Category : Blog

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How to Market Your Brand Through a Crisis covid 19

How to Market Your Brand Through a Crisis

It’s no secret we are in uncharted territory with the spread of COVID-19. Now more than ever, business owners and consumers alike are taking a hard look at the way they used to live and operate in their day to day. While so much of life as we knew it has halted, you may be wondering how to appropriately market your brand through a crisis?

Let’s discuss the ways in which you can remain helpful and positive:

Allow for Questions

In uncertain times there will be a lot of questions. It’s no secret people always find comfort in those who take the time to hear their questions and supply them with answers. Is your business is equipped to handle any questions your customers have? You can do this by training your Customer Support staff in areas you believe need the most attention. It’s also so important that answers are consistent across the board. Having all of your team on the same page will ensure uniformity and less room for confusion between consumers.  How important is Customer Service? 33% of Americans say they’ll consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service. If you are able to remain open, honest, and helpful your brand will retain business.

Accommodate As Much As Possible

In a crisis or a situation that shakes people from their norm, there is nothing more important that accommodating their requests (within boundaries). Sometimes something as small as a 10% discount or coupon code can really make someone’s day and gain a sale you wouldn’t have otherwise had. If you are a brick and mortar location, try onboarding products online for an ecommerce approach to supplement sales for the time being. If the thought of have an ecommerce site is daunting, keep in mind the additional platforms such as Amazon and E bay, to ensure you are accessible online to some degree. The best part about migrating your merchandise to an online platform is that you never have to close! The number one reason people shop online is that they’re able to stop at all hours of the day. There are so many ways to ensure your consumers feel taken care of when times are hard. Get creative!

Transparency is Key

As we’ve discussed in the past, personalization is king. Consumers want to learn more and more about the character behind the brand. Talk to your audience as if they are all close friends. Let them know how your business is being affected and how that can potentially affect them. If your business has no plans to change during the crisis or has plans for huge changes, let your loyal customers know. 87% of consumers surveyed say that personally relevant branded content positively influences how they feel about a brand. Sharing is expected these days, don’t let your brand be left behind with your audience hearing crickets.

Be a Helping Hand

Become a resource. This is a great way to ensure your brand is useful in the chaos a crisis can bring. Survey how you can help and give your audience the resources they need most. If a consumer remembers how dependable you were in trying times, they will be sure to remember you when everything is back to normal.

Your Message Matters

Communication is so important in scary times. It is crucial to remember the importance of a relevant, meaningful message than to post just for the sake of posting.  Consumers invested in your brand want to hear from you. Any way you can make life feel normal in abnormal times will make a difference. Have the owner of the company address your audience directly with a mission statement about moving forward. Have different staff members give updates and even share personal stories of how they’re coping. Include tips and tricks of how your audience can pass the time in a productive manner. Consider what customers need and want to hear from your organization to best help your brand while dodging potential risks. If you can make your consumers feel not so alone you will create a sense of community and gain reputability.

Feel Good, Feels Good

You can never go wrong with a feel good story especially when times seem a little daunting. The most comforting part of any crisis is that there are always people willing to help. Sometimes, it’s great to break up consumers’ news feed by reminding them there is always help around the corner. Highlight local heroes that are doing amazing things to help out around the community, highlight ways people have donated their time or funds to help out local businesses/shelters. Put a smile on someone’s face. It’s a great reason to be top of mind.

While we find ourselves in unprecedented times now, there are always positive ways your company can make the situation a little brighter. If your brand is remembered for being the calm in the storm, it will take you far with consumers; long after the situation has resolved itself. There are appropriate ways to market your brand through a crisis and Social Thrive is always here to help. Please contact us if we can assist you in any way.

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Social-Thrive-Client-Success-Stories

We Love Our Clients; They Love Their Success Stories

February is the month of love. We love nothing more than helping our clients meet their marketing and business goals to become success stories. From Social Media to Google ad campaigns, Social Thrive can build your brand from scratch or help grow the brand you’ve already built.

Check out a few of our client success stories that are matches made in heaven:

Arsenal Yards

Arsenal Yards is a real urban village. Nestled in Watertown Massachusetts, it is packed with amenities everyone is bound to enjoy. You can shop, dine out, catch a movie and even take up residence in this hip mix use, smart growth development.  Social Thrive began working with Arsenal Yards on a rebranding campaign and to announce the new development in the area. Through social presence alone we were able to reach over a million people in the Greater Boston area. More importantly, Social Thrive was able to provide meaningful engagement with 50,000 people within that audience. Building engagement established brand recognition and built trust with highly qualified leads.

East End Watertown

We love working with clients from their start! Social Thrive had the pleasure of building the East End Watertown brand from the ground up. Being able to learn and create a brand’s personality and growing together makes a great connection with the consumer. We were able to gain over 6,000 qualified fans since inception and are growing.  Social Thrive used a plethora of our marketing services to do this including: blog writing, consistent and thorough social campaigns and networking initiatives.

Forecaster 121

A boutique style condominium building. Forecaster 121 combines modern finishes and amenities with historic architecture. They offer world class service that is close to everything Boston has to offer in a quiet, relaxing atmosphere. Social Thrive was able to increase traffic to Forecaster 121’s website with 81% of traffic coming directly from our Google and Social Media ad campaigns. When we began the project, Forecaster 121 had less than 20% of their units purchased. We are elated to report all units have been sold since. Paid ads allow brands to get granular with their audience ensuring the right message is being show to the right people at the right time.

The Royal Belmont

Elevated apartment living. Offering elegant amenities and a sophisticated living environment in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Enjoy many of the building’s features year long from a new fitness center to the heated pool and sundeck.  Another brand Social Thrive had the pleasure of working with from their inception; The Royal Belmont is a full service client utilizing our expertise in all areas of digital marketing and public relations. When Social Thrive began working with The Royal Belmont in April of 2018, they had only a few units leased. In just over a year working with us, they had leased every single unit. What’s not to love about that?!

It’s so important to us that our clients love the results they see when using our services. If you’d like to get started on your success story, contact Social Thrive today. We’d make a great pair!

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2020 Marketing Trends

Marketing Trends to Implement in 2020

A new decade is the perfect time to spice up your marketing strategy and try something new! While we are grateful for the marketing trends of the past, we are excited for what’s to come in 2020.

We’ve compiled a few of the latest and greatest digital marketing trends that will thrive in 2020. You’re going to want to know all about them.

Chatbots

Chatbots use chat windows on your site to help customers find the answers they need quickly. They are a cost effective way to enhance a consumer’s experience with personalization and efficiency. Among being cheaper than hiring additional personnel to monitor your site, chatbots produce the right information every time. They also eliminate the need for a “closed” sign – remaining open 24/7 . In 2019 70% of millennials reported having a positive experience with Chatbots, only leaving room for improvement in 2020.

Personalization

It’s all about a personal experience in 2020. Consumers have made it loud and clear they don’t want to feel like they are just another number. 79% of consumers feel frustrated if the content they’re viewing isn’t tailored to them. Gartner predicts by 2020 at least 90% of online advertisers will start using marketing personalization.  Forecasting shows a significant increase in fully personalized websites by 2021. It’s time to get personal and make sure your strategy is hyper focused.

Voice Powered Search

In the age of Alexa, Siri and Google Home, the way consumers search is changing. By 2020, 50% of all searches across the internet will be voice-based with 20% of the searches on a mobile device being voice-based. How can you make sure your business is staying prominent in rising voice powered search results? Optimize your site. Your business will have to use longer keywords, utilize engaging tones and remain aware of complete sentences and grammar when creating content.

Interactive Content

The sky’s the limit with interactive content varying from quizzes to embedded videos and GIFs. Did you know 91% of today’s buyers are looking for more visual, interactive content? This type of content can benefit your business in a couple of ways. Firstly, it keeps visitors on your website longer as it is a more engaging and enjoyable experience than simply reading. Secondly, it can step up your branding game in a major way. Interactive content is hugely shareable causing your brand’s exposure to skyrocket.

Now that you’ve reviewed a few of the hottest marketing trends to come, are ready to take your strategy to the next level? Let’s get you thriving in the New Year. Contact Social Thrive today to start this decade off on the right foot!

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Useful Marketing Tactics

5 Marketing Tactics to be Thankful For

It’s time to baste the turkey while giving thanks for all we have! While you’re at the table, don’t forget to give thanks for the digital marketing tactics that allow your business to thrive.

Here are 5 marketing tactics we’re thankful for this season:

Targeting/Retargeting

Because targeted display ads ensure exposure to the right audience, this tactic is one of the best ways to spend your marketing dollars. Targeted ads are, on average, almost twice as effective as non-targeted ads using the information we know about consumers based on their online behavior. Because the goal is to serve your ad to the ideal consumer, you can select specific demographics, locations, and behaviors. Retargeting serves your ad to an individual who was previously on your site. By serving retargeting ads, your brand is giving a friendly digital nudge to remember your services and products. Studies show website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are more likely to convert by 70%.

SEO

Did you know Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average? That equates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Populate organically across search engines by utilizing Search Engine Optimization to enhance the ranking of your products and services. Using quality content, relevant keywords and link building, SEO can be a huge asset when it comes to gaining exposure.

Really Social Social Media Marketing

Consumers have made it loud and clear they are looking for a more personalized user experience. Because of this, social media remains a powerful marketing tool, allowing consumers to choose which brands they follow. 77% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media over one they do not. Social media marketing not only reminds consumers consistently of your products but also allows your brand to engage directly with loyal followers through comments, messaging and reviews.

User-Generated Content

With all the technology we have today, word of mouth is still one of the most powerful tools in marketing. User-Generated Content provides word of mouth with a modern twist. This type of marketing can be presented as reviews on a product or website by a happy customer or even by an influencer who uploads photos and videos of their experience to their social media following. 84% of millennials report that user-generated content has some influence on what they buy, which makes this one of the best ways to reach an audience at little to no cost.

E-mail Marketing

An effective e-mail marketing campaign is an ideal way to reach a large number of people in a personalized manner. Did you know e-mails with personalized subject lines generate 50% higher open rates? Your brand can easily send e-mails to keep consumers up to date with company happenings, product launches or to wish them a happy birthday. The more personalized you get with your message, the better.

If you’re looking to implement some of these marketing tactics into your strategy, Social Thrive can help! Contact us today to get started.

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Influencer Marketing

Why You Should be Including Influencer Marketing in Your Marketing Strategy

Today, consumers are feeling inundated with your typical, digital pop up and display ads. What is one way to touch a desensitized consumer? Influencers! Influencers have become wildly successful due to their ability to connect on a personal level and influencer Marketing is one of the fastest growing strategies in digital marketing. Influencers showcase a business’s brand, products and services in a way that consumers would want to themselves. In this way, they are building credibility with consumers and reaching the ideal audience for brands.

Recent studies show 49% of consumers depend on Influencer recommendations when making a purchasing decision. Influencers are getting back to the basics by using traditional marketing tactics such as word of mouth, trust and brand loyalty to promote businesses in a non-traditional way. Potential customers leave the experience feeling inspired, eager and sure about the product instead of feeling as if they were sold. 94% of elite marketers now use influencer marketing because it drives 11X more ROI than traditional digital marketing channels.

What exactly is Influencer Marketing?

This type of marketing is the use of the most popular content creators, in any specific industry. Using these experts help increase website traffic, build brand awareness and speak to your audience about your products or services on a more personal level.

Consumers tend to trust recommendations from those they admire like influencers, friends or family more than they trust the businesses that are selling products. Influencers, or Micro-Influencers, have built a devoted following of thousands to tens of thousands of people on their platforms and channels who are like minded and value their opinion. Recommendations and first hand experiences are coming directly from their favorite Influencers can result in a larger, more targeted customer base.

Still on the fence about the whole idea? Here is a list of benefits and key takeaway’s of implementing Influencer Marketing into your marketing strategy:

  • Increase in ROI due to a more targeted audience
  • Not a costly marketing tactic
  • Higher conversion as Influencers build brand reputation and trust
  • Larger reach across multiple channels
  • Non-traditional, more personal way to promote services
  • Non pushy way to reach your consumers

Social Thrive is here to help! Contact us today to continue the conversation about how Influencer Marketing can work for you.

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filming, video marketing

The Benefits of Video Marketing for Small Businesses: Part 2

We’ve compiled a list of 5 video marketing strategies any small business can leverage to increase their exposure and bottom line.

EXPLAINER VIDEO CONTENT

Educational and “How To” videos allow you, as a product or service provider, to demonstrate your knowledge by showing consumers how your product will solve their problem, and how to use it. This offers a whole new layer of value when consumers consider investing in your business. The second-best thing to an in-person tutorial is a video demonstration. Think about how often people search YouTube for instructions on how to use a product or program. Showcasing your expertise in the form of video will keep customers coming back for more and will encourage them to commit to your product, knowing that they will have access to the material they need to use it.

BEHIND THE SCENES

Who doesn’t love a little behind the scenes action? Whether you give a sneak peek into your work culture or you’re demonstrating the processes behind creating the products that your consumers have grown to know and love… there is no denying that people appreciate getting the inside scoop.

A huge part of video marketing is the ability to humanize your brand. Who is behind the products or services? How can consumers relate to the company? No matter what size your business is, relatability is a huge factor in any stage of the buying cycle, but particularly for those that are smaller. The smaller your company is, the more competitive the market will be.

The more competition you face, the more important it is for you to establish who you are and why you’re their best choice.

CUSTOMER TESTIMONIALS

The proof is in the pudding! Not all video content has to come directly from the brand. Your customers should be your biggest advocates. With the influx of product reviews online, consumers inherently search for real feedback before making a purchase. Rather than feeding insight through the mouths of your company representatives, why not hand them what they are looking for?

Invite your consumers to create videos about their experience with your company. With the right incentive in place, young consumers will be more than willing to submit user-generated reviews on your behalf that you can later regurgitate on your own channels. Video testimonials are far more effective and authentic than written.

BROADCAST LIVE EVENTS

Streaming live events or conversations through social media platforms such as Instagram’s IGTV and Facebook Live is a fun way to increase visibility and promote conversation. It may even trigger a little FOMO, which isn’t a bad thing if your goal is to increase attendance at future functions.

Live broadcasts are becoming a critical driving factor in establishing digital brand awareness. Businesses are given a unique (and free!) advantage by offering a content experience to a deeply captive audience. One billion people use Instagram each month; 95% of U.S. Instagrammers use YouTube, and 91% use Facebook. This creates endless opportunities to cross-promote and tease videos across platforms.

PRODUCTS IN ACTION

What better way to persuade potential buyers than by showing them your products in use? Consumers appreciate creativity, especially in the form of inspiration and hacks. While describing why and how one might benefit from your business is effective, showing the various ways a product can be used, worn, or incorporated into their daily lives will get your customers saying, “hmm, why didn’t I think of that?”

If you’ve yet to incorporate video into your marketing strategy, the time is now! Always be sure to include a clear call-to-action to increase your leads and conversions.

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Filming, video marketing

The Benefits of Video Marketing for Small Businesses

Video marketing is one of the most effective ways to engage your audience. It’s one thing to tell consumers how you can serve them; it’s another to show them. The 2019 digital marketing landscape shows that 87% of businesses are using video as a promotional tool, and 83% of marketers say that video gives them a good ROI. With numbers like those, there is no denying that this visual marketing strategy is on the rise.

If your business has considered using video to market your products or services but has not yet made a move, you may be missing out on an enormous growth opportunity, both in staying relevant and in increasing sales.

Here are five compelling reasons you should incorporate video into your marketing strategy:

1. Consumers WANT Video. It’s simple: if you want to stand out, you need to give the people what they want. These days, consumers prefer video over written content. In fact, 87% of consumers want to see more videos from brands in 2019. Videos are easy to consume, especially in an age when 81% of Americans own smartphones, and 75% of all video plays are on mobile devices. Stay current and aware of where the traffic is, and your viewership will flourish.

2. Boosted Online Presence. YouTube, the second largest search engine in the world, has 2 billion monthly users who watch 250 million hours of videos on their TVs daily. This is a 39% increase in under a year. Videos are favored by Google and thus increase search engine rankings and visibility. And Google owns YouTube, so videos are a significant factor in where you land in the SERPs. The longer someone views your content, the more search engines will trust that your website is trustworthy and valuable.

3. Brand Awareness and Understanding. Videos can attract potential buyers that you weren’t reaching before and can help them understand what your products and services are all about. Visual representations allow consumers to recognize your business and keep you top-of-mind when someone is in the market for what you have to offer. This is especially useful when you are launching a new service or product, or when your product requires instructions for use.

4. Increased Conversions and Sales. Establishing brand awareness and understanding can lead directly to an increase in your conversion rate and sales. The more people know about your products and services, and the more they understand how they can benefit from them, the better your odds are of witnessing an influx of customers. More sales equal a better overall return on investment.

5. Illustrates Personality and Authenticity. Video gives you something that written content does not: the chance to put a face to the name. The more your customers recognize and trust you, the more likely they will be to become long-term buyers. Your audience will appreciate the opportunity to get to know your business on a more personal level, which, in turn, will establish a connection to your brand.

Ready to get started with video marketing? Check out our Benefits of Video Marketing Blog: Part 2 post for five strategies you can implement today!

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2019 trends

Social Media Marketing Trends in 2019

Depending on how you look at it, social media marketing (SMM) has been evolving for more than 20 years. Ever since the 1997 launch of the very first social media site, Six Degrees, marketers have considered how (or if) they can use platforms to engage target audiences. For the first decade, SMM was primarily organic, as marketers tried to connect the way we do with personal friends. It still works to a degree, if done correctly, but in the last 10 years paid advertising has taken hold and continues to grow.

Yes, SMM presents opportunities for brands and businesses, but also tough challenges. The many platforms evolve independently, with changing algorithms, technologies, audience behaviors and preferences, and the occasional government regulation. That pace can be head-spinning, at times occurring abruptly or within a short span of months

Of the many resources that help us understand the SMM landscape, one of the most insightful is the 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, directed by Michael Stelzner, co-founder of Social Media Examiner. The longest-running study of its kind, this 11thannual edition surveys how more than 4,800 marketers worldwide—representing all industry sectors and organizational sizes—currently use or plan to use social media.

The 2019 report is available to download, and we’d like to share here some of the interesting trends that it reveals, as discussed by Michael Stelzner on the Social Media Marketing Talk Show…

Facebook is trending down for the first time in five years. In 2013, Facebook was the most important marketing channel for 52% of survey participants, steadily rising to 67% in 2018 before slipping back to 61% this year. Why? Stelzner suggests that almost all organic activity is being repressed, perhaps in response to Facebook’s privacy and politics concerns of the last few years. According to 77% of survey participants, the platform is getting more complicated and providing diminishing returns on the effort.

Instagram continues to grow. In 2015, only 2% of marketers said it was their single most important marketing platform. Since then it has climbed respectively to 4%, 7%, 10% and now 14%, earning a rank only slightly above LinkedIn. Moreover, 69% plan to increase their use of Instagram. Marketers are especially interested in the popular Stories feature (reportedly, 100 million are consumed each day). Yet they are also still learning that Stories require well-planned, consistent, attention-getting content. Time will tell whether organic content continues to be effective on Instagram, or whether algorithms shift, pushing marketers to rely increasingly on paid content, as they have on Facebook.

Live video is weak, and will remain so without planning and investment. Much like Stories, the effective use of Facebook’s live video requires significant resources, time and patience to realize a return on investment. Meanwhile, the algorithms appear to be repressing the content. No surprise then that only 35% of survey participants use it, and 44% want nothing to do with it. Conversely, Stelzner notes, low utilization rates may create opportunities for those who can do it the right way.

Interest in Messenger bots is fading. Facebook launched Messenger’s chatbot feature in 2016 and by 2018, 70% of the survey pool wanted to learn more about them. This year, just 14% actually use them, 45% care to learn more, and 53% have no plans to use Messenger bots. As it turns out, the programming them is quite complicated, and marketers still question whether their audiences seek or expect meaningful engagement with bots, at least with current AI technology.

Diversification is critical.Some businesses may do well by marketing on just one or two social media platforms, but that is becoming increasingly difficult, especially on Facebook. Stelzner says the future there about privacy and groups, as exposure and reach become harder for those who don’t invest heavily. Thus, as they have since long before the dawn of social media, marketers must continue to innovate, strategize and discover the channels where they can best engage and serve their target audience.