The Value of Social Video

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a video is made up of 24 pictures in each second! Are you incorporating the use of video into your social media strategy? Video captures a moment in a unique way that words and photos cannot.

According to Cisco, 80 percent of global Internet traffic will be video by 2019.  The use of video on social media platforms is exploding—with no sign of slowing down.  Whether your business uses Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or multiple platforms, video needs to be an integral part of your action plan.

No matter what your industry, there’s a way that you can utilize social video to engage your target audience.

 

Give your audience a backstage pass

Give your followers a sneak peek into your day-to-day work or show off your silly side.  This is a great tool to let your followers get to know you better and to build brand loyalty.

#DanceParty Friday’s at the TAG office!

A video posted by TAG Communications (@thetag_team) on

 

How-to videos If you’re like us, your Facebook newsfeed is blowing up with videos of people making amazing looking food and showing you how. Utilizing video to show your followers how to do something is one of the easiest and engaging ways to create content.

       

 

Show off your talents Show off your talents or how to do something in your videos. You can use your social media platforms and video to highlight your skills and talents. These videos are mesmerizing and engaging!

 

 

Highlight your products, or launch a new one 

Show off your products in a fun way that appeals to your audience’s interest and curiosity.

 

 

Facebook’s Algorithm Update

Social video is growing increasingly important with updates to Facebook’s algorithm.  With this update, Facebook will put more emphasis on the use of native video files. Your content is more likely to show up in your followers’ newsfeeds after this update when you embed a video in your status updates, rather than sharing a YouTube video link.

 

Video is a great way to engage your audience and add fun, compelling content to your social media library. TAG is your go-to source for creating professional-quality social videos to compliment a great social strategy, effectively engaging your target audience to take action. Visit our website today to get started on your first social video!

 

Five Key Social Media Strategies to Make Your Brand Stand Out

Five Key Social Media Strategies to Make Your Brand Stand Out

Are you ready to take your brand’s social media presence to the ultimate level? Make your business stand out amongst a sea of competitors with these five must-use social media marketing strategies.

1. Make your content stand out: How can you make your business stand out amongst your competitors? Easy—make your social media content stand out with eye-catching visuals, interesting links and crazy-good headlines. Programs such as Canva or Recite allow you to create engaging visuals with user-friendly platforms and step-by-step tutorials. When it comes to writing the ultimate social media headlines, keep in mind that less is more. In fact, headlines with eight words or less or proven to perform 21 percent better than longer headlines. It’s also been proven that headlines that end with a question mark or three explanation points get twice as many clicks than those without!!!

2. Strengthen your network: If you find that you are not getting the engagement you would like on your company’s social media platforms, it may be time to strengthen and expand your network. To do this, try creating or joining various LinkedIn groups to spark more connections and conversations around your products or services. You can also follow your competitors or industry-leaders’ profiles for some inspiration, and ensure you are keeping up with latest industry trends. It’s always a good idea to stay on top of what your competitors are up to.

How Often to Post3. Be consistent: In order to stay top-of-mind amongst your audiences, it’s important that you market and post consistently across all social media platforms. When it comes to posting, it’s important that you strike a balance between being informative and annoying; posting too much about your products can cause your consumers to become annoyed, and unfollow you. While frequency for posting varies from platform to platform, research suggests that the posting “sweet spot” for Facebook is two times per day, seven days a week. Publishing five to 10 posts per week is usually a good rule of thumb.

4. Show you care: Did you know that followers typically expect a response from companies within one hour of posting? Show your followers you care by responding to your followers’ comments and reviews—good or bad—in a timely manner. In addition to responding to customers, don’t be afraid to retweet customers’ praise and thank individual customers for their continued support. The more personal you can get with responses or posts, the better!

5. Go campaign crazy: In the age of diminishing organic social reach, paid campaigns offer a great way to expand your reach and thoroughly engage your audience. Now–a-days, companies with the best social media presence are using contests and other social media campaigns to successfully gain visibility and generate leads. To keep up with this trend, try providing your audience with valuable incentives that encourage audience participation, and platform your company as an industry-leader.

When it comes to leveraging your company’s social media presence, remember …. TAG, we’re it! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

TAG Employee Highlight—Anne Spoden

TAG Employee Highlight—Anne Spoden

AnneA Business Marketing & Management graduate of Augustana College, Anne Spoden serves as the Director of Digital Services at TAG. Working closely with clients to build innovative lead generation strategies, Anne enjoys helping clients attract and retain customers with fun, engaging marketing tactics.

What’s Anne’s favorite part about social media marketing?

“I love the human element that social media marketing brings to the table. Social media is ever-changing which also allows me to be creative and explore new possibilities for our clients.”

But before Anne decided she wanted to work in the marketing industry, she had a few other aspirations in mind.

“When I was little, I really wanted to be a teacher, like my mom. But after I realized that I have no patience, and a bit of a diva personality, I figured I should find another career path.”

And we’re so lucky she has chosen a career path at TAG!

“My favorite thing about working at TAG is the people—hands down. It’s rare that you get to work at a place where you actually like the people you work with. But at TAG, I can honestly say that I not only like my coworkers, but truly value the creativity and personality they bring to the table.”

When she’s not working or chowing down on cheeseburgers, you can find Anne either exploring the Quad Cities, or curled up on her couch binge-watching the Real Housewives.

“When I’m not at work, I like to spend time with my fiancé Jim. Together, we like to travel and explore new, fun places in the Quad Cities. I’m also a huge Real Housewives’ fan. In fact, one of my goals in life is to start a Real Housewives of the Quad Cities!”

She’s also loves to show off her hidden talent …

Anne Party Tricks

I’m double jointed. I can twist my arms all the way around, and bend my fingers back to my wrists. It’s gross, but makes for a great party trick! ”

You do you, Anne.

Oh yeah, and she’s also getting married this summer—congrats!!!

 

Did you enjoy learning more about Anne? Keep checking our blog for more awesome employee highlights! TAG, we’re it!

The Benefits of Effective Email Marketing

The Benefits of Effective Email Marketing

In today’s world, businesses need to connect with their audience in a highly personalized way in order to gain their attention and acquire their business. Email Marketing allows you to do all that, plus so much more. Current research has shown that no marketing category—such as print, digital, broadcast and search marketing—has the longevity or proven results than that of Email Marketing. While some marketing trends may come and go, Email Marketing will remain a powerful channel of business to consumer communication for decades to come—and here’s why.

Maximize your Return on Investment (ROI)
Did you know that email marketing is 20 times more cost effective than traditional media marketing? There’s no printing costs, no postage fees and no advertising costs—it’s about as affordable as targeted marketing can get. In fact, email marketing has been shown to bring in $44.25 for every $1 spent, compared to only $27 for direct mail or $8 for print advertising.

Target your Customers Directly
What makes Email Marketing so great, is the fact that you can deliver highly-personalized and relevant content directly to the home—or hands—of your customers. You have the ability to control exactly who sees your email by segmenting your contacts based on location, interest, demographics or any segmentation you see fit. Targeting your emails ensures that your audience receives content that is specifically suited to their interests, and is relevant to their needs.

Increase Brand Awareness
Each time you send an email, you are exposing your audience to your brand and everything you have to offer. With custom content, smart layouts, creative design and targeted sends, you are increasing awareness of your brand with each and every send. Plus, email marketing is easily sharable. With the simple forward button, your subscribers can share your content, deals, images or links with their friends and family, further increasing your brand awareness.You can also directly embed links to your website, blog or social platforms so your audience can further engage with and learn about your brand.

Measure your Results
As with any campaign, it’s important to measure its results and evaluate your efforts. Email Marketing is extremely easy to measure, and provides precise and valuable marketing metrics for each email sent, such as delivery rate, open rate, bounce rate, spam reports and click-through distribution, so you can pinpoint exactly which strategies are working, and which are not. Better yet, these metrics give you insight into your customers’ personal behaviors and interests, so you can better target and strategize your campaigns moving forward.

Reach your Customers on Their Level
Unlike social platforms, email is a much more professional medium, where people expect to receive information about products and services— some even prefer it. Recent studies show that 72 percent of people prefer to receive promotional content through their emails, compared to 17 percent of people who prefer social media. Reaching your audience where they prefer most will result in greater open and click rates, ultimately helping you increase brand awareness and make sales.

Are you ready to deliver a powerful message to your consumers via Email Marketing? The Social Media team at TAG is ready to help you maximize your profits and reach your audience with strategic Email Marketing. Contact us today!

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!

Three Key Elements Every Social Media Campaign Should Have

Three Key Elements Every Social Media Campaign Should Have

As social media continues to grow, so do the amount of clever and engaging social media campaigns. If your business wants to keep up with the ever-growing power of social media, you need to engage your audience and potential customers in a new, fun way. Social media campaigns offer your business a creative, impactful way to enter the minds of your customers.  Here’s three key elements every successful social media campaign should have!

1. Measurable goals
The first step to a successful social media campaign is creating a well thought out plan, with goals and benchmarks you can measure along the way. Now, it’s important to make sure your goals are specific enough to truly measure your campaigns success. For example, creating a goal like “get the word out about X product,” is not a specific enough goal. But on the other hand, you must make sure your goals are not too narrow that they constantly feel out of reach.

For goal setting, try setting three goals that accommodate low, medium and high levels of audience engagement. Below are examples of measurable low, medium and high goals.

Low: Increase the number of “likes” on our Facebook page by X percent by the end of the campaign

Medium: Have X number of users share/retweet campaign content

High: Have X number of users share their own story with us regarding our product or services

You can also create more general goals—like increasing brand awareness, or driving more traffic to your website—so long as you create measurable benchmarks to help define your success after the campaign has ended. If you’re looking to increase brand awareness, incorporating a sharing aspect to your campaign is a must, and if you’re wanting to increase conversions to your website, consider including a form for users to fill out before being eligible to receive the value being offered.

2. Cross-channel promotion

Promoting your campaign on multiple social media channels is an excellent way to increase campaign reach and improve your possibility of audience engagement. The best social media campaigns are part of an integrated marketing campaign, where your efforts on social media are supported by a number of other channels. For users more active on social channels, your cross-promotion will help remind them of your communications, and for users not as active on social channels, it will inform them of your efforts and remind them of your value.

Cross promotion also allows you to reach users of varying demographics, as well as target users on multiple channels at different times. Just be careful with your segmentation and timing—you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with messaging or annoy them with offers and campaigns.

 3. Analysis

Was your social media campaign successful? Was it a waste of time and resources? Without thorough analysis, you’ll never know! In the analysis stage, it’s important to thoroughly evaluate your predetermined benchmarks and goals—which is why it’s so crucial to determine these before beginning your campaign. When analyzing your campaign’s success, you’ll also want to go beyond just whether or not you met your goals—you will want to evaluate other metrics that increased—or decreased—as a result of your campaign, as well. This information will help you develop a unified, strategic marketing plan moving forward.

 

Are you ready to take your social media marketing to the next level with an engaging social media campaign? A great social media campaign is about more than just reaching your audience, it’s about engaging your audience in a meaningful way that will positively impact their perception of your business, and change their buying behaviors. The social media team at TAG understands that, and is here to help elevate your business with a great social media presence. Contact us today!

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!

Is Your Brand Right for Instagram?

Instagram is growing exponentially! With more than 400 million users, Instagram is a favorite social networking site among millennials. Is your business considering using Instagram? Before you get started, there are a few things you should consider.

The first thing you should think about is whether your brand is right for the audience that’s on Instagram.

  • The Instagram audience is pretty evenly split between men and women
  • 52 percent of users are between 18 and 29 years old
  • 24 percent of users have a college degree or higher
  • 53 percent make more than 50 thousand dollars annually

A great thing about Instagram is it’s truly one of the most personal networks, that allows your brand to share your story, background, history and vision in an engaging, visual way

Showcase customers using products or services
Showcase your products in new and interesting ways, and allow your followers to “window shop” through your Instagram account. For example, if you own a company that sells makeup, you can use photos and videos to showcase how your products are used by your customers. Plus, people LOVE to see themselves featured on social media platforms!

Go behind-the-scenes
Show your followers some great behind-the-scenes images that display your company culture. Snapping a photo of team members working or enjoying themselves is a great way to offer your followers an exclusive look into your working world.

Utilize hashtags
Don’t forget to take advantage of trending hashtags to give your message more exposure. Using hashtags that apply to your industry is a great way to play into what your brand is all about while engaging your target audience at the same time!

Content
Be sure you take the time to really think about your content strategy and plan what types of photos and videos you want to be using. There are a few tips and tricks you can use to increase engagement, including the following:

  • Posting a photo without a filter receives more engagement than a photo with a filter
  • Utilize the color blue to increase engagement—you’ll see about a 24 percent higher engagement rate in these photos

Don’t forget to share your Instagram content on other platforms, as well! Instagram makes it easy to share your content on other social networking sites by giving you the option to share on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and more. And did you know that you can display your Facebook Ads on Instagram, too? This can help you get more bang for your buck out of your Instagram marketing!

 

Is your brand ready to take the plunge into Instagram? If you need help with your Instagram marketing, or any other social media strategy, be sure you give the experts at TAG a call, or visit us online!

 

Five Follow-Worthy Celebrity Accounts on Instagram

Currently, there are more than 400 million people using Instagram to share their life through pictures and videos. And of those 400 million people, we are sure you have certain types of accounts you prefer to follow. Home & lifestyle, action, fashion, beauty … you name it. But what about celebrities? Here’s a list of five follow-worthy celebrity accounts on Instagram you MUST follow today.

1. Who: Ellen Degeneres—The Ellen Show
Why you should follow her: @theellenshow is one of the savviest show Instagram accounts out there. Her posts are fun, visual and—of course—hilarious! If you don’t follow her for her #ClassicJokeFriday bits, then at least follow her for her special behind-the-scenes sneak peaks and celebrity close ups. Bottom line, if you’re looking for a quick smile or chuckle after a long day, you can count on @theellenshow to deliver.
Ellen DeGeneres

2. Who: Humans of New York
Why you should follow them: @humansofny shares moving stories from everyday people in the heart of the Big Apple—all guaranteed to warm your heart, and make you feel great about people everywhere. The photos are stunning, the stories are groundbreaking and the people are real—follow, follow, follow!
Humans of New York

3. Who: Ian Somerhalder
Why you should follow him: @iansomerhalder is a huge animal rights activist and a lover of all things good in life. His Instagram account is filled with photos of adorable animals, updates about his work projects and causes he supports, as well as behind-the-scenes shots of The Vampire Diaries—who doesn’t love that? Basically, it’s just an all-around great account filled with real, life-changing things!
Ian S.

4.Who: Rihanna
Why should you follow her: Rihanna made her @BadGalRiRi handle a top priority this past year, posting next-level selfies, hosting killer photo shoots and keeping her fans entertained with hilarious captions and comments. Plus, she’s not afraid to keep it real with adorable photos of her family and friends. 
Rihanna

 5. Who: Lauren Conrad
Why you should follow her: Pretty pastels, fashion musts and beauty inspiration is what you’ll find on @laurenconrad’s Instagram. For those seeking adventure, creative inspiration and active endeavors, following this account is a must.
Lauren Conrad

Well there you have it, a list of Insta-famous accounts, all guaranteed to transform your Insta-experience. Which accounts will you follow? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook!

 

*While this is not an Instagram account, we couldn’t end this blog without giving a special Snapchat shout out to DJ Khaled! This man is currently the king of Snapchat, giving his followers behind-the-scenes access to his everyday life to share with the world exactly what he’s doing, planning and thinking—it’s hilarious! Watch his SnapStory daily to find out the “Keys to Success”—remember, they don’t want you to succeed!
DJ Khaled