social media strategy

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.

A Few Interesting Marketing Trends to Watch For in 2018

By Tricia Allenson

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Nothing is trending upward more than trends. Pick a topic, any topic, and someone’s out there writing about it. Ahem … kind of like we’re doing now.

Let’s begin with a macro look at digital marketing in 2018. It’s growing in use, and by default, in importance, and yet businesses are struggling to use it properly.

In fact, according to a post on SocialMediaToday.com, this lack of understanding is their number one trend. Is anyone else concerned about this? OK, let’s come back to that.

One of their other predictions is that social media will be an important marketing tool this year. To which you may be thinking, duh, and/or hello! 

These predictions, however relevant (and obvious), aren’t nearly as tasty as a few we found on QuickSprout.com. And it all begins with the trendiest trend around – video! 

It makes sense. Doing less is easier, and easier is good. (Damn you, Clapper!) Which is why 80% of consumers say that they prefer getting their content by live video, instead of reading a blog post. (Limelight Marketing videos coming to screen near you soon!)

Knowing this, is great. Anytime you have consumers telling you what they like, it takes the guesswork out of it. As in, people like video, which means you should … go ahead, you can do it … Yes! Create some video content.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also trending up. And let us be the first to say, it’s all fun and games when we’re talking about analyzing consumer data. But when vending machines knock down your front door and begin pushing you around, you’ll feel differently. We’ll assume one of those feelings will include shock.

Content marketing will continue to trend up in 2018. And while it may be perplexing to many, it doesn’t need to be.

Just remember this: Provide your audience with information (whether videos OR blogs) that’s personal, relevant, and valuable. And then promote the heck out of it on your social media, eNewsletter, and website, and you’ll see fantastic results!

Not sure how to get started? Contact us, we can help!

List Building: Crushing It With 4 Social Media Monsters

By Tricia Allenson

Your email list is the lifeblood of your business, but you knew that. And of course you are always looking for ways to build that list with more new warm prospects, and we know that. So, what to do, what to do? Well, first of all, don’t trust anyone that says they have all the answers, they don’t. Basically they are a used car salesmen (no offense to used car salesmen intended, we know someone has to resell “previously loved” Honda Civics).

Do we have all the answers? No, but we have a social media strategy that will get more people back to your website, and that’s where the real selling happens. So read on.

In the world of email there is a lot of noise. Think of all the uninvited mail you get - everything from Groupons to skin care products. Even the ones you do subscribe to often have subject lines so lifeless you don’t open them anyway. But...what if you put your invitations out there where you may be already connecting with your prospects?

Do you Pinterest (not sure that can be used as a verb)? Do you take selfies and post them to Instagram? (If you do, you must leave this blog immediately). Are you on Facebook? “Like, Like”, Yah Baby ! and… Are you LinkedIn (like Facebook but for professionals looking to connect with others in their profession).

Do all of these and many other social media channels have a resident expert to help you? Then you need to get one quick or consider outsourcing it to a marketing agency that offers that service. Either way you have to get on this gravy train of building your email list now.

Facebook

If you look on your Facebook page’s cover photo, there are a number of Call to Action buttons. In the example below, Limelight Marketing Systems has many ways for prospects or clients to interact with them. Everything from “liking and sharing” to going directly to their website (from the Limelight logo at the bottom left).

More Call to Action buttons can be added depending on what you want your visitor to do.

Shop Now, Sign up for a Newsletter, you name it, there are lots of options for engagement.


LinkedIn

Want to reconnect with your college friends or other like-minded business entrepreneurs? LinkedIn is the place. Where else can you just make up skills and get endorsed for them by complete strangers or receive recommendations by other former (now unemployed) co –workers. There’s treasure in them there profiles and it comes in the way of email addresses hidden in amongst the individual’s contact information. Because LinkedIn users basically want to be in the loop for any new business opportunities (or maybe your professional services), it shouldn’t be difficult for you to find an email address somewhere on their profile and then export it into your newsletter list database.


Pinterest

Primarily used by females (70%), Pinterest was initially a web-sharing site for photos, recipes, crafts, home décor ideas and much more that the ladies seemed to like. Can’t males do any of that you may be asking? Well of course they can and they do, along with more and more businesses that are seeing the huge potential for engaging readers in this social media giant. Put up an appealing picture featuring your product or service, but also make sure it links to your blog or website so you can then ask the visitor to sign up for your newsletter. Remember, it’s all about getting their contact information (email) for future engagement. Note in this example here the opportunity to share it, love it, save it and check out the website.


YouTube

It’s more than a just a place for cat videos and skateboard fails. This granddaddy of video content sharing is a perfect place to search for new audiences and build your brand. But, as with all the other examples here, you need to create a plan.

1. Manufacture great videos that people will want to share because they’re unique, entertaining, educational or somehow interesting. Just remember you’re competing with literally billions of uploaded videos on every conceivable subject.

2. Make sure you’re not a “one-off wonder”, publish regularly.

3. Once you’ve found your viewers, or they’ve found you, encourage them to sign up for your list which will keep them informed of new videos that you have created.

4. If that invitation isn’t enough, offer viewers an incentive like an eBook, coupon or anything else that might be of interest to them in exchange for the right to correspond with them again in the future.

5. Even consider inviting your viewer to subscribe from within the video itself.


So there you have it, 3 social media opportunities that will help you build your email prospect list. When will you start?