Social Media Strategist Kris Ruby of Ruby Media Group joined Fox News Cavuto to discuss the April job report and the increasing need for plant-based dining options among millennials.
Social Media Strategist Kris Ruby CEO of Ruby Media Group recently joined Cheddar live from The New York Stock Exchange to discuss innovative ways the publishing industry is changing the way it looks at revenue and why companies are investing in millennial talent.
In this video, NY Digital Media Strategist Kris Ruby discusses:
- Why a recent study showed a positive outlook for magazine media and what to make of the outlook.
- How media companies are taking a new approach to making money
- How social media plays a role in media companies making money and if it is truly a reliable revenue source
- How other companies can keep up when Facebook and Google have a combined 57.1% of market share this year
PLUS the answer to…
- Is there any money to be made in print or is it all in digital?
Watch to find out!
HOW SOCIAL MEDIA IMPACTS PUBLISHERS
Social media changed the way we consume news. But is this a good thing?
Why are local newspapers struggling?
Newspapers are struggling because newsrooms are shrinking locally and they don’t have the infrastructure and team to support the massive demands that traditional print publishing requires. This is why you have seen so many local newspapers get acquired by larger regional players in their respective markets. This is a major problem for local news.
People depend on local news for reporting and to know what is happening locally in their area. Now, you have added pressure of these traditional print outlets to make quota and fill dormant ad space.
What does this mean for journalism?
It means the notion of church and state from an editorial perspective is slowly shrinking and the lines are becoming blurred. This is also why you have seen such an increase in advertorial and sponsored content. Local newspapers and media outlets are looking for new ways to reinvent themselves to stay alive in a media landscape that is rapidly declining.
This makes it even more challenging for people who really want to get their business featured in the local news because it is becoming increasingly difficult to get organic editorial without also placing ads in these outlets.
As a publicist of 12 + years, I can unequivocally say this. I see it all the time and also have to explain the process of how local media has changed and how the new media landscape works.
SOCIAL MEDIA’S IMPACT ON LOCAL ADVERTISING
Has social media harmed or helped news organizations?
Unfortunately, social media has harmed local news organizations. Why? Because with targeted Facebook ads, people quickly learned they could get a much better ROI with digital advertising dollars deployed on Facebook for way less than they were spending on traditional print ads.
Plus, these print ads aren’t targeted and pinpointed as precisely as Facebook ads are. There is simply no comparison in the precise targeting options that digital social marketing offers.
Ads in local papers still play a role in brand building, but they are not the whole marketing communication pie that they once were. Social media tech giants have substantially cut into the profits of local media outlets.
Is social media good for local advertising and local publishers?
Social media has also made it increasingly harder on the responsibilities of journalists. Instead of only focusing on reporting, local journalists also have to focus on how to get more eyeballs to their Facebook news page or Instagram account.
Journalists and news anchors are under tremendous pressure from the higher-ups at the local news stations they work for to get more followers and likes on social media. They have to worry about being brands on social media in addition to reporting the news.
Don’t you want your local news reporter to be laser-focused on reporting the news, instead of focusing on reporting in addition to how to get more Facebook fans?
THE DANGERS OF LIVING IN A NEWS DESERT
Why is local news important and what are the dangers of living in a news desert?
Local news is important, especially for an aging population in a specific region. This may be the main way they access their news if they are not able to be as mobile as they once were. The dangers of living in a news desert are extreme.
Whoever controls the news controls the narrative. If you only receive your news from a few sources, such as Facebook, that news may be skewed and can contain bias. Plus, Facebook has gone back and forth on what their role really is.
- Is Facebook a media company?
- Is Facebook a publishing platform?
Facebook has yet to take a definitive stance on answering these very basic questions.
Facebook also needs more content moderators and a standard set of content guidelines if they are going to be in the role they have found themselves in. They cannot change the guidelines when they deem fit to support a narrative.
Facebook and Google control what we see. That means if Facebook decides that vaccine information is bad, they won’t show it to users. This is dangerous for users. Why?
Traditionally, consumers had access to ALL information on both sides of any topic and could decide for themselves.
That’s no longer an option if big tech makes publishing decisions and tells you what is real and what is fake.
Shouldn’t consumers get to decide that?
Social Media and the Future of Traditional Publishing
It is dangerous for Google or Facebook or big tech to control the news. They control the entire search market- they are not neutral parties here. Massive ad dollars are deployed at these companies and when advertising is involved, that will impact what information is shown to consumers. It shouldn’t. There should be a clear delineation, but unfortunately, we are living in a new world where it is all blurred because of social media.
The dangers far surpass Facebook or Google. There are news dangers on every major publishing site that allows contributors too. When you allow this to go unchecked and publishers have people contributing content marked as journalism without a system of checks and balances, you ultimately dilute the name of that publishing outlet.
Something has to change or journalism as we once knew it will become extinct.
Millennial Marketing Expert Kris Ruby was recently on RT America discussing marketing to millennials. Click here to watch the full segment
HOW TO MARKET TO MILLENNIALS
The job retention rate of millennials is significantly lower than baby boomers. Is this because they are a more high maintenance generation?
Millennials crave experiences over possessions. This massively impacts what they are spending on and how to reach them. Unfortunately, this can be widely problematic and troublesome for CMO’s looking to reach this audience who want to see an ROI on the spend to obtain these millennials as customers.
To reach millennials today, we need to redefine what adulthood means to this demo. If we keep marketing to them with an antiquated notion of what adulthood is, marketers will miss the mark and how to reach these consumers and what really drives their purchasing decisions.
New York Social Media Marketing Expert Kris Ruby of Ruby Media Group was recently featured in a CBS article discussing best practices for marketing your small business on Instagram. Click here to read the full article!
Instagram Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
Have a Clear Brand Identity. If you want to succeed on Instagram, your branding needs to be super tight before you ever begin. You should have a strong understanding of brand guidelines and what is on brand versus off brand. So many small business owners with beautiful branding completely ruin it when they hand the keys to a new, inexperienced social media manager. There needs to be a cohesive strategy that unites traditional and digital branding. Make a commitment to your brand aesthetic and stick to it. A great tip for small business owners is to use apps to plan out their Instagram grid in advance to make sure all of the images will have a cohesive look.
Create content in batches. This is a helpful strategy to stay on top of your social media marketing. You can pull from pre-made content whenever it ties into something topical or in the news. Categorize the content into different batches. For example, testimonial graphics, reviews or even blog content.
Outsource Social Media. It is much easier to create social media content for a client than it is to create it for your own business! You must have a fresh pair of eyes to help weed through the content and create new posts. Even if you don’t engage a social media marketing firm to manage social media for your business, have a social media accountability partner who you can run posts by before you put them up. Sometimes things you think will be so amazing may be more personal and don’t belong on your business page. It can become very hard to see the difference.
INSTAGRAM FOR BUSINESS RESOURCES:
New York Social Media Marketing Expert Kris Ruby was recently featured on BRAVO discussing the “Sharenting” trend of parents who over-share on social media. To read the full feature article on BRAVO, click here
What is the meaning of Sharenting?
Sharenting: When parents post too much about their kids on social media
Sharenting means to overshare about your children on social media. Over-Sharenting is the word for parents who overshare about their babies (and children!) on social media through an endless stream of posts, updates and photos. A recent study indicated that over 80% of children under the age of 2 are believed to have an online presence. All of this is of course due to parents who have created digital footprints of their children’s every move on Facebook before they could even have a choice in the matter. This raises larger privacy concerns regarding the dangers of sharenting.
Social Media Over-Sharing About Your Children
There is a fine line between a healthy amount of cute photos and updates and too many baby pictures. People are usually happy for someone who just had a new baby, but they don’t want to be intricately involved in every minor move of the babies life, unless they are a super close friend or family member. That is when it turns from exciting to scary (and potentially annoying). There are some moments that new parents should share with their family that don’t need to be captured in an Instagram story. Parents may potentially be losing out on these moments in their quest to rack up more Instagram likes or to stage the perfect newborn photo. We see this with new Moms who hire makeup artists and photographers in their hospital rooms to get a picture-perfect Facebook photo for the revealing of their new baby. Social Media may be robbing us of the moments that matter most that inherently can’t be staged and you will never get back.
Why Oversharenting about your kids on social media is bad for personal branding
If you are actively using social media to build thought-leadership, you have most likely built up a personal brand. Perhaps you are known as a fashion blogger. Followers come to expect your fashion photos and critiques at New York Fashion Week. But then, after you have a baby, suddenly all of your posts are about the baby and the fashion posts decline in frequency. This confuses the followers you have built who associate your personal brand with a specific subject matter. While they are happy for your baby, they still expect to follow you for why they originally “subscribed” to your updates- for your fashion advice. This is a big mistake many new Moms can make. It can also get annoying if the new Mom never again posts anything else outside of baby photos.
Parental Social Media Habits: When it becomes too much
There is a real double standard when it comes to social media. It starts as soon as someone clicks they are engaged on Facebook. Suddenly you are then expected to congratulate every single milestone of the person’s new life. The engagement, the bachelorette, the bridal shower, the wedding, the honeymoon, the birth of the new baby, and then every single milestone of the babies life from 0 to 35. But what about your single friends? What Facebook milestones are every celebrated of theirs? None. According to Facebook, there is nothing celebratory in their life if they don’t have kids, which can create inherent loneliness for singles who opt not to have children. While new Moms are posting hundreds of photos of their kids, it is important to take into consideration the feelings of their single friends on social media who do not have children. While this is rarely mentioned, it is important to bring up.
Oversharenting: Why it annoys your Facebook friends
The great news is that you can now unfollow your friend while staying friends, or you can use Facebook’s new “pause” feature to take a break from them for 30 days. The baby’s first steps will no longer fill up your feed and you can check back in by going to their page directly when you want to get updates.
Parents who overshare online: how to stop it from taking over your newsfeed
If oversharenting is taking over your newsfeed, you can unfollow or pause your friends. You can also unfollow them the second they click “engaged,” because you know it is going to be an onslaught of every milestone for the next few years. If you were never that close to begin with, why become so intricately involved in their life anyway? The weird thing about social media and sharenting is that we follow people’s lives so closely- yet in reality, we probably weren’t invited to the wedding or baby shower and even if we were we most likely wouldn’t have shown up.
So why do we feel such social media pressure to ‘like’ our acquaintance’s posts?
Oversharing on Social Media: Can you tell a parent they are guilty of over sharing?
No. There is really no polite way to say anything unless you want to offend the new Mom or lose the friend entirely. However, if you have jumped on their social sharing baby bandwagon and notice they never like anything of yours, you can politely ask, “How come you never like my posts?” You may be told they are too busy with their new baby to have time to like your photos- but then how do they have time to post their babies photos and stage photo shoots, yet don’t have time to like anything that you post? There is a double standard when it comes to sharenting on social media.
Parental Oversharing: The real reason why parents overshare on social media
People over post because either they don’t care, have nothing to lose, or don’t know the difference. Also, many social media users don’t care about social media etiquette. If they aren’t using social media for business purposes or to build a personal brand, they don’t believe things like sharenting is applicable.
Visual Content Marketing Strategy
What is visual content marketing?
Visual content marketing is the process of using graphic content to market to a target audience. Visual content marketing can include social media graphics, audiograms of podcast interviews, signature branded images and even video content.
Marketing without content is like diving without a life jacket. It is reckless and makes no sense.
Is content marketing the new PR?
How content marketing – in partnership with PR — can boost your digital marketing efforts in 2020.
The field of content marketing has morphed from managing a company or physician blog to building entire branded newsrooms. Content libraries are typically curated by an outside public relations agency or a medical content marketing firm. So, why does your company need a robust content marketing plan and a digital newsroom?
For starters, a strategic social media campaign will be extremely bareboned without solid content to back it up. Content is a critical part of any social media and digital PR campaign today for doctors. At least 2/3 of your outbound social media posts should include backlinks to content that is generated by your company or private practice that lives on your web site.
According to digital marketing expert Neil Patel, brands who succeed at content marketing experience 7.8 times more site traffic than companies who are not crafting compelling, valuable content.
This 8% increase in eye traffic on your brand is one of the many reasons why every doctor should create a digital footprint and integrated content marketing strategy. A well thought-out content strategy helps prospects find you when they are looking for your services. It also helps your bottom line if your content answers sales questions that representatives previously answered by phone.
PR and Content Marketing
Content Marketing is a critical component of any digital PR campaign today. Content helps build brand awareness with journalists and reporters. A strong piece of content will position you as an expert in your field more than a traditional press release ever will (press releases are dead). Well thought out content will also give you the trust factor you are looking to build with media and provides the media with usable snippets of information they can pull into articles. A PR content strategy will help your media relations efforts so that your press mentions are supported by the content you put out to members of the media.
What is content creation in Public Relations?
Content creation in PR can including crafting answers for reporter queries, writing blog posts or even writing executive bios and FAQ documents for the media. Traditional PR did not touch the field of inbound marketing and content creation. However, all of that is changing with the rise of digital PR. If your PR firm is separate from your content marketing firm, you are making a major mistake!
CONTENT MARKETING 101
Getting started with content marketing.
How do you create a content marketing strategy?
Establishing a content library or newsroom takes a lot of work and a lot of content. However, if you already have a public relations firm or social media management firm, they can help create content for you. This has become a critical function of the PR department as the lines between PR/Social Media/Marketing becoming further blurred together. If you already have retained a firm and want to try getting more bang for your buck this month, try having your PR firm work on content marketing for you, rather than pushing out traditional press releases (that no one is reading.)
What is a Content Library?
All highly successful brands have built a well-planned and executed content library. Also referred to as a “newsroom,” this digital information storage space includes everything from press releases to white papers, infographics, images, and interactive videos. In fact, Fortune 500 companies build, populate and administrate completely separate websites just for journalists and editors. Mobile giant T-Mobile has three: 1) a consumer newsroom; 2) a media center for journalists, and 3) a social media “home” or library.
“Use content as your currency to create marketable content your prospects are seeking.”
What kind of content should I write about?
Consider the journey your ideal clients follow to find your product or service. Go on a treasure hunt to discover all the keywords your current clients and potential prospects use to find your company and solve their problems. This includes long-form, problem-based keywords, solution-based keywords, and casual language.
Tip: Use Buzzsumo to research the most highly shared articles in your industry to get ideas for what topics you should be writing about.
How can my publicist help me curate a content library?
Public relations agencies know exactly what your content library should (and should not!) include. Your content library needs to provide solutions to your customers’ and prospects’ greatest challenges. If you deliver smart content to help make them become informed decision-makers, then you can expect more highly qualified purchase decisions resulting in ideal new clients and patients.
Don’t have a newsroom yet? One way to build a content library quickly is to repurpose old press releases by transforming them into blog posts, which can help secure backlinks and increase SEO.
What is content distribution and where do I distribute blog content?
What’s the point of creating an entire content library if you don’t distribute it correctly? Once your content library is in place, make it available to as many distribution points as possible. This includes your company’s newsroom, blog, email marketing, and all social media accounts – even Facebook Live or apps such as Snapchat and Instagram. All this fresh and “repurposed” content should attempt not just to entertain, but to educate, enlighten and go for “direct action” so your brand sees immediate results. Be sure your content can be easily redistributed by your brand’s fans and followers so it is easily shareable for consumers.
Need to create content quickly? Go to your sales team and have them ask current clients what they’d like to read when it comes to your business and then create content to educate them on those subjects.
How do I hire a content writer?
Public relations professionals and social media management firms understand how to communicate with your different client “personas” by working with media-savvy specialty writers. Need to attract millennials? Or, how about middle-aged women with a certain amount of disposable income in Westchester County (or wherever your business may be located)? PR and social media management firms work with many different writers to capture not only the mind but the voice of your niche market customers.
Choosing the perfect content writer for your company is like a treasure hunt. Remember, PR and social media management firms can help you hire the best writers who focus on solution-based keywords.
How do I format content?
Formatting content is equally as important as the writing itself. Ever click out of a web page or a story just because it’s too long or unreadable? Think of the many ways your clients or potential clients want to consume media from your brand. For example, millennials want “punchy” copy with short sentences and bold headings. Baby boomers usually prefer longer, journalistic style articles. And Gen Z? They want to watch videos on their smartphones rather than read stories.
Need to revamp your brand? Sometimes bringing fresh content to the boardroom table can revitalize old school marketing materials and breathe new life into your brand.
How do you write good content and create effective content marketing?
Your brand’s content should help solve your prospects’ greatest challenges. With a well-executed content library and consistent distribution, your company will stay top of mind and you will be positioned as a thought leader in your industry. You can’t write good content if you don’t understand the pain points of your customers.
How do you create content that attracts customers?
5 ACTIONABLE CONTENT MARKETING TIPS:
- Write about the problems you solve for clients.
- Emphasize what’s in it for them and how they will benefit from engaging with your firm.
- Focus on the other person’s needs (i.e., the problem they are needing to solve) rather than what you have to offer.
- Hone in as soon as possible on identifying your prospect’s challenges and needs. What questions do they have?
- Create content that answers these questions and challenges.
Conducting a Content Audit
Creating a content library is not only about pushing out new articles. It also means regularly auditing your content to see what is moving the needle to determine what content has the greatest ROI for your business. For example, are certain pieces of content “money terms” for your business? Ie, is there a piece of content that brings the greatest amount of qualified leads to you year after year? If so, you want to make sure you keep updating that content!
Content Audit Checklist:
What should I look for when auditing content?
- Does this piece of content match the buyer’s intent?
- Does the content answer the primary search terms the content is optimized for?
- Does the content hit specific purchasing requirements?
- Is the content action-driven and does it include a CTA at the end?
- Does the content serve the primary audience’s needs?
- Will this piece of content impact the buyer’s decision to purchase your services?
- Does the content contain any assets that can be reused for other content marketing initiatives?
- Is the content interactive and does it include rich media?
How to take inventory of your content marketing library
How do you conduct a content inventory?
If you are serious about the process of historical optimization or reviewing your content, you will start to see that some of the content may totally miss the mark on the above checklist. Not all content should be kept.
Review the analytics to see:
- What content has backlinks
- What content is driving substantial traffic
- What content gets virtually no views
- What content has a high bounce rate
If your content contains less then 1,000 words, it is worth totally rewriting the content if you have any hopes of ranking on page one of Google. You can either delete old content or redirect it to other pages on your web site. Every business should take an annual content inventory to remain current with SEO practices and to refresh stale content!
Content writing tips
Is your content marketing working?
Here is a handy checklist to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy.
- Would someone want to copy your content into the notepad on their iPhone to read the content again because it was super helpful?
- Is your content still valuable to readers one year later? Your content should be evergreen and should be able to pass this test.
- Would someone want to copy and paste your content and save it in a Microsoft Word doc for future reference?
- Is your content strong enough that someone wants to share it with their network?
- Did you answer the how vs. the what? Are you telling someone specific ways how to grow their business or are you telling them what to do to grow their business? People want to know how to do something, not only what to do.
- Did you include outside stats, research and best practices?
- Can someone learn something new from reading your content?
- Did your article solve someone’s specific problem or pain point?
- Did you create the most comprehensive guide on a topic that exists on the Internet?
- Is your content longer than 1,000 words? If not, start from scratch or redirect it.
For example, with our content, it’s not about what pitching the media is, it’s about teaching people how to pitch the media. See the difference? One is baseline PR101, and the other is a high-level PR strategy that can only be written after years of experience in the field.
The goal is not to rank for every search term that people are looking for in your industry. Fundamentally, the goal is to rank for the questions your target audience has. Ranking is not the end goal. If you rank for “what does a PR firm do?” how does that really help you? Instead, you want to rank for something much more targeted that your prospect is searching for, such as “how much does a PR firm cost?”
How long does a content audit take?
A content audit can take months if it is done properly! Here are 3 questions to consider when you are conducting a content audit for your healthcare marketing strategy:
HEALTHCARE AND MEDICAL CONTENT MARKETING AGENCY
Ready to craft a stellar healthcare content marketing strategy and plan for your medical practice? Ruby Media Group brings years of medical PR consulting, content marketing and social media management expertise to help your practice be even more successful in today’s digital landscape.If you are looking for a top content provider in healthcare, reach out to learn more about our content marketing agency services. For more information on optimizing your PR exposure with healthcare content marketing, contact email@example.com.
© Date last updated 2020 Ruby Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
There are 1 billion active users on Instagram every month, and every day, 4.2 billion photos are liked. With Instagram, the quality of the posts are much more important than the quantity. According to Forrester research, Instagram user interactions with brands is 400 percent higher than on Facebook and Twitter, delivering 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.
The numbers speak for themselves: Instagram is a must for building your personal brand and business if you are looking to appeal to millennials. If you’re new to the platform or looking to increase your engagement, here are 30 tips to help you maximize your Instagram exposure.
30 Instagram Marketing Tips for Business:
1. Create the perfect Instagram username. Make sure your Instagram handle is recognizable and easy to search. Try to avoid using underscores or numbers in Instagram handles.
2. Use Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories are used daily by over 500 million users. Leverage this rising trend and build your audience by showing followers what’s taking place in your business behind-the-scenes. Pin the story highlights to your Instagram profile. Fun fact: over 2 million advertisers are buying Instagram Story ads across Facebooks properties.
3. Geo-Tag. Be sure to utilize the location feature on each post to increase visibility using geo-tags. Add locations to all of your posts to increase search optimization and geo-targeting.
4. Create a branded hashtag. Create a unique and relevant hashtag for your business that followers can use. But be sure to heavily promote the branded hashtag at events and on marketing materials. A custom hashtag is worthless if no one is using it.
5. Hold Instagram Takeovers. Utilize local celebrity influencers to drive traffic and engagement through cross-promoting content on both Instagram accounts. Here is an example of a successful Instagram Takeover we did with News 12 Anchor Tara Rosenblum.
6. Utilize user-generated content (UGC). Show appreciation for your followers by featuring them using your products or service. For example, Sharpie powers their Instagram account with fan-submitted doodles created with their products.
7. Switch to a free Instagram business account. Convert your personal account to a business account. This will enable you to track insights and analytics that regular profiles don’t have.
8. Use Instagram planning apps. To win at Instagram, you must be very creative and good with graphic design. Consider using an app like preview or Plann to lay out all of your upcoming posts in a grid before you click post.
9. Include a call-to-action. Tell people what you want them to do. This may seem simple, but it is often overlooked! If you are looking to increase sales using Instagram, consider running Instagram ads or boosted posts and include a CTA in any Instagram ads.
10. Weekday Hashtags. Use popular hashtags every day of the week to make it easier to get found in hashtag searches. These include #motivationmonday, #transformationtuesday, #wisdomwednesday, #tbt and #flashbackfriday.
11. Regram. Search for people who are mentioning your brand and use the Repost app to regram any brand mentions. Be sure to tag them and mention any associated Instagram handles in your posts.
12. Tag brands. Tag Instagram users and locations in posts to make your brand easier for new users to find. Also tag other influencers in your Instagram posts to get found in their tagged photos, but be careful not to spam!
13. Aspirational Instagram Marketing. Think of Instagram as a vision board for your business. Post photos that will inspire your prospective customers to be part of the lifestyle brand that is associated with your company.
14. Like and comment daily. An easy way to increase visibility is by liking and commenting on prospective customers photos. Through this Instagram marketing strategy, people will check out your account and are more likely to follow you back. Leave a comment on at least one photo per day to create a digital footprint.
15. Offer exclusive content. If you’re launching a new product or service on Instagram, try creating an exclusive promo and offer followers a unique code to track how effective the promotion was. Consider creating an Instagram carousel post to highlight the new content.
16. Run a photo contest. Use all images—even those that don’t win—as fresh content to help promote the brand. Make sure any contests adhere to legal rules by avoiding social media legal mistakes that can get you sued.
17. Focus on the story behind the post. The image may be the star and the hashtags may offer context, but the caption tells a specific story, highlights subject matter expertise, and gives insight into the context of the photo. Make sure it is formatted properly and use emoji’s sparingly.
18. Download editing apps. Use apps such as Afterlight, VSCO, Whitagram, Pic Stitch, Aviary, Hyperlapse, Quick, Bokehful, and Snapseed to edit photos. Studies have shown that photos using Mayfair, Inkwell, Amaro, Walden and Lo-Fi filters to get more likes and enhance your images.
19. Social Listening. Follow and monitor top trends to grow your brand’s awareness and stay on top of industry trends through a newsjacking strategy. Use social listening tools such as Mention or Google Alerts to monitor for brand Latergram, HootSuite or TweetDeck can also help with this process.
20. Analyze new followers. Get to know your followers to make posts more relevant to them. When someone follows you, follow them back and then analyze what your followers are interested in and what hashtags they use.
21. Run contests. Have an incentive for your Instagram community to share content and promote your brand with the use of prizes and giveaways. For example, National Geographic hosted a #MyAWAY Contest where users could upload photos of places that, to them, are an escape. On Instagram, they would tag the photos with #MyAWAY and at the end of the contest period, one lucky fan wins a digital camera plus goodies from NatGeo and Go RVing.
22. Reward your followers. Create lasting relationships with followers by using discount codes. Reach out and connect with influencers one-on-one. Brands that go the extra mile by rewarding their Instagram followers see better success rates.
23. Create a compelling visual aesthetic. Post photos that show the lifestyle of your customers, while staying relevant to your brand. Your account should be a balance of fun pictures and branded, promotional business photos. Make sure all images share the same aesthetic.
24.Do not over post. “Feed speed” is a critical factor of your brand’s Instagram success. There’s a fine line between agitating your followers by clogging their newsfeed and posting so infrequently that your followers forget you exist. Create a posting schedule and editorial content calendar that allows you to track what works and then decide which direction to take.
25. Post at peak times. According to a study by TrackMaven, the most effective days to post are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Another study found that posting at 5 PM EST yields a higher engagement rate.
26. Leverage video. Use diverse visual formatting, such as 15 seconds of video or a cinemagraph (still photographs in which a repeated movement occurs.) Also consider leveraging Instagram TV (IGTV) for longer form video content.
27. Resize Graphics. Make sure all of your graphics are consistent using a graphic design software such as canva.com. Be sure to use Canva’s “magic resize” tool to resize images to spec to fit the Instagram specs.
28. Promote your Instagram handle. Connect your Instagram account to your website using social plugins and link your Instagram handle in your email signature to expand your reach. This creates an avenue for traffic for each social media site. Also consider making your Instagram account visible on Facebook.
29. Reverse engineer. If you’re trying to get prospects who may be interested in your services, think about their hobbies and demographic profile. Search for hashtags that align with their hobbies, such as #yachting #countryclub or #hamptons. From there, like and comment on their photos and follow them directly. They may even follow you back.
30. Measure. Observe when your followers are online and review performance metrics. What images and posts do your followers respond best to? Where are your new followers coming from? Is your brand growing or shrinking on Instagram? To refine your Instagram marketing strategy, it’s important to know what resonates best with your audience.
Finally, be sure to repost images that show your product or service in use, while also using hashtags where your optimal follower can be found. Also remember to respond in real-time to the latest trending content. If you receive a sales lead through Instagram Direct Messaging but respond four weeks later, the lead will be gone. Try to keep your followers entertained and engaged with educational and informative content.
By following these tips, you will maximize your Instagram exposure and, as a result, increase your brand awareness (and sales!). Need help with developing your Instagram marketing strategy? Contact us today to learn more about our social media marketing services.
Curious to know how much Instagram marketing costs if you hire a social media marketing agency?
We break it down for you here.
Instagram Marketing Resources
I recently spoke at an FIT Marketing class on the rise of social media marketing. I was honored that Dean Gamanos, the Professor and owner of an advertising agency in Greenwich, CT brought me in as a guest speaker. Dean opened up the class by talking about the different forms of marketing and communication agencies: consultants, design firms, ad agencies, media buyers, public relations agencies and Internet Agencies. I was stunned when he mentioned Internet Agencies as a new form of a marketing communication agency because it is the world I have grown up in. We are living in a Marketing Renaissance where social media marketing is coalescing all of the different facets of communications and blurring the line between the divisions. It makes me question the importance of majoring/specializing in one form of communication as I think it is critical today for any recent graduate to possess a diverse skill set which includes a “sampling” of every discipline within communications.
As a social media marketer, it is imperative to have an understanding of marketing, branding, journalism, public relations and broadcast journalism in order to do my job effectively. You need to know how to interview someone effectively, how to pitch to secure great placement for a blog post, how to pitch articles for media placement, how to build a brand both virally and offline and how to create an effective ad that can be used in multiple mediums. It is no longer sufficient to major in one discipline and think that covers it all- today’s graduates must possess a strong skill set in all of these disciplines to be effective in the communications industry. While I agree that specialization is critical in this job market, I also believe that possessing knowledge of multiple mediums is what will make you most valuable in this marketplace.
I enjoyed being asked to speak at FIT as well as participating in Deans Marketing class. He shared some relevant content including marketing tips, mistakes and tools to position your brand.
8 Principles of Successful Marketing:
- Know your product or service
- Know your customers
- Your customers aren’t listening to you
- Know your competition
- Being good isn’t good enough
- Marketing should be the most creative part of your business
- Good planning and good implementation are as important as a good idea
- Everything in your business should involve marketing
10 Common Marketing Mistakes:
- Failing to listen/ failing to observe- not doing research, not checking the competition, not observing the marketplace
- Not positioning your product or service
- Doing too many things at once
- Not focusing your selling message
- Changing strategies and selling message too frequently
- Making advertising decisions based on low rates rather then cpm’s
- Not advertising with adequate frequency
- Emphasizing short term sales increases through price promotion rater than long term brand building
- Building on fads rather then trends
- Ignoring your brands image
12 Ways to Develop a Strong Positioning for your Product:
- Be the First (Harvard, Hertz, Time Magazine)
- Be the Latest (Windows)
- Own an Attribute (Heinz Ketchup- thickest, Ferrari- speed)
- Be #1 (Toyota Camry, Ford Explorer)
- Specialize (Victoria’s Secret- sexy lingerie)
- Have a heritage
- Be Preferred (more hospitals use Tylenol)
- Focus on Use (Nike-Racing)
- Stress Quality (Chanel #5, high quality, high price)
- Price (Walmart, lowest prices)
- User group (Apple- graphic designers)
- Competitive (7-Up, Avis)
Stay Tuned: In May & April, I will be covering an exciting celebrity branding master course with Kimora Lee Simmons and Joan Rivers.
NEW Celebrity Business: Close Up and Personal with Joan Rivers and Kimora Lee Simmons Spend a day with one or two of these glamorous and super smart women and find out what it really takes to launch and maintain a celebrity brand business. Get an inside look at two different business models- each with star wattage and market longevity. Find out how these businesses work and the role and responsibilities of the namesake. Hear about three different journeys that all lead to consumer product adoration and millions of dollars in sales:
• Joan Rivers, entertainment industry “A” lister, comedic icon, media personality and brilliantly witty fashion critic talks about her highly successful jewelry business partnership with QVC.
• Kimora Lee Simmons, former supermodel and “fabulicious” icon and author talks about her role as CEO, and Creative director of Phat Fashions, which she has transformed into a lifestyle brand owned by the apparel giant Kellwood.
Facilitator: Jennifer Bartok, producer, www.celebritycatwalk.com
I was also extremely inspired by the beautiful design work the students at FIT had created. I included photos of my favorites and wanted to honor their amazing branding work!