Five Ways TikTok Can Help Grow Your Business

By: Danielle Gazda

The use of video content is a proven method of advertisement. Commercials have enticed audiences to try new products, visit new places, and make countless purchases in the decades since they first appeared on television. Now, video has become the best way to market products, services, and yourself on social media platforms, as well. Static visuals can be well crafted and beautiful, but short video content is what younger generations want to see more and more.

At the moment, no one does this better than TikTok. As Instagram, Facebook, and the rest try to catch up, TikTok has quite the monopoly on enticing, shareable, bite-sized video content. Vine, for those who remember it, was essentially an early version of this. However, it was rarely used for marketing purposes, yet it showed what kind of communities could be built. If your product or service is geared toward a younger audience, then TikTok is where you want to be.

Here Are Five Ways to Make TikTok Work for Your Business:

1. Post Genuine, Less Commercialized Content

Obviously, the goal is advertising and getting your business out there, but you shouldn’t be doing that in your company’s everyday posts. Audiences don’t want to feel like a product is being forced on them. Content should be fun and laid-back, and not always focused on a product or service. Show the people who work for your company. Show behind-the-scenes glimpses of how your product is made. And show your workspace and office — audiences want to know that there are real people behind companies nowadays.

2. Stay On Top of Trends

A great way to get TikTok to organically boost your content is by creating content that has the potential to go viral. Participating in popular trends can be a great way to do this. But you certainly don’t want to go viral for the wrong reasons, so know when to skip a trend and leave it to the influencers.

3. Posting Product/Service Content

Of course, you’ll need to post some product/service content so your audience knows what they’re buying. Videos can be a great tool to show off a product, answer frequently asked customer questions, do demonstrations, provide tips, and more. The goal is not only to make your product stand out but for the video to be interesting. It’s very easy for audiences to simply keep scrolling and move on, so think carefully about your opening visuals and audio.

4. Partner With Influencers

Working with influencers can seem almost necessary to get your business better known, and in a lot of cases, it’s true. Influencers can have enormous reach. If even a small percentage of their audience follows up and views your brand, that can mean hundreds of people with their eyes on your product. Working with influencers can be expensive, though, so if you’re a small business, you can initially reach out to smaller influencers who may be willing to post in return for free products instead of an actual fee. You can find creators to work with at TikTok Creator Marketplace.

5. Let’s Talk About Advertising

Now, down to advertising on TikTok. TikTok offers six forms of advertising: In-Feed Ads, Spark Ads, TopView Ads, Brand Takeover Ads, Branded Hashtag Challenge Ads, and Branded Effect Ads. Learn more about each of these ad types from this article at the Later blog. Each advertising option offers unique opportunities to engage with your audience and expand it. Some may work better than others for your brand depending on how you think you can best reach your audience.

Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, TikTok continues to be the way of the future. Start your TikTok business account today with the help of the 270M Team. Visit our website, or email us at info@thisis270m.com.

The Importance of Investing in Imagery for Your Brand

By: Danielle Gazda


Imagery often gets overlooked in the whirlwind of tasks involved in starting a new business. The focus is on designing a logo, setting up your website, and other more immediate needs. People sometimes fill their website with basic images of their products on a white or solid-color background, and then… that’s it.

In the world of social media e-commerce, creative and unique imagery is essential. Marketing on social media is founded on sharing unique and creative photos and videos that will entice customers to learn more and purchase.

Your company should set aside a budget to have a photo and video shoot roughly every three to six months. For photography, this is to keep the imagery fresh by trying new configurations and pairings and diversifying models. For videography, this is to explain new concepts, answer common questions, and demonstrate your product. There may be some differences depending on whether you’re selling clothes or food or CBD products, etc., but the same basic principles will apply. 

Make sure you keep these concepts in mind when shooting:

Positioning

Photographing your products in different positions can be a lifesaver when you run out of unique images or want a certain setting that you don’t already have photographed. Using a variety of different positions and angles will make it easier for your graphic designers to create the desired look in their photo editing software while keeping everything looking as realistic as possible.

Varied Groupings

You may never think of putting two or more products together in an image, but there may come a time when you want to do it. The main way to approach this is to arrange products by categories. For example, if you sell clothes, you could create two image categories: one that displays your entire shirt collection, and another that shows pairings of shirts. And don’t forget sets that go together, such as a shirt, pants, and shoe combination. This could be useful for planning an outfit post or putting pieces together for a giveaway.

Lifestyle Images/Videos

Basic model photos and videos sometimes won’t be enough for your audience. Be sure to create imagery that shows your products in a natural and organic setting. These include: a group of friends hanging out together, a family around a table, or someone walking down the street. Whatever your product is, create scenarios that your customers may actually find themselves in once they own your product.

Answering Questions

For many companies, consistently coming up with topics for videos can be trickier than creating static imagery. Some good places to start, aside from lifestyle videos, are product demonstrations, explanations, and answering FAQs. These three categories are fundamental if your company is new and you are trying to generate brand awareness. Having a knowledgeable person talk through your products or give a demonstration are great ways to show people why they should buy from you.

These tips are not just for new businesses, they will work for pre-existing ones, as well. Social media posts can become stale to audiences if the imagery isn’t refreshed every once in a while. Social media teams and graphic designers can be extremely skillful when it comes to reaching and communicating with an audience, but if you want truly unique content for your social media channels, regularly setting up photo and video shoots will make a world of difference.

If you’re interested in finding a photographer or videographer for your brand, we can help you. Contact us through our website, or send us an email at info@thisis270m.com.

Affiliate Marketing for Long-Term Partnerships

Written by: Danielle Gazda

The more places potential customers can see your brand the better. For most companies, this means advertising on multiple social media platforms in addition to Google and various online publications. 

But there is another way to look at it.

The more people that help you promote your company or product the better. To this end, some brands enter into partnerships with influencers to increase their visibility. Affiliate marketing offers yet another way to advertise with a partner, whether they are an influencer, blogger, microsite, or large media site.

So, What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a kind of mutually beneficial business relationship. 

Here’s the breakdown:

  • You provide a trackable link for your affiliate partner to share on their social pages, website, blog, etc.
    • These trackable links can be created on affiliate platforms such as ShareASale and AWIN.
  • Any customer who visits your website/page through the affiliate link will be associated with it.
  • If the customer completes a purchase and the purchase is verified, you pay your affiliate partner a commission based on an agreed-upon percentage.

How Is This Different From Influencer Marketing?

The most common way to bring a partner to your digital marketing team is by working with social media influencers. These types of partnerships are usually one-time paid transactions, i.e., you pay the influencer to share a product on their social channels and that’s the end of it. Some companies also opt to send influencers their product with no strings attached, and influencers will only share it with their audience if they like it and think their audience will, as well. 

Affiliate marketing, however, is typically a long-term partnership with an influencer or company. The link you provide can live on your partner’s blog or website for as long as they choose to partner with you. This can create a steady passive audience as people find themselves on a partner blog or website and then on yours. The partnership can also be an active one. If the individual or company you partner with is on Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube, they can plug your brand from time to time for their more engaged followers to see.

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

Driving Traffic and Reach

The primary hope is that affiliate marketing will drive traffic to your website from new and previously unknown customers. New customers should mean an increase in purchases and an ever-growing audience as they tell their friends and family about your brand. If you’re lucky enough to have a partner who is an influencer with a huge following then you’ll be set. 

Create Your Terms

Commissions average from 5% to 30% of a purchase — it really depends on what your brand is comfortable with, especially if you’re a small business trying to gain exposure. Just be prepared to negotiate.

If you’re partnering with an influencer who primarily posts on Instagram or TikTok, you can also negotiate how often they share your brand’s products. This could be once a month or a set number of days per year. Remember that your partner will be motivated by the idea of receiving passive income, so there’s a real opportunity for reaching many new customers.

Can Small Businesses Benefit from Affiliate Marketing?

Small businesses may not be comfortable paying commissions since every penny can make a difference for them. But affiliate marketing can still be an effective method of promotion for smaller companies. A good strategy here is to consider partnering with a small business in a field similar to yours—perhaps even without the commission, at first. You can provide one another with an affiliate link and share new followers and customers. 

The Takeaway

Affiliate marketing is a great way to advertise your business and get consistent exposure. A fruitful partnership can help you reach an audience that might never have otherwise found your brand.

Use Social Media E-Commerce to Boost Your Business

Written by: Danielle Gazda

E-commerce in social media apps has come a long way in the last couple of years. Online shopping in this form was inevitable, but it developed much more quickly than most people expected. The pandemic forced people to stay in their homes and created a demand for more ways to shop online — it also opened a range of possibilities for retailers.

Based on Black Friday and Cyber Monday trends of recent years, online shopping is becoming more and more popular. Making purchases is even easier now that people can shop directly in commonly used social media apps.

Meta’s apps, Instagram and Facebook, have been at the forefront of e-commerce. Facebook even had a leg up with its Marketplace feature, which allowed any individual to sell products or resell items. Instagram and Facebook Shops, however, are more geared toward businesses. Thanks to algorithms that look at what customers are interested in, these shops have helped small businesses gain followers and sales, with or without paid advertising.

Your business can create e-commerce shops today!

Instagram & Facebook

Since these apps are both part of Meta, their commerce policies, community guidelines, and fees are the same. Setting up a shop on either platform is free and done primarily through the Commerce Manager on your company’s Facebook page. 

When you set up your e-commerce shop, you will choose whether your customers will check out through the apps or if they will be sent to your website. There are pros and cons to both.

The major pro to in-app checkout is that customers will be more likely to complete a purchase. As people are pulled to websites outside of an app, often they stop and don’t buy. Even if they do browse the website, they are less likely to complete a purchase than if they could just buy through Instagram or Facebook.

The con is that there are fees involved with choosing to do checkout through Facebook and Instagram. While the fees are not ridiculously high, you may want to reduce any money loss if you have a small business. Whichever app a purchase is made in, Meta gets 5% of the total purchase per shipment. There is also an established flat fee of 40 cents if a purchase is $8 or less. (These fees are being waived through June 30, 2022, to help small businesses post-pandemic. It is unknown if this will be extended.)

It is also important to know Meta’s Commerce Policies and Community Guidelines about what businesses are permitted to sell through the apps. There are some restrictions. As an example, companies that sell CBD or marijuana-related products will not be able to sell through the apps.

TikTok & Pinterest

TikTok is in the e-commerce game with its shopping feature now available in most countries. It also presents the option of in-app checkout or website checkout. Fees of 1% to 5% could apply, which seems to be based on where the buyer is located. It would be safe to assume that the standard is 5%, as it is with Instagram and Facebook. If you choose not to create a shop on TikTok, you can still provide a link to your website in your bio.T

Pinterest does not have in-app purchases but is still extremely popular with shoppers. You can link to items or your website directly in the Pins you make. Many people peruse Pinterest for inspiration, and with a business account, you can tag up to 25 items in a single Pin. This is extremely popular for fashion and furniture/homeware sites because you can tag each individual item that you think customers can buy.

The Takeaway

Choosing to set up e-commerce shops in popular social media apps is a great idea. It generates more exposure, allows you to tag products directly in your posts, and provides an in-app catalog for potential customers to browse without leaving the app. Whether you choose to do checkout within the apps or through your website, you’ll still be on the right track. You can also pair shops with paid advertising or boosted organic content. This may be beneficial to help garner that early exposure — but do it sparingly so you don’t spread your budget too thin.

E-commerce is the way of the future. So get your foot in the door now.


Contact us to help you get started on your e-commerce journey.

What is LinkedIn Live and How Can my Brand Effectively Use It?

By Annie O’Rourke 

LinkedIn Live is a great tool to incorporate into your social media strategy. This technology allows your brand to connect with LinkedIn users on a more personal level. 

The Basics of LinkedIn Live 

The new LinkedIn feature allows users and company pages to broadcast themselves in current time. LinkedIn Live is accessible directly through the platform and available for all users. This technology ultimately allows users and companies to “go live” and stream a variety of concepts such as a new product launch, Q&A about relevant topics, interviews, and more. For example, a digital marketing agency may utilize LinkedIn Live to host one of their clients for an interview regarding the positive aspects that the agency is implementing into their business. To incorporate this feature into your brand’s social strategy, you need to set up the following steps.

This tool requires preliminary start up steps to correctly implement this feature into your account. It is important to ensure that your brand and agency understand the steps and take the correct measures to correctly move forward with this technology. LinkedIn requires each account user to pick a streaming tool from their recommended option list. Once an account user has chosen their streaming tool, it needs to be administered onto your device. After these steps are carefully done, your account and page can go “live” and broadcast in current time. 

Utilizing Live for a Specific Set of Clients 

As one of the world’s leading professional platforms, it’s important to understand how to benefit from LinkedIn. Agencies can increase their brand awareness and gain new followers through the LinkedIn Live platform. Real estate agencies are a great example of a specific client set that can enhance their brand in a strong and competitive way. Real estate companies can ultimately learn, engage, and develop new relationships using this “live” feature on a professional channel. It is important for real estate companies to form and maintain relationships in order for their brand to be successful. This client set could potentially utilize “live” by hosting a Q&A session with former clients, or showcasing some of their recent work. Additionally, real estate companies could also showcase new listings, recent closings, tours of specific homes or condos, and real estate news all through LinkedIn Live. This is a great tool for not only real estate professionals, but other companies and agencies as well. Your business and agency should become familiar with this feature because it optimizes your social media portfolio, and it allows you to develop real relationships in an online setting.  

The Best Tips to Adhere to When Utilizing LinkedIn Live 

As a helpful tool for users, LinkedIn has recommendations for best tips and practices for utilizing the LinkedIn Live technology. It is important to look and familiarize your brand with these recommendations in order to maintain a coherent and professional image on the LinkedIn social channel. LinkedIn best practices suggests ideas about how long live videos should be, using hashtags, and thinking about your audience. For example, LinkedIn recommends you keep your live broadcast to under 15 minutes in order to keep your audience engaged. These tips and tricks will help you successfully master the LinkedIn Live feature.

Start utilizing LinkedIn for your agency to maximize your presence on social media and enhance brand awareness. LinkedIn has all the best items to think about when utilizing this experience.

What is a Voice Search and How Can I Implement it in my Business?

By Annie O’Rourke

Voice search technology is a way for businesses to be present in millions of homes worldwide.

The Foundations of a Voice Search Feature

Voice search is a technology that is currently up and running for many devices such as Amazon Alexa, and Google Hub. Google Hub is a small 7-inch technological device placed in a home or workspace that allows you to speak into it. This technology encourages you to ask questions, play music, connect with your home or workspace and create “voice searches,” which is the most recent feature that Google is highlighting. The voice search feature ultimately allows you to speak into the Google Hub device and shop and order items just by using your voice. So how can this help my business?

Utilizing Voice Search for your business

Technology and the media space are constantly changing and evolving, and it’s important to keep a close eye on these trends in order for your business to stay relevant. With this in mind, it’s crucial to familiarize your business with the voice search feature. It is shown that AI devices have the ability to increase sales and optimize your brand to be present in thousands of other homes and workspaces.

The voice search feature will also allow your business to grow as it is a new space for digital marketing. It is said that voice commerce is expected to grow to $40 billion by 2022, making AI devices some of the most important places for digital marketers to research and incorporate into their businesses. Voice SEO is imperative to understand and implement into your business as the voice search feature on Google Hub, and other AI devices is growing. For example, Amazon Alexa allows you to add a product to your shopping cart and order all from the voice-activated device. This feature essentially will grow your business by implementing your brand into Voice SEO.

How Businesses are Taking Advantage of Voice Search

Many brands are already taking advantage of the voice search feature on AI devices. For example, you can order Domino’s right from your Amazon Alexa, or even use the Food Network skill to look up recipes. The Food Network is gaining user engagement and increasing their sales just by implementing their brand into the voice search function on AI devices. Specifically, the Food Network has the opportunity to optimize their sales by users looking at recipes and engaging with their company.

Voice search should be the next big step for your digital marketing business. Look into incorporating how your brand will implement voice SEO into devices like Google Hub.

Advice from an Agency: Why Community Management is Critical in 2021

By Jaci Schreckengost

As our digital universe continues to grow, brands must be involved to keep up. 

What is community management? 

Community management is exactly what it sounds like: managing your digital community. It’s everything from engaging on social media, answering questions in your Facebook inbox, resolving situations for unhappy customers, and so much more. 

Community management stretches across a number of different platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, and more. 

 

Why do I need it? 

Your customers want answers from you—and they want them quickly. Especially if their question is one about an order gone wrong or something similar. 

Community management is not only there to help you in these bad moments. It also builds your digital community and, therefore, your audience. 

Your audience will feel connected to your brand. If your brand is spending time liking, commenting, and engaging with your community, customers are going to understand you care about them. You like them enough to want to engage with them—and that’s something they’re going to remember that the next time they get ready to make a purchase. That engagement is what’s going to put you ahead of your competition. 

 

Read also: Advice from an Agency: How to Use LinkedIn for Your Company 

 

I have to run a business. What if I don’t have time to do all this? 

That’s where we come in! We know business owners are busy, and we want to make your life easier. 

With 270M’s community management services, you won’t have to swipe for a single second. We take care of everything: responding to comments, growing your community, and engaging with your existing customers to help focus on loyalty. 

Check out all of 270M’s social media services and see how we can make social media your customers’ go-to hub for your brand. 

How Virtual Reality is Changing E-Commerce and Digital Marketing

By Jaci Schreckengost

In Coach’s recent collaboration with Disney and Keith Haring, we’ve seen the future of e-commerce and digital marketing.  

What they’ve titled the “Disney Mickey Mouse X Keith Haring Exploratorium,” is an immersive digital marketing experience showing off the brands and the products they’ve created together. 

From backpacks to coats to Coach’s signature bags, viewers get to explore the space and products on their own. 

The journey starts on the outside of the building, where the brands’ names are written in white font, standing out against the vibrant yellow virtual building. 

Once inside, you can turn to the left and watch a video of a representative talk about the collection. Not your thing? You can explore on your own, too. In addition to the video, there is text on the walls to inform you about what you’re seeing. They have something for everyone here. 

As you move through the rooms of the art space, you’ll find there’s a lot to view. You can find a photo of Keith Haring which provides a little information about him and his work. You can also find what you’re really there to see: the products. On virtual shelves and benches, you’ll find bags, luggage tags, coin purses, coats, t-shirts, and more. Each of the products allow you to click on them to find more information about the product. 

This virtual experience allows customers to see each of the products, learn more about them, and feel like you’re having a more personal experience than typical e-commerce does. 

Each product comes with a title, description, which Keith Haring design is used on the piece, the ability to have a 360-view of it, and—of course—a link to the store to purchase it. 

At the end of the exhibit, you’ll even find a playlist and a VR Mickey Mouse to use with your own phone. These are great examples of being able to extend the exhibit outside of the already-virtual walls. 

This virtual reality experience is a great example of just how immersive digital marketing can be. It also shows how to make sure viewers feel engaged in a digital world. 

Some of the products have already even sold out, so it seems like this experience worked well for this collaboration! 

Connect with us on Instagram and let us know what you think about the future of e-commerce! 

 

What Digital Marketers Can Learn from the 2021 Super Bowl

By Jaci Schreckengost

The 2021 Super Bowl was one that Tampa Bay will remember forever. Here are the reasons digital marketers should, too. 

 

The Commercials 

The easiest tactic to notice was that familiar names and faces still draw massive attention. 

State Farm’s commercial that featured Drake, Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes and Paul Rudd. Uber Eats’ commercial was just as star-studded. With Wayne and Garth—yes, that’s Wayne and Garth—hanging out with Cardi B and encouraging their fans to eat local. Party on! 

Others starred Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Will Ferrell, Kenan Thompson, Awkwafina, Tracy Morgan, and more. 

Of course, we don’t all have a Super Bowl ad budget. For digital marketers who don’t have hiring Drake in the 2021 marketing plan, influencers are a great place to start. 

Another method that seemed to help commercials reach the top 10 list? Humor. From Bud Light’s ad that had lemons literally falling from the sky to a Cheetos’ singalong, advertisers realized audiences needed something to laugh at this year. 

 

Read also: Advice from an Agency: How to Create a Strong Social Media Image

 

The Lack of Commercials 

For some brands, the Super Bowl commercial changed this year. 

Budweiser was one brand that we all expected to see—as we always do. In a January 25, 2021 press release, the company wrote, “For the first time in 37 years, [Budweiser] will forego its in-game Super Bowl air-time and reallocate that investment to support the Ad Council and public awareness and education throughout the year for the COVID-19 vaccination effort.” 

Coca-Cola also stood on the sidelines without a commercial this year. 

Could this decision have a huge impact on the brand in 2021? 

 

The Half-time show 

Though Pepsi itself didn’t have a commercial, it did sponsor the halftime show, which has since sparked a ton of conversation on social media. 

The Weeknd’s close-ups have flooded feeds with memes and hilarious comments, making Pepsi’s investment really worthwhile. 

Billboard reported the event was a hit for the Weeknd, too: The Weeknd’s Streams Increase 41% After Super Bowl Halftime Show.”

What were your favorite Super Bowl commercials? Connect with us on Instagram and let us know! 

Are you ready to revamp your marketing plan after seeing the impact it can have? Connect with us and let’s get started. 

Advice from an Agency: The Importance of Pre-Launch Marketing

By Jaci Schreckengost

Beginning your marketing campaign before your product or business launches is a great way to get your brand into the market ahead of time. 

What is pre-launch marketing? 

Pre-launch marketing is when you launch your marketing campaign before you launch your business. 

One successful example of this was with the launch of HBO Max. Of course, they are a large-scale example and had a wonderfully large base to start with, but they marketed for HBO Max before the platform had actually launched. 

In this time of pre-launch marketing, they also allowed people to go ahead and sign up for the service once it started and join the newsletter. This allowed them to have an already established client base before the product became available to those people. 

Read also: Advice from an Agency: Getting to Know Your Audience

What are the benefits of pre-launch marketing?

People know about your brand ahead of time. It’s a great way to have a social media following, a list to send your email marketing out to, and potential customers for when your business launches. 

You can also have a great idea of who your audience is going to be. You can go ahead and take a look at your audience, gather their data, and then market your products, brand, and community management toward those people. 

How do I start pre-launch marketing? 

Pre-launch marketing can begin with many things, but a website or social media are good places to start. These are both places of easy access for your customers and they allow them to learn about who your brand is and what you will be doing. 

It’s also a great idea to set up an eblast list. Maybe you don’t have something to send out to that list on the day they sign up, but you will soon, and it’s important to have that list built up as much as possible. 

What are the benefits of using an agency

270M can help with all of all the aspects of pre-launch marketing. Even if you’re starting right at the beginning of creating your brand, we’re here to help. 

Our services in website development and email marketing will help get your brand up and running. Our social media services can help you maintain your brand through content creation and community management. 

Pre-launch marketing is a great way to make a name for your brand before your brand even fully launches — and an agency is a great way to help you get started. 

270M is here for all of your digital needs — check out all of our services here.