8 Social Media Trends to Take your Business to the Next Level

8 Social Media Trends to Take your Business to the Next Level

When last did you sit down and take a look at your social media presence and see what is working for you and what isn’t?

As a social media manager, I try to make sure I am abreast of all things related to social media – because just like anything related to the web and technology, things change daily!

So, it would make sense for me to take a look at what trends are big in 2020 and what is still to come, and I thought it would be very cool of me to share it with you.

As a business owner you would be remiss to not have a social media presence these days as that is where 95% of conversion from lead to purchase generally takes place.

Let us take a closer look at what I do for clients when it comes to social media and then also touch on the trends which we can all take note of and use going forward.

 

How I do social media

Social media for me is in the blood now. It is my main niche when it comes to the work that I do for clients. I love it. I have a passion for it – but it can also be a headache somedays.

So, what is it exactly that I do?

I create thought provoking content for clients ranging from digital marketing agencies through to life coaches and PR companies. I have vast experience in many sectors of social media and have written content with spiritual undertones, information related to the automotive industry, real estate and much more.

Therefore, I know that with each client, with each business type, comes a new way of writing content and showcasing the business as a whole.

I also know that these things change often. What works this week could not work next week, and that is why I am forever looking at what is happening globally and applying it (where able and where relevant) to my clients.

 

So, what is trending?

  1. Brands are reevaluating – Businesses are taking a new look at what works for them on social media and what doesn’t and from what Sprout Social is telling us, 72% of marketers look at Likes and Comments to find out what to run with and what to bin. This makes sense because when you are getting a Like, or especially comments, it means people have taken notice and found what you have to say to be of relevance to them. The close second is 62% looking at shares and retweets.
  2. Interest driven versus “just because” – The trends show us that marketers are looking at making real connections with their actual target audience and not just anybody who engages with them (because not just anybody is who you are targeting). This means that they look at their target market as people and not just figures or sales. Marketers are saying, “What do you want? How are you feeling today and what can we give you or show you that can make that feeling change?” They want to know the real people behind the engagement and make them want to stick around. Just as an example, the new Instagram Threads allows one to share stories only with selected people, this gives a more personal touch and more connection, trust and integrity is gained.
  3. Advertisements – Did you know that Twitter is doing ads as well? I must say I found this to be news to my ears, another reason I like to do research and look around at what is happening in the world of social media. That said, target social ads create major return on investment. When you do paid ads on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter you can choose your ad spend and that spend will determine how many MORE people get to see your posts. These targeted ads then get in front of exactly who you want it to, they allow you to either get more reach, have more page likes or even allow you to get more traffic to your website. So, all in all, spending some money on paid social media ads every now and again can be highly beneficial.
  4. The Influencer Conundrum – Influencers on social media are not going anywhere anytime soon, but the way brands utilize them may be changing. Before brands would look at influencers with massive amounts of followers and ambassadors who promoted many other products and brands. Nowadays the trend seems to lean more towards what is called “Nano-Influencers”. These are exactly what it sounds like, influencers with a smaller group of followers. The smaller group again leads back to the more intimate, personalized feeling when it comes to marketing towards a target market.
  5. Stories are still all the rage – Facebook and Instagram have what they called “stories”. These are more fun and more engaging than just regular posts and from what I personally have heard from clients, they definitely get a lot more traction when they post stories. Make them fun, make a video, show off your product and services – you will get people interested and they will come back to check in and see what you are up to.
  6. Moving pictures for the win – Video content is still high up there when it comes to social media content. People like to watch things. We are more viewers than readers now days. And I think again a video or a Facebook Live has a more personal and intimate feel and people connect on another level. Trust and rapport are built and that is key when it comes to sales.
  7. Customer is king – Just like in sales in person, so too you should make your customer your focus when creating content for social media. What sort of customer are you targeting? What are their favorite things which you have to offer? Have they said what they would like from your business? If you listened, you would tap into that and use it to market your brand via your social media content.
  8. Which is better – Now we all know there are a few social media platforms, i.e. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn among the most used for business purposes. But which one should you be nurturing more? The answer is simple really, which one brings you the most business and the most engagement at the moment? It is not that one – you need to be nurturing the one that is not getting anywhere, because maybe you are doing something that does not work on that platform. Take a look at the insights on the platforms and you will see what the trends are and where you need to put in more effort. If after a while one just does not do anything for you – you can drop it!

 

In conclusion

After all that information, I hope that you are able to take some of these trends and run with it.  I am certain that none of these trends will change much in the New Year – but one never knows.

Enjoy your social media marketing, it can be fun and very rewarding, when done right.

Thanks for reading!

How Effective Is Email Marketing In 2020?

How Effective Is Email Marketing In 2020?

In modern times, it seems like social media is taking over and becoming one of the most popular and most used forms of marketing.  But in fact, email marketing is up to 40 times more effective than social media. Social media gets filtered, which causes content to not reach all social media users.  The buying process is also said to happen 3 times faster with email marketing.

“Just look at sites like Amazon, one way they continually get you to buy more products from them is by emailing you offers on a regular basis.”

Neil Patel – Co-Founder of KISSmetrics

Does email marketing still work?

Yes it definitely still works.  Email marketing still remains a very effective marketing method to use, for attracting and keeping customers.  Based on surveys conducted, it is noticeable that 91% of internet users access their email account at least once a day.  Most people would also rather receive business information via email.

Email marketing should definitely be considered as a tool to be used by businesses in their digital marketing strategy.  The content you use needs to be relevant.  Your company can get more sales and even more customers through using this marketing method.  Rather focus on quality over quantity

Email marketing allows you to perform A/B tests, it enables you to target your audience and  communicate with a more personalized approach.  By sending an email weekly or monthly, you can increase company awareness and attract more attention.

 

So how would you do this?

By allowing users to interact without having to leave the email.  You can accomplish this by using interactive content, questionnaires, games, quizzes etc.  It will allow the users to be more engaged with your brand.

You can make the process of buying even faster, which will boost sales as well.  Achieve this by giving your client the ability to make a purchase within the email.

There are excellent email marketing tools available that can be used to help and guide you to creating successful campaigns.

Find yourself an emailing software that uses tools in email campaigns, such as:

  • Reporting
  • Mailing list management
  • Analytic tools
  • Auto responders

Your subject line must grab the readers’ attention.  If you can catch their attention that way, they are more likely to open your email.

Go through your own emails, look at the email subjects that you opened and the ones that you did not open.  Why did those attract enough attention for you to open them?  Adding numbers to the subject line, “5 Ways to boost your sales”, “How to increase your reach by 400%”.

 

You need to plan your email marketing carefully

Because of the fact, that promotional emails are seen in the same light as spam, it would be beneficial if you personalize your email campaigns more.  Making your email interesting is important as well.  This will help you to catch the reader’s attention.

 

Ideas to use in your email:

  • Use interactive navigation bars
  • Polls inside an email
  • Rotating carousel of product photos
  • Enable customers to place their order via an email
  • News feed
  • Use emails as a feedback mechanism

It is important to reduce the number of emails you send. To avoid your email address being listed as spam, try not to bombard your audience with too many emails.

 

What lies in the future for email marketing?

It has been estimated that by the year 2023, there will be around 4.3 billion global email users, according to Statista and it is forecasted to grow at 19.60% from 2017 to 2025.

Email programs will become more and more personalized and more interactive.  With today’s technology it is possible for a business owner, to setup a questionnaire in minutes and to send it out via email marketing.

As we see a growth in the use of smartphones, we see an increase in email usage as well.  It has become so easy to quickly access your email account while on the go, in your lunch break, while cooking dinner, while standing in a queue.  You do not wait to be behind your computer to have access to your emails anymore.  And as user experience becomes better and better, consumers are more likely to use their mobile phones rather than using a computer.

 

So, are successful email campaigns still possible?

Yes definitely!  89% of marketers consider their email marketing successful.  Use some killer content, throw in some personalization, and you can easily create a really successful email campaign.

 

Take Your Video Editing Skills to The Next Level with These 8 Simple Steps

Take Your Video Editing Skills to The Next Level with These 8 Simple Steps

Picture this … you click on a link that leads you to a video and … SILENCE for the first 10 minutes, even though you can see stuff is happening, or even worse … sound, but it is accompanied by a BIG BLANK SCREEN. That is what happens when video editing is not your forte.

So, how to remedy this and stop this scenario from ever happening to you and your videos?

In this article I explore some of the steps you can take to make sure your video editing is smooth and seamless and does not create any anxiety while doing it.

 

Why do I even need videos?

Before we get into how to edit videos like a pro, let me touch on why videos are so beneficial to a business and why, once you can edit videos for your clients (and yourself) you may find a whole lot more engagement and traffic taking place on social media platforms and even on websites.

People love to watch movies. They love to watch things and hear things, a lot more than just reading a whole lot of words. Videos bring a new dimension to things. Sometimes they give a more personal touch and then there are people in the world that learn better when they watch things getting done and can follow the instructions step for step.

Now let us take a look at how you can take your video editing skills to the next level.

 

Next level video editing tools

 

  1. Choose the right software – you want to make sure you get the right software installed on your device according to what you want to do with your video, the type of effects that are needed and also your overall ability to use editing software (but let’s face it, anything you do not know you can find on YouTube). Here are a list of some of the top ones used by professionals:

You can read more about each software by following the link. They all generally do the same thing, but some have added benefits and some software applications, such as iMovie, can be used on Windows and Mac computers, as well as iPads and iPhones.

  1. Speed is key – This does not pertain to your speed personally but more to the speed of your device. A fast, well equipped PC is key in making your video editing smooth and seamless. The reason for this is because the software you will be using can use up a lot of the computers resources and if you have a sluggish PC with outdated parts, operating system and drivers, you are probably going to run into some difficulty. Take a look here to find out some specs that may serve you well when getting your PC in order to start with video editing.
  2. Organisation Skills – To make sure your video editing goes to plan and you get the end result which is a professional looking video, you need to have some level of organization. You need to work systematically because otherwise things will not sync well and you will end up losing audio or video or have video cuts in places that they are not meant to be. So, before you start, set up a system that works for you … and stick to it.
  3. Use keyboard shortcuts – Keep in mind that most editing programs allow you to use keyboard shortcuts to perform a range of in-app editing functions which can cut down time spent considerably.
  4. True Colours – Colour correcting your video clips can make a huge impact. Colours, highlighting, low lighting, fading, those sorts of things can evoke certain emotions. You may want to show something that was happy in the video becoming a little more dark and sad – a good way to depict this and create an effect is to change the colour tone of the video. Most video editing software applications have this already built in for you to use.
  5. Music to your ears – Another tip to take into consideration is the music used, make it relevant to the actual content. It does not make sense to have a happy upbeat song playing but what is happening in the video is sad and morbid.
  6. Use Some Words – Text is also something to look into because sometimes people do not want to listen to a video (perhaps they are in a place where they cannot use the sound) and they can then follow what is happening in the video by reading captions. Large flashes of text on the screen can also evoke emotions and make someone want to watch further. Another idea is to use text to start the video, almost giving people an introduction to what they are about to watch and give an idea of what the video is going to be about.
  7. Last but not least – Make sure that your video can be used on various platforms and various devices – or at least can be converted and edited for such purposes.

 

Conclusion

So now you are in the know of how you can take your video editing skills to the next level. Once you are ready to get started, play around with the software you decide on. Make videos of anything and everything and … drum roll please … watch lots of YouTube tutorials!  To get you started here are some links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaO0D66xeYY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5jwVM0vX7c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJPwXJYvvys

 

Photo by Matilda Wormwood from Pexels

Email Marketing Trends You Need to Know About

Email Marketing Trends You Need to Know About

Email marketing is constantly evolving and 2020 has been an exciting year in the email marketing arena with it continuing to be one of the most trusted communication channels available to marketers. It has received a bad rap in the past, but it continues to defy its critics, providing some of the best ROIs in the digital landscape. Here’s a summary of the main email marketing trends that we are seeing in 2020 and that are likely to stick around for the remainder of the year and beyond.

 

It’s all about the mobile

Mobile browsing has now surpassed desktop browsing in terms of percentage traffic and mobile surpasses other devices for email opens.  As a result, emails are being optimized more and more for mobile access, ensuring that copy, images and layout correctly collapse down into a mobile-friendly format.

The majority of purchases and therefore generated revenue is still coming from desktops but crucially, the percentage of revenue from mobiles increased 23% in 2019 and that is set to continue in 2020.

 

Minimalist email copy and design

Concise copy and a clean design have become paramount for email marketing and with the shift towards mobile access, simplification has become even more important. Long superfluous copy leads to readers switching off and not making it through an email. What works on paper doesn’t necessarily carry well to an email, and companies should have dedicated copywriters that understand the writing requirements for email copy as opposed to direct mail copy.

Attention spans of readers are reducing, and media is being consumed in large quantities. An email should therefore be simple and contain content that is easy to scan and can be quickly digested and understood. Lots of white space, simple images and blocks of colour to draw the eye are being used in emails to keep them easy to read.

 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in email marketing

AI is increasingly being used in email copy and content selection, dramatically improving personalisation and being able to provide the right message for each person. AI is also being used for segmenting recipients. Efficient and intelligent software is replacing the usual data collection at signup process. Effectively, AI is a tool to be used alongside other marketing tools, but how it is used is arguably more important than whether or not you choose to adopt it.

 

Segmentation tactics

Personalisation will continue to grow in importance and one area that is picking up interest is the optimisation of send time. This is where emails are optimised to send out to individuals based on their historical open patterns. There will be more segments and more dynamic segmentation with email marketers striving to provide the most relevant communication at the optimum frequency and time.

 

Trust in email marketing is going nowhere

Email continues to be a consistent platform that allows one-to-one communication to an inbox. The majority of recipients are receiving emails that they have opted in to receive so they are more likely to trust the content. With social media platforms as a comparison, users can follow/unfollow, like/unlike with one click as well as constantly switch between platforms. Email is the single best digital tool to communicate with customers that actually want to hear from you.

 

Final thoughts

Email marketing is here to stay.  As technological innovation continues to reshape the email marketing landscape, there is plenty you can do at every level of your email marketing strategy to improve results. Let’s see what the rest of the year and 2021 holds for this trusted, yet rapidly evolving marketing channel!

 

Will Podcast Marketing ever rule the web?

Will Podcast Marketing ever rule the web?

Podcasts are definitely the marketing tool of the moment as well as the future. Marketing gurus have noted the changing needs of marketing from the written word to audio and because of this are now using podcasting as their main marketing medium in this very competitive market.

Podcasting has grown exponentially over the last few years and is fast becoming the more popular medium for advertising. Because consumers no longer have the time to browse through newspapers, pamphlets, magazines etc. many businesses are using the very powerful marketing tool of podcasts to boost their sales as well as their brand.

The augmented usage of mobile phones is considered to be one of the main factors for the explosive growth of podcasting and podcasts have therefore become the new talk radio of the mobile devices.

 

The benefits

Eight major promoting benefits to podcasting:

  • Drive traffic.
  • Better search results
  • Allows users to listen and carry on with their life
  • Increase followers
  • Diversifying your content
  • Relationship building
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Builds trust in your brand

The best way to get your marketing message across to listeners is to use the content of the podcast to relate to the product or brand which you are trying to sell.  Using 3rd party ads can annoy listeners and subsequently chase them away.

Audio is a welcoming break from the information overload of written content.  Podcasts enable the speaker to get the message across to listeners in an interactive way that the written content might not be able to.

 

Smart integration

It is predicted that with podcasts becoming more popular that in the future there will be a lot more integration with our devices. An example is that your alarm clock could be set to wake you up with the most recent episode of your morning podcast.  Your smart devices would also be able to alert you as to when a new episode of your favorite or most listened to podcasts become available.

A small disadvantage to podcasting is that if you are listening to your podcasts using the same network it is likely that you are hearing the same ads over and over again.

Hopefully future podcasting ads will be able to be targeted to user interests and demographics which will reduce the repetition of ads.  Recent research has been shown consumers would be more likely purchase a product from a brand that appeals to their personal experience and needs.

 

The future

It is predicted that podcast networks of the future will be able to inform you of the podcasts they think you will like, almost the same way Netflix currently does with movies you have watched. For instance, if you generally listen to podcasts at 12:00 during your lunch hour, you could get notifications that there are new episodes ready for download at 11:30 which will help you to avoid searching for new episodes.

So, to answer the question, “Will Podcast Marketing Ever Rule the Web?” My prediction is yes, it is very possible that it will.  Watch this space.