Email Marketing

Whew! How is it August? It's time for back to school specials and before you know it Target will be clearing the aisles to make room for twinkle lights and wrapping paper (you know you love it). With the impending holidays, their is no time like the present to focus on your marketing plan. Here's the thing though, 99% of consumers in the US check their email every day (every. single. day.) and 73% of millenials prefer communication from businesses to come from, you guessed it, email (source). Basically, if you are not incorporating email marketing into your marketing program, you are missing out.

1. Simplify. When you are designing an email, keep it simple. Get rid of unnecessary links, design elements and fluff. Resy does a wonderful job of honing in on one offer.

2. Make copy bite sized. I am clearly breaking the rules here because my monthly emails are not bite sized, but most email campaigns should keep things brief. Work on drilling down your copy to just FIVE sentences.

3. Use the Inverted Pyramid. Creating a clear visual hierarchy draws the readers eye down the email and leads them to the CTA (call to action) button. The Inverted Pyramid Method is a template designed to help you create great emails by eliminating distractions. This Resy email uses fun graphics to grab your attention, brief copy to build anticipation and a bold call to action button at the finish line.

4. Call to action. Be sure your CTA button is easy to find (colorful) and sized for an adult finger not a toddler's finger. An MIT study found that the average size of an adult finger is between 1.6 cm and 2 cm, which translates to between 45 x 45 px to 57 x 57 px on a mobile device. Thanks MIT!

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Marion Blount
6 Takeaways From The Social Shake-Up

Last week, I was in Atlanta attending The Social Shake-Up conference which is a social media conference that brings together agencies, influencers and Fortune 500 companies to discuss social media trends. Here are 6 key takeaways that I found interesting:

  • The two buzz words of the week were - "Authenticity" and "Consistency". The best way to find success on social media is to find authentic voice and post consistently.

  • FUN FACT - Instagram stories that utilize "stickers", receive up to 83% more engagement then those that do not have stickers. As Instagram Stories becomes more powerful, it’s important to utilize all the features that it offers.

  • People like to see people. We knew this, but it is always good to hear. Don't be afraid to put yourself in front of the camera from time to time.

  • Website vs. Social Media - Don't worry, websites are still important. However, with social media making a big impact in the digital space, it is important to find ways for your website and social media to work together. This can be through links, product tags or other creative ways.

  • Be an active participant on social media. The more you engage with your audience, the more value you will provide in that space.

  • VIDEO. Phew! Video was a big topic. Incorporating video into your Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, IGTV or even popping up on Facebook Live is key. It's also important to make sure you are optimizing video for mobile (vertical video instead of horizontal). We hope to create more video content over the next few months.

Marion Blount
10 Ways to Kick-Off Your 2019 Social Media Plan

1. Plan, plan, plan! I can't stress this enough. Create a content calendar to give you a road map for your social media channels. If you aren't sure how to create a content calendar, reach out and I can show you how.
2. Create high-quality, engaging content. You want to post content that creates conversation within your community. Avoid things like stock photos that dilute your brand. Opt instead for real-life pictures and custom visuals for a more authentic connection.
3. Post consistently. If you want to build your following, having a consistent posting schedule will help you grow your social media presence.

4. Establish your social media voice.  Take some time to brainstorm your brand voice. Does your voice align with your brand and is it consistent with your mission statement?
5. Video. Yup, you knew it was coming. 2019 will be the year of the video. I know I will be experimenting with it more and you should too.

6. There’s an app for that. Don’t feel like you need to do all of this on your own. Utilize the app store to find tools that will help you create beautiful content (Unfold), schedule your social media (Buffer) or edit photos (A Color Story).

7. Analyze your data. It’s important to look at the data on your social media channels and use it to make content decisions. I will be posting more on this later this year.

8. Engage with your community. Make sure your are engaging with your followers. Respond and listen to their comments and questions.

9. Don’t get caught up in trends. What works for someone else, may not work for you. Basically, test out different content and find what works best for your audience.

10. Be flexible. It’s no surprise that social media changes all of the time. Be willing to roll with the punches and change course if something isn’t working.

Social Media Tool - Tailwind

Like managing any social media account, Pinterest can be very time consuming, so using a scheduling application like Tailwind to plan out all of your pins. Tailwind is a free application that allows you to plan out all of your pins ahead of time. Using a smart scheduling tool, Tailwind creates a queue that posts your pins to different boards at optimal times throughout the day. In addition to planning your posts, you can also check your board insights and weekly summary to see your engagement levels from throughout the week. Since Tailwind is an approved API Marketing Partner of Pinterest, you’ll never have to worry about your scheduler shutting down or your pins not posting on time.

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Marion Blount
Let's Talk About Pinterest

Many people think of Pinterest just as a platform to find healthy recipes or wedding inspiration, but with over 200 million monthly users it can be a very useful marketing tool for your business. Pinterest is one of the largest web traffic drivers in the world, as it has extremely high user engagement. Pinterest is a great tool to increase brand visibility because you can share relevant content with your target audience and drive them to your site at the same time. To manage a successful Pinterest account, it is important to organize your content in a way that is clear and user-friendly. On Pinterest, you can create different boards that organize your posts, called pins, into categories. Here are some of my tips on getting started with Pinterest.

  1. Once you create an account, brainstorm a list of possible boards you want to create. I suggest beginning with at least six boards that would be relevant to your target audience. For example, if you’re an interior designer, you could have boards entitled Fabrics, Exteriors, Projects, Interiors, Lighting, and Wallpaper.

  2. After you’ve created your boards, choose at least three websites or blogs that you can use to find additional content for that board. You will want to have a good mix of both your own content and that of other users so that you can attract more people to your page.

  3. You will want to add content to each of your boards frequently, as users can either follow you or just follow one of your boards. The more you post, the more likely a Pinterest user is to see your brand and click on your content.

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Let's Talk About Linkedin
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Despite being one of the most trusted and popular social networking sites, many people still have no idea how to successfully use LinkedIn. If you don’t know what it is or have never used it before, LinkedIn is a site that essentially works as an online version of traditional networking, where you can search new career opportunities and connect with other professionals in your industry. The first step to establishing a presence on LinkedIn is to build a profile, which is like an interactive version of your resume. You can include all of the traditional components like your education, experience, and skills. This information is essential, but in order to stand out to employers and businesses, you need to really optimize your profile and include more than just the basics. Here I have compiled a list of helpful tips to make your profile more personal and searchable on the site.

  1. When writing your Headline, Summary, and Experience, make sure to use valuable keywords that someone in your target audience would be searching for. Use high-volume search phrases like “web designer” or “content writer” so that your profile is more likely to appear for potential connections.

  2. Ask for at least three recommendations from past employers that are relevant to your target audience. This will help build confidence in you and your profile to potential business connections.

  3. Put a more personal face to your page by adding a video introduction. This allows potential connections to get to know you better and makes your profile stand out, especially if your competitors do not have videos.

  4. Always write in the first person on your page. This allows employers and business connections to get to know you better, and makes room for your values and passions to come through on your profile.

  5. Posting regular content on your page helps optimize your profile, so update your LinkedIn status daily with something that interests your target audience. This can be anything from posting a fun event happening in your industry, sharing an article you found helpful, or discussing your opinion on a hot-topic in your field. Whenever you post, though, make it look appealing with a cool picture or graphic.

Let's talk about IGTV

The way we consume content has changed over the last 10 years. 10 years ago netflix was still a DVD rental service and apple TV was non-existent; fast forward to 2018 and now the number of broadband users exceeds the number of cable users and 86% of americans watch TV while using a phone or tablet. As traditional TV viewership declines, it's only natural that the next-generation entertainment product is pocket sized. As Youtube has continued to increase in popularity, Instagram wanted to get in on the action; welcome IGTV -  a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators.

IGTV is here and it is here to stay. Any user can create a video for IGTV. You can download the IGTV app or you can find and post videos from your instagram app. Here are some tips to help you get started on creating your first video for IGTV.

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If you are interested in reading more about IGTV and how it plans on being a disruptor, check out this interview with Instagram's cofounder.

Marion Blount
Hashtag Holidays

On Social Media, you can always find a reason to celebrate! Keep your eyes peeled for these #HashtagHolidays coming up around the corner.

May 24th - Scavenger Hunt Day

Sometimes Hashtag Holidays are random, but this one takes the cake. 
 

May 28th - Memorial Day

Don't forget, Memorial Day is more then BBQ and boat rides.
 

June 1st - Doughnut Day

Everyone wants to celebrate #nationaldoughnutday! Need doughnut content? Give our friend bib.on some love and post one these images (be sure to tag her, @bib.on). 


June 8th - Best Friends Day

National Best Friends Day is a great excuse to give your bestie a shoutout. 

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Thursday Tip

Video, video, video....you have to start utilizing video features in your social media strategy. Do I sound like a broken record yet? I read a lot of social media news and listen to a lot (like a lot) of social media podcasts and I can't stress to you, the power in video. Here are some tips to get you started. 

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Marion Blount