social media

Instagram Announces New Update

Instagram logo“People miss on average 70 percent of their feeds,” Instagram states in a recent blog post announcing its newest update. “That means you often don’t see the posts you might care about the most.”

To try to solve the problem, Instagram will be stepping away from chronological timelines and implementing a change to the order of posts that show up in a user’s newsfeed. The algorithm that dictates the order in which posts appear will be based on the likelihood of a user’s interest, the timeliness of the post and a user’s relationship with the person posting.

Although Instagram assures users, “all the posts will still be there, just in a different order,” this change can negatively affect small businesses’ content by potentially burying it in followers’ timelines. This can result in not only a drop in engagement, but also in customers and sales.

So how can you be sure your content doesn’t get buried? Many company accounts have started asking followers to turn on their notification settings, so users can see their content more easily; however, many followers have only gotten upset with the influx of pages asking for this, causing a negative effect.

According to Business News Daily, businesses will have to stay competitive and target their followers with relevant, high-quality content. Despite the negative possibilities, however, there is a benefit to those companies that stay competitive with targeted content. “All those accounts with purchased followers, low-quality content and the ability to post every 30 minutes will not have an advantage with the new algorithmic feed,” branding and social media consultant Emmelie De La Cruz said. “It is going to separate the fakes with purchased followers and trash content from those with great and truly engaging content.”

Be sure that your posts are coming up toward the top of newsfeeds by buckling down on your strategy before the change happens – post high-quality, targeted, timely and relevant content.

If you have questions about Instagram’s new update and how your business can prepare for the change, email info@lavozmarketing.com.

Video Marketing Rises in Popularity

Video-Marketing1Online content is getting shorter as attention spans decrease. Videos now serve as bite-sized content that keeps viewers interested.

According to an article by The Guardian, video is the best way to engage with consumers and to increase awareness of your brand.

Video will account for 69% of all online consumer traffic by 2017, according to Cisco. YouTube already receives more than 1 billion viewers per month, which is more than any other channel except Facebook. It is becoming a great tool for marketing, as its influence grows and becomes a factor in how consumers view a company. A study showed that seven out of ten people viewed a company more positively after viewing its interesting online content.

Video is an excellent choice for keeping consumers engaged because it holds one’s attention span longer than a still photo. Video content is also a very affordable method for small businesses and start-up businesses, as production costs are decreasing. It’s also increasingly easier to create content using apps, such as Vine and more. This means it could be a smart investment for your company. Nielsen says that 64% of marketers are going to be increasing their video budget and investment. Currently, about half of the market in the UK are using video to connect with their consumers, with this number expecting to increase dramatically.

Here are some tips to using video marketing successfully:

  • Think of your audience. Make your video relevant to them. If it doesn’t make sense to use video for your audience, don’t. Don’t waste time or resources.
  • Do not ignore social media. A large percentage of sharing and viewing happens from mobile phones – maximize that sharing and viewing potential by posting videos to social media.
  • Finally, be creative with the videos you make. Don’t be afraid to step outside of the box and be interesting.

If you have any questions about video marketing, please contact us at info@lavozmarketing.com

Re-Evaluating and Renewing Your Brand for 2016

NewYearGoalsIt’s a new year…so perhaps it is time to reinvent and think about those resolutions. It’s also time to evaluate the past year and move forward with those new ideas that you shelved. Setting new goals and resolutions for your business and brand is just as important as setting those personal resolutions.

Looking back at 2015, what efforts and campaigns did you execute? Did they work for your brand? These tips will help you to re-evaluate or re-invent your company’s brand to appeal better to your audience. If your resolution is to finally launch that business you’ve been dreaming of, then these tips are great tools for you to make it a reality in 2016!

1. Know your audience
What services/products does your business offer and who are you targeting? Asking this question is a good first step to understand if you’re appealing to the right group. All marketing tools and tactics that you employ will need to be relevant to your target audience, so you don’t waste your efforts. Learn about the interests, needs and concerns of your audience. Surveying your audience is a great way to get to know them and get feedback directly because you can ask questions about what they want, what their preferences are, and what you as a brand can do to fulfill them.

2. Ask yourself what goals you would like to achieve.
Are you looking to increase awareness, increase sales, or a combination of the two? For any campaign, it’s important to have a goal and a plan in mind. Listing your goals will help keep your company’s view and messaging focused. Getting to know your audience will help you define what goals are most realistic. Then, moving forward, keep going back to that goal to ensure you’re staying on strategy and on message.

3. Ensure your messages align with your brand’s voice.
Your brand is the personality and essence of your company. In Forbes’ article “Why Branding is Important,” Scott Goodson says, “Brands are psychology and science brought together as a promise mark as opposed to a trademark. Products have life cycles. Brands outlive products.” If you develop your brand with the proper messaging and audience in mind, it will expand and grow over time.

Researching and knowing your audience, again, is key in this realm. If your target audience is a younger demographic, you might want to adjust your brand’s voice to appeal to that target group. The use of images appeals to all audiences, but especially to younger groups. If you’re just launching your startup, you’ll want to develop your brand properly. Create a mission statement and a voice that conveys what your business does and why you’re doing it.

4. What channels does your brand use to communicate?
Surveying your audience first can help you determine the best ways to communicate. Ask them if they use Instagram. Ask yourself if that medium is an appropriate tool for your brand to use. You don’t need to be present on all channels of social media, but if you’re going to be on a channel, do it well. Use the media that best appeals to your brand and audience. Plan your posts ahead of time. Tailor your posts to what your audience wants to hear and decide what is relevant for you to share. There are so many ways to reach your audience, from snail mail and email to Instagram and Periscope – the proper connection is key.

5. Tell stories, share experiences.
Consumers are valuing experiences more and more, and the social tools available are making it easier than ever to appeal to that. With apps like Periscope or Meerkat, you can live-stream an event and share it with your consumers. With Instagram, you share your brand purely through images. This can help build a connection between the company and the consumer. In Psychology Today, Pamela B. Rutledge Ph.D., M.B.A. said, “When organizations, causes, brands or individuals identify and develop a core story, they create and display authentic meaning and purpose that others can believe, participate with, and share.”

Starting a company blog is another way to share your message, while giving consumers insight into your brand. You can share stories about impacts your business has made, for example. A blog is a great way to build a connection with your audience and your company. Consumers don’t want to interact with a big corporation; they want to feel the personalized, intimate connection of a small start-up. They want to share your experiences and understand your brand.
If you’re looking to start your business or make a change to your brand this new year, contact us at info@lavozmarketing.com

2015 – Year in Review

Livestreaming

As 2015 comes to an end, we look back on the top marketing tools, trends, campaigns and more. Building a connection and sharing experiences with consumers, peers, businesses and more were some key themes we saw coming out of the marketing realm in this year. Here were some top trends from 2015.

Video Marketing and Live Streaming:
Live streaming has revolutionized marketing because it allows a company to connect with and learn more about a company, as well as share their experiences with their friends. Apps like Meerkat and Periscope lead the way in live streaming this year, and allow users and followers to share experiences and connect one another. This can help a brand by building a connection with users by sharing experiences through live video. Snapchat expounded on its marketing capabilities by creating the Discover options for brands, as well as allowing users to experience snaps and videos from around the world.

Technology:
Technology is always growing and getting better at anticipating our needs, which means that it anticipates the needs of a company and its consumers as well. According to Nielsen, Facebook, YouTube and Facebook Messenger take the top three smartphone apps. In addition, their study says that Android OS holds a higher market share in the United States with 52.7 percent, while Apple iOS only holds 42.8 percent.

Marketing Campaigns:
According to Entrepreneur.com, the top three marketing campaigns for 2015 are Apple’s “Shot on an iPhone 6” campaign, Glade’s “Museum of Feelings” campaign and Barbie’s “You Can be Anything” campaign.

Apple’s global campaign relied on consumer-created content to show the professional-looking images that the iPhone 6 can capture.

Glade’s pop-up museum started as a Facebook event page promoting “the first museum that reacts to emotions.” The museum and its website had mood filters that users could easily turn into a profile picture on social media channels. The mood filters suggested the best smells for a user’s mood, which made perfect sense when it was revealed that the “museum” was a campaign by Glade. The campaign came under scrutiny for being a “Secret Corporate Art Museum,” but also managed to garner 120,000 impressions, including the mood-based selfie filters. The museum closed on December 15, 2015.

Barbie’s campaign was created to connect with millennial parents. The campaign features a video of girls in various career settings. The videos are unscripted and have hidden cameras to capture how those around them would react, and the careers were chosen based on what the girls wanted to be at the time of filming. The video followed young girls as they became a professor, a veterinarian, a soccer coach and a museum tour guide for the day. The video states: “When a girl plays with Barbie, she imagines everything she can become.” The brand also introduced dolls with more ethnic diversity earlier this year.

Emojis:
Emojis have taken the texting world by storm. With the launching of multi-ethnic emojis and the hard-fought battle for a taco emoji, these little images are allowing younger-targeting businesses more opportunities to connect with their consumers. Domino’s Pizza, whose digital orders make up about half of its overall orders, announces a “tweet-to-order” system that will allow users to tweet the pizza emoji to @dominos, and an order will be placed! Emojis even made their way into our lexicons. Oxford Dictionaries announced that the 2015 Word of the Year wasn’t a word at all, but was the “laughing with tears” emoji .

Social Media:
Social media connects consumers to their brands and to each other.
Images are ruling communications methods, which put social media channels, like Instagram at an advantage. Businesses should be using these social channels to connect with their followers. Social media is also the easiest and quickest way to get feedback from consumers and engage with them.

Twitter hashtags changed with the breaking news stream. Here are the most-used Twitter hashtags of 2015:
1. #jobs
2. #Quran
3. #ISIS
4. #PrayForParis
5. #LoveWins
6. #CharlieHebdo
7. #JeSuisCharlie
8. #BlackLivesMatter
9. #地震 (Earthquake)
10. #SandraBland

Emails:
Email has continued to be one of the most direct methods that businesses can use to connect with their consumers. Emails help a business share data, deals and information with consumers.

What do you think 2016 will have to offer?

Are you interested in getting started with these marketing tools and trends? Contact La Voz Marketing at info@lavozmarketing.com.

Six Things to Consider When Working with Bloggers

IMG_0313 HPRA

La Voz Marketing recently attended the HPRA: PR + Bloggers event in Downtown Los Angeles. Three successful bloggers shared their experience working with PR professionals. Here are six key takeaways:

  • Do not ask bloggers to promote something that was not agreed upon
    Bloggers have worked hard to build their following. They won’t put anything out there that doesn’t resonate with them or their audience.
  • Avoid providing bloggers with scripted messages
    Bloggers have already developed their voice and personal brand. They know how to leverage their social media channels to get the results that you want.
  • Stop using the term “Mommy Bloggers”
    It was suggested that PR professionals stop using the term “mommy bloggers” because it annoys bloggers. Click here to see some of the reasons why they dislike it.
  • Mom bloggers aren’t the only ones with influence over children
    PR professionals put so much emphasis on working with mom bloggers, but they are missing out on other key influencers. There are various female bloggers, especially Latina bloggers, who have influences as a tía (aunt), a madrina (godmother), and a hermana mayor (older sister).
  • Latinos are outnumbering the general market
    The Latino market in Los Angeles is becoming the general market. Keep this in mind when you build your next communications campaign. You need to find the right blogger that can cross over naturally by speaking to an audience versus speaking at an audience. This rule applies to all cultures and backgrounds, but it’s emphasized because it usually doesn’t happen when marketing to the Latino audience.
  • If you invite a blogger to an event, be there
    One of the bloggers shared a horror story about a company treating her wrong during a live streaming attempt. The client/company did not understand the value of the blogger’s physical and online presence. As a result, the company lost business and respect from some of her 45.8K Twitter followers. Bloggers highly recommend a PR professional to be present at the event for additional support.

If you are handling your marketing efforts in-house, we hope you keep these points in mind!  For assistance with blogger outreach, feel free to contact La Voz Marketing.

 

The Dalai Lama Encourages the Use of Social Media to Spread Compassion

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 6.38.19 AM

La Voz Marketing recently attended the Global Compassion Summit at the University of California, Irvine in honor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday. The 3-day summit was a celebration of the Dalai Lama’s lifetime of devotion to spreading the message of the value of peace, kindness and universal compassion throughout the world.

Prior to the summit, the Dalai Lama made a comment about gifts on his birthday. He said the best gift of all was to live with compassion. For this reason, the Friends of the Dalai Lama, a nonprofit that advocates for global compassion and innovation, came up with a social media campaign to honor his birthday wish.  They asked everyone to post pictures and videos of people treating each other kindly or sharing kind words, accompanied by the hashtag #withcompassion.

People utilize social media for a variety of reasons, but can we do more? Regardless of religious beliefs, spreading compassion is in our human nature. At a very young age we shower our parents and family with love through small acts of kindness. As we mature we begin to see and act differently, but we are still able to show affection to one another.

Spreading compassion requires some effort, but there are many benefits in return. At La Voz Marketing, we are proud of our staff who give back to our community through participation in nonprofit organizations such as The Elite OC, the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, Make-A-Wish, Alzheimer’s Association, Habitat for Humanity, among others.  It is important to lend a helping hand and contribute to the greater good of our society. If you can’t find the time to get physically involved in your local community, spread compassion through your social media efforts!

When building a compassionate social media plan, there are a few questions you should consider at a deeper level:

  • Who is benefiting? Your organization or your audience?
  • How are they benefiting?
  • Is this a short-term benefit or a long-term benefit?

We hope you create a successful social media campaign #withcompassion to help make the world a better place. If you need guidance, don’t hesitate to contact us at info@lavozmarketing.com. We are happy to help!

Use Snapchat to Attract Millennials and Centennials

Snapchat

Snapchat is a mobile app that allows users to view images and videos that disappear after displaying for up to 10 seconds. According to GWI, Snapchat was the fastest growing social app in 2014 with over 100 million daily active users.

Marketers have been struggling to target Millennials through various mediums, primarily due to the lack of targeting and understanding of specific subgroups. Recently, marketers have sought ways to target Centennials, also known as Generation Z, who currently make up more than 25% of the U.S. population. Here are a few statistics that demonstrate why Snapchat is the perfect social media platform to attract both groups:

  •   71% of Snapchat users are under 25 years old
  •   77% of college students use Snapchat daily
  •   30% of U.S. millennial internet users access Snapchat regularly
  •   34% of 18-34 year olds in the U.S. have a Snapchat account
  •   32% of teens (13-17) use Snapchat

If that doesn’t convince you, a recent study by Mashable shows a lot of opportunities for companies to expose their brand to college students. Here were some key findings:

  •   45% of college students would open a Snapchat from a brand they don’t know
  •   73% of college students would open a Snapchat from a brand they do know
  •   67% of college students would want to receive discounts or promotions from brands on Snapchat
  •   58% of college students are likely to purchase a brand’s product or service if they send them a Snapchat coupon

Although this data shows that Millennials and Centennials are frequent Snapchat users, only 1% of marketers use Snapchat. Brands that are afraid to experiment with new social media platforms are making a big mistake.

Wet Seal, for example, stepped outside the norm by hiring a 16-year old to manage their Snapchat account. Within two days, the brand had 9,000 new followers and 6,000 views of Wet Seal’s Snapchat “story.”

At the end of the day, brands should not be afraid to use Snapchat, especially since Snapchat’s CEO is a Millennial himself!

A Smart Investment: Tapping into the Hispanic Market

Blog - Auto

It’s not a surprise that the Hispanic market is rapidly growing. So what is the #1 tip when targeting US Hispanics?

Develop strong culturally relevant messages.

Many companies have made the mistake of simply translating their English content into Spanish without considering the consistency of the message.  Seasoned PR and marketing experts within the Hispanic market will tell you that it’s not enough. A “one-size fits all” approach will not work. Spanish is only a small part of a marketing strategy for the Hispanic market, of course, only if your audience prefers Spanish.

Current studies show that Hispanics dislike being viewed as a consumer segment. Instead, Hispanics prefer companies and organizations that make an effort to understand their culture and their needs. Through that process, Hispanics seek to build loyalty with brands that properly represent their voices and unique identity or with brands that empower their heritage by embracing their cultural characteristics.

Let’s take a look at the automobile industry.

eMarketer’s study in 2013 on the new-vehicle sales growth showed the US Hispanic automobile shopper is more likely to buy a car than the general market. Sarah Hasson, Senior Vice President (Automotive) in Univision’s Strategy & Insights Group, conducted a study revealing 20% of all new vehicle sales growth in 2013 were Hispanics.

Clearly, targeting the Hispanic market is a good investment for an automobile company, but what are those companies doing to achieve success?

Univision’s report reveals “leading brands all have awareness in the range of 60% to 71%, which is no surprise, given how active these brands are in Spanish-language media, and the consistent and culturally relevant messaging they’ve employed over the last 20+ years.”

Toyota has been the top-selling brand to Hispanics for over 10 years, due to effective marketing, public relations, community relations and stakeholder and influencer engagement. Toyota is also involved with several Hispanic events and conferences throughout the year to engage with the Latino community and to thank them for their business. “We strive to remain close to the market in order to understand each unique culture and be able to speak about the opportunities that Toyota vehicles provide in the most relevant and respectful way,” said Javier Moreno, manager of external affairs and communications for Toyota Motor North America Inc.

According to Pew Research, Hispanics are the most active group on social media in the United States.  Toyota has used that to their advantage to also engage with Hispanics on social media, using hashtags that are culturally relevant to Hispanics.  Honda, another automobile company successfully reaching the Hispanic market, also used social media to deepen engagement and build relationships with Hispanics by @HondaLatino Twitter account.

Honda and La Agencia have established a four-tier approach to market to U.S. Latinos, which includes cultural enrichment, community support, sports marketing, and product advertising. As a result, Honda’s Civic Sedan and Accord Sedan have been the #1 and #2 selling models to Hispanics for the past 8 years.

If you are seeking to develop culturally relevant programs for the Hispanic market, La Voz Marketing can help!  Click here to read a few case studies about how we helped our clients strengthen their relationship with US Latinos. For more information, contact us at info@lavozmarketing.com.

Social Media Marketing in 2015

Pew Research Social Media UPdate
Social media usage is increasing and so should your budget for social media marketing in 2015. eMarketer estimates there will be 154 million social network users this year. Although Facebook is still in the lead, Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer’s principal analyst, says the next phase of growth in social networks is happening on mobile social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr.

In a recent survey, 5,000 marketers were asked about their budgets for 2015. Here were some of the results:

  • 84% of marketers plan to increase their budget and 38% of these marketers plan a shift in spending from traditional advertising to digital advertising
  • 70% of marketers plan to spend more on social media advertising
  • 68% of marketers have already integrated mobile into their larger marketing strategy

Marketers shared the belief that mobile marketing and social media is core to their business. So, which social networking sites should you be investing in?

According to Pew Research, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest increased in membership and saw significant growth in almost every demographic group. As you may know, each social media platform targets a different demographic. eMarketer predicts how market share will change for the top social networks in 2015, finding that the largest group of social media users will still be using Facebook and are between the ages of 25-34.

For more information about social media marketing and social media advertising, contact us at info@lavozmarketing.com.

How Digital Television can Benefit Your Brand

Digital TV

 

A Nielsen report, Shifts in Viewing: The Cross Platform Report Q2 2014, reported an undeniable shift in television viewing habits amongst American consumers.  Although viewership on traditional television is reporting a decrease, the consumption of multimedia content continues to rise.  Millennials, generation x and baby boomers alike are increasing their viewing time on digital devices.  Digital viewership has also increased by two percent among Hispanics, eight percent among Blacks and ten percent among Asians.  This shift in television viewing habits gives brands a unique opportunity to connect with consumers on multiple platforms.

Digital advertising gives brands the ability to direct consumers to its landing page from an ad.   Brands can also engage in pop culture conversations online and share video links on online platforms.  For example, DiGiorno Pizza’s witty tweets during NBC’s Sound of Music Live garnered the brand publicity in a way unheard of over five years ago. Also, brands can create their own digital television programs for their audience’s enjoyment.  Chipotle developed a web series, Farmed and Dangerous, which stresses the importance of Chipotle’s stance on food safety and sustainable farming without placing a burrito in the show.  Denny’s recently launched a web series, “The Grand Slams” which will feature its favorite breakfast items and their stories.  According to Restaurant News, “the series targets millennials designed for viral social media play.”  Just like social media, brands that are innovators and early adopters in the digital television space will reap the benefits in the future.

 

 

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