Optimizing Tweets for Impressions & Engagement

November 28, 2016 / one comment

In my opinion, Twitter is still one of the best platforms marketers can utilize for the purposes of building brand awareness. With smart content choices, clever and concise copy, and visually appealing images or videos, earning organic impressions and engagement while growing your follower base is entirely possible without the need for substantial investment in paid ad campaigns.

There are several tricks and tools one can take advantage of in order to optimize their Twitter content for maximum reach potential. These tools come in handy when developing a content strategy for Twitter, helping you decide what and when to post. And for the social media marketers out there reading this, these online tools also prove useful when trying to justify or defend certain content choices to your client, particularly with regards to (#)hashtag usage, post timing, and (@)Mention choices. Continue Reading…

Finding Love in an Ad-Free Place: Ad-Blockers & Your Brand

January 21, 2016 / no comments

Ever since the internet was young and innocent, advertisements have cropped up as a way for brands and marketers to get access to the huge amount of people logging on every day. The pop-up has served as the bane of many an internet user’s existence, popping up in more and more frustrating situations and in greater quantities. Nonetheless, users have revolted and used ad-blocking softwares to dispel the efficacy of “traditional” internet marketing — namely, the pop-up window.

The era of the pop-up advertisement is all but dead,

and it has everything to do with ad-blockers.

What is ad-blocking?

photocred: bookstores.nyu.edu

photocred: bookstores.nyu.edu

Simply put, ad-blocking is the process of eliminating any and all advertisements on a webpage — especially those that show up as third-party plug-ins (think “pop ups” or banner ads). This results in pages loading faster, because ad-blockers essentially refuse to load advertisements on a given webpage.

Why are people attracted to it?

It appeals to common sense that users would want the fastest, most distraction-free browsing experience. Using ad-blockers reduces the “white noise” of traditional advertisements encroaching upon the content users want to access. If users are this adamant about not wanting to see advertisements, it speaks to a collective lag on the part of brands to provide compelling and engaging content to get people to listen and engage with their online ads.

When done well, advertisements don’t have to be “white noise.”

What can brands do to counteract the rise of ad-blockers?

The rise of ad-blockers for traditional users, with Apple recently releasing ad-blocking as part of their overall software package, has petitioned companies to market in more profound ways; Companies are now tasked with creating compelling, engaging, and user-centric content. Users are playing a greater role in advertising, rejecting ads that don’t reach them in a way that asks them to participate and be involved in a brand’s “process.” Therefore, companies need to re-focus their marketing strategies on co-creation, user involvement, and overall engagement.

Besides creating more compelling content, what else can be done?

Creating great content is one thing, but there also needs to be a well thought out and executed distribution

photo cred: tech.co

photo cred: tech.co

strategy for your brand’s content. If you simply create it, it is not a guarantee that consumers will flock to your brand. Developing a robust digital strategy is imperative for any company’s success in an ad-blocking online culture. This means utilizing mediums, strategies (SEO), and resources to reach people where they reside online.

Ad-blockers are making traditional forms of advertisement more difficult, but it hasn’t rendered the entire practice of advertising online as dead. Companies are now being asked to be more creative, to create content which exceeds expectations, and taking residence in places that users wouldn’t normally find them — but are using anyways. There are places to advertise, if your company is doing the right job in seeking them out.

Part 2: An Intro to Online Business Branding

August 15, 2014 / no comments

Welcome to Part 2 of our Intro to Online Business Branding! If you’re looking for a few tips to get you ahead online, keep reading!

 

Email Newsletters & Social Campaigns 

As you gain customers, be sure to understand that engagement and communication are extremely important. This can mean a larger focus on social media or other channels; if you’re looking to grow your brand online, social media is a must. This ties into brand recognition and your ability to understand and reach out to potential customers. In addition to tapping into social media for its communication prowess, its pretty important to leverage the power of email. The more customers you have online, the larger your potential list can become. Email is not only a way to retain customers, but remind them of your brand and what you offer elusively.

Having a great email campaign to have your buyers or users opt-into can help you acquire more business in addition to reaffirming your brand with useful content and updates about your products and services.

 

Retain Customer Trust

Money’s important; yes, it’s what pays the bills. But don’t forget that your customers don’t want to be reminded that you need their hard earned money. You wouldn’t want someone to push these products or services down your throat.

The secret to selling and maintaining customers is to provide value for the customer through a great user experience (in addition to helpful info) plus building a long term relationship. Look to add value, build trust, and be respectful of potential customers. This won’t only lead to more sales, but will also increase brand loyalty and customer confidence. They’ll look to you because you offer great products and services, but will also because they can trust your name for added value.

Part 1: An Intro to Online Business Branding

August 7, 2014 / no comments

If you thought that branding your business in the real world was enough to get you a steady stream of customers, separate you from your competitors and build significant brand equity, you might want to do a double-take.

The Internet has given us the ability to reach more and more interested customers than ever before. However, this is not without costs and sacrifices; it can be a difficult task handling two different branding channels (both online and offline) at the same time. Also, because there are more businesses online than off, you’ve got some steep competition if you want to step into the digital world, especially if you’re interested in e-commerce or retail.

But where do you start? How do you develop an identity online with so much noise, confusion, and competition?

Brand & Mortar has the skillset, tools and experience to help develop your business’s digital identity. If you’re looking to tackle your own branding and identity initiatives, we have a few fundamental branding concepts that might help. Be sure to join us next week for our Part 2!

 

Recognition

Being recognized by users and past customers is the name of the game here; recognition, or the identification from real world to digital. If you have recurring customers offline that attempt to find you through social media or search engines, and they’re met with different branding (or none at all) on your website or social platforms, you’ve already sabotaged your branding efforts both online and off. Customers or potential clients will likely be confused if the branding hasn’t been streamlined enough; are you the same company they interacted with or bought from recently? Unclear branding can ruin your recognition and, at the same time, reduce your credibility (logos, colours, and other design elements that aren’t consistent can appear sketchy).

Sometimes, jumping online can be a great time to rethink your branding efforts; a new logo, social media revamp, and brand message might be options to help define you as a company or influencer in your field. Is your logo too similar to another company or competitor? In many cases, all it takes is a revamped colour palette or minor graphic alteration to your existing logo to make it (and you) stand out, but remember that your logo defines your brand, and if you develop a solid backing, you’re going to want it to stand the test of time.

 

Understanding Customers

You’ll always have competitors. However, the best choice you can make is highlighting your strengths and differences to those of your competitors. Why are your services or products better? Are they of higher quality? Higher value? Do you come to your clients or adjust to their personal needs? Once you know your personal strengths in your ability to manage your business and act as an interface between your services/products and your customers, then you can understand what demographic might be best for you to tackle. You could make the best product in the world, or offer the greatest services ever, but if you don’t know how to target an audience and understand what makes them tick, you’re unlikely to truly reach them.

When a consumer thinks about your particular service or product, you have to make them think about you in particular. What makes you stand out? Where can you build a connection between you, your service or products, and the consumers wants and needs? Those are always tough questions when you’re searching for a better reach, but looking towards smaller, more targeted niches can serve you well. You may find your perfect audience within the one you were previously trying to target, all because you took a step back and thought like a client or customer. A bigger reach, just like in social media, for example, doesn’t always mean better.

Join us next week for Part 2 of our article on online branding efforts for your business!