Marketing

275 183 Emma Macharia

Building your brand through Public Relations

With the pace of the technological innovation, the needs and desires of consumers change faster than ever. Companies need to keep up with these changes, adapting their brands to the ways people are communicating.

PR professionals understand this more than anyone and are always on the lookout for new ways to shape the brand strategy around the latest trends.

An essential aspect of a modern comms strategy is timing; it’s now more vital than ever that a company knows when it’s time to shift their brand message, with buy in from the C-Suite and that companies agree to consider a PR communications-first approach.

How Brands Have Changed

Historically, the idea of branding was a static concept focused on the way a company looked—the logo, the style guide, etc.—and how it made people feel. Nowadays, brands are dynamic; they breathe, live, and grow with the market and consumer preferences.

A comms team can encourage a brand to evolve by using some of what Dan Hill calls “PR Superpowers,” which include:

  • Leveraging influencer relationships
  • Understanding the new industry trends
  • Gaining insights from listening to their audiences, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more

The job of a communications team has gone from telling stories, to crafting one based on real data from their customers and market.

How to Be a Brand Leader

If PR professionals want to lead their company’s brand strategy, they need to assume the role of a “brand leader,” and not just a “brand manager.

Here’s how Dan breaks down the differences between one and the other:

pr can lead

The key to becoming a brand leader is to be an active member of the communications team, think strategically, focus on the vision, and on the people that make the company.

Active Communication

In order to be able to listen to what the market and consumers are saying, a PR professional needs to implement an active communications strategy.

Active communication means that the PR professional needs to stop broadcasting messages and focus on creating an opportunity to listen to what their audience has to say, what they like, and how they behave. It means taking those insights and making actionable business decisions.

Brand Analytics

A communications team needs to be able to base its decisions and craft their brand’s story based on real data. To this extent, there is a suite of media intelligence tools that allow PR professionals to:

  • Find the right tone around a conversation, see the number of people having a given conversation, and their geo-location
  • Track key themes
  • Measure share of voice

This data allows a PR and marketing team to pinpoint and broadcast messages based on what an audience says they want to hear.

How to Build a Brand in Motion

If a brand wants to stay up to date with trends, it needs to stay competitive by:

  • Formulating clear and defined goals
  • Making data-driven decisions
  • Striving for continuous improvement
  • Focusing the mission on what it’s best at

You can see the differences between a brand in motion versus a static one:

pr can lead

Takeaways

Brands will continue to evolve. Instead of guessing what they need to do to create change, PR pros have a variety of media intelligence options that allow them to listen to their audience to evolve organically and market more actively. This opens up an opportunity for active audience engagement; find what your audience likes and with this information, improve the way you communicate messages.

PR can lead the way by implementing these tactics. Soon you’ll be on the road to cultivating a brand that is able to adapt, change, and grow exponentially.

By Ivan Kreimer

Source: https://www.meltwater.com/blog/brands-in-motion-how-pr-can-lead-the-way/

1024 683 Emma Macharia

The real power of a brand lies in memory

I have seen ‘brand’ referred to as if it were something to rank alongside production, supply chain and capital; a part of doing business rather than something reflective of how people remember their interaction with a brand. But to do so diverts attention from the importance to shaping and framing those memories to best effect.

The real power of a brand comes from its ability to alter future category choices in its favor: to make people more willing to buy the brand than they would be otherwise and pay the price asked. This is why it is so important to establish motivating feelings, ideas and associations linked to the brand in people’s memories, so that when they try to make up their own minds about a purchase those impressions shape the way they respond.

Brand is not just a thin veneer created by a distinctive logo, a nice design and some carefully crafted ads; it is everything that people experience, which means that whether a brand adds value to people’s lives is paramount. Experience of the product or service is ultimately going to trump anything else the brand owner says and does. But like everything else that experience is mediated by memory.

“There is confusion between experience & memories, we actually don’t choose between experiences, we choose between memories of experiences.” Daniel Kahnemann

Only exceptional experiences make a difference to future behavior, most people do not think about their use of a brand, and most interactions leaves people’s memories unchanged, even if it might habituate them to using the brand. In the absence of a really positive experience that makes a customer feel valued marketing can frame their experience, influencing what people remember and guiding future purchase behavior.

Similarly, marketing activities that create positive memories before people even think about shopping a product category can influence what people remember when they do come to buy. The influence of this marketing is all the more powerful because exposure is decoupled from the purchase decision. People do not fear being manipulated by advertising because they cannot remember when or where their impression was formed.

Of course, this does not mean that marketers can forget about search marketing or sales activation, but now the challenge becomes one of triggering positive and motivating memories rather than trying to make a sales pitch, helping people respond to ideas and feelings that already exist rather than trying to create them on the fly.

So why do you think that so many people relegate ‘brand’ to being one more thing to do than encompassing everything people experience?

by Nigel Hollis

Source: https://bit.ly/2JLNHaf

692 613 Emma Macharia

4 Marketing Tasks You Can Automate

Save time and amplify your brand with marketing automation tools

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Why You Need to Add Facebook Messenger to Your List of Marketing Tools

Messenger is bigger than Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram combined.

You probably already market to customers on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. But have you made Messenger — Facebook’s standalone messaging app — your top marketing priority?

Ten years ago, consumers used email, AIM, and MySpace to chat. Five years ago, it was Facebook andTwitter. But today, that activity has moved to messaging apps. Over 3 billion people use messaging apps on a regular basis to communicate with friends and businesses; and messaging is the most preferred channel for customer service.

That’s why Messenger marketing has become so hot. It’s the art and science of reaching customers at scale using Facebook Messenger, much in the same way marketers have relied on email marketing and newsletters. Messenger marketing often involves using automation software or chatbot builders to send push notifications and targeted conversations to the over 1 billion people who use Messenger.

Messenger will quickly become one of your most important marketing channels. Consumers simply are moving away from the noise of email. Messenger marketing can yield over 80 percent open rates, multiples more effective than email. This makes developing a marketing strategy around Messenger critical to your business.

Not convinced yet? The Facebook team recently released stats regarding the insane usage of Facebook Messenger worldwide. Here are the key stats you need to know that affirm Messenger’s importance to your business:

  1. Facebook Messenger has 1.3 billion users. Yes, billion. That’s more users than Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram combined. Messenger is where your customers are communicating.
  2. Messenger adds 100 million new users every five to six months. Facebook Messenger hit 1 billion users in July 2016, 1.2 billion in April 2017, and 1.3 billion in September this year.
  3. Users have 7 billion conversations on Messenger every day. That’s over 2.5 trillion conversations every year. For comparison, Snapchat users send 3 billion photos per day.
  4. 260 million new conversations are started daily. These are not just new threads between people, but between people and businesses too. This number will only grow.
  5. There were 17 billion realtime video chats on Messenger in 2017. That is double the amount of video chats Messenger users were having just a year ago.
  6. Messenger users shared 500 billion emojis in 2017. That’s 385 emojis per user, or just over one emoji per person per day on Messenger.
  7. 18 billion GIFs were shared via Messenger this year. In the world of Messenger, GIFs are sent over 500 times per second. GIFs are a powerful communication and storytelling medium for both consumers and brands.
  8. There are over 100,000 bots on the Messenger platform. Bots (or chatbots if you prefer) are how many businesses communicate with their customers on Messenger, letting their bots do the heavy lifting of customer support or conversational marketing. There were over 100,000 of these bots in April 2017, so this number has only grown.
  9. Over 2 billion messages are sent each month between people and businesses. If you think Messenger is only for people and not brands, you’re wrong.
  10. 2.5 million Messenger groups are started every day. Private Messenger groups are like the social networks of old — it’s how people are connecting with their closest friends.
  11. The average Messenger group has 10 people. This has become a truly social platform. Imagine how much word of mouth can you create with that level of interconnectedness.
  12. 11 billion reactions were shared in Messenger this year. The most popular reaction was the heart eyes emojis

Convinced that Messenger marketing is here to stay? Here are some beginner’s tips for anyone who’s just getting started:

  • Automate your customer service. Messenger bots can automatically respond to queries, and Facebook’s Smart Replies feature lets you create responses to common queries.
  • Use Messenger marketing software. These are SaaS products similar to what Mailchimp and ExactTarget were to email. They help you create bots, send messages, track click-throughs, automate responses, and more. Facebook has a list of preferred providers on its business section.
  • Automatically recover abandoned carts. Messenger’s “Send to Messenger” plugin lets you get permission to send messages via an opt-in on your website. One of the best uses of this plugin is to send Facebook messages whenever someone abandons a cart on your ecommerce store. Many of Facebook’s preferred software providers offer this functionality.

Facebook Messenger marketing shouldn’t replace your existing marketing. You still need to do email and social marketing. But Messenger marketing can greatly augment everything you’re doing on the marketing and sales side and you’d be crazy not to be investing in Messenger as a channel for your business.

By Ben Parr

Source: https://www.inc.com/ben-parr/12-stats-that-show-why-facebook-messenger-is-so-important-to-your-business.html?cid=readmoretext_ab

680 405 Emma Macharia

DISCOVER SIX WAYS TO USE SNAPCHAT FOR BUSINESS

Have you thought of adding Snapchat to your marketing mix? Well if you haven’t, you should. A breakdown of Snapchat’s numbers will show you why: over 100 million daily active users, 400 million snaps per day, and over 1 billion views of stories each day.

And there’s more. For the personal user, Snapchat lets you easily talk with friends, view Live Stories from around the world, and explore news with the Discover feature. It also presents huge possibilities for your business. One of the key ways for brands to connect viscerally with their customers is to share brand stories.

Shared value has been known to create brand loyalty and with Snapchat being real-time, it provides a ready platform to showcase the values and cultures of your company in a personal and visual way.

Find out six ways you can use Snapchat for your business below:

1. Cover live events

You can use Snapchat for product launches or one-of-kind events like the 5,000th customer to shop in your store etc

2. Offer contests or promotions

You can offer promo codes or discounts to the fans who watch your entire Snapchat story, or ask them to take a snap while holding your product.

3. Behind the scenes

You could show off your company and make sure to have fun with it. Capture birthday parties, Friday afternoons or company outings. The idea is to show how your brand differentiates itself with company culture.

4. Partner with influencers

Just like with Twitter and Instagram, social media influencers on Snapchat can help spread brand awareness and reach. Allow these influencers “take over” your brand’s Snap for maybe a day to help with the promotion of an upcoming event, product launch etc. These influencers will help introduce & bring their own followers to your page.

5. Publish transparency series

Like we mentioned earlier, shared values help build brand loyalty. One of the best ways to do so is present a backstage company access to your customers. You’d be surprised how many people are interested in your internal processes.

Cisco has done a neat job of sharing the daily goings-on in the firm with their “A day in the life of an Account Manager” series.

If you are wondering what Cisco – a networking and telecommunications company is doing Snapchat – you are not alone. Telecommunications isn’t the most interesting subject to talk about, but Cisco managed to flip the script. They focused on their culture and exposed a human side of their brand.

6. Host AMA sessions

Ask Me Anything sessions can be anything you want them to be. They can be about your goofy company culture or a professional conversation about trends in your industry. It could be “We just bought a N1 million camera for our production team, ask us anything” or something a little more serious like “We got 2 billion organic impressions on a campaign last week, ask us anything.” or something random, “We can tint my eyebrows with Coffee, ask us anything.”

Find relevant topics you can start with your audience that will pull them in and engage them.

By Wild Fusion Marketing

Source: https://sheleadsafrica.org/snapchat-business/

960 640 Emma Macharia

How Cause Marketing Can Boost Your Brand

image courtesy of Shutterstock

With the last quarter of the year upon us, companies are pulling out all the stops to achieve a winning 2017. For retailers and brands, the stakes are especially high, as the holiday season can make or break the entire financial year.

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