PANDEMIC BRAND STRATEGIES

Brand strategies during the pandemic

There is no doubt about it, 2020 is perhaps the most difficult year any of us has had to face. This year is also challenging for many of the world’s top brands. Top brands are now being forced to rethink their communication strategies. These leading brand strategies are now focused on communicating in trust, taking responsibility, having direct interaction and effectively communicating to consumers all while remaining empathic and positive. 

Consumers and business leaders are suffering from unprecedented stress and uncertainties. With the lockdowns and restrictions coming and going and economic uncertainty hanging over everything. In this climate, brands are having to be more sensitive in their communication strategies. 

The last thing anyone wants to see right now is an advertisement full of smiling revelers having the holiday of a lifetime. While, the rest of us are stuck at home worrying about our health, jobs and when we will get to see families and friends next.

Businesses are having to think long and hard about how to get their messages across sensitively. These new messages focus on remaining positive. This current climate is driving significant shifts in the communication strategies of just about all the world’s top brands.

Communicating in Trust During the Pandemic

The trust economy existed before Covid-19. With the emergence of ‘fake news’ and Social Media’s ability to spread this information in the blink of an eye. Building consumer trust begins to take on as an important role. This is mainly in part of the product’s capabilities or taste. 

Since the Coronavirus outbreak, this leaning toward the building of consumer trust is amplified. Leading brands and companies are now placing less emphasis on selling by the quality of their product and more on building a trusting relationship with their consumers. For example: 

  • Southwest:  Announced leaving the middle seat open at the start of the pandemic and has stayed true to this commitment through November 30.
  • Tesla: The electric car manufacturer switched some of its production lines to build ventilators, which they subsequently donated.
  • Anheuser-Busch: Converted some manufacturing lines to produce sanitizer during the shortage.

These are examples that have an obvious mechanism toward the building of trust. Consumers have long memories and acts like this will serve these companies well for years to come. But, there are more subtle examples. 

In the Philippines, the CEO of the McDonald’s operation in that country created a video. This video details the safety measures McDonald’s is taking to protect both consumers and their staff. 

This might seem like an obvious approach. However, at the same time other companies are portraying their staff as ‘heroes.’ This approach is being criticized for ignoring the fact that the employees are in as much need of protection as the consumers are. 

Consumer loyalty was until recently something a brand achieved by offering quality product and slick marketing. Now, companies are building trust by being loyal to their customer base. 

Taking Responsibility of Branding During the Pandemic

These days we all must take a level of responsibility in whatever we do. Whether it is self-isolating with symptoms, wearing a mask in public places or just washing your hands frequently. These actions are the new norm. And top brands are taking the same level of responsibility in order to maintain consumer trust. 

Successful communication strategies tell the consumer about a brands responsible approach to the current situation. A classic example of this occurred early in the pandemic when a toilet paper manufacturer began a campaign designed to dissuade consumers to stop panic buying. 

Asking customers to not buy your product may seem counterintuitive. But what it is doing is building customer trust by making the consumer aware of the empathic nature of the brand. 

Another brand that is using a similar strategy is Nike. While a lot of the world is still reeling from the pandemic, Nike encourages people to ‘play inside.’ Again, from a company whose product lines are generally designed for outdoor use, this may also sound counterintuitive. But Nike is playing a clever game with an empathic approach. This approach does not lose sight of the brand’s main selling point.  Check out the campaign here.

It is this understanding of the situation, the ‘we’re all in this together,’ ethos that brands are increasingly turning to. 

Direct Interaction and Conversation in Brand Strategy

Directly communicating with their consumers, mainly through Social Media, is a tactic companies are increasingly resorting to during the pandemic. This brand communication strategy was in place before the pandemic struck. But with more of us being forced to use Social Media as our main form of communication with friends and loved ones, it has become increasingly important for brands as well. 

For example, Reebok used Twitter to establish what home workout equipment their consumers are likely to own. By utilizing Twitter, Reebok is able broadcast their newly established series of home workout routines based on the consumer responses. 

Another leading brand strategy during this pandemic, is the “Water Wipes” brand of baby products. They created a virtual group named “Early Days Club.” This group is designed to let parents interact with each other while sharing advice and tips. All while assisting each other while overcoming the challenges arising from raising a child during the pandemic. 

Many other brands are establishing similar communication approaches. Some online platforms offer free-for-all courses and restaurants publish their famous recipes for consumers to cook at home. 

Overall, there is a movement away for brands being admired for products to now brands being admired for trustworthiness and empathy. This new movement seems to be working. In a recent consumer survey, it is shown that during the pandemic, consumer trust in larger brands is increasing. 

Branding Looking Forward – After the Pandemic

These are seismic changes to the ways large brands communicate with consumers. Brands with foresight are switching more toward a communication strategy that involves building trust with consumers. These new efforts open more direct communication channels. 

It is a drive toward consumer centricity that is unlikely to change even after the pandemic eases. It was a world that was on the verge of major change anyway. The global pandemic is pushing many of these changes upon us without letting them ‘evolve’ naturally. 

As ever with global brands, leading brand strategies during the pandemic are quick on the uptake. It is the ones who fail to see this and don’t shift their communication strategies that will fall by the wayside. 

Stay up to date and continue to see how the trends are changing due to Covid-19 by following my next VLOG or blog.

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Reviews Make it or Break it

Google Reviews

Did you know that 90% of consumers research online and rely on review sites before making a purchase? Google reviews make it or break it for your business.

We live in a world where everybody Googles everything, and ratings can make or break your business. Just a half star increase in your rating is equivalent to a 9% increase in revenue per Harvard Business Review

Comparing your business to a book on Amazon:

  •       5-Star or four-and-a-half star books sell well
  •       4-Star books sell occasionally
  •       3.5-Star or below books rarely sell one copy 

If your business was a restaurant, Berkley economists found that a half star improvement makes it 30-49% more likely that a restaurant will sell out during peak hours. 

Let’s compare the data above to a home seller looking for a lawyer or real estate agent.  

Starting at the top of the sales funnel – you send out emails, advertise on Facebook, sponsor local events, hand out a card at Starbucks, or a potential client got your name from a friend of a friend. What’s the next step? It is highly likely they will search your name on Google. What happens next is up to you.

For those in the real estate industry – Google, Redfin and sometimes Yelp are the keys to your future. Let’s start with Google.

Creating a Google My Business (GMB) listing is the first and most important step to local search success. GMB offers the strongest brand impact for businesses or individuals seeking exposure locally. In fact, approximately 90% of organic searches come from Google and it complements a brand’s existing website, shows in search results and maps, and communicates with third-party platforms using Google Maps API.

You need to either create a listing or ensure you have a Google business page setup. If your business is established (usually founded several years ago), it’s likely Google already has a GMB listing and you just need to claim it.

Ensure your listing clearly includes what your business does, where it is, and how consumers can quickly and efficiently acquire the goods and/or services you offer.

KEYWORDS

Similar to traditional SEO for websites, Google uses bots to serve search results. It is important to include keywords like “Chicago Real Estate Attorney,” “Orland Park Real Estate attorney,” “5013C Attorney,” etc. to your business listing is key – especially since your direct business website will be listed within your GMB page.

Use these in the business description and each time you post a Local Post to your audience.

PHOTOS

Posting photos to your GMB is extremely important – in fact, businesses that have photos receive 35% more click-throughs to their website than those without photos and 42% more requests for directions from Google Maps.

GETTING REVIEWS & INTERACTING

There are several ways to effectively ask your clients to give you reviews. You can politely ask by weaving it into your closing. Adding links in your email signature to sites you wish to have reviews on is effective and professional. You can ask in all correspondence and on social media by sharing a link set up in GMB.

When you receive reviews, interact and respond within a timely manner. By responding quickly and skillfully, it shows your customers and those potential customers who are researching you online before making that initial interaction that your business values client feedback. Positive reviews and responses are going to have a positive effect on potential customers when researching your business. Reviews and responses also increase your business’s visibility in search results.

GOOGLE MY BUSINESS MESSAGING

Turn on the message app in GMB – it may be painful to answer sometimes, but this is a great way to capture leads. By engaging in messaging this gives you the power to talk to your audience in real time. These conversations are what can help your business stand out because it shows you are a real person rather than a bot or a corporate conglomerate company, that personal touch goes a long way. 

Don’t let the fact of being ‘live’ scare you away from messaging through your GMB. There are settings that allow an automated response so if you don’t want to be monitoring your messaging 24/7 this initial response will give your customers the response they want while you can get back to them with their exact answer the next day or during business hours. 

LOCAL POSTS

GMB gives you the opportunity to publish offers, events, services and your product line to your listing and maps. This lets you engage with your searching audience in almost real-time. These local posts give you the power to engage with your customers in real time. 

Importantly, local posts allow you to broadcast your specials or any time sensitive announcements that can benefit you and your customers such as a flash sale. 

ANALYZE YOUR REVIEWS

Monitor your progress through “Insights” – analytics provided by GMB. The analyzing feature lets you know how customers found you, where they found you, who asked for directions and who called.

This will give you valuable information on how to craft your local posts, where your customers are searching and how, which will help you with any digital marketing needs. Tracking how your business is reaching customers and potential customers is important because by analyzing this data it will give you the tools you need to maximize your reach by the data. 

Also, by analyzing your company’s data, this gives you the ability to see if your links are working. If you notice your phone number has been clicked on a high number of times but don’t feel like your phone is actually ringing as much as it says, you can click it yourself to see where it’s taking you. This gives you the ability to triple check to make sure what you input is accurate and working effectively. 

We know customer reviews are important for your business’s reputation and your businesses visibility. You have the power to maximize your business profile at your fingertips. Promote your business, don’t be afraid to ask for reviews and have that real time engagement with your customers. They hold the power to increase your company’s awareness and increase your business. 

Google reviews make it or break it for your business online, take control to maximize your businesses potential.

For more social media and brand communication tips follow my blog series.

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BRAND YOURSELF | CRAFTING YOUR BRAND STATEMENT

Your brand matters

After nearly two decades of marketing and branding businesses, I needed to shift and use my experience to brand individuals for a new career path.  I quickly came to realize it is much more challenging branding a person than a company.  I now have much admiration for influencers and other individuals who have excelled in doing just that.

For starters, companies spend big money on branding. They hire outside agencies, have decent budgets and many have spent years building a strong go-to-market identity.

I’m hoping my blogs and Minute of Marketing YouTube series offers value in helping you lose all inhibitions to create your own personal brand and campaign.  The process is entirely egocentric and at times uncomfortable, but you’ve got to flaunt what you’ve got.  Let’s get started!

DEFINE YOURSELF BY BRANDING

Who are you and what value do you bring to your profession or lifestyle?  Don’t dig too deep on this one but seriously, what are you good at?  If you’re a real estate agent, are you a location expert because you’ve grown up in an area?  If you’re a lawyer, what area of law do you specialize in? Are you a consultant or specialist, what is your niche – where do you excel? What makes you, you?  Pretty much, what are you good at and why does that deliver value? Most importantly, what is your unique selling proposition?

Keep in mind that your competition may deliver the same service as you do. Don’t think of it as WHAT you do but HOW you do it.  It’s your client’s experience they have with you that sets you apart, keeps them coming back for more and referring you to others. You should be able to provide the answer to what results you deliver and how that sets you apart.  How do your clients feel after working with you?  

When I was in the consulting world – not only did I deliver marketing strategies which are the same as my competitors, but I guaranteed results and offered measurability.  What made me unique is that I focused on ROI and didn’t require a long-term agreement. This way if I didn’t deliver or they didn’t think I did – they weren’t stuck with me and could cancel in 30-days at any time.  

ESTABLISH THE IDEAL CONSUMER

Who is Your Target Market?  

This is more difficult to answer. “I want to target women who make more than $100K per year”, is not enough.  You need to clearly define what your audience looks like.   Is your target customer an entrepreneur? Do they have a family with kids? Do they work for a small or large business? Are they younger or are they older?  Where can you reach them?  Are they online, are their noses buried behind magazine covers? Where do they work? Are they in stores, on social media?  Most importantly, are they empowered to make decisions?

What are they looking for? What do they need?  Are they looking for a real estate agent, lawyer, mortgage, a logo, campaign, a new hairstyle?  Write a narrative about what they look like and look for so you can target them.

Also, who is your target consumer going to now for the service they desire and why would they use you?  What makes you special (from your defining exercise above) and why would they switch?  What conversation would you have with them if you were sitting across from them? 

For me, I was looking for small business owners with a business offering I could relate to.  I knew from years of helping dentists or accountants, that was not the direction I wanted to go.  I wanted a relatable field – fitness, fashion, entertainment, food or retail.  Because I pride myself on becoming the expert in whatever I market, I want to understand all sides of my task and it must be something I enjoy.  

I also focused on business size – I wanted a large enough business to have a decent budget to work with but not a huge entity that I couldn’t manage on my own without hiring a crew.   

LET YOUR PERSONALITY SHINE THROUGH YOUR BRANDING

Your brand should be authentically you.  Be relatable!  Remember your customers are real people and they want to identify with you as a person.

Show off how compelling and interesting you can be and why you are the expert in what you do.  Be multi-dimensional and do not edit your personality out of your writing or videos.  Your personality is a big part of what will make you a brand.

Combine your value with who you are targeting and wrap it up with your unique personality as part of the brand building process. Mix in your recreational hobbies, sports, strengths, weaknesses – anything that defines you and creates a bond.  Make your story personal and authentic.

For me, I used that I’m “small but mighty” and not a “slippery salesman in a shiny suit.”  I noted that I like boating and the energy of the water, the smell of ink fresh off the press and how my son is a wrestler. So, I understand the fear of stepping on a mat knowing you might not win but have the strength to go out anyway.  I added that I’ve had many personal fails, so know what it takes to get back up after falling.

LET’S GET STARTED BUILDING YOUR BRAND

Now that you’ve defined yourself and your value, identified your target market and thought about how to let your personality shine – write your branding statement.

This is not unlike writing a positioning statement for a business. This is unique to you and will clearly describe what you do and who you serve.  This statement will be on your website, your social media platforms and woven through all of your messaging. 

On my next blog, I will expand more into using your brand to develop visual elements and setting up your own domain, website layout, blogs, social presence, videos and more.

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FREE AND THE LAW OF RECIPROCITY

Free samples gain customers

In my last blog “Marketing and the Power of Free” and subsequent vlog, I wrote about the impact of giving away products and/or free services.  By sampling or giving your product away at no cost builds brand awareness, increases sales and enhances your budget.  But how does it work and why?

Have you ever been to Costco and enjoyed the free samples?  How often did you buy what you tried because you really enjoyed it?  And if you didn’t buy the product, did you feel guilty?  Maybe you even put the product in your cart and unloaded it a few aisles down. 

That’s just a sample of the Law of Reciprocity.  The law of reciprocity says that when you offer something first for free and it is valued, people feel a sense of indebtedness toward you, thus in turn you then wanting to return the favor.

The law of reciprocity is one way marketers use psychology to entice or influence people to buy products or services.  It’s an innate reaction that if used correctly could result in an unprecedented ROI.

I received a postcard in the mail a while back for a free 8lb bag of dog food from PetSmart – brand of my choice.  I went into the store and grabbed the bag of dog food but feeling guilty about just getting something free, I also filled up my cart with $50 of treats and pet toys for my pup. I felt compelled to make a purchase, to reciprocate.

Imagine you’re out to dinner with your friend and she grabs the bill, a small argument ensues, she wins, and you feel indebted and want to do something in return immediately.  The result may be a lot of thanking, but you know quite certainly that you will be picking up the next tab. That is the psychology of reciprocity.

So how do you use reciprocity to increase business?

Service Business

Offer free advice and consultations.  Lawyers can answer pertinent questions, realtors can provide a free staging appointment, medical professionals can offer a free assessment, a salon can offer a free bang trim, etc.

Brick and Mortar Restaurants or Retail

Offer something to get people out of their door and into your store!  A free small gift just for stopping in, a no purchase necessary gift card for dining, a free appetizer, or even a free experience.  Recently, I received an offer from Gillette for a FREE Venus razor  – titled “For Your Daughter.”  That’s a $15 value, of course that made me get out of the house and go to the store, and we far outspent the value of the razor.  Then there are free Slurpees at 711, Free Coffee Days at Starbucks and the list goes on.  

Online Services

When the pandemic hit, Peloton offered 90-days free of their in-home workout app – up from 30-days previously.  This allowed potential users to try their program and get hooked. After the free trial was up, it was just $12.99 a month – who wouldn’t continue? 

Moz, a software platform for digital marketers offered a free trial with no commitment other than signing in.  This showed off their capabilities and made users feel compelled to commit to Moz when they were ready for digital software.  Hubspot, Amazon Kindle, LinkedIn, Google, Canva and others offer free tools and platforms with the strategy of ‘free’ and reciprocity in mind.

Free is one of the most powerful tools available for customer acquisition if done correctly.

By offering a free sample, businesses get customers to try a product without putting up a price barrier, while the customer gets a ‘free’ item while not having to gamble a portion of their budget on a product they may not even like. Knowing this, brands should happily eat the costs associated with free.

For more social media and brand communication tips – follow Communication Strategist Edan Gelt and her recent blog series – edangelt.com/blog.

Learn More

Follow my next VLOG or blog to learn how to use your videos.

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The Power of Free in Marketing

Free marketing has an incredible effect

In terms of reaching your target market, free giveaways or free samples are more successful in earning a response from your audience. Free samples are surprisingly more cost effective than traditional marketing.

Using “free” as a strategy allows businesses to reach potential customers that may have never reached with traditional marketing.  Often, your potential core consumer doesn’t even realize your product or service is needed until they’ve experienced it firsthand. Hence why free samples are the way to wiggle your way into new customers ‘must haves.’

If you’re going to try this premise, the item, service or content you provide must have value to your target customers. By delivering the value your core customer most desires, you will not only pique interest but odds are you’ll also gain a loyal customer.

Why is free so powerful?

 

Brand Awareness

By giving away a free sample of your core product, you are reaching potential customers that may not have realized your business or product line existed. When people try a product first they are more likely to buy it later because sampling fosters reciprocity and brand loyalty.

Stepping outside of your target audience might seem daunting but this is crucial to increase exposure of your product and company. Free samples increase your product and company’s awareness.

Since this broad, new audience now has your product in their hands, consumers make both a physical and mental connection. Next time they are in the store or shopping online and come across your product, they are more likely to make a purchase. Thus, making the transition to becoming a customer all because of the familiarity they had from your free sample.  

Law of Reciprocity

In a book written by renowned professor and author Robert Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, the “rule of reciprocation” states that if someone gives us something, we feel obligated to give something back.   It is an inert tendency in humans to feel compelled to reciprocate when given a gift (whether it is a gift, act of kindness or unexpected free item).  This means when we give something of value away free, our core consumer should give us something in return. This may equate to future business, a referral or brand loyalty.

Word of Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective marketing tools.  This is successful when people  spontaneously talk about your product, service or brand. There is no better way to do this then with the power of free

Happy users or customers are more likely to sing a company’s praises and refer their friends and family. When people tell others about your product they are referring new customers, free of charge your way. When you reach potential new customers with your free sample they are likely to talk about it with their friends, family and coworkers. These conversations are where your product will gain reputability.  

Enhanced Budget

Word-of-mouth marketing will increase your marketing budget, after all, your customers are doing your marketing for you! 

Have you ever seen a free Starbucks day online?  It is picked up by the media, talked about amongst your target market and goes viral across social platforms.  The buzz surrounding free can get millions of impressions for less than a paid ad.  The goodwill created by delivering this experience will be tenfold.

Increased Sales

It’s easier to keep your customers happy than it is to get new ones. Outside of your current customers talking about your product and business, it is essential for you to continue to increase new customers.

Once you have won your customer over with your free offer, they are more likely to upgrade and spend more if they like what you offer.  Retained customers buy more often and spend more than first time customers. Once customers learn the value of your product they come back again and again.  

Brands that attract new users with a free offer forge new relationships. Long-term these relationships translate into valuable brand awareness, increased sales, loyalty and an unprecedented ROI.

For more social media and brand communication tips – follow Communication Strategist Edan Gelt and her recent blog series – edangelt.com/blog.

Learn More

Follow my next VLOG or blog to learn how to use your videos.

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How To Improve Your Brand Communication Strategy On Social Media

Improving Social Media Strategies

Social media plays a huge role in the lives of consumers. It has been estimated that 2.62 billion people worldwide use at least one social media platform and the average time spent amounted to 135 minutes per day. According to Forbes, personal branding is now more important than ever and, if managed effectively, will give you an edge over your competition and allow you to build trust with potential clients. Brand communication is therefore key to creating a solid and trustworthy image. 

When starting out you will need to choose a social media platform to broadcast your content and this means knowing your audience and where to find them. For example, if your audience is interested in the beauty industry and loves to watch hair and make-up tutorials then maybe podcasting isn’t for you and it would be best to stick with Instagram or YouTube. Business guru and YouTuber Vanessa Lau advises not to get caught up in “shiny object syndrome”, trying to launch your brand across a multitude of platforms and waste time pitching to irrelevant audiences. Two or three platforms suitable to your brand is adequate to diversify your content but also guard against stretching yourself too thin by managing too many social media accounts at once.

As part of your brand communication strategy you will need to provide relevant and consistent content. For example, if your main social media account is Instagram you should aim to post once a week (ideally at the same time, on the same day each week to build consistency). Your posts should be well-thought-out, helpful and add real value. You should not be posting content for the sake of posting. Irrelevant or dreary content can hurt your brand image. Remember, quality over quantity, always. 

When posting, make sure to take advantage of the hashtags (Instagram allows for a maximum of 30 and I recommend you use each one to create a wider reach on your post) but each hashtag must be relevant to your brand and niche so it lands with the correct audience. Each social media post should always have a call to action, regardless of what platform you are using. This means you should ask your audience to share, comment or vote. The more engagement a post has the more likely the platform’s algorithm will kick in and allow you to gain a wider reach to new audiences with similar interests. 

Once you are set up on your desired platforms and posting, the next step is to build trust and create relationships with your audience. A great way to do this is to actively engage with them. When a customer shares a positive experience, go further than saying a generic “thank you”, give a personalised open-ended response. People love it when a brand takes the time to have a conversation with them – one on one. Even if it’s a fun and playful conversation, people will remember your brand more for how you made them feel.

For more social media and brand communication tips – follow Communication Strategist Edan Gelt and her recent blog series – http://edangelt.com/blog/

Follow my next VLOG or blog to learn how to use your videos.

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DIY Guide To Video Placement

DIY Guide to Video Placement

In my last blog “Where Video Marketing is the King of Content”, I discussed the importance of creating video marketing to stay relevant online.   While writing this blog series, I also created my own vlog “Minute of Marketing” as a how to DIY guide, sharing insights and examples of marketing initiatives.  

Depending on the type of business you own, your goals and the clientele you cater to will determine where you should share your video content.

Are your clients business professionals or are they casual customers?

What social sites are you most comfortable on, what social sites do they frequent?

Do you have a website and social channels set up yet?

Regardless of platform, a multi-channel distribution strategy is key – you need to place your media where your customers and prospects are and often they are not all in the same place at the same time.  

WEBSITE

If you have a website, start posting your videos there.  One “About Us” video isn’t enough – regularly adding video to your website increases SEO and keeps your clients up to date on your offerings.  You can create a page specifically for your videos, or place them on existing pages.

EMAIL

Emails with video have a much higher click-through rate than those that don’t.  If you share your video in email,  ensure the word “video” is in the subject line; this boosts open rates by 19% and reduces unsubscribes by 26% (Hubspot).

YOUTUBE

YouTube is one of the largest social media platforms but to use this platform correctly, you need to engage visitors and build a community by being consistent in your uploads.  This means posting at least two videos a month at minimum.

But, sometimes that isn’t enough.  In order to be ranked, your video title and description also need to contain your keywords (no different than a blog).  Your description must also contain the URL where a visitor can learn more information, and your phone number.

Finally, adding tags relating to the subject will attract new viewers. 

LINKEDIN

Posting videos on this social channel is great for professional B2B content.  LinkedIn rewards videos content by sharing it with more of your contacts than traditional text or picture posts.  If you upload video directly (natively embed it) versus linking to YouTube, you will reach an even larger audience.

TWITTER, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM

Here, you’ll want to upload your video directly to their platforms.  You can boost your videos and/or run them as ads to get a larger reach but continue to post and repost your videos organically on your accounts.  Even if you think your content is all business and not playful enough – get creative and don’t miss these channels as Facebook has nearly 2 billion users and twitter has over 300 million.

For Facebook specifically, you can ‘pin’ a post to the top of your post.  So no matter how many posts you create after that, this ‘pinned’ post will always remain on top.

Ancillary platforms to explore 

Based on your business type, there are other platforms to share your video feed.  Explore these options for even more exposure.

YELP

Yelp is significant for attracting new customers.  Since you have a short moment to capture a prospective client or patron – choose a professionally produced shorter video to give an overview of your business or service. 

REDDIT

Reddit is community based, similar to YouTube so it’s more work than just posting a video, you need to join a community that fits with your business and then interact and engage by posting relevant content and video feed.  

TRIPADVISOR

TripAdvisor is great for brick and mortar physical locations as a way to attract tourists or local community members looking for places to visit.  This is a great platform for bars, restaurants and entertainment venues.

SLIDESHARE

SlideShare is a strong option for business to business marketing and offers the opportunity to embed your YouTube video in your SlideShare deck.

VIMEO

Vimeo is similar to YouTube in platform but also differs in that it is more creatively focused and often features higher caliber videos.  This is a great place to engage with other creatives or business professionals that focus on video content.

SEO Must Do’s Before Posting

Before posting your video, make sure it’s visible in online searches.  Search engines like Google still index based on text so make sure your video title, tags, transcription and/or description has keywords.  This way when a prospect searches for your topic, your video can be found.  If you’re tech savvy, submit a sitemap to Google – this tells search engines what your video is about and helps you get found.  Change the title of your video slightly for each platform so you don’t poach your own search results.

Now that you have your first video and some strategies for exposure, start posting and be consistent.  Looking forward to seeing your business in the digital world!

Follow my next VLOG or blog to learn how to use your videos.

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Edan Gelt Launches Minute of Marketing

At a time when businesses and entrepreneurs are struggling to survive and marketing budgets are being cut, Edan Gelt, a 20-year marketing veteran, offers DIY marketing support and advice through a new video and blog series, Minute of Marketing.

The 1 – 2 minute videos were created to help businesses stay afloat during the pandemic with no-cost or low-cost tools to feature brand value and awareness without an agency or outside marketing help.

The YouTube series shares tips ranging from how video marketing is the King of Online Content to what social and digital channels curated videos should be posted on for the best reach. She not only explains how each strategy works by why. Using video as an example, she shared that current and potential customers consumed more than 80-minutes of video everyday in 2019 and that number will jump to 100-minutes in 2020. She doesn’t want you to just take her word that video works but why the medium is so important.

Other of Gelt’s topics include the Law of Reciprocity and the Power of Free and how to use those marketing strategies in combination with video assets. Additional marketing tips and tricks are offered each week.

Her written blogs support the Minute of Marketing content with a more detailed and comprehensive plan for implementation.

Edan Gelt is known for practicing what she preaches and has created several self branded tools, including her website and several social outlets to share with her audience on how simple it can be to brand a person or a business.

In a recent seminar, Gelt noted “I don’t recommend anything I can’t put into action or figure out myself when it comes to self marketing. Your company reputation is your brand so you need to control the narrative by staying involved and keeping your finger on the pulse of online and traditional opportunities”.

Edan Gelt offers pro-bono marketing strategies and support to businesses in her community that are struggling with the impact of COVID-19. Stay tuned for upcoming content and live seminars with Gelt regarding do-it-yourself public relations, direct mail for less, partnerships to expand value and more.

Edan Gelt currently serves as the Director of Marketing for a title insurance company. Her role includes satisfying the marketing demands of the company as well as partnering affiliate brands.

Gelt handles the public relations, partner growth support, strategic planning, marketing, brand strategy, and implementation of business initiatives.

For over a decade, Edan ran her own marketing agency focusing on real estate, retail, restaurants, small service businesses and entertainment venues. She was also the marketing director for several shopping centers in the Chicagoland area. She began her career marketing Woodfield Shopping Center in Schaumburg, Illinois, one of the Midwest’s largest enclosed malls.

Edan Gelt’s experience is unique in that she understands both entrepreneur and corporate perspectives and has achieved positive results for both sides. She has extensive experience in diverse marketing mediums, offering insight on market research, public relations, advertising, special events, direct marketing, digital communications and branding and more.

Video marketing is the king of content in 2020!

Video Marketing

Per the online site Hubspot, more than 50% of your clients/diners/shoppers want to see videos from your brand over any other type of media you are providing.  It is projected that people will consume 100 minutes each day watching online videos in 2021.  With the current pandemic, that number might even be higher.

But you’re probably thinking, “ Edan, I am so uncomfortable making videos!  What will I even say, aren’t they expensive?  I just don’t know where and how to get started”.  

I’m with you.  If you’re like me, videos featuring you as the star can be uncomfortable to create and even watch.  But you’re in luck, if you’re a business professional marketing to other business professionals you only need to provide 1-minute of content.  B2B videos 1-minute or less perform best with 68% of your audience watching the entire video.   Even if you’re a business that is marketing to consumers (B2C), keeping it short is the rule since 60% of watchers will tune you out or turn you off after the 2-minute mark.

So now that we know we only need to generate video content of 60-seconds (give or take), let’s get started.

CREATE A PLAN

This is where you decide what type of video content you are going to create.  This depends on the type of business you are branding.

Are you a lawyer?  

Feature yourself or maybe a client and speak to the value and/or services you provide such as closings, litigation, bankruptcies, etc.  Since we are in a pandemic, possibly address the current landlord/tenant laws and how to mitigate them. Follow-up videos could explore samples of cases you’ve handled or complex transactions.

Real Estate agent?

Take your clients on a virtual ride with you through the streets of a neighborhood and talk about  why you’re the area expert.  You can touch on school district borders, housing market stats, or even the current night-life.  Virtual open-houses have become highly popular during the pandemic so show your clients a listing.  You can even have your clients play a game of car-pool karaoke on your next showing and let your playful personality shine through.  Testimonials live from clients would also be a great feature.

Are you a beauty services provider like a salon or med spa?  

Create a video of one of your amenities or products and walk through the journey of the client experience.  You can do this by speaking about what you’re featuring, capturing the service or even provide a compilation of photographic results.   

Are you in food services or do you own a restaurant?  

Mouth-watering food!  Feature a favorite dish being prepared over an open fire or paired with wine favorites.  Review the measures you’re taking to keep them safe when they choose in-restaurant dining (ventilation, seating spacing, capacity, etc.).

Entertainment venue?  

Share the experience. Make your client’s hearts race or minds open. Give them a first-hand glimpse of riding a water slide or snippets of an attraction, show or new game.  Let them feel the excitement of your brand.  During the pandemic guests may be cautious to return – show them what you’re doing to keep them safe.

Consultant?  

Give out free tips and tricks, a how to guide or case studies  – have you seen my Edan Gelt vlog yet?  I not only recommend vlogging, I also practice it.   

Once you’ve decided what you’re going to feature during your segments – consider what is the most important thing you will be sharing about your business/service/product and say it right at the beginning of your video.   For example – today, I’m going to walk you through a HydraFacial or I’m going to tell you about the new tenant law passed during the pandemic.  Or, let me tell you about our fantastic chicken alfredo, water ride, marketing tip, new product, etc. Then take them on 1 or 2-minute journey.

 3…2…1…ACTION

It’s game time and there is no fancy equipment required.  Are you ready to film? Just take out your handy phone, iPad or computer and let’s start rolling!  

Depending on the type of content you are looking to share, you can record 1-minute clips straight through or you can film individual segments and patch them together with film editing software such as iMovie, Open Shot, Movie Maker 10 and more.  If you’re not handy with editing, you can hire someone (or recruit your children).  You can also just publish raw and real footage.  Depending on your business type and brand, sometimes having unedited content may even help you connect better to your client base.  

CONSISTENCY IS KEY

Once you’ve made your first video or VLOG (fancier term), you’re on your way but you can’t stop now.  You need to generate content consistently.  This can be several times per week, once per week, or even once per month.  Just stick with it.

Follow my next VLOG or blog to learn how to use your videos.

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The Fitness Industry Model

Edan Gelt Communications

At the beginning of 2017, I launched a social experiment, branding myself as a fitness mom and started a blog at http://www.edanjoygelt.com. My brand wasn’t far from the truth – I’ve religiously worked out for decades and fitness has always been a part of my life, I just wasn’t an expert athlete. At the start of my experiment, my goal was to understand the impact of social media and obviously reap the benefits from the exercise but what I also gained was a lesson in the advertising and psychology of fitness.

A communications strategist to the core, I was excited by what I learned and couldn’t wait to share.

Profit Model

It’s well known that the strategy behind the lucrative fitness organization includes a monthly membership fee and attendance. The more people that sign up + the more people that don’t show-up = the more profit the club makes.

This strategy has allowed many basic and full-service clubs to enter the scene at varying costs and still be wildly profitable. Clubs may offer bare bones equipment with long hours or great classes and equipment with an assortment of amenities.

Each club prices themselves low enough and provides sufficient value that members don’t find it worthwhile to cancel when they stop showing to exercise. Basic gyms to locations with more amenities range from $10 per month to $90.

SEXperience

Enter the premium fitness experience; these clubs offer fitness to the “who’s who” of society (or those who want to be seen as such). Just belonging to these types of clubs makes the members feel fitter and sexier without evening taking their first class. The shear elegance and notoriety associated with membership demands a higher membership fee and delivers more amenities, better quality trainers and ancillary benefits such as fancy child care, pools with slides, etc.

These clubs offer exclusivity with a member tag of $90 – $200 per month.

Down, Dirty & Real

These are the mom-and-pop shops dedicated to fitness for whatever reason they hold dear (maybe they were a boxer, dancer, yogi) and want to share their experience and train others. They are typically located in commercial districts where the rents are low and the space is plenty.

Value is in the trainers, owners and sense of community among students. These clubs/studios are about the sense of convergence and if done right, they are profitable, mostly affordable and targeted toward one area of expertise like CrossFit, Yoga, Boot Camps, etc. If they can excel in advertising, these models survive and thrive based on reputation and referrals.

Memberships, class packages or drop in rates – or a combination there-of are offered. Prices average about $60 – $100 per month or about $15 a class.

Designer Duds

Newer to the scene: designer duds. In the fashion world – designer duds are the hottest and trendiest gear. In fitness, these are the “popular kids” on the block and include chains like SoulCycle, Orange Theory, CorePower, Pure Barre, etc.

These are AMAZING CONCEPTS, don’t get the “dud” part wrong but there is something to that too. The clubs/studios are genetically engineered and optimized to mix the physical and mental component with SEXperience. Hyper-focused clubs such as these make fitness sexy, chic and popular. Each fitness experience is spun from a corporate web, which has spent mega bucks perfecting climate, fitness routine, music (even volume), and ambiance.

I call them designer duds for 2 reasons, one – they are super trendy and pricey, second – like fashion, they will likely over-franchise, lose authenticity in time and eventually fizzle (think True Religion Jeans) and live up to the “dud”. After all, how many years can you spin in a dark room without getting the itch to do something else?

I still haven’t figured out the lifecycle for designer duds but I don’t see them having a long-term foothold in the industry. Memberships are priced from $150 – $200 a month, or $20 – $40 per class.

Future of Fashion Fitness

As more Designer Duds enter the scene, the full-service SEXperience clubs are stepping up their game. They are changing their class offerings by emulating designer duds, offering smaller group training classes and enhancing private areas to provide a more intimate training experience.

It will be interesting to see what will survive and thrive and what will sizzle out in the next 5-years.