Pinterest Marketing – the open secret!

If you would like your social media team to invest time and resources on Pinterest then your first first step should be to check if Pinterest audience and marketing tactics align with your business.

Determine your business objectives

Examples of business goals :

  • “Change the audience composition – identify the % change required”
  • “Increase sales by 30% to women over 25.

Every time you create a marketing strategy for a specific social media channel ask how this can benefit the business in reaching its goals. This is important to help you create BOARDS for your account.

Boards are similar to Mood Boards, you have to add Pins under each Board and create interesting descriptions to engage with prospective customers and followers.

Conceptualise, Create, Curate,

Create eye catching titles – Understand what your audience cares about and combine this with what you have to offer. Create a list of topics before you start creating or repinning.

Pins – When you’re Pinning, add some descriptions in your Pin and relevant hashtags. These hashtags are clickable and work as another search reference. Simple thumb rule is to create one pin and repin 4-5 pins from other accounts.

Here are some tips for building community on Pinterest:

  • Content Map – Curate content from other Pinners whose audience is same/similar to your target audience. Use that as an “inspiration” to create your own content.
  • Follow other Pinners – Save and Comment on their Pins
  • Find your niche – again create, curate and be original.

Writing Pin Descriptions

If you would like to be discovered on Pinterest it’s important to write an awesome description:

  1. Simple rule aim to write 300 characters or more.
  2. Beautiful imagery, positive and funny quotes get most CTRs and Saves.
  3. Add a Link if you would like to redirect the traffic to your site or make the Pin clickable.
  4. CTA – Call to action make it bold, beautiful, attractive and unmissable.
  5. Keywords – know your audience and use the terms that your audience is searching.
  6. Grow but share the love. When you repin, say thank you 🙂

How to make social media work for you?

Social selling, online branding, social media marketing are no longer buzz words they are part of business strategy. Simply being present on social media is not enough, one needs to build a strategy – a content plan and measure performance.

For any business to be successful one needs to start with a mission statement, set up business goals and build a strategy. Set SMART goals before you start posting on your social media account.

Be Consistent: Start with posting at same time daily or post three times a week. Most importantly, timely response helps you increase engagement and build online community.

Media: Always use high-quality images and videos. Try free online resources (Canva, Depositphotos etc) for GIFs, videos etc

Identify high engagement platform for your business. You don’t have to create all the content. Ask your customers to tag you in their posts and repost those on Instagram. The recognition you give to your customer helps them connect with your brand.

Trends – Hashtags are social media magic wands but they only work when you use them regularly and engage with conversations with trending hashtags. Simply make a list of seasonal hashtags and ever-green hashtags and use both when posting content.

Timing: Post content at the right time. The best way to find out best posting time for you, just start testing! Change your posting time every three weeks for two weeks and see what works for you most.

Don’t be camera SHY: GO LIVE!!!! Yes that’s the mantra. Live-streaming options are available on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn and it allows you to connect with your customers/audience real time. It’s a gold mine for you, engage with the audience and ask them what content they love/hate and what they would like see more. That is your content plan right in front of you! If you can’t go live, create video content – video perform better than written content, Video posts on Facebook get 59% more engagement, Linkedin they performs 3x better than written post and so on..

Keep an eye on your competitors – read their blogs, posts, and find out what’s working for them. Identify the patterns of keyword used, visuals, videos that gets attention every time.

Monitor: I am not talking about monitoring your posts but tuning into your target audience understanding what kind of content they are engaging with, picking up on any brand mentions, similar product reviews and keywords usage.

Why do you need to listen to the people who are not even in your customers – well they are your prospects, look for buying cues, answer their questions or clear doubts without asking them to buy your product.

Add Value – Genuinely help others by providing correct information, sharing links and resources that would help them with their search. Don’t hesitate to follow them or ask them if they would like to join your whatsapp or Instagram group for more information.

Measure: Analyse metrics that matter to your business. Track increase in comments, conversions, sign-ups, website traffic, likes, shares, followers, retweets, and click throughs.

Lastly, use emotions and humanise your brand. People react to positivity, happiness, inspirational content, make your audience curious, make them think and remember make them laugh too 🙂

Why and how of brand building for small businesses

Small business owners tend to be a one man or woman show and the focus is on making the business sustainable and profitable. For a small business owner or first time entrepreneur brand building can help them in reaching to greater audience and acquiring customers. It could seem like a daunting task so let’s look at brand building at macro level. This is first in series of online brand building.

What drives you? Share your vision. Let your customer’s know why you decided to start a business, is entrepreneurship your calling or a social cause or a new product idea that you feel passionately about.

What’s unique about your product? There are tonnes or product/services available at customers fingers tip as marketplaces makes it easy for customers to acquire products and get them delivered on their doorstep when they want. Know how your product is better than the similar products available in the market, is your product/service competitively priced, can you offer next day or specific time slot delivery. Always remember know your product before you show your product 😉

Make social media your friend – In today’s day and age, we tend to think of the world as a global village and you can reach people far and wide. Before you create a social media brand page

  • Know your target audience (age, demographics, personas who are likely to engage with your page etc).
  • Create a content map – Keep It Simple. Share why your product is unique, share your journey as an entrepreneur, humour goes a long way so share some funny memes, behind the scenes videos/pictures etc.
  • Engagement – Connect with customers, local community and other entrepreneurs even with competition to understand what is working for their audience.
  • Test, Measure, Evaluate – Test your content on your site, A/B test for email campaigns, understand your data (which content worked for you – identify posts with higher engagement and lower engagement and find ways to create content with higher engagement), evaluate your content to identify patterns in time/day when you see higher engagement, conversions, profile visits, subscribers, and followers.

Don’t be afraid – It’s not easy to put yourself out there but Brands and Businesses are made of people so let that charm and personality show through your content. If you are small business owner or marketeer please feel free to leave your feedback or questions in comments.

Changing World of Retail

The retail industry is going through unprecedented change. New technology is at the forefront of this change, brands and retailers and changing their business models to beat competition and keep up with evolving as is customer’s shopping behaviour.

Consumer behaviour is driven by price and convenience but it’s slowly moving away from instant gratification to unique finds and experiences. Why I say that is because of the high number of high street casualties we have seen recently. The consumer would continue to expect products to live to their online alter egos with free or low-cost delivery and proactive customer support.

As the customer journeys grows on to become more complex the desire to have a seamless shopping experience will become paramount. The days of questioning the significance of social media’s impact on brand building and overall sales is over. Brands will have to develop strategies to marry offline retail shopping with online *be the first* to share culture.

The commitment to low carbon footprint and environmental initiatives means more and more brands (H&M and Marks & Spencer) will have to consider recycling and reinventing products.

Mobile as a customer touchpoint is now intrinsic to any shopping journey whether it means buying products from brands Instagram account, liking a friend’s dress on Instagram and then placing an order or getting notifications of the order being delivered. Mobile shopping is growing and in near future will require planning when it comes to incorporating in brands marketing strategies. The battle between Android and Apple products will deepen further as global brands will see higher adoption rates for Android phones and acceptance of Android payment apps in emerging markets.

If you are working on a marketing plan or a new website don’t ignore mobile! Mobile can not only help you drive more traffic but also improve your conversions.

Please share in comments your experience of developing a mobile first strategy and how it impacted your conversions?

Picture Source: (c) theretailfactory

Big Data – Interesting article (via Econsultancy)

big data

We have the ability to collect it from every consumer touch point we choose, whether it’s website activity, cookies, socialgraph information, direct marketing database, in-store or using other third party tools.

There is no shortage of data, but what does your business do with it all? Is your brand using big data to enrich people’s lives? Or is it just used for more “accurate” ad targeting?

It probably depends on how your business is structured and where you sit, or how you employ your agencies. Do you consider the entire consumer journey, and understand how your product and services enhance the lives of existing customers?

Or are you only concerned and targeted on achieving high advertising click-through rates and low cost per clicks?

There is a balance to be struck, and one of the biggest challenges facing brands and agencies today is to ensure they really do have the right intentions at heart. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of using all the insights derived from the various data sources to construct “relevant” marketing messages to interrupt people with the aim of persuading them to buy stuff.

This interruption, even if deemed relevant by the business, maybe unwelcome to the consumer and could tarnish your brand.

Read on, if you feel you, as a marketer, may be falling into such a trap.

Enrich LivesI received an email, out of the blue from American Express. “Advance access to Justin Bieber tickets” the subject header said. It got my attention.

Now, to be clear, I’m not a Belieber, but I happen to live with a few people who are. My home is far too frequently flooded with what I can only categorise as unwanted noise; “Eeny, meeny, miny, mo lover” indeed.

In fact, it can become so annoying that I have to turn to Twitter to vent my frustration, as my daughters tend not to listen to me…they’re listening to Justin.

But quite clearly, American Express was listening to me, and there’s the big data link. I’m on the American Express’s email database, but don’t often receive emails. I haven’t used my card for years, they know this too.

They also have other information about me (name, age, occupation, where I live etc.) and they also have the ability to listen to my social ramblings.  Putting all this together, they can socially profile me and match my information to their CRM data. Yet, they don’t bombard me with advertising, they send me a timely and well constructed email about Bieber.

So what else could I do? I reactivated my Amex card, bought tickets, became a hero….for at least five seconds. Imho, it was a very good blend of targeting and enrichment all in one.

Now take another example, but let’s keep this one hypothetical.

A business is structured with a department solely focused on customer acquisitions. They look at the CRM data of existing customers, and segment this list by monetary value. They extract the data of “high value” customers and, with the help of an agency, enrich this data with socialgraph profile matching.

The theory behind this approach is there may be some common interests, demographics, influences, behaviours etc. that could offer fruitful insights about this segment. Theoretically, it makes some sense to use this information to then target “look-a-like” people, who aren’t yet customers, but could be, with advertising.

Based upon the insights gleaned, the business now invest in digital and social media advertising to entice prospective customers over. Will this work?

Here are the potential outcomes:

It all goes swimmingly well, and consumers and business alike are delighted. Or..
The business reaches exactly the right people and achieve very high degrees of visibility.
Through cookie exchanges, they are even presented with ads containing items they have viewed on websites, within social platforms.
Potentially, these ads follow them wherever they go.
Click through isn’t great, and cost per clicks are high.
A performance review takes place, as acquisition is lower than expected, targets are not being met.
The ad content is revised, the targeting is widened, click-throughs increase, cpc goes down.
The ultimate result is the original target audience weren’t attracted in the numbers expected.
This maybe because of the interuptive advertising, they may feel you’ve spammed them.
They may even feel a bit spooked, due to the information you present back to them about their own online behaviour.
They may now see your brand in a slightly different light than they did prior to the interuption.
However, campaign targets are met, due to the revised approach, but the people clicking may no longer be the desired “high value” audience.

In this example, data has been used purely for marketing purposes. Targeting the right people, but with little time spent at understanding how your product or service enriches the lives of existing customers.

If, before this ad campaign, time had been taken to really understand why your product makes these “high value” customer’s lives so much better; why they choose to spend a lot of money with you, would the outcome have been to invest in interruptive advertising? Would it be the right medium to attract new customers? Or would a smarter way manifest itself?

With Facebook and now Twitter, offering the ability for marketers to target people based upon their interests, what people are saying in their updates, who else they follow or like, it requires a lot of thought and planning to decide the best approach. Some have called this functionality “Game changing” as it enables real-time targeting.

However, from a consumer perspective, this means an interruptive social experience, with brands infiltrating their conversations and timelines…if brands choose to advertise. There is no coincidence that many people are leaving Facebook, certain markets may be perceived to have reached their saturation point, but people don’t want to be constantly interupted with marketing messages.

They spend time on Facebook because their friends are there…if their friends start leaving, so will they. Things such as Facebook’s Graph Search (Facebook’s own use of Big Data) will only achieve one thing; people will be very careful on what information they share about themselves, and tighten up their privacy settings; they won’t wish to be stalked, by advertisers or weirdos (deemed to be separate entities).

Businesses, Brands, agencies and marketers need to think really hard on the best use of big data. An understanding of the full consumer journey is a must.

Effort to integrate marketing with product/service design, and understanding why people choose to use your product is now an essential ingredient to success. Understanding this, at the deepest level, will enable you to enrich, entertain and excite people, attracting them to your brand and the people who have already chosen to associate with your brand.

It will also stimulate loyalty and ideally advocacy, which is still the most powerful advertising medium around.