Five Tips For a Great Content Calendar

A content calendar is non-negotiable for any digital marketing manager. They may be simple in theory, but in practice they can be hard to create, and even harder to stick to. Today, we wanted to take some time to talk about some tips and tricks to ensure your content calendar is helping you manage your both your content and time as efficiently as possible.

photo-1529910173308-89b53ef12f55.jpeg

Consolidate Your Content Into One Shared Calendar

A social media manager has one calendar, a copywriter is scheduling blogs on another, marketing managers keep track of events in yet another timeline, and so on. Not only is this messy, but it’s not conducive to effective communication within a team. Instead, try using a spreadsheet or calendar each team member has access to and can update as needed, this way, everyone is aware of what each other is working on without having to explain it. Change can be hard, but encouraging everyone to work on the sole calendar will not only help productivity, but it will also help with organization and teamwork.


Schedule Out Content in Advance

Additionally, using one shared calendars eliminates the risk of disseminating too much content at once and causing it to get lost in the shuffle. If you see that a blog post is going up on a Friday morning, you’d be better off scheduling an IG Live Q&A at a different time, this way the two pieces aren’t competing for traffic. This also helps with consistency and establishing a routine. People like to know what’s coming, so let them know when they can expect a new post, blog, video, etc. so they’re on the lookout for it.


Establish a Content Marketing Strategy

Contrary to what some may believe, a content calendar is not the same thing as a content marketing strategy. The calendar almost a visual representation that merely spells out your approach, the strategy itself is pinpointing how and to whom you want to market. Gather your marketing department and have a brainstorm session. Who is your target audience? What kind of content do they want to see? What platforms do they prefer? These are just a few of the questions an effective content marketing strategy will answer. This also helps to align the team and make sure everyone has the same goal and vision to put forward when generating new content. Perception is reality, and it’s essential to ensure your brand isn’t spouting out conflicting messages.

photo-1528879342222-323df0d65c9f.jpeg

Keep the Calendar Updated

Too often, marketers build out their calendar and then grow complacent and forget to make sure their practices are still up-to-date and innovative. As we have said so many times, digital marketing is continually evolving, thus so should your strategy. Live video, blogging, video marketing, social media marketing, these are all factors that digital marketers barely had to think about even five years ago. And we can be sure that new tools and technologies are being developed this moment we aren’t even aware of yet, hence why we need to stay mindful of capitalizing on new trends and building them into your existing content marketing strategy.


Be Flexible

You can spend hours brainstorming with your team and think you’ve come up with the most successful strategy of all time, but then come to find out it didn’t translate to your audience the way you expected. It happens; it’s the reason we see flops like the infamous Pepsi ad debacle. This is where flexibility comes in. Play damage control, talk about what went wrong and then make a new plan. In this same capacity, you should be amenable to adding in content when relevant. Keep an open dialogue and encourage team members to come forward when they have an idea they think will really resonate with the audience.





An Introduction to Live Video Marketing

Last week, we briefly touched on four digital trends to look out for in 2019. But one in particular stands out, so we felt like a full blog post was needed to discuss it.  

Live video. It’s a tactic that can intimidate a lot of people. Hearing yourself on camera, worrying about your appearance, tripping over your words… it can be scary! But, it can also be an incredibly useful tool in driving sales and generating leads if done right. 70 percent of marketers say video produces more conversions than any other content, and 73 percent of B2B organizations report a positive ROI from video marketing. It’s no secret that people love watching videos, so why not use that love to benefit your business?

Video content marketing has been a strong contender in the industry for a few years now, but thanks to new features on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, live video has now become possible for everyone to capture. People spend three times longer watching video which is live compared to pre-recorded content. That said, I think we can all agree not all videos are created equal, which is why it’s important to come up with a strategy before just jumping into the live video game head first. Length, video quality, content, time of day--these are only a few of the factors to keep in mind when prepping for your first live stream.

Periscope-app-stock-Nov2015-Verge-01.0.0.jpg

Timeliness

Timeliness comes in two ways. First, you want to avoid the video being unnecessarily long. Our attention spans aren’t as long as they used to be, so people will get bored quickly if you begin to drone on. Cut the cheesiness and keep it real, don’t waste time thinking about a script or you’ll risk coming across as too rehearsed or sounding canned, thus taking away the feeling of live video. Secondly, you’ll want to be aware of your video’s timeliness in regards to your target audience. If you’re looking to reach executives, avoid live streaming during the middle of the workday as most people will be too busy to watch. If you’re trying to target parents, you want to plan around when they’ll likely be putting the kids to bed, packing lunches, checking homework, etc. Your video campaigns are meant for these people, so do your best to stream at an appropriate time for them tune in.  


Production Quality

Overwhelmingly, people’s top priority when watching videos online is quality. 67 percent say video quality is the most crucial factor when watching a live stream, and 23 percent who have been presented with a poor quality video experience would hesitate to purchase from that brand. If you don’t hold your videos to a high standard, who’s to say you don’t do the same to your products or services. Perception is everything, and with the multitude of user-friendly platforms available from which to stream, viewer’s expectations are higher than ever. Plus, no one wants to share a bad video on their feed.

pexels-photo-1051544.jpeg

Engaging Content

It may seem like this goes without saying, but many brands struggle to come up with content that audiences actually want to view in real time. The most significant benefit of live video is that it gives followers a sense of “being there.” The various tools allow for the audience to engage via likes, comments, questions, etc., so take advantage of that. Invite them to be a part of your event, interview, behind-the-scenes look, or whatever it is you’re streaming. Although earlier we stressed the importance of not seeming overly rehearsed, it is equally important not to appear as if you are just winging it. Part of your strategy needs to be having a clear and concise purpose to your video and making sure viewers understand that purpose right out of the gate. Keep titles short but attention-grabbing, don’t leave people wondering what they’re watching or they’ll feel like you’re wasting their time.

As stated by the title, this is merely an introduction to live video marketing. We’ve barely scratched the surface, so stay tuned for another installment where we’ll broach some tips to executing your first successful live stream.






Four Digital Marketing Trends to Look Out for in 2019

Technology: the ever-evolving arena we live in as digital marketers. Gone are the days when artificial intelligence and voice searches were confined to the sci-fi genre; instead they’ve become a daily part of our lives. 2019 will undoubtedly bring even more advanced trends in the digital landscape, and as marketers, it’s our job to stay on top of them.

pexels-photo-270669.jpeg

Live Videos

Instagram Live, Facebook Live, YouTube Live… Everywhere you turn, you now have the ability to engage with followers in real time, to allow them to feel as if they are “part of the moment.” Not only is it a quick, and inexpensive, way to connect with your audience, it also carries with it a sense of authenticity. Live streaming means unscripted dialogue, immediate interaction through likes and comments, and it literally gives a face to the brand, instantly making you that much more memorable. Specifically, live video is becoming more popular for giving followers a “behind the scenes” look at what you do, how your product is made, who you are, etc. Vimeo found that 82 percent of viewers would rather watch a live video than view a social media post from brands they follow.


Voice Searches

By 2020, it’s estimated that 50 percent of all searches will be conducted by voice, whether that be through a smart speaker, laptop or smartphone. While this may still feel like a relatively new trend, it can no longer be ignored. Unlike typed searches that tend to be short and concise, voice searches are conversational, meaning content needs to be more conversational as well. Think about keywords people use to speak rather than type and make sure your copy reads well out loud and not just on a page. As the popularity for AI devices like the Amazon Alexa and Google Home continues to grow, so will the need to sell ad space across the platform.

pexels-photo-248528.jpeg

Chatbots

These days it is not uncommon to click onto a website’s landing page and immediately be greeted by a pop-up chat box in a bottom corner of your screen offering to help guide you through the site or answer any of your questions. However, it’s likely not an actual person you would be interacting with, but a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence. Even so, though, this offers visitors a more personalized experience. If they were in a physical store there would be someone there to help them, so why should the online version be any different? Not to mention, chatbots are available 24/7. Even when you’re sleeping or taking time off, your customer is still having someone take care of them. They’re also equally popular across generations as both millennials and baby boomers are comfortable interacting with chatbots.


Influencers

Facebook had its privacy scandal and subsequent investigation, Twitter is bogged down by fake accounts, SnapChat is struggling to generate revenue, yet Instagram grows ever stronger. In 2018, Instagram hosted 93 percent of influencer campaigns making it the most popular marketing platform. A 2016 study by Google shows that 70 percent of teenage YouTube audiences are influenced more by YouTubers than traditional celebrities. Influencers have become famous by showing their expertise in a particular niche, e.g., fashion, travel, makeup, etc., and thus become trusted on those specific topics. Influencer marketing is also expected to grow even more competitive in 2019, so start forging those relationships now, before someone else does.













Year In Review: What a Difference a Year Makes

What a difference a year makes.

It’s quite amazing how simple those words are and yet how true they ring at the turn of each new year. Around this time last year, I was in the second month of my business, with was the result of a leap of faith, and had just written my first blog for this website on how passion led us here. Back then, I approached the coming new year that would soon dawn with mixed feelings of excitement and fear. On the one hand, I was elated and enthusiastic about the beginning of what would be a great adventure courtesy of my venture into entrepreneurship--the launch of Enrich My Brand, my very own creative and marketing agency. However, on the other hand, I was afraid, as most daring entrepreneurs are (whether they admit or not); I was fearful of the unknowns that lied ahead of me in the new year.

Although I would soon land on my feet so to speak thanks to a deal I made with my former employer--the company from which I resigned to undertake this new endeavor, the fantasy of peace of mind would soon give way to the reality of the struggle of entrepreneurship. Several months into launching my agency, I would experience the cold, hard truth that is the difficulty of gaining traction in the market, and the perennial uphill battle that is client acquisition. Before long, I found myself not owning a business, per se, but being owned by a business, spending countless hours hustling and bustling as a ‘solopreneur’ taking two steps forward and one step back, only ever making incremental progress.

time-371226_1280.jpg

Was I frustrated? Yes. Defeated? Never. Around the half-way mark of my first year in business for myself, I did some introspection, and it dawned on me how exhausting it was getting a new company off the ground in earnest. One way or another, I was always working; I spent countless hours researching my industry--from competitive landscape to market potential to best practices and trends. I learned so much about my field thanks to blogs, guides, ebooks, social platforms, webinars, and podcasts. I had to do it all and burn the midnight oil as part of my routine workflow. I almost got burnt out in a relatively short time, and that’s when I realized that steering this company to success per my long-term vision was my career’s Goliath.

It was around that same time I had a bit of a eureka moment, recognizing that I couldn’t build a successful agency with insanity as my business plan. By that, I mean doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. No, something had to give, I had to make some significant changes. Per the Chinese proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together,” I decided to take on a partner. After looking outside my little, two-person agency at the time, I would finally find the perfect business partner within my organization. Enter Rachel Beaird. In many ways, that has made all the difference as we have been able to accomplish more together--whether it be acquiring new clients, managing client relationships, interviewing and hiring, and subsequently directing and developing our interns.

Nevertheless, two (or more) partners do not (necessarily) a good business make. During this past quarter, we have undergone more turbulence than we could have ever anticipated--financial setbacks, internal turmoil, loss of clients for various reasons, an intern quitting, to name a few. However, we haven’t let these challenges leave us dispirited as we approach year two for several reasons. For starters, I am a better leader today than I was this time last year because of all that I have endured. Also, I have the support of a competent, capable and loyal business partner to share the highs and lows of this journey. Moreover, the countless hours I spent earlier in the year honing my craft, being a student of my industry, have prepared me to navigate these challenges, while my faith has enabled me to do so without using that same boyish enthusiasm I had when I first set out on this venture.

office-1209640_1280.jpg

Today, Enrich My Brand is a better agency poised to grow and scale exponentially starting with the dawn of a new year. Having learned from adversity, from our mistakes and failures, we know ourselves better; we know our strengths and weaknesses, our opportunities and threats, we know our niche, our ideal customer, our core services, our brand identity and message, and how to tell our most compelling brand story. Furthermore, we are positioning ourselves to begin investing in arguably the most essential asset any business can hope to have--quality personnel who buy into the vision and have a vested interest in the company’s success.

As is the way of the world since time immemorial, one year will soon give way to another, and at the turn of this new year, each of us will have the opportunity to reset. Each of us will have the chance to redefine who we are, what we choose to do, and how we go about doing it. My hope for you is that wherever life takes you, you resolve to make progress from this year to the next, however incremental it might be. That you continue to evolve, so you don’t have to keep subjecting yourself to yet another cliche New Years Resolution year after year. I pray that in 2019, you resolve to identify your purpose by looking where your passion lies and turning that passion into your life work, perhaps even a business, if the burning desire for entrepreneurship is something that calls out to you in your dreams. Godspeed, my friends.


Cheers,

Kenny Fomunung
Founder & Chief Wordsmith















Top Five Blog Posts of 2018

And just like that, 2018 has come and gone! It may have only been EMB’s first year, but it certainly kept us busy. We took on new clients, created websites, forged relationships, posted more social media content than we can count, and of course, established our weekly blog. Today, we wanted to take a moment to reflect back on our five most popular blogs from 2018.

pexels-photo-459688.jpeg

BRANDING AT ITS FINEST—CULT BRAND: LULULEMON

Early on in the year, we began a series of case studies examining companies or advertisements with so-called “cult followings.” In other words, rands that had customer service or marketing campaigns so exemplary it earned them a fanatical base of loyal customers. Lululemon Athletica established themselves as an icon in the retail industry and earned them scores of lifelong customers, or as some of them call themselves, “Luluheads.” The Canadian luxury retailer has generated nearly $2 billion in revenue and only continues to rise in popularity. I suppose it’s thanks to the Luluheads that this was our most read article of the year!


THE VALUE OF INFLUENCER MARKETING

Influencer marketing, the trend sweeping the nation. As platforms like YouTube and Instagram continue to grow, as do the career opportunities associated with them. In today’s climate, young entrepreneurs are able to make a six-figure salary by building their own brand via a written or video blog that they promote on their various social media accounts. Just in the last few years, Instagram has introduced stories, galleries, IG Live, and most recently, IG TV, making these influencers that much more accessible to followers. Influencer marketing spend on Instagram is forecasted to reach $2.38 billion in 2019, up from an estimated $1.6 billion in 2018. If you’re not already taking advantage of the power social media influencers wield, it’s time to start.


WHAT WE CAN ALL LEARN FROM NIKE

With all of the controversy that can be stirred up just by saying Colin Kaepernick’s name, it’s no surprise this blog makes the list. In early September, Nike rocked the world by premiering a new ad campaign starring Colin Kaepernick. The quarterback gained media attention in 2016 when he elected to remain sitting during the national anthem sung before the NFL game as a form of protest to the racism and oppression across the country. This seemingly minor incident created a movement that still echoes today and made Kaepernick a controversial figure and political activist. Knowing this, Nike made a calculated risk in making him the face of a new ad, and while some responded with criticism, many people applauded the brand for creating a powerful statement. Whether or not you agree with Kaepernick’s beliefs, this advertisement was a significant talking point in 2018, and one that will not soon be forgotten.

business-1209705_1280.jpg

BRANDING AT ITS FINEST—CULT BRAND: YETI COOLERS

Yeti was what inspired us to begin our cult brand case study series, and we’re so glad to see our inaugural post was so popular. Through an incredible branding strategy, Yeti turned their brand into so much more than a line of coolers and drinkware, it became a lifestyle. If you use Yeti products, you’re an outdoorsman. The company was founded in 2006 and is already valued at more than $5 billion; those $400 coolers add up fast I guess! But when you shell out hundreds of dollars for a cooler, you’re not just getting a cooler, you’re getting an experience and an invitation to the Yeti community.


THE VALUE OF BLOGGING

It feels appropriate this makes the list as it supports the reason this list even exists. Companies that blog receive 97 percent more link to their site compared to those who don’t. In 2019, whether you’re a B2B or a B2C business, you simply cannot afford to ignore the blogging trend any longer. Not only is it a way to strengthen your relationship with the customer by building trust, but it’s also much more cost effective than the money put toward paid advertisements. Not to mention, not only do 615 million devices around the world use ad blockers, but 77 percent of Americans will leave sites that use ad block walls. Blogging, on the other hand, has a positive ROI, drives potential customers to your site, and best of all? Blogs don’t stop working, even when you do.


We have so much fun creating these blogs every week and we hope you enjoy them, and maybe learn something new. We can’t wait to see what new trends will emerge in 2019 and you can be sure we’ll be here to tell you about them!






Four Tools Every Content Marketer Should be Using

Content marketing has quickly become one of the most competitive arenas in the digital landscape, meaning it is essential to have a dedicated content marketing strategy in place. It may seem simple to streamline your content for the week, but the truth is it actually takes a lot of time and effort. Below, we’ve outlined some of our favorite tools that help us ensure our marketing strategy is consistent, original and compelling.

scrabble-2129648_1280.jpg

HootSuite

Posting to social media is easy enough, but having to individually log on to each platform--Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc.--to share the same message is not only tedious but also time-consuming. Enter HootSuite. More than 16 million people employ the tool’s ability to either post instantly or schedule messages across more than 35 social networks from one dashboard. Additionally, HootSuite offers analytics reports to help you better understand what campaigns are most successful.

Grammarly

No matter how adept a writer you may be, no one is immune to the occasional grammatical error or misspelled word. Luckily, Grammarly is there to make sure you never look the fool. Not only does the tool catch simple grammar mistakes and spell check the document, but it also takes into account the context and makes suggestions where a better word could be used, lets you know if you’re overusing a word, and even checks squinting modifiers. Plus, you can install a Grammarly extension into your browser of choice so that you don’t even have to leave your window for editing. Grammar errors are a needless mistake that makes you or your business appear less credible, so why leave it up to chance? (Special thanks to Grammarly for editing all of EMB’s blog posts!)

pexels-photo-1496192.jpeg

MailChimp

59 percent of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation, and MailChimp is an excellent aid in creating and disseminating original marketing campaigns. The tool offers templates for newsletters, ads, emails and more and allows you to automate the messages for different audiences. After a campaign is sent out, you can track open rates and click rates, and Google Analytics works in unison to demonstrate the amount of traffic and revenue generated. Users also have the ability to create different subscriber lists, and MailChimp automatically keeps track of who the most engaged subscribers are and lets you know which emails are bouncing back.


Coolors

Speaking of email campaigns, a bad color palette can completely ruin a message, no matter how strong. 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, meaning if someone can’t read your type or the colors are too harsh on the eyes, they’ve deleted the email before they even read what it was about. With the use of Coolors, you never have to worry about unsightly color combos again. The site is free to use and instantly generates aesthetically pleasing color palettes with the touch of a button. You can even upload the image to be featured in your email or social post, and Coolors can the exact colors in the picture and design a palette to complement it. Once completed, you can save or export the palette to be used as many times as you need.


Check out one of our older posts here for four more software tools we love!








Immigrant Hustle: 100 Success Stories from American Entrepreneurs Born Offshore — Kenneth Fomunung

This article originally appeared on Medium and was written by Amine Rahal.

What’s your name, company name, and title?

Kenneth Fomunung, Founder and CEO, Enrich My Brand.

Which country did you emigrate from?

Cameroon

What was the most difficult thing you faced when you arrived?

Well, I had culture shock coming from a small, third world country to the vast United States with its variety of at once integrated and segregated cultures. I had to adjust in many ways, none more initially challenging than being understood by my new peers in school due to a then heavy accent.

hello-i-m-nik-698722-unsplash.jpg

Why did you choose to become an entrepreneur? (c.f. What triggered you?).

Two words: my parents. Both my parents but particularly my mother, have always had a knack for entrepreneurship — growing up, I would witness her pursue one venture after another even while maintaining gainful employment. I suppose you could say I inherited that same zeal for business. However, beyond that parental influence, I have come to believe in the pursuit of happiness as only time and financial freedom can deliver us, hence my decision to become a successful entrepreneur in my own right. Most importantly, I want to make more than just a living, I want to make a difference, and being an entrepreneur is one great way to accomplish that longstanding personal goal.

What was the most difficult thing you faced when you first started your business?

Where do I begin — uncertainty, fear, and insecurity, to name a few? I had no clients, no significant savings, no loan, no line of credit, and no investors. I would say that the most difficult thing I faced was the prospect of succumbing to my fears and giving up before I even started in earnest. I took a leap of faith and quit my job to start my business. My business plan would come the following day.

Why do you think you have been successful?

Beyond my faith, I would attribute my success to a high emotional quotient or intelligence and willingness to be a student of life so to speak. I am constantly learning to hone my craft, to polish my skills, and to grow personally and professionally. Oftentimes, people focus on Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and think that the smartest people undoubtedly succeed in business. But, as for me, it’s been my ability to network and build mutually beneficial relationships that have allowed me to get off to a fast start in business. I’ve been able to connect with people almost effortlessly and show them that I am genuine, will go to bat for them, will remain loyal during times of adversity, and go above and beyond to meet their needs. I believe it is for this reason my former employer agreed to become my first client.

rawpixel-463439-unsplash.jpg

What advice do you have for newly arrived immigrants that want to pursue the path of entrepreneurship?

Identify your passion because your purpose in life is often found where your passion lies. Moreover, if you are passion-driven in business, you’ll love what you do, and you’ll be good at it too. I believe that in the United States — the veritable land of opportunity — if you do what you do well enough for long enough, you will be rewarded handsomely in due time, all things being equal.

Branding At Its Finest—Cult Brand: Amazon

When Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in 1994, it was just an online bookstore. Fast forward 24 years and several billion dollars in revenue, Amazon is now the world’s largest online sales company and has made Jeff Bezos the richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of more than $112 billion. Of course, Bezos soon expanded the products Amazon offered to include music, videos, and a variety of consumer goods. Since then, Amazon has developed numerous original products and offerings such as Amazon Prime, Alexa, Kindles, Echo and Fire TV, to name a few. Early critics said Bezos was crazy to quit his job and take a risk on that still new internet thing, but Bezos saw an opportunity to create something that couldn’t exist in the real world, a diverse marketplace that offers literally millions of items.

AmazonPrime-825331656.jpg

Aside from the fact that people live for the convenience of front-door delivery, Amazon has solidified its top spot in the retail industry by forging relationships with their customers. From the beginning, the site allowed customers to leave both positive and negative reviews on books and products, something that many people criticized, but Bezos defended by saying they were helping consumers make more educated purchasing decisions and thus building a sense of trust. Brand value has always been a core part of the business plan and has earned Amazon a loyal customer base--one that makes up 43 percent of all online sales per year.

Amazon doesn’t waste time worrying about its competitors, it spends time coming up with ways to serve customers better; e.g., Amazon Prime, a paid subscription service for two-day free shipping, because Bezos knew how much online shoppers enjoy free shipping. Again, critics resounded arguing it was impossible to remain profitable while offering a perk like this, but yet again, Bezos proved short-term sacrifices can pay off. Amazon Prime customers spend an average of $1,300 in a year, nearly twice that of non-members; and more than 100 million people globally are Prime members.

OUT35236717

Years of dedication to customer service and consistently putting them first is what made Amazon stand out among a sea of retailers. Why take the time to go to Barnes & Noble or Walgreens or the grocery store when you can just order what you need online, know it will be on your doorstep the next day, and rely on fellow customer feedback for honest opinions? Bezos himself has stated that building a trusted brand was more important than worrying about potential copycats.

"There's nothing about our model that can't be copied over time. But you know, McDonald's got copied. And it still built a huge, multibillion-dollar company. A lot of it comes down to the brand name. Brand names are more important online than they are in the physical world."

In most every way, Jeff Bezos exemplifies the phrase “stay in your own lane.” Don’t worry about what your competitors are up to, worry about yourself. Customer care is something at the top of our priority list at EMB, and it’s amazing to see how hard work and a brilliant branding strategy can pay off.









The Value of Influencer Marketing

The ever-changing digital landscape we live in is constantly changing the way we do business. No longer are people merely turning to their peers for recommendations, they’re looking to see what their favorite YouTuber or Insta Blogger has to say about products. This is particularly true for younger generations like Millennials and Generation Z. Thanks to social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram, regular people are now able to build their own brands by generating engaging content from the comfort of their own homes, making them that much more relatable.

Influencer-Marketing-feature-image.png

Unlike celebrities, influencers tend to be more engaging with their followers--they answer your questions, like your comments and share personal stories--in short, they come across more genuine. A 2016 study by Google shows that 70 percent of teenage YouTube audiences are influenced more by YouTubers than traditional celebrities. Influencers have become popular by showing their expertise in a particular niche, e.g., fashion, travel, makeup, etc., and thus become trusted on those specific topics. Celebrities, however, are paid to give recommendations because they have a large following due to their acting, modeling, singing, etc., making them seem less authentic when endorsing a product. Actress Blake Lively is known for her signature golden locks and has been a spokesperson for L’Oreal Paris for a couple of years now. But let’s be honest, do we really believe Blake Lively colors her hair out of a box? Probably not. However, could we believe our favorite beauty blogger does? Sure. Furthermore, 49 percent of consumers depend on influencer recommendations when making purchasing decisions.

Now, not all influencers were created equal, and it takes some time to find the right one to work with. You’ll want to make sure your target audience falls within their following, as well as ensure that their content is aligned with their messaging. Someone might have 100,000 followers, but if it’s 100,000 people who don’t care about what your selling, you’re just wasting everyone’s time and money. Not to mention if you demonstrate that you’ve done research on the influencer you’re reaching out to by explaining the synergies between their messaging and your product, they will be much more inclined to actually respond.

pexels-photo-174938.jpeg

It is also essential to be on the lookout for influencer marketing fraud, or people who appear to have a large following but in reality, have paid for most of their followers or are using artificial followers to make themselves seem more valuable. That said, once you find the right people, influencer marketing is a surefire way to increase conversion rates as well as be cost effective. On average, brands see an ROI of $6.85 for every dollar invested in influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is especially unique because it is a mutually beneficial relationship. Influencers want to find brands and products to promote to their audience, and companies need people to promote them. Whether you’re an influencer yourself or are someone trying to find an influencer, understanding this new branch of marketing is key to success. And for those of you out there working to become an influencer and build up your following, check out iFluenz, an agency which specializes in all things influencer marketing.








Understanding How to Market to Different Generations

Labeling the different generations has long been an American pastime, particularly when people are trying to justify or explain specific characteristics. And while it may be fun to poke fun at Millennials and blame us for killing the napkin industry, the truth is understanding how each generation thinks has become a key component in marketing. Recently, some industry insiders have even been coining the term “generational marketing” as a way to modernize marketing strategies. By breaking down and understanding how to connect with the different audiences, you’re gaining a competitive advantage in allowing customers to feel like you know them.

Traditionalists or the Silent Generation (1945 and earlier)

The oldest living generation in the U.S. is often described as conservative, hard-working and resilient. They grew up in a time of crisis as their lives were heavily influenced by the Great Depression and both World Wars. And just like their label--they are quite traditional, meaning they’re not interested in any kind of flashy, high-tech advertising tactics. These are the people who still wake up every day and actually read the newspaper. While some would say this group has become a niche demographic, the fact is they still have purchasing power, and thus must be accounted for when strategizing marketing concepts.

Baby Boomers (1946-1964)

Also known as the “me” generations, these are the people who are slowly starting to embrace the digital age but still appreciate a good voicemail or face-to-face conversation. Although Millennials are on track to surpass Baby Boomers as the largest generation in the next few years, baby boomers continue to have the most purchasing power. They’re heading into retirement and tend to have significantly higher disposable incomes compared to Millennials, many of whom are bogged down by debt. This demographic spends the most across all product categories, yet are targeted by just five to 10 percent of marketing. If businesses took advantage of putting effort and funds into capturing this group’s attention, they would be poised to emerge as a marketing leader.


Generation X (1965-1980)

Of all of the groups, Gen X is continually the hardest to categorize. Sandwiched between two larger generations that are vastly different from one another, millennials and baby boomers, Gen Xers can often be overlooked. In a 2010 survey, Pew Research asked adults of all ages if they thought their own generation was unique, about six in 10 Boomers and Millennials said yes, while only approximately half of Gen Xers said the same. They aren’t worried about themselves, or what makes them special, they’re concerned about their young children and securing their futures. For this reason, marketing targeted toward Gen X should be less about them and their needs or wants, and more about promoting stable family life.


Millennials (1981-1995)

Ah yes, the “special snowflakes” that everyone else seems to love to hate so much. Millennials are known for having a sense of entitlement, something instilled in us by our Baby Boomer parents and a lifetime’s supply of participation trophies. Bad reputation aside, we’re also an emerging opportunity for marketers that businesses can’t afford to ignore. Millennials possess a collective $600 billion in purchasing power each year, a number that is expected to grow into the trillions by 2020. We are also motivated by recommendations from family and friends and attracted to easy shopping, i.e., online shopping. When making a purchasing decision, we look to reviews from other customers and will do anything for free shipping. All advertising and marketing campaigns should also always be optimized for mobile viewing as 52 percent of Millennials use smartphones for shopping and browsing.

pexels-photo-207589.jpeg

Generation Z (1996 and later)

Millennials may be very tech savvy, but it’s nothing compared to this digital generation. They were born into an age where they cannot even imagine life without a cell phone, let alone without Wi-Fi. The most socially conscious and diverse generation, they also are more inclined to interact with companies they believe in. With Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter quite literally at their fingertips, they will be quick to judge a company’s authenticity based on their social media presence. They have an average "eight-second filter" to gauge whether something is worth their attention. The youngest generation also tends to gravitate toward getting information quickly without having to actually speak to anyone, think short explainer videos and social media campaigns.


At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that not all marketing is created equally and what may resonate with one person could offend another. But the best way to combat this is to understand the different demographics and make educated decisions in your marketing campaigns. At EMB, we work with each client individually to come up with a custom marketing strategy tailored to their target audience.