Category: Content

Psychology of Social Media – Alignment

What role does Social Media play in Business Alignment and Brand Loyalty?

Social Media has been at the center of my career for many years now.

I have seen how people have been shaped by it.

I have seen how businesses and their marketing strategies have been shaped by it.

We can see how it has changed and grown into a channel that connects.

Connects people with other people.
Connects people with brands.
Connects people with industries.
Connects people with the realities of the world.

We have seen it grow from a novelty to a part of our lives.

What has made this journey so interesting to me is watching the different human aspects of it all.

One that has been talked a lot about, especially in recent time is the aspect of authenticity.

Being real. Being yourself.

I will be very blunt and say that I hope this doesn’t turn out to be just another “hype” and “trend” that is good and popular to talk about now and then disappears, like we have seen with many other topics.

I really don’t believe it will disappear. I believe that it is one that we will invest in and nurture.

I say that as I see that more and more people are indeed recognizing the importance of and yearning for genuine, meaningful human interactions in a digital world and a platform such as social media, that because of its “facelessness” is an easy gate for people to ‘hide’ behind.

Many people use it to portray a version of themselves instead of who they really are and what they actually stand for, creating this chasm.

A “false identity” if you will.

That is the reality. We have all experienced it from different people and in different ways.

Being yourself.

Sounds like a fairly simple and easy concept, doesn’t it?

We’ve heard it many times.

I have written about it many times.

Lately, I’ve been thinking that what is going on in social media is partly because many people are driven by expectations, by what others regard as noticeable and important determined by the followers, likes, shares, comments, etc. received. We as humans are social beings that look for that recognition and attention.

But, the truth behind it is that those seaming expectations are not built on a view of reality.

Moreover, there is also the other side of the coin, where actual authenticity resides.

People that cultivate relationships based on a true sense of self, a more genuine and relatable nature that instills trust – where all aspects come into play and are in harmony with their purpose.

This brings me to the point of Alignment.

This word has been on my mind for a while now.

Alignment is when what you think, say, feel and do are in synch and consistent with your beliefs and your purpose.

But what does alignment offer us?

Well, as John C. Maxwell points out:

“When values, thoughts, feelings, and actions are in alignment, a person becomes focused and character is strengthened.” John C. Maxwell

John C. Maxwell

If we really want to make a difference, if we really want to make an impact – we should first start with ourselves. Define who we are. Define our beliefs, principles and standards. Define our own persona.

“Alignment begins with a constituency of one. These are the individuals whose substance is real, pure and nonnegotiable. They share their vulnerabilities and fears in complement to their strengths. They are comfortable weaving all parts of their lives together in an integrated way. Our level of effectiveness, contribution and integrity of work and life are in direct correlation with our level of integration, self-actualization and total alignment of body, mind and spirit.”

Kristin S. Kaufman

Let your own “values, thoughts, feelings and actions” be your own message.

This translates in your Social Media presence when you let your persona, your profile, your message, the content you create, share and re-post, your words (comments) and your voice advocate for those factors in a consistent manner – without pushing them onto others.

That is real.
That is genuine.
That is you.

This applies to Social Media and Businesses as well.

How?

Generally speaking, businesses (all aspects and departments) need to be aligned with their business goals, vision and purpose to reach their maximum potential and desired outcome.

This includes alignment between those business goals and the company’s Social Media strategy.

“If you believe in something greater than your product and you align the behaviors and actions that reinforce that, that is worth talking about.”… “When an organization, and all the people within the organization think, do, and say the same thing, now you’ve got complete organizational alignment. And this is a marketing plan we can talk about.”

Ron Tite (Source: Bethany Johnson, “Build a Great Brand: Align What You Think, Do, and Say” CMI)
  • Align your Brand with the right Objective.
  • Align your Brand with the right Message.
  • Align your Brand with the right Target (Personas).
  • Align your Brand with the right Strategy.
  • Align your Brand with the right Content.
  • Align your Brand with the right Platforms.
  • Align your Brand with the right Influencers

All of the above have to be followed of course by a Tracking system to understand, adjust and optimize your efforts.

Social Media is basically divided in 2 sections:

Social Media Greece - Business Goals
  1. The Social side of Social Media which leads to building strong, committed Relationships with your audience/consumers. This includes engaging with your consumers, offering them value and top-level customer support.
  2. The Media side of Social Media which focuses on Sales (ROI). This includes organic and paid promotion / advertisement.
Social Media Greece - Business Alignment
BUILD AN EMOTIONAL CONNECTION WITH YOUR CONSUMERS

When you as a Brand have effectively aligned the aspects above and all its areas, you can effectively convey your vision and appeal to your audience making your brand relatable and build a bond and an emotional connection with them.

This will lead to consumers following and trusting your Brand and your products or services and ultimately directing their buying decision.

The higher the level of ‘love’ for a Brand, the stronger the consumer is set on buying from that specific Brand and the less likely to change to another one.

This alignment effectively shows what a Brand is about.

This alignment effectively shows what a Brand stands for.

This alignment closes the gap of disconnect between Brands and their Audience/Consumers.

This alignment creates the basis leading to Brand Loyalty and Brand Intimacy.

When businesses and their people are “on the same page” – with shared and aligned goals, a consistent and intact vision and core value system – and they effectively translate this to their audience and consumers via their social media strategy, they will achieve better performance and profitable results.

In conclusion, it is important that you align your Social Media approach with your Business goals as it will guide and make your social media strategy more effective and ultimately result in optimized results and growth.

… and isn’t that the ultimate goal… growth?

“Alignment is a condition in which the key elements of an organization – its people, strategy, customers, and processes – work in concert to serve its primary purpose, thereby increasing value for stakeholders”

George Labovit

Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comment section!

Good vibes only and have a great day!

With appreciation,

 Natasha

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5 tips to deal with Social Media Exhaustion

Social Media Exhaustion

As I sit in front of my computer preparing to write this post, I am reminded that this virtual world called Online is like an endless ocean.

An ocean that has its rough tides and its tranquility. An ocean that when navigating it, requires you to be 100%  focused, alert and present in order to effectively steer your ship (yourself) to your destination. An ocean that, if you are not careful enough, can also throw you off and sink you in.

Like with everything in life, there needs to be a balance.

That’s also very relevant to the Social Media reality, which brings me to a topic that is very important and that we all have to start acknowledging the reality and effects of: Social Media Exhaustion (or Social Media Fatigue).

I have been seeing the topic of Social Media Exhaustion being talked about increasingly.

What is Social Media Exhaustion or Fatigue?

“Social media fatigue refers to social media users’ tendency to pull back from social media when they become overwhelmed with too many social media sites, too many friends and followers and too much time spent online maintaining these connections.”

Technopedia

For Social Media users, whether on a personal or business capacity, it is an everyday ‘race’ to keep up with everything.

Keeping up with connections.
Keeping up with engagement
Keeping up with new features
Keeping up with content creation and distribution
Keeping up with the competition
Keeping up with algorithm changes
Keeping up with Follower growth
…. and the list goes on.

People see their social media success and popularity as well as the effect that the ever changing algorithms can have on their following, their engagement and other similar factors as a reflection of themselves and/or their brand.

As a result, pressure and anxiety are elevated.

In the 2018 eMarketer article “Are Young Adults Growing Tired of Constant Social Connectivity?“, author Jennifer King quotes a Hill Holliday survey conducted by Origin (December 2017) that reports that:

more than half of young adults ages 18 to 24 said they’re “seeking relief from social media.”.

She goes on to highlight that many (34% of those surveyed) have gone so far as to delete their social media accounts as a result.

There are many reasons people are feeling exhausted, fatigued or even down right fed up with Social Media.

Some of the reasons for quitting Social Media are presented in the following eMarketer infographic (based on data from the survey mentioned above):

Social Media Exhaustion

Reasons that US Young Adult* Social Media Users Consider Quitting Social Media, Dec 2017 (% of respondents) (Source: eMarketerHill Holliday survey conducted by Origin)

Whoa! That is quite the data!

This raises the question – How you do you deal with Social Media Exhaustion?

  • Do you monitor and simply manage your time on Social Media?
  • Do you go on an extended Social Media hiatus?
  • Do you permanently delete your accounts?

That varies for each individual, but fact remains it needs to be dealt with.

I am a Social Media Marketing professional and as such my work is linked to and requires that I am active on Social Media.

A different approach, yet Social Media Exhaustion does not distinguish according to purpose or profession. We have all experienced it to some extent and have had to find ways to deal with it.

5 things to do when dealing with Social Media Exhaustion

Decide

I know… sounds obvious, right?

However, it is actually what keeps many from taking the first step.

Realizing you are facing Social Media Exhaustion and deciding to do something about it is key to making a change and sticking to it.

Why do people find it hard to “quit”?

Well, humans are social beings. As shown by research, people seek for the instant gratification that comes with interactions, likes, shares, comments, follows, etc. – plus let’s not forget the famous FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) ‘condition’ which is linked to feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, etc. It has always kind of existed, but social media has amplified its form and effect.

Having said that, I believe that choosing your well-being over FOMO is a no-brainer. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) or LOMO (Love of Missing Out) – it is your choice.

But, what if you use social media for work? Can you really step away?

The key element in any aspect is moderation.

  • You can consider focusing on specific networks and accounts that are directly related to your work.
  • You can consider monitoring and limiting the amount of time on each network.

There are many tools out there that can help you monitor and manage the amount of time you are on social. Some of these social media time management tools are:

Yes, even the same social media platforms recognize the issue at hand.

Facebook and Instagram allow you to monitor and control (via reminders) the amount of time spent on each platform.

For Facebook:

Go to the Settings page and select the Your Time on Facebook option.

For Instagram:

Go to your profile and tap .
Tap  Settings.
Tap Your Activity.
(Source: Instagram)

Social Media - Instagram Usage

(Image Source: Facebook)

There are many other helpful tools that allow you to oversee and regulate time spent on social media which in turn will allow for more productivity and effectiveness.

This brings me to the second step:

Select

If you try to be everywhere you will end up being nowhere.

We tend to persuade ourselves that we NEED to be on every channel so as not to miss out (there’s that FOMO again!), grow our network, increase our content reach, so on and so forth…

As such, we create accounts on most (if not all) channels and consequently become overloaded trying to maximize our presence.

It is better productivity and time management all around to monitor, select and focus only on those channels that render actual value and results for you AND your brand.

That, in and of itself, makes the use of social media a bit less overwhelming not to mention more effective.

Clean Up

Oh yes… spring cleaning is great 🙂

What do I mean by clean up?

Do your research and monitor the accounts you are following.

Go over your Follower list and see which accounts are real, active and that you genuinely interact with as well as which accounts offer you value, are not overly promotional and add to your overall social media experience, etc.

Start unfollowing those accounts that take up your timeline AND time but do not offer value.

It will make your timeline a lot cleaner, friendlier, comprehensive and targeted plus it will make you dread less going through it.

Narrow down

Narrowing down posting is helpful.

Many research outlets out there have determined the optimal amount of content you need to put out there daily, per medium, for the effectiveness of your campaigns.

We all understand the important role that content plays in your social media strategy… let me rephrase that, we all know the important role that valuable content plays in your social media strategy.

As such, you should not aim to put content out there just to satisfy an algorithm. You should put content out there to satisfy the reader’s want for value.

If you are experiencing Social Media Exhaustion and before adding unnecessary pressure to yourself, think of how more effective it is for you to release content on the basis of how it adds to your reader’s experience rather than to push content out there that is not as significantly helpful to your target base as a means to comply with a set standard and consequently even risk losing them.

You need to offer value consistently which is not necessarily equivalent to frequency.

Consistency does not equal frequency

Chris Strub @chrisstrub

Recalibrate

A final key step – log off and recalibrate.

Yes, you read correctly.

When you are feeling Social Media Exhaustion, it is important that you take a real break from social media to be able to revise and adjust.

If limiting your time on Social Media is not doing the trick then make it a point to disconnect from social media for a period of time.

But, what if my work is linked to social media?

Easier said than done, right?

Trust me, I get that you cannot leave your social media accounts unattended.

This is where planning and automation comes in handy.

Select your preferred content automation tool and automate content to be posted during the days you choose to take a break.

That way you won’t loose momentum on your social media accounts and activity. At the same time you will be able to take a step back and concentrate in what needs your immediate attention.

Some content automation tools you can use are:

Actually, once the dependency and habit wear out you will see significant benefits such as your brain readjusting from the triggers and distractions caused by being constantly connected, your attention span increasing and you becoming more focused, less anxious and more productive.

Take that valuable time to:

  • Build your energy levels up
  • Reconnect with yourself and your surroundings
  • Set boundaries and restructure your time management strategy focusing on balance
  • Be more present
  • Find new ways to allow your creativity and productivity to flourish
  • Forge new personal and professional goals
  • Create new in-person connections and collaborations
  • Produce more value

“Treat your attention with respect”

Cal Newport

When used responsibly, mindfully and in moderation social media can offer opportunities, allow for new connections and collaborations to develop, provide enriching informational exchanges and much more.

However, it is an undeniable reality that people are becoming more and more overwhelmed by social media and as such we need to remember that if we are experiencing social media exhaustion it is a signal, and a clear one, that it is time to moderate and/or go without as the results will be on a negative rather than a positive return, and ultimately you will be hurting yourself (health) and your brand (work).

In conclusion, taking breaks so as to reset and evaluate is a good way to keep a balance and be able to optimize and maximize your social media experience not to mention that of your audience since, if you use social media for your brand, you can take the opportunity understand based on your own experience how your audience might be receiving content and find ways to optimize its creation and distribution in order to make it less overwhelming.


 Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comment section!

Good vibes only and have a great day!
Natasha

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5 Twitter features Brands need to focus on

5 Twitter features Brands need to focus on

So lately I have been asked about Twitter and best practices, and how they can be applied for Brands.

There are a lot of articles and videos out there that will show you exactly what you need to do in order to create a Twitter account. That is all great to set you up and get you started.

I could also advise that you:

  • Select a username related to your Brand (@) that is easy to remember and will stick!
  • Have a profile pic that contains your Brand logo making the visual aspect of your profile more appealing and your Brand image identifiable to your audience.
  • Have an optimized bio that perfectly and clearly encapsulates in just a few characters your Brand’s message and purpose. Use relevant hashtag (don’t overdo it though!) and link to your site (or preferred landing page).
  • Be creative and pack your message in 280 characters that need to be accompanied with visual creatives so as to cause your reader to stop scrolling and start reading.
  • Tweet during peak traffic hours 🙂
  • Pin a Tweet you want to highlight to the top of your profile page.
  • Don’t start following just for the sake of following – and be careful of those pesky bots & automated accounts!

And many other tips…

But, what you need is more than that.

That is why today I want to touch on some “heavy duty” features you will need to focus on in order to take your Twitter marketing efforts to the next level.

Specifically, I will talk about  the use of:

Video

“Tweets with video attract 10X more engagements than Tweets without video” 

Source: Q&A article by Marissa Window (data source: Twitter Business )

It is undeniable that people are more responsive to video than plain text.

Video offers a more interactive & impactful method of content distribution leading to effective emotional responsiveness from audiences and a more powerful way of establishing lasting relationships with them.

As a Brand you should plan around data available as to the type of content, the type of video (informative, tutorial, etc.), video length, etc. that you should use and promote your Brand through.

Some data to be considered are for example, as shown in Nick Reese’s Video advertising best practices for Twitter Video Ads article that “93% of video views on Twitter take place on mobile devices”. Additionally, “Promoted Tweets with videos saved more than 50% on their cost-per-engagement, helping their ad budgets stretch further.” Moreover, “videos that were 60-90 seconds long actually had the best engagement.” (Source: Twitter Business ).

Different points play an important role in strategy for maximizing return on your video campaigns, make sure you research and apply accordingly to your strategy, target and goals. For example, Video Ads.

As explained in Nick Reese’s article “In-Stream Video Ads let you run an ad before a publisher’s video on Twitter. This ad format has been shown to increase ad recall by 70%, resulting in a 6% higher purchase intent compared to people who weren’t exposed to video ads.” (Source: Twitter Business )

Wow! Impressive, right?

Overall and as stated in Mo Al Adham’s “How In-Stream Video Ads on Twitter help marketers tell their story” article, “People come to Twitter in a discovery mindset, making them more attentive, responsive, and trusting of the video ad content they see on Twitter in comparison to competing platforms. This leads to video ads on Twitter being almost 2X as memorable when compared to the same ads on other premium sites.” (Source: Twitter Business )

Live Streaming and Audio (Podcast)

Live Streaming has been a feature on Social Media that people have been highly adopting and seeing results from. It offers an elevated form of communication with your audience centered in the immediacy it offers. Twitter Live Streaming feature is powered by Twitter’s Periscope.

The impact can be seen from the data provided by Christina Newberry in the “28 Twitter Statistics All Marketers Need to Know in 2018HootSuite article where she presents that in Q3 of 2017 “Twitter live-streamed more than 830 events, almost three-quarters of them to a global audience. Twitter also live-streamed 96 million hours of live user-generated content in Q3 via Periscope.” (Data Source: Twitter’s Q3 2017 Letter to Shareholders ).

On a different note, the new Twitter Audio Only feature offers a way to re-purpose live-streaming content as live podcasting and other audio based type of broadcasting content (news broadcasts, shows, etc.). This gives Brands a lot of possibilities and opportunities in using this feature allowing them to take advantage of the growing podcasting (and audio) industry.

Streaming or Audio, the future is in interactivity!

Twitter Chats

This is a gem.

In summary, Twitter chats are hashtag driven public conversations held on Twitter that you can join, share insights on the topic being discussed, network and meet like-minded people, etc.

Twitter chats are also an amazing way to build a community and brand awareness.

As explained by Gabriela Cardoza in her “3 easy ways to grow your Brand on Twitter” article (Source: NPLUSG ):

You can find a Twitter chat for almost any topic of interest (marketing, branding, leadership, advertising, design, etc.) and as a brand, you can utilize these conversations to network with others in your particular industry, market and field. Furthermore, it’s an opportunity for your brand to communicate its value and thus, build its image, reputation and thought leadership.”

You can check out Gabriela’s complete list of Twitter Chats here .

Twitter Lists and Moments

Twitter Lists are another great way to organize and keep tabs on specific accounts (people, competitors, brands, news, etc.) you want to follow (or not!) as well as conversations.

Simply:

  • Go to Profile and Setting (top right icon on your Twitter Account Homepage)
  • Click on Lists
Twitter Lists
  • Click on Create A List
Twitter Lists
  • Add List Name, Description and select Privacy option
  • Click on Save List
    Twitter Lists


Twitter Moments
follow a somewhat different ideology.

As stated by Camilla Dudley in her “How to use Twitter Moments to connect with customers“, Twitter Moments serve as a way for you to “create and curate a collection of your customers’ Tweet conversations, live commentary, and longer-form content to connect with your audience in a new way.” (Source: Twitter Business )

As proposed in the article, some uses for Twitter Moments you can apply are:

Showcase your customers’ feedback
Resurface your own Tweets
Promote a new product launch
Hype up an event

I’ll add that it is also used by many as a tool to offer a complete recap of a Twitter Chat (or the top replies) so as to service people that were not able to join “Live” in the chat, also as a way to highlight specific Tweets (on a specific topic) that you want to record for later access or create a ‘moments list’ with (i.e. book suggestions, AI articles) etc.

The options available are just a matter of creativity!

Customer Service

Ah, one of my favorites!

In my opinion, customer service is crucial to the success of any Brand’s social media marketing efforts and general standing.

As stated in Christina Newberry’s article 28 Twitter Statistics All Marketers Need to Know in 2018, Eighty-five percent of small and medium business Twitter users say it’s important for businesses to provide customer service using the network.” (SourceHootSuite ) which helps in building brand trust, authority (status) and establishing solid relationships with your consumers.

Twitter allows for the extension of these options through Twitter Customer Support Features (Source: Twitter Blog )

Some of the Customer Support Features as explained by Liz Alton on the ”4 tips for providing effective customer support on Twitter” article are:

Display your support hours so people know when they can expect to hear back from you.

Enable direct messages, so more complex issues or private customer details can be shared directly with you.

Turn on the “support” option so customers immediately see that your brand’s Twitter account is customer-service friendly.

Use “welcome messages” that prompt people typing a DM on what message to share.

(Source: Twitter Business )

Twitter is a Social Media platform that Businesses are tapping into more and more and making use of its features to maximize return on their Social Media Marketing efforts and to focus on closing the gap between them and their consumers by offering a more immediate, interactive and high quality experience.

As such, these 5 features will get you on the right track to establishing an effective use of Twitter for your Brand!


Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comment section!

Good vibes only and have a great day!
Natasha

Sharing is caring! If you liked this post please feel free to click on the Like button below, Share on social media, Follow my blog and/or Subscribe to email notifications of new blog posts.

Storytelling and Content Creation – Emotions make a lasting impression.

I can think of many things that have been posted and said about the impact that a good story can have.

Hey, I am sure you can remember those inspiring life stories your grandparents would tell you throughout the years, the exciting stories of the latest adventure your friend had experienced that kept you hooked till the end, or even the tears that rolled down your eyes as you read that amazing book or watched that powerful movie (yes, you know you have done that! 🙂 ).

All of these instances have one common denominator – emotions.

Emotions make a lasting impression.

That is why brands focus on creating a story behind each ad campaign, content creation strategy, etc. so that in those few seconds they have to successfully ‘grab your attention’ they can inform, establish an emotional connection, carve their message and affect response through the impact that content (a story) makes and the value that it offers. That is what drives people to trust, to share content, as well as to potentially make a purchase as it also affects consumer decision making.

As stated in this 2017 article by Susanna Gebauer in The Social Ms:

“Contrary to what many of us may believe, buying decisions are 80% emotional and only 20% based on logic.” (Source: Fuel Design)

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by poet Maya Angelou:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

That also translates to when your content successfully represents your brand’s message and voice, makes a difference, builds trust with your audience and makes them feel heard, understood, valued, etc.

The importance and impact of good content is undeniable.

This brings me to some key components of a good content and storytelling strategy.

Motivation

Of key importance when creating your content is knowing what interests, triggers and motivates your audience.

This information is gathered through one of the oldest yet most effective tools out there – listening.

You need to listen, understand and have a clear perspective of what your audience is interested in regarding your industry, brand, etc., what triggers their positive emotional response and be able to translate it into content that delivers.

In Social Media (one of the top – if not the top – used content distribution channels) this is achieved through Social Listening tools which allow you to decipher the key topics of interests, trends, etc. that you can refer to in order to create content that resonates with your audience, offers solutions to any problems they might be interested in solving and that they as a result will want to share with others.

Quality and Storytelling

Make your content clear, concise, compelling and supported by data offering your audience a complete, 360 view of your authority on the topic, your message and your voice.

By adding a touch of storytelling to your content strategy you offer a uniqueness to the reader’s experience.

Empathy through storytelling allows for you create content that is relatable, memorable, affects people, is powerful, is helpful, is authentic, builds trust, makes your audience feel understood, makes them want to know more about you and your brand, etc.

As Neil Patel states in his article How to Leverage Storytelling to Increase Your Conversions

Humans are born storytellers and adore visual communication. Storytelling gives life or meaning to a scenario and makes that emotional connection, provoking feelings of ecstasy, sorrow, or peace and captivating your audience. This is exactly what you need when it comes to your social media marketing strategy.

Consistency

Consistency is also imperative to the success of your strategy.

Joe Pulizzi quotes in his 2016 article for CMI, based on the study Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs’ B2B Content Marketing 2017: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America mentioned above, that 85% percent of top performers deliver content consistently.

Key to this is that the more valuable content you put out there, the more impact you will have.

Distribution and Repurposing

It is no secret that Social Media is a top content distribution channel.

Scott Langdon states in his 2018 “30 Content Marketing Statistics, Trends & Data for Your 2018 Strategy” article (via Higher Visibility) that 87% of marketers use Social Media for content delivery. (Source: CMI)

There are multiple content distribution channels, multiple content types (Videos, Images, Live Streaming, Tutorials, Blog Posts, Infographics, etc.), and multiple content purposes.

Among the questions that should be answered are:

  • Where is you audience?
  • What channels do they use?
  • What channel(s) work best for your content distribution needs?
  • What type of content engages your targeted audience most and delivers best results?

Once you establish the above you will need to start considering repurposing of your existing content to adapt it to your distribution needs.

Content is valuable, but it is also time consuming.

As such, repurposing is an important step that will allow you to effectively use your created content throughout the different distribution channels.

You can take sections of your created content that you want to highlight and adapt them to the needs and requirements of each channel.

Some ways you can repurpose your content are:

  • Video Tutorials
  • Webinars
  • Guides
  • Blog Posts
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts

and many others…

Also, make it easy for your audience to be able to share and redistribute your content as well – that opens up more opportunities and outreach.

Monitoring

As with every campaign, you need to monitor the success of your content strategy as well.

Data analysis through your preferred analytics tool is crucial to determining what works and what doesn’t, what needs improvement and what doesn’t, which content is creating engagement and which isn’t, what type of content works best for a specific channel and which doesn’t, etc. and is instrumental to your decision making process so as to achieve maximum results.

 

We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.” Craig Davis, former Chief Creative Officer at J. Walter Thompson.

Every brand has a story to tell.

Content is the vehicle to reaching an audience, engaging them and building trust. Storytelling adds style and power to the ride. 🙂

 


Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comment section!

Good vibes only and have a great day!
Natasha

Caring is sharing! If you liked this post please feel free to click on the Like button below, Share on social media and/or, Follow my blog or Subscribe to email notifications of new blog posts.

 

 

 

 

 

Storytelling and Content Creation – Emotions make a lasting impression

Storytelling and Content Creation

I can think of many things that have been posted and said about the impact that a good story can have.

Hey, I am sure you can remember those inspiring life stories your grandparents would tell you throughout the years, the exciting stories of the latest adventure your friend had experienced that kept you hooked till the end, or even the tears that rolled down your eyes as you read that amazing book or watched that powerful movie (yes, you know you have done that! 🙂 ).

All of these instances have one common denominator – emotions.

Emotions make a lasting impression.

That is why brands focus on creating a story behind each ad campaign, content creation strategy, etc. so that in those few seconds they have to successfully ‘grab your attention’ they can inform, establish an emotional connection, carve their message and affect response through the impact that content (a story) makes and the value that it offers. That is what drives people to trust, to share content, as well as to potentially make a purchase as it also affects consumer decision making.

As stated in this 2017 article by Susanna Gebauer in The Social Ms:

“Contrary to what many of us may believe, buying decisions are 80% emotional and only 20% based on logic.” (Source: Fuel Design)

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by poet Maya Angelou:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

That also translates to when your content successfully represents your brand’s message and voice, makes a difference, builds trust with your audience and makes them feel heard, understood, valued, etc.

The importance and impact of good content is undeniable.

This brings me to some key components of a good content and storytelling strategy.

Motivation

Of key importance when creating your content is knowing what interests, triggers and motivates your audience.

This information is gathered through one of the oldest yet most effective tools out there – listening.

You need to listen, understand and have a clear perspective of what your audience is interested in regarding your industry, brand, etc., what triggers their positive emotional response and be able to translate it into content that delivers.

In Social Media (one of the top – if not the top – used content distribution channels) this is achieved through Social Listening tools which allow you to decipher the key topics of interests, trends, etc. that you can refer to in order to create content that resonates with your audience, offers solutions to any problems they might be interested in solving and that they as a result will want to share with others.

Quality and Storytelling

Make your content clear, concise, compelling and supported by data offering your audience a complete, 360 view of your authority on the topic, your message and your voice.

By adding a touch of storytelling to your content strategy you offer a uniqueness to the reader’s experience.

Empathy through storytelling allows for you create content that is relatable, memorable, affects people, is powerful, is helpful, is authentic, builds trust, makes your audience feel understood, makes them want to know more about you and your brand, etc.

As Neil Patel states in his article How to Leverage Storytelling to Increase Your Conversions

Humans are born storytellers and adore visual communication. Storytelling gives life or meaning to a scenario and makes that emotional connection, provoking feelings of ecstasy, sorrow, or peace and captivating your audience. This is exactly what you need when it comes to your social media marketing strategy.

Consistency

Consistency is also imperative to the success of your strategy.

Joe Pulizzi quotes in his 2016 article for CMI, based on the study Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs’ B2B Content Marketing 2017: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America mentioned above, that 85% percent of top performers deliver content consistently.

Key to this is that the more valuable content you put out there, the more impact you will have.

Distribution and Repurposing

It is no secret that Social Media is a top content distribution channel.

Scott Langdon states in his 2018 “30 Content Marketing Statistics, Trends & Data for Your 2018 Strategy” article (via Higher Visibility) that 87% of marketers use Social Media for content delivery. (Source: CMI)

There are multiple content distribution channels, multiple content types (Videos, Images, Live Streaming, Tutorials, Blog Posts, Infographics, etc.), and multiple content purposes.

Among the questions that should be answered are:

  • Where is you audience?
  • What channels do they use?
  • What channel(s) work best for your content distribution needs?
  • What type of content engages your targeted audience most and delivers best results?

Once you establish the above you will need to start considering repurposing of your existing content to adapt it to your distribution needs.

Content is valuable, but it is also time consuming.

As such, repurposing is an important step that will allow you to effectively use your created content throughout the different distribution channels.

You can take sections of your created content that you want to highlight and adapt them to the needs and requirements of each channel.

Some ways you can repurpose your content are:

  • Video Tutorials
  • Webinars
  • Guides
  • Blog Posts
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts

and many others…

Also, make it easy for your audience to be able to share and redistribute your content as well – that opens up more opportunities and outreach.

Monitoring

As with every campaign, you need to monitor the success of your content strategy as well.

Data analysis through your preferred analytics tool is crucial to determining what works and what doesn’t, what needs improvement and what doesn’t, which content is creating engagement and which isn’t, what type of content works best for a specific channel and which doesn’t, etc. and is instrumental to your decision making process so as to achieve maximum results.

We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.” Craig Davis, former Chief Creative Officer at J. Walter Thompson.

Every brand has a story to tell.

Content is the vehicle to reaching an audience, engaging them and building trust. Storytelling adds style and power to the ride. 🙂


Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comment section!

Good vibes only and have a great day!
Natasha

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Personal Branding and Social Media

Who are you? What do you stand for?

What is your message? What is your voice?

What value do you bring to your audience? How can you help?

Why should your audience trust you?

Those are some of the questions that you ask yourself when defining your personal brand.

Personal Branding is an essential part of your business strategy.

It supports you in creating and building up your business.

It helps you in establishing a brand identity and online reputation.

Personal Branding focuses on you as an individual while establishing what sets you apart, in other words, what makes you unique.

It is a methodical process of building a presence (online and/or offline) that allows you to:

  • Establish your identity.
  • Establish your voice and message (authentic, clear and transparent).
  • Build brand authority, by demonstrating your expertise and offering consistent value to your audience.

And how do you do that? What do you need to take into consideration?

For this post I will focus on the online aspect of Personal Branding, specifically Social Media.

Here are a few key points to consider when building a strategy around your personal brand:

USP (Unique Selling Proposition or Point)

Take a deep hard look and define the following:

  • ‘Who am I’?
  • ‘What sets me apart from others – the competition’?
  • ‘What do I want to be known for’?

Differentiation is key so you should focus on the core aspect that makes you unique.

Leverage on what sets you apart and your area of expertise.

Establish Brand Authority (in other words recognition by your audience of the expertise and leadership you bring in your niche) and focus on offering value around it.

‘What is my message’? ‘What is my voice’?

This is a key aspect of Personal Branding as a clear and transparent message and authentic voice allows you to effectively convey your USP to your audience in a way that will make you identifiable.

Research your Target Audience

Once you have worked out what your USP is and have established your message and voice, you need to research your target audience.

photo of a woman thinking

  • Analyze who your audience is (define their profile).
  • Research where they can be found online (which social media platforms, communities, etc. do they frequent most, engage in, etc.).
  • Determine key problems (a.k.a. pain points) and how your target audience can benefit from your expertise. How you help and support them. How you can be of service to your audience and the solution to their problems.

Content

Content. It is what will “make you or brake you”. It will define you.

What do I mean?

Once you have established who your target audience is you need to put forth a strategy that involves getting your message across and delivering valuable, strategic content through different online platforms (ex. website, social media platforms, etc.) that will solidify your persona around your expertise and authority in your field, but also – and here is where the magic is – keep your audience interested, invested and engaged.

Content is your gateway to getting your message delivered to the right audience and for them to ‘hear’ what you have to say. It is through your content that your target audience will get to know you and through its value you can forge trust and build a lasting relationship with them.

person holding white stylus

One way to stand out is by using visual content which can be offered in different forms such as photos, data driven visuals (ex. charts), memes, infographics, dynamic images (GIF’s), videos, live streaming, etc.

Interactive content is being adopted more and more as it offers a more unique and engaging way of delivering your message to your audience and making a lasting impression.

As stated in this “The Ultimate List of Content Marketing Statisticsarticle via Cision:

“84 percent of people expect brands to provide content that entertains, tells stories, provides solutions, and creates experiences and events. (Meaningful Brands, 2017)”
(Source: Cision)

HubSpot’s “The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2018article identifies that:

“Articles with an image once every 75-100 words got double the number of social shares than articles with fewer images.” (Buzzsumo, 2015)
(Source: HubSpot)

Scott Langdon’s article30 Content Marketing Statistics, Trends & Data for Your 2018 Strategy” highlights among many other points, that original content is key to the effectiveness of your content strategy and also emphasizes the increasing use of Social Media as a content delivery platform:

“87 percent of marketers use social media for content delivery.” (CMI)
(Source: HigherVisibility)

It is important to publish high quality, relevant, strategic and valuable content which reflects what you are about (your message and voice) on a consistent basis. It will allow you to establish your brand as an authority in your niche, be a reliable source of information as well as be recognizable and memorable.

Engage

The power of engaging directly with your target audience is undeniable.

Social Media has opened the doors for people and businesses alike to have a wide reach, which means that your message and content is delivered to an exponentially larger audience than any other traditional marketing platform.

The above can be further amplified through strategic collaborations with key people in relevant industries, known as Influencers, which can help you spread your message to the right audience by broadening your reach.

As such, having the Social Media communication channel at your disposal offers you an opportunity for distribution of content. However, if you only use this medium to broadcast to your audience but do not engage with them your message basically will not be reinforced.

By that I mean that investing in genuine engagement and online presence allows for a deeper connection with your audience.

Otherwise, you will not be able to solidify relationships or nurture trust and your efforts will fall short and so will their memory of you. Let them know you are there.

In this Sprout Social “6 Social Media Trends That Will Take Over 2018article by Alex York, he supports the importance and impact of increased direct engagement by brands with consumers by stating that:

“Brands are suddenly realizing the impact of social media engagement and creating lasting relationships instead of just treating social as a platform to advertise their products. It’s absolutely essential to keep your followers happy by providing a network where they can reach you. According to Instagram, at least 80% of its users already follow a brand on the network.”
(Source: Sprout Social)

Analysis and Monitoring

It is imperative that you monitor the effectiveness of your campaign(s), your content and engagement. You need to recognize the trends, best performing content, platforms that are rendering best outcome and ROI, etc.

black samsung tablet computer

This can be done through various available data analytics (insights) sources offered within each Social Media platform to help you understand content performance, as well as Google Analytics, different social media management tools (ex. Hootsuite, Buffer and others), etc.


In conclusion, the key to building a personal brand online is your authenticity, your authority (expertise), offering value and connecting with your audience.

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” Seth Godin

Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comment section!

Good vibes only and have a great day!
Natasha

Caring is sharing! If you liked this post please feel free to click on the Like button below, Share on social media and/or, Follow my blog or Subscribe to email notifications of new blog posts.