10 Simple Ways to Increase Brand Awareness

In today’s market, where trends are created overnight and abandoned just as rapidly, it’s becoming increasingly more important for businesses to market their brand, as opposed to simply marketing individual products. More than just advertising, brands convey the business’s credibility, quality and experience – all of which outlive a product – and which make brand awareness the first important step towards the goal of increasing sales.

Here are 10 simple ways to increase your brand awareness.

  1. Make Your Story Known

Stories help consumers connect with your brand and bring it to a relatable level that they can understand. While no one wants to hear a sob story, a portrayal of a company that was built from the bottom to reach success is one that people generally connect with well.

  1. Share Useful Tips

You should create a company newsletter and use it to provide useful content such as tutorials, how-to’s and other tips that add value to the consumer without requiring any purchases on their end. You can also use it to advertise discounts or specials, as that is undoubtedly something any customer would appreciate.

  1. Use Infographics

Studies have shown that using infographics in a newsletter or blog post makes it much more likely that your content will be viewed and shared, which is your goal, naturally.

  1. Be a Guest Blogger

You can and should have your own company blog, but don’t let that stop you from writing guest posts on other blogs. While other companies similar to yours wouldn’t permit you to post on their site, you can contact people who run industry blogs and request to write a blog post on their site. It will gain you exposure to all of their followers and they get a day off from writing.

  1. Experiment with Pull Marketing

Pull marketing is essentially any kind of marketing that is non-invasive, which means using marketing techniques that don’t make consumers feel like they are continually being sold to. The idea is to let the customer come to you instead of the other way around. You could opt for providing your content through organic SEO practices, blogging or social media.

  1. Biddable Campaigns

Although organic SEO is very effective in its own way, it can be less effective in a saturated industry market. If this is the case, using Pay-Per-Click, either through Google AdSense or Facebook can be more effective.

  1. Write a Book

Writing a book can be time-consuming but, if you’re a regular blogger, it won’t be that difficult and with the arrival of online publishing platforms, it’s easier than ever to become a published author. When you promote or even give your book away free of cost, it will go a long way towards the promotion of your brand.

  1. Host Your Own Radio Channel

This is easier than it sounds. A topical podcast can be either a great alternative or companion to blog posts. Talk about anything industry-related, such as trends, announcements, news or even a debate with a guest. These podcasts should be uploaded both to YouTube as well as to your company website.

  1. Wear Your Logo on Your Sleeve

Famous logos of companies like Adidas, Mercedes-Benz or Coco Chanel – which are so familiar to us now – reached that pinnacle of fame through aggressive marketing. When you think about the fact that they accomplished it without the help of the internet or social media, it makes us think: how much easier could it be for us now? Market your logo wherever and whenever possible – online and offline.

  1. Host an Event

You should consider hosting an event and inviting your target demographic to it, which will get them up close and personal with your brand and far more likely to connect with it. The best part is: promoting your event is also promoting your brand, so it’s win-win.

In closing, building brand awareness can take a bit of time, but, as I’m sure you’ll agree, it will be well worth the effort.

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Social Media Trends to Put Into Practice in 2018

Social Media Trends to Put Into Practice in 2018
If you want to save your time and money (because who doesn’t?), it will be useful for you to know which emerging Social Media trends are the best ones to jump into this year. Hootsuite recently shared their social media trends for 2018 and here’s what made the list.

The Evolution of Social ROI

Organisations that have previously struggled with ROI are discovering greater success by increasing the value of social across the customer lifecycle.

Mobile Viewing Fuels the Growth of Social TV

As greater numbers of consumers use their smartphones to watch videos, this provides social networks with a unique opportunity to create new forms of TV content, entertainment and news. In fact – according to Cisco – by 2019, 86% of all web traffic will be claimed by videos. An astounding thought.

Trust Declines and Peer Influence Rises

The consumer’s trust in large companies and their CEO’s is on the decline. Customers now turn, instead, to influencers, real customer communities and people they can connect with on a relatable level.

Artificial Intelligence

According to Narrative Science, 38% of organisations used AI in 2017 and this is expected to increase to 62% by the end of 2018. However, brands using AI must ensure that their AI strategies remain human, helpful and relevant.

The Promise and Reality of Social Data

Currently, 96% of online conversation is not brand related. Using social media to grow your brand and gain influence is definitely possible and is, in fact, on the rise, but for its capacity to be realised, it will still take some time.

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7 Awesome Tips for Entrepreneurs to Create an Inspiring Vision Board

5 Ways Instagram Influencers Can Help Grow Your Brand
You may have heard of vision boards as a fantastic tool that you can use for inspiration and motivation and to power yourself towards success. Whether you’re using it for your career or personal life, here are 7 tips that will help you create a truly inspiring vision board.

Be Clear About Its Use

A vision board is not a wish list or to-do list, but rather a visualisation tool. The images and words you choose to put on it should be the ones that inspire you to achieve your goals and bring your dreams to life. That being said, there are different types of vision boards. An”I know what I want” vision board is great if you are very clear or specific about what you want to happen, but if you aren’t exactly sure, or there is the possibility of changes due to circumstance, you can create an “Allowing” board. A “Theme” vision board is perfect for those who are working towards a specific goal or changing a particular aspect of their lives.

Get the Pre-Work Going

Before you create your vision board, spend some time contemplating your desires and goals for your career and personal life. Don’t try to rush this activity or do it on the go; rather let it be an experience. Connect with yourself, your desires and where you really want to be. List specific goals and intentions that you can easily track your progress in to make sure you are sticking to your vision.

Narrow it Down

Long term goals can be a bit of a struggle to pin down, which is why you should break them down into smaller, more doable goals that you can accomplish in the present or near future. A good way to do this is to create a plan of action that outlines individual tasks or to create time-based milestones, whichever works better for you.

Gather Representational Images

When choosing the right images for your vision board, it’s more important to let yourself feel than to let yourself think. These images represent what you are aiming for, therefore they should make you feel – happy, inspired, motivated. Don’t try to search for the perfect images, but rather let yourself be led to them.

Arrange it Right

Have a theme or format in mind before you create your vision board. You can look for inspiration online or create something totally original. Whatever theme you choose, don’t let it get too cluttered. Choose fewer but better pictures and colours that calm and soothe you.

Put it to Use

Put your board up where you can see it every day and often. When looking at it, stop for a few minutes and take the time to let the images inspire you and the words motivate you. Don’t confuse it with daydreaming. The point of the vision board is to envision the steps you will take to achieve your goals, not just what your life will be like if you do.

Redo Your Board as Needed

If there are events and changes that alter your vision, don’t be afraid to redo your board to fit your new goals. Life is unpredictable, but don’t let changes in circumstances alter your desire to achieve your goals. Rearrange or replace the images and affirmations to reflect what you are working towards so you can continue to be inspired and motivated by this wonderful tool!

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5 Ways Instagram Influencers Can Help Grow Your Brand

5 Ways Instagram Influencers Can Help Grow Your Brand

If you’re trying to grow your brand on Instagram, you may have some misgivings at the idea of using “influencers”, wondering if it’s even something that works. In truth, brands have been utilizing the influence of celebrities for decades and Instagram is no different. Though “Instagram famous” may not be exactly the same thing as being a world-famous celebrity, the result of their influence is the same. Read on to find out how Instagram influencers can help you to grow your brand.

What is Influencer Marketing and How Does it Work?

The recent popularization of social media makes it possible for anyone to create great content and use it to build a loyal following, which brands can then utilize. An influencer promoting your product WILL bring it to the attention of their followers. In fact, studies have shown that 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers trust the opinions of their influencers even more than they do world-famous celebrities. The reasons for this are manifold; one of the main ones being that influencers are more accessible to the general public. Brands pay influencers to either use, promote or mention their product – prompting their loyal fans and followers to engage and boosting your marketing reach by a long shot.

1.    Expand Your Reach with User-Generated Content

The aim of any campaign is, of course, for it to go viral with maximum engagement and reach and one of the best ways to do that is to invite users to create their own content about your brand. Create a catchy hashtag that represents your brand message and a description that prompts users to post their own content using your hashtag. Once an influencer creates a post – perhaps a selfie of them holding or using your product – and encourages their followers to do the same, Instagram can soon be flooded with photos of users using your product. To boost your campaign even more, you can ask people to tag your brand in their posts, and even offer a reward for the most creative or most liked post. By making it a competition, you could see a significant boost in engagement and ROI for your campaign.

2.    Experiment with Multiple Mediums

Another way to achieve that high ROI from campaigns using Instagram influencers is by utilizing their various platforms. Most influencers promote their content on multiple platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Your campaign can grow from Instagram and reach thousands more followers by using different platforms.

3.    Use an Influencer Marketplace

You will want to find the right influencer to help with the marketing of your campaign; so instead of doing a lot of tedious research, why not use an influencer marketing platform or tool? The advantages are:

  • You can improve and narrow down your influencer search with filters and pre-vetted influencers
  • You can easily access the analytics of the progress of your campaign
  • You can automate your billing to make it easier

4.    Work with a Team of Micro-Influencers

Since working with a high-profile influencer can be expensive, another alternative is to work with a number of micro-influencers, which can often generate the same reach you would get working with just one high-profile influencer. While reach is important, engagement is the Holy Grail of social media promotion.

You can measure your engagement with this formula: Engagement rate = # of likes + # of comments / # of followers.

Micro-influencers might have less reach but actually manage to engage their audiences a lot more (6% compared to the average 1.6% for celebrities). So, if you combine the efforts of the micro-influencers, you can end up getting a lot more actual engagement on your posts.

5.    Position Yourself for Different Audiences

Your brand has its own story, but that story can be told from many different points of view to engage different types of audiences. When a brand can use different angles to tell their story, it can result in very powerful reach and engagement.

A good example of this is the campaign Mercedes- Benz launched last year for their 2017 GLS sport utility car. They used 2 separate influencers to create Instagram and YouTube content.

While one influencer photographed the car in the snow with a Siberian husky running beside it, generating engagement from animal lovers and the outdoors and outdoor sports lovers; the other influencer – chef Chris Coombs – created a post in which he drove the car around, assembling ingredients for a meal. This appealed to foodies, restaurant lovers and health food supporters. Together, the two posts generated 173 million impressions on Instagram and 2.3 million likes and comments. Impressive!

In conclusion, working with Instagram influencers could make the difference for any brand that wants to expand its reach and promote its products. Find the way that will work best for you and go for it!

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6 Reasons Why You Need a Social Media Strategy

6 Reasons Why You Need a Social Media Strategy

When it comes to social media influence, building your brand can be challenging. You need a clearly defined strategy as, without one, you can find yourself hitting dead end after dead end; posting, but getting no real results.

Today we’ll review the top 6 reasons why you need a social media strategy for your brand and how having a strategy will benefit you.

To Build a Strong, Organic Presence

Building a strong and organic presence is crucial. Users need to become accustomed to seeing your posts. With a social media strategy, you can plan in advance and schedule your posts, fulfilling the #1 rule of social media – posting consistently. Many social media accounts fail to grow due to lack of consistent posting.

To Save Time

The creation of a content calendar and content bank may seem to be a time-consuming task, but it is well worth the initial effort. You will find that sorting and scheduling your posts a week or month in advance will save you time in the long run and the course of your posts will run smoother as well.

To Make Sure Your Goals Are Covered

Having a social media strategy in place helps you to stay focused on the broader spectrum of your goals. The creation of your strategy requires you to outline your business goals, which means you can work backwards from there and generate posts that reinforce them. You should also outline your social media goals and keep track of their progress to make sure you’re staying on the right path.

To Effectively Target Your Audience

A social media strategy will help you target your audience more effectively by helping you to engage them. You can utilize polls or questions in your updates to get a better understanding of your audience; what they react to and how to provide more value to them.

To Leave Room for Creativity and Create Better Content

The creation and use of a social media strategy will give you a bird’s eye view of the whole social media spectrum. You will be able to easily discern what is working and what isn’t. With this information you can create the type of content your audience can connect with; enabling you to become more creative and have a more targeted approach. You can get creative with live videos, Instagram and Facebook Stories and Twitter conversations.

To Stay Ahead of the Competition

Every reason for having a social media strategy we’ve gone over in this article is to the end goal of asserting your presence and staying ahead of the competition. With the scheduling and planning of your posts out of the way, you can focus on the details that really help you stand out. You will be able to analyze and tweak for better results, develop your brand niche, establish a distinctive look and feel for your brand account, post consistently and attract the followers you are looking for.

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