Category

Social Media

4 Important Ways to Improve your Instagram Feed!

There’s just something about Instagram that we, as a society, can’t seem to get enough of. Even with that frustrating change to the algorithm, Instagram seems to be everyone’s favorite! There are a ton of tips out there on how to beat the algorithm but it’s even more important to have a profile that speaks to your ideal audience and potential clients. Below you’ll find 4 important ways to improve your Instagram Feed AND exactly how to implement them!

First, Build Your Brand:

As a designer, I cannot stress enough the importance of your brand! Your brand IS NOT simply your logo – it is the entire aesthetic of your business. When it comes to Instagram this includes everything from the images you post to the captions you write. This tells your audience who you are, what your brand stands for and the type of audience you want to appeal to.

Building your brand is all about finding colors, images, and words that speak to what your business is all about! When it comes to Instagram having cohesiveness is key! Let’s take a look at some examples of businesses whose branding is on point 👌.

Brands WE LOVE on Instagram:

@shopbando – Bando the brand is Colorful, Fun, & Creative – Just like their products and their Instagram shows this off perfectly!

@getawayhouse- If their feed doesn’t literally make you want to GET AWAY… Idk what will! Their Instagram reflects their rentals with a darker edit, which reflects their cozy cabins perfectly!

We know coming up with what to post on Instagram can be hard and time-consuming. Last month Pop Digital Marketing developed a  30 Days of Instagram Content.  The blog became so popular that it had over 300 shares in the first hour!

Next, Update Your Bio:

You have up to 150 Characters for a bio about YOUR BRAND! One mistake I constantly come across concerns bios that talk more about the individual behind the brand as opposed to the brand itself. Consumers want to know about the products they can find in your shop or the services you offer above all else. I love that you have 2 rescue dogs but unfortunately, that isn’t going to teach me about your business.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t tell us fun information about yourself, but prioritize what you are offering and then fill in the bio with other information. Below is a little “recipe” for developing the perfect Instagram business bio.

Instagram Bio Recipe

2-3 things you offer / i.e products, services, etc.

1 personal detail (if it fits in the characters)

+ Call to action such as a promotion or a special offer – something to really grab their attention and make them click that link!!

Using this little recipe your bio may look like this:

✿ Web Design, Social Media, + SEO Expert

✿ Wife to Jeff + Mommy of 2

15% off when you Subscribe ⇣

(LINK TO WHEREVER HERE)

Bios WE LOVE on Instagram:

@girlsnightinclub – GNI Tells us exactly what they are right away and if we join we can be apart of an online community with 150,000 women!

 

@theslowtraveler – Carolyn tells us what she does followed by where she is located AND tips we can find on her blog! Perfection!

 Then, Check Your Hashtags:

Hashtags can be tricky and there are so many places to start! The simplest way to begin is by using a hashtag Generator. Type in ONE keyword about your business then you will get results all around this one keyword!

Here is an example of results we got at Pop Digital Marketing with our Keyword being MARKETING:

 

You can choose to end your hashtag research here or you can take it one step further. The size, or the number of uses a hashtag has, can make or break your image in search.  I’d suggest taking some time to research the number of uses a hashtag has by plugging it into Instagram.

For example, the hashtag #marketingguru has 154k users so the odds of your image being seen rapidly decrease! However, Instagram now has a “related” option for hashtags and this is where the real research comes in! Click through until you find hashtags with a lower number of uses – any with 50k or less are perfect!

Finally, Captions:

Your captions should represent the tone of your brand while talking about related topics. Use your captions to discuss new services or products, promotions, milestones, or even interests that relate to what your brand is about!

Captions can be a great way to tie an image into your brand. Let’s be real, we can’t always have the perfect image and sometimes those flowers are just too perfect not to post. This is an ideal opportunity to use the caption to tie the image into your brand!

In the end, it really comes down to your brand, not only on Instagram but for your entire business. Instagram is a great way to market your business and I hope these tips help improve your Instagram feed and even more importantly help reel in your ideal audience and potential clients! If you have any questions or need help at any point in the process feel free to contact us here or shoot us an email at info@PopDigitalMarketing.com

How to use ‘Competitive Advantage First Language’ in your Marketing

The guidelines around how to develop effective messaging in your company’s ads have evolved considerably over the past 100 plus years. Fans of the TV show ‘Mad Men’ would be aware of the ad creation process in the 60s, which revolved heavily around storytelling via visual marketing collateral. And while that method is still well used, we now additionally rely on digital space advertising.

In the past, our ads drew on teasers, click-bait, and short descriptions in order to prompt prospects to click through to our product or service. As of the latest research, you have less than two seconds to grab the attention of a potential customer online – two seconds and they’re gone, they’ve already continued scrolling.

This means that the very first words a person sees on your posts, your ads and/or your website need to grab their attention immediately. One effective way to do this is by utilizing a competitive advantage first focused approach.

What is ‘competitive advantage first’ language’ marketing?

The competitive advantage first approach focuses on prioritizing your unique offerings, your differentiators in the very first copy of your ads – preferably at the beginning of the sentence.

If you’re unsure of what makes your company different, you’ll need to take a step back and do some hard research. Poll your current customers about what keeps them coming back, looks at what people are saying about your business in reviews, mentions on social, etc. What is it that comes up as the key defining feature that you want to be known for, and that others consistently refer to?

Why it works?

Very few businesses are entirely unique. There are likely hundreds or thousands of companies that do what you do, so you need to stand out to succeed. Catching the customer’s eye with your competitive advantage can be key to giving them a reason to click through.

Your secret sauce needs to be exactly what the customer needs, thinks he/she needs and/or doesn’t yet know they need yet. You are the answer to the question they’re asking.

Once you can adequately identify your competitive advantage, you can start working on the copy to place on your digital marketing campaigns. Your campaign language should visibly state how your service/product brings value.  If you only have those two initial seconds, it’s vital that the first words people see outline a value.

Remember to try and steer with positive adjectives, and to tailor each campaign to the audience you’re targeting.


Examples of Competitive Advantage First Language Ads:

Monday.com

This ad is a prime example of presenting its value to a select audience. Their Competitive Advantage? They’ve done research on their audience and know the demographics they are targeting respond to adjectives like “new generation”.  They lead with that claim.

Additionally, Monday.com claims to be the project management tool for Mac users.  Visually, they fill in their logo with the Mac brand colors to connect the two even further.

Allbirds.com

Allbirds successfully uses competitive advantage first language in this ad.  Look how they structure the ad copy under the video. Machine Washable is the biggest value and they placed that at the beginning of the sentence.  Normally it would be phrased, “When life gets dirty, you need machine washable shoes”.  But Allbirds took the value and restructured the sentence to grab the readers attention.


You can see how, by defining your key traits, you can boost your ad responsiveness. If there’s a key element you serve, it makes sense to highlight that in your copy – and with so little time to stop the scroll, you need to do so quickly.

 Need help with identifying your company’s Competitive Advantage? Let Pop Digital Marketing help you Get Discovered.

30 DAYS OF INSTAGRAM CONTENT

30 days of instagram content

Setting aside time to plan an entire Instagram feed can be time-consuming. One of the hardest parts is generating content that your followers are actually interested in. As an agency that curates and manages Instagram accounts for multiple clients, we’ve compiled a list of best practice posts to help ignite your company Instagram account into a highly engageable and followed brand leader. Below is a list of trending Instagram posts and topics relevant to 2019!

HINT: Don’t be afraid to ask your audience questions it helps with engagement and gives you insights to what they are looking for!

30 Days Of Post Material For Your Business Instagram Feed:

DAY 1: INTRODUCTION

Every Business (or blog, influencer, etc.) needs an introduction! Discuss who you are, where you are from, and what you are passionate about! This will help your audience connect with you and create genuine followers and future clients!

DAY 2: WORKSPACE

Show off your workspace and inspire others! I know I am a sucker for pictures of a decorated workspace! It’s always nice to tell your clients how you work and show off what motivates you (muscle emoji?)

Don’t have a workspace at home? Show off your favorite coffee shop and be sure to tag them!

DAY 3: PRODUCT / SERVICE

Start to show off your products and/or service! Start with your most popular or even a NEW service you just started offering! Describe the product or service briefly and then link to your actual website!

DAY 4: PET PICTURE

Do we even need to explain? Everyone loves a good pet pic!!

DAY 5: SELF-CARE

What do you do for self-care? We need to remember the importance of taking a moment for ourselves. Running a business is hard work and can feel like it takes over your life. R E L A X ~ give your audience some insights into how you take time for yourself!

DAY 6: BLOG POST

Show off a blog post! Resurface an old one or come up with something fresh! Blog posts are great for SEO and showing off your knowledge of the field or product!

DAY 7: LEARN ABOUT YOUR FOLLOWERS

Find out something valuable about your followers! Who are they, where are they from, and what content are they looking for? This gives you great insights about your audience and you can adjust your future posts to allow for engagement from them!

DAY 8: MILESTONES

Share a recent Milestone your business has reached! Maybe it is x amount of new clients or a completed project for a client!

DAY 9: CURRENT FAVORITE BOOK / PODCAST

What books or podcasts have you read that are currently inspiring you?! There are so many out there and people are constantly seeking out new ones to read or listen to! Make sure to tag the author/curator you are promoting!

DAY 10: SOCIAL MEDIA PROMOTION

Here is a great way to advertise your products while offering a discount to those who follow you on Social Media! Create a unique code (INSTAGRAM15 or FACEBOOK15) this allows you to track the number of times this code was used.

DAY 11: MORNING ROUTINE

Show off your morning routine! Do you hop out of bed and turn on the computer or enjoy a cup of coffee on the couch?!

DAY 12: FREEBIE

Who doesn’t like free items?! Create a freebie for your followers that pertains to your niche! There are hundreds of freebies online so maybe search around for some inspiration!

DAY 13: PAST CLIENT PROJECT

Show off a little with a completed project you’ve worked on in the past! Showing finished projects helps establish your business and the kind of work you do!

DAY 14: COZY SPACE

Post your favorite cozy space! This can be a space in your home or a local shop! Somewhere that inspires you!

DAY 15: FLOWERS / PLANTS

Maybe you finally planted some new flowers or just treated yourself to a bouquet! Flowers will always look pretty on your Instagram and they stand out when scrolling on Facebook!

DAY 16: FLAT LAY

Take some time to find creativity in your posts! Styling flat images are one of my favorite parts about Social Media! Find some of your favorite objects around the house (even include some past projects!) and start creating a visually pleasing flat lay!

DAY 17: CUSTOMER PHOTO

Customer photos are the best! It gives you content with little to no effort! I think it is best practice to ask the customer to use the image and make sure you tag them!

DAY 18: MINDFULNESS

Just like self-care mindfulness is so important! Take 20 minutes to meditate or do a little yoga session and share how it went with your followers!

DAY 19: SHARE A HOBBY

Share what you do on the side! You never know who may have the same interest to create a connection with!

DAY 20: #MONDAYMOTIVATION

Following trends like #MondayMotivation and #TestimonialTuesday are great for others searching through hashtags!

DAY 21: NEWSLETTER

Promote your newsletter! It’s always great to offer something for those who sign up! Maybe 15% off a service of a freebie download!

DAY 22: BEHIND THE SCENES

Take us behind the scene! This is especially great for those in the creative field! It’s refreshing to see HOW something is actually made!

DAY 23: YOUR CITY

Take us on a tour of your city! In the caption, you can provide some of your favorite places to shop, eat, and enjoy a good happy hour!

DAY 24: SUPPORT OTHERS

I am a sucker for accounts that support one another and I think businesses should do the same! Give a shout-out to another company, an Etsy shop or a local shop near you! Hey, they may even turn into a client.

DAY 25: ORGANIZATION TIP / TRICK

How do you stay organized? We are all looking for ways to better organize tasks and ourselves!

DAY 26: FAVORITE QUOTE

People can’t resist a good quote! Find something that resonates with you and your niche!

DAY 27: SHARE A RESOURCE

Share a resource! We all have them and there is nothing to be ashamed of! You can even ask your audience to share their favorites to get some more ideas for yourself!

DAY 28: CROSS PROMOTE YOUR NETWORKS

Take this time to encourage others to check out some of your other social media sites! Pinterest and Facebook are always good go-to networks!

DAY 29: #OOTD

Show off one of your favorite outfits! Maybe you just bought something new or are just bored with your same old office clothing. Take some time to dress up and show off! If you have a large company or team, show them off too!

DAY 30: SAYING THANK YOU

You should always find some time to thank your followers! They are supporting your virtually and financially! It’s always nice to show your appreciation!

Let us know below your favorite type of content to create!

If you would like help curating content specific to your industry, utilizing best practices- get in touch with our team!

5 Free Tools to Monitor your Competitors’ Digital Marketing Campaigns

Creating a holistic digital marketing strategy can take months.  Effectively executing the strategy after tweaks, minimal fails and multiple learning curves can take up to a year.  One stage often omitted from this important plan is monitoring competition.   Watching your competitors online holds unparalleled benefits such as identifying market opportunities, connecting with companies you should be cross promoting, back-link insight, social listening and more.

Monitor Online CompetitionHere are 5 Free Tools to monitor your competition:

  1. Google Alerts: One of the most underused tools, Google Alerts allows you to monitor the internet for “interesting content”. You can set up alerts for your industry keywords or even for mentions and articles on your competition.  Google alerts lets you customize the email reports you receive by how often you’d like the notifications, type of sources, the origin of source, and languages. Use alerts to drive trending content ideas and see how well your competition is doing with PR.
  2. Facebook Pages: Facebook offers page admins the opportunity to “watch” competitor Facebook pages. To add a competitor page, simply go to your page insights, scroll to the bottom and type in the name of the business you’d like to watch.  You can see the company’s follower growth, engagement and even the competitor’s top post from the past week.
  3. HootSuite: HootSuite is a simple social media publishing tool that also offers numerous in-platform apps to increase the overall user experience. One of the free apps, TrendSpottr enables you to set up multiple “streams” in your HootSuite to watch trending topics, keywords, brand reputation and even identify industry influencers.  HootSuite is also an excellent “social listening” tool for when potential customers are unhappy with the competition.  Below is an example of great social listening in action.  In this instance, I had tweeted dissatisfaction to Xfinity and within minutes received this tweet from their competitor: social listening example
  4. Alexa: Alexa is a brilliant tool that my company uses prior to working with any company to analyze their overall reach. It can also be used to analytically measure competition.  You can see how the competitor’s website ranks globally, what keyword searches are driving traffic to the site, which pages generate the highest engagement, and which sites link to the competitor’s site.
  5. SEM Rush: SEM Rush offers great analytical reporting on all aspects of digital marketing performance. With a free account, you can see how your competition ranks, the keywords that generate high traffic, and even view their AdWords and video ad campaigns.

Once you have all this data at your fingertips, it is time to utilize it wisely by crafting new campaigns.  Contact websites that link to your competitors to build new relationships, start focusing on keywords that drive heavy traffic to your competition’s site, avoid social media snafu’s that failed on your competitors’ platforms, and contact your competitor’s dissatisfied customers through social listening.

Employee Brand Ambassadors | Why and How

A couple of years ago, we posted an article on Word of Mouth Marketing http://popdigitalmarketing.com/word-mouth-marketing/.  The article explained the new wave of marketing tactics utilizing current “brand fans” through social media.

To reiterate, studies have shown that consumers are 65% more likely to choose a brand based on the recommendation of another customer or employee than buying from a brand based on an ad or company promotion.  Customers today rely on trust.  They trust other people, like them making every day decisions.  They trust people, not companies.

Benefits of an Employee Brand Ambassador Program

employee brand ambassadorBuilding your brand takes consistency, time and a strong brand strategy.  It also takes a strong community of fans.  Your employees play a fundamental role in promoting your brand.  If your company is listed as the employee’s workplace on Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media platform, each and every time your employee engages in anything, they are representing your company.  Once your brand strategy and brand promise have been developed, you must train your employees in what your brand story is.  What your company represents.  The problem your service or product solves.

Employee Silence is Loud

Your employees have the potential to expand your reach exponentially.  Silence speaks volumes.  If your employees never endorse your brand, that sends a very clear message to customers.  They don’t love it. They do not believe in it.  If your employees are engaged in and passionate about promoting your company, they will “sell”.   It makes people excited to be a part of something everybody loves.  It’s also great for recruitment.

How to Build Your Employee Ambassador Program

  1. Develop your brand. This is the backbone of your program.  You cannot continue until you have this set in stone.
  2. Train your team. Your entire company must learn, understand and believe in your brand.  If they do not, it may signal that you aren’t delivering your brand promise and need to re-evaluate either your brand promise or the process of your services/products.
  3. Choose an Ambassador Leader. The Ambassador Leader is someone in your company that loves everything about coming to work. They already show their ambassadorship, share your company news online, have a strong following online and are an “influencer” online and off.  This person does not need to be in your marketing department and can be at any level of management.
  4. Make the program optional. You only want people participating if they choose to. If it is forced on everyone, it will show.  The Ambassador Leader should assemble an Ambassador Team of employees that are excited to be a part of this new program.
  5. Set expectations. Make sure the program has very clear and easy guidelines.  The easier the program is to participate in, the more employees will want to join.   If you are using an ambassador management system, provide each participant with a tutorial.  If you are not using a system, make sure create your own standard process.
  6. Don’t write scripts…..but have materials ready. Allow each team member to promote the materials in his or her own words.  Again, we want to work off trust.  If customers see everyone writing the exact same script, it becomes an ad, not a genuine referral.   If you are not using an Ambassador system, you can use google docs to place all the types of content/materials you want promoted, and track employees’ efforts there.
  7. Lead by example. Don’t expect employees to be passionate about your brand if your top executives are not.  The leaders of your company do not necessarily need to participate in the program for rewards, but they absolutely should use the material to promote on across their various networks.
  8. Measure and Reward. Make sure you have a measuring system set.  Hashtags are an excellent tool for measuring.  Choose a specific hashtag such as “PopDigitalMarketinglife” and check it on a weekly basis.  Your Ambassador Program should provide rewards as well.  Rewards must be attainable and set on a short term basis (people like immediate results).  Rewards can range from praise and recognition, gift cards, group lunches to elaborate gifts.

Boosting a Facebook Post | Best Practices

Facebook offers a wonderful way to “boost” or “promote” your content by paying a bit extra money (as low as $5).  This is separate from Facebook ads, which requires a higher level of online marketing expertise to generate success.  Facebook has made it quite easy to set-up a boosted ad post which creates an attractive option to those not as skilled in online advertising to try out.  I see a lot of small and medium sized business utilizing this tool lately, yet only about 1/3 of them are doing it correctly.

What is a “Post Boost”?

When your company page writes a status, shares a picture or uploads a video you are given the option to “boost” that post.  See below for a visual on where the option is.  Boosted posts will appear higher up on the newsfeed (note: not in the right ad column) to increase viewership.

Facebook Post Boost

Why you should Boost a Post?

By promoting or boosting a post, you are reaching more people.  If you choose to have the post boosted, you can check a box to have it show up to people who like your page and their friends, or you can target it to anyone on facebook.  You can target people based on location, age, gender and interests.  This will guarantee your post is seen by those who find your business relevant.

What type of posts should be “Boosted” or “Promoted”?

First, it’s important to track your facebook insights to learn which content engages your fans.  Those types of posts will perform the best as a promoted/boosted post.

Second, you have to strategically plan the desired goals and outcomes of this campaign.  Are you trying to generate more likes on your page?  Bring about greater brand awareness?  Highlight a service or event?  Generate traffic to your website?  Knowing this in advance will ensure a higher return on the investment.

Currently, statistics show that boosting a facebook post works best for:

  • Increasing visits to your facebook business page
  • Creating awareness about events
  • Generating interest in online offers
  • Spreading updates and news
  • Contests or Sweepstakes

Best practices for boosting posts:

Make sure that the post you are paying to run has timely information.  For example, do not boost a post that states a date in it: “It’s Wednesday, and we are giving away 5 free….”.  By putting a date on it, anytime it runs after that day, people will ignore it.

Boost a post that generates “likes” and engagement.  Don’t boost a post that requires no action from the viewer.  Make sure there is a question to be answered, a page to be taken to with valuable information, or a hot topic to “like” or even disagree with.  The more action (clicks, likes, shares) the post gets- the higher up it will go with Facebook EdgeRank.

What Facebook’s New Recommendation Tool Means For Your Company

In October 2016, Facebook rolled out a brand new option to ask for “recommendations” on your personal feed or in a group. Facebook automatically detects words like “I need a recommendation” or “I am looking for” and converts the post into a distinct “recommendation” post that now includes an active map.

facebook recommendationsBenefits of the Recommendation Rollout:

  • For the everyday Facebook user, the new rollout is a quick and easy way to poll one’s connections for nearby establishments offering the services they are looking for or events to attend. When a friend starts writing the name of the company they want to recommend, Facebook auto fills in the company page and will put a marker on the map above. It also provides quick links to that business page. Facebook is currently saving all this data to use in its next roll out of providing you with a tab of your friends’ current recommendations all in one place.
  • This is beneficial to your business because your customers are now able to easily promote your business to active seekers of your services! It also gives your company exposure to everyone else reading or active on the post. Your company is automatically linked, so you do not need to depend on the happy customer to copy and paste any website URLs which is a step often forgotten. Plus, if your Facebook page is set up using a CTA (Call To Action), the new visitors can convert immediately!

Potential Opportunities to Use it in the future:

As more companies build brand ambassador partnerships with happy customers, the new “recommendation tool” can be used as a simple and free tracking method. Once your page is mentioned, you will receive notification on who recommended you. Those insights will be key for rewarding your online referral sources.

Another impending future roll-out is rankings of places that receive recommendations. The more you get, Facebook will measure and eventually rank you in your industry with those numbers.

5 Key Tactics to Create Engagement on Facebook

facebook engagement tips

Big brands and small brands alike all have similar goals on social media: To cultivate our online community, grow our followers and ultimately create a platform to convert new leads. 

What is Facebook Engagement and why does it matter?

Many times our clients at Pop Digital Marketing ask why they should try and solicit responses, likes and shares on Facebook. Facebook Engagement Rate is measured by the percentage of people who saw a post (the reach) and liked, shared, clicked or commented on it. As a result of Facebook’s EdgeRank Algorithm, your page’s engagement rank will play a leading factor in which newsfeeds your posts get displayed in.  So in short and simply put (there is a bit more to it), if people are not interacting with your posts, they will eventually stop seeing them.

5 Facebook Posts to Drive Engagement:

  1. Contests. Create a fun contest that requires participants to comment or share the contest photo. Facebook has removed the contest requirement of using a third party application, so you can make this as simple as you want now!  Facebook contests with the goal of increasing engagement also carry many other benefits if your team strategizes well.  Over 38% of Facebook users are active in contests and when the rules are simple to follow that number goes up to over 52%.

What works: Try requiring followers to post a link to a product or service from your website to your page.  This now increases web views and brings awareness to what you are selling. 

  1. Photos. According to Wishpond– Facebook photos attract 104% more comments than an average post. And while insights of engagement vary across different industries, there is a global statistic that engagement rates are higher on Thursdays and Fridays. 

What Works: Right now, Throw Back Thursdays and Flash Back Fridays are driving many successful engagement campaigns.  Another fun way to get people interacting with your photos is to ask followers to “caption” the photo.  This creates “buy-in” from the followers and makes for a fun way to inspire creativity. 

  1. Ask for opinions. Let your followers know they matter. A powerful way to solicit comments are merely by asking.  According to a hubspot study, the way you phrase your questions will determine the likelihood of response success. 

What Works: Ask your fans a “Which would you rather” question about 2 new services you are contemplating offering.  This will help with creating a sense of “ownership” and anticipation from your prospects.  For more on generating comments, read this blog

  1. Fill in the blanks. Fill in the blank posts are another fun way to up your rankings. Use this opportunity to be light and even humorous! 

What Works: While we generally post close to subjects regarding our business, fill in the blank posts can actually deter out of your industry zone.  The more entertaining the post is, the higher the likelihood of generating responses.   Tie it into the local weather, news or hot topic. 

  1. Like vs. Share. Like vs. Share posts are a nice little trick to utilize the draw of visuals while still extracting that opinion benefit mentioned above.

What Works: Post a picture/visual of two opposing sides (A and B) that people have strong views on and ask them like the picture if they want A to win or B to win.  Note: This one won’t really give you qualified leads but is an easy way to increase your edgerank.

How to track engagement:

Using Facebook insights you can easily track each post and its success or lack of in generating engagement.  It’s very important to track both your overall page engagement (how many people are clicking on your page and its tabs) as well as the individual posts engagement rates.  Once you have at least 4 weeks’ worth of data, you can start creating campaigns based on what you know your audience responds to best!

5 Actionable Digital Marketing Resolutions For 2015

As we wrap up 2014, now is a prime time to look back at what successes we’ve had at work and where we may have room for improvement.  Many business leaders are projecting the next year’s potential growth along with strategies to increase business development.  While there are many known general methods to market a business, here is a list of 5 very specific actions you MUST take to stay ahead of the curve in 2015.

5 Specific Marketing Action Steps to Take in 2015:

marketing trends 20151. Use Facebook “custom audiences” for ads. Facebook has recently launched a new way to target your ads to your current contact lists.  You can import emails or phone numbers in the audience tab in ‘ads manager’.  Then when you create the ad, you can choose that custom group to show it to. 

Why it works: With Facebook targeting options you can narrow your ads even more by age, location, and interests.  This will increase click-through’s substantially as well as provide you with more options such as Facebook offers, deals and more to present to your interested lists that you could not otherwise through email. 

2. Build your personal brand on LinkedIn. Since rolling out the ability to post blogs and articles directly on the LinkedIn platform, many savvy leaders have begun to leverage their knowledge and expertise to further their personal and business brand awareness. Make sure your profile is updated and start planning the types of posts you can contribute on the largest business networking social media site. 

Why it works: When you post quality content on LinkedIn, you position yourself as a thought leader in your industry and build yourself a positive reputation with potential customers or referral sources.

3. Get on Google My Business. Google+ has been slowly creeping up on Facebook as the second largest social networking site since it launched in 2011. Google provides you with the platform to create a personal identity along with a business page, locations for your company and it all gets tied together under Google My Business.

Why it works: Having all these elements updated and posting relevant information to your page can actually help you rank higher!

4. Brand your visuals for Pinterest. Pinterest currently has 70 million users and that number is growing by the minute. People pin articles, blogs, websites, recipes, shopping, lifestyle dreams and work ideas onto their boards, and the one thing they see when searching the site is the visual associated with the content. Make sure that each piece of collateral you produce is branded well and also includes a quick catchy title.

Why it works: By placing your logo on all your visuals, you are expanding your reach to each and every person that searches for that topic on Pinterest.  When you place a CTA title on the visual, it will increase the clicks and provide viewers with a sense of motivation to read more.

5. Re-purpose your blogs. Pick 5 of your most popular 2014 blogs and expand on them.  Take those blogs and create a “part 2” for each. Or turn one into into a whitepaper or e-book. 

Why it works: By re-purposing your successful content that you already know is popular, highly searched for and engageable, you can collect leads and take potential customers further down your funnel.

2015 will bring us many new opportunities to build our audiences and see marketing success.  Which of these actions do you plan to implement into your strategy?