The Importance of Tumblr for Brand Awareness

Tumblr is an often overlooked platform when businesses implement a social media plan. However, Tumblr is perfect for brand strategy. It is a very visual platform that lets users share anything and everything, from text, quotes, pictures, video, links, music, and the popular GIFs. If your brand has a high visual element, consider adding Tumblr to your marketing plan.

Tumblr is different from traditional blogging platforms. Short form content gets more interaction and engagement from users than long form content. Businesses who put their brands on Tumblr have ultimate creativity, utilizing photos, images, memes, GIFs, and more to spread their brand.

  • Tumblr is an easy way to spread your brand since content is quickly shared to get thousands of views in just one day.
  • Brands with lots of content can use Tumblr to highlight their best images.
  • Brands without a lot of content can share things that spread their brand awareness without needing original content.
  • Tumblr can be used to tease new products, promote a sale, give a behind the scenes look at their business, or tell their story to an engaged audience.
  • There are more than 1,300 themes on Tumblr, allowing complete customization and a variety of looks that can match your brand.

Because it is such a unique platform, you need to decide if your brand is ready for Tumblr. There are three important aspects of the site that you need to understand before starting a Tumblr campaign for brand awareness.

Via Flickr Wickerfurniture

Via Flickr Wickerfurniture

Creators

Tumblr is growing rapidly, thanks in part to brands ignoring the platform. There are over 107 million blogs and over 50 billion blog posts. Every day, over 70 million new blog posts are created. How creative the content is grows every day as well. While users do post text as if they were posting a status on Facebook, the text is usually a strange thought or a new way of thinking which reblogged by thousands of users. Users create artwork and videos every day to put on Tumblr. Fandoms of popular books, movies, and television shows are a very popular audience on the site. If your brand is highly visual, you can get ahead of the competition and put your brand on Tumblr while it is still appreciated by the users.

Via Yahoo! News UK's Tumblr

Via Yahoo! News UK’s Tumblr

The GIF

Tumblr has made the GIF popular again. Essentially, a GIF is like a five second snip from a video, slowed down without sound. GIF creation has become an art form in itself, inspiring the creation of other short video forms like Vine. GIFs are usually funny or an accurate depiction of how the user thinks or feels.

Many posts on Tumblr are a series of unrelated GIFs that express the emotion of a certain situation, usually humorous. GIFs are also used to capture moments of user’s favorite movies, TV shows, or interviews that their favorite celebrity did. Users add text overlay to the GIFs so people know what is being said, since there is no volume. Sometimes, users replace what is actually said with something much funnier.

How Your Mother Met Me

Television

Some of television’s most passionate fans flock to Twitter to express their love for the show with creative artwork, GIFs, videos, and commentary. In fact, major networks are missing out on an opportunity to directly market to their biggest fans. Popular shows on Tumblr include How I Met Your Mother, Supernatural, and Glee. All of these shows are on different networks, giving huge marketing potential of television. If you are thinking of putting your brand on Tumblr, join in on TV show conversations to get more loyal followers. Only do this if it relates to your brand.

If you think your brand can achieve these three aspects of Twitter in your posts, then Tumblr is a marketing goldmine waiting for you. The platform is perfect for brands geared at a younger generation or brands whose personality is humorous. They are also perfect for brands with a lot of visual content, such as Calvin Klein, who only post photos of models wearing their underwear to increase brand awareness only. Make sure to do your research before implementing a marketing strategy. Only certain brands can achieve notoriety on Tumblr, but the ones that do are very successful, like GQ and ModCloth.

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How to Tell If Your Brand is Ready for YouTube

YouTube video marketing is becoming a popular brand marketing strategy for businesses today. However, not every brand is ready to venture to YouTube. Only certain businesses can achieve YouTube marketing on the scale it needs to be for a good ROI. You need to ask yourselves these questions before beginning a YouTube marketing plan. If the answer is no, then you need to reconsider this marketing plan.

Via Flickr AV Hire London

Via Flickr AV Hire London

Do you have the resources?

YouTube is cheaper than television and it reaches a wider platform. Businesses still need enough resources to make their content perform well on YouTube. You will need a big enough budget to write, film, produce, upload, and promote the videos. You also need the proper equipment with a decent HD video camera, a tripod, and proper lighting at a minimum. A video needs to be high quality in order to make your business look better.

Via Flickr mohamedn

Via Flickr mohamedn

Do you have the talent?

The people who are going to be in your videos need to have some amount of acting talent. At the very least, they need to be excellent speakers who convince viewers in their roles. Whoever is in your videos will become the face of the business, so choose your talent wisely. You will also need employees or an outside video marketing company to film and edit your videos properly. If you have employees do it, they will either need a raise or you need to understand their other work will be neglected. If you hire a video marketing company, which is added expense you have to budget for. Make sure to choose the company wisely if this path is chosen.

Via Flickr opensourceway

Via Flickr opensourceway

Do you have enough creativity?

YouTube has a future where people predict that it will replace commercials on television. However, the content you produce for YouTube should not resemble a commercial at all. It is not a boring platform to push your marketing message. YouTube is a community of creative users and they expect the same creativity from businesses like you. Success with YouTube will only happen when your videos are entertaining, informative, and unique.

Via Flickr Racum

Via Flickr Racum

Do you have a good vision for content?

Make sure you understand what YouTube is and what kind of content is expected out of you before continuing with a video marketing idea. Look at what kinds of videos your competitors are creating on YouTube for inspiration and to set goals about what you need to beat. You need to have a clear goal that fulfills a larger vision you have for a marketing plan.

Via Flickr dmhoro

Via Flickr dmhoro

Do you have time?

Once you begin a YouTube channel, you need to stay committed to it. It takes a lot of time to write, make, upload, interact, and analyze the videos you make for YouTube. Viewers who find your channel that has not had new content for months, they will lose interest in your business. You have to be consistent on when you upload videos and you need to be active in responding to comments.

Via Flickr Robert Scoble

Via Flickr Robert Scoble

Do you have the right product for YouTube?

Some industries do very well on YouTube and some do not. For example, if you are selling kitchen gadgets, you can make videos about how to use them. However, if you are a tax preparer, there is not a lot you can do on YouTube besides basic financial advice.

Service brands have difficulty on YouTube because of the amount of content that is needed to remain consistent. Services can advise viewers about things in their industry, but giving too much advice will render your services irrelevant when they can just watch YouTube videos about how to do it themselves. Service industries have to get very creative with their content in order to be successful.

Via Flickr batmoo

Via Flickr batmoo

Do you have only one target audience?

You need to decide what your target audience is before starting a marketing campaign on YouTube. Often, this is to attract new prospects or to develop existing ones. For new prospects, you need to create promotional videos and share them all over the internet. For developing existing customer interest, you need to create instructional or informative videos that you can embed on your website or in email marketing. If you want to do both, it can be very time consuming and difficult to achieve this on YouTube, but still possible if you have a team dedicated to only YouTube marketing.

Give some examples of brands who seem like they were made for YouTube and some who should have stayed far away in the comments!

Which Blog is Right for You?

Blogs are an important part of today’s business marketing scheme. They are a great way to help your business stay current, communicate with customers, and increase your SEO rankings. There are many blog hosting platforms to help you make your blog, but it can be difficult deciding which one is best for you.

Via Flickr by Sean MacEntee

Normal websites have a few pages which only allow a limited number of indexed searches. Every blog post you create, however, has its own URL. Therefore your blog can be indexed as many times as you create blog posts. This increases your website’s visibility and makes you an authority in your market niche. Here are four of the most popular blog hosts, along with the pros and cons about each one, to help you make your decision.

Via Flickr by Heisenburg Media

Via Flickr by Heisenburg Media

WordPress

  • About: WordPress is a free blogging platform with costs to upgrade. WordPress.org costs $5 a month for hosting. It is also the most popular blogging platform with one of every six websites using it to host. WordPress offers a free publishing tools and content management systems for self-hosting. They have a huge library of tools for the casual and expert blogger, however it is recommended for professional bloggers and media companies that need a stable blog.
  • Pros: WordPress is very flexible, allowing many different markets to use it to their advantage. It is over ten years old and have gone through multiple updates to perfect the platform. It has an open source developer community which provides users with hundreds of plug-ins. There is also a huge theme library for many customizable options.
  • Cons: WordPress is difficult for beginners to understand. There are many courses online that offer help for those who have trouble. Full control of WordPress is only allowed when it is hosted on the user’s server, meaning overhead costs increase with hosting, domain, and CDN name. Customizing requires code knowledge.

Via Flickr by > ange <

Blogger

  • About: Blogger is a free platform owned by Google and is one of the oldest platforms that helped make blogging popular. It is also known as BlogSpot. It is best for causal bloggers and businesses who want a simple blog for internal uses.
  • Pros: Blogger is highly stable because of its age. All issues and problems are eliminated. Making money from Blogger is easy with Google AdSense modules. It is very easy to set up and maintain and you cannot hurt your blog by messing with the code.
  • Cons: Blogger does not let you customize the site when messing with backend code. It is difficult to get your own domain name. There are limited themes and design styles and there is not many plug-ins or community support.

Via Flickr by joshwept

Tumblr

  • About: Tumblr is a free blog that is growing in popularity for business use, so much so that Yahoo! bought it in a billion dollar deal. Tumblr encourages users to share photos, infographics, videos, quotes, links, and more instead of complete content posts. This is best for casual bloggers who want something in between Twitter and WordPress and businesses who want to visually expand their content.
  • Pros: Tumblr is easy to use; users choose the type of post, add specific content, and press Publish. The Control Panel makes it easy to manage multiple blogs. There is a huge variety of themes and a mobile-friendly interface that is constantly being updated for improvements. Posts can be published through SMS, email, or audio message.
  • Cons: Tumblr’s design is highly visual, meaning it is not good for text posts. There is no comprehensive CDN, caching, or anti-virus plugging. The emphasis placed on sharing tends to devalue original content and text-based content.

Via Flickr by SATOSHI TOMIYAMA

SquareSpace

  • About: SquareSpace is a paid blogging platform that starts at $8 a month. It is made for professional bloggers, businesses, and media outlets. The best feature is the LayoutEngine technology which allows instant customization with a drag and drop interface.
  • Pros: There is a huge range of beautiful themes on SquareSpace. Mobile apps are available for publishing. Blogs created on other platforms can be incorporated into SquareSpace. It is less susceptible to viruses and hacking.
  • Cons: SquareSpace is expensive, especially for eCommerce businesses. There is not much flexibility because of a missing developer community. Users have to depend on SquareSpace for all features and designs. There is no way to modify the backend code.

Personally, I have this blog on WordPress and a wedding planning advice blog on Blogger. I think WordPress has more options for customization and it is a much sleeker, professional blog platform. However, I feel like Blogger has more tools for measuring analytics thanks to its integration with Google. My Tumblr is just for fun!

Which blog platform is your favorite and why? Let me know in comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!

2 Things You Need to Do to Raise Brand Awareness on Instagram

Instagram has often been called Twitter for those who can’t read. While this sounds negative, it is actually innovative. Instagram took the popularity of Twitter and made it more creative and user friendly. Users can take a photo with their smart phone, apply beautiful effects to it, and share it online. This makes it a perfect tool for a business social media plan.

Via Flickr by AleksGrynis

Via Flickr by AleksGrynis

Brands are being pulled into Instagram without trying, since many of its users are taking photos either of or with their brands. Name brands like Starbucks using Instagram’s love of their brand to their advantage. Other businesses can begin to incorporate Instagram into their social media marketing to see higher engagement from their customers.

In order for a marketer to successfully raise brand awareness, there are two things they need to do on Instagram:

Via Flickr by suendercafe

Brand their Instagram content

  • All content shared needs to be authentic. It should be of real people and real things, giving users a unique look at your brand or company. This helps give your brand personality that Instagram users can connect to.
  • Build a calendar around content streams. It should include behind the scenes images, business events, and unique views of your product in a realistic environment. Never put up stock product photos; show the product in its natural setting or how it is used. Mix in the moment content with planned content.
  • All content needs to be interesting, engaging, attractive, emotional, and memorable. Every post should have a purpose to create a certain response in the Instagram user.
  • Consistently post this content. This will help your brand have a strong word of mouth reputation and will keep followers interested in your content.
  • Use hashtags that are relevant to your brand or post. Allow the hashtags to provide a context to your posts. Carefully choose a few staple hashtags that are unique to your brand.

Via Flickr by Photos by Mavis

Build user engagement with the brand

  • Build a relationship with users. Search for users, engage them, and thank them for sharing positive images associated with your brand.
  • Ask users before sharing their positive content with your brand’s media channels. This will make them feel valued by your business.
  • Use a unique hashtag on all of your posts. Over time, users will use this hashtag when posting their own content related to your brand. Encourage users to use your hashtag by holding an Instagram photo contest.
  • Engage users who are sharing negative feedback about your brand. Solve their problem or grievance for them. Always answer questions and supply customer service over Instagram as it comes up.

Via Flickr by suendercafe

Whenever you are on Instagram for your brand campaign, always remember to:

  • Involve your customers so they do the work of sharing your brand for you
  • Give your customers content they can connect with that also aligns with your brand
  • Focus on the experience or emotion your photo project; keep marketing minimal or subtle
  • Share photos that capture the spirit of your brand

What are other ways businesses can get creative with marketing their brand on Instagram? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!

4 Strategies to Expand Your Brand on Pinterest

Many businesses overlook Pinterest because they think it is just for recipes and craft projects. The businesses that utilize Pinterest marketing tools are seeing huge conversion rates. Since Pinterest is not well-known as a business marketing tool, it is a good idea to get ahead of the competition and use the image-based website for your brand strategy.

Pinterest is amazing because users can digest a lot of content very quickly due to the focus on images. Users scroll through images quickly, pinning things that grab their attention. Having high quality and engaging images are important for successful branding on the website.

Via Flickr by vastateparkstaff

A good example of a company using Pinterest to their advantage is David’s Bridal. They post photos of their gowns, along with real wedding photos from their customers and they supply photos of hot wedding décor trends. They are targeting the majority female audience on Pinterest that have dream wedding boards.

Pinterest is very successful for the businesses that do it right. They look at the audience on Pinterest and find their target consumers. Like David’s Bridal targeting the many women who have wedding boards. The numbers don’t lie about the success of Pinterest.

  • Nearly 70 percent of people who get on Pinterest find items they want to buy. Etsy is becoming very successful thanks to Pinterest.
  • There are 2.5 billion page views every month on Pinterest. It is hard for businesses to ignore this kind of traffic opportunity.
  • 70 percent of brand engagement on Pinterest is generated by users. This makes it important to engage customers with your pins.

Via Flickr by cambodia4kidsorg

Understanding how customers work on Pinterest can allow you to craft a brand marketing strategy that provides deeper engagement and conversion of new customers. There are four strategies you can use to gain awareness on Pinterest.

Via Flicker by Hanspetermeyer.ca

  1. Use contests
    Pinterest is a perfect platform for a giveaway contest. Users can either pin a photo of an item to win it, or they can pin five of their favorite items on your Pinterest board in order to win a gift card or shopping spree.

    Via Flickr by Peter Haden

  2. Tell your story
    This does not mean post pictures of your weekend excursions. Leave that on Facebook. People like to know the company they are looking at. Make a board called Our Story and post pictures, such as the first dollar you ever made, with a link to your About Us page on the business website. You can also post a cool graphic that tells your mission, photos of philanthropic and volunteer work you have done, and items that tell the story about what your business stands for.

    Via Flickr by cambodia4kidsorg

  3. Spread knowledge
    Either make your own or find and share how-to tutorials, DIY projects, tips, and your personal expertise on matters that relate to your business. For example, David’s Bridal pins advice on invitations with a photo that links to the whole article about it. So, if you did this, post a high quality photo of beautiful invitations with the title of the article in the description (IE: “5 Things That Make Invitations More Effective”). Then have the photo link to the article.
  4. Sell part of your catalog
    While you should not put your whole catalog on Pinterest, you can post new items or customer favorites on Pinterest. Put what the item is in the description, along with all of the features or uses for the item. The description is where you get to place a miniature product review. Make sure to link to the webpage where customers can buy the product.

What are your feelings on Pinterest? Do you feel like it is an idle waste of time or a viable marketing strategy for highly visual businesses? Let me know in comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!