too. Of course this is great news for your marketing team as it suggests the content they are creating is working and is something people are enjoying.
In addition to this, unlike a simple like, when someone shares your content across other social media channels this creates a greater reach. More people will see the post and potentially follow your brand on social media and check out your product. If you create a really engaging piece of content this has the potential to go viral and become shared by hundreds, thousands or even millions of users across social media. This is massive free advertising for your brand from the original post.
The ultimate aim for brands using social media is to create a positive image, greater brand awareness and to create more sales. One of the key metrics of engagement on social media is link clicks i.e. when one of your followers clicks on your website directly from a social media post.
Companies using social media leading to clients directly buying products is an increasingly effective strategy. This has to be done in a subtle way with a relationship built up with your followers first and no pushy sales tactics. You have to give your followers a reason to want to click on a link to your web page to buy your product through engaging content.
For example for a hotel or resort an effective social media post of a beautiful photo or video can lead directly to clients clicking on your web page and making a booking. This is why real engagement is key!
Creating Real Engagement:
With real engagement being key, how should your marketing team create this? Your team needs a strategy and to understand what kind of content your audience will relate to. The content needs to create an emotion in viewers and create some kind of value in their lives. The more value, the more connection you will create with your followers. This will lead to not only Likes but also comments, shares, and link clicks.
Your brand should try to create a conversation through adding interesting questions to your posts, adding polls, and providing interesting content that people will want to comment on and discuss.
Other great options include actually asking your followers to comment and share within the social media post, or creating competitions that give an incentive for following and sharing. There are a whole host of other ways to create engaging posts that your brand should explore in order to become more effective on social media and gain more than just likes.
It would be great to hear your thoughts on this topic and hear how you have created real engagement for your brand using social media. Leave a comment below and share with your followers on social media if you found this post useful.
Writing for the web is a whole different ball game to more traditional methods of the past. Things have changed, as have people, and technology has moved on.
So, how do we best utilise this amazing tool we have at our disposal? What are the differences, and how do we adapt and thrive?
Let’s find out! Here are a few key elements that you need to keep in mind before putting fingers to keyboard…
1. ATTENTION is the Economy
Let’s start with people’s attention spans. It’s been said time and time again (because it’s true!) that our levels of focus are being diminished.
With so many distractions and so much noise to cut through, we just can’t concentrate for long periods of time. It’s vitally important you bear this in mind when producing any content online… or pretty much anywhere these days.
Writing for the web differs from the print media in that people are searching for some specific information rather than consuming general content in the hopes that some of the best stuff sticks.
This is in line with ‘in-demand’ services across the media spectrum; like Netflix, catch up TV, radio, gaming and all the other weird and wonderful education and entertainment services out there.
The consumer is in control, and will disappear if what they see is not up to snuff.
How do we keep people focused, get our points across and draw in the ‘scanners’?
2. Get Punchy! Be Clear, Concise & Direct
Any way to break up the text is a definite way to go:
- Short paragraphs
- Shorter sentences
- The use of bullet points (oh look what we have here ;))
- Numbered lists
- Graphs & images
- Plenty of page breaks and white space
There is a time and place (as well as a need) for longer posts but also short, concise and dynamic pieces. They all have their place.
Just because we have shortened attention spans, some of us will devote time to a long piece of content if it interests us, or rather, keeps us interested. So that would be the subject matter itself, as well as using some of the methods in this post.
3. Satisfy the Scanners
It’s common practice for people to skim over content first, then delve deeper if there’s a strong enough interest. That means you want your main points front, centre and obvious.
Nothing too technical or hard to find, and give the reader what they need from that wider angle and then tempt them in to the finer details.
For example, they might want to find specific info about a hotel, like:
- Restaurant menu
- Opening times
- List of excursions
- An address
This should be easy to find – don’t make people work too hard for it! If that’s all they want, then no problem… give them the option of walking away, but also aim to compel them to read the rest too.
4. Spark Curiosity & Burn Desire
Titles and subtitles are important too. Make them catchy and lead the reader on to the next paragraph.
Do your keyword research and use header tags (in particular H1 & H2 ). This helps with visibility in the search engines. Be sure to include links to other posts, pages, partners and interesting sites that are relevant using keywords in the text.
Be helpful. Answer questions potential customers are asking. You can use various keyword tools, such as:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
5. Become a Pro Promoter & Marketing Mad Man!
Make sure to shout about your work from the rooftops!
No-one will be able to see your masterpiece if it’s not advertised in some way. Use the various social media channels to get the word out there, in amongst your ongoing snazzy content which causes a stir of interest in your prospects, associates and casual onlookers.
It should all be an organised and consistent push on everything you put out there. And remember, you are competing against Social Media algorithms which rewards frequent and engaged with content.
6. Assess, Adapt, Repeat…
Analytics. Not a fun subject for most but the simple fact is – what gets measured, gets managed… and also improved upon! Cliché for sure, and with good reason. If you don’t get feedback and adapt accordingly, how will you know where you are and where you’re going?
The good news is that there’s no excuse… you have a great FREE service with Google Analytics. You can jump into more advanced stuff down the line but this more than covers the basics and will set you down the right road.
7. It’s All About Action!
What do you want your reader to do? There needs to be a reason, or at least some sort of direction you want them to take when they’re done. Yes, a clear call to action.
There’s no point in dancing around the issue, you have given them this masterful prose which they’ve thoroughly enjoyed, and now you need to take them by the hand and give them a gentle nudge… ‘find out more’, ‘go here’ etc.
As part of the above, one of the main places you should be directing people to is your own subscriber list. This is something you own, can help nurture deep relationships over time, and ultimately refer your products and services to too when done in the right way.
8. Know Thy Audience
It’s vital you know exactly who you’re talking to.
Many times this is called your buyer persona… either way, you need to at least have an idea of who you’re targeting. This helps with language, tone, structure and getting into their head-space.
- What words do they use?
- Any lingo or common sayings?
This not only helps them understand the copy better but also helps with SEO.
But be careful to avoid jargon as that can alienate as well as lose clarity. It’s a delicate balance but we’re out to be understood, inform and maybe entertain… not try and impress!
9. KISS’em – Keep it Simple!
Be sure to use simple language where possible or whenever in doubt. You want a child and a grandparent to be able to understand what you’re saying. Never assume anything, other than that the reader wants a smooth, easy and fun experience.
There are of course times for technical content (see know thy audience) and other times where you may wish to inject humour but the fallback should always be, the more basic the better.
Avoid passive tense. The legendary writer Stephen King in his book, On Writing, says that’s one of the main writing mistakes to avoid. Whether you’re writing a quick Insta post, or a novel on tales of the macabre, this applies across the board.
Instead use active tense as much as possible, and talk directly to your reader. ‘The article was written by Adam’ is passive, ‘Adam wrote the article’ is active.
10. Use the Rule of ONE
In each piece of content, try and stick to one main topic or theme. Discuss different aspects within that, but it needs to be only one general idea… then by all means create further content on other themes.
This also applies to the call to action we spoke about earlier. You can have links to your social platforms, for example, but there can only be one specific action you want your reader to take, whether that be to subscribe to your newsletter, go to your sales page, or follow you on Twitter.
Don’t try to be all things to all people. It never works and you end up being nothing to anyone. Find your people and go straight at them!
And start with the most important piece of info first and work outwards. This is often referred to as the ‘Inverted pyramid’ used by journalists and other writers.
11. Bonus #1: Looks matter
Yes, what you say is important and in theory it shouldn’t matter how it looks. That won’t quite wash as people do judge a book by its cover. The cover, after all, is to entice you to open it and if that doesn’t happen, what’s inside won’t even be seen. And even if it is, a lack of aesthetics will give the impression of less value.
So that means using some bold, italics, underline and highlights where it makes sense to emphasise. Then the other side of the equation is the graphics, and general design of the website, email etc.
If you want to spruce up your work, then apps like Grammarly and Hemingway can help a lot. They won’t write your content for you but will offer handy suggestions on how to improve the spelling, grammar and even on how it reads.
As ever, you can break the rules, but at least be aware of them before you play too much with them.
12. Bonus #2: The Spice of Life!
Variety does indeed keep things interesting. Mix it up, enjoy what you’re doing and try and transfer that energy and certainty over to the reader.
If they don’t quite know what’s coming then they will be all the more intrigued to find out! If they start reading and think they’ve seen it all before then they will zone out and log off…
A quick word on click-bait. Avoid being too ‘clickbaity’ when attracting attention. It’s another fine line to walk and you do need to arouse intrigue and draw people in, but when overdone simply to get a click through – along with not much substance on the other side – then it can ruin your credibility.
And when in doubt, remember the old marketing acronym – AIDA. Attention (or awareness), Interest, Desire & Action. That’s the exact process you want the reader to take, so keep them on that path and they’ll be delighted to join you on the journey.
All in all, this is an exciting time to be able to produce cool content and get your message out there. Applying some of these tips along with being aware of where the market is going, means you can really enjoy the fruits of your labour!