10 Content Secrets Every Marketer Needs to Know

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While following all the tips and tricks in the world can vastly improve your chances of reaching a wide audience, the truth is that nothing can beat regular and original content. While analytics and SEO are all important, the content is what your potential customers and clients actually see. It’s the content that needs to keep your reader engaged, and the content that needs to be so great people like it, share it, and respond to any calls to action. This list includes 10 tips for killer content that will keep your readers interested, and help you effectively market yourself on your business channels.

1.      HIRE EDITORS ONLINE

As the online presence of most businesses is becoming increasingly time consuming, many successful businesses hire external experts in content writing or proofreading in order to keep on top of the work. If you’re in charge of the day-to-day running of a business, then it’s unlikely you’ll be able to devote enough time to produce scintillating content, share it across multiple platforms, and engage with your audience. A lot of businesses prefer old-fashioned means and post a detailed job advertisement on a site like Upwork or Freelancer, where they can interview candidates and, and enjoy an open channel of communication with who they’re working with. Many other businesses, however, prefer the efficacy offered by simply selecting the services they want, as is the case with UK Writings. While these sites are home to writing experts, which is ideal for content or editing, similar services are also offered by Scripted, which are focused on business marketing.

12.      BRUSH UP ON YOUR WRITING SKILLS

Sloppy content is bad content. When marketing yourself online, it’s important to project yourself in the best possible light, and appear professional and reliable at all times. You should be making your audience believe that you’re the person offering the best products or services, and that they can trust you to deliver. It is impossible to make this kind of impression with poorly written content, littered with spelling and grammar errors. Some guides are available to improve your writing though, such as those offered by Australian Help. Full courses in writing are available with Academized. As your content should be at least 2000 words in order to fuel your SEO, you can monitor this with Easy Word Count, and avoid any accusations of plagiarism or unoriginal content by using Cite It In to reference your sources.

3.      VARY YOUR CONTENT

While blog posts are an amazing way to promote your business, they’re not the only way. Many people will not have time to read articles multiple times a day, and so shorter snappier posts can also be effective. Images are always shareable across social media, as are gifs and infographics. Interactive content such as polls can also be a great way to mix up your posts.

4.      POST FREQUENTLY

While there may have been a time when posting once or twice a week was sufficient, it is now essential to post updates throughout the day, every day. Studies currently show that posting between 5 and 10 times a day is optimum for Twitter, and up to four times a day is best for Facebook. To see results, you will need to post as often as you can, or you will see your audience drop.

5.      USE A CONVERSATIONAL TONE

When you’re selling or marketing in person, the last thing you want to do is be standoffish, or boring. The same goes for online marketing – you shouldn’t be writing lengthy essays, instead you should be writing as if you’re talking to a friend. This establishes rapport, and keeps your reader engaged. A great way to implement this in your writing is to use questions throughout the text, as it feels like a two-way conversation.

6.      SPEND TIME ON HEADLINES

A good headline is how you stand out from thousands of other blogs and websites – it’s important to make sure yours will hook your reader in. Try to optimize for search and socials.

7.      MAKE SURE YOU’RE MOBILE FRIENDLY

If your content isn’t available over mobile devices, then it will be completely lost, overlooked, and forgotten about. Your content needs to be as accessible as possible. You can use special tools like Google’s Mobile-friendly Test.

8.      KEEP PROMOTING YOURSELF

You should spend as much time promoting your content around the web as you do writing it. While sharing your posts to social media is a start, there are plenty of other avenues to explore too. This includes sending your content to other bloggers and websites, emailing businesses, and sending direct questions out over twitter.

9.      PROMOTE YOUR CONTENT

Screenshot 2017-02-21 09.56.07Promotional content is a great way to extend your audience, drive more traffic to your site, and engage with your existing clients. Your value is increased as you are offering them something, maybe for free, and they will like you more for it. Votigo is a really easy-to-use platform that will allow you to create custom contests & sweepstakes to add to your content strategy.

10. BE PATIENT!

It can take some time to see the results from blogging and online marketing. This means that you’ll be blogging and posting updates daily, even when you don’t feel like you’re getting anything in return. You will, just not immediately. Giving up in the first weeks or months definitely won’t get you the results you want – so stick to your strategy in order to succeed.

Overall, generating original content takes time, effort, and energy. However, when consistently uploaded and promoted, the returns can be amazing for your business.

This post was originally written by Sharon Conwell for the Heyo blog

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Engage Your Audience With a March Madness Promotion

url-300x177March Madness is right around the corner! But don’t worry – there’s still plenty of time to launch an engaging social promotion to celebrate! And more importantly, a brand doesn’t have to be directly associated with basketball (or sports in general) in order to be able to capitalize on the buzz surrounding the tournament.

Chances are your audience participates in the tournament in one way or another already (either by simply watching the games or completing a bracket as well, for example), so why not engage them by tapping into a behavior they’re already doing, for a chance to win something that IS relevant for your brand? pexels-photo-110180

In order to help inspire you as you think about ways that YOU can run a March Madness promotion, here are a few ideas to get you started.

One idea is to engage fans with a photo contest that invites them to dress up or decorate their space in honor of their favorite basketball team. Or, you could invite fans to upload photos of their completed brackets for a chance to win a cool and incentivizing prize from your brand. Alternatively, you could run a voting competition where fans can vote for their favorite team, mascot, play etc.. Essentially, the idea is to take advantage of all the excitement that surrounds this awesome tournament and use it as a way to engage your audience and bring them into the March Madness conversation!

Ready to learn more about how we can bring a March Madness promotion to life for you? Click here to chat with one of our Account Representatives.

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New Live Examples from LMN and Air Canada

It’s been a busy week here at Votigo, and we have two more live examples to share with you! Both LMN and Air Canada have launched some cool campaigns that each take a different approach at engaging their audience and creating a unique user experience. We hope they help inspire you as you start to plan your next promotion!

The LMNies Awards Voting Campaign

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To generate buzz and drive awareness for the Network’s LMNies Awards, LMN has launched an interactive voting campaign in which fans are invited to vote for their favorite characters and moments from a series of LMN movies. Winners generated through the voting campaign will be revealed on LMN’s air on February 20th during a premiere movie event. This provides a perfect way for fans to engage with the larger LMN brand conversation, and really feel as though they are a part of the awards experience. Built on Votigo’s Enterprise Platform, this campaign features custom voter categories, social sharing and mobile responsive design.

Air Canada’s “Feel The Love” Contest

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Air Canada just launched a fun and interactive contest that’s specifically designed for their travel agent audience. Agents are incentivized to track and record their itinerary bookings for additional chances to win both daily and grand prizes. In this case, each booking equates to a heart, and every heart increases the agent’s chances of winning! Built by Votigo’s talented full-service development team, this contest features a French/English language toggle, duplicate booking number recognition and mobile responsive design.

Want to learn more about how Votigo’s solutions can go to work for your brand? Click here to chat with one of our Account Representatives.

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7 Content Types That Will Optimize Your Conversion Rate

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If there was a personified version of click bait, it would be a sleazy car salesman who swears that the 170,000 mile, dented up Toyota was only driven once a week on Sundays. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t stand liars and that is exactly what happens when businesses use compelling headlines to promote awful content. No, I don’t want to click through 38 slides to read four sentences. You just lost a sale and earned yourself a blood feud. Thanks, click bait.

 We’ve all seen terrible content, and from a business perspective, it is detrimental – not simply useless. Poor content can have a measurable, negative effect on search engine rankings, followers (I’ve unsubscribed to several websites for posting garbage), and a business’s reputation. Just like a used car salesman, poor content screams ‘scam’ (and probably smells like cigarettes too).

 Quality content provides value to an audience. It doesn’t feel like advertising, and though it might have a marketing purpose, it comes across as genuine. One of the best metrics to determine the opinion of your content is to look into your conversion and click through rates (CTR). It will let you know the percentage of people who land on your site and make it all the way to the end of your online process. The end result is traditionally measured by the number of those who make a purchase, but it can also be measured by those who are moved into the next stage of your marketing funnel, like signing up for your email.

 Below are 7 types of content that will optimize your conversion rates. By effectively integrating these into your website and blog, you will have the framework to provide value, entertain your audience, and in the process, convert some of those leads into customers.

CONTENT FOR READERS

Interactive Quizzes

CTR:                            12%-28% (Boombox)

Conversion Rate:        9.94% (WordStream)

Quizzes are a great way to engage an audience because they require active participation. If you really want to see this type of content excel, it should be linked to some extremely popular fandom within society. An example or this could be, “The Hardest Harry Potter Quiz in Existence,” and would work well with a business that focuses in the entertainment industry. Try to tailor the content to your niche so you receive quality leads.

Quizzes do well at generating likes and followers, but this doesn’t pay the bills. In order to really capitalize on their value, you should incorporate a way for the user to opt-in to one of your email marketing lists. The conversion for this method is not about selling a product, but getting you one step closer in the process.

Surveys

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CTR:                            24.8% (The study was specifically for email surveys)

Primary Benefit:           Provides Information in Regards to your Website’s Weaknesses

While quizzes test an audience’s intelligence, they have a narrow target demographic. I’m not saying that there are only a few smart consumers, only that quizzes are most attractive to people who already have an expert-level interest in the proposed subject. Surveys can tap into these same people, but keep the doors open to wider audience. Since a survey is about opinions, there is no right answer and no barrier to engagement.

Simply running a survey like, “What are the best DIY app makers?,” and publicly tracking the results can help a technology company engage with their potential customers that are interested in learning how to create an app without any programming knowledge. It requires little effort on the part of the consumer, and in our fast-paced society, a small amount of commitment can be the deciding factor of an engagement.

Ultimately, this is more of a way to engage with your audience. If you really want to use surveys to increase your conversion rate, try to get people to answer questions about your process. If it turns out that a large portion of your potential customers are turned off by the design of your website then fixing the problem can greatly increase your conversion rate.

Personality Assessments

CTR:                            82% (Boombox)

Conversion Rate:        20% (DemandGen)

Personality assessments are one of my favorite forms of content because they can give insight about yourself and are incredibly popular among large audiences. One of the more intriguing aspects of assessments is their ability to connect others based off of shared social groups. An example is an assessment that sorts the users into the noble Houses from Game of Thrones. Once you get your results, you want to share it with your friends and this helps promote your product all over again.

Assessments provide an additional benefit to businesses because they will sort your potential customers into groups based off of their personality and interests. If used effectively, this data can be an invaluable tool to target your marketing to the subsets of your target demographic.

Blog Posts

CTR:                            1.5%-2.5% (HubSpot)

Conversion Rate:        2.35%-5.31% (Median to Top 25%)

11.45% (Top 10% of Websites)

Blog posts are the original form of content marketing and serve as the backbone for most websites. One major benefit is that they boost a website’s search engine ranking due to targeted keywords and a basis of dynamic content. The general public consumes blogs almost without realizing that they are doing it. By drawing in an audience, a well-written blog can create trust and turn an advertisement into advice. The key to a successful blog is to engage your audience on a personal level. This requires a strong, consistent voice over an extended period of time. If done well, blog posts can reliably convert impressions into sales since your audience already trusts your opinions.

CONTENT FOR VIEWERS

Infographics

CTR:                            26% (Brafton)

Conversion Rate:        11% (Brafton)

Infographics had lived in print media for years but have only recently begun making an impact in the digital world. The key to infographics is their visual element. A business needs to catch their audience’s attention quickly and this can be accomplished through elegant design.

The design of the infographic is important to its success, but the text should not be ignored. Both need to work together in order synergize the information and to provide the most powerful experience for the intended viewer. A good graphic artist is essential to creating infographics, which mean you will either need to personally have the relevant skill set or hire someone who does.

Videos

videoCTR:                            4% (Quora)

Conversion:                 1%-8% (This seems to vary based off of the company)

Digital video is close to its traditional counterpart, but with a few nuanced differences. First, no one likes to see an advertisement when they are trying to watch something on YouTube. The on-demand nature makes the consumer irritated with interruptions. When a commercial pops up while a video is trying to load, nobody’s happy.

Video as content is much more effective at converting potential customers than a blatant advertisement. The videos should be focused on entertaining or educating your audience. Use demonstration videos to give your audience a taste of your products, and the visual element can quickly result in a sale. Again, the video shouldn’t be focused on making a sale but rather convincing your audience that the video’s content is valuable.

Contests and Giveaways

CTR:                            5% (ConversionXL)

Conversion Rate:        31% (ConversionXL)

This whole content category straddles the line between text, visual and pure idea. In order to catch an audience’s attention, a strong promotional image is needed and it should almost always show the prize. This allows the audience to instantly see what they could win and in turn elicits an emotional response of desire. Because they want the prize, they are willing to provide the information that you ask for. Contests (and sweepstakes) are also a great way to grow your email marketing lists, which can be used as the basis for future marketing efforts.

ONE LAST THOUGHT

Just because you implement some of the above methods does not mean you are automatically going to generate awesome content. Also, these various forms require specific skills that many people don’t have. Don’t worry if you are not using every single one in your business. In some instances, it is more powerful to be an authority in one sphere (let’s say it is YouTube) and use the other forms to push people to your premium content.

 I hope you enjoyed the read, because I had a blast writing it. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. You do not have to do this alone. Finally, if anyone in charge of a click bait site reads this, please end the slideshows. Like I said, they probably smell like cigarettes.

This article was originally written by Andrew Gazdecki for the Heyo blog

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New Live Examples from Gordmans and Nature’s Bounty

We know you love to see live examples of campaigns that are using Votigo’s technology, since they are the easiest way to understand how our platform works. They’re also great for inspiration as you start planning YOUR next campaign!

And speaking of inspiration, we thought you’d enjoy these two campaigns from Gordmans and Nature’s Bounty in particular because they represent the different ways you can leverage Votigo’s various application types to engage and activate your audience.

Gordmans “Love Your Pet” Viral Sweepstakes 

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Sweepstakes are a great way to grow your marketing database and drive awareness for your brand. Since they usually only require users to complete a quick registration form in order to enter, their barrier to entry is low, which means your chances of engagement are high. In this campaign, Gordmans is inviting their customers to share how they “Love Their Pet” for a chance to win a Gordmans gift card (to in turn drive traffic in-store). The brand is then also using a referral incentive strategy to encourage people to share their participation in the campaign for an additional chance to win. This drives campaign awareness as well as registration engagement, which is great for marketing list growth! This sweepstakes was built on Votigo’s Enterprise Platform and features mobile responsive design and social sharing.

Nature’s Bounty #DearFutureMe Photo Contest

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Nature’s Bounty has launched a promotion that’s designed to give their audience a way to share what the brand means to them.  Entrants are invited to submit a photo with a caption that represents their commitment to a healthy future. Participants can enter via Direct Upload on Desktop, Smartphone or Tablet or with the campaign hashtag #DearFutureMe on Twitter or Instagram. Allowing users to choose their preferred entry method ensures that anyone can enter, maximizing the reach of the promotion. This contest was built by Votigo’s talented full-service development team and features fully responsive design, a custom header image carousel and viral ‘share’ functionality to increase campaign reach.

Want to learn more about how Votigo’s solutions can go to work for your brand? Click here to chat with one of our Account Representatives.

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Learn From The Pros Blog Series Installment #3: J. Walter Thompson

Welcome back for week three in our “Learn From the Pros” Blog Series! This series is designed to promote the sharing of information across our customer base so that we can all learn from each other as we navigate the various ways Social Marketing can be leveraged for brand success.signature

This week we’re chatting with Rebecca Brown from J. Walter Thompson. We’ve been working with Rebecca and her team since 2014 and are excited to share her thoughts on how contests & sweepstakes have helped JWT achieve their clients’ brand objectives. Rebecca brings terrific experience to the table, so we hope you enjoy!

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Votigo: How long have you been with J. Walter Thompson?

Rebecca: About a year and a half.


Votigo: What is your role there? How did you get started in Marketing?

Rebecca: I’m the VP of Social Media and Content. Prior to this role, I founded a company called Bunch that produced events and content for hipster parents. I spun it into a content and social media consultancy that specialized in marketing to influencer parents. Then I sold it to a social media agency.


Votigo: What are your biggest goals & initiatives for J. Walter Thompson’s clients in 2017?

Rebecca: We are growing our influencer practice, optimizing our proprietary approach to surfacing consumer insights via social listening and using JWT Storymap (our strategic process for leveraging hotspots in internet culture to bring brands to life within social) to make awesome things happen across all of our client’s businesses.


Votigo: How often do you run contests or sweepstakes currently? What is the strategy behind your chosen frequency? And what platforms do you run them on?

Rebecca: We run contests and sweepstakes when it makes the idea better. It’s not about frequency, it’s about relevance and fit. And it’s super important that the contest does more than drive short term trial. It has to build equity for the brand. We’ll run campaigns across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, the Web and Mobile.


Votigo: Can you share your thoughts on these social platforms in regards to your business? Do you tend to engage with one more than the others? Why?

Rebecca: It’s not so much that we engage with one more than the other. Rather it’s that different platforms have different etiquettes. So we use the platform that makes the most sense for the idea or we tailor the content to the customs and social graces of the platform.


Votigo: Is there a type of campaign that you would like to run but haven’t yet? Why not?

Rebecca: We’d love to make a scripted web series. We’re also keen to use AI to design extremely valuable customer care experiences that are also delightful. Pretty sure we’ll do both of these things in 2017.


Votigo: What solution do you use for your contests & sweepstakes? Do you prefer a full-service offering or a self-service platform?

Rebecca: We like to have the option of either a full-service or self-service option, or a hybrid of the two when it comes to working with Votigo. Depends on the idea and the budget.


Votigo: What piece of advice would you share with someone who is just starting out with social contests & sweepstakes?

Rebecca: Make sure it builds the brand!


Votigo:  What are your favorite blogs or books on Marketing or your other interests?

Rebecca: I read from my feed which is a healthy mix of the usual suspects (TechCrunch, HBR, VentureBeat) rounded with a little Teen Vogue (they are crushing it) and some embarrassing celeb gossip sites. Plus The Skimm and Latest.is.


Thanks for participating in “Learn From the Pros”, Rebecca!

-The Votigo Team

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Learning Series #2: How to Grow Your Marketing List & Get More Customers With Viral Refer-A-Friend Sweepstakes

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If you haven’t had a chance to check out our new and improved Votigo Resource Center yet, definitely make it a point to pay a visit! We created this library of resources as a way to share information that we believe will help inspire our customers as you plan and execute your Social Marketing programs.

This week, we’re excited to showcase our Viral Sweepstakes Learning Series. This guide will show you how the presence of a referral incentive can really work wonders when it comes to increasing your campaigns’ registration numbers.

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You’ll learn how referral incentives can generate exponential entries into your campaign, and how that behavior can really boost the growth of your email marketing lists. And to help inspire you as your plan your next Viral Sweepstakes, we’ve included a helpful case study as reference.

Interested in learning more about Viral Sweepstakes in particular, or any of our other campaign offerings? Click here to chat with one of our Account Representatives.

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5 Ways to Make the Most of Facebook Lead Ads

Untitled design (30)If you keep up with Facebook’s ever changing and growing ad platform, you may have noticed the Lead Ads option. Instead of sending potential sign-ups to a landing page and then hoping they follow through to fill out your opt-in form, you can collect their information right within Facebook. As a marketer, I’m thrilled about this new convenience.

Here’s how you get started.

  • Hit Create Ad.
  • Then click Collect Leads for Your Business.
  • Create your audience. The most important thing? Choosing specific targeting based on interests.
  • Set a small daily budget. I recommend $10 to start.  Then, once the ad starts performing, you can scale accordingly. If you invest less than this, you might not see get an accurate representation of the ad performance.

STEP 1: CREATE YOUR LEAD ADS FORM

Keep it as simple as possible. For example, if you don’t need location information, then don’t ask for it. Only collect the bare minimum. If someone clicks on your form, and is hit with a bunch of fill-in-the-blanks, they’ll exit without submitting their information.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to grow your text marketing list. You definitely want to collect first name and phone number; at the bare minimum.

When setting up your lead ads form, Facebook also requires the inclusion of a privacy policy. This helps new sign-ups feel secure in submitting their information.

STEP 2: ASSIGN A RELEVANT POST-SUBMISSION LANDING PAGE 

Where do you want your sign-ups to go after submitting their information? Maybe you want to send them right to a sales funnel; in hopes of making a small sale. Or, maybe you just to direct them to a blog post packed with tons of helpful content. While you have their attention, make the most of this interaction.

STEP 3: CHOOSE AN APPLICABLE GRAPHIC

In my personal experience, editorial images yield the highest performance, as they give the user something to relate to. If people aren’t familiar with your company, using a branded image will do no good. People just won’t recognize the image, and will therefore keep scrolling. Because the Lead Ads charge based on impressions, this will skyrocket your cost per lead. The more your lead costs; the less money you make on the interaction. However; if chosen correctly, the lifestyle aspect of an editorial will capture more attention and lead to more sign-ups.

STEP 4: GET RIGHT TO THE POINT WITH AN IRRESISTIBLE HEADLINE

Offering a bonus in exchange for information? Make that very clear. Don’t beat around the bush, as this could reduce the amount of interest in your ad. For example, let’s say you’re offering one free 30-minute consultation for all new opt-ins. For your ad headline, use something like “First 50 Sign-Ups Get a Free Consultation!” The first 50 portion creates a sense of urgency, while the word “free” always catches the attention of a potential opt-in.

STEP 5: SET UP AN AUTORESPONDER SERIES FOR ALL NEW SIGN-UPS

When it comes to marketing and customer relationship management, you always want to get the most bang for your buck. Don’t just collect an email address or telephone number and then call it a day. You want to build a relationship with this lead. Nurture each sign-up by taking them through a welcome series.

In this series, be sure to include the following.

  • If there was an offer promised, deliver it immediately.
  • Let them know what to expect, communication wise. Will you be emailing once a week? Every day? If they know what to expect, they’re more likely to stay on your list.
  • Offer valuable information. A welcome series can also be treated like an educational funnel. Get sign ups comfortable with the language of your industry. For example, if I am promoting an info product called “How to Self Publish Your First Book in 60 Days,” I might want to use the terms ISBN, cover, paperback and manuscript in my welcome series. When you start familiarizing subscribers with the language of your industry, they will recognize an offer when it comes through.

Facebook Lead Ads provide a huge opportunity; as they simplify growing your list of contacts. Whether you’re collecting email addresses or phone numbers, this is definitely the way to go when looking to build a customer database. Once you collect this information, focus on nurturing your leads and segmenting according to predetermined factors.

When it comes to paid advertising in general, be sure to note the following rules.

  • Keep your eyes on the ROI from day one. Even if your budget is small, you need to know how your marketing dollars are performing and what kind of return you’re getting.
  • Split test different visuals, headlines, descriptions, and more. However, when testing one version against another, only test one element at a time. This prevents data from being skewed.
  • Remember, Facebook Lead Ads charge based on the number of impressions. With that said, eliminate any opportunity for unqualified views. For example, if you find that women 24-32 are responding best to your ad, tighten up your target audience.

Give Facebook Lead Ads a try for your business. It makes growing your list simple and convenient for the end user.

This article was originally written by Kristen Vanstrom for the Heyo blog

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Visual Marketing in the Social Promotions Space :: A Match Made in Heaven

artistic-bright-color-colored-42226We all know that a healthy marketing mix must include a strong visual content component to round out and complement the rest of your brand’s strategic efforts. But what we at Votigo are particularly interested in are the ways that the power of visual content can be leveraged in the context of Online and Social Promotions. So today, we’re exploring 3 key ways in which the rules that apply to visual marketing can be used to further the success of your social marketing campaigns.

1. 40% OF PEOPLE WILL RESPOND BETTER TO VISUAL INFORMATION THAN PLAIN TEXT

This means that there’s a huge opportunity to capitalize on the power of visual recall and use it to your advantage within a photo or video oriented promotion. Consider a call-to-action that invites your audience to share a photo, either directly or via #hashtag, that shows what your brand means to them. Research suggests that the visual conversation created by this kind of user experience will go a long way in creating the perfect setting for brand awareness and engagement. Screenshot 2017-01-31 09.51.46

2. VISUAL CONTENT IS 40 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO BE SHARED ACROSS SOCIAL MEDIA

More likely than any other kind of content. This is great news for your UGC (user-generated-content) campaigns. Pair this tendency to share with our built-in campaign functionality which promotes and even incentivizes social sharing, and you have the perfect formula for campaign success. We see this come to life in the context of a campaign in which people are encouraged to share their photo or video entry in order to solicit votes, to further increase their chances of winning. This visual content ‘share’ spreads across a user’s entire social network, only serving to further drive campaign and brand awareness. All good things for you!

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3. USER-GENERATED CONTENT WILL WORK THE HARDEST FOR YOUR BRAND WHEN IT COMES TO AUTHENTICITY

While the things we say about ourselves as a brand can certainly have a lot of impact on an audience’s likelihood to favor us, nothing works quite as well as user generated content in creating a sense of genuine authenticity. And as human beings, we are more inclined to trust the opinions of others over messaging from a brand that risks feeling ‘sales-y’ and insincere. This is why UGC promotions like contests, sweepstakes and evergreen galleries are so valuable for brand awareness and engagement. They allow people to participate in a brand’s conversation, showcasing their relationship to the brand and its importance to them. Untitled

It’s clear to see that there are a number of ways to harness the power of visual content and use it to your advantage in the context of a social marketing campaign. Create a visual conversation across Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and more and watch how it increases your brand awareness and engagement.

Want to learn more about how Votigo’s solutions can go to work for your brand? Click here to chat with one of our Account Representatives.

 

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Learn From The Pros Blog Series Installment #2: AccuWeather

A few weeks ago, we introduced Votigo’s latest blog series: Learn From the Pros. This series is designed to promote the sharing of information across our customer base so that we can all learn from each other as we navigate the various ways Social Marketing can be leveraged for brand success.

acculogosmallThis week we’re chatting with Jesse Ferrell from AccuWeather. We’ve been working with Jesse and his team since 2014 and are excited to share his thoughts on how contests & sweepstakes have helped him achieve AccuWeather’s brand objectives. Jesse brings over 20 years of experience to the table, so we hope you enjoy!

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Votigo: How long have you been with AccuWeather?

Jesse: 20 years! I’ve seen it all. :) It’s been interesting to see the changes in the company and the technology over two decades.


Votigo: What is your role there? How did you get started? What were you doing before that?

Jesse: I am currently the Social Media Manager of our Social Media team. I developed AccuWeather’s Social Media channels in the late 2000s, utilizing our unique news stories and videos about the weather to inform and engage. I’ve been doing Social Media since before it was called Social Media. I ran online communities of weather enthusiasts in the 1990s and early 2000s.


Votigo: What are your biggest goals & initiatives for AccuWeather in 2017?

Jesse: We would like to continue to increase our engagement, experiment more with live video, and revamp our analytics.


Votigo: How often do you run contests or sweepstakes currently? And what platforms do you run them on?

Jesse: Seasonally — 2-4 times per year. We run them predominantly on Facebook, but promote them through Twitter, our brand website, and mobile.


Votigo: Can you share your thoughts on these social platforms in regards to your business? Do you tend to engage with one more than the others?

Jesse: Facebook is our predominant platform for engagement, with Twitter being second. We were big on Facebook early and now, more of our dedicated fans are there.


Votigo: Is there a type of campaign that you would like to run but haven’t yet? Why not?

Jesse: Not yet but we’re always open to new ideas. Because we’re a publisher in constant contact with our users, we don’t run as many promotional campaigns as Social Media departments with product companies.


Votigo: What solution do you use for your contests & sweepstakes? Do you prefer a full-service offering or a self-service platform?

Jesse: We use Votigo in as full-service a capacity as possible. For example, we recognize that we’re not experts in prize fulfillment or legal contracts, so we’d rather farm that out.


Votigo: What piece of advice would you share with someone who is just starting out with social contests & sweepstakes?

Jesse: Keep it simple!


Votigo:  What are your favorite blogs or books on Marketing or your other interests?

Jesse: We watch the official blogs of the Social Media outlets and scan the tech and analytics company blogs (Shareablee is a favorite). I am a meteorologist by training, which obviously helps with the day-to-day duties here at AccuWeather. I am the resident “gadget guy” and enjoy weather photography and storm chasing.


Votigo:  Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Votigo blog audience?

Jesse: I would like to say that it’s a whole different world for publishers on Social Media. Most studies, whitepapers, stats and advice are for product companies… at AccuWeather, we are lucky enough to have an excuse (current weather news) to interact with our fans daily, even hourly. Because of that constant stream of content, we don’t have to do a lot of your typical promotional campaigns or in-depth editorial calendars. The challenge, however, is that we have to be flexible with what we plan to put out on Social Media each day… because the weather can change in a heartbeat.


Thanks for participating in “Learn From the Pros”, Jesse!

-The Votigo Team

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