Build An Iconic Brand – Not Just Any Brand.

Last week, I had a refresher’s course in Disrupting Branding and Marketing to feed my thoughts with new perspectives. I couldn’t help but share what I’ve learned. I had to re-evaluate my tactics and take a step back. Learning never stops and I’m glad I attended the event with much gusto.

Disruptive Branding, is this another term coined by another marketer? Truth to be told, a marketer should be leaders of coining new words to make an impact. Looking at the dictionary – Disruptive, have two polar opposite definition:

  1. Troublesome, unruly, badly behaved and undisciplined, or,
  2. Innovative and groundbreaking.

Keeping those definitions in mind, I was reminded on failed ventures I’ve tried (and what worked) to which I learned so much in my everyday practice. As a marketer, you’d have to be entrepreneurial and put yourself in the position the entrepreneur.

There’s no sense in building brands just the heck of not unless you purposely just want to spend your time conceptualising, putting components together for a wireframe, sourcing and the entire jazz just because. And, yes, sometime not too long ago, I have gone through this phase.

In order to successfully build an iconic brand, you’d have to stay away from the clutter. Be a newcomer who embraces and introduces a new normal. Think as an authority, not just another competitor. Being in the neutral state or in-between of things won’t make you and your brand float in abyss but it may rather set you up closer to failure and wasting precious efforts, time and money.

Create a Movement

As much as you have the entrepreneurial mindset, you’d always have to have the cause in mind – about 60% of it next to content and community of both 20% of the 100% mindset design equation.

If it frustrates you so much, do something about it and be the solution. Solve a problem and put it on top of your priority. The art of sub-communication will follow through – you’ll eat, breathe, sleep and wake-up wanting to solve the pain.

There must be a better way and an easier way to make this entire process simple!

Genuineness

People can read your intention first over the words you say. When you’re as genuinely authentic and mean so much to be the solution to be the value-added and the cure to pain, it’ll show. It shows.

Communicate

Be a pioneer and don’t be a maybe. Position yourself or your brand as a new category in a cluttered market. Don’t be an influencer who’d just accept anything free but rather be an authority wherein you make an impact, get endorsed and enthusiastically be talked about.

There is power in an authentic enthusiast.

With the right cause and positioning, as you search endlessly and breathe through your cause – people will walk in and ask for your brand rather than you always knocking on doors to convince them the need to allow you to enter.

Don’t stress much on the aesthetics, focus on what makes it an answer, a solution, a value-added brand that magnifies heaven made on earth.


Digital Analytics is Important. Learn it.

If you’re a marketing professional venturing and integrating digital to your practice, you should haste your way on catching up as the business world is changing rapidly. In this generation wherein everything is accessible 24/7 days, dealt within a click of your pointer, and open-ended with whatever it is that you need.

It has been apparent that our marketing practice has further progressed, data have become the powerful tool we all need before we proceed and move forward. Marketers of both large and small businesses are leveraging more on evidences according to insights provided which we value.

Which resources or tools can we use for this? For most, those social media channels which we frequent already have included their own analytics dashboard for our free access (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest).

According to Google Analytics Solutions, “Digital analytics is the analysis of qualitative and quantitive data from your business and the competition to drive a continual improvement of the online experience that your customers and potential customers have which translates to your desired outcomes for both online and offline.”

In every campaign, we set objectives. Through analytics, it helps us marketers to measure outcomes and have base line for our efforts.

In the online world, there are five common business objectives:

  • For ecommerce sites, an obvious objective is selling products or services.
  • For lead generation sites, the goal is to collect user information for sales teams to connect with potential leads.
  • For content publishers, the goal is to encourage engagement and frequent visitation.
  • For online informational or support sites, helping users find the information they need at the right time is of primary importance.
  • For branding, the main objective is to drive awareness, engagement and loyalty.
Resource:  Google Analytics support.

With these objectives, with each tactic, you’d have to put the ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ conversions behavioural data separately on segments to understand what experiences drive the right outcomes from the channels you’ve used.

Macro conversions are those big purchases (resulting to ROI) from your ecommerce sites meanwhile Micro conversions are those side efforts from the site such as coupons acquired or email subscriptions (resulting to Leads).

Learning to understand your analytics through demographics and behaviour would make you have basis on which works and what doesn’t or how would you alter your campaign to reach your business’ objectives.

Basically, knowing how your audience interacts with your website is crucial for your success. The best way to know is through the data which shows your traffic stats. You may also plug-in Google Analytics to trace for your sites and make use of the social media channels dashboards for each channel’s analytics. your marketing efforts should generate revenue and these analytics should prove if your efforts are working to your advantage.

Learn and understand Google Analytics, it’s FREE! All you need now is yourself and spend time on educating yourself. Go for it, it’ll be a huge asset for your practice.

 

Instagram Stories on Influencer Marketing

Oops, Instagram did it again.

Just when we’re all getting used to Snapchat, Instagram has launched Instagram Stories – allowing you to add photos and 10-second video clips to your “story” for all your followers to see. It’s another tool to expose your brand in ‘real time’ and more ‘organic’ than Instagram videos. Stories allows you to clip with your own doodles, captions and stickers saved for display for 24 hours.

Being a marketing practitioner, we all have to be updated on these social media platforms.

If you have an established number of following on Instagram, jumping over to Snapchat wouldn’t be as motivating as continuing what you’ve started on Instagram however if you’re considering the Millenials as your target market; Instagram would become a supplement from your Snapchat and having to consolidate efforts on both channels would expand your reach.

How can it be of help for your campaign? Instagram is great for your business as it gives followers the ability to give honest feedback by sending comments sent directly to your IG inbox compared to Snapchat’s judgement free platform wherein everything else is fleeting, silly and fun.

For the influencers of the brands, Instagram adds more depth to a campaign as it allows your influencer to give them a preview of their life. The option to provide a glimpse into behind-the-scenes of a certain photo or video posted on the Instagram feed; unfiltered, unedited and direct.

Regardless how you’d want to use Instagram Stories, this feature certainly adds up to your tactics for your campaigns.

How do you create your first story?

Where do you start? It’s quite simple. Don’t put too much stress on being in front of the camera, you can shy yourself away from selfies and showcase your surroundings. If you’re on a photoshoot: you can cover the bloopers, behind-the-scenes preparation, and give a preview of what’s to expect on your next instagram video or instagram post.

Of course, this is just a suggestion. When you’re all done, you can tap the checkmark to upload it to your Instagram Story. Voila!

Be Consistent.

Just like in any other social media channels and practices – consistency is always key. Now, you may not need to post all behind-the-scenes, just be yourself and tell a story. Being an influencer means you’re credible and authentic. Nothing pretentious.

Keep the brands in mind, stay aligned with the setting of the theme/subject, be your own paparazzi by sharing some footage, include your audience to the story and always keep a strong call to action towards your brand.

Do you think Instagram stories is perfect for influencer marketing? Share your thoughts!

Social Media Core Lessons

Managing social media accounts aren’t as easy as how it looks. It takes a lot of time, effort, analysis and studying to come up with strategies, visual content curation and lest not forget, community management.

Whenever I get asked on how do we get to successfully manage accounts, there’s no template answer nor a go-to response.  Setting up the accounts is just a small piece of the execution – the bulk goes to the thought on how to build an audience, engage, develop relationships and to always keep in mind the returns, on ultimately sell.

Where do you start? How do you proceed? putting it into a perspective from old traditional marketing efforts, it applies just the same regardless what industry you’re on, business goals, brand differentiation or principle.

As a freelancer and a team member who had the chance to learn from a systemised organisation. Here are few lessons I’ve learned:

  1. Be married with your Social Media Accounts – you’ll heave the breathe your campaign. The dedication you put in requires commitment, the kind wherein you’re in for the long ride.
  2. Educate yourself – This is the beauty of handling social media accounts. There will never be a dull moment nor will you be stuck in routines. The extra learning will engage you, to which you’ll partake for your audience.  In terms of your skills, don’t be afraid to explore and try other strategies. Listen to your data and see how they respond.  You’ll have to always change up your ways and in principle, progress. See what works and what doesn’t. The social media game differs. You do know Facebook’s algorithms changes almost every 2 weeks. So much room to learn and experience!
  3. Consistency and Fidelity – I’ve always been told to treat it like marriage (wait, I’m not even there yet!). You’ll have to attend to your brand/business/product’s needs day in and day out, and stay relevant. Posting, answering and being available consistently. Being committed to consistency gives your audience the impression you’d want to impart – reliable and trustworthy.  Just like marriage, action speaks louder than words and your words are important the same way you do it.
  4. Be Ethical – Each business have ethical practice, there are restrictions and marketing ethics to be followed especially when you’re handling medical accounts however in general, you’d have to reputably consider your audience – don’t spam their mails, avoid negativity, be accommodating and receptive, be customer-centric.
  5. Time and Patience – Nothing in this world can be done overnight, except when you’ve got all the budget to get into the reach you’d want to capture however in terms of returns, you can never cheat a good campaign. Engaging with your audience takes time and patience.
  6. Manage expectations, It’s all about the budget! – Don’t promise the moon and the stars nor the universe. Organic reach isn’t the way to go anymore especially if you’ve got a steep timeline. Present a budget and where it’ll be used. Boost your campaigns, just like how you seek help to disseminate your flyers back in the day.

What lessons have you learned in managing social media accounts?  Would love to exchange thoughts!  You may also follow me on twitter: kassypajarillo

 

Leverage on LinkedIn to Market Educational Institutions

More often than not, when anyone goes online and connects to LinkedIn, that person is most likely looking for a job. Very rarely does one use the site the same way as Facebook or even the archaic, now defunct Friendster (though there are some groups that have noticed the rise of socializing on LinkedIn). More often than not, matters on LinkedIn are kept professional – strictly business.

There are ways, however, to still be able to use LinkedIn for Marketing, Promotions and Communications purposes. It still is a social network site, after all. One that is geared towards the professional arena, but still built on the foundations of people who know people.

“But what about schools?” you may ask. It’s true that marketing an educational institution is different from marketing a certain product. One may measure marketing success in relation to units sold, whereas it isn’t so clear cut in schools. Despite this oddity, Educational Institutions may still use LinkedIn for Marketing Communications and Branding purposes.

Register as Employer 

Let’s face it. LinkedIn IS a go-to for job seekers. So using the Human Resource Management function of the site is the most practical reason for visiting. Through the different networks, groups, and connections, your school will be able to find the right people (whether academic or non-academic) to help it move towards its Mission of Educational and Academic Excellence. As you find the right people, your customers (the students and other stakeholders) will serve to promote the school better through word of mouth.

 

Did you know Linkedin came up with LinkedIN for Higher Education?

List under Universities Category

Just like with other Social Network Sites, LinkedIn employs a search bar for quick information retrieval. Sometimes, though, searching using generic keywords may not guarantee that your brand will be found. LinkedIn has a number of subcategories under which you can narrow down your search (by clicking on the symbol to the left of the search bar) such as People (if you’re searching for a specific individual), Jobs (for employment opportunities), and even Universities (for educational institutions). Now, LinkedIn doesn’t bother with technicalities such as status (some educational institutions aren’t classified as universities), so this includes all schools.

Once the University Page is made, it can be searched through the subcategory (which increases the likelihood of result generation compared to a general search), and the page can also post updates and announcements as a brand.

School Administrators as Influencers

Unless their current job in the educational institution is their first one after graduation (which is possible), then school administrators have their own professional experiences to share. School personalities normally have much more to impart as they climb the ladder to corporate and educational success. In fact, school officials normally share more than corporate officials because as they make their way up the corporate strata, they also earn more academic experience as evidenced by diplomas, Master’s and Doctorate degrees, and other certificates. Having these individual as Linkedin Influencers is not only good for their professional image, but also for the school as well, as they carry the name with them in every post and update.

Employees as  Brand Advocates

As a social network, LinkedIn increases the chance of brand exposure the more users are attached to the brand. If, for example your school has around a thousand employees, and all of them are connected to the school brand on Linkedin, then that means their other connections on the site may also see whatever post or update the University Page has, as these will appear on their wall due to the engagement of their common connection. And, as social network hierarchy goes, the higher the reach, the bigger the potential for engagement.

Monitor/Track Alumni

Aside from also employing Alumni as brand ambassadors (as with employees, see #4), University Alumni can also be monitored for outcomes purposes. Schools normally track the progress of their graduates to see what has become of them after graduation, which tends to reflect the competency of the school as a quality educational institution. More renowned schools like Harvard and Yale aren’t famous because of the number of graduates they have produced, but because of the quality outcomes of the said graduates. On a social network such as LinkedIn, these graduates can also serve as influencers, sharing their knowledge and corporate experience to the online professional public.

With the right combination and application of the aforementioned examples, community managers of educational institutions will be able to carry their reputation and brand far across the realm of cyberspace and into the dimension of recall, especially to the curious newcomer who has not been influenced by territorial reputation.

This article was contributed by JC Zozobrado for JustKas‘ DigiThink!

Your Marketing Tool: Instagram

Promotion is persuasive in nature. This strategy can influence customers by either their intellect or to their emotions. Awareness builds interest in the brand, and it does costs time, money and efforts.

Let’s put the traditional promotion on the sidelines and focus on the digital side of persuasion.

Behind the recent update of Instagram, undoubtedly, it has recognized on how quick they’ve been becoming a focal point for brands in terms of social media promotion to connect with consumers.

Promising an even more visual experience, the platform had to communicate a direct message stating the obvious – an overhaul. “Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become,” the company’s official blog release states.  With the addition to the filters, its sister-app Boomerang, Layout and Hyperlapse, the logo was intended to match the color schemes and marry it all together.

Being dubbed as the new ‘King of Social Engagement’, Instagram took over the engagement rate through the exchange of hashtags and visual campaigns which proves to show consumers fondness and trail of decision making towards online shopping and brand support.

But just as how each brand evolves every 5 years, it was time for the old polaroid get its upgrade and be at par with the flatlay trend following Uber, AirBnB and Google.

From its beginnings, Instagram has added the chat feature wherein you may directly message the handle admin, forward a certain photo directly to reference your query, group chat and a much modern dashboard which has become more eye-pleasing and easier to navigate. It still has the simple flat buttons which still highlights what Instagram is for – putting content first.

Just like how you persuade consumers, your strategy may change despite the business plan, adopting what the market needs but the story-telling and content build still remain.

Good news is, you may now follow Instagram matrix adding to the roster of analytics.  Hootsuite and Sprout  have adopted the data, making your Instagram even more lucrative for your campaign reviews.

What do you think of the new logo?

Kassy Pajarillo is a woman of many hats. She contributes  actively to traditional dailies as well as other Digital content pages, handles social media accounts and other marketing needs.   A passionate marketing professional continuously learning yet will forever be an hotelier. 

Content Series: Be a Better Writer

I’ve asked several people and professionals on how they’ve become a better writer. I sought for answers on how do you get to improve your content for your clients and your own brand? Their answers and advice were simple:

Read and write more. For yourself and for other people. 

It may sound easy but everything improves with practice just as how you prepare for a marathon, or how often you practice up until you achieve your personal bests. Write, write as often as you can. As you write, you get more confident and fluent. As  you self-edit yourself after writing your drafts, have others edit it and allow them to tell you on how to improve your ways. Ask them if the message were sent across. Allow them to mark your drafts with red marks, periods or lines – don’t take it too personally but take it seriously.

My Dad, a veteran in writing press releases, editorials and stories would constantly remind me to read your piece with fresh eyes and give yourself time to perfect your piece before you publish.  He’s been brutal with what I’ve written, edited every piece I’ve sent to the dailies and took his feedback seriously. Up until this day, I allow myself, and others to criticize my work. There’s no such thing as perfection, only progression.

If you’re feeling stuck and limited,  read through other contents and feel their voice. Make use of other content as inspiration and let it move you. Read more about the certain topic you’re assigned or you’ve given yourself to write about, test your writing and voice out your thoughts freely.

Your thoughts matter and then you become a better writer.

Content Series: Personify.

Writing is not an easy task. Just like giving birth, there are precautions and prepartions that needs to be attended to. In completion to the idea or concept, a content marketer should develop an understanding on who your readers are.

  • Are they Male or Female?
  • How young or old are they?
  • Do they have children or grand-kids?
  • What are their day-to-day lives like?

But most importantly ask yourself:

  • What would their key takeaway be like when they read your content.
  • Identify their educational level – How will you communicate your informative and educational posts?
  • Should it be corporate, personal or a touch of both?

In curating content, just like a person, you’d have marry the thought to how the site looks like. What is the persona or character of the site? Marry them together. You’re the voice of the posts, be the voice it needs to be. Go ahead and name that persona – either it’s  Ryan,  Ben, or Tina.

  • What are his or her goals?
  • What does s/he easily do?
  • Attitude and principles?
  • Goals?
  • Fashion lifestyle?

Live through that persona. Keep that persona in mind in all execution.

As content authors, we should make sure we don’t think like our users or readers but do write what we think our users or readers will understand because we understand.

These personas can help as you give birth to progressively grow your calendar especially in terms of discussing changes in the content.

Have you ever thought about the persona of your content?

Kassy Pajarillo is a woman of many hats. She contributes  actively for traditional dailies as well as other Digital content pages.  A freelance digital marketer and a passionate hotelier.

Do you need Email Marketing?

As much as I dread hefty emails I receive every day from all the subscriptions I indulged into, it has become a good research tool on what sort of content do marketers apply on their campaigns – Subject, format, timing and frequency.

I used to tell people email marketing doesn’t work and it’s junk but come to think of it, if it’s not effective, how come I subscribed on so much? How come brands and marketers apply it to their mix? You can’t generalize something if it’s not working for you but everything changed when I ventured on adding it on to my personal campaigns when I worked for a Sports Club as a Sales Consultant.

Email marketing brought the business in. It gave me the chance to reach out to pursue leads, seal deals and exceeded my quota by 5.

Do you really need Email Marketing? Yes.  The strategies are basic but here are the lessons I’ve learned:

Story-telling

I’m no content-writer albeit I’ve always been a blogger and contributed to few dailies and online portals. When you’ve distinguished your market and know your brand by heart; persuasion wouldn’t be much of a challenge. Invite them to your open-house events, keep them looped in on updates and make them feel connected.

Be informative even if the price had to be mentioned. People want to be educated rather than being sold to.

Metrics

I wasn’t a stickler for metrics back in the day but these data serves a purpose. It helps you know what kind of content does your client read, which is more compelling, what information would they want to hear from you?

Eventually, you’ll notice the ratio:

  • Connection, a better relationship and trust with your subscribers.
  • Replies and engagement
  • Open rates and click-through rates for your email campaigns
  • Sales and lead generation.

Call to Action

Have a solid intent on why you’re sending that email.  Whether it’s for sales, website visits, or lead generation. You should always have a strong call to action at the end of the email. These are links where they’ll be able to acquire the certain product you’ve mentioned, where can they find you and how can they reach you for further details? No hard selling. It’s just like handing out your business card in order for them to further get to know you.

At the end of the day,  you’re sending out these emails not just to promote but rather sustain. You would want your readers to be drawn in right from the start and you want them to keep on reading.

What do you think of Email Marketing? Has it been working for you? Go ahead, let’s share thoughts.  Say Hi on Twitter @kassypajarillo or comment below.

Kassy Pajarillo is a woman of many hats. She used to contribute  actively for traditional dailies as well as other Digital content pages.  A passionate marketer and hotelie.  

What is your Digital Strategy?

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Every marketer needs to abreast himself to the realm of the cyberspace. With more than 2 Billion Facebook active users it proves to show the majority are on social media. How do you transition or add the digital marketing aspect to your department’s execution plan? You need a Digital Strategy.

Learning few ropes from the marketing agency practices, every marketer must have a sense of clarity, coherency and put your efforts on both agency and client situation: strategy vision and profit.

Investigate

Get to know your brand like getting to know your future spouse. Know as much information you need from the vision-mission of the company to how it matches the brand and products and analyze.

  • What is the brand’s current or must be social footprint?
  • Is there any brand messaging?
  • What kind of emotion should it relate to your consumers? A drive from want to need.
  • How do the consumers react to the brand/product? or how should the consumers  adopt to the brand/product?
  • How could it be an ice-breaker, talk of the town, converse with your consumers?

With these questions and identification, you’ll get to know somehow the persona of the brand/product. If it were a person, who is s/he?

Story-Telling

We all have heard it several times – content is king but having to apply it to social media, content and story-telling are the kings of the dungeon.  Posting on platforms aren’t just for the sake of having promotions broadcasted but it’s more like reading a book except it tells you everything you’d need to know to grasp the consumers consistent attention.

  • What is your brand’s story? What is the brand/product’s story to entice the consumer?
  • Why does the consumer need to care about the history of the brand and how will it affect their decision on having or acquiring it?
  • What kind of experience would it bring?
  • How does the story of the brand connect with the consumers?

These emotions are tricky; listen to your target market/consumer on social channels and how they react to the brand/product. How or what are the benefits of having it? These stories drive interaction and ice-breakers.

Social Platforms & Social Listening

With social listening, not only should you pay attention to what your brand/product entail but rather what your competitors have been doing. This way, you get to follow how the consumers react and their input to get your brand leverage on what makes it different and better than theirs. You get to highlight your uniqueness or what makes you compellingly something that needs to be acquired or turn out to be a household name.

  • What social platforms do the competitors use?
  • What are the posts do they highlight and engagement rate?
  • How do the customers seek information about the brand/product?
  • What kind of posts works for your brand in terms of engagement and curiosity?

The beauty of having digital campaigns, you get to depend on data to explain in itself and match it towards the ROI (return on investment) in terms of acquisition – does it correlate or does it just build awareness? These data becomes key performance indicators (KPI)  which you can look back on once it’s time to review the campaign. You get to distinguish, revise and revisit efforts if it hits the objective – awareness, engagement, drive or online sales.

Sustainability

Telling a story and knowing your brand inside and out aren’t enough. It must also sustain to retain awareness and interest of the consumers just like how McDonalds never-ending advertisement on the same burger and fries.  Keep your brand story and messaging connected and cultivated. Build a content calendar and write notes on how each day, week or month result to the specific objective and then evaluate.

Digital marketing equates to qualifying and quantifying results which make it accessible for every business to look into to ensure future effectiveness for future digital marketing efforts.

The investment on having digital marketing efforts are more scalable and justifiable; you’ll be able to have continuous evaluation and assessment of campaign efforts which would make you understand your consumers better resulting to delivering a better campaign.

Kassy Pajarillo is a woman of many hats. She used to contribute  actively for traditional dailies as well as other Digital content pages.  A passionate marketer and hotelie.  Follow her through social media: @kassypajarillo
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