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.

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.

Keep Your Brain Sane During This Pandemic Strain

Bored in the house. Pug in a blanket

Isolation can wreak havoc on your emotional stability. No? Just us? There are a lot of people who find themselves with ample time on their hands these days. And, more free time could mean obsessing over current events. So, to keep minds busy and engaged, virtual doors to culture, arts, science, and education have opened to us. We’ve created this list of things to do while staying at home.

Free Online Courses

Harvard: From coding to religious studies, Harvard has a catalog of free 4 week courses guaranteed to expand your mind. 

Coursera: Over 4,000 different classes, ranging in length and topic, will keep you busy for the foreseeable future. 

edX: 140 colleges around the world with over 2,500 courses offered from humanities to business, and more. 

CodeAcademy: Learn to code for free. Build websites, or launch an entire new career. 

Udemy: Take your pick of almost 7,000 free courses. Their paid classes are around $10 each, which is still reasonable.

Hubspot Academy: Get certified in content marketing, inbound marketing, email, and more. 

World Tourist Site Tours

Blarney Castle: The home of the kissing stone, and rich in Irish history. 

Hawai’i Volcano National Park: The site states you need to put on headphones for the best experience. Truly amazing. 

Google Arts and Culture: Check out the Bolshoi in Russia, and when you’re done, visit the Vienna State Opera. Go wherever you want, from the comfort of your couch. 

Monterey Bay Aquarium: Live webcams give you a peek into all the breathtaking displays. Watch penguins all day on your monitor while you work from home.

NASA: Take a tour of Langley Research Center, marvel at the mid-century modern architecture of the administration building or the acoustic lab in the research facility, plus more cool stuff to take you away from current events. 

The Vatican: Visit the Vatican through a virtual tour. Even study the Sistine Chapel’s iconic ceiling. 

Buckingham Palace: Virtually explore the Royal Family’s Palace. 

National Parks: 113 National Parks + Being quarantined at home = lots of time to sightsee.

Arts and Culture

The Louvre: The museum may be closed right now, but you can still take virtual tours of some of the most famous displays. You will need to download Flash if you don’t already have it. 

Guggenheim Over 600 artists with displays of 1,700 pieces of work can be viewed through the online gallery. Stare all you want, you’re not blocking anyone’s view. 

National Museum of Natural History: Current, past, and permanent exhibits are all displayed in virtual tours. Map included.

The Met: Missing the opera? Every night on the Met website, an encore performance is streamed. 

Van Gogh Museum: Take a tour of Amsterdam’s famous museum while sitting on your couch eating Girl Scout Cookies. 

Detroit Institute of Arts: Visit this beacon of culture proudly displaying work from Frida Kahlo. 

BroadwayHD: One week free for new subscribers and then it goes up to $8.99 per month. But, you can catch a lot of plays in the span of a week these days.

Exercise

Yoga With Adrienne: Even when we aren’t in lockdown, people rave about this yoga guru. No matter your experience level, there’s a practice for you. Down dog.

Down Dog: Wherever you go, you can take Down Dog with you. Barre, Hiit, and Yoga for your device or desktop. Namaste. 

Peleton App: All you need is your own treadmill or stationary bike. Free for 90 day trial period.

Tone it Up: Workouts created for women, by women. But hey, men can do these, too.

Fitness Blender: Use this time to whip yourself into shape with these full-length workouts. 

PopSugar: Ab-burning, thigh-firming, arm-toning workouts for guaranteed results. 

Gold’s Gym: Always wanted to join the gym from the comfort of your own home? Now’s your chance. Gold’s Gym is free through May 31, 2020.

Sports

NHL: Hockey fans unite. You may not be able to watch sports in a stadium, but the NHL has some unique content to satisfy you. 

NBA: Basketball is benched for the remainder of the season. But don’t worry, the NBA feels your pain and is delivering content to you. 

NFL: Through May 31st, you’ll get an all-access pass to the NFL Game Pass. You can watch every game, all day, for free. 

Hockey Hall of Fame: Take a tour through the “Cathedral to the Icons of Hockey”. 

Zoos and Gardens

Atlanta Zoo: Watch the pandas play all day through the live Panda-cam.

Georgia Aquarium: Otters, Sea Lions, Beluga whales, oh my. 

New England Aquarium: Take a virtual trip to Boston and see the world-famous aquarium. 

San Diego Zoo: The zoo’s live cams take you inside the animal displays to get you up close and personal. 

Cheetah lounging at the zoo.

These are just a smattering of free courses, tours, and events happening across the internet. For more, you can do a quick Google search based on your interests and you’ll pages of ideas to keep yourself busy during the shelter in place and beyond. 

Adapt100: In This Together

Adapt100 graphic over a dark background

We’re grateful. Despite the current climate, our clients are still operating. This allows our Adapt Studios team to remain working. For us, it’s getting used to the new normal as we continue our work from home. We feel we have a unique opportunity right now; we are in a position to help. So, we’ve started a little something we like to call Adapt100. 

Who We Are

We are brainstormers, creatives, analysts, and problem solvers. We look at the big picture and how it relates to individual businesses. As a full-service marketing studio, no stone is left unturned when we’re knee-deep in branding and marketing for our clients. 

What Is Adapt100?

Adapt100 is an initiative we’ve put into effect to help inform and guide 100 local Michigan businesses through these difficult times. Through an in-depth brand audit, we will create a strategy that will carry you across these strange times and beyond. 

Resilience is key. And, the Adapt’s unique brand audit was created to help you gain deeper insight into how effective all of your marketing efforts have been, what needs to be improved, and how you can adapt to these new times we’re facing. 

Using our auditing method, we will create a strategic roadmap that will help you identify your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. This will help to guide you forward so you can weather this storm. When we are done, you will have a step-by-step process. You’ll learn how to grow your brand recognition and gain a loyal following. Once you’re back to business-as-usual, you’ll be thriving. 

Why We Are Doing This

Things are tough all over for everyone. We worry about our local economy and those that this shutdown will impact. We couldn’t sit back and do nothing. Sure, we are a new company, but our team has over twenty years of combined marketing experience. We know our stuff, and we want to use our strengths to help you come through this tough time stronger than ever. 

What We Hope To Accomplish With Adapt100

We hope to help our fellow Michigan businesses survive. Armed with knowledge and tools, this will allow them to adapt and thrive throughout this pandemic and into the future. 

If you feel your business could use our help, please reach out to hello@adaptstudios.co, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

If you’re an agency that would like to partner with us, please email hello@adaptstudios.co In the subject line, write “agency partnership opportunity.” 

We look forward to the privilege of helping you adapt and thrive. 

How To Become A LinkedIn Thought Leader

LinkedIn thought leader, chessboard with king and several pawns

If you’ve been on Linkedin, even for a brief moment, you’ve probably seen a lot of your network sharing many of the same posts, written by the same individuals. Every industry represented on Linkedin has its own list of “top voices” or a LinkedIn thought leader. They are the thought leaders with a highly engaged audience who use their experiences and ideas to educate their followers. 

Whether you’re a CEO, entrepreneur, or professional, improving your online presence is beneficial to your growth and success. Joining the ranks of those “thought leaders” gives you more eyeballs within your industry. If you’re trying to increase your online presence, becoming a Linkedin thought leader can do that for you. 

What Is A LinkedIn Thought Leader Anyway?

Dictionary.com defines the term ‘thought leader’ as: noun whose views on a subject are taken to be authoritative and influential. 

Thought leaders and influencers are all across the internet, on every platform. This article will focus on LinkedIn thought leadership. That term, in reference to Linkedin, is similar to the dictionary definition. A Linkedin thought leader establishes him or herself as an authority or expert in their field. This is done by presenting information in a way that is easily understood by their audience. 

Who Are You?

The industry you’re a professional in does not necessarily define your entire area of expertise. Maybe your knowledge in early science fiction and cooking rank equally with that of your profession. You could brand yourself where those intersections meet. Finding a niche will set you apart from other industry thought leaders. 

Who Are You Talking To?

Once you have a grasp on who your audience is, structure your thought leadership pieces to resonate with that group. Your target audience is dependent on what you’re planning to achieve through building your thought leadership platform. Are you selling a service or looking for speaking engagements? Once you determine what you’re doing on Linkedin, you’ll be able to narrow down your audience. 

What Do You Mean?

What is your brand headline or tagline? To determine that, you must first understand what your message is going to be and who it is you want to share that message with. When you have refined your headline, use it in your Linkedin profile along with other brand marketing assets. Once this step has been completed, it will be much simpler to complete the rest of your Linkedin profile, and you’ll have consistent messaging. 

What Are You Saying?

It’s not just about what you’re saying over on Linkedin, but also HOW you’re saying it. Video is huge right now, and Linkedin’s algorithm will boost video before text. Your video doesn’t even need to be shot by a professional, the camera on your phone will suffice. 

Topics to write about can be your professional achievements, industry news, or whatever you find interesting. 

Using the Linkedin Publisher platform:

  • Your article titles should be 40 – 49 characters
  • You need to include up to 8 images depending on the article length
  • Use subheadings (H1, H2, H3, etc) to make your article easily digestible
  • The sweet-spot for article length is 1900-2000 words 
  • Shorter articles are ok, too
  • Thursdays are allegedly the best day for posting on Linkedin Publisher
  • Publish something at least once a day, whether it’s content you’ve written or simply sharing another author’s work.

What Are You Doing To Become A LinkedIn Thought Leader?

The point of any social networking platform is to be social. You can’t just assume people will engage with you just because you’re creating some kickass content. You’re going to need to put in the work to nurture relationships, just like real life. Comment on other people’s posts, respond to comments left on your posts, and return private messages (as long as they’re not spam). 

Be social.

To position yourself as a thought leader, you don’t even have to write your own articles, which is nice for those who don’t particularly enjoy writing. Being a curator of other thought leader pieces and sharing your thoughts on the topic can open up a conversation just as easily. 

Bottom line: Establish yourself as an authority on a topic, assert your opinion, and encourage discourse within that posts comment section. Tag other subject matter experts and have them weigh in on the subject. 

Becoming a thought leader on Linkedin doesn’t happen overnight. You will need to put in the work and stay consistent. 

To learn more about using Linkedin, check out our article here:

Our Adapt Studios experts can help you take your brand to the next level. Contact us today to learn how. 

How To Use LinkedIn To Effectively Market Your Brand

Using LinkedIn for your brand

Linkedin has over 570 million accounts.

260 million are actively using the platform on a monthly basis.

Even more impressive, is 40% of those active accounts are used on a daily basis.

This makes Linkedin one of the most widely used professional social platforms. But, are you harnessing the power of Linkedin correctly?

In this article we will give you tips on how to network, grow, and market your brand using Linkedin. 

The Benefits of Linkedin

Despite the fact there are so many active Linkedin accounts, many aren’t using it to its full potential.

The site went live in 2003 and was created specifically for professional people and brands to create connections, increase brand awareness, and drive website traffic through content sharing. 

Whether you’re on Linkedin for business or personal, it has a plethora of benefits.

Some of the top reasons for using Linkedin in your marketing strategy are:

  • Increases your visibility 
  • Connects you to like-minded people
  • Generates leads for your business or for personal
  • Opens potential business opportunities
  • HR and recruiters are both plentiful which can help in job hunts or filling open positions
  • Position your brand as a thought leader
  • Research potential connections or brands

Building Your Brand On LinkedIn

Whether you’re building your personal or company brand, there are quite a few ways to leverage Linkedin effectively.

  • Customize your URL: When you begin using Linkedin, you get a personal URL, which directs traffic to your profile. When it is assigned to you, there is a string of numbers attached to your name. By customizing your URL, you will be able to eliminate those numbers and you’ll be left with your name. You will be able to do this right from your Edit Public Profile in the View Profile section of your page.
  • Optimize your Linkedin headline: Mention the industry you’re in or targeting. Your headline is searchable, and a fully optimized one will reach the right people. 
  • Use the banner image space: That’s a great piece of real estate to enhance your profile, company, and industry. You could include your logo, website address, or a few explanation bullet points.
  • Make your profile searchable: Adding industry keywords to your summary, and work experience adds SEO to your profile. This will increase the likelihood of being found when someone is searching for related keywords. 
  • Humanize your brand: People connect more with other people. Even if your brand is computer software, put a human element behind it. Images of the faces behind the software can make it more relatable. 
  • Use the “About” section: This is the perfect space to add tidbits of context to your brand. There is a 250-word character count, but you are able to edit it as often as you’d like. 
  • Use those hashtags: To make your posts more discoverable, use the generated hashtags that appear at the bottom of the post. There is no hashtag limit, but don’t go over five or your post will be clunky and look like spam. 
  • Turn profile views into connections: You will receive notifications when your profile has been viewed. If that viewer doesn’t reach out to connect and is someone potentially relevant, make the first move. Send a connection request. 
  • Build your brand: Create thought leadership articles, comment on or like shared posts, and interact. Actively participating on Linkedin is free advertising. Besides, you never know who you’ll ‘meet’. 
  • Join Linkedin groups: If you can think of it, there’s a group created for it on Linkedin. Some are full of very self-promoting people, but there are many groups that offer ample opportunity to connect and learn with like-minded individuals. 
  • Create your own Linkedin group: Set yourself up as a thought leader by creating an industry-related group. Doing this will allow you to connect and interact more closely with others in your industry. 
  • Use Linkedin’s publishing platform: Linkedin now lets anyone publish articles to the platform. You could syndicate old blog posts or write new ones and share them with your connections. This is an important step if you are trying to become an industry thought leader.

Picked for you: Becoming a Linkedin Thought Leader 

Marketing on Linkedin

Once your Linkedin page and profile are set up, you are ready to begin your marketing campaign.

Plan on spending a total of an hour throughout the day networking on Linkedin for optimal effectiveness.

Some people spend a lot longer there, but you have to do what works for your schedule. 

To reach more people, try experimenting with sponsored content and native ads.

Linkedin allows you to target based on job titles, functions, industries, and more. This makes reaching people most beneficial to you much easier. 

As with any other type of marketing campaign, you will need to pay attention to your Linkedin insights and refine what you’re doing based on those results.

With the insights, you will know what type of reach your posts have, how much interaction they are receiving. The benefit is, you will know what type of content resonates with your connections and you’ll be able to tailor your messaging more effectively. 

There is no such thing as an overnight success. It’s normal to have ups and downs; traffic and interactions will vary depending on the day and time. 

Linkedin is getting noisier as more people are discovering how truly effective it is for business.

Patience and perseverance will be needed.

But, with the right strategy in place, you’ll find Linkedin to be the perfect platform for you. 

Using Nextdoor To Promote Your Small Business

Neighborhood aerial shot with Adapt Studios logo. Using the Nextdoor App

Being a nosy neighbor has never been easier. Nextdoor is a social media app designed to connect residents within neighborhoods. Neighbors can stay up to date on the latest gossip surrounding off-leash dogs, vans cruising streets, and doorstep images caught on Ring’s surveillance camera. Businesses, both large and small, have begun noticing Nextdoor’s popularity and are leveraging the app within their marketing strategies. Learn how and why your marketing strategy should also be including Nextdoor by reading on. 

Why It’s Good For Business

Local businesses now have a place to reach their audience more directly. There are many neighborhood conversations asking for service-related business recommendations. Nextdoor has made information highly shareable once a company claims their profile. When a neighbor makes a recommendation in the comment section of a post, the business information is made available. If you don’t have an account on Nextdoor, don’t let that valuable piece of internet real estate sit unclaimed.

Businesses best suited for Nextdoor are:

  • Service-related: Electricians, plumbers, IT, lawn care, and more.
  • Salons
  • Restaurants
  • Spas
  • Hotels
  • Retail
  • Residential real estate
  • Commercial real estate
  • Tutors
  • All businesses!

How To Claim Your Business On Nextdoor

To use Nextdoor for your business, you first have to claim your account. But, the process is simple. 

Claiming your business page:

  • You must be an employee or owner of the company. 
  • Determine if you’re a “neighbor for hire” or a “professional business.” 
  • Search for your company name in the directory.
  • Click ‘claim’ next to your business name.
  • Follow the prompts.
  • Set up your business page. You can even use your logo and other branding assets. 
  • Create your strategy before jumping into the conversations. The next section will cover this in more detail.

You can claim up to 10 pages under one account. This is good news if you have multiple businesses or locations.

Marketing Business Once You Create Your Nextdoor Account 

Nextdoor is an excellent opportunity to increase your local business. You’re reaching hyper-local prospects that are verified. This means their personal account has been authenticated, and all under one application for your business to easily reach. But, you need to do it the right way. This isn’t the place to post inspirational quotes or memes. Through Nextdoor, you can have real, meaningful conversations with your target audience. 

Advertising on Nextdoor is only permitted if you:

  • Are a realtor or broker
  • Have a $15K per month advertising budget

If you don’t fall into either of the two categories above, don’t worry. There is still plenty of opportunities for you to use Nextdoor to promote your business. 

There are some best practice guidelines to follow when you’re using Nextdoor as a business

  • Make sure to list your business on Nextdoor. See the above section on how to claim your business and follow the steps.
  • If you have a personal profile, add your business information to it.
  • Fill out your business and personal profile information. 
  • Never, ever spam your neighbors. Randomly promoting your business in conversations that are not relevant will only give you a bad reputation. 
  • Keep your responses transparent, genuine, and honest.

The Deal About Local Deals On Nextdoor

Not many local companies have ad budgets like the big box names. But luckily, there are still advertising affordable options. These are called “local deals.” 

Local Deals allow businesses to promote themselves through coupons and deals only available within the app. 

Deals you can run:

  • Holiday specials 
  • Price reduction ads
  • Fixed price ads
  • BOGO offers
  • New neighborhood/zip code specials

Your deals must run a minimum of 7 days and up to 30 days. Ads are visible immediately after posting them. 

In conclusion, with over 27 million active monthly users, and 236K defined neighborhoods, Nextdoor is poised for more significant growth. It’s one of the only social platforms where you won’t immediately be drowned out by the noise. By learning how to use Nextdoor effectively now, you’re setting your business ahead of the upcoming wave. 

What Is TikTok And How Can Brands Use It?

TikTok girl dancing

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard of TikTok. You need to check out the app. And, while you’re there, claim your user name because TikTok isn’t going away anytime soon! While there, you’ll probably want to learn about and create a TikTok marketing strategy for your brand. So, while TikTok is downloading, please read on.

What Is TikTok?

TikTok has rapidly become one of the most popular social networking apps in existence. The original iteration was created in 2012 and comes out of Beijing by way of an app company called ByteDance. In 2017, ByteDance was bought by Music.ly, which then merged into TikTok in August of 2018. 

Users create short-form videos and upload them to the app. Similar to other social networks there are hashtags, music, challenges, and other interactions. 

Like all other social networks, there are ways for users to comment on and “like,” these uploaded videos. Videos run between 15-60 seconds if recorded within the app. For videos recorded outside of the app’s interface, videos can be a bit longer. 

The TikTok app is available in over 150 countries and is gaining in popularity. Right now, in 2020, there are over 1 billion TikTok users across the globe. In the US alone, there are approximately 60 million active TikTok users, the most massive demographic falling in the 16-24-year-old age group. 

Why Is It Popular?

It’s all about visual, and TikTok is just that. In the same vein as ill-fated Vine, TikTok calls themselves the destination for short-form mobile videos. It plays on and embraces meme culture, and holds a strong appeal across its broad spectrum of users. Viral dance routines, makeup challenges, comedic sketches, and more allow users to watch or participate with access to a variety of filters, time effects, split screens, and so much more. 

Tik Tok, like so many other social platforms, prey on the users “FOMO” or fear of missing out. However, Tik Tok got so big that it caused a ripple effect throughout social and non-social media users, prompting them to download and use the app.

Tik Toks educable algorithm dictates the “For You” feed, allowing the users to pretty much tell Tik Tok what they want to see. And shockingly, Tik Tok obliges by showing you videos you may enjoy. 

TL;DR: Tik Tok is popular because it operates how social platforms should–using an algorithm that bases the user’s feed on content the user engages with. Viral trends tend to move quickly, so don’t blink!

What’s The Deal With The For You Page?

TikTok’s “For You” page is a personalization recommendation feed curated by the app for you, the user. The more interaction with videos, the more personalized the feed becomes. The algorithm is TikTok’s guarded secret, and no one outside of the company truly knows how it works. It’s the goal of many TikTok influencers to get onto that enviable For You page, and hashtags such as #fyp, #foryou, and #foryoupage are used in hopes of landing there. 

How Are Brands Using TikTok

Many big brands are incorporating Tik Tok into their digital marketing strategy. Companies like Nike, Chipotle, NBA, and The Washington Post (who is doing a fantastic job) are early adopters reaching new audiences and doing exceptionally well on the platform. 

Any brand, no matter the size, should be paying close attention to TikTok. With the majority of the audience in the GenZ demographic, TikTok is the perfect place to humanize your brand and introduce it to a previously unattainable audience that could give it massive amounts of traction. 

How To Develop A TikTok Marketing Strategy

There are a few different ways to optimize Tik Tok into your marketing strategy. The commercial platform at the time of this article was still in beta mode, allowing only certain brands to gain access. But, that’s good news for the rest of us because it gives us a few minutes to see what brands are doing, and to use those lessons in their TikTok marketing strategy. 

Tik Tok advertising options for brands include:

  • Brand Takeover: A 3-5 second full-screen ad displayed when a user opens TikTok. One brand per day is allowed.
  • Hashtag Challenge: A brand-sponsored video and hashtag that challenges users to record and use the hashtag.
  • In-feed native video: A 15 second branded music-related video that pops up when the user explores the content.
  • Influencer outreach: Partnering with a TikTok influencer who creates content paid for by your brand. Similar to any other branded partnership. 
  • Branded lens/effects (similar to a branded Snapchat filter): Brands can use AR, 2D, or 3D filters allowing the user to experience your product before purchase. 

TikTok is supposed to be fun; brands who take themselves too seriously most likely won’t find success. Because the demographics are so concentrated in the GenZ and younger millennials, content needs to be geared toward them. That will change as more GenX and Boomers begin to find their place within the TikTok community. 

At the moment, TikTok is still relatively uncluttered by brands but it’s not the perfect place for all. But, that will quickly change, and it’s a good idea to be ready to strike. 

Whether you need help with a marketing strategy, execution, or both, give Adapt Studios a shout!