When producing a live video, the audience feels a genuine connection to the content rather than seeing it as a social media strategy. In order to create a seamlessly successful live video for your business, you must reach your audience individually with these steps:
The holidays are almost here and if you’re anything like our office, you were playing holiday music on November 1st. Using the excitement that naturally generates around the holidays is a great way to increase engagement on your social media platforms. With the advertising field so saturated during the holiday season, we’ve rounded up some organic ways that you can get festive across social media.
One of the main problems that businessmen and women face in their daily lives is balancing their busy schedules. It is difficult to balance work life with home life, which adds unneeded stress on an already chaotic schedule. It’s important to keep yourself in check and make sure that you aren’t missing any tasks no matter how busy you may be.
Last week we had an awesome lunch and learn with THRSHLD, a full service marketing agency founded by Christan Duncan. The main focus of this learning opportunity was to dive into how to determine a target audience when developing a social advertising campaign. This process is not as simple as it seems because there are so many options and categories to choose from when building your ad. In order to create a successful social media advertisement you need to determine who you’re speaking to, when is the best time to speak to them and how to speak to them (what platform to use and what device to reach them on). The “who” is the first step and can be the most complicated, we’ve rounded up some categories to focus on when building your target audience:
The gender of your audience is a great first step in narrowing down a target audience. If you’re developing a campaign for a women’s sanitary product line, it only makes sense that the first step in your audience selection process would be target women. If you’re marketing a product that can appeal to both, it’s good to establish that as well so that you can create ads with a gender-neutral tone of voice.
The average age of your audience is another important factor to consider. Is this a product or service that will appeal to college students or housewives, or both? Narrowing down age demographics will help you gain an understanding of the needs of your audience as well as what problems you can solve for them.
When targeting an advertisement on social media, you can also specify your audience by where they are located. For example, if you’re marketing a laundry service that is only serving a particular city or area, then targeting this geographic location would be most advantageous to your campaign.
The “interests” category encompasses a large variety of ways you can target your audience. When creating a social media ad, you can narrow down your audience into categories such as favorite sports team, whether they drink alcohol, whether they like to travel and the list goes on. You can get super specific in this section to really narrow down the “perfect” customer for your business.
Once you’ve narrowed down who you are trying to reach with your advertisement, you need to know where to reach them. If you’re looking to get the attention of professionals or a business, LinkedIn might be a great avenue to pursue. If you want to attract a younger generation, they hang out on Snapchat and Instagram. The platform that you decide to run your advertisement on is very important when reaching your target audience.
With some advertisements, you can also specify what device to run the ad on. If the target audience is probably primarily using their mobile phone or tablet to surf their social media channels, then it’s best to target for those devices. Or if they will most likely be viewing your ad from a desktop at work, then it’s best to target them via a desktop ad.
Time of Day
After deciding the who and where, it’s time to determine when is the best time to reach your audience. If you’re signed up for a business account on Instagram, the insights section is a great starting place when determining the time of day that your users are most frequently scrolling through social media. Additionally, if you’re running an ad that has a call to action encouraging viewers to call your store, it doesn’t make sense to run that ad after business hours have closed. Timing is everything and determining the best time of day will help you reach the right people.
The biggest takeaway from our lunch and learn was the realization that developing an ad campaign is really just a matter of telling a story. You need to know who is listening and then curate that story to suit their preferences and needs. If you’re interested in starting an ad campaign for your business, be sure to check out our services to learn how we can support your growth and presence on social media.
Story By: Sophie Duncan
With Scroll Free September on the horizon, many conversations are turning to strategies for unplugging. While we know we couldn’t actually go cold-turkey since we’re in the social media biz, we recognize the importance of prioritizing human interactions and stepping away from our devices. At Imagine Media we encourage our team to find balance. Whether it’s a positive balance of work and life, a healthy balance of tacos in the evening and a green juice for breakfast or a balance between scrolling through Instagram on the couch while binge-watching Netflix and the next day going for a 10-mile hike -- we get it!
If you’re feeling like your relationship with the social media world is doing more harm than good, we’ve rounded up some ways that we find balance from the digital overwhelm to help you tackle Scroll Free September however you feel best.
When you’re building the brand behind your company, it’s important to establish a set of rules and guidelines to promote consistency throughout your marketing materials. Brand Guidelines serve as a resource for how to present your company to the world. From logos to fonts and brand voice to the color palette, this style guide will ensure that your company is properly represented across all platforms.
When we onboard a new partner at Imagine Media, one of our first steps is to take a deep dive into their brand guidelines. This information is vital to our team because it helps us understand the company at a very personal and detailed level. Whether it’s our copywriter trying to assume the brand voice, or our graphics team making content for their social channels, all of the information included in the brand guidelines helps us build and represent their brand.
You might be wondering what should be included in your brand guidelines. As with any creative process, a great place to start is by building a mood board. This will help set the tone and overall feel of your brand.
Another important element to include in your brand guidelines is all versions of logos and signature graphics that you would like to be utilized. Specifying color and logo size is important for people working with these elements. You can also make clear what would be an example of unacceptable logo usage in this section.
Next, you’ll want to incorporate typography and messaging. Determining the fonts that represent your brand is an important step in creating the personality of your company. Messaging and brand voice are how your brand communicates with their audience. This subject can be relatively tricky, but if you provide your creative team with a clear brand voice, it will make the copywriting process much more effective.
Finally, defining your company’s color palette is an essential part of your brand guidelines. Keeping color consistent throughout your marketing materials will support your presence online, on social media channels and throughout your marketing campaign. When you consider colors like Tiffany turquoise or Coca-Cola red, you get a true appreciation for how much color influences your brand.
Now that you are equipped with the knowledge of brand guidelines, take note of how other companies establish their timeless brands through these elements. If you’re interested in learning more about branding, we highly recommend our friends at Wildcat Echo, who have branding down to an art form!
Story By: Sophie Duncan
Our partners invest a great deal of time and assets into giving us the tools to create engaging social media content to be distributed across their social platforms. From breaking down their Top 9 to perfectly styling each photo, we take so much pride in producing a visually appealing social strategy to capture the attention of our partner’s target audience.
A challenge that we have run into, however, is that a business owner will invest in their social media strategy, but not match that investment for their website, which is where the real magic happens ($$). It’s so important to reinforce your social media channels with a user-friendly, well-designed website that is consistent with the branding throughout your social channels. If your social media strategy goal is to drive followers to your website, then it’s only logical that you’ll want to lead them to a pot of web design gold that will continue to captivate them.
A beautiful website does not need to be complicated. There are four main areas that you’ll want to focus on when designing the perfect web experience: visual hierarchy, typography, branding/colors, and of course, user experience (also known as UX).
Visual hierarchy is what signals your website visitors where their eyes should travel across the screen. As the scan the page their attention will naturally gravitate to specific points on the page depending on how your website is composed. Patterns, font size, colors, and layouts all play a role in the visual hierarchy of a page, but the main takeaway is to make sure that you’re considering how each element on the page interacts with the big picture.
Typography selection is another key player in web design. Most professionals have certain fonts that make them cringe because they are commonly used on poorly designed websites (looking at you Comic Sans). Selecting typography is an important decision in how you portray your message and brand personality. The goal is to choose a font that is easy to read, but also unique enough to evoke the overall feeling that your website is trying to achieve.
The branding and color scheme of your website should flow smoothly from your social media channel. When you begin the branding process for your business, the color scheme and voice is something that you will want to define in the early stages of development in order to make sure you are being consistent throughout all your marketing materials. Your website is the perfect platform to really dive into branding and set the stage for who you are as a business. Be consistent with colors, logos and messaging.
Above all, it’s important to make sure that your website is easy to use. If you’ve ever visited a poorly designed website, you definitely know how frustrating it can be when you can’t find what you’re looking for. Every step of your website design should have the user’s ease of experience in mind. Some excellent examples of successful UX design include RX Bar, Starbucks, and SPANX.
If you think of your social media platforms as the storefront windows designed to draw your customers into your store, then your website is the equivalent of the experience they have once they walk through the door. You want to make sure it’s consistent, visually appealing, and easy to navigate. For more information on website design, you can consult with professionals at companies such as Nicely Built or Sideways8.
Story By: Sophie Duncan
I’ve been told that being a creative isn’t a job or a personality trait, but a way you live your life. I believe that’s true for any creative field whether it’s art, dance, photography – anything. At Imagine Media, we have our own in-house creative team and they produce all our partners’ creative content. We have a photographer, videographer, graphics editor, photo stylist and creative manager. Being a social media marketing company, Imagine works with dozens of clients with all kinds of different target audiences and unique brand personalities. Here are some helpful tips and tricks we use when approaching a creative process for specific brands.
1. Research. Research. Research.
One of the most important aspects of any creative field is to do your research. Whether you’re still learning your craft, learning a new technique, or working specifically with a brand, you want to know more about what you’re trying to produce and the best way to do that. Learning about a brand’s voice is a great place to start your research.
2. Make a mood board
Making a mood board is a great way to get an overall image and aesthetic for the project you’re working on. When you look around for inspiration and pull words or images that you like or inspire you, you get a better overall idea of what you’re going for and how you want your final product to look.
3. Fail fast
As Seth Godin says in his book, “fail fast.” Get an opinion, and then get more opinions. Look for criticism and try everything. Everyone fails, especially creatives. Moving as fast as you can and getting through your failures will help you learn faster, and the better your content will become.
4. Give them something to kill
Some of the best creative advice I’ve received about presenting your ideas is give them a concept to shoot down. When communicating with people who are focused on building their brand and not specifically in creative work, they are likely to turn down a lot of ideas in hopes of building the brand in their vision. Sometimes presenting what a brand doesn’t want can help clarify what they do want. When presenting content to them, bring your best ideas forward, but also throw in a few for them to turn down, because they inevitably will.
5. Trust your content
The second-best piece of creative advice I’ve received is to trust your content. A brand hired you for a reason – they like your work! Walk into every creative situation with confidence. The brand knows that you produce great work, and you should believe it too!
Story by: Amanda Carneglia