Category Archives: Branding

How can you identify and leverage social media influencers for brand awareness?

Social-media-for-BrandingThe evolution of digital marketing has given rise to many new different concepts that are being increasingly used by individuals and brands to create awareness. One of them is the social media influencer. While this did not exist till about five years back, as of today, more and more brands are using influencers to build relationships with their customers.

So who are these social influencers?

Social influencers are social media users who, other than having a huge following, also have an established credibility with their audience. They have the power to influence others with their authenticity and trustworthiness. An influencer is neither a brand evangelist nor a brand advocate (although that can also be arranged for a fee). There are more like cheerleaders who extend the message in their immediate circle.

While many social influencers tend to have a large number of followers, at the end what really matters, is how many of them will mention, respond to or share an influencer’s posts. These influencers use different channels to reach their audience and they could be anything from blogs to the various social media networks.

How does one to identify social influencers?

Though the social influencer is a fairly new phenomenon, many bigwigs of the industry believe that this is nothing but the ancient “word of mouth” marketing that relies on technology to accelerate it. Leveraging the best influencers will not only help you reach their audience, but the audience’s network too.

Influencers with a huge number of active followers can increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your product pages. There is a relationship component in influencer marketing as the audiences that you are looking to influence listen to the particular person because of the trust factor. Hence, when you are looking to identify a social influencer for your brand, you should keep the following “must-have” points in mind:

  • Relevancy to the audience: Look for influencers that produce niche content and are relevant to your brand contextually.
  • Authentic: Audiences trust influencers because they are authentic with their information. He or she must not be posting sponsored content as they will dilute the purpose.
  • Active and makes frequent posts: There is a direct correlation between the frequency of posts and the return of the customer. The more the influencer posts, the more your brand name will spread.
  • Huge reach: Don’t look at reaching a target audience; instead opt for someone who has a wide range of audiences that can be influenced.

Why is social influencing marketing important today?

A report by The Guardian states that 69% of the customers will use the Internet as their main source of information within the next five years. Also, a recent study by McKinsey found that online word of mouth advertising drives twice as many sales as paid advertising leading to a 37% higher retention rate.

If we are to go by these studies, it is pretty much clear that the best way to drive sales is to identify social influencers aligned to your brand and leverage their voices to communicate your brand’s message.

According to another study, 88% of buyers consider online reviews very important when making a purchase. The millennials, who represent an enormous segment of the purchasing population, rely on a brand’s story more than other buyers when making purchasing decisions. Also, 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations. It’s time that you started using social influencers more than you did!

How to engage influencers?

To get social influencers to help you, you have to again build a relationship with them and it has to be done subtly. Building relationships take time but once the connection is created, activating influencers becomes a lot more seamless and effective. After connecting with time, give them engagement. Interact with them on different platforms through the content they are sharing and also participate in the conversation they start. Apart from participating in their posts and conversations, you can also grab their attention through: media kits, contests, shareable content, hashtags, and with creative contents like infographics, videos etc. This can grow into a mutually beneficial relationship.

How do you leverage the services of influencers?

There are various ways that you can make the most of social influencers. Listed below are a few of them:

  • Create an experience: For the influencer to talk about your product it can’t just be a review, it has to be an experience that he or she can feel and enough to share it forward with their audiences.
  • Customize the campaign: Each campaign has to be customized to fit the social influencer that can be steered by the influencer in a way native to his or her audience.
  • Track the progress: You must track and monitor the progress so that if required you can tweak the campaign in between to suit the required results.

At Unspun we help customers identify the social influencers who meet their requirements and in the process help with influencer marketing.

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Want to be next Narendra Modi? Here is the secret

pr-in-politicsthe-reason-behind-mr-narendra-modis-success-1-638Indian politics has evolved quite a bit since the time of its inception. In fact, the scene has become quite dynamic and complex right now. While earlier the politicians would address the masses on one platform, for example, at a rally, where audiences would turn out in large numbers to listen to the speeches of the politicians, now there are multiple platforms.

With the advent of the digital age, the number of channels that politicians use to reach out to people is phenomenal. It feels like, politicians are running a permanent political campaign on the Internet through various outlets like Twitter, Facebook, websites, blogs and so on. More the channels of communication, more the room is for error. Due to conservative usage of communication earlier, our politicians then did not really require the help of Public Relations. Gandhiji never had a Twitter handle those days and neither did he have a PR, yet he was able to communicate well with the masses who understood his agenda clearly because there was just one channel of communication and it was uniform. But, now it is a smart move for the politicians to have a PR at the disposal because they have an image to protect and build upon.

Most politicians in western countries have their own in-house PR advisor whose responsibility lies in dealing with the press. They also help the politicians with image building, reputation management, crisis management and even easy and correct communication with people. Sometimes, when the problem is of a bigger dimension, they even hire an outside firm to deal with it. Rarely do we come across politicians from leading countries like the USA, UK and Germany making any political bloopers? But, our Indian politicians are yet to learn the trick!

Politicians till date end up making shocking statements for which they have to later apologize and compensate heavily. There have been many such examples in the past. There is one particular politician though who seems to have taken a cue from the West and has imbibed it in his own day-to-day functioning. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is known to have a dedicated team that helps him. They keep him updated about the different going ons in the country and the world and even help him with different digital channels to keep in touch with his countrymen. If that is not enough, the team seems to even help him with his body language and attire. No wonder then the PM has ever made any statement out of line.

Public relations is a two-way process that in the first place helps make information available to public in an effective and efficient way, and secondly helps the politician get feedback from the public so that he or she can incorporate the same. Even though there are many digital channels today, it is very easy to get lost in the milieu. PR can bring visibility to a politician, especially in social media driven world like ours. A politician is has a busy schedule and as such it is not humanely possible to reach out to each and everyone, this is where a PR agency steps in and can come up with strategies and policies to communicate with the people in the best possible way.

PR can benefit politicians in the following ways:

  • Party identification
  • Image building
  • Image management
  • Communicating right messages on right platform
  • Avoiding scattered or half understood media messaging
  • Crisis management

Today among Indian politics there is a greater need to consider alternate mechanisms to reach out to the citizens and PR can play a vital role in dealing with the same. PR can go a long way in helping politicians not only during the elections to engage voters but also with their long term campaigns that seem to have become an ongoing process. It is very important for a particular leader to be identified with a party and PR can help that cause in a big way in the process also contributing to party engagement on a regular basis.

It is not only the public in general but also the internal marketing that matters for a politician. It is imperative that a politician is also well known within the party and holds a good rapport with his party members. PR works like an all encompassing blanket that covers all these areas and more.

Are you leveraging retargeting marketing wisely?

social-media-advertising-facts-infographic-2014An ideal situation for business owners is when buyers visit the website and register expecting a sales executive to get in touch. The sales rep later contacts the visitor and converts him/her into a customer. But unfortunately, such a linear process seldom happens with visitors who browse websites and then leave for an alternative option only to return months. Now, there is this new concept, retargeting marketing, that is being used by digital marketers very commonly to redirect one-time visitors to their websites again and the results have been great.

So what is retargeting marketing?

98% of visitors who visit your website leave without converting. You can use retargeting marketing to convert these visitors. It is a form of marketing through which you target users who have previously visited your website with banner ads on different networks across the web. In this, a small code is added to the landing page (or website) controlled by the marketer or publisher, which places a cookie in each visitor’s browser, adding them to an audience list in retargeting. That audience can now be retargeted with a specific campaign aimed solely at them.

Retargeting marketing is has target customers. B2B companies are often the best candidates for retargeting. But then, it is ideally for site that fails to have a 100% conversion.

Why should one use retargeting marketing?

Retargeting has emerged as a very powerful marketing tool especially for performance driven markets. There are various reasons why it is so important these days:

  • You get a second chance to convert a visitor: The interesting thing about retargeting is that you are targeting potential customers who are already aware of your brand as they have visited your website earlier. These customers will know about your products and services and are more likely to get converted into customers through continuous persuasion.
  • Create your own data mine: If you already have a continuous flow of one-time visitors to your site, then leverage that and create your retargeting list. It complements SEM and SEO efforts to a large extent. This enables you to keep a track on the visitors who would have otherwise gotten away.
  • You can create a recognizable brand through retargeting: Through retargeting, people get to see your ads everywhere that gives the impression that your brand has a big ad campaign running. This itself is enough to create a lasting impression on a potential customer’s mind and goes a long way in creating brand awareness that enables easy brand recognition. It acts more than just a conversion focused tactic.
  • Cost effective: Retargeting marketing gives a great return on investment making it a very cost effective method of marketing. Many people consider retargeting to be the one of the top tactics in display advertising when it comes to ROI. Also, the engagement is typically higher because of increased level of targeting.

Choosing the right channel for retargeting

There are plenty of channels these days online that you can retarget potential customers through. This will again depend on the kind of business you have and the kind of customers you want to convert. You can use third party platforms like: PerfectAudience, AdRoll, Retargeter, Bizo, and a few others or you can retarget through the social media channels like: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on. The ads will vary according to the channels you choose and there are certain advantages and disadvantages of each. For most products and services, social media channels works well as more people are likely to be reached through these platforms. Here the interactions are more too and hence the chances of being talked about is more.

Takeaways of retargeting marketing

Usually a brand gets one chance to make an impression but with retargeting, it is more than just one. Retargeting can be incredibly effective for advertisers who put the time in to manage and optimize spending effectively. You don’t have to worry about competition like with many other channels, you control every piece of this channel, and you have unlimited options on how to utilize it.

In the highly competitive world of digital marketing, you want to utilize every advantage possible and maximize the value of each of the visitors you drive. In the case of retargeting, you are leveraging your own first-party audience data, which, as we’ve discussed before, is the most valuable type of audience data.

At Unspun , we help our customers retarget their one-time visitors through different channels.

Strategize and choose the right Digital Media Marketing Channels with these Handy tips

B9-digital-marketing-chartDigital media marketing isn’t as straight cut as traditional marketing hence, you need to identify the right channels that work for you and then put your money in it. What works for a competitor might not work for you so conduct a proper research of the available tools and channels for your brand and product before you create your strategy. It is very important for a brand to assert a strong online presence to make a mark. With the help of social media marketing, your brand will be able to reach a wide audience but how will you know which channels work the best for you? It will mostly depend on your business and the kind of people you’re targeting.

Familiarize yourself with some of the popular channels on digital marketing before creating your strategy:

  • Email marketing
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media marketing includes: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest
  • Content marketing
  • PR on digital media marketing

Once you get to know how each of these channels work, you can formulate your plan of action keeping the following points in mind:

  • Define your business or company goals: Take a close look at your company’s needs and then you can decide on how you want to use the social media to help achieve them. While there are many goals that might traverse between personal and actual business goals, the common ones are – brand awareness, customer retention, sales & lead generation and reduce cost. Concentrate on the more important and primary ones and go ahead then proceed.
  • Budget: Off late, brands have been allocating a greater part of their marketing budget to social media marketing. When deciding the budget, keep in mind the following things: fees for digital marketing crew, paid advertising, content creation services fee, fees for graphic artists, photographers and videographers…depending on the kind of posts you want. It makes sense to first have the strategy in place and then plan the budget.
  • Define your marketing objectives: Marketing objectives help you measure the success of your strategy within a specific period of time. The objectives must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Ensure that your objectives are in line with the company’s overall vision and have a deadline.
  • Target audience: Before you choose to use the channels for social media marketing, you need to know where your audiences/customers are and where the competitors stand. Research the demographics of the main social media channels listed above to know where your customers are. After studying the demographics closely, choose the channels that best suit the target audience interests and online behaviour. Most social media channels will give you a broken down report of the users so go through it carefully and also keep an eye on industry reports and surveys.
  • Choose the right channels: As mentioned in the previous point, different social media channels can provide you with reports on demographics of the users. Depending on these, choose the channels where you find the customers you are targeting instead of wasting time on all the different channels. Many brands create accounts in multiple channels that don’t really help. For example, if the data tells you that your prospects spend 40% of their online time on Facebook and 20% on Twitter, you know which primary and secondary social networks you should focus on.
  • Create content strategy: It won’t be wrong to say that social media marketing is content driven. The best marketing strategy will not work if not supported by great content. The three main components for any successful social media content strategy are: type of content, time of posting and frequency of posting. The posts you make on different channels are form and context dependent. The tone and voice of the posts should be in sync with that of your brand.
  • Assign specific roles to people: To avoid confusion and waste of time, to increase productivity, avoid confusion and overlapping of duties assign specific jobs to the staff. Once the roles have been decided upon and assigned, it’s time to execute. You can plan the marketing activities on a weekly basis that is less confusing or on a daily basis, avoid monthly basis as it is too long a time and things might change in between.

Now that you have got your tips handy, go ahead and choose your channels and strategize your activities. We at Unspun have experts working closely with clients on a daily basis helping them formulate their plans.

Six Effective ways to use Social Media for Brand Strengthening

brands_and_social_media1Social media serves as a great platform to not only market one’s brand but also to strengthen the brand image and reach. It is one of the most widely used mediums today as the reach is humongous and advertisers and marketers swear by the results of social media. It can be used for building both personal as well as an organization’s brand. But not everything can bring you results; there are a few effective ways that the use of social media can be leveraged. They are stated as follows:

  • Choose the right channels to market your product: Social media is a huge space that needs to be explored bit by bit. But the best thing about it is that it is compartmentalized better thanks to the different channels that exist. So you can make your pick from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and so on. You can use either one channel or a combination of them but you need to first identify which will work for you the best. Facebook is perhaps the only channel that works for all kinds of brands because it is used by people from all walks of life. Pinterest though used mostly by women for fashion purpose also has pins related to infographics and the likes. LinkedIn on the other hand is a great channel for B2B branding.
  • Leveraging social media visually: Social media relies heavily on visual appeal. According to a study by a research firm, images on Facebook constitute 93% of the most engaging posts compared to status updates, links, and even video. So you can imagine how influencing visuals can be and hence you need to use it very carefully. Colours catch the eye very frequently so when you’re using social media for your brand’s marketing make sure that the colours are appealing. Choose two to four colours to use consistently throughout all of your social media posts and marketing. Use fonts that suit your brand’s personality and use images that convey the right message. It is also great to have a particular template for your social media posts as it will maintain uniformity and also help people identify easily with your brand.
  • Share content that people can identify with: Let’s just be clear about the fact that content on social media should be easily consumed by the audience and for that the content should be easy on the eye. Each of the posts should support your brand and though be easily understood, should also make a statement strong enough for people to identify with the brand. Use a lot of images and infographics as they register with the users easily. Brand building though on Twitter is tough, has a greater impact.
  • Take help of people who have a strong follower base: If you are a relatively new brand, it will take time for you to garner followers. So, for immediate results you can use the help of someone who has a lot of followers in the social media channels to market your product. But will they do it so easily for you? Not really! What do you do in that case? When posting content mention their names or references that will make them share your post or tag them in posts that you think will be relevant. Apart from that you can also email them. You have to pursue them consistently to share your content but will be worth the effort!
  • Create social media campaigns: Social media campaigns work very effectively when it comes to brand creation and strengthening especially when you offer incentives to the audiences. To engage an audience you need to think from their perspective and answer the question – “What’s in it for me?” and then create campaigns around it. Organize contests and so on where the audience stands to earn something in return after participating that is how most brands reach maximum audiences.
  • Promote content through social media channels: One of the most widely used strategies to build a strong brand in social media is the paid campaigns. Big brands are hiring agencies for the same and running contests and campaigns designed by these agencies to create a better brand.

These are a few steps that you can take to build a stringer brand on social media. You should make it a priority to share fresh and identifiable content on social media which will help you win followers and in the process increase your brand reach.

But it will not work unless you have an effective social media strategy in place and that is where Unspun can step in and help you. We specialize in all of the above areas and more.

Steps to Distribute your Press Release

prweb_press_distribution (1)A well-written press release is the key to get the attention of the media. Here is a step-by-step blog on how to get your press release across to the right channels to promote your company or service.

Create a media contact list: Start by creating a media contact list. Maintain the contact information of all the journalists associated to your field of interest in this list. Since journalists move roles often, make sure to keep your list updated. 

Send the press release to newswire services. Newswires are a good source of news for journalists and news media. The chances of the story getting picked up are higher.

Distribute your press release to social media networks and blogs. This is good for viral marketing. If the content is interesting it will be shared socially.

You can also use SEO tools and publish your press release on the different search engines.

Use an online press release distribution service so that you can effectively distribute your press release to your desired target audience. There are many distribution services present, but one of the most user friendly and cost-effective press release distribution services is offered by MyPRGenie.

So go ahead and put your press release out there!

8 Tips on Effectively Using Social Media for PR

SocialForPRComms_MarketingCloud_ResourceTileUsing social media for PR is an effective way to promote your brand. No start-up or small business can afford to ignore this aspect of marketing. The big brands are already doing it and with great results. Here are a few tips on how to use social media for PR.

 

Social media is more than just Twitter

Social media does not mean just having a Twitter account and tweeting. There’s so much more to it. With Twitter alone you don’t get analytics, direct SEO benefit and nor do you control the network. For a truly effective social media presence to help your PR, move beyond twitter and use other networks too.

Become a platform-agnostic thought leader

Don’t be famous only on one network. Try to be a thought leader for your brand across networks. You should be known for your pathbreaking views on a particular industry.

Don’t focus too much on one network

We all know where Orkut is today. Spending all your time and focusing your energies on one network could backfire if the network falls out of favour with users. Focus instead on community building and funnelling subscribers to one common destination.

Choose strategy over tactics for long-term benefits

If you share content that strikes a chord with people, you will see results and fast. But that’s only a tactic. You need to engage in several such tactics over a prolonged period of time. That’s when you have sound strategy, which will translate to long-term success.

Outlast your competitors

Continue to generate content in those sites where you’ve been doing it for a long time. You need to reach the point where publicity is generated as a by-product of participation.

Find the link between Social Media, SEO and PR

There is a connection between social media, SEO and PR, and smart PR agencies capitalize on these connections to get higher visibility on numerous fronts.

Use your keyword glossary across all media

Don’t restrict your keyword glossary only for your SEO. Use it across all channels and media to optimize the content and improve your inbound marketing results.

Build links through social participation

Through social participation, you’re going to get attention for your brand. And attention on the web translates to links.  This, along with other link building tactics can result in better rankings and referral traffic.

So go ahead and take that first step to use social media for PR. It’s something that can no longer be put off and is no longer an option. It’s a must for every start-up or small business, which can take a leaf out of the books of large corporations who are doing it and with elan.