How Instagram is Emerging as the New Prime Marketing Platform

Instagram’s Influence

No doubt, social media is powerful and influential around the world, but which platform is the most influential? Ask anybody and their answer might vary from the next person you ask, it’s an arbitrary answer. Unless you answer Myspace that is, then you might obviously be in your 20’s-30’s and very out of the loop.

Ask me though, and I would answer Instagram, hands-down, as the most influential and powerful marketing platform among individuals today. Why? Well, let’s discuss.

For starters, Instagram had over 800 million monthly active users in 2017. 800 million. 51% of these users visit the platform daily and check it multiple times throughout their day. Instagram has become a full-fledged, global platform that encourages and allows brands to humanize their content, recruit new talent, showcase products, and inspire their audience.

Instagram for Your Business

Just how exactly, can Instagram be of superb benefit for your business?

While Snapchat originated the idea of Stories, Instagram and other respective platforms have made it redundant and unnecessary. By incorporating an equivalent Stories feature into their platform, Instagram has made Snapchat obsolete. Even more, there are 200 million people using Instagram stories on a daily basis compared to 160 million on Snapchat.

Additionally, Instagram’s platform manifests permanence through a user’s ability to scroll through previous posts and highlight Stories for long periods of time (as opposed to only 24 hours). By allowing users to see previous posts, they understand a fuller and better idea of the community behind a company. With a better sense of community, the connections between company and potential consumers are better recognized and experienced. This connection is strong enough that one in five Instagram Stories receive a direct message from a viewer, and 70% of Instagrammers follow a business. In fact, Instagram users are actually seeking contact with brands – brands no longer have to seek out consumers, as consumers seek them out instead.

More than anything, businesses want their consumers to be interested and engaged. Instagram does better than any other social media platform, including Facebook, in terms of engagement. The average number of likes on Instagram compared to Facebook is significantly more for Instagram.

So, while there are multiple social media platforms to choose from for your business, Instagram is not one that your business wants to skip out on. With 45.6% of Instagram users more likely to remember marketing campaigns on Instagram itself over TV commercials and other traditional media, it’s a marketing strategy that you definitely want to focus on.

Social Media as the New TV

We Bid Thee Adieu TV Marketing

A few years ago (or maybe even a decade!), TV was considered to be the primary marketing channel to connect to consumers with. However, with the exponential rise of technology development and engagement, there is a new king taking the throne away from TV. Audience viewership is moving away from linear TV to go further online. Going even farther than TV did, social media is no longer simply just a marketing channel – it’s become a customer experience channel. Instead of being the platform brands use to increase sales, it’s become a part of the actual brand experience itself. The brand experience that a company delivers is about designing a sensory experience that builds the connection and relationship between a brand and its customer.

TV marketing is no longer (or maybe never was) an optimum choice for many companies – especially small and starting up companies, and even relatively established businesses. While TV reaches a very wide audience, it has its own drawbacks. For starters, it’s extremely expensive with only reasonable, but not extraordinary, conversion rates. Additionally, because it reaches such a wide audience, there are no personalization options, making the advertisement just generic enough to capture the actual attention of a small audience.

Social Media Marketing

Compared to TV, social media thrives as a smart marketing strategy because it: targets B2B and B2C audiences; enhances a company’s online reputation and brand awareness; reaches new target audiences; allows companies to communicate more directly with clients; keeps track of companies’ online reputation; engages customers in a more personal, dynamic, and interactive manner; develops an online identity; and increases website traffic.

A thorough social media strategy can help target specific demographics and interests to build awareness and interest of your brand, products, and/or services. With social media, there are particular influencers and thought leaders that have great influence over the decisions of particular individuals – such as celebrities on fan and YouTubers on their subscribers.

Unlike TV, social media posts can be used to boost a company website’s SEO. By posting on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, search engine crawlers can sift through your content and discover which pages consistently earn traffic – drawing attention to company websites. While a strategically planned SEO concept is crucial to earning high rankings in search engines, the traffic received from social media platforms to your optimized pages will allow rankings to climb faster in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

The Personalization Factor

One of the most important factors that consumers look for in brands and businesses is a personal connection to the brand. By marketing on social media, businesses are able to showcase their humanization factor and foster close-knit relationships with their consumers. The interactions between business and audience personify the brand – by creating and sharing content, commenting, and posting statuses, the consumer feels a human connection with the brand. This relationship with consumers is important because it leads to a positive result in sales. Consumers are more likely to consider the business that they have the most personal connection with when considering a product/service purchase. Better impressions on visitors correlates positively with sales.

If you don’t believe that personalization will do wonders for your business, just take a look at these numbers! Businesses that personalized their web and online experiences saw an average 19% increase in sales. Customers strongly value the personalization experience as 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if a personalized experience is offered.

While TV might have been considered to be a successful marketing tactic a few years ago, it is no longer an efficient or feasible option for many businesses today. So, if you want the marketing tactic with the most substantial and concrete outcomes for your business, make sure you have a strong social media strategy!

Why Is Technology So Important?

As you’re reading this blog right now, you’re using technology (I mean, it’s not like your reading this in print in your local newspaper. Duh!) Technology is all around us wherever we go – at work, at home, at the beach, in the park, literally everywhere.

Almost every aspect of our work (and every day!) lives are integrated or associated with technology. So, it should be no surprise that technology is important in a corporate setting. In almost any industry, if not every industry, it’s nearly impossible to avoid using technology in our work lives. Technology has such a critical and integral role that it’s considered to be a necessity, but why exactly is it so important?

1. Technology Makes Communication More Efficient

In any circumstance, we need to communicate, whether it’s with our coworkers, clients, or managers. Can you image if every time we needed to contact anyone (remotely, that is), we would need to send them a physical letter that needs to get sent through the post, wait for them to write their response and send it back in the mail, and then finally get it after how many weeks? How fun times would be. But luckily, technology has resolved this problem for us as we can now email, call, and even text anyone, anywhere and (hopefully! hehe) receive a response almost immediately. The amount of time and resources this saves is tremendous for business systems.

2. Technology Supports Online Marketing Strategies

Today, most marketing is done online and digitally. The most successful marketing campaigns are definitely not the ones where you feature your business in the classified section of the daily newspaper or the local transit waiting area (although you could argue otherwise, I suppose). But think about it: SEO, blogging, website and app development, email marketing, and social media are all successful and rewarding online strategies. All of these strategies would not be possible without the help of technology.

3. Technology Offers Security

In the corporate world, businesses can be subject to security threats and vandalism. However, technology can be used to secure and protect any confidential and sensitive data through encryption, passwords, and other forms of protected technology.

However, it’s best to keep in mind that while no method of storing data is guaranteed to be 100% secure, storing data in a safe and encrypted drive ensures more protection.

Our lives would be very different without technology today so it’s no doubt that it’s significantly impacted and simplified many tedious processes. Thanks to technology we’ve saved time and efforts, making our business processes more efficient. Remember to not take it for granted. 😌

The Battle of Quality Vs. Quantity

The Debate Between Quality and Quantity

All writers should know that in a competition between quality and quantity, quantity will always win, right? Well, not exactly. This debate has long existed – is it better to have 10 low-quality blog posts or 1 high-quality blog post. Unfortunately, there is no black-and-white answer, and neither should you strive to publish any low-quality blog posts.

When you’re producing blogs, you need to ensure that quality and quantity are in harmonious balance for your website and company to be as successful as you want them to be. Companies and writers need to realize that producing a lot of content for your audience will not be influential unless it’s good quality and of a subject matter that your audience finds interest in.

The argument between quality and quantity doesn’t realize the equally important balance of each component on the other. Companies and brands that release blogs on a frequent (or not so frequent) basis need to understand that the best blog production needs to incorporate content that your audience is actually interested in. Producing several blogs is important and relevant, but each blog needs to draw the interest of the audience. So, if you know your audience is interested in topic x, don’t publish material on topic y.  

Converting Visitors into Leads with Your Blog

Blogs help your business attract new visitors, receive exposure on search engines, and get shares on social media – all which has the potential to convert these visitors into your leads. The more often your company posts, the more likely you will gain enough of a reputation with your audience to convert them into customers. With consistent updates, your audience will visit your website more often because they know there will be consistent updates on a regular basis.

However, the catch is that this is contingent on the quality of your content.  In order to convert your leads, you need to create valuable content.

In a study researched by HubSpot, it was found that the more blog posts companies published per month, the more traffic they saw on their websites. Companies that published 16 or more blogs per month received almost 4.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 – 4 blogs a month. However, these positive results are dependent on the quality of the blogs as quality is more valuable than providing content on a planned high-frequency schedule. Companies that make a commitment to habitually post quality blog posts on their websites reap the rewarding results in terms of website traffic numbers and leads.

While blogs give your websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links, search engine algorithms place less emphasis on the number of pages and links, and more focus on the quality of the links and shares a page receives.

The Quality Your Audience Is Looking For

Your website is one of the primary ways your customers connect with your company and understand what you are doing. Now that we’ve established that quality is as important as quantity, what makes a blog post of high caliber? Below, we will discuss 3 factors that should be incorporated into high-quality blog posts.

1. Understand Your Target Audience

Before you begin writing, consider who your target market is and understand what kind of content they are engaged and interested in. By understanding the needs, wants, and problems of your particular audience, you can create posts that are beneficial and useful to them.

2. Valuable Content

Like the previous factor, your content needs to be beneficial, useful, and valuable for your audience. In order for your audience to be engaged with your material, you need to make sure it is something interesting and meaningful to them. Your blog post can change your reader’s mind, inspire them to try something new, or teach them how to do something better – which will positively impact their business, thanks to your blog post!

3. Easily Scannable

With the number of things competing for our attention, it’s essential to make blog posts easily scannable. Blogs with headings and subheadings allow the reader to easily look over a post to get the big ideas. Readers often scan over a blog’s headings and subheadings to decide whether to even bother reading the content – so make sure your headings are catchy and entice your reader!

The Harmonious Balance

Overall, think about it this way:

When it comes to ranking highly on your website, quality is always more important than quantity. BUT, when it comes to being what you need for your consumer base, quality and quantity are equally important. Your blog posts need to find an equal balance between each component in order for your website to receive the most amount of conversions and engagements. So, make sure you prioritize both quality and quantity in your future blog posts!

What You Need to Have In Place to Win 2019 (And Every Year After!)

2019 is changing. And so is the content you’re producing and the audience you’re approaching.

So, what are the things that your business needs in order to be as successful as possible in 2019? Creating and publishing blogs are a key component of marketing that your business needs. In this post, we’ll see just how big a factor publishing blogs can be to the success of your business.

Blogs 

When you blog, it’s considered to be a marketing tactic that gets your business more online visibility and helps support business growth. Every time you post a new blog, it’s one more indexed page on your website, which provides more opportunities for your page to appear in search engines and drive traffic to your website through organic search.

Blogs are one of the primary ways your audience can communicate with you and fall into the category of Content Marketing, alongside with podcasts, videos, emails, and much more! Content marketing consists of creating content that can be used as an asset to sell your brand, vision, and values. By creating these blogs, you develop content that conceives an image for your brand – echoing your marketing brand to your audience. These blogs not only echo your brand, but also create value, which can potentially convert your audience into loyal followers and/or customers.

Blogs that your audience genuinely enjoys can become shareable content. By creating blogs, you create content that people can easily share on their social networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. When these users share your blogs, it helps expose your business to new audiences that may not be familiar with your business otherwise – helping drive new traffic to your website through search engines and social media.

Photos

Using photos and/or images in your blog increases its appeal and increases traffic – boosting the number of times it is viewed. When you include pictures in your blog, you increase your average blog views by a whopping 94%. Not only do images increase views, but they also make the post easier to read. By inserting images, you break up large chunks of text and increase white space, making readability easier.

Images also help to emphasize the message that you’re trying to convey in your post. In instructional blogs, placing images helps decrease confusion and increase satisfaction and confidence in your reader’s understanding of the instructions.

Videos

While photos can capture incredible scenes, videos are much more engaging for your audience. Because reality is dynamic, people love dynamic content. Among a survey of 6,000 marketing and sales professionals, almost 50% of marketers are adding YouTube and Facebook channels for video distribution in 2018 – with 48% for YouTube and 46% for Facebook video respectively.

Think about a static image and a dynamic video clip. Which one do you think people would be more drawn to? In your blog posts, try embedding some videos for the most direct and advantageous way to integrate your content marketing. Videos that compliment your blog posts allow you to recycle content ideas in a manner that feel fresh, new, and exciting.

Additionally, videos also generate more inbound links and viewership for your blog posts – generating more traffic.

Content marketing

Overall, while photos and videos are important components of a blog, an outstanding blog will incorporate a combination of text, images, videos, and other multi-media elements like charts, slides, polls, and etc.

Cost-Effective Start-Up Strategies

Start-Up vs. Established Businesses

Start-up and established businesses often practice different strategies that are more effective for one more than the other. Running a start-up and an established business require different strategies, protocols, tactics, and approaches as they have different resources, budgets, and goals.

What Your Business Should Focus On and Needs Now

One of the most prominent constraints for beginning businesses is the financial standing and resources. Start-up businesses require a viable and practical strategy for generating revenue that is worthy enough for future investments and to sustain.

1. Pursue A Big Market That Has Unmet Needs

One way to make sure that your business starts off on the right foot is to pursue a big market that has unmet needs. If your offering doesn’t fix an unsolved problem, it may need to be reconsidered. Conversely, if your offering fixes a problem that never was a problem, it probably won’t be successful either. Fixing any ‘problem’ isn’t the solution to your offering.

2. Content Marketing

Nearly 90% of brands use content marketing to grow their business. Content marketing is the marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer actions. Content marketing is beneficial for start-up companies because it doesn’t consume a lot of resources.

However, the catch with this is that businesses need to have a concrete content strategy for content marketing to work. Without an effective strategy in mind, the outcomes may be less effective causing challenges during the implementation phase.

3. Social Media Marketing

Considering that joining social media platforms are free, social media should be a marketing tactic that your business is engaging in. Targeted campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn allow start-ups to focus on specific markets, share marketing messages, and drive inquiries. Social media marketing is a very economically-friendly strategy that doesn’t consume much, if any, of your budget.

4. Create SEO-Rich Content

While search engine optimization (SEO) services are expensive and may not be feasible for a limited budget, ensuring that your content is SEO rich is not. Creating content that is SEO-rich for your website and blogs is a simple and cheap way to drive organic SEO – which drives more traffic to your business outlets.

While these tactics are ones that start-up businesses should definitely focus on, that’s not to say that established businesses can’t do these – in fact they should. Just because a business is well-established doesn’t mean that other strategies should become oblivious to them.  So, whether you’re building a start-up company or have been in the business for years, consider these strategies for your business.