5 Tips on How to Market to Gen Z

When it comes to marketing strategies and marketing trends, millennials receive a great deal of attention these days. However, they are not the only generation that businesses should focus on. Generation Z already has buying power, and it won’t be long until they overtake the Millennial generation as the largest generation. In fact, anyone born after 1996 is considered part of Generation Z, which means that there have already been five years worth of Gen Z adults that you should be marketing to. The following are five tips to take note of on how to market to Gen Z.

1. Stand For Something

While focusing on how your products and services fulfill the needs of your customers is important, it will be difficult to stand apart from the crowd when it comes to getting Gen Z’s attention. They were raised on the Internet, so doing research and finding solutions to their problems is second nature to them. They have no trouble finding multiple options. In fact, the options are practically limitless for them. Consequently, they care more about what a brand stands for.

Gen Z is more aware of environmental, socio-economic, and political issues at their age than arguably any other generation. They look for brands that are eco-friendly or support their political views. This means that you can’t remain neutral. Stand for what your company believes in and you’ll be more likely to gain the support of your Gen Z audience.

2. Focus on earning brand loyalty through engagement

Gaining a new customer is far more difficult — and more expensive — than retaining an existing customer. This means you should focus on building brand loyalty among Gen Z customers. The best way to do this is by engaging with them in a meaningful and authentic way. The challenge lies in the fact that Gen Z is much less brand-oriented. They are more likely to become loyal to your company as a result of how you interact with them than any other tactic (such as offering loyalty rewards).

First of all, don’t push your products on them. When engaging with Gen Z customers, make sure it’s a two-way street. Listen to what they say. Don’t use sales jargon and don’t lie. Be personable. Offer them opportunities to participate, whether it’s by hosting brand-sponsored events, allowing them to submit ideas or feedback, or even letting them contribute content.

Explore more about How Businesses Are Using Brand Ambassador Programs To Increase Brand Awareness And Trust

3. Emphasize Mobile Marketing

Most of Gen Z won’t remember a time when they didn’t use mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets. A survey published by IBM indicates that Gen Z prefers using their smartphones over other devices by 75 percent. Take advantage of this by making sure your website is mobile-friendly and that you employ mobile marketing techniques. You may want to develop an app to improve their user experience on their smartphones even more.

4. Understand How They Use Social Media

When it came to previous generations, figuring out social media wasn’t that difficult — everyone was on Facebook and Twitter. While Gen Z still uses these channels, many prefer other platforms. Channels like Facebook aren’t popular with younger consumers because of the fact that they are more family-oriented. Gen Z is more interested in visual-based social media channels that allow them to engage in a more personal way with others and that provide a creative outlet. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Snapchat and Instagram are the two most popular channels among the Gen Z crowd.

5. Invest In Influencer Marketing

Even though certain tactics, such as Google and Facebook Ads, can still be effective, Gen Z tends to respond more to influencer marketing. Influencers on platforms like Instagram have huge amounts of sway with their followers. Their significance makes them a great tool for promoting your products and services to a younger audience that’s relevant to your brand.

Keep these five tips in mind when marketing to Gen Z. While many members of Gen Z aren’t adults yet, we know more Gen Z individuals will become adults in the coming years. As such, they should be the generation that you focus more of your marketing on, which is why learning how to market to Gen Z is so important. Get a head start on your competition by beginning to tailor your marketing efforts to the needs of Gen Z now.

Learn To Use Social Media To Find New Leads

4 Essential Brand Components

There’s a common misconception that many people have that a “brand” is basically just the name of the company and the logo that they use. While these elements contribute to the overall brand of a business, the term “brand” is actually much more comprehensive than that. It involves many different components, which is why it takes a lot of thought in order to successfully develop your brand. The following are the four main brand components that you will need to address when building your brand and what kinds of strategies you can put into place to further develop those components.

1. Brand Identity

Your brand identity is how you want your brand to be perceived. It’s important that you know what your brand identity is and what you want it to be. If you don’t, how is anyone else supposed to know? You’re going to have a tough time generating brand awareness if you lack a strong brand identity. The following are a few steps that you should take to establish your brand identity:

  • Identify your mission

    What was the reason you established your company in the first place? What is your company’s goal? Consumers want to know what your mission is (and they don’t want to hear that it’s “to make a profit”) and it will reflect who you are as a company.

  • Establish your unique value proposition

    Your unique value proposition is what sets you apart from your competitors. It’s a statement of how your offer benefits your customers, how you will meet the needs of your customers, and what makes your offer unique. Every marketing campaign you run should align with your unique value proposition.

  • Create your brand’s visual identity

    The visual elements of your brand certainly factor into your brand identity. Just consider the logos and color palettes of some of the biggest companies out there, from Facebook’s simple logo and use of blue to McDonald’s golden arch and yellow and red palette. A strong logo that’s instantly recognizable is important, but so is choosing your colors. Different colors have different meanings and the colors you choose can have a psychological impact on your audience as well. For example, many fast-food restaurants use red and yellow because that combination of colors is thought to stimulate the appetite. Just keep in mind that consistency is key. If you decide to use shades of blue in your logo and on your website, then you should use those same colors for your social media pages, email newsletters, and physical location as well.

  • Increase brand recognition

    It’s going to take some time to get your vision of your brand identity out to the masses. You’ll want to generate awareness of your brand to do this through a variety of marketing efforts, such as building a website that emphasizes your mission and unique value proposition, creating content that’s optimized for SEO, using social media to engage with consumers and to post your content, and more. It’s also vital that you make sure your mission, unique value proposition, and visual identity are consistent across all platforms. If it’s not, it will end up hurting your brand identity.

2. Brand Image

Your brand image is similar to your brand identity in that it deals with how your brand is perceived. However, whereas your brand identity is how you want your brand to be perceived, brand image is how your brand is actually perceived. Consider your brand image as the reputation you currently have with the general public. Take for example United Airlines. Not long ago, they updated their brand design in an attempt to strengthen their brand identity as a “thoughtful, modern, and innovative airline.” However, their brand identity and brand image are currently quite different from each other after numerous massive PR failures regarding their customer service. Keeping that in mind, the following are a few ways to build and maintain a positive brand image:

  • Spread your message via PR

    Use public relations to spread your key messages as well as relevant news concerning your company. You can do this through news outlets, trade publications, and even online blogs. Public relations will help you raise awareness of your brand and what you’re doing, thereby helping to improve your brand image.

  • Establish a social presence

    Social media is an incredibly effective way to build your brand image, whether it’s by sharing content with consumers, keeping consumers up to date on the latest news and product launches, spreading awareness of your message, and engaging with consumers on a personal level. In fact, you can even use social media to address negative comments. It’s a good way to repair potential damage done to your brand image as a result of a poor customer experience by showing that you care and trying to correct the situation.

  • Create high-quality content

    Content will help to increase brand awareness by bringing in more web traffic. However, it can also help to build your brand authority. By publishing content that is relevant to your company and to your audience (and that’s of high quality), you’ll become a trustworthy source of information, which — in turn — will help improve your reputation and increase brand trust.

Explore more about defining and developing your brand: Why brand development matters and how it works

3. Brand Culture

Brand culture refers to your company’s core values and how you set an example for those values. Businesses have always

emphasized certain values; however, those values were often things like “reliability” or “honesty.” Values that are more equivalent to basic ethics. While those are important values to hold onto, more and more businesses have begun taking moral stances as well as political stances in addition to generally accepted values. These types of values feed into your brand culture as well. Take Nike for example. They have taken strong social positions by running commercials backing Colin Kaepernick and recently touting the importance of the women’s U.S. soccer team’s World Cup win. These are branding efforts touting their championing of equality, which has become a part of their brand culture. The following are a few tips to help you establish your brand culture:

  • Define your values

    Define exactly what your values are and how your company lives out those values. Don’t be afraid of taking a stance if there’s a particular stance that you want to take. Using the Nike example again, their backing of Kaepernick was considered controversial and plenty of consumers did not agree with their position. However, those that did agree with their position became even more strongly aligned with Nike’s brand. You can’t please everyone, but by sticking to your values, you’ll be more likely to strengthen your relationship with many of your customers.

  • Spread awareness of your values

    Let consumers know about your values by declaring them on your website or by encouraging discussion about your values on social media. Publishing content that backs your values is an effective method as well.

  • Ensure that your company reflects your values

    There’s nothing consumers hate more than a hypocrite. If you’re flaunting your support for equal pay across social media and in your marketing efforts, then you better be practicing what you preach. Your brand culture is incredibly dependent on your ability to embrace your own values within your company.

4. Brand Personality

Your brand personality refers to the human characteristics that your company has. Developing a brand personality is vital to connecting with your audience on an emotional level and for making your brand relatable. Because of this, make sure that you use the following tips to develop your brand personality:

  • Learn who your audience is

    Understanding your audience is something that you need to do from the very beginning. It’s an important step in building your brand identity as well. However, it’s particularly important when it comes to developing your brand personality. The way you present yourself and the way that you communicate should reflect not only who the audience is but what they expect. For example, if you have a younger audience, then a dry, formal tone may not resonate with them. However, if your audience is older, using younger slang and current pop culture references may go over their heads.

  • Engage with your audience

    While you can get your personality across in the content you write, it’s easier to do through engaging with people. It’s why using social media is so important. Your entire audience sees your interactions and it helps establish your personality a certain way. For example, Wendy’s has a reputation for having a playful personality because of their use of humor and the pretend feuds that they get into with other brands on Twitter.

  • Be consistent in tone

    If you’re going to be funny and informal on one platform, you need to make sure that personality carries over to all of the other platforms you use, both online and offline. If you’re inconsistent, it will hurt your ability to develop a cohesive brand personality, which will only confuse your audience.

These are the four main brand components that you will need to address when developing your brand strategy. A strong brand requires a strong brand identity, brand image, brand culture, and brand personality. Implementing a successful brand strategy that develops all four of these components increases brand trust, loyalty, and awareness.

Learn The StoryBranding Process
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How Visual Searching is Changing Digital Marketing Tactics

Search marketing is constantly evolving, requiring businesses to adapt their digital marketing tactics accordingly or risk falling behind. Not only is Google known for continually adjusting and improving their search engine algorithm (often requiring SEO strategies to be adjusted to keep up), but new forms of search are emerging. Over the past few years, we are all becoming accustomed to the rise of voice search; however, visual search is advancing in leaps and bounds as well.

Visual search has been around for a few years now. According to a report published in 2017, 27 percent of all searches across ten major online platforms (including Google Images, Google, Amazon, and YouTube) were visual searches. With that in mind, visual search should be implemented into your digital marketing tactics.

Visual search is exactly what it sounds like — performing a search on the web using a visual. While this might not seem very convenient when done on a desktop or laptop, it makes a lot of sense when done on smartphones. Essentially, a consumer can take a picture using their phone’s camera of a product in-store to perform a search on that product. If the company producing the product has optimized for visual search, then that customer should be able to pull up valuable information on their phone. This isn’t the only way visual search can be accomplished. For example, someone could take a picture of a tree to find out what type of tree it is.

Find out other digital marketing techniques: Types of Digital Marketing Strategies Your Business Should Use

What are the Benefits of Visual Search?

Brands that sell products that are more visual have the most to gain from implementing visual search. For example, some of the most common products that users perform visual searches on include fashion, home decor, art, food, animals, and vehicles. One great example of visual search in action is Pinterest. They allow users to take pictures of objects in the real world, which will then pull up results of similar-looking objects featured on Pinterest. The following are a few of the benefits of implementing visual search into your digital marketing tactics:

  • Improve the shopping experience

    There are several ways that visual search can improve the shopping experience. For example, a customer that sees a product that they want to buy can use visual search to find similar products and compare prices. Retailers can also make product recommendations based on the visual attributes of the products the customers have been searching for using visual search. This allows for a more personalized shopping experience.

  • While many businesses monitor social media for mentions of their brand, few employ visual search. Using visual search, allows you to look for your brand logo across social media. This can be very helpful, especially on social channels that are more visually-based, such as Instagram. Take for example, Starbucks. They used visual search to discover that customers were filling their Starbucks cups with whipped cream and giving them to their dogs. Such a trend can be taken advantage of as a marketing opportunity — and they would have never known about it without a visual search.

  • Identify influencers

    Building relationships with brand influencers is an effective way to gain access to large target audiences. However, finding those influencers can sometimes be a challenge. Many influencers do their “influencing” with visual content. For example, it’s well known that there are many influencers on Instagram. Performing a visual search can help you find influencers that are posting visual content related to your company’s products. It’s a more effective way of finding relevant influencers than through text-based searches.

  • Engage users more effectively

    Simply optimizing for visual search can help you engage with your users more successfully. This is because people are visual beings. They engage with and relate to visual content much more than they do with text. The ability to take photographs and obtain information or recommendations based on those photographs will go a long way toward keeping your brand on the top of their minds.

  • Attract more mobile users

    Considering how important the mobile market is, visual search is an excellent way to attract more mobile users. Visual search is a very mobile-centric feature, after all. Few people are going to use visual search on their desktops or laptops due to their static or bulky shape. Smartphones and tablets make it easy to snap photographs whenever users want.

Visual search grows more prominent by the day. The ability to perform searches using images can help to greatly improve your user experience in many different ways. If you have a visual product, then you should begin thinking about how you can employ visual search into your digital marketing tactics.

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what is brand strategy

Long-term essentials: What is a brand strategy?

The term “brand” gets thrown around a lot these days. When people think about a brand, they often think about the name of the company and its logo. For example, Nike and its swoosh. However, these are just elements of their brand. Your brand encompasses much more than just your name and logo. Your brand is about your unique selling proposition, what your company stands for, how you engage with consumers, and more. As a result, you’re going to need to create a brand strategy. What is a brand strategy? A brand strategy involves building your brand identity and reputation as well as increasing brand awareness. A good brand strategy will consist of the following eight essentials:

1. Establish Your Brand Strategy Goals

Without goals, a strategy isn’t a strategy. How are you supposed to measure the performance of any of your branding efforts if you don’t have any goals to measure them against, after all? As such, you need to establish clearly defined goals at the outset. These need to be long-term goals. What are your main business goals? Do you want to reach a new audience? Do you want to be an industry leader? Your brand strategy will vary based on what your main goals are — and while every company’s goal is to “make money,” you need to get a little more specific than this.

2. Maintain Brand Consistency

In order to increase brand awareness, you need to strengthen your brand identity. One of the most important elements of a strong brand identity is consistency. All of your branding efforts need to be consistent across all platforms. If your tone is generally somber (for example, if your company provides funeral services or sells anxiety medication), then posting wacky memes or pictures of cats onto your Facebook page isn’t going to be consistent with your brand. Doing so will only confuse your audience, especially if they jump from one platform to another. For instance, if they’re on your Facebook page and they decide to visit your website and your branding isn’t consistent, they’ll be unsure as to whether they’re in the right place. A lack of consistency causes doubt into what your company is and does, which is not going to help you retain your audience or capture new leads.

The key to maintaining brand consistency is to maintain the same tone and to always keep your message in mind. All of your branding efforts should align with that message. Even the aesthetic of your brand needs to remain consistent. You can’t just have different logos or different color schemes for each platform you use. Consistency is important because it helps to contribute to brand recognition, which is vital when it comes to building customer loyalty.

Learn more about brand development: Why Brand Development Matters and How it Works

3. Avoid Short-Term Brand Building

While getting immediate results would be nice, you don’t want to sacrifice long-term brand building for short-term results. Successful brands take years to build and require continuous work and consistency. It can be easy to lose focus of your long-term goals when you see other companies implement branding tactics that appear to be successful. Just because it works for one company doesn’t mean it will work for you — especially if what they’re doing doesn’t align with your goals. For example, one brand might put out a video that goes viral. Creating a similar video does not guarantee similar results, especially if it’s not in line with your existing branding efforts. You should also be careful about following the latest trends within your industry. Many branding trends are often short-term tactics that may hurt your long-term strategy.

4. Create An Emotional Connection

Branding isn’t just about putting information about your company out into the world in the hopes that consumers remember why your product or service is the best one available. Consumers don’t always use rational thought to justify their purchases, after all. It’s why you need to engage consumers on an emotional level. Not only are they more likely to purchase products from a brand that they can relate to emotionally, but they are more likely to be loyal as a result. The reason behind this is simple: humans have an innate need to belong and to feel a connection.

When building your brand, you need to figure out how you can foster such an emotional connection. It’s why you need to make sure your branding efforts engage consumers on a personal level. Many businesses employ a more informal marketing strategy as a result as its easier to connect to. Developing a brand personality or even putting a face behind your brand makes it easier for audiences to connect to you as well. Take, for example, Apple’s commercials in which a young actor wearing casual clothes and speaking in a friendly, informal manner represented Apple, while an older actor dressed in a suit with a more formal demeanor represented Microsoft. Apple used these commercials to connect to their younger audience, essentially showing younger, hipper consumers that they were just like them.

5. Involve Your Employees

One of the most important ways to maintain brand consistency is by involving your employees. You’ll want to make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to the tone and message of your brand. For example, if you’re pushing a more informal and playful tone on your social media pages, then you’ll want your customer service reps to follow that tone. The last thing you want is for someone who follows your brand on social media to call your company only to speak with someone who is incredibly dry and informal. This lack of consistency may not fool consumers, but it will hurt your ability to build brand loyalty.

Consumers are expecting a certain kind of experience and engagement as a result of your branding and if they don’t get something similar when actually interacting with your employees, they will likely be let down. It’s why you should make sure that your employees understand your message, goals, and tone so that they can accurately represent your brand when speaking or engaging with consumers, whether it’s over the phone, via email or online chat, or even in your physical location.

6. Reward Loyalty

Customers who have already showcased loyalty to your brand can help strengthen your brand. Such customers will often go out of their way to recommend your brand to others, whether it’s by writing reviews, providing testimonials, or simply recommending products and services to friends and colleagues over social media. There is nobody consumers trust more than another consumer. That is why you should turn to these types of customers to act as brand ambassadors on your behalf.

Reach out to customers who have made multiple purchases with a personal thank you note. Ask them to write a review for you. Thank them for any reviews that they have written. Engage them on social media. You can even reward their loyalty with something like a discount or a special offer. These kinds of efforts don’t go unnoticed and will help to further encourage their loyalty. Making such efforts in public (such as on social media) can help highlight your relationship with your best customers, which will strengthen your brand’s reputation and entice other consumers.

7. Track Your Competitors

Your competition is likely targeting the same audience you are. It’s why it’s worth your effort to keep an eye on what they’re doing to build their brand. While you don’t necessarily want to copy their ideas and tactics (remember, short-term tactics may not benefit you in the long run if they don’t align with your goals), you do want to track what their strategy is and whether or not their tactics prove to be effective. This can help you identify tactics that work and to figure out why they worked or didn’t work. This information can be incredibly beneficial for your own branding strategy since it can allow you to avoid certain pitfalls.

You can also track your competition by following what consumers are saying about them. You can see what positive things people are saying about your competition and use that information to your advantage. Negative comments can also be helpful as they can allow you to address a need your competition isn’t addressing. For instance, if you notice that consumers are complaining because a competitor is difficult to get a hold of, you can make sure that this won’t be the case for you by offering various channels of communication to your audience.

8. Be Flexible

While you don’t want to jump on the latest branding tactics just because they’re trending, you do want to remain flexible. For example, your branding goals may end up changing over time, so you’ll want to adjust your branding strategy accordingly. Additionally, some short-term branding tactics may actually align with your goals and could benefit your long-term strategy. You shouldn’t be afraid to deviate from your existing strategy in order to adopt such tactics. Flexibility is important to your brand’s continuous success.

 

No brand strategy is the same, nor should it be. Your brand strategy should align with what your goals are. However, these are eight essential tips to keep in mind when creating your brand strategy. Just remember, don’t expect overnight results. Building your brand is a long-term strategy that never ends — you should continue to build your brand even as you gain success. While consistency is important, change is inevitable, whether it’s your products and services that change, your customers that change, or your market that changes.

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The Power of Social Media Influencers: Why it works

At this point in time, most businesses are well aware of the power of social media. According to Statista, roughly 79 percent of the American population has a social media profile, which accounts for almost 247 million people. However, simply having a social media presence isn’t enough. If you really want to take advantage of all that social media has to offer, you have to take advantage of the power of social media influencers. The use of social media influencers can help boost your brand’s reputation while also exposing your brand to an even bigger audience.

What Are Social Media Influencers?

Social media influencers are people on social media who can be considered “personalities” and who have massive amounts of followers who hang on to their every post. Many social influencers have such significant sway over their audience that they become mini-celebrities in a way. In fact, many celebrities are considered influencers because of their huge social media followings. Businesses are beginning to form relationships with these influencers as a way to gain access to these massive audiences. For example, when an Instagram model tags a designer brand in a picture of them wearing their clothing, the brand receives a huge boost in brand awareness amongst that influencer’s base.

The Benefits of Social Influencer Marketing

The following are some of the reasons why you should participate in social influencer marketing:

  • Improve brand awareness

    The moment an influencer mentions your brand or showcases one of your products, you’ll immediately have the eyes of their followers on you. As a result, you’ll increase your brand awareness significantly based on the influencers you’re working with.

  • Improve your brand credibility

    People consider influencers to be trustworthy figures. They’re personalities that are separate from corporations. As a result, they trust what influencers have to say. When influencers promote your brand, their audience assumes that your brand is credible.

  • Reach a relevant audience

    If your influencer is relevant to your industry, then working with them will provide you with access to a relevant audience. For example, a business that sells dog food could gain more exposure to a larger audience by teaming up with an influencer whose Instagram account focuses on the daily adventures of their pet dog. It’s likely that this influencer’s audience is the type of audience the dog food brand is targeting.

  • A different way to promote products

    There’s a fine line when it comes to advertising products and services to your audience. People often get annoyed when they’re trying to read through a blog or email and all they find are advertisements. However, when an influencer promotes a product, most users don’t view it as a corporate advertisement despite the fact influencers are required to be transparent about the relationships that they have with brands when promoting a product. They see it more as an endorsement of a product from someone that they trust.

  • Influencers contribute to your content marketing

    Influencers are natural content creators. It’s why they have such large followings to begin with — they are capable of creating engaging content on a daily basis. Not only can they create content promoting your brand, but that content is likely to be shared, liked, and commented on by a significant amount of people. Essentially, influencer marketing benefits your content marketing efforts.

  • Improve your SEO

    Influencers can significantly boost your SEO efforts. When mentioning your brand on social media, they often link back to the relevant page or use your company hashtag. This can improve your SEO because Google factors in backlinks from authoritative sources when ranking pages. Additionally, the web traffic that a backlink from a social influencer brings to your site can boost your page rankings.

    Explore more with our Social Media Marketing White Pages

How Powerful Are Social Media Influencers?

Still not sure whether putting the effort into identifying influencers is worth the time and money? Consider the following social media influencer marketing stats that showcase just how powerful an influencer can be:

  • Around 49 percent of consumers make their purchasing decisions based on recommendations made by influencers that they follow.
  • About 40 percent of all Twitter users (and there are over 126 million of them) have made a purchasing decision as a result of a tweet.
  • Approximately 74 percent of consumers use social networks to help guide their purchasing decisions.
  • Around 40 percent of all consumers use ad-blocking apps online, meaning they can’t always be reached using paid advertising.

As you can see, influencer marketing is incredibly powerful — and it will only continue growing. Take advantage of the power of social media influencers by identifying the influencers that fit your brand. Reach out to them and begin to build a relationship that benefits you both.

Learn To Use Social Media To Find New Leads

Using Organic Marketing To Reach Your Audience

There are many ways to go about marketing your business. Paid marketing (such as through the use of Google AdWords or Facebook Ads) can be effective, but there’s only so much you can do with it, as it’s more short-term oriented. You’ll want to implement more organic marketing strategies. Organic marketing is a way to generate more traffic to your website in a more natural, unforced manner. Additionally, anything that you don’t directly spend money on can be considered organic. Of course, it’s worth noting that all marketing costs money in one way or another. However, there are a lot of benefits to using organic marketing that go beyond the cost.

Reasons to Implement Organic Marketing

There are two major reasons why you should implement organic marketing into your marketing strategy. First of all, it’s a more long-term strategy than any paid marketing strategy is. The efforts you make executing your organic marketing strategy can help drive traffic to your website for a long time to come. They can also go a long way in helping to strengthen your brand identity and build up your brand reputation, both of which will have positive long-term effects as well. Finally, organic marketing gives you the opportunity to learn more about your customers and to better understand what their needs are. This is something that cannot be discovered via paid marketing, which is completely one-sided.

Learn about another type of marketing: The Benefits of Mobile Marketing Optimization

How You Can Make it Work

The following are a number of different tips on how to implement organic marketing successfully.

  • Make sure your website is engaging

    Your website is usually what will convince potential leads to further engage with your brand. Make sure it’s user-friendly, meaning that it’s easy to read, easy to scan, and easy to navigate. In addition to your homepage, consider creating an about page, a testimonial page, a contact page, a blog page, and an FAQ page. You may want to implement a chat feature as well so that visitors can interact with you whenever they want to.

  • Create evergreen content

    Evergreen content is content that will never grow out of date. For example, an article about how to save money will always remain relevant for a financial advisor’s website. Evergreen content will continue to be of use to visitors, which means it will organically attract new leads over time.

  • Use hashtags

    Hashtags make it easier for people to find your content on social media and also shows consumers that you’re up to date on trends and current events.

  • Build relationships with social media influencers

    Social media influencers can unlock the doors to large audiences that you haven’t reached yet. Find the influencers in your industry and engage with them on social media.

  • Engage with followers on social media regularly

    Always respond to commends or feedback that people leave on your social pages, even if they are negative. This will greatly help your reputation and shows people that you care and that your social media presence isn’t just for show. Keep in mind that engagement isn’t just about posting content — it’s about listening to what your customers have to say. Ask questions and respond to concerns in a timely manner.

  • Contribute to social media discussions

    Look for groups, communities, and conversations occurring across social media concerning not just your brand, but your industry as a whole. Engage with these conversations. Doing so will naturally get your name out there and will generate interest in your brand (as long as you have worthwhile things to say, of course).

  • Use local SEO

    One of the best ways to naturally attract local customers is by implementing a local SEO strategy. Use local keywords (meaning, geo-centered keywords) and generate content that’s relevant to your area. Submit your NAP (name, address, and phone number) to local directories as well. This will make it much easier for local customers to find you organically.

  • Find ways for customers to participate

    By finding ways for customers to participate, you create a more engaging experience for them. This can help build brand loyalty as well as generate more interest from new leads. For example, set up contests on social media. Something as simple as sweepstakes can be quite effective. For something a bit more engaging, consider photo contests on platforms like Instagram.

  • Request customer feedback

    Routinely ask customers for their opinions about your products, services, and brand. You can do this by asking visitors to fill out surveys on your site, sending out net promoter scores through email, or asking followers directly on social media.

Organic marketing does take some effort, but it’s less expensive than paid marketing tactics and will have a much bigger impact over the long term. These organic marketing tips should help you to drive more traffic and, eventually, generate more sales as a direct result.

Integrating Social Media & SEO Efforts For Enhanced Search Engine Results

5 Noteworthy User Generated Content Examples & Benefits

Content marketing is an essential component of any successful online marketing strategy. The success of your content marketing depends on a variety of factors. Your content has to be relevant, informative, and of high quality. However, it also has to be varied. Creating content takes a lot of effort and it can sometimes be a challenge to create content that’s both new and exciting. One type of content that you should focus on is user generated content. User generated content adds to your content’s variety and provides benefits. Before going into some user generated content examples, it’s important that you understand what those benefits are.

The Benefits of User Generated Content

The following are a few ways in which user generated content can benefit your marketing strategy:

  • Free content – Constantly creating new content is a challenge for any business. However, user generated content does it for you for free. For example, asking your audience to submit creative content such as artwork or stories relevant to your brand creates a positive experience for both parties. Also, free content can boost your SEO and your social media reach.
  • Build brand trust – Consumers are naturally skeptical about anything that businesses have to say to them. It’s why they tend to trust the word of other consumers more. User-generated content, such as brand hashtags, gives users the opportunity to share their positive feedback about your company in a more authentic form. The content comes from the consumer’s point of view, which means that they’ll be more likely to trust it.
  • Engage customers – Allowing your customers to create content for your brand is a great way to get them involved. Brand engagement lets customers participate directly in your marketing efforts, which also boosts brand loyalty. Engagement helps customers feel like they’re communicating with real people, rather than just a business.

Learn more about content creation from Stevens & Tate: How To Create Content For Each Sale Funnel Stage

5 User Generated Content Examples

Now that you know the benefits of user generated content, take a look at some examples of brands putting it into action:

  1. T-Mobile

    T-Mobile attempted to steal customers away from its competitors by offering to pay for the early termination fees charged by carriers for any customers who switched over. In addition to being a stellar unique selling proposition, it was accompanied by an excellent marketing strategy that focused on user generated content. They invited customers of other carriers to submit break-up letters that highlighted why they were leaving their existing carriers for T-Mobile. Not only were many of these letters hilarious, they also highlighted the weaknesses of their competition. Over 113,000 letters were written, resulting in close to 70 million social impressions.

  2. Warby-Parker

    Roughly five years ago, Warby-Parker launched a campaign in which customers were allowed to request five pairs of glasses online to try on at home. This allowed them to try the glasses, pay for the pair they liked most and send the others back. It was an effective way to promote their online store. Additionally, they encouraged participants to post photographs on line of them trying on the glasses. Customers then gave and obtained feedback from each other, thereby driving engagement between customers and their brand.

  3. GoPro

    GoPro uniquely allows users to capture incredible footage using small cameras that can be strapped to their heads. To highlight the GoPro’s capabilities, GoPro used the footage that their customers filmed using their products as part of their marketing campaign. It was such a successful endeavor that you can now find over 40 million results for the word “GoPro” on YouTube, and GoPro itself has almost 8 million YouTube subscribers.

  4. Adobe

    This popular design software company ran a campaign not long ago called the Art Maker Series. During the campaign, they asked their users to share the work they did using Adobe products. Adobe used this content to promote their software. The campaign was incredibly effective as it allowed Adobe to show off their software capabilities while providing exposure to talented designers.

  5. Starbucks

    Starbucks ran a similar campaign to Adobe in terms of highlighting the creativity of their customers. They did this by running a Twitter contest called #WhiteCupContest. The contest encouraged participants to draw on their white coffee cups and submit them. Starbucks used the winning cup as a limited edition reusable cup design. They received over 4,000 submissions in just three weeks. It was so successful that Starbucks ran several similar contests after that.

User generated content is a great way to develop more content and help build your credibility with consumers. It also encourages consumers to participate, thereby building brand loyalty. Hopefully, these five user generated content examples inspired you to encourage your consumers to help create content for your brand.

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Trending in Marketing

What’s Trending in Marketing For November 2019

Staying current on what’s trending in marketing is an excellent way to reflect and verify whether your marketing efforts are harmonious with the growth happening in today’s ever-evolving marketplace. We know the difficulty of keeping up with these trends, given the abundance of information thrown at us every day. The following articles come from popular marketing blogs. They highlight current marketing trends that we think are worth paying attention to:

Noteworthy Marketing News

Responsive ads come to Facebook with Multiple Text Optimization

Facebook has a new responsive ad feature called Multiple Text Optimization. This feature allows advertisers to use a number of different headlines, copy and descriptions for one ad. They can also view the different ways their ad will appear on the platform. This addition to Facebook advertising helps companies see how different text combinations perform in a quick and easy way. Read more on Marketing Land

Welcome BERT: Google’s latest search algorithm to better understand natural language

BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) is the largest change to Google’s search system in almost five years. Now, 1 in 10 queries will be impacted by the change, meaning the query results will have a different rank. BERT is meant to understand natural language that humans are used to. Luckily, companies do not need to change their SEO techniques to optimize for BERT as there is no real way to do so. Instead, this change allows companies to focus more on creating content for real people than machines. Search Engine Land has the full story here.

FTC rules that selling followers and likes is illegal, along with posting fake reviews

In late October, the FTC fined Florida businessman German Calas, Jr. $2.5 million for selling “fake indicators of social media influence”. They also gave a warning to Sunday Riley and her employees to stop writing fake reviews of her company’s products on the Sephora website. The case with Calas could pave the way for similar cases against fake social engagement sellers, using his case as a precedent. This could mean more transparency about customer reviews and social media influencers for both consumers and businesses. Find out more on Social Media Today.

Improving Your Marketing Program

Types of Digital Marketing Strategies Your Business Should Use

If you have a website for your business, then there’s a good chance you’re familiar with SEO (search engine optimization). You know how the use of keywords can help increase your site’s exposure on search engines. However, when it comes to digital marketing, SEO is not the only valid strategy. In fact, there are many types of digital marketing tactics that you should consider employing in order to boost awareness of your brand and bring in more web traffic. The following are a few examples of different types of digital marketing to consider implementing into your marketing strategy.

Why Brand Development Matters and How it Works 

brand developmentBranding is more than just creating a logo and slapping it on a website or the side of a van. Developing your brand takes time, but the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll see results. Your brand makes you recognizable to consumers and without having it clearly established, your company becomes lost in the crowd. You want to impress your prospects and brand development does a lot of the work for you. Get ready to put your other projects aside, because right now, developing your brand matters most.

Planning a Website? Consider Growth-Driven Design 

A business without a website is practically unheard of in this day and age. Not having a website severely limits your ability to market your brand. However, designing and building a website can be more difficult than you might think. The traditional way of building a website requires that you figure out exactly what you want your website to have and then launching the completed version. The problem with this method is that you’ll end up having to redesign it after a few years. This is especially true if it turns out that your website isn’t very user-friendly or needs additional features. It’s one of the main reasons that many companies are opting to use Growth-Driven Design instead.

Recent Marketing Reports, Updates and Trends

Facebook publishes new insights on how to connect with Gen Z consumers

As Gen Z grows older, marketing campaigns are beginning to switch the spotlight to them. In fact, Gen Z is already estimated to influence $143 billion in spending in the U.S., according to Facebook. Facebook’s report, “Getting to Know the ‘Me is We’ Generation” explores the traits of Gen Z that marketers will want to be informed about. Some key trends that matter to this generation include diversity, connectivity and causes that will benefit the greater good. More about the report can be found on Social Media Today.

Ad spending growth will accelerate to 6% worldwide in 2020, study says

Next year, global media spending will grow 6% to $656 billion, according to a report done by the World Advertising and Research Center (WARC). For the first time, more than half of that spending will be for digital advertising. This report reinforces that advertisers are spending more money on digital media as the amount of time people spend on smartphones, social media and the web grows. Additionally, the growth rate in ad spending in 2020 will be more than double the amount of this year’s. Two large contributing factors in ad spending next year will be the Olympic Games in Tokyo and the U.S. elections. Read more on Marketing Dive.

LinkedIn engagement continues to rise, as per Microsoft’s latest performance report

After Microsoft took over LinkedIn in 2016, we could no longer access LinkedIn’s regular performance reports. Now, the reports have smaller updates with less in depth observations. In their report on Oct. 23, they gave an update on LinkedIn’s status. Currently, LinkedIn is seeing a 22% growth in user sessions and record levels of engagement and job postings. As LinkedIn continues to grow, brands need to pay more attention to the platform. The increase in engagement could mean an increase in marketing opportunities. Read the full article on Social Media Today.

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