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5 Tips for Higher Engagement on Instagram

Posted by Liz Papagni in Social Media Marketing | 0 comments

higher engagement on Instagram When marketing to Generation Z and Millennials, Instagram is an invaluable tool. The numbers are clear: this is where your target market spends their time on social media. And they love their brands and influencers on Instagram, too. Now, it’s up to you to figure out how to drive higher engagement on Instagram.

Like Back

No one wants to have a one-sided conversation, right? When you put your brand out there on Instagram but don’t take the time to interact with your followers, your fans will start to feel like you’re not even part of the conversation. Always take some time to look through posts—particularly those that tag your company—and respond by commenting, liking, and sharing.

Just Ask

Sometimes all you need to do is simply ask, and you will receive the engagement you’re looking for. You can ask a question with your comment and invite followers to answer, with answers as simple as “true,” “false,” “agree,” or “disagree,” or you can give your fans an actual platform to share their thoughts and feelings. One way to really get your fans going is to ask for their advice. When you ask followers, “What would you do?” they won’t be able to resist sharing their experiences.

Be Funny

Provocative posts are more likely to get likes and shares, so step out on a limb with a funny or shocking post on occasion. Of course, humor on social media doesn’t always go as planned, so you can’t simply throw a post at the wall and hope it sticks. Your funny and provocative posts should be planned, vetted by staff members, and tested on a small audience before sharing with the world. Maybe that takes some of the spontaneity out of the process, but you can rest easy that you’re moving forward with inoffensive content.

Host a Takeover

Influencer marketing is hot right now, and for good reason. Consumers tend to trust the word of an influencer more than the word of a brand—simply because brands are supposed to think they’re awesome, right? When you have an influencer on your side, their fans are likely to follow. Let that influencer take over your Instagram for a day, and watch your engagement soar. The best part is, those who find you on takeover day are likely to stick around to see what else you have to offer.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags have been around for so long that they kind of seem like the dinosaurs of social media. They’re still here for a reason, though: they work. Of course, you want to make sure you’re using popular and relevant hashtags if you want new people to find you. Proprietary hashtags are fun for the sake of originality and recognition, but keep in mind that many users won’t be searching for your creative hashtag. Instead, they’ll be looking up the latest challenge, searching for #ThrowbackThursday, or seeking out the latest trends. Those are the hashtags to snag if you want higher engagement on Instagram. Remember: social media is supposed to be social, and that’s what Millennials and Generation Z expect. You can prompt all the engagement in the world, but they won’t keep talking to you if you don’t talk back. For more marketing insights, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. You’ll get helpful tips right in your inbox every month!

4 Marketing Tips to Compete with the Big Guys

Posted by Liz Papagni in Marketing Strategy | 0 comments

compete with the big guys Regardless of how large or small your company may be, the idea of competing with a company like Walmart or Amazon probably has you feeling a little incredulous. It’s not possible, is it? Of course it is. You can compete with big brands with the right marketing tactics. Remember, the big guys were all once small brands, too. So, how can you go about beating bigger competitors at their own game? Let’s take a look.

Differentiate Yourself

You don’t want to be like those big brands, except in the revenue department, right? No, you want your brand to stand out like a beacon in the night. The only way to do that is to determine what makes you different from the crowd and than capitalize on that. That difference won’t be your prices, either. While “Always low prices” works for Walmart, that’s not what will set you apart. Your mission, your vision, your product, and your customer service—these are the places where you can overtake your competitors.

Focus on Your Content

Marketing, really, is just educating your customer. You want to let them know how your products or services can solve their pain. Your content is how you deliver that education. And remember: content is much more than your blog. Buyers are consuming more and more videos, especially the younger demographics. You may find that YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram help you deliver your content better for Generation Z and Millennial audiences. Blogs and articles may resonate better with Generation X and Baby Boomers. You also have to make sure your buyers can find that content. SEO is still as important today as it has always been. While you can distribute your content through outside sources like Facebook, BuzzFeed, YouTube, and Medium, you can’t guarantee your target audience will find it. Using keywords and search phrases within your articles and video descriptions is crucial. Long-tail keyword phrases may cut down on the number of times you’re found in searches, but you do get two big benefits from them: First, the big brands aren’t using those phrases, so you have less competition. Second, those long-tail keywords are more likely to funnel customers who are looking for your exact products and services.

Ask and Listen

Are your buyers excited about your brand? Do they love your customer service? The best way to determine this is to simply ask. Post polls on your social media profiles and send out surveys in the mail. Give your buyers the chance to really talk back. And when they do, listen. Remember that customer service occurs across multiple platforms today, too. You can’t sit by the phone and expect to hear from all your customers. Instead, monitor your social channels to see what your customers are saying. Reach out and engage through Twitter and Facebook when you see buyers experiencing pain your company can solve.

Deliver an Unforgettable Experience

Now, you’ve set yourself apart from the crowd. You’ve determined your target audience. You’ve asked them what they really, really want. It’s time to put these things together into one truly unforgettable experience. When you deliver on your brand promises, your buyers will remember. They’ll remember that every time a bigger brand drops the ball, and when it’s time to make a purchase again, they’ll be right there at your door with their wallets. And if something should go wrong during the buying process, be prepared to make it right, no matter what the cost. As more and more companies are automating the sales and marketing process, buyers are looking for that special something. If you’re ready to provide that, then you’re well on your way to competing with the big brands. As always, we’re here to help if you need it. Be sure to join us in a couple weeks for our latest training course: 6 Steps Top Brands Use to Build Their Marketing Campaigns. Webinar CTA  

How Each Generation Consumes Your Video Content

Posted by Liz Papagni in Content Marketing | 0 comments

How Each Generation Consumes Your Video Content With over one billion users on YouTube, it’s easy to see that video content isn’t going anywhere soon. In fact, as Gen Y and Gen Z continue to explore their own spending power, brands have discovered that video content is often the preferred medium for engagement. Does that mean you should set out right away to start creating video content for your buyers? Well, possibly. But before you do, you should make sure you know those buyers well, because each generation wants something a little different from their video.

Who’s Watching?

It’s safe to say that Generations X, Y, and Z all find video content to be valuable. However, Gen Z is more likely to be found on YouTube than Gen X, with 70% of teens and young adults visiting the video site daily. Still, 35% of Gen X stops by daily, 31% several times per week, and 22% are watching several times per month. In other words, everyone’s watching, from teens to men and women in their mid-forties. If you’re looking to get your products or services in front of buyers within this age range, then you can’t go wrong with video.

What Are They Watching?

So, now that you know who’s most likely to watch your videos, you probably need to know what type of videos to make. Not everyone is likely to watch the same type, so your content should be geared toward your target audience. For instance, Gen X and Gen Y, or Millennials, still like to see tutorials and how-to videos. Generation Z, however, prefers to watch unboxing videos or “haul” videos, where brands are displayed by influencers. All of the generational groups still want to see product reviews, though. No matter who you’re trying to reach, they want to know if your products work.

Where Are They Watching?

As with the types of videos consumed, the generation also determines where they’ll consume them. YouTube is the biggest platform, as you might guess, with 78% of Generation X, 86% of Millennials, and 93% of Generation Z using it. Other platforms, however, shift in popularity according to the age of the user. For instance, Generation Z doesn’t really seem to use Facebook for video consumption, while 57% of Generation X is still checking out videos on the social network. If you want Generation Z, you have to go to Snapchat, where 41% of Generation Z checks out video content. The real surprise, perhaps, is that Instagram is a big favorite among all three generations, especially with the new Instagram Stories feature. There’s no question that video content is an excellent tool for reaching your audience, regardless of their ages. However, understanding that audience will definitely help you target the types of videos and the platform for sharing so that you can always experience the best possible engagement with your buyers. If you’d like to explore your audience for video marketing campaigns, let us know. We’re happy to help you create marketing that will resonate with your buyers. Webinar CTA

5 Tips to Fix a Bad Business Reputation

Posted by Liz Papagni in Brand Management | 0 comments

fix bad business reputationYour brand is your most important asset. How your buyers perceive your company determines whether or not they’ll make a purchase, refer you to other customers, and—most importantly—come back for more. That relationship between you and your buyers is a lot more fragile than you might think. One PR disaster may be all that stands between you and a bad reputation. If you don’t believe me, consider the mighty blunder of United Airlines. Wow, now there’s a bad reputation in the making. At the writing of this, their stock has dropped $1.4 billion, and is still plunging. Recovering from this could take a while. Now, in most cases, the ding to a reputation isn’t nearly as devastating as this particular example. Before you despair, try these tips to fix a bad business reputation.

Acknowledge the Problem

Whether your problem is presented within your business reviews or all over the news, it’s important that you first acknowledge that there is an issue. Sticking your head in the sand and hoping it will all blow over will only anger your audience.

Learn from the Bad Press

There is a learning moment within even the harshest reviews. Deconstruct the complaints, categorize the statements within, and determine which should be addressed. This is where’ll learn how your buyers feel about the quality of your products, the professionalism of your staff, and the helpfulness of your customer service. Without the bad reviews (or bad press), you may remain unaware of the ways in which you’re failing your customers. Take the criticism to heart and pledge to be better.

Ignore the Irrelevant

You will receive feedback that has nothing to do with your products and services. Once you’ve become well known, it’s inevitable that someone somewhere will attempt to drag you down. Learn how to ignore the feedback that can’t help you. Otherwise, you’ll agonize about things you simply have no control over. Consumers are savvy enough to spot a smear campaign from miles away. If you’re working hard to fix the actual problems, then you’re building even more trust with your buyers. Those irrelevant reviews will have no bearing on your brand.

Address Your Audience

A simple statement from the CEO or PR representative is all you need, but make sure you cover a lot of ground with your address. Name the problem, provide an explanation—not an excuse—and, if you have a solution, convey the steps you’ll take to fix the issue. If you don’t have a solution, at least let your buyers know you’re working on it. Then, reach out to the buyers who made complaints. Thank them for their feedback. Invite them to try your services or products again so they can see how their opinions helped you improve. Even more importantly, they’ll see how you’re working hard to solve for their needs.

The Last Ditch Option

A brand refresh is always an option, even if you’re not dealing with negative publicity. However, a brand refresh should be handled with care, simply because you don’t want to alienate your brand advocates. When you make major changes to your image, you have a lot at stake. Is it time for a refresh? In the case of United Airlines…well, it’s very likely. Digging out of the hole they’ve created will be difficult, but not impossible. If you’re facing total annihilation, then maybe you should consider this option, too. At any rate, it’s never a bad idea to take a critical look at your company and business practices. Ask trusted friends to give honest feedback, and then expand your circle to include strangers and even detractors. The wider the array of people, the more truthful your feedback will be. Remember that a brand refresh isn’t turning your back on your established brand. Instead, you want to maintain those aspects of your identity that your buyers still love while tweaking or updating your vision and mission. These waters are dangerous, but you can navigate them. If you’d like help—whether to weather a PR storm, fix a bad business reputation, or just refresh your brand—give us a call.