Pink Palm MarCom partnered with Sandals Resorts, the Barbados Tourism Authority and Live Virtual Vacation Experiences to bring a unique networking opportunity to local entrepreneurs.
On November 26, Durham Women’s Network zoomed to sunny Barbados for a special virtual lunch-hour networking session with Durham Region women for the last networking event of the year! It was a much-needed escape to end off 2020 and bring some warmth to the 70 participants on the livestream.
Interested in developing some powerful partnerships? Contact us!
Looking to add more content to your social media channels and website? We often overthink what we could be posting online and spend a lot of time bouncing from topic to topic. The truth is, your business would benefit from a robust content strategy that not only outlines your subject matter but allows you to leverage it across multiple channels.
You see, social media is just one piece of a bigger content strategy. It should align with your website, print materials, and overall brand voice to give your clients a consistent experience. I’m not just talking about the words—the photos, colours and subject matter all play an important role.
As I write this article, I am visualizing the ways I can repurpose this article for various mediums. It starts with this 800-word article and translates into a blog post, then a video, and finally I break it up into small social media-sized bites of content. That content, if written well and supported by powerful graphics, will likely provide enough content for at least eight to 10 social media posts. Doesn’t that sound great?
Streamline a list of key topic areas
It all starts with a solid understanding of your business strategy and ideal clients. Take the time to unpack their needs and wants so that you can find the best voice to speak them. This important branding exercise not only helps your business determine how to speak to your customers, but it allows you an opportunity to create a consistent brand voice. This is what builds loyalty and trust with your client base.
Find five to 10 key topic areas that you can share your expertise on. These themes are “evergreen” and can be used and repurposed as you see fit. Your key topics are likely found on your website and in other marketing materials. Of course, you want to highlight your products and services, but you also want to look at how you can help your clients and add value.
For example, if you’re a photographer, you don’t need to sell your services within the context of every key topic. You might want to broaden your topic areas and identify ways that clients can prepare for a photoshoot, or why annual family holiday photos are so important. Thought leadership is an important strategy to employ when you’re looking to make a name for yourself online.
You can also look at other topics that your business aligns with to round out your content themes. For example, you may want to showcase your community connections, the latest industry news or behind the scenes photos and videos of your business.
You will want to take the following steps for each key topic:
Create an outline per article/blog post.
Align the content with a relevant, powerful image.
Develop bite-sized information—content that is easily digested and pulled as quotes.
Determine who you will tag, link or mention in your social media or blog post.
Develop solid social media content
With your outline now complete, you want to build out your content. I like to use my visual assets to build out my strategy—this works especially well if you use Instagram. I find it much easier to work this way as people are typically drawn to visuals first. Once you have selected your visuals, add your text.
One thing that is crucial to every business’s content strategy—investment in quality photography. Whether you need portraits, lifestyle shots, flat lays or stock-like photography, it’s important to work with a professional. Not only can they capture content unique to your business, but they have the expertise and tools to provide you with content that will have a much longer life span.
Besides creating your own content, you may want to curate a selection of accounts to repost. There are several apps to repost on social channels such as Instagram; just be sure to attribute the photo and content to the originating account.
And finally, be sure to leverage the searchability that social media offers. Research and use hashtags regularly to expand your audience reach. As mentioned earlier, you will want to tag your location and partners, so you can extend your reach and build your network.
Share what you love
Above all else, it’s important to be authentic and passionate on social media. You want your channel to exude your brand.
Repurposing your content can provide you with a consistent vault of material to work with for months, and most importantly, it can save you valuable time. And, who doesn’t want more time in a day?
Connect with me to learn more about optimizing your business’s communications efforts.
You might be wondering how to make use of some of Instagram’s newer features, including IGTV and Instagram stories. Instagram reaches millions of people worldwide daily, and it’s no surprise that many businesses include this social media channel in their marketing mix. In fact, according to Business Insider, 400 million people watch IG stories every day!
By creating a marketing strategy that is almost guaranteed to reach a wider, measurable audience than more traditional methods, IG stories allow for a more approachable look into what a business has to offer. Many businesses find success using IG stories, and that includes well known brands such as Aritzia, Gymshark, HelloFresh, and many more. There is no limit to what you can advertise and these different companies prove that success can be found using IG stories across the board.
It’s never been easier to connect with customers
Instagram Stories have created an entirely new way for businesses to engage with their target audience. By introducing features such as polls, Q&As, and reactions, IG stories allow for the consumer to engage with your brand like never before.
Gaining direct insight into what consumers want is a valuable tool to be able to keep up with trends and adjust your target course as necessary. These features are also much more approachable for the consumer and allow them to engage with businesses easily and conveniently.
Help your audience find what they’re looking for
IG stories provide ways to monitor statistics with ease, allowing businesses to see which posts have generated more engagement than others. Connectivity is encouraged and businesses are able to have consumers click links or ‘swipe up’ on the stories to be taken directly to the a target website. By pairing a direct connection to the consumer with clear feedback and statistics, it has never been easier to know what people are looking for.
Achieve powerful brand impact
Providing consumers with simple but effective imagery is the key to instagram stories. Many stories only appear for a matter of seconds, so catching the eye of the consumer is your goal. While this can result in a quick and easy way for consumers to notice you, it’s up to you to keep their attention.
It’s best to use high quality, styled photos and videos, cohesive and coordinating colour schemes, and modern additions such as stickers or GIFs. Some of these novelties are interactive, which provides an opportunity for you to get feedback all while staying casual and concise. The platform is set up for this exact goal, and provides businesses with all the tools necessary to achieve their desired image. Some ideas for great IG stories:
Behind the scenes footage
New product announcements
Special events footage
Reposts of other on-brand IG stories
Create a strategy to make the most of your IG stories
Marketing through Instagram allows you to stay on top of the newest trends. Your business will be surrounded by other brands, influencers, and consumers—and that will keep you on your game! To make the most of IG stories, you’ll want to create a robust content plan that will keep you posting consistently engaging clips. Knowing your audience, learning what they want, and delivering that through IG stories is a sure fire way to ensure a business will be seen.
Ultimately, IG stories are one of the biggest opportunities in a digital wave for marketing businesses and brands. Story posts generate a lot of engagement, appeal to a large audience, and allow for quick conversions as links are built in! Instagram stories offers businesses a way to stay on top of their marketing and to connect with their audience like never before.
~ Contributed by Madelaine Gaskell
What are your thoughts on Instagram marketing? Do you have any challenges with coming up with consistent IG story ideas? Leave a message in the comments!
Have you taken the time to evaluate the impact of your marketing and communications efforts? Do you know how many hours you are spending per week on these tasks? Do you have an inventory of your owned media channels and products? You should—your business’s reputation depends on it!
A communications audit can help you determine if you’re using the correct channels and key messages to reach your audience. It allows you to pivot your strategy to make sure your business has allocated the right resourcing to your marketing and communications efforts in this quickly changing environment.
An audit can take anywhere from a week to a month to complete, but once this inventory has been completed, you’ll be able to create a communications road map that will lead you to success.
COVID-19 has changed the landscape of business communications.
If you haven’t had an external communications agency or professional look at your marketing and communications strategy and activities—now is the right time. 2020 has been full of surprises and stresses for businesses. We currently exist in a new reality, as we continue to work our way through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Businesses have had to shift their outreach and operations strategies just to stay afloat. Many businesses have had the ability to adapt quickly. But not all. Small businesses have faced significant hurdles.
It’s not always possible to adapt your operations quickly to the changing policies and regulations that have been implemented by local governments. Regulations may vary from province to province, and even region by region, so learning from others is not always feasible.
Whether you’re in the restaurant or funeral industry, you have likely been waiting for the next policy change and wondering how you will manage it. The good news is that in all this change the one thing you can take control of is how your business communications are operating.
Technology is changing faster than ever.
Are you using the right communications channels to reach your customers? It’s not necessary to be active on all social media channels to be successful, but it is crucial to know how to reach your audience. You don’t need to have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok; you need to focus on where your customers are and build a strong network there.
If your business strategy has shifted during the pandemic, and you haven’t adapted your marketing and communications approach, you’re not reaching the right audience with the right messaging. If that’s the case, it’s time to realign your strategy and communications tactics so that you can be a step ahead of the game.
In this case, a communications audit can help you determine if your efforts are paying off for your business. It will ultimately help you to shape a marketing and communications strategy that is proactive, rather than reactive, leaving more time for you to focus on what you do best—run the business.
Is your message still relevant in today’s COVID-19 environment?
Are you still communicating the same message from your pre-COVID-19 days? Does it mean anything to your customers? Have your client needs changed?
It’s time to look at reorganizing your key messages and approach to marketing your products or services so that you can reconnect with your clients and their needs. Your world has changed and so has theirs. How does your marketing and communications strategy align with this new approach? Are you connecting with your audience during this difficult time?
Identifying the gaps in your approach to advertising, social media and online communications can help you prioritize what steps you need to take to reach your clients. Perhaps you used to send out your weekly e-newsletter on a Tuesday morning to reach your clients on their commute. Is that still the best way to reach them? An audit will help you understand where there’s room for improvement, and what to keep operating as is.
A communications audit is an investment of time and money—but it’s worth it!
You can successfully pivot your business communications during this unprecedented time by investing time and money in a communications audit.
Examining your business marketing and communications practices will provide a clear look at your outreach channels, the timing and strategies that you’re employing and why. It will allow you to see what’s missing, and what you’re focusing too much on, or not enough.
Communications is about making connections. Establishing partnerships. Leveraging knowledge and stories to create bonds with clients. Quickly changing courses when the landscape changes. The one thing we have learned from 2020 is that we need to be ready for change. Are you?