5 powerful social media tips for small businesses

Think about it: you spend a lot of time planning this new business and you want to start small. You have great products and an awesome idea, but the brand needs to be known by other people, by your potential customers, so you can sell and be successful with your new venture.

With that in mind, what should be your next step? You are just starting and you don’t have a big budget to spend on advertising. The solution for your problems are called Social Media. You certainly must have used Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social networks on personal accounts, but it never came through your mind the power they have to transform your business in a rock star.

Go find your customers!

But why should my business have a presence on social media? It’s where your customers are every day. In addition, these social media channels can make you reach these customers and even discover more information about them, so you can offer what they need.

Just so you know: more than 2.5 billion people use social media. What are the chances of your customers be part of this number? Big chances!

You must be wondering, “Ok, I know that social media can be a great way for me to spread the word about my business and reach my customers. But how I do this?” In this post, we are going to give you 5 essential tips to make your business successful in every social media.

Well, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work!

1- You better have a plan!

Before you start, be sure you have a plan. You must have in mind:

  •  Your goals and objectives;
  • If you already have pages on social media, take a look at them and research about your audience, what social media networks they use the most and what your competitors are doing (maybe you can do it better than them);
  • Test, test, test: you should make tests every day to see what works and what doesn’t. Maybe you won’t have the answer right away, but you can always post something and see if your audience likes it. Then, you can adjust your strategies accordingly;
  • Have a calendar is essential! You can plan ahead and set up the dates and times to post your content.

2- You don’t have to be omnipresent!

Choose the best social media networks for your business.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest… There is a lot of options and you don’t necessarily need to be on all of them. Make a research, see what your audience tends to like more and aim on it. It can be only Facebook, or maybe Facebook and Instagram. Remember: it’s better to have less pages on social media and do a good job, than to have a lot of pages and lose quality.

3- Be consistent

You don’t need to do 10 posts a day (unless you’re have a news page or something similar), but you have to be consistent with your social media pages. One post a day is recommended but it is not a rule. Check what works better with your audience but keep your presence noticeable to them. Who is going to remember of a page who only have 1 post per week?

4 – Listen to your audience and respond to them

Be present for your customers.

Reserve a time of your day to listen what your audience has to say and respond to them. This will help know your customers better, understand what they like and what they don’t and maybe adjust your content so they would engage more. Also, responding and having a communication will show them your company it’s open to hear and paying attention.

5- Sell and promote your product, but not too much.

You must remember this rule called 80/20. That means only 20% of your social media content should be promotional, selling your products. The other 80% must contain posts that are relevant to your audience, topics they like and that they have more chance to interact and engage with.

Today, only 50% of small business owners have pages on social media networks. Be on the other half. Use this tips to take advantage of this powerful tools and take your business to the next level.

Questions:

1- What other tips would you give to small business owners to be successful on social media?

2- How many of you have (or had) a small business and struggle to have a presence on social media?

3- Do you think social media for small businesses is important or they can live without it?

New trends on Instagram and Youtube

Social Media changes: a new challenge for everybody.

We all know social medias are frequently updating their services to improve users experience, for example, new filters, new layout, new tools to have a better performance. These changes are really easy to notice one you login  in  Instagram and YouTube, for example, but how about the changes of rules and polices of those social medias? Are you aware?

Recently Instagram and YouTube has announced significant changes that directly affect the business users.

Instagram changes: 

  1. When you make a post, it will impact in the first moment just 10% of your followers and only after 24 hours, depending on the post engagement, it will reach the 90% left.
  2. Another change is related to the comments. Short comments like “Loved it”, “Nice” or just emoji no longer generate engagement and can be noticed as spam. What the users should do in this situation once is it not possible to control the follower’s comments? A solution is trying to create subtitles strategies that will engage the users to write more, because a good comment must have at least 4 words.
  3. Answer the user’s comments in the first 60 minutes will help increase engagement. Interacting with your audience is extremely important.         

    Instagram has new changes
  4. Stories are gaining more and more importance on Instagram, the rule is simple: the more you post the more you show up.  This is a perfect way to interact with you followers and more you do it more you will appear.  Now we have to post even more stories. Have you posted any today?
  5. Last, but not least, The limit of hashtags per post it is 30, the recommended is now only 5, more than that can be consider as spam. Do not use the same hashtags, always post different ones. The correct way to make your picture be shown thru the hashtags is posting on the photo caption and not on the comments.

YouTube changes: 

The YouTube made some changes on the monetization policies. What has changed?

YouTube Monetization Policies

First of all, monetization police permit users that are having a good performance to earn money with ads on the beginning of their videos. The requirements to be part of this police weren’t that complicated and what you needed was:

  • Clearly show that you produce original content;
  • Produce content on a regular basis;
  • Have content that complies with YouTube Community rules;
  • You are located in one of the Partner Program countries.

However, the first change was made in 2017, which stipulated that users must have a minimum of 10,000 views to be able to apply for monetization.

Even with this first change, others were implemented in the beginning of this year:

  • Now the users must have 1,000 subscribers and at least 4,000 hours of content watched in the last 12 months.

Because of these new rules, the users that used to earn money thru YouTube will pass thru re-evaluation and If not meet the requirements will be removed from the program by February 20.

The question now is WHY YouTube did all these changes?

  1. Simplicity of applying for the program made it difficult to validate channels.
  2. The distribution of the ads according to the content that would be exposed was totally controlled by the system, which is based on the algorithms, having no validation of YouTube itself.

Due to these reasons, a large number of advertisements were linked in offensive and censurable videos. That way, big companies left Google Ads: Walmart and PepsiCo were one of them.

Pepsico and Walmart leave Google ads.

Facing these changes on social media it is important to create new strategies, methods to adapt and to get where we want. Everything that is new and different often frighten us, but we cannot stop creating new ideas and moving forward. There is always a solution to everything.

 

Short Introduction to French SEO & Social Media

This guide will deal with the best technics to advertise on Search Engine (SE) such as Google, Yahoo or Bing when you`re trying to have a French core target. We are going to analyze at the differences that can exist between French SEM markets and foreign ones. This short report purpose is to help companies have a first look at the subtleties of the French standards when it comes to creating an efficient digital advertising campaign.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of UCSD. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information.

1/ French advertising culture

Before going online, it`s important to understand the way advertising is elaborated and displayed in France on old formats such as Billboards or TV.

At first glance, the first assumption that could be made about Frenches` tastes and habits in terms of lifestyle is that they love everything that is refined and stylish. Indeed, it could be obvious for anyone since it’s usually a stereotype but I can tell you that it’s definitely true, especially if it’s about what fall into the following categories: Foods, Wines, Cosmetics or Clothes.

Let`s illustrate this point with concrete examples:

This poster advertising is part of one of the most successful campaign ever done by Louis Vuitton in France.

If we literally translate what is written on this ad into English it means: “Louis Vuitton, an invitation to travel”. It emphasizes the fact that the product alone is part of a mystery that will bring you to an unknown location.

Invitation au Voyage Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton, Invitation au Voyage Campaign, 2012

This concept is directly inspired by the “Disruption” strategy invented in France by TBWA. The aim of this strategy is to break the code of an established policy in a specific domain; this advertising campaign just redefined the concept of poster advertising itself by minimizing the information on purpose. Here, we just have the name of the brand that is visible what lets people imagining the meaning of it as opposed to the Japanese way which is much more informative.

This practice evolved more and more on the long run until a few years ago when it became the standards in France in all kinds of industry such as mass retailing, cosmetics, alcohol or fashion.

As for example you will find here some poster advertisings that illustrate perfectly this point.

Absolut Ad 2016

Even if different types of advertising still exist, uncluttered ads are the most spread ones in France and the trend is far from vanishing.

Other kinds of advertising (not disruption based) depends directly of products sold. As for examples if you`re trying to sell a ready-to-eat meal even if disruption has already been used for that kind of products the current trend is to use price emphasized ads.

2/ French Digital Advertising Market

 

The French advertising market is one of the biggest in Europe (3rd behind UK and Germany). A lot of powerful advertising groups are based in France such as the Publicis Groupe (Turnover of 9.6 Billion in 2015) or JCDecaux (3.4 Billion in 2016). French is also the language spoken by a lot of people outside of France. As for example in Canada (Quebec), Africa (Nigeria, Algeria…) or others.

Moreover the presence of some of the biggest international groups retailing all around the world (LVMH, Channel, L’Oréal…) make advertising even more important in France when you know that all decisions for the communication policy are taken in their France based headquarters.

Starting from that point it`s logical to have one of the most active market always at the leading-edge of new methods and concepts when it comes to advertising. Something we`d like to point out is that trend is all the more true for the Online advertising market since it`s increasing at an exponential rate.

France just spent 4.2 Billion in 2015 in online advertising

Even if it doesn`t seem to be a lot, it means that between the 2014 and 2015 the online advertising market has grown by more than 13% in France.

We also have to keep an eye on some variables we must take into account in order to understand who we are advertising at when we`re relying on an online marketing strategy. As for example the share of connected people without any degree was 44% in 2014 what is far away from the 97 % of the higher education degrees holders (Source: Conseil general de l`economie).

Last but not least, let`s have a look on how is evolving the repartition of the digital advertising expenses in France.

Although everyone is always speaking about the importance of social media in digital marketing we mustn’t forget the importance of other media that can weight much more in the balance than what we could think in a first glance.

2017 to 2021 data are all forecasts

In average social media represent 9% of the total digital advertising expenses in France, moreover, even if the pure amount of money spent is increasing each year it does it proportionally to the total what results in an overall stability of the weighted expenses.

As soon as you look at the graph you understand the importance of emphasizing an efficient Search Engine Optimization strategy since it represents up to 48% in 2015 to start to slightly decrease afterwards on the following years because of the rise of Video advertising shares.

To sum up, an efficient digital marketing strategy in France must include at least SEO and Video advertising in order to do a long-term bet, especially if your budget is relatively low.

Nevertheless, we recommend you strongly to add social media to your strategy since you could suffer from a lack of competitiveness if you don`t use them and not be able to face competitors.

If you have extra funds, try to use also classifieds advertising to your assets for a more complete strategy but don`t forget that beyond money it will cost you also time. Banners are not very efficient in France, people find them invasive and are often assimilated as Spam.

Now that we have understood the cultural characteristics of the French advertising market we can deal with the following issue: How can I optimize and develop a SEM & SNS strategy in France in 2017?

What Search Engine in France?

First we need to look at the different resources we must rely on in order to perform well. Let`s have a look on the different search engine used in France at the end of 2014:

As in almost all the European countries, unsurprisingly Google is the absolute leader with more than 93% of the shares.

Even if Yahoo and Bing are still used, they are slowly losing more and more market shares for years and are closed from getting out of this country.

Then, it`s clear that if you target France for a SEO campaign, using other search engine than Google would be just a loss of time.

Moreover, according to a survey done by Eurostat in 2016, 6.6% of the total population of France are foreign people. Even if it`s a melting pot including various nationalities, you can try to optimize the number of people reached through your SEO campaign by including a few ads in English. By doing so you will slightly increase the potential market shares covered by your ads.

What comes next logically is another important insight we have to analyze: The Social Media utilization habits of French people.

When it comes to Social Media, French people are generally keen on Facebook whose the Messenger app is used as a main way to communicate with others (in addition to classical text message). YouTube must also be highly considerated.

Twitter and Instagram even if not as used as the first ones are gaining market shares each year what makes them even more interesting.

Source: Statista 2014

But it would be genuine to think that this chart alone let us understood the full potential of the French SM market for a company who wants to advertise in France. The time spent per SM chart gives us more data to complete the analysis. It makes us able to have an idea of the “weight” of each social media in the daily life of french people.

Having in mind that our aim is to show as many ads as possible to our core target, it seems defitinely that Facebook and YouTube are social networks we can use for as strategic plateforms.

Nevertheless, we have to keep in mind that even if the time spent per day on YouTube is the highest among all SM, the timeframe when we can display ads is lower than others Social Media. Indeed we have generally one opportunity at the beginning of each video to run an ad even though the CTR is very low as opposed to other SM where opportunities are numerosous and the CTR is generally higher.

In a nutshell, although YouTube is a Media we can perform admirably on, a main SNS strategy should include it but not making the core of it.

So what do we do ?

To sum up, in France your digital marketing strategy must include Google as a search engine and Facebook as a social network. Everything that comes in addition to it is a plus that genereally perform relatively well combined with the two mentionned above.

Don`t forget to consider the nature of your product before promoting on social media. If your business is all about visual experiences it will be clever to associate it with Instagram mainly because of its nature. As for example, in France all clothes start-ups use Instagram combined with Facebook together in order to create an exponential followers growth as it is massively shared on both of the social networks.

3/ How to create ads that fit the French market?

 

In order to create an efficient SEO campaign in French you must rely on all the cultural aspects that have been listed and explained before. After reading them all, you can definitely consider the followings:

  • Simple and uncluttered visual ads on Display.

 

  • Crazy about disruption when it comes to luxury brands or high price products. If you`re selling high end goods then aim for original ads that can be really catchy. For text ads, try to give them a bit of cultural Japanese touch. It will make them even more relevant afterwards.

 

  • Brand image is essential for everything linked to fashion, luxe and more generally conspicuous consumption. In France it`s all about perception and brand recognition.

 

  • They need direct information to understand clearly what they buy; unclear or confused information just lead to poor CTR as the interest will drop.

 

  • Begging for clicks or action is not efficient, try to avoid “book now” or others except if they are linked to a time-bounded promotion. Don`t try to trick people, they will just realize as for example that your ad is disinformation and will never deal with your website again. So it`s even more important to don`t forget to pause old promo ads!

 

To conclude let’s never forget that 1 image worth 1000 words. So here some 8000 words value presentation to integrate those concepts even better!

Uploading YouTube Videos For Max Views

Uploading YouTube Videos for Max Views

How to Upload YouTube Videos For Max Views in 7 Butt-Kicking Steps

Are you ready to make your investment pay off and get max YouTube views?

Yes, of course!  It’s been a ton of work to produce this video and it’s time to make it count.  The challenge at this stage, especially if you’ve been wearing all hats, is burnout.  You’ve completed dozens if not hundreds of decisions and tasks to finish the video and you desperately want to hit upload, call it done and hope that YouTube works its magic and your video gets a boatload of views.

It’s time to take a breather, acknowledge the success of creating the video and get ready for the second phase.  Wait, what … a second phase?  Yes, and it’s actually a lot of fun! 

The second phase is where you bring your “video to market” by getting it in front of your desired audience.   We’re going to talk about how to do this by reviewing what Vlogger and YouTuber extraordinaire Amy Schmittauer of Savvy Sexy Social has to say.  So grab your favorite beverage and discover what you need to do to get your video across the finish line and in front of your target audience.  

  1.  Keyword or Phrase Research

Uploading YouTube Videos for Max Views

It all starts here.   Before you take another step you need to know if there is a demand for your topic.  Ideally, you will have done this before you created the video.  If not, kind of a bummer, but do it next time. Either way, use it to help prepare keywords or phrases that people are searching for.  If they’re relevant to your topic you can use them for the next step.  There are several free tools, just Google “YouTube Keyword research.”  You can get started with Keywordtool.io/youtube or Tubebuddy, a Chrome extension to get a feel for how they work.

2.  Prepare Metadata and a Custom Thumbnail

Uploading YouTube Videos for Max Views

YouTube’s algorithms are the second audience to consider since your video has to make it past the technology that is processing 300 hours of video every minute.  You can help yourself by making it easier for YouTube’s gatekeeper to properly categorize your video.  This gatekeeper is an algorithm and the language it speaks is metadata.  For your video to be found by your audience,  it has to be in the right section, where viewers would expect it to be.   This is the time to gather your keyword research and plan the video’s headline, description, and tags.

To stand out from the competition, you’ll need to create a custom thumbnail.  Don’t let YouTube auto-generate one for you,  it won’t be pretty; it will either be irrelevant and random or it will resemble a DMV or Costco Membership photo at best.  No, this won’t do.  It’s time to be strategic and think about standing out from the competition.  Think about scrolling through Netflix or the checkout line at the grocery store.  How do you make your choices?  Your potential viewers do the same thing when deciding to watch a YouTube video.  Follow the pro’s lead and create a high quality, attractive thumbnail that represents your content and shows less than 3 people, ideally one closeup face.  

The next tip is to make it easier for viewers as they’re scanning through videos; add text to the thumbnail.  Keep it brief, a supermini headline with large, legible font.  This reinforces that this video is what the viewer is looking for and will answer a question.  

3.  Upload video with metadata and thumbnail

Uploading YouTube Videos for Max Views

As automated as the whole video upload process may appear, resist the urge to put it on autopilot and walk away.   Stay put and monitor the upload.  Add the metadata and thumbnail before the process is complete for best results.

4.  Review video for errors

Uploading YouTube Videos for Max Views

When you’re creating your video, part of the post-production process involves checking for errors.  It’s a given that errors happen, so don’t fret, you’ll need to scan multiple times to smooth out the edges.  You’ll catch mistakes you didn’t see before and it’s best to have a second or third pair of eyes to review the video.  This is important after the upload also.  Video upload is not a perfect process.  Stuff can happen in transmission that produces unintended results.  This is the time to catch and fix mistakes.

5.  Add Cards and End Screen

Uploading YouTube Videos for Max Views

What is it about binge-watching and why does it seem that we can’t get enough of our favorite shows?  Who knows, but why not tap into this behavior by encouraging viewers to stay on your site and give them a reason to keep watching?  Cards and endscreens  are two YouTube tools that can help keep viewers tuned it and coming back.  Although YouTube allows up to 5 cards, keep it to one or two, because anymore can be distracting.  Think strategically about the endscreen message.  Do you want to promote other videos, encourage subscription, or both?  What message will encourage the viewer to stay interested and engage?

6.  Comment on the video

Uploading YouTube Videos for Max Views

The comment section is where things come alive, dialogue happens, and viewers interact with one another.  It’s important to throw out the welcome mat and let viewers see your comment under the video, especially in the early stages of building an audience.   Viewers will see you’re there to engage in conversation and are interested in what they have to say.

If someone posts a negative comment and it’s a legitimate customer complaint, promptly engage, keep it light and professional and offer to resolve this issue offline.   This can be turned into a positive as you differentiate your brand as responsive and demonstrate that your door is open.

7.  Publish, Share, and Comment More 

Uploading YouTube Videos for Max Views

Rather than leaving views to chance, you can hustle to get your video seen by more viewers.  Unless you’re lucky, lots of views won’t happen on their own.  Hard work isn’t glamorous, but it’s effective with a good strategy.

Have you ever seen your favorite actors on talk shows discussing their latest project?  Why do they do it?  Because they have a movie, show or event to promote – these celebrities work the talk show circuit, post on social media, and go on podcasts or radio; in short, they move to the second phase of the project, doing what it takes to get your attention and butt in the seat!

Since this works for the big guys, why not take a page from their playbook for your videos?  Prior to hitting publish on YouTube or right after, take your custom thumbnail with text, a catchy headline and post it on your social media channels.  A solo hyperlink without an image won’t cut it here.  The goal is to take up visual real estate in social media feeds; therefore, compelling visuals and copy are a must to help drive traffic to your video.  What words can you use to build up some excitement and anticipation?  If you have an email list, let them know about the video.

And what about the comment section, after you’ve posted your introductory comments and engaged initially?  Follow the celebrity lead…keep the conversation going, answering questions, engaging viewers a.k.a. doing your thing as you begin to build a following.  

Here are a couple of Dwight approved bonuses to help you do a roundhouse.

Uploading YouTube Videos for Max Views

Bonus #1 – “Uploading YouTube Videos for Maximum Views” Infographic 

Uploading YouTube Videos For Max Views

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bonus #2 – “Uploading YouTube Videos for Maximum Views”  SlideShare


Sources:
  1. Amy Schmittauer at Savvy Sexy Social https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxN1Hdu4s7g&t=335s
  2. https://www.fastcompany.com/3059450/netflix-knows-which-pictures-youll-click-on-and-why
  3. Ryan McGuire, Gratisography
  4. Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash
  5. Savvy Sexy Social
  6. https://pixabay.com/en/gift-box-christmas-bow-present-2934858/
  7. proprecisionpainting.com/top-10-paint-fails-in-pictures/
  8. YouTube – All About Cards
  9. Photo by Alain Pham on Unsplash
  10. Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash
  11. Giphy.com – The Office

Don’t create content that doesn’t help you to grow!

SEO & Content Marketing

Don’t just create content to fill in your blog or other content channels. Instead be smart and use content that can help to enhance your business. Social media and SEO (search engine optimization) goes hand in hand. SEO data helps you to improve your social media efforts, whereas social media can help to increase your search rankings. Why writing something that doesn’t even help you to attract more traffic to your social media channels or website?

SEO SEO target audiencedata should be the source of your content, since it provides bunch of information about your target audience: who they are, how they search for things, what keywords they’re using and what sites they’re surfing. The goal of your content creation is to provide the information that your target audience needs and searches for!

 


Keywords – Do you know what they search?

In order to increase your brand presence and visibility in the Google ranking you need to understand which terms are being used. These terms are the ones that interests your target audience therefore your content should cover these terms. This is where SEO gets into the game. It is important to know the most frequent search queries related to your brand.

Right toolsMost of the time, the best insights come from discussions about your niche on general, but not a specific product. That is to say that, you need to search for the keywords you want to target in organic and paid search and use them in your content in order to get social media awareness.

When you discover these keywords, you can set alerts to do a daily search on various social networks like Twitter and Facebook to get interesting insight from your niche. Then it is just to build content around these keywords.

Tools to learn about your keywords  MOZ or Mention.


 

Competitor insights- Why reinventing the wheel?

Sometimes the wheel could be invented by your competitors. Determine who your competitors are, and which companies have a similar audience with an effective content strategy. By analyzing how your business ranks in your niche, you can easily set goals for your social media campaign.

There is many tools that will help you to define where the best competitors write about and where it’s getting shared the most. This approach allows you to not only build your content strategy, but also improve your social media efforts.

Tool to look at your competitors SEranking


Viral trends-2

Trends- Google offers all the hot topics

There is lots of data available to use for marketers. When creating content take a look at the trends and identify what topics are hot for a specific period of time. You should modify your social media content based on most popular queries, this will help your content to stay relevant for your customers. You will be able to design your content in a more fun and attention-grabbing manner.

Google is making lots of its data available for everyone, Google Trends, Google Trends for Websites as well as Google Insights for Search.  These are just few tools you can use in order to stay up to date.

Look at one of the many trend tools from Google trends


 

 

 

 

4 Steps To Meaningful Content

Meaningful Content

Meaningful Content?

How does one define Meaningful Content? How do companies connect with customers today on a meaningful level? What is the best medium to create meaningful content? Is it enough to “just sell” product over the internet? Do customers feel like they have to be emotionally connected to their purchase? These are many questions companies ask themselves over the course of creating their brand content.

For some companies, content is the end all, be all. Their identity is defined by the content they produce. Most companies that focus on their content prove to be successful. Below illustrates the top 4 steps to enhance meaningful content in today’s society.

Step 1: Have An Authentic Story

Most brands exist to fill a need.  A small subset of those brands have a story to tell why they are around. Creating an authentic story, to create meaningful content, takes your brand to the next level. Meaningful content creates stories that make the company more than a brand and end up connecting with the customer on a deeper level.

Take Toms for example, while they have many products in their line, they are most known for their content around their story. Most everyone can connect with their story of one for one. You buy a product, they will give a product away to a person in need. This story is bigger than the brand itself.

Meaningful Content
1 Cup of Coffee = 1 Day of Safe Water for a Person in Need

You might not know that Toms sells coffee, but you would assume that every coffee sold, something is given to someone in need. This perception is based on their effective content.

Step 2: Grow Awareness

The next step to enhancing meaningful content is to grow awareness of your brand’s story. Not everyone is going to know your brands story at first. There are many different mediums to start growing awareness; social media, blog posts, YouTube, etc. Focusing on your brands story creates trust and thought. You could be a new brand, or a brand that has been around for years, trying to find a new meaningful message that connects. Growing awareness requires meaningful content.

Take Cadillac as an example. During the 2017 Oscars, they debuted a new commercial aimed at connecting Americans through times of political adversity. The commercial focuses on where Americans persevere together, rather than tear each other apart, while only mentioning the brand,Cadillac, at the end. Watch here: Cadillac’s “Carry”.

Step 3: Make A Connection 

While sharing your companies story is a great way to start to embracing the brand culture, it is not enough. Engaging customers and making a connection with them is the next step to creating meaningful content. One never knows the depth of their content without hearing from others.  Connection, or engagement, can be found in many different forms -social Media interaction, shares, likes, and comments all show engagement at the highest level.

Creating meaningful content, creates authentic connection and commutation between the brand and consumer.

Step 4: Make A Difference

Finally, to enhance your meaningful content, you must be actively trying to make a difference. This must be visible and relevant to the consumer, so there is no question what your message is. Content can range from a simple Instagram post, like the below, to a full blog stating the companies initiatives.

100% of Black Friday Sales go to grassroots Environmental Groups
100% of Black Friday Sales go to grassroots Environmental Groups

In Conclusion…

Creating meaningful content proves you are an authentic storytelling brand. With this, you will gain and retain a customer base that fully follows and trusts your vision for the future.  They become customers for life believing you will make a difference. Meaningful content can be hard to create, but once the voice of the brand is found, the meaningful content will last with the customer forever.

Meaningful Content

Content Marketing- The Medium AND The Message

Why Both Are Important When Creating Content For Your Target Audience

Content Marketing the medium and the message

Marshall McLuhan, a renowned professor and intellectual, particularly in the realm of media theory, is often credited with predicting the internet almost thirty years before its advent. In the early 1960’s, he coined the immediately popular expression, “The medium is the message”. This concept indicates that a medium’s content is less significant than the medium itself. He notes, it is the medium, and not the content, that has a greater impact on shaping an individual’s, or group’s, perception. For instance, McLuhan would contend that the television carries with it much more significance than any of the messages coming out of it.  This idea has remained a controversial topic in advertising and mass media since its inception. McLuhan’s influence waned somewhat in the following decades, but with the incredible growth and influence the internet has had on mass media, there has been resurgence in interest with his work. There certainly is application to this idea, or variations of it, when considering content marketing.

This post will focus on the idea that in order to create quality content, for a specific target audience, you must keep in mind both the medium and the message as foundational aspects of your content. Their symbiotic relationship is key in engaging customers and providing them content that they want and need.

The Backlash

McLuhan may have had a point, especially when regarding mass media and looking at the term “medium” in a broad sense, but when it comes to content marketing, McLuhan might have missed the mark. “The medium is not the message, the message is the message”, was the retort that many had for McLuhan’s controversial conjecture. This kind of critique doesn’t really focus on what McLuhan was getting at anyway. He saw the “content” or “message” as the apparent component, at least to the consumer, where the “medium” is what introduces subtly, over long periods of time, the types of changes that affect our perception.

If you take into account these ideas and place emphasis not on one or the other, but the combination of the two. You’ll have the proper ingredients to creating quality content.

Types of Media (The Medium)

For the content marketer today, there is a plethora of media that can be used. There is the tried and tested advertising media of the 20th century:

Advertising media

And what could be considered new media of the 21st century:

websites, social media, video games, wikis, blogs

Choosing the right form of media is vital in grabbing the target audience you’re looking to engage with.

Crafting the Content (The Message)

Now that you’ve chosen your medium, it takes careful consideration when creating the content that goes into it. Delivering the right message is imperative in engaging and retaining customers. You want to be part, or all of, the information that you would want your customers consuming. With good content, you won’t have to try too hard to get customers involved. By being the most educational resource for your customer you will set up a longstanding relationship. Much like the symbiosis between the medium and the message, the business and the consumer must be in some form of unison.

A Couple Examples of a Good Medium with a Good Message

The Furrow (John Deere)

the-furrow-magazine-cover

Medium: Magazine (Originally in Print, now also Online)

Message: Provides to the reader a mix of current issues in farming with both local and international background, and best practice examples as well as exclusive news and facts on John Deere products and company strategy.

Red Bull TV

red bull tv

Medium: TV and Online

Message: Gives the viewer front-row access to live events, the best in action sports, new music and entertainment, and thrilling videos from world adventurers. Provided a medium where the wasn’t one in the field of action sports.

CONCLUSION

Content Marketing takes into consideration both the Medium and the Message as key components for determining what a specific target audience will want and need.

 

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Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_medium_is_the_message

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_McLuhan

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-vector/business-strategy-concept-infographic-diagram-illustration-272061782

https://www.deere.com/en_INT/industry/agriculture/our_offer/the_furrow/the_furrow_magazine.page

https://www.redbull.tv/