email social

Integrating Email Marketing to Social Media in 5 Steps

Email has always been one of the best sources of quality customers for almost any online business. From ecommerce to blogging, your email subscribers tend to be more loyal because they've permitted you to sell to them. Which is why it's usually regarded as a core traffic source for most businesses.

While email marketing and social media are singularly effective, they can exceed marketing goals when combinedClick To Tweet

Knowing that only a few people make buying decisions based on information from a single medium, it is of essence to integrate multiple channels so as not to miss out on other opportunities and the natural rhythms of the buying cycle. While email marketing and social media are effective on their own, when combined, they can exceed marketing goals and give desired results. Here are a few ways to integrate your social media accounts into your emails and get more;

Include Social Icons in Emails

While this may sound like an obvious one, it’s important to include social icons in your email campaigns. Don’t stick a tiny icon at the bottom of your email; people rarely take conscious note of that. You have to be loud and proud of it, stick it boldly at the top of your email.

Including your social icons alone isn’t enough neither, your emails should always have Call-to-actions (CTAs) that will nudge your readers into clicking on your social media icons. Don’t be afraid to tell them to take an action, you could tell them to share this email using their social media profiles or even comment. You can also send dedicated emails telling your audience why they should follow you on Social media.

Get Sign-ups on Twitter & Facebook

Facebook and Twitter ads now enable you add email “sign-up” buttons. All you need is media platforms with content, image and CTAs. Make sure that the content will compel people to sign-up.

Upload your Subscriber list to Social Networks

Having a social media presence puts a face and a name to your brand. Following your audience on social media will give you a better idea of their requirement and desires. You can find them by uploading your subscriber list to your social network. There are different ways to upload subscriber lists on different platforms;

  • Twitter:

    For Twitter, the best way to start is to link your email address with your Twitter account, that way, Twitter scans your email contact list. You can also upload a CSV file of your email contact list under the “Twitter Ads” tab.

  • LinkedIn:

    LinkedIn allows it’s users to search for email addresses. You can also upload a list of contacts to broaden your and network LinkedIn will contact data. Once the list is matched you can connect with them all at once or select one by one whom connections are added to your network you can send them an invitation to your product.

  • Google+:

    Upload your subscribers list to Google+ via ‘Open Your Address Book’. Upload your list and create a segmentation by splitting contacts into different circles.

  • Facebook:

Facebook has an elaborate feature that doesn’t just allow you add people but also allows you choose how you plan to add these people. With the “Custom Audience” feature, you can roll out a targeted Facebook ad and increase follower-ship for your company Facebook page. You can also upload a CSV file.

Run retargeting ads on Facebook and Twitter for loyal email subscribers

Here’s how retargeting works; you install a tracking code on your website and this in turn allows your ad platform to cookie visitors, then show them ads on other platforms (like Facebook). If you create a targeted email campaign for your subscribers, then retarget only the ones that clicked through, you eliminate guesswork.

Blindly running ads is an easy way to spend a lot of money, however, matching intent and interest with targeted ads is a good way to make a lot of money.

Create an exclusive social group for your email subscribers

Doing this can build strong relationship with your subscribers. Some people even go as far as creating a whole new app. The guys at TechCabal did it with Radar. But you can always start with a Facebook page. The key is to ensure your page is ACTIVE, flowing with innovative ideas to keep your group members engaged and active. By doing online activities like contests, free giveaways, quizzes and video blogs, you can learn more about the members, and thus build a strong bond. This is a hugely underrated tactic.

Have you tried any of these suggestions already in integrating your email marketing with your social media efforts? Tell us about it below!


youtube

5 things to do before you create that YouTube Channel

YouTube is basically the new tv, and with the constant upload of content, every single video is fighting for a viewer’s attention. This makes it a tougher situation for anyone looking to start a channel, however, with consistency, many YouTube channels have made it out of the crowd.

Before creating a YouTube, you should consider or answer some of these questions…

Want to start a YouTube channel? You should go through this checklist first, it could save you some stressClick To Tweet

Why do you want to start a YouTube channel?

What is your main objective for starting a channel? This is the first question you’d have to answer. It'll play a huge role in ensuring your commitment level and dedication do not nosedive.

Are you looking to become intimate with your customers? Or do you just want to jump on the YouTube bandwagon? This is actually very important because every other platform like Facebook and Twitter have integrated videos into their features. So you have to ensure you have a solid reason for opting out of using those and creating a YouTube channel.

On the other hand, if your answer to this question is something like “I just want to go viral and make tons of money,” you may want to rethink things. Yes, sometimes people luck out and go viral with a random uploaded video but you can’t bank on this. For most people, finding success on YouTube takes time and effort, so if you aren’t ready to put in the work then you may be sorely disappointed.

What’s the theme of your videos?

What do you want your channel to portray? What’s your underlying theme? Have you decided what you’re going to make videos about? The possibilities are endless—you can make videos about your business, your customers, your staff, or behind the scene’s of day to day activities. However, it’s important to note that when it comes to building a subscriber base it’s best if you stick to a specific topic or niche, because, like earlier said, YouTube is populated already.

Is this a niche that you’re actually interested in?

When you end up choosing a theme? You have to be sure it’s something you can sustain over a long period. Once you lose that buzz around your videos, your viewers somehow will sense it. A big mistake that many people make when starting a YouTube channel, a blog, or really creating any sort of online content is that they choose a niche or topic because they think it will be popular and not because it’s something that they actually care about.

When Toke Makinwa’s Toke Moments started, vlogging wasn’t a big thing in Nigeria, there was skepticism all around it, but her consistency has made her a force to reckon with.

Hence you should keep in mind that once you start creating your videos, you’re going to be fully immersed in the subject that you’ve chosen to make videos about, so it better be something that you’re passionate about.

What audience are you targeting?

What do you know about your audience? Their demographics; their viewing patterns? What part of the country they are viewing from? etc. Knowing your audience will influence the time you post your videos, the regularity, the topics based in the overriding theme etc. Do a bit of research and create a profile of your ideal viewer. This will help you streamline the content and style of your videos. You also need to find out if there’s another YouTube channel with the same target audience as yours, you need to study them, pay attention to people’s comment about them and see what you can do to stand out from them.

How are you going to measure your success?

What parameters will you use to measure the success of your channel? Your parameters may differ depending on your reasons for starting the channel, which you already answered above. A certain number of views? Number of subscribers? Amount of traffic driven to your website? or becoming a YouTube partner within a certain period?

You can monitor your progress by seeing how close you are to your goals and when you reach (and ultimately surpass) them, it’ll be time to celebrate! However, it’s very important to note that success does not come overnight, you have to be very patient, consistency does the trick when it comes to hitting your online targets.
Do you have a YouTube channel? Feel free to share your initial experience with us below!


emotional targeting

Using emotional targeting for brand messaging

Emotional targeting is when a marketer communicates to the target market using powerful emotional triggers. Emotional targeting takes place on two levels - understanding an audience’s emotional triggers and then implementing the insights on your website or marketing campaign. You need to investigate and understand which emotional triggers will affect your target audience and drive them to take action. For this you will have to dig in to understand your users' behavior. What sort of messaging affects them? How does your product make them feel? And so on. Then you can pursue the triggers that you see are the most successful in customer engagement.

Visual Storytelling

You must have seen MTN and Coca-Cola serenade our web pages recently with videos. The fact that I can even remember these ads out of the million and one web ads I see every day tells you something's unique about video ads. Visuals do the trick, they stick. A good visual message stimulates people’s senses. It can create fear, elicit pity, or showcase friendship. Font styles make a difference, too. People consider a clear, readable font as trustworthy.

To make visual storytelling work, however, you can’t simply slap a few stock photos onto your blog or social media posts. Just as headlines and calls to action must be crafted carefully, your visual content deserves more than a second thought. From screenshots to actual photographs, think about how to convey emotion to your audience. Do you need a wide-angle shot? Will a big red arrow show more impact for the viewer? In addition, be aware of diversity in your visuals. Cultural shifts happen within our society. Not everyone will be on board with your company’s inclusiveness. But don’t let that stop your brand's progression.

Here are a few tips to help in Emotional Targeting…

Memorable Experiences

Memories are precious moments in our lives.

We remember graduating from the university, our first break up with our first romantic partner, or even that embarrassing moment when we flopped a presentation. These experiences evoke us to think about how we felt at that particular time. To harness the power of memorable experiences, associate your brand’s experience with your customer’s life events. For example, transfer the same emotions customers felt when they got married or bought their first home and you're on your way to emotional marketing.

Psychological Triggers

Emotions determine our everyday decision-making. We buy when we’re sad. We buy when we’re happy. However, most brands miss the opportunity to develop an emotional link with customers. They focus on product features, rather than understanding the feelings behind the purchase. This is where emotional targeting comes in.

In 2014, Facebook “revealed that it had manipulated the newsfeeds of over half a million randomly selected users to change the number of positive and negative posts they saw.” This controversial psychological study found that people mimic the emotions expressed in online content. So, if people read a positive post, they are more likely to respond positively. With that in mind, prepare your product / service to develop digital marketing campaigns ingrained with psychological triggers. For instance, happiness induces people to share. So when targeting, the theme of your content should generally revolve around these emotions...

Joy

The one video ad a lot of us have come to love and sing along with is Coca Cola's "Taste the feeling" campaign

Few things in life are as sweet as joy. And equating this emotion with your brand can most certainly drive recognition. Whether it’s an ad that evokes excitement over a new offer or shares a hopeful sentiment to brighten a prospect’s day. When your audience feels the warm fuzzies, they’ll undoubtedly feel compelled to pass it on.

Nostalgia

You don’t need to make your audience weep with sorrow to tap into this emotion. Instead, opt for sweet sentimental. Take, for example, this commercial from Coca Cola that makes use of familiarity and ends on a positive note. More often than not, a relatable story that tugs at the heart strings also inspires action. This is the essence of emotional targeting.

Amusement

Laughter is a powerful reaction that increases the production of endorphins and helps reduce stress. Using humor in your marketing can offer your audience a reprieve from the dull messages filling their inboxes. It can grab their attention and keep them coming back for more. Don’t be afraid to throw in a line of playful quip into email copy. But steer clear of lewd or offensive jokes that could land your brand in hot water.

 

Overall, the best way to appeal to your audience’s emotions is to be authentic. Make an effort to get to know your subscribers through data, and tailor your message to their wants, needs, and behavior. By combining personalization with emotional targeting, you can make a lasting impact on each and every prospect and customer.


Content Marketing tools to make your work easier

Content marketing is fast becoming standard practice. It can be all too easy to focus solely on results when you’re working on your digital campaigns. But without the right tools to source and track your content, you'll be heading down the drain and expending unnecessary resources.

We have drawn up some top Content Marketing tools that you should be using to boost the performance of your campaigns.

Buzzsumo

buzz sumo

 

Buzzsumo is an effective tool for knowing which online outlets are talking about topics most relevant to your business. It’s perfect for checking how your content is performing. Just enter the URL of the content into the search bar and you’ll see the social shares it’s acquired. You can also view the backlinks that the content has acquired or that of your client.

It saves a huge amount of time spent on trying to find targeted articles to contribute to. It can also be used when creating your Content Marketing strategy. Type your chosen topic into the search bar and you’re instantly shown the existing content that’s out there. This shows what is and isn’t working and will hopefully inspire you to create something even better now that you’re armed with information on how to make it more effective.

 Copyscape

 

Copyscape is best for fighting plagiarism; making duplicate content a thing of the past. You buy credits, depending on your budget. Then simply copy and paste the content you want to check into the text field. Next, click ‘Search Private + Internet’. This clever piece of tech will instantly identify any lines of text that have been duplicated and provides their location. What’s more, you can also compare the two versions of the content.

This is great for checking if your content has been scraped so that you can proactively work to prevent a Google penalty for duplication. A trap many Content Marketers fall into is unintentional plagiarism. It’s all too easy to read a piece online when researching for your own work, only for the odd line or phrase to accidently wheedle its way in. Copyscape helps to eradicate these instances and ensure that your content is 100% unique.

Ahrefs

 

Ahrefs is a wonderful resource for Content Marketers. You can use the ‘Content Explorer’ to search for a topic relevant to yours. It then shows you a list of content that has gained the most social shares. This effectively allows you get into the mind of your proposed audience. You can see their behavioral patterns when they come across different stuff online and then use this to boost your marketing strategy. Ahrefs is also a brilliant tool to use when news jacking. Again by typing in topics relevant to your client, you can see the posts out there that you could potentially add a comment to. You can also filter by date and location to make your search more refined.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite content platform

 

Hootsuite isn’t just a social media scheduling software. It’s also an aggregator tool, making it an essential tool for Content Marketers. You can add a whole host of social media platforms to the software and assign each one its own tab. That way you can keep up-to-date with all your social platforms in one place.

Hootsuite provides you with the capability to add streams to your dashboards. This way you can keep tabs on not only the latest industry updates, but also your social media activity and interaction. This is perfect for analysing how a social media campaign is performing, for example tracking a hashtag connected with a competition.

These are just a few Content Marketing tools that have worked wonders. Have you used an effective tool that hasn’t made it onto our list? Tell us about them below!


snapaya

Why I think Snapaya is a great idea and why you should contribute

If you run a blog you already know that getting images can be a downer. More so when you're not in the right position to get some yourself. Either because you don't own a good camera and your phone camera is wack, or because you're just not that creative.

You're not alone.

At Localized Digital we have to search all through the web for Creative Commons Zero images to use for posts. And the search can be daunting, because not many people take nice pictures of black dudes. They're all white and funky and fine. But on one of my many trips to Techcabal, I found out about Snapaya.

snapayaBasically, Snapaya is a website that allows Nigerians upload pictures they have creative rights to. Which allows people like me get high resolution images with no obligation to pay for using it :D. At the moment, they're only a handful of images there, but I see it growing over time. Already suggesting to a few friends to upload stuff on the website.

Submitting Photos on Snapaya

The terms for posting an image are pretty simple and straightforward

submit-to-snapaya

Here are some submissions so far

If over time Snapaya gets more people submitting awesome pictures like these, I think that in the next few years a part of the image problem would have been solved.


How to create the Perfect Content Marketing Strategy

How to create the Perfect Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing goes beyond written words which is the first thing that comes to the mind of new business owners. Content is an umbrella word for every piece of information you dish out for the purpose of marketing your brand. So it needs to be strategic and carefully thought out. Depending on the goal of your business you should ask yourself what you want to achieve based on the type of content you push out. That brings me to giving out a few tips that can help you make a very effective content marketing strategy:

The Golden Circle by Simon Sinek

The Golden Circle consist of 3 basic questions. Why, How and What. Let’s address each of these questions

  • Why (The Purpose): Very few organizations know why they do what they do. Why is not about making money. It's about the vision or purpose which is the very reason your organization exist in the first place.
  • How (The Process): Some organizations know how to get stuff done. These are the things that make them special or set them apart from their competition.
  • What (The Result): Every organization on the planet knows what they do. These are the products they sell or the services they offer

Answering these 3 questions clearly determines the nature and priority of your business. The idea of answering these questions also helps you come up with content aligned with your goal. So if the content you create is to help raise awareness about your brand/business or help increase sale, you know which section of the golden circle you need to tap into.

Type of Content

Depending on the message you want to pass, think about how best to catch the attention of the audience. As earlier stated content does not necessary have to be a history lesson (boring). It could be represented in a number of different ways which include:

  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Animations
  • Newsletters
  • Blog post
  • Webinars
  • Case studies
  • Pictures and so on

 Getting the best from your content

Content marketing isn’t a one man job. It requires a full creative team or a genius. But usually you need a team including a graphic designer, blogger, copywriter, community manager, SEO specialist, and a web designer. Each member of your team is required to use their expertise to contribute immensely on the best way to push out content and what content goes out. Basically you have to make sure each member is competent and understand their roles in creating a good content. Sometimes one member of the team is OK to push the content other times you need every member of the team.

How, When & Where to distribute Content

Creating great content is the first step of a thousand miles. The real challenge is in the distribution of your content. Knowing the perfect time to share them, the best performing channel for your content (putting into consideration your target market), number of page views and engagement rate. You need to work out a plan to make sure your content meets its KPI (Key Performance Indicator).

If the content is based on a trend, season or event then its best shared around that time unlike content that is evergreen.  An example is “how to save your phone battery” This type of content will be relevant any day anytime. That brings us to

Metrics to look out for

There are four (4) types of metrics to look out for when setting the KPI for a content marketing strategy. They are consumption, sharing, lead generation and sales metrics.

  • Consumption Metrics: This measures how many people saw your content and engaged with it. Statistics on consumption comes in page views, link clicks, video views, downloads, sign up, time on page, behavior on page and so on.
  • Sharing Metrics: This measures how many of those who consumed your content reacted to it. This metrics includes likes, shares, retweets, +1’s, pins, repost, forwards and inbound links.
  • Lead Generation: This is a measure of how many people can be re-marketed to or looks like potentials for a future purchase. This is measured by form downloads and form completion, email subscriptions, blog comments and conversion rate.
  • Sales Metrics: Did you make any money based on the content? Measure this by online sales, offline sales with a discount code unique to the content you shared. E.g Sales that have promo codes like IG234 says consumer is making purchase based on the content on they saw on instagram and BB123 says purchase is based on content on bill boards etc.

Measure and analyse

The rate of engagement on your content is what determines its failure or success. So there is need for you to measure and analyse your content to give a clear picture If your strategy was good and how to re-strategize and make it better. Measuring and analyzing helps you keep track of your content to ensure you are not just putting out great content that nobody is seeing or can relate to either because you are reaching out to the wrong people in the right way or talking to the right people in the wrong way.

Evaluate and Re-strategize

In a simple sentence “if it worked make it better, if did not work then find a way to make it work”. After measuring and analyzing, draw up a conclusion as to whether your content did well or not and in most cases do a SWOT analysis. If it’s the latter, find out the reasons why based on type, target audience, time, and platform. And if it’s the former focus more on your strength and maximize it, see how you can improve your weaknesses, what open opportunities are you not exploring and finally see how you can minimize your threat since you can completely eliminate it.

Content marketing is not a campaign you run for a while and stop. It is a continuous commitment. And it doesn’t have to be difficult. Set up a system that works for you and use available tools to make it easier to track your success and failures. Get them!

How do you currently create your content marketing strategy? Let us know in the comment box below.


share-a-coke-virality-viral

An analysis of two campaigns that went viral in Nigeria.

PHOTO CREDIT: www.houseofbombini.com

At my first real job, there was always a standard thing. Every time we convened to discuss campaigns ideas towards cracking a client’s brief; our ideas always needed to be towards virality. Nothing less.

The idea behind this (outside bragging rights, of course), is the same idea behind viral marketing; having people spread your message for you will have much more impact than when you have to share it yourself. 

Now, the million dollar question is; with the exceptionally high amount of content uploaded and shared on the internet every day, what are the chances of creating a campaign with such compelling content that can literally stop people in their tracks and cause them to do something?

While a number of people who would say that a lot viral content are random occurrences. Saying it's probably out of baby luck, and they would be right. There’s also an undeniable element of strategic planning and implementation that you can see in many viral campaigns, that brings the realization that there’s a lot more going on than luck. These are 2 campaign proofs:

I Don Port

 The amount of views on this video does no justice to how viral this campaign went at the time. This was a 2013 campaign MTN ran when the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) approved the mobile number portability.

The first underlying element to this campaign was the pro activeness that came with it. NCC launched the portability service on the 22nd of April, 2013 and that morning, we were served with this awesomeness from MTN. Next, was the beautiful element of surprise in it – seeing Saka (the guy with the funny leg dance), on an MTN ad. Little back story here; Saka  was on Etisalat’s campaigns prior to this ad. Then there was all the tiny elements; like his dress changing from green to yellow, the music, the humorous dance and the overall look and feel of the ad.

The virality of this campaign had cut across many sects; there were the advertising junkies who saw it as the best of brand wars we’d had in this market in ages. Then we had the music junkies who couldn’t stop the jingle from playing in their heads. And finally we had the wacky ones (my sect!) who tried hard to get the Saka dance. (Oh! We had the haters too, but they don’t count K).

All of these sects, went online and talked endlessly about this ad. And every talk on the new portability service was hinged on it.

#ShareACoke

I said I would blog about this campaign here , so yay, here we are! #Ikeepmyword! ;)

We know the Share A Coke initiative was a multinational campaign, so we cannot tie any rights to it being “Nigerian”. However, because it was just as successful in this market (trust me, it could have flopped), we shall assume – for the benefit of this post - that it was straight outta compton here.

Coca Cola basically replaced its iconic logo with all the popular Nigerian names on all its packaging. Giving consumers an opportunity to connect to the brand. They started by sending customized bottles packed in pretty boxes to as many celebrities as possible, and of course these ones took it to social to begin the #ShareACoke hashtag in Nigeria. This built anticipation in everyone before the customized bottles and cans eventually hit the stores (market).

img_14092016_122258

When the customized bottles/cans hit the stores, we saw a seamless fusion of online and offline. The bottles were strategically placed in stores, it was literally the first thing you saw when you walked in. Then, we saw people excitedly take pictures and share it across platforms using the hashtag.

The Takeaways

There were too many viral touch points in this campaign. First, the backbone of the campaign. the emotional connection stemmed from finding you name on the bottles/cans; everyone was talking about that! Everyone was helping everyone else they knew to find their names. Everyone wanted everyone to know they had found their names. It was some sorta social chatter that no one got tired of. People even started sharing well crafted stories on the journey it took to finding their names or how long they intended to keep theirs. (I was one of the latter and I still have my can even though the coke in it is expired :D )

img_14092016_123042Next was the fact that this backbone nestled nicely on the impact User Generated Content (UGC) can have on any brand. Everyone knew the hashtag, everyone wanted to jump on it. Plus, Coca Cola went a step forward and gave people who could not find their names an opportunity to still have something to share online by sharing a link to a customized can generator where people could create virtual customized cans with their names and share online.

Finally, they pulled everyone in! They went to every neighborhood and made instant cans with desired names for everyone who walked up to their stand.

This campaign literally exploded.

According to Jonah Berger, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On; "There is a science behind why people share. It's not chance, and it's not random, if you understand the underlying science of human behavior, you can predict what people are going to pass on, and you can craft your own contagious content--whether it's messages, products or ideas--that people are more likely to spread."

Know any other campaigns that went viral in Nigeria? Drop me a comment in the comment box below


10 blogging mistakes

7 blogging mistakes you need to avoid as a business

"It's not what you say that matters, it's what they hear." Frank Luntz

Many small businesses have turned to blogging as a way to engage and further connect with customers. Which is exciting. It’s a good strategy as it helps you interact with your customers from a casual angle. Blogging for your business is important, but doing it wrong can cost you your customers and your reputation. Consumers can be retained or lost simply from your blogging efforts, so it’s vital to avoid the following mistakes;

Bad Writing

I shouldn’t have to say much about this. There’s no excuse for poorly constructed sentences and wrong grammar. Displaying them in a public setting like a blog, looks even worse. There's a good chance that if the blog isn't written well, your customers will think a little less of you, or at least of your marketing team. There many ways to avoiding a poorly written blog post. You can hire a copywriter. Or get your members of your staff to write periodic articles (which will all be crosschecked and edited by the content guy of course). It gives your blog itself different voices for customers to relate to. And it also makes the employees feel better about themselves and their overall contributions to the organization.

Conversation NOT Presentation

Good blog posts are those that inspire conversation and drive readers to comment, share, or engage with the content. Rather than thinking about a blog post as a dissertation, think about it more as an opinion on a hot topic. Stick to that one opinion or point of view and defend it, then open the floor to readers to respond. In blogging, it's important to blog about a particular topic without being complete. If it's conversational as a blog is supposed to be, you get a chance to say one thing or one idea, and then it's your customers' turn to talk or respond.

Is this an Ad Site or a Blog?

Don’t get it twisted. Often the best way to promote your business is to be seen as a resource and not a PR outlet. If you try to sell a customer a product too early in the relationship, before you've really gotten to know each other or learned to trust one another, you'll often scare them off. Rather, establishing a blog that provides regularly interesting, useful and informational (not promotional) content will make customers more likely to make purchasing decisions.

Focus on the Readers

In most cases, companies are starting blogs as a means to connect further with their customers and in the end sell more products. But the message is unsuccessful if the person on the other end, in this case the reader, can't understand or can't relate to what you are saying. Good writers know it's about the people and not about the words. In other words, they care what their audience thinks and they are learners, so they come to it with a beginner's mind and aren't afraid to say I'm learning as they talk to others and improve.

No Clear Strategy

Have a central theme! While variety is great in a blog because it keeps it from becoming boring, you need to be clear about what users can expect when they visit it. Your aim should always be to keep your readers glued. Showcase your passion through your posts, people should be able to feel and tap into your passion just by reading your posts, keep them excited and they’d want to read more.

Share your Personal Eexperiences

What makes your perspective unique and different from the millions of other blogs that are out there? Why should readers trust your voice? If you are a business owner, it's rare to start a blog before you've established customers. So clearly, you have experience in your field of business. Just like you tap into your passion with the overall strategy, make the most out of your experience and be sure to offer a unique perspective. Don't just say what everyone else is saying. Often, disruption can breed success. Always appear as humanely human as possible.

Embrace Technology…fully

I know the fact you run a blog means you’ve embraced technology, but don’t just stop there. Don’t be stereotyped. Consider varied content types, whether it's a standard text blog, video interviews, podcasts or an infographic. Beyond that, make sure you are utilizing all of the sharing tools available, from an RSS feed to social sharing abilities. And more importantly, use an analytics service to track what posts perform well, how users are finding you and more. There are many tools out there to help you track how your blog is performing. Take advantage of them.

Creating and promoting quality content as part of your marketing strategy wouldn’t only get you quality leads and users, but also positions you as a thought leader in your specific industry.

Have some blogging questions? Drop your questions in the comment box below.


online PR

Marketing for Beginners: An Introduction to Online PR

How do you build up your online presence? How do you enhance your brand equity? So many businesses have long discovered that having sponsored tweets and posts, conducting weekly giveaways and all doesn’t always translate to bigger sales. Online PR has become a very important part of this digital age for businesses. Building a brand presence online organically has become the bane of most brands. And online PR focuses on influencing digital venues and publications.

According to Smart Insights

[hcode_blockquote]Online PR activity is closely associated with improving results from many of the other digital marketing communications techniques in particular social media, SEO (link-building), partnership marketing and viral marketing / word-of-mouth marketing.[/hcode_blockquote]

Outside of the obvious benefits, there are few other things to keep in mind. Online PR also helps with SEO, the back links you get to your website from authoritative websites talking about you is good for Google. It can also help shape public perception about your brand. When people search for you, you need to try as much as possible to dictate the results they see. Online PR can help you do just that. So lets deep dive into how to go about this.

The Perfect Mix

To understand the concept of Online PR better, you only need to look at the traditional Public Relations Officer. Online PR is letting customers know what your brand is about. In managing your online PR, you need really great content, an audience and a strategy to reach them.

This is probably why most companies get their Online PR wrong, they go ahead and manage their brand excellently with no story to tell and no audience to reach. It doesn’t work that way. For your Online PR to be effective, you need a perfect mix of content and marketing.

Online PR goes beyond digital marketing, it’s not about generating traffic. It’s about your brand reputation and engaging customers. Keep in mind that you can get as much traffic as you want, and if you have great content, you can generate enough buzz instantly, but that’s the end of it. Online PR seeks to manage the effect of that buzz and turn it into a lasting impression for customers.

Defined Objectives

To have a spot on Online PR campaign, you have to clearly define you objectives. Your objectives must take into consideration your service or product offering, your customer segmentation and target market too. Some businesses prefer the basic online PR for their press releases and spreading their news to online newspapers. Others combine social media and content creation to that package. Your routine will change depending on your main objectives. Online PR campaigns need to be creative, social, and confident. Your Online PR manager must possess the technical skills needed to quickly adopt different tactics and recognize new opportunities. It’s a fast age!

Here’s a few steps on how to go about your Online PR

Reputation Management

What are people saying about you? Your brand reputation precedes every other thing about you. This is why two of the biggest online malls in Nigeria keep laying claim to being the biggest in Nigeria; Konga and Jumia. This is because you’re more likely to shop at the biggest mall in Nigeria, psychologically, it lends credence to their brand. Take an audit of all mentions of your brand on social media and classify each as positive, negative or neutral. Do damage control if possible on negative mentions and then build on the positives.

Social Media

If you don’t have a social media presence yet, start building up a few social brand pages on sites that your target audience mostly likely will use. You only need look at GT Bank to see what an active social media profile can do for you. GTBank created Ndani TV on Youtube, and they regularly come up with different ideas across their social media channels. They understand the peculiarities of different social media channels and generate content accordingly.

Press Release Optimization

Create the perfect headline. Include a keyword  that optimizes your press release for the page and topic it is linked to. Visualize your content when applicable with graphics, professional pictures and videos.

Build Relationships and Pitch to Online Gatekeepers (aka. Media Relations, Blogs, Paper)

Find out those who hold sway in your industry when it comes to online forums, build a media list for online venues in the same niche as your company. Add the journalist you will be building a relationship with to a Twitter list to keep track of them. Create and optimize a company blog and begin writing content that would attract potential consumers. Reach out to customers and encourage them to write a review of your product on their social media channels. A positive review about you on Nairaland or a popular blog will do you so much good than millions spent on Ads.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

Make sure all forms of customer service online (contact forms, live chats, social media) is being monitored and inquiries answered in a timely and professional manner.

Find and Work with Brand Ambassadors

Find your company’s brand ambassadors, online celebrities who will actually create buzz about your brand. Always go for ambassadors with an engaging online presence. It’s not just about the number of followers, it’s about the number of impressions made. But not every brand needs an ambassador, so do this wisely.

Online PR Tools

There are dozens of tools on the web to help you with your online PR strategy. Some of the major ones are listed below.

Google Docs

Use this free program to record outreach contacts and other data, such as tracking published articles. Multiple team members can work all at once on a Google Doc, unlike an Excel spreadsheet. Google Docs is a great place to share a media kit or the research for a content piece. This way you won’t crowd your email with attachments when you need to send the information to a journalist. You can just send the link to the shareable Google doc.

Google Analytics

Another free, must have tool from Google. Check out this article about what to track in PR analytics to refine your PR campaign and track results. Online PR professionals should constantly be monitoring the trackbacks, assisted conversions and referrals in Google Analytics to better understand which tactics work best.

google analyticsSidekick

While sending out all your emails to the gatekeepers, it is important to know how they interacted with it. Knowing if your recipient opened and click on a link in your email can help shape the nature of your followup mail compared to someone who didn't open the mail at all. And that's where sidekick helps. You get notifications every time a recipient opens and clicks on your email links, providing valuable insights into the interest of the other party.

sidekick by hubspotGoogle Alerts

Keep track of what others on the web are saying about you. With Google alerts, you get an email anytime new results about keywords that you're tracking popup on the web. This can help you proactively respond to both good and bad PR as against waiting for your colleague to mention that they say a terrible article on your brand.

Hootsuite

If you are managing a client’s social media, Hootsuite will help you gather everything in one place to post and engage with users. Auto schedule your posts to go live during the prime times on each social network. Here’s a graphic showing each site’s best times to post.

Image result for hootsuite

In conclusion, these basic tactics and tools will help you get started in putting together your online PR strategy. Remember, the media space in Nigeria is relatively young, hence it can be swayed easily which is why you should always remain flexible and attentive for new opportunities to earn media and engage with consumers as every client will be different.


Understanding Content Marketing with Google doodles

Content marketing is not a new term to us in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, Google Trends suggests that interest in the keyword has died down over time.

We have seen more and more brands use it in marketing their products or services. Individuals use it in establishing authority. And although some of the use cases aren't always on point, we have to give them kudos for trying.

According to Content Marketing Institute

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

And it is in creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content that I find Google to be awesome.

Lets take a look at what they've done for the Olympics as an example. If you're like me, you don't know jack sh*t about the whole thing. I mean, you know a group of athletes run around doing amazing stuff and getting medals for it. But you have no idea what games are being played for example, outside football :D.

Sometimes you're interested just for the opening and closing ceremony, like this video that got me pumped. I didn't know what happened that year at the Olympics, but God I felt a connection to it after watching this. Just look at those emotional faces


But this year, Google set out to subtly pass across the message of the Olympic games in their doodles. And just like that, I started getting an idea of what actually goes down at this famous event. This is what content marketing aims to do, sell an idea without anyone knowing that you're actually selling.

Google's 2016 Olympics campaign didn't just end in their Google Search Doodles, they went as far as creating a dedicated website and app called the Fruit Games. Here are a few benefits of this kind of marketing.

Content marketing brings word of mouth

Although I had seen the doodles time and again since the games started, I never really bothered to click on it. But on this one day, a friend came over to the house and while I was trying to search for something, she said "Have you played that game?" That's where it hit me, the doodles can be interacted with! I love games so I'm always down for stuff like this.

So I headed over to Google Now and followed the doodle link, and I found myself looking at all the games Google had currently featured from the Olympics event.

This is precisely what you get from good content marketing. Remember when #Thingsilongthroatfor came out, people talked about it. We also tried this at Zoto on New Year's day with Twitter and got pretty good results

 

Point is, if you don't come down too hard and salesy on customers, they're more likely to listen to and talk about you.

Content marketing engages your audience

Immediately I got the Fruit Games app, I was hooked, I had to win all the games man, there was no question of it. Its the same way I felt when I heard - and watched - the Coca Cola Taste the feeling song for the first time. I felt like I was one of those young adventurous dudes jumping fences and diving in baths of ice cold water (like I'd ever do that).

But the point is, content marketing connects with your audience on such a level that they feel connected to your brand. Same thing happened when Anakle released the Bride Price App. The whole country, and the world in the end, went bunkers over it.

Create content for your brand that your audience will love and engage with. And while doing so, try as much as possible to not sell, just create a conversation. People will take notice of your brand (and eventually your product) when you do that.

Here's the end result of one of my Fruit Games sessions :D

victory

How are you currently handling content marketing for your business? Do you think it works here in Nigeria? Let us know in the comments box below.