social media

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

By Tricia Allenson

There’s no denying that today’s marketing world is becoming increasingly visual, and it's more important than ever that you adapt to that strategically. You still need a solid message, but increasingly, you also need supporting visuals with every post or tweet. This is because, with the surge of content across all social platforms, the competition for attention is tougher than ever.

To stand out, and to stay top of mind, you need to catch our eyes. Visuals have the power to reinforce your marketing messages. If you aren’t using visuals consistently as a part of your social media marketing, you are missing out on some serious action.

Here are some reasons why visuals should be a vital part of your content strategy:

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They reinforce your brand: How you use your brand affects how your brand is perceived and interpreted. A strong branded visual used in your social media posts can make a small company seem more powerful or demonstrate strength. Adding your brand to visuals like quotes (see example), can contribute to brand recognition and identity, and is an essential part of making an impact with visual content. Knowing how to use these visuals can contribute to brand perception and spread brand awareness.

They make a lasting impression: Images, graphics, and colors make customers feel a certain way, remember a particular message, and form opinions about a brand. In fact, visual presentations have been proven to stick in a person’s memory up to six times longer than written or verbal information; our brains are essentially wired to respond more enthusiastically to images than to words. Seth Godin writes, "The world is full of boring stuff – brown cows – which is why so few people pay attention, Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service."

They do some heavy lifting: Relevant visual content is an extremely powerful tool. It can simplify a complex issue, and illustrate your point, and even tell a story in a distinct way that text can’t always easily accomplish.

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They’re a fast track to emotional connection: A popular adage states that people will forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. The effectiveness of visual content can be further enhanced with the use of the RIGHT emotions. Visual stimulation can create a visceral reaction by evoking a feeling that may even be subconscious. For example, this photo brings out the feelings of security and positivity with both the colors and the people, appealing to the idea of family and the warmth it creates as an association.

They encourage sharing: Social media is awash in visual content. Users love to share and repost visuals, and there are no signs of this slowing down. To avoid being left out of this share-a-thon, give your customers relevant, high-quality visuals to spread far and wide on your behalf. Upwards of 60 percent of the content shared on the world’s leading social media sites are imagery, according to research done by marketing expert Hubspot. That percentage only continues to grow especially as social media becomes more ingrained in our psyche.

Choosing the right type of visual content matters. Each kind, be they photos, infographics, videos, gifs, etc., convey different meanings and pursue different goals – finding the right combination of text and visual content is the key to making your business stand out and claiming your share of attention from your target audience.

So if your business isn’t leveraging visual marketing -- it’s time to get started. Limelight Marketing Systems has a team of graphic designers wizards who have the experience to make imagery work in your favor. Fill out our branding survey and get started today! Questions? Email, call/text Tricia at 952-212-7598.

There’s No Excuse for Being a Wallflower

By Tricia Allenson

Let’s get one thing straight. Social media is not child’s play.  It is not silly.  It is not a passing trend. On the contrary, it is at minimum, an unbelievably cost-effective way to promote your business.  When used to its full potential, social media delivers much more than an impressive ROI.  Social media creates connections, converts passive into active customers, and offers you the opportunity to reach an audience beyond your wildest dreams.

However, we’d be lying if we didn’t admit that there is a catch.  Fortunately, that “catch” is only that you need to know how to use social media effectively in order to reap your desired results.  Here’s a look at best practices for using social media to put your business in the spotlight.

1.     Put More Than Just a Passing Thought into Your Posts

Quality content, even if posted less frequently, will prove to make a bigger impression, than a barrage of (how do we put this gently?)… boring posts.   Your posts should contain helpful information, along with being presented in an aesthetically pleasing manner.  Use a little imagination when adding graphics, holiday announcements or photos to compliment your useful, call-to-action content (such as clicking back to your website).

2.     Plan on Engaging with Your Audience

It isn’t called social media because you’re supposed to post items and call it a day.  The very nature of social media is to engage with your audience.  Respond to questions and comments.  Ask questions in return.  Comment on others’ photos, posts, announcements.  The key to being successful through social media actually does require social engagement with others. 

3.     Integrate Your Posts with Other Marketing Initiatives

Social media marketing is not meant to be a stand-alone marketing effort.  Use it to compliment your other efforts, such as your email marketing efforts.  Use it to promote your newest blog. Use it to invite your audience to sign up for your eNewsletter.  Use it in conjunction with targeted ads.  Remember, social media is social—it’s collaborative and inclusive and engaging by its very nature— just the way the marketing of your business should be!

Look, even though we’ve made social media marketing seem like a snap, which anyone can do -- the reality is, becoming a savvy social media marketer takes time.  Fortunately, we’re here to help fast-track you to the spotlight, by helping you plan, create, develop, and implement a social media strategy that will take you from wall flower to most likely to succeed in no time at all. 

How Do I Get Started Becoming a Savvy Social Media Marketer? Pick up the phone and call us at 952-212-7598, or fill out this absurdly simple form, and we’ll get back to you in a jiffy. 

Blogging Like a Boss: Why Your Business Can’t Afford to Cut Corners on Blog Content

By Tricia Allenson

We know, we know.  You’re busy.  After all, you have a business to run.  That’s to say nothing of keeping up with the breakneck pace of life in the 21st Century.  So, we understand when we hear business owners say things like: “Blog?!?!? I barely have time to sleep. When am I supposed to write, and furthermore what am I supposed to write about?  Plus, I’m not even a very good writer, anyway!”

Scout’s honor we know the feeling.  However, the reality is that blogging isn’t an optional component of marketing; it is an essential component of your marketing program for many reasons.  Here’s a look at 6 reasons you can’t cut corners when it comes to keeping your content fresh on your website through blogging. 

(An aside—take a deep breath.  You don’t have to do all the blogging yourself. There are starving copywriters all over the country pleading with the universe to send them work.  So, delegate to someone else, like the boss you are.)

1.     A Blog Positions You as An Industry Expert. 

Experts talk about what they know about.  So, talk about your business through your blog.  ‘Nuff said.

2.     Helps With Visibility (AKA: SEO)

Search engines scanning the web are looking for new, ongoing, updated content.  A blog ON YOUR SITE will help give you an SEO bump.  Note: a blog that is not linked to your site will do nothing for your business website visibility or search engine ranking.  Consolidation is the name of the game.

3.     A Blog Is Multi-Purpose

Write one blog, and get mileage for months.  Seriously.  Post it on ALL your social media accounts, from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn.  Then,tweak a few words, maybe condense a few things, and repurpose it in your newsletter.  Use the crux of it for a flier, or brochure. Use snippets in Facebook ads. Blogs can be repurposed over and again in marketing. A little bit of effort truly goes a long way. 

4.     Blog Content is Shareable

Write a snappy/informative/useful/funny blog and watch it get shared.  Your blog is actually working for you while you tend to your other responsibilities, thanks to the power of social media, and email. 

5.     Blogging Helps Build Your Brand

When you consistently blog, your brand is being reinforced weekly, twice a month, or monthly.  This is not going to hurt your efforts to build brand awareness one bit.

6.     Blogging Brings in Buyers, Clients, Customers

Studies show that businesses with a blog receive a full 97% more leads than businesses without blogs.  Did you read that?  97%???   The reason?  Blogs which are shared through email marketing campaigns or social media drive potential clients and customers back to your site.

So, what’s stopping you from blogging this year?  You have nothing to lose, and gobs of new business to gain, by taking the bull by the horns, and blogging like a boss in 2017.