On playing the content game the right way…

The Fhitting Room, knows how to play the content game the right way. It doesn’t hurt that their Founder is a marketing maven and super savvy Entrepreneur, but they also clearly understand how to leverage the tools at their disposal in today’s digital landscape.

They came to Sircle for some help with content creation and together we crafted some videos about their incredible staff. In the crowded personal fitness space, especially in NYC, it is hard to stand out from the clutter. Besides being a one of a kind, excellent workout, they realized that their people are the foundation of what makes them special and represent a real unique selling proposition in the market.

We created a video series that highlights the stories behind these amazing humans and we used that social content natively on Facebook to draw users in. In doing so we leveraged the platform’s love for video, to hack increased organic and paid reach for targeted visibility in Manhattan. The content strategy/journey only begins there…

Once the user clicks through to consume more, they land on a FHITPRO profile page that takes you into a much deeper conversation about the trainer. You learn about their back story, a 21 question series about their personality, their Spotify playlist (content a prospect or customer can enjoy from home or work) and then it even links to their schedule, so people can book a class and experience them for themselves.

This funnel directly leads to bookings and email captures for future marketing. It also leads to retargeting opportunities that can be custom tailored based on the trainer(s) that the visitor viewed while on the site. This way the business can use content and strategic marketing to covert them later on, if they don’t transact up front, which is highly likely.

For those who do book, they now have a more intimate relationship with that trainer when they arrive. As a direct result, the customers are becoming more transformational than transactional and more sticky to The Fhitting Room brand in the process. This is mission critical for any small business looking to flourish. #wellplayed

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On content and why you need to up your game…

content is king

Social media content is an important area of focus for brands wishing to communicate online. Content is king and queen (perhaps even the whole castle) and you have to be committed to putting it out there for the world to see of you want attention. We tell clients that the business drives social and not the other way around, so the content plan begins well before it shows up on social.

First a brand must define who they are and what sets them apart from the pack.  It sounds crazy that you have to remind them of this, but we constantly explain that their story, should be their story. Not some other contrived fabricated tale, not what they think people want to hear, but their actual narrative. In this new age of brand transparency, if you aren’t honest and forthcoming it will be hard to land and keep customers.

For a healthy CPG brand this is so important to do, because it is a very crowded vertical and everyone thinks their baby is the cutest. Meaning they are so passionate about what they sell and why customers should care, but they struggle with how to explain that. Sircle encourages them to just start documenting and putting out a lot of content that conveys the why, behind the what.  It doesn’t need to be perfect, but it should be clean, concise and helpful in some way.

Gluten free, allergy conscious, all natural, non-GMO the list goes on and on.  Why should I care and why is your product a solution? Document some longer form content to answer those questions and ideally use video (more context, more organic and paid reach and more likely to be consumed) as your main format to do so.  Then take that content and push it our via social.

Remember content needs to:

1-Stand out from the clutter (the goal is to capture attention)

2-Be on brand (the goal is to get some of your branding out there and in front of consumers)

3-Be native to platforms (think sizing, clarity, length when talking videos)

4-Be experimental (don’t just be safe, experiment with new ideas)

5-Feel original (be careful of being too “cookie cutter” AND copying from other brands)

You need to put out consistently good content, do it at a reasonable and aggressive frequency AND not get complacent or lazy.  Don’t worry about social posting frequency, before you figure out what you might want to say.  If you have a lot to say and share (NOTE: playing DJ and passing along content from publishers can help covey your point too, and put less pressure on you to be the actual songwriter) then you will know how often you should post on the various social platforms. Let the content dictate your actions and then leverage social to win.

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Video Content: Take Your Shot

Video content has really become a must have for any brand that is serious about leveraging social media for their business. It is very important to create content that stands out from the clutter and if you want to accelerate reach and visibility on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, then you need to get serious about moving beyond still photos and graphics in your content mix.

This video above was created for our client Michter’s Whiskey, one of our favorite clients for obvious reasons.  They have unbelievable, award winning products and a very loyal following on social media.  Since they are in the spirits business, e-commerce is not an option or part of their digital focus. For them, it is all about reach and storytelling to help them be relevant in a very crowded vertical.

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A key metric for success in our engagement, is our ability to earn them consumption (pun intended) of their content marketing. We aim to create simple, yet compelling assets and then get them the biggest bang for their buck when it comes to visibility. They do very well both organically and via paid media on Facebook, because it is a well known and widely appreciated international liquor brand. That being said, they want to really stretch beyond their fan base and get in front of new eyeballs whenever they can.

Here we deployed some paid efforts ($10) to help accelerate the reach and impressions on this particular creative. We targeted users who have an interest in whiskey, bourbon and rye and earned some excellent results. Nearly 15,000 people were reached and 2892 people viewed the video within 24 hours. For reference, their photos generally earn about half of that reach number with the same type of targeting and budget allocation.

Both are important and necessary, but the videos generally add a little more gasoline to the fire…Get involved!

 

 

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Should You Have A Blog?

Why-Blog

If you own a business and you wish to sell a service or product then the answer is yes.  In order to be found on search engines and have some sort of hook to bring prospects to your site and/or stick around for awhile, a blog is a must have component of your online strategy.

Blogs can be daunting as many people are not great writers and most feel that they don’t really have anything compelling to say.  A blog (web-log) that captures content and makes it available for consumption is a very straightforward proposition.  We believe it is basically just a receptacle for anything OTHER THAN the product or service you want to sell.  You should have static pages on your website (which should be updated from time to time too) but you then need a more dynamic component where you continuously add new content.

You don’t need to be Shakespeare by any means.  You just need to commit to the cause and continue to write things about your business, your brand and perhaps just trends in your industry.  Keep the content short and to the point, but stick to the program and remain committed to consistency above all else.  Adopt a website first philosophy and always ask yourself “how,when and where can I run that piece of content through my domain” and then execute.

Use social and other channels to distribute the blog content and even target people with Facebook Ads who would be specifically interested in a point of view on a specific topic. This is where Facebook’s excellent targeting capabilities can pay real dividends.

Click the video for a little deeper insight:

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Video- You Watchin?

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In case you have not yet noticed, we are in the midst of a video war.  Content is king and queen and it appears that video is going to be the chess board for the foreseeable future.  If you aren’t making videos or any type of motion graphics, then you are going to miss out big time on reach and exposure for your brand or services.

Social networks have been revamping their approach to video throughout 2015, leaving us with a lot of great distribution channels for this content. Garyvee breaks down the arms race very well here and as always nails it with his POV.  The different channels are unique, and it is mission critical to learn how to leverage each natively for your online efforts.

With video, a little effort goes a long way. Some examples of video from our client ginnybakes.

Here we use a clean and simple animated video to tell the brand’s backstory. Not only does it help with their social storytelling, but their sales team now has a new tool to help sell to retailers: The Story Behind ginnybakes

Here we wanted to introduce some new flavors and we created this very simple video in house to help present them in a fun and unique way. Not only does it convey the whimsical tone of the brand, but it was an organic hit on Facebook, outperforming link and photo based posts by 10X in reach: ginnybakes New Flavors 

Here we wanted to create some out of the box Instagram content, to help us stand out from the clutter. IG strategy requires you to create content that is unique and captures the user’s attention.  This one did just that: ginnybakes Delicious Combo

Video has also been a game changer for Facebook Ads. If you have the ability to create video as part of your creative mix, then you will see excellent results when advertising on The Social Network.  Here are some tips on how to create Facebook Video Ads that will stand out, from Social Media Examiner.

Bottom line – you need to be in the video game, if you want to really win in the content game.  Start filming, testing and implementing right away, or you are going to fall behind.

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Digital Deep Dive

01-smSocial media is just a new term for the internet and social networks are just a part of the ecosystem. Businesses need to be thinking more holistically if they want to win online.  We advise clients to take a real deep look into their different digital initiatives: web, email, search, content etc. and make sure that all of these are setup correctly and that they have a real strategy in place before moving forward with vendors or tactics that they hope will be successful

Decided on DDDSocial, content and search are the ingredients to be seen, shared and transacted with online.  In order to tackle those three correctly you need to really look under the hood, assess and then get to work to make sure the funnel is set up the right way. Without this mission critical first step, most will waste time and money on things that are set to fail from the start. We decided to create The Digital Deep Dive Product to help our clients, and to ensure they don’t make that mistake. <—Click the image and learn more.

 

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Promoting Pins on Pinterest

Courtesy Of: Hot Potato Social Media

Courtesy Of: Hot Potato Social Media

Pinterest has become an increasingly popular way for brands to market themselves online. Now, Pinterest is offering ways for companies to promote their pins and get more people seeing their pins at the best times. Social Media Examiner put together a list of ways for companies to find success with promoted pins.

1) Focus on your content. Make sure the photos you post are high quality and visually interesting. Viewers will especially connect with images they can connect with emotionally. And once you get the hang of posting, switch it up. Don’t keep posting the same types of things over and over—people will lose interest.
2) Use good keywords. Make sure your tags and keywords are creative, relevant, and use an array of specific and broad terms.
3) Make sure you target specific audiences. Create specific content to engage the types of people you know are viewing your posts.
4) Keep in mind that things posted on Pinterest are there for good. It is essential that you plan for the long-term.
5) When you first start out, don’t hesitate to bid aggressively. This will help you gain traction.

Remember that Pinterest is unique in that it is a visual and search-driven website, so creating great content and engaging your target audience is both equally important. With high quality images and the right keywords, promoted pins could be a huge benefit to your company.

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One Month In The Books- Jazmin’s Take

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Well I have officially been employed by Sircle Media for a month (round of applause) and I have also held my first ever grown up job for a solid month. (another round of applause) I couldn’t have asked for a better welcome into adulthood or the real world. Being a part of The SircleSquad is an honor and I am loving every minute of it. I mean we even had a Waffle Brunch in the office today! (yum)

Waffle brunch.

Waffle brunch.

Learning is a major focus here and having as many tools in your toolbox is certainly important. Whether you enjoy graphic design, writing, content creation/implementation, or research you are guaranteed to gain major experience in each field. There are numerous areas of work and tons of different types of clients. Sircle does it all; consumer packaged goods, fashion, fitness, and much more.

My new coworkers are more like a little family than coworkers to be honest. They each have their own personalities, quirks, and sense of humor for sure. I kid you not, I enjoy waking up in the morning knowing that it is a work day and believe it or not- by Sunday afternoons, I miss work and my Sircle family.

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Working hard or hardly working?

The environment is beyond motivational and supportive. The help and guidance from the rest of the team has been incredible and not once have I felt like the “new kid” or not part of the team. I had a sneak peek into the company culture before starting with Sircle, after interning with one of Sircle’s clients last summer and I wanted in.

Adam and Sam’s work ethic and passion for the brand made me want to work for such a forward thinking and hard working company. You could tell they hustled hard and were good at their jobs, but had fun while doing so and that was what I loved. I am fortunate enough to say, that is exactly what I got. Moving 1,062 miles away from home to one of the biggest cities in the world was completely thrilling, but simultaneously terrifying. Having such a solid and encouraging work team and environment has been amazing.  Now I plan to “Hustle Hard” on the daily…

 

 

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Video Metrics for Facebook Coming Soon

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Do you ever wonder if your videos are being seen on Facebook? With the goal of helping you understand how people see and respond to your videos, Facebook is announcing new video metrics in Page Insights.

Right now, as a page administrator you are only able to see how many people started watching your video. When video metrics are released, you will be able to see unique video views, the average duration of a view, total video views, and audience retention. Videos might not currently be the best performing type of post on Facebook, which is why this new feature will help you understand what resonates with your audience and how to improve the videos you are producing and using on Facebook.

For more information and to see a preview, click here.

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Social Media Sells S%#t- True Story

10177973_10152328726051405_500588947954939462_nAs highlighted in a previous blog post, Pinterest is a strong driver of e-commerce. It is an incredible way to engage with interested users and show them both your products (with links back to your website) and things that inspire you. Our client Aquatalia, A Luxury Italian Made Footwear Brand is playing the game the right way on this platform. We created a lifestyle inspiration board for them that highlights the travels of an Aquatalia woman and helps us paint the right picture and set the mood for our target demographic.

We pin new images and re-pin other user’s content on a weekly basis to effectively community build.  It is a grind, but as the results here show, it is a worthy endeavor. Here a woman who was looking to travel to Paris was intrigued when she saw this pin. She now had a forum to reach out and decided to strike up a conversation with us, which is kind of the whole point, right?

Again, we provided a lifestyle shot that interested a potential Aquatalia customer who might not have even known about the brand beforehand.  The Eiffel Tower brought us together here it seems, and it was love at first sight. (Paris is good like that, isn’t it!) Anyway, the customer reached out and “spoke” to us on Pinterest.  We were listening and responded immediately, to help her with her needs.. She took our advice and followed our lead to a sale.  AND a $495 price point to boot (pun fully intended) What a Social Media WIN!Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 12.13.59 PM

Steps to win big on Pinterest:

1. Create community building boards (i.e. travel spots that inspire your brand and/or your audience?)

2. Re-pin and comment frequently

3. Stay active, listen and look for one-to-one conversations

4. Give people what they want (you will see better results and they will be more engaged)

5. Use group boards (this will allow you to extend your brands reach and engage users on a larger scale)

 

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