How Companies are Using TikTok to Market their Business

How Companies are Using TikTok to Market their Business

TikTok has quickly become a major social media platform for 2020. And no, it has nothing to do with Kei$a’s song from a few years ago. This video-based social app has been pretty popular for about a year and is most commonly used by young adults (ages 12-25). The app is used to create and post creative and trendy videos which are intended to appear on the “for you page,” which is where popular videos appear for people to view, like, and comment.

 

Several brands have been skeptical of getting on TikTok to market because it is still a new social platform. But now is a great time to try out TikTok because it is growing in popularity and a unique way for companies to reach people in a new way.

 

TikTok is viewed less as a serious app and more lighthearted and fun. People really enjoy the creative personalities on TikTok, so it is a great platform to showcase the voice of your company or the lighter side of the organization.

 

There are new trends almost every week on TikTok. Recreating these trends in your own unique way is a great way to reach more people by getting views and likes. Soundbites and hashtags are features that help promote your video onto the “for you page” of viewers.

 

Some companies have been successful in trying out TikTok. Chipotle has over 55,000 fans on TikTok because of their use of funny and creative videos. Challenges are also a way companies get views on this social platform. Chipotle even created their own challenge which became one of the highest-performing branded challenges on the app.

 

@chipotleImagine actually saving your bowl for later ##putafingerdown ##chipotle ##fyp? original sound – chipotle

Bringing creativity to more informational posts can help your brand spread awareness on topics that are dryer as well. Many brands have used short narratives or challenges for topics that are more serious or tough to make light of.

 

It is key to be creative on TikTok but also make sure it isn’t completely off-brand for your organization.

 

HubSpot discussed that as it may be challenging to go viral on the app, it is still a great way to reach younger viewers. TikTok is still very new, which allows organizations to be a lot more flexible experimenting with what works for them.

 

Starting your organization on TikTok will allow your company to get ahead of competitors in navigating the app and learning how to best showcase your brand.

 

From looking at some brands that have already done well on TikTok, HubSpot shared a few marketing and strategy tips to use on the app, including:

  • Showcase a different, more creative side of your brand
  • Embrace a more personal tone or behind-the-scenes approach
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment
  • Engage with your audience by utilizing challenges, duets, likes, comments, and shares

 

Here are two examples of how companies are using TikTok to market their business in a creative way:

 

@washingtonpostTo help combat coronavirus, don’t shake hands. ##CoronavirusHandshake ##ElbowBump ##ParentTrap? original sound – sherrihillofficial

@sandiegozooSay hi to Otis, the 4,100 lb. floaty river pup. ##sandiegozoo? Cute Doggies Only – kadin.foote

If TikTok is not quite your thing, still check out the app to view other branded videos, as they can potentially help come up with new content for your current social media platforms or show what other companies are doing to keep up with current trends.

 

Check out HubSpot’s TikTok how-to guide to learn more about how to use the newly popular social media platform.

 

30 Marketing Statistics to Consider for 2020

30 Marketing Statistics to Consider for 2020

When planning any marketing plan or strategy, you need to have research to back up what you are doing planning and doing. This could come from your own experience, or from industry data.

 

For our weekly Marketing Fact Friday posts that we share on the ME Marketing Services social accounts, we keep up with what research is telling us about the marketing industry and its various branches (content, social media, advertising, email, etc.). We look for bits of research and statistics that are not your common stats you see everywhere. We like to find the lesser-published ones.

 

Here are 30 stats we’ve put together for you to consider when executing your marketing plan or strategy this year.

Social Media Statistics

Facebook

Live video is becoming a vital tool for marketers, and 42% of them have already developed a strategy for Facebook Live. (Source: Sprout Social)

 

Facebook use among U.S. marketers is on a slight increase from 86.3% in 2018 to 86.8% in 2019. This number will likely reach 87.1% in 2020. (Source: Sprout Social)

 

58% of people in the U.S. say they’ve become more interested in a brand after seeing it in Facebook Stories. (Source: Facebook)

 

Instagram

Among the 1 billion monthly active Instagram users, 90% follow a business on the platform, suggesting that Instagram users are keen on hearing from and about brands. (Source: Sprout Social)

 

Twitter

79% of Twitter users like to discover what’s new, making it the top platform for discovery. (Source: Sprout Social)

 

Pinterest

77% of weekly Pinners have discovered a new brand or product on the platform. (Source: Sprout Social)

 

75% of people on Pinterest are “very interested” in new products (compared to 55% of users on other social platforms). (Source: Pinterest)

 

83% of weekly Pinners have made a purchase based on content they saw from brands on Pinterest. (Source: Sprout Social)

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has proven to be an effective platform for lead generation and customer acquisition. In fact, it’s 277% more effective than Facebook in generating leads. (Source: Sprout Social)

 

84% of people with access to the internet use social media. (Source: Hootsuite)

 

90% of Americans between 18-29 use social media. (Source: Pew Research)

 

The average social media user has 8.3 different social accounts. This number lifts to 9.4 social accounts for people aged 16-24. (Source: Hootsuite)

 

60% of people say they’ve watched a video on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram in the last month. (Source: Global Web Index)

 

13% of social media users say that a “buy” button would increase their likelihood of purchasing on social. (Source: Global Web Index)

 

Advertising Statistics

People are 26% more likely to view ads on Twitter than on any other leading platform. (Source: Sprout Social)

 

Global ad spend will reach $605 billion in 2020. This is a 4.2% increase from 2019. (Source: The Drum)

 

By 2020, businesses will spend $110 billion on digital advertising in the US. To put this statistic in context, businesses will spend more on digital advertising in the US in 2020 than on TV and print ads combined. It’s a powerful testament to the importance of digital advertising in the modern marketing mix. (Source: eMarketer)

 

Email Marketing Statistics

91% of shoppers want to hear from companies they do business with via email. (Source: Sleeknote)

 

40% of marketers say proving the ROI of their marketing activities is their top marketing challenge. (Source: HubSpot)

 

Welcome emails have an average open rate of 82%. (Source: GetResponse)

 

54% of all emails are classified as spam. (Source: Statista)

 

More than half of us even check our email before doing anything else online. (Source: OptinMonster)

 

Search Marketing Statistics

Calling is the most popular next action for many consumers running Google searches. (Source: LSA)

 

 

Google is responsible for 96% of all smartphone search traffic, and 94% of total organic traffic. (Source: Google)

 

43% of eCommerce traffic comes from organic Google searches. (Source: Wolfgang Digital)

 

Companies that blog get 55% more web traffic. (Source:WPForms)

 

Other Marketing Statistics

When asked about conversational marketing, 82% of consumers expect a response within 5 minutes via online live chat. (Source: Drift)

 

 

90% of people who recalled reading online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influence their buying decisions. (Source: Dimensional Research)

 

Customer testimonials and case studies are considered the most effective content marketing tactics. (Source: B2B Content Marketing Trends Report)

 

Product reviews are 12x more trusted than product descriptions and sales copy written by manufacturers. (Source: eMarketer)

 

 

How do you use marketing research and statistics in your marketing plans and strategies?

 

 

Mandy Edwards is the founder of ME Marketing Services, a marketing company specializing in digital & social media marketing located in Statesboro, Georgia. A proud graduate of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia she has a thorough marketing background of 18+ years. In the fall you can find her along with her family at Sanford Stadium cheering on their beloved Georgia Bulldogs. Mandy has been mentioned in Forbes, named to the Statesboro Herald’s Top 20 under 40, has been ranked as a Top 100 Social Media Power Influencer by StatSocial and is a Sprout Social All-Star Elite. In 2016 she was recognized as a member of the University of Georgia’s top 40 Under 40 Alumni.

 

 

 

12 Ideas to Add to Your Marketing Strategy in 2020

12 Ideas to Add to Your Marketing Strategy in 2020

We are almost through the first part 2020 – how is your marketing strategy going?

 

Already in 2020 we’ve faced a lot, but hopefully you’ve kept your marketing strong.

 

Every quarter you should re-evaluate your marketing strategy (or plan) and reflect on what worked, what’s working, and what can be improved upon.

 

Marketing is ever-changing, and as the world changes, so must your gameplan. Here are some ideas to incorporate in your marketing this year – and in future years.

 

Idea #1: Sharpen your marketing skills.

Invest in continuing education. Attend conferences. Read. Listen to podcasts. In order to keep up with the never-ending changes in the marketing world, it’s key to stay on top of it all.

 

Photo from the 2020 Southern C Summit

 

Idea #2: Reevaluate the metrics that matter most to you. 

Take a look at your analytics – what are your goals and what analytics match up to those goals. How do you define success of your marketing efforts?

 

Idea #3: Integrate Stories. 

The dominance of Instagram Stories speaks for themselves. However, also note that Facebook Stories are on par in terms of engagement with approximately 500 million daily users (Source: Sprout Social) and 58% of people in the U.S. say they’ve become more interested in a brand after seeing it in Facebook Stories (Facebook).

 

Idea #4: Make your audience part of your content strategy. 

User-generated content is some of the most popular content shared by brands on social. See what your customers and clients are posting and share! Encourage your audience to share as well. Below is an example of what my gym did during COVID-19 social distancing.

 

 

Idea #5: Reevaluate your platforms. 

Audiences change. Platforms change. The average social media user has 8.3 different social accounts. This number lifts to 9.4 social accounts for people aged 16-24 (Hootsuite). Take time and reflect on who you want to reach and where they are. Example: teenagers are all about Tik Tok, not Instagram. 

 

Idea #6: If you are not doing this already, supplement your social strategy with ads. 

Because of the algorithms, your organic reach will be limited at times. When you see this slowdown, promote a post. The platforms offer a range of ad types to fit what you need. Global ad spend will reach $605 billion in 2020. This is a 4.2% increase from 2019 (Source: The Drum). Example of why you should do ads – People are 26% more likely to view ads on Twitter than on any other leading platform. (Source: Sprout Social)

 

Idea #7: Spark meaningful interactions. 

Posts that get more engagement get more time in people’s feeds. Think beyond your typical promotional blasts and focus on conversation starters.

 

Idea #8: Keep a detailed publishing calendar. 

A thorough posting calendar is your productivity and organization, as well as ensuring you meet your goals and benchmarks. If a platform update occurs, having a calendar will make it easier for you to tweak your schedule without missing a beat or sending your strategy into panic. Below is what our Sprout Social Publishing Calendar looked like for March 2020. We create all of our client content in Word docs, then schedule them out for the next 30 days. When we’ve entered all of them into Sprout, we can see what’s coming up.

 

Idea #9: Educate with your content. 

When you do this, you show your expertise in your field or business. Another reason to educate? You build a rapport with your audience which in turn builds trust.

 

Idea #10: Host or join a podcast. 

With the podcasting industry taking off, be a guest on one that applies to your business or start your own! One of my suggestions – The Marketing Companion, hosted by Mark Schaefer and Brooke Sellas!

 

Idea #11: We know we’ve said this before, but personalize! 

People want to feel loved by the brands they follow and shop with. Give them a personalized experience, whether it’s in-store or out. You can send them a postcard on their birthday. Have a way to know them when they walk in the door so you can greet them by name. You don’t have to get extravagant. 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement (Econsultancy)

 

Idea #12: Get customer feedback.

Whether it’s a survey created on Survey Monkey or face-to-face conversation, find out what your customers are thinking and wanting. All successful businesses listen to their customer’s concerns, wants, and needs, in knowing how to improve and grow.

 

 

Changing up your marketing strategy is important in keeping things fresh and adapting to the changes in your industry – and our world.

 

Which of these will you try this year?

 

 

Mandy Edwards is the founder of ME Marketing Services, a marketing company specializing in digital & social media marketing located in Statesboro, Georgia. A proud graduate of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia she has a thorough marketing background of 18+ years. In the fall you can find her along with her family at Sanford Stadium cheering on their beloved Georgia Bulldogs. Mandy has been mentioned in Forbes, named to the Statesboro Herald’s Top 20 under 40, has been ranked as a Top 100 Social Media Power Influencer by StatSocial and is a Sprout Social All-Star Elite. In 2016 she was recognized as a member of the University of Georgia’s top 40 Under 40 Alumni.

Marketing Your Business During COVID-19 and Other Critical Times

Marketing Your Business During COVID-19 and Other Critical Times

The past couple weeks have seen most of the country shut itself down in regards to COVID-19. Many are working from home, while many are not working at all.

 

Whether either of those apply to you, now is not the time to stop your business’ marketing. If you stop now, will people remember you when the world returns to normal? Yes, that may sound harsh, but there is another business waiting to take your spot.

 

So, how exactly do you market your business when the world is stopped and no one is doing anything?

 

It’s easy – go to where they are…. digitally.

 

Now is the time for your business to take advantage of all things digital. Everyone is on social media right now, soaking in updates and talking with other people. People are reading their email and text messages because that’s really one of the only forms of communication you can have when you are supposed to be home and not going out.

 

However, you need to make sure you are staying sensitive to what is going on around us. There are people who are struggling right now – personally and professionally. In times like this, I suggest a light-hearted marketing approach. What does that mean?

 

  • It means make sure that your content is all relevant, while being empathetic to what is going on. There is a time and place for all types of content. Just keep that in mind.
  • Any news that is non-essential can wait. This won’t last forever.
  • Use your content to make people smile – and think of you and your business in a positive manner.
  • If you have ways you can help, do it! I am all about serving others and helping where I can. That’s why during this time, if a business needs some marketing guidance I am donating time to them to help. For free. Contact me here if that is you!

 

Here are 3 easy, quick ways you can still market your business while everyone is quarantined…

 

Post on social media. More than usual too.

 

Everything we’ve learned about peak times for your audience and best times to post is out the window right now. Look at your own social media usage – are you on Facebook more? Instagram as well? If you are, bets are your market is too. If you posted 1 or 2 times per day, ramp it up to 2 or 3. But make sure to space those posts out at least 3 hours apart.

 

Here are some ideas of things to post on social media:

 

  • Updates on your business and your employees. Show some video or pictures of you and/or your employees quarantining to show we’re all in this together. This is a shared experience for the whole world – show your fans what you’re up to. For example, check out the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City’s Twitter feed.
  • Sneak peaks of things you’ve been working on. Working on a new product? Planning a new service? Give them something to look forward to when this is over.
  • Fun tips or ideas of things they can do from that that relates to your business. Are you a salon? Share some at-home hair tips to keep your clients from cutting their own hair. Are you an attorney or CPA? Share some applicable tips that will help them. Have fun with this – everyone is escaping to social media for fun and distraction.

 

Ramp up your email marketing.

 

If you are actively engaging in email marketing, keep it up! If you haven’t been as active, send out some emails informing your subscribers what is going on, status updates on when you’ll resume business, etc.

 

Just be careful and don’t be like this:

 

 

Targeted Google and Social Media ads.

 

Use this time to take advantage of digital ads. Do you have something you want your audience to see? Boost a post on Facebook! Is your business one that does really well from search ads? Set up some targeted Google ads. Digital ads can be very inexpensive and will help keep your business in front of people.

 

From all of us at ME Marketing Services, we hope you, your family, your business, your employees, and your friends are staying healthy during this time! If we can help in any way, please let us know! We are here to serve YOU!

 

Also, don’t forget to take time during this to spend time with those you love – either in-person with your spouse and kids or via video chat. And take a walk outside. It’s amazing what some fresh air will do for a person!

 

 

Mandy Edwards is the founder of ME Marketing Services, a marketing company specializing in digital & social media marketing located in Statesboro, Georgia. A proud graduate of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia she has a thorough marketing background of 18+ years. In the fall you can find her along with her family at Sanford Stadium cheering on their beloved Georgia Bulldogs. Mandy has been mentioned in Forbes, named to the Statesboro Herald’s Top 20 under 40, has been ranked as a Top 100 Social Media Power Influencer by StatSocial and is a Sprout Social All-Star Elite. In 2016 she was recognized as a member of the University of Georgia’s top 40 Under 40 Alumni.

 

Stop with the Fluff Social Content

Stop with the Fluff Social Content

I am going to make this post short and sweet because I’m tired of seeing businesses let marketing companies do this…. STOP. POSTING. FLUFF. ON. YOUR. SOCIAL. ACCOUNTS.

 

What is this ‘fluff’ I am talking about?

 

Posts that talk about springing forward or falling back (U.S. time change).

Happy Spring!

Happy First Day of Summer!

Happy Fall!

Happy Winter!

Happy random-post-because-we-don’t-know-what-we-are-doing!

 

Get the picture?

 

These types of posts have absolutely NOTHING to do with a business’ overall content marketing strategy…unless you are a clock company or weather company. Or maybe an outdoor nursery. What business does a food distribution company have posting about the time change? Does that post help drive people to their website? No. Does it entice the follower to learn more about them? No. Does it help increase brand awareness? No. All it does it drive their followers crazy because it’s a pointless post that takes up valuable space in the newsfeed.

 

Unless you can prove – with numbers and results –  how a post that like works in your content strategy and provides value and return, DO NOT POST IT. This is common sense. If you are posting this for your business – stop. If you are using a marketing company that is doing this just to have something to post – fire them. Your social content should provide meaningful value that turn into results. Facebook users have said as much, and so have Instagram users as well. Research backs this up guys, not just my opinion.

 

Now, let me do say that posting about legitimate holidays, i.e. Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, are perfectly acceptable. In fact, they are expected from your fans and followers. Even random holidays that you can find on daysoftheyear.com are acceptable – as long as they fit into your overall content strategy, provide value, and are relevant.

 

Your business’ content strategy defines your business online. How do you want to be seen and known?

 

Stepping off my ranting block now…

 

 

Mandy Edwards is the founder of ME Marketing Services, a marketing company specializing in digital & social media marketing located in Statesboro, Georgia. A proud graduate of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia she has a thorough marketing background of 17+ years. In the fall you can find her along with her family at Sanford Stadium cheering on their beloved Georgia Bulldogs. Mandy has been mentioned in Forbes, named to the Statesboro Herald’s Top 20 under 40, has been ranked as a Top 100 Social Media Power Influencer by StatSocial and is a Sprout Social All-Star Elite. In 2016 she was recognized as a member of the University of Georgia’s top 40 Under 40 Alumni.

36 Marketing Stats to Help Your Marketing Strategy in 2019

Stats and analytics are the backbone of any good marketing campaign. If you are not using these to plan and review your campaigns, now is the best time to start! Even if your marketing strategy is done, it does not hurt to always look at it and change things as the year progresses based on the results you see from your current campaigns.

 

While reading through stats from the past year, these are the ones that stood out as being some of the most interesting.

 

Here are 36 marketing stats to keep in mind this year.

 

Digital Advertising Stats

 

Ad blocking in the US has increased from 15% to 30% since 2014. (Source: Statista)

 

60% of consumers click on mobile ads at least weekly. (Source: Business Wire)

 

Facebook Stats

 

100 million hours of video is viewed daily on Facebook. (Source: Facebook)

 

40% of consumers watch the most video on Facebook. (Source: Sprout Social Index 2018)

 

Instagram Stats

 

Within 10 hours of an Instagram post, users receive 50% of their total comments. (Source: Sprout Social)

 

Instagram posts using at least one hashtag receive 12.6% more engagement than posts excluding them. (Source: Sprout Social)

 

Instagram drives the most engagement per post compared to any social network–84 times more than Twitter, 54 times more than Pinterest and 10 times more than Facebook. (Source: Sprout Social)

 

7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded. (Source: Sprout Social)

 

51% of consumers used Instagram regularly, and more than half of those people (30%) like or follow a brand. (Source: Sprout Social Index 2018)

 

Millennial Social Media Stats

 

80% of millennial Pinterest users say that the platform helps them decide what they should buy. (Source: CoSchedule)

 

7 in 10 Gen-Xers are more likely to make purchases from brands they follow on social. (Source: Sprout Social)

 

50% of millennials use the internet to research products before purchasing. (Source: Marketing Sherpa)

 

Twitter Stats

 

Tweets with images are 150% more likely to get Retweets than text-only Tweets. (Source: AdWeek)

 

Twitter is accessed through a mobile device by 82% of its monthly active users. (Source: Sprout Social)

 

Tweets with videos get over six times as many retweets as tweets with photos. (Source: Wochit)

 

Search Marketing Stats

 

90% of searchers haven’t made up their mind about a brand before starting their search. (Source: Status Labs)

 

Local searches lead 50% of all mobile users to visit stores within one day. (Source: Google)

 

Over 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product while searching on their smartphone. (Source: Google)

 

Organic SEO is about 5.66 times better than paid search ads. (Source: New Media Campaigns)

 

70-80% of search engine users are only focusing on the organic results. (Source: MarTech)

 

72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles. (Source: Wordstream)

 

Social Media Stats

 

59% of Americans believe that customer service through social media has made it easier to get their questions answered and issues resolved. (Source: Lyfe Marketing)

 

96% of people talking about companies and brands on social media aren’t actively following those brands. (Source: Lyfe Marketing)

 

Facebook and Instagram are the choice platforms for marketers. (Source: Sprout Social Index 2018)

21% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands they can reach on social. The same percentage would rather message a brand on social media than call customer service. (Source: Sprout Social Index 2018)

 

The top reasons that consumers reach out to brands on social are that they had a question (57%), they had an issue with a product or service (45%) or they wanted to commend a company on their product or service (34%). (Source: Sprout Social Index 2018)

 

Consumers absorb influencer content across the major social networks at a surprisingly low level, between 1-11%, and prefer seeing posts that announce what is happening at a company 3x more than company posts that feature influencers or celebrities. (Source: Sprout Social Index 2018)

 

When asked what their reaction would be if a friend posted about a company, product or service on social media, 61% of consumer respondents said they’d be more likely to research that product/service, compared to 36% if a product or service were mentioned by an influencer or celebrity. (Source: Sprout Social Index 2018)

 

Top factors that impact whether or not a consumer watches a video on social are length of video (61%), caption or description of video (51%) and whether the video is an ad or not (40%). (Source: Sprout Social Index 2018)

 

Over half of consumers (58%) prefer visual-first content on social media, with graphics and images and produced video taking the lead. (Source: Sprout Social Index 2018)

 

Consumers are more like to engage with posts that include discounts or are entertaining. (Source: Sprout Social Index 2018)

 

Consumers are looking for social content that includes discounts and sales (72%), posts that showcase new products and services (60%) and posts that teach them something (59%). (Source: Sprout Social Index 2018)

 

30% of consumers surveyed wanting links to more information from brands on social, and most preferring discounts, sales and educational posts. (Source: Sprout Social Index 2018)

 

Mobile accounts for nearly 80% of time spent on social media networks. (Source: Pew Internet)

 

Other Marketing Stats of Note

 

Emails that display incorrectly on mobile may be deleted within three seconds. (Source: Campaign Monitor)

 

LinkedIn posts with images receive 200% more engagement than text-only posts. (Source: Sprout Social)

 

Which stat surprised you the most?

 

 

Mandy Edwards is the founder of ME Marketing Services, a marketing company specializing in digital & social media marketing located in Statesboro, Georgia. A proud graduate of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia she has a thorough marketing background of 17+ years. In the fall you can find her along with her family at Sanford Stadium cheering on their beloved Georgia Bulldogs. Mandy has been mentioned in Forbes, named to the Statesboro Herald’s Top 20 under 40, has been ranked as a Top 100 Social Media Power Influencer by StatSocial and is a Sprout Social All-Star Elite. In 2016 she was recognized as a member of the University of Georgia’s top 40 Under 40 Alumni.

Why Hiring a Marketing Specialist is Better than a Marketing Agency

I love the phrase that appearances are not always what they appear to be. That is so true in the marketing world. In this world, it’s our job to sell and promote – and some use smoke and mirrors to make it work.

 

There’s an emerging trend in the marketing world – specialists over the traditional agency. Agencies – marketing and advertising – are seeing a nationwide decline in favor of marketing being moved in-house or outsourced to specialists who work with strategic partners. We, of course, fall in the latter of that.

 

I’m going to take a bold stand and make a statement that needs to be said – when you work with a marketing specialist who works with strategic partners who are experts in their fields, you and your business will be better off than with a one-stop-shop marketing agency who does it all for you.

 

Why? Read on.

 

I know you’re saying, but wait, isn’t ME Marketing an agency? Well, no, not in the true definition of an agency. We are marketing specialists – yes, we can do all facets of marketing, but we specialize in the field of digital marketing, and going even further, social media. Social Media Marketing is our area of expertise. We are not a one-stop-do-it-all-for-you agency. We do not have a videographer, or photographer, or multiple account managers, or graphic designers on staff. We know what we are good at and stick with that. We are a speciality marketing company – specializing in the field of marketing on social media.

 

But what if I need more than that?

 

That’s fine – we have strategic partners we work with that are experts in their own fields. We are partners with an SEO expert. A branding and identity expert. A videographer. A graphic designer. A promotional products company. The ones we partner with do their own lanes 100% and when they have clients who need social media, they call us. A wise mentor once told me, “know what you are good at and outsource the rest.” So I started working with strategic partners (my theme for 2019 – strategic partnerships).

 

So why not just use that one-stop agency?

 

The problem with the one-stop marketing agency in this day and age is that rarely are any of the staff there experts in any one marketing field. They have some experience, yes, but they don’t specialize. So you get an overall half-way done job because you have a bunch of pseudo-experienced people handling your marketing. And marketing is expensive. The only exception to this would be if you were located in a major city like Atlanta, Chicago, or New York.

 

When you work with a specialist, you are not going to be upsold on other things your business may not need. For example, if you hired us to help with your social media marketing, we are not going to sell you on having new photographs done for your business. Or make you buy ads on TV. Or update your logo. Specialists do what they are hired to do and if another marketing need came up, that specialist would help to make sure that need was taken care of by someone who knows what they are doing.

 

Another reason to use a specialist is that you know who you are working with. Typically you work directly with that specialist – you aren’t signed then passed off to an account manager, who may or may not have any experience in marketing strategy or know your business.

 

I’m not going to lie, working with a specialist who pulls in other experts to fill the needs you have may cost a little more, but isn’t it worth spending a little more to have true experts who know their field handling your marketing and knowing it’s being done by experts?

 

I would pay. Gladly.

 

But it may just not be in your budget. And us specialists get that. We work to network with people so we have a broad network of professionals who can fit your budget.

 

What will you opt for this year for your business? The choice is yours.

 

This year, we are focused on strategic partnerships to bring our clients the absolute best to make sure their marketing is a success. If you are a creative and interested in being a strategic partner, contact us!

 

 

Mandy Edwards is the founder of ME Marketing Services, a marketing company specializing in digital & social media marketing located in Statesboro, Georgia. A proud graduate of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia she has a thorough marketing background of 17+ years. In the fall you can find her along with her family at Sanford Stadium cheering on their beloved Georgia Bulldogs. Mandy has been mentioned in Forbes, named to the Statesboro Herald’s Top 20 under 40, has been ranked as a Top 100 Social Media Power Influencer by StatSocial and is a Sprout Social All-Star Elite. In 2016 she was recognized as a member of the University of Georgia’s top 40 Under 40 Alumni.

12 Marketing Ideas to Try Out in 2019

By now I’m sure you’ve read numerous posts about your marketing strategy for this year. Although it’s beneficial and important to lay all of this before the end of the previous year, that doesn’t work for everyone.

 

If you are still working on your marketing plan for this year – or you are just open to new ideas – this is a post for you.

 

I love to see what other businesses are doing – that is one of the greatest resources we have, watching each other. We can see what worked and what didn’t. Who stepped outside the box and who fell on their face. Every great marketing campaign started with an idea from somewhere. And maybe this is that somewhere!

 

Here are 12 marketing ideas to try out for your business this year.

 

Review your existing strategy (and if you don’t have one, make one).

The beginning of any year is a good time to look at what you have planned and see if anything needs to be tweaked as we move forward into 2019. And don’t worry if you don’t have a marketing plan at all – it’s never too late to get started on one!

 

Focus on your best performing social media platform.

What platforms are you currently using? Do you see one (or two) out-performing the rest? Stop wasting time on the ones that aren’t working and focus on the one or two that are. It will save you time and give you time to focus on that core community.

 

Create an editorial calendar.

We create editorial calendars 30 days in advance, so we know what is going to post when – because you have to have a purpose behind every action you do. You can do this one or two weeks in advance if it’s easier, but have a plan and be purposeful about it!

 

Put your customers first.

There’s a rebellion coming, and your marketing will soon be in your customer’s hands. Put their needs first – solve their problems and stop pushing why you are better.

 

Get involved in something locally this year.

Not only is personal philanthropy important, but having your business involved is too. However, do it for the right reasons. Don’t do it to get your logo on a banner or your name mentioned in an article. Do it with a servant’s heart and you will be rewarded.

 

Use your data to guide your decisions.

Study your social media insights, Google Analytics, and email marketing reports and see what your audience is doing. What type of content are they clicking on? What are they responding to? Let these results help guide what you need to provide in your content marketing strategy.

 

Start a referral program.

In a time when customer loyalty is at an all-time low, reward the loyal customers you have by offering rewards and incentives when they refer their friends and family!

 

Add a photo booth in your store or office.

If allowed, set up a place for customers to take pictures and post to social media! Use a backdrop with your logo, or just a plain wall with some props. This is an easy way for your customers to share the love on social media.

 

Get stickers printed.

If you’ve been to a coffee shop, chances are you’ve seen laptops covered in brand stickers. Why not get some of your own and hand them out! You can get some awesome ones from Sticker Mule – that’s where mine came from in the picture below!

BTW, want one to the awesome stickers in the picture above? Just email us and let us know you want one!

 

Get in front of the camera.

Video is here whether we like it or not, so grin and bear it and get in front of the camera! Your customers want to see you (and/or your staff), so take them on a tour, or just say hi. You can even do it very easily and take advantage of Instagram Stories.

 

Get your staff involved.

Employee advocacy is huge. Get your staff involved in sharing content – and creating it as well! It will show off your business online and can provide some light-hearted entertainment as well.

 

Personalize.

This will forever be an idea because it’s what marketing is becoming – personalization for our customers, making the user experience unique. From emails, to ad campaigns, make sure you are tailoring your efforts specifically to them, the customers.

 

What ideas will you be taking advantage of this year? Share with us some of your favorites that either worked for you or someone you know!

 

Mandy Edwards is the founder of ME Marketing Services, a marketing company specializing in digital & social media marketing located in Statesboro, Georgia. A proud graduate of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia she has a thorough marketing background of 17+ years. In the fall you can find her along with her family at Sanford Stadium cheering on their beloved Georgia Bulldogs. Mandy has been mentioned in Forbes, named to the Statesboro Herald’s Top 20 under 40, has been ranked as a Top 100 Social Media Power Influencer by StatSocial and is a Sprout Social All-Star Elite. In 2016 she was recognized as a member of the University of Georgia’s top 40 Under 40 Alumni.

Why I Stopped Blogging for 6 Months

Hello! Let me introduce myself. My name is…

 

I’m sure you’ve noticed, but I haven’t posted a blog article is almost six months. I talk to clients about the importance of blogging and how it can help their business, yet I stopped doing it.

 

Why?

 

My heart just wasn’t in it.

 

I had a punch to the gut towards the end of 2017 when my father passed away and it took until about February or March of 2018 for me to really come out of the fog I had been in that previous five to six months. When that fog lifted, my priorities shifted. And with my business, that included my blogging.

 

I trucked along blogging the first part of 2018 and then got to the point where I was just recycling and updating old posts because I just did not feel I had anything new to say that someone else was not already saying. So around July, I just stopped. I figured why reinvent the wheel if it was already rolling.

 

But I missed it.

 

Blogging (writing) is a great exercise in getting out what you want to say. I can write out my thoughts better than I can say them (and also not stumble over my words, which I have a problem doing). Blogging gave me a platform to help other businesses – and help Google come back to my site over and over. Thanks to my Revive Old Post plug-in, older posts continued to be shared on my Twitter account so traffic still came, but nothing new ever published.

 

Social media news came and went and I just shared other’s content instead of my own. I mean, seriously, how many times can people report on an Instagram change or another Facebook data breach? It’s like beating a dead horse with a stick. People are going to go to the sources they are used to – I know I do.

 

That brings me to January 2019. I start this year with a renewed spirit and focus on the business, and more importantly, my blog.

 

So, welcome back to the blog, where you’ll see a new post every other Tuesday, and let’s rock 2019!

 

Mandy Edwards is the founder of ME Marketing Services, a marketing company specializing in digital & social media marketing located in Statesboro, Georgia. A proud graduate of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia she has a thorough marketing background of 17+ years. In the fall you can find her along with her family at Sanford Stadium cheering on their beloved Georgia Bulldogs. Mandy has been mentioned in Forbes, named to the Statesboro Herald’s Top 20 under 40, has been ranked as a Top 100 Social Media Power Influencer by StatSocial and is a Sprout Social All-Star Elite. In 2016 she was recognized as a member of the University of Georgia’s top 40 Under 40 Alumni.

3 Attributes of Today's Consumer

3 Attributes of Today’s Consumer

With the rise of online consumerism, it is crucial for businesses to understand their customers, and what they want in a product. Plus, in a digital age where anything and everything can be found online, the proper marketing tactics must be implemented to have the desired effect on the target audience.

 

Take a minute and imagine the world we were in 10 years ago (it’s hard to believe 2007 was 10 years ago). Facebook was still competing with MySpace for traffic, Amazon was primarily known for selling books, and the iPhone was just released. Back in those days, the way we shopped for products was drastically different from the way we shop today.

 

Today’s Consumer Is…

 

Curious

“Curiosity just might be the most important desire a content marketer has to elicit in a story.” Consumers enjoy browsing the internet for the latest and greatest products. With digital ads tailored to these consumer searches, websites have the ability to project their ads through social media outlets which then propels the consumer to respond to the click bait. “Curiosity impels us to do things beyond functional need. It makes us explorers, discoverers.” The social media powerhouse – Facebook – is notorious for using this tactic and marketing products based on what the consumer has previously searched. While this seems like an invasion of privacy, it is also how many people attain their desired products. They wish to know the best product available, where to buy it, and what’s open now. Information is power, and consumers have it.

 

Demanding

Consumers are now in control and they have a high expectation that their experience will be individually tailored to their demands. They are better informed due to the advancement of technology which makes it easier for them to acquire knowledge about a product. Consumers know what they want and are on the hunt to find it within an attainable price range. “This one, single device that we keep in our pockets can be used to review products, check prices, share purchases, request coupons – and sometimes even to purchase products from one retailer’s online channel while standing in a competitor’s store.” Consumers can research products and services thoroughly before deciding to buy. With various outlets and companies to receive products from, using digital searches is a main way for consumers to know what to buy and where to buy it. Companies have to be adapting to consumers evolving needs. Bottom line, today’s customer is better informed and harder to please.

5 Customer Demands:

1. be on our side

2. be personally accountable for our desired results

3. be proactive

4. solve our problems

5. be innovative in responding to our needs

 

Impatient

We are living in the era of impatience. Velaro recently commissioned a single-question survey of over 2,500 Americans and asked, “For customer service, how long are you willing to be put on hold?” 6 out of 10 said one minute or less. Another third of the respondents said 1-5 minutes.

Consumers now enjoy increased levels of convenience, simplicity, and knowledge. Smartphones have connected consumers instantly to markets and information no matter where they might be, which allows them to find answers to almost any question, at any time. Fetch and YouGov conducted a research poll that reports 41% of respondents say technology has made them more impatient than they were five years ago. Among Millennials, the proportion is 45%.

The bar is being raised for fulfillment services with speed and flexibility both expected as standard. It’s 2018, almost everyone has bought something from Amazon one way or another. Amazon Prime, with it’s free 24 hour shipping, has only aided in the grown impatience of consumers as they want their product to be delivered yesterday. According to Google the average U.S. retail mobile site loaded in 6.9 seconds in July 2016, but 40% of consumers will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. In this digital, high speed world, we are the epitome of instant gratification.

 

Whether the consumer is curious, demanding, impatient, or all three, the rapid popularity of online consumerism does not seem to be slowing down – and neither does today’s consumer.

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