How to Use TikTok to Promote Your Business

How to Use TikTok to Promote Your Business

TikTok is trending! With a global mission of inspiring creativity and spreading joy, the app has accumulated over 800 million active users since it launched in September of 2016. While TikTok may be best known for its viral dance videos created by popular creators like Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae, dance routines and lip synching are far from the only types of content you’ll find on the app. In fact, Tik Tok recently launched TikTok For Business to assist brands of all sizes “unleash their creative side.”

 When it comes to creative content and brand storytelling, TikTok is the top platform of the moment.  A simple 15-60 second video can be all it takes for your business to grow your audience and make real connections with both brand loyalists and potential new customers.  62% of TikTok users in the U.S. are under the age of 30, which also presents a unique opportunity to connect with young consumers. As the app continues to grow in popularity, it’s creators are increasingly diverse as well and include parents, teachers, politicians, high schools, universities, small businesses and major corporations. They all use the platform for the purpose of increasing engagement, sharing their ideas, products and opinions and creating content their target market can relate to and enjoy.

The app also allows for you to interact with your audience in all new ways. You can “duet” videos, comment, direct message, run contests, challenges and promotions, and use influencer marketing to spread your message.

Check out some success stories from large and small businesses that used TikTok to connect with audiences in unique and creative ways:

Success Stories

Universal PicturesThe film studio uses the platform as a way to promote upcoming movies and engage with American users. They launched a branded hashtag challenge themed #FindYourMagic,resulting in over 19K user-generated videos. The company also utilizes influencer marketing, working with 10 popular creators to post “magical stories” using magic tricks and illusions. To date this content has received over 1.3 million likes! Universal Pictures also grew more than 11K official account followers in just six days.

Clean & ClearWhile launching their limited-edition face wash in India, Clean & Clear  took to TikTok to help increase brand and product awareness. Their target market was female teens across India, and they started a #UnbottleApnaSwag challenge that invited girls to engage with the brand and show off their diverse personalities. They featured five bottle packaging styles that correspond with five personality traits. They enlisted five of the top female influencers to help spearhead the challenge and inspire participation. As a result, the campaign received more than 1.96 billion video views, 2.62 million user-generated videos, and Clean & Clear gained more than 10.4K followers. 

Popcorn Friday – In the midst of the pandemic, small businesses felt the blow to business more than most. Owned and run by the Scrubb family, Popcorn Friday is a small popcorn shop located in Spring Branch, Texas. Natalie Scrubb, seeing her family’s business struggling, seized the opportunity to help by creating a TikTok video showing off their business and their products. The video reached 1.5 million viewers! After that online orders started flooding in from all over the country. The business had an increase in sales in the thousand-percents.

Conclusion

Regardless of the size of your business and no matter what you sell, TikTok can help your brand get noticed. All it takes is a camera and a little creativity. Not sure where to start? Contact us today for help developing your own TikTok social media strategy. 

Top Strategies to Include in Your Post Covid-19 Reopening Communication Plan

Top Strategies to Include in Your Post Covid-19 Reopening Communication Plan

As a phased approach to reopening businesses continues across the country, it’s undeniable that we are all adjusting to a new normal. Businesses are welcoming back customers as they reopen their doors to the public, and many of us are transitioning from sweatpants and Zoom calls at home, to business attire and real-life face time with our colleagues in the office. 

With social distancing, cleaning protocols, and overall safety messaging remaining top-of-mind for everyone, it is important to have a strategy in place for reopening safely post Covid-19. It is equally important to effectively communicate this plan to your employees, customers, and potential new clients. 

From one-million+ square-foot shopping centers to solo-preneur operations, Image Marketing has assisted our diverse roster of clients (each with their own unique needs and Covid-related obstacles!) in developing strong reopening communication strategies. Along the way, we’ve collected some key takeaways and learnings.

Check out our top strategies to include in your post Covid-19 reopening communication plan below:

Be Proactive

Once you come up with a plan for re-opening, be open to communicating that plan with the public and your clients before you start to open up your doors. This can help ease tension as clients and customers may be questioning whether or not they are comfortable returning to your business, and want to know what that initial first visit back will entail. Make sure your communication is as detailed and specific as possible (Is there a new waiting room process? Are face masks required? Have business hours changed? How are you increasing your cleaning procedures?)  

When it comes to modes of communication, you likely know your customer best. If you have an active social media presence, sharing your communication plan on your social media accounts is an easy and effective way to proactively share your reopening plans, and respond back to any questions. For other businesses, a personalized email campaign or direct mail piece can go a long way in making everyone feel safe and welcomed back. 

For many of Image Marketing’s shopping center clients, it was important to gain greater exposure for their reopening plans, and so a full PR and media strategy was key. Our team proactively reached out and hosted preview events with local media in each market to discuss reopening plans and make the community feel safe and ready to return to the shopping center.

Stay Up To Date & Flexible

This might be a given, but it is incredibly important that you stay up-to-date with the guidance provided by the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO). You can follow each on social media for quick reads, or easy follow along videos. Additionally, tune into what policies your local government has issued for businesses to reopen. Remain flexible, as given the nature of the pandemic. It is entirely possible that as soon as your reopening strategy is in place, your plan (and any corresponding communication plans) may need to pivot. Staying up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news in your area will make it easier to shift your reopening strategy as needed.  

Reach Out Regularly

While we may all be a little tired of hearing phrases like “unprecedented times” and the “new normal,” there truly is no guidebook for navigating this time of uncertainty. Because we’re all experiencing this phased reopening process for the first time together, consistent communication is extremely important. Don’t just share your reopening plans and procedures once; continue providing updates and commit to open, transparent communication with your employees, clients, vendors, customers, etc. about your reopening plans. With so much uncertainty, everyone will appreciate upfront and honest communication. It often takes repetition for customers to remember – and believe in – your messaging. 

Digital marketing tools like social media and email newsletters are resourceful ways to communicate regularly with your audience. Along with utilizing these outlets to communicate pertinent information, you can also layer in your company’s unique tone of voice and branding. Regular communicating will showcase that your business is still operating, and it can also be done in a way that feels authentic to our brand.

Leave it to the Professionals

If your business is still struggling with finding the right words and the right ways to say them, feel free to get in touch with Image Marketing Consultants. Our PR and Crisis Management specialists are here to help navigate through your post Covid-19 reopening communication plans. It’s a challenging time, but with a little creativity your business can be well positioned to thrive!

What You Need to Know About Instagram’s New Algorithm In 2020

What You Need to Know About Instagram’s New Algorithm In 2020

~ And we’re sharing the new feature Instagram just came out with below! ~

You keep posting on your Instagram, in hopes of gaining more followers. 

It’s not working.

You continue to update your stories, change your aesthetic, and you are not getting the engagement you were in hopes of.

That is where Instagram’s algorithm comes in. There are many rumors about Instagram’s methods for determining what posts are shown at the top of the feed, but check the facts below for actionable tips to finally gain the followers you’ve been looking for.

#1 What You See, Is Based On You

Ever wonder why all of the Instagram posts in your feed seem kind of similar? Or why you tend to only see posts from the same small percentage of accounts you follow? This is because Instagram uses AI driven data to feed you what they think you want to see. The images and videos you see on your Instagram feed are based on similar posts that you have previously liked, engaged with, or have searched hashtags for. Instagram is providing each user with a personalized experience based upon these behaviors. This makes it all the more important to post consistent, high quality content your audience actually wants to see.

#2 Engagement On Your Posts Matters

The amount of likes, comments, shares and views your posts are getting will impact your feed’s ranking, and a post ‘reshare’ can be considered as the gold star of all engagement metrics. A post reshare is when another user shares your post on their feed or Instagram story. This will not only increase your post’s overall views, but will also increase your post rankings, and continue to prioritize your posts more often on users’ feeds.

However, while engagement is essential, don’t get caught with Instagram bots, or fake interactions. Instagram’s data can pick up on accounts that do not show transparency, or buy fake followers – affecting your ranking accordingly.

Tip: Don’t forget to check your insights. Find out times when your audience is on Instagram to know when to post to get the most reach. This will put your content at the top of their screen.

#3 What Gets More Reach – Images or Videos?

Remember the times when Instagram posts were purely images? This was back before Instagram added video posts in the year 2013. Now as content creators, how do you decide if you should stick to images, or start getting more creative and post videos as well? While Instagram has commented that photos and videos are treated equally, the Instagram Explore page says differently. Videos get way more attraction on everyone’s Explore page. Part of this is just human nature; video is inherently more eye-catching than picture-based posts. This is incredibly important if you are looking to gain more followers. Since videos have more viewing time too, mix up your content with video-based posts and allow the Instagram AI formula to work its magic to start posting more of your content to other people’s Explore pages.

The Newest Instagram Feature

This is probably what you wanted to read about all along: the new feature that Instagram just came out with: Instagram Messenger Rooms are here! You can now video chat with up to 50 people through the Instagram Direct page in the app.

Photo from Techcrunch

With every like, comment, and interaction you have over Instagram, you are part of the population that determines how Instagram sets up its algorithm. This is to create the best personalized experience for each user.

With this in mind, now is the time for you to start creating the best personalized experience for your followers. Still feeling overwhelmed? Get in touch with us at info@imagemarketingconsultants.com. It’s time to put your Image at the top of the feed.

Source: Later

5 Pinterest Tips For Your Small Business

5 Pinterest Tips For Your Small Business

There’s one platform that’s taking over the image organization game. If you’re constantly brainstorming ideas for your next big project, looking for the best DIY inspiration, or hoping to expand in your small business – Pinterest is your new best friend. You’ll be pinning and advertising your company in no time when you sign up. If you’re not already familiar with Pinterest (you’re seriously missing out), it’s essentially a virtual vision board where any user can compile images in separate boards they setup. Pinning to these boards takes little to no time and simply means that you’ve placed an image you LOVE into a group of similar items. Sound simple? Keep reading for 5 Pinterest tips you’ll need to implement into your marketing strategy before the new year.

Set up organized boards that relate directly to your business:
If you’re promoting a pet company on pinterest, you’ll want to organize your boards to best fit your target audience. Think about what your customers do with their pets. Are they at the dog park on weekends? Do they often buy treats and accessories from your store? Start with the main products you offer, and expand from there! Try organizing an accessories board with your dog collars, toys, and clothing. Make sure your images are high quality, cohesive to the board you’re using, and eye catching.

Create and pin brand specific content to advertise your products/services:
You can actually design your own pins using platforms like canva.com. Make sure to use fonts and colors that represent your business! Once you’ve made your pin, you’ll click “create pin” in your account and link your website, etsy shop, or shopify to the pin. If you’re unsure of what to post first, it’s fun to promote a promo code on your graphic for new customers to enjoy. Still hesitant? have the Image Marketing experts design content that you can use. 

Use secret boards to your advantage:
Secret boards are exactly what you’re probably thinking – it’s a tool for you to keep secret boards on your profile if you’re not ready to make them public quite yet. This can be helpful if you’re trying out new top secret products!

Join group boards:
There are so many other small businesses out there that you can connect with on Pinterest. Group boards allow users to support each other whether you’re starting your own or requesting to join another group. It will allow you to share pins with other small businesses like yours! Pick groups that are related to your niche and you’ll find a community perfect for you.

Enable rich pins:
Drive traffic to your account with rich pins! “Rich Pins are a type of organic Pin format that provide more context about an idea by showing extra information directly on the Pin.” (pinterest.com)

Check out these rockstar pinterest accounts for inspiration.
Anthropologie: Notice how they feature boards like home “decor and design” or “travel guide”
Their content is brand specific and relates to everything in their store.

Birchbox: This brand knows exactly how to reach their target audience with beauty tutorials, hair inspiration, and lifestyle tips.

Martha Stewart Living: This account features really high quality photography of food for recipes, DIY projects, and of course Martha Stewart!

Pinterest has an amazing help center if you’re trying any of these tips for the first time. 

Happy pinning!!

Image Marketing Consultants specializes in creative content design and social media management for clients, regardless of industry or domain. If you are interested in learning more about how we can craft a branding, creative, or social media marketing strategy for your business, contact us!

Apps We Love

One of the greatest things about living digitally is having everything you need and enjoy right at your fingertips, including some of your favorite apps. As we continue to embrace the digital age, more and more apps are surfacing. We’re an office of avid smartphone users and we’re sharing our favorite go-to apps that make work a little easier (and more entertaining)!

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Effective Website Management

Almost every company has a website today. In fact, if a company doesn’t have a website, many potential customers wonder why it is so behind the times and may even consider passing them up in favor of a more contemporary firm—one that realizes we’re living in the Twenty-First century.

And then, of course, there are those companies that have a website simply because they have to have a website—but do very little to maintain or update it. Okay, so they’re in the Twenty-First Century—but wish they weren’t. As much as they may like to, they can’t have it both ways.

Sometimes the problem is that these leaders don’t know the first thing about websites and don’t want to spend the funds necessary to have someone on staff who does. Other times it’s because they haven’t taken the time to read up on the value of effective website marketing.

What company leaders need to realize is that this new century is populated by many marketing communications firms that know exactly what to do when a website isn’t doing its job. And you know what? That way, these same leaders can have it both ways.

When do you know you need a new website or need to completely update the one you’ve got?

  • When you can’t remember the last time anyone worked on it.
  • When you look at it and realize that it no longer accurately reflects your brand.
  • When you check with your customers and discover that your site long ago stopped being useful to them.
  • When no one knows it exists!

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to complimentary consultation on your marketing, public relations, partnership, special events, and social media needs kate@imagemarketingconsultants.com, 203-404-4868.