Social media has increasingly become a vital tool for marketers, making it easier for businesses to listen, interact, and engage with their customers. However, this has also lead to more difficulty in monitoring social media conversations. In order to improve brand awareness, better manage several accounts, and engage online communities, it is now becoming very common for companies to use a social media software. Keep reading to find out what specific business problems a social media software can solve:
1. Multiple Accounts: Most businesses manage multiple social accounts, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Management software allows users to schedule posts months in advance, identify optimal times of the day and week to post, and overall increase relevance, awareness, and interaction. The software also makes it much easier to switch between accounts when posting on behalf of clients or separate company departments.
2. Customer Engagement: In order to stay engaged with their customers, businesses must respond to negative reviews, assist users with technical issues, and thanks users for positive feedback and reviews. Many software systems alert companies when users engage with their content, so the company can quickly acknowledge the positive comments or learn how to improve their product or help a customer who had a bad experience.
3. Reporting: Another benefit of social media software is that most provide reports that analyze data and suggest best practices. Rather than analyzing social media themselves, marketers can save time and look at specific variables such as demographics, locations, and trends any time they want. These tools can also be used to present to other members at a company or clients. Reports give good, empirical evidence to showcase social media practices and which ones have the most significant impact. The software system also saves existing content, and prior posts and campaigns for marketers to access when they want.
By using a social media software, businesses are able to create engaging content to go along with marketing campaigns or to maintain an online presence. Most businesses say that social media positively influences sales and revenue, so a social media software is often used to effectively manage or leverage accounts. If you're interested in learning about all the different kinds of social media software's out there, check out this blog post from TopRank Marketing!
In a recent blog post from Contently.com, the writer discusses how Content Marketing will continue to evolve and be important to marketers in the coming year. Content Marketing is a strategy that focuses on creating relevant and consistent content to attract and retain specific customers. 24 predictions are offered to help the reader understand how much content marketing has and will continue to mature. Of all 24 quotes, here are just a few of the insightful predictions:
"Content marketing and revenue are going to become great friends. As marketing systems get more integrated, marketers are going to be able to prove their content marketing initiatives drive meaningful revenue. With that quantified data, the pressure will be on to consistently increase the number." (Tweet this!)
-John Fernandez, VP of revenue marketing
"Marketers will opt for more a strategic approach to content creation, delivery, and optimization that is powered by artificial intelligence. As a result, they will automate personalized customer experiences across the entire content journey like never before." (Tweet this!)
-Priyamvadha Ramakrishnan, content distribution associate
"Paid distribution will lean heavily toward video as content marketers add YouTube and Facebook video to their list of most important channels." (Tweet this!)
-Felicity Blance, manager of distribution services
"Less quantity, more quality. Smart brands will reduce the amount of content they produce, using that budget to improve the production value of everything they create." (Tweet this!)
-Shane Snow, co-founder
Overall, the predictions stress how marketers will begin to work towards more tangible results, since content marketing efforts can now be tracked and measured. Content marketing could lead to more success than traditional marketing channels and will grow as a key part of marketers jobs. To check out the rest of the predictions and read the entire blog post, click here!
This week, we were joined by Pete Brand, the CEO and Co-Founder of Mindscape, a company that offers digital marketing services. Pete talked about his experience in marketing, how he got to where he is today, and the importance of what Mindscape does. Here were some of the highlights:
What does Mindscape do?
Mindscape is a company that offers digital marketing services including website design, inbound marketing strategies, performance optimization, and consulting. Pete told the story of how he co-founded and grew the company to what it is today. He then explained how consumers buy differently than they did 10 years ago, since the Internet has allowed consumers to have full access to information. In fact, 93% of buying decisions start with a visit to a search engine, so showing up in online searches is important for companies when attracting new leads.
The Buyer's Journey
Pete walked us through the stages of the buyer's journey, which is the process buyers go through in order to become aware of, evaluate, and purchase a product or service. By understanding this, companies can better sell to their consumers based on what stage they are in. The Buyer's Journey is as follows:
Inbound Marketing is Key
Pete described Inbound Marketing as a holistic way to attract visitors to your website. He explained how this approach can result in 67% lower cost per lead and compounding effect in which the content you produce never goes away, but continues to generate leads. An example of this could be blogging, which Pete stated leads to 126% more leads. He also stressed the importance of doing research on keywords and the language being used to find your website online, so that you can effectively make your business easier to find. Inbound Marketing is one of the services Mindscape offers their clients and has proven to be very successful in generating leads and sales.
In a recent article posted by Contently.com, Instagram is described as the ideal social media platform for advertisers. With over 800 million people using the app every month, it's no surprise that Instagram is the best way to reach a massive target audience. Advertising on the app can help a business raise awareness, consideration, and conversion. But just how powerful is this social media's marketing power?
Compared to similar social media platforms such as Snapchat and Twitter, Instagram takes the cake for having the most influence on shopping habits. The average cost of a sponsored post is $300, considering that Instagram users are more likely to make a buying decision based on something they saw on the site than any other social media. Advertisers are also beginning to invest in Instagram Influencers, which are users with several thousands of followers that influence buying decisions. Instagram advertising also has many targeting options, so those ads appearing on your newsfeed could be based on your location, demographics, or the accounts you are currently liking and following.
To learn more about just how powerful Instagram is for advertisers, be sure to check out the full article and infographic here!
At this week's meeting, we were joined by Hanna Burmeister, the Marketing Manager for the Michigan Small Business Development Center. She provided our members a Google Analytics Overview and covered SEO tools, both vital skills for careers in marketing. Since topics like these are not often covered in classes, this was a very beneficial and engaging presentation for students. If you were not able to attend, here were Hanna's main points:
Hanna described email marketing as the most cost effective, direct communication to customers and clients. It is also extremely beneficial because it is easily adjusted to different marketing strategies. In order to analyze your email marketing strategy, you must track your click through rate, open rate, time sent, and date of message. Tracking this will help the marketer gain more insight on engaging their audience and how to further optimize their strategy.
This tool, specifically Google Analytics, can track your website's page views, users, amount of time users spend on page, bounce rate, and much more. Analyzing page views helps the marketer understand the type of people visiting your website's pages and the top pages they view. Google Analytics also tracks acquisition, which is organic search terms and inbound traffic sources. Organic search terms are keywords people were searching for online that landed them on your website. Inbound Traffic Source is traffic to your website that comes from another website. Hannah described the best way to learn how to effectively use Google Analytics is lots of practice!
This tool is important for marketers because it makes sure your website is actually being seen online. Hanna talked about how it is important to utilize Google's search engine to drive potential customers to your website. She described both On-page and Off-page analytics. On-page analytics track your keywords (what terms you are communicating the most,) titles/descriptions, and checks for broken links. Off-page analytics tracks your inbound links, social media, and overall website security.
To learn more about SEO tools, analytics and inbound marketing, Hanna suggested checking out www.hubspot.com, which offers free online training and courses.
#1: Dunkin Donuts
This famous donut shop has over 3,100 locations in 30 countries outside of the United States. In order to satisfy all of their global customers, Dunkin has evolved its menu to meet the needs of all of their customers' sweet tooth. Some of their famous options include the Green Tea Mochi Ring Donut in China and Korea's Grapefruit Coolata. The company's ability to take classic menu items and cater them to different cultures have lead to their success internationally.
#2: Red Bull
Although you might not be aware, Red Bull is in fact an Austrian brand. In order o become internationally recognized, Red Bull hosts extreme sports events everywhere from the Grand Prix in Indianapolis to the Red Bull Soapbox Race in Asia. This tactic has been hugely successful not only in spreading brand awareness, but also in creating an identity as an enabler of thrilling events, which resonates with and engages extreme sport enthusiasts.
Coca-Cola is a great example of a large, well known company that focuses a lot of time and money on small-scale charity efforts. The company sponsors movements to improve schools and provide meals in third world countries. They have also helped build 650 clean water installations in a rural village in Egypt. These efforts help the brand stick to selling an emotion, happiness, no matter which country it is in.
With locations in over 117 countries, it's no secret that McDonald's has successfully adopted their marketing and advertising to different cultures. Similar to Dunkin Donuts, McDonald's alters their products to suit local eating habits. In Japan, drink and burger sizes are considerably smaller compared to the United States. They also offer completely new products to meet the local culture's preferences, such as macarons in France.
With the constant use of confusing buzzwords, Marketing can sometimes seem like another language. To avoid confusion and sound like the brightest marketer in the room, here's a list of some common industry words:
SEO: Otherwise known as "search engine optimization," this means maximizing the number of visitors to a certain website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of non-paid, search engine results. SEO can be accomplished through creating a website friendly to search engines, finding keywords that generate traffic, building links and marketing the value of your site.
Big Data: This is a large volume of data that businesses collect on a daily basis. Big Data can be analyzed for insights that lead to marketing decisions and strategies. Some examples of big data include client names, client locations, and client purchasing habits.
Content Amplification: This means helping your businesses content reach a wider audience. This includes simple techniques such as Facebook paid ads or leveraging a loyal email list to help spread a message.
Conversion: A marketing tactic that encourages a customer to take a specific action, such as if a customer abandons their shopping cart, a special offer may be displayed to convert the potential customer into a paying customer.
Gamification: This is the process of incorporating game-related elements into a service or software to encourage users to complete certain actions. An example is a progress bar on a website that moves as you complete certain actions such as filling out your birthday, linking your account to Twitter, etc.
Retargeting: This term means to show users ads for products or services that they had previously viewed but did not purchase. Without annoying the potential customer away, retargeting serves as a strategy to remind the user of a purchase they almost made that they might want to revisit. This might explain why items in your online shopping cart keep showing up on your Facebook feed!
Inbound Marketing: This is the concept of drawing people into your website and then capturing their attention. Examples of this are providing helpful information through a blog, gaining great reviews, and forming relationships with your customers through social media.
Like many industries, Marketing has trends that are constantly changing. Hopefully this quick guide helps you feel more confident and well versed in your Marketing jargon! If you just can't get enough of Marketing buzzwords, check out this post from Internet Marketing to learn a few more.
At this week's meeting, Meahgan Pear from BDO, an international accounting firm, joined us at our meeting to discuss the various areas of Marketing, skills students need when graduating, and how to develop those skills. If you couldn't make it, here is what you missed:
What Is Modern Marketing?
In today's Marketing world, it is important to be a masterful story teller, transparent, and consumer centric. Marketing has evolved from a sales oriented industry, to one that is now heavily focused on the customer experience. Meahgan described the modern marketer as someone that works with data every day, designs customer experiences, tells better stories across all channels, adapts strategies to keep up with consumers, and constantly tries to create more simplicity for customers.
Modern Marketing Skills
To be competitive in today's job market, Meahgan listed many of the skills that are vital to be successful in a Marketing role. Here are a few of those that were mentioned:
How To Set Yourself Apart
To stay on top of trends in the industry, Meahgan recommended several blogs, books, to podcasts to read and listen to. She also provided a list of skills to develop and emphasize when applying for roles in Marketing:
Types of Marketing Positions
There are many titles and types of roles that fall under Marketing, so navigating your job search can be tricky. Depending on where your interests are, there are different types of jobs to suite you. Meahgan provided a list of several Marketing positions, here are a few:
Last week, forty members of the American Marketing Association attended the Chicago Firm Tour, where they spent the day learning about Marketing within three different companies and exploring the city. If you're interested in hearing the details of this trip to the Windy City, keep reading!
After an early morning departure from Grand Rapids, the first stop on our tour was Northwestern University, located in the city of Evanston. First off was a presentation and Q&A with members from the Athletics Marketing Department, followed by a tour of the football field and indoor training facilities. This portion of the tour was especially helpful for members interested in Sports Marketing.
Afterwards, the group headed back into the city to stop at Eataly, the world famous Italian marketplace. Members enjoyed an authentic, Italian lunch, followed by coffee and gelato. Members were then given a presentation by a Grand Valley Alumna, Daltyn Terpstra, on finding a job and career development. She also explained her role in Marketing Communications and what college experiences prepared her for this career.
To finish off our trip, members walked down the Magnificent Mile and across the Chicago River to Slack and Company, a B2B Marketing & Advertising Agency. The Agency's founder himself, Gary Slack, presented to our group on the definition of Marketing and how to develop ourselves as Marketing professionals. Thank you to everyone that joined us on this trip!
Last night, Shauna VanderStel, HR Coordinator for Steelcase, attended AMA's second meeting of the semester to speak on career fair prep, how to network, topics to talk about with potential employers, and proper follow up. Alongside her to speak to our members was VP of Corporate & Member Engagement at InForum, Becky Puckett-Wood. Both women gave background on personal experiences, finding jobs, and navigating their professional careers. Additionally, they offered students valuable advice on what it actually means to network. In case you were unable to attend meeting, here were the key takeaways:
1. Maximize Every Interaction
When it comes to networking, it is important to treat every social interaction like an interview. Be genuinely interested in getting to know the person you are talking to and ask yourself what you can do for them, rather than what they can do for you. This will show the person you are speaking with that are interested, engaged, and not just there to ask for a favor. When at a networking event, do not lead with your resume, but rather wait until the end of the conversation to politely offer one. Shauna referenced the famous Maya Angelou quote to get her point across, "people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." She also used AMA meetings as a perfect example of an opportunity to come early, start conversations with strangers, and make a few new connections to expand your network.
2. Your LinkedIn Profile Matters
Before attending the career fair, Betty suggested updating your LinkedIn page so you are putting your best face for when recruiters go to view your profile. It is important to keep your experience and information relevant, while also remaining active and posting on your profile at least once a month. LinkedIn can be utilized to do research on companies attending the career fair beforehand, so you are prepared for discussions with recruiters. You might also be able to identify Human Resource employees that will be representing the company at the career fair, giving you an extra advantage when it comes to conversation.
3. Follow-Up is Key
Of all the advice given, Shauna and Betty especially stressed the importance of following up. It is important to keep in touch with former colleagues or supervisors, send an email to recruiters after meeting them, and connect with people you meet on LinkedIn. Be sure to follow-up with intention, meaning you should include a thank you and a request to stay in touch, such as grabbing lunch or coffee and continuing the conversation. This follow-up can be done through LinkedIn, where you should request a connection and always include a personal note. Following-up is the most important step in networking, especially as a student. Shauna emphasized that putting in the time and effort to network before is what paid off for her career in the long run.
This week, AMA hosted the Marketing Careers Night alongside The Seidman Marketing Department. A variety of companies attended and participated in round-table discussions about their company and the types of positions for which they typically recruit. Since this was also a networking event, most students hoped to make connections with employees at companies that could potentially be a future employer. Starting conversations with working professionals isn't always easy, especially as a student, but a little preparation can go a long way. With the GVSU Career Fair right around the corner, here's a few tips for preparing for your next networking event:
1. Do Your Research
Be sure to check which companies will be attending beforehand so you can prepare a game plan of who you would like to speak with. It is important to know something about each of the companies beforehand because the more informed you are, the more likely you will be positively remembered by a recruiter. You should also think about preparing a quick, two minute elevator pitch that includes general background information, times in which you have demonstrated leadership, and what you could bring to an organization in case you are asked some form of the question, "Tell me about yourself."
2. Dress For Success
First impressions are key, especially when it comes to the hiring process. Be sure to wear proper business attire and consider bringing a portfolio to hold your resumes inside of. You want to show recruiters that you are making an effort and it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed!
3. Keep In Touch
Whether you are currently seeking an internship or full-time position or not, be sure to wrap up your conversation with a recruiter by asking them what the best way to keep in touch is. This could be as simple as asking for a business card or politely offering a copy of your resume. Be sure to thank them for their time and if you are particularly interested in a company or position, even follow up with an email letting them know you enjoyed getting the chance to meet them and would like to stay in touch.
This years career fair will host over 230 regional and national employers with thousands of jobs, internships, clinical, and co-op opportunities, so you won't want to miss it! Join us at next weeks meeting on Tuesday, October 10th, where two speakers from Steelcase will be joining us to share more insight on how to prep for this years Career Fair.
This week, the first American Marketing Association meeting of the semester was hosted in the Seidman College of Business Forum. If you are already a member or interested in becoming one but couldn't attend, here were some of the highlights:
This year's theme is Amplify with AMA! As students, this means to amplify our goals, our motivation and most of all, our careers. Through the American Marketing Association, we hope that members will have the opportunity to acquire new skill sets, move forward with career goals, and build meaningful relationships.
Why Join AMA?
The American Marketing Association is a nationally recognized organization that not only serves as a resume builder, but will offer you several professional development opportunities such as networking with other members and professionals, skill workshops, and internships. At most meetings, a professional speaker will come to speak on a different topic in Marketing or Career Development. Several attendees this year come from well known companies in the Grand Rapids area, such as Steelcase, Mindscape, BDO, and more! Joining the American Marketing Association will also give you the opportunity to work with local charities and national non-profits such as Alliance of the Great Lakes, Salvation Army, and Global Conservation Corp.
How To Become a Member
Regardless of your major, all students are welcome to join the American Marketing Association. To become an official member, you must complete both the national and local applications, which are available at meetings, as well as pay both Chapter and National Dues. Members receive a T-shirt, business cards, the ability to participate in AMA events, and the connection to a network of successful marketing professionals. The deadline to become a member is October 9th, so be sure to attend our next meeting & grab a membership folder! If you have questions regarding becoming a member, please contact our Director of Membership, Ivana Nujic, at email@example.com.
We have so many exciting events planned for this fall, so be sure to mark your calendars:
Tuesday, October 3rd will be Marketing Careers Night, where students will be able to network with local employers, learn about job opportunities, and get questions answered by professionals in round-table discussions. This event will last from 6:00 to 8:00 in Seidman. We hope to see you there!
Be sure to follow @amagvsu on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, & Facebook to stay up to date. We are looking forward to an AMAzing year!
Hello everyone ! And welcome to my last ever blog post of the Marketing Insider. In our last blog post for the Marketing Insider, we will be talking about how Instagram is the top social media platform for engagement. Now, for a little history about Instagram. Instagram was founded in 2010 that has more than 500 million users. It has the 2nd most users behind Facebook and marketers are in love with this social media site.
So that's some of the history that you need to know about Instagram. Now, here comes the fun stuff. Here are 4 reasons why marketers think that Instagram is really good at using engagement for their users:
And that's a wrap to the Marketing Insider. I hope you guys gain a better understanding of what marketing is in the real world and in various industries. For those of you that are graduating like I am very soon, I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. For those of you that are coming back next year at GVSU, I really hope that you keep on learning all of the marketing news that is going on in the real world along with reading books that will make you smarter. It's been a great school year for AMA and I'm glad that I got to help you guys reach your goals and dreams that you desire. Enjoy the rest of your school year.
VP of Professional Development
The top 10 trends that will transform digital marketing in 2017:
1. New products will come from the brand revolution- Brands will become more detailed to the needs and priorities to the consumer and shape their product offerings to the lifestyle trends for those customers.
2. A.I. will create a brave new world- Artifical intelligence will help consumers navigate in a very complex world.
3. "Instant" Speeds will speed up as the new norm for Gen Z- When you surround yourself with both social media and technology, then your expectations of instant communications and entertainment will become inevitable. We can expect 3 new social media platforms that we've never heard of rise faster than you can expect.
4. Niche Curation will sort itself out with information overload- We are finding ourselves having more information available to us. Us consumers will be on a mission to find specialists with niche expertise to create recommendations that meets their needs.
5. Moblie Devices will forge on-the-go consumersim- Stacy DeBroff, CEO and founder of Influence-Central is predicting of a new electronic revolution that will offer more information. Moblie devices will emerge as shoppers' most valued shopping partner as consumers will look for recommendations from their network.
6. Social influencers will diversify, specialize, and grow exponentially- Consumers will be able to create their own decisions with diverse opinions.
7. Influencer Marketing will be used as a fundamental branding strategy- Influencers will have a voice in consumer marketing as brands will use advertising control by staying passionate with brand advocates to sway consumers on social media.
8. Consumer Resentment of Intrusive Marketing will get deeper- Today's consumers don't want brands to be pushing to them on social media platforms. They will continue to vote with their feet by walking away from those platforms.
9. Consumers to Moblie Devices will tighten- As moblie devices have taken over photography, replace alarm clocks, and provide on-the-go access to social media platforms. The usage of moblie devices will go up this year as more consumers will use it for digital marketing.
10. 2017 will be the year that images and videos will rule- There will be new visual platforms that will take over 2017 to accompany existing ones as consumers will go towards authenic and visual storytelling.