At a course this summer with investor Phil Town, we learned the Japanese concept of 'Maro' - practicing gratitude in all aspects of your business for a healthy, thriving company culture and bottom line. This idea really made an impact on me, and I'm happy to say we've embraced it into our everyday work life here.
Please let me take this opportunity to thank YOU - our incredible clients who trust us to execute their marketing strategies (some for several years now!), to our team of skilled experts, each so talented in their own way, and to our great network of colleagues who inspire and motivate us to push harder every day.
And, a special 'thank you' to my family and friends who provide their ongoing support and ear, as we pursue this funny little dream of ours.
Happy Thanksgiving 🙏
Keep your devices in tip-top condition – and protect yourself - by cleaning up your digital junk this fall. Even more stressful than a sluggish browsing experience, is an ‘insufficient storage’ message – and there’s simply no need for it. Take one hour to clean up your digital footprint and detox your devices - you’ll be thankful you did!
Make security a priority
Using strong and unique passwords isn’t enough – you need to take measures to ensure that your digital footprint isn’t leaving traceable steps in the wrong places, if you catch our drift. Unknowingly, many of us have accumulated years worth of files, data, and documents stored on our devices with sensitive information. Regardless of whether you have anything to hide, any personal data is a liability - the less that is out there, the better off you are.
Step #1: Ditch the devices you don’t need
First, address what you can see – and no longer need. The box of old floppy disks in your office? Dispose of them! Old computers, video game consoles, cell phones, you name it – be sure to back up any info you might need off these first, and dispose of them responsibly.
Step #2: Go through your documents
Pore through the documents folders on your devices, and destroy any medical, banking, student, or government records with your personal information on them that you no longer need. Pare down your sensitive data to only what you really need – and back those up to the cloud or an external hard drive.
Step #3: Clean out your inbox and storage accounts
Your email is a gold mine to the hacker – not only can they access your personal information, but often they can retrieve valuable info about others, too. Delete the emails you don’t need with sensitive info, and don’t forget about your old accounts (Hotmail, anyone?). Next, check your online storage accounts – Dropbox, Google Drive, you name it – and delete, delete, delete.
Step #4: Update your software, and eliminate programs you no longer need
Older software is more vulnerable to attack. Make sure all of your programs are up-to-date, and delete any of the subscriptions, programs, or apps that you no longer need.
Final steps? Clear your browsing history and curate your feeds – for a speedier, streamlined, user experience next time you log on. If you’re feeling really motivated, clean, sanitize, and polish the outside of your devices too! Clean while you charge with this go-to, PHONESOAP.
It's good practice to trim the fat out of your digital life regularly - so carpe diem and clean house!
There are tons of other ways to maximize space and keep your assets safe in the digital sphere. What are your suggestions? Let us know!
Thanks for reading.
Your Marketing Geek,
Ever wonder why you don't see everything on Facebook like you used to?
You might have heard of EdgeRank - Facebook's algorithm which determines what kind of content you see on Facebook.
If you haven't heard of it, it's a thing.
Just like a credit score - it's invisible, and it's important.
When Facebook got big after 2007, users became oversaturated with content. Everyone's networks were exploding and marketers were competing for space.
So your newsfeed wasn't filled with spam and ads, Facebook had to figure out (quickly) how to show users only what they were interested in.
Over the last few years, Facebook has steadily been implementing new algorithms and strategies to do just that - but these came at a cost to advertisers.
It's now clear to advertisers that...
a) they HAVE to be on Facebook...
b) but the free ride is over.
Facebook will continue to make advertisers pay up - but there are ways to beat the system.
There are three main components to EdgeRank:
1. Affinity Score: this includes how connected a user is to your page (ex. if they have interacted with your page before, or if their friends like your page as well).
2. Edge Weight: different interactions carry different weights (ex. a comment is worth more than a like).
3. Time Decay: recent content gains more points than older content.
How do you leverage EdgeRank to make sure your followers see your content?
Here is where the social part comes into play.
ONE MINUTE GUIDE TO IMPROVING EDGERANK
This is the #1 way to improve EdgeRank - but proves to be the most difficult for many brands.
We encourage our Real Estate clients to send photos, videos, and stories of behind the scenes, in their communities, and from their lives.
That way... when we DO post a listing or open house… Facebook works in our favour, and is WAY more likely to show it to our audience.
Plus, if someone has interacted with your last post, Facebook will be more likely to show them your next post. And so on…
Facebook’s algorithm recognizes the more you post and rewards you by delivering these updates to your fans - as well as giving you more weight when you boost $$$ a post.
VARY YOUR CONTENT
Video is king when it comes to Facebook. Using different kinds of content though, attracts interactions from a higher percentage of your users, raising your affinity score.
THINK WITH YOUR EYES
Don’t forget what sells.
KEEP IT ON FACEBOOK
Post pics and videos directly to Facebook - not Instagram or YouTube.
Build your lead-gen ads and landing pages directly on the platform as well. Facebook will reward you, and people don't want to leave the site.
ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT
In your post, ask for likes, tags, comments, and shares.
Facebook EdgeRank favours real-time content – so does your audience.
Yes, they know the difference. Try avoiding those sites which produce 'canned' and prescheduled content.
You can educate your super fans that they can update their notification settings from your Page, experiment with peak posting times... there are tons of other ways.
So when in doubt… be authentic.
Use long captions // use short captions // use emojiis // write in lists // try different languages – if it’s YOU - try it.
Your strategy is always executed best with personality.
Your marketing geek
Keeping up with all things Google never comes easily - with new features continuously rolling out, updates to how the algorithm works (I once heard this described as like a credit score - it's invisible, it really matters, and only Google understands how it works), and changes in what people are searching for the most - it's practically a part-time job. Or at least a few Google searches away.
I've narrowed down three of the really important things you should know about.
Google is Cracking Down on Offensive and Annoying Ads
You might have heard of the Coalition for Better Ads, which includes Google, Facebook, News Corp, and The Washington Post as members - they are helping implement new global standards for online advertising that address consumer expectations.
Why? Crappy ads are not only intrusive and offensive, but they slow down the web as a whole and drive consumers to install blockers that block all ads. This might sound good - but keep in mind that most of your favourite websites actually rely on monetized ads in order to stay afloat. The web is a business like any other, and we need to find a way to support a sustainable and enjoyable ad model for both publishers and consumers.
On June 1, Google announced it would take new steps to crack down on websites that feature intrusive ads. There are new standards in place, and once publishers modify their ads to meet them, they can then use Google’s Ad Experience Report to ensure their ads are not in violation of these.
At this point, we don't know exactly what the penalty will be for those in violation. The released official statement doesn't make mention to SEO, but we all know this is how Google tends to punish those who don't comply with their standards.
In the meantime, I suggest checking out Google’s criteria for what constitutes a “bad ad” on its DoubleClick blog.
Google Will Stop Scanning Your Email Inbox for their Ads
On June 23rd, Google announced that free Gmail users would no longer be subject to email scanning for ad personalization.
As a marketer, I personally enjoy being advertised to (weird, right?) but if you want to, you can go into your Google settings and disable this function at myaccount.google.com.
Businesses Can Now Publish Content Through “Google My Business” Posts
Here's your way to share business-specific content that can appear directly in search and map results!
Google says this give businesses the ability to:
-share daily specials or current promotions that encourage new and existing customers to take advantage of your offers.
-promote events and tell customers about upcoming happenings at your location.
showcase your top products and highlight new arrivals.
-choose one of the available options to connect with your customers directly from your -Google listing: give them a one-click path to make a reservation, sign up for a newsletter, learn more about latest offers, or even buy a specific product from your website.
Algorithm Updates - Find Your Next Job on Google
Looking for a job? Just Google it! Well, if you live in the States anyways.
In May, we heard whispers that Google was planning to add more featured snippets - like job listings right on the search results page. Those rumours were confirmed at Google I/O 2017, and on June 20, Google for Jobs officially launched in the U.S.
The new feature is developed to sort and organize job listings from employment sites including LinkedIn, Monster, and Glassdoor. Now you've got one streamlined place to search and AI technology on your side! For some of the jobs, you'll even be able to see reviews and ratings of the employer from trusted sites, and for some jobs you’ll even see how long it would take to commute to the job from home. As the algorithm improves, the feature will be able to produce more relevant job results, too.
This isn’t Google’s first rodeo in the world of hiring - unveiled just last spring, was Google Hire -the company’s new platform for helping employers manage recruiting processes.
Watch out job listing sites - Google is taking over.
That's it for now
You can always count on your marketing geek to watch all things Google - and inform you of any news, updates, or hot marketing trends that can help you and your business.
What are your thoughts about these new updates? Let us know in the comments!
Marketing goal meets ad type - it's the perfect match.
…at least sometimes.
With lower cost-per-conversion, better tracking and more creative freedom than most traditional advertising, social marketing has taken a front seat in most strategies. But in our ever-evolving digital space, it can be tough to know where you should be advertising and how you should be advertising.
When you're advertising on Facebook for the first time (or even the hundredth time), deciding which type of ad to use for best results can be confusing. But it's important to get it right.
Choosing the right ad type - like choosing the right mate - could be considered the most critical part of Facebook advertising.
When you launch Facebook’s ad manager you are presented with this selection:
If you're like me, you want it all - conversions, traffic engagement, AND direct leads!
Much like relationships, sometimes you have to make small sacrifices for the greater good - and sometimes, you have to accomplish one specific goal first, in order to achieve your next goal. For example, if you're starting with very little engagement or page fans, your goal of acquiring direct leads becomes a lot less likely - and a whole lot more expensive.
If you want to play the long game on social, start at square one.
Let us be your ‘matchmaker’ of ad selection.
Here's how to make the right connection between ad type and marketing goal.
Step 1: Setting your goal
First you need to know exactly what it is that you want your ad to achieve. Do you want to increase traffic to your website, get more page likes on Facebook, or get qualified leads for your business? Second of all, you need to understand that some goals need to come first (as I mentioned above). Decide how you will measure the success of the campaign and what it's worth to you - set a budget and a timeframe.
Coming out of this process, you will likely have determined one of the following as your number one goal:
Direct conversions (e.g. installing an app or getting a lead)
Step 2: Making the Match
Now that you know your marketing objective (number one on your list from step one) you need to decide what ad type is best suited for your goal.
MARKETING GOAL: Engagement
Do you want to generate activity around a post, app, picture, video, etc.? Engagement ads are best when structured around something new happening – a new listing, open house, product, or a new feature in an app – and they inspire the user to take an action.
AD TYPE: App Engagement – choose this one when you have a new in-app feature you want to promote.
AD TYPE: Post Engagement – when you want to see post likes, shares, comments, and build conversations.
MARKETING GOAL: Clicks
One of most popular ad types is traffic (clicks to your website). This ad type is used when you want to get users to go to your website to learn more about your business, products and services. One reasons marketers love these ads? You can have a lot of creative license with this kind of ad. Choices include a single image, a carousel of images leading to different links (using mobile-friendly creative) or a canvas to tell your story to potential customers.
AD TYPE: Traffic – clicks to website – use this ad type to send users to a particular page on your website (a new product, a listing, blog post, etc.)
MARKETING GOAL: Conversion
Facebook has a number of conversion-centric ads. If you have a concrete goal, such as someone signing up to an email list or installing a new app, your ad type should be one of the following:
AD TYPE: App Installs – use if you want customers to install a new app you are promoting.
AD TYPE: Website Conversions – should lead users to a website page where they have to make an action (e.g. sign-ups to a newsletter, download an offer, etc.).
AD TYPE: Offer Claim – If you are promoting a deal, consider building an offer-based ad. This will let you track how many people have “claimed” your offer. Users prefer to stay on Facebook, and through offer ads, you can allow people to claim deals for your business on Facebook vs. making them go to an external website.
AD TYPE: Page Likes – Facebook ads can also be used to expand your organic reach. These types of ads are excellent for businesses that put a lot of effort in daily posting and building their brand through Facebook. Also seen under Engagement.
AD TYPE: Lead Generation – use this ad type if you want to gather qualified leads right from Facebook.
Real Estate Marketing Tip: Lead generation ads can be an excellent way to get direct sales leads. These ads can be localized to your market and are more user-friendly than previous lead advertising strategies on Facebook, where a user is taken off of Facebook to a landing page.
Facebook lead generation ads can also sync up with various CRM systems. If yours doesn't match, there are third-party 'bridge' platforms which will do the work for you.
MARKETING GOAL: Awareness
Use awareness ads when you want to expose as many people as possible to your brand or product. Brand awareness and local awareness are two of the most commonly used ad types within this marketing goal. If awareness is your goal, consider structuring your ads around enticing people to want to know more about your brand.
AD TYPE: Brand Awareness – get your brand and product noticed and expand your reach.
One of the cool features with Facebook advertising is you can localize your awareness campaigns and narrow down the geographic location to target customers in a specific location. Consider using store visits or the local awareness ads for this goal.
AD TYPE: Store Visits – Use this ad type if you want to generate traffic into your brick and mortar shop.
AD TYPE: Local Awareness – If you want to generate interest in just a specific location, use local awareness ads. If you have various locations, you can run a campaign with different ad sets for each location.
AD TYPE: Event - After you have set up your event on Facebook you can promote it through ads manager and link people back to your event page to “attend” your event and stay up-to-date on info.
You’ve made a stellar connection. You have a solid campaign goal, and you know exactly the ad type you want to use. It’s all downhill from here, right?
Well…just like in any relationship there will be bumps in the road, so watch for our next blog post on targeting and placement.
If you missed our last blog on how to design a killer Facebook ad, check it out:
DONE reading and just want some answers? Reach out anytime!
Your Marketing Geek
Regardless of your product, target market, or how you choose to run your ad (some prefer to boost posts directly on the page, others will try their hand at Power Editor, while some prefer using the easy-to-navigate Ads Manager) – there are a few basics you must know if you want your ad to work.
Show, Don’t Tell
A picture is worth a thousand words – those same one thousand words that no one wants to read anymore!
To capture your audience’s attention, you have to use powerful visuals. I can't stress this enough. I advise our clients to use professional or stock photography only. Not only will they represent your brand in a more flattering light, you’ll get way more clicks and bang for your buck.
Facebook makes it easy to use great photos now – on many ad options, they even provide stock photography for you to choose from. You can also subscribe to special graphic design apps, like Canva (one of my personal favourites) where you can access tons of great images for only $1 USD a pop.
When you’re sourcing photos, look for images with some contrast, brightness, and of course - one that's relevant to what your ad is about.
Real Estate Marketing Tip: Your ad visual should be attractive yet still relatable to your audience and locale. For example, if you’re selling Miami real estate, look for a photo of a home that is suggestive of the locale - but perhaps within the higher-end range of what could be afforded by your target audience.
You want to inspire - but within reach.
The formula is simple. Great visuals for your FB ads = better ROI!
Next, you can think of the "extras" a bit of catchy text, call to action, or a strategically placed logo - but keep it within 20% of your overall image to keep within Facebook's advertising regulations.
Recent articles have shown that posts and ads with emoticons generate higher engagement - so experiment with these, too. They give brands the ability to seem like they're "texting" with their fans and can be eye-catching.
Insider Tip - I watch the use of emoticons very closely. What's hot and works today - could be spammy and overdone tomorrow. Always be ready to evolve!
Relevance is everything for success with Facebook/Instagram ads. Remember, you’re spending money every time someone views or clicks on your ad – so if you’re showing them ads that aren’t relevant, you’re simply wasting your time and money!
If you’re not familiar with the relevance score on Facebook ads, be sure to check it out. The more relevant your ad image, copy, and destination is to your target audience, the higher your score will be. A higher score results in better favour from Facebook, showing it to more and more people.
After you’ve captured your audience’s attention with a great photo, you have less than a second to excite, entertain, and direct them to where you want them to go. Good copywriting is a guide. Use it to filter out only the leads you want, provide value, and tell them where to go.
This is how you convert.
TELL PEOPLE WHAT TO DO
A beautiful and relevant ad is great, but without a call-to-action (CTA), your audience might not know what to do next - and it's up to you to tell them. Believe it or not, people like being told what to do - some direction is refreshing in our over-saturated feeds.
Your CTA should encourage people to click, sign up, register, or contact you, or perform whichever action it is you desire. Providing a sense of urgency (ex. saying “Claim Yours Now” vs. “Sign Up”) implies there is only a limited quantity –without implicitly saying so. It’s all about suggestion.
If engagement is what you’re after, be sure to ask people to do what you want. Asking someone to “Like,” “Leave a Comment,” “Share this Post,” or “Tag Someone" can be very effective social media–specific calls to action. You’ll notice a huge difference when you simply ask!
That simply covers how to design your Facebook ad - but don't start just yet.
In our next blog post, I'll cover the other crucial components of a great Facebook ad - how to choose the right type of ad, targeting, and placement - all very important if you want your ad to work!
Did this help? Or do you want help creating your next Facebook ad? Contact me today!
How do you turn a gruelling workout into a multi-million dollar empire? Kool-Aid filled water bottles aside, there’s some serious social marketing strategy at play behind today’s leading fitness phenomenon, SoulCycle.
Founded by Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler in 2006, this New York-based company has truly succeeded in assembling a massive and dedicated following, largely as a result of their messaging on social media. Now with 39 (and counting) locations across North America, 50,000 and upwards riders daily, the company’s leadership has established a tribe of riders (including celebs like David Beckham and Kelly Ripa) and massive social networks of raving fans.
What’s the hype all about?
Beyond your typical spin class, riders are led on an inspirational, meditative fitness experience that’s designed to benefit the body, mind and soul. Fitness instructors are hailed as ‘rockstars’, and the brand is finely tuned and perfectly executed across all platforms. You can call this “the carefully cultivated soul” of SoulCycle.
Understanding the social strategies of today’s biggest brands is nothing short of an obsession for me – every day, before ‘hitting the screens’ as I call it, I’m pounding the treadmill; listening to marketing podcasts and making notes on my phone. This is where the inspiration happens – and the application happens on the daily for our clients.
This week’s podcast happened to be Tony Robbin’s interview with SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan. As you might know, I work with top-producing Real Estate teams and agents across North America helping them build and establish relationships on social media, promote their inventory, and generate new leads for buyers and sellers. So how are the marketing concepts used in today’s high-end indoor cycling chain applicable to your real estate business?
Ultimately, the “cult-like” mentality that has developed around the SoulCycle obsession can largely be credited to its social media engagement strategy.
They’re killing it on social.
Here’s what we can learn from them:
“Since our launch, it’s all been about how do we build a community and how do we cultivate a community,” said Gabby Etrog Cohen, vp, public relations and brand strategy at SoulCycle. “And we want to make people feel that community digitally.”
By turning instructors into online brand ambassadors, they’ve effectively turned their instructors into mini-celebrities; many with their own cult-like following.
With their own SoulCycle branded profiles, these instructors have amassed TONS of followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat; pumping out curated playlists, schedules, motivational quotes, behind the scenes glimpses, and even meal plans.
What you can do: give your team members an IDENTITY online. Let your audience get to know you on a personal level online. In today's world, relationship-building often starts here. Make the first introduction.
Riders post authentic, unprompted testimonials on social media; exposing their networks, and then their networks (and so on) to the SoulCycle experience. Some riders’ stories are even featured in blogs on the primary SoulCycle page, complete with photos and the story of their fitness/health/spiritual wellness journey.
What you can do: Tell your client's stories! Highlight their wins, successes, and journeys on social media. Think beyond the transaction and tell the story of who they are - they'll love feeling valued as part of your online community.
Leveraging Online Exposure to Offline Sales
Thanks to Facebook's sexy algorithm (yes, those two words go together) you'll be constantly reminded of SoulCycle IF you live in a city that offers it, or if you're just into stuff like that.
Their community management game is strong, too. Comment on their profiles, and one of Soul Cycle’s social media team members is there to have a digital conversation with you. It’s a well-oiled machine.
What you can do: Be ON your social media game. Advertise, post regularly, and engage your audience. If you don’t have the time to do it, hire someone.
Tapping Into a Collective Need for Community
SoulCycle’s classes have been referred to as tribes - tapping into today's intense hunger for real-life community. With the promise of connection AND that rock-hard body, all of a sudden that $34 drop-in fee seems like a small price to pay.
What you can do: Think beyond demographics - consider your audience's ideals, values, and interests when you're creating content and selecting your targets for Facebook and Google ads.
Oh yeah, and a sexy brand doesn’t hurt.
Beyond a high-intensity cycling class, SoulCycle is a lifestyle brand.
With words like “WARRIOR" and “ROCKSTAR” plastered on the studio walls and custom Lululemon SoulCycle-branded clothing displayed in the lobby, they've nailed their branding down to every last detail - you can even buy the grapefruit-scented Jonathan Adler candles burning in the studio.
Their look is strong and seamless across social. Urban - yet spiritual.
What you can do: We might not have the same budget as these guys, but hire a professional when you can for photography and graphic design. Your online ‘look’ is your first impression – and it can make or break a lead or sale.
But don’t sweat it
Arguably, one of SoulCycle’s biggest draws is their joie de vivre - LIVE A LITTLE!
With social media, consistency is the key to impact - it can be all too easy to get tripped up with ‘stage fright’ about posting. I'm here to tell you, just do it.
And don't worry about be perfect across all platforms. For those of us who don’t have a social media team on hand, it’s really only practical to focus on only the networks you think are best for finding and building relationships with your ideal customers. Focus your energy on just a couple for maximum impact.
Once you’ve got the social media basics down, turn the music UP, turn down the negative self-talk, and have some fun. :)
Your marketing geek,
How is your 2017 going so far?
As most of you know, we work with real estate agents and teams across Western Canada - and the market was INSANE last year. Which means that any 'extra' marketing projects are taking place right now as we experience a seasonal lull across the board. Call me a geek - but I love this stuff.
Turning up our marketing strategies for 2017, the ONE major thing I'm telling clients...
"You don't need to create... you just need to document."
This thought originally came from an article I read by Gary Vee, here.
What do I mean by this? Whatever you're doing, chances are you've got your phone glued to your hip anyways (or maybe you're even staring at it already). So pull it out, and take a photo. Think about it for a second, and if you think it's interesting, tells a story, or provides value to your audience online in some way, tag it appropriately and post it.
And for my clients who are too busy or too technologically disinterested (it's ok if that's you - I'm disinterested in a lot of things, too) to post it themselves, they might swoosh it over to me to edit, write about, and post.
Better yet? Turn it into a blog post, providing value to your audience, and share that on social. (Don't worry, people can help you with that, too!)
This perspective of looking at content creation just takes the pressure off.
So how does this benefit your business?
Original content is KING when it comes to your SEO and Google Rankings. Google rewards sites that have new content, even sometimes penalizing sites which have too much duplicate content.
From the perspective of your social media and blog audience, having content come from YOU whenever possible, woven in with thoughtful blogging, lends the authentic, real feeling that our over-saturated, over-selling marketplace CRAVES. Blogging and microblogging provides value, keeps you top-of-mind, and keeps it real with your audience.
Think of your Facebook feed - who would you rather work with? The guy who lets you in, post by post, and provides value? Or, the guy awkwardly hawking his wares from the corner? We can't forget the first word of social media - put it into practice.
Do it to connect - and do it to stand out.
How is YOUR brand story being told on social? And how's that blog looking?
CALL/TEXT ME (250) 816-0714 or message us.
As a marketing entrepreneur, people often ask me what my day looks like. The truth is, it’s far from glamorous. In fact, most of the day, you’ll see me glued to my Macbook; typing away furiously. A major portion of each day is attributed to content creation – crafting blog posts, social media posts, writing strategies, reports, proposals, and marketing messages, amongst communicating and strategizing with clients. A good day for me, can be described as a “great writing day.”
I always dreamed of being a writer, and although that picture looked more like an intrepid journalist reporting from a war-torn country, I sometimes shake my head in disbelief at my absolute luck to be able to write everyday for a living. My father is also an entrepreneur and a professional writer. It’s neat to think how I’ve inadvertently followed in his footsteps.
The funny part? I understand the pressures of writing (and actually publishing) your own content. I guess you could chalk it up to writer’s stage fright. However, my clients and colleagues now realize that in order to provide value to their target market and to gain credibility on Google, they have to create original content. Yes – original content.
The path for content marketers is clear In order to boost SEO rankings, gain traffic and/or leads, you need to have original content on your blog or website. Google wants to reward sites that contain original content, even going as far as penalizing sites that feature duplicate content. Consider social media, too. Do you think people would be more apt to share an article you copy/pasted, or one written by YOU?
In short, having original content is valuable for your audience, improves your site’s rankings, and increases likelihood of shares on social media. All of these roads lead to increased exposure – certainly an asset for your business.
So, how do you create great content?
Consider Strategy – You could write a killer piece of content, but if the right people don’t see it, what’s the point? Strategy is a must. Your content should always complement your overall marketing strategy and appeal to your target audience.
Get in the Zone – Anyone who ever saw me getting ready for my workday would think I was about to compete in the Olympics. Early AM wakeups, followed by a lengthy period on the treadmill listening to business and motivation podcasts, religiously making a green smoothie -> it goes on. And sure, it’s a bit ridiculous at times. But writing is a creative process, and in order to create something of value, you’ve got to be in the right headspace. Choose a time to write when you’re feeling energized and inspired, and minimize distractions.
If you find that you’re producing good content, keep going until you’re not anymore. You can always edit later, but it’s tough to always return to this creative space.
Use Your Own Voice – Some things are best left to the professionals, including writing in a voice that is not your own. Due to the nature of my job, I have to write in many different tones all day (chicks be cray, right?) but this is a practiced skill. Just be authentic. If you wouldn’t say it, don’t write it.
Don’t Just Tell Me, Show Me – A very high percentage of people are visual learners, which means your written content needs to be further expressed by including visual content – images or video. Selecting the right image for your content will give your message more impact.
Put Your Writing Skills to Work - Grammar, punctuation, and simplicity are musts.
Provide Value – Give your audience something that they want or need. Give them answers.
Don't Be Afraid to Close - Relationships are always of a give/take dynamic, and this is no exception. You've provided information and hopefully have been of help to these people - so it's okay to ask for what you want, too.
Now that you’ve got a piece of content you can be proud of, its distribution needs to be aligned with your online marketing strategy – a topic I will cover soon in another blog post!
Please call, text, email, or FB message me with your marketing questions. I'm here to help!
or connect with us on FB
The amount of data available on best practices for email marketing can be overwhelming – for every answer, there’s a compelling reason why it’s now wrong!
For example, ongoing digital marketing data shows that we should send our email marketing campaigns mid-day, mid week for best open and click through rates.
However, even newer research is demonstrating that more and more people are reading their emails later at night than ever before on their mobile devices.
Think less Netflix and chill, more Netflix and checking emails, Facebook, and Insta and Snap stories.
With our rapidly evolving social and tech sphere, marketers must continuously analyze the best ways to reach our audiences.
However, your answer usually won't be found in the data. It will come by carefully considering the demographics, habits, and lifestyles of your audience.
Here’s what ongoing research tells us:
Mid-week, mid-day. Traditionally, digital marketers have favoured Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, either between 9-11am or 1-3pm.
For a few years now, Mailchimp has recommended 2pm as the best time to send email newsletters.
Avoid weekends. The majority of marketers avoid sending eblasts over the weekends. People are busy, and it's assumed your email will be low on their priority list. This includes Fridays, too. People are tired and they're itching to head into their weekend activities. As for Mondays? No one wants to add to the Monday doldrums with yet another email.
Here’s what I say - Know Your Audience.
If you want your email opened, you must strongly consider the following.
Who is your audience, what kind of schedule do they keep, and when do they check their emails?
Depending on your audience, you could easily throw the traditional marketing guidelines out the window.
For example, sending an eblast on a Friday night could mean a certain ‘DELETE’ for a financial planner, but for the entertainment industry, it could be the opportune time to inform your audience of the best things to check out over the weekend.
Be specific and get down to the nitty gritty. Consider the age group, device preferences (work laptop or mobile phones) and even the climate your audience lives in. For example, a rainy, blustery Vancouver weekend could mean that more folks would be apt to check their emails.
Consider when your audience wants to think about what it is you're saying. If your target audience is Moms who work from home, you might not want to send your email at 8am - prime school drop-off time.
No matter what you do…
Make sure your email blast is mobile-friendly!
Track, test, and monitor your results ongoing. Marketing without metrics is like driving with your eyes closed.
I suggest A/B testing your send times, and consider divvying up your mailing list into different demographics if you have them. Perhaps you’ll want to send your list of retirees your newsletter around 10am mid-week, and you’ll want to send your young, tech-obsessed crew one later in the evenings.
And, it should go without saying, but.. make sure your email campaign is relevant, interesting, and looks good. Even the best sending strategy won't compensate for a bad email.
The consumer tells us what they want. It's just up to us to listen - and deliver.
Have any questions? Call or text (250) 816-0714 and find me on Facebook
Because you're busy people - and it's a Saturday - I'll keep this brief. Here are just some highlights of what happened this week across social:
Facebook has given users MORE control over the kinds of ads they see in their newsfeeds; including the ability to stop seeing ads from businesses or organizations who have added them to their customer lists. (This put onus on advertisers to be more interesting and relevant!!!)
MORE ADS ON SNAPCHAT - hmmm - might be a risky move given the recent integration of Stories on Insta?
Instagram utilizes Facebook algorithms to sort relevance on Instagram stories - those NEW, short videos on Instagram will be sorted in order based on whose content you interact with on Facebook as well. This is really important to know! Good reason to use both platforms.
The Federal Trade Commission is tightening up advertisers who utilize social media influencers to promote their products or services - sponsorship must be clearly disclosed and displayed.
Facebook begins to roll out new publisher tools for 360 video - incl. guide and heatmap. As well, new audience and engagement metrics will soon be available for video - great news!
Wishing you a GREAT weekend!
One of the most gratifying days of the month within my business? Report Day.
"Report Day" is actually more like three weeks, as it really begins on the first day of each month, when I pull the data and stats for each client's success across social media. I then compile a short point-form of where I need to direct strategy in the upcoming month. Over the next few weeks, I analyze and compare with last month's reports with external help. After all, an outside professional opinion helps me identify any weaknesses or spots for opportunity in my social strategies for my clients.
As an entrepreneur, you're always waiting to see the fruits of your labours. You could wait forever, so you have to learn to find joy in the process. One small piece I can pick from the metaphorical success tree? The numbers speak volumes. I don't need to tell you why you should be reporting, but if you don't already, there's a couple of things that might make you want to. How would you like to see...
- increased traffic to your website
- climbing page likes
- unique visits and impressions to your social channels
- unprompted, spontaneous positive testimonials
- increasingly effective (with lowered costs) click campaigns
- conversions for listing appointments
The goods news, if you're doing social media effectively and with a solid strategy, you should begin to see all or most of those items within just a short period of time.
If you'd like a FREE social media audit for the month of May, and if you're a real estate professional (and I don't already work with someone in your market) I have THREE left this month. It can be helpful to determine first where you are, in order to get to where you want to be. Contact me for yours!
If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.
Have a powerful day.
Thrilled to be part of this session at the upcoming #NEXTGENre Real Estate Conference!
We'll share how to further develop, strengthen and maintain professional partnerships and grow your client base with social media. Great for referrals, reciprocation, and to stay top-of-mind in your market areas!
What is NEXTGENre? NEXT GENERATION REAL ESTATE is the new standard in events for Professionals in Business & Real Estate in Canada. These events fuse technology innovation with extreme business principles & fundamentals.
As well, I've been honoured to be asked to be a NEXTGENre ambassador, too! So fun!
If you're interested in Canadian business and Real Estate - and want to learn the latest and greatest cutting-edge technology and marketing trends to implement into your business - this event is for you.
The next stop? Vancouver, BC! Still a few tickets left: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/nextgenre-a-canadian-real-estate-conference-tickets-21519301811
Today I posted a video with my answer to this topic. You can check it out by clicking on the video below, or read the following.
I came across a statistic that over 20 million people are expected to use social media networks in Canada this year - with 18.5 million of them on Facebook.
If you're a business in Canada, you can almost guarantee that a large percent of your target market is on Facebook.
But how much content from businesses do you really see on Facebook? The answer is, organically - not much. I think of 2007 when I signed up for Facebook (probably the only good thing to happen that year - I went to prom alone LOL). Since then, I've liked probably hundreds of pages. But when I scroll through my newsfeed, I only see a few - Forbes Business, Marketing Hub, Remax Canada, and Yorkies Forever.
That's due to Facebook's sophisticated algorithm - that ensures that you don't get 'spammed' by businesses everyday and see mostly content from your friends, families, and major interests.
So as a business, how do you show up? Enter Facebook ads. With very little spend, you can reach tens of thousands more people in your target area. You have tons of options for bidding, budget, and the types of campaigns you run.
You can easily track your spending, performance, and ROI. You can even print out an invoice summary each month to pass to your accountant. And the best part? You can gain an edge over your competitors, who are likely posting, but without strategy or the technical employment of Facebook advertising (ie. they don't know what's up).
For example, for my Real Estate clients, I run ongoing click campaigns to generate more listing appointments, increase traffic to view the inventory on their website, and also promote them as a brand and increase their overall exposure. We even use it for other markets to target potential relocations. The market is HOT right now and people are interested in Real Estate - so take advantage of it, and get out there. You can provide all of the value in the world to your Facebook page, you can be funny and engaging, but who's going to see it if you don't run ads? It's kind of like having a one-sided conversation.
After all, where else were you going to spend your marketing budget? I hope you won't say the phonebook, although it sure does make a weighty doorstop thanks to marketing spends by local businesses.
Facebook is pay to play. And there's no way around it.
Have any questions? Send me a message and I'll get back to you.
Thanks a bunch.
It’s coincidental I came across this Gary Vaynerchuk video today, because I just had a similar conversation with a Re/max agent today about the value of traditional marketing in today’s evolving digital landscape. We talked about the seemingly diminishing value of billboards and signage, but agreed they still hold an important place in many marketing strategies.
Gary Vaynerchuk owns Vayner Media, one of the world’s hottest digital agencies with a client list including many Fortune 500 companies like GE, PepsiCo, Del Monte, the NY Jets, and Fox broadcasting.
His take on the subject of billboards is pretty clever and made me smile:
“Do I think that billboard’s dead? No, but I do wonder how a billboard can be the same price today as it was five years ago, when every person here, when they leave this conference, they’re looking at their phones. The passenger in the car, they’re looking at their phones. And as a matter of fact – so are the drivers. Forget about billboards – no one is looking at the (friggin) road!” – Gary Vaynerchuk
I suppose, that this blog entry could be taken simply as a friendly reminder to focus your advertising strategies on where your audience is looking.
Do you notice billboards when you're driving? I tend to, but I'm curious to hear your thoughts. (And please, drive safely!) :)
Timing is everything! Yes, content is important, but context trumps all - being aware of your peeps and what's happening in the world empowers you to connect with your audience in a more meaningful way.
You can have the best content in the world, but it will fall on dead ears if it's not delivered in a timely and relevant manner. Knowing "what's up" in the world can go a long way!
Great meme from Gary Vaynerchuk.
Thank you Karen Ayou, RE/MAX of Nanaimo for the sweet referral gift! She knows me too well - Starbucks is like heaven to me! Thank you Karen!