4 Basic Things Your Brand Needs to Excel at Digital

The fall season is the perfect time to embrace your inner basic. “Do you want whip cream with that pumpkin spice latte?” You bet your sweet Aunt Sally I do! Even when it comes to your digital strategy, think basic.

At TAG, when we talk about a digital strategy, we’re not simply talking about your website. It’s all of your digital components and how those components work together to deliver results.

Those components include social media, websites, analytics, digital ads, AdWords, etc. -  you get the picture. It’s a lot to think about and monitor, so start slow. Below is what the TAG team believes are the four basic elements your brand needs to master.

1 | Mobile Responsive Website

A mobile responsive website means that your website will be just as clear and easy to navigate on a computer, as it is on a smart phone or tablet. Mobile responsive sites aim to minimize resizing, panning and scrolling so that your consumer can have a seamless interaction with your site and its content.

According to Adobe, nearly 8 out of 10 consumers would stop engaging with a piece of content if it’s not displaying well on their device. And, with roughly 60% of all internet access attributed to mobile traffic (which will continue to grow), can your brand afford to not be mobile responsive?

Think of your own habits. We’re all busy and when you’re looking for information fast, you don’t want to find yourself accessing a website on your phone and constantly having to zoom in to look at the text. It’s a hassle, and consumers and clients alike will find themselves seeking a mobile experience elsewhere.

2 | Social Media

Curious as to another digital tactic where most traffic comes from mobile? Ding, ding, ding! Social media. If you’re a brand, it’s imperative for you to have a focused social strategy. This doesn’t just mean throwing up pictures to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day (although, we do have a tactic for using National Days…), it means being in touch with your audience and knowing what kind of content they’re  looking for on your social media accounts.

Advertising on social media platforms has blown up over the past couple of years, and it will only continue to grow. Create a goal and then create a social media ad campaign that will deliver those results. For example: If you want people to visit your website, create a Facebook Ad campaign that will send traffic to your site. Or, if you’re wanting some exposure for your brand and your audience is relatively young, consider creating a Snapchat filter for a local event you’re sponsoring or that aligns with your brand.

3 | SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

When a potential customer is searching for your product or services online, what would they type into the search bar? Write them down, and then incorporate those words throughout your website because that’s how search engines pull results.

For example, when I type in “home improvement store davenport,” Lowe’s Home Improvement in Davenport is one of the first things to appear. Why? For one, they have home improvement in their name (genius) and it’s also sprinkled throughout their website. If you go to their Company Information page, their description says, “…Lowe’s has been Improving Home Improvement.”

So, if you’re currently dependent upon organic search traffic but aren’t getting the results you want, it’s time to do a word overhaul on your website.

4 | Analytics

Once your website is mobile responsive, your social media tactics and campaigns are running and your search engine optimization is as optimized as it gets, the next step is reviewing the analytics.

If you have a website, make sure it’s set up with a basic Google Analytics tracking code. That way, you’ll be able to see who’s visiting your site, when they’re visiting your site, how long they’re staying, what pages are most viewed, etc. in order to see what’s working with your audience and what’s not.

Social Media sites also have analytics in order for you to see which posts or ads are performing the best. Facebook to Snapchat and everything in between will offer you metrics such as impressions, reach, engagements, click through rates, etc. so that you can see the results, analyze them and then put your money where it makes most sense.

Whether you need help with the basics or if you’re looking to take your digital strategy to new heights, contact the TAG team of social media, web and analytic experts to help you reach your goals.

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3 Types of Video to Amplify Your Digital Marketing

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then that means one minute of video is worth 1.8 million – making it one of the best and fastest growing tools for digital marketing.

According to Cisco, by 2019, videos will account for more than 85% of online traffic in the U.S.. Which makes sense when you think about it. When was the last time you logged into Facebook and didn’t see a video in your news feed? Probably a pretty long time ago. In fact, 55% of people watch videos online every day.

If video marketing isn’t currently in your digital strategy, it should be! But with all of the video already out there, it can be difficult to cut through all of the clutter. Below are three types of video you can use in your marketing to help your brand stand out.

360° Video

What is it? 360° video is shot with a special 360° camera that captures all directions, giving the viewer a 360° view of whatever it is that’s being filmed.  This type of video allows the viewer to explore the video’s surroundings, giving them the option to tilt up or down and side-to-side. If you’re watching a 360° video on your computer, simply press “Play” and then once the video starts, click and drag your mouse anywhere on the screen to explore.

How can I use 360° videos for my marketing? 360° videos are a great tool for real estate agents, hotels, or other brands who are trying to sell, or showcase, a location of interest to its audience.

TAG’s favorite example: This example is from QANTAS, Austrailia’s largest domestic and international airline, which used 360° video to take its user on a virtual tourism experience to one of their most popular and scenic holiday destinations.

Interactive Video

What is it?  Interactive video is a different type of interactive experience. An interactive video will often include prompts asking for user action or input, which in turn, impacts the sequence or events in the video, making it a personalized experience for the viewer. This type of video also allows for user feedback, making it easier for you as a brand to tap into your audience’s needs.

How can I use interactive video for my marketing? Some brands have had a lot of success by incorporating interactive video for educational and promotional content, along with recruitment efforts. Essentially, interactive video is a great tool to use if you’re looking to test products, track your consumer behavior and even collect audience analytics right from the video platform.

TAG’s favorite example: Deloitte is a multinational professional services firm that provides audit, tax, consulting, enterprise risk and financial advisory services, employing more than 244,400 professionals globally. While taxes may not be your idea of a good time, their interactive recruitment campaign will have you looking into their current openings because it’s that good!

deloitte

Virtual Reality

What is it?  Virtual reality, or VR, is a fully immersive experience for your user. The 3D environment, that’s often computer-generated, transfers your user into a virtual landscape, where they’re allowed to explore the virtual environment and interact with objects within that virtual sphere. Virtual reality is experienced through a headset and as the user moves, the goggles track those movements and updates the display.

How can I use virtual reality for my marketing? Virtual reality allows for your clients or consumers to not only hear things from you, but to see and feel. If your marketing objective is to provide your audience with an experience, allow them to explore, educate or to entertain them, VR might be the best option for you!

TAG’s favorite example: The American footwear company Merrel used virtual reality to engage with its audience members over the release of their new hiking boot, the Capra. The company known for its high-performance boots took participants along a dangerous mountain hike to showcase the durability of their new release.

Want to take your video marketing to the next level and stand-out from the competition? TAG has the capability to produce 360°, interactive and virtual reality video! Contact us today to give your campaign the creativity it needs!

How to Incorporate Holidays into Your Social Strategy

Every day it seems like someone is celebrating something on social media. From National Lumpy Rug Day (May 3) to National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day (November 12),  you can find just about anything that relates to your brand. And while those days may seem totally ridiculous, for some brands, it’s a creative way to interact with its audience members.

For instance, a carpet or rug company may want to run a promotion for National Lumpy Rug Day on May 3, promoting a discount to replace your lumpy rug with a new one.

But with so many national days to choose from, we realize it can be overwhelming. So, below are TAG’s tips on how to utilize national holidays to promote your brand and connect with your audience.

Why?

Before you begin implementing, we think it’s beneficial to know the advantages of utilizing national days in your social strategy.

According to Crowd Spring, 78% of consumers believe that companies that are focused on custom content are more trustworthy than companies that post generic content.

I’ll use TAG as an example. Donuts are part of our culture here (hence, Donuts & Digital), so instead of posting some generic picture we found on Google, we actually bought donuts for the office and created our own content. Creating your own content will make your brand seem more authentic, and thus, more trustworthy.

How?

While it’s always good to wish your audience a Happy Halloween or a Happy Valentine’s Day, choose holidays that relate to your brand and company culture.

Oreo actually does a really great job of leveraging national days to create custom content, while still promoting their product.

Oreo_Daily_Twist_Ad_Campaign

 

Do’s & Dont’s

National days are a great way to showcase your brand’s personality on social media, but don’t use it as a crutch for your strategy! If you decide to celebrate a national day every day, your audience members will begin to see through it and tune out your messaging.

A good rule of thumb would be to choose one or two national days per month that:

  • Directly relate to your business
  • Showcase your brand’s personality
  • Provides your audience with an interesting takeaway
  • Creates an opportunity for dialogue between you and your target audience

If you are celebrating a more-common national day (i.e. National Pizza Day), be sure to use the #NationalPizzaDay hashtag to reach the maximum amount of people.

Get Started!

Utilizing national days in your social strategy has never been easier. At TAG, we really enjoy NationalDayCalendar.com  which allows you to see what people are celebrating today, tomorrow, this week, or even two months from now if you’re feeling really ambitious!

Another great tool we would recommend is Sprout Social’s Complete Calendar of Hashtag Holidays for 2017. It’s definitely a more narrowed look at national days throughout the year, but it tells you which is the correct hashtag to include in your post.

Want more? Contact us today so that TAG’s team of social media experts can develop a social calendar that’s custom for your brand!

 

Television & Social Media, #BetterTogether

Nielsen, get out of the way. What television producers care about now is online engagement through social media. People love to engage with each other while watching their favorite shows or sporting events.

Brands are taking notice, too. They’ve realized a captive audience exists online during peak viewing spots and they want to talk with them!

Live tweeting and interacting with online viewers is a way to show your brand’s personality, throw in some advertising, and grow your online audience. Twitter’s own research suggests that brands that live tweet see greater follower growth and retweets, so it really is a no brainer!

But if you’re going to do it. Do it right.

Use hashtags. The RIGHT hashtags. Each show or event has specific hashtags the masses will use!  Make sure you’re using them.

Have some personality. Use social media as a platform to show an audience that humans really are behind your brand! Interact with your follows, too. Ask them questions or set up a poll on Facebook or Twitter with a relevant question throughout the show or event.

Give in! Use the live tweeting session and interactions to give away something to your followers! Whether it’s a coupon, merchandise, or a special offer, it’s a great way to interact with your online audience.

If you need help, we’re it. We’ve done It before! Check out our live-tweeting session during the Super Bowl.

What Can Marketers Learn From Political Campaigns?

What Can Marketers Learn From Political Campaigns?

When it comes to marketing, brands can learn a lesson or two from political campaigns.

Be human, trustworthy and transparent

Don’t forget to show some personality! It’s important and necessary to get your message across, but it should be done in a way that makes the audience feel at ease and comfortable with your brand. Just like no one wants to vote for someone that they cannot trust, people don’t want to do business with brands that they deem untrustworthy.

From the start of both a marketing and a political campaign, the goal and messaging needs to be defined.  If messaging isn’t defined from the beginning, it leaves your intent and meaning up to interpretation.  Identify what you’re trying to communicate and be active in advertising that message.

Video is still effective

Video is an extremely effective tool, especially for search engine optimization. It’s much more likely for your audience to remember a video than it is for them to remember a simple text message. Video, especially online, has seen a growth in spending over the last few years. In fact, it’s estimated that candidates will allocate 30 percent of their advertising budget to online media sources this year!

Promote your message on multiple channels

Political messages have been invading your television, radio, mail and social media feed for the last few months. Promoting messages across multiple platforms and channels is something that politicians have become very good at. From mail pieces to radio and television commercials, and now social media, politicians are everywhere.

In order to win a political campaign, a politician’s goal is to get their message in front of as many people as they possibly can. Facebook, Twitter and blogs are growing in popularity among political candidates. These aren’t the only social options though. Candidates can consider more ways to increase their content by using sites like Slideshare, YouTube, or Google+, too.

Social Media

While promoting your message across multiple platforms is important, social media can be a double-edged sword. Social media is a great tool because such a large population is on these platforms. It extends your reach and your ability to have a conversation with your target audience. Those factors are great for any candidate and brand!

But the bad news is that things on social media can change in a second. Social media is a two-way conversation, and followers are bound to post, share and comment on the content you publish—both positively and negatively.

 

Politics may not be your favorite topic, but political ads and campaigns can teach us some great tactics about marketing. What have been your key takeaways from a marketing standpoint this election year? Join the conversation on our Facebook page! And if your business could use some help with your marketing efforts, visit our website!

Humanizing your Digital Strategy

Screen-Shot-2013-07-24-at-3.25.44-PMWe tend to trust our friends more than a business or a brand. So when your friend tells you something about a brand, you’re more likely to believe what they’re telling you rather than when a brand makes a claim. So how do you make your brand more trustworthy? How do we humanize our digital strategies?

Talk like a Person!
Shift your thinking and adjust your messaging to be more relationship focused rather than “salesy”.  Talking to your followers in a way that is not a sales pitch or corporate jargon is much more interesting to them, and they’re more likely to engage with you.

Usabilla reports that 79 percent of digital marketers will increase their content marketing budget in 2016, and 60 percent of marketers see the biggest challenge as producing engaging content. If you’re simply a mobile sales pitch, you’re going to annoy your followers and end up losing customers in the long run. Advertising a sale or a special offer gets some engagement at first, but too much sales talk will annoy your audience.

Interact with People
Respond to questions and comments from your followers. Better yet, ask them to engage with you by posing a question or asking for their input! According to Usabilla, 56 percent of customers are more likely to buy when given a personalized experience. And when someone responds to you, be sure you let them know that you’re reading their input by commenting on it, liking it or favoriting their response. This is a great way to start a real conversation that feels human-to-human rather than human-to-brand.

Show off your Team and Workspace
Your audience wants to be able to put a face to the words they read on your social platforms or your website. Take pictures or produce videos and webinars where your employees can show off their personalities. Visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content according to Kissmetrics. Give your followers a glimpse into your working world and let them feel like they’re getting a behind-the-scenes tour. Doing this makes your followers feel closer to you, and will make them want to get to know your brand more.

Be Authentic and Transparent
Be mindful that all of your messaging should reflect your brand values to create authenticity. And if you make a mistake, whether it’s something little or something big, just come clean about it. We’re all human and we all make mistakes. Humanize your brand by not covering these things up, but by owning your mistakes.

Your followers want to have a conversation with a person, not necessarily a business or a brand.  You can improve your digital strategy by making engagement with your followers feel like they’re talking with a friend, rather than a business. For more information on how to humanize your digital strategy, give the experts at TAG a call or visit us online!

Become a Targeting Master with Facebook Ads

Become a Targeting Master with Facebook Ads

Before we get into understanding how to reach your target market with Facebook Ads, it’s important to understand exactly what Facebook reach really is. Simply put, Facebook reach is the number of users who see your content on their social network. Better yet, it’s a measurement of your brand’s effective audience.

Facebook reach falls into three main categories; organic, paid and viral. Organic reach represents the number of users who see your content for free, meaning that you did not put any money behind promoting it. Viral reach is the number of users who see your content or page mentioned in a story published by a friend. And, paid reach is the number of users who see your paid content—such as a Facebook Ad or Boosted Post.

For this particular blog, we are going to focus on paid reach, and how to reach your given target markets utilizing the targeting parameters of Facebook Ads. One of the biggest advantages to advertising on Facebook is your ability to target specific groups of users. In fact, according to Facebook, Facebook advertising results in 89 percent targeting accuracy, as opposed to 38 percent accuracy with other online advertising campaigns. With a huge variety of targeting options to choose from, it can be difficult to understand which targeting parameters make the most sense for your business. But don’t worry, we’re here to help; we’ve put together a list of the top four Facebook Ad targeting strategies, so take a look!

1. Tap into Facebook users’ purchasing behaviors: Facebook allows you to target your Ad to users based on their current or past purchasing behaviors. Purchasing behavior categories include Buyer Profiles (Coupon Users, DIYers, Julie BrownFoodies, Gamers, etc.), Business Purchases, Clothing, Food and Drink, Health and Beauty, Home and Garden, Technology, Purchase Type and more. Targeting Facebook users via purchasing behavior gives advertisers the power to reach out beyond their own databases and tap into insights provided by shopper loyalty programs and other user profiles.

2. Use Geo-location Data to target mobile users: For many of its features, Facebook uses geo-location—and many of its users keep it on at all times. Using geo-location allows you to target mobile users within a specific radius of your physical business location, in relation to current user location. For example,if you are a restaurant, you can create a mobile targeted Ad that activates whenever users are within a certain radius of your business. They can then go to your page and follow you to receive special promotions or coupons to use—genius!

3. Get creative with targeting life events: Are you a jewelry store looking to sell engagement rings? What about a flooring store that’s looking to target new homeowners? Facebook allows you to target individuals based on specific life events—like getting engaged or purchasing a new home. You can even target users at specific intervals of time after a life event; the date ranges that are possible include three months, six months and one year.

4. Utilize your competition: SJ Smith FB AdYour competition is everywhere—especially on Facebook. The key to a solid Facebook Ad campaign is to utilize your competition, and hone in on their followers and brand recognition. A great way to do this is to target users that are following your competitor’s pages, users that frequently purchase from their company, or users that have a general interest in the products and services you both offer. This not only allows you to associate yourself with your competition, but it is also a great way to increase interest in your products and potentially gain new customers.

What’s great about Facebook Ads, is that you’re never limited to just one targeting strategy; you can combine strategies, or isolate your efforts on one specific strategy—it all depends on your business goals and budget.

 

The dedicated team of social media gurus at TAG is here to help you with all your Facebook advertising needs. Not only will we help you set appropriate goals and provide you with effective targeting strategies, but we will also help monitor your efforts to ensure you are reaching your goals as efficiently as possible. So, next time you’re thinking about marketing your business on Facebook, remember, TAG … we’re it!