Your Guide To Marketing Basics

Photo of busy street with large digital ads.

Marketing is a multi-tiered effort, and it can be daunting when you’re unfamiliar with the basics. Never fear, we’re here to help. We’ve broken down some of the important marketing pieces and made them easy to understand. So, if you need a crash course in marketing basics, then you’ve come to the right place. Please read on!

What Is Marketing

The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”. 

Essentially, marketing is how a brand, whether it’s an individual or a company, connects with and sells to the end-user. In this instance, sells is a multi-faceted word. It could be a product, an idea, a service, or anything of value imparted from the giver to the receiver. 

Marketing, as a verb, is done through a variety of ways and across multiple channels. The intent is to use a strategic marketing plan to drive the customer into action. 

The 4 Ps of Marketing Basics

There are four primary components of marketing called the 4 Ps.

While your marketing strategy, along with variables within that strategy may change, these four principles will always remain the same. 

  • Product: The goods or services your company is selling.
  • Price: The cost of your goods or service.
  • Place: Where your goods or service can be found, whether online or in a store. 
  • Promotion: How the news of your product or service is going to be effectively distributed.

Key Elements Of A Marketing Strategy

There are many different pieces that come together to make a complete marketing strategy. Not all of these will be right for every brand. 

  • Content: Content marketing helps break down a problem your potential client is having and shows them how to work toward a solution. It aids in growing your audience while establishing authority in your industry. If done compellingly, it will lead to sales.
  • Social media: Social media marketing will build brand awareness. It will enable you to find an audience where you wouldn’t otherwise find one. Meaning, new eyeballs on your product or service. 
  • Email: Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing pieces. You’re delivering your vital information directly into your audience’s inbox. There’s no better real estate than that. 
  • Video: Video has become the most consumed form of content. YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine next to Google. Having a video marketing strategy is becoming increasingly more important.
  • SEO: Using relevant keywords will increase your chances of being found in your target users’ search. In fact, when done right, SEO is the driving force behind website traffic.
  • Paid ads: With ads/PPC, you’re seen at the top of the search engine results. When a user is searching for the type of product or service you offer, you’re now in a better position to sell them what they’re looking for. 
  • Influencer: What’s a better sales tactic than having a popular personality promote your product? Influencer marketing allows you to leverage your influencer’s audience, getting your service or product in front of more potential users. 
  • Public Relations (PR): Public relations is a more traditional form of marketing. PR is about positive perception through relationship building. 

Also read: What Is TikTok And How Can Brands Use It?

Man writing a marketing strategy on a white board.

How To Create A Marketing Strategy

A strategy is important to marketing success. It’s the roadmap that guides your direction and helps you to obtain your goals. 

  • First, you need to determine who your audience is.
  • Next, you’ll have to decide your call-to-action (CTA) for each step of your strategy.
  • Then, you’ll need to understand where in the marketing funnel they are: 
    • Top of the funnel is when the potential customer has no idea who you are.
    • Middle of the funnel means the customer is searching for a product that you have.
    • Bottom of the funnel means the customer has the money and is ready to make a purchase.
  • How are you going to hit your goal? This is where you’re going to determine which of the above elements of marketing are the right ones for you. 
  • Recognizing Your Audience
    • Who is the perfect customer/client?
    • Which platforms are they on?
    • How are you reaching them?
    • What are you going to do in order to be found easily?

Figuring out the “who” will help you determine the “how”. If that sounds confusing, please feel free to reach out to Adapt Studios. We’re happy to help!

Also read: How To Write A Blog Post Built To Convert

Marketing Tools You’ll Need

To aid you in both your marketing strategy and execution, you’ll need some handy dandy tools to keep you on track. 

  • Social platform scheduling: Look at Hootsuite, it is very user friendly and allows you to schedule posts on most social networks. Facebook has one built into the platform, and Twitter is introducing a native scheduler, as well. 
  • Project management: Trello, Asana, Monday, Airtable and so much more are available. It just depends on your specific needs. 
  • Editorial Calendars: You can make one using a Google sheet, or use the project management tool with editorial calendar capabilities like Monday. 
  • Email: We love Mailchimp, but Hubspot has a nice email campaign platform, as does Constant Contact
  • SEO: There are so many different tools available for this. We like Answer the Public, Google’s Search Console, and Moz.

You may go through a bunch of different tools until you find the ones that work best for you and your team. 

Also read: Humanizing Your Brand

There are so many things to keep track of and understand when initiating your marketing strategy. You’ll constantly learn and refine, which is perfectly normal, you’re just starting with marketing basics.

Always remember, there’s no perfect way, so stay positive and keep on marketing!

More resources:

https://sproutsocial.com/insights/guides/small-business-marketing-101/

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/step-by-step-guide-to-the-fundamentals-of-marketing-2295834

Grow A Positive Remote Work Culture

Grow a positive remote work culture. Woman sitting at desk with laptop and phone

Companies, big and small, are calling it, they’re working remote indefinitely. Some don’t expect to ever return to a brick and mortar model, while others are allowing for extended WFH.

None of us know what post-COVID-19 will look like, and employers don’t want to risk the health of their employees or their businesses. But, for many companies who were predominately in offices, the work culture is going to shift. It’s a learning gap, but one that can be easily bridged to promote a positive work environment. 

Knowing The Value of Remote Work

We know that when employees are happy and feel safe in their work environment, quality and productivity increases. Feeling valued makes us want to work harder for that consistent praise. Not only that, when an employee feels as though they are appreciated it makes them loyal. 

Remote work has been shown to increase:

There are downsides to everything, including having remote teams. As long as you are able to find a way to keep constant lines of communication open, and promote positive company culture, then you’ll find having a remote model easy to navigate successfully. 

Well Defined Roles

A chain of command is important in any type of work environment. But, it’s even more imperative to have well-defined roles when teams are remote.

Setting expectations, workflows, and having procedures in place early will set every employee up for success. 

Constant Communication

Communication is pivotal, which is why we talk about it numerous times throughout this article. From talking about your culture to your open-door policy, communicating your message to your employees will keep everyone aligned and have a consistent goal. 

A document where all the pertinent company information is housed, kept in a Wiki if you use Teams, Google documents, or another shareable format, will allow employees to reference it. As a living document, you are able to refine it as your company grows and changes. 

Creating a Remote Culture of Value

  • Bridge the distance: No “us” vs. “them”, everyone is important, and that needs to be felt across all teams.
  • Work AND play together: Sure, it’s remote. But, there are loads of fun activities that can be done over video conferencing. Check out some ideas here.  
  • Team meetups: At the moment, this may prove impossible. But, when life gets itself together, and we have some semblance of normal, create team events that will bring the team together. 
  • Communication: Stay in contact with your employees. As the boss or manager, let your teams know your virtual door is open, whether they want to talk shop or about a great beer they found and thought you might like. 
  • Start a tradition: Office traditions are a core component of the culture. Maybe it’s a weekly video meet up to play MarioKart, or a regular Cocktail and Schmooze. Birthday and anniversary cards, a monthly employee spotlight can be little ways to start a tradition. 

Creating a positive work culture will not only keep your good employees happy, but you’ll be able to actually keep those good employees long term. 

How To Start A Podcast

How to start a podcast. A man sitting at a desk with a mic.

Let’s assume you already have your podcast gear such as a name, topic, and microphone ready to go. Your cover art is perfect, and your intro has been professionally done. Your ducks are lined up. That’s a great start. 

However, there are two things crucial to the success of your passion project. You will need to pick the best fitting platform, and properly promote your podcast across the internet. Here’s how. 

Picking Your Host

A podcast host is where you’ll upload the recorded podcasts, and from there you’ll be able to upload the episodes to places like iTunes, Spotify, and other platforms specific to podcasters. To pick one of the many that are available, look for:

  • Price: Choose one that fits your budget. They range from about $12 per month and up. 
  • Support: What type of tech support is included with the platform.
  • Platforms: Will the podcast host get you onto the sites you want to be available on?
  • Monetize: Are you able to monetize through the host, if that’s what you’re looking to do.
  • Storage: How much storage space is included in each package.
  • Analytics: It’s important to know how far of a reach your podcast has, and the only way to know that is through analytics. 

Promoting That Podcast of Yours

Once you have your podcast host chosen, and you’ve gone live, you need to reach an audience. Chances are, listeners aren’t going to find your podcast on their own. At least, not at first. You need to actively promote it through social media. Let’s explore your options.

  • Submit your podcast to Apple, Google, Spotify, and other large podcast platforms.
  • Communities of podcasters are a great place to become active. You can explore Facebook and Linkedin for active groups, as well as entire websites devoted to growing podcaster communities.
  • Social media will be helpful when trying to grow your podcast subscribers. Create a Facebook fan page for yours, and post regularly. Boost your posts to get a larger reach.  
  • SEO is going to be your friend, which means you should have a blog to help those who are looking for the topic you provide to find you.
  • Keywords instead of numbers for the titles of your podcasts will help with organic search. For example: How To Start A Podcast – Episode 6 is a better title than, say, Episode 6. 
  • Headlines should complement the title. Using the above example, How To Start A Podcast, your headline could be Finding the Best Podcast Platform and Promotional Tools to Get Ahead.
  • Commit to creating podcasts weekly. It can take a few months for it to build momentum, and consistency is a key ingredient when trying to gain that. 

Currently, there are over 700K podcasts available. It sounds like a lot, but it’s far less than the number of blogs across the internet. Now is a good time to start one, but you need to have a plan in place in order to compete with the early adopters whose podcasts have become successful. 

Need a new podcast to listen to? Try ours!

SEO: A Beginners Guide To The Basics

A beginners guide to SEO

Search engines, think Google and Bing, love when websites are fast-loading, well-designed, and offer stellar content.

So, when the web crawlers pay a visit to your website and see all the hard work you’ve put into your SEO, they display your content higher up on the SERPs. And then, you end up with a ton of traffic, leads, and sales.

But, what does all that mean?

Sounds sort of intimidating, right?

Read on to understand the connection between SEO and the success of your company. Plus, you may even pick up pointers so you can do it yourself!

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

When it’s done right, SEO brings more organic, or unpaid traffic to your website. And, this is accomplished through your web content.

The pages on your website are what’s going to be indexed, not your actual site. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a list of relevant keywords you want to rank for, and organically (naturally) sprinkle them throughout your different pages.

But, we’ll discuss keyword research later on in this article. 

With the right SEO efforts, your site should:

  • Attract high-quality traffic and leads
  • Have more visitors
  • More free/organic traffic

Read about Google’s algorithm, BERT

What Are Search Engines and How Do They Work?

Ahrefs compares search engines to libraries for the digital age, storing web pages instead of books. You type your query into the search bar, and the search engine displays pages upon pages of results. Or it could just be a couple of pages, depending on the search parameters. 

The results your search turns up is due to crawlers, which is essentially a bot program; think of it as an explorer. It “crawls” its way across the internet to search for information based on that query.

Bots use links like we use a map, in order to jump from page to page across the sites. These crawlers read your metadata and content; take the information and ship them off to their boss, the algorithm.

From there, your information is organized in a way that will rank well for the user’s original query. 

In order to rank high in the search results, your SEO needs to be reachable and readable.

This means your links must work, your keywords need to be in place, and your metadata relevant to the content displayed. 

You can block these bots from crawling certain pages of your site by adding a no index metatag. These are good for redundant pages, or pages you’re trying to stop from being indexed. 

Keywords And How To Find Them

Keyword research helps you locate the words you’ll want to rank for on search engines. These keywords are what will help direct users to your content.

Once you have determined what these words are, sprinkle them in your title, headers, and body copy. Don’t forget meta descriptions and image alt text, too.

If you’re using a WordPress template, add an SEO plugin. We use Yoast, and really like it. It’s a popular choice for so many reasons, their SEO checklist especially. 

Finding the correct keywords can be a confusing process.

You are intimately familiar with your business, so you know some of the most popular words and phrases associated with it.

Start there.

Then do a search for related search terms. 

You’re going to want to have a nice mix of head terms (short phrases), and long-tail (3 or more word phrases) scattered in various parts of your content. T

o find keywords, you can use Google’s AdWords Planner. For long-tail, Answer The Public is a great tool. 

How To Make Your Site SEO-Friendly

Having an SEO-friendly site is important if you want organic results, especially in a sea of similar sites.

SEO gives you that competitive edge, allowing you to be more visible in search results. 

Some quick tips for an SEO-friendly site are:

  • Simple URL’s that are unique to every page
  • No duplicate content. However, if you have some out there, know that Google will only display one of them in the results and there’s no guarantee it will be the one from your site
  • Have a sitemap somewhere on your website–this helps those crawlers out
  • Use internal links whenever and wherever possible–But don’t overdo it
  • Images need to be optimized, too. This means, describing the image so even someone without eyesight understands what is displayed
  • Keywords, but don’t keyword stuff unless you want to be penalized by Google
  • Site speed is important, the faster it loads the better
  • Being active on your social platforms also helps with your SEO!

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what SEO is, and how to begin doing it.

If you need some help, our team at Adapt Studios is just an email away! Happy keyword scattering. 

References:

https://ahrefs.com/blog/what-is-seo/

https://en.ryte.com/wiki/Crawler

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-do-keyword-research-ht

https://www.lyfemarketing.com/blog/what-is-seo-and-how-it-works/

Humanizing Your Brand

How to humanize your brand

In order for someone to “buy into” your brand, they have to trust what’s being sold to them. What you say matters, but how you say it matters even more. To build this necessary trust, you can’t come off sounding like a robot, humans don’t trust robots. Look what happened with the whole Skynet fiasco! By humanizing your content, you transform from a faceless company to a friend. Read on for pointers on how to make your content have a life of its own. 

What Does It Mean?

By humanizing your brand, you give it lifelike qualities that allow your users to connect with it on a human level. This means, your voice needs to be consistent on every platform, from your website to your social channels.

To turn your brand into a familiar face, you need to: 

  • Show personality: Decide if you want to be funny, raw, silly, intelligent. Have a catchphrase. 
  • Write like you speak: Your brand image is highlighted by the uniqueness of your voice. But also, be aware of the language your users use.
  • Show off your team: Nothing makes a brand more human than showing off the humans behind the brand. 
  • Share user-generated content (UGC): It not only makes your claims more believable, but it also creates a community rallying behind your brand. 
  • Tell real stories: The internet is savvier than ever, and people can sniff out the real from the make-believe. Be real. It smells better.
  • Be Engaged: Whether it’s through social or in the comments of your blog, respond and interact with your users. 
  • Influencer partnerships: With built-in relationships, influencers introduce your brand to their online friends. One good word from a highly respected influencer can turn your product or service into a bestie with all that influencer’s followers.

What About Social Media?

As a brand, going online means you need a social media policy in place. It dictates how your brand is going to respond to a crisis, as well as day-to-day interactions.

Anyone performing social media on behalf of your company should have knowledge of this policy. It needs to be a living, breathing document that is consistently updated. 

As for your brand on social media, here are some humanization pointers:

  • If you have more than one community manager, sign off each post with their name
  • Talk like a person and be personable
  • Take a side, and stick to it. But, stay away from things like politics and religion unless those are part of who your brand is
  • Show emotion. Use emojis, and emotion-based words.
  • Be active on your social platforms
  • Share images and videos that dive deeper into the product or services you offer

Think of humanizing your brand in the same way you’ve grown your own personality. As you grow, so does your brand. 

What You Need To Know About Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing photo of someone taking a photo

I’m sure you’ve done a ton of online research in your lifetime.

Think about that pair of shoes you looked for or searching for the best skincare lines. Your search led you to reviews, whether on a blog or social media. The piece of information either persuaded or prevented you from making a decision.

That, in a nutshell, is influencer marketing. 

What you’ve looked at will help form your purchase decision based on the opinions and facts you’ve just seen. 

Whether you realize it or not, so many daily decisions and ideas are spawned through another person’s thoughts or ideas.

I know, we don’t like to think of ourselves as being easily influenced, yet it’s perfectly normal. 

Influencer marketing is a way for brands to get their products or services in front of decision-makers on all levels, whether it’s a household or a large corporation.

And, influencer marketing is one of the most effective tools a marketer can use.

The Definition of Influencer Marketing

Wikipedia defines influencer marketing as “a form of social media involving endorsements and product placement from influencers, people, and organizations who have a purported expert level of knowledge or social influence in their field.” 

The content these influencers share can be considered a form of testimonial advertising or social proof. The higher the ‘ranking’ of the influencer, the weightier the words.

There’s nothing more powerful than word of mouth marketing.

Bottom line is, you’re paying an influencer to leverage their community in an effort to spread the word about your product or service.

Also, don’t underestimate the power of the micro and nano influencer. But, more on that later in this article. 

Is Influencer Marketing Right For You?

Research has shown that people trust other people over advertisements created by brands. Plus, over 44% of social media users follow influencers, and 34% of those users make purchasing decisions based on those recommendations. 

It’s true that not every single product or service is right for influencer marketing. The fact remains that some things are harder to “influence” than others. 

But keep in mind, there is an audience out there for every single product or service imaginable. 

And, for that audience, there are influencers pitching relatable products the only way they know how to. Through their blogs and various social platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Linkedin–you name it. 

For your product or service to reach a larger audience, investing in an influencer campaign could increase your reach, as well as sales. 

Why Influencer Marketing Is Important To Your Strategy

The internet is a crowded, noisy place. Brands of every shape and size, vying for the attention of their target audience. Internet congestion is worse than rush hour in L.A. 

You have a split second to capture the attention of your potential buyer.

If you aren’t giving them what they want, they’ll move onto your competitor.

And, since consumers are equal parts savvy and skeptical, they often don’t buy what brands are self-promoting. 

That’s why influencer marketing is a powerful tool in your arsenal.

The word of a trusted influencer can create a viral product or service. Or, worst-case scenario, bring in some website traffic to increase brand awareness. 

Influencer marketing

Does Influencer Marketing Work?

Yes. 

It works. 

And, influencer marketing is about to grow even more influential. Especially since we are sheltering at home.

We are unable to touch, smell, taste, or whatever sense is needed to make our own decisions. Consumers will now, more than ever, need a trusted person telling them what to buy and what to avoid. 

If your influencer campaign runs effectively, you can expect

  • Amplified Awareness: Whether you choose one influencer or 100, your brand will be presented to a new audience. With a like, share, and follow from them, suddenly you’ve increased your presence exponentially. 
  • Totally Targeted: By meticulously choosing who your influencers are, you can ensure that your promotion is being targeted to the most relevant audience. 
  • Intensified Integrity: If your influencer’s audience trusts them, then by default, they will likely trust you. Influencers work hard to grow their community’s trust and establish relationships.
  • Awed Audience: An active audience is a captive audience. If your chosen influencer shines your product or service in the right light, those fans will be left in awe. Which will put into action them seeking you out. Your fan base grows, waiting for you to build a relationship and awe them. 

How To Choose Influencers

Not just any influencer will do for your unique offering. No. You have to find the right person with the right audience. 

First, identify the type of influencer most beneficial to your campaign: 

  • Micro/Nano influencers: These influencers have a smaller community, usually from 5K up to 50K. Typically, their fan base is pretty close-knit and highly engaged. 
  • Expert or Macro Influencers: With a larger fan-base, these influencers are considered thought leaders in their respective niche. Their audience turns to them for recommendations based on the types of products they endorse. 
  • Celebrity Influencers: Celebrity influencers grow their communities based on their celebritiness (and yes, we made that word up). They may be more apt to promote products of any kind, but expect to cut them a pretty hefty-sized check. 

There are many ways to find the right influencers:

  • Leverage your personal network
  • Join a specialized influencer network service
  • Use search tools like Buzzsumo and take advantage of the free trial

Once you find influencers related to your industry, build a rapport with them. The best influencer campaigns begin from a good working relationship. 

Elements For Running An Influencer Marketing Campaign

Next, there is a lot of prepping and planning that goes into an effective influencer marketing campaign.

There is usually a cost when it comes to influencer campaigns, so determine your budget prior to putting together the campaign.

Costs can include your product, along with the payment for the influencer. That number runs the gamut, and you may be able to negotiate directly after you’ve made contact. 

How to run an influencer campaign: 

  • Identify who your target audience is. 
  • Determine what outcome you’re wanting. Is it brand awareness, increasing sales, building your own platforms (your social and website)? 
  • Figure out which social platform you want to focus on. Blogs, TikTok, Instagram? All of the above?
  • Determine the type of campaign you’re planning to run
    • Gifting: You provide your product in exchange for page placement, or mentions on the influencer’s social or blog. Keep in mind, many influencers request payment along with the product. 
    • Affiliate: Giving an affiliate code to your influencer will allow them to earn money long after your agreement has ended. 
    • Brand ambassadors: This is more of a partnership. The influencer becomes a recognizable face associated with your brand. 
    • Influencer takeover: Just like it sounds, for a set amount of time, an influencer takes over one or more of your social channels. They bring their fan base along with them. 
    • Sponsored content: Written or visual content you created specifically for influencers to share on their platforms. 
Influencer marketing

Find your influencers and reach out to them with a compelling, friendly email asking for a collaboration. Once you’ve got a list of people you’re working with, another email should be sent detailing expectations for both parties. 

You can track your key performance indicators (KPI) by adding an urchin tracking module (UTM). This is a little snippet of code you put on the end of a unique URL. This will help you figure out the success of the campaign effort. 

The FTC And Influencer Campaigns

In order to lessen, or even prevent, false claims in advertising, the FTC created governing principles and regulations.

If these are not followed, and yes, the FTC does closely monitor what goes on, then you could be subject to fines or worse. 

Rules and regulations for Influencers can be found on the FTC website. And, also reference the FTC Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Finally, read the What People Are Asking document. 

When running any type of campaign that includes paid influencers, there must be an easily found, easy to understand disclaimer stating that the post is an ad, a sponsored article, or an endorsement of any kind. 

Conclusion

Influencer campaigns are one of the most effective ways to gain brand awareness. If you have the budget and product for one, try it on a small scale to measure how it does for your brand. 

Cheers to your successful influencer marketing campaign. 

How To Start Your Own Business Networking Group

Name tag and coffee at a networking group

Many valuable contacts have been made through networking. They say, things happen through people you know. Which means the more people you know, the better the chance of goals being met.

Sometimes, the right type of networking group isn’t available. They also say, if you want something done, just do it yourself.

Learn how to start your own successful networking events you’d actually want to attend. 

What’s So Great About Networking?

Whether you’re job hunting, looking to talk to like-minded individuals, or any other reason, nothing is as powerful as connections. 

The benefits that come from networking are

  • Strengthening your business connections
  • Learning new points of view and ideas
  • Potential job opportunities
  • Career advice and mentorship
  • Professional and personal relationship building
  • Professional resources for future projects
  • Community support
  • Gaining self-confidence
  • Giving and receiving business referrals

The Goals Of A Networking Group

Each individual goes into a networking group with a list of goals.

They all vary based on individual circumstances. If you don’t have a networking goal, it might be wise to come up with a basic list before you either join a group or start one on your own.

Also, by identifying your why, creating your own networking group will be that much easier, and will attract the right kind of member. 

Example networking goals might be

  • Finding the perfect job
  • Obtaining new client prospects
  • Growing your knowledge

Read: How To Effectively Network At A Conference

Unlike already established business networking groups, when you start your own, you have the authority to approve the members.

This means you can create a highly curated group of professionals all working toward the same goal. 

How To Start A Networking Group

Starting your own networking group sounds like it would be a daunting task. But, it really isn’t. And, it doesn’t have to cost very much, either. 

It can be very fulfilling to be the founder of a successful networking group. You can take part in helping other professionals see success while building close relationships. 

When you’re first starting your business networking group: 

  • Start small, with only a handful of members you chose personally.
  • Vary the professional specialties.
  • Decide on a maximum number of members.
  • Define the goal of the group
  • Find a location or digital platform like Meetup
  • Plan the event
  • Stay connected through a Facebook or Linkedin group

Types of Roles With A Networking Group

When creating your networking group, you might want to bring on some people to help support you. 

  • Outreach director: Finds people to join, speak, and sponsor the group
  • Event coordinator: Makes all the arrangements for the event, whether choosing an online platform or a brick and mortar location. 
  • Designer: Creates the marketing graphics for online and in-person
  • Board of Directors: assign leadership roles such as President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. 

And, then the leadership roles would have to be determined. Titles and who will hold them will be up to your discretion. 

If there are membership fees, consider discounting them or making them free for the board of directions. 

There’s really no such thing as an overnight success, and that holds true for networking events, too.

Expect a slow build.

With determination, consistency, and perseverance, your networking event can become the one many professionals look forward to.

Creating An Awesome Email Campaign

Email campaign photo of gmail account

Emails are a widely used form of communication. Email marketing, landing directly into inboxes of your target audience, is an excellent marketing tool. It can help you build brand awareness, grow customer relationships, and generate more leads and sales. If you do it right. Learn best practices for creating an awesome email marketing campaign by reading on.

The Definition of an Email Campaign

An email campaign is part of your company’s marketing efforts that reaches your email subscribers. You are able to deliver ads, ask for business, request donations, and more. Campaigns are generally designed to reach your subscribers with your valuable content at optimal times. These also allow your brand to nurture relationships and trust. 

Most people prefer opt-in based emails, as opposed to cold emails. Here’s what the two mean:

  • Opt-in: Your receiver willingly gave up their email address in exchange for getting regular emails, offers, free trials, etc. from your brand. 
  • Cold Emails: These users have probably never heard of you. With cold emails, you want to craft an email that will compel the stranger to become a new friend. 

How To Create Your Email Campaign

Having a plan based on your campaign goals will help guide you through your campaign creation. 

  • Set goals: What are you hoping to achieve from your email campaign? Grow brand awareness? Direct traffic to podcasts, blogs, or social channels? Advertising new deals? 
  • Choose a platform: There are eleventy-billion out there so it depends on what features you’re looking for. We like MailChimp because it’s very user-friendly. 
  • Grow your targeted email list: You can have an audience made up of subscribers and imported contacts, which are all considered qualified leads.  
  • Segment your list: This allows you to target different types of emails based on the way you’ve segmented your audience. We segment our list based on the welcome campaign. New subscribers go into the email 1 segment, email 2, and so on. 
  • Use an email template: For consistency, a template that has your logo and branded images is best practice. 
  • Good writing is important: From your subject through the body of the email, what you say and how you say it matters. Check spelling, grammar, and flow. The writing doesn’t have to be great, it just has to be good. 
  • Always personalize: To whom it may concern doesn’t fly, and users will send you to the trash. Or worse…spam. 
  • A/B Test your lists: Within your segments, test different subject lines. Or, switch up the body copy. A/B tests allow you to see what type of messaging, time of day, or day of the week perform best. 

Why Are Email Campaigns Important

Emails are a point of contact that allows you to build relationships with potential fans in order to create loyal customers. By sending emails, you’re capturing your customer’s attention directly in their inbox. 

If your email campaign works the way you’re hoping, it will attract and retain existing customers. Plus, it will attract and retain potential customers that have opted in to receive your emails. It’s all about nurturing these relationships so they can blossom and grow, and email is one of the most effective ways to do that. 

A 2014 McKinsey Report showed email marketing was 40x’s more effective at bringing in new customers. Organic content was the only marketing more effective.  

What Makes An Email Campaign Effective

To run an effective email campaign, you need certain elements in place.

  • An attractive, branded email template
  • A compelling subject line. Test yours on this tool from CoSchedule
  • A well-written summary, which is the content the recipient sees before opening the email.
  • Convincing body text that includes your company logo. You should have no more than around 20 lines of content, and up to three images.
  • A clear call-to-action (CTA) letting the reader know what you’d like them to do next. Click a link, watch a video, make a purchase, etc. It all depends on what your ask is for that email.
  • Your email footer should include your contact information, where to find you on social, and an unsubscribe option. 

Types of Email Campaigns

There are so many types of email campaigns that could fit your goals. We’ve got a list of the popular ones here. 

  • Welcome emails: Generally sent to new email list subscribers. 
  • Holidays: Offers discounts for, and/or acknowledges holidays. 
  • Birthdays: If you are able to capture birthdates, a little e-card is a nice touch. 
  • Invitations: Promotes such things as online webinars or in-store events. 
  • Cross-selling: If you know a customer bought a product, then these emails are sent to sell related items. 
  • Anniversary: Reward your customers for your company anniversary. 
  • Newsletters: Builds customer relationships with goodwill content providing valuable information.  
  • Announcements: To promote visits, upcoming sales, specials, events, etc.
  • Nurture campaigns: Keep existing subscribers enthralled by adding value to their inbox.

Measuring Your Email Campaign’s Success

To understand how well your email campaign performed, there are three different metrics to pay attention to. 

  • Delivery rates: From your email list, how many emails delivered right to the inbox and didn’t end up in a spam filter. The more delivered to the inbox, the healthier your subscriber list is. 
  • Open rates: If you sent out 1,000 emails, and only 10 emails were opened, then you know you need to work on a better way to capture your recipient’s attention. This is why your subject line is highly important to the success of your campaign. 
  • Click through rates: Out of all those opened emails, how many recipients performed the call-to-action? Did they click links? 
  • Revenue and conversion rates per email: Revenue is only relevant if you have a product you’re selling. Conversion rates measure how many of those email recipients convert to customers. 

In conclusion, email is uber important to your digital marketing campaign. Now that you know the basics, go forth and send emails! If you need help setting up an email campaign, Adapt Studios is here for you.  

How To Create A Social Media Strategy

Social media strategy photo of a sign saying You Got This

During relatively normal times, it’s important to have some type of social media strategy in place. Right now, with companies of all shapes and sizes suffering due to shutdowns, it’s imperative to stay in touch with your audience. The best place to do that is to be in the same spaces they are which is on social media. Once you have determined which social platforms to concentrate on, you’ll need to have a strategy in place to make the most of those spaces.

Get engagement

Now is the time to up the ante for user engagement. Your audience is more connected, and online more often. Encourage moving your body, staying healthy, staying positive, and staying sane during this time. Let your audience know that we are all in this together.

  • Sample social post: The entire month of April is “Move More Month”. Now, more than ever, people are throwing on their walking shoes and hitting the pavement. What are you doing to move more this month?

Get Action

With every post comes an opportunity to connect with your audience. Use a strong call-to-action (CTA) to encourage your users to engage with you. This will increase traffic to your social media page, website, and keep your brand in people’s minds. It’s free advertising! When sharing blog posts in your IG story, add a link and encourage followers to swipe up! Tip: Negative posts can either be deleted or publically addressed before moving to private messaging. 

  • Sample Instagram post: Socially distancing doesn’t mean you can’t go the distance. Show us how you’re staying connected while keeping at least 6 ft of space. Tag us in your photos and we may share them on our page!

Get Trendy

Pay attention to current trends happening across social platforms and jump in on the ones that make sense. Take the I-Spy game spreading all over Facebook.

  • Sample FB Post: Flattening the Curve might sound daunting, but we can toast to its success once this is over. In the meantime, let’s play a game that’s all over Facebook. “I spy with my little eye”, something blue in your camera photos. (And the blue image for this post might be Lake Michigan or a mash-up of all the Great Lakes)

Get Festive

Give a nod to ‘real’ holidays, but also celebrate the super fun and relevant ones. You can find a list of quirky national holidays here: http://www.holidayinsights.com/  

  • Sample social post: Monday, April 13th is National Scrabble Day and with everyone home, board game usage has seen a huge resurgence. Call to action could be: What’s your favorite board game? Or, what games have you been playing? 

Get Pinning

Focus on sharing useful and original content. Pinterest is a very active network that can take products viral. Have boards that are both entertaining and product-based. 

  • Sample Pinterest Boards Subjects: Make boards about travel, fun destinations, and how those relate to your product. Show users real-life scenarios where your product is the hero.

Get Tagged

Set up a relevant branded hashtag. It will also make it easier for you to see who is tagging you on Instagram.

  • Sample Branded Hashtags: It could be something as simple as #XAtHome, or #StaySafeWithX. X, of course, is your brand or product name.

Get Real

Share employee stories and photos of how they are handling this time. Remote work stations, playing with their kids, anything that connects to the audience. Make your brand more human. Consider doing Facebook live or even pre-recorded videos. 

  • Sample Post: Make an announcement regarding how your company is taking care of its employees during this time. Show your remote workspaces or a pic of your Zoom meeting thumbnails. 

Your social media strategy can be as simple or complex as you deem necessary. Whichever you choose, the important goal is to be present so that when this is over and a bad memory, your brand hasn’t been forgotten. Remember to be thoughtful and tasteful in your messaging, everyone is feeling uncertain right now. 

Why You Need A Good Video Marketing Strategy

Video Marketing and Video content.

The internet is a competitive place, congested with all sorts of content vying for consumers’ eyes and ears. Nowadays, the consumer is savvier, and they know when they are being sold to. Sales-y content is often overlooked. The ‘real stuff’, that’s what’s in, and it’s likely here to stay. It’s all about humanizing your brand, and the best way to do that is with a video content marketing strategy. 

Why Video Marketing Is Important To Every Industry

No matter what industry you’re in, there’s a market for your videos. Just as podcasting is growing, so is video marketing. Here are some main points to persuade you to start a video campaign of your own. 

Draw in your audience: Video is the preferred method of content delivery. If done right, you will draw in your target audience with captivating messaging. This makes them more willing to perform your call-to-action task. 

Content ideas become endless: One blog post can become a series of videos. You can create lists, testimonials, how-to’s, 30-second elevator pitches, and the list goes on. 

Video IS Social Media: If content is king, then video is the crown jewel. One video can be published across all social platforms because that is what’s expected. And, you can easily shoot these videos using your phone’s front-facing camera.

Watching is the new reading: Attention spans are shorter, and audiences demand entertainment. Viewers want to consume content in video form with the option to have it on mute. So, be sure to include subtitles. 

Results are measurable: It’s easy to see how well your video is performing. Analytics reveal how long a video is watched, what links were clicked, if it was shared, and if any of your call-to-actions were performed.

Conversions and conversation increase: Video marketing influences your user’s behavior. You’ll see better conversions along with increased conversations through your videos. It’s all about humanizing your brand. 

Types of Video Content That’s Easy To Make

There are so many different pieces of content you can create through video. Here is a shortlist of video content ideas to try.

  • Pillar content: Use your blog posts to create a series of videos using the H2s as titles for a series. Using this article, for example. One video would be “Why Video Is So Important To Every Industry”, another would be “Types of Videos you could easily produce”, and so on. 
  • Expert interviews: Hit up your network and do a series of video interviews with industry experts, clients, coworkers, and whoever can make helpful content.
  • Industry advice: Providing insight in a succinct way not only helps simplify a complex industry, but it also will resonate more with your target audience. 
  • Bring on the drones: Drone footage is all the rage and is growing in popularity as drones become more affordable. 
  • Recaps: Summarize important bullet points of the previous week or month’s content.
  • Incentives: If you’re running specials, talk about the benefits of what you’re offering. 
  • How-to videos: How-to content has been popular across every industry. It gives your audience the information needed to try it at home. Most likely, they’ll realize it needs to be done by professionals. By making these types of videos, you’re cementing yourself as a thought leader and establishing trust with potential customers. 
  • Goodwill content: Offer tips and tricks to help your audience without asking for anything in return. 
  • Local happenings: Introduce local activities, businesses, and events. This grows your community and increases referrals. 
  • Promo videos: Explainer videos that talk about your product and why it is beneficial to your audience. These are your ‘brag’ moments. 

Speaking of video marketing, check out this article about TikTok

Seeing Is Believing

Initiating a video campaign into your marketing strategy is a great way to give your brand that necessary human element. It’s human nature to want to relate to something, even a product. And, by putting a face behind it, the brand becomes a person. A trusted friend. As a result, you turn your users into fans that become spokespeople for your brand. This creates social proof plus word-of-mouth marketing, and those are two elements unparalleled when it comes to success.

Additionally, one piece of video content can be used in many different ways across your platforms. You can embed it into a related blog post, or use it for your paid marketing campaign to list a couple of ideas. 

Finally, videos aren’t exactly a new concept, but it’s a growing element of an overarching campaign. And, it’s one you will need to consider if you don’t want your brand to be left in the dust.