Category : Social Media

outbound-v-inbound

Rocks – Paper – Scissors…Hammer – Magnet

Comparing inbound marketing to outbound marketing is like playing a game of rock-paper-scissors.  The age-old dilemma always begs: if rock crushes scissors, scissors cuts paper, and paper covers rock, then which is the strongest?

pickyourpoison

Our answer: none of them.  We prefer to use more advanced tools for marketing.

For much of the 20th century, outbound marketing practices have been the standard—cold calls, direct mail, print advertising, and email blasts.  Unfortunately, consumers have more ways of avoiding marketing messages than ever before, drastically changing outbound marketing trends.  Do you like watching TV ads? Do you enjoy receiving junk mail? While the answer might be no, we firmly believe that outbound marketing will never die.  Video didn’t kill the radio star, after all.

With outbound marketing methods already intact, a solid inbound marketing plan can offer any campaign a shoulder to lean on and create warmer leads.  Like a magnet, inbound methods take advantage of digital mediums such as blogs, YouTube videos, Search Engine Optimization, websites, email blasts and social media pages to attract a focused group of consumers based on their interests and internet consumption habits.  Such methods allow consumers to interact, ask questions, comment, like (or dislike), share and learn more about the product or service.  More importantly, digital marketing success can be quantified and measured, allowing marketers to understand what works, what doesn’t, and why.  Inbound marketing tactics foster relationships between a consumer and a brand, and according to the Corporate Executive Board, via inbound marketing, buyers come 57%-70% through the sales funnel before they contact the seller.

  executive board - inbound marketing

So, if inbound marketing is like a magnet, luring people in with the unstoppable force that is dynamic, relevant content; and outbound is like a hammer whose repetitive knocks might distract you at first, but are only the first part of something bigger; then Strategis has a clear advantage in the game.  Unlike a game of rock-paper-scissors where only one tactic wins, Strategis prefers to join forces, combining the hammer and the magnet, inbound and outbound, to create brands that are founded on trust, cooperation and integration.

 outboundinboundleaf1

social media icons

Which Social Media Network is Right for Your Business?

It’s no longer up for debate: Social Media needs to get thrown into the PR and Marketing mix. Gone are the days when social media networks were considered a luxury reserved for techie companies or businesses destined for a younger consumer market.  Companies of all size— from small, neighborhood mom-and-pop shops, to booming, global corporations—have recognized the value in having a cohesive and captivating social presence.   Social Media is the space where marketing, sales and customer service collide.  It’s the space where sales increase, where marketers get insight and where fans develop loyal relationships with their favorite brands.

brand voice

 Social Media Examiner’s End of the Year Report (2013) found that 79% of marketers had integrated their social media and traditional marketing activities, and over 78% of participants found that increased traffic occurred with as little as 6 hours per week invested in social media marketing.

The only question up for debate, then, is which social media site is best for your business?

As of May 15, 2014, the eBizMBA Rank lists the top 15 most popular Social Networking sites as follows:
1) Facebook
2) Twitter
3) LinkedIn
4) Pinterest
5) Google Plus+
6) Tumblr
7) Instagram
8) VK
9) Flickr
10) Myspace
11) Meetup
12) Tagged
13) Ask.fm
14) MeetMe
15) Classmates

Do you work in events, hospitality or entertainment?  Perhaps a content-sharing service like Pinterest would be a great way to connect with current and future clients.  A image-based profile such as Instagram could not only boost new followers, but boast your recent work and projects.

Pinterest-Boards
Do you sell a service as opposed to a product?  Consultants, writers and anyone looking to market their expertise should consider networking on LinkedIn where they can meet industry professionals and post links to their articles and blogs.

Slideshare is great for scientists, technicians and analysts as it allows fans to bond over reports, “how to” guides, etc.  Outdoor companies can find niche fans on Yonder, a social networking site for fans of outdoor sports and lifestyles.  Artists, art dealers and collectors can convene on deviantArt’s site, as well.  In the world of social media, there is something for everybody.

Now, could you imagine a hospital with an Instagram, or a political campaign with a Tinder account?  Exactly.

You might recall the NYPD’s recent run in with Twitter and hashtag use when an attempt at community building turned into a walk down memory lane of police brutality.  As one Twitter user said, “Lesson number 1 about hashtags: just because you created one doesn’t mean you own it. #myNYPD

nypd hashtag disaster
Is it necessary to have a profile on all of these sites to be successful?  Absolutely not!  In fact, we don’t suggest you do.  Knowing which social community to join is a question of knowing your business and your target audience.

social voice scale

Your fans want to hear from you, let Strategis share your social voice.

Is being viral effective enough for Dollar Shave Club?

Introduced last year, Dollar Shave Club lends many forgetful men a hand shipping out blades every month for as low as $3 per month (including delivery) to make sure that every man gets his face clean. The first video of Dollar Shave Club “DollarShaveClub.com – Our Blades Are F***ing Great” gained 10.5 million views so far, winning Best-Out-of- Nowhere Video Campaign in 2012. And there is no doubt about it. According to Business Insider, advertisers need to bring out psychological responses – namely: emotions. They can be funny, warm, nostalgia, shocking, negative, and many more.

The first Dollar Shave Club’s video is hysterical. It embraces being funny, sarcastic, and honest. However, in spite of gaining 10.5 million views on YouTube, the company currently has 200,000 customers, which accounts for only 1.9% of total viewers. The bottom line is…? We can only guess because the company hasn’t revealed its total revenues just yet. But, considering how the company cuts out the middlemen from its supply chain, doesn’t use big celebrities in its communication, and relies on social media, the company has undoubtedly saved a huge sum of budget.

As we all know, more customer acquisition brings more revenues. Yet, we have to keep in mind that viral campaign is good at generating buzz and impressions. And within that impressions there could be intended and unintended target audience. If you have 10 million viewers, that’s great! But, it doesn’t mean that they will eventually become your customers. Some other kinds of marketing techniques like direct marketing and events may be needed to help gain more customers and generate more sales. Take Gillette W.A.L.S. campaign in 2009, for example. The campaign started by forming a group of women insisting men to shave. The campaign went viral on both social media and national media. And Gillette came in with shaving event and promotion. The result? The sales grew 500%.

About a week ago, Dollar Shave Club launched a video “Let’s Talk # 2” on YouTube, promoting its second product for men “One Wipes Charlie”. The video nearly has 1 million views. The product is available to add in the cart without committing to monthly subscription. We expect that the video will surely become popular again. But, will the viral nature of their marketing be effective enough to grow the business? We will have to wait and see.

 

BP-branding

Important Steps When Rebranding a Company:

Whether it’s because you made mistakes in your previous business, sales are low, or your market has shifted, it’s important to know the steps it takes to rebrand a company. You may not know what rebranding entails, but GUESS WHAT?! You will! So, without further ado, here are the important steps you should be aware of!

1. Be Ready For Change: Rebranding a business requires you to shift your way of thinking, meaning a clean break. You need to be open to adjusting the way you currently do business. After all, if you are only making subtle changes that aren’t apparent, then what’s the point of rebranding? Exactly, there is none.

2.Determine Who You Want To Be: Be clear about the problem you are trying to solve, so you can take the steps to figure out who you want to be. Why doesn’t your current brand fit who you are? What is the purpose of the business, and what are the goals? How do you want customers, staff and the industry to feel when they see your brand? How do you think you are perceived in the market place, and how do you want to be perceived? These are important questions you will need to answer.

3. Talk to People: You will need to ask your customers, employees, business partners and industry experts their opinion about your current company—it’s products, services, and brand. You will need to find out what they like and don’t like.

research-competitior4. Research Competition: First, you will obviously need to know who your competitors are. Ask yourself, “How do we want to be seen when compared to them”? What do you like about their brand? You will need to figure out what makes you STAND OUT from your competition. You will need to do both quantitative and qualitative research. Find out who your customers are based on age, location and gender. Rethink your customer base. It’s important to understand your market!

5. Create an Action Plan: Write down what is currently wrong with your business, how you want to fix it, and the timeline for implementing all these changes. Identify your niche in your market place. Identify who is going to manage this process. MAKE SURE YOU COMMUNICATE! Get employees to contribute because the new brand is going to touch everyone in the company. Be realistic with costs, and if you don’t have the resources DO NOT do it yet!

6. Inventory List: Make an inventory list of all the things you will need to update and change as your rebrand. You will need to change your logo, business cards, letter head, maybe your e-mail address and URL (if you do a name change), your website, and social media pages.

7. LAUNCH Your New Brand: You will need to set a date for an external launch. It is important to launch the rebranding internally first. Plan a “roll out” for all the items on your inventory list. Announce the rebrand with a Press Release and through social media for your customers, prospects, and local and industry news.

It’s safe to say, rebranding requires a lot of time, effort and resources, but it is sometimes necessary. Take your time, do it right and hopefully you have a good outcome!

References:
http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/11/how-to-rebrand-your-business_pagen_2.html
http://www.fastcompany.com/1771299/rebranding-101
http://blog.studiothink.com/2013/03/how-to-brand-your-business-5-steps-to-rebranding/

like

What Do Your “Likes” Say About You?

According to the AP (London) wire, a recent study worked on in part by Cambridge University researcher David Stillwell says clicking the thumb might say more about you than you want people to know.

Facebook says 2.7 million likes are clicked everyday and almost 60,000 US Americans agreed to allow their likes to be accessed and studied.  The study determined Facebook likes could point to gender, age, ethnicity, IQ, religion, politics and more. The likes also linked to relationship status, number of Facebook friends, and even pointed to half a dozen different personality traits.

There are ways to make your “Likes” private, even beyond the reach of advertisers and marketers, so make sure if you want to keep this data to yourself, you learn all you can about your Facebook Privacy settings.

World…Meet Snapchat. Snapchat…Meet the World.

The social media landscape is buzzing, yet again, over a new kid on the block that just may give Instagram a run for its money. Meet Snapchat, a social pic app designed to “make social media fun again”. Compatible for iOS and Android mobile operating systems, Snapchat enables users to capture images and send them to select recipients. Sounds like sending a picture message right? Not quite. The catch is, the recipient(s) can only view your image for up to 10 seconds and then it self-destructs in cyberspace, never to be seen again…. supposedly.

 For raunchy “sexters” and silly kids alike, this mobile app sounds like a cure all to erase any evidence that you don’t want the general public-mom, dad, your boyfriend, your office-to know about; however, there are a few loop holes that can shatter this false sense of security. Firstly, 10 seconds doesn’t seem like a long time to view a photo, but it may just be enough time for a recipient to take a screenshot. Although the app is enabled to alert the sender when a screenshot is captured, there’s not much that you can do to stop that person from saving the picture to their own device, and most seriously, sharing it with others. Secondly, that mere 10 seconds is also long enough for a different device to capture the photo while its still viewable through Snapchat.

With this said, its understandable why social media junkies and parents are buzzing over this new app. If you’re an innocent 7th grader, with a fresh smartphone, who just likes to take silly pics of you and your friends at lunchtime, this may be the perfect mobile application; however, if you’re a 10th grade girl, with a slew of boys who’ve been chasing you since you got your braces off, well, this app is a cause for concern for your parents. For us adults, this app can offer one of two things: a great escape from grown-up realities like bills, office work, and kids through silly pictures of our friends; or, a nightmare of embarrassment if you don’t practice discretion in what you send.

So, here’s my advice to you if you’d like to consider using this app:

If you don’t know how to act, don’t Snapchat 😉

To Vote or Not to Vote…For Facebook, that is the Question.

Within the last week, Facebook has made history again, asking users to vote for the third time in the company’s eight-year existence; but there’s a twist. Facebook users are voting on their right to vote for proposed changes to the social service. Yes, you read correctly, you’re voting for voting rights on Facebook, and if you don’t watch it, you may just lose that privilege.

These proposed changes come in light of Facebook’s review of its governing documents including the Data Use Policy and the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. According to Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s VP of Communications, Public Policy and Marketing, the social media site seeks to reorganize their governance process, given their recent growth amongst users and public traders. In a nutshell, Facebook has gotten so big that their current voting system is inadequate and they’d like to get rid of it. The proposal states that the site would replace the system with one that emphasizes the “quality” of a vote rather than the “quantity” of votes.

The problem lies in the previous sentence: Facebook would like to do away with the present voting process, but does not seem to have a
definitive alternative.  I guess deciding upon this alternative would require another vote; but, what system do we have in the meantime? Are we to leave our Facebook policies to be decided upon by this now “big-wig”, publically traded company?

At first glimpse of this story, I wondered, “What’s all the fuss about? At least you’re getting a chance to vote for your vote.” But, if  many people don’t turn out –as history has shown-then you and I are left in a lurch where our voting rights may be null and void. This is just my take on the matter, so don’t take it from me; just consider it food for thought…

 

 

 

#HappyTechsGiving! An Honest Reflection of Our Favorite Online Marketing Tools

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we at Strategis have taken some time to reflect on the things that we are thankful for when it comes to online marketing. From social media management apps to online advertising tools, new developments in web technology have made our jobs much easier as the industry evolves. This is not to mention the innovative channels of communications that have completely changed the way that we interact with one another and with brands.

Although there are many different pieces of technology, apps, and tactics that aid in our day-to-day marketing efforts, we’ve chosen to narrow down our favorites to a list of five:

1. HootSuite:  A social media manager’s savior, HootSuite is a helpful tool when handling the social accounts of various clients. From Facebook to Foursquare, any major corporation or small company can manage and track their social footprint amongst followers. With this tool, you have the ability to schedule up to 200 posts across all social media accounts with just one click, in addition to analyzing the effectiveness of your social outreach. While there are many different social media management apps on the market, HootSuite has always been our go-to tool.

2. Google AdWords: When it comes to enhancing your clients’ online presence, Google AdWords are of great importance. The science behind Google AdWords lies in Google’s “contextual targeting technology”, which only displays your online ad to people are searching for content related to your offerings. You can also tailor your reach to target people of different demographics, from various geographic regions, and even during particular times of the day. This particular piece of technology, allows us to do a more efficient job at targeting the right audience for our clients’ messages.

3. Google Alerts: If you’re looking to keep track of news pertaining to your company or brand, Google Alerts is another useful tool. You can simply enter a query topic(s) and have Google scan and deliver web results as often as you’d like. This is especially helpful when tracking your online reputation and/or staying up-to-date about your competitors or developments in your industry.

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Search Engine Optimization or (SEO) is the process of increasing traffic to your website through search engines like Google or Bing. A number of ranking factors are taken into consideration when boosting your web search prominence including, page content, external links, and social media shares, amongst others. Given the immense amount of emphasis that is placed on a brand’s web presence, SEO is crucial to maintaining a prominent image online.

5.  Basecamp: For a marketing communications agency with many clients, Basecamp project management software is a must-have when it comes to organization. Keeping all project members in the loop, Basecamp offers an array of features including management of task assignments and sharing important documents and files.

As the marketing industry evolves and changes, we look forward to even more developments that can aid us in executing the most effective tactics for our clients. In the meantime, share your most favored online marketing tools in the comments below or via Strategis’ Facebook or Twitter, adding the hash tag #happytechsgiving.

 

…And of course, Happy Thanksgiving from all us here at Strategis… :)

Election Day 2K12: A Look Into How Social Media Has Captured Our Votes This Political Season

On the dawn of Election Day 2012, we now stare into a political arena that has changed drastically over the last four years. From tweets, to likes, to stumbles, and shares, the art of connecting with voters is completely optimized to capture the attention of our now hyper-connective society. Simply put, when you’re 59-year-old mother can relay the most poignant tweets from any debate night, it is clear that social media has severely altered our political landscape.

The fact of the matter is that politics, as we know it, has changed due to the complete overhaul of our society through social media. We connect not only through town hall meetings, overzealous campaign rallies, or dramatized commercials, but also through meaningful virtual conversations. For example, both presidential candidates have posted images with a powerful message or fact, opening up the opportunity for a full-fledged forum of debate.  

With analysts dubbing 2012, “social media election”, there is no room to underscore the financial investment that has been dedicated to outreach efforts this political season. An estimated $1 billion has been spent on advertising, with nearly $54 million allotted to digital ad platforms including mobile media across the U.S. This is not to mention the voter registration app that has been developed for 13 different states in partnership with the state government, Facebook, and Microsoft Corp.

With decision time fast approaching, there are few who will sit down and reflect upon the role of social media in this election-except the social media gurus, of course. But at a time when our votes are so heavily influenced by our candidates’ social media mastery, it’s worth the thought. Once the winner is announced, and we wishfully prepare for continued economic growth and social change, we should begin to ponder the next great idea that’ll keep are society forever engaged and informed on our country’s politics. How about this: A mobile app for submitting your ballot votes? You decide.

#Follow Fakeness: The Scoop on Sandy’s Social Media Backlash

Exactly one week after Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, we are all too familiar with the horrific scenes of rushing floodwaters and flattened homes along the East Coast. News broadcasts are now filled with emotional coverage of mourning families pleading for help from their water-engulfed neighborhoods.  Yet, despite the heartbreaking destruction, many people still chose to abuse their access to social media, posting fake pictures of the alleged damage that Sandy has left behind.

Social media damage control was a necessity in the hours following the storm, with many followers duped into sharing the doctored images. While some pictures were simply lifted from online photo galleries, others traveled the extra mile by grabbing screenshots from movies like The Day After Tomorrow, and adding true-to-life captions. This is not to mention the tactless celebrity comparisons like, “Snooki is a lot like Hurricane #Sandy. They’re both heading to Jersey Shore with intentions to blow everyone within a 50-mile radius” posted by a Twitter user.

With the startling evidence of thoughtlessness and the incessant need for attention and buzz, our societal priorities must be called into question. We are hyper-connective by nature, sharing and liking anything that retains shock value on a daily basis, let alone during a national emergency. But given the lives that were already lost during Sandy’s travel in the Caribbean, why take this storm and turn it into a joke?

The answer to that question remains to be seen; however, in the mean time stay smart when cruising your social media sites, especially during weather emergencies of any magnitude. If you come across an image that raises your suspicion, check out some online tips to avoid sharing incorrect information. Using these tips will not only decrease the unwarranted buzz that has circulated from false facts, but will also keep you and your followers better informed during an emergency.