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3 Ways to Productively Work with an Influencer

3 Ways to Productively Work With an Influencer

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Influencer marketing has been something of a buzz phrase this year, with more and more marketing professionals turning to this method to get results. The whole idea of influencer marketing is hardly a new concept, people have been getting paid for ‘name dropping’ brands for years - but it seems to have reached a new level of popularity in marketing strategies in 2017.
Influencer marketing has been harnessing the reach of social media, so highly respected people, either celebrities or experts in the relevant line of business are being utilized to promote brands and increase brand awareness and trust. This has worked well for many businesses and continues to be an effective marketing method.

However, there is also the concern that an influencer could have a negative impact on your brand. For example, they may send a badly received tweet and their connection with your brand could cause serious reputational damage. Therefore it is highly important to set up a productive way of working with an influencer.

1. Monitoring

Influencers will generally not like to feel like they are being monitored, but if you are paying for their services, you have a right to keep a check on how they are communicating. Real time monitoring will ensure if a controversial tweet is sent, you can try and limit the damage by getting it removed quickly and preparing a line of response. You should also work with the influencer to ensure they are aware of the impact their actions can have on your brand.

2. Authenticity

Striking the balance between monitoring and controlling the content that goes out and ensuring it comes across as authentic can be difficult. It can be hard to let go and give an influencer free reign to say what they like. However, if what they communicate doesn’t seem to reflect their genuine, authentic views, then their followers will see straight through this. You must build trust with the influencer so that you feel comfortable letting them get on with the work.

3. Audience relevance

One of the most important factors in achieving success with influencer marketing is making sure that you are reaching the right audience. It is pointless getting a celebrity who is followed by predominantly teenagers to promote a brand that is targeted at an older generation of audience.

Influencer marketing is hot right now because it is seeing successful outcomes. As long as you can develop a highly productive way to work with the influencer, this marketing channel could be highly beneficial to your brand. It is an ideal time to consider consulting with a CDMS (Certified Digital Marketing Specialist) qualified professional.

4 Reasons Marketers Are Using Instagram More Than Snapchat

4 Reasons Marketers Are Using Instagram More Than Snapchat

By Morgan International Staff Writers

All social media channels could potentially be of use when marketing products and services. However, deciding which channels to use can be hugely important, given that the people using each site can be very different from one another. For example, it has been reported that today’s young people now tend to favour Snapchat over Instagram.

However, marketing professionals still tend to use Instagram more frequently than Snapchat, so why is this?

1. Instagram has more users
Whilst Snapchat might be the fashionable site to use, you can’t argue with the numbers. Instagram is still used by more than 400 million people every day, compared to just 150 million for Snapchat. Furthermore, the growth in the numbers using Snapchat is slowing down, unlike its Facebook-owned rival – it is predicted that by the end of 2017 more than 50% of social network users will use Instagram.

2. Instagram users encompass a wider age profile
While Snapchat may be the place to go for many younger people, not all consumers are young. Marketers see Instagram as a way of targeting the baby boomers (roughly encompassing those born between 1945 and 1965) and Generation Y (those be born in the 1980s and early 1990s).

3. Advertising on Snapchat can be more expensive
A smaller company with a limited marketing budget may well not be able to afford to advertise on Snapchat.

4. Instagram offers a wide range of different services
Instagram features that are attractive to marketing professionals include offerings such as: post-scheduling, follower engagement and other account management services; recommendations on how to use hashtags and other marketing strategy services; photo editing; budgeting; and content creation.

Snapchat is still widely used and should not necessarily be neglected when it comes to choosing which social media platforms to use to market products and services. However, you shouldn’t be swayed too much by the headlines which suggest Instagram is going out of fashion, as this site is still used by hundreds of millions of people, and offers features which may be very attractive to marketers.

The most important thing to consider is – who is your target market, and which social media platforms are they likely to use? If in doubt, why not speak with a CDMS (Certified Digital Marketing Specialist) qualified professional?

4 Ways to Get More Customer Reviews on Google and Facebook

4 Ways to Get More Customer Reviews on Google and Facebook

By: Morgan International Staff Writers

When seeking to buy products and services, many people now look first at reviews on social media sites. This means that should you want to get more custom, you may need to look at ways you can get more reviews on Google, Facebook and the like.

 

  1. Ensure you ask for reviews

When people buy from you, ensure they are directed to places where they can post reviews. It is pointless having an online review facility if people don’t know where to find it. You may also want to encourage people to offer feedback, perhaps by incentivising them with being entered into a prize draw.

 

  1. Make use of as many social media channels as possible

Don’t just use Google and Facebook – get your reviews on several other well-known social media sites as well. The more sites you use, then more likely it is that potential customers will see the positive reviews that have been posted about you. Consider purchasing software such as eClincher, which allows you to post your customer reviews on social media sites in the form of eye-catching image cards.

 

  1. Provide multiple review links on your website

The obvious place to invite customers to post reviews and feedback is on the checkout page of your website. However, why not post a link to the feedback form on every page of your site?

 

  1. Make use of video testimonials

Written testimonials are undoubtedly a powerful marketing tool, but you should also consider whether you can make use of video testimonials. Even if you operate exclusively online, and never normally meet your customers, you can invest in tools such as Vidrack, where you can place a video record button on your website, and then any customer with a webcam can record and submit a video. A good video testimonial can have a huge impact on potential customers, as your previous customers can convey through their body language and their tone of voice exactly how great your product and/or service is.

 

In summary, we live in a digital world, and almost any company now needs some sort of online presence where potential customers can see what previous customer’s experiences were. Evidently, online reviews can be negative as well as positive, so it’s up to you to ensure you provide exemplary customer service, so that when people express their thoughts about your company, they say things you want to hear. For those interested in the power of social media, they might consider the CDMS (Certified Digital Marketing Specialist) qualification.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The State of Inbound Marketing 2017: The changing face of consumerism

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

It’s safe to say that consumer habits are changing, and fast. Today, customers’ wants and needs are drastically different to what they were say five or ten years ago.

Let’s take a look at the state of inbound marketing today...

The Challenges

Within an ever-changing consumer environment, it’s not surprising that the challenges facing marketers and sales teams are changing at a fast pace.

According to the 2017 report, 63% of marketers state that their top challenge is generating traffic and leads. When it comes to salespeople, 38% state that getting a response from prospects is becoming more difficult.

Other marketing challenges were ranked as follows:

  • Proving ROI of marketing activities – 40%
  • Securing enough budget – 28%
  • Managing website content and activity – 26%
  • Identifying the right technologies for business needs – 26%
  • Targeting content for an international audience – 21%
  • Training the team – 19%
  • Hiring top talent – 16%
  • Finding an executive sponsor – 7%

Video Marketing is on the Rise

The report also highlighted that visual content is becoming a growing priority for marketers. In turn, marketers are feeling an increased level of pressure to embrace new, and often unpredictable, technologies in order to stand out from the crowd and engage with their audience.

According to the report, marketers stated they planned to add the following distribution channels to their strategies in the next 12 months:

  • YouTube – 48%
  • Facebook Video – 46%
  • Instagram – 37%
  • Messaging Apps – 24%
  • Podcasts – 11%
  • Snapchat – 10%
  • Medium – 8%
  • Slack – 4%

Internal Division

Overwhelmingly, the 2017 report indicates that there is a significant lack of alignment between marketing and sales teams. Only 22% of respondents believe that their marketing and sales relationships are tightly aligned.

This is an aspect of the industry that needs to be addresses as, when the focus is put on conflict and lack of communication within the organisation, the customer is no longer the focus and the marketing and sales efforts are negatively affected.

And it’s not just about division between the sales and marketing teams, the report shows that there is also division within departments, with executives often viewing matters differently to their team members.

According to the report:

  • Whilst 69% of executives believe that their organisation’s marketing strategy is effective, only 55% of marketers agree.
  • Whilst 31% of executives believe that their marketing and sales teams are tightly aligned, only 17% of managers and marketers agree
  • Whilst 45% of sales reps stated that they spend over an hour inputting manual data, only 21% of executives said the same.

For successful growth and development, communication and transparency must be prioritised in order to narrow this divide.

Want to know more?

To find out more about inbound marketing and sales, get in touch. Our marketing courses are designed help you further your marketing career and equip you with the necessary skills and experience to optimise your performance in the modern marketing environment.

 

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3 Ways to Achieve your Career Goals

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Climbing the career ladder is rarely achieved without great effort, whatever industry you are in - it’s very easy to lose motivation along the way. With this in mind, here are three tips to help you stay on track and realise your dreams.

·        Know your long-term plan

You probably have an idea in mind about how you’ll develop your career, but without a specific and detailed long-term plan, it’s easy to veer away from your ultimate goal. If you decide where you want to be in five years for instance, you can work backwards to establish the practical steps needed.

Maybe you’ll identify in-house work opportunities or take part in training workshops, for example, that offer an insight into your dream role. But you should also research any external courses/qualifications that could help you attain your goal.

By writing down a plan of action, including these detailed steps, you’re more likely to succeed and achieve your aims, than if you work on a vague idea with no firm basis.

·        Check your resumé and professional online profiles

Whenever you take steps towards your goal, however small, include them within your LinkedIn and other professional profiles – this will demonstrate your drive and dedication to existing and potential employers.

Regularly updating your professional profile is very important career-wise, and helps you gain exposure within your industry. Don’t forget to also amend your resumé, using any specific industry keywords that could help to get you noticed.

·        Networking

Many of us network online without even thinking about it, but when was the last time you attended a networking event in person? This face-to-face connection and casual conversation with others in your industry, is more memorable than a quick email or social media post.

It establishes your presence, allows you to articulate what you can offer, and conveys your aims, goals and wishes for the future. Personal branding is an important aspect of any career.

The phrase, “People do business with people” is a strong reminder of why you need to get out into your business community, and make an impression on influencers in the industry.

Let us help you achieve your goals – we offer a wide range of professional courses and qualifications. Have a look through our website for more information and detailed course guides.

 

 

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6 things successful content marketers have in common

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

The vast majority of marketers implement content marketing strategies, but that’s not to say that they are all effective or successful.

Here are six things that successful content marketers have in common…

They plan

The key to a successful content marketing campaign is all in the planning. Great content marketers understand this and start any campaign by outlining their aims and objectives, and clearly laying out how they’re going to achieve them.

Of course, that’s not to say that once you’ve documented your strategy it’s set in stone, far from it. Instead, you should continually review your strategy, updating it in line with your findings and results.

They’re organised

With numerous social media networks and blogging platforms typically involved in any one content marketing campaign, things can quickly get out of hand and overwhelming! A successful content marketer understands that organisation is absolutely crucial when it comes to keeping everything on track and running smoothly.

And, if you’re not naturally organised, don’t worry, there are plenty of tools out there to help you!

They’re note takers

Successful content marketers always have a notebook or the notes page of their mobile device open. Whenever an idea comes to mind, they write it down. They might turn out to be the next big idea, or they might never leave the pages of the notebook, but at least they’ll be there when you need them.

They’re ahead of the trends

In any industry, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest trends and developments. But, in the the fast-paced, tech savvy world of content marketing, it’s absolutely crucial that you remain one step ahead of the latest developments and the competition.

If you lag behind, you risk looking out of touch and ill-informed.

They embrace their network

Successful content marketers understand that relationships are absolutely key. After all, knowing the right people can open countless doors for exposure, engagement, and affiliation. So keep networking, reaching out, and building relationships, not only with contacts in your industry, but also with thought leaders and influencers.

They refuse to compromise on quality

Successful content marketers are truly committed to delivering the highest quality content at all times – with no exceptions.

It’s increasingly difficult to stand out in the crowded world of content marketing, but by staying committed to quality, you stand every chance of achieving just that.

Want to know more?

To find out more about content marketing, get in touch. Our digital marketing courses are designed to help you further your marketing career and equip you with the necessary skills and experience to optimise your performance in the modern marketing environment.

 

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Artificial Intelligence: Its Influence on Life and Work

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Artificial intelligence (AI) has changed the way we work and access information. Its power has been harnessed by companies of all sizes seeking a commercial advantage via enhanced customer interaction, and faster processes.

You may not even be aware you’re using artificial intelligence technology, so entrenched has it become in our digital society. So what are some of the commonly-used pieces of AI software, and how do they help in our everyday lives?

·        Digital assistants

Digital personal assistants are voice-activated, and can help you organise your life by carrying out certain tasks. These might include reminding you of an upcoming meeting, for example, checking the weather forecast before you leave the house, or playing your favourite music on demand.

·        Smart cars

Autonomous vehicle software is programmed to ‘teach’ the car how to react in a range of pre-defined situations. Driverless technology includes rotating cameras that identify objects within a certain distance, lasers, sensors, and GPS receivers intended to avoid hazards and negate the need for human action.

It is, perhaps, only a matter of time before haulage and fleet vehicles become involved in this revolutionary change, affecting the way we carry out business on a large scale.

·        Online helpdesk

Links to online customer ‘chat’ software are now a common sight on business and e-commerce websites. The technology enables consumers to obtain instant answers to a range of pre-defined queries about products and services.

Although they have their limitations, ‘chat bots’ as they are also known, allow organisations to provide efficient customer service without the cost of employing additional members of staff.

·        Consumer information

Artificial intelligence is a powerful way for companies to gain a competitive advantage by tracking changes in consumer shopping patterns. It has transformed the way firms market products and services to their customers, and allows them to adjust commercial plans when necessary.

AI technology is able to collect vast amounts of detailed information, collate it into a usable form, and utilise the data to increase sales and encourage customer engagement.

Browse our courses and qualifications to stay ahead of this ever-changing aspect of employment.

 

Brand storytelling: What it is and how to make it great

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Many people assume that, as long as their company has a popular and appealing product, it will be easy to market to their target audience.

But the fact is, having a great product isn’t enough to make your business great. If you want to distinguish yourself from other brands in your industry, you also need good story telling. After all, people always remember good stories, so one that personifies your brand will help you to position yourself in the most effective way.

So what is brand storytelling?

Brand storytelling is all about connecting with your audience through stories, by appealing to their emotions and engaging their interest.

What’s more, in a competitive market, good brand storytelling can really set your business apart.

How do brands tell their stories?

The key components of great storytelling are:

  • Who you are
  • What you do (specifically)
  • How you solve problems
  • How you add value and care
  • How you engage and contribute

Although the key components have essentially remained the same, the way in which companies tell their stories has undoubtedly changed. Whereas once brand stories were told by advertising or PR articles, today the focus is very much on social media and crowd-sourced content.

How do brands make their storytelling great?

If you want people to engage and resonate with your brand story, it needs to be authentic. With this in mind, it’s vital that your story is credible if you want it to resonate with your target audience – a strong story will bring your key messages and core values to life in a way the consumer can believe in.

Take The New Covent Garden Soup Company for example. Their brand story is based on the company’s founder needing a warming lunch after a morning spent sailing. His mother quickly put together a bowl of fresh soup and, as they say, the rest is history. The story also refers to the brand asking staff to bring in old family recipes. As well as creating the essence of their brand, this prime example of great storytelling helped to generate much-needed publicity during the company’s early days when their marketing budget was limited.

Part of being authentic means sharing your failures and setbacks as well as your successes. Rather than trying to hide things such as health and safety issues, data breaches, etc. Many brands have turned their fortunes around by sharing compelling comeback stories.

 

 

 

Want to know more?

To find out more about brand storytelling, get in touch. Our social media courses are designed help you further your marketing career and equip you with the necessary skills and experience to optimise your performance in the modern marketing environment.

 

 

 

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You don’t need to be born a leader – it’s a skill you learn and develop

By Morgan International Staff Writers

“ The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born - that there is a genetic factor to leadership”¹ - so explains leadership expert and author, Warren Bennis. This simple fact provides motivation and encouragement when you’re about to take the next step on your career path.

So, as good leaders are made rather than born, what are the skills needed to be effective and respected in a leadership role?

·        Communication

Even as a great strategic thinker, the best ideas are unlikely to become reality if you can’t convey them clearly and succinctly. This applies to both oral and written communication, but it’s also worth remembering that good listening skills are crucial.

If you don’t listen carefully to the people surrounding you, it’s unlikely you’ll be effective in the role of leader. By improving your communication skills, you’ll be able to set a good example, inspire people to achieve the best results, and provide the motivation that’s needed in tough times.

·        Decision-making

The ability to make clear and reasoned decisions is a key skill for leaders. Good decisions rely on being able to define an issue, identify and analyse a range of solutions, and evaluate the benefits/risks of each one.

Establishing a strong and effective decision-making process helps you structure and explain your reasoning to others if necessary. It also provides a solid foundation from which to develop as a leader, and make a tangible difference to your company.

·        People-management

People skills may be underrated in some organisations, but knowing how to deal with peers, bosses and clients, tactfully and with empathy, can significantly boost your career.

Your technical knowledge and expertise at work may not be in question, but when you fail to treat your colleagues with respect and understanding, it can seriously affect your progress.

People-management is a learned skill that you develop along the path of your career – it involves getting to know how people are likely to react in certain situations, and treating everyone as an individual.

Developing strong leadership skills allows you to stand out amongst your peers, and propel your career to the next stage. Boost your confidence and reach your potential by checking out the courses and workshop on our website.

 

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#success! How hashtags can help you get more out of Instagram

By Morgan International Staff Writers

What’s worse than seeing someone’s over-filtered dinner appearing on your Instagram feed? Probably when it’s followed by thirty million hashtags proclaiming said dinner to be #delicious, #homecooking, #vegan or even (gasp) #foodporn.

Love them or hate them, hashtags are here to stay. And if you’re using Instagram for marketing more than just for making your friends jealous, you need to know what you’re doing. If you’re struggling to know which hashtags to use, when to use them and just how many you can get away with adding to your posts, we’ve got the answers for you right here.

What’s so great about Instagram hashtags?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll already recognise the format of a hashtag. Essentially, we’re talking about some carefully chosen words or phrases, prefixed by the hash (#) symbol. They’re used not just on Instagram, but also on Twitter, Facebook and any number of other social media channels for approximately the same purpose.

Hashtags help to categorise content. By using the right hashtag, you can help new users to discover your content, thereby garnering more comments, more interaction and more followers. In fact, research shows that Instagram posts which used one or more hashtags enjoyed increased engagement to the tune of 12.6 per cent. Now that does sound appealing.

Top tips for using Instagram hashtags

We’d all like more engagement on our Instagram posts, so here’s some outstanding advice for getting the most from hashtags:

  • Hide your hashtags: This is a pro trick, and will stop your posts looking spammy and overly taggy to your followers. To do this, insert five dashes or periods at the start of your comments, each one with a line to itself and with no space after it. This will ensure other Instagrammers see only ‘…’ after your name, and the hashtags are hidden. People will still find your content, but it will look much neater and more professional.

 

  • Research your niche: Every industry has some key social media influencers. Find out who yours are and learn from the best. See what tags they use, see what tags others in your niche use, and spend some time in the community of your audience to see what is getting the best response.

 

  • Mix popular with not so popular: If you’re using hashtags that are getting millions of posts every hour, your content is going to slip down the list at lightning speed. There’s no shame in using one or two popular hashtags in each post, but try to find some really niche ones too, so that your post hangs around in the search results for a bit longer.

 

  • Use ALL the hashtags: You’ve got a quota of up to 30 hashtags to use in your posts, and the verdict on what the magic number is can be a contentious issue. Popular Instagrammer Louise Myers found that, when it came to her following, more really was more. Her stats discovered that 11 or more hashtags meant 442 per cent more engagement over using none, and double that seen when using 1 – 10. If you’re looking to grow your account, there’s no shame in using ALL the hashtags while you work out which ones perform best for you.

 

  • Pick great hashtags for your content: Use specific and relevant hashtags to support your content. There is something to be said for the time saving element of keeping a set of 30 hashtags saved somewhere that you can then just cut and paste, but it’s also important to add hashtags that really describe exactly what you’re sharing. That way you’ll get users who are genuinely engaged with that specific post you’ve created.

 

  • Post truly awesome visuals: Hashtags are going to be somewhat irrelevant if they accompany a less than inspirational image. Work on your hashtag use, but make sure you’re getting the visuals right too. Users scanning the search results need to see your content popping off the page at them if you want to get the interaction you deserve.

When you’re working with Instagram and hashtags for marketing purposes, you should be monitoring and improving your campaign just as you would with any other marketing activity. Record how hashtags are working for you, figure out what’s generating the most interaction, and refine your selection to maximise your efforts.

What to know more?

If you’re keen to find out more about how Instagram and other social media channels can impact your marketing activities, we can help. Our digital marketing courses in social media are designed to help you further your career and equip you with the knowledge and skills to excel in the modern marketing environment. Get in touch to find out more.

 

http://get.simplymeasured.com/rs/simplymeasured/images/InstagramStudy2014Q3.pdf

http://louisem.com/7198/how-to-use-hashtags-on-instagram