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Content Marketing Demystified

Content Marketing Demystified (IABC Summit Keynote Address Recap)

If you work with me or any other AWG digital specialist on your digital marketing, you’ve probably heard us discuss content marketing. But what exactly is content marketing? It’s not just about the content we post on your social media profiles, your website or your blog. It’s the strategy behind the content that’s being posted. I recently attended the 2018 Business Communicators Summit for the KC chapter of IABC. The keynote speaker was Quinn Tempest, a digital marketing strategist and graphic designer from Phoenix. Her presentation was titled “Content Marketing Demystified” and she covered the myths of content marketing and the lessons she’s learned about content marketing throughout her career working with various companies and individuals. Quinn describes content marketing as “the art of providing relevant, useful content to your prospects without selling or interrupting them.” She asserts that instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your audience more informed before they buy. The goal is to deliver consistent, ongoing, valuable information your customers/prospects so that they will ultimately reward you with their business…

My Thoughts on How Social Media is Changing

Recently I wrote a recap about a webinar that covered social media trends to look out for this year. Last month I wrote a blog post about Facebook’s major changes to its News Feed algorithm and how that will change how businesses use the platform. For this post I want to share with you what I’m seeing in social media trends as both a consumer and a digital marketer for independently-owned grocery retailers. First and foremost, social media isn’t going anywhere. For better or for worse, it has become so ingrained in our lives and society that it isn’t going to magically disappear. What is going to change is how we use it. It’s already changed significantly since the days of MySpace and Facebook in the early 2000s. Social media trends move at a very fast pace. As new features are released and people experiment with these platforms, the ways in which we use them can vary from year to year. An extremely popular platform one year could be gone by the next. #RIPVine We’re also seeing the owners of…

5 ways to grow your Instagram following

You started an Instagram account and post photos regularly, but how do you take it to the next level and grow your followers? Try these 5 tips: Engage with people posting pictures in your store. To do this, go to the search function, type in your store name, and look at the “places” tab. You will see public pictures that people have posted at your store. Be sure to monitor this regularly. Double tap positive pictures and also comment on them. Start a dialogue to let your customers know you care.          Check out followers of other accounts similar to yours. This will help you find trends and new followers. For example, Clearly Organic works with and follows several dietitians on Instagram. They post relevant information that often consists of similar content to that of Clearly Organic. Therefore, many of the dietitians’ followers might also be interested in Clearly Organic posts. Follow these people and they may follow you back. Follow relevant hashtags. Using Clearly Organic as an example again, the brand often uses hashtags like #eatclean…

Hootsuite 2018 Social Trends

Recap: “Social Media Trends to Put Into Practice in 2018”

In the rapidly changing changing world of social media marketing, it’s important to stay informed about the latest and upcoming trends. To learn about how social media marketing is changing, I recently attended a Hootsuite webinar called “Social Media Trends to Put Into Practice in 2018,” hosted by James Mulvey and Amber Naslund of Hootsuite. Mulvey began the presentation by discussing the major social platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn), the recent updates that have been made to the platforms, and how brands will use them differently in the future. I’ve highlighted the three platforms we support for retailers at AWG. Facebook Mobile Video: As more consumers watch videos on mobile devices, social networks offer new opportunities to add to traditional TV content and create new forms of entertainment and news programming. Messenger Ads: Facebook now offers brands the ability to create ads that are sent directly to a customer’s inbox. Facebook Groups: Facebook created Brand Groups and they’re going to be a key marketing opportunity for brands. Brands can create groups on their business pages where audiences can…

Online Shopping Digital Marketing

How to Promote Your Online Shopping…Online

Does your store offer online shopping? Do your customers know about the program? …are you sure that they do? Online shopping is part of the future of grocery retail. In 2016, one in five shoppers had an online purchase and that will likely increase to one in three this year. Yet in a survey of 500 consumers, 41% of shoppers didn’t know if their stores offered online shopping (2017 Online Shopping Forecast). As Kate mentioned in a recent blog post, online shopping isn’t an “if you build it, they will come” program. When launching an online shopping program, your marketing and advertising campaigns need to inform your customers about the program and teach them how to use it. Kate also noted that digital marketing is key to these campaigns. While in-store promotion is necessary, digital marketing will point customers directly to the online shopping platform and that gives them a chance to see it and hopefully try it! Here are some examples of AWG retailers who are using digital marketing to promote their online shopping programs: Website Do more than…

Wendy's Logo

“How Wendy’s Squashes Beef in Social” – AAF-KC Recap

Even if you aren’t on social media or don’t use it very often, you’ve probably heard about the unique brand voice of Wendy’s. The brand has been getting a lot of media attention over the past year for their marketing campaigns and digital presence, particularly their Twitter account. Recently I attended a presentation from the two people responsible for that unique voice and attention-grabbing social presence: VML social strategist, Christina Miller and VML community manager, Matt Keck. They shared their approach to social engagement at a professional development breakfast hosted by the Kansas City chapter of the American Advertising Federation. Miller and Keck discussed the strategy behind the viral sensations surrounding Wendy’s marketing campaigns, while also providing high-level ideas and tips that other marketers could take back to their organizations. When Wendy’s became a VML client, the team noticed that the company already had a dedicated following of brand advocates who grew up with Wendy’s, loved the restaurant and regularly showed that love on social media. Miller and Keck talked about how the team started with a campaign built around…

Screenshot of Royals Danny Duffy video.

Social Media Tips from the Kansas City Royals

The goal for brands on social media is to create a community for its fans, customers, and potential customers. When you’re a beloved Major League baseball team, it’s not hard to get fans to interact with your brand on social media, but it still takes a lot of work to produce content. As a lifelong fan of the Royals, it was interesting to hear Daniela Duron, digital & social media coordinator for the Royals, speak at a recent Social Media Club of Kansas City luncheon. Although a Major League Baseball team is quite different from a grocery store, Daniela shared a few concepts that retailers can take into consideration when using social media. The main goal for the Royals is to make their social media followers feel as though they’re a part of the team. As a retailer, you want to make your customers feel like they’re a part of your family. The Royals do this by giving followers access to behind-the-scenes videos and pictures that they can’t get any other way. They let players take control so fans get…

Smart Photography on a Smartphone graphic.

Smart Photography on a Smartphone

Sharing pictures on social media is one of the best ways to tell your story. But what kind of story are you telling with those pictures? You want the photos on your business page to grab people’s attention as they’re scrolling through Facebook or Twitter, but you want it to be for the right reasons. As a small business owner, you might not have access to professional photographers or expensive cameras and equipment. But that shouldn’t stop you from taking quality pictures on your smartphone that you can share on your business profiles. Here are a few helpful tips to taking better pictures on your smartphone: Get close and fill the viewfinder Depending on what you’re photographing, you will want to get close to it when taking a picture so that you not only get all the detail of your subject but also block out anything distracting in the background. A grocery store is usually filled with backgrounds that could be considered distracting, such as shelves filled with products, food displays, people, etc. Smartphones give you the option to crop…

Shop Local

Digital Storefront: Keeping it Local on Social

You’ve probably heard the term “shop local.” It encourages consumers to support local businesses in their area rather than larger national chains. This is an idea that AWG independent grocers embrace and it extends to their social media platforms. I regularly tell the retailers I work with to look at their social media platforms as a “digital storefront.” While it’s a good idea for a grocery store to include product/pricing on their digital platforms, social media is also the perfect place to tell your story. It’s a great place to show support for your community and even show off that support every now and then. Just don’t “show off” too blatantly or too often. It will start to come off as insincere and end up having the opposite effect of what you’re trying to achieve with this type of content. In a Progressive Grocer article, Randy Hofbauer cited a recent study that found “nearly nine in 10 supermarket shoppers regularly following one or more social media sites” but of that group “only one in four…claims to be friends with or connected to…

Connect via Hootsuite

Recap: Connect via Hootsuite – Online Social Media Conference

Last week I walked into work, turned on my computer, popped in my earbuds and attended a free, online international social media conference, the annual Connect via Hootsuite conference. It was a first for me and definitely the most unique conference I’ve attended in my career. As I listened to multiple industry leaders present on the latest social media trends and strategies, I noticed two topics that came up regularly throughout the day: metrics and advocacy. Social Media Metrics If you aren’t already using your social media metrics to guide your overall strategy, you should be. The top social media platforms provide detailed metrics for company/brand pages. These metrics can provide you with high-level demographic data of your fans/followers, which posts they’re engaging with, and even what time of day they are online so you can post your content at the optimal time for them to see it. While these metrics can be extremely useful to businesses, it’s important to use the metrics wisely. Vik Kambli, Western Canada Region Head at Facebook, asserted that clicks on social media posts (likes/reactions)…

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