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Audience

Talking to Your Audience Instead of Yourself (IABC Summit Breakout Session Recap)

I recently attended the KC IABC Business Communicators Summit and one of the breakout sessions was called Talking to Your Audience (Instead of Yourself), presented by Priya Nibert, (communications consultant, Lockton Benefit Group). While the session was directed at business communicators, it’s an important lesson for businesses, in general, when planning marketing strategy. Don’t prioritize communication over the message to the audience. One size fits all communication never works.   Nibert emphasized that connecting to your audience is the key to communicating to your audience. Stop talking to yourself and prioritize the audience, message, and vehicle. Start by asking yourself the following questions: What’s in it for the audience? Is your message clear? What is the best way to deliver that message? First, start with your audience. Determine who they are and get to know them. You can do this a number of ways. An easy way is to pull demographic data from digital platforms like your social media accounts and your website. You can also conduct a customer survey. For grocery retailers, don’t make assumptions based on a limited…

Social Media

The Ever-Changing Landscape of Social Media (IABC Summit Breakout Session Recap)

Social media used to be about grabbing your space on a platform, posting content and maintaining your presence on the platform. Some of you might be reading this and thinking “use to be?” I hate to break it to you, but the days of creating an account for your business and not thinking much about it are gone. If you are going to take the time to create a social media account and dedicate even the smallest amount of time, money and resources to it, you have to have a plan. And that plan needs to adapt as the social media landscape changes. I recently attended the KC IABC Business Communicators Summit and one of the breakout sessions focused on the ever-changing landscape of social media. Angela Crawford (communications consultant, Lockton Benefit Group) and Matt Staub (owner, Proxima LLC) discussed the ways social media is changing and how brands who want to succeed on these platforms need to change with it. Crawford started by outlining the three categories brands tend to fall into on social media: Brands that inform (news,…

Video on Computer

Facebook Video Options

We write about video a lot on this blog. Sean regularly posts about video creation tools and best practices. While I, on the other hand, usually include the importance of video content in my posts about Facebook algorithm changes and social media content strategies. But what if you don’t have the tools and expertise to create a professional video for your store? Not to worry! Facebook now offers several different options to help you create your own video with static images! The simplest option (also the only one that doesn’t require you to pay for an ad or a boost) is to create a slideshow in a Facebook post. It will display the images in order just like a slideshow, but it will post like a video and therefore will be given higher priority in the algorithm. You can post up to 10 images per slide show. Plus you have the option to have a fade transition in between slides and you can choose the length of time the slides appear (0.5-5 seconds). If you’re looking for something more personalized…

Measuring Value

7 Ways to Use Social Analytics to Maximize Brand Impact (Webinar Recap)

So your store has a Facebook business page, and maybe an Instagram and/or Twitter profile…but are you regularly monitoring the analytics for those profiles? Do you use a monitoring tool to “listen” to what customers are saying online about your store(s) outside of your social media profiles? If not, you’re missing out on a key component of your digital marketing strategy. I recently watched an AdWeek webinar called “7 Ways to Use Social Analytics to Maximize Brand Impacts.” It was sponsored by NetBase, a social media analytics platform, and hosted by Paige Leidig, CMO of NetBase, and Mike Baglietto, Director of Product Marketing at NetBase. Leidig and Baglietto emphasized that monitoring social media analytics is not something you can do on your own. As a small business, you might be able to manage and monitor your own social platforms easily enough. But once you start looking into analytics and trends that will help you take your digital marketing to the next level, you will need to consider looking into a tool that can help. Depending on your budget, you might…

Trending Now

NEW BLOG SERIES: Trending Now

We’re excited to announce a new blog series here at AWG Sales Services. Each month a member of our social media team will publish a “Trending Now” blog post, highlighting the food trends we are seeing online that month. What better way to start than with a quick overview of 2019 food trend predictions! After researching multiple sites and articles, I found a few major themes for the food trends you are likely to see in 2019. Plants: Meatless Monday is more than a hashtag. More consumers are turning to plant-based foods or even plant-based meat alternatives, even if they aren’t strictly vegan or vegetarian. Whether it stems from a personal choice to not eat meat or reduce the meat in their diet due to environmental impacts, customers are adding more plant-based foods to their shopping carts. Protein: Despite the growing interest in meat alternatives, protein is still a high priority for consumers as paleo and keto diets continue to grow in popularity. Higher protein and lower-carb are the main focus of these two diets and customers will be looking…

Instagram Strategies for Small Businesses

Quinn Tempest Later Lecture Recap

Quinn Tempest, who you might recognize from previous posts on this very blog, recently wrote a blog post and created a video for Later as part of their Later Lecture Series. She tailored her regular Instagram marketing presentation to small businesses, which appealed to me as someone who has been helping a few of our members launch Instagram accounts over the past several months. Quinn is often highlighted on this blog because she regularly travels to Kansas City to speak at marketing and advertising professional events. There’s a reason she is asked to come back again and again. She offers insightful yet practical advice related to digital marketing and content strategy for businesses big and small. She regularly focuses on Instagram marketing. I want to share some of what I learned from her Later Lecture because I think she provided some great insight! Quinn emphasized multiple times in this lecture the importance of balancing visual and strategy on your brand’s Instagram profile. AWG members often focus on item and price, which makes sense in grocery retail. And while grocery retailers…

Controlling Your Online Presence: Why Your Business Needs a Website

Before I begin, let me answer the question I know some of you already have. No, having a Facebook page for your business is not the same thing as having a website. This is the mistake some of our members make when deciding on a digital marketing strategy. They assume a Facebook page will work just the same as a website and, even better, Facebook is free! I’m here to tell you, it’s not the same. While some might argue that they can’t afford to pay for a website, my response to that is you can’t afford to NOT have a business website in 2018. And yes, you may recognize me from previous blog posts highlighting the importance of social media, especially Facebook. So you know that I’m by no means against Facebook business pages. However, I think it should be one of many instruments in your digital toolbox. I worked with our web design team and reviewed customer feedback on Facebook from some of our stores’ pages to develop a case study comparing websites versus Facebook business pages. I…

Sendible Logo

Introducing: Sendible for AWG Members

The AWG digital marketing team is excited to announce a new social media option for our members! Sendible is a social media content management and reporting tool. We have expanded our offerings beyond managing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles for retailers. Sendible is for AWG members who want to have access to a curated content library and vendor-sponsored promotional content. With Sendible, we supply the content, but you can choose what to post and when. While retailers can work directly with Sendible to sign up for the platform, we offer it to our retailers at a group discount, plus full access to our digital marketing content library. An AWG Sendible login provides you with: A library of engaging social content created by AWG Sales Services. This also includes AWG Brands content. Access to vendor promotion content. This includes SEP NOW content that highlights specific digital coupon deals. The ability to create reports for your digital channels and customize the data to fit your goals. Monitoring tools showing what customers say about you online other than what’s on your social media…

Social Media Icons
Inblog

The Future of Social Media Marketing & AWG Social Media Program

As the AWG social media program coordinator, I definitely have a specific theme to my blog posts. That theme has narrowed down even more in the past few years as social media continues to evolve. With that evolution, I regularly remind the audience reading our blog that dynamic, engaging and even targeted social content is essential. It’s always been important but as social media channels become more and more saturated with brand content, and as Facebook continues to update its algorithm, it’s becoming more vital for brands and businesses to be as strategic as possible with their social media marketing. With that idea in mind, AWG Marketing recently rolled out a new service structure for our members who are on our social media program, specifically those who use our services for their store’s Facebook page(s). We used to offer three separate tiers with various levels of involvement and posting frequency for three separate prices. But after a year or so of this structure, we realized it’s not to the benefit of our members to be on the two lower tiers.…

Social Media Giveaways Breakfast

Social Media Giveaways & Contests (Recap)

I know what you’re thinking. “Didn’t Melanie just tell us that we can’t have contests on Facebook anymore?” Yes. Yes, I did. However, the latest Social Media Club – KC breakfast, “Social Media Contests and Giveaways,” was about more than the “Like, Comment, Share” Facebook contests I was referring to in that blog post. During this Q&A panel, Kasim Hardaway (founder, TKC Agency) and Brandon Painter (content manager, Barkley), discussed the various ways you can use contests and giveaways on all social media (not just Facebook) to build a following, gather information and analytics, and even generate content from your customers! Here are some of the highlights. Be Prepared, Have a Plan & Communicate Kasim recommends having a clear strategy for your social media contest or giveaway. Don’t have a contest just for the sake of having one. Do you want to increase your followers on a social platform? Do you want to collect email addresses for your email database? Do you want to gather user-generated content (UGC)? Determine your end goal for the contest and start from there. Kasim…