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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…

Facebook Reactions

Changes to the Facebook Algorithm and the end of the Facebook Contest

As you plan your digital marketing strategies for the year, you might be considering a Facebook contest or two. These usually involve asking your page fans to like, comment on and share a post to enter for a chance to win a prize. These have been very popular with brand pages, our retailer pages included. It’s been an easy way to get organic engagement (likes, comments, shares) on a post without having to pay for the post to be boosted. But that’s all about to change. Last month, Facebook announced that they will be demoting individual posts that use this kind of tactic to get organic engagement. This means that they are updating their algorithm to ensure posts using this tactic will be shown less in the News Feed. Over the course of several weeks, they will start demoting entire pages that “systematically and repeatedly use engagement bait to artificially gain reach in the New Feed.” When a page is demoted, any content posted from it shows up less in the News Feed. So how will this change your digital…

Facebook Groups for Pages

Facebook Groups For Pages

I recently highlighted the relatively new Facebook feature called Groups for Pages, or Brand Groups, in a recap of a Hootsuite webinar that highlighted social media trends for 2018. Facebook launched the feature this summer and Hootsuite predicts Groups for Pages are going to be a key marketing opportunity for brands on Facebook. You might be wondering how these groups are different from the Facebook page you’ve created for your business or from groups created by an individual. Let’s take a look. Groups for Pages are associated with, and linked to, an already established Facebook brand page. They are designed to “build a community around your page.” Facebook suggests multiple uses for a page group, including: Engaging with people who share interests that are relevant to your page. Rewarding your customers with special updates and exclusive offers. Understanding your audience by creating a space for them to ask questions and share feedback. Interacting in the group as your page or as yourself (the administrator of the page). As a page administrator, you can post content in the group that is…

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…

Tennessee Vacation Logo

SMCKC Recap: VML and Snapchat – Building a Millennial Following

At a recent Social Media Club of Kansas City presentation, VML discussed how they built a millennial following on Snapchat for Tennessee Vacation, or the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. In case you need a refresher on Snapchat, check out my Snapchat 101 blog post. The Snapchat stats I shared have changed since then…and Snapchat has become even more popular, especially with millennials. 71% of the more than 300 million Snapchat monthly active users are under 24 years old (source: Omnicore Agency). The team from VML explained that the percentage of millennial travelers going to Tennessee and engaging with Tennessee Tourism content was declining. Since Snapchat has such a large millennial audience, the team thought this platform was perfect to “give younger audiences the exclusive content they desire while showcasing the state.” VML ran into two challenges with this project. First, it’s difficult to generate a large organic following on Snapchat because discovery isn’t the main focus of the platform. The company prefers that brands buy advertising on the platform. They don’t even provide analytics for accounts. Second, millennials aren’t…

yellow umbrella among gray

AMAKC Recap: “Creating Fewer Ruined Days” for Patients, Customers, Organizational Leaders and Their Teams

When was the last time you put yourself in your customer’s’ shoes and thought about how they experience your store? Do you think that would change the way you approach your business? Or the way you perceive customer feedback? At a recent event hosted by the Kansas City chapter of the American Marketing Association, Jeannie Walters, CEO and founder of 360Connext, gave a presentation about customer experience and “creating fewer ruined days.” Walters specializes in customer experience but her presentation focused on the medical field and included a personal account of her and her family being involved in a car accident while on vacation. The presentation focused on health care and patient experiences, but the ideas and processes she discussed can be applied to any customer in any field or industry. Walters described everything she experienced as a patient during this terrible incident, from the moment of the crash all the way through her and her family’s recovery during the months after the accident. She shared what she could remember during those first hours after the accident, both good and…

Telling Your Story on Digital

When I work with retailers on social media content strategy, I always remind them to “tell their story.” But what does that mean? It means posting about more than just product and price. Yes, a good sale can get people to come to your store for a specific item one time. But what keeps them coming back to you? What creates a loyal customer? One of the best ways to attract and retain loyal customers is to share your story with them online. Some of the vendors we work with at AWG are doing this very well when it comes to their digital promotions. For example, Red Gold is sponsoring a Crush Hunger campaign for the month of October. When a customer buys one can of Red Gold product, the company donates one meal to Feeding America. When you visit their Crush Hunger website, you will see that the company not only plans to donate to the organization but they are also educating their customers about those in need and how to help. Another example is Idahoan Foods. Recently I…

Blog Spelled With Scrabble Tiles

Blogging For Your Business

Blogging isn’t just a hobby for parents sharing meal prep ideas or dedicated fans giving their insights on the latest YA fantasy novel. Some people have turned blogging into a lucrative business. Additionally, already-established businesses can use blogging as another digital marketing platform to share their story and connect with customers. Even small businesses can use this platform and see the benefits of it if they put the work into creating and maintaining it. Getting Started Decide on a platform Talk to your website developer or designer about how to integrate a blog platform onto your store’s website. Find your voice Your blog voice will tie into the overall brand voice you have for your store. It’s the same voice you use in other forms of digital marketing like social media, website and email. Ultimately people like doing business with other people so find a voice that captures your business and shows the personality of your brand. Set a schedule Decide how often you’re going to publish blog posts. Do your best to stick to that schedule so your readers…

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…