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Social Media Marketing

Not really, a Creative Director will still be needed, just not in the same way it is today.

A recent article on AdAge.com spoke on how most ad & creative agencies are 5 – 10 years behind the current state of marketing’s capabilities. And the Creative Director works as it did back then where they create a few ideas, hand off the ideas and comps, then call it a day.

Guess what? That’s Dead!

Here’s the deal.
Whether creative agencies want to admit it or not, their decisions on what to create are driven by data. They ask the client questions and create something they feel meets the client’s expectations.
We get it, they want to please their client.

Here’s what’s missing, The Customer!

Best case scenario is that the client knows their customer so well that the data they give you is solid. Much of the time it needs to be supplemented with current customer behavioral & search data.
It is important to look at what customers are searching for online and find out where & how they qualify products or services they are looking to buy.
This will inform you on how to engage and what content to create for maximum exposure and conversion.

Back to the Creative Director role

Not only will the Creative Director need 3rd party customer data to inform creative decisions, but they also need to consider more technical aspects of design such as UX and UI as it relates to a customer’s motivations, needs, use of the medium and conversion optimization.

Even more, this Director will need to be aware of how to integrate all 3rd party data into their design process.
For example, variables in ads that are dynamic and will modify based on weather conditions in any given geography. Imagine a Starbucks ad that changes once it starts raining in St. Louis to show someone having fun in the rain with a cool umbrella and holding their favorite venti-sized drink as they smile & splash a small puddle. But it is totally different when it is dry and overly windy.
I’m weeping as a write this at how beautiful this level of personalization is 😉

We are advocates of moving towards a more informed creative process (see our Digital Marketing Audit), do this ourselves and want everyone to follow suit.

Follow the leader (we like it at the front of the pack)!

*Ad Age Article Here: http://adage.com/article/digitalnext/creative-director-role-exist-10-years/305623/

In July 2016, Smartphone apps accounted for 50% of all U.S. digital media time!
This means that future months are going to be higher than 50% and solidifies the strength mobile has in the United States.

Another report showed the top 15 apps (by visits) in July 2016, which is another thing that really got us excited as Digital Marketers.
Check out the list below and we’ll explain why.

Top 15 Apps by Visits in July 2016

  • Facebook: 149,657,000
  • Facebook Messenger: 131,609,000
  • YouTube: 115,351,000
  • Google Maps: 100,347,000
  • Google Search: 90,260,000
  • Google Play: 88,625,000
  • Gmail: 80,461,000
  • Pandora Radio: 76,781,000
  • Instagram: 73,546,000
  • Amazon Mobile: 71,427,000
  • Apple Music: 68,002,000
  • Apple Maps: 60,956,000
  • Pokemon Go: 54,535,000
  • Snapchat: 54,113,000
  • Pinterest: 51,291,000

Why this is so great for Digital Marketers

You’ll notice that Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Search, Gmail, Instagram, Snpachat and Pinterest are all listed.
Obviously, the high use of social media platforms is huge for marketers. Social is strong and continuing to grow.
But the app use of Google Search is massive for search & content marketing and Google Maps is huge for local search & optimization

YouTube remaining high on the list is a strong signal that video continues to be a huge preference for users across the U.S.

Pokemon Go is a little bit of an anomaly since it just launched and got so much PR hype, but still great news for mobile, marketers, apps and gaming.

Even more interesting is that these apps are platform gateways.
Few on the list are transactional or solely functional, they connect you to networks of people and information.

Our Perspective

Very happy to see these numbers and as Digital Marketers we are very excited about the future of what we get to create and optimize!
Platform integration will be mandatory, user behavior will be easier to measure, interactions can be even more personalized and those same interactions can be created more intimately.

Sources
http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Blog/Smartphone-Apps-Are-Now-50-of-All-US-Digital-Media-Time-Spent
http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Blog/Pokemon-GO-Captures-55-Million-Mobile-Users-in-July-Ranking-13th-Among-All-Apps

I’m going to make this a very short article.

I continue to talk to companies who are not seeing results from their “content marketing” or the agencies doing that work for them.

And EVERY TIME it is due to the same thing.
The content is not being distributed effectively.

In fact, much of the time that content isn’t being distributed at all!

Here’s the Thing About Content Marketing Distribution

Many companies and agencies still believe that you can simply create sexy website or write well crafted blog posts and it will generate new business for them.
This is WRONG!

While a sexy website and well formed content is useful when applied correctly, if you do not distribute this to those who will benefit from it most, then you wasted your time and money.

That’s it.
Your content MUST be delivered multi-channel to ensure visibility, awareness, conversion and revenue.

Go-To Distribution Channels

  • Website (optimized for search engines and users)
  • Blog Posts
  • Social Media
  • Email
  • Paid Search
  • Video
  • Print
  • Streaming Radio
  • and more

Wherever your prospects are, you must be there.

Quit just making pretty looking & sounding things and start putting it to work.

The Question: “What should I include in my content marketing?”

Here are the things that YOU SHOULD be including in your content marketing efforts.

You don’t just need content, you need Awesome Content!

Developing relevant content does not have to be a difficult. It doesn’t require any special tools, secret or magic. It all begins with understanding who your prospects & customers are, how they behave and what they crave.

The formula:
Useful x Consumable x Inspired = Innovative Content

This process begins with the creation of a piece of a REAL IDEA, Not some 2,000 word “evergreen” piece or ebook. Something Awesome.
Many marketers will tell you this should be a 50 to 100 page ebook or massive how to guide. The problem is most people can’t handle it. Big = Overwhelming.

Everyone wants to believe there is a magic bullet. So create the Magic Bullet!

Highly valuable & easily consumed content is the gift that keeps on giving. This content will attract links, generate traffic and build brand awareness.

Once your content is created, blast it EVERYWHERE: Company pages, email, blog, sponsored updates, Display ads, SlideShare, PPC, Twitter, etc.

Simple Execution
In many cases it is easy to develop a set of goals, but a plan is specific, executed over time and measurable. After determining what your Big Idea is going to be, write that out into a series or digestable snapshots that can easily be distributed over time. This can include videos, infographics, blog posts, 3rd party posts, podcasts, etc.

Week 1: Publish & Schedule Your Content
Week 2: Conduct a Webinar
Week 3: Run a Contest
Week 4: Lead a Twitter Chat
Week 5: Do an interview: On TV, Online, At a Conference, etc.

While all of this is running your content is being promoted though influencer outreach, promoted posts, email, sponsored updates, paid search, retargeting, organic social, organic search, etc.

Everything gets tagged and tracked for performance evaluation and follow up.

Your Blog
Make your blog content diverse, relevant and structured.

Monday: Case Studies, Statistics / Infographics, Industry (35% time spent)
Tuesday: Strategic Research & Analysis, Points of View, Thought Leadership (20% time spent)
Wednesday: How-To Posts, Guest Blogging, Peer Content (25% time spent)
Thursday: Bold Points of View / Strong Opinion, Challenger (5% time spent)
Friday: Light-hearted, Cultural, Funny Amusing (15% time spent)

A Quick View
SEO – Lays the groundwork
Social – Fuels the content
Content – Fuels the demand

Winners:

  • Consistently deliver content that their target wants to consume & share
  • PR efforts guide their vision as a leader in the space
  • Deliver amazing experiences on and offline
  • Build a thriving community

Make a plan, make it Asesome, deploy, track & measure, optimize, close new business and WIN!

And this is why we are considered the best content marketing agencies in St. Louis.

Snapchat has been in the hands of teens, young adults and the socially connected for a few years now. The application functions as a sort of communication-social media hybrid and has seen its fair share of updates and changes. What started out solely as a way to send short photo “snaps,” has evolved to adding facially specific animated filters, My Story, and the capabilities to communicate via chat and live video with other users, among countless other features.

Though every update that Snapchat releases is sure to stir up plenty of online chatter and countless screen-shots, I would say that the most notable change for Snapchat has been how people are using the application. Sure, people will continue to send a flurry of snaps whenever they get a killer new haircut, are hashtag blessed with quaint latte art or just get suuuper bored in night class, but let’s cover a few ways and reasons you can and should use Snapchat to benefit your business.

 

You can use it and use it often.

 

A lot of companies think they don’t belong, or simply don’t need to be on Snapchat, but plenty were saying the same thing about Twitter a few years ago, and now pretty much any conscious business is tweeting. The cool thing about Snapchat is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. This could be a chance to show your audience that you’re more than just a number crunching financial firm!

Get to work and find donuts in the conference room?
Caption and post it to the company My Story; let your viewers know that you’re on the grind but you need to fuel up first.

Taking a break with some trashcan basketball?
Snap it.

Have a quick tip to share about cloud computing or something else smart sounding?
Record a short and sweet vid and post that too.

One of your coworkers has an ultra-weird brainstorming process?
Give your audience the inside scoop as to how you get those creative juices flowing, it’ll make them feel included and in turn make you more interesting!

Releasing a new product or service? This is an absolutely free way to promote, promote, promote. Give your viewers a heads up as to when they can expect the latest and greatest from you and keep them posted (just be careful not to get too spammy).

Consider the things you appreciate most about your job and what you think people from the outside world might find unique, interesting or entertaining.

The My Story of your company by no means has to be a high quality production or blockbuster film, just get your faces/biz out there and get to snappin’!

 

The job of marketers is becoming more and more complicated.
We now have access to so much data on customer insights via analytics tools and are expected to know how to measure and what the data means.
Recently a study from Forrester shows how organizations successfully use marketing analytics tools to develop relevant & compelling customer experiences.

Consumers expect to find what they want from their smartphones, tablets and laptops at any time from anywhere. These behaviors and commonly referred to micro-moments give marketers more opportunities to connect and engage. They also allow marketers to identify valuable insights about consumer behavior.
Effective marketing measurement is is the key to success here.

To understand the challenges we marketers face in measuring performance and creating the technology & tactic recommendations, Google commissioned Forrester to perform a survey of 150 marketing, analytics and information technology executives. The research shows how successful marketers are able to leverage analytics tools effectively so they make the most of consumer interactions.

Key findings

  • Marketers must be able to link marketing performance to business results. Of the survey respondents who were identified as “sophisticated marketers”, 53% said they adhere to well-established KPI’s & metrics that tie directly to business objectives. These marketers work with companies that are at least 3X more likely to hit their goals than other organizations.

  • The right tools are critical to success. 26% of marketers surveyed believed that their marketing analytics tools are well-integrated & work seamlessly together. Contrast that with marketers with well-integrated tools who are more likely to outperform revenue goals.

  • Marketers that employ complete itegrated marketing analytics platforms see an increase in performance and results. Smart marketers who deploy a complete integrated marketing analytics stack of five or more tools are 39% more likely to see improvement in the overall performance of their marketing efforts.

To Download and learn more about improving marketing performance with analytics, check out the full study, “How Marketing Analytics Increases Business Performance” by filling out the form below.

Download "How Marketing Analytics Increases Business Performance"

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Instagram confirmed last Tuesday that it is adding an algorithm that will reorder posts & videos users see in their feeds.

Commentors from Instagram stated that the posts will be shown to you…

“based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.”

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

The globally popular photo-sharing app didn’t say when the new algorithm will go into effect, but The New York Times, reported that the changes will roll out slowly with a small set of tests that affect only a “single-digit percentage of users.”

Instagram now has 400 million monthly users and makes sense as to why they are making similar changes to what Facebook made in 2009. According to Instagram, users only see 30 percent of posts in their feeds.

Some sources reportedly believe that this is a sign to advertisers that brands will have to pay to be seen just like on Facebook, but the difference with Instagram is that they do not have isolated brand accounts vs personal accounts. They could potentially figure this out algorithmically, but tha would be very daunting since there is such a proliferation of personal brands leveraged for business.

If you are interested in social media or content marketing please contact us by calling or filling out the form below.

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Social Media is a must do when it comes to growing a business, communicating with customers, acquiring new customers and becoming a real brand.  Many companies are not doing it, Many companies are “kind of” doing it, few companies are doing it successfully and only a small fraction of businesses are running social media at the highest level.

We break out Social Media Marketing effort into 3 Phases.

  1. Table Stakes (thanks to Eliot Frick from BIGWIDESKY for this name)

  2. Successful

  3. Top One Percent

*We don’t even consider not doing it a phase.  If your company is not on Social Media, please call us right now, at this very moment so we can get you up and live on social.  Every second you are not online and up on social media the quicker your company will die.

 

Table Stakes

When it comes to Social Media Marketing there is a minimum level of effort that must take place.

Having live profiles that contain consistent and accurate company information, imagery, posting content regularly at some frequency and linking to these profiles from other places on the web including your website, other social profiles, email, etc.

This is easy and will give you a boost in the search engines, overall customer visibility, website traffic, foot traffic, leads and sales.

Example Table Stakes Social Media Profile

The Dallas Furniture Bank

https://www.facebook.com/DallasFurnitureBank/

https://twitter.com/dalfurnbank

The Dallas Furniture Bank has consistent and accurate information, while posting regularly.

There is not an a large amount of engagement and obviously not running any paid promotion.

This is fine for many companies and should be getting done, but could be getting done in a more significant way by moving into the Successful Social Media Marketing phase.

 

Successful

To be running at the Successful Social Media Marketing phase, you must be doing everything in the Social Media Table Stakes phase plus driving consistent meaningful engagement through strategic organic & paid tactics as well as relevant strategic content (copy, images, videos, documents, etc.).

Example Successful Social Media Profile

The Watering Bowl

https://www.facebook.com/TheWateringBowl/

https://www.instagram.com/thewateringbowl/

The Watering Bowl has consistent and accurate information, while posting regularly.

There is good engagement, they respond, comment, message and are running some paid promotion.

This where most companies should be, but there is still one more level that your business could be reaching, it is the Top One Percent Social Media phase.

 

Top One Percent

To be in the Top One Percent of companies on Social Media you must be everything from the 1st and 2nd phases, plus creating a massive amount of content, promoting accurately through all means possible, engaging like your life depends on it and having passionately dedicated resources to work on this 100% of the time.

 

Example Top One Percent Social Media Profile

Red Bull

https://www.facebook.com/redbull/

https://twitter.com/redbull

https://www.instagram.com/redbull/

Red Bull does everything on social media, all the time, in every corner of the web and is engaging, relevant and passionate.  Strive to be like Red Bull when it comes to the social media part of growing your business.

 

I recently posted an article on the History of Snapchat, What it means for us Today and direction on How to Use it Well.

I’ve been experimenting with posting on different platforms, so you can the full article on…

Medium – https://medium.com/@johnbracamontes/the-history-of-snapchat-how-to-use-it-well-9a28db7eb8e7

or

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/history-snapchat-how-use-well-john-bracamontes

Below are a handful of GIF tutorials on how to use the platform

Snapchatting a Video vs. Photo

How to Add Filters and Double Filters on Snapchat

How to Use Snapchat Video Filters

How to Save a Photo or Video on Snapchat
 

Accounts to Follow on Snapchat

This is just a short list of people who are killing it on the platform. There aren’t that many yet because people still aren’t taking it seriously. So get on it now.

DJ Khaled: @djkhaled305
John Bracamontes: @acumenstudio
Casey Neistat: @caseyneistat
John Bracamontes: @johnbracamontes
Diplo: @diplo
Kate Hudson: @khudsnaps
Gary Vaynerchuk: @garyvee
Eva Longoria: @realevalongoria