Tag Archives: user interaction

#Hashtags, new found love

Hashtag is the new found love in the world of social media. Its coming across as over crowded but if used strategically, it has exponential benefits to brands. It unifies brand conversation across social media platforms harmonically. Hashtag is an opportunity to increase your brand’s visibility. Lets check out a few Dos and Don’ts while using the latest tool strategically.

DO it in a simple and precise way, choose a hashtag that’s easy to remember. A quality hashtag is short, catchy, and relevant to what you’re discussing or want to convey.

DON’T hashtag full sentences like in the sample below. People might take you for a spammer or an amateur. Shorter phrases like #January2015 or #WorldEconomy are apt.

DO pay attention to the hashtags, words, and phrases your followers and influencers use when they talk about your brand, and use them in your own tweets and posts.

DON’T include spaces in your hashtag. For example, if you wanted to hashtag Bravo India, it should look like this: #BravoIndia.

DO incorporate trending hashtags. #TBT is a perfect example. Many brands use #TBT when they post a fun, historic photo that relates to their brand.

DON’T hashtag every single word in a sentence.You may come as a spammer.

DO use your hashtag consistently across all channels. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram support hashtags so integrate your hashtag into your messaging. Your hashtag should make sense with the platform on which you’re using it.

DON’T use too many hashtags in a single post. Twitter recommends no more than two hashtags per tweet.

DO analyze your hashtags. Some social listening tools, such as Hootsuite and Sysomos, can measure the impact of your hashtag. These tools can also provide insight into your audience and the types of people using your hashtag. Use this information to focus your posts to support your brand positively.

DON’T use hashtags in real life conversations, enjoy life outside work.

With a smart hashtag strategy, your followers will recall your brand with ease. Be wise and make good use of the tool you got in your hand.

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Marketing Evangelists

What does the term marketing evangelists mean?
Evangelism marketing is more commonly known as word-of mouth-marketing, and relies on customers to deliver marketing messages to other potential customers. When someone recommends a certain pair of shoes that was comfortable, or a bakery that offers freshly baked breads at your door step, they are acting as “customer evangelists.” The challenge is convincing people to recommend a company in an honest way. Obviously, not every company can turn their customers into evangelists.
Marketing professionals are developing strategies to get others talking about their products and services in a positive way. These include everything from creating online communities for customers to interact, sponsoring events that help position a brand as part of a lifestyle. The goal of any evangelist marketing strategy is to find out how a brand fits into a customer’s life and making that fit as easy as possible. The more effectively a brand satisfies a customer’s needs, more likely they are mentioned to family and friends.

How does it work?
When customers are thrilled about their experience with certain product or service, they can become outspoken evangelists for that product or company producing the product.Such satisfied customers can become potent marketing force for the brand. In an already crowded market where dozens of companies sell similar goods, it is a joy to find a business that truly performs an exemplary service. Sharing shopping discoveries with a friend is like passing on secret knowledge, honestly.

How is it helpful for businesses?
Turning a customer into a mouthpiece for advertising is a marketing dream. As companies have grown and become more impersonal, marketers experience more challenges making meaningful connections with customers. Consumers want to buy products from businesses they can trust, and often turn to their friends for recommendations. This product “evangelism” helps businesses build their reputations and spread word of their highly regarded services.

Authors Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell explains how to convert already loyal customers into influential and enthusiastic evangelists. The research project led to Creating Customer Evangelists outlines the framework for developing evangelism marketing strategies and programs. The goal is to create communities of influencers who drive sales or membership for the company or organization. Following are the six basic outlines of creating customer evangelists:

a. Continuously gather customer feedback.
b. Make it a point to share knowledge freely.
c. Expertly build word-of-mouth networks.
d. Encourage communities of customers to meet and share.
e. Devise specialized, smaller offerings to get customers to bite.
f. Focus on making the world or your industry better.

Creating Customer Evangelists explains how organizations successfully built their customer base and created targeted marketing programs to involve their fans. These programs help produce unofficial sales people and a cost-effective and powerful marketing force. By deepening customer relationships, successful organizations create communities that generate grassroots support and value for their products and services.

Isn’t it a great way to market products?

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Do you need a Video content?

Video is a phenomenon, more than 4 billion hours of video is viewed each month. In fact, YouTube is now the second most used search engine after Google.

Integrating video into your marketing campaign isn’t as easy as creating a video and putting it up on YouTube. Creating a video that is effective, relevant and successful can be rewarding but how do you integrate it successfully?

Lets talk about the basics of video, issues you will want to consider while planning the video content ideas, and see what typically will be ideal to develop an idea into a video content.

Lets understanding video as a media, the most common mistake made by companies creating video is thinking of video content as being identical to blog posts or infographic content, rather than as a unique and independent media format. Where blog posts and infographics may consist of text and image content, video utilizes text, moving images and sound simultaneously, making it much more unique.

To be precise, video is not appropriate medium for all content goals. Video should naturally lend itself to a narrative curve, including a climax and resolution. If you have a product or service you are trying to sell, don’t use the entire length of your video making a sales pitch. Instead, create a narrative context around the product.

If you are trying to convince your reader to complete a complex, or prolonged action then you need to consider breaking up your content into smaller pieces. Videos should have a very simple and direct call to action.

The ideal length for video is under four minutes. If there is too much content, you may have to draw your video out to 10 minutes, it won’t be as effective as a precise one, because your viewers is likely to lose interest. If this is the case, you need to use a different media form.

Ask few questions to youself while planning the video content, questions you definitely should consider. One is, would this content lose meaning if it were in text and image form? If your content would lose meaning or relevancy without being accompanied by visual or audio information, chances are video is a viable option. However, if you can easily imagine your message getting across effectively without the use of video, you might want to decide whether the additional time and effort required to produce a video will be worthwhile.

Secondly, does the content require aesthetic as well as conceptual engagement?

In the first question, we ask whether content would lose meaning if it takes a media form other than video; in question two, you need to ask yourself if your idea requires a visual or auditory element in order to be engaging.

Though video is certainly a nice option to have, if the information imparted is text heavy and primarily conceptual, rather than visual which is comprehension and learning. The visual display adds nothing to the experience, as it is just a list of text.

Thus if your content does not require visual or auditory components to be useful or engaging, then your idea is not ideally suited for video.

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being a small start-up

Starting a business can be exhilarating and fulfilling, but in course it can get complicated and may challenge you in many ways. Challenges and problems will be nothing new but will be something we have often seen happening to others.

Most small businesses fail because of lack of cash flow. Study says that 79 percent of small business failures cited “starting out with too little money” as one of the reasons for the business downfall because owners borrow based on their ideas of a successful business, instead of borrowing for a worst-case scenario. A start-up business owner needs to be optimistic, but often is too optimistic about seeing profits. Without adequate cash flow, slow sales or a downturn in the market can end the business before it has a chance to gain momentum.

Common problem for new businesses is to hurry into marketing campaigns without understanding the actual target market. The costs associated with marketing is stiff and if a business does not know who its target market is, then the money may go wasted. With incorrect messaging the reach is limited and don’t reach the target audience.

A start-up requires tremendous effort, commitment and strong will to make it a success. Add to this the financial stress of a fledgling business. Start-up business owners often have problems balancing the overwhelming demands of the company, if the stress of the workplace spreads into the home, the business owner may feel pressure around the clock.

A common problem for most entrepreneurs is the belief that they can handle all of the start-up’s operations by themselves. It may be a cost-effective way to run the business, but operating the entire business on your own may not be a wise decision or the best use of your time. Many small-business start-ups may not require full-time employees. But it’s a good idea to have at least one or two teammates who are ready to help. With experienced, reliable assistance you can avoid other common business mistakes. When it is time to hire staff, be careful in your choices, employees are a crucial component in the success of your business.

But as a matter of fact hiring is also a big problem for small companies, atleast in a business like mine. We offer marketing solutions and are often in need of high-end graphic designers, writers and editors. And these creative people don’t come cheap, so most of the time hiring them is out of question, thus, use them on contractual basis. Contract has its own issues in our country, India where we operate. Most workers are never committed. Also, since we are a small company, many people don’t like to work for us as we are too small and are kind of perceived as unstable, have no brand identity. Hence, the moment they get an opportunity from a bigger company they shift jobs.

Since you are competing with big fish it does not mean you have to quote rock bottom prices. Pricing your goods and services too low can delay the process of turning a profit. Instead list fair prices and make sure your start-up excels in customer service and delivery. Its very important to excel in any field and customers do appreciate on-time response.

One thing I got to say, its tough but not impossible.

This a guest post by Ms. Thapa, Twitter @bijeta

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Human touchbase new marketing mantra – agree?

Its a fact, adding face and voice to a brand has become a necessity and has become a popular trend too. Businesses are realizing that customer interaction, engaging content and adding face to the brand are valuable and means a lot to their customers and business stakeholders. The connection of emotions has become beneficial to a business or a brand. Companies like Amazon take pride in customer service and their human touch is happily welcomed by customers. Over the years, they have not only become extremely powerful but very successful too because they adapted to the new trend of marketing that revolved around engagement and personal touch. Actually, this provides comfort to customers which ultimately drives sales and win brand loyalty over long term.

We have seen the success that has come to some product companies because of their human touchbase approach. But the question is, can other industries also reap the benefits using the personal touchbase approach? The answer is, yes. More than ever, financial services are seeking ways to brand themselves in the right light. And the only way to reach customers is  by producing engaging content with a personal feel that ultimately benefits the consumer is a strategy that financial service companies should adopt. According to Google’s Zero Moment of Truth study, consumers are using 10.8 sources of information prior to making a banking product purchase while consumers are using 11.7 sources prior to an insurance purchase. These statistics demonstrate the importance of producing positive, engaging and humanized content that consumers can make use of while making a decision. These sources can be anything in the form of informative videos, expert analysts guides to CEO blogs. The tactic of producing useful and appealing content is a strategy that will gain momentum in the financial world since customers are continuously looking for guidance and explanations, human touch and relatedness facet are becoming more and more crucial to the consumer when they are making financial decisions.

Showing the faces behind business and giving a voice to services through the art of storytelling is an outstanding marketing tactic. Videos are the most effective and engaging medium to display the face and voice of your company. Every company has employees with unique individual stories that their audience can relate to. Storytelling is such a versatile instrument and can be utilized within any type of industry. And as a matter of fact, personal touch approach in marketing is here to stay for a long long time.

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