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How Using Data Can Inspire Great Marketing Campaigns

One of the biggest benefits of online marketing is that it allows you to collect valuable data about your customers as well as your target audience in general. It also gives you a chance to pinpoint what is and isn’t working as far as your marketing efforts are concerned. However, collecting all of this data is useless if you don’t leverage it to your benefit. In fact, the data you have can help to inspire creative ideas to help craft great marketing campaigns.

How Data Can Spark Creativity

Data doesn’t just help you figure out what’s working and what isn’t, it can help drive creative decisions that allow you to create great marketing campaigns. A good example of this is Netflix. Everyone knows that Netflix has an absolute treasure trove of behavioral data from their subscribers. They leverage this data to inform the content that they produce.

For example, many critics were bewildered when they gave Adam Sandler a huge four-movie deal. Saying that his movies are panned across the board is putting it mildly, after all. However, according to their data, his older films were streamed an absurd amount. They knew that even if critics didn’t like his films, their subscribers certainly did — and that’s why they signed him to produce Netflix exclusive films.

Netflix will often look at subscriber viewing habits and look at where they overlap to find a niche that they can fill with their original content. For example, the popularity of older series on Netflix have often resulted in revivals, such as Fuller House and Arrested Development.

Another good example is Equifax. Using the data that they had, they realized that the average person’s credit score depended heavily on how old they were. They used this data to create a great marketing campaign that provided tailored benefits information to people at different stages of their lives.

Digital Storytelling Techniques That Will Take You To The Next Level

How To Use Your Data To Inform Your Creative Marketing Campaigns

How you use your data to influence your creativity and create great marketing campaigns depends heavily on the specifics of your business. However, the following are a few basic ways data can help you connect to your audience on a more emotional level when creating new marketing campaigns:

  • Learn what your audience connects with – Look at how your audience engaged with previous campaigns. By looking at what worked and what didn’t work, you can figure out exactly how your audience was able to engage with you on an emotional level. For example, maybe certain types of content posted on social media were commented on and shared much more than other types of content. This will give you a better idea of what your audience is looking for, which can give you better direction on how to reach your audience on a more personal level during future campaigns.
  • Learn what your audience’s needs are – You can figure out what your audience wants by analyzing certain sets of data. For example, you can compare two PPC ads promoting the same product in two different ways. You can then use the conversion rates of both ads. The ad that converts more leads is probably presenting a solution that fulfills a need that your audience has more effectively than the other. This information can be used to reach your audience more successfully with future ads.
  • Continually improve your campaign – Once you launch a new campaign, don’t just stay the course if it’s obvious something isn’t working. You should continually track the results of your campaign based on what your specific goals are. The data you gather can help you figure out whether your creative decisions are having an impact on your audience or not. If they aren’t, you can make adjustments even as your campaign is ongoing.

When building new marketing campaigns, make sure that you make use of the data that you have. Your data can be the difference between creating great marketing campaigns and failed marketing campaigns.

social media marketing

video storytelling

Video Marketing Ideas: Using Storytelling In Social Media

Storytelling is one of the most important aspects when it comes of successfully conveying your message to your audience and giving them an idea of who your brand is and what you stand for. While storytelling is something that can be done via all types of content across all platforms, it’s particularly effective in video content on social media. However, coming up with different video marketing ideas that help strengthen your brand’s storytelling can be challenging. The following are a few video marketing ideas that you may want to implement on your social media channels to aid your storytelling efforts:

1. Film Your Customers’ Stories

Telling the stories of your customers is an easy way to get viewers to relate on a more personal level to your brand. When you film the story of your customer, they become the main character, which allows you to demonstrate through their story how you were able to provide a solution to their problems or needs.

2. Tell Personal Stories

Tell your brand’s story by showcasing how your company came to be. For example, you can focus on your owner as the main character and show how they started the business. This is a great way to put a face behind your brand and to make your company more relatable to your audience.

3. Create Fictional Stories

In addition to using the stories of your customers, make up some of your stories. Fictional stories often give you the opportunity to add humor and excitement that real stories don’t always have. For example, you could make the main character a superhero but keep the problem or need the same. If you’re selling a carpet stain removal product, it might be humorous to show a superhero having trouble removing a carpet stain even though you just showed them having no issue at all taking down a bad guy. Just make sure the message is clear and that you end with a strong call-to-action.

4. Film Documentary-Style Videos

Documentary videos give audiences a look into the process behind your company, whether it’s showing the process of working with a client or showing what a typical day at the office is like. It’s a good way to showcase how hard your company is working to help your customers.

5. Provide Behind-The-Scenes Videos

Behind-the-scenes videos give audiences a glimpse into what it’s like to work for your company and into what you and your company are trying to achieve. These types of videos make your brand feel more human as opposed to just being a faceless corporate entity.

The Power of First-Person Experience Videos

6. Perform Product Walkthroughs

Showing how a product works will be a lot more engaging if you film it in the form of a story. You can do this by establishing a character, showing what their problem is, demonstrating how to use your product or service, and, finally, revealing the result.

Storytelling is an essential part of marketing your brand effectively, and there are few better ways to do it than through video marketing. Use some of these video marketing ideas to enhance your storytelling abilities on social media.

Learn The StoryBranding Process

visual storytelling

5 Storytelling Techniques You Should Avoid

Storytelling is an integral part of marketing your brand effectively. It allows you to convey your message and your values to your audience, all while making it easy for them to relate and connect to you on a more personal level by capturing their interest and inciting specific emotions. However, storytelling isn’t as easy as you might think it is. There are several mistakes that brands commonly make in their attempt to tell a story that can cause your audience to lose interest. The following are five storytelling techniques you should avoid:

1. Making Your Brand The Central Character

One of the biggest mistakes that brands make is to think that the story they’re telling is about them. How is your audience going to relate to such a story? You need to make the story about them instead. Position the customer as the main character. They are the hero on the hero’s journey. As the brand, you should be the mentor that helps the hero overcome their problem.

2. Not Knowing How To Tell a Good Story

There are two essential components of a good story. The first is to have a point. If the story you’re telling doesn’t go anywhere, it’s not going to have much of an impact on the audience. You need to have a primary message that you’re trying to get across or else the audience won’t know what the point of your story is.

The second is pacing. Good pacing is extremely important. If your story is too long, your audience grows disinterested. Keep your storytelling succinct and avoid going on tangents — stay on point.

3. Providing Too Much Information

Many companies have a habit of trying to provide their audience with as much information as possible. Although you want your audience to be as informed as possible, trying to over explain is going to cause your story to become overwhelming. Keep it simple.

Want Storytelling Tips? Click Here.

4. Only Showcasing Your Successes

Only showcasing how effective your brand is and how well your products or services work isn’t going to come off as very authentic. Don’t be afraid to highlight some of your failures. Tell your audience how you overcame your failures in order to obtain success. Showing this kind of vulnerability is much more authentic and relatable.

5. Not Knowing Who You’re Telling The Story To

To tell your story effectively, you need to know who your audience is. Otherwise, how can you ever present a character and a problem that your audience can relate to? Identify who your audience is before you begin crafting your story.

Storytelling not only allows you to inform your audience about how your business can help solve their problems, it can also help them to relate to your brand on a more emotional level, making engagement easier. However, there is an art to storytelling, which means some storytelling techniques work better than others. Make sure to avoid these five storytelling techniques and you’ll be on the right path.

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE MOBILE MARKETING TECHNIQUES

video storytelling

What is Digital Storytelling: How To Improve Your Efforts

When you’re marketing your brand, you’re telling consumers a story. In that story, they are the protagonists. Their problem or need is the inciting incident of that story and the solution you present is the climax to that story. Effective storytelling is important in not only helping consumers identify what their problems and needs are and presenting your products or services as a solution, but in helping them to relate to your business on a personal level.

Digital storytelling isn’t much different. What is digital storytelling? It’s the use of strategies across all online platforms to help convey your message to your audience, whether it’s through videos, blog posts, images or tweets, to name a few methods. The following are a few tips that will help make your digital storytelling efforts more effective:

Align Yourself With Your Audience

Your audience doesn’t want to have their views or opinions challenged or changed. That’s not what your goal should be. The most effective stories are those that agree with the values of your audience. This allows them to feel smart and secure, thereby making it easier for them to see themselves as the protagonist of the story you’re telling, which, in turn, makes it easier for them to relate to the story overall. This means that you need to know who your audience is in order to be an effective storyteller.

Use Real Stories

The one thing consumers relate to the most is other consumers. Use your previous customers to tell your story. For example, banks often produce video content focusing on small business owners who became successful as a result of their small business loans, which makes their brand more relatable and empathetic.

Want More Tips On Storytelling? Learn How to Market Towards Generation Z with Stories.

Tell Smaller Stories

You don’t want your digital storytelling to become too complicated or the message will get lost. Keep it simple and to the point. One way to do this is to focus on smaller stories. For example, instead of showing how one of your products has dozens of benefits or uses, showcase how one customer was able to solve one specific issue using your product.

Smaller stories also take less time to tell, which means your audience is more likely to read through your content or watch your videos all the way through — and it also makes your content more shareable.

Avoid Being Too Promotional

Telling your audience to buy your product because it’s cheap and it works well isn’t storytelling. There’s no way that a consumer can connect with that message on a personal level — and considering that the average consumer is bombarded with overly promotional advertisements on a daily basis, it’s the last thing they’re going to want to see. The trick to avoiding being overly promotional is to focus on your audience and what they want and not on you and what you want.

Storytelling is the most effective strategy for relaying your message to your audience. These tips will strengthen your digital storytelling efforts to help build stronger relationships with your audience.

social media marketing

website redesign process

Components Of Web Design That Will Modernize Your Website

In today’s age, keeping your website up to date is incredibly important if you want to remain competitive and maintain visibility. Having a modern, compelling website can open doors for your company and transform your user’s experience in a positive way. Here are the following components of web design that will modernize your website:

1. Minimal Design

In some cases, especially when it comes to your website, less is considered more. Exactly what it sounds like, minimal design provides users with a greater sense of clarity and focus when visiting your site. This type of modern design makes your website more user friendly and will make navigating your website much easier for visitors; it will also encourage users to focus more strongly on important details on your website like your content. The less distractions on your site, the better you’ll be at converting leads. Minimal design also helps your company appear more professional.

2. Mobile Friendly

Accessing the Internet from a mobile device has become second nature to a majority of folks—you may even be reading this article from your smartphone. Mobile devices are expected to reach 79% of global Internet use by the end of 2018, so making your website mobile friendly is absolutely critical if you want to be able to communicate your brand’s value to a wider audience. By having a mobile friendly website, you’ll be able to access a greater number of potential customers, resulting in an increase in profits.

3. Clean Design Typography

Choosing the right typography for your website is not something you should take lightly, as it helps communicate to consumers what kind of brand you are. If you want to appear as a modern, forward-thinking brand, you should stick to using web-standard fonts that can easily be interpreted by everyone. But according to HubSpot, if you’re struggling to set your brand apart from competitors, you might want to consider using a unique font to help visitors identify you from the crowd. Modernizing your website also means avoiding using an excessive amount of colored fonts, making sure your line-spacing is suitable to improve readability, and using an appropriate text size (usually 16px).

4. Full-Screen Background Videos

Visitors won’t always want to read large chunks of text and since our brains process videos much faster than text anyways, incorporating a background video on your website is a smart way to share your brand’s story without having to overwhelm your visitors with loads of text. Having a video on your website will not only intrigue visitors but will also encourage them to click through to the main video. Adding a background video is not difficult and can be achieved by hard coding on HTML and CSS, or by using plugins.

Find out how first person experience videos can make an impact on your video marketing strategy

5. Hero Images

Google Trends foresees hero images to increase in popularity as a modern website design idea. Hero images are large banners that appear above or below the fold, or in the background with content overlaid on top of it. Hero images are great to help build a connection with visitors, and instead of drawing your visitor’s attention to social buttons or a CTA, using an image with text will encourage your visitors to want to scroll down to see more of your website. They also work to communicate your company’s story without adding a lot of text.

  25 Website Must Haves For Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales

content marketing

Content Marketing Trends to Track in 2018

Content marketing is a long-term strategy. As such, you need to make sure that you track your content’s performance and regularly adjust your strategy. This is especially true as new content marketing trends emerge every year that could be beneficial to your brand’s marketing efforts. The following are nine content marketing trends that you should seriously consider adopting:

  1. Live video content is becoming more popular– Streaming live content provides audiences with a feeling of exclusivity since they have to tune in during the live stream or miss out. This can be a very powerful draw. Additionally, live content gives you the opportunity to show your authenticity and to build stronger connections with your audience.
  2. Content is going beyond social – While social media remains one of the most effective ways to engage with consumers, you should find ways to interact and build relationships beyond social, such as via in-person events, email marketing, membership sites, and more.
  3. Original content is becoming more important – Traditional advertisements, branded emails and sponsored posts have their place, but they are no longer as effective as they once were. This is because consumers have caught on and are in search of content that is unique and relevant to them. Producing original content will give you a competitive advantage.
  4. Content is becoming more interactive– Engagement is extremely important when it comes to content, which is why more brands are creating content that is interactive through the use of augmented reality and virtual reality. For example, both can be leveraged to demonstrate services and products in stores or at trade booths.
  5. Vertical content– When creating video content, the natural impulse is to shoot horizontally. However, because more consumers are using their smartphones to browse the Internet (more than 50 percent of Internet users are browsing on their smartphones), creating vertical content allows them to view your videos more conveniently.
  6. Formats for consumption are changing– Simply posting content to your blog on a weekly basis will no longer cut it. You need a comprehensive content marketing strategy that implements everything from copywriting to graphic design to video production across all platforms.
  7. Content is expanding beyond the screen– The Internet has already expanded beyond the screen in the form of the IoT (Internet of Things). Content creation for IoT platforms, such as Alexa, Siri and the like, isn’t far behind.
  8. Content is shifting to converged media – Content is shifting away from being solely owned media to becoming a combination of owned, paid and earned media, to the point where you can no longer tell the difference between the three. This is a result of social media’s role in content consumption.
  9. Content will become important at every stage of the buyer’s journey– Instead of focusing on content for the first stage of the buyer’s journey, you should be creating content for every stage, especially the middle-end. For example, the first stage (the awareness stage) should have content identifying the needs and problems of the customer and information on the causes behind them. The second stage (the consideration stage) should have content that addresses how the problem can be solved or how the need can be fulfilled. The last stage is the decision stage, in which your content should present your product or service as the solution. Having content that addresses each stage will make it easier to nurture your customers through the buyer’s journey.

Looking for more trends? Click here.

It’s important that you stay up to date with the latest content marketing trends so that you can adopt new strategies and adjust old ones to ensure that your content marketing is successful over the long term.

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competitive advantage

4 Competitive Advantage Examples That Could Improve Your Marketing Efforts

One of the goals of any good marketing campaign is to set yourself apart from the competition. This is done by showcasing a unique selling proposition, which tells consumers exactly what makes the product or service that you’re offering unique. However, you can’t just stop there. At this point, every competently run business is going to have their own unique selling proposition.

To truly stand out, you’re going to have to figure out what your competitive advantages are as a brand and leverage them in order to enhance your marketing efforts and boost your brand reputation. The following are a few competitive advantage examples:

1. Pricing

If you’re able to provide value at a lower price than your competitors, then that is a big advantage in itself. Many businesses will find ways to cut down on their operational costs so that they can lower the price of their products or services to the point where their competitors can’t afford to match. This kind of cost leadership is advertised by many businesses whenever they have it. Think of McDonald’s dollar menu or the “every day low prices” that Walmart advertises. These are companies that have successfully leveraged their cost leadership in their advertising.

2. Product Or Service Differentiation

Product or service differentiation refers to the ability to provide better benefits than your competitors. For example, being able to deliver a product to consumers faster than anyone else via same day shipping is a form of differentiation. Differentiation is typically achieved through product or service innovation, the quality of customer service that’s provided, or by the quality of their products or services. Another example would be a roofing contractor offering a longer warranty on their repair work than any of their competitors.

3. Processes

The processes employed by your business can be a huge competitive advantage. For example, if you have sole access to technology and partnerships that allow you to manufacture your product and get it shipped out quickly in a cost-efficient manner, then you may not only have a competitive advantage, you may have on that is sustainable as well. Other processes may work as competitive advantages as well, such as the ability to provide 24/7 customer service.

4. Authority

Authority is something that can only be built over time and which is often done by providing consumers with valuable content that helps to establish your authority and by extending your reach by regularly engaging with your audience. As an authority, you’ll become an influencer of sorts within your industry. When you lay out the benefits of your products or services, people will be more willing to take you at your word as a result.

 

These are just a few competitive advantage examples; however, these competitive advantage examples may not be your brand’s advantages. To identify your competitive advantages, you need to do a thorough evaluation of your company’s strengths. Once you’ve identified these advantages, you can begin to leverage them in your marketing efforts.

Website Redesign Checklist

visual storytelling

Visual Storytelling Techniques That Will Take You To The Next Level

Not only has video content become incredibly easy to consume due to the quality of smartphones and tablets, but it’s become much easier — and affordable — to produce as well. Considering the fact that 72 percent of consumers would prefer to learn about products or services via video and that the average consumer watches around 1.5 hours of video a day, your marketing campaign needs to have a video content marketing strategy.

However, your video content will only be effective if it’s of high quality. The following are ten visual storytelling techniques and promotion tips that you should keep in mind:

For more Storytelling techniques, read more here.

  1. Maintain a single POV– Make sure that your video focuses on a single idea or message and that you don’t stray off topic or else you’ll lose the attention of your viewers.
  2. Be human– Use emotion to connect with your audience. A video full of dry facts with no personal point of view isn’t going to be very engaging. Additionally, showcase actual people in your videos so that your viewers have someone to relate to.
  3. Be memorable– If there’s nothing memorable about your video, then it will fail to impress. Viewers are less likely to share video content that hasn’t made much of an impact on them as well, so strive to make content that is memorable in some way.
  4. Be more visual than verbal– Video is a visual medium, so instead of just showing a talking head explaining your message, tell your message in a visual manner. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words.
  5. Start with what’s real – It can be easy to get wrapped up in the visual style of your content, but substance will always trump style. Begin with what’s real and use that as the foundation for your video. The video’s style should be the unique way in which you convey that message to your viewers.
  6. Make it compelling– Remember who your target audience is in order to create video content that they will find relevant and interesting. If you aren’t targeting the right audience, your video content won’t end up being compelling, no matter how well produced it is.
  7. Optimize your videos– Don’t forget to optimize your videos by using strong keywords and links in your titles and descriptions.
  8. Use strong CTAs – Just like written content, video content should have calls-to-action at the end to encourage your viewers to do what you want them to do.
  9. Use YouTube– YouTube has over 1.8 billion monthly users. You can’t ignore an audience that big, so be sure to post your videos on YouTube.
  10. Share your videos – Promote your videos by sharing them on all of your social channels to help attract more viewers.

Using visual storytelling techniques will help audiences connect with your video content and make them more likely to engage. Just remember that all the visual storytelling techniques in the world won’t work if your videos aren’t being watched, which is why promoting your video content is important as well.

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What’s Trending In Marketing For July 2018

This week in inbound marketing we look at the new AdWords tools Google introduced that will transform how YouTube advertisers use the platform. Read more on the changes and trends happening in marketing today.

Noteworthy Marketing News

Instagram’s New Shopping Bag Icon Adds E-Commerce Element To Advertisers’ Stories

With hundreds of millions of users watching Instagram Stories daily, it would be crazy for brands not to take advantage of this popular platform. Luckily, Instagram has made it easier for brands to do so by recently introducing its new shopping bag icon that will appear on select advertiser’s Instagram Stories according to a recent write up on Marketing Land. Tapping the icon will allows users to view more details like images and pricing information on products from their favorite brands, transforming the way customers engage with brands.

Learn more about advertising approaches on 4 social media platforms

Advertisers Will Soon Have AdWords Tools To Test & Measure Creative Elements Of YouTube Video Ads

Google recently introduced new AdWords tools for YouTube advertisers that measure and test creative elements in their video ads. The YouTube creative suite will feature four new tool sets—Video Creative Analytics, YouTube Director Mix, Video Experiments, and Video Ad Sequencing. A recent post on Marketing Land goes into detail about how these tools will allow advertisers to do a variety of things that will transform their experience using AdWords. Advertisers will also be able to analyze and keep track of how the creative elements they choose to implement influence campaign performance.

Instagram Moves On YouTube With IGTV Launch, Opening Platform To Hour-Long Videos

According to an article by Amy Gesenhues on Marketing Land, Instagram is now making way for long-form video by introducing its new IGTV platform and IGTV standalone app. Both platforms will allow users to upload hour-long videos. Instagram has reached a remarkable 1 billion users and with more of them watching videos compared to other types of content, CEO Kevin Systrom believed it was time to open up a platform where videos are the focus. As for advertisers, Systrom recognized that the new platform would be a great place to offer more affordable advertising options in light of Facebook’s rising ad costs.

Improving Your Marketing Program

What Are The Benefits Of Using HubSpot Marketing Automation Tools?

If you want your long-term inbound marketing strategy to be effective, you must be able to tackle various tactics that range from creating high-quality content for your site to engaging with followers on your social media—managing all these task often requires a balancing act. Our own Nicole Wagner published an article that explains how HubSpot marketing automation tools can simplify your workload.

Tips To Consider When Developing Strong Email Subject Lines

Having an attractive email subject line can make all the difference when it comes to increasing your open email rate and overall exposure with your target audience. Debbie Szwast offers insightful tips on how to develop strong email subject lines that you’ll want to keep in mind the next time you send an email.

Recent Marketing Reports, Updates, and Trends

Facebook’s Removing Third-Party Targeting Data: What Marketers Need To Know

In a recent post about Facebook published on Marketing Land, Ginny Marvin highlights the changes Facebook is making to combat the scrutiny and regulatory pressure its facing, and informs marketers on how to navigate these changes. Facebook announced that they are removing access to third-party data brokers within their advertising system, both pubic and private. Several factors such as the GDRP that aims to protect people by ensuring they have control over their personal data have sparked the drastic changes. The phasing out of third-party data brokers will start in the EU.

The Future Of TV Advertising In Today’s Digital World

Despite what some critics might say about advertising being ineffective on TV, in a blog post published in MarTech, Chuck Moran explains why TV is still an important part of the media ecosystem and how it has evolved to become advanced TV. Advanced TV combines old-style linear TV with streaming video provided through OTT platforms or connected TVs. This transformed version of TV changes the way marketers target their audience as they can now optimize their reach by creating campaigns that sync with local events, receive real-time analytics of viewing habits, and determine which ads to deliver based on first-party data.

Tokenized Loyalty Platform Sweet Offers Sugar Tokens To Energize Fans

Life is sweeter with… sugar tokens? According to a recent post on MarTech, a startup called Sweet has become the first tokenized loyalty platform of its kind to hit the market. The company gives brands the opportunity to promote themselves by rewarding the fans that engage with their brand online with reward tokens called ‘Sugar.’ Fans can redeem their sugar tokens for amazing experiences and rewards in the Sweet Marketplace.

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