Archive | November, 2015

Social Media For Health Care, Who’s Doing It Right

30 Nov

Social media marketing for health care provides unprecedented opportunities for educating patients, increasing outreach, and recruiting a new generation of health care professionals. These five standout campaigns will show you how it’s done.

Johnson & Johnson

After seeing surveys indicating most people believed the world has become a less caring place, Johnson & Johnson launched its “Care Inspires Care” campaign as a lead-in to the 2014 World Cup. The company launched a Facebook page where people could share acts of care, and it named several health care organizations, FIFA World Cup volunteers, and J&J employees “Champions of Care.” J&J also created children’s books inspired by stories of health care workers who took care of sick children.

Recently, J&J pulled its ads from daytime talk show “The View” after co-hosts Michelle Collins and Joy Behar made controversial comments about nurses. The company then launched a Facebook campaign on its Care Inspires Care page to offer scholarships to students who want to become a nurse. The company will donate $1 to the fund, up to $50,000, each time someone submits a photo of caring nurses in action. Big corporation movements like these provide a great basis for schools like Loyola University in New Orleans thatcelebrate the history of nursing and help future nurses learn the skills they need to change lives.

GE Healthcare

GE has struggled to attract new hires from top technology programs because, compared to companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple, its talent brand said “old and venerable.” A series of innovative social media and content campaigns from Katrina Craigwell, GE’s global manager of digital marketing, has boosted the 123-year-old company’s profile among millennial college grads qualified to work in technology or health care.

To highlight its advanced medical imaging technology, GE Healthcare created “The Pulse on Health, Science, and Technology,” a Tumblr blog filled with stunning radiology images. The blog contains images of creatures, from humans to insects to one-celled organisms, rendered using imaging studies like MRI, computed tomography, X-ray, and PET scans.

4 Key Social Media Marketing Trends To Lead The Game in 2016

23 Nov

The same laws of attraction have never governed the social media marketing scene for too long.

Just as one Tweet changes another, so does user preferences when it comes to consuming online content. New social media rise and fall quickly and this yearSnapChat and Periscope already shown a great influence on the marketing landscape. With new players entering the field and old companies rushing to introduce new features and innovations, the rules of social media play hardly ever stay the same.

In 2016 we should expect to see new exciting trends and changes in the social scene and here are the top 4.

1. In-the-moment updates will prevail

The obsession with live streaming and instant updates will continue to grow exponentially. Think SnapChat, Periscope and Blab. Virtual Reality is close to going mainstream, meaning more and more apps will battle for users’ full attention and struggle to satisfy their crave for full immersion in the event. Sure, Facebook still does good job with keeping users updated on the latest news, however the platform cannot offer in-the-moment content that live steam apps offer.

What does it mean for marketers?

Unless you have already jumped on the visual marketing bandwagon, it’s a high time to do so.

Get ready to show the human face of your business and start thinking of how you can leverage your brand with instant updates. Here are some ideas to get you started:

– Team at work and behind the scene snaps.
– Product updates and exclusive product sneak peeks.
– Time sensitive discounts and special offers.
– Short tutorials and webinars.
– Sweepstakes and collaborations with influencers.
– Real time Q&A sessions

2. Culture will still be king

No matter how compelling ad messages become, people will continue to care more about the culture, rather than the product.

Having a good product is not enough. Having a brand story and unique brand values is a now a necessity.

With the rise of Big Data Internet marketers have access to huge amount of information about consumer preferences, interests and spending habits. Services become highly personalized and you already heard how important it is to build quality relationships with your users and offer them unique experiences.

Digital storytelling campaigns have won the hearts and minds of billions consumers this year. Think H&M Garment Collecting initiative, the viral video and active response on the social media. Or The Last Selfie Snapchat campaign by WWF that raised a massive buzz and resulted into a leveraged worldwide branding and drastically increased donations for the month.

What does it mean for marketers?

Your business needs a story and a shared cause with your target audience. Swipe through your online marketing persona profiles; identify the values that most of your buyers’ share and that resonate with your brand.

For instance, you are marketing to millennials. You know the target group within actively supports eco friendly technologies and materials. Stress that you are using 100% recyclable packing and donate a fraction of each purchase to a sustainable development NGO in Costa Rica. Make sure those statements are not blunt. The community will be ruthless if you get caught in being fake.

Not sure what exactly your consumers crave for and what does your brand lack? Check out Kinnect2 platform that brings brands and consumers together to share their opinions and receive real feedback on their product, strategy or brand story.

3. Privacy concerns will continue to rise.

The shock of the notorious Ashley Madison hack will prevail in the society for the next year and most probably onwards.

In fact, one of the reasons for SnapChat’s popularity is that the app offers a more secure and private environment for communication and engagement.

Facebook rolled out a new set of privacy awareness tools, most probably to compensate a major dissatisfaction after the forced Real name policy implementation.

What does it mean for marketers?

When offering customer support via social media, make sure you don’t ask your users to disclose any private information publicly. Always use private messages only.

Respect and highlight your privacy policy and make sure you are informing your users about the use of cookies and other information they agree to share with your service.

Switching to more private and personalized communication channels e.g. email marketing is another smart move. With the estimated ROI of $40 for every $1 spent, email marketing continues to leverage the marketing game for most brands.

4. Social networks morph into search engines

Up to 80% of consumers are influenced by online reviews and comments, created by other consumers. They are no longer typing into Google, they go straight to YouTube, Facebook, Yelp and Pinterest for advice and opinions.

In fact, 87% of recent survey respondents claimed that Pinterest helped them decide what product to purchase. As this social network is mainly dominated by woman in their 30s, known to show the most active shopping habits, no wonder the number is so high.

The holiday season is approaching more and more people scout social media directly in search of discounts, special deals and gift ideas.

What does it mean for marketers?

While SEO is not going anywhere, identifying social media as a search channel as well, means you can potentially double your revenue.

Use your social media channels to share special discounts, limited-platform promo codes and feature actual reviews and testimonials from your users.

Case studies and client success stories are now actively published by a lot of brands to show the real value of their product through the eyes of an average user, rather than a glossy promo material.

Partnering with social media influencers (bloggers, vloggers, Instagramers and creatives alike) is another trend on the rise. As users crave for peer-to-peer advice, inviting Internet famous brand ambassadors on board can drastically leverage your brand and online visibility. At the end of the day, users are now prone to the traditional advertising techniques, but are always keen to hear a friendly advice from a person they can relate to.

Supercharge Your Social Media Marketing

16 Nov

When two out of three Internet users across the world is active on social media, you don’t need much of an introduction to how all pervasive this medium has become in the last decade. The average American spends 2.7 hours every day on social media. Need I go on?

Most businesses today have wised up to the power that social media has to influence and build one on one relationships with users. Which means most businesses have a presence on the social media networks that matter to their users. However, in spite of all the ballyhooing about the medium, social media marketing is still limited to posting an update or two every day and replying to customer comments as they roll in.

The fact is there’s so much more that you can do with this versatile medium with so little effort. Here’s a look at some of the things that you can accomplish through social media that you never could otherwise.

1. Develop a deep understanding of individual customers.

Yes, I know that you already mine data from your social channels. If you don’t, you ought to start right away. Social media tracks every action your followers carry out and offer you rich demographic, psychographic and behavioral data on a platter. So, with social media you can trulyknow your users inside out. Knowing what media they consume, which times of day they’re active online, which other brands they patronize, what they do for leisure are all important clues that help you sell better to your audience.

However, that’s not all I meant by “recognizing” your customers.

Social media also is a great platform to shine the spotlight on your star customers and make them feel special. The fifteen minutes of fame that you can offer with a single post costs you nothing but tells that customer how important she is to you and cements your bond even stronger.

2. Influence their thinking.

The content that you post on social media is a potent tool that allows you to define the reaction you want from your audience. From humorous posts that amuse to educational posts that inform to emotional posts that connect, there’s a host of goals that can be accomplished with just a single post on social media.

The push for democracy in the Middle East labeled the Arab Spring was largely fueled by social activism. The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS Research that swept social media in 2014, raised over $220 millionacross the globe. We know how social media was masterfully used to elect the first ever African American President the country has ever had. It also played a huge role in President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012.

Even if you’re not running for the top job in the country, social media can still help you shape minds and change attitudes towards your business.

3. Co-create content on the fly with your customers.

Marketing till recently was a one-way affair. Businesses dreamed up advertising campaigns that extolled the virtues of their brand and published these ads across every possible medium that their users accessed. The hope was that at least some of the communication would be seen by the target audience, remembered by them when they make a purchase and would result in a sale. That’s akin to leaving the entire fate of your marketing campaign to plain old luck.

Social media has made sure that’s not the case anymore. You now have the ability to zero in on the right user segment, create a piece of communication tailored to exactly their tastes and publish it on their personal feeds across different social networks. No longer is the visibility of your campaign left to chance. It gets better. Thanks to social media, you can now go one step further and invite users to create content with you, giving them a sense of ownership in your brand and its message. Emerging social networks like Flyreel allow users and brands to create short video clips and string them together to create a single cohesive piece of communication.

4. Attract local users with superior geo-targeting.

Earlier marketers were forced to use “spray and pray” techniques in the hopes that their marketing messages would be seen by their target audience. Thanks to geo-targeted advertising those days are long gone. From geo-targeted pay-per-click ads to iBeacons that push messages to users’ smartphones inside brick and mortar stores, brands can now follow users wherever they go.

Apps like 7dayz empower the users even further. Users can now discover interesting stories from the last seven days published by people and businesses around them wherever they go. The visual nature of the app means businesses have option of sharing rich content with users at the right place and the right time.

Social media is like that forgotten pair of running shoes sitting at the back of your closet. It doesn’t simply help you run, it opens up brand new worlds of discovery with every step.

Social Media Should be Part of Your Marketing Budget!

9 Nov

Social media marketing, or SMM, is perhaps the best method to get one’s marketing message through. Both B2C and B2B companies are making it an essential part of their appointment setting and lead generation program.

And given several conditions such as the prevalence of digital channels and innovations in mobile technology, SMM has become a necessity for business survival. So much so that companies are spending a great deal in optimizing and creating their SMM platforms.

A report from the Wall Street Journal has found that SMM spending will experience a steady upsurge next year. Quoting a recent research paper from Duke University, the report says that spending will increase at least 11% in 2015 and 21% in the next five years. The report also states that expenditures in traditional advertising would “contract” by 3.

It’s obvious. Digital marketing methods are slowly taking the place of television, radio and newspapers in terms of stimulating brand awareness. But can we see this as a positive development?

It might seem inevitable that SMM would supersede traditional advertising, but we cannot ignore its negative implications. Certain factors need to be taken into account before a social media lead generation campaign is realized.

ROI tracking.

The most compelling challenge to SMM is tracking its impact on one’s sales pipeline. The same Duke University report says that only 15% of marketers can effectively measure their SMM campaign through quantitative approaches. Furthermore, only 40% were able to gauge their campaigns based on qualitative rubrics. The reasons are numerous as they are complex: fluctuating marketing trends, shifting buyer behaviors and preferences, big data management, etc.

Spending on infrastructure.

Despite such projections however, analysts still see a rise in SMM budgets. A bulk of this will be dedicated to establishing vital lead management infrastructure. Spending in this instance will go to much needed upgrades and installing marketing automation software. Despite these activities however, marketers will still encounter the problem of ROI tracking. Unless an effective approach to this issue is realized, marketers will have to bear with inconsistent information about their online lead generation program.

What’s the prescription?

The only remedy at this point would be to focus on spending on quality manpower. Competencies in the field of B2B digital marketing are as good as having up-to-date marketing systems. Moreover, employing the services of a proficient B2B outsourcing company can also be a practical option, especially when you want to handle different audience interaction channels simultaneously.

Social media marketing – let’s rethink community management

2 Nov

Social media marketing is changing and so should our approach to community management and production. We need to make fewer pieces of higher quality content which millions see, rather than encouraging a community manager to push out hourly updates for a handful of fans. This puts pressure on such roles and brings us full circle to looking at more traditional agencies for their storytelling abilities, but before we throw the baby out with the bathwater here are seven key considerations:

1 Less really is more

Most brands produce more content than they need, stretching their resources, and would be better off making and widely promoting one or two fantastic pieces a month. How much you need should ultimately come down to how much you can afford to spend on promotion and the desired media frequency you need to drive business objectives. Realistically on a platform such as Facebook, you’ll want to reach consumers once or at most twice a week, meaning an absolute maximum of eight posts a month. However, don’t be afraid to show the same creative at least twice (which halves the amount of content you need) or just to make one or two posts a month and really drive up their reach. Now if tens of millions of people are going to see each piece then you’ll want to invest time and money in making each truly memorable. The main reason for producing any more, or at least slightly tweaking these executions, is if you want to cleverly target consumers with more personally relevant messages.

2 Think broadly about video

Video has always been a powerful medium, but as its social consumption has skyrocketed, and the pressure to churn out daily updates has decreased, it’s really coming into its own for marketers. Consider that in newsfeed-based systems (notably Facebook and Twitter) video will autoplay silently – it’s therefore much easier to get people to watch some of a video then to really hook them in . Consider using video formats to simply animate imagery and grab attention, or if you do want to tell a longer story, load your brand upfront and grab attention early (as you would on YouTube).

3 Rethink where content comes from

I’ve seen community managers create some really fantastic content over the years and if given the right time and space, they still can, though it is a different set of skills. With huge potential scale it is now justifiable to invest more in production, or to brief it as a key requirement alongside a TV shoot. While traditional agencies have struggled with digital, they will hopefully rise to the social video challenge. It is, however, worth considering social specialists, partnering with influencers, building it into media owner partnerships or even professional crowdsourcing platforms.

4 Remain open to consumers

I’m sorry social media revolutionaries, but consumers don’t want conversations with their laundry powder, chocolate bars or their next car. Putting less focus on the niche engagement that social can generate is a wise move, but don’t completely ignore it. While hopefully no longer your core objective, listening to comments can help shape strategies and responding to specific questions avoids building a negative brand perception. There are still genius moments of community management where responding quickly and funnily in line with your brand can create a wider, positive social moment for you – be wary of outsourcing moderation to the point that your brand personality gets lost.

5 Stay true to your brand

It’s crucially important that social content stays true to a brand’s identity and communicates the key messages as any channel would. Don’t be afraid to actually feature the product too, or at the very least distinctive brand identifiers, because marketing only works when consumers can easily attribute it back to something memorable. It might not be right to do a blunt product demonstration, but there’s no need to be ashamed either. Definitely don’t hide behind cheap tricks such as puppy photos or popular memes, which drive throwaway engagement but communicate nothing about the brand.

6 Data informs, but you decide

One of the dangers of social marketing is the overwhelming amount of immediate data on consumer engagement/reactions and our tendency to blindly chase it. Although understanding consumer interests and responsiveness is a useful input, slavishly following that can lead you far away from communicating anything useful about your brand. Similarly, looking at searches and views around your brand can help inform a content strategy, but if responding to those questions won’t help you tell your story don’t feel you have to. This sort of big data can help identify broad target audiences for specific pieces of content, helping drive personal connections at scale.

7 Ditch all that reporting

Vast effort goes into producing monthly or even weekly reports, but much of that is wasted. Certainly there are lots of data points out there, but research shows surprisingly little correlation between digital engagement and ultimate sales or brand impact. Optimising to engagement data is misleading and moves us away from true objectives . As in traditional media, we need to get used to running mid- or post-campaign surveys to establish the true impact, or even pursue ways of showing direct sales impacts. This might sound like a step backwards but that’s the reality, although unlike in traditional media you no longer have to wait weeks or months for your post-campaign analysis. A week after launching a YouTube video you can have a clear view of how it is communicating your brand from online surveys and adapt the content or media spend accordingly. On a weekly basis the main thing worth checking is how many people you’re reaching and how often, assuming your content is communicating what it needs to.