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How to get the most out of your social media tools
As technology progresses, the growth of new generation video, messaging and social media services are becoming more and more crucial to the development of marketing. The importance that we place on our devices is not only consuming our everyday personal lives but spilling over into the running of our businesses. Think about it. How many times do you use messaging services such as Whatsapp to contact a colleague on a daily basis? Or perhaps you use Facebook as a platform to grow mailing lists and/or connect with future clients or partners? Now these technologies will not be for all of us, but I could bet my bottom dollar that if you’re reading this article, then it probably does. At Storment Media, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to produce content that will appeal to all demographics, no matter the size or type of your business. Understanding your demographic is the most crucial information you will need before you decide on the outlet you will choose to focus on.
Here is a quick guide to the ‘big 5’ social media apps, how to use them to your advantage and how they can benefit you, no matter what your business is.
Over the last couple of years, this social media platform has taken on many faces and progressed into a heavily video based streaming and image sharing platform. While the younger demographic (16-24 yrs) are losing momentum and turning to more instant forms ways to reach and connect with the world more instantaneously (see Snapchat and Instagram), it is still a great way to reach out to a mass consumer database and getting to know your customers. For example, even the comments section allows you to get immediate feedback from your key demographic market. Being so involved and heavily inundated with video marketing content it may be hard to get your voice heard, but it does have its perks – don’t underestimate the power great content and it’s ability to gain popularity quickly.
Ah, Twitter. Another one of the social media heavy-weights. Twitter is usually home to celebrity feuds and sharp controversial opinions. However, Twitter can be a fantastic way to gain a rapport with your clients and customers. Depending on what type of business you are, it can be a way to share news, distribute links to exciting offers, news and content and show the world your wit and charm through snappy punch lines. If you choose Twitter to represent your business online, make sure to keep content updated. The danger of not updating your tweets can lead to a loss of interest in what you have to say and a potential lack of faith in your business. Because, if you can’t keep up to date with your socials, how can your ‘followers’ expect you keep up to date with your business and customers?
If you haven’t yet ventured into the new world of Snapchat yet, then get going. It is a fantastic marketing opportunity that you cannot afford to miss. It’s original intention was to allow users to send ‘snap’ shots of their daily lives to their friends, whether that’s an image or a short video, only for it to be erased as soon as it is seen. The beauty of this new app was a refreshing alternative to the seemingly permanent nature of Facebook. Out of this grew opportunities for online-based businesses (such as online publications, music company’s, news sites and much more). Much like Facebook, it is very dependent on demographic. Used primarily by the younger age group of 16-24, however, if you’re business is that way inclined, it is the perfect way to reach out and keep your customers up to date using visual curated media that shows a level of authenticity and personality.
Instagram is a very visually stimulating social media and so it is primarily more useful for those with businesses in creative industries where the curators are able to show their work like an online portfolio. It is a lot glossier than sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. For larger businesses such as online magazines, for example, it is great to share snippets of content that will lead people to a website. But also for smaller self-made businesses such as make-up artists, independent shops or designers, to name a few, it can be a great way to gain followers and interest in their business and/or brand which will lead to further exposure. For example, rather than appealing directly to potential customers, they use a following to seek out potential partnerships, for example, brand partnerships and sponsorships. This is not to say that it can’t be useful for more corporate led endeavors. Using Instagram to showcase new products or services can also be a great portfolio and create traffic to your website.
This may seem like a strange one, considering it is the only non-social media app included in this range of useful apps. It is a growing phenomenon and can benefit you immensely. Used as more of an internal sharing application, it can be operated as an organisational tool between you and your colleagues. Gone are the days of unread texts, missed calls and mountains of emails, this app can be used to share media, mobile numbers and put dates in your phone calendar within a click of a button. With the accessibility ranging over both android and iOS it is a good tool to share marketing ideas by simply making a ‘group’ of your contacts, book meetings and get a fast track response. Though not directly a marketing app, it can be a great aid in helping you organise your team to get those creative juices flowing in an instant.
So, whether your creative business is the perfect fit for Instagram or if Facebook’s heavily video sharing focused platform is the one rocking your boat, we have the services to help you utilise this media to benefit you. Contact one of our friendly experts today to find out how!
In the age of social media and content sharing, we explore why video marketing should be at the top of your to-do list
In the days of dial-up, you wouldn’t dream of trying to load up a 10 second video of a cat playing a piano, let alone a 2 minute long video just to watch the ethos of somebody’s business. Nowadays, we scroll through our social media feeds at lightening speed, watching video after video just to fill our tube, train or bus journey. This is not a mere phase of technology boom; instant video sharing is here to stay. As we saw from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014, the power of viral video can be global and really spread the word about your business or cause.
1. Utilise Your Resources
It is no secret that ‘YouTubers’ earn a shed load of money for uploading 5-minute videos of putting on make-up, playing video games, or simply showing off their daily life. These unlikely stars have had a helping hand in making video content a key way for people to access information quickly. A lot of these young entrepreneurs found a rising gap in the market and latched on to it by creating interesting content for their viewers by tailoring content into bite size, well-produced chunks that keep people engaged. However, we are not here to talk about these curators of content, this was just the catalyst of things to come. Now, we have so many video sharing apps and websites that there is simply no excuse not to utilise them. YouTube is just one outlet to market and keep your consumers interested, whatever your business may be. Apps such as Vine, Instagram and Snapchat – where the users can create videos only seconds long – pushed for social media users to focus on short, punchy and engaging videos. Facebook shortly followed in these footsteps, offering a heavily weighted timeline of videos with many of those being sponsored explainer and corporate videos. If you came here wanting just one good enough reason to utilise video marketing and content sharing for your business, this would be it.
2. Sharing is Caring
When someone finds something funny, engaging or emotional, you can bet your bottom dollar that they will want to share that with their friends, family or colleagues. Whether this is an interesting article, a picture of puppy or an incredible business idea that they can’t wait to explore, people want to show this to others to create a reaction. This is exactly what you want the viewers of your content to be thinking. A good way to challenge this theory before you put your content out to the masses is to show it to one of your friends, family or co-workers and ask them honestly if they would share this after watching it.
3. Brand Recognition
You want the style of your video to reflect the brand that you are. Putting together a video with dark colours and clean lines may not be appropriate for a children’s clothing company, however, it may be really engaging for the customers of a technology company. Getting the potential consumers to instantly recognise your brand seconds into your videos will allow people to remember your business and be more likely to return to it in the future.
Not only does brand recognition help drive traffic to your website, but it also increases your SEO. It helps to push you to the top of the search engines and is likely to increase the click rate from video to webpage. Including relevant tags and web links to your content will help to also improve this.
5. Suitable for all devices
Making sure that any of your video marketing is, including (and probably most importantly) your explainer video, is suitable for all devices is a very key detail. Is your video suitable for all types of smart phones, such as iOS and Android? Can you watch this in high definition on a laptop or desktop as well as a phone or tablet? Is the content suitable to watch on a smaller screen, such as a phone, as well as a large screen, such as a desktop computer? These are all details that need to be thought about from the very early stages of creation right to finalizing the finished production.
6. Content, content, content!
Finally, it would be silly to not mention content. Of course all of the resources and tips above will help you to tailor your use for video marketing, but your video will not make an impact if it is uninteresting, inappropriate for your business or produced poorly. You may have great ideas for your next marketing video, but creating and executing that content is crucial. Is it engaging? Is it relevant? Does it make you want to re-watch and share? Conduct your own research and look at other businesses similar to your own. Have they utilised video marketing? If so, how long are the videos? How are they designed? What social media have they used to place their video marketing? Have their consumers taken interest and ‘liked’ or shared their video? These types of questions will help you to understand how to curate your own content and how best to exploit it.
Ranging from explainer videos to promotional videos and corporate videos to animation, we can help guide you in your journey to creating and producing great content. Contact our team of experts today and get your video marketing on a roll!
Why you should get involved and utilise applications for an ‘appier business or career
2017: arguably, the age of the online revolution. Amazon, Google or Apple (the top grossing businesses in world, and all tech companies) are the proof that the online economy will soon be the only economy.
That is not to say that businesses ruling in tangible products or services will be ruled out of the equation, but the way they are delivered to the consumer is changing rapidly before our eyes. It is time to get on board with the ‘App-conomy’.
Have a look at your smartphone (from an educated guess and assuming that this is your mode of communication) and check out the applications that you currently have. The likelihood that you have a mixture of music streaming services (Spotify, Apple, Tidal), social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and/or other interactive apps ranging from eBay, Uber and TripAdvisor, for example, is extremely high. No, I am not psychic, nor is this a mere coincidence; it is the future of consumer interaction.
The Proof is in the Pudding
By now you will have heard of Mark Zuckerburg, the genius mind behind the multimillion phenomenon that is Facebook, but have you ever heard Garrett Gee? In 2013, Gee sold his revolutionary QR scanning mobile application, whilst still studying at university, for $54 million. Yes, you read that correctly… To this day, he travels the world with his wife and two young children whilst not even making a small dent in their earnings. As you can see, there is big money in the application building world, so get your thinking hats on, because who doesn’t want to travel the world for a living?
How Can These Apps’s Benefit You?
So, you may not be the next Garrett Gee, however, there are plenty apps to increase your productivity at work. Whether you’re part of a large corporation or a small start-up, there are so many ways to organise your day with simple swipe of your smartphone or tablet. There are many ways to test and trial which apps suit you and potentially your business. Whether it’s Adroid or iOS, if you click onto the application store you are sure to find categories specific for your needs. From creating documents, analysing and tracking or even using social media to launch your business ideas, there are categories for everything. So decide what your goal is for using a certain app, get browsing in that category and test a few out over a few days or weeks.
Global Company Based Apps
It is not just social apps that can assist us in both day to day life and business ventures, whether its getting connected through LinkedIn or showcasing your business with Instagram. These apps have created an online database that allows us to monitor everything we are doing at all times: there is simply no excuse not to utilize this technology to its full potential. Whether it is Uber, a taxi service that offers cheaper journey’s in most major cities to take us too and from work, or Trip Advisor, which encourages us to compare hotels and restaurants, allowing us to make sure we are in the right place when taking a potential client out and Skyscanner, which allow us to compare and book any flight at a moments notice. You don’t have to have your own app or business in mind to take full advantage, you can utilise the app world through your current job or career by simply using it to organise your workday or load.
Your Own App Based Business
Whether you already have an idea or app based business in mind, or you tried browsing for an app that simply doesn’t exist (and it should!) there is no reason why you could follow in Gee’s footsteps of permanent holidaying in the Caribbean. Treat your app like a business you would as though you had a team on payroll behind you. If this is a new business, rather than creating an app for an already existing business, you need to think about the finer details.
Create a business plan, have a brand or image in mind and think of the level of usage and how much you can offer it to the consumer, as though it is a tangible product on the market. Don’t forget to utilise social media. For example, fitness mogul Kayla Itsines, who became an online sensation with her ‘Bikini Body Workouts’ and meal plans, grew her business through social media. She grew a consumer database through apps such as Instagram and Facebook to promote her fitness routines. Once she had a strong following of people interested in investing their time and money into her brand, she launched her own app, at a price, so that people could gain access to more detailed and effective work out plans. This is one example of a sure fire way to get the most out of your own app based business by utilising others to grow a consumer database.
So, whether it is an app to brighten up your day or lighten the workload, the use of applications in any small or large business is a sure fire way to bring you to the 21st century. So, if you need an ‘appily ever after and you aren’t sure where to start, give one of our experts a call today. We’re ‘appy to help!
(Disclaimer: we apologise profusely for the terrible puns we have inflicted upon you throughout this article)
Just a Way to Keep in Touch or a Great Business Tool?
Whether you use social media to keep in touch with your family and friends, follow celebrity gossip or to watch endless videos of cats playing piano, it is no doubt that social media has taken over our lives. I don’t mean this in a ‘Terminator’ sense where social media has turned against us, ready to eliminate the human race (although, never say never…). I am talking about the constant use of these media platforms by billions of people all around the world, every day. With the fast paced world that we live in today, it is clear to see that when things go ‘viral’ they can launch anyone’s career into an overnight success. So, as a business how can you use that to your advantage and push your business marketing to its full potential using some simple online strategies?
Forget the build up
Back in the days where VHS presentation videos ruled, we had time to build up our customer’s expectation and create an atmosphere. Now, it couldn’t be more different. Due to such high volume of and saturation of videos on the net, we need to make sure ours starts with a bang. You want to make sure that the person watching the video doesn’t scroll past at first glance. Opening up with a bang will keep them watching on. This could be anything from an amusing image, shocking statistic or a rhetorical question that leaves them needing answers. As soon as they are hooked, you then have time to explain yourself in more detail.
When sending a message to your potential consumers, the last thing you want to do is to patronize them. Especially when using social media to portray your message. Having a conversation with your consumers that makes them realise you both have the same goal and you have the means to get there will ensure people take more notice. Social media now means that everyone has the platform to express themselves, talking at people will only stifle their own creativity, belittle their thoughts and make them lose interest.
140 Characters or Less
Twitter may be onto something here. As previously mentioned, the sheer volume of information on the net can cause people to just keep scrolling out of boredom until they find something that hooks them in on first glance. Keeping your message short and punchy will be a sure fire way to grab hold of the viewers attention and remember it afterwards. Don’t leave the important bits out until the end or until you believe your consumers are hooked. Give it to them right away.
Think in Images
Today’s world is a visual one. It is one that encourages us to look at get instant gratification from a simple image that illustrates a thousand words. Whether it is a thought provoking image of recent struggles within the world politics, luxurious goods placed in a grainy filter or, again, a cat playing piano, anything can be shared or liked by millions. Take sites such as Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest. These social media platforms are used solely to share images with millions of people around the world: with some of the biggest names on sites such as Instagram having millions of people ‘following’ their business and/or every day lives.
Sharing is Caring
Lets take a step back. Before you have hooked your audience with your short punchy message, eye catching image or thought provoking short video, it is time to think about how, you as the audience, would want to feel while watching this video and whether it is worth ‘sharing’ with your friends or colleagues. Ask yourself, if your video isn’t worth sharing on whichever platform you release it on, is it even worth making? Can it be represented clearly among all the platforms in which your business is relevant (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.…)? Before you release it, ask unbiased friends or colleagues how it makes them respond. Does it make them want to show their friends? Does it make them want to send it to their boss? Does it make them glance over it and go ‘meh, next video’?
Whenever you have a bit of time spare in your working day, try scrolling through your own social media pages to see what people are sharing, saving and ‘liking’. It may open up your mind a little to how the people’s mind around you work and help you to develop ways to confidently put forward your business ideas. It’ll help you understand what is ‘trending’ and why, which is important when gaging interest as people generally want to share and keep up to date with the most recent piece of news or ideas. Ultimately, it will help you start to mould your own ideas in a way that relates to the type of audience you want to engage online.
Using social media as a way to market yourself and your business is most definitely one of the most crucial ways to engage your consumers. If you would like more ideas and advice on how to use these tools to its full potential, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our experts today!
The Year of the Rooster
Happy New Year to you all! It is now the turn of the Chinese New Year; the year of the Rooster. The Rooster symbolises time keeping, organisation and reliability amongst many of its qualities. With a little inspiration drawn from chaos that was 2016 (year of the Monkey – allegedly erratic and unpredictable) we thought we would smoothly draw a line under it all and start afresh. And what perfect way to begin a new chapter than to be inspired by rooster qualities? We delve into some ideas on how to keep your web content both fresh and innovative, whilst allowing you to provide your customers with efficient and reliable services.
Think… Clean Layout
This may seem like an obvious one, but not everyone gets this right first time. There is nothing worse than going on to a website, whether it was just a simple search into a search engine or you’ve gone straight to the site you desire and not being able to navigate it. Particularly with the fast paced and instant world we live in today, people get bored. Consumers are less likely to continue to search through your website if it feels awkward and difficult. Your site also represents your business so you want people to think that by choosing to work with you that it will be a smooth and effortless transition. It is vital that you keep website looking clean with smooth lines and simple drop down menus that allow people to get to their destination with ease.
Without content, your website is just a few drop down menus that lead to empty pages with headings. Obviously, your website is not going to just lead into nowhere, so why would you only update or add new content to your site just once, or even twice? The rule above applies to many aspects of your business, not just the layout or design: don’t let people become bored of your site when all you need to do is keep it updated regularly. You can do this by adding new content, such as interesting blog posts, comments from customers or even keeping a dashboard to your business’ social media page so that customers, new or existing, can see what you’re up to regularly. Not to mention, keeping your content fresh will help keep your website relevant and boost your SEO.
Make Sure to do your FAQ’s
Many companies, especially smaller ones, may not see the need for an FAQ page. This page is such a vital, yet fairly easy page to create. You may not be able to always reply to potential customers questions so it is important that any questions they may have are easy to reach. This may be a question about shipping and delivery, or warranties or how to reach a certain member of your team. It helps potentially frustrated customers feel accounted for and inadvertently looked after.
50 Shades of Grey (or blue, or purple or green)
Now this may not work for everyone, however, a sometimes effective way to freshen up your website if you are wanting a full overhaul or whether you are thinking about your first site. Colour schemes help to set the tone of your site and give it a clean-cut finish. Unless you already have a colour scheme or design layout set in stone, a really simple and effective way to look more professional is to pick one colour, maybe that of your company logo, and using variations of that colour throughout your site. However, if you do use this technique, make sure that your using one shade of that colour and altering it from light to dark so not to clash and cause your customers to have sore eyes after looking at your site.
Keeping the balance between professionalism but making sure to be friendly and talk to your customers on a friendly level is important when doing business and you should keep this in mind when going through your website. Look through your site; does it look informative but not condescending? Does it read well and easy to understand? Making sure to keep the levels of jargon down (unless your business requires it) will help people not to feel alienated when understanding what they will get from you and your business.
Add Some Pizazz
Finally, although you want your website to be clean, easy to navigate and free of jargon, you also want it to have the type of flair that represents you and your business. This can be something as simple adding images or embedded videos to certain pages to add a bit of visual excitement. Even adding a link to a page that directs you to a ‘Meet the Team’ page with a picture of each member of staff and a fact about each one could be an icebreaker for your customers. Think of something that sets you and/or your team/business apart from everyone else within your field of competition and add it in! People love to feel like they’re unique, so if they’re using a company that has a quirk about them it will be more likely that they will remember you and attract them to your business.
We hope that your business prospers through 2017! If you would like any information or advice on keeping your website fresh or any of our other services, please contact our team today.
A few simple steps to help you move your website up the search engine ladder
First thing’s first, for anyone that is new to all the online business jargon, SEO simply stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ and its function is to help push your website to the top of any search engine. However, with your help provided, you can help push your website further to the top of search engines so whenever someone uses certain words and phrases to search for businesses like yours, you can make sure to be that users first click!
A search engines’ job is to simply act upon the request of the user and provide the best match to what they are searching, based on popularity and relevance. The way search engines provide this information is based on a series of links from your website to the database that the search engine holds. This database is found by ‘crawlers’: imagine tiny people running through a network of imaginery wires inside the search engine, looking for useful keywords and information to determine the relevance and popularity of links on your website that will help to push your site to the top of search enquiries. Whether you are building your own website or if someone is doing it for you, it is important to understand how to create a site rich with information that helps users and consumers find you easily.
There are several ways to help your website climb to the top. One way search engines determines the popularity and relevance is based on what the user is typing into the search engine to look for specific services, products and information. So, keeping the titles and subtitles of each page of your site is accurate and descriptive is a good place to start. Adding text links to each page will help people navigate people through your site, whilst also allowing search engines to understand how relevant you are in relation to certain searches.
Keep your URL simple and keyword rich. This will not only help users to find you quicker but will help keep you near the top of search engines. Speaking of key words, make sure to not keep key words (i.e. your company name or the service you offer) hidden from the search engine ‘crawlers’ in different forms of media, such as images or videos.
Keeping it simple and clear for the purpose of your URL and key words and links n your site are very useful for SEA to understand the relevance of your site, however, annotating your website in a way that someone would actually describe images or videos could help SEO recognise the content of what you are presenting. For example, rather than just writing ‘Building a Table’ as a How-To video for DIY beginners, you may elaborate on the content to something someone would actually search ‘How to build a large kitchen table for beginners’. This helps both the SEO and user find and understand your content before clicking.
Keeping your content fresh and updated is also key to keeping it near the top. Sites that haven’t been updates in years may lose its relevance and popularity so will lose traction and fall down the list searches. Keeping your site updated is not only a must for your current customers but to also attracting new ones and gaining popularity on all search engines.
Understanding what people are searching for is key to organizing your site and tailoring it for the user. Is your typical user searching for your specific page? (i.e. typing in your company name or something similar?) Are they searching for a product or service that you, or anyone else, are providing? Or, are they searching for information that could relate to your product?
Being visible for your customer in the first few suggestions on their search could be crucial to you gaining business. Being a top result on a search page results in the highest amount of traffic to your website, which will ultimately gain you a higher volume of potential customers. So, be smart about your SEO and the rest will be history! If you need any more tricks and tips or would simply like to talk to one of our experts, give us a call today, we would love to hear from you.