From Hype to Stupid, 6 Things for Your Instagram Marketing File

From Hype to Stupid, 6 Things for Your Instagram Marketing File

  1. Starbucks’ social buzz peaks around the pumpkin spice latte craze. Starbucks has become a bit of a case-study example for marketers when it comes to creating social buzz for its products, and in no season is that more evident than fall when it sells the popular pumpkin spice latte drinks.
    To measure the hype (and subsequent hate) of the latte, social media analytics company Spredfast crunched a handful of stats in the week leading up to Tuesday when the drink was launched on menus
    Read more Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Lattes Are Killing It on Instagram
  2. Looking to use Instagram for your company? You should. Just make sure not to make these 8 mistakes. read more 8 Mistakes Brands Make With Instagram – HubSpot
  3. The Friday Five: Instagram Zoom, Facebook Page Management, Content Marketing Myths, Reposting UGC & Mobile SEO read more The Friday Five: Instagram Zoom, Facebook Page Management, Content Marketing Myths, Reposting UGC & Mobile SEO
  4. Instagram killing “photo maps” feature | Think Marketing read more Instagram killing “photo maps” feature | Think Marketing
  5. “Twitter is stupid and Instagram is Twitter for people who can’t … The success of Instagram is disruptive to marketing strategies, … Why Instagram Matters. read more Why Instagram Matters – The Huffington Post
  6. I’m going to lie to you and disparage my customers while posting my marketing messages on Instagram. Sounds like a clever marketing plan. Who would do that, right? Well, apparently stupid is alive and well on Instagram … read more Apparently Stupid and Instagram Marketing can be used in the same sentence | Everyone Markets

Plane Makers Make it plain for Market Share

Plane Makers Make it plain for Market Share

Plane Makers Make it plain for Market Share

Boeing, the US plane producer, was once the world’s biggest aircraft maker based on its global market share. It has certainly learned that one person’s poison is other person’s meat. In this case, it translates to one company’s failure is another company’s success. Sadly, it is a fail-win situation. Blue ocean strategy teaches us to look for the failures in our competitors to exploit the opportunities. And to create a niche product that would appeal to those customers that have fallen through the cracks. It is one way of making the fierce competition irrelevant. Boeing and Airbus teach us just that. Airbus rose up to the occasion when airliners felt the need for more efficient aircraft. It was a time when Boeing was too caught up in the Dreamliner program.

Boeing going gone

Recently, the U.S partially lifted the economic sanctions in Iran. It enabled the plane maker to reach a deal to sell 100 new planes to Iran Air. However, in between being considered the largest aircraft maker and the Iran Air deal it was on a downhill path. Plane makers were creating a vacuum in the industry. Airbus took advantage of the opportunity and manufactured aircraft to fill the vacuum. Airbus applied the Blue Ocean Strategy from which Sales and Marketing Professionals can learn a few lessons. To put it in context it is worth exploring the rival company, the European plane producer Airbus, and its global market share in comparison to Boeing.

Airbus in business

Europe’s aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, is passionate about aviation and designs the world’s best and efficient aircraft, and is reputed to shape the future of air transportation by regularly capturing half of all commercial airliner orders. In 1995 it became the first plane maker to allow airlines to function without the need for financing a fleet. In the recent decade at an enormous expense, it developed the A380 superjumbo, albeit not yet with enough orders, is another feather in its cap. Airbus entered into the business 50 years after Boeing began its market share domination. It had the confidence and the guts to take Boeing by its horns. What would be interesting is to analyze how it stacks up against its counterpart.

Boeing vs. Airbus

Since the 1990s, the airliner market was a duopoly one with just Boeing and Airbus enjoying the space. However, Boeing’s unassailable lead in the sector of commercial airliners came under threat from Airbus when since 2012 the European firm outpaced it with the number of orders. Boeing’s failures include pricking its pride when it could not manage to stay head to head with Airbus who has been in business for less than half its time. What most companies fail to do is to use its Sales and Marketing force to analyze the competitive landscape on a regular basis either monthly or quarterly. What did Boeing do to reach a situation where Airbus out-competed it using fifth fewer employees? It failed to look beyond the horizon at its immediate competitor.

Boeing’s Dreamliner turns to nightmare

The Dreamliner program that projected to cost $6 billion and take off in 5 years instead took $32 billion and eight years to complete due to technical failures and supply chain hassles. Boeing was the first commercial plane made of lightweight composite materials. It outsourced the production of its 787 Dreamliner to global suppliers causing mounting costs and delays. Caught up in its execution Boeing’s plans for the rest of its other fleet became. The Dreamliner Programme utilized the entire resources of the company, and that consumed the corporation for a long time. While Boeing had its head deep in the sand like an ostrich, so to speak, it created a perfect space for its rival company based in Europe, Airbus, to jump in and carve a blue ocean strategy to expand its market share.

Blue ocean strategy of Airbus

Airbus adopted blue ocean strategy by taking a lead in the production of fuel-efficient narrow-body jets. This resulted in more orders for its A320 neo planes than its counterpart 737MAX. Boeing’s troubles with the Dreamliner also helped Airbus win more orders of its jet A350. Boeing’s 777X is not due until 2020. This saga is a classic example of how Blue Ocean strategies can be created by carefully observing the gaps in the operations of competitors. Marketing then is a function of a company that finds the crack between the needs of the customers and the products offered in the market and plugging the gaps by introducing innovative solutions thus making the competition irrelevant.

Sales and marketing parallel

Drawing parallels from the Airbus-Boeing case study, Marketing Professionals can better align their market share strategies to fill the gaps in the market created by their competitors through close observance and thorough analysis. Sales revenue can be generated not only by satisfying customer needs but also by stepping in to fill the blanks in the target market. More often than not expansion plans of a rival company can be an opportunity for another company to service the customers left by the side by the expanding company who get carried away in the execution of plans.

If in a duopoly market like that of aircraft manufacturers that is highly regulated blue ocean strategy works one can be forgiven to believe that they can be set up in almost any market if one starts thinking out of the box. It requires an entrepreneurial spirit and innovative mind. Companies should encourage Sales and Marketing Professionals to think beyond or without the box so that their creative juices begin to pump in. Otherwise, it would be another case of Boeing Going Gone where a company that is half its age – Airbus – takes over within a matter of very short period.

To learn more about market share and how to dominate your market, consider the SMEI Certified Marketing Executive program.

Learning Content Marketing From A Yoga Instructor

Learning Content Marketing From A Yoga Instructor

flexible-content

Restorative yoga is a gentle, passive practice that promotes relaxation in the body.

The other day at the start of my weekly restorative yoga class, our instructor asked us which areas of the body we’d like to focus on that day.

A few other regular students shouted out, “Shoulders! … Lower back! … Psoas!”

However, I stayed quiet because I started writing this article in my head. Class that day wasn’t going to be restorative for me because I viewed my yoga instructor as a content marketer and her students as her audience members.

While she likely already had a series of poses in mind to teach that day, she asked her audience for feedback that would shape her lesson plan. Tailoring the asanas to her students’ needs would help ensure that they were satisfied and happy that they came to her class.

But did the requests from her students stifle her own vision of what she wanted to teach? Did the suggestions block her own creativity and passion for yoga?

On the contrary, I argue that her students’ input actually enhanced her creativity and passion for yoga.

The same thing can happen when you find out what your prospects hope to achieve by consuming your content.

Inhale and focus on how you can help

yoga-pose-1When you serve an audience, you focus on how you can use your natural abilities, strengths, and knowledge to help people.

Listening to your audience’s problems gives you direction. You don’t aimlessly create content. You recognize what people need help with and then make yourself useful.

An intentionally crafted content marketing strategy familiarizes your ideal customers and clients with your business and the solutions you have to offer them.

Audience input gives you a lens through which to focus all of the wisdom you have to teach.

Once you know what interested prospects need help with, you’re better positioned to spotlight the aspects of your products or services that solve their problems.

Exhale and imagine the right piece of content delivered to the right person at the right time

yoga-pose-2My yoga instructor didn’t necessarily abandon her original lesson plan or toss out what she wanted to teach that day.

Her students’ requests simply provided a guide for how she could best share her expertise.

She wanted to find out the types of problems her students were having with their bodies that day so she could adapt her class to target their pain points.

As a digital product or service provider, you can use content to demonstrate how you help customers and clients.

To create a tailored experience for your website visitors, you first need to determine who’s on your website and the information they need. Then you can tag subscribers and segment your email lists.

Email and marketing automation work together to turn prospects into customers. It’s a powerful combination that allows you to place subscribers on the right lists, trigger the correct broadcast emails or autoresponders, unlock free products, and more.

Your content becomes the friendly yoga instructor who delivers exactly what her students want, rather than strictly following a pre-established lesson plan.

Envision bringing your best advice to the surface

yoga-pose-3Learn about the frustrations and struggles that surround the problems you solve.

Your best advice will rise to the surface, so that you can create effective, custom content and deliver it to the people who will benefit from it the most.

How do you organize and share your content so that different people in your audience get exactly what they’re looking for?

Let us know in the comments below.

The post The Friendly Way to Adapt Your Content Like a Flexible Yoga Instructor appeared first on Copyblogger.

via The Friendly Way to Adapt Your Content Like a Flexible Yoga Instructor

 

How To Use Hashtags for Sales and Marketing

How To Use Hashtags for Sales and Marketing

Hashtags are a really useful tool for sales and marketing professionals. You can use them to extend your social media reach and to engage prospects and like minded networkers. Used right they will help you build your following, your posts will reach a far wider audience, you will get more leads, and boost productivity. In this post your will learn how to use hashtags for sales and marketing.

What is a Hashtag?

In social media a hashtag is the hash or pound sign (#) followed by a word or key phrase that is used to categorize what your post is about. For example, if you are posting about social media, you might use the hashtag #socialmedia or #socmed. When you post to social networks using a hashtag, this then becomes searchable i.e. you can click on it to see all posts that use the same hashtag and it makes it more likely that people will find your post.

hashtags for sales and marketingA Few Things to Know About Hashtags

  • Never include a space in your hashtags, if there’s a space then it won’t be searchable.
  • You can include numbers and capital letters in hashtags. Capitals often make the hashtag more readable and understandable.
  • Use hashtags that are short and sweet. Trying to fit a whole sentence into a hashtag makes is incomprehensible and reduces its reach.
  • You can (and should) have your own one that you use to brand your posts.
  • Hashtags are a hugely important on Instagram and are key to building your following
    Be extra careful when using hashtags on Facebook. Don’t use too many (2 is enough) and don’t use them too often.
  • Don’t use made up hashtags that mean nothing unless you are trying to be funny (this can backfire and be a waste of your time).

hashtags data by hashtagify.me

To decide which hashtags to use, first think about what you are posting about and then consider which words you would use to describe your post. For example when we share this post we might use hashtags like #sales and #marketing.

Once you have determined the most appropriate word to use you can dig deeper using tools that help you to determine the most popular ones to use.  Hashtagifyme which allows you to search for a hashtag and view related hashtags and their popularity. Choose the ones that are most popular to get the widest reach.

Instagram Hashtags

Using hashtags is a central component to building your following and engagement on Instagram. This app allows you to use up to 30 tags – if you try to use more you won’t be able to share your post.

The optimum number will depend on your audience and your posts but a general rule of thumb is to use between 5 and 10 (test and try this to see what works for you!). Upload your photo then enter your hashtags in the caption area.

More sophisticated users often enter a few tags in the caption area then more in the comments (there’s also a way to hide them to make your posts look cleaner but still make them searchable by adding line breaks). It’s a good idea to save a list of hashtags you frequently use so that you can simply copy and paste them from your phone. Instagram has a useful feature when entering hashtags that allows you to see how often these terms are used.

Twitter Hashtags

Twitter can be a really confusing network and most people really aren’t sure how to use it effectively. Hashtags can really help with that as they help to organise constant streams of updates and help you (and your audience) find the nuggets of information they are really interested in. Use a relevant hashtag before relevant keywords to help your Tweets show up better in search. You can use them anywhere in your Tweet and popular hashtags often become trending topics. A general rule of thumb is to use 2 – if you use more then engagement will decrease.

How to Use Hashtags for Sales and Marketing
how to use hashtags

Why are hashtags important for sales and marketing? First of there’s a lot of noise out there – using the right hashtags both to search social networks and to share your content will help you and your followers hone in on the important stuff.

  • Hashtags help your brand reach a wider audience so use a hashtag for your brand – my company, Out-Smarts uses #outsmarts and SMEI uses #SMEI. – to differentiate your posts.
  • Use a hashtag for your location if your audience is local i.e. #vancouver to help people in your area hone in on your posts.
  • Don’t be afraid to use the hashtag #forsale or #sale as this also helps more people find you – although you will probably want to use another one that categorizes what you sell!
  • Customizing hashtags can help you track campaign engagement so use them consistently. You can track and measure these too to determine how often your audience uses or mentions your campaign hashtag.
  • People use social networks to search for things they want to buy. Get in the habit of searching social networks for posts that include hashtags describing your product or service. Listening and responding will help engage buyers and make that cold call slightly warmer!
  • The best hashtags to use will depend on the product and service you are providing – it’s a good idea to check out the hashtags your competitors are using and to research which ones get the most engagement (retweets, comments etc.).
  • Hashtags should be used at your sales and marketing as they allow allow attendees to connect and network virtually and you can easy find and follow attendees who use them.

Using hashtags efficiently and effectively can be a great way to increase your social media productivity. Remember to use them efficiently and effectively according to which platform you are on.

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Photo credit: quinn.anya via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA
Driving Sales Through Effective SEO

Driving Sales Through Effective SEO

One of the most effective ways to fill your sales funnel is by driving targeted traffic to your website. Effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tells Google what your site is all about so that Google can then map people’s search to your site in the search engine results page. Driving sales through effective SEO can really grow your sales funnel.

Search Engine Optimisation isn’t something that should happen as an afterthought. If you are planning a blog post, a new page on your website or other content such as a new product on your store, it is important to consider SEO right at the start. If you do so then your post, page or offering will be more relevant, in demand and it will get more traffic, visitors and shares.

Here’s a checklist of the simple SEO tactics that can help your post, page or products get found:

SEO Checklist

1. Every page on your site shouFirst determine what your new page or blog post is going to be about and draft some pertinent keywords – i.e. words that your clients might use to search for your content and that describe what your post is all about. Go with your gut instinct and think about the words your customers use when asking you about this topic.Google suggestions - Small Business SEO Checklist

2. Use Google Trends to determine whether people are searching for these words or phrases. Google suggestions is also a great way to determine if this is a good topic, just start entering your word or phrase in Google and see how it completes it in the search dropdown that shows up. The suggestions that show up first are the most popular searches relating to your keyword. If you want to go really deep you can use Google Adwords Keyword Planner tool to determine the competition and value of your intended words or phrases (which isn’t ideal as it’s based on data from paid advertising and not overall search), or even better, a tool like Keyword Explorer from MOZ.

Another even easier way to determine the competition for a key word / phrase is to Google it and see how many results there are.

Your goal in this step is to determine phrases or words that have a high volume but low competition.

3. After doing the research in 2 above, determine a) your focus keyword / phrase, and b) secondary keywords that apply (use these in the text when writing your content). Craft your text and content around these.

4. To make it more likely that your page or post will be found when people search for it, the word / phrase that you have identified as your focus keyword / phrase should be used in the:

  • Title of your post
  • META title
  • META Description
  • Focus keyword
  • Alt Tags of your images
  • Text of your page – but not repetitively – you are writing for people not search engines! A good rule of thumb is 3 – 6 times for a 300 – 600 word post or page
  • In your headers and subheadings
  • URL

Yoast is a great tool to help you with this, if you are using WordPress I highly recommend it.

5. The META on your site might be the first impression anyone sees of your small business so take a little extra time to craft it well. When entering your META follow the META tag rules below- if you are using Yoast this plugin will help you with this:

Your META title (in purple in the image below) should be less than 56 characters, META description (below the URL in grey on the below)  should be less than 156 and it should compel people to click.

META Tags - Small Business SEO Checklist

SEO is Important

Small Business SEO ChecklistI meet a lot of people who think SEO is too technical so they simply avoid doing it but it doesn’t have to be and ignoring means you are losing out on lots of potential visits and shares. I hope that this simple SEO Checklist will encourage you to add SEO to your posts and pages. Doing so could be huge for your site and your sales!

Related posts by this author:

What is SEO

The importance of optimizing your website

Highlights from the Art of Leadership for Women

Highlights from the Art of Leadership for Women

The Art of Leadership for Women rolled into Vancouver last week featuring 5 speakers with very different styles and messaging with a common thread : the theme of leadership. Here are the highlights.

 Art of Leadership for Women Vancouve

Dr. Seonaid Charlesworth – Vice President, Executive Assessment & Succession at Lee Hecht Harrison Knightsbridge

“Intuitive thinking is good but not good enough. You can improve the accuracy of decisions you make by asking 3 simple questions”.

  • What is it that you want? – you have to be clear on this.
  • What is the story you are telling yourself – is it real?
  • When will you decide? Set a date – most bad decisions are as a result of putting things off.

Danielle Laporte – Author, Motivational Speaker, Blogger and Entrepreneur

“Leadership is lonely – you have to go against the grain”.

  • Know what you are devoted to – it could be something really simple!
  • Be true to yourself – be yourself.
  • Don’t be embarrassed by your passion.
  • Say thank you 108 times a day.
  • Be radiant with your power.
  • Compassion is a strategy.

Diana Nyad – Record Breaking Endurance Athlete

At age 64 Diane swam from Cuba to Florida (110 miles through jelly fish infested water swimming against currents and winds). It was her 5th attempt and something she had dreamed of doing since she was a kid. Her message: Don’t Quit!

“When you achieve your dreams it’s not about what you get but what you become.”

Geena Davis – Academy Award Winning Actress and Founder of the Geena Davis Institute of Women in Media

Film and TV images shape our cultural norms. Women are perceived as less important and less talented in part because of media images. The world is 51% female and yet in the media there are 3 male characters for every one woman. Women can achieve parity but at this rate it’ll take us another 70 years! Geena is on a crusade to change how Hollywood portrays women in order to speed that up. The number of girls taking up archery shot up after Brave and The Hunger Games. Positive and empowering images of women in the media will influence girls to dream bigger and achieve more.

Amy Cuddy – Game Changer – TED Talker – Social Psychologist

How to manage self doubt and anxiety in stressful situations. It’s not about faking knowledge, you need to be present. We become present by becoming powerful. Power leads to presence. When we feel powerful, we expand. When we feel powerless, we shrink. Raise you daughters to take up space to stand up tall and proud (no slouching!). It’s not what you say it’s how you say it.