Tag Archives: marketing

Do Videos on Social Networking Platforms mean TV Style Advertising?

Do Videos on Social Networking Platforms mean TV Style Advertising?Since the Facebook-owned application,Instagram, introduced the video feature to it’s users a few weeks ago—there has been one question on my mind: How long will it be until we begin to see television-like commercials and ads on our social feeds?

With the new addition of video recording, Instagram latched onto the coat tails of the video app Vine, and catapulted itself into first place. But the competitive drive is still in the air, and with this resurgent popularity of video sharing online, (which isn’t really a new development, but rather a new conversation about an existing technology) it is obvious that if companies use this opportunity to do a little video marketing, they can tap into a potentially huge new advertising revenue stream.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom is consistently repeating that the application is all about the users, but with the burgeoning new trends in social media marketing and the use of Instagram for branding and product highlighting, it is clear that this update provides a marketing advantage to business owners using the app.

Do Videos on Social Networking Platforms mean TV Style Advertising?

Systrom was interviewed after the event announcing the video feature’s addition, and he believes that the near-term opportunities for brands to use the video feature would be similar to how they’re using Instagram photos currently—which is to capture moments at events that build on the brand’s image. And of course, Instagram is also used to snap shots of products, services, employees, customer testimonials, and more.

The CEO believes that video will just be an extension of this process, but as an avid Instagram user, my biggest fear is that perhaps companies will take advantage of the new feature in order to bring us a series of disruptive, unoriginal, and irrelevant commercials like the ones we are annoyed by on cable television—which is a primary reason that many Americans have switched to streaming their shows using services like Netflix or Hulu+.

Of course, this may only become frustrating for users who actually “follow” brands on their social networks, but of the 130 million people using Instagram, it is safe to assume that many are following their favorite celebrities and companies—patiently awaiting the next opportunity for gossip or discounts.

Every mat has a story to tell. #justmymat

A post shared by lululemon (@lululemon) on

Minutes after video on Instagram was announced, Lululemon released the commercial above, and while creative and engaging− it is just he beginning of what is to come. It is no accident that Facebook designed Instagram’s new video feature to allow users to record for 15 seconds; that is exactly the same length as most television commercials.

But I have two view points in mind that are battling it out for dominance, and while one has spawned out of my demand for social network purity—free of tracking cookies and targeted advertising— the other stems from my experience working as a social media marketer.

Online video marketing is a phenomenal resource for small businesses because most of them cannot afford flashy commercials that play in 15-minute intervals on major television networks. Setting up accounts on YouTube, Instagram, and Vine takes approximately ten minutes and then you can begin to record personal product pitches, or shoot a video of your pet boutique’s grand opening, or even make a short movie that highlights the efficiency of your carpet cleaning service.

A glimpse behind the scenes of the #Burberry Prorsum Menswear Spring/Summer 2014 show, #London

A post shared by Burberry (@burberry) on

Many major corporations like Burberry are already using the video feature to share behind the scenes footage of their fashion shows—and I believe this is actually a fantastic use of the app’s addition. Because the company’s fans are engaged on Instagram, the more intimate of the social networks, Burberry has a chance to connect on a more direct level, and the people have access to the human side of the company—which enhances a consumer’s perception of the brand’s authenticity.

The Instagram leaders recognize the natural business opportunity inherent to the simplicity and versatility of the video feature, however for the time being they are encouraging brands to interact with their customers organically, rather than allowing market-directed ads, like the ones we see on Facebook.

I take that as a good sign; spontaneity and honesty are fundamental to the nature of Instagram. Businesses have a chance to showcase the candid and genuine elements of their brand. And if you’re a small business owner, that is what social media should be about—reaching out to the public, sans pretense and ulterior motivation. Let’s just hope that the Instagram team and community continue to agree, because I am not quite ready to give up my favorite social networking platform to the advertisers just yet!

What is your opinion on the potential of seeing television style adveritisng on Facbeook and Instagram? 

By Sasha Novikov | Creatine Marketing

 

Introducing Video on Instagram from Instagram on Vimeo.

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Do You Need a Social Media Education to Execute A Social Strategy?

Do You Need a Social Media Education to Execute A Social Strategy?We’ve heard of students majoring in Social Studies, but Social Media Studies? That’s a new development, even for us. At Creatine Marketing, we are in the business of digital marketing and social strategy, but last year, while we were in the process of seeking out new employees, interviewing them, gauging them for experience, and putting them to work— some interesting questions came up.

Mainly, everyone was curious about what kind of training, education, or experience qualifies a person to create an effective social media strategy. How do you hire the right person for the job and instill the proper skill sets necessary to develop a social strategy? Now that we are in the market for new interns and employees again, we’re attempting to answer some of those questions and offer our readers and clients some insight into the various methods of obtaining a social media education, or experience in the field.

A common misconception is that the average social media user is sufficiently qualified to carry out a successful marketing campaign. Many businesses make the mistake of finding someone who uses Facebook every day and trusting him or her with the responsibility of creating a strategy, developing a focused direction, managing a budget, and controlling access to major accounts and passwords. Being an individual with a few social media accounts does not prepare you for analyzing engagement, interacting with thousands of fans daily, measuring SEO metrics, or meeting with clients to discuss and execute plans for branding, reputation management, and content creation.

Do You Need a Social Media Education to Execute A Social Strategy?Social strategy aids companies in communicating with their customers via digital channels, and the goal of a campaign created to function online is not too far off from the objectives of other marketing campaigns designed for radio, print, or television. A strong background in marketing, advertising, communication, sociology, business, or consumer relations is highly valued in this field. Whether you learn these skills in a classroom or from years of experience as an independent entrepreneur, they will ensure your success when developing a strategy for your business or other clients.

Universities and colleges now offer courses in digital media, online strategy, social media, web analytics, search engine marketing and more. Even Harvard offers a course called Digital Marketing: Social Media and Online Strategies. Because the field of marketing has dramatically shifted with the rise of social media and the increase of devices, platforms, and applications, companies are recognizing that it takes the right person to head their social media marketing department.

Do You Need a Social Media Education to Execute A Social Strategy?It is also important to remember that a degree or university education is not the only qualifying factor.  Many companies can train the right employee to understand the importance of branding, promotion, research, writing and distributing content, keeping an open dialogue with customers, managing bad press, and mastering effective communication. Additionally, digital marketing is a constantly evolving field and, because of the continuous metamorphosis, social strategists need to be the kinds of people who adapt quickly. This kind of skill is hard to teach.

Individuals from a wide variety of education and experiential backgrounds are taking on roles with social business components—social strategy, community management, and managing social campaigns. While formal courses may not be the most productive route in an ever-changing field, jumping in with no experience is even more harmful to your company.  If you are truly interested in being successful in social media and digital marketing there are books, blogs, articles, podcasts and plenty of online information offering introductory and in-depth knowledge about the field.

By: Sasha Novikov| Creatine Marketing

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When to Outsource Social Media

Social media should be a critical part of your company’s marketing strategy. Through each network, you have the opportunity to present an image of your company, in hopes that you will positively influence the customer’s perception of your brand. The image you present through your social media campaigns, therefore, should be just as well devised and prepared as the image you would present in any other advertising pursuit.

When to Outsource Social Media

This may sound insane, because it’s 2013 and social media is no longer in its infancy stage—but far too many businesses get on the social bandwagon simply because their competitors are doing it or because it seems like something you ought to do. However, simply being online isn’t enough – you need a sense of direction, a clear understanding of what your goals are. What do you hope “getting online” will achieve? Opening up a few social accounts without mapping out a clear strategy is completely useless to your business.

When it comes to social media, you cannot afford to make mistakes or refuse to do it at all. When thinking about whom to assign to your campaign, as with any job, you need to find the person or people with the relevant skills and experience.

I wouldn’t trust my social media campaign to a junior
member of staff because they mentioned they are bored
and have a Facebook page.

Using social media for personal purposes is a completely different ball game. The people you trust to speak on behalf of your company, your brand, your product, and your service should have more than just a passing familiarity with social media. Knowing how to tweet, post, like, and re-pin, is child’s play. What about tracking your company’s analytics, ensuring stellar search engine results, maintaining daily interaction with thousands of fans and followers, generating unique and compelling content, and producing return on investment metrics?

While you may be able to find a candidate to do this work within your marketing department, often times it is wise to branch out to an agency that is prepared to handle the workload. You need to choose people who understand your goals, have a passion for customer service, and hold creativity as their main priority when coming up with ideas on how to engage current and new followers.

Effective social media takes imagination, superior
interpersonal communication skills, and excellent grasp of
business objectives.

When to Outsource Social Media

Although, you may think it’s clever and cost efficient to assign the management of your accounts to several employees, and while this may help spread loads of content, it can also create incoherence and confuse your customers and followers. For many small businesses, handling social media activity internally isn’t always an option because they do not have the time or expertise. Calling in the services of a knowledgeable social media marketing team may be the smartest way to go.

A good digital marketing firm will offer extensive experience working with clients across multiple sectors and will be able to use tried and tested techniques. If you offer the agency additional insight into who your target audience is, and what you want to achieve with your campaign, outsourcing social media to an expert will pay off, big time. Rather than taking on the stress of managing hundreds of your own accounts, you can work with your marketing agency to create a cross-platform message that is genuine and true to your brand so that your customers feel like they can trust you.

A social media marketing agency will know how to protect your cyber privacy, and how to subtly include sales promotions without bombarding your followers with advertisements. Once you establish a good line of communication with an agency, you can go over all of the details of your strategy including how consistently you want to post content and when you want to engage with your audience. You can then trust your social media campaign to a competent team of marketers who will dedicate their time to constructing a strong digital marketing campaign for your business.

By Sasha Novikov, Creatine Marketing
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Social Media: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

The United States harbors an impressive population of innovators with new ideas and unique products. But where there are trend setters, there are trend followers. We’ve all seen fads explode onto the market for short periods of time before fizzling out into obscurity just as quickly as they arrived. From Beanie Babies, to Tamagotchis- LiveStrong wrist bands to
MySpace, products wax and wane; some make a significant impact on the market, while others are easily forgotten. What are all of these companies doing differently, and what do they have in common?

what is innovation

Creating a business plan that is solid and sustainable is a challenging process. In fact, many new companies struggle to hit the ground running, and later fail to operate for more than five years. Often times, even the most driven and prepared business owners accept that investing more money and pushing forward is no longer a feasible option. These entrepreneurs are wondering what they did wrong; what could’ve been done to increase brand visibility, to build a stronger consumer base, or to offer products and services through a medium that is easier to access?

Developing marketing strategies with the aid of social media, like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Linked In is the new frontier. These platforms offer powerful tools for advertising, communicating, enlightening, and ultimately, selling. Businesses with a distinctive and well-developed social media presence have the capability to reach a wide audience very quickly. Not only does this create a higher volume of consumer requests for products and services but also these demands can now be satisfied in a much faster, and simpler manner.

When utilizing social media networks, companies are able to target larger and more diverse audiences by pushingengaging, attractive, and current announcements and special offers. With the ability to spread messages about products, provide unbeatable deals, and to creatively highlight the brand, many companies experience immediate success. The next challenge to ensure longevity and popularity is to prepare for, and properly handle an expanded customer base and the inflated number of sales that may result from a flourishing cyber campaign.

Social media is beneficial when used to advertise new products, send updates, and offer promotions, but personalized Social Media Sites jpgcommunication is also necessary. Businesses can use social media to quickly and consistently follow-up with consumers. A customer can be appreciated for shopping with the business, and invited to voice his or her satisfaction with the product, service, or purchasing experience. This information can have an impact on the future success of the company, as it helps to pinpoint areas that might need improvement quickly, while bringing focus to tactics and that have been executed well.

A regularly maintained social media presence is also critical in ensuring that positive press is publicized, while negative press is addressed and corrected. If a satisfied customer writes a positive review, is should be shared, re-posted, and highlighted on the business’s social media profile. Was a complaint made? If the business is regularly tracking their social media presence, they can quickly respond with an apology and a solution.

In this modern age of virtual shopping, mobile application hunting, and digital network construction, social media advertising is the next big step in surviving in the business world. And while the endeavor might seem daunting for business owners who are less technologically savvy, or for those who just do not have the time, the good news is that there are innovative platforms in the works that give one person the ability to update every social media site using one easy-to-learn system. There are also courses that help entrepreneurs navigate the, sometimes overwhelming, world wide web. And finally, there are companies, like ours that will launch, maintain, and update all of the social media networks for your business. We keep your brand in mind, we summon the voice of your company, and we use social media as our tool to help your client base grow.

by Sasha Novikov, Creatine Marketing

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‘Tis the Friday to be Greedy

Black Friday Shoppers:

It’s late Thursday evening and you are just about as stuffed as your Thanksgiving turkey was. As the tryptophan begins to coarse through your veins and your eyelids strain to stay open, reach for that energy drink or second cup of coffee because Black Friday is approaching quickly and you need to be prepared.

Black Friday

Luckily, we are living in a time where more consumers have access to the web and most businesses have noticed. This year, it is easier to hunt for sales and promotions before you decide to camp out in front of your favorite store, or wait in line for 10 hours.  A vast majority of your preferred brands, companies, corporations, and even independent retailers are urging consumers to check their social media outlets in order to prepare for the deals they plan to offer on Black Friday, the first official day of the Christmas shopping season. After you search for your favorite stores on Twitter and Facebook, remember to ‘follow’ or ‘like’ the company so you can revel in the once-a-year specials. And although ‘tis the Friday to be greedy, don’t hesitate to share them with all of your friends and family.

Business Owners:

As the holiday season approaches, social media is your strongest business-boosting tool. Most established, high-volume, retailers launch comprehensive and robust ‘Black Friday’ marketing campaigns every year; they spend months preparing digitized circulars, mobile apps, and online coupon offers to promote special deals.  But for many years, the average small business owner was unable to properly compete.

With the prominence and power of social media in your arsenal, however, developing innovative ways to promote your products and services is no longer a daunting challenge. There are several ways small businesses can create a buzz on Black Friday without overextending the budget on costly marketing campaigns.

A few weeks before Thanksgiving, start by using Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+ to post, pin, or tweet about early deals and special offers for customers who subscribe to your networks. After enhancing your client base, gaining followers, and increasing your mailing list, it is time to follow up with your customers. Send a Black Friday-themed email to your existing and new customers in order to drive traffic. Make sure your message includes a click-to-call button, maps, and all of the re-post and share buttons that will encourage customers to share your email with their mailing lists and social networks. Also, keep in mind that nearly half of the people who open marketing emails do so on their smartphones or tablets, which is why it’s important that marketing emails are optimized for mobile devices.

Shopper

While continuing a dialogue with your customers by engaging with them on Twitter and Facebook, you can also send push notifications and alerts though mobile applications on Thanksgiving Eve. Encourage your customers to arrive early by providing extra incentives like higher percentages off selected items. Finally, have some fun with your customers; run some contests and offer giveaways exclusively on your social media platforms. Discounts are very attractive to the savvy social media deal hunter. And that customer is more likely to boast about your business with a friend, coworker, or family member if he or she has something to interesting to share!

Social media is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to boost brand visibility, strengthen your client base, and to maximize profit—especially during the holidays. Highlight your special offers using Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+, remind your customers why your store is the place to be on Black Friday, and use this pseudo-holiday as a way to build ongoing relationships with your clients or customers to ensure a brighter future for your business.

by Sasha Novikov, Creatine Marketing

 

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Social Media to the Rescue! #HurricaneSandy

How social networking saved lives during Hurricane Sandy

As superstorm Sandy continues to devastate the states of the Northern American East Coast, thousands of families are left without electricity, food, shelter, and aid. The ongoing hurricane has caused upwards of $50 billion in damages; US citizens that inhabit the areas are in a state of confusion and desolation. In the wake of the trail of destruction left by Sandy, where are East Coastians turning for emergency information? And how are the rest of us getting our minute-by-minute updates about our friends and family members?

While there may not be enough power to fully revive many of the coastal states, there is enough to charge hundreds of mobile devices. And where there is even a minimal amount of electrical current, there are those who will manage to update their social media accounts and keep the rest of the world informed.

Within a day of the Sandy making landfall, “#Sandy” had more than 4 million mentions by almost 400,000 unique sources on Twitter. “Hurricane Sandy” was the top phrase on Facebook in the United States for several days. Thousands of people posted images of the wreckage, designed donation based webpages, and “tweeted” their prayers for safety.  While the ongoing debate about the effects of social media continues, there is no doubt that these platforms helped thousands of disenfranchised Americans gain national exposure, and then aid.

#HurricaneSandy on Twitter

Americans were saddened by images of cars floating along flooded highways, and rooftops peaking out of waters that rose over 10 feet in some areas. These pictures appeared on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and other social media networks—and because of them the public learned about how to donate time and money to those in need. People used these platforms to communicate where there was power, or shelter, where gas stations had opened, and which ones were accepting cash. News outlets were able to keep the general public informed using the same websites, while keeping residents of New Jersey and other affected areas up-to-date on the status of their family members, school and business closures, voting information, and local news.

As the storm approached the mainland, articles began to immerge reminding citizens how to download a flashlight application, and how to use the Red Cross First Aid app for various medical assistance tips. All of the articles were available on Twitter by following “#Sandy; some articles even read, “following #Sandy could save your life.” During this disaster, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram became communication lifelines that many used to call out for help and to send prayers. Thanks to citizen journalists and photographers images and alerts spread across the nation in hours, encouraging hundreds of people to come to the rescue with blankets, food, generators, water, cell phone charging stations, and other necessary materials. Some tweets even assisted law enforcement officials and firefighters in rescuing endangered citizens and animals. When utilized properly, social media is a mighty resource that can relay critical news, important information, and provide by the minute updates about any situation or event.

by Sasha Novikov, Creatine Marketing

 

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