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Your Guide to Millennial Marketing

Guest blogger  from HeyOrca!  gives us a birds-eye-view into being a millennial in marketing…

What comes to mind when you think of the word millennial?

Some people might think entitled or impatient. I know of certain parents who may consider a certain millennial ‘lazy’ (sorry if my 5 classes and part-time job leaves me needing a nap). Some people think that millennials can’t hold down a job because they’re too busy travelling the world and documenting it on Instagram. Others think that we’re happy laying on our parent’s couches until we’re older twenty-somethings (I’m only 21 so I still have some couch time left), while telling ourselves that 20 bucks a month is sufficient savings.

Moving from a society where you’re expected to be out of the house, hitched, and working a 9-5 by the age of 25, many people are opting to stay home to reduce costs, or help them through post-secondary. This contributes to a higher disposable income compared to earlier generations, and more buying power. It’s estimated that by 2017, millennials will spend upwards to $200 billion – which is ironic, because I’d spend a lot less moving out of my parent’s place.

The combination of all of this means that millennial marketing could go several ways. It’s easy enough to assume that because millennials spend so much time looking at a screen – whether that be a phone, tablet, laptop – that as long as your brand is on the major platforms, you’re golden. Unfortunately, not so much the case.

So, coming from a millennial, here’s how to market to me.

Authenticity wins big

If these dodgey dating apps have taught us millennials anything, it’s how to have a keen eye for insincere, fake intentions. We don’t trust traditional, profit-driven advertisements – we know you’re a brand, so we can connect those dots ourselves. Why would I want to spend my money on a brand that’s traditionally salesy, when there are brands out there being honest and open about their product and pricing? Though some people may not think so, millennials still want to make well informed purchase decisions – and brands that give me the resources to do so are a lot more likely to get my business than a brand that uses billboards or pop-up ads. This authenticity also helps build a relationship of trust. If you wanna check out one brand that prides themselves on transparency, visit Everlane, by far one of the coolest brands, and Instagram accounts, I’ve seen.

Strategic content

Like I mentioned before, just because your brand may be on every platform for every device that millennials are using, doesn’t mean we’re necessarily listening. If you want millennials to notice you and your brand, your content strategy should include:

Visuals

Visual content is a power-house approach to engage, promote brand awareness, and get millennials to share your branded content via social platforms. Our attention spans may not always be the longest, and we always seem to be multitasking. Visual mediums like images, videos, or live-streaming events is a great way to get our attention, with minimal effort on our end (unlike reading, yuck). This form of content can also be easily shared and viewed on any major social platform, and can also be either be static or in real-time.

User-Created

The most infamous word millennials have contributed to the English language is the ‘Selfie’. What can we conclude from that? Millennials see no problem focusing time on themselves – and even more so when they upload these pictures to Instagram or Facebook. So if given the chance to create their own content for a certain promotion or event, they dive in head first. Whether it be contributing snaps to a Snapchat Story, sending in videos of tips and tricks for different products, or capturing how they use a certain item – millennials love creating this kind of content on their own. Actually, around 46% of us. We love the creative freedom it gives us, and the opportunity for brands to share the authentic experiences (both good and bad) that their audiences have encountered.

Up to date technology  

Agencies aiming millennials target both on, and with, the latest in technology. It shows that you as a brand are up to trend, are relevant, and can share a common interest with millennials. 56% of us are among the first to try out new technology, and are 2.5x more likely to adopt new technology compared to other generations. Mercedes Benz hoped on the 360 degree video-bandwagon when promoting their latest SUV. Streaming on YouTube (notice, not television), the video features Instagram sensation Loki the Wolf Dog adventuring in the great outdoors, alongside their favourite Mercedes. Apart from the great combination of influencer marketing and storytelling going on, this shows that Mercedes is up to date and that they can create value using the latest technology.  

Beyond the bottom line

Even though some people associate millennials with being entitled, we’re actually much more inclined to do business with brands whose bottom line isn’t their only concern. Brands who consistently exercise corporate social responsibility can even charge higher prices to an extent – 37% of millennials will pay more if a brand supports a cause that they care about. Additionally, brands who are driven by more than just profit get more ‘millennial love’. Brand loyalty and helping others – honestly though, what’s NOT to love?

Millennials – we’re really not all that hard to figure out. We like being creative, expressing ourselves, and being heard. As long as your brand can engage with us, and give us the opportunity to do so, you’ll have us eating out of your hands (and not because we spent all our money on plane tickets instead of groceries).

6 Tips for Writing Content that Converts

We’ve invited our friends at Hey Orca! to collaborate with us on creating blog content. We use their amazing web application to plan and schedule social media content for ourselves and our clients.

Guest blogger  understands what it takes to make great content. Check out her tips below…

Creating well researched and well written content is not an easy task, and later seeing it go nowhere is painful to watch. Whether you are creating content for your social media calendar or for your company blog, it makes sense to take the time to learn how to write content that converts. Learn how to leverage power words, how to appeal to emotions, how to choose words that resonate with the goals of your readers, and more!

1. Always have a plan

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin The ideal content plan will cover all the bases of your content strategy. From creating, editing, publishing, distributing, measuring and reporting. By having a plan in place for each stage of the content lifecycle, you are sure to stay on track and reach your milestones or benchmark goals. Here are some questions to help you get your content plan started! Who is the intended audience? What forms of content will you use? How ofter do you plan on distributing/publishing content? What is your plan? How do you plan on measuring it?Related Article : Join the Dark Side… of Facebook that is!

2. Get to know your audience

Theres a reason why radio car commercials are rampant on the way to work, and why coffee and fast-food chain commercials always appear during morning shows. Once brands identify which demographic to target, they place content where their audience is sure to see it. Knowing your demographic means details like disposable income, shopping preferences, and position within the market. By isolating an audience and aligning your product with their needs and wants, you’ll be able to capture their attention with relevant content.

3. Start storytelling

Storytelling is an opportunity to talk to customers as people and in a way that engages their imagination and sense of wonder. Few things are more tiresome than a lazy promotional message. Whether it be a shared personal experience or just an emotion, storytelling is a form of content not to be underestimated. This is an opportunity to reach your audience on a more personal level, and capture their attention without seeming profit-driven. One of the best known examples of a storytelling television ad is Back to the Start from Chipotle Mexican Grill. The restaurant chain shared their story of striving towards a more sustainable future and shared a common goal with their audience for back-to-basics, simple eating. Not to mention that Chipotle also won a Cannes Lion Grand Prix while doing it.

4. Words can make you or break you

In most scenarios, I’m a firm believer that actions speak louder than words. But when it comes to engaging content, words are pretty crucial. In fact, without the right words there will zero action from your audience. So avoid words that suggest there could be deniability. For example; Round-trip fares starting at… – you’ll probably be paying more for those tickets than what the Airline advertises Using assertive and eye-catching words will be much more compelling to prospective customers than meek, timid ones. Try using analogies or metaphors for slogans, introduce strong, confident words, or even play around with alliteration. Regardless of what you are offering to prospective clients or how you want them to act, using savvy and clear words will help you pitch your offer to audiences in a fresh, fun way!

5. Curate the CTA

One of the most crucial parts of the content you’ll produce is the CTA (Call-to-Action), which ideally will bring a prospective customer to your landing page where they’ll want to learn more about you and your product. You’re tailoring content to different audiences, so that also includes the CTA. Don’t stick with the classic Click here copy. Still use CTAs that are clear and to the point, but curate the words to what type of audience members you’re targeting. For example, if you’re targeting an inquisitive and curious audience; Discover how it works! or Learn more here! CTA.

6. Promote Promote Promote

Congrats! You’ve created engaging, compelling content – now its time to share it with the world! Make sure to distribute content through more than just one of your social media channels. You can also leverage your social followers or email lists to get the word out. This is also a great opportunity to harness the power of people you don’t know – thought leaders or social media influencers, for example. Learn more about the Power of Influencer marketing here! There’s no reason not to reach out to them and ask if they could share your content with their audience – you could always offer a guest content in exchange. Now, all of a sudden you have a professional relationship with a big-cheese in the social media space! How cool is that?
Content is all about taking your audience on a journey – from attracting, creating a connection, and closing an offer. After engaging your audience with relevant and unique content, how could they possibly resist?

The Best Ways to Share Content for Your Brand

A frequent question I’ve been asked lately is “can I use images off the Internet in my social media feeds or is that copyright infringement?”. Of course the answer is always “it depends” so let’s talk about the best ways to use found images on your blogs, website, or social networks.

The best way to share any content, no matter what media type, is to keep the original source link with the content. It’s all about promoting someone else’s content and showing yourself or your brand as an expert curator on a topic, rather than claiming that content as your own.

For example, below is a YouTube playlist we created to showcase content marketing we think is clever. The videos are streaming from their original channels, but through a playlist we created on our channel and have embedded here:

This means that whenever someone watches a video in our playlist, the views will be noted on the original source video and the user can easily click through to the channel where it’s streaming from.

You can do this with images, as well. Below I’ve just inserted an image into this blog using the “Insert From URL” option in the “Add Media” dialogue box, plus I made the image a link to the article where I found the image. To be even more copyright friendly, I’ve added a caption stating the name of the article. The only trouble with this method, is if that if the host ever changes the link, the image below will no longer be displayed.

Family watching tv while using mobile devices.

The reinvention of the 1950s living room

Here’s an example from social media – we tweeted someone’s Vine and the video maintains the original username and when clicked on, takes you to the Vine owner’s channel.

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 10.37.44 AM

There will be some cases where you might want to create your own graphics, perhaps by creating an inspirational quote or a holiday card. In those cases, if you don’t have original photography or illustrations to use, you’ll need to obtain the license to use someone else’s imagery.

I recommend purchasing stock images or looking for Creative Commons images.

Creative Commons has a variety of licensing options, and you can search for free images that you can use at this link: http://search.creativecommons.org/. The thing is that with most of the CC licenses, you need to credit the owner, so you may need to provide a caption with the artist’s name and potentially link to their site.

Be sure to look for the license and then click through to see what’s involved in using the image. In this example, the license says “Some rights reserved”.

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 10.51.01 AM

When I clicked on “Some rights reserved”, I received instructions on how I could use that image:

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 10.53.07 AM

Here’s how I could use that image:

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 11.01.11 AM

If you don’t want to credit the image owner and want to “white label” the image or claim it as your own, you want a non-attribution license which comes with a fee. I recommend the following stock image sites where you can purchase the license to use the images as your own:

dollarphotoclub.com

istockphoto.com

depositphotos.com

gettyimages.ca

I hope that helps and please let us know if you have any questions about creating content for your brand!

~ Christina, Owner & Strategist at Antenna Social Media & Design

Please note: I’m not a lawyer and I recommend consulting with someone who focuses in copyright law if you have any doubts about the content you are posting.

Scheduling Posts in Facebook

The benefit of using Facebook to schedule posts directly is that you can access features that other schedulers (like HootSuite) can’t, such as tagging other Facebook Pages. The downside is that it takes longer to do.

Here’s how:

In the status field box, click on the little clock in the bottom right hand corner. That will open your scheduling options.

Facebook scheduling 1

Once you’ve hit the “schedule” button, you can access and edit your scheduled posts in the “Activity Tab”.

Facebook scheduling 2

That’s it! Enjoy…

#TutorialTuesday

Donate. Dump. Challenge. The Success of the #IceBucketChallenge

Getting people to create videos about themselves is difficult. Even getting them to send in #selfies when the prize is really really good can be like pulling teeth. As a social media marketer, I can’t help but philosophize on the reasons why this challenge has taken off the way it has.

Here’s how the #icebucketchallenge won the Internet:

  1. NOT A CAMPAIGN: It was unintentional and organic… it wasn’t even a grass roots campaign. Until Pete Frates tied it to ALS, it was just another random Internet challenge. Straight from the people.
  2. PERSONAL CONNECTION: You get to see friends you haven’t seen in years on video, not just in curated photos. Personally, that has been something I’ve enjoyed immensely. Video reveals tone of voice, body language and other nuances that I hadn’t realized that I missed in friends from my past. 
  3. THROWING DOWN THE GAUNTLET: It’s shameful to ignore a challenge, particularly when someone calls you out to your face… virtually. 
  4. MOTIVATING THROUGH GUILT: Many of us will do anything to appease our guilt. Adding the charitable element takes this up a notch from all the other challenges that I’ve ignored on Facebook (such as: “share 3 positives a day for 7 days, and invite 3 people each day to do the same” or “let’s fill Facebook with Art”).
  5. REMOVING INSECURITY: With #selfies we can take 100 pictures before finding one we like enough to post. It’s only one angle we need to worry about… one pose. With video there are so many more things to be insecure about! Our voices, our gestures, the way we look from multiple directions. The #icebucketchallenge levels the playing field. We’re all getting a bucket of water dumped on us in a very un-sexy way. It’s down-right silly and that’s what makes it wonderful.
  6. IT’S FUN FOR ALL AGES: People of all ages and lifestyles are doing this challenge. Most of my personal Facebook feed is made up of parents with young kids and this seems to be an activity they love to do together. 
  7. THE SCRIPT IS READY: The challenge is simple… donate, dump, then challenge. Not everyone follows the donate part of the script, but either way they spread the message. It’s easy to figure out and follow.
  8. IT FEELS GOOD: There is a lot going on in the world right now that can make one feel helpless and depressed. Doing something silly lifts the spirits, and giving money to a charitable cause always feels good. 
Congratulations to ALS who have unexpectedly had a windfall year! And congratulations to all charities who are receiving extra funds due to the giving energy in the air.

If you’re wondering where this all began, this CTV article does a great job of providing the history.
For the cynics, here’s why it’s “bad for you”.
And here’s a reaction to the cynics, telling the nay-sayers to back down.
And there are always the marketers weighing in – just like us.

~ Christina

Make It Worth Sharing – Facebook Ads

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The power of Facebook (and Social Media) is in its REACH. If you share content on your Facebook Page, and one of your fans shares it to their own personal network, you’ve already reached outside of your fan base. If any of that fan’s friends share the post, whether they’ve liked your page or not, it will reach that person’s network. So if you have sharable content, it can be seen by an extended network of people who are not even fans of your page yet.
1 fan of your page has a huge extended network.
Recently there have been articles and blogs about Facebook removing Sponsored Stories in April, 2014. While this is true, there is no reason to panic. Focus on creating interesting content for your niche demographic and you will succeed at Social Media. These stories have come out of a post to the Facebook Developer’s blog where it states it will “sunset Sponsored Stories”, meaning they will be put to rest forever.

Every year, and sometimes sooner, Facebook updates its Ad Manager. This usually happens in the spring. The updates are based on many things: usability, user feedback, and of course Facebook’s business operations.

Last year Facebook announced that it would bring social context to all ads, not just for Sponsored Stories. So as of April 9th, any Sponsored Stories will cease to run. But all ads, at that time, will have social context built in. 
Social context refers to the sharing, commenting, and liking of content on Facebook. If you create an ad, and I like the ad or share it on my News Feed, of course my friends will see that. Making your ad sharable is the key to getting your best return on investment. 
This is directly from an announcement Facebook made in June last year:
“[We will] …include the best of sponsored stories in all ads. Previously, to get the best social context available, advertisers had to purchase sponsored stories in addition to ads. In the future, for example, when you create a Page post photo ad, we will automatically add social context to boost performance and eliminate the extra step of creating sponsored stories.”
At the time of the announcement, a lot of people were focused on an idea that Facebook was removing “offers” but when you read their actual announcement it says “It also means removing the online Offer product because marketers have found that using a Page post link ad is a more effective way to drive people to deals on their websites.” The key to that sentence was the word “online”. Offers are still there, Facebook just simplified it to focus on in-store offers rather than online offers.
Forbes is suggesting that removing Sponsored Stories could be a result of a class action law suit against Facebook due to privacy concerns. If this is true, then Facebook’s shift from Sponsored Stories to “social context” may take a different form than they initially intended. 
Social context will always be a part of Facebook advertising, no matter how things change. It’s the entire reason these ads work in the first place. 
Get in touch if you have any questions or need help creating social ads.
C.
My sources for this information:

Set SMART Social Media Goals

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve probably already heard about “SMART” goals. This type of goal setting is just as important to your social media strategy as to your business planning.

Here’s a re-cap using a Social Media context:

Image from: http://askjeremyjones.com/the-pursuit/smart-goals-image/

Goal: To increase Antenna Social’s online presence.

This goal is vague and difficult to measure so it can never be checked off that ever growing to-do list. So, let’s make it SMART.

SPECIFIC: “Online presence” means a lot of things. Pick something specific, it may turn one goal into several goals but then you’ll have more to check off your list 🙂

Updated goal: Gain new fans to Antenna Social’s Facebook Page.

MEASURABLE: How does one measure “gain new fans”? If we get 2 new fans, can we check it off our to-do list? We’d end up putting it back on our to-do list as soon as it’s checked off!

Updated goal: Gain 1000 new fans to Antenna Social’s Facebook Page.

ATTAINABLE: Looking at the original goal, is it realistic? That depends on all the other aspects of the goal. I think we should move this to the end which would make the acronym SMRTA goals, which just doesn’t have the same ring. So let’s revisit after looking at the other pieces.

RELEVANT: Is the goal relevant to your business and its success? In our case, we’re a Social Media business so having a robust online presence is very important. Looking at the updated goal, Facebook is a key Social Network that will help all our other networks grow. Check mark! Although it is good to consider at this point what 1000 fans will do for our business. Having a smaller amount of fans who are engaged is better than having a large following that aren’t really interested in your content. So I’ll revise it to 500 instead.

Updated goal: Gain 500 new fans to Antenna Social’s Facebook Page.

TIME BASED: How can we measure a goal without setting a due date? In the original goal there is no date – so after 2 years we could look back and say, “Hey, we achieved our goal!” but is that doing our business any favours? Probably not. Set a due date so that you can check it off your list sooner! Consider breaking your initial goal into multiple goals such as a short term goal and a long term goal. Heck, you can get really serious and set a really long term goal.

Updated goal: Gain 500 new fans to Antenna Social’s Facebook Page by June 1, 2013.

Now review the goal and check back in on whether it is ATTAINABLE or not. What would we have to do to gain 500 new fans in one month? Paid ads, contest, more time and effort on content production… is the return on our investment worth spending the time and $ building that many fans? At this point in our business, it just isn’t realistic so we should drop the number to something more attainable within the time frame and budget. At this point you may want to re-jig the dates or break it into multiple goals as mentioned in the TIME BASED explanation.

Updated goal: Gain 50 new fans to Antenna Social’s Facebook Page by June 1, 2013. Have a total of 500 fans on Antenna Social’s Facebook Page by Oct 1, 2013. Have 1000 Facebook Fans by Jan 1, 2014.

Ok, go set some Social Media SMRTA goals now! er, I mean SMART goals.

https://www.facebook.com/AntennaSocial
@AntennaSocial

The Language of Twitter – Explained

Are you new to Twitter and finding yourself overwhelmed with all the acronyms and symbols? You are not alone! We are here to explain it to you so you can jump in and start interacting with the world in 140 characters.

Twitter is a way to broadcast concise, succinct, topical statements to the world at large and especially to your network.

What You Need To Know:

140 Chars = The amount of characters, including spaces and punctuation, for each “tweet”.

Tweet = What each statement sent through Twitter is called.

Tweeters, Tweeties, Tweeps = Various names given to describe Twitter users.

@ = Each Twitter user is assigned an “@” username which is their unique identifier. Whenever a tweet is sent with someone’s @username, they are notified in a section in their account called “Mentions”. This is a way of publicly acknowledging someone or getting someone’s attention. In Twitter if you are looking at a tweet there is a “Reply To” button which will automatically create a tweet with that tweeter’s username.

For example: This is the “Mentions” section for @AntennaSocial. In the above tweet you can see that we were mentioned along with @eWomenNetwork, @PamelaChatry, and @PinkPom. All of these users will receive the same notification.

Followers = For every Twitter user, there is a button called “Follow” where you can choose to subscribe to a specific user’s twitter feed. The term “Follower” is the label for those in your twitter network who are subscribed to you. If someone is subscribed to you, you are not automatically subscribed back – to reciprocate, you have to click their follow button.

DM = Within Twitter you can also send private messages to other users called “Direct Messages”. You can only send DM’s to someone who is following you. Here are a few examples of how this might be used in a tweet: “DM me to set up an appointment” or “I’ll DM you with my email address.”

# = This is also known as a “hash tag”. It is used to label or categorize a tweet without having to repeat the word since there are only 140 chars. It originated as a way to search for topics in Twitter but has evolved to have its own meaning – like a witty retort or saying something under your breath for comedic value or for putting emphasis on part of the tweet.

The # tag in this example was used to categorize the tweet. The tags #SuperStorm and #Frankenstorm were used by millions of other people around the world so anyone searching those tags might see this tweet.
The # tag in this instance is used to put emphasis on particular phrases without having to make grammatically correct sentences that would take up more than 140 chars.

RT = This means “Retweet” which is when you like someone’s tweet and want to share it along to your followers. The format is usually a repetition of the tweet with “RT @username” added at either the beginning or end of the tweet. You can do this easily and automatically in Twitter by clicking the “RT” button on someone’s tweet OR you can copy and paste it and add the @username yourself.

Other Interesting Things To Know:

#FF = Hash tag Follow Friday. Every Friday tweeters around the globe will post a tweet with this tag plus several @usernames indicating tweeters that they recommend.

An example of a #FF tweet. The tweeter is: @kerrybrowncoach and the people she recommends are @JulieMorgenstrn @ericapinskyinc @realtyteacher @JaenyB @ChenLizra @LifeWriterCoach @suz_oswegohotel.

Trending = Twitter generates a real-time list of the top 10 most tweeted topics. This is a great way to see what is happening in the world at any given moment. Sometimes it is all about a political event (such as the recent #Election2012) or sometimes it focuses on silly statements.

The “Trends” box to the left indicates the top ten trending topics at the moment I type this. I clicked on “Canada” to show you the types of tweets that are creating the trend. Twitter allows you to change the Trends from worldwide to local.

MT = This means “Modified Tweet” and is when you share the meaning of someone’s tweet but not using the same words. Instead of adding the RT @username, you would use MT @username. Not a lot of people are using this as it is understood that when sharing a tweet it may be modified to a certain degree.

Via = When you want to share an idea from someone’s tweet but re-phrase it completely… or perhaps just sharing a link from a tweet you can use “via” to indicate where the thread of thought originated.

This = Sometimes you will see a tweet that is something like “This. “. It is a way of sharing something and indicating that it is very interesting for the tweeter and simply needs to be seen rather than talked about. Often used for funny posts or topics the user is passionate about.

BTW = By The Way

FTW = For The Win (this is from gaming’s language leetspeak).

w00t = A hoot of joy, also from leetspeak.

squee = A squeal of joy.

There are many more, of course! Whenever I find an acronym I don’t understand, I simply google it.

Also check out Twitter’s own Glossary.