Storytelling is the future of Content Marketing strategy in 2018

| October 9, 2017

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Personally, I follow National Geographic across all social platforms - preferring the visual platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook - and for many years been a paid subscriber to their printed magazine. So what makes me, and their other 81.7 million followers on Instagram stop scrolling.

Spotlight

Content Harmony

Content Harmony is a content marketing agency based in Seattle. We help our clients plan, produce, and promote awesome content to engage their customers. As a result, our clients see an increase in traffic, engagement, sales, and customer retention. We work with midsized and growing clients like e-commerce, tech startups, professional service companies, and more. Check out our monthly newsletter to learn how your company can get better at content marketing.

OTHER ARTICLES

B2B marketing and personalization: what’s the missing link?

Article | July 10, 2020

B2B marketing leaders like you are under immense pressure to deliver best-in-class results every day. While this isn’t a new challenge, it is one that gets harder as the marketplace continues to grow more cluttered and competitive. To keep the modern-day prospect engaged and connected to your brand, delivering a relevant experience is absolutely vital. According to Evergage, 92% of marketers report using personalization techniques in their marketing.1 With this in mind, you’re already applying a personalized approach to your strategy at some level. From tailored email campaigns and targeted PPC ads to account-based marketing, you already understand the value of personalization. It works! But, where does your business website fit into this hyper-relevant customer journey?

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Advertising During COVID: A Detailed Analysis

Article | June 2, 2021

Before the pandemic, the business sector of near about all industries were heightening rapidly and planning for new opportunities. Whether it was private or government, small businesses or large enterprises, each sector was trying to enhance in every aspect. The Covid-19 outbreak changed the way businesses approach towards potential customers as well as marketing strategies. Indeed, even as the world starts to re-open all the more forever, it is evident that the pandemic will have a lasting impact on consumer behavior and brand-to-consumer engagement. SURVEY REPORTS FOR ADVERTISING AGENCIES DURING PANDEMIC The global advertising agencies market confronted at decline from $346.9 billion in 2019 to $346.5 billion in 2020 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of-0.12%. The decay is chiefly because of the COVID-19 flare-up that has led to prohibitive regulation measures including social distancing, remote working, and the discontinuance of businesses and other commercial exercises bringing about operational difficulties. The whole production network has been disturbed, affecting the market contrarily. The market is then expected to recuperate and reach $418.3 billion in 2023 at a CAGR of 6.48%. In March 2020 the review of U.S. advertisers and advertisement offices tracked down that 89% of respondents had put forth changes to their promotional efforts because of the COVID-19 upsurge. Among the most intense changes made was, dropping a campaign totally as per 34% of reacting industry experts. At the point when the inquiry was rehashed in April, the percentages had increased to 44. Near about all regions worldwide experienced a reduction in media financial plans in 2020, for instance by 46% in the LATAM region. However, the pandemic particularly showed its impact in 2020, with the average allocated money being cut radically. As per study information, in the first half of the year 2020, 29% said they investigated new channels for new organizations and another 29% offered new administrations to customers, while 17% even wandered into new enterprises. Decrease in ad spends worldwide in 2022 compared to previous predictions due to coronavirus will be 17.72 billion USD. According to a survey of 400 media buyers and brands, 74% believe the COVID-19 pandemic has a greater impact on their advertising spends than the 2008 financial crisis. ADVERTISING CHALLENGES DURING COVID Cyber security issues Financial difficulties Consumer behavior changes Lack of team support Adoption of new technology Elusive audience Unable to maintain client relationship Decreased creativity & productivity HOW COVID-19 HAS CHANGED THE PLANNING AND THE STRATEGIES OF ADVERTISING AGENCIES The advertising industry experts have changed their approach in terms of strategies, investments, and campaigns to reach potential consumers. They initiated very influential steps to attract their target audience. Artificial intelligence in advertising during COVID The expansion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in advertising during COVID is acquiring fame in the advertising organizations market. Significant players working in the business are constantly centered on introducing innovations and technologies to better fulfill the requirements of customers. For example, as of May 2019, as per a review, 47% of publicists are right now utilizing Artificial intelligence for audience targeting. Indoor approach Before the pandemic, the Experts noticed that more than 8000 advertisements are presented to the Americans in a day. Presently, with everybody constrained inside, customers can just see ads in their homes. This is a unique opportunity for the advertisement industry to expand its presence on social media during COVID-19 like; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest as well as television. 58.11% of the total population is dynamic via web-based media when taking a look at qualified crowds matured 13+ years, ascending to 82% in North America. Safety is utmost important We all are aware that the pandemic has shocked everyone and made people skeptical towards everything. In this particular situation, it is essentially important to keep safety on priority and serve the customers on precautionary measures. Make them feel that your big concern is to make their life easier by providing quality products or services following safety. E-commerce is ubiquitous The COVID-19 pandemic has sped up e-commerce growth worldwide. Reacting to this pattern is the main concern for 2021 with brands presenting plans to reevaluate conveyance and exploring different avenues regarding new models. Some are analyzing direct-to-consumer option, searching for approaches to make it simpler for customers to repurchase. This adaption will have a very optimistic impact on brand strategy and media investment. QUICK ADVERTISING TIPS DURING COVID Being relevant to consumers’ needs assure them that they are not being ignored in the time of pandemic and feel that they come in your priority. Turn your business online to remain associated with your consumers. This will definitely help you to reach potential customers and valuable opportunities. Strengthen your relationship with your customers by communicating, exchanging life stories of caution and triumph. This shows that the company thinks beyond business and care about their customers. Design & execute a low budget strategic model using minimal tools, and people in advertising during COVID. Undoubtedly, safety is an important issue but when it comes to low prices, offers, people get attracted. Therefore, make sure to wow them always with your new offering plans. The realm you have constructed is a direct result of your team efforts. In this way, get associated with your team and give them compassion, and plan for future advances. We are living in uncertainty thus don’t put all your efforts and investments into the present campaign of advertising during COVID. There is no guarantee of the end of the worst. Be optimistic but don’t ignore the negative. At this point, it is difficult to predict what long haul impacts the pandemic will have on the marketing and advertising industry, or for sure practically every industry. So far estimates for worldwide advertisement spending in 2020 had to be revised from initially 712 billion U.S. dollars to approximately 691 billion U.S. dollars. Nevertheless, primary predictions assert that the advertising spending will come out with flying colors in 2021, once the COVID has lost its impact and the businesses become normal. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Q. What are the types of advertising? There are many types of advertising but mainly 7 are prominent. Broadcast advertising, outdoor advertising, native advertising, display advertising, print advertising paid search advertising, and social media advertising. Q. Is the advertising industry dying in pandemic? Unquestionably, advertising agencies faced adverse effects of covid-19 in respect of investments, productivity, creativity, lead generation, consumer behavior changes, etc. But, positively the industry will get rid of the situation soon and become normal. Q. What is the most effective online advertising? Online advertising is one of the most prevailing and effective method to escalate your business and reach alluring results in every aspect. Having websites, blogging on daily basis, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and pay per click advertising are the result-oriented approach for effective online advertising during COVID. Q. Are ads really effective in COVID-19 pandemic? Yes, indeed, it is effective. People are compelled to be indoors therefore, it is easy to approach the customers with creative, strategical campaigns digitally. The amount of time being spent online has increased during the pandemic as a result of shifting consumer behavior while adjusting to the new normal. Online retail & social media grew massively during the pandemic where online ads reaped huge profits along with e-commerce giants such as Amazon, Facebook & Snapchat. This is why the online advertising market was valued at USD 304.0 billion in 2019 and is expected to touch USD 982.82 billion by 2025. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the types of advertising?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "There are many types of advertising but mainly 7 are prominent. Broadcast advertising, outdoor advertising, native advertising, display advertising, print advertising paid search advertising, and social media advertising." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Is the advertising industry dying in pandemic?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Unquestionably, advertising agencies faced adverse effects of covid-19 in respect of investments, productivity, creativity, lead generation, consumer behavior changes, etc. But, positively the industry will get rid of the situation soon and become normal." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the most effective online advertising?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Online advertising is one of the most prevailing and effective method to escalate your business and reach alluring results in every aspect. Having websites, blogging on daily basis, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and pay per click advertising are the result-oriented approach for effective online advertising during COVID." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Are ads really effective in COVID-19 pandemic?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Yes, indeed, it is effective. People are compelled to be indoors therefore, it is easy to approach the customers with creative, strategical campaigns digitally. The amount of time being spent online has increased during the pandemic as a result of shifting consumer behavior while adjusting to the new normal. Online retail & social media grew massively during the pandemic where online ads reaped huge profits along with e-commerce giants such as Amazon, Facebook & Snapchat. This is why the online advertising market was valued at USD 304.0 billion in 2019 and is expected to touch USD 982.82 billion by 2025." } }] }

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The Marketing Campaigns That Have Been Successful for My Agency

Article | March 13, 2021

Marketing is all about experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t. This can be frustrating for someone (ahem, me) who wants quick results. Unfortunately, you don’t know until you try. Like a good marketer, I’ve different marketing campaigns and tactics over the years. Five completely failed: Doing live video (trolls suck), answering queries on HARO (zero results), offering free audits (note to self: people run from the word “audit”), advertising on LinkedIn (no need if you’re active on the platform) and using a social media dashboard (total time-suck). Could those tactics work for you? Sure. But they didn’t work for me. Marketing campaigns that have been successful Marketing is a short-term expense and a long-term investment. You’ll know if a marketing campaign is working if you see a steady increase in results over six months. If you get to the six-month mark with nothing to show for your efforts, it’s OK to pull the plug and try something new. On the other hand, something could work great for months or years – and then fall off a cliff (looking at you, Twitter chats). It’s so disappointing when that happens, but it happens – to all of us. Video marketing Around five years ago, my friend Nicole Krug floated the idea of creating videos together. We worked together all the time, got along famously and were (are) comfortable in front of the camera. “Why not?” I thought. “This could be fun.” It still is, which you can clearly see when you watch any of our videos. Five Business Rules is still a rather small YouTube channel, but man, the people who watch the videos LOVE them. And yes, it has brought us clients. (This proves that you don’t need to have a huge audience on social media. You only need to have an engaged audience.) Actively using LinkedIn My marketing agency is B2B, which makes LinkedIn the best social media channel for me. It’s where my current and potential clients hang out and, importantly, want to learn more about business-related topics. Are they on Facebook and Instagram, too? Probably. But they don’t want to hear my thoughts on, say, how to measure your blog’s success when they’d rather watch a video of their cousin’s new baby or gape at over-styled charcuterie boards. The key to LinkedIn marketing success is being social. At least once a week, I scroll through my feed. I react to or comment on what people are posting. I usually read other comments, and I might respond to what someone else posted. If I really like what I read, I share it with my network. When someone comments on my latest article or post, I thank them. I get a fair number of direct messages, and I always respond – even if the opportunity is not right for me. It’s just the polite thing to do, and it only takes five seconds. I also use LinkedIn to grow my network. Whenever I reach out to someone, I include a note reminding them how we met or explaining why I’d like to connect. And yes, it’s a great lead generation tool for me. Sending a monthly email newsletter A relevant, interesting and short email newsletter remains one of the best ways to stay in front of your audience. Even if someone doesn’t have time to read it this month, they’ll see your email and be reminded that you exist. Since I’ve been emailing a newsletter for years, I have the process down. At the beginning of every month, I put together a newsletter that includes four things: Two recent blog posts (title and short introduction only) A recent Five Business Rules video (see above) A funny meme (it usually involves wine) The blog posts and video include links so if you’re interested, you can read the full post or watch the video. My open and click rates average 30% and 4.3%, respectively, which is head and shoulders above the industry average (13.3% for opens and 1.7% for clicks). I attribute this success to three factors: 1. A/B testing subject lines 2. Writing eye-catching subject lines (last month, it was “Yes, alcohol can make you a better writer”) 3. Consistently delivering interesting, and oftentimes, entertaining content Creating downloadable content One of the best ways to generate leads is with a free giveaway. Your target market gives you their name and email in exchange for something valuable. For me, that’s in the form of downloadable guides: two ebooks, one checklist and two one-pagers of tips. When someone opts-in to receive one of these free resources, an automated email campaign is triggered. The emails are short and customized and each one offers something new of value. Once they complete the campaign, we add them to our main newsletter list. I don’t believe I’ve gotten a client directly from one of these resources, but they have definitely helped me grow my email list. Marketing is a long-term game, and I’m good with that. Your turn: What marketing campaigns have been most successful for your business?

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Real vs. Virtual Backgrounds. Which is Best for your Zoom Call?

Article | December 13, 2020

One of the greatest changes we have seen with virtual selling is the inevitable change in meeting location. No longer in a traditional office setting, location is now entirely dependent upon each participant’s environment and choice. This can range anywhere from your kitchen table to the captain’s seat on the Starship Enterprise. The choice is yours, so choose wisely. Your background makes a strong statement about you. You are quite literally projecting an image, whether professional or otherwise, to your customer. So make sure that your real or virtual background supports that image by being neat and clutter free, well-lit, and perhaps with a spark of personality. Real vs. Virtual Backgrounds Virtual selling offers a whole new avenue of creative control when it comes to selecting a backdrop for your next video call. But which should you choose? Here are some considerations: The Benefits of Authenticity You now have the opportunity to welcome clients and/or coworkers into your home, making sales calls more personal than ever before. Video meetings, whether held in your home office or at your kitchen table, can reveal quite a lot about you to your customer. Just as their background reveals a lot to you. This can be a great advantage to sellers as it both humanizes you and levels the relationship. Instead of vendor-to-prospect, it becomes more human-to-human. Personal elements, like books, pictures, furnishings, can stimulate conversations and deepen connections. When to Use a Virtual Background. That being said, sometimes your home simply is not quite conference call ready! That’s the time to consider using a virtual background or green screen for personal privacy or professionalism. When might you want to consider a virtual background? Here are a few questions to help you decide: Are you… Questioning if your background is too cluttered? (Hint: if you’re wondering, then yes, it probably is) Clashing with busy patterns, stripes or artwork? In the middle of a home repair project? Providing TMI with your environment? (“Hello bedroom Zoom callers! I’m talking to you!”) Anticipating scene-stealing pets or children? In these cases, a virtual background may be your new best friend. Considerations when using a Virtual Background While a green screen allows you to have a little (professional) fun, keep it on the side of realism, i.e., the office of your dreams vs. the space station, or simply a backdrop that allows you to briefly live in a home that is not at the mercy of your children’s toys. In need of a little inspiration? Pro tip: Canva has a wonderful selection of customizable backgrounds you can download for your next video call. Be aware that overtly busy or fantastical backgrounds can present distractions that may detract from the overall quality of your presentation. When it comes to backgrounds, you are the star, and your background should quite literally be, “the background.” You’re already competing for the sale, you don’t want to also be competing for the attention of your customers! So select a backdrop that promotes your sales goals, not one that detracts from them. Avoid Motion Blur Another common problem seen when using virtual backgrounds or green screens is motion blur. This is when a presenter gestures or moves too quickly when in front of a green screen resulting in blurred elements. It is important to move slowly and with intention when using a green screen to avoid blurring or entire body parts disappearing into the background. Losing an entire hand is quite distracting, is it not? Bottom Line: Take advantage of the benefits authentic or real backgrounds can provide whenever you can. If that’s not possible, virtual backgrounds are a great option as long as you choose one that supports you and your brand. Get more virtual selling tips on the Selling On-Video Channel!

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Spotlight

Content Harmony

Content Harmony is a content marketing agency based in Seattle. We help our clients plan, produce, and promote awesome content to engage their customers. As a result, our clients see an increase in traffic, engagement, sales, and customer retention. We work with midsized and growing clients like e-commerce, tech startups, professional service companies, and more. Check out our monthly newsletter to learn how your company can get better at content marketing.

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