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Is TikTok the Most Popular Platform Out There?

A New Wave of TikTok Marketing 

With stay-at-home orders forcing many to stay inside, everyone has been searching for ways to keep busy and sane. While some bake banana bread and binge Tiger King, over 800 million people have taken to the video-sharing social media platform, TikTok.

In September of 2016, Chinese technology company ByteDance released TikTok under the name Douyin, and within the year, gained around 100 million users. After changing the app’s name to TikTok in 2017, ByteDance expanded the app to international markets.

The Apple App Charts posed to be competition with the platform until ByteDance bought it for $1 billion.

The two apps were kept separate, with Musical.ly being mainly popular in the U.S., while TikTok reigned in Asian markets. However, this separation did not last for long, as Musical.ly merged into TikTok in late 2018.

With over 1.5 billion downloads, TikTok has surpassed YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat, becoming the App Store’s most downloaded app.

How TikTok’s influence is changing the game

Marketing

TikTok has already created a variety of marketing options for companies eager to reach millions of consumers. The platform offers in-feed, brand takeover, and hashtag challenge advertisements at multiple costs with a vast reach.

Tik Tok users can create short videos that generate a crazy amount of video views that you can share in social media.

TikTok users can use this as a marketing strategy to build brand awareness and let users know of one’s products and services while enjoying videos. With videos as short as five seconds, in-feed video ads can blend in without a user having time to realize they are even consuming an advertisement TikTok is a $10 CPC rate.

Late last year, MAC Cosmetics created a hashtag challenge in collaboration with 18 TikTok influencers in hopes users would create their own. In a matter of a week, the #YouOwnIt campaign received over 2 billion views on millions of posts.

Some hashtag challenges have stepped it up by adding a shoppable feature. Users can click a hashtag not only to view linked content, but to see the products available to purchase. For example, Kroger created the hashtag #TransformUrDorm, challenging college users to share videos while updating their dorm rooms and encouraging them to show off Kroger products.

We are all guilty of using the Snapchat dog ears filter; a feature TikTok is also banking on.

Why you need to start advertising on TikTok

Selling the teenage dream 

Social Media Platform TikTok

With many options to market through the platform, the best approach is arguably through the influencers themselves. Although many are not even legal adults gaining fame from 15-second dance routines, these teenagers thrive on this platform

Addison Rae, a 19-year-old, is the fourth most followed individual on the platform, with just over 41 million followers. In a recent post sponsored by Olay, Rae and her mom are have an at-home spa day while her brother waits on them, holding a tray of Olay products.

The 15-second video is not overwhelming but instead features product placement. Viewed as a regular post– not as an advertisement– the video garnered over 24 million views and 4.8 million likes.

Working directly with influencers and utilizing their creativity allows access to the Gen Z user fanbase.

Influencers can generate brand awareness, popularity, and double up as a commercial all in a subtle way. Saving companies big bucks.

Changing the music industry

Teenager rapper Lil Nas X released his song “Old Town Road.” Four months later, TikTok found it popular, shooting the song to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

TikTok’s virality and short-form design are now playing a defining role in Gen Z culture and online marketing.

However you want to use TikTok, just know its popularity is just the beginning. Being at home, one has to find ways to make the best use of one’s time. Consider marketing for an extra source of income by starting with TikTok.

How To Jump Into Risk To Find Success

“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” – George Herbert

There are millions of quotes online to help motivate us in our different endeavors. Our Mondays are especially filled with pleasant backdrops and inspirational quotes that are used to help us start our week with a positive and productive attitude. These quotes help to lighten our mood while sipping our coffee. Let’s dive into the question of how we can actually absorb that motivation to make the decisions necessary to start that project or business idea we have been planning to start.

Starting big projects that create a difference in your life or the lives of others takes steps that includes risk. Changing aspects of your life leaves room for something to potentially go wrong. You may be afraid that failure will negatively impact your life and cause embarrassment for all to see. Regardless of the potential loss, you will need to muster up some courage to engage in risk.

There are some simple steps you can do to help you make the jump. Starting a new business, or starting a new project to grow your business can feel daunting and overwhelming. Let’s figure out how to navigate situations that include risk, but have potential for true growth.

Don’t Exaggerate The Risk

Frustration from potential risk

You have a busy life. You already have a schedule full of things that you need to accomplish each week for social and business reasons. When you actually want to implement a plan to start a business venture, it can get overwhelming. It is easy to panic when you are overwhelmed.

Take a step back and look at the whole situation. Make a pros and cons list to get a better idea of what your plan entails. Be honest to yourself about the potential risks and write them down. After that, imagine all of the realistic possibilities of what could happen if the risk turns out well.

This next part is crucial to get your mind in the right head space. Imagine and record what the risks are if you don’t follow through with your plan. What could get worse for you? Your future peace of mind could be at risk due to the regret you would feel if you never follow through with your dream. Would not following through with this plan be something you regret for years to come? Think about ways that your current business or life will go if you never step out of your comfort zone to start this new project.

Once you have a better idea of the position you are putting yourself in, start taking smaller risks in your life to get yourself used to the feeling of stepping out of your comfort zone. Try going to new places, try new food, clothes, or activities to train your mind to get used to doing things differently.

Choose Wisely

Choose wisely body image featuring two doors

Though taking risks is key for finding new success, you have to be smart about the risks you take. Running straight into any risk without considering what could happen could get you into a lot of bad situations. Our fear of risk can help guide us to make the right decisions. As long as we learn how to distinguish which risks are a good idea and which ones are not. A pros and cons lists will help you make these decisions.

Taking a realistic look at your timeline and when you should quit your other job or find a bigger office space are good examples of risks that should be carefully calculated before jumping in. Take your budget into account and figure out how you are going to find the funds for specific aspects of your project before taking certain actions.

Commit

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of commitment to excellence, intelligence planning, and focused effort.” – Paul J. Meyer

Once you decide to follow through with your dream, go for it. Refrain from wavering on your decision from day-to-day. The only way to see real results is to jump in, knowing the risks, and work as hard as you can to achieve your goals. Once you have a good idea of the situation and what steps you need to take in the moment, you just need to fully commit and do it.

If you waste time going back and forth on an idea, you aren’t going to see the results that you will want to see a year from now. You are more likely to fail if you don’t meet that risk head on and do everything in your power to make your goal work.

Without a solid level of commitment, you haven’t truly started yet. This lack of commitment shows that you are still holding on to the fear that your idea won’t work. A lack of commitment will make you less organized and passionate about what you are doing. Once you have fully made the leap, you will be able to focus better, organize, and enjoy what you are doing without being consumed by fear.

Sometimes You Don’t Have The Answer

Question mark symbolizing not having the answers

Though your situation should be fully analyzed to see the risks and benefits, it’s okay to not have all of the answers. Sometimes you won’t know exactly what something will look like in the future, yet you should still work hard to attain a certain.

Another issue is thinking that you need to know exactly how you will accomplish everything that you would like to accomplish. Be flexible with your tactics as you continue on your path.

As times changes and you learn more, you may find new tools to make your dream work. Just take it one day at a time to meet tangible goals. Somethings will need to be figured out along the way. Taking it a day at a time will help you not feel overwhelmed despite the unknowns.

Failure Is A Tool

Inspirational quote on failure

Whether big or small, you will find some failure along the way. That may sound terrifying, but it is actually freeing. We are so scared to take risks because we are scared of failure. Once you see failure as part of life, you will be more likely to take those risks that will help you find success in your business and life.

With every failure is a lesson. Embrace those lessons and take them into your next project or the next step of the project. No one accomplishes a great goal without falling on their face a few times. The trick is to keep on going after you have failed.

Failure can do one of two things:

  1. Make you better and make it so you can meet the next similar situation with confidence.
  2. Stump you because you are too focused on your embarrassment or shortcomings.

The deciding factor for these two outcomes is your perception and how you choose to see the issue of failure. So take that failure and embrace the next risk knowing that you have learned a new lesson. With these clear steps on hand you will be able to navigate those situations that are risky but can benefit you and your business greatly.

Ready to take a risk?

If you need any help marketing your new adventure, our team at Elevare Agency would love to give you a free consultation to see how we can help. Fill out the form below so we can help you get started on this exciting new adventure!

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Gif or Jif – The Power of Cross-Brand Promotion

Is it “gif” or “jif.” How do you say it? Few seemingly meaningless debates over how a word has sparked such a long and passionate online discussion as to how to pronounce “GIF.” Who knew it would warrant a press release?

Even after the creator of GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format), Steve Wilhite finally settled the decade long debate once and for all. When he won the Webby Award, he told the world you pronounce it “JIF,” but the debate continues in underground forums and office break rooms.

This is why it’s come as no surprise to anyone with interest in marketing that JM Smucker Company Jif peanut butter brand has teamed up with GIPHY. They are releasing special edition jars of Jif (or Gif) peanut butter.

This strategic partnership is a timely one too because March 1st marks National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day. However, partnering with Giphy may only prolong the debate over the pronunciation and is unlikely to put a lid on this decade-long madness.

So, if you’re a peanut butter lover and passionate about how you pronounce “GIFs” or “JIFs,” there is no better time (or way) to make a statement at the dinner table.

The Power of Co-Branding

There is more to this promotion than just raising awareness over the pronunciation of GIF (pronounced with a soft “g” or “j”).

This is a lesson in strategic co-branding. Co-branding is a powerful way for two or more companies to come together to cross each other’s audiences while offering a product that appeals across the board.

The release of their co-branded limited edition jar with a special label featuring both “Jif” and “Gif” is driving the internet wild.

To marketers, it’s easy to see Jif’s and GIPHY’s being a natural partnership. The GIF memes and jokes are rooted in the millennial culture and demographic, as is consuming large amounts of peanut butter.

Sure, it’s going to be a bit of an inside joke that most parents of millennials don’t get. But they’re not Jif’s prime customer. And having a joke half the population doesn’t understand is part of the fun anyway. Only the cool kids are privy to the great debate. If you have to ask what it’s all about, you may not be a cool kid. Leave it to the cool kids to worry over something so trivial.

Co-branding is happening all the time. Some partnerships are apparent, while others go almost unnoticed. This one, however, is finding exposure from the likes of CNN and the New York Times.

Other Cross-Brand Promotions That Made Sense

This isn’t the first time two brands have come together to make a perfect marriage – and take advantage of some cross-promotional momentum.

Below are a few other cross-branding partnerships that forged with some strategic planning in mind.

Starbucks and Spotify

Starbucks teamed up with Spotify back in 2015, and it was a win-win for music and coffee lovers.

As one of the original coffee shop chains to play popular music while serving up mochas and other beverages, it made sense for Spotify to curate and control their playlists.

Some of the offers they shared with each other’s audiences included issuing Starbucks reward points for Spotify users, and of course, advertising Spotify across hundreds of their coffee shops.

Apple and Hermes

With Apple releasing its iWatch, they saw an opportunity to make inroads into the men’s luxury fashion market by partnering with Hermes.

Hermes is one of the world’s most valuable luxury brands. With the iWatch reaching a very different audience to the iPhone, it was a smart move to partner with such a well-established fashion wear brand.

They created a separate product that went on sale across Hermes stores. Giving them exclusivity and intertwining Apple’s tech with Hermes’ status symbol in the fashion world.

GoPro and Red Bull

Red Bull has established itself as one of the most dynamic and successful companies when it comes to marketing.

It’s easy to forget that they are an energy drinks company, their logos can be seen everywhere from e-sports arenas to formula one cars.

Few of their partnerships made more sense than when they co-branded with GoPro. Both brands are synonymous with adrenaline, adventurous, action-packed sports.

Of all the events they’ve collaborated on, the most impressive was when Felix Baumgartner jumped from a space pod around 24 miles above the Earth’s surface, capturing every moment on his GoPro.

What’s in This for GIPHY?

Giphy has an interesting business model. They host the largest database of GIFs in the world and are effectively a search engine for users browsing or wanting to generate their own GIFs.

They can’t generate revenue from licensing or selling the GIFs on their site as they don’t own the rights to the images used.

Instead, in recent years they have started forming partnerships like this one with Jif. Details of the partnerships are not released, but we have to assume it works similar to other advertising campaigns.

Giphy can give brands huge exposure online. Both with animated GIFs, and by promoting brands to users of their site.

If you go to Giphy right now, you can see all the Jif GIFs and embed them on your own site.

At the time of writing this, they’ve had more than 132 million views!

What’s in This for Jif?

Jif’s side of the deal is simple; they want to sell more peanut butter.

It’ll be a while before we know how lucrative this partnership has been for them. But with more than 132 million views of Jif-related GIFs and social media buzz that’s swarming around this story, I can imagine there are some marketing exec’s patting each other on the back over at Jif HQ.

The forgotten fact in the history of the Jif or Gif argument is that we’ve heard from the creator’s mouth how to pronounce it correctly.

So, while does it feel like we’re still going to be debating it long after the Gif peanut butter labels have returned to Jif?

I’ll think about it while enjoying a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on March 1st.

Co-branding isn’t the only way to gain recognition. Just ask Burger King.

If you would like to learn more about branding, advertising, and increasing your customer base, contact Elevare today!

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Why Burger King Is Advertising a Moldy Whopper

Burger King is advertising a moldy Whopper, and it has the internet stirring. When you think of fast-food ads, you think of almost too-perfect looking burgers with juicy, mouthwatering beef and crisp salad leaves, delicately arranged in layers.

The last thing that comes to mind is a moldy, disgusting burger that’s more likely to put you off fast food than encourage you to head to your nearest drive-thru.

Yet, that’s exactly what Burger King is doing with their latest global ad campaign.

If you can stomach watching their latest ad, you’re taken through a 34-day accelerated timeline of a Whopper as it sits on a pedestal.

By the end of Burger King’s 45-second clip, there sits a moldy, fluffy, purple and blue, sagging burger that barely resembles a Whopper.

To make matters worse, the visuals are accompanied by What a Difference a Day Makes, originally sung by Dinah Washington. A beautiful song that will never hold the same meaning to me now.

So, clearly this is a shock tactic being put out by Burger King’s marketing team, but why?

How are they promoting the Whopper, and their brand, by showing in high-resolution, graphic detail, how their food attracts microscopic fungi and molds when left out?

While the state of the Whopper shocks most by the end of the video, there is a subtle message.

The Message Behind Advertising a Moldy Whopper

The shock factor of showing one of their burgers in an advanced state of decomposition and being covered with mold spores delivers a message. And possibly to take a jab at other fast-food restaurants.

Burger King has pledged to drop all artificial preservatives in their Whopper by the end of the year. They’ve already removed them from their menu in some parts of the world, Scandinavia being among the included countries.

It’s the preservatives they used to use – which other fast-food chains still use – that get the blame for some adverse effects in consumers.

Anyone who watched the 2004 documentary Super Size Me will remember how the host, Morgan Spurlock, placed a McDonald’s burger in a glass jar for weeks, with it hardly degrading.

12 Year Old McDonald's Burger

Or, you can Google pictures of the last cheeseburger that came off the grill before the last McDonald’s in Iceland closed its doors. It is more than 10 years old this year and doesn’t look too dissimilar to how it did when it was “fresh.”

While it’s hard for Burger King to describe this in a 45-second video, the shock factor has stimulated several discussions that have brought this to light.

Fernando Machado, CMO for Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of Burger King, said, “At Burger King, we believe that real food tastes better.”

“That’s why we are working hard to remove preservatives, colors, and flavors from artificial sources from the food we serve in all countries around the world.”

Advertising a moldy burger illicits a response and gets people thinking. The more we look into how they’ve gone about pushing this message out, the more impressed and the less disgusted we are about the video.

The Power of Viral Marketing

Viral marketing isn’t a new concept. It’s been around in some form for as long as marketing has existed. It’s just that it’s a form of marketing that one must handle carefully because it’s just as prone to backfiring or falling flat as it is of succeeding. When a video, image, or piece of content goes “viral,” it means thousands of users share it at a rapid rate.

This is the ideal reaction to a marketing campaign from the advertiser’s point of view because it means their ads are getting shares and views without additional ad spend on their behalf.

It’s hard to pinpoint what and how to make an ad go viral. Otherwise, marketing teams would be able to churn out viral ads over and over.

However, some key elements of viral messaging includes:

  • Resonating with a broad audience or hitting on a particular pain point
  • Focusing on something timely that already has a lot of momentum
  • Producing something creative with a strong visual presence
  • Creating something with emotional appeal

Burger King’s strategy was to hit on one or more of these elements to gain notoriety with their moldy burger campaign.

Discussions around eating healthy and being aware of what manufacturers are putting in the foods we consume have never been hotter than they are right now.

The timing of this ad campaign is exceptional. Plus, Burger King has the well-publicized examples from McDonald’s burgers that aren’t degrading due to the amount preservatives in their food. Advertising a moldy whopper gets people thinking of the contrast between fresh and scientifically made foods. 

Sure, they’re walking a thin line showing a moldy Whopper. But it’s precisely this kind of powerful imagery that resonates with viewers, gets people talking, and carries an underlying message about the foods and ingredients we’re eating.

Will This Increase Sales of the Whopper?

It’s hard to say if it will increase sales, but it’s not going to do Burger King any harm.

Judging by the reaction so far and looking at the viewing numbers for their videos and images online, they’ve hit on a nerve and creating a viral marketing campaign.

It’s going to be interesting to see if other fast-food chains follow suit and start removing additives from the items on their menus. And more so, how they approach advertising and marketing the fact that they’re doing so.

The trend for healthier foods and manufacturers to be more transparent about the additives, preservatives, and other unnatural ingredients they add to the foods we eat isn’t going to slow down any time soon.

Burger King hit on a timely and relevant topic. Dare we say they also did it in a wonderfully artistic way?

That Whopper looks a lot more appealing than it did the first time we saw the video, we like the direction that they’re going in. If you want your own version of advertising a moldy Whopper, or to learn more about viral ads, SEO, and social media marketing for your brand, learn how Elevare can help. 

Let us help re-invent your marketing strategy today.

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7 Tips To Write A Great Customer Success Story

Getting a great testimonial from your clients is an easy way to add credibility to your company. Anyone can say great things about themselves, but getting a positive story from someone who has tried your product or service is even better. Writing a solid customer service story can be tricky as you need to stay balanced between telling a good story and making your point nice and succinct.

In a 2017 Demand Gen Report on content preferences survey, it was found that people prefer using case studies to make a decision rather than any other content. This was found for business to business purchases, though reviews are still found to be highly effective in getting the attention of any customer. When you think about it, that’s fair. Wouldn’t you rather see a third party source and how the product or service actually impacted them in a positive or negative way?

If writing a good testimonial sounds daunting to you, don’t worry, you can write a great customer success story with a little guidance. Customer success stories tend to follow a specific structure as customers have certain things they would like to see and know. This is great news as it means you can learn just a few tips and guidelines to get started.

1. Make It Easy For The Customer

Body image showing communication with a customer

To get the information and quotes you need for their success story, you need to have good communication with the customer. The best way to get the necessary information is to make the survey or interview process as simple as possible. Your clients are busy people with their own things that they need to accomplish each and every day. Most people will not want to sit down and answer a long list of questions.

If you are going to give a survey, make it short. One way to get the information you need is to set up a phone call interview and ask if you can record it. Make sure to have a set time frame for your interview for yourself and inform them how much time you are going to take. This will make it easier for them to say yes if you can tell them exactly when you’d like to call and how long it will take. Give them a nice time-frame of around 15 minutes. That along with a short survey (don’t overlap the questions) should be enough to get the information you need along with any fun quotes to liven up the picture.

It is also a good idea to ask open-ended questions. This allows the client to think of information that they would like to share that maybe you didn’t think to ask about. It is also a better way to get great quotes from your customer. You don’t want to end up with a bunch of yes or no answers.

Make sure you follow your word. Do not take longer than you intended and do not send out more surveys than you said you would. Definitely be prompt on your phone call and do not leave the person on the other line waiting. It is true that some customers will be more friendly and forgiving than others, but don’t count on that. Be professional and considerate with the other person’s time as they are doing you a favor that will continue to benefit you as long as you have the story.

2. Give Highlights

Body image showing a pen and paper

We all know that people have short attention spans these days. There are always a million things going trying to distract us on our phones, laptops, and tablets. Our days can also become pretty busy fairly quickly and usually we don’t have time to read testimonials, even if they seem interesting.

Some viewers will take time to sort through the whole story, but you need to make sure that you have a summary that readers can easily spot and learn the main point from. Of course great writing and solid information should still be a focus when writing your story, but keep in mind that many people who partially read your story are busy and distracted. These highlights should be given at the top of your story. If you have an infographic with key information, go ahead and put that up top as well. It won’t give the full effect of your story, but should communicate the main information that you need to express to your leads.

3. Numbers Help

Speaking of infographics, people love numbers and statistics to follow. This will add even more credibility to your success story and help people see the importance of your field. The more third party affirmation you can get, the better for your business.

Make sure the numbers aren’t the full picture of your story. Though extremely useful, you want to use them to simply add to the success story that you already have. They are a great way to give a lot of information in a short and simple way.

4. Challenge And Outcome Focus

Body image showing a challenging chess game

You do need to give the appropriate company or customer profile so that your readers can relate to the issue your client had. The main focus of your story, however, should be the challenge itself and the intended outcome. People are reading your story to see if your business can provide the service or product necessary to help them with a similar issue.

You don’t want to spend too much time on the problem as your reader, if truly interested, is probably already familiar with it. Keep that focus on how your product or service can overcome that challenge and better the costumer’s life. Whether your product makes life easier, saves time, saves money, or is entertaining, focus on that.

5. Your Customer Is The Star

You are writing a story, so who is the protagonist? The client. People love to read the stories of other people. Resist the urge to make your business the hero, even though you must stress your services strengths. Use fun quotes from your customer so that people have a chance to relate.

Though you should use the voice of your brand, make sure that you are still focusing on the triumph of your client or customer. Your readers want to relate and follow their story, not just read about your business and how it can help. This is simple human nature. We love relating. We aren’t just robots buying products. Don’t be afraid to stay in touch with your story loving side and keep your story human focused and less corporate sounding.

6. Add Potential Future

Body image for Potential Future subheading

At the end of your story you should hint at the future. Explore how the service or product continues to benefit the customer. Learn what other new uses the client has found that are nice. Now is also a good time to invite your audience. Stress how this customer was so happy with your business that they shared their story to help people just like the reader.

7. Allow Your Customer To Review The Story

Make sure you offer to let your client or customer read the story before sending it out to be published. Now is the time to make sure that your client is happy with the results, not after. All information should be accurate to what actually happened.

Ready To Write A Great Customer Success Story?

If you need help writing customer success stories or creating any other marketing content, our team at Elevare Agency would be happy to get you started.

Fill out a form below to schedule a FREE consultation today and we can help you convert your customer success stories into customers!

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7 Tricks To Use To Save Time For Your Business

The issue of people wasting time at work has always been a hard one to tackle. According to Forbes, 89% of people admit to wasting time at work. For small business owners, wasting time at work can be even easier due to being overwhelmed by the responsibility or easily distracted without anyone to hold you accountable. Regardless of the issue, it can be hard to reign yourself in and create better systems for everyone involved to get more work done.

Let’s rephrase that, it’s not just about getting more work done. It’s about getting smarter work done. Spending hours and hours working late into the evening can actually be a sign that you aren’t working efficiently, and thereby wasting time. This can be seen more with highly motivated people. The idea behind working hard itself isn’t bad, but if you aren’t working in a smart way, you could be a roadblock for your company.

Whether you are feeling overwhelmed, like you need to do it all yourself, or easily distracted, we have some easy tricks to help you accomplish more throughout your work week.

1. List And Prioritize

Create a list prioritizing each task

We believe making lists are the starting point to building an empire. A good list is what will help you and your team stay on track and not be overwhelmed. Just make sure you create a list that is well prioritized. First create a list of the items, office supplies, etc, you will need for the week. Buy all of these items all at once; better yet, delegate the task to someone else. People love a hard working boss, but you need to delegate task to get everything done that you need to in a day. People also love having a task to do that is necessary.

Next you need to take a good look at the different things you and your team need to get done this week and month. For this week, decide what are the most urgent tasks on the list and assign them to someone on your team and yourself.

Once you have the most urgent tasks out of the way, take a look at which assignments are the most important to the functionality of your company. Maybe they aren’t urgent yet, but they must be done eventually before they become urgent. Schedule those throughout the next couple of weeks so you will be sure to get them done after the urgent tasks.

You will have some extra, smaller-item tasks that will inevitably get pushed to the side. Don’t obsess over them, but record them so they aren’t completely forgotten. Once you and your team make it through the important tasks, you can assign or take on the smaller ones on the list. Trust the list that you have created. Try not to let yourself get distracted by everything that needs to get done and try to do it all on yourself in one go. This will only create confusion and half-finished tasks that are eventually forgotten about.

2. Create Clear, Attainable Goals

Create clear and attainable goals for you and your teams

This step may need to be done before and after your list making. When creating clear goals, you will need to create sub-lists or add to the list you already have. Everything depends on the goal you have in mind and how large of a feat that goal is.

With each task or goal you need to decide exactly what needs to be done. Once you have a clear idea of how to accomplish your larger goal, assign those tasks to your team. Pay attention to which members of your team like or are skilled at each task. Allow for clear communication in your team so that everyone knows what is expected of them and so that you know what concerns they may have.

It’s important to be realistic with the time you give for each task. Yes, you would like for everything to be done and finished as soon as possible, but you also want a good product and employees that aren’t overworked. Pay attention to the task list each employee has for the week and make sure to adjust it according to which project is more urgent.

Take a minute to be realistic about the work required for the project before setting a due date. Listen to any concerns from employees. If the task is in their expertise and they say they will need more time, trust them with it (especially if they have already proven to be a hard-working team member).

3. Track The Time

Track time for maximum efficiency

An easy way for you to personally save time for your business is to track the minutes/hours it takes you to complete an item on your list. If it took you longer one day than the other to finish a task, ask yourself why and be honest. It may be that the TV was on and you were somewhat distracted from time to time. Yes, you aren’t straight-up watching TV. However, the moments you take to glance up from your screen and get your mind focused different subjects does catch up to you and the clock.

Tracking time especially helps those who are easily distracted. You may think you have it under control, but once you track your time from day-to-day, you will be able to see just how distracted you really are in your daily projects. When you are being timed, it can also make your work feel more like a game.

If you take pride in how long it takes you to do a task well, you can try to lower and lower your time to finish certain tasks. This mindset change may help you to truly boost your productivity during the day, despite all of the distractions around you.

4. Incentivise Tasks And Break

You and your team are not working machines. It is important to incentivize tasks with rewards and take breaks to refresh. Without taking the proper breaks, your team will begin to lose interest in their work as they become more fatigued and restless. If you want quality work done and for everyone to enjoy and take pride in their workplace, add some prizes and allow for breaks to keep the energy flowing.

Maybe you could have a coffee break with donuts at one point in the day. You could try having Coffee Shop Fridays where your team goes to work in a coffee shop instead of the office for the morning. Simple breaks and rewards can boost your team’s spirits and productivity.

It may sound counter-intuitive to give breaks and awards to save time for your business. However, focused, creative employees get a lot more done in a small amount of time than fatigued employees do all day. So if you want to save time for your business, take more breaks.

5. Virtual Meetings

Virtual meetings body image

If you are having trouble getting everyone together to meet for a project or idea, try using virtual meetings. Though face-to-face interactions have their own perks and help you connect better, a virtual meeting can help you get work done without trying to figure out any trips.

Especially with people that you have already met in person, save everyone some time and video call in whoever doesn’t work in your office. Meetings are infamous for wasting time. Try and keep your meetings efficient by providing the necessary information and planning ahead of time what you want to bring to the table. Once the meeting is done, everyone can go back to work without the unnecessary travel time.

6. Use A Project Management Platform

Being organized saves everyone a lot of time. With all of the lists and tasks you will be creating and assigning, it will help to have an easy-access place to have the information stored for all employees to see and utilize.

Try using a project management platform such as Basecamp or Asana to help organize your team, save time, and boost productivity. These platforms help everyone keep track of what they should be doing and how much work they have already done.

7. Hire Experts When Need Be

Hire experts for tasks outside your expertise

You can’t do it all and you shouldn’t have to try to. Make sure you delegate, even if you would prefer to do it yourself. If you try to do everything yourself, you may just be slowing your team down.

For those tasks that are outside of you and your team’s expertise, don’t be afraid to look for outside help. Whether you need a virtual assistant or a marketing firm, there are many people out there in the world who can help you get more work done and save you time in the end to do what you need to do.

Need Help?

If you need digital marketing help, from website creation to SEO, our team at Elevare Agency can help you so that you can stop wasting time and have work that you love. Fill our the form below for a FREE 30 minute consultation and we can help you create digital marketing content in a time-efficient manner.

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The Importance of A Consistent Social Media Presence

Constance and consistency, these two qualities will support you through any endeavor. From training for sports, practicing art skills, building relationships, and creating a strong social media presence. Your business needs to be cared for daily just like any other aspect of your life. Just doing a good job isn’t enough to grow your company. You need to be able to give a great product/service and know how to get your name out there using today’s tools.

Know your voice and why you’re here.

Women speaking into a speakerphone

Know who you are and what you want to share with everyone on the internet. You may be selling a product, that’s great, but make sure your company still has a clear voice and brand online. If you are selling a sturdy chair, own it. Use language that gives a confident yet comfortable vibe. Each post should have concise words that emphasize the appeal to your product.

After mastering your language, use images that have a consistent set of colors and icons that you use. When using a font overlay, make sure you have set fonts for shareable photos. To do all of this you need to brainstorm before you start posting. You can work with a new media public relations company so that they can help guide you to a brand that can truly sell and present your business well. First start with a pin and paper. Brainstorm words that you relate with your product. Try out different colors with your potential logo and incorporate that color into your photos. When you find a look that you and your group like, stay with it. You want the people viewing your work to recognize your brand before they even read the username.

If you are truly consistent with your social media, it will help you represent a clear voice to your target audience. What is a target audience? Those are the people who could really use what you are offering to the world. Don’t be afraid to stick with an idea and have a constant, clear voice on social media. The more explorative members of this group will see what you are presenting and potentially share it with their like-minded friends. These are the people you want to keep coming back to your pages.

Timing is, almost, everything.

Image of a female wrist with a watch

If your online community knows that every Monday you will post a news-related video relevant to your business, the loyal members of your audience will continue to look for these posts every Monday. As they continue to come back to your page to be entertained or learn, the better your audience will be. Your posts will be shared. More importantly, you’re posts will be truly taken in and appreciated by those that matter. Whatever your message and branding is, we hope that you truly believe in it. We hope that your content will be fully enjoyed and will make a positive impact in your local community, nationwide or worldwide. To truly get the audience that believe in your work or product, you need to have a clear schedule so they know what days to look for you.

You also need to be consistent to bring in new faces. If someone comes across your page and they see that you sporadically post, hardly post or spam post, they will be a lot less likely to actually follow you or see what you are offering. The effort you put into social media says a lot about the effort you put into your service or product. This assumption may not be fair, but it does exist. You don’t want your page and company to be passed over for lack of consistency and good branding.

Posting consistently can be a lot of work. Social media moves even more quickly than the traditional media. Even if you’re consistent, posting once a week will not be enough. Luckily, there are people who understand how to create brand awareness online and the best times to post. You can always hire someone to help get your name out there and, naturally, bring in more revenue. Elevare provides help in social media marketing to keep you constant and true to your ideal brand. If you’d like help creating your online presence with a new, sleek website, brand creation and consistent social media, we’re happy to help you with any of those needs.

Consistent community is beautiful.

A group of friends huddled together smiling

Be consistent with your target audience. People who take time to comment on your page and share your posts are your family and can’t be ignored. You need to constantly and consistently respond and relate to people who comment on your social media pages or who send you emails. If someone walked up to your store and had a concern or compliment, would you ignore them when they spoke to you? I hope not. That’s how you should look at your comments, messages and emails. Building a community around your brand is one of the fun parts of growing your business. People need to feel heard, this gives you a chance to connect with people who have something in common. We all get busy in our lives with either our brick-and-mortar stores or managing all the different online platforms, but it’s important to check your pages and interact with your clients daily if possible. Loyal clients/customers are priceless; they can help your brand more than anything. The more you interact and show that real people working in your business, the more loyal your audience will become.

Consistency is timeless.

Man reading a newspaper

The online world is a great place to build a brand in a way that was never possible before; you can create an engaged audience all over the world. Social media marketing only needs consistent care and it will grow. Post often and on schedule, create honest work and engage as much as you can. It also helps to watch social media analytics and know when to post and what hashtags to use, but without consistency any of the other tools available won’t help you. The idea of being constant and consistent has been around in media for a long time– and it still holds true today. Though the online world can seem like a whole new monster, which it can be, some old rules for traditional media still apply.

Ready To Build A Consistent Social Media Presence?

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Time To Cut Spam Ads And Start Communicating

Digital marketing does not equal spam ads on people’s social media feed and web pages. As marketers, our goal should be to communicate with people about a product or service that would be useful to them. There are two keywords in that sentence that I would like to focus in on:

  • People: we are talking to human beings. Not buyers. Not viewers. These are people who we should be trying to communicate with instead of throw ads or purposeless posts at.
  • Useful: when we advertise something, it is because we truly believe in the product and it’s use that benefits some facet of life. After we know that, it will be easier to communicate what we need to on our various platforms.

Once we have a good grasp both of these concepts, marketing with purpose will come a lot more easily. Though treating people as people and your products as useful should be a goal anyway, it can also help your business. Basic spam ads aren’t going to set your business apart from the crowd and many people are turned off by the average hard sell. In a study done by the McCarthy group, 84% of millennials said they did not like traditional marketing and that they didn’t trust it.

Regardless of the generation of your target market, think in your daily life what you would prefer. Would you prefer to see a hard sell pop-up while checking out another website or going through your social media, or would you rather see content that entertains or informs you and relates to you?

Focus on Being Useful

Your messaging will change if you remember the utility of your service or product. Instead of throwing your information with a price tag into the world of the Internet, you will be able to be more purposeful with advertising. You will know where you should put an ad or post when you should put anything up, who you are talking to, and why you are talking to them.

Keeping this in mind will help you in the creation process. Going to work every day trying your best to give a good product or service will give you better results. Once your clients see what you are offering, you are more likely to have word of mouth advertising naturally occur.

PPC Done Right

Google Adwords is an easy way to target those who are actually searching for your product or service. This is one of the most utilized versions of pay per click (PPC) advertising because the ad will only appear to those physically searching on Google for a business like yours. This is the perfect example of advertising that can stress the business’ utility to a particular customer who does, in fact, need your service. Not only that, Google has created filters to help ward of fraudulent clicks (clicks done by competitors to empty your daily budget).

Marketer setting up an advertising campaign

If you want to delve into display advertising, such as a banner presentation on someone else’s website, make sure it is on a website that is focused in on your demographic as well. Same can be said for PPC on social media. Focus where you advertise so you can be efficient with your budget and actually reach the people who may need your product.

These ads are definitely more hard sell kind of ads, but you can still let your personality shine through with wording, color, and imagery. You can still ask a question or present an interesting fact.

Blog With Purpose

Blogs are a great way to connect with your customers and relay some concrete information. If you are creating blogs that are solely there to have content on your website or social media, then it’s time to rethink your strategy. You have a product or service that can be of use to others. If you take a minute a reevaluate, you will be able to think of information that you know or can find from coworkers that is blog worthy. You want to add to people’s day and not create a blog post that no one will actually want to read.

Blog to connect with your customers

Engaging blogs will only add to your business. If people come to your page for information in a subject they are interested in, they will be more likely to find you as a credible, reliable business to buy from or work with. Useful blogs are also more likely to be shared by the public, giving you free advertising.

Try A Facebook Group

Creating a Facebook group for your customers can add a bit of fun to your marketing and keeps the focus on building relationships. Groups only comprised of people who have actually bought an item or shared a post make loyal members feel rewarded to be a part of something a little more exclusive.

In these groups your goal should be community building, not selling your product. If you start spamming people’s notifications with spam ads, you will lose potential business from this group. Feel free to discuss a cause related to your business and current events that affect you. Asking questions is another way to get real engagement with your brand. You won’t even need to ask something directly related to your product, only in the same field.

You don’t need to, and you shouldn’t plug your website the entire time. Your members already know your business exists. Now is an opportunity to treat people like people and build trust with one another.

Post Quality

We can’t stress enough how you should not be posting ads of your product or service the whole time. Mentioning a sale or a change to a website is great and all, but make sure the bulk of your social media is something people can relate to. Ask questions in a post, take a picture of your workplace, introduce your team, share related news, post a funny yet related meme, and share your story.

Post content related to your product or service

People don’t use their social media to see a lot of ads. They use their social media to feel connected.

It Will Help You Stand Out

Authentic communication is not only less annoying and more fun than the classic, pushy, hard-sell ad, but it will also help you stand out. Your business has something useful to offer and you have a unique voice to help communicate that to other people. It’s time to change any bland messaging and start relating to your audience. It will only benefit you.

Two business partners high-fiving

Ready To Write More Meaningful Content?

We can help you create a Pay Per Click advertising plan that makes the best use of your budget and keeps your brand alive. Fill out a form below to schedule a FREE consultation today and we can help you convert your content into customers!

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How To Create A Solid Sales Funnel

Without a system to convert your leads into customers, your business will suffer. A great product or service by itself will help you get the word out a bit, but without a proper sales funnel, you aren’t going to see the growth you want. All of the successful companies you see, from Starbucks to Adidas, use a sales funnel. Some of them don’t just have one sale funnel, they have many. First, let’s find out what a sales funnel looks like, and then see an example of a complex sales funnel system. From sales funnel examples to guiding you through the steps, it’s time to learn how to make a solid sales funnel.

Why It Works

The sales funnel won’t convert every single person who sees your adds into a customer, but it is a strategy to help people actually interested move along till they become a customer. If you don’t have a way to draw people in, you are just another flyer blowing in the wind and potential customers, leads, will find another business that is more intriguing.

Coworkers creating a sales funnel

The sales funnel works because of its simple concept and design. People need to be interested to even think about buying your product. Once you have them interested, what can you do to actually make them consider? The sales funnel helps you handle this question and convert leads into customers.

Step 1: Awareness

Attract potential clients through blog posts, Adwords, social media advertising, billboards, Email, Ebook, and anything else that could make your name aware to other people. This is where you need eye-catching headlines and intriguing photos to get the attention of people passing or scrolling by. Once people are made aware of your name, you need to be able to attract them down the tunnel further by interesting them in your content, ads, product, etc.

Step 2: Interest

Once people are made aware of your product, you need to give them a reason to pay more attention to you and eventually invest. Basically, turn these leads into buyers. On social media, you do this by constantly posting content that either entertains or informs the people that are now following you and engaging with them. With a physical location, the “interest step” may look like creating a comfortable, aesthetically pleasing place to sit and potentially sip on a cup of coffee. You could also create a competition or event that gets people more involved with your brand, even if they haven’t bought anything yet.

Step 3: Prospects

Now it is time to offer a free consultation, a giveaway, an affordable webinar, a test-drive– anything that gets a customer to try out a product or consider using your service. Now that you have built a relationship with your customers you can offer deals or promote specialties.

Step 4: Sales

Finally, the step you have been waiting for, sales. This is the finish line for now, though you should continue the sales funnel with loyalty and advocacy. We touched on loyalty and advocacy in our blog on brand community. Keep in mind that you should continue to build relationships with customers after they have purchased from you. No one likes a business that forgets about you and moves on to the next lead. It can also cost you around 5 times more to get new customers than it does to keep your current ones, according to The National Law Review.

Example of A Solid Sales Funnel

Groupon reaches millions of clients per month. Their sales funnel is a great example of a simple strategy that works. First, they attract leads through ads, emails, referrals, etc, which lead to their website. Their website has a pop-up on the homepage that incentivizes you to give your Email for a coupon code on your first purchase. This is a simple way to interest your leads and keep them receiving information about your business through Email. Next, the customer sees deals on the homepage to get them to consider purchasing. Before you know it, leads are in the purchase form on the website and they are now customers of Groupon.

customer paying for an item

This sales funnel did not take a lot of extra steps to reach millions of clients a month. A solid sales funnel works as long as you follow up with your leads and remember new or old customers.

Example of A Complex Sales Funnel

Starbucks is a great example of a complex sales funnel. There are the larger sales funnel, and then there are the smaller ones inside of that larger sales tunnel. These smaller sales funnels can start by a certain purchase or reward system that leads you to go back to get more or different products at Starbucks.

Starbucks cups stacked on top of each other

The VIA portable coffee cup is a great example of this. This cup has six different compartments that have to-go packets of instant Starbucks coffee. The messaging behind this product is, of course, now you’ll never have to go without Starbucks coffee.

The first step is in line waiting for a cup of coffee already in the larger sales funnel of Starbucks. While you are in line you look around you at the various Starbucks products to pass the time. You then buy the VIA cup and are now in a sales funnel to continue paying for packets to refill the cup, along with a fresh coffee for the morning, every time you visit Starbucks.

This sales funnel could potentially have a buyer frequently purchasing more packets for the rest of their life or until the day the Starbucks packets are no longer sold. This portable cup purchase now has you committed to buying more than one item at Starbucks for, potentially, years. Not to mention the muffin you need for breakfast. The VIA portable cup is only one example of the many sales funnels Starbucks has within there store.

How We Can Help

Search engine optimization, SEO, is a part of a good online sales funnel. When your website and content are highly ranked in search results, more people are likely to see and interact with your website. We can help you make sure that you are seen and that you have quality content that will lead people down the sales funnel.

Fill out a form below to schedule a FREE consultation today and we can help you convert your leads into customers!

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7 Tips To Sell On Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day can be a day of celebration for many, or a day to make fun of for others. Either way, it’s a day of significance. Looking at large companies, we can see that Valentine’s Day is a good time to jump in with some creative, fun ideas for the season. Sometimes this can feel like a hard task. What ideas are good ideas? How can you stand out when everyone seems to be trying to get attention from lovebirds to go to their business or product? It’s time to sit down and talk about ways to get your business thriving during this heart-candied time.

1. Don’t Forget The Singles

Don’t ostracize singles who can’t celebrate with a significant other. You can look around and see other marketing campaigns that have done a great job of including everyone.  There are ways to keep Valentine’s Day fun regardless of the relationship status. Market your business towards everyone who wants to get in on the Valentine’s Day fun, not just the starry-eyed lovers. This tip should be kept in mind for all of your marketing strategies.

Singles are great potential customers on Valentine's Day.

If you have a message aimed towards couples, also aim one towards people who love their community. Self-love campaigns are also something everyone can get in on and promotes positivity within your brand.

2. Host An Event

Have a Valentine’s Day or pet day event with a speaker who can relate to your audience. Your speaker doesn’t need to be nationally acclaimed. If you know a speaker who is local, fun, and entertaining or can impart relevant knowledge, go for it. Make sure you get the word out on social media, email, and through flyers.

Partner with a company to provide gift bags or a dessert that is festive yet fits your brand. You can celebrate love of community, animals, friends, etc, without losing the tone of your company. If you are more informative than a fun or playful brand, you can host an informative event that is tied to serving others.

At this event you can provide gifts or have a competition for one of your products. Within all of the fun, make sure you lightly promote your product without being too pushy. You can do this through your decorations or a friendly reminder after a speaker has finished that you have sponsored the event.

3. Offer A Discount Or Gift

Whether online or in your brick-and-mortar store, be sure to offer a deal on one of your products. Get the word out through your social media platforms, but don’t forget to keep it festive. If it fits your brand, use a Valentine’s Day joke or information that can tie the love of serving others and your service together.

Along with purchases in your store, you can provide a free item that represents the day. If a customer buys a product or service, you can give them a free, small gift like a box of candy or accessory. You can also advertise gifts for that day on your social media or on flyers outside of your store. People like celebrating different days and will be more likely to buy from you if you are obviously seeking ways to make your customers’ day better. Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to market your brand in a way that is fun for both you and your clients.

4. Create A Themed Product

This one definitely takes some thinking ahead. Try brainstorming ways to make one of your products a little more celebratory of love. Whether it’s love of food, friends, the world, animals, cars, etc. It may take a simple design change to make your product the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day.

Create themed products for Valentine's Day.

Change your packaging for the month as well. A few red and pink hearts can go a long way to show your clientele that you are paying attention. Holiday specials add a certain level of credibility to your business. It shows that you and your team take pride in your job and are looking for ways to reach your audience. Whether people think it all the way through or not, your business will appear better to them if you are creative and up-to-date with your marketing.

5. Donate To A Charity

First off, donating to charity is a good thing to do to help the community around you and be a friendly working member of society. Donating to charity can also become a fun event to celebrate the day. By sponsoring or hosting a charity event, you can tell the community that you are invested and active in the lives of those around you.

This can also help to create a fun marketing campaign. Whether or not you are selling a specialized good for Valentine’s Day, you can put the spotlight on a charity that relates to your business for the following weeks. A charity event is a great way to get your name out there without trying to sell your brand and your product all of the time. It communicates that your business is made up of people who care about others and not just a face-less company.

6. Try Some Fun Social Media Polls

It’s easy to find useful hashtags on Valentine’s Day. It’s much better to find a way to actually engage with your online audience during this time. Engagement is what truly helps build your brand loyalty. Polls are a great way to get people to communicate and engage with your brand without putting in an extreme amount of effort.

Try some fun Valentine's Day posting for social media.

Try creating polls that relate to Valentine’s Day. These polls will of course vary from brand-to-brand depending on the voice of your company. If you are personable and freely joke around with your audience, ask what date ideas people prefer, or would dread. If that isn’t your brand style, you can tie your charity with a poll and ask your audience about a statistic that relates to your issue of concern. Audience members can guess what they think is true, or who said what quote, etc.

7. Get The Word Out Through Email

Social media is fun and quick, but don’t forget your email marketing strategy. With an ROI of 4400%, it is vital to pay attention to your email marketing strategy at all times. Whether you decide to work with a charity, host an event, have a discount, create a new product, or create a fun poll, don’t forget to promote it fully on your email in your weekly newsletter and a couple Valentine’s Day special emails leading up to the day.

Send event invites as via email well. Your email list is priceless as people fluctuate from varies social media platform. Make sure to create a campaign that can lead people to join your emailing list. You can even give a discount or free Valentine’s Day item in a form that requires an email address.

Ready To Sell On Valentine’s Day?

Whatever your strategy ends up being, don’t forget to go for it fearlessly. Marketing takes time and effort. One post or one Email isn’t enough to show your audience that you are serious and paying attention.

If you need help creating Valentine’s Day content that will generate more leads for your company this February, Fill out the form below for a FREE consultation today so we can get started!

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