Link Friday: The “Instagrammable” Products Edition

Posted on Friday, May 5, 2017 by Kate

In the age of Instagram, image is everything it seems. Let’s look at marketing an “Instagrammable” product.

  • “Instagrammable” means something is so visually alluring, it’s worth sharing on Instagram for everyone to see. The term has become so popular, it’s warranted its own hashtag. Click here to see #instagrammable examples.
  • There’s a method to the madness of sharing something that will be an “Insta” success. The Social Savior recommends photos with the color red and subjects including, but not limited to, bikinis, revolvers, perfume and puppies. Got one of those things to sell? You’re good to go.
  • Ok, so maybe you’re not selling any of those things. Use of a good hashtag will get you far. Here’s a list of the most popular ones.
  • Makeup, travel hot spots and food are some of the most popular Instagrammable items these days. Perhaps the most well-known recent example of this is the Starbucks Unicorn Latte. There are tens of thousands of posts for this one colorful coffee drink alone.
  • And although these Instagrammable items are, no doubt, a feast for the eyes, are the products becoming more about flash than substance? This article suggests just that. Starbucks learned this lesson the hard way when people stopped snapping photos of their Unicorn Latte long enough to taste it (spoiler alert, not everyone’s taste buds were as impressed as their eyes).

Link Friday: The Spring Travel 2017 Edition

Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2017 by Kate

Spring fever has fully set in now, so let’s talk about the spring travel forecast for 2017.

  • More people overall are taking vacations, more are traveling solo and more are working to unplug while they’re away. See more details here.
  • While perhaps not the most visited spring destinations, these spots vie for the most stunning.
  • For a spring break on a budget, check out these top spots.
  • Not looking to fly? How about a road trip! Check out this list of America’s best spring drives.
  • What says spring more than flowers? See the season bloom via these beautiful Instagram images from around the world.

Link Friday: The 2017 March Madness Edition

Posted on Friday, March 17, 2017 by Kate

March Madness is in full swing! Not to brag, but I’m tied for second place in our office pool, based on my expert strategy of picking the higher ranked team to win every single game.

  • Another way to add to the March Madness fun, check out these tournament haikus, for the first 32 games. I’m not sure why this is a thing, but as a fellow writer, I give props for the effort.
  • If you didn’t already take the day off, there’s a good chance you’re trying to watch the games on the down low at work. But if you work at the Pentagon, guys, that’s a big no-no. Because, you know, national security.
  • You could follow along on Twitter too, where thanks to a partnership between the NCAA and Turner Sports, you’ll find some special emoji popping up whenever you use certain tourney-related hashtags.
  • And in case you’re wondering just how many people are feeling the fever, check out these stats: Since the tournament teams were finalized on Selection Sunday, there have been more than 600,000 social media mentions of March Madness (up 300%) and the hashtag #MarchMadness has been used more than 150,000 times!

Social Media Live Streaming

Posted on Friday, March 10, 2017 by Kate

Back in my day (you know, the days when I was a reporter), you needed a big expensive microwave truck and a video camera (the size of a microwave) to go live. Times are much simpler now. All you need is a smart phone and a social network profile. Let’s examine the ways you can take advantage of live broadcasting – for free!

Facebook

Going live here is as simple as starting a status update on a mobile device.  Under the text box, you’ll see a red video camera icon and the words “Go Live.” Press it and you’ll be given the option to type in what your live feed is about and choose your audience. All you have to do then is click the “Go Live” button and 3…2…1…. You’re live!

It’s a good idea to encourage viewers to interact with your video stream. You’ll be able to see their comments on your screen while you’re broadcasting, so keep an eye on any questions that come up and be sure to respond.

When it’s over, be sure to look over the available insights – you can see everything from the number of unique viewers to the total minutes viewed, reactions, comments, shares – it’s all there for you to analyze and improve on for next time.

Twitter

Live streaming on this platform is almost identical to Facebook. Start a Tweet, click the “live” icon, type your description and click “go live.”  When your broadcast is over you’ll be presented with analytics to review including how many viewers, their Twitter names, the time watched per viewer and more.

Instagram

To go live on Instagram, you’ll need to select the “Your story” icon in the top left corner of the screen. From there you’ll click on “Live” and “Start Live Video.”  You’ll see some basic insights before you can opt to exit, but unlike Facebook and Twitter, which give you the option to save your live broadcast, Instagram live streams disappear after they’re done.

So, why live stream?

Videos are the future of marketing. We’ve been telling you this for years. Live streaming is just another facet of that same concept. The great part is, where video production can get pricey quickly, live streaming via social media is free and still provides the behind-the-scenes, inside look at your business or product that consumers crave.

Start small, and experiment. It doesn’t have to be scripted or rehearsed. You’ll see feedback immediately. Once you get a feel for what’s popular, work your way up to longer videos. Remember, the more ways you’re available to your audience, the more likely they are to interact with you – the first step to turning a potential customer into a paying one.

Link Thursday: The 2017 Valentine’s Day Edition

Posted on Thursday, February 9, 2017 by Kate

There are still a few days left to use your marketing to capitalize on the upcoming day of love!

Link Friday: The Super Bowl LI edition

Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2017 by Kate

Just because our beloved Packers aren’t in the Super Bowl again this year doesn’t mean you can just walk away and ignore it. If you’re a marketer, it’s worth your time.

• In 1967, a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl cost $42K. Fifty years later, the cost is 119 times that at over $5 million.
• Snickers is trying something new this year – the first live Super Bowl ad. Whaaaat?
• Some of this year’s commercials have already been leaked, check them out here.
• So it’s probably safe to say you won’t be buying any ad time during the big game. Here are a few alternate strategies you could learn from instead.
• Or is it better to just avoid the hype entirely? One company says yes.

Link Friday: The 2017 Travel Outlook Edition

Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2017 by Kate

All we knew for sure in 2016 was we wanted it to be over. Well, it’s 2017 now and it’s time to take a look at what the world of travel holds for us in this brand new year.

  • A third of American adults are up for taking more time off in 2017, compared to last year. One of the trends you can expect is more “last-chance” trips to places that are on the brink thanks to climate change. Womp, womp.
  • 2017 could be a year of changes when it comes to travel. Check out this article that lays out what you’ll see different in airplanes, airports, theme parks and hotels.
  • Vogue says “transformational travel” will be the hot travel trend this year. They define it as, “travel motivated and defined by a shift in perspective, self-reflection and development, and a deeper communion with nature and culture.” Read more about this zen trend here.
  • Other things you’ll see in 2017: lower airfares (but higher added on fees), continued growth of Airbnb type lodging, and bargains to Europe (so long as the euro continues its struggles).

Link Friday: The Christmas 2017 Edition

Posted on Thursday, December 8, 2016 by Kate

Christmas is just a little more than two weeks away (and yet, my Elf on the Shelf has yet to move).

  • Good news! The travel outlook looks promising, considering the horrifying wait times and overcrowding that was expected at Thanksgiving didn’t live up to the hype.
  • Travel might even be so good you’ll give up the Christmas hoopla all together and just spend your hard-earned days off going on vacation. Here are 6 reasons to do just that.
  • It’s probably no surprise that the holidays can be a stressful time – lots of bills, avoiding your weird relative, but the very act of shopping can be hard on your heart, with 88% of participants in a recent study experiencing a racing heart while shopping! To reduce your stress, try “high intensity interval shopping.”
  • Or just relax and watch these top 10 most popular Christmas ads of 2016. You never know, a good ugly cry might even help reduce some of that shopping stress!
  • But laughing is the best stress-buster of all, so prepare to snort at these funny photos of kids encountering Santa!

Link Friday: The 2016 Black Friday Edition

Posted on Friday, November 18, 2016 by Kate

Black Friday is nearly upon us! Are you ready for some shopping?

  • Black Friday 2016 is on pace to be another record year, with an expected 137.4 million Americans to shop online or in store – up about 2 million from last year.
  • Although you might snag a deal, one article suggests you might actually gain more from skipping the Black Friday sales altogether.
  • If you can’t resist the lure, skip the long lines and hop online and book a Black Friday hotel deal
  • Did you ever wonder if Black Friday is really a deal at all? Well, it depends what you’re buying.
  • Here’s a deal you can’t go wrong with: free admission to state parks on Black Friday. Nicely done, Visit Michigan!

Link Friday: The 2016 Presidential Election Edition

Posted on Thursday, November 3, 2016 by Kate

Nothing demonstrates the power of social media quite like an election – especially the 2016 presidential election.

  • Eight years ago, we were all wowed by Barack Obama’s social media strategy. This time around, social media marketing is a given, but the approach of each candidate is quite different and there are lessons to be learned from each as you create your own strategy.
  • The stand out social network in this election is definitely Twitter. For better or worse, it’s been Trump’s medium of choice and while it sometimes comes back to bite him, there’s a value in its authenticity. But will Twitter live to see 2020?
  • If it seems like this election’s polls are all over the place, it’s because they are. It’s getting harder and harder to get an accurate poll – social media could be the answer.
  • Studies are showing that social media users are more stressed about the election than their less connected counterparts but nearly everyone is in agreement about one thing – they wish it was over already.