Mindful Social Media Posting Habits

Written By: Danielle Gazda

Social media can sometimes be tricky to navigate. It’s particularly important to be mindful when posting about months or holidays such as Pride Month or Black History Month. You don’t want to appear to be pandering to a group by suddenly making inclusive posts or changing your brand’s logo to be “on-theme.” 

There are a significant number of memes about companies that suddenly become friendly to the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride Month as their imagery explodes with rainbow colors. Even if your brand is well-intentioned, it may come across as manipulative and capitalistic. The same is also said when horrific events, such as mass shootings or police brutality, are featured prominently on news outlets. Numerous companies will feature blacked-out solidarity posts or send out empty statements of sadness and consolation.

To be a good brand on social media, you need to be consistent, conscientious, and aware. Below are a few tips for doing this with your own brand’s social media posts.

Inclusive Imagery

Throughout the year, your brand should strive to continuously include imagery that contains a diverse cast of models. It’s important to promote inclusivity. It follows a modern trend in organic posting of allowing audiences to see themselves in your posts. The representation of minority ethnic groups, LGBTQIA+ individuals, as well as plus-size and disabled models are massively important. Be conscious of who you include whether you’re setting up your own photo shoots or using stock imagery.

Employee Participation

Include your employees in the decision-making process for posts about potentially sensitive topics. This will boost company morale and help to ensure you’re getting everything right. Facilitate company-wide conversations about what you should be doing for Black History Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Pride Month, and more. Your own diverse team members are your greatest asset.

Avoid Stereotypes/Cliches

Your employees can also be invaluable by helping you avoid using language or imagery that may be offensive. It’s true that you can’t please everyone, but you can avoid glaringly obvious issues by being cautious, curious, and mindful.

Transparency

Always be deliberate with posts showing support, and be transparent in your intentions. Targeting is a part of creating ads and enticing people to purchase your product or service, but there can be a fine line. Continue to steer away from harmful stereotypes. Some decisions regarding targeting may be specific to what your company offers and represents.

Activism

Even after making claims of inclusivity, diversity, and solidarity, companies may not take a genuine stand or make an effort toward actively benefiting the groups represented in their ads and posts. Part of being an open and welcoming brand is to put your money where your mouth is. Larger companies can donate to charities and organizations. Smaller businesses can set up fundraisers or promote awareness campaigns for organizations. However, both should start closer to home. Ensure that your work environments are safe, inclusive spaces that are stocked with resources for your employees.

Being an advocate and an ally for multiple groups is necessary nowadays. It should also be what you want to do and what you want your brand to be a part of. This does not mean your content should bombard your audience with “Look at how inclusive we are!” Part of being a trustworthy business is knowing when to use your platform to raise your voice and when to step back and allow the individual communities to speak up on their own — potentially using your platform to do so.

For more digital media marketing information and tips, subscribe to the 270M newsletter and read previous blogs. If you’re interested in taking your digital marketing to the next level, contact 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.

How NFTs are Changing Art Forever

By: Danielle Gazda

 

Let’s start with what an NFT is.

NFT stands for non-fungible token. This “token” is the general and commonly used term for a piece of digital art that has been authenticated and minted. The most familiar forms are 2D and 3D digital art, but it can also be music, photography, videos, Tweets, memes, and more. Any type of digital media is viable.

 

How can you own something intangible and replicable?

Think about NFTs like they’re expensive, physical art. If you own an original painting by Monet then you have the genuine, one-of-a-kind piece; however, that doesn’t stop museums and online stores from selling prints of the exact same piece. It can exist outside of its original form.

NFTs are essentially the same thing. The concept was initially created as a way for digital artists to authenticate their original pieces and be able to sell it like physical art with ownership. The sites where you buy NFTs function the same way that auction houses or eBay does, where people bid on the items they are interested in.

 

Creating and selling NFTs.

There are many places across the internet where you can find out the specifics of creating, minting, and selling NFTs, but there are some key things you should know. Minting, for instance, is the process of changing a regular file of digital media into an NFT. This is done on a registry website that uses blockchain.

A blockchain is a decentralized software network where no single computer controls the network, instead they work in tandem and separately to store files securely, keep records, and act as a payment ledger. A commonly used site is Ethereum, which is also one of the biggest names in cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is important because that is the only payment method available to create and purchase NFTs. 

To purchase and use cryptocurrency (crypto) you need a digital wallet. Setting up a digital wallet and buying crypto happen in separate places. Common wallet types are MetaMask, Exodus, Trezor T, and Ledger. Common sites to buy crypto are Coinbase, Binance.US, Gemini, and more. There may seem like a lot to learn, but once you’re set up, it gets easier.

From here, you can buy and sell NFTs at your leisure.

 

Why should your company make NFTs?

NFTs are popular, trendy, and worth a lot of money in most cases.

Creating an NFT based on your company logo, a product, or concept can be a new way to get your brand visibility for more and new people to see. It also establishes that your company is tech-savvy and future forward.

Making digital art is free, but changing it into an NFT can be expensive. There are fees involved, but the payout can be significant since most NFTs go for thousands, hundred thousands, and even millions of dollars. This may not happen right away, but making an NFT may still be a fun and advantageous avenue to explore.

 

If your company has a strong brand identity then it may be worth pursuing. Remember to be creative with the digital media you make, see what’s out there, and what you can contribute to this new digital art world.

January Social Media Articles

You can find all of the links to the social media news we want to share with you throughout the month of January. Take a look.

 

Instagram Adds Option to Delete Individual Posts from Carousels, Shake to Report Feature

Social Media Today reports on Instagram’s updates to carousel posts and the new “rage shake” feature to report issues with the app. Read it here.

 

Social Media Marketing Trends for 2022: Predictions From the Pros

Social Media Examiner has compiled 22 trends for 2022 from the experts. Check it out here.

 

Technology Is Changing PR and Marketing Forever

Entrepreneur talks about the importance of evolving your brand alongside changes in technology. Read what they have to say here.

 

Adobe buys social media marketing startup ContentCal

Adobe recently acquired ContentCal, a social media content management website. Read about the acquisition and plans to come here.

 

Social Trends 2022

Hootsuite determined the five trends that will shape marketing strategies in 2022, based on responses from more than 18,000 marketers. See what they had to say here.

 

4 Ecommerce trends you need to know for 2022

Online shopping is evolving into social media e-commerce shopping. See what trends Sprout Social thinks will happen in e-commerce here.

Tips on Improving SEO for Your Brand

By: Christina Healy

 

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of improving your website to make it more visible during internet searches, with the goal of increasing traffic to your page. Having advanced SEO strategies for your brand is important because gaining visibility online is crucial for success. You can’t get leads if nobody can find you. During a search, the most relevant keywords will determine the order of results. The goal is to have your brand appear at the top of the results page, making it more likely that the consumer will click on your site. There are many strategies that can help make this happen.

Here Are Five Practices for Improving SEO for Your Brand:

  1. Choose the Right Keywords and Phrases:

    It is essential that the keywords chosen are relevant and created specifically to match your content. You want to use simple words that people are likely to use in their searches. It is also important to include phrases with three or four keywords that show a little more detail about your product or service in case of more advanced searches. Your site has a better chance of being ranked higher if your words match the search words exactly.

  2. Use a Program to Monitor Metrics:

    A program like Google Analytics is extremely helpful for understanding how your website is being used. You can then take that information and use it to improve SEO. Find out which search engines are leading users to your site, or learn what devices users are on when they visit your site. All of these small details are important when developing strategies of improvement.

  3. Find Out What’s Working for Your Competitors:

    Understanding who your top competitors are, and identifying the tactics they are using to be successful, can be beneficial for you. Take that information and figure out what your site needs or could improve upon.

  4. Put Out Quality Content:

    When people discover your page, you want to make sure that there is a good chance of them engaging with the content. Therefore, it needs to be of high quality. Be sure to constantly update existing content, as well as to produce new material regularly. Posts should be relevant and newsworthy. Search engines are always evolving to show the most relevant information first. Therefore, that’s what needs to be on your website. You want the consumer to spend a decent amount of time on your page, which improves the ranking of your site in a search.

  5. Have an Engaging Title and Meta Description for Your Site:

    The title needs to include the most exciting and important keywords. These few words need to spark emotion in the user. The meta description is a concise summary of the webpage located in smaller letters under the site’s title. It must be short and sweet, yet detailed and clear. Having a great meta description or title could just end up being the deciding factor of whether or not someone clicks on your site.

By improving your brand’s SEO little by little, there will almost certainly be an increase in traffic to your site. Paying attention to the small yet very important factors that make up a brand’s website can lead to great success.

The Best Digital Marketing Practices for Promoting Your Product

By: Stephanie Albert

Over the last few years, social media has become a major powerhouse for advertisers. If you want to reach a wide audience when promoting a business or product, social media is for you. But the number of platforms and features available can make it difficult to get started. How can you find out what will work best for your company? 

We are here to help! Here are a few of the best practices for promoting your products on social media.

1. Know the audience: Knowing the audience of a given platform and knowing your target audience are both crucial for successfully promoting a product. Be sure that the audience you are targeting is present on a specific platform if you are going to put money and effort into developing content for that platform. 

2. Use analytics: Most social media platforms regularly provide advertisers with a basic set of data points regarding the makeup of their audience and how their ad content is performing. Use these to your advantage! You will find out if you are reaching the audience you are targeting. And you may discover another audience that is interested in your products. You will also learn which type of content is performing best. This way, you can focus on producing more of what is most successful.

3. Pay attention to your community: Interacting with people who engage with your content is important when growing an audience. Engage with content you are tagged in, reply to comments, and answer DMs in a way that is in line with your brand’s ideals — these are all excellent ways to connect with your target audience and your product users. You can gain valuable insight by reading about their experiences and learning how they feel about your products.

4. Create an Instagram Shop: Having an Instagram Shop allows users to purchase directly through the app. This also gives you the ability to add “shoppable” links to posts and stories, making it possible for users to purchase your products as soon as they see your content.

5. User-generated content: Posting user-generated content (photos, reviews, and even videos made by your customers) can be a very powerful way to promote a product. This allows potential customers to see the positive experiences of those who have already purchased your products. Ideally, once people know that others enjoy what you have to offer, they will want to buy from you, too.

 

Five Reasons Why Video Content Is the Future of Digital Marketing

By: Sydney Rikk

Have you ever been scrolling through your Instagram feed when a post that was cluttered with words popped up? More than likely, you just scrolled past it because you were uninterested in reading lots of text. You’re not alone in doing that. Wouldn’t it have been better if the ideas in the post had been presented in a video? Welcome to the future of digital marketing.

In an effort to stay ahead of the trends, here are five reasons why you should be creating and utilizing video content:

1.Video is versatile.

As your business grows and develops, your marketing strategies must keep pace. Video is the answer. With video comes the opportunity to shape, change, and repurpose content according to your brand’s needs. For example, if you have a popular Instagram feed post of an image, change it into video formatting and watch it take off. Videos also offer the ability to make your brand more personable. By featuring greetings from your team or speaking directly to the consumer, you are creating a conversation.

2. Videos can tell a story.

The saying is, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” So how many words is a video worth? A still picture can only present and convey a limited amount of information. Change that picture into a video and you have granted yourself more time to get your message across. And, you can do it in a more dynamic and engaging manner. Lean into your video content to capture a story: the story of your brand, product, team, and more. 

3. Video content is preferred most often by users.

According to view.ceros.com, “While 73% of respondents to the survey said they have less time to devote to reading and research, many noted that they are willing to spend 10-plus minutes with interactive, visual, and audio content.” Today, people are so busy — and information is coming at them so fast — they often have little time to slow down, read, and take in written content. The solution to this problem is videos. If you only have a few minutes of someone’s time, capitalize on it by using engaging video content to efficiently get your message across. 

4. Videos can drive conversion.

People buy when they see a need for the product. If they don’t understand what it is you are selling or why they need it in their life, they are unlikely to buy. Using videos to introduce and demonstrate your brand’s products can help consumers see the need for them. According to animoto.com, “96% of consumers find videos helpful when making purchase decisions online.” Looking for more evidence of videos helping to create conversion? Check out this infographic.

5. Video content has the power to improve SEO.

The more people watch, interact, and engage with your videos, the more likely your video will attract larger audiences. By creating and offering high-quality video content, you can entice people to learn more about your company and your products, driving traffic to your website.

Video content unlocks the door to numerous opportunities. It can tell stories, help you connect with your audiences, drive conversion, and so much more. Video is the future of digital marketing. So grab your video clips! It’s time to get to work.