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Anyone can sell. But not everyone can create an awesome brand that people actually respond to for years and years.
Nike sells — but what’s kept them at the top of their game all these years is their brand. Being a brand means making a proper, long-term connection with people to the point where they trust you. In 2018 and beyond, one of the most cost-effective and authentic ways to raise awareness of your brand is via social media. It’s where your customers are, after all, and it’s much cheaper than hiring a brand agency.
Social media can be dicey, however. People go there to be social. They don’t want to be sold to. If you market your brand incorrectly, you could turn them away.
In life, we get nowhere until we find out voice or feet. Until we answer the question, “who are we and what are our values?” we’ll keep making the wrong decisions.
It’s the same when it comes to your brand on social media. Until you find your voice, your message won’t hit the spot with your intended audience.
To help you define your voice, you need to look at your values. What does your brand stand for? Are you edgy and confrontational? Or are you family-oriented?
Take a look at your target audience, too. What’s their voice and would voice would they respond to?
Your voice will impact how you create all your messages on social media. It will give you consistency, and it will resonate with your audience better.
Remember that people use social media to be social. This is basic stuff, and if you overlook it you’ll find it hard to make that all-important connection with people.
For now, forget about selling. Forget about the CTAs and the links to your landing page. Instead, focus on making a connection with people by being like them.
To that end, make your messages friendly, conversational, and positive. Engage people with questions, show empathy and — where possible — entertain them.
Keep things light, avoid too many promotional messages and refrain at all times from corporate language.
Don’t shy away from humour or slang. Just be natural and focused on building relationships.
Who are you and what does your startup do?
Moreover, where can we go to find out more?
These are basic questions that you should answer in 2-3 sentences in your social media profiles.
When people click on your profiles, these 3 questions are the first ones they want answering. By answering them, you’re educating your audience about who you are and what you do, and you’re also giving them something to do by including link to your website.
Your profiles should be informative and educational, and you should also include a relevant profile picture.
There are several social media platforms you can use, from Facebook to LinkedIn. Not every single startup needs to be on each platform, and it’s also important that you know exactly what type of content audiences on specific platforms react to.
For example, the content you post on Facebook will be different to the content you post on Twitter. Facebook is a great place to post videos and content that solves your audiences problems, while Twitter is great for posting statistics and data, as well as infographics. It’s also a great place to engage with customers one-on-one, answering their queries.
The better you are at optimizing content for each social media platform, the easier it will be to skyrocket your startup brand’s awareness.
People respond to valuable content. Research has shown that long-form content is shared more times than short-form content. Long-form content is defined as content that contains more than 1,200 words, and which offers in-depth answers to a specific problem.
The reason it’s shared so much? Simply because it offers value.
Forget going in for the sale for the moment and focus on providing as much value as you can to your social media audiences. What problems can you solve for them today? How are you going to solve them?
Don’t expect anything in return from this — just give and give. The more you give, the more receptive people will be to your brand. Over time, they will learn to trust you, and they’ll see you as the go-to expert in your niche.
1/3 Instagram users watch videos on Instagram Stories each day, while the social media platform also recently launched IGTV. This allows you to post content to your own channel.
Meanwhile, we consume over 100,000,000 hours of videos on Facebook each day.
One of the best ways to use videos to raise awareness of your brand is to live stream. This might be an interview with an expert, or it could be a Q&A session that you hold on the fly. Live stream works because it’s interactive (people can leave comments that you react to), it’s engaging, and it shows that your brand is authentic. You are live and in the flesh — you’re the real deal.
These are 6 ways to skyrocket your startup’s brand awareness using social media.
Once you’ve found your voice and understood what your audience wants to see, it’s then a case of creating as much value as possible while engaging and connecting with your audience.
Forget the sale for now and focus on building relationships.
If you do this, your brand will grow so much that prospects are more likely to turn into loyal, long-term customers.
With 77% of marketers that use experiential marketing as a vital part of a brand’s advertising strategy and 98% of users feeling more inclined to purchase after attending an activation,according to EventTrack, while 80% of marketers believe live events are critical for their company’s success and 95% of marketers agreeing that live events provide attendees with a valuable opportunity to form in-person connections in an increasingly digital world,according to Bizzabo, experiential marketing is an area one must be knowing all about and use it as much as possible in 2018.
Multi-sensory experiences allow information to be encoded in multiple areas of the brain, leading to greater memory retention and retrieval.
Here are 2018’s trends in experiential marketing.
According to AdWeek, unlike advertising, experiential can’t be broken down into formatted executions—print, outdoor, radio etc. Experiential is a little more complex, is the art of “expressing a brand’s purpose and proposition through a form of real world consumer interaction.”
“Experiential is an adjective, not a noun, right? It describes a way of marketing that can be limitless in form, idea and environment. Because of this, I’d caution against the labeling of campaigns, which applies to the use of “events,” too. Events are a type of experience, but this shouldn’t be the generic descriptor for a multitude of different live creative activations,” added Sarah Priestman for AdWeek.
Brands are turning to experiential marketing to entice consumers to shop in-store rather than online. These in-store events create unique in-person shopping experiences that keep them engaged at every point while shopping. Many stores, especially beauty brands, are incorporating augmented reality for the in-store experience. The key to experiential retail integration is allowing consumers to forge real-world connections with a brand that isn’t a marketing gimmick.
It is said that it’s harder to keep being successful or on top that to achieve success in the first place. That is a sentence I strongly believe in, as success may come in many shapes and forms, sometimes even by luck and unexpected, while actually holding on to that number one spot represents a hard work done daily.
The same it happens with motivation. According to an article posted on medium.com, in the case of the New Year’s resolutions, for example — while 93% of people set them, only 8% of them actually find the inner-drive to follow through. Motivation is a better predictor of our career success than intelligence, ability or salary . Research shows that there are some proven ways you can become self-motivated, even when you expect less.
According to the American Psychological Association, people who set goals that are both specific and challenging, are 90% more likely to achieve what they’ve set their mind to. When we set goals that are broad and general our motivation is lessened since we don’t have realistic and measurable milestones to check off along the way.
At the same time,still, “being realistic with what you can achieve in a given amount of time is crucial to your success and for the morale and motivation levels of your team. While it is important to aim high, it is equally as important to encourage yourself and your team by hitting goals along the way. Each time we hit one of these goals a burst of dopamine is released — this allows us to train our brain to crave achievement and push towards the next item on our list,” wrote Elle Kaplan, CEO/Founder of @LexionCapital & CIO of LexION Alpha. Self Made Entrepreneur, Financial Expert & Dreamer, for medium.com.
Connecting to your values and really knowing the WHY that drives you and makes YOU who you are is an extremely important step in the process. And, sometimes, if necessary, even change your HOW. “You can instantly find your tasks more enjoyable by shifting from getting them done, to doing them right. I think of it as mastering your craft. Make it artful. Sometimes slower is better. Other times, the key is to make it a game and actually speed it up. You can set time limits and race against the clock. Changing your how can get you out of ruts and find new ways to escape the mundane,” wrote time.com.
Embrace your desire and create the space to make it happen and flourish. You won’t make any changes if you don’t create a small space for the change. As the specialists from zenhabits.net show us, don’t wait for the change to happen — make it happen. Block off some time on your calendar each day, even if it’s just 10 or 15 minutes. If you don’t have the time, think about how long you spend each day on Facebook, TV, games, or doing smaller tasks that aren’t as important. Push those back for just a bit, and do what’s most important to you first.
Once you are in the right place, physically and mentally, make sure you have around you the right people to guide you and support you in your journey. No one needs people that don’t believe in us and our path. The good energy created by you and the right people will help you in your quest. You have a long road ahead of you, but the right mindset is essential.
Last, but not least, as time.com points out “monitor the progress you’re making and celebrate it. Harvard’s Teresa Amabile‘s research found that nothing is more motivating than progress.”
“To attract potential leads, promote your live video with a catchy title or appealing topic. Then as you cover the topic in the video, structure the presentation so it leads viewers into your marketing and sales funnel and takes advantage of the interaction that live video offers,” wrote Social Examiner.
When you structure a live video, you want viewers to stay until the end when you pitch your product or service. Therefore, make sure you give them an introduction and explain what you plan to discuss, offering them a hook to what they might miss if they don’t watch until the end. That will keep them connected and wanting to hear and see more.
Landing pages are meant for conversion. But that can only happen if the videos on them are able to attract their target, by being catchy and engaging. Video can help you do this by luring people in through humor or captivating storytelling. Videos are 12 times more likely to be watched than text is to be read. By creating an interesting video you will be able to keep the people longer on your landing page and convince them to continue on to the rest of your landing page content.
The best practice for capturing leads when using promotional videos on landing pages is to use a call-to-action (CTA) or auto-redirect. A CTA at the end of your video invites viewers to take the next step and an auto-redirect sends viewers to the rest of your landing page immediately upon completion, thus giving them the opportunity to further engage with your brand.
YouTube Annotations and other forms of pop-out CTAs are great additions to make sure your viewers are engaging with your content. You want your viewers to take action, and including these elements during a video is a great way to engage them in the moment—for example, if you are discussing a particular service or product and that annotation text link pops up right at that moment. Moreover, this is a great way to link people to other content you want them to view.
Offer demos of your products
One-off demo videos represents a great way to answer a question or highlight a specific product feature while engaging with leads in a personalized, helpful way. And more than anything, they are a really effective way of interacting.
Product videos are some of the most commonly produced and most frequently viewed videos. Rather than just capturing the standard information of name, company, email address, and phone number, use these types of videos, instead, as opportunities to learn more about your prospects. as the ultimate goal is to capture information that will help you to better qualify your leads. In order to succeed at that chapter you must make sure your videos contain interactive elements such as survey questions or polls, that will encourage your target to engage more.
Ask your audience to respond through a live chat bar, as this will give you the opportunity to see if they’re interested in the product or service you have to offer. This tactic will help you follow up with the right people after the live video ends and make more sales.
Offer educational, high-value content
People are drown to great content,from which they can learn more. Don’t make your live video just a sales pitch, make sure that at the end of the day the people watching are left with great pieces of information. That will make them come back to you over and over again.
Videos sale better than images, just as images sale better than plain texts. Therefore, don’t forget to offer people discounts if you are promoting a product or a service. This is a great way to attract new consumers, but also to keep the ones you already have. By giving the discounts only to the people watching the live video, it also offers them the feeling of exclusivity we all crave for.
“Trust is the willingness to be vulnerable to the action of others. Trust is a choice. Trust means that we have confidence in the intentions and motives of the other party. We trust it to advance and to protect our interests, our wellbeing. We understand trust as being the quality of love, commitment, friendship and partnership,” wrote Aldo Civico for Psychology Today.
According to weforum.com, PwC has conducted research, run focus groups and talked to both leading experts as well as the everyday person on the topic of trust, the question being: what makes up trust in a business – and can it be quantified? What they found out was that, indeed, trust could be measured. When considering if a company should be called trustworthy, people are looking for:
· Competence – Does the organization do what it says it will?
People expect companies to be reliable and transparent. A fast-food company should be upfront about the possibility their delivery will be delayed, for example. In cases of major delay, companies should be forthright about not even accepting the customer’s order. Fast food is supposed to be “fast”, after all.
· Experience – Does the organization keep its promises?
Companies are expected to be responsive, to listen to public feedback, to make the necessary improvements and treat customers as individuals. (My experience with Marks & Spencer’s high-quality and consistent customer service comes to mind again.)
· Values – Do you believe in the organization?
People want brands to understand their needs, to hold the right sort of principles and to care about their impact on society. Clothing retailers that source their cotton from fair trade suppliers are increasingly in demand because they are not seen to be exploiting cheap labour and because their products will benefit small-scale agricultural workers.
At the same time, The Ken Blanchard Companies researchers surveyed 1,800 workers looking at the connections between trust, well-being and coaching behaviors.The research found that trust and well-being were both positively impacted by perceptions of managers engaging in three key behaviors.
Moreover, a paper which accompanies the research shared four coaching skills to help managers move away from some typical tendencies—telling people what to do, making assumptions, and solving problems—and instead adopt a coaching mindset. Those skills are: listen to learn, inquire for insight, tell your truth and express confidence.
On its turn, inc.com identifies four critical elements of trust that leaders need to be aware of and that apply to both leaders and team members alike: able, believable, connected and dependable. More on their perspective one can read here.
Live is the best way to interact with viewers in real time. Field their burning questions, hear what’s on their mind and check out their Live Reactions, as going live is one of the best ways to interact and engage with your target.
Live lets you connect with the people who care most. Your followers can receive notifications when you go live so they know to tune in to your broadcasts at just the right time. Here are some of pieces of advice of how and why to do it:
Interact with group members
“You’ve lost contact with group members, or it’s been awhile since you’ve reached out to a group you’ve abandoned. It’s never too late to reconnect, and Live lets you do this in a new, fun way. Expand Live video to your group. And once you’ve started using video, you’ll reconnect with all those contacts that have since gone cold. Make it a point to broadcast weekly updates as a way to really reconnect,” wrote Business.com.
How can you do that? You can start by answering their questions. Consumers and clients don’t want to be ignored. Comments and concerns can be addressed through live video and in text on your business page. And if you can elaborate on a question even further on video, this is a great way to demonstrate your brand’s customer service. From that you can expand by having a live Q&A session, that will for sure bring even more engagement on your page.
Give them an insight on your company / brand
People in general, but especially true fans of your brand, are always interested in getting to know more about your products, “how is done”, where do you get your inspiration from, glances on what is to come next. You can use the Facebook Live Video as a great opportunity to take them into your journey and make them feel party of the story. You can even ask them what they want to see and learn more about and show / do that in your next live session.
Promote your new products / launches
From teasers to business events, from B2B gatherings or private parties to public launches – all of those moments can become a reason to show your broader audience who you are and what your company and brand stands for.
Moreover, according to Social Examiner, Facebook Live is a great way to announce an upcoming event. “Once you’ve planned the event, create a post to let fans know you have a special announcement to make. Then, share specific details about your event on your Live video. When announcing an event on Live video, be sure to have an easy-to-remember URL that you can share with your viewers. Post this link in the video comments as well, in case viewers don’t have a chance to write it down. Use a tool like Bitly to create a URL that you can track”.
Interact live with your audience
To keep your viewers engaged, encourage them to interact with your live video. You can also interact with them both by speaking directly to them in your video and, if you want, by having someone else respond to comments from a desktop computer elsewhere.
Moreover, here are some examples of good practices.
A study from Pew Research found that only 40 percent of Millennials even identify with the word “millennial,” compared to nearly 80 percent of those aged 51 to 69 who consider themselves part of the Baby Boomer generation.”I also find this generation to be more focused on describing themselves as individuals (hence the rise in “personal branding” as a career skill) than as members of a massive group. This begs the question: what should we call this cohort if not the M-word? Clearly I do use the term millennial because it’s helpful to have some sort of terminology, but I use it in a respectful fashion, realizing that most Millennials don’t care for any group name at all,” wrote Lindsey Pollak on her blog where she describes herself as being “Millennial workplace expert”.
Millennials are different than prior generations,but so does every generation. They are more comfortable with specific technologies, and they have their own perspective on the world that’s informed by both their individual and collective experiences. We believe that in 2018, every company representative has to realize that when he /she talks about Millennials, they are talking about a group of people that includes millions of homeowners, parents, and even people who are realizing that retirement isn’t just an abstract concept. “If your association is failing to reach Millennials, it’s because you haven’t figured out how to deliver or articulate your value to a group of people living very adult lives with very adult worries and concerns,” wrote thesentergroup.com.
At the end of the day, it’s important for managers, marketers and recruiters to understand that using the word as a descriptor (as in “millennial-focused office”) will rarely come off positively. Young professionals prefer terms like “emerging professionals” or “next generation” when referring to their age group in the workplace. And how do they like to be addressed by brands and companies? According to Courtney Wachob,writer for “Leading Results”, Millennials want the brands and companies’ representatives to speak the social media language, to appeal to their values, be authentic, not boring and listen to them. Sounds pretty clear and easy, no?
“Millennials do not want to be sold – and they can spot an advertisement/paid endorsement from a mile away. They recognize “marketing speak” and don’t want anything to do with it, so your content, messages, videos, etc. have to be real. If it looks like an ad, they’ll swipe left faster than on a Tinder profile without a picture. Figure out your authentic voice and use it to connect with – versus market to – them. Millennials are early adopters, seeking fresh ideas, innovative approaches, original insights and, of course, new technology. For Millennials, newer is better; they thrive on testing new devices and jump at the release of a new smartphone, social media platform, video game system, etc, ” explained Wachob in her article.
“97% of CEOs agree that innovation has grown increasingly important over the last 10 years, and 73% of those CEOs note that innovation plays an important role in determining the value of a company. The problem, however, is that only 35% of CEOs are actually confident in their organization’s ability to innovate successfully,” writes philmckinney.com.
At the same time, an article in Sloan MIT Management Review, quoted by Yale Insights, identifies a series of “building blocks” for an innovative culture, including hard-to-measure characteristics such as values, behavior, and climate. “An innovative climate,” the authors write, “cultivates engagement and enthusiasm, challenges people to take risks within a safe environment, fosters learning, and encourages independent thinking.”
To create an innovation culture in your company, there are some thoughts you should have in mind as a leader and/ or a CEO:
The fastest growing social media nowadays, Instagram is proving to be more and more important and relevant for businesses.Therefore, its a platform that we believe you start learning more about and invest in it, as it will prove in time its efficiency.
At the moment, there are five ways in which one can create a paid Instagram campaign: within the Instagram app, Facebook Ads Manager, Facebook Power Editor, Facebook’s Marketing API and Instagram Partners. According to some specialists, the easiest ways to set up an Instagram promotion is to use the Facebook Ads Manager, The Power Editor or Instagram’s app. While the Facebook Power Editor and Facebook’s Marketing API are for advertisers who want to create a large quantity of Instagram ads at once, Instagram Partners are experts who can help with buying and managing ads at scale while also creating content for you.
A more detailed explanation is also found on socialexaminer.com.
Moreover, one must take in consideration that ads can have different formats and one should choose the one or ones that better suit the brand and the campaign: photo ads,video ads, carousel ads, ads in stories.
We are born afraid of failing. Always looking, checking and double checking to make sure we don’t fail. But the reality is that no matter what you do, at one time, at least,you will fail. The important thing is to know how to react when it happens, to be able to overcome the challenges and use them to our advantage.
“There’s a tremendous bias against taking risks. Everyone is trying to optimize their ass-covering,” said Elon Musk. And he is right, isn’t he? So get up, dust off and start thinking pro-actively. Each time you fall it’s time to get up and try again.
According to Grant Cardone for cnbc.com, the problem is that most people don’t know what to do when they fail. “The truly successful rely on their ability to act, despite facing obstacles and difficulties. When things aren’t going well, it’s easy to “take it easy” and to not be “hard on yourself,” like conventional wisdom tells you to do. To recover from failure, you have to act now and then keep going with the knowledge that enough actions taken will turn into the future you want,” wrote Cardone.
Here are some ideas of how you can cope with failure and move past it:
Understand that failure is just part of the process, accept it and process it
Like everything that happens, both at a personal and professional level, one must understand what happened, accept the situation, process it and then move on. Putting down the failure in writing is a good start, as well as steps you could have taken differently, positive things you learned from it, and what you’ll do if faced with it again. “Ask yourself what you have to do to become the name people think of for your area of expertise. This exercise will help you create the list of targets that will make your stretch goals a reality. Just because something didn’t work in the past doesn’t mean you should minimize your goals. It means that your actions were either wrong or not at massive, 10X levels,” added Grant Cardone.
Talk with somebody and let the frustration fly
Being to involved in the process and therefore too emotional about it can make you not see the details and the big picture. An expert eye as well as a couple of friends that work in different fields than you can help you get a different, fresh and good perspective on things. They might point out to you some aspects that, all of a sudden, seem very obvious and “in your face”.
Moreover, “once you have have taken some time to walk it off and clear your head, you can then begin accepting what happened. The initial emotional rush will eventually dissipate and you can then slowly return your focus back to the issue at hand,” pointed out Graham Young for fastcompany.com.
“Working in business development, I am only as good as my latest plan to make money. Not every plan worked. This forced me to come up with more ideas at a faster pace. If one idea didn’t work, I was on to the next one. I had to shelve many ideas that I loved, but learning to “kill my darlings” only allowed me to birth new plans in a less precious way. Often, using what we’d learned from one thing failing makes the next iteration better and more successful,” wrote Victoria Cairl for entrepreneur.com.
An honest feedback and perspective are the best
You shouldn’t be afraid of receiving the feedback you don’t want. Brutal honesty from your friends and experts, but also your own clear view, will go a long way. Don’t try and fix something that is unfixable or is not producing the right results. Letting it go and focusing on another idea or project, might just be the key. It would be much better for you to spend your time and dedication to an idea that shows real perspective and you know it can go further, rather than wasting energy on something that has no real value.
Don’t give up and be positive
Focusing on the negative will get you nowhere, while a positive thinking might do the trick. Moreover, don’t take a failure as a final try to your own business endeavor. Many of the successful people today have tries several businesses and ideas before hitting it big. “Generally, the more positive your attitude and outlook, the more that will permeate the rest of your actions and thoughts, creating a better experience going forward,” concluded inc.com.
According to the specialists, retargeting is one of the most effective means of closing potential customers, bringing one of the highest returns on ad spend for advertisers. At the same time, when it comes to the basics of Facebook retargeting, they are quite simple, giving you the chance to re-engage with people who came to your website, but did not make a purchase.
source: Single Grain
With Facebook’s robust toolkit, every e-commerce seller has the ability to make specific, personalized retargeting ads.”Most consumers expect to be tracked online and understand that information is being used to market to them. In fact, a growing majority of customers report that they appreciate when brands retarget them with offers specific to their interest,” explained even further Single Grain.
“You can run ads to people who have visited your website by installing a simple piece of code into the backend of your website. This code is called a Pixel, and whenever it fires it alerts Facebook to the actions your site visitor is taking. Based on the settings you’ve included in your campaigns, Facebook then determines whether that visitor should be shown an ad when they leave your site. Facebook, Twitter, and Google all have pixels that can be used in different ways to retarget your customers,” wrote uhurunetwork.com.
“Storytelling is how humans communicate with each other, the way that we make sense of complex information, and how we relay our experiences to others. Nonprofit storytelling can motivate people to pay attention and take action. Emotional, appealing stories can build an online audience for your nonprofit,” wrote TheBalance.
Videos allow you to combine your dynamic story with emotion to create a connection with your audience that words and photos cannot build. Emotion is your main asset to use. Moreover, organizations can convey impact in a way that engages and inspires donors by persistently telling stories.Through storytelling, nonprofit organizations can harness the power of emotion to make a connection with donors that inspires action.
According to thebalance.com, a storytelling campaign has three phases: planning, implementation, and evaluation. In the planning stage, you need to articulate the goal of the storytelling campaign clearly. “Design each campaign for a defined purpose and to accomplish a specific goal. You may need to carry out multiple storytelling campaigns per month to achieve your goal, or perhaps just one per quarter, depending on your resources. Once you define the action that you want people to take, you can determine who is most likely to take that action, and the emotional storytelling hooks to get them to do so.”
The next steps are selecting your audience and making sure that the story is true and it fits the audience’s expectations and realities. There are five main types of stories that nonprofits can collect and develop — value stories, social proof stories, founder stories, resilience/continuous improvement stories, and impact stories. After deciding that you must collect the necessary pieces of information to create the right campaign, choose the right channels to whom to send it and promote it,create it, share it and evaluate it. More details you can find here.
“Because e-mail is a great way to engage supporters who might not regularly visit your website, you can use it to hook supporters into your story and prompt further action, without it feeling like you’re asking for donations at every point of communication. Use e-mail as an opportunity to invite readers to be the hero of your organization’s mission. Layer in visuals: With the average person’s attention span maxing out at 8 seconds, you can’t afford to deliver a novel to people’s inboxes. Instead, think of your story as a short picture book. This email is such a great example because it injects an image after every couple sentences. Break up blocks of text with visuals to keep readers engaged and keep your copy clear, simple and concise,” wrote classy.org.
More ideas and pieces of advice you can find also here.
THE PERFECT GIFT FOR A MINDSET LIFT
Get at least 2 tickets to BRAND MINDS 2023 to enter the challengeLearn More