It’s an unpredictable time for us marketers. People are still recovering from a rough year, financially, mentally, or both. The last thing you’d think people want are dozens of telemarketing or cold calls, automated emails and clickbait headlines — and you’re right.
The idea of trustworthy and transparent marketing — or simply, responsible marketing — isn’t new. Still, it’s taken on more meaning as many companies with initially small online presences finally moved more assets and more effort into digital marketing. The recent increase in digital marketing seems to mean an endless glut of spam from companies indiscriminately marketing to the masses.
So how do we define responsible marketing? For me, it means smarter, targeted marketing with the customer and their pain points always in mind.
Target the Customers Who You Can Benefit
Marketing has a truly awesome ability. It has the power to reach people at a primal level and heavily influence their thoughts and actions. Because our actions as marketers can significantly impact people, it’s our responsibility to promote our product or service in a way that limits the reach only to those whom we believe can benefit from what we are offering.
There is a lot of really great marketing out there, but let’s admit it, a lot of marketing is really spammy. Spam significantly reduces the quality of leads, and more importantly, it’s annoying and gives all marketers a bad name. We need to evolve past the lazy approach of tossing a wide net with the hope of catching the right fish and instead prioritize reaching a smaller, more targeted audience, specifically relating our solutions to the audience’s pain points. Your resulting lead pool may be smaller, but it will also be filled with far higher-quality leads.
How can you tell if you’re in the spammy vs. good marketing camp? First, take a look at who you’re marketing to. Do you know who your ideal customer is? Are you doing your best to reach that customer? Is your content purely promotional, or are you helping that ideal customer understand how your solution will solve their problem?
Your marketing material should first educate. It should demonstrate understanding of a customer’s problem while describing how your offering can help. At Moz, we provide free educational resources on our website because we know that the more we educate people about how to use SEO to increase the visibility of website (for example), the more likely we are to reach the customers who will benefit from our SEO solutions.
It takes patience. You need to respect your audience enough that you allow them the time and space to take the next step and convert or buy at their own pace — not yours.
Build Trust and Connect With Your Customers
I’ve talked before about how storytelling is the best way for marketers to create lasting relationships with customers. People want to experience something human and latch on to a greater narrative. When people feel you’re talking directly to them, it evokes a greater sense of connection and sparks interest in whatever you’re marketing.
Connection creates lifelong customers. Lifers, as we call them, have more value in the long run than higher volumes of entry-level customers. They’ll spend more on premium products, stick with you through rough times and recommend your brand to others. We connect with and retain lifers through a few core values — empathy, transparency and generosity.
Recently, everyone has had a rough time of it. Adjusting to new standards is exhausting, and the last thing a customer wants is to have to wade through clickbait and spam to find the answers to their problems. When I say empathy, I mean taking the time to see the world from your customer’s point of view. It ties back into your responsibility as a marketer to meet the customer where they’re at and guide them through the journey, rather than pushing them towards something they may not yet want or need. When customers see your commitment to allow them to experience the buying process in their own time, they’ll be far more inclined to trust you.
In light of recent data breaches and questionable data collection, transparency is essential right now . Customers and those interacting with your material need to know their data and information are safe with you. It’s also about showing your interest in new prospects and truthfully communicating who your product is right for.
Respect, Responsibility and Success
People get used to the status quo. Right now, the status quo is dozens of robocalls a day, irrelevant emails and other forms of spam. Is this marketing’s future? I would hope not. Imagine what a beautiful world it would be if we all worked hard to truly understand who could benefit from what we’re offering and only reached out to those prospects. Then focused on educating those prospects about how we can help.
The hope is we all use this power we have as marketers to reach targeted audiences, creating lifelong customers and responsibly guiding them along their journey.
Christina Mautz has served as a strategic marketing leader for some of the world’s largest technology companies, including Amazon and Yahoo!, as well as a few Seattle SaaS startups where she earned the nickname “Chief Problem Solver.” She currently serves as the CMO and Head of Sales for Moz, the world’s leading SEO software company. In this role, she brings her passion for strategic problem-solving to the sales and marketing teams, aligning them with creative strategies to drive growth.
Over the past few years, social media has grown exponentially from something only the geeky boys and girls in college spent time on to something that’s now a ubiquitous aspect of life across the world.
For businesses, it’s clear that social media can be a goldmine of leads and conversions, if handled correctly. That’s why many companies have focused their marketing budgets on social media, trying to build a following and cultivate customer loyalty as well as new buyers. Here are a few tips you can implement to make your social media marketing much more effective in bringing in sales.
1. Focus on your audience
One of the easiest ways to burn a lot of money on social media marketing without achieving much is to attempt to appeal to everyone. What you need to do is to narrow down your audience, create a customer profile and then target your marketing toward that persona’s needs and motivations. It will make your marketing much more effective than if you were taking a more general approach.
You might also need to segment your audience by different parameters to be able to target them more effectively. Essentially, segmentation will allow you to work with multiple customer profiles and tailor your marketing based on their specific characteristics.
2. Pick your platforms and optimize for them
Attempting to maintain an active presence on all the social media platforms available is going to stretch most businesses too much. Whoever is handling your social media will likely be overwhelmed and your efforts across all the platforms will not be effective. Instead, analyse your buyer persona and decide which platforms are best for engaging your target market. Two or three are good, and you shouldn’t undertake more than that unless you have multiple staff to handle them.
When you’ve selected your content, you will be able to optimize your content for that platform and thus get much more engagement. If you’re focusing on Instagram, for instance, you’ll be able to focus your resources on making quality images, since that’s what gets the most traction on the platform. On Twitter, conversely, making highly informative threads will likely see more engagement and get the word out about your brand more.
3. Create and share content
Content marketing is not just a buzzword. It actually works and the effects are visible on social media too. Publish content that’s short and entertaining or informative and you can be sure you’ll get some social media engagement. Over time, you’ll have some content (whether it’s text posts, photos, infographics etc.) that’ll go viral and bring tons of traffic to your website. Be sure to work with content creation professionals to be sure your website is up to par.
Putting your content out there is the first step to building a formidable brand, and one easy hack is to tweak your content strategy continually, so it’s aligned with topical issues. By creating quality content and using interesting captions for Instagram, Twitter and other platforms, you’ll be able to plug into trends and get your content in front of many more people, such as what brands like Vape4Ever achieved by providing timely information on marijuana laws at a time when there’s a lot of confusion and public discourse about them.
4. Promote user-generated content
People trust their friends more than they trust a company, no matter how loyal they are to the brand. You can take advantage of that by encouraging people to post content on social media that validates and promotes your products or services. One popular instance of this was the “Share a Coke with…” Coca-Cola campaign where users posted pictures of themselves with their soda bottles. You don’t have to start at that level either; with creative marketing or a small giveaway, you can incentivize people to post positive info about your product or service. For a travel service, for example, getting customers to write about their trips in a way that’s authentic and fun will provide solid social proof and encourage FOMO among your target audience, thus increasing the likelihood of conversion drastically.
5. Provide stellar customer service
Positive reviews are great, but many of your customers will also likely reach out via social media when they’ve had unsatisfactory experiences with your products or services. The solution is to be ready to engage with them and find fixes for their issues in a timely manner. Give opportunities for feedback, resolve any concerns they have and encourage them to share their thoughts with their network.
Over time, that will boost your customer loyalty, encourage referrals and the influx of new customers and also help to build a positive reputation on social media. As your followership grows and validates your products or services, your social proof will increase and more people will be attracted to your brand, thereby boosting sales and your bottom line.
Founder of Tech Law Info. Kunbi is a lawyer based in Lagos and is focused on the tech industry, advising startups on regulatory compliance, market-entry and investment (PE and VC). He is also the founder of Tech Law Info, a website to provide founders with essential legal information and resources. https://www.techlawinfo.com
Marketing used to be a thing on the street. Marketers would jump from block to block, convincing prospective customers to try their products and services.
While this traditional procedure achieved a lot of results, there’s something better and easier in town.
Social media marketing has eased the pressure of moving about searching for that customer that needs your product.
Since everyone is now on popular social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., you can quickly reach them with your products and services.
Of course, you are not the only one using this medium. As such, it is not just about engaging in social media marketing, but about doing it the right way.
Without increasing and converting your leads, clicks, sales, and followers on these platforms, you are not engaging in social media marketing the right way.
This article will help you improve your sales and convert more leads with social media marketing.
Why worry about social media leads?
As a marketer, your goal is beyond creating awareness about your product. Yes, you need engagements, but these are just the basics for the final destination.
Only when you collect leads can you truly find individuals interested in using your company’s products or services.
When you collect leads, it will be easier to communicate and stay in touch with individuals that are ready to use your services.
Introduction to social media lead marketing
Here is some of the essential information you need to know about lead marketing before you commence:
Social media lead generation
Lead generation refers to all activities you undergo to accumulate leads on social media.
Social media lead nurturing
After generating leads on social media, the deal is not complete. There is a need to always follow up and nurture the lead. You need to walk them through your company’s process or the sales funnel.
Social media lead conversion
Having nurtured a lead, you can then turn a prospect into a customer.
What platform can I use for social media lead generation?
Use platforms that contain prospects that need the products or services you are selling. One of the most popular options you have is Facebook. This platform offers you diverse means for successful social media lead generation.
Facebook has more than 2.45 billion users every month. This population means that you have a higher chance of meeting your desired audience within the shortest time.
Most B2B marketers have also enjoyed rich results from LinkedIn. The record shows that around 80-90% of B2B marketers make use of this platform.
Hence, you need to consider the type of products and services you offer. You can then target the right audience that will help you reach your desired goal.
Understanding all platforms’ demographics will make it easier for you to pick the right one for your business.
Now, let’s get to the details!
Tips to increase and convert leads with social media marketing
These detailed tips are designed to help you with your lead generation and conversions:
Hone your profile
The first step to reaching your desired destination of generating leads is to improve your social media profile. Collecting more leads organically depends on the details in your social media profile.
The basic standard is to include a medium where your prospects can contact you or gain access to your newsletter. If you sell products, you can also include a link for shopping.
Providing your contact information will ensure that customers can get support from you when needed. Valuable options include your email, your phone number, your WhatsApp contact, Messenger, etc.
Adding a call-to-action button to your website will increase your chances of generating leads. Most platforms have more than one call-to-action button. Try exploring the one that works best for your industry.
If you want to move your leads to your company’s website, consider adding a direct link to your profile.
Develop a strategy
Without having the right strategy, you can only achieve little results. You need to consider how you will reach your audience, who your audience is, and how you will get them engaged with your posts.
Before you post, be sure that you have the right content that your prospects are expecting. The sort of message sent can motivate or demotivate the reader.
Carefully pick the right platform to meet your audience, then prepare your posts with your audience in mind.
Your message cannot reach all users on these platforms. Even if it does, the chances are high that many will not pay attention to these posts. Hence, you need to be specific to your audience.
You need to know: What gender needs the service you are selling? Is your product age-specific? Who are your competitors targeting? Is your offer seasonal? When you find answers to questions like this, you can then work on reaching your desired customer.
Additionally, you can speak privately with some of your customers and seek their opinion on your products or services. Ensure that you are selecting the right audience, and the result will be optimal.
Work with clickable content
If your content is not compelling enough, lead generation will be impossible. Your business is not the only thing competing for an audience in the social media space. Your prospects are all searching for attention too.
Distractions will always come in the way of your customers. Unless you have valuable content to tie them down, they will be off in a split second.
You might need to seek the help of a professional at the onset. Make sure that your content is well-tailored and detailed to touch the mind of your prospect.
Your clickable content will yield no result if it does not hold values that compel a customer to click it. Hence, work on the details of your content.
Then add links with calls-to-action like, click here for more, learn more here, discover the secrets here, etc.
You can get the right call-to-action on most platforms. Make use of these options.
Try social lead ads
You can only achieve minimal results on your own. As such, when your organic content has generated all possible results, at least at the moment, switch attention.
Most social media platforms provide social lead ads to help you reach more audiences.
To make your ads stand out, you need to communicate in a clear and simple pattern. Viewers should understand why they see your ads.
Providing too much information for viewers who are not patient and attentive to details will do you no good. Hence, let your point be brief and stand out.
Asking a few questions and providing a clear and straightforward answer will result in generating leads easily.
Let’s talk about some of the platforms you can use:
Facebook lead ads
Lead ads provided by Facebook are delivered in several forms. You can then analyze them easily and evaluate the results. It also comes with retargeting tools that make nurturing a lead possible.
Instagram lead ads
Instagram lead ads allow you to collect information from your prospects. You can also use forms to seek their opinions and answer their burning/crucial questions.
LinkedIn lead gen forms
You can also engage in lead generation with the LinkedIn lead generator form. User profiles are used for pre-filling sections of the ads. Ads are presented in the form of sponsored InMail or Message Ads.
Make your landing page user friendly
If your content and call-to-action are detailed and catchy and distinct, you are likely to get frequent visitors to your company’s website.
Converting leads will be impossible if your landing page is not user-friendly. Hence, your ability to convince a prospect to click your content must also be used in designing your landing page.
The landing page needs a lot of valuable and useful content. If the details are irrelevant, people will close the page. Since other resources battle for attention, they may never consider you again.
Have you brought them to your website to see the products you are offering? If yes, ensure the landing page provides information on getting the product or leading them to the product directly.
By merely scanning your landing page, they should be able to grasp the idea you are painting. The content should not be vague. It should be as detailed as possible for your audience to benefit from.
Will they need to fill in forms upon reaching your landing page? Then make it snappy and straight to the point. Please don’t go too personal on the details. Basic information is sufficient.
A unique landing page will help you get more results from the prospects you attract to the page.
Deliver mouth watering incentives
Who doesn’t love a box of ice cream added as an incentive for buying small chops from their favourite eatery?
When your prospect sees what they stand to gain from you, they end up sharing your services with others. You need to be careful and pay attention to the type of lead you want to generate.
You can go the contest way on social media. When you host a contest, you generate leads effortlessly. You might give them a simple and essential task before they can join the contest. You can also seek their opinions on why they are joining your company’s contest.
Work with influencers and brand partners. Influencers on social media have thousands/millions of followers. They can be the key to reaching more audiences that need your product and services.
Do you know providing a prospect with a discount code for signing up for your newsletter can help you generate more leads on social media? But make sure leads generated can be nurtured and converted with follow-up emails.
Other forms of incentives include giving out whitepapers, webinar invitations, or granting them free access to closed groups. When they can see how beneficial the incentives are, the engagement improves.
Personalize your offers
A key to generating more leads through social media is by personalizing your offers. Personalizing makes reaching your target easier.
Most social media platforms offer tools that make targeting the desired audience easier. You can target them by age, occupation, gender, or social status.
Ensure that your offers are designed for each individual that comes in contact with the ads. As such, they will be able to interact and subscribe to your service.
Monitor your progress
It is best to monitor your lead generation process. There are numerous analytics tools provided by social media platforms. Do your research and find the one that works well for you and your brand.
One of the most popular options is Google Analytics. It makes tracking your leads easier and detailed. From your website, you can easily track where your leads are coming from.
It is best to start with multiple platforms. When you detect the one bringing more results, you can then focus on using that platform.
Generating leads is a continuous process. Your skills and effectiveness will improve over time. The details provided in this guide will help you better understand how to get good results from your social media marketing endeavors.
Remember, your posts must be detailed and clear. They should be straight to the point. Your audience should see how it is relevant and what they stand to gain.
It’s up to you to decide the results you want. Digest the information in this guide, and you will see massive improvements.
Social media lead generation works, but it must be done the right way.
Michael is an Online Marketing Consultant, Tech Pr Expert, and also the COO of Visible Links Pro. He shares actionable content which assists businesses to thrive online. He can be reached on Twitter, and Linkedln.
Over the past year, a lot of brands have started to do a much better job when it comes to representation in their marketing. Whether it is in diversifying the speaker lineup at conferences or ensuring the visual imagery portrayed in ads and photography looks more like the people who are attending the conferences and or consuming the content, there is a noteworthy positive change.
For instance, a few months ago, I talked to the chief marketing officer of one brand whose team had even gone so far as to put clear metrics in place as to what representation should look like, by matching it to the latest population demographics of various groups from an ethnicity standpoint, and noting that negative stereotypes should be avoided.
Even though there is plenty of progress happening on the representation-in-marketing front, there are some common mistakes being made that prevent the brands creating them from getting the results they seek.
1. Including the token diverse person
When you’re looking through a conference lineup, and you see the same usual speakers and then one person who is part of an underrepresented group, it feels like the brand did it to check their “diversity and inclusion” box. As a consumer, it feels kind of insulting.
Same goes when you’re looking at the makeup of a brand’s internal team, and they’ve got one person who looks different from all the rest.
If you really want to signal to your customers that they belong with you, particularly your diverse and niche consumers, don’t make representation feel like an afterthought or something you have to do.
Instead, focus on diversifying your network and circle of influence so you’ve got plenty of diverse talent to feature for events and to work with on your team.
2. Thinking that photography is enough
I recently conducted a representation-in-marketing research study with more than 1,000 consumers. One thing that came through loud and clear was that consumers want more than just representative photography from a brand.
Your customers want features, storylines, and more in-depth content from people who look like them and have backgrounds similar to theirs.
That may mean featuring more diverse experts in your educational content, spotlighting the stories of your customers from a number of different backgrounds in your ads and social media content, or showcasing testimonials from your diverse and niche consumers on your sales pages.
Photos can be bought, but real stories and expertise from real people cannot.
If you want to make diverse and niche consumers feel like they belong with you, go deeper than the photos. David’s Bridal does a great job of this. They feature a lot of user-generated content on their social channels that features a broad variety of customers. And on their website, they feature the wedding stories of an impressive cross-section of their diverse customers.
3. Not building a truly inclusive brand
Increasingly, consumers are looking beyond just a brand’s marketing in terms of the products, services, and experiences they deliver to determine whether or not they are truly representative.
They are turning their attention to the internal teams and board of directors to see if they are representative as well. If representation only matters in your marketing, and not in your team building, then consumers get the signal that diversity, inclusion, and belonging aren’t as important to you as you would have them believe.
The fix is to build an inclusive brand from the inside out. Your customers, particularly diverse, niche, and marginalized consumers, want to spend their money with a brand that aligns with their values. They prefer to steer clear of the brands that are only being representative in their marketing just to get diverse and niche consumers to spend money with them, and those they don’t feel truly value or care about those who are a part of their community.
Representation matters. More and more, this is becoming accepted. But not all representation is created equal. Avoid the mistakes above to ensure your representation efforts are seen as authentic and by the customers you want to serve.
My first real marketing job was at a law firm with about 40 attorneys. It was their first marketing role, too, so we learned together how to do this marketing thing.
One of the sayings I used over and over again when working there was, “Marketing is more than posters and parties.”
Yes, marketing can and may always have a bit of party planning and sign making. It’s part of the territory. But what elevates marketing to become a strategic partner with leaders in your organization is moving beyond these conversations to key questions and imperatives for the success of your business.
Let’s break down what I believe are the key components of marketing in 2021.
Whether your business is B2B or B2C, your customers are likely finding you and interacting with you digitally. But how do we change the ways we market in a digital environment to increase our lead generation?
The first place many often look is through a better optimized, modern website. A client asked me the other day if websites are even relevant anymore. I answered yes, because while new media has come about to connect consumers with brands, company websites still are a primary way leads in your sales funnel learn about you and travel through their decision-making process. The better your website keeps them engaged, the more apt they may be to buy your product or service.
I also recommend focusing on a variety of digital activities, such as email automation, pay-per-click and landing page campaigns, and social media advertising. You may find that a different mix suits you, but regardless of your industry, think critically about the intersection of your sales and marketing functions and how strategic digital marketing can efficiently capture leads to hand to your sales team.
Marketing cannot operate in a silo. To make your marketing effective — which means to do activities that lead potential customers to become customers — your marketing team should be welcomed into your sales and operations. Marketers can tell a good story, if we know the story to tell. Empower your marketing person or teams to really learn the business so they can adequately communicate your unique value proposition to potential customers.
For example, at my law firm job, this meant meeting with the practice area leaders and attending practice group meetings regularly. I had a weekly habit to make “rounds” to learn what the attorneys were working on, ask questions and understand how they communicated. This habit allowed me to delve into an industry that was foreign to me when I started and to craft messaging that would speak to their potential and current clients.
Marketing often comes under fire because it’s been historically hard to measure. Digital-first strategies have changed that because we have data to understand how our marketing efforts are reaching (or not reaching) consumers. How we measure marketing, then, should be a function of the data available to us. Ensure your goals are tied to your overall company strategy and that there is a person in your organization who is held accountable to meet them.
As your business grows, you can seek out more sophisticated marketing metrics. If you’re just hopping onto the measurement bandwagon, I’d suggest starting small with only a few metrics. Be sure to optimize your website to track conversions. You can also track contact forms and conversions on your website. Measure your email open rate. Keep an eye on engagement and bounce rate.
At the end of the day, marketing is a strategic driver for new and returning customers. Can posters and parties bring you that outcome? Yes. But only if you are also considering a digital, holistic and goal-oriented marketing approach.
We all know that brands and companies don’t quite play with their cards open. And while we can only suspect what happens behind their tightly shut doors, TikToker Selena Wright, @selenawrightcreative, has a lot to say on the matter. In fact, she has made a whole series of videos listing the craziest marketing facts that have amassed hundreds of thousands of views.
The social media manager from New Zealand covers anything marketing-related, from failures our fave brands can’t afford to make but they did to smart design strategies, smart trickeries, and clever product inventions.
Selena’s selection of facts reveals a whole new world of marketing we didn’t know, where every tiny detail has its purpose, and where brands fight in an ongoing Mortal Kombat to get our attention. Let’s read Bored Panda’s interview with the author of these videos right below!
We reached out to Selena Wright, a freelance photographer and social media manager from New Zealand who loves all things creative. “I work with brands to create custom content and get their socials looking perfectly unique to their brand,” she said and added: “I am a self-taught photographer that began shooting on my Mum’s DSLR years ago and went from there.”
In 2012 Dunkin Donuts released a marketing campaign in Seoul, Korea where scent spray devices on buses would release the aroma of warm coffee when triggered by the sound of Dunkin Donuts radio jingle. The marketing campaign reached more than 350,000 people and sales by bus stops increased by 29%.
In 2008 Shreddies launched a marketing campaign launching their new “Diamond Shreddies”. The company was pretty open about the fact that this was basically a joke since they had just just rotated the image of the square Shreddies and it that it was more about getting people talking about Shreddies again. It seems pretty successful as they got an 18% rise in sales.
The T-shirt was invented in 1904 and marketed to bachelors that couldn’t sew or replace buttons.
When asked how she got an idea for her ‘Crazy Marketing Facts’ series, Selena said it was inspired by “a similar series she saw many other creators doing about different things you can do on Canva. I liked the idea of teaching in my own niche while adding a little entertainment value as well.”
And it’s specifically the creative side of things that got the TikToker interested in the marketing industry. “Paid advertising has its place but I really enjoy creating and engaging with high-quality content that tells a story and has a lot of character for brands,” she said.
Joanne Rowling, better known as J.K. Rowling, doesn’t have a middle name according to her birth certificate. The decision to use initials on her book covers was designed so it was more acceptable for the boys to read, who were less likely to read a book written by a women.
Philadelphia cream cheese was invented in New York, and was never produced in Philadelphia. In the 1880s it was known as a marketing trick, because Philadelphia was known for high quality dairy products.
In 2009 Tropicana invested $35 million to change the packaging of their Orange Juice. Within 2 months their sales dropped by 20% and they lost significant market share. So they switched back to the old packaging. The failed marketing campaign cost them over $50 million!
From the marketing facts Selena has posted so far, the fact that she finds the most fascinating is that “Blackberry paid actresses to flirt with men in bars to promote their phones by ladies getting men’s phone numbers and showing off their Blackberries when they saved them.”
In 2011 Jell-O monitored the amount of smiley faces and frowny faces posted on Twitter. When the national average for smiley faces was below 51% Jell-O would release discount coupons for those who had recently tweeted frowny faces.
There’s a rumour that BlackBerry hired actresses to flirt with men in bars in order to push Blackberries on the public. Referred to as stealth marketing, so they would go to bars to get phone numbers and them to put their numbers in their Blackberries, trying to show off how cool they were.
And as for Selena’s plans for the future, the social media manager said that she has “a big passion project announcement coming soon that will be documented all over my social media and TikTok,” so keep your eyes out! Also, be sure to check out her awesome photography work right here.
Before mass marketing of tobacco, doctors considered lung cancer a rare disease. The amount that large tobacco companies spend per HOUR has reached $940,000.
Justin is a photo editor at Bored Panda. He was fascinated with visual arts and arts in general for as long as he can remember. He was obsessed with playing and making music in his teens. After finishing high school, he took a gap year to work odd jobs and try to figure out what he wanted to do next. Finally, around 2016, he started learning how to use Photoshop and hasn’t stopped since. He started working as a visual advertisement producer in 2017 and worked there for almost two years. In his spare time, he creates graphic collages and even had his first artwork exhibition at “Devilstone”.
“Get yourself an Ocean Galaxy Light” is the equivalent of tweeting “wow, this blew up, check out my Soundcloud”. But does it work?
Brands often ask the people marketing their content to make it “go viral”.
This, unsurprisingly, is no easy task – there’s a reason you don’t regularly see “Persil Non-Bio” trending on Twitter. However, brands have cottoned on to a new strategy that basically involves riding the coattails of something that’s already gone viral. That strategy is called “piggybacking”.
When a tweet goes viral, you’ll often see the original user tweets again, plugging whatever they want to plug (“wow this blew up! Check out my Soundcloud”). Now, though, you may see an advert for the kind of tat usually sold in a high street gadget shop, like star light projectors and slime.
Companies are approaching ordinary people on Twitter who just happen to have gone viral, and offering them cash or commission in exchange for the opportunity to piggyback their temporary Twitter fame. It always seems to be the same few companies, but what they offer to users in exchange for advertising space varies.
The legality of this practice is questionable, with online advertising regulations varying wildly across the world, but none of these tweets are marked as an advertisement. So are these viral tweeters actually getting paid? And if so, how much?
A huge star light projector, called Ocean Galaxy Light, is one of the products most frequently advertised using this method; @shaggavelli was offered £15 through Paypal to post two pre-written tweets about it. Vir Guards, which makes face masks, also offered £15. Standardized, an anime merchandise site, offered him a code through which he’d get a small commission. However, a month after his viral tweet, he’s yet to make any money from the link. “I’ve heard they sometimes give the person £5 first, then give commission, but personally I didn’t receive that treatment,” he said.
Some tweeters are offered promo work off the back of one viral tweet. Others do it more regularly. @engxl had already worked with brands when one messaged him about piggybacking off his tweet about an extremely magical old lady. Unlike others on Twitter, he was able to negotiate for more money and time limits.
Slime Clean is a gooey substance that you roll over a dusty keyboard or grimy car interior to pick up dirt. @enyxl was offered $20 (£15.50) to tweet about the product and leave the tweet up for 24 hours, but because he’d done promos with the Slime Clean representative before, “I asked him for $25 [£19.30], since I knew the tweet was gaining a lot of traction.” Slime Clean agreed and paid him through Paypal.
“If he wants it to be there for another 24 hours, it would be another $25,” @enyxl explained. “Galaxy Light approached me from their official Twitter account and asked what my price was to promote. Since I had already done one for $25, I asked for $30 [£23.15], and they paid me through Cash App. They never mentioned anything about recurring days, so I have an alarm set for when to delete the tweets unless I get compensated again.”
Pay-outs differ between users, with some getting more than others. @putinaspliff was also offered advertisements for Vir Guards and Ocean Galaxy Light for his viral tweet. But despite having around the same metrics as @shaggavelli when the ads went live, with roughly the same number of likes and retweets, he was offered substantially less by one of the brands. Why this was is hard to say, but it could simply be the brand testing just how little they can get away with paying.
Most users make a little money after firing off viral tweets – but those tweets aren’t specifically designed to appeal to advertisers. This is where the micro-influencer makes their entrance.
Unlike others I spoke to, @titanbaddie – real name, Sisa – is a pro. He regularly works with brands and has standards in place for the minimum he’ll accept. “My standard is $30 a tweet, but I’m adaptable depending on how big the brand is, and the expectations,” he says. “For example, I have brands that will pay me weekly fees to interact with their accounts, and those are normally brands that are trying to build online traction. Normally, when it’s a product, you’re paid per post, and normally when you [make] viral content they’ll reach out to you.”
Sisa explained that there’s a growing influencer culture in South Africa, where he’s getting work. At the moment it’s a new industry, and relatively unregulated, meaning influencers can make decent money if they work for it.
“I only recently started accepting promo offers from SA, because I just joined a promo team, but on some campaigns I’ve done before it can be anything from R250 (£11) a week to R2,000 (£95) for three posts, depending on how big the brand is and how long you work for them. I’ve been very lucky, in that I work with more international businesses and forums, so on an average week now I make about $200 (£154) from viral attachment tweets and paid posts.”
While there are clearly ways to make money from viral tweets, for the average joe who just happens to have blown up, it’s not going to be a big earner. As for the products themselves, I can’t find anyone who has actually tried them. Aside from one tweet from a parent whose kids enjoyed the Galaxy Lights, no one seems to be buying them. As for Slime Clean, the majority of tweets about it seem to be asking one question: how on earth are you supposed to clean the slime?
Starting a home business is an exciting prospect for many, but only a fraction of would-be entrepreneurs succeed in making and running an enterprise. Coming up with a great idea is good, but doing your research, setting realistic goals, and creating a workable action plan is what transforms “could be” into “is.”
Setting goals can be helpful in every area of your life. Goal-setting can enhance motivation, self-confidence, and independence.1 When it comes to establishing a business, having a plan is crucial.
According to Bernard Ferret, a senior business counsellor with George Mason University’s Small Business Development Centre, good goals are “based on solid research, provide a clear direction, and set expectations for all involved.”
In this article, you’ll learn what an action plan is and how to create one that really works for your home business.
What Is an Action Plan for a Home Business?
An action plan acts as your guide to ensure your organization’s vision and goals shine through. It often describes the way your business will use strategies to meet already-set objectives. A good plan not only addresses what needs to be done, but the how, when, and who of what is involved with the task as well. It should clearly outline strategies to meet your objectives, and include deadlines and possible obstacles.
NOTE: Your action plan will need constant revision as your business evolves. When you are creating an action plan, work to make it as complete, clear, and current as possible.
To create a successful action plan, you need to go into the process fully prepared, Ferret said. Prior to joining George Mason University, where he advises hundreds of clients and leads business counselling workshops, Ferret ran his own successful home-based business.
“There are two things they should ask themselves: ‘Is this business a good idea?’ and ‘Can it be successful?’ ” Ferret said. “The only way to know is to speak to people about it. Conversations reveal habits, likes, dislikes, etc.”
Ferret suggests talking to at least 100 people about your ideas, products, and/or services before diving into the concept. According to him, the more people you talk with, the better. In addition, educate yourself with help from books, online courses, or videos surrounding your industry.
When done correctly, your written action plan will break down the steps you need to take to meet the objectives you’ve set for your business. For instance, to establish your home-based business, you likely need a permit and license from your local government.
NOTE: In most cases, businesses are required by the IRS to get an employer identification number (EIN).2 The online portal from the IRS makes it easy to apply, and helps with filing your taxes.
The Power of Marketing
According to Ferret, a key factor many new small-business owners neglect to think about when creating their action plans is the importance of marketing. Along with this, many new entrepreneurs don’t realize how long it may take before they break even on their investments. According to Ferret, no matter the industry you are in, an action plan should focus extensively on marketing strategies.
“Branding is a long-term, strategic practice that includes the company’s image, logo, and look, but it also includes the opinions of your customers,” Ferret said. “Spend time on developing a marketing communication strategy based on what you learned from those 100 conversations.”
As the business owner, it is important you take a leadership role in setting goals. According to a recent study, your marketing ability has an impact. The study found that in small- and medium-sized companies, if an entrepreneur had strong marketing skills, it had a positive effect on the company’s ability to successfully meet goals.3
TIP: There are many online resources you can use to set goals, both as an individual and for your company team. PositivePsychology.com, for example, offers three free Goal Achievement Exercises you can download on your smartphone or computer.
Set SMART Goals
When working on your action plan, take extra care to clearly define your goals, and make them SMART. This concept—S.M.A.R.T. goals—was first introduced in a 1981 article written by three professionals: George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham.4
Specific: It’s important to make your goals detailed and precise when creating them. If you’re in sales, for example, a possible goal may be to sell 100 widgets in the month of May, rather than simply “sell more widgets.”
Measurable: As illustrated in the example above, set goals that can easily be quantified.
Attainable: Make your goals realistic based on your current financial situation, experience in the industry, and access to resources. Don’t be so conservative that you limit yourself; you should challenge yourself yet still be realistic.
Relevant: Think about whether the action you are planning to take will move you closer to where you need to go. Is it going to be effective? With limited time and resources at your disposal, you need to keep your efforts specific to what works.
Time-Bound: Setting hard deadlines for accomplishing tasks will keep you focused on the goal in front of you.
In addition to setting SMART goals, it takes a certain amount of discipline as well as the development of good habits to yield results.
“Even if you are not at an office, you should be working eight hours a day,” Ferret said. “Multitasking is the death of effectiveness.”
TIP: To ensure your business is thriving, consider creating a home workspace, if possible. By having a dedicated space to conduct business, you’ll limit distractions and focus on the goals in front of you. It also is beneficial to stay organized with the help of digital calendars, reminders, and notifications.
Find a Team and Hold Each Other Accountable
Finding a team as a home-based business owner can take some effort, but it’s an essential part of a successful business. This doesn’t mean you have to have several employees. Even if your business is a sole proprietorship, there are other ways to create a support system.
Whether online or in-person, there are various business-oriented communities you can join. These groups can offer support, share experiences, and also provide mentoring opportunities. A few examples include:
There are Small Business Development Centres in every state, as well as SCORE, a non-profit that seeks to foster vibrant small-business communities through mentoring and education. SCORE, in partnership with Constant Contact, has created action plan templates during the global health crisis to assist small businesses and organizations in recovery.
Evaluate Your Progress
Having SMART goals is important, but making the time to review and update those goals regularly is key. At prescribed times, whether weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly, take some time to evaluate various elements of your action plan. What is working? What isn’t? Are you meeting the deadlines you’ve set for yourself?
As you gather experience and learn new information about the industry, your products or services, yourself and your employees, you may realize some adjustments are required. Don’t be afraid to make a course correction—it may help you see better results. Revising your action plan can make it much more useful, and also make you a better business owner.
. There were many brilliant concepts covered. But the core centered around how the world increasingly emphasizes this fact: A brand’s credibility and existence now rely on what customers say and do rather than what the brand wants them to do.
Before going into my three main takeaways, let me share two case studies I felt were quite impactful to myself and the broader class.
The North Face — Question Madness
What an ad! This campaign portrays the uncomfortable and scary truths. Something not often seen from big brands… pain and broken bones are ugly, but they define the daily lives of extreme athletes. The North Face knows this and shows the entire world they understand exactly who their customers are.
Further, The North Face decided to take a user-generated content (UGC) route with a strong focus on empathy which translates directly into a sense of belonging with their core audience. Because of this, they literally did not need to put any product front and centre. Rather, their brand and product is the athlete — no matter where they are. As a result, their entire brand now resembles the safety and support system that allows athletes to survive extreme conditions — which translates into their secret sauce:
The customer is the hero.
The customer is the marketer.
They helped people belong.
Heineken — Worlds Apart
Phew! What a shocking video and context. Mark posed some great questions to this case study. Who is the target audience? Why would this sell more beer? Let’s get into what I think about it…
The target audience is those who think our differences are greater than our potential to connect. It’s a beautiful analogy to the way the world is seemingly trying to divide us among our identities. And it offers the antidote: Heineken Beer. Heineken is treading a thin line between encouraging alcoholism and highlighting the culture it enables.
I personally believe it is clearly the latter. As a beer consumer myself I can relate to the environment filled with deep conversations that occur in a typical pub, bar, or even at home… I think you know what I am talking about. So the answer to the second question is also very clear to me: this campaign would definitely sell more beer. Its message is inclusivity from all political or ideological ends.
My 3 Main Takeaways
Building on these two case studies, I collected three main takeaways that resonated most with me. Now, if you know me, then you understand how much I love mental models and processes. So, my takeaways are designed for a personal branding beginner (like myself). And personal branding begins with producing inhuman amounts of content… the following points relate to a process I have identified from this class and am applying to myself. They are meant to be applied top to bottom. Let’s get into it.
1. Apply AIR with your initial content
I know it’s cliché, but content is king! Simple, right? Not really. Creating content that actually connects with people is difficult. AIR makes this easy:
Authentic = Are you real? Is what you’re sharing honest?
Interesting = What value does it add? Is it tangible?
Relatable = Does it connect to your target audience?
People believe and trust in what they see and experience. AIR relies on consistency and trust. The key to AIR is community-driven.
Be of the community, not just in the community.
Once you nail AIR, you create acts of advocacy that will move customers to connect and communicate with other customers. This only comes from creating and sharing content, increasing buying decisions as a result.
Mark says this best:
“Know who your super sharers are and tailor your content angle towards them.”
I say in addition, you need advocates, not followers.
2. Define your customer island
Personal branding is the marketing of today. And marketing is about all things human. It’s about emotions. So you should aim to create the marketing of no marketing: enable your customers to create and share your/their stories. Do this by understanding what they are into. And once you define that, you can group them into customer islands (imagine a Maldivian atoll as a reference), where the name of the game is word of mouth (WOM) marketing.
This might seem very difficult, but there is a simple solution: Think about creating talkable stories and approach the following types of influencers: celebrities, creators, and advocates. Each has its unique use case and its effectiveness will depend on your application.
Once you understand your customer islands and which influencer type you need to gain access to each, you will receive feedback from a whole range of customer segments that were totally agnostic to your personal brand. Beautiful, right? So analyze carefully and choose wisely.
If you create your personal brand, you create your island. And those who identify with it, will come to you.
Mark categorizes customer islands under human-centered marketing, which he built a beautiful manifesto for. Check it out here.
3. Leverage RITES to scale your content
Expanding on the ideas of customer islands and creating your first consistent content series with AIR, I loved this model as a way to scale bigger and broader as a creator. Once you’ve ticked all of the five RITES boxes, you will be able to connect with your island like never before:
Mark goes on to state that your personal brand is a business. So, as with any business, you should know that the customers are in control. Even more so in the age of personal branding. Be wise and make your personal branding efforts less about ego and more about the people on your island. RITES allows you to discover and frame the type of content you need to grow your personal brand to new heights.
The internet is all about giving away value and enabling others
Coming Full Circle
I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did writing it. Needless to say, the ideas put forth are interpretations and learnings I took away from Mark’s class. However, the approach and condensation of them are my own. My hope is that you receive the same amount of value as I did. Thanks so much for all of these concepts
The advertisement industry has seen many revolutionary times when the campaigns changed the face of the earth. From banners ads to digital ads, the average American is exposed to a few hundred to a few thousand ads every day. The use of new technologies helped the businesses to win millions of new customers and even helped the candidates to win the elections.
The advertisement industry has seen many revolutionary times when the campaigns changed the face of the earth. From banners ads to digital ads, the average American is exposed to a few hundred to a few thousand ads every day. The use of new technologies helped the businesses to win millions of new customers and even helped the candidates to win the elections. Direct mail campaigns proved to be the biggest player in the whole marketing game. Even in the age of digital ads, print mail still proved to be the most useful marketing method for every business.
Here are some marketing campaigns that made the biggest impact on the global communities.
1. The Pause that Refreshes by Coca Cola
The current idea of the Santa Clause is thought to be introduced by Coca-Cola. In reality, the same concept of Santa Clause has been around for years. Coca-Cola simply put all the ingredients in a compelling way to showcase the idea to the world.
The ad campaign by Coca-Cola gave a whole new idea to the world. Since then red costume of Santa Clause has become an essential part of events.
2. Real Beauty Campaign by Dove
This was an intelligent move by Dove where they used visual content to describe the fact that only 4% of the females consider themselves beautiful.
FBI agent draws the woman after she explains herself and then another stranger is asked to describe the same woman. The drawings from both subjects are totally different.
3. Red Bull Stratos
In 2012, Red Bull ran a promotion where Felix jumped from 24 miles in space. He became the first person to break the sound barrier without using any type of vehicle or rocket.
This ad took over the internet and attracted millions of new customers from all over the world.
4. McDonald’s’ “Our food, your questions”
McDonald asked the users to ask a question about the products. McDonald also answered all of these questions so the doubts can be cleared.
This was a bold move but this campaign helped to strengthen the trust of users in the food items offered by McDonald’s.
The Use of Print Media in Your Marketing Campaigns
Direct mail has always been on the top of the list of every company and brand. Print mail has been used even in presidential elections. When it comes to influencing the masses, direct mail has always proved to be the most effective and useful method. The twist was the use of APIs that made direct mail marketing whole better. Since the use of APIs for marketing, the world has seen a whole new phase of advertisement.
Most of the marketing campaigns were meant to offer special results for a specific event or period. Concepts and technologies like APIs for print media are going to stay here for long. Now, almost every marketing agency and campaign are somehow using the power of APIs in one or another way.
The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.