(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:


  • 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:

Screenshot 2019-10-16 11.02.08


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.

host questions & answers:image2

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.


(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.


(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.


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


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.

2017-10-28 16.48.08

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.


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”

Storytelling: The Seven (7) Plots for Building Your Brand

2017-07-29 18.08.05-3I believe in storytelling for brands that are authentic, immersive and channel specific, which drives community growth, brand affinity and establish a lifestyle brand, with strong conversion rates.

This is achieved by transporting and engaging the community with relevant and contextual creatives, designed uniquely for each consumer funnel experience towards value pricing (Experiential Marketing). From my experiences there are SEVEN (7) plots that a brand can pursue:

2017-08-30 06.45.03-2

1. Overcoming the Monster (Freedom).

2. Rage to Riches.

3. The Quest – Adventure.

4. The Voyage Return.

5. Comedy (Romantic).

6. Tragedy.

7. Rebirth.

APPLICATION: If brand/marketing manager understands, which story they want to convey with the brand(s), they now have their #NorthStar.

CHALLENGE: To determine the mental frame, inrelation to how the consumers wants your brand to convey that story through each funnel. Critical in the 21st century MarCom plans success is a multi-channel immersive approach



RESULT: A brand that resonates authenticity with its consumers; depicts and integrates effortlessly into the consumers Lifestyle or Ideal state…


Emergence of Messenger for Brands

s3-news-tmp-10557-facebook_messenger_1--2x1--940Messaging is an essential channel management tactical tool, during the customer funnel engagement journey. Today, most agile business operations are embracing this new funnel to drive engagement, increase leads and stronger conversions rates.

According to research in 2017, over 3/4 of the worlds’ smartphone users will use a mobile messaging app to communicate with family, friends and businesses.  Over 1/2 of US digital media users will message a brand, instead of email or even call, and 53% of people globally will likely to shop (this holiday season), with brands they message directly.

Continue reading “Emergence of Messenger for Brands”

Marketing vs. Brand Managers

most-famous-brand-logos_103312.jpgThe debate continues on the differences between a Marketing and a Brand Manager’s roles and functions.  Today, we will explore this debate, base on their respective core functionalities.

What is Marketing?

Energy Shake
A Product (Commodity) Generic Energy Shake
According to Dr. Kotler, marketing is the science and art of exploring, creating and delivering value to satisfy the  needs of a target market at a profit.  So marketing is basically the ongoing communication exchange with customers in a way that educates, informs and builds a relationship over time.



What is a Brand?

Cafe Blue Coffee
Cafe Blue Coffee – Iconic Coffee Brand.






This is a specific emotion or reference point that is linked to the product or service, which results in a customer journey, when interacting with the product/service.



Marketing Management.

This is guided by the traditional 4Ps, and frames the strategic outlook and tactical execution for marketing managers- below we briefly outline the 4Ps:


The product is either a tangible good or an intangible service.  In the case of the marketing manager – the key is to understand those problems that the product is attempting to solve then, showcase the benefits offered by the product and its features (the Unique Selling Proposition – USP).


The price cover the actual amount the end user is expected to pay for a product. If there is a positive customer value, than a product may be successfully priced higher than its objective monetary value (value pricing). Conversely, if a product has little value in the eyes of the consumer (its a commodity), then it may need to be underpriced to sell. So, the marketing manager is critical to the cross function pricing team, by infusing intelligence on the distribution footprint (channel management), value chain analysis, markups and competitors pricing.


This is the communication (MarCom) aspect of marketing. This may include advertising, sales promotions, special offers and public relations. The marketing manager identifies the most effective communication channel, given the specific product, the price and the targeted end users.


Place or placement strategy has to do with how the product will ‘reach’ the end user. Distribution is a key element for the placement strategy – the focus is on RTM (Route To Market) – How a product is accessed by the end user also needs to complement the rest of the product strategy.

So, the main function of a marketing manager is to increase the efficiency of the RTM  programme for the product. This is critical and supports the expansion of the product’s distribution footprint, trade marketing programmes and financial sustainability of the product.

Brand Management

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Brand Development – Colour

The core function of brand management is to develop the Brand Purpose, and drive the Brand Promise of the product, by establishing the Brand Difference, while continually Delivering on the Promise over the product’s life cycle.  To achieve this the Brand Manager has to conceptualize and design the product’s voice, personality, and identity that would connect with the target end users.  Note that not all products will have a brand – If you decide to build a brand then, the Brand Manager will focus on the following elements for the product – called the 4Cs of Branding:


For brand managers, the strategic focus is to develop a ‘Brand Purpose‘ – What The Brand Stands for?.  It is essential that the purpose is simple and the marketing team is able to stick with it and communicate that effectively to the end users.


This is the ‘Brand Promise, the brand manager will have to be able to understand the functionality or the solution the product provides to the end-user.  Additionally,  the manager should integrate those functionalities into a specific personality trait – that connects with the end users.


Another aspect of brand management is to develop credibility.  Once you have committed to a ‘Brand Promise’ – If the product isn’t able to deliver on that promise or EXPECTATION – then it has failed the consumer’s ‘Job-to-be-done (JTBD)‘ test.   So brand managers will need to ensure the product will be able to ‘Deliver on the Promise‘ – and establish the product’s ‘right to play’ in the space.


This function is considered the most important for a brand manager.  The main task is to solidify ‘Brand Difference in the marketplace and all channels to allow for value pricing.  This typically goes beyond the functionality of the product, by establishing the brand as a lifestyle brand.  This is achieved via experiential marketing programmes.

So, Brand Managers should unleash the creativity of the product based on its functional attributes.  The Manager should manage the 4C’s towards unearthing the product’s full potential and life time connection with the end users- to drive brand relevance, awareness and presences – towards #BuildingBillionBrands  #OneBrandStrategy

Global Brands
USA Brands

So, the fundamental difference between a marketing team and brand team is that the marketing team operationalizes the tactical plan, after the brand team has conceptualized, and designed the personality for the brand.  This is all guided by the strategic outlook by the corporate and the leadership team (internal or external) to the organization. Additionally, the brand team is responsible for establishing, driving and solidifying the intrinsic ‘Value Pricing‘  and “Generate Demand” for the product – to support the marketing operational and tactical programmes. While the marketing team focuses on ‘Demand Fulfillment‘ and ‘Go to Market Strategies‘ for the product. 

Experiential Marketing

For any brand to continue evolving and remain relevant to a consumer over their lifetime, it has to deliver a specific experience or solve a “Job To Be Done – JTBD” . This can be achieved by appealing to a variety of senses and tapping into that special place within the consumer’s heart and mind that generate thoughts about comfort, pleasure, as well as inspiring a sense of practicality which entice individuals to act on that impulse at every purchase . This tactical approach is called – Experiential Marketing.

So, Experiential Marketing, is a tactical approach to marketing goods and services by establishing a specific experience you desire the consumer to have or to associate with your brand. The idea is to integrate elements of emotions, logic, and deep connectivity through your brand funnel process to the targeted consumer. So the goal of experiential marketing is to solidify the connection in such a way that the consumer responds to a product offering based on both deep emotions and rational over their lifetime, making this a “Liquid Idea” and “Viral Concept“.

Continue reading “Experiential Marketing”