One of the biggest changes in marketing in recent years has been the explosion of social media. There are many different social media platforms to engage current and potential customers. While social media can be an incredibly useful tool for many companies, usage needs to be carefully regulated and monitored to prevent agitating your customer base.

Manage new social media platforms
From Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and Snapchat, there is no shortage of platforms available to companies looking to utilize social media. To best use social media, it is important to understand the function of the platform. Instagram, for example, is a mobile platform meant for sharing pictures. It can even be a little difficult to manage from a desktop computer.

Beyond simply understanding a platform, marketing practitioners will also have to create content that appeals to its intended customer base. Creating viral content is a thrilling and impressive enough accomplishment on its own. (read more…)

With quality, relevant content becoming increasingly important in terms of search engine optimization, storytelling is one way to ensure that online content is compelling. This is especially true for blogs and other forms of social media content, where the competition is fierce in efforts to attract — and hold — the reader’s attention.

How storytelling connects
Storytelling is crucial, whatever the marketer’s end goal (brand building, soft sell, hard sell) and whatever the reader’s ultimate goal (entertainment, research, purchase). Effective brand marketers know the impact that storytelling has on their audiences, both prospects and customers. A good story line can turn a prospect into a customer, and a customer into a loyal follower.

Several of the recent Super Bowl ads are perfect examples of great storytelling. What’s even more impressive is that these mini-stories have a beginning, middle and end — all in just 30 seconds. Take the Doritos Dogs commercial, for example. (read more…)

We’ve entered an era where business relevance is in major part measured by social media presence. Social media has officially become a significant part of business strategy, yet the social industry is a continually changing scene that can be hard to fully capitalize on. This presents a challenge to business owners who know they need to have a presence, but just don’t have the time to educate themselves or to execute what their companies need.

The issue is further complicated by the fact that a slew of industrious folks have seen the demand and decided to get in on the game, crowning themselves social media “experts” with a quick change of their LinkedIn profile—experienced or not.

The lack of industry barriers provides a challenge for customers because it’s easy to be sweet-talked by someone who has got the jargon down, only to pour money into poorly managed accounts, ineffective campaigns—or worst of all, “bought” followers. (read more…)

SmartBrief video ad

SmartBrief is now offering video ad units in its business-to-business newsletters, an innovation that reflects the advertising industry’s shift toward digital video. The ads are designed to display across e-mail clients and devices and adjust from in-line video to animation or a static image depending on the program used to read the e-mail.

Pre-launch tests show that the video ads outperformed standard display units by an average of 70% and, in some cases, almost 300%. Those findings are in line with overall industry trends, which show that marketers are increasingly embracing video advertising as an effective content marketing and lead generation tool. Two-thirds of brand marketers plan to shift their 2016 ad budgets away from TV to digital video, according to an Interactive Advertising Bureau survey.

“SmartBrief video ads are one more way for marketers to tell their story — and with SmartBrief, marketers know they’re reaching the right audience,” CEO Rick Stamberger says. (read more…)

When considering social media engagement, it helps to think of the audiences you hope to reach in categories. On a recent episode of the podcast “Social Business Engine,” Avery Dennison Director of Global Digital Communications James Moat listed seven types of social media users most important for brands to target:

1. Creators – Publishers of blog posts, those who upload videos, and creators of memes and other content.

2. Conversationalists – People who update their status or post a tweet at least once a week.

3. Critics – Those who mainly respond to the content other people post rather than post content themselves.

4. Collectors – Using RSS feeds, social bookmarking, and tagging, collectors organize the material they want to receive.

5. Joiners – The Joiner will maintain social media profiles on numerous accounts, though they may not be active in any of them.

6. Spectators – The most common of all social media users, Spectators read blogs, watch videos, listen to podcasts, and scan review sites, but rarely post. (read more…)