(BE) instaREADY: IGStories for your business

This is part 2/3, sharing my journey with Instagram Stories (IGStories) over the past 90 days.  These are just some easy and creative ways to use IGStories for your business, feel free to share yours to that others can fail and level up faster#NetworkIntelligence approach.

share announcements:

image1IGStories are instant, so they’re a great way to share company announcements.   Are you hosting a sale? Then announce it here.  Share images of limited edition items your customer can buy before they are gone.

Keep your customers in the know on your latest products and offerings.  Share images and videos of your newest products or services.

show your products in action:

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  • If you want to promote a product, Instagram Stories is a great place to do it.  
  • Use IGStories to give people ideas and inspiration for using your product, or show them what they can do or create with the product if they buy it.  
  • Share images of your product being used by customers in all its colours and styles.
  • Share images and videos of your product in a stylish or exciting setting. 

behind the scenes (BTS):

Part of the beauty of IGStories is that they don’t have to be big polished productions.  In, fact, many brands create stories that happen in the moments, while they are attending a public event or industry conferences.

In a sense IGStories allow brands to take their followers along for the ride.  Share a story when you have an event happening in-store or online, after an active day or when you are at an event and want to encourage people to join.

Show the reals side of your business, 

  • the work of setting up,
  • funny mishaps that happen or 
  • even different staff as they are interacting doing the events

It is also fun for customers, to see a story at the end when the busy is done.  IGStories is also a great place to post BTS footage of your company that wouldn’t necessarily earn a spot on your main feed.

a day in the life of your product or service:

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You can use both images and video content to create your IGStories throughout the day.  Your videos don’t have to be of high quality. In fact, videos can be a great way to show your audience a unique view of the day-to-day happenings at your business.  Have an employee or a guest walk them through the day, an event or rehearsal.

how ‘tos’ and tutorials:

IGStories are sequential by nature, which makes them perfect for:

  • step-by-step.
  • how to style content.
  • beauty tutorial,

in general, bite-sized content that teaches and that is fun compared to traditional videos (Instagram/Facebook feed) or blog posting.

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Asks your customers questions about their experience with your products through IGStories.  Q&A IGStories are great for kicking off a conversation or creating an engaging experience for your customers. During a Q&A your business can interact directly with fans and customers, who can direct message their questions.

recognize fans/followers:

Another great way that you can use IGStories to directly connect with customers is by giving them some real-time recognition.   Everyone loves being recognized by the people and businesses they care about.  So, the next time a customer takes your business is one of their post or stories, say thanks in a story of your own.

Share what makes you an IGStories SuperStar…

(BE) instagrammable: IGStories uncovered.

dd180771-3dde-4cbc-aaa6-8019279151f0.jpegOver the past 90 days, you would have seen me aggressively utilising Instagram Stories  (IGStories) funnel, using its feature and tactical tools.  This was part of my “testing and learning” phase on how to optimise this emerging social media funnel for personal and corporate brands.

Below, I have outlined what I personally found to be successful, and would recommend to any Instagram (IG) specialist to integrate into their IG strategies for their brands to (BE)come “instagrammable” via IGStories in 2020.

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(be) authentic: Treat IGStories like your ‘back yard‘ cook up, where only selected people (your followers/fans) are invited.

So, I encourage you to share content that isn’t polished, be authentic and this will build trust for your brand.  In, fact, optimise on creating immersive storytelling in the moments, while you are attending a public event or industry conferences.

Take the follower/fan on an immersive ride and share activities happening in-store, after an active day or when you are at an event and want to encourage people to join.  So, fundamentally, IGStories is also a great place to post behind the scene (BTS) footage of your company that wouldn’t necessarily earn a spot on your main feed.

(be) clear:  Given the sequential nature of IGStories, it’s perfect for “step-by-step” guides and “how-to” content thematic distribution channel, ie. ‘edu-tainment’ in thematic nature.

(be) experiential:  If you want to promote your brand/product, IGStories is a great place to do it.  This funnel is useful to give your follower/fans inspiration for using your product or to drive experiential brand marketing programme with the consumers. Don’t forget to cross-promote related products, to extend your reach and widen your community.

(be) loyalty: Another great way that you can use IGStories to directly connect with customers is by giving them some real-time recognition.  Everyone loves being recognised by the people and businesses they care about.

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(be) open:  I love this feature, mainly because of the low-level of risk and honesty from the community. Asks your customers questions about their experience with your products through IGStories etc and get ‘real-time’ response and engagement.

(be) real-time:  Since Instagram Stories (IGStories) are instant, so they’re a great way to share company announcements. Are you hosting a sale? Then announce it here.  So, I recommend that you share the following about your brand:

  • Share images of limited edition items your customer can buy before they are gone.
  • Keep your customers in the know on your latest products and offerings.
  • Share images and videos of your newest products or services.

(be) relatable:  Note, it doesn’t have to be the CEO being featured, the most important factor for the content is relatability and connection.  So explore featuring an employee or a guest and walk the followers/fans through a day, an event or rehearsal.  So, ensure your feature followers/fans that tag your brand.

I hope this help to (BE)come an IGStories superstar for your personal or corporate brand.

dedicated: @HowIJourney for keeping me #Digital authentic & honest, every day.

 

The other digital media tactical tools

No! executing web-banners, won’t do it for digital media.

Craig R. Williams

Each time I start a consultancy with a new client, one of the questions they always ask is:

Do you believe I need to expand beyond, a social media strategy to include other digital channels?

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To answer them – I explain the importance of the following concept: “TIME = MONEY”.

One (1) of my ‘rule of thumb‘ – always understand the customers’ ‘unintended‘ purpose of your brand/product.

In the case of digital media, it’s understanding, where the brand’s current customers and potential consumers are placing their native attention online.

The result is that customers are pivoting away from web-based platforms towards an app-based ecosystem.

“FOLLOW THE MONEY”

It means that most consumer wants to spend more time in ONE (1) digital ecosystem and that ecosystem needs to reside and operates wholesomely on their mobile device.

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“SHARING MY LEARNINGS”

So, I am dedicating this post on three (3) unexpected digital channels. I found these to be very effective for some of my clients, as they delivered robust results. These channels are:

  1. App.
  2. Podcast
  3. Gaming.

As marketing strategists, we are fully aware that we are engaging “Dual-Screen” and “Disruptive-Screen” consumers daily. So, we are required to develop and execute a digital media strategy with a fantastic online UX ecosystem to increase brand conversion.

 

App Strategy = “mobile-first”

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In the past marketers would optimise their brand’s OMNI-channels by having discount coupons placed:

  1. In magazines;
  2. In-store displays and
  3. Website banner.

However, we have seen the emergence of app engagement for most brands versus those OMNI-channels for consumers.

From my experience, the best ROIs for apps, was to:

  1. Driving e-commerce activities in one ecosystem and
  2. Immersive storytelling to solidify the brand’s lifestyle products.

However, ensure the app is:

  1. Equipped to convert within its ecosystem.
  2. Able to mine data, to facilitate an effective customer segmentation strategy, direct marketing programmes, and retargeting tactics.

This app strategy is best for brands that control their order fulfilment process, like financial institutions, telecoms or travel trade and tourism brands.

The optimal customer funnel journey for this tactical tool is during the awareness, consideration & purchase period.

Podcast Strategy = smart engagement

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To effectively execute a podcat strategy, it requires the following:

  1. Segmentation of your marketing message,
  2. dissecting the brand’s essence and
  3. aligning the podcaster authenticity.

When I executed a podcast strategy, the best results were for brands that were in lifestyle products, immersive learning – academics product, health products, wellness brands and personal brands.

The optimal customer funnel journey for this tactical tool is during the consideration period.

Gaming Strategy = “Cults”.

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For me, the most understated digital advertising platform is gaming. Has a Gamer (myself – laughing), they always:

  1. lathers back up to the brand quickly,
  2. VERY loyal,
  3. Passionate brand advocates, and
  4. have an extremely high lifetime spend-value.

I saw strong ROIs for my clients’ brands when I executed the following tactics :

  1. Product placement in the game,
  2. Create content via gamification.

These tactics optimised brand’s presence and spend investment.

 

My clients that saw successes with a Gaming Strategy were the sport-related brand; a brand strategy anchored in sport-sponsorship centric; active lifestyle brand and an athlete brands.

The optimal customer funnel journey for this tactical tool is during the awareness & consideration period

Tell me, more about your experiences on when executing on these platforms.

Next week, I will share my experience with LinkedIn, Google’s and Facebook’s when executing strategies for B2B.

SWOT MATCHING STRATEGIES

”Craig, keep that focus on the client’s business imperatives. Develop their SWOT MATCHING strategies (via Game Theory), & execute those defensive strategies – ONLY when the business imperative is threatened…”

So grateful to my kick-ass mentors, for reinforcing that – what & how I conceptualize, & implement strategically is robust & adaptative. #NoDistraction – focused on problem-solving & adding value.

Brand Strategist Role

Being a #BusinessStrategist, my three focal points for my clients are:

1a. Defining the client’s target consumers & establish VP. (hint: it’s not everyone).

1b. Establish where their target consumers’ attentapproach customer segmentation).

2. Design the tactical programs to leverage the client’s brand/product in those spaces (OMNI channel approach).

Why some Fitness social media strategies fail to deliver stronger ROIs.

At the start of 2016, I started to explore fitness in a serious way.  Of course I started with typical directory search, asking friends, then transitioned to social search.  I quickly realized that there were fundamental strategies that successful fitness experts executed on their platforms daily, that others ignored/overlooked.

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@Sagicor #SigmaRun 2017 with @Seprod and @JamaicaMove Campaign.

After, two (2) years of examining, engaging and evaluating these fitness expert social media presence. I was able to identify three (3) ‘ever-present’ and recurring strategies. So, this blog post is an overview of the webinar presentation (DMF Case Study: Digital Media for Fitness Experts), that was conducted with my “FailingStrong” Tribe last month.

I am confident that these simple strategies are scalable and when implemented properly will enhance any fitness expert social media presence, towards better conversions rates, higher retention rates and increased life time value of their target audience.

These are as follows:

  1. Strong Funnel Marketing Strategy.
  2. Clear and consistent Content Creation Strategy.
  3. Commitment to LSC Engagement Strategy.

Additionally, when these strategies are executed simultaneously with a multi-platform channel  management program, fitness expert will experience improved engagement and  robust ROI to their bottomline.

Funnel Marketing Strategy

This is sometimes overlooked by many fitness social media teams.  It is especially important for a product/services that depends heavily on repeat enrollments, scaling  and strong ROIs per unit cost.  In the DMF Case Study, we saw that ‘Blog Style” engagement actually worked effectively to connect with and established an emotional relationship with the target audience and deepen the interaction with the brand.

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@PoweredByKeith Training

This funnel approach is effective, because it’s an ‘Opt-In’ digital media tactics,  where the target customers and only consumers who really wants to digest or engage with your content will do so. However, I recommend that you integrate “Lead Magnets” and “Call to Action” to continue that conversation with the potential consumer towards conversion and facilitate ‘Test and Learn’ agile program.

Content Creation Strategy

SERVE, DON’T SELL

This is another important strategy,  the major key to successful implementation of this strategy is to have clarity on – “What, How and When” content should be created and shared.  In the DMF Case Study, content creation strategy spans across two distinct areas:

  1. TYPE :  Generate content  that is Relatable, Relevant and Actionable.
  2. FORM: Determine the specific use of Static-Images vs Videos (Short and Long Form) content.

As a rule of thumb content was created with a specific channel in mind at all times.  Content is generated and curated with a desired U/X in mind.  Basically, they curated content that was relatable, relevant and actionable –  then monitored the consumer’s response, prior to engaging them towards conversion.

Specially, the fitness experts used Facebook and YouTube for their (long form) videos to build trust with that audience, and integrated ACTIONABLE element for the consumer.  While, for Twitter and Instagram – most of the experts use these platforms for both static-images and videos (short forms) to counsel the consumer, provided restaurant hacks, BTS, result sharing and gamification…Additionally, I saw increased use of PINTEREST and Mobile-ready websites, displaying ‘sharable’ static exercise programs, proper movements, how-to exercise, meal plans, meal preparations and connection to discussion boards.

Go Live

Implement a weekly/monthly show to interview or conduct Q&A sessions live – IS A MUST.  My recommendations for possible interviews (local, regional or international) includes:

  • Fitness Experts.
  • Health Professional
  • Doctors.
  • Nutritionalist.
  • Emerging new work outs trends experts etc…

Make the live sessions fun, easy to follow, and lean-in on the Peer-to-Peer conversations.  Remember this content is critical to reaching people who aren’t in your Tribe, as yet.  So, ensure you execute a robust recruitment strategy once you have their attention.

LSC Engagement Strategy

Make your content GOOD that they feel like they should be paying for it….

DON’T implement “Give Me, Buy Me, Sign Up Today” during your recruitment strategy, because if you are always asking for something, why will people follow you?

First, establish value in the potential consumer mind – Work on empowering your TRIBE/CREW – then go for it – SELL SELL SELL and remember to UPSELL also.

Take Aways

In digital media Peer-to-Peer reviews are 80% more trusted than paid influencers, advocates, partner branding or co-branding programs.   So build your Tribe/Crew (I recommend you develop a signature/unique name for your followers), and have them provide feedback and user-generated content for social media Funnel Strategies.  Example: Dedicate your Instagram stories for user-generated content ONLY.

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@876CrossFit

When all is said and done, I believe you should integrate these points and let me know how if works for your pages:

  1. Start Simple.
  2. Implement one post per platform per day.
  3. Make sure one of those postings as a “Call to Action’ or “Lead Magnet”.
  4. Test and Learn
  5. Then repeat.

START WITH THE CUSTOMER FIRST…When in doubt about what you are doing, seek to appreciate the challenges your target customers are experiencing. Then outline how you will assist them in overcoming those monsters for the voyage to their goals, with your programs,products or services.

Good Luck on improving your pages and share your lessons learnt for “Constant Improvement” and Networked Intelligence…

LinkedIN: The Professional YOU

“Never be afraid to invest in yourself.”

Craig R.

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So setting up a LinkedIn account is one of the most important professional investment you will make for your digital footprint in this “Networked Intelligence” era. LinkedIn digital channel is the largest online professional network, and is an excellent resource for personal brand development, building connections and long life learning on a global scale.

Note, that this digital channel fosters professional engagement, and you should proceed with caution, when engaging new connections, sharing content and commenting on post.    Initially, the recommendation is to focus engagement, on industry specific contributions.

Continue reading “LinkedIN: The Professional YOU”

Uber New CEO Letter on London’s Issue. 

Uber New CEO’s Letter Dara Khosrowshahi….

-START- 

Dear London: we r far from perfect but we have 40k licensed drivers and 3.5mm Londoners depending on us. Pls work w/us to make things right. 

Thanks Pierre, and thanks to everyone working on this issue. Like all of you, I’m hugely disappointed in the decision by London’s Mayor and Transport for London. It could have profound negative consequences for the 40,000 drivers who depend on Uber for work and the 3.5 million Londoners who rely on Uber to get around.

It’s particularly discouraging that this is happening in the UK, where the team has led the way on partnerships with local groups to increase the number of wheelchair-accessible and electric vehicles on the road.

While the impulse may be to say that this is unfair, one of the lessons I’ve learned over time is that change comes from self-reflection. So it’s worth examining how we got here. The truth is that there is a high cost to a bad reputation. Irrespective of whether we did everything that is being said about us in London today (and to be clear, I don’t think we did), it really matters what people think of us, especially in a global business like ours, where actions in one part of the world can have serious consequences in another.

Going forward, it’s critical that we act with integrity in everything we do, and learn how to be a better partner to every city we operate in. That doesn’t mean abandoning our principles—we will vigorously appeal TfL’s decision—but rather building trust through our actions and our behavior. In doing so, we will show that Uber is not just a really great product, but a really great company that is meaningfully contributing to society, beyond its business and its bottom line.

Thanks for everything you’re doing to make Uber the best company it can be, and particularly to our teammates in London and across the UK.

—Dara

-END-