You would have to have been hiding under a rock not to notice the extent to which video and live streaming is coming into play in marketing. “Going live” on whichever platform; Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Meerkat or Periscope to name a few; can seem really daunting, but with thorough planning, this experience can be fun both for you and your audience.
To help you plan for your live streaming, here are our top tips for “going live”:
Promote prior to the event: You’ve made the decision to go live, so tell your audience prior to the event so they can tune in and set aside the time slot. Don’t leave it to chance that your crowd will be online at the time of broadcast.
Introductions: Always start the broadcast with who and where you are, and what you are doing. This gets you and your brand’s name out there even if the viewer doesn’t tune in for the whole broadcast.
Concise takeaways: After the introduction, be concise in what your audience is going to see in this video, and what their takeaway will be. In other words, what information you are going to bestow on the watcher.
Be professional, but with personality: Nobody likes the person who takes everything too seriously, including themselves. Deliver your messages professionally, but don’t be afraid to share your humour (people, particularly us Brits, like this) and let your personality shine through. Be opinionated where relevant, and don’t be afraid to get your point across. Your audience will respect you all the more for this.
Be natural: Never read from a script – there is nothing more dull to watch than someone looking down at a piece of paper and reading word for word in a monotonous tone. You can’t let your true personality show through if it’s on a piece of paper. If you’re worried you’ll run out of things to say, or forget your train of thought, utilise flash cards with 3-5 bullet points positioned underneath the camera. Practice these bullet points prior to going live, repeat them several times so that you have them instilled in your mind to fall back on. If you’re really nervous about how it will go and look on the screen, practice beforehand utilising Facebook’s privacy settings so that only you can see the end result!
Think about the length of your stream and your content: How long a live stream should be is a hotly debated topic. Facebook recommend you stream at least 10 minutes, in order to get viewers on board and watching. We, however, think 5 minutes is probably closer to what people will tune in to watch. Anything longer than this will have to be engaging to make people stay.
No interruptions: Make sure you forward calls on your mobile to ensure no interruptions whilst streaming. If there are any other people in your immediate vicinity ensure they are aware of your going live so that either 1) they don’t disturb you or 2) they are prepared when they join the livestream!
Engage with your audience: Your audience can leave comments whilst you are streaming. To help with that personal touch, always address your viewers by name when answering their comments. To find out more about how personalisation can help you win customer loyalty click here.
Be regular: It can be a good idea to get a regular slot at the same time each week to encourage your viewers and fans to return each week. This will then become part of your marketing strategy and you will remember to promote the activity on a weekly basis. This doesn’t mean that you can’t go live on other occasions that call for it, such as events and special occasions.
Use quality gear for sound and vision: Whilst you’ve probably thought about the device you are using in terms of video quality output, there are some other steps you can take to improve your final end production. Firstly, take any necessary steps to minimise background and ambient noise. Next, think about the position of your phone before you go live. You might wish to use a selfie stick, a tripod, hold it yourself or call upon a team member to be your camera crew. Finally, always ensure you are in a place with a strong broadband connection.
Don’t just use as a live video: Be sure to capture your live stream and host on a platform post-event, such as YouTube or Vimeo. Once uploaded to the web, be sure to promote through social to generate more views. If your live stream is longer than 5 minutes, we would highly recommend editing down the original version to ensure viewers see it through to the end.
Don’t be afraid to experiment: Once you have gone live, think of different scenarios you can use for future live streams. Here are some ideas for you to consider:
- Interviews – with your team, clients, customers or thought leaders in your industry.
- Launches – let your audience be the first to learn about new products from your brand.
- Special promotions and competitions – a way to get people to stay till the very end of your video.
- Live events – in stores, blogger events, consumer shows, conferences, team building activities. This is where you can really show all the personalities behind the scenes, and not just the face of the brand!
Are you ready to go live? For any advice please email email@example.com
“If I had one dollar left, I’d spend it on PR.” –Bill Gates
PR here, and in fact anywhere, doesn’t just include issuing press releases and securing coverage. PR is about management reputation, it’s an attitude, a process. It’s a way of behaving positively as much as it is about employing a PR resource. It’s a display of positive reinforcement.
But PR is not cheap, and it takes time. The UK media is also known to be one of the most difficult to secure coverage in. Placement also doesn’t guarantee overnight success. Whilst a small number of publications, such as The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Metro, are considered to be the ones that will generate demand, traffic and spike interest, coverage on any of these sites is not a guarantee.
On the whole, PR placements are in the consumer’s eyes a more credible touchpoint, because they are not paid for opportunities. These can happen both in print or online. Whilst traditional print media is considered the holy grail for many of our clients, there’s no click-through button on a magazine or newspaper page, whereas online consumers are just one button away from your product.
Where you are employing an agency or DIY-ing your PR, here are our top tips:
- Be targeted. So many companies use a scattergun approach and if not careful, can end up chasing their tails in a bid to secure coverage. Dependent upon your resources, come up with a top 5-10-20 list of target media. Sure, you can send your press release out to more contacts than this, but these are the publications you actively go after and diligently follow up on.
- Don’t let being targeted ruin the buzz. I’ve seen so many companies fall prey to this. They only want to work with the big boys and so ignore the requests our agency sends over from smaller publications and blogs. Firstly, everyone has to start somewhere, on both sides – the publications/blogs and the brands. Secondly, as a brand if someone has shown interest in you products, no matter how big or small they are, if they are doing a decent job of publishing their work you should accept the gesture with gratitude and work with them.
- Once you have your coverage, shout about it! PR is not just about securing the coverage, a lot comes down to what you do we it after it is published, such as sharing on social media, promoting to your mailing list, featuring on your website.
- If using an agency, communication is key. We’ve had first hand experience of this, clients simply not having the time to provide us with the ammunition to carry out our work. Whilst we don’t need or expect to be spoon fed, there are occasions where we need quotes or experience told first hand to achieve full insight and the correct tonality. We’ve even struggled for high res images on occasion from clients!
- If you are DIY-ing, use a directory service. There are a few of these on the market, including Diary, Fashion & Beauty Insight and Fashion & Beauty Monitor. This will save you heaps of time in researching the most up-to-date contacts, and will also send you journalist alerts to follow up on.
Have you any PR success stories to tell? Need some PR strategy advice? We’d love to hear from you on firstname.lastname@example.org
First came Google Adwords. Next, Facebook ads. Then Google made Product Listings Ads (Google Shopping) and Google Display Network. Now there are ads and promotions on Twitter, Pinterest,Instagram and Facebook Messenger. We can now even remarket to our customers if they were disturbed in their purchasing process.
So, the million dollar question, which one do you choose? Well, just like allocating your marketing budget, there is no one right way to spend. What’s most important is that you measure your return on investment.
To help you on your way to digital marketing success, here are our top tips:
- Use your time wisely. The advertising platform that is easiest to manage (which is important if it is just you running your business and wearing lots of hats) is the Product Listing Ads on Google, which show up in Google Shopping. To create these, you download a spreadsheet, complete all the required fields and upload, sharing via Google Drive. Google then pulls from this spreadsheet as often as you cite it should, so keep your stock levels and NPD up to date in this spreadsheet.
- Google Adwords. Easy to learn, difficult to master. There are loads of tricks to help you excel, and the best place to learn them is with the masters at Google themselves. They hold regular training sessions, and best of all they are free. (Rebecca has actually attended twice to brush up her Adwords skills!)
- Have a clear understanding of what the purpose of your ads is? Google Adwords and PLAs are great for helping you get more sales, when used correctly. However, there are other purposes to advertising, particularly on social:
- Brand awareness – look for low cost high volume search terms for this option.
- Getting consumers to enter your sales funnel – such as email signup CTAs
- Increase likes on social media
- Increase engagement on social media
Social media advertising interfaces have greatly improved in recent years, and it’s very easy to see results of your campaigns and check against your own set targets and KPIs.
- Experiment. It takes time but if you don’t try you will never know. We highly recommend split testing on your ads. Try different formats on the same platform and campaign to see what really works for your brand and your customer. Also, do not be afraid to work outside your comfort zone: try the new options on your preferred platform as well as experimenting with different platforms.
Have you experimented with digital? Need some help with your strategy? Email us email@example.com – we’d love to hear from you.
Back in October last year, I was invited to the Diversified headquarters in Brighton. Diversified are the publishers of Natural Products News and Natural Beauty News, amongst other titles, and organisers of several trade events including Natural & Organic Products Europe.
The panel was chaired by Julia Zaltzman, editor of Natural Beauty News, and also sitting were Jayn Sterland, managing director of Weleda, Kirstie & Luke Sherriff co-founders of Pinks Boutique and Stockport health store Amaranth’s owner, Joanne Hill.
Four questions were posed, and I thought it would be interesting to share my musings on all of them with you. Here is the third question:
- Future Proofing – We continue to see growth in the natural beauty industry – the Soil Association’s 2015 Organic Market Report showed sales of its certified organic beauty products jumped 20% in 2014, to reach just over £44m. The number of applicants it received grew 51% – but can we keep the integrity of organic intact whilst still being able to scale it up?
I believe that yes, the natural products industry can maintain its integrity and scale its growth, however in order to do this we need to unify on messaging to consumers. The Soil Association’s #campaignforclarity and #lookforthelabel messages are fabulous for both businesses and consumers alike.
I believe for continued growth, the natural products industry needs to go back to its roots and jump on board the slow movement. Storytelling remains an important element for natural products brands, and sustainability and traceability ethics are only going to become more important for consumers as they become more aware of and engaged with environmental issues.
At the Organic Beauty Week briefing for 2016, David from Herbfarmacy raised a very valid point: “less of the free from, more of the “from”.” In other words, brands need to focus more on the benefits of natural and organic, and not just bad mouth mainstream ingredients. Natural brands have an ongoing responsibility to continue the education of consumers when it comes to ingredients and benefits.
There is also education to be done with pushing the message that organic is not more expensive. Yes, it may be more expensive that the cheap mainstream products, but when compared to a product of similar quality and brand positioning, one will find time and time again that natural and/or organic are not necessarily the more expensive options. Particularly when you look at the cost of ingredients inside.
Greenwashing must be fought, but not in a radicalised extremist way. Again, this all comes down to how you convey the message, and always make sure your points are backed up with hard scientific facts. Give your statements credibility, don’t leave yourself open to criticism for having a weak argument.
For brands, when they think about scaling up, they must understand that different channels have different roles and functions within their growth:
- Independents: the trusted companion. These stores have an incredibly loyal customer base and are going to be around forever. Compare them to London corner shops, which I am sure everyone thought would close down as supermarkets and “local” supermarkets came into existence. The corner shops are still going strong, and some of them are even stocking natural product basics now!
- Multis: the threat for the independents. However, these stores are undoubtedly selling products at a higher price point than the indies. The multis are destinations for natural health and beauty newbies, tourists, or a day’s outing as a special treat for those passionate about organic.
- Supermarkets: the convenience. Who doesn’t want to be able to pick up a body wash or soap because they’ve run out, whilst doing their weekly shop? The shop can be in store or online. The best thing for the industry about natural and organic being in supermarkets is the massive exposure to millions of consumers. It has certainly aided progress of natural and organic into the mainstream.
- Department stores and concept stores: the shopping window. These listings are not always lucrative for brands, but they still serve a purpose. They give brands kudos, and like supermarkets, they act as a window to raise brand awareness due to the large footfall within such stores.
How do you feel about the progression of natural and organic into the mainstream? Do you think we can future-proof the industry? We’d love to hear from you! firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal service is nothing new. From the waiter at your favourite restaurant knowing your name to the tailor knowing your inside leg length and preferred colours and cloth.
When digital marketing first came to be, personalisation consisted of addressing the email to the recipient. Believe it or not, this is still a very powerful tool which not every brand is making use of. Even on a mass email, those which use the recipient’s name receive 29% more opens and a 41% higher click through rate (CTR) than an email which does not. Easy, right? However, it’s estimated that 70% of businesses do not employ this simple tactic.
Personalisation doesn’t end there however, and in the future brands are going to have to harness their data to create meaningful customer journeys. This will not always be easy. Consumers have so many different devices they plug in with, and across so many channels, that it is difficult for marketers to establish just who is on the other side of the screen.
But consumers expect this personal touch, particularly when it comes to customer service. Social media and digital media has become a way not just for brands to communicate with their customers, but for consumers to engage with brands, and they expect answers almost instantly. This has led to the development of automated communications systems, such as chat bots and “we’ve received your enquiry” automated messages.
Technology has made us lazy shoppers. Consumers want to be more or less spoon fed. Through the use of data insights, we can build a relationship with customers through reacting to their buying habits, making helpful suggestions be it “time to reorder” messages, a favourites/wish list feature with an alert for promotions on their desired items, or recommended products to go with already purchased or in basket products.
In their white paper, Customer Engagement from the Consumer’s Perspective, Rosetta Consulting reveals that loyal customers buy 90% more frequently, spend 60% more per transaction and are five times as likely to stick with your brand.
Birthday messages with a gift discount code can be another effective touch. Data insights from Experian suggest that personalised messages, such as birthdays and anniversaries, can result in 300% higher click-rate and a 250% higher revenue rate. Reason being is that 78% of customers equate brands who create personalised content for them with brands who value their business and want to build a relationship with them.
It’s important that you get it right though. When surveyed, 67% of people said they would immediately leave a web page which asked them to donate to a hated political party, 57% said they would do the same if they were married and shown adverts for a dating website, and 50% would quit on a site that recommended to them the wrong gender’s underwear.
Personalisation can be used to provide a seamless experience to your customer. Get it right, win over the customer and they will become your biggest brand advocate and keep on coming back. The time is coming when personalisation will need to have a strategy within every business in order to win over a loyal audience.
Are you ready to get personal? For any advice please email email@example.com