Top Content Distribution Strategies in 2018

…Content. Content. CONTENT! The proverbial meat and potatoes, or finishing garnish depending on what corporate course of the meal you’re on! Honestly, I think it’s safe to retire the whole “content is king” adage because WE GET IT. But do we really know what content distribution strategies in 2018 we need to look out for? Anyone? …Come with me on a journey through your personal time and cyberspace:

content-distribution-strategies-in-2018

Pictured above: A never-before-seen look at the literal insides of the internet circa 1999 A.D. Wow oh wow!

So you’ve spent time writing weeks worth of content — great blogs, resource pages, and maybe even a few branded images here and there. Now you just post them on your blog platform of choice and POOF! Instant Google page rank and authority right?

If that actually happened to you, please email connor@track5media.com to claim your Official Horse-Pucky Certificate and 3-week getaway at the Bull**** Hotel in beautiful Nantucket, Massachusetts.

For all of us still tediously living in the “real world,” we know that it takes actual strategy and marketing prowess to get that savory link juice flowing to a website. It’s 2018 and the future is probably never going to arrive, so we should prepare now while we still can!

Top Content Distribution Strategies in 2018

Of course, every business will have its unique needs and challenges, but this isn’t about YOU. Just kidding, it is, and that means getting those real results that make everyday count. Getting your amazing content through the right channels to your audience is the goal, especially when so much of that content is already available to you. Really, we’re talking about repurposing your best pieces to yield new results with some great tools!

1. Consider Publishing an E-book

Are you prone to writing the next great American novel throughout the course of several industry-specific blogs? I bet you are… so why not turn this chain of content into an e-book? By sifting out several of your most poignant, evergreen pieces of content it’s now easier than ever to publish them as something more impactful. One tool that’s making this process simple is Designrr. If you aren’t trying to hire a design firm or take time from in-house personnel, this platform has all you need to cobble together a solid e-book.

content distribution strategies in 2018

After you’ve got a shiny, new hunk of (old) content with added tidbits and features, you can market this thing to high-heaven — building an email list, pitching it for link building, and spreading the love to fellow content creators for a chance at social media shares and the like. Of course, you’ll want to design this with conversions or your marketing goals in mind, but it makes for one of the best content distribution strategies in 2018 hands down.

2. Turn Blogs into Videos

So while you may be thinking: NO NEVER WHY OUCH STOP THAT — I’m here to tell you that turning blogs into videos is relatively easy and anybody can do it. Obviously, video content is the most massive marketing opportunity since people started using euphemisms about sliced bread, so get with it! If you are going the software route, then consider finding your own content creator packs to implement into your editor of choice. Otherwise, some interesting “all-in-one” tools are available.

content distribution strategies in 2018

If you’re looking for a way to create short video previews of your blogs for social media, consider using:

Lumen5

Content Samurai

Animoto

Shakr

And there are many others out there for whatever you need to accomplish! Essentially, you’re teasing out all the juicy bits of your blogs, putting them in a fancy moving picture, and throwing it out to your audience. It’s like Canva’s approach to graphics but for video SO DO IT.

3. Create Some  A  n  a  l  o  g  Content

That’s right I said it — de-digitize some of your content and bring it to life in the physical dimension! Maybe that means literally printing an infographic, creating some sort of fold out, or just a nice laminated appreciation card for clients. Whatever you decide, pulling yourself from the matrix of digital marketing to create real-world content snail-mailed to some influencers is just the ticket!

content-distribution-strategies-in-2018

Computers are amazing, but sometimes you have to focus on the human stuff or whatever!

Again this can take many forms but consider ways to funnel those interactions and outreach efforts back to your content, and right on through to a conversion. Everybody likes some free (branded) stuff, and if you do this right, you could have the chance to build relationships with key brands and people in your industry. Sometimes the magic ingredient to the savviest of content distribution strategies in 2018 is simply doing the opposite of what’s expected — unless that’s deleting your blog entirely and setting fire to your computer… don’t do that.

What are your picks for the top content distribution strategies in 2018? Let us know in the comments below or scream it from your car window during rush hour!

Mobile Video Ads on Facebook | New Report

As we run headfirst into 2018, there’s one aspect of marketing sure to keep everyone interested — mobile video marketing! In a recent company blog post published on Facebook’s business website, the social media giant discusses some findings that have gained lots of attention. Seeing how the introduction of mobile video changed the way people interact with social sites and ads, these new insights come as no surprise. Still, for marketers looking to make the most of their mobile video ads on Facebook and other sites, the info is invaluable. Let’s take a look!

mobile video ads on Facebook

As Facebook’s head of ads and business platform, Mark Rabkin writes, “there is no singular video ad experience on mobile. Instead, there is a variety of unique experiences, each requiring a different approach.”

Although marketers are painfully aware of this fact, the more granularly we can learn about ad consumption, the better! Luckily, Facebook’s report provides charts and an analysis detailing how much time people typically spend watching ads, in addition to how these watch times fluctuate with an environment. Ultimately some pretty useful stuff, if you know how to make sense of it…

A Broad Analysis

To start, these charts make suggestions rather than reaching conclusions. Although there are no actual numbers involved, we’ll just have to interpret the generality of these behaviors. Also, these charts are primarily based on unaudited internal data from Facebook in August 2017. Other data was pulled from YouTube during that same month, in addition to a commissioned TV viewer report from March 2017. Just note that while these charts include logos from Snap and Hulu, one can’t regard these representations as evidence of their video ads’ performance one way or the other.

So, what do these charts tell us then? Unlike usual reports showing the percentage a video was viewed, we’re getting the actual number of seconds that each viewing session lasted. For anyone tracking session data whether, for video, audio, or general platform interactions, you’ll know that it’s sometimes very difficult data to get. That’s particularly true for Facebook!

Essentially, what we see here is the length of time people watched mobile video ads on Facebook before losing attention. That could mean either skipping or scrolling ahead, closing the app, or putting their phone down altogether. The x-axis represents watch time, while the y-axis shows video sessions:

mobile video ads on facebook

Mobile Video Ads on Facebook | A Breakdown

Feeds

mobile video ads on Facebook

As one of the primary ways users interact with video on Facebook or Twitter, feeds have an unprecedented scale and reach. Even though the majority of users consume this content quickly, there is the potential to direct them to longer videos. Of course, this particular chart is showing the need for quick, attention-grabbing content that communicates very directly!

Non-skippable Mid-roll or Pre-roll

mobile video ads on Facebook

These ads most closely resemble the TV ad experience and exist before or in the middle of a piece of content. Understandably, people already in the mood to watch a video with the sound on continue watching these ads. It’s somewhat obvious that annoyance grows strongly with ad length, however, this format is slowly dying out. The rise of ad-blockers can now make quick work of these types of adverts despite their effectiveness.

Skippable Mid-Roll or Pre-Roll

mobile video ads on Facebook

As a striking combo of the first two graphs, these ads behave almost like two ads in one. Essentially what we see here is a 5-second ad that most viewers encounter, followed by a 15-30 second ad that reaches 10% of viewers. Consider the interesting creative opportunities of linking these ads to the same company or type of product!

Stories

mobile video ads on Facebook

With lots of social platforms now offering this type of format, stories are one of the fastest growing mobile video ads on Facebook. Although they are similar to feeds, stories feature full-screen, often sound-on snippets. Here all of the content is sequential, so the opportunity for narrative is much greater. Considering that these videos don’t require high production techniques, the potential for flashier adds is much higher. That said, the ability to skip ahead is almost inevitable as the graph shows…

Live TV

mobile video ads on Facebook

The immediate impression of this graph is that it resembles the non-skippable ads pretty closely. What we see here is that people actually have the tendency to “scroll away” in a sense when confronted with TV ads. Think about your own habits — when the commercials come, how great of an opportunity to check your phone is that? Apparently, most consumers agree! The takeaway may actually amount to retargeting smartphone users based on the television channels they watch for similar mobile video ads on Facebook…

 

AdWords for Better Email Marketing | A Basic Start

According to MailChimp, the average email open rate across industries is below 25 percent, with a click rate of 2 to 3 percent. Essentially, this is saying that for every 100 emails you send, only two or three people are going to take any action whatsoever. With all of the time marketers spend crafting enticing emails and campaigns, it’s critical to know whether there’s any impact at all! Of course, working in this industry today means making blood sacrifices to overlord Google… or just using analytics. Today we’ll explore the basics of how to use AdWords for better email marketing success in 2018 and beyond!

So now you may be thinking — “we just finished planning our yearly email marketing strategies, now you’re telling me there’s something we missed?!”

Luckily, integrating Google’s AdWords into your existing strategies is more than possible by leverage the existing data you have on your subscribers. Still, there are some best practices when you choose to use AdWords for better email marketing:

Using AdWords for Better Email Marketing


1. Get Comfy with AdWord’s Customer Match

It can get overlooked at times, although Customer Match is one of the best ways to target or exclude current customers on Display, Google Search, or YouTube. All you need to do is upload your customer email list to AdWords and adjust your parameters accordingly. Using the latest version of Adwords’ dashboard, the basic steps are as follows:

  • Select the “wrench” icon in the top right corner
  • Click “Audience Manager” under “Shared Library”
  • Select “Audience Lists” from the left-hand Page Menu
  • Click the blue “+” icon to make a new audience list
  • Choose “Customer List”
  • Select the option to upload your plaintext data file or hashed data file
  • Select your new file
  • Check the box reading “this data was collected and is being shared with Google in compliance with Google’s policies”
  • Determine a membership duration (depending on your specific customers)
  • Finally, click “upload and create list”

adwords for better email marketing

2. Segmenting an Email List

So after you’ve taken the steps to familiarize yourself with Customer Match, it’s important to segment your email list. This will allow much better targeting in terms of your sales leads found on Adwords. Some of the most common audiences to target include:

• New email subscribers who haven’t yet become customers

• Subscribers who haven’t opened an email recently (many, many people)

• Current subscribers who might appreciate upgraded products or services

It’s understood that each of these different segments of your audience has a different relationship to your business. As such, they will need to be messaged differently. Using Customer Match is one way to use AdWords for better email marketing, especially when repurposing existing lists as new segments of subscribers.

3. Evolving your AdWords Strategy for Each Segment

So once you’ve got the proper segments in place, you’ll need to consider developing unique Adwords strategies for each segment. Ultimately, your goal is probably something along the lines of converting new and engaged email subscribers. If you have a new lead added to your system, consider jumping right into educating them about your product to quickly tell them what they want to know. The main struggle is converting unengaged email subscribers — they don’t respond to your messages so why would you want to bombard them with more?

When you segment your audiences and use Adwords for better email marketing, consider this approach:

  • Determine which customers became unresponsive after 30 days.
  • Create a Customer Match segment for “unengaged,” but prospective customers
  • Organize a remarketing campaign to target this segment
  • Tailor special offers to these customers for the last shot at their business

Although there’s no perfect way to go this, using Adwords for better email marketing is one way you can quantify your efforts and ensure you’re getting the best results possible!

What are your thoughts on email marketing and Google AdWords? Let us know in the comments below!

What is Brand Strategy? | Some Basic Tips

Here at Track5Media, we’re all about keeping our brands healthy and in tip-top shape. At the moment, we’ve got six separate lead generation websites (not including the one you’re on) that we maintain. The sites are devoted to healthcare staffing, commercial trucking, and senior care placement. And while there are many similarities between each site, their audiences and the types of content vary widely! Still, we do our best to maintain a distinct identity as Track5Media, whether that’s through our content’s voice, what we share on social media, and the overall aesthetic decisions we make. But what is brand strategy and how can you utilize it to your advantage? We’ll discuss that here!

What is Brand Strategy | Basic Starting Points

The main idea of any brand strategy is going to center on encompassing some specific, long-term goals that you can steer your product or business toward. It’s going to be figuring out exactly what aspects of your company’s character will stand out from all other competitors. Really, your brand strategy is a process that needs to connect these main things:

  • Consumer Needs
  • Your Product’s Value
  • The Competitive Environment

So while it may be natural to think that your brand strategy is your logo, your name, your website, or your product itself, this isn’t exactly true. Yes, all of these things are necessary aspects of facilitating a business, but really a brand is more closely related to the experience itself! It’s the intangible qualities of your company which are important to highlight and maintain throughout the implementation of your brand strategy.

But how? Here are some all-purpose takeaways:

Find your Purpose

As explained by Allen Adams, chairman of the North America region of brand consulting and design firm, Landor Associates,

“In a marketplace in which consumer confidence is low and budgetary vigilance is high, it’s not just making a promise that separates one brand from another, but having a defining purpose.”

Yes, it does make sense to define your business strategies in terms of the promises you make to your customers, but brand strategy often relies on that purpose you fulfill in the lives and businesses of others. In terms of how a brand exists in the real world or a digital space, Business Strategy Insider defined purpose in two general ways:

• Functional: Focuses on a business’s success in terms of the immediate or commercial reasons. Basically, the ‘how’ of your method of generating income.

• Intentional: Refers to a business’s ability to make money based on public perception and the impact it seeks to have on customers or the world in general.

what is brand strategy

Hone Your Consistency

As with any of the top brands out there, it’s often the case that there is a sense of cross-platform consistency. Essentially, you’re seeking to magnify your purpose and unify the presence of your brand by finding consistent ways to depict and communicate this.

In terms of online marketing today, bringing a consistent consumer experience from one device to the next is absolutely essential. Before most sales even occur, customers will have made several touch points with your product or service. Your brand strategy needs to account for the fact that a consistent voice, content, message, and service can all be found wherever the consumer journey may go.

It may be that someone doesn’t have a need for your product or service now, but when you can be the solution, then having that brand recognition is what it’s all about!

Stay Flexible

As much as marketers like to believe that a brand strategy is exactly as it should be, maintaining a healthy brand means staying flexible to change. Of course, you’re probably wondering how it’s possible to stay consistent while considering new insights and marketing maneuvers — but it all comes down to balance.

So if you’ve been running targeted ad campaigns that maintain your voice and communicate your message but the results aren’t what they should be, your brand strategy needs to accommodate updates made to itself. This often means finding a good mix of recognition and variation so that your content isn’t confusing to customers while building a stronger presence to reach your goals.

So, what is brand strategy? In the end, developing your brand strategy relies on the key components of recognizing your audience, understanding your purpose in their lives, telling your story as a company, and remaining open to the new opportunities to evolve!

What is brand strategy to you? Let us know in the comments below!

3 Basic Skills for Marketers!

For those who have been at it for a while, marketing can seem like second nature. And even though it’s not always the most natural process out there, there are some distinct skills that the best marketers possess. Maybe you are looking for a way to refresh your approach to marketing or are just getting started, but either way these 3 skills for marketers are not to be ignored!

So you may be thinking, “Connor, you didn’t even study marketing in college — how are you doing this full time?”

Well to put it plainly, I practice a form of dark magic that can convince people to let me get away with anything by reciting cyclical incantations as inscribed inside the Egyptian pyramids.

skills for marketers

Not really.

And then again, marketing is that very process of creating a media experience aimed at influencing real-world decisions, buying decisions, and sentiments… So not entirely different from magic! Truthfully, I learned a lot just by diving into this field and building my knowledge through an internship. With lots of great marketing blogs and resources out there, just about anyone can craft their approach to this field no matter the industry they’re a part of.

Still, these skills for marketers I’ll reveal next are definitely things I consider on a daily basis.

3 Basic Skills for Marketers

1. Pursue Multifaceted Content

While there are negative connotations to the whole idea of being a “jack of all trades, and a master of none,” content that performs well across various types of outlets can be some of your finest marketing assets. At a basic level, it’s going to be about posting new content frequently and consistently, working to build traffic, and find your audience who’s going to keep your momentum going. Sure you can build a site that performs well, but if you aren’t dividing your content up to reach the main social platforms and places where your audience hangs out, you’ll have little to show for it in the end. Truly, this is one of the most important skills for marketers to possess.

skills for marketers

Focus on “evergreen” content, or content that will never lose its relevance or value in the eyes of your audience. While trends change constantly, think about the information you’ll always need to express in order to keep your initiatives alive. This content will always need to provide users with some sort of value, a takeaway point of some kind, or if nothing else, a way to reach your products or services.

2. Learn To Optimize Existing Channels

Whether you’re a business owner yourself or just starting out in an entry-level position, it’s best to get a handle on the current channels through which company information and content is being broadcast. Unfortunately, the previous success of a channel doesn’t always ensure the success of your next initiatives as a marketer, making it important to learn ways you can test these channels for viability.

I won’t go into too much detail here, but there are things you can research further when learning ways to optimize a channel.

• Website Audits — Although sites may look fine on the surface, there are often lots of hidden SEO faux pas lurking below. Reviewing the way a website is structured and its various aspects that are crawled by search engines like Google can help marketers understand how people are interacting with the site and ways to improve its performance.

• Plan Strategies — Reviewing past strategies and their level of success can really help to inform the way that marketers can move forward. Incorporating the objectives and campaigns of other departments or aspects of a business can make for a solid strategy.

• Refine with A/B Testing — Using what’s called A/B testing, marketers can measure how well certain conversion forms are working and whether adjustments can be made.

3. Focus on Customer Relations

We’re truly in the golden age of building customer relationships. Whether it’s through retweets and comments, or direct messages on Facebook it’s easier than ever to interact with your audience. Of course, that means responding to positive and negative feedback in sometimes equal parts. As a general rule, it’s best to respond in a neutral and helpful way, despite what consumers might be expressing.

skills for marketers

Otherwise, people want a connective and better experience each time. Although that’s notoriously hard to deliver for some, it can really help to put yourself in someone’s shoes as they interact with your products or services. How would you want to be reached? What type of things would you appreciate seeing? Become the customer to realize your role as a marketer!

While this is in no way a definitive list you’ll need to know, this should be a good start to breaking into the field of digital marketing. Skill for marketers are constantly evolving and changing with the industry, so do your best to stay up-to-date and forward thinking!

The Biggest Mistakes in Online Marketing

It can be difficult to keep up with the rapidly growing online marketing industry. Trying to tackle the latest SEO updates and staying active on all of the new social media platforms is a difficult feat, especially for small marketing teams. Check out the biggest mistakes in online marketing, and make sure they’re not a part of your online marketing strategy.

Biggest Mistakes in Online Marketing: Marketing Plan

Having an Undefined Audience

Sometimes, online marketers focus on the wrong numbers. Although appealing to a larger audience looks good initially, this number represents the very top of the marketing funnel. The number of conversions matters more. To increase the number of conversions, you have to appeal to the right kind of traffic. Clearly defining your target audience will allow you to appeal to their wants and needs. When you’re providing the target audience with the detailed information they’re looking for, they’re much more likely to make it to the bottom of the marketing funnel.

Unproductive Calls to Action

Even if you have amazing content, you work was for nothing if you don’t prompt your user. Don’t settle for a bland call to action. Use language that encourages and entices your user to take the next step. Exciting calls to action that include special offers or have a time-sensitive element are typically more effective. Some changes, like SEO enhancements, could take months for you to see results.

Research & Evaluate

Before you decide to make changes to your marketing plan, research the effectiveness of new methods, and figure out if they could potentially work for your organizations. Measure your efforts for a set period of time, and see if the changes brought you closer to your goals. Be sure to allow enough time to test your methods.

Biggest Mistakes in Online Marketing: Search Engines

Using Outdated SEO practices

Search engines are constantly changing their algorithms. SEO tactics that worked ten, five or even two years ago, may be out of date now. You may still be using SEO strategies that are killing your rankings. Keep up with updates released by the search engines themselves, and search for additional resources so you can stay up to date with the latest SEO changes.

Forgetting about Organic Search

For a period of time, paid search was all the rage. Paid search can give you results fast, but it may not be the best decision for long-term use. Although paid search is a good option under the proper circumstances, you may not have the budget to satisfy the needs of your organization. Discuss the timeline and budget for your marketing campaigns to decide which method right for you.

Biggest Mistakes in Online Marketing: Content

Poor Content Mix

Your content should appeal to the interests of your audience. Mountains of text on your website and social media accounts will scare off users. Be sure to include a mix of photos, videos, and text. Consider getting creative or trying out new content trends, like podcasts. Having a diverse content mix will help you reach a larger percentage of your target audience, and it will keep them intrigued.

Mirrored Content

It can be difficult to create new and exciting content on a regular basis, especially if you have a limited staff helping you. As a result, many online marketers simply mirror the content across their online media. If you’re going to repurpose your content, spend some extra time to make sure you’re still providing high-quality content to your users. Instead of reposting the same blog, consider turning it into a video interview. If you’re producing content about the same topic, look at it from a new perspective.

social media outlets

Biggest Mistakes in Online Marketing: Social Media

Not Engaging with Followers

Most online marketers focus on the engagement rates across their social media accounts, which are extremely valuable to an organization. While analyzing these metrics is important, it’s important not to be engaged as the organization itself. Keep up with comments, mentions, and tags. Engage with your followers when appropriate, and be sure to look out for spam and inappropriate content posted by users. Following these social media tips will help build your brand and make your accounts much more effective.

Ineffective Use of Media Channels

When choosing media channels, think about your audience. Make strategic choices that allow you to reach your target audience most effectively. Don’t fall for the latest social media trend. Just because your daughter loves Snapchat, doesn’t mean members of your target audience do. Do your research and determine which channels are appropriate for your message and your audience.

Think you might be committing some of these internet marketing mistakes? Change to your online marketing strategy. Meet our brands, and let us provide you with creative solutions so you can avoid internet marketing mistakes.

Blog Post Ideas | What Do I Write About???

Oh yeah, it’s Friday! But wait- you still have one last blog post to write before the weekend! You’ve written several already this week and it seems like you’ve exhausted all possible topics. How do you generate great blog post ideas so that you can still produce stellar content? This isn’t just about writer’s block, you don’t even have an idea that’s blocked yet. In case you were wondering, this blog is definitely unrelated to my feeling when I saw I had one more post due today… Anyway, you know you need to get writing, but where do you start?

Blog Post Ideas 101

Blog Post Ideas

Define Your Goals

There are plenty of goals that you could have for any given blog post. Some of them may even overlap with one another. While some of the more tangible goals for a blog post may include encouraging conversions, others can just be about attracting a certain audience. Between these two extremes, you could be writing your blog for any number of reasons. Whether that is to inspire trust from your readers or compile the perspectives of some influencers, there is no bad game plan for writing a blog. That is unless you have no game plan. Coming up with great blog post ideas will be infinitely easier if you know why you are writing. Once you do, you’re ready to think about what you’re writing.

Ask Yourself Questions

Of course, the question you’ve already been struggling with is, “what do I write about?” This certainly qualifies as a question, but not the type of question that can help you generate an original blog post idea. As you consider different topics, ask yourself more specific questions. For example, “what do I want to learn more about?” This can be especially helpful when writing about a specific industry. Any industry you could be writing for certainly has its fair share of intricacies that can be difficult to keep up with. However, if you are able to identify a specific trend or theme within that industry that interests you, it will be much easier to find that perfect blog post idea. Another great question to ask yourself is, “what do people ask me?” If your site offers a frequently asked questions page, this can be a great place to start. After all, this can tell you exactly what your audience wants to know!

Read!

Now that you have a general direction (hopefully!) it’s time to start reading! Keep in mind, if you still don’t have an idea for a theme, it may be a good idea to ask yourself a few more questions. While reading can certainly help inspire ideas regardless of whether or not you already have a theme, having some direction can help you identify sources to check out. Assuming you have that direction, search several unique queries that relate to your theme. For example, if you want to write an article about SEO, search queries like “SEO trends” or “guide to SEO.” Identify reputable sources and read on! You’ll likely learn a lot and very well may find a specific topic that you want to write about.

 

Hopefully, this article has helped give you some insight for creating blog post ideas. Of course, these recommendations are not all-inclusive. There are plenty of other ways to think of topics. However, the tips given above are a great place to start and are usually how I come up with my blog post ideas. At this point, the hard part should be over! Now it’s time to start writing. Need some help with this next step? Look no further than these awesome blog writing tips! As always, write on! After all, content marketing is alive and well.

Conference Tips and Tricks | Digital Summits and Beyond!

As digital marketers, it can be in our nature to deal with things from the comfort of a computer screen — and yet as much as we’d like to forget, digital marketing takes as much real-life, human interactions as it does strategic marketing wizardry! With Track5Media’s marketing team preparing for the upcoming Digital Summit in Philadelphia, we thought we’d share some of our most coveted conference tips and tricks.

Whether your team is headed to an industry-related conference for the first time or you’re flying solo, there are lots of things to consider before even stepping foot in the venue. So let’s get started!

5 Major Conference Tips and Tricks

conference tips and tricks

1. Organize your Pre-Conference Plan

They’ll be dozens of sessions led by some of the top influencers from far and wide, so that means you’ll need to pregame! No, not the type involving shotgunning beers in the parking lot, I’m talking about getting your plan together ahead of time. Of all the conference tips and tricks listed here, this one might be the single most important!

If you think you’ll just “figure it out when we get there” you may be on track to throwing away hundreds of dollars and missed opportunities for networking! Believe me, you’ll want to plan out exactly just which presentations you’ll be attending, scouting out any meet-and-greets, and of course, maximizing each intermission to keep everything running smoothly. If possible, grab a map ahead of time in order to avoid walking into a speaker’s presentation halfway through — ouch!

2. Hit the Biggest Keynotes

There’s nothing worse than checking Twitter and seeing valuable industry news you missed while wasting time elsewhere. If there are any big announcements, insights, or reveals during a keynote speech you should absolutely be in that room! In a lot of cases, keynotes don’t often hold break out sessions, meaning you won’t have to worry about missing other speakers or events… as long as you mind tip #1!

In any case, these keynote presentations are the crux of any conference, helping you and your team to really engage in the conversation and find solid talking points for anyone else you may encounter during your time there. You may not have much to relate to someone, but attending the same session can really get the ball rolling!

3. Don’t limit Your Scope!

Although most conferences are unified by a central theme or industry, that doesn’t mean every session offered will apply to your day-to-day needs at work. At the same time, some of the best insights can come from seemingly unrelated topics. They say you don’t know what you don’t know, and besides being stupidly redundant, there’s truth in that.

conference tips and tricks

Even sessions that are less-relevant to your focus can be useful if they are highly strategic. You’ll find that most marketing topics are extremely interrelated, so all it takes is one unseen connection between two topics to spawn your next breakthrough campaign — who knows!

4. Have the Right Gear Ready

Most conferences are not said and done in a single day, so you’ll need to be sure you can keep your momentum going the whole time. There’s nothing more stressful than trying to enter a new contact or follow someone on social media just to have your phone die! Extra battery packs, memory cards, and other accessories can be quick fixes to an electronic pickle.

We can’t stress this next point enough: Pack enough business cards! In the event your phone dies or someone else’s kicks the bucket, having a good ol’ fashioned analog business card may just save the day when meeting new or potential clients. Maybe they’ll get flung into the trash, or maybe fall out of a folder at a perfectly serendipitous moment — either way these little pieces of cardboard are never without their use!

If you have products to display or demo, make that a high priority. No one likes to watch you fumble around with faulty internet connections or other difficulties when a potential sale is on the line. Additionally, we mostly buy products because they make things easier, so don’t be your own worst enemy when it comes to demos!

5. Follow Up However Possible

So now that you’ve had your fun, it’s time to return home and get digging through all that swag, those business cards, and your notes (you were taking notes weren’t you??). You can do all the pitching and networking you want, but if you never follow up with anyone… did it really happen?

Send whatever follow up emails you can, reminding your contacts where you met, what you discussed, and about any ways to further collaborate or connect. Conferences can be hectic, exciting, but ultimately very productive so long as you really take the time to digest the experience. If nothing else, be sure to hold a team meeting where everyone can integrate whatever valuable conference nuggets they’ve prospected!

Finally, the Track5 team is headed to the Digital Summit in Philly at the end of August. If you’re going- be sure to hit us up!

conference tips and tricks

Did you find these conference tips and tricks useful? Let us know how you’re preparing for your next big company event in the comments below!

The Importance of Brand Storytelling

What is the importance of brand storytelling? The age of social media has become a great force in influencing consumers’ views of various brands, making online marketing more important now than ever. In fact, social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat have gained popularity due to its appeal to customers, specifically through its use of storytelling. Brand storytelling is an important way to connect with your audience as well as expand your audience engagement. In this new era of marketing, personalization and networking have become important factors of successful marketing. This could be seen in the rise of fan bases in YouTube influencers as well as online bloggers. By establishing a connection with your targeted audience, storytelling can help you with brand awareness. Do you want to implement a successful marketing strategy to market your brand? Learn more about the importance of brand storytelling with these helpful tips.

The Importance of Brand Storytelling

The Importance of Brand Storytelling


What is Brand Storytelling?

Brand storytelling is a strategy used in brand marketing to increase brand awareness. Just as the word implies, brand storytelling is the act of telling a story through various mediums (e.g. videos, posts, social media, and etc.) to capture your targeted audience’s attention. Brand storytelling can strengthen and increase your audience by creating an emotional connection to your audience. Today’s audience is driven by personal connections that they make with brands. Engaging in brand storytelling can open doors to expanding your targeted audience. The importance of brand storytelling lies in the ability to successfully evoke emotions within your audience to establish a relationship. Implementing a successful brand storytelling strategy will help your audience learn more about your brand, helping you grow your audience.

Why Should Your Brand Engage in Brand Storytelling?

There are many benefits of brand storytelling. For example, a strong brand storytelling marketing strategy can distinguish your brand from your competitors. An important aspect of converting audience is by being memorable. As a matter of fact, studies show that certain parts of the brain are activated when you are engaged in storytelling. The importance of brand storytelling lies in its ability to capture the audience’s attention. Ultimately, consumers want to build relationships and network with brands. Fostering a community of engagement between your brand and your audience will greatly help establish a connection. With a strong strategy in brand storytelling, you will ultimately establish brand loyalty as your audience begin to associate your brand with your content.

Seven Tips for a Successful Brand Storytelling Strategy:

  • Focus on your consumers’ wants and needs: In order to generate brand awareness, you need to appeal to your audience, and that means that you need to focus on what your consumers want and need. At the end of the day, your audience is the people who you are selling your brand to, so prioritize them and listen to what they want. Tailoring your content to your consumers’ preferences is crucial to creating an appealing story.
  • Be aware of trends: Trends are constantly changing, but there is no surprise that they affect your audience. Remember the era of the Unicorn Frappuccino? Don’t dismiss cultural trends because they can be key to marketing to your audience.
  • Create customer value-oriented content: One of the goals of brand storytelling is to convert consumers and retain the ones that you already have. You want to evoke emotion in your audience and eventually change their beliefs and opinions of your brand, which will influence consumer behavior.
  • Venture into various mediasVideo marketing is one of the many popular platforms for brand storytelling. In fact, brands such as Weight Watchers, Apple, and Dove have gained popularity for their successes in brand storytelling through video marketing.
  • Don’t dismiss the basic structure of a story: A great story has a beginning, middle, and end along with a climax and a resolution. Don’t forget about the foundations of what makes a great story!
  • Evoke emotions in your audiences: Stories based on real experiences will generate more success because they convey raw emotions, making it easier for your audience to relate to your brand.
  • Bring out your brand’s personality: At the end of the day, you shouldn’t compromise your brand’s values. Highlight your brand’s personality through storytelling to help your audience learn more about you.
The Importance of Brand Storytelling

Infographic courtesy of Fathom

Why Your Site Needs an SEO Audit

It’s about time you have yourself your good ol’ fashioned audit. No, I’m not talking about an audit in a traditional sense, so you can stop burning those receipts and allocating your funds into those secret bank accounts, I’m talking about an SEO audit for your website. Before we get into things, however, I’ll give you a brief rundown of what an audit is, and what it will do. An SEO audit essentially combs your site to find areas where you can improve your onsite and offsite SEO. You’ll be to identify broken links, pages that aren’t optimized, and duplicate content among other things. While everyone should perform an SEO audit every now and then no matter how successful your site is, below are a few warning signs that you should perform an SEO audit ASAP.

5 Reasons You Need An SEO Audit

SEO audit

1. Broken Links

If you notice, or if your audience is noticing a lot of broken links, it might be time for an SEO audit. Broken links are a nuisance for visitors of your site, and they can often deter viewers from staying on your site. Essentially, broken links can decrease your conversion and lose you a lot of money if you let them get out of hand. An SEO audit will essentially find all of these broken links so you can repair them as soon as possible.

2. Algorithm Update

These updates are constantly occurring, which changes the things that you need to rank well on a SERP. Things you may have done in the past could be hurting your website after an update. When there’s been a massive change in search engine algorithms, it’s time to perform an SEO audit. This will enable you to maximize the compatibility of your site’s current SEO with that of any new algorithms. These algorithms occur pretty frequently, so make sure you’re checking in for any major updates that could hurt your site.

3. Visitors Are Down

Many website owners will notice that their traffic amount and conversion has decreased recently and immediately assume that it’s a marketing or advertising issue. However, it might be the way your website is optimized, so an SEO audit can make sure that you’re not spending money trying to fix the wrong problem. There are a few reasons that traffic could be decreased. You might need to reoptimize your pages. The way we search for things and what devices we use to search for them are constantly changing, so make sure that you’re optimizing your pages by using SEO best practices.

4. Duplicate Content

Duplicate content can strongly hurt your SEO rankings. While we hope you at least know that you shouldn’t be copying the same content onto multiple pages, there are still a few ways that you might be duplicating content without meaning to. If you have a product or service on your site that is on multiple pages, the descriptions of the content might be flagged as duplicate content. Although it can be a pain, make sure the content of your pages is at least slightly unique. One other aspect of duplicate content that many won’t realize is not using canonical tags for their site. Using the canonical tag prevents problems caused by identical or duplicate content appearing on multiple URLs. This is to prevent Google from viewing pages starting with “http,” “https,” and other URL starters as different pages with the same content.

5. Outdated Content

One final reason that you might need an SEO audit is to identify outdated content. Not only can you identify content that needs to be updated, you can even use an SEO audit to identify content that might be worth repurposing as a guest blog on another site, or a more extensive article on your own site. Either way, breathing new life into your content can go a long way.

Need some an advice on an SEO audit? Shoot us an email or a message on Facebook!