Shawn Nesaw

Last month Instagram began offering users the option of switching to a business profile. Doing so provides profiles access to Instagram’s much-anticipated analytics features. Called Insights, these provide a slew of demographic data about followers, and the overall impressions and reach of posts. It’s a great opportunity for businesses to finally wrap their heads around how their Instagram content is performing and the ways they could potentially improve that performance.

We’ve long known that Instagram provides significantly higher engagement rates than other social media platforms. For instance, an analysis of the accounts of the top 50 global brands conducted by Forrester Research in 2015 showed that Instagram delivers over 10 times the engagement of Facebook and over 80 times that of Twitter. Up until now, however, determining who is engaging with our content, when they are most likely to engage with it and what types of content are most appealing to them was difficult. Insights can now answer all those questions for us or, at the very least, go a long way toward helping us figure out the answers ourselves.

Instagram Insights
Here’s a peek at Insights

For starters, Insights will give you graphs breaking down your followers by age, gender and location, the latter of which is a big help in figuring out what time zone you should be basing your posting schedule on. Even more helpful in this respect, however, are graphs that show when your followers are most active, broken down both by day of the week and hour of the day. Now, for instance, you can see your followers are most active on Tuesdays and Thursdays and between the hours of 1-3 p.m.

Insights also provides a selection of your top performing posts, ranked either by reach or engagement. What is particularly useful about this information is the way it’s presented, not in list form, but as a gallery. Presented in this way, it becomes much easier to tease out the common factors contributing to the high performing posts’ success. You might notice all your top posts are images of people. Or maybe you notice they all contain bright blues and greens. Now you can take action and start developing your content so your posts feature more people or specific colors or other characteristics you notice are driving reach and engagement.

Switching to a business profile is easy and can be accomplished from your phone in just a few minutes. Your posts aren’t lost in the process (you’re not starting a new account) and, in fact, you get an additional benefit beyond access to Insights – your business profile will contain a “contact” button that allows followers to easily connect with you via phone or email and even get map directions to your place of business. For brick and mortar businesses, such as restaurants or retail stores, this could certainly help drive sales.

So, while Insights does contain a few odd flaws – for instance, the reach and engagement graphs lack hard numbers, providing only relative data – the benefits are too significant to ignore. Any business wishing to truly maximize their Instagram efforts should definitely make the switch to a business profile. And if, for some reason you decide you don’t like the business profile, switching back is as easy as the initial switch.

A. Bright Idea specializes in strategic social media planning to ensure our clients brand and key messages stay top of mind for their audiences. If your business needs help transferring Insights data into meaningful, strategic next steps, A. Bright Idea is always here to help.

If you have something to add to this story, share it in the comment section below!

ABI_headshot_Seth

Seth covers technology, social media, and strategic communication. Seth is a collaborative strategic communications professional with a breadth of experience in journalism, government affairs, public relations and event planning, Seth manages client communication projects for A. Bright Idea’s West Coast office

Tweet at Seth:  @SethDonlin

Katie MacNichol

Whether you are a small business, nonprofit or large entity, developing a creative campaign can be a challenge. You may be thinking: How can I stand out among the competition? How can I make sure my brand is represented well? Will the campaign effectively support my goals? How can I get my audience to respond? What do I want them to know about my business?

Let us break down the elements that go into making a strong, strategic and measurable communication campaign.

Based on the Dragonfly Model, we categorize campaign elements into four sections:

  1. Focus
  2. Grab attention
  3. Engage
  4. Take action

When you consider all four pieces (or wings) of the model, your campaign will come together to work at peak efficiency and remain rooted in meeting your end goal. Like when a dragonfly flies – it needs all four wings to work in tandem in order to get where it aims to go.

To start, we focus your campaign on a single concrete, measurable goal. This will ensure tools and tactics implemented through the campaign remain grounded and focused on one thing. So – what do you want to accomplish?

Next, we grab the attention of your audience. To do this, we make sure to incorporate a personal and visual call-to-action to engage your audience and make them focus on your brand.

Take Whirlpool for example. The brand’s most recent advertising campaign organically grabs the attention of their target audience by making a personal appeal, visually.

(PS – If you’re not on the verge of happy tears right now, you should be.)

Now, time to engage. When planning tools and tactics to most effectively engage your audience, empathy toward your audience helps to increase engagement – so long, of course, as the empathetic message doesn’t appear forced. (Faking empathy can make your audience feel betrayed, so, if you’re going to use empathy as an engagement tactic, always make sure to come by it naturally!)

And finally, it’s time to take action. One of the best tips for getting your audience to take action – less is more. Keep your messaging obvious but clever, telling your audience exactly how, when and why to take action toward what you want them to do. Make it easy for them!

When you’re ready to embark on your next creative campaign, A. Bright Idea is ready to help you fly to new heights!

Katie MacNichol

By: Katie MacNichol, Assistant Director of Advertising & PR

Considering how brands can most effectively and efficiently engage customers, the recent webinar hosted by Social Media Today – Moving from Screen to Device and Back Again: The Omni-Channel Experience – focused on an omni-channel communication campaign approach versus one with a multi-channel concentration.

First, what does omni-channel mean and how does it differ from multi-channel?

  • Omni-channel – a well executed implementation of communication that provides a continuity of experience; how does each medium build on the others to continue the customer’s seamless and optimized experience
  • Multi-channel – communicating the same message across many different mediums with no particular focus on seamlessness

Ultimately, omni-channel focuses on the continuation of experience, whereas multi-channel focuses on frequency without necessarily growing the customer experience with the brand.

Within the webinar, Social Media Today highlighted five important steps for transitioning from a multi-channel approach to an omni-channel one, including:

  • Consider the customer journey
  • Identify the contributing elements
  • Identify the friction points
  • Identify the enablers (ones that can help to remove friction points)
  • Perform and audit capabilities (then fill in the gaps of the customer journey)

As strategic professionals, we use these steps at A. Bright Idea to better build plans that break silos and avoid segmenting a customer’s journey. This focus ensures all messaging, tools and tactics focus on the brand story and build webs, not funnels.

For example, when communicating to an audience segment a campaign should build a web of options for individuals to select how they want to learn about and/or engage with the brand. This provides the audience with choices, rather than a funnel approach, which only gives one hub and limits the audience’s options for engagement.

Most importantly in addition to these considerations, as with any communication campaign, research remains an important initial step, while also always keeping in mind the end-user and segmenting audiences in order to develop strategy that focuses on unique needs. Considering segments and pulling from research adds to the idea of “social care” – connecting with each audience segment where they already are (i.e. Twitter or Facebook versus a traditional call center).

Each of these elements come together to ensure an omni-channel approach to communicating a brand message to audiences remains most effective and efficient in creating an ever-growing experience, versus one that doesn’t expand past the initial engagement or provide anything of additional value to the customer.

Staying trendy in social media

abimaster | November 12, 2014

At A. Bright Idea, social media trends, statistics, best practices and innovative ideas are part of our daily operations, and staying on top of these industry changes prove crucial for our clients’ impact across multiple social media platforms. Social media serves as a free networking and outreach tool to build awareness and rapport with an audience. Businesses can build interest in their brands by posting relevant industry articles, news, events, photos, products and more – but how do you stay relevant and compete in this growing competitive environment? Social media offers the ability for businesses to segment and specifically target audiences with offers or messaging based on user profiles. If used strategically, social media provides the opportunity to elevate awareness, generate and sustain loyalty and reach new audiences.

Here are some quick, recent facts about social media:

  • 72% of all internet users are now active on social media
  • 89% of 18-29 year olds use social media
  • On average, Americans spend 16 minutes per hour on social media
  • 71% of users access social media from a mobile device
  • One million websites are accessed using the “Login with Facebook”
  • 23% of Facebook users login at least 5 times per day
  • 47% of Americans say Facebook is their #1 influencer of purchases

StayingTrendyInSM

With not only more social media platforms than ever, each social media outlet is changing every day, from the way you can advertise, to the layout of your brand’s page, to the best tips for engaging your audience. Keeping your social media active and fresh requires your due diligence, so here are some tips to engage your audience across many social platforms:

  • Photos, photos, photos.
    • Studies show posts get 85% higher engagement on Facebook and 35% more retweets.
  • Utilize Facebook advertising, but target your audience, even just a little goes a long way
  • Engage with other profiles and users, comment/reply to posts
  • Ask questions, offer facts/tips and utilize contests or giveaways
  • Repurpose content across platforms and website
  • Show a brand personality
  • Utilize your analytics data to capture audiences, posting times and more

A. Bright Idea’s expertise in social media continues to engage audiences for our clients, either through social media strategies implemented by our clients, or allowing A. Bright Idea to implement a strategy for you.
Email info@abrightideaonline.com or call 410-836-7180 | 707-935-1377 for questions.

 

Building Brand Loyalty Through Visual Media

abimaster | August 5, 2014

Marketing businesses using Facebook and Twitter has become a growing tactic in marketing plans across all industries. Social media platforms serve as an effective tool for circulating branded messaging, but Internet usage and trends continue to change every day.

In a recent article, Bulldog Reporter found that 90% of all Internet traffic and 50% of mobile traffic is now made up of photos and video. For growing visual media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, this means an opportunity for continued expansion. Instagram’s more than 200 million users make up an attractive market of young people for PR and marketers. Digital media reporting site Mashable has also found that 1 in 5 U.S. adults are now using Pinterest. These large groups of users of both platforms are at the ready to receive visual content that could ultimately lead to better connecting and capitalizing on consumer and brand relationships.

With the expanding use of visual media, it is more important than ever to control your brand’s messaging. People make decisions based on trust and brand promise. Using photos and visuals helps create another tangible connection to brands. As we can see from these recent statistics, it is becoming a greater means of communication – that old adage “a picture’s worth a thousand words.” Having a strategic presence in visual media can serve as a key tool to further brand development as part of an integrated marketing approach. Everything you do or say influences what people think about your brand, so providing them with a visual example of what your brand promises also helps demonstrate that your brand delivers on this promise.

No matter the medium, the ability to connect users with your brand is crucial to developing brand loyalty, and will ultimately lead to a better consumer experience. It’s important to assess your own brand strategy as it compares to trends, as not all trends serve brands equally. With the expanding use of visual media, now is an opportune time to analyze your own brand and consider the most strategic uses of visual media and how it can potentially become part of your integrated marketing approach.

Remember when media was as simple as TV, radio and the newspaper? Today, it’s no longer just a few platforms in competition. In fact, here are some of the top media platforms competing for audience attention:

  • Television – 85 percent of American’s watch TV
  • Laptop/computer – 68 percent of American’s use a computer
  • Radio – 65 percent of American’s listen to the radio
  • Print (papers/magazines) – 61 percent of American’s read print media
  • Mobile – 55 percent of American’s consume media on their mobile device
  • Tablet – 28 percent of American’s consume media on their tablet device

* Source: http://www.americanpressinstitute.org/publications/reports/survey-research/personal-news-cycle/

That’s just a glimpse of what forms of media advertising are available. Now consider cable, satellite radio, Internet radio, online and website advertising, social media and more. It’s enough to make you cringe when thinking of the numerous methods available today to reach your audience. It’s also very easy for organizations to lose sight of their strategic focus when facing this increasingly fragmented advertising world. A business’ strategic approach needs to focus on their goals, their target audience and their methods of consumption, as well as a specific call-to-action that will impact that audience.

Developing an integrated and strategic communications approach, including multiple media touch points, as well as incorporating other forms of marketing and public relations allows businesses to create an impression with the audience by using fragmentation as an advantage. By focusing on the underlying goals and creating a specific and strategic approach, unique and targeted advertising opportunities exist to brand an organization and still maintain a reasonable budget.

In the instance of advertising, the point you should always consider before implementing a campaign – it’s better to buy 100 ads spread across five platforms reaching 50 percent of your audience if the total is 500,000 impressions than 100 ads on one platform reaching 75 percent of your audience if the total is 10,000 impressions. Taking into consideration consumer habits and consumption, having your campaign run in multiple forms of media may give the impression of a larger spend, hit the consumer on multiple platforms, and build the brand confidence by being included on media that the consumer already values or is loyal to.

Because of fragmentation, programmatic media buying driven by data continues to change media buying, pushes pricing and limits availability. We specifically combat this for clients by finding unique ways to break through that clutter while maximizing your budget, targeting the right audience for your goals and driving your key messages and calls-to-action for results.

If it’s time to evaluate your approach and ensure you’re using fragmentation to your advantage, call us for a marketing audit and analysis!

PersNewsCycle-Exhibit_01

http://www.americanpressinstitute.org/publications/reports/survey-research/personal-news-cycle/

A breakdown of Twitter’s analytics feature

abimaster | September 25, 2013

Twitter analytics are here! Learn your followers’ interests, understand your demographics and see which tweets work and don’t work with just the click of a button. Following in the footsteps of their social media competitor Facebook, Twitter is starting to give users access to profile analytics. Still in the rollout phase, businesses can use these tools to understand and reach their target market and send meaningful and efficient tweets. Soon, all businesses will be able to utilize these helpful tools.

Next time you log into Twitter, select the “Twitter Ads” option from your settings bar and follow the directions as given. Once you have logged in again, you will be able to choose from “timeline activity” or “followers,” these options will teach you all kinds of things about your online marketing efforts. Play around with Twitter’s new tools and learn how social media is working for you!

Timeline Activity Option Features

  • Mentions, follows and unfollows in any given day (over last 30 days)
  • Number of favorites and retweets for each individual tweet
  • Categorized list of tweets that performed “best”
  • Categorized list of “good” tweets
  • Number of clicks on a link in a tweet
  • Description of how tweets performed in comparison to normal reach (ex: 3x normal reach, 15x normal reach)

If you notice a large amount of unfollows for one particular day, it could be because the conversation topic did not resonate well with your audience or there were too many tweets sent that day. By using the graph, you can find the specific date and go back to your previous tweets to see what you were talking about. This tool allows you to see what tweets aren’t working and what topics your followers don’t want to hear about. Gather similar information from your mentions and follows on specific days.

The number of clicks per link gives you the ability to see how many people are visiting your site and what topics stand out to your followers. The “best” and “good” lists, along with the descriptions of how tweets perform in comparison to normal reach help show twitter profiles what types of posts they should repeat and how many people they are reaching.

All of the features offered under the “Timeline Activity” option allow businesses to gather demographic information about their followers, their interests, what people enjoy reading and talking about and the number of people they are reaching. After learning this information, businesses can determine what type of tweets to send and not send in order to reach their target audience in the best possible manner.

Followers Option Features

  • Top interests among followers
  • Unique interests among followers
  • Top cities among followers
  • Who your followers follow
  • Gender
  • Number of followers over a given time period

Learning the top cities among your followers is a great way to perform location-based marketing and promote events or news in specific areas. Having access to the gender of your followers allows you to understand your demographic and create tweets based upon interests of specific genders.

The list about who “your followers also follow” is a unique tool with many benefits. You can utilize this tool to find who else your audience is interested in and new industry profiles worth following. Checking out this groups’ tweets can give you new ideas for social media campaigns and what tweets might be working for them, and utilized in strategic partnerships in social media campaigns.

Having access to a list of your followers’ interests is also a great list of possible hashtags your followers would enjoy. These interests also provide options for topics to tweet about. By tweeting things based on your follower’s interest, you are bound to gain more followers, produce tweets with higher performance and increase interaction with your followers.

These added analytics allow businesses to enhance their social media in proficient and effective ways. Businesses can learn how their current Twitter efforts are working and use those results to make meaningful changes in order to position messaging around their target audience. The list of features teaches users many things and is something businesses should utilize as soon as available for their account.

For more information on the newest social media trend and how to integrate it into your marketing strategy, send us an email to our Multimedia Manager, David Wells, at david@abrightideaonline.com.

Sample Twitter Analytics Page
Sample Twitter Analytics Page

Client News – Summer 2013

abimaster | September 24, 2013
  • This fall, look for A. Bright Idea’s new creative and production for Stella Maris’ Anniversary Campaign. Highlighting the remarkable service of a leader in elder care, A. Bright Idea offers strategic marketing support in celebration of Stella Maris’ 60 years of long term care and 30 years of hospice care in Maryland. The anniversary campaign includes a custom anniversary logo, strategic marketing and communications plan, media campaign and video production, as well as marketing collateral and event support.
  • The John Carroll School launches its 50th anniversary year with a custom logo and timeline-style brochure, including vintage photos and milestone dates, designed by A. Bright Idea.
  • Grapevine Catering is moving into a new space in Santa Rosa, CA where both the catering company will operate and their Earth’s Bounty Fine Foods products will be sold. The new storefront, Earth’s Bounty Kitchen & Wine Bar will have a take away menu and artisan produced products along with a full-service café and wine bar. A. Bright Idea supports the businesses with branding, signage, marketing, website, collateral design, email marketing and more.
  • Flavor Cupcakery supports wounded veterans and boasts community spirit with “It’s a Flavorful Life” – a week of promotions and special offers from the cupcakery and fellow small businesses in Bel Air and Cockeysville, MD. A. Bright Idea provided a custom event mark, collateral and PR support for the campaign.
  • A. Bright Idea designed the collateral and promotional materials for the Sonoma Valley Teen Services annual fundraising event, Cowboy Cab. Held at Larson Family Winery, the event sold out this year with over 200 guests in attendance. Check out a photo from the event here.
  • A. Bright Idea positions Synergy Integration Advisors for growth with a brand refresh, custom information graphic and icons, capabilities statement, brochure, document templates and stationery.
  • Celebrating 40 years in business, A. Bright Idea develops the Kenwood Kitchens Dream Kitchen contest, including advertising creative, print collateral and web page design, where one lucky winner will receive a $40,000 dream kitchen! Have you entered?

A. Bright Idea was selected among 20 other agencies to work with the Yountville Chamber of Commerce on destination marketing initiatives, providing marketing execution strategies with the goal of enhancing the current branding, programs and promotions for the organization. Known as the “Culinary Capital,” Yountville is nestled in Napa Valley, California and invites visitors to “Taste Life Here!”

Yountville was named after George Calvert Yount, a settler who came to the region in Napa Valley in 1831. Two years after Yount’s death, the town was renamed Yountville in honor of its founder and his contributions. George Yount was the first person to plant grape vines in the valley, forever putting Yountville on the map.

Today, Yountville is a small eclectic town with less than 3,000 residents and a premier destination in Wine Country. Known as a “one-stop-destination,” the town’s busiest tourist months fall in September and October, however on average Yountville has 6,111 visitors per day! The city is home to many award-winning wineries, authentic small town markets and world-renowned restaurants. Visitors and residents enjoy a variety of activities from hot air balloon rides and golfing, to art galleries and shopping, to wine tours and exciting events. Yountville is a remarkable town, rich in history and flavor – a true delight certain to satisfy any palette.

yountville logo

Quick Fix – Planning Your Digital Strategy

abimaster | February 20, 2013

With so many options for marketing and advertising your business, your brand, your strategy should never be 100% focused on one medium. In fact, an integrated communication plan, combining marketing initiatives, public relations support and advertising continues to help businesses reach their key stakeholders more effectively.

As part of this integrated strategy, let’s focus on a rapidly growing form of advertising that is proving to have positive effects on businesses and their target audiences – digital advertising.

There are various forms of digital advertising – banner ads, video pre-roll, and of course mobile! If digital advertising is something completely new to you, take a moment to review our tips for a Quick Fix in building your digital strategy, defining the various opportunities with digital advertising as well as ways to help you determine if digital advertising is something A. Bright Idea can help you plan as part of your advertising strategy.

 

First, ask yourself a few questions:

  • What are your goals?
  • Does your present advertising approach directly support those goals?
  • Are you tracking/will you be able to track the results towards your goals?
  • What is your profitable conversion rate? (What will make the campaign financially successful?)

Once you’ve evaluated these questions and have determined that digital advertising should be part of your advertising mix, the next step is to determine the best digital platform to use. There are a variety of options available, with more presented almost daily! Based on an integrated approach, below are a few examples based on online advertising tied to a print publication. There are a number of radio and television networks offering online advertising opportunities, which also offers another medium to promote the online property, and as a result, your advertising with that site.

Digital Advertising Terms

If you’re considering incorporating a digital strategy into your integrated communication plan, be sure to consider your options wisely. Because of the format, sometimes purchasing by impressions, there is a number of other considerations that must be reviewed in order to ensure a smart and effective advertising buy. For more information on this advertising medium or to develop your own digital advertising strategy contact A. Bright Idea’s advertising and interactive specialists.