Watch This Space: How IGTV is Changing B2B Marketing in a Big Way

IGTV B2B marketing

Via TechCrunch

Even if you have been taking a well-deserved vacation in 2018, you probably heard about the big changes that have hit Instagram in the form of it’s newest feature: IGTV. Instagram’s fresh video feature is changing the way B2B marketers and influencers alike reach their audiences, and we’re taking a look at exactly how it’s done.

Imagine yourself as a millennial (or really, anyone born after 1982), who is just waking up, or waiting for your morning commute to work or to class, and you have about 10 minutes to watch one of your favorite shows. How likely would you be to check your mobile device for a quick check-in to your favorite channel? We’re willing to bet the likelihood is huge. In fact, in 2016, smartphones replaced TV as the most watched device by millennial users.

Even if this demographic doesn’t fit you, the reality is that for the highest number of mobile users born after 1982, this is exactly the case. The growing majority of people who have access to devices (68 percent of all adults, to be exact), are forgoing traditional TV platforms nearly altogether, in favor of streaming services and user-generated content. And those cable TV bundle packages? They are racing toward extinction.

IGTV B2B marketing

Via Android Police

This presents a giant shift, as Instagram’s new feature–which functions as a home feed addition or as its own stand-alone app–provides nearly constant access for marketers to reach their target audiences. What makes this feature an even bigger opportunity? The fact that, just like its  1 minute and 15-second video predecessors, content that gets shared on IGTV channels are interactive: users can like, react, comment, and share. It’s the brand promotional gift that keeps on giving.

Your job? Making content highly watchable. But how can B2B marketers do that, especially since paid advertising isn’t available yet? And what kind of content is ideal for marketers to share?

Well, there are two components to this. Think form and function.

  • Form: Making incredibly engaging content
  • Function: Making sure that content is formatted in optimal, highly shareable ways.

Let’s Talk Form

What kinds of ways are B2B marketers connecting with their brands’ audiences? The crucial thing here is staying creative, and showing the human side of the brand. At the heart of social media, people are looking to make a connection.

Worried that your brand doesn’t have a “face”? Don’t be. There are plenty of ways businesses can get creative about the kind of content they are broadcasting on IGTV to connect with users in a variety of ways.

This might be through:

  • Tutorials
  • Reviews or unboxings from influencers
  • Product demos
  • Team or staff highlights
  • A “day in the life” video series
  • Short series featuring the product or service in use

The possibilities are actually wide open! The key here is to stay creative. Engaging content is shareable content, and users are more likely to interact regularly with brands they connect with.

Let’s Talk Function

Since we’re assuming that your content is a home run, let’s talk about how to format it so that it works within the parameters of IGTV.

In order to optimize viewership on IGTV, the important things to remember are…

1. Capture videos in portrait form. Contrary to the square ratio that is optimal in a typical IG feed, filming in portrait mode allows for channels to fill the screen, and function as a real channel does. Dig deeper, to find the actual specs to help you, but the important thing to remember is to keep it vertical.

2. Think through your bio. The first two lines of the bio will be visible on the channel, so be sure that it captures what you really want to say, and that featured products or services are really well represented.

IGTV B2B marketing

Via Brit + Co

Looking Ahead: Reaching IG Users with Paid Ads

Currently, there is no real capability for paid advertising on IGTV, but that could change in the near future, says Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s CEO:

“There’s no ads in IGTV today… [but it’s] obviously a very reasonable place [for them] to end up.”

Your best bet? Start thinking ahead about how to incorporate the possibility of paid advertising in your digital marketing future. No doubt, the future will be here sooner than you think.

So what are you watching? Or more importantly… what do you want people to see? Get some tips on how to master social media marketing through Instagram and other channels. Then, let us know how we can help you be great!

When Using Hashtags on Social Media How Much is Too Much?

What once was a telephone button has now become a social media phenomenon, I’m talking about the #hashtag. Or in simpler terms, a pound sign followed by a keyword, used for categorization across social media platforms. While it may seem like a simple concept, there is a lot that can go into choosing which ones and how many to use. You need to find a balance.

So, how many are too many?

Research shows you should absolutely be using hashtags.

What began on Twitter has now spread to Facebook, Instagram, and even Google. If the extensive use alone is not enough to convert you to a user, consider this: if you create a hashtag for your company (ex: #companyx) and a user sees and remembers that tag, they can type “#comanyx” into Google and be taken directly to your website. It works the same on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. If a customer wants to check out your social media, they can again type in “#companyx” and head over to your content tagged with that hashtag. A hashtag immediately expands the reach of your tweet beyond just those who follow you, to reach anyone interested in that hashtag phrase or keyword.  

Hashtags On Twitter

There is no question hashtags are beneficial, but the question remains how useful? Using a hashtag within your Tweet is said to generate two times more engagement than Tweets without any at all. Twitter themselves confirmed that there is a significant advantage in implementing them. Think about it; you could go from 10 to 20 retweets by merely adding a # or 2. But according to research conducted by Buddy Media, 2 is the limit. After 2, the amount of engagement you receive decreases by 17%.

Hashtags on Instagram

Twitter is not the only platform where people use hashtags. Instagram is another hotspot for individuals and business alike to share their photos marked with #tags. Unlike Twitter, more hashtags on Instagram are a good thing. In fact, the highest interactions generate when a caption contains 11+ hashtags – this data is from users with less than 1,000 followers. That means this is excellent news for small businesses or those new to this form of social media. In other words, this could be your new best friend when trying to grow your social media presence.

Hashtags on Facebook

While Instagram and Twitter are the biggest users of hashtags, we cannot neglect to mention Facebook. The implementation of hashtags on Facebook started back in 2013. Since then, they just have not gained as much traction as Twitter and Instagram. However, you might be thinking that if they work on Instagram and Twitter than they should work on Facebook too? Not necessarily. Sadly, for you avid hashtag users, research indicates the use of hashtags has a more negative than positive impact. Data shows that as you increase the number of hashtags, you decrease in the number of iterations. So, for Facebook, my suggestion is when in doubt do not hashtag.

So how many is #toomany?

Well, for Twitter no more than 2, Instagram it would be far past 11, and Facebook; well, just stay clear of hashtags on there. The key point to take away, however, is that hashtags are not something to be afraid of. They are a useful tool that anyone looking to build their brand on social media should take advantage of. Just remember these guidelines when you find yourself in a hashtag frenzy.

Want to chat more about hashtag strategy, or how to handle social media marketing overall? Check out our blog or get in touch with us!

5 Tips and Tricks for Personal Branding on Social Media

personal branding

Not that long ago you probably were sitting at your desktop computer on a website called MySpace.com, creating an account with the handle @iloveponi3s with a friend request from some guy named Tom. Fast forward to the year 2018. You probably have a variety of accounts on several different platforms, with more professional usernames and are still trying to figure out who Tom is. Much like you and I, social media has evolved tremendously since 2004. Facebook alone has seen a jump from 1 million to 2.2 billion monthly users. Because of this astronomical number, companies have gotten smarter and started funding marketing and advertising campaigns solely for social media.

While companies are using social media to market themselves, so are individuals. Your social media accounts can be considered an extension of your resume or profile. Here are some tips and tricks to successfully building your personal brand:

1. Pick Your Top 3 Platforms

With new social media networks emerging every day, trying to join all of them can be overwhelming and time-consuming. A good rule of thumb is to choose three platforms to focus your efforts on based on a few criteria:

1) A platform on which people you want to connect with are engaging.

2) A platform geared toward your particular brand (more visual, writing-heavy, etc.).

3) A platform that helps you accomplish your social media goal. 

Once you have decided which social media platforms best suit your needs, update them with current information and delete the others you have chosen not to work with.

Make this decision based off who you are trying to reach. If it is future employers, then ask yourself: what are they most active on or who is their target market? Using this tip will allow you to easily convey your message using the platforms that best suits your needs

2. Delete the Red Solo Cups

Consider all of your accounts extensions of your resume. I know partying is fun, but when making a post you should ask yourself questions similar to this: “Would I want my grandmother seeing this?” If the answer is no, then your potential boss probably doesn’t want to either. This does not mean refrain from posting pictures from social gatherings; it just means alcohol or other explicit activities should not be the focal point of the post or picture. On Facebook, if you are really wanting to show a group of friends a picture that may not be appropriate for your boss, create a Facebook group between you and your friends. There, you can share all types of pictures, memes, and videos without having to worry.  If you are curious as to what classifies as “inappropriate for work” check out this article on CNN about 10 people who found that out.

3. Share Posts About Your Interests

If we continue with the extension of your resume theme, future employers will be interested in knowing who you are as a person. They will want to know how they can relate to you or how your interests align with their company. So, for example, if you are a huge Game of Thrones fan, share occasional posts or articles about it – your boss could also be a fan, and it could be a bonding moment for the two of you to talk about.

4. Share Updates Regularly

Keeping your content current is very important. On a site like LinkedIn, potential employers look for information such as a college degree, previous employment, skills, etc. If you switched your major after Sophomore year from Biomechanical Engineering to Business Analytics, potential employers need to know this information. If it isn’t up to date, you could be getting messages from NASA versus Walmart. Keeping the content current will only increase your chances of being attractive to all potential employers. This article gives you four steps to follow when updating your LinkedIn profile based off where you have been and where you want your career to take you.

personal branding

4. Curate Your Own Content  

Yes, while sharing posts made by others is important, creating your own content is just as, if not more important. You must show that you are an expert in the areas you are claiming. For example, if you had an Instagram account that was intended to show off you as an interior designer, posting pictures of inspiration houses in which you had no part in helping decorate does not build credibility for YOUR design skills.

Finding the perfect balance between the two is key. Sharing personal photos is still very important. If you are trying to brand yourself as an interior designer don’t just post pictures of homes, show people that you have a life outside of your career. People like to feel connected to the accounts they follow and this will only help to increase your following with the interest in you and your design.

Here are just a few examples of content you should be sharing to really increase user engagement

– Practical Ideas: posts related to what you are trying to brand/promote. Depending on what you’re trying to do, this would include… ideas/tips on how to brighten up your fashion style, home decor, travel, etc.

personal branding

– Motivational: These types of posts are to get your followers more engaged in your page, to get them to “like” you. Spreading a little motivation or inspiration is sure to put a smile on their face. You could even start a weekly trend “#MotivationMonday” to start your followers week off positively. A great way to implement these types of posts is through the use of “stories” on Snapchat, Facebook or Instagram. Stories allow for a quick 10-second view of a post, this way you don’t have to mess up the aesthetic of your page.

– Moments in Your Personal Life: Brag about yourself, share a tender family moment, or just a photo of something you think your followers would enjoy seeing that is more personal.

personal branding

– Content: Lastly, content to help build your credibility. This should be the majority of your posts. This is where you show off to your followers what you do best. If you ’re an interior decorator you show off that house you designed, a real estate agent share your listings, fashion influencer your cute new outfit, whatever shows you doing your best you.

5. Study Influencers

YES! PEOPLE ARE GETTING PAID TO POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA! PAIIIIDDD!!! Wouldn’t you like that to be you? Study the popular page, it won’t take long until you stumble upon a user that has over ten 10K followers. Look at what they are doing and use it as an inspiration. If you like certain aspects of the account that you see, you can integrate them into your own page while still being original. For example, on the platform Tumblr, accounts will use consistent filters. By that I mean all of their photographs will have the same kind of color schemes or noticeable gradients to them. Or, if it is a more textual based platform like Twitter, their posts will have a consistent tone of voice.

Check out multiple accounts and gather ideas about things you like and even things you don’t. Find what works for you and what will make you feel like you are accurately representing yourself and your brand. Here are some influencers I follow:

Instagram:

@doyoutravel is a great account for the wannabe adventurer.

Love interior design? Check out @beckiowens  

Want a combination of fashion and travel? Check out @isabellath this girl might live the coolest life ever.

Twitter:

Brooke Hammerling, @brooke, is a PR maven who’s account is a perfect example of a balance between professional and personal content on Twitter.

Big on business? @fredwilson is a businessman, venture capitalist, and blogger who actively uses Twitter.

Facebook:

@galmeetsglam is a great Facebook fashionista to check out.

One of the 1984 Apple marketers @guy is the person to follow if you’re fascinated by the tech world.

Creating a personal brand on social media is not a cake walk. It requires a lot of thought, attention to detail, and research. It is not about what you look like, it is about who you are, and what your beliefs, goals, interests, and aspirations are. People will be drawn to you on social media the way they are drawn to you in person if you have accurately represented yourself. With time and dedication, you will have your pages up and running successfully before you know it. Just remember to keep this advice in mind along the way.

Have any first-hand tips for building up your personal brand online? Let us know in the comments below!

Why Instagram & Generation Z Are Going to Rule the (Social Media) World in 2018

Over the holiday period, I, like many of my peers, got out my smartphone to snap all the last great moments of 2017. Christmas is the perfect setting for it – with those beautiful festive colors and excited red faces – it’s a great time to get snapping all the moments captured.

The interesting moment came when a young cousin of mine saw that I was using the app Snapchat to take my pictures and to send them to my contacts. She was aghast and stated indignantly, “why aren’t you using Instagram stories? You have an Instagram right, so why not just use that?” Ouch. That was some serious shade. Just how much do we, as marketers, have to pay attention to the trends of the younger generations?

Me & Generation Z

I didn’t have an answer for my cousin, which she found hilarious of course. I do have Instagram on my iPhone, and I’ll admit that I’m an avid scroller. Hey, it’s also my job. I know it inside out, upside down and I get results from implementing my Instagram strategies. Her indignance at my obvious wrong choice of the app took me a bit by surprise. So much so that I felt I was judged for choosing familiarity over ease-of-use and silly Snapchat filters over Generation Z, Instagram cool.

Both ‘Instagram Stories’ and ‘Snapchat’ actually do the same thing, taking videos or photos which will disappear after being read or seen. There’s a lot to be said for “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” right? Wrong.

Should encounters like these affect the way we market on social media?

The answer, in this case, is ‘yes.’ In 2017 Instagram announced that their latest tool ‘Instagram Stories,’ became more popular than Snapchat after just one year of going live. In addition, around 800 million people use the platform each month. That’s huge news since social media apps and their features are constantly evolving.

My holiday experience illustrates how marketers have to listen to the demands of consumers and evolve with the changes ahead. To keep your fingers on the pulse, you have to think as they do. Generation Z know their trends, and it may be good to monitor their generation’s current tech and social trends to separate the wheat from the chaff and stay ahead of the game.

What changes should I make to my social media strategy?

It is understood that everyone has their own preference of social media channel for certain requirements-business or personal- and some features could function seemingly better than others for specific purposes. It’s important to make clear that this doesn’t necessarily mean that any particular channel doesn’t have its worth and should be eradicated from your social media strategy altogether.

However, in my case, I needed to make some adjustments. My cousin was right about Instagram stories r.e. popularity and engagement.They sell. Brands are seeing better engagement on Instagram than any other social media platform, and Instagram – not Facebook – is looking to be the go-to social media marketing channel for any business. By increasing Instagram’s feature list they are gradually knocking out the competition in spectacular style. Keep your eyes peeled for their new features. Their two latest Instagram Story features, released in December, have already taken the world by storm.

IYDKW – If you don’t know, worry.

Here’s a little breakdown for those who missed it:

Feature #1: Instagram will now allow users to archive their stories

Source: Instagram

Feature #2: With a new highlights area, users can choose which archived story to display on their profile.

Source: Instagram

Let’s just see how long it takes for Instagram to dominate the scene entirely. They are definitely the ones-to-watch in 2018.

Need some help with your Instagram strategy? With social media smarts from all generation groups, Oliver + Sons can help you create a kick-ass Instagram campaign.

B2B Instagram Tips: How to Build Up Your Brand

B2B Instagram Tips

Instagram is soaring in popularity – with more than 800 million monthly users, it’s captured the attention of everyone from millennials to grandparents. Businesses and brands are also making their space on the powerhouse social platform, but there’s a lot of room for growth.

In a visually-focused channel that has typically catered to individuals and B2C brands up until this point, B2B brands are starting to test out an Instagram presence as well. With a well-crafted strategy in place that makes use of the platform’s integrated features – hashtags, tagged locations, and ad analytics – it’s possible for any business to make their presence known.

Via Sprout Social

If you’re representing a brand on Instagram and aren’t utilizing their Instagram for Business accounts, it’s time to make the change. Beyond giving you the ability to set up promotions, Instagram for Business allows you to access powerful analytics and insights, publish more meaningful contact information, and link directly to your Facebook page to get the most exposure possible. For B2B companies, making the most of these features can help to engage with and attract new customers.

Whether you’re just getting started with Instagram for Business or need some helpful hints from the pros on optimizing Instagram for B2B, HubSpot made a comprehensive guide of helpful, tactical tips to become wholly successful on the platform. Here’s a quick preview:

1. Use authentic, real-time user-generated content.

2. Go fast, and mix it up.

3. Get involved in your niche.

4. Make the most of the link in your bio.

5. Tell a story with every single post.

6. Stay away from vanity metrics.

Read into every insight and download the Instagram for Business guide on the HubSpot blog: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/expert-b2b-instagram-tips

Ready to try something new on Instagram for your business? Get in touch with us to get a plan going.