(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).