How Your Business Can Rock on Instagram

We have certainly become a picture-taking obsessed culture haven’t we? It’s all thanks to social media where Instagram is king of image sharing.

Every day I can go online and see hundreds of photos from friends and family.  And with each snapshot, I get a tiny look at life through their eyes.

For example, yesterday, I know my friend Nikki had a delicious salad for lunch. I saw my cousin Lindsey went hiking in Colorado, and my friend Joe’s two-year old went potty like a big boy for the very first time. (As a parent, I know how exciting this moment can be. But hey Joe, I think this one qualifies as a social media overshare!)

Smartphones bring out the photographer in all of us. Photography and social media just go together, like peanut butter and jelly.

Instagram is a social media platform rooted in smartphone photography. Hardly the new kid on the block, Instagram launched in 2010 as a trendy app for iOS and it wasn’t long before everyone wanted it.

Continue reading How Your Business Can Rock on Instagram

Director of Public Relations
A self-decribed chatterbox, it’s rumored that Tara was born with a phone in her hand. It was only a natural that she ended up in the marketing communications industry. With more than 12 years of industry experience, Tara specializes in campaign strategy, planning, publicity, and content marketing. In addition to socializing with just about anyone, Tara enjoys running, yoga, and watching her beloved Wisconsin Badgers. She also appreciates the occasional quiet weekend at home cooking and relaxing with her husband Ryan and daughter Julia.

Speaking to Silence? Find Your Audience with LinkedIn’s Native Advertising

LinkedIn gives companies a reliable way to promote content and connect with potential leads, but being successful involves more than simply updating your company’s page.

By publishing consistent, quality content and sharing it with multiple networks, you can easily attract professionals to your company page to generate leads and position yourself as a thought leader.

But what if you’re no longer seeing a steady stream of new and engaged followers?

It’s time to try something new, but what?

Don’t be discouraged. With a niche platform like LinkedIn, your content may just need a boost to ensure it’s in front of the right audience.

Promote Your Content to the Right People
When organic distribution of your content doesn’t seem to be hitting the mark, it’s time to consider LinkedIn’s paid native advertising to reach relevant audiences. Native advertisements – also known as sponsored updates – read like an editorial and less like a display ad, which can lead to higher engagement.

These updates allow you to specifically target professionals through their newsfeed. It’ll help you attract new followers to your company page and increase engagement. Plus, it’s optimized for any device!

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Create Valuable Professional Content
To get the most out of these campaigns, choose a piece of content that has “showcaseability” – meaning a great piece of professional content that makes your target audience pause and say, I want to know more about that!

This could be a new project or service announcement video, a smart infographic detailing findings from a recent study, or even a fun post that highlights your company’s culture which can attract potential employees to your page.

When you put forth the effort in making your content stand out – whether that’s adding a compelling image, a captivating title, or a clear call-to-action – people will want to share it, which will expand your total reach.

Set Campaign Goals
Once you have selected your message, define your target audience to build a paid campaign.

You will first need to pick between two paid options: cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-impression (CPM).

To help you decide, you need to understand your end goal. CPC is best for lead generation while CPM should be reserved for brand awareness initiatives.

Next, think about who your target audience should be. LinkedIn lets you focus your efforts on either location, industry, or job titles.

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Also, keep in mind that on LinkedIn, keeping target audiences specific and including more than 300,000 members, usually gets better results. In 2015, Pew Research Center reported only 25% of online adults say they use LinkedIn regularly compared to 72% who use Facebook, so a targeted approach will help ensure your content is seen by professionals not checking their LinkedIn daily.

In order to get the most out of your paid campaign, make sure you also have measured goals set before you start.

If you’re new to LinkedIn, focus on building organic campaigns emphasizing your content and distribution plans. By analyzing your organic reach, you can estimate what you’d like to see from a paid campaign.

You can also do a trial run of a sponsored campaign that lasts a few days to record some initial data. The best feature about LinkedIn is that they provide built-in analytics so you can see your campaigns in action.

Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

Experimenting is key to understanding what works and what doesn’t. Try to switch up your content every two weeks and once you get the hang of it, promote new content up to one or two times per week.

One of the most important things to remember is to keep everything in context. If you’re a smaller business, keep your goals reasonable. Use analytics to inform your next move and constantly review your current strategy.

Looking to start a more in-depth content marketing strategy? Learn more about Element’s content marketing programs here.

References
LinkedIn’s Native Advertising
Mobile Messaging and Social Media 2015, Pew Research Center

Director of Public Relations
A self-decribed chatterbox, it’s rumored that Tara was born with a phone in her hand. It was only a natural that she ended up in the marketing communications industry. With more than 12 years of industry experience, Tara specializes in campaign strategy, planning, publicity, and content marketing. In addition to socializing with just about anyone, Tara enjoys running, yoga, and watching her beloved Wisconsin Badgers. She also appreciates the occasional quiet weekend at home cooking and relaxing with her husband Ryan and daughter Julia.

Just Press Play – Tips for Video Storytelling

By: Tara Brzozowski

This month I had the privilege and honor to be a judge for the Public Relations Society of America’s National Bronze Anvil Awards. I judged the video programs category, and I saw firsthand the creative and impactful ways today’s marketers are using video in their marketing and communications strategies.

From national products looking to build brand awareness to nonprofits using high-emotion stories to inspire action, video is hot and it’s everywhere. Over 70% of B2B marketers today claim video performs better than any other form of content for engaging and producing conversions*. That’s because video has been proven to elicit emotion, build trust, and help influence behavior better than other forms of text-based communication.

I realize I don’t need to convince you on the merits of video communications. But, before you run off and press play on that iPhone, take a moment to make sure your strategy is on track for success.

  1. Identify your audience and be specific. Unless you are a big brand with a large target audience, your video does not need to have mass appeal. In fact, the more specific your audience is, the better your video will perform. It makes sense right? The more you can define your target audience, the more directly you can speak to their needs.
  2. Show some personality. Good videos have personality. Don’t just tell people about your product or company, but give them a feel for your culture and what you have to offer. That means your new product video should not feel dull or boring, like you are reading a set of stereo instructions. No one wants to watch that. You can be funny, excited, and yes, even passionate about your company. Marketers, this is your opportunity to break the mold, show some personality, and stand out in the marketplace.
  3. Understand your broadcast options. YouTube isn’t the only game in town anymore. Last week, Facebook announced that it is making a strong play to become the place people watch online video. Also, Instagram, Vine, and SnapChat all have native video options, and Twitter’s recently released Periscope App has us all talking about opportunities for live streaming. Before you start posting video online, it is important to understand the different options on each channel and what is the best approach to grab people’s attention.
  4. Measure your results. One of the greatest reasons to start using video in your content marketing strategy is that it’s trackable. Downloads, audience views, shares, likes, comments, and other call-to-action activities provide you with leads and insights for future video opportunities. Begin with the end in mind. Have your metrics for success in place before you start shooting.

*Demand Metric

 

Director of Public Relations
A self-decribed chatterbox, it’s rumored that Tara was born with a phone in her hand. It was only a natural that she ended up in the marketing communications industry. With more than 12 years of industry experience, Tara specializes in campaign strategy, planning, publicity, and content marketing. In addition to socializing with just about anyone, Tara enjoys running, yoga, and watching her beloved Wisconsin Badgers. She also appreciates the occasional quiet weekend at home cooking and relaxing with her husband Ryan and daughter Julia.