The Future of Digital Marketing and Its Importance to Stay Relevant

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Image Source: http://techgenmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/digitalmedia.jpg

The world of digital media is constantly changing and evolving. If one does not keep up to date with the digital media, you can easily fall behind and the consequences can be detrimental especially for those working in social media marketing.

New social media platforms are continuously being developed and introduced to the market, as well as current popular platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are striving to add value to its consumers by introducing new features to keep their competitors on edge.

One key trend that has significantly grown in 2016 is live streaming on social media platforms. Facebook has been pushing their Facebook Live and there has been an increased number of people using it to broadcast live. Instagram has also recently introduced live video to their platform.

Increasingly more and more people are becoming attracted to live streaming due to its raw and unedited form rather than things that are carefully crafted, packaged or edited. One benefit of live streaming is that it has opened up a new world of interactivity and engagement to interact with your target consumers.

The increasing trend of live video streaming will have a huge impact on an organization’s digital strategy in the next three years. I believe video content marketing will continue to grow and live streaming is an extension of that. Besides broadcasting live to your audience, they can also interact with the live broadcast in real time such as commenting and clicking the like button.

Live streaming can create new opportunities to market a product, service or increase brand awareness. Depending how an organization wants to use live streaming, it can create transparency for businesses. Such as sharing behind-the-scenes footage on live stream to consumers who normally would not have this type of access. As well, I also want to note that the use of live streaming is inexpensive compared to purchasing digital ad space. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are free to use and with a click of a button you can live stream instantly. Overall, I believe businesses can be very creative in utilizing live streaming to help achieve their business objectives.

In order to stay relevant with digital media trends, it is imporant to keep up with the news in the digital media realm. I currently follow several blogs, my two personal favorites are Social Media Today and Social Media Examiner. They provide many great tips, tools, industry research and news about social media. Also continuing to follow key industry people on social to hear their opinions about social media and what news they share is very important. Lastly, I will continue to attend digital marketing events (such as the IAB Canada Digital Marketing Summit I had previously attended) to continue learning about what is new and relevant in the digital space.

In terms of behaviours, I need to be more diligent in keeping organized and setting aside time to read the news and what is trending in general. At the moment, I use Facebook to save posts and articles to read later. I do realize, I need to categorize all my saved information and make them more easily accessible to find in the future when needed. I should start incorporating and exploring various content curation tools, such as Pocket and Scoop.it to see what works best for my needs and preferences.

To summarize what I’ve written, I created an infographic on some best practices to help you learn how to keep up to date with the digital media trends.

digital-trends-infographic

Adobe Spark Video Tutorial – How to Order From a McDonald’s Self-Serve Kiosk

I created this “How to Order From a McDonald’s Self-Serve Kiosk” video using the Adobe Spark Video app on iPhone 6. To begin making the video I chose “Show and Tell” from the Story Guide options. Under Themes, I chose “Signal” because of the yellow, as it matched with the McDonald’s colors. For each slide I created, I used two layouts. For the first introduction slide I chose “Thing + Caption” and the rest of the slides I used “Two Things.” It’s very easy to enter your text and upload photos into the boxes for each slide. You can also adjust the time for how long you want each slide to appear. Most of my slides were generally 3-4 seconds each in length. Finally, I added music to the video. There are a lot of options for you to choose from inside the library. For this video, I chose “Comfy Cotton” as my background music. What is great about this app, is that you can even adjust the volume of the music to your liking.

Adobe Spark Video is a great tool that is very easy to use and does not require any special video editing skills. It is great for creating videos easily on your phone and in a short amount of time. Brands can use Adobe Spark Video to tell stories using photos, text and voice about their products or services. Once you create a video, you can share directly on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram or you can save it to your phone for future use.

Everything You Need to Know About LinkedIn and Why Your Business Needs to Use It!

 

LinkedIn is a social networking site for professionals with currently over 400 million users. According to their website, LinkedIn has three main functions:

  • Build your professional identity online and stay in touch with colleagues and classmates
  • Discover professional opportunities, business deals, and new ventures
  • Get the latest news, inspiration, and insights you need to be great at what you do

In my slideshare presentation, I provide key information on how organizations can best utilize LinkedIn for their business needs.

References:

“A Guide to the Demographics of LinkedIn Users.” Marketing Mojo. Marketing Mojo, n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2016. <https://www.marketing-mojo.com/infographic/infographic-guide-demographics-linkedin-users>.

Beese, Jennifer. “How To Use LinkedIn For Business | Sprout Social.” Sprout Social. Sprout Social, 01 June 2015. Web. 23 Oct. 2016. <http://sproutsocial.com/insights/how-to-use-linkedin-for-business>.

Crum, Chris. “Here’s How LinkedIn Is Getting Better For B2B Sales And Marketing.” WebProNews. WebProNews, 04 Aug. 2015. Web. 23 Oct. 2016. <http://www.webpronews.com/heres-how-linkedin-is-getting-better-for-b2b-sales-and-marketing-2015-08>.

DeMers, Jayson. “10 Reasons Your Brand Needs To Be On LinkedIn.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 22 July 2015. Web. 24 Oct. 2016. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2015/07/22/10-reasons-your-brand-needs-to-be-on-linkedin/2/#11eb64a5f76b>.

Kievman, Nate. “11 Reasons You Should Use LinkedIn for Your Business.” Linked Strategies. Linked Strategies, 10 Dec. 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2016. <http://www.linkedstrategies.com/11-reasons-you-should-use-linkedin-for-your-busines>.

Kolowich, Lindsay. “The Best Times to Post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Social Media Sites [Infographic].” HubSpot. HubSpot, 6 Jan. 2016. Web. 24 Oct. 2016. <http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/best-times-post-pin-tweet-social-media-infographic#sm.0000ax8wd08bofheypc1ruqpd6srf>.

Newberry, Christina. “LinkedIn for Business: The Ultimate Marketing Guide.” Hootsuite. Hootsuite Blogs, 20 Sept. 2016. Web. 24 Oct. 2016. <https://blog.hootsuite.com/linkedin-for-business/>.

“Pricing – Free 14-Day-Trial For All Packages.” Quintly. Quintly, n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2016. <https://www.quintly.com/pricing>.

Rouse, Margaret. “What Is LinkedIn? – Definition from WhatIs.com.” WhatIs.com. WhatIs.com, July 2016. Web. 23 Oct. 2016. <http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/LinkedIn>.

Sammons, Stephanie. “5 Creative Ways to Use LinkedIn Company Pages : Social Media Examiner.” Sprout Social. Sprout Social, 13 Mar. 2013. Web. 23 Oct. 2016. <http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-creative-ways-to-use-linkedin-company-pages>.

“Simply Measured Pricing Ask Simply Measured a Question.” G2 Crowd. G2 Crowd, n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2016. <https://www.g2crowd.com/products/simply-measured/pricing>.

Stonham, Mark. “Are You Clear about What the LinkedIn Value Proposition Means for You?”. LinkedIn Corporation, 7 May 2014. Web. 23 Sept. 2016. <https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140507081213-5831449-are-you-clear-about-what-the-linkedin-value-proposition-means-for-you>.

Customize Your WordPress Using HTML and CSS

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Photo Source: https://www.dramafever.com/drama/4947/Love_O2O

Coding was always a strange and foreign language for me and I never imagined that I would be learning how to how to code, until now. It has been quite a journey learning basic HTML and CSS. I realized how useful it is as a long time blogger to be able to know how to customize your own website to your liking, rather than just having to stick to preset themes. I began experimenting with my site and went a little bit wild testing out different things, as evidenced below.

beforegoogleanalytics
Before Google Analytics was installed

googleanalyticsinstalled
Google Analytics code pasted in header.php between <head> and </head>

disgusplugininstalled
Successful installation of Disqus Comments

b4orderlistbold
Blog post before any changes

bold-orderedlist-html
Coding for creating emphasis on a paragraph and creating an ordered list

bold-orderedlist-post
The visual post after the coding was added

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Blog post before any changes

h1h2h3-html
H1, H2 and H3 tags added

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The visual post with the H1, H2 and H3 tags

smdclass-css
Created a new called .smdclass under style.css

smdclass-code
.smdclass coding applied to a paragraph

smdclass-applied
Visual of the .smdclass applied to paragraph

CSS Theme Edits:

libretheme-b4changes
Original Libre Theme

libretheme-csscode
CSS coding to change the background color, header color and the font size and family in a paragraph

libretheme-changed
Blog with the changes applied

selatheme-b4changes
Original Sela Theme

selatheme-codes
Instead of adding adding my own CSS coding into the style.css I decided to edit the preexisting code. I changed the font family, background color and the color of the entry title.

selatheme-changed
Updated Sela theme with the CSS changes applied

Online and Mobile Image Editors: Canva and Pixlr

There are many great tools, both for mobile and desktop, available for free to help edit your photos to make them picture perfect! You no longer need to purchase expensive programs or even have a background in graphic design to be able to produce great looking photos for social media. Programs like Pixlr and Canva which are available both on mobile and on desktop, makes it easy and convenient for you to use. Below, I have two examples of photos that I edited using both mobile and desktop applications.

ORIGINAL PHOTO – Nadege Patisserie Macarons

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EDITED PHOTO – Desktop

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I edited this photo of Nadege Patisserie macarons using the online image editor Pixlr. I first cropped the image using the freehand crop tool. Next, I adjusted the color of the photo by increasing the saturation to 25. I also increased the sharpness of the photo by adjusting the sharp tool by 25. Lastly, I inserted the text “Explosive Colors and Flavors” by using the online image text editor Canva.

ORIGINAL PHOTO – Nestle Kit Kat (Japanese Strawberry Flavor)

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EDITED PHOTO – Mobile

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My second image I edited using my Instagram app. I first cropped the photo and applied the filter “Claredon.” I slightly increased the contrast and slightly increased the sharpness of the photo using the editor. Finally, I used Canva again to add the “Japanese Strawberry Kit Kat” text on the bottom of the box.

Image Compositions: You’ve Nailed It With Sally Hansen!

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Photo Source: http://www.watsons.com.sg

Sally Hansen is a popular brand, well-known for its lines of nail polish and other nail related products. I’ve created three images for their social media, using a Samsung Note 4 phone that I believe would fit their brand.

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For my first image, I went with a “Back to School Essentials” concept using knolling photography. I went with this concept because it depicts one of their main target consumers: young female students. The items I used in the photo are typical school supplies (folders, notebooks, pens, etc.) along with fashion/beauty items like glasses, a watch and makeup bag. I’ve strategically placed four bottles of Sally Hansen’s HARD AS NAILS XTREME WEAR in the center and specifically chose the brighter colors from the line as it resembled a line of colorful highlighters.

I cropped this photo on my phone and edited the photo using Instagram. I increased the sharpness, slightly lowered the saturation, slightly increased the contrast and slightly increased the brightness.

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The concept I went for my second photo is “Statement Nails.” For females who are more hesitant to wear more color in their fashion choices but want to add a pop of color, wearing a bright nail color can be the first step in experimenting with colors. Wearing nail polish also helps to tie an entire outfit together, therefore making you look more fashionable.

On Instagram, I increased the saturation to make the nail polish appear brighter. Using the BeautyCam app, I applied the “Natural” filter to make my hand appear whiter therefore making the red nail polish pop out even more in the photo.

In terms of composition, the fingers have leading lines that lead the eye to view the nails. The shirt also has leading lines that that lead the eye to the hands/nails.

rednailsupclose

For my last photo, I would call this the “Showcase” concept. This type of photo is typically taken by beauty bloggers to show their readers what a particular nail polish color looks like on your nails, also known as a nail polish swatch. Many people like to see swatches of a nail polish before purchasing to see the texture, opacity, and how the color looks on different skin tones. I chose to take this photo outside in natural night, as colors tend to look different using artificial lighting. I also made sure to hold the bottle and with the name of the nail polish facing forward.

I cropped the photo using my phone and applied the “Clear” filter from the BeautyCam app to brighten the hand skin tone. As well, I used an online photo editor called Foto Flexer and used the “Fix Blemishes” tool to smooth out the bumps in my middle finger nail.

In terms of composition, the photo is an example of fill the frame which creates an intensity where you are focused purely on the nail polish and the nails.

Everything You Need to Know About SWOT and PESTEL Analysis

laptop-search-analysispicPhoto Source: https://doohickeycreative.com/free-website-seo-analysis-report/

SWOT and PESTEL Analysis are very useful tools used by businesses or marketers to help to with strategic planning. Based on the content from  from Mind Tools and Professional Academy articles, I have created a video explaining SWOT and PESTEL Analysis in detail. As well, I’ve also included my review of the two article sources.

 

References:

“Marketing Theories – PESTEL Analysis.” Marketing Theories. Professional Academy, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2016. <http://www.professionalacademy.com/blogs-and-advice/marketing-theories—pestel-analysis>.

The, Mind Tool Editorial Team. “SWOT Analysis: Discover New Opportunities, Manage and Eliminate Threats.” SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses Opportunities, Threats). Mind Tools Ltd, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2016. <https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_05.htm>.

Visually Capturing Your Audience

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This image comes from David’s Tea Instagram. This photo caught my eye at first glance, as it gives the feeling of being on a summer vacation. The tea looks cool and refreshing, perfect to drink on a hot summer day. It entices me to visit a local David’s Tea to try the mango tea. I also like how the ingredients are laid out to show consumers what is in the tea.

One criticism, I would have is despite having all the ingredients in the photo, it can be distracting and you may lose focus on the glass of tea. Changing the color scheme of the plate and napkin to more neutral tones would make the tea stand out more. Also, the ingredients such as the mango is too big. One suggestion I would have is to use smaller pieces of the fruit.

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This image comes from the popular South Korean makeup brand Etude House. This photo is very appealing and the first thing that captures the viewer’s eyes is definitely the beautiful pop of pink lipstick. From there it naturally leads your eyes upwards to the model’s eyes, which highlights their eyeliner and eye shadow. The neutral background helps to highlight the makeup overall on the model. Also, I liked how her hands were strategically placed to help lead your eyes to her lips. Upon viewing this photo, it makes me want to find out more about the lipstick and possibly purchase it after checking reviews and swatches. However, consumers may have a concern about how the lipstick would look in natural lighting compared to the studio.

Strategies vs. Tactics: What’s the Difference?

Source: Strategy vs Tactics. Digital image. 168 Opportunities. 168 Opportunities, 28 Apr. 2014. Web. 19 Sept. 2016. <http://168opportunities.com/064-strategy-vs-tactics/>.

Often times in the business world, the terms strategy and tactics are frequently used interchangeably. Many organizations make the error of calling something a strategy when usually it is not. What exactly is a strategy? It is not as clear cut as one might think, as many people have their own understanding of what a strategy is.

A simple way to define strategy is by asking “How will you win?”. In terms of a company’s strategy, people are asking “How are you going to win to achieve your goals and do whatever you created the business to do?” (Ryan). People who work in business use the word strategy to describe an organization’s highest goal in its market, whether it is a start-up company, multinational firm, government agency or a university (Ryan).

So what are tactics? Tactics are the particular actions you take to execute your strategy. These actions consist of what is to be done, in what order, using which tools and personnel (Brydson). Strategies and tactics must work together hand in hand; otherwise your organization cannot work proficiently to accomplish any set goals. According to Jeremiah Owyang, “if you have strategy without tactics you have big thinkers and no action. If you have tactics without strategy, you have disorder.” An example of tactics used in social media marketing can be as simple as writing content for blog posts, sending tweets on Twitter, and creating and scheduling a social media calendar using Hootsuite.

Source: Social media marketing. Digital image. Social Media Today. Social Media Today, 9 Mar. 2016. Web. 19 Sept. 2016. <http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-business/5-big-reasons-have-solid-social-media-marketing-strategy>.

An example of a marketing strategy is to increase traffic from unique visitors to your organization’s website. Some tactics to help increase traffic include: having a website link featured in television ads, adding a website link to your Twitter bio, and sharing video blog posts to people on Facebook and making sure to monitor for people asking questions and responding (Southwell).

It is important to also note that strategies are often timeless, as in people would still react the same way as they did 100 years ago, whereas tactics are more technology and time sensitive (Southwell). Even if you change the time frame (e.g. 1980, 2013) the strategy implemented would remain the same whereas the tactics needed would most likely have to change. In Charlie Southwell’s example of a strategy – to engage customers in store to increase sales, the tactics used would depend on the time period and technology available. For instance, in the 1980s, a tactic used would be having electronic screens to update your specials boards. However, in 2013 you would utilize mobile apps and use social media engagement as a form of customer service (Southwell)

In the end, I would describe a strategy as the long term mission that you want to achieve, and tactics as the various day-to-day actions you must use in order to meet those goals.

References:

Brydson, David. “Strategic and Tactical Planning: Understanding the Difference.” SmallBizLink. Monster, 9 Feb. 2010. Web. 18 Sept. 2016. <http://smallbizlink.monster.com/training/articles/855-strategic-and-tactical-planning-understanding-the-difference>.

Owyang, Jeremiah. “The Difference between Strategy and Tactics.” Web Strategy by Digital Business The Difference between Strategy and Tactics Comments. Web Strategist, 14 Jan. 2013. Web. 17 Sept. 2016. <http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2013/01/14/the-difference-between-strategy-and-tactics/>.

Ryan, Liz. “What’s The Difference Between Strategy And Tactics?” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 17 May 2015. Web. 17 Sept. 2016. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2015/05/17/whats-the-difference-between-strategy-and-tactics/#528c982e7f82>.

Social media marketing. Digital image. Social Media Today. Social Media Today, 9 Mar. 2016. Web. 19 Sept. 2016. <http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-business/5-big-reasons-have-solid-social-media-marketing-strategy>.

Southwell, Charlie. “Marketing Strategy vs. Tactics – Explaining the Difference.” Charliesaidthat. Charliesaidthat, 16 Sept. 2013. Web. 18 Sept. 2016. <http://charliesaidthat.com/digital/digital/difference-between-marketing-strategy-vs-tactics-an-example/>.

Strategy vs Tactics. Digital image. 168 Opportunities. 168 Opportunities, 28 Apr. 2014. Web. 19 Sept. 2016. <http://168opportunities.com/064-strategy-vs-tactics/>.