How social media marketing is changing in 2021

How social media marketing is changing in 2021

One of the things that has changed over the last 12 months is the use of social  media as a key marketing channel.

We have summarised  ‘ How social media is changing in 2021’ to help marketers shape and develop marketing strategies, to reach audiences whose habits and preferences have changed:

 

We hope you find these findings useful .

IQ Media is a trusted and creative digital communications agency here to help you with all your digital marketing needs. Contact us to learn more about how IQ Media can help you.  Schedule a 30-minute discovery meeting here.

Maximising Social Media as a Powerful Marketing Tool

Maximising Social Media as a Powerful Marketing Tool

We recently conducted research using LinkedIn to explore how businesses are using social media; we found that 71% of participants had a social media strategy in place in their organisation and 73% use social media to create brand awareness, while 13% use it to support customers and 7% for lead generation. 7% said they use it for a mixture of all three.

Social media can be used as a powerful marketing tool to raise brand awareness, engage with your audience and create leads when implemented correctly, due to its ability to deliver emotive messages. 

As a result of the pandemic, 50% of participants said their usage of social media had doubled, while 50% said their usage had trebled or more in the last 12 months. The increasing reliance on digital in an ever-changing digital world means brands need a strong social presence to reach, engage their audiences and stay competitive. 

LinkedIn and Twitter are the most effective social media platforms for B2B communication, while Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are the most effective for B2C with the increased use of video and visual content to engage with consumers. 

To achieve maximum impact with Twitter it is essential to nurture and build your following into a valuable community, through a combination of tweeting frequently, utilising hashtags, and engaging with tags, retweets and replies.  

It is important your branding is consistent on all your social accounts, for example that your Twitter and Instagram handles match or the profile and header photos are consistent throughout your social media so that you are easily recognisable.

Goals and Strategy

To be successful on social media it is advisable to set out clear goals and a strategy of how you aim to achieve them, from the outset. This will ensure your messaging is coherent and relevant to the audience you aim to attract. It sounds obvious and simple, but the temptation to post all and sundry is prevalent. 

You can do this by creating SMART targets that align with your business objectives and that can be broken down into measurable indicators of what you want to achieve from your social media and know when you have achieved them! You will then be able to create a schedule of how you plan to achieve this. Through creating a 30-day content plan, you’re likely to be more effective in your marketing approach as you can assess your content and whether you’re sharing a balance of promotional, personal and informational posts. 

Streamlined Approach & Analyse Results

The use of social media management platforms such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social allow for a more streamlined marketing approach through creating a dashboard to manage all your social channels, allowing you to schedule, create and analyse posts from different social channels all in one place. Our research found that 54% of participants always use analytics to plan and review social media posts, while 31% sometimes use them. Metrics such as impressions, engagement and new visitors to your site help to analyse how effective your content is or whether the use of specific hashtags is leading to new visitors to your page. By analysing your posts throughout the 30 days you can change or tweak posts based on how effective previous posts have been. 

Our survey found LinkedIn was the most popular social media channel for companies, with 81% of those surveyed saying they use Linkedin as their main channel. LinkedIn is now established as a platform for regular professional communication with companies and individuals in similar industries, it provides a place to share content with like-minded individuals, with 80% of B2B social media leads coming from LinkedIn. It is also great for engaging employees and encouraging them to share content on their personal page, leading to a bigger audience reach. Through featuring keywords on your Linkedin page, you can boost the SEO of your page, which helps create more traffic to your page and make it easier for potential clients to find you. It is important to have a strong about section on your page that clearly outlines the company vision of what you aim to achieve, how you achieve it, your core values as a business, your positioning in the market that makes you a differentiator, and a brief overview of the products and services you offer. 

The change in social media algorithms towards relevance-based timelines means marketers need to be more proactive in posting relevant content that will maximise engagement. Research suggests that the start of the working day at around 9am is the best time to share content on most social media platforms. Sprout Social conducted their own data analysis and found that the best times to post are Wednesdays and Fridays at 9am and Saturdays are the least effective days (Sprout Social). It is not only important to post content at the correct time but it also important to be consistent in how often you post, so you’re not sharing too little but you’re also not bombarding your audience with irrelevant content, instead you want to ensure the content you’re sharing is relevant and that your audience will engage in

To be most effective in using social media as a digital marketing tool, it is important to focus on executing a couple of channels well rather than trying to have a presence on them all. Carrying out research on which platforms will suit your business model the most, you can be more effective with your marketing and create more awareness and generate more leads as a result. 

SEO and Social Media are a match made in heaven!

A good presence on social media channels will drive traffic and now plays an integral part in your SEO Performance. The reason for this is that in the search for high quality information, search engines are capitalising on individual social networks. The pages coming up first are now to some extent determined by social activity and behaviours online. In short, every move we make (queries, shares, likes etc) helps establish what we see for specific search results each day. 

So, in summary, having a social media strategy is now key for both B2B and B2C marketing, as it is clearly here to stay and will play an increasing role in the ever-evolving search engine algorithms, whilst providing a platform that is best suited for allowing you to stir an emotional response. 

The creators of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and every other social media platform designed their apps with engagement in mind and those who learn how to authentically engage are rewarded with followers, comments, and leads for their business.

Now after reading that and agreeing that the former makes perfectly good sense, I’m sure you are asking yourself, “Well how do I get people to engage with my content?”. After planning, writing, and posting to no avail you will be thrilled at how simple and again obvious the answer is…

USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR WHAT IT’S MEANT FOR… BEING SOCIAL. 

Posting on social media and getting no engagement is like throwing a party and no one showing up. But before you feel too sorry for yourself you should ask yourself this question, “Did I invite people to my party?” Well did you? First things first, you must promote your social media accounts through both organic and paid marketing. . Here are 5 ways to engage your followers and be more social on social media:

1) Talk about topics other than your brand. Let your website be your soapbox and your social pages be where you are… social. Social media is your opportunity to show your brand personality! Talk about trending topics within your niche and ask questions for your audience to answer. Post niche related quotes and add relevant hashtags to your content. Another great idea is to create polls and surveys for your followers. Not only will this encourage engagement and comments, but you will also learn something… you have a ready and willing focus group literally at your fingertips.

2) Reply to comments. It is important for your audience to engage with your brand and it is equally important for your brand to engage with its audience. If you ask your followers a question take the time to reply to their answers, both compliments as well as complaints. Use your account to display your amazing customer service!

3) Make your page visually appealing. It is extremely important that your social media feed be aesthetically pleasing and cohesive. The digital space is a highly visual space. Use images and videos. Studies show that people engage with photos and videos up to 80% more than text alone.

4) Don’t be one-sided. share other people’s content. Sharing, liking, and commenting on your follower’s accounts is a great way to connect with your audience and really create a genuine connection. It’s also good to engage with social media accounts that are not currently following you, doing so engages the attention of not only the account that you comment on, but it will be seen by all of their followers as well.

5) Hire someone to engage for you. Social media marketing is a full-time job. It can be overwhelming to have to manage all your brand’s social accounts while still managing the day to day operations of your business. If you need help with the planning, creating engaging content and managing your social media please contact iQ Media.

IQ Media is a trusted and creative digital communications agency here to help you with all your digital marketing needs. Contact us to learn more about how IQ Media can help you.  Schedule a 30-minute consultation here.

Leading your team in times of upheaval

Leading your team in times of upheaval

Now that most of the country is working from home during the current lockdown, this is presenting new and important communication challenges that requires a different style of leadership.

How do you ensure everyone is staying aligned, motivated and still working as a team, whilst employees are also trying to balance their work with the new challenges of working from home, whilst possibly supervising and home educating a child?

Leaders need to step up and keep their team motivated by providing a weekly guide through the difficulties. This will be achieved by listening and motivating, sharing worries and addressing concerns, whilst articulating a plan.  It is essential for leaders to reach out and keep looking on the bright side!

Leading an organisation through uncertain times requires a strong yet open leadership style. You need to be very visible and lead from the front.

Video messages need to be different! They need to be personal and provide clarity with a human touch. They will probably be recorded in your home and whilst this will give an intimate feel, they need to be presented with a professional delivery to ensure important messages are conveyed. Recording a video like this can feel weird and unnatural. So, giving careful consideration to the messages and how you appear in front of camera is important, whilst also taking the necessary steps to avoid any unplanned interruptions!

Social Media is fine for setting up a company group for social chatting and general support, but often it can be a source of misinformation, employees will respond better to properly produced and moderated content in the way that people watch and listen to the BBC in times of uncertainty.

Organisations that care will up their communications game to support their employees at home.

Your business model and mode of operation has changed. Your strategy and plans for dealing with the crisis both during lockdown and afterwards need to be communicated with clarity and conviction. This will ensure your team understand how this will work and evolve, with a clear explanation and understanding of their role in the new way of working. It needs to highlight the measures taken to survive the crisis and outline how the recovery opportunities will be seized.

For the effective communication of the revised strategy and plans for dealing with the crisis professionally produced content is the best way, to ensure messages are understood, believed, and delivered with conviction and the right amount of gravitas.

Dealing with a pandemic and the uncertainty inevitability causes significant anxiety and leaders need to provide the necessary support. Entrepreneurial energy and optimism need to come to the fore to lead your team through the current crisis.  It is about focussing on the current and future opportunities to make the best of it.  In the words of Winston Churchill ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste’

Consider the motivational impact of the Queen’s ‘ We will succeed ‘ address to the nation and consider how the delivery of a message by your CEO could benefit your employees and other stakeholders.

Make the decision to show good leadership and provide extra support.

These are difficult and challenging times for all businesses; with the exception of location filming we are able to provide the full range digital communication services as all of our team can work from home.

We are here to help you!

Here are a few ideas of things we can help you with:

  1. Produce a weekly video– outlining how you are dealing with the crisis. We can assist with scripting, provide advice on the kit required and how to film this in your home. We will then professionally edit it for you and add motion graphics and music if required, then help you to distribute it and monitor the response.
  2. A secure employee portal on your website – for updates and confidential information.
  3. An employee survey – to understand how employees are coping with working at home and provide additional support.
  4. Create infographics – to outline work at home tips and steps for dealing with the crisis
  5. Games and competitions– to maintain morale
  6. Webinars and virtual get togethers– to replace meetings and conferences.

Thank you to our customers, employees and suppliers for your continuing and essential support.

Please do contact me and let us know if there is anything, we can do to help you, by using our digital communications expertise and resources to provide essential communications to keep your business operating and support your stakeholders in these difficult times.

Stay healthy.

With very best wishes

Simon Poyser

CEO

IQ Media

USING DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS IS HELPING TO KEEP THE WHEELS OF BUSINESS TURNING

USING DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS IS HELPING TO KEEP THE WHEELS OF BUSINESS TURNING

USING DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS IS HELPING TO KEEP THE WHEELS OF BUSINESS TURNING

The coronavirus pandemic has placed extraordinary and unexpected demands on both individuals and businesses. We are certainly living in unprecedented and challenging times that requires us to support each other as a global society.

It is a rapidly changing situation, with a lot of unknowns and this is obviously causing a considerable amount of uncertainty and anxiety. Dealing with a crisis situation requires both strong leadership and good clear reassuring communication through the available channels to ensure everyone is connected and supported.

When we set up IQ Media as a digital communication agency in 2002, our primary aim was to help our clients use the latest technologies to communicate and compete effectively.  

This underlying philosophy has created a number of exciting opportunities and rewarding challenges over the years. This has led us to develop solutions that have allowed our clients to lead and change their markets, and indeed their business models to great effect.

Following the significant Covid 19 measures introduced by the government to try and slow the spread, we have been providing a lot of urgent digital communication solutions for clients. This has helped them to support their customers, patients, suppliers and employees to maintain communication and contact, to preserve and continue their businesses.

This work has included senior manager videos and website messages, e shots, animations ( including a hand washing animation!), a training video for a client who now needs to support technicians working remotely to operate essential equipment around the world, a video message to play in all stores for a major retailer, push notifications to apps and an e commerce site for a client, to maintain supply to customers.

All our team of thirty plus talented individuals, are able to work from their homes due to the agile business model, we have operated for a number of years.

This flurry of activity to meet these urgent and important needs has certainly helped to keep us distracted from our concerns about the future. We are here to support our customers, employees and suppliers as best we can and in turn rely on them supporting us.

A large part of what we do is help businesses communicate through creative storytelling, to reach and engage audiences effectively. In the current climate of ‘social distancing’ and ‘social isolation’ digital communications provide the perfect and, in some cases, the only solution to keep communications flowing. It is about being tenacious and creative to maintain contact and reach out to your audiences.

Communicating across the different digital platforms with multiple touchpoints is helping to keep businesses operating. This ensures customers, suppliers and employees all receive the support they require when they most need it, as the situation continues to change.

Apparently, Bill Gates predicted the occurrence and effect of a Coronavirus five years ago at a TED Talk and it is alarming that as an advanced global community we now find ourselves in the throes of this terrible pandemic without an immediate scientific cure or vaccine.

What is clear is that we will get through this and significantly reduce its potential impact by working together and supporting each other, with effective, regular and timely communication.

Thank you to our customers, employees and suppliers for your continuing and essential support.

Please do contact me and let us know if there is anything, we can do to help you, by using our digital communications expertise and resources to provide essential communications to keep your business operating and support your stakeholders in these difficult times. 

Stay healthy.

With very best wishes

Simon Poyser

CEO

IQ Media 

How to achieve significant results with Video

How to achieve significant results with Video

As the most emotive form of communication, video is the ultimate medium for grabbing the attention of any audience; you can convey a multitude of messages, in an interesting, visually appealing yet informative way.

But for many companies and organisations  who haven’t previously invested in video, it is sometimes hard to justify the cost, or appreciate the true value of video – to your brand, products and services.  So how can you justify investing some of your marketing budget on video content?

A well produced video will not only allow you to significantly extend your  ability to reach and engage with new audiences, but also deliver a measurable return on your investment, if distributed correctly. Your video should be researched and professionally produced to evoke the desired response from your audiences. If done correctly this will not only enhance and shorten the lead generation process, but will also significantly improve the quality and value of the lead generated or outcome achieved.

Basically – the more video content that you can produce, the better!  Here are some suggestions for how you can capitalise on our continued and growing love for video!

  • Online Video

Online video is a very valuable piece of collateral particularly for both B2B and B2C marketers; simply because today’s audiences love to watch video online.  It adds true value to your proposition, can set you head and shoulders above your competitors, plus it provides a platform which allows them to get to know more about you, at the click of a mouse.  Independent studies including Forrester, show that online web-video improves SEO rankings, click through rates and ultimately sales conversions.

  • Repurpose existing collateral

If you have existing collateral, that is still relevant and does not look old or can be aged by dress, functionality of products, changes in laws etc, then you can re-edit, freshen, update and repurpose for a new online environment.  By launching online, via your website but also via the most popular and appropriate social media networks i.e. YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook etc, you  are showcasing content that may not have been seen by the wider public.

  • Viral and Social Media Marketing

Video is portable!  You can prompt viral activity by producing an interesting, amusing, visually appealing or informative clip, which can be emailed from recipient to recipient.  In our busy world, having the choice of watching a 3 minute video clip or reading a whitepaper, the vast majority would choose to watch the video. By adding one click sharing tools, such as LinkedIn, Twitter etc you can share content easily and quickly.

  • Produce New Collateral

Create video case studies – we have found these can be extremely powerful, when  carefully produced  to tell an interesting and engaging story that brings to life how your skills, expertise and solutions have made a lasting and significant impact.

Produce Webinars: film collateral which can then be utilised online, by subscription but also reedited into shorter video clips, by topic if appropriate.  You could also tease your audience by producing a brief video teaser, flagging the forthcoming webinar, product launch etc which should help to stimulate registrations.

Promotional loop video for Tradeshows and Conferences: collate or produce promotional loop videos for use at relevant events, tradeshows and conferences which can act to attract visitors to your stand, but also reinforce key brand messages, values and propositions to a captive audience.

“Vox Pop” testimonials from existing clients:  Filming of testimonials can be organised independently or for an unusual twist. Why not film at your events and conferences and post clips on your website, social media marketing sites, or a specific micro site relevant to the event itself.  Vox Pop testimonials will serve to position your company as a leading organisation within your sector, prompt viewing and advocacy from existing clients, whilst providing you with the opportunity to interact within social media networks, in real time.

Q&A, Roundtable or Forum:  Another idea would be to organise a Q&A, roundtable discussion or forum, specific to your products and services, which would discuss key industry specific issues and film the discussion. This would then provide bespoke topical pieces, which are relevant to your specific client base, optimising your exposure, whilst allowing others to benchmark you vs. your competitors.  According to Forrester:  “..Marketers recognise the power of video for creating emotional, engaging connections with prospects, most struggle to make this medium personal and persuasive. As production costs drop, capturing buyer attention with video requires Marketers to step outside their comfort zone and replace lacklustre corporate collateral with live-action demonstrations and stories.”

Video Executive Summaries – create short video executive summaries, highlighting new initiatives, legislation or processes, or simply an overview of the Annual Report for your Company.

Create a video micro site: A micro site is ideal for videos and video clips.  If you can commit to producing real, visually appealing content in line with your marketing strategy, then producing a micro site will provide the idea platform to publish and showcase your new collateral.

So, to summarise, by conveying the human face of your company, products, services and your existing client-base, you establish an identity and personality for your company, enabling you to capture the attention of your target audience whilst projecting credibility to a wider audience.

iQ Media has been producing effective videos for a wide range of clients for over 25 years. We have extensive, state of the art in-house facilities which allows us to provide a complete service; over which we have complete control from script, through filming, editing and 2d or 3d graphics through effective social media distribution and upload onto your website.

Our aim is to provide a creative, value for money service of the highest quality service, that delivers results and to help us achieve this we have a number of cost effective video production packages which include the IQ-video bulletin, the IQ-infomercial and the IQ-video brochure.

To learn more about how investing in video can work for you, please  do get in contact by  calling +44 1625 418666, visit our website or email simonpoyser@iqmediagroup.co.uk. We can then discuss requirements and ideas to meet your needs and provide you with comparative proposals.

Please take a look at the IQ Media video showreel for some recent examples of our work.

 

 

Please refer to this article for further tips on how to Improve Your Exhibition Success with digital communications

Improve Your Exhibition Success!

 

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Optimising your return from exhibiting in terms of the quality of leads generated, is absolutely essential. To achieve this, you need to ensure you attract attendees with a very clear message. So that they quickly understand how your products and services will deliver value, to make their lives easier by solving their most pressing needs. In addition to having a well prepared sales and marketing team, on a smart welcoming stand to meet potential customers and showcase your products, the key to generating quality leads from exhibitions, is all in the ability to support your efforts with effective digital communications.

Here are some of the key things you need to consider:

  1. Ensure you have a responsive up to date website, with effective call to action forms to capture data, with a dedicated landing page specifically for the exhibition.
  2. Make your stand social – encourage your team and visitors to post updates and photos, across social media platforms to generate interest. To reach and build a wider audience of followers, through a planned campaign.
  3. Use Email Marketing to let your target market know you are attending. Encourage attendance and follow up interested leads after the exhibition through a coordinated campaign.
  4. Promote your products and services uniqueness to deliver key messages with impact and consistency, through the production of emotive, upbeat videos that tell an impressive and interesting story.
  5. Wow and attract attendees to your stand with dynamic 3D or infographic animations to explain the key features and benefits of your product technology and service, whilst explaining how it works. These and well produced videos will help to qualify leads on the stand whilst aiding post exhibition lead conversion, by sharing the content on your website and across the social media channels.
  6. Encourage visitor engagement and understanding on the stand by producing an app that allows the users to interactively view your products and services, and calculate the economic impact on their business.  Or they can be attracted to have some fun and play a game app, that allows you to capture visitor data and deliver your key messages in a fun and memorable way.
  7. Impress and immerse you customers into your products through the use of augmented and virtual reality experiences, which will have attendees queuing to have a go!
  8. Finally produce a video of your exhibition stand to share and showcase your latest products with a much wider audience of prospects, who weren’t able to attend the exhibition by sharing via social media.

We hope you find these suggestions useful and they are just some of the ways in which you can increase your exhibition success through the effective use of digital communications. To find a solution that meets your needs please call 01625 418668.

If you would like to discuss making your exhibition communications more effective, please call Jackie on 01625 418668 or email jackiepoyser@iqmediagroup.co.uk