branding

3 Ways Brands are Using Snapchat

5 ways your (3)
5 ways your (3)

Snapchat has been on a roll lately, implementing changes that makes the social platform more than just a place to throw away pictures.

With over 100 million people using Snapchat daily, businesses are tapping into the app to communicate and influence current and potential customers.

Snaps — photos or 10-second videos — are all about storytelling. Use Snapchat in a way that will grab the attention of a quickly growing audience. Here are some ways brands are using Snapchat to share their story and influence consumer action:

Snap Ads

Today, Snapchat is as hot as it gets. Having reached 10 billion video views a day, the platform is looking to cash in on its popularity. Snapchat offers the best in mobile video ads with options to add interactive elements.

Snap Ads begin with an up to 10-second, fullscreen video ad that appears within users stories, where before were only seen in the Discover and Live Stories section. You can also add a feature for users to swipe up to reveal additional content like longer videos, articles and website information.

In collaboration with Snapchat, Spotify added Snap Ads to their "NYE live" story to promote "Party" playlists:

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 1.07.02 PM
Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 1.07.02 PM

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Sponsored Geofilters

Be seen and interact with Snapchatters everywhere using Sponsored Geofilters. When users snap in a location specified, they are able to use a brands custom geofilter to show where, when, and why they took the snap.

Whether it's at a wedding or company event, geofilters spread brand awareness and make it fun for users. Before submitting your design, ensure you are meeting their guidelines (no URLs, hashtags, and social media handles). Be creative and fun so Snapchatters will share your filter with their friends.

samsung-snapchat
samsung-snapchat

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Offers and Giveaways

Since a huge majority of Snapchat users fit the millennial market, businesses are running contests and discounts offers to encourage them to purchase a product. A great way to promote flash offers is by posting the deal to your Story.

For instance, food delivery service GrubHub sent out a snap asking users to snap back a photo of a food doodle. From there, 10 random users who responded within the next day were chosen to receive a prize. GrubHub also Snapchatted a series of scavenger-hunt challenges to win $50 in food orders and a shoutout across their social media platforms.

grubhub-snapchat
grubhub-snapchat

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Does your business use Snapchat? Tell us how you're implementing Snapchat for your social media campaigns in an email!

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How Brands Are Using Live Video Content

How (3)
How (3)

In an era where face-to-face communication has materialized into texts, emails, emojis, memes and (a lot of times) misinterpreted messages, platforms like Facebook, SnapChat, YouTube and Periscope are tapping into the emotional value of immediacy and authenticity.

Today, the growth of live video is inspiring businesses to share their story in real-time. Brands are taking advantage of social media and technology to create content that resembles popular trends and consumer behaviors.

Here are a few examples of brands using live video to strengthen their marketing campaigns:

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New Balance

NB
NB

To better build a 'balance' between in-stores and online media, the sports footwear company harnessed the power of live video to visually connect with fans and customers.

In 2014, New Balance teamed up with Brandlive, a real-time, online and video commerce platform to engage customers and spark sales. Consumers and retailers were invited to “hear about all the latest in #runnovation and get your questions answered by the product team, live from #NBHQ!”

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 7.00.09 AM
Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 7.00.09 AM

The multi-event campaign demonstrated four of their popular 880 shoe line to employees, retailers, and customers across the nation. Shoppers were given access via in-store video kiosks or any web-browser to a video feed connected to New Balance's Boston headquarters, where product experts answered questions through online messaging and social feeds.

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Nestlé

nestle
nestle

I have to say, marketing a vanilla ice cream cone, dipped in chocolate and nuts seems to be an easy blueprint, but Nestlé' upped their game with this specific product. Last June, Nestlé's Drumstick ran the first Periscope-specific ad to promote the brand around the summer solstice.

Drumstick
Drumstick

To do this, the company hired Periscope personalities to broadcast summertime themes (like amusements parks, picnics and backyard parties) with their product. Drumstick then made its own Periscope account, showcasing 20+ summer themed broadcasts about ice cream (yummm).

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Dunkin' Donuts

Dunkind
Dunkind

To get America running on their iced coffee, the donut king created a buzz for millenials last summer with "DD Summer Soundtrack." Dunkin' sponsored a five-concert series from where content was published and promoted through Spotify, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Vine, Facebook and Periscope.

"This will be the first time we've had the mass social presence across all the channels on the same idea for the same promotion," Scott Hudler, vp of global consumer engagement at DD told Adweek,  "With a program like this—which is clearly designed to reach a younger consumer—we feel like we need to cover all of our bases."

Dunkin
Dunkin

The concert content was available on the microsite through the end of the summer, giving fans access to videos, custom playlists from popular artists, photos from performances, and behind-the-scene footage from the event.

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Are you using live video for your business marketing campaign? Tell us by replying to this email or tweeting us at @socialapemktg!

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5 Reasons Why You Need Strong Branding

THE
THE

You'd like to think your brand means much more than a fancy logo, or a catchy tagline.

Well, that's because it is.

Branding is representation of your business. It's how your customers perceive your company. And it's a symbol of your service.

Here are some reasons why good branding is important for any business.

1. Brand Recognition

Brand recognition by definition, is the extent to which a consumer can identify a particular product or service by viewing the logo, tagline, or packaging. Consider your logo as the "face" of your company. This stamp is crucial because it will be a part of every product of your brand in marketing and advertising. Your logo should be clean, precise, and strong enough to leave an impression on consumers.

shutterstock_193169738 2
shutterstock_193169738 2

2. Branding Tells a Story

Make people relate to your brand by telling your story. A heart-felt and genuine story behind your brand can attract consumers to your products. Clients and customers want to know, like, and trust who's behind the brand. This is a great way to gain relationships with loyal customers.

3. Branding is Consistent

Advertising online is hard enough with the volume of products flying around the web. Being active with your strategies keeps your targets aware of your brand. Without a constant reminder of your business, consumers may forget about you and go with a competitor. Implement different marketing strategies such as contests, polls, and giveaways to engage audiences and stay ahead of your competitors.

4. Employees Carry Your Brand

It's important that your employees embody everything about your brand. For the most part, they are the first "touch point" for any business, and thus, will be what consumers will mostly remember about their first experience with your company. Customer service is a top priority for potential clients and customers. Your team carries the message for your brand, connecting all of the pieces for your clients to help them understand why your product trumps the rest.

Multiethnic Group of Hands Raised
Multiethnic Group of Hands Raised

5. Branding Provides Value

A strong brand can produce future business with investors and other opportunities within business market. Providing on-going value to your targets has potential to make you the "go-to" product for consumers. Showing your effort and building your brand value can constitute higher financial returns in the end.

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Content Creation For Your Brand

Creating
Creating

Content creation can be a frustrating and time consuming task, whether it's for marketing a business, brand, or a personal venture. But for a social media presence, content is still king. Companies are prioritizing the quality of the content being advertised as opposed to the quantity of the content distributed.

No matter the industry or marketing strategy, relevant, interesting, and engaging content is key to reaching the most unique viewership. Be prepared to do research on trending social media news through other news sites and blogs to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing social media world. Use these ideas to create content that ties in with your unique audience and strategy.

For the less experienced content creators, or those that need steering in the right direction, there are many tools and tips to help ease the stress that comes with generating content for your business or brand. Utilize these tools and be on your way to constructing your content more quickly and efficiently.

1. Explore Trending Social Media Topics

Many notable online news sites now have 'Social Media/Technology' sections within their website, where viewers can find relevant and noteworthy social media news around the world. It's important that you know your audience and what interests them. Your content should always cater to your market. Websites like Mashable, a leading global media company, informs, inspires and entertains the digital generation and make it easier for content creators to find ideas on topics that may interest and engage their audience. If you're looking for a specific topic fast, Twitter is another great tool for finding trending social media news. Twitter gives you the ability to prioritize searches using hashtags, so that users can engage in the conversations that are most popular.

Mashable
Mashable

2. Content Creation

When you've found that perfect topic to expand on for your audience, their are many content creation tools to help aid you with the task and help you stay organized.

  • Canva - Makes designs simple for everyone. Easily create designs for your brand using over a million images (many which are free) catered to your liking. Add texts, graphics and photos to express what you're all about.
  • Unsplash - Search through their vast photo feed on their website to create beautiful designs for FREE! All you have to do is subscribe to Unsplash and from there, enjoy 10 copy-write free photos every 10 days.
  • WordSwag- Inspire your audience with perfect images to add your favorite quotes. Construct custom text layouts with a click of a button!

Remember that visuals (images, videos, memes) remain a vital part of any published content. According to MGD Advertising, articles containing relevant images have 94% more total views than articles without images, on average.

its-all-about-images-infographic_cutoff
its-all-about-images-infographic_cutoff

3. Market Your Content

As you prepare to publish the goods, organizing when and where you market the content can be a factor in who sees it. These tools will help you coordinate where your content gets posted and in turn, create more viewership.

  • Hootsuite- Lets you manage your social networks from one platform. Publishing and monitoring content never looked so easy. It also has the ability to engage with your audience across all platforms on different streams to build relationships and brand awareness.
  • Sprout Social - Another platform to publish and monitor content but contrary to Hootsuite, Sprout Social uses one stream for engagement with users as it collaborates data collected into one simple program.
AN EXCLUSIVE GUIDE TO
AN EXCLUSIVE GUIDE TO

We hope these tips and tools are a helpful start to your content creation journey. Just remember, whether it's a business you work for or a self-branding campaign, the content should reflect everything you and your audience is about. Also, you can never have enough visuals, because if you're like me, ain't nobody got time to read all that!

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Snap Your Way to Earning More Business

11.16.2014 (1)
11.16.2014 (1)

Does your company associate with the younger demographic? Then you should be considering Snapchat.

Snapchat usage is becoming more than just a fun way to communicate with friends, but a tool utilized by businesses to create innovative content to engage audiences with their brand. With over 100 million daily snap chat users worldwide, businesses are chomping at the bit to integrate Snapchat with their social media marketing.

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a social media platform designed to take photos and videos for audiences called 'snaps.' Whether you're a casual user boasting how good your food looks to your friends, or a business owner looking to cash in on marketing their brand, snaps eventually disappear shortly after being viewed. That's where the 'Story' function can be utilized, mentioned a little later.

IMG_3129
IMG_3129

Snapchat Demographics

For every business' social marketing strategy, it's important to reach and engage the largest audience. Statistics show that 71% of Snapchat users are under 34 years old, 45% of that between 18-24. This demographic may suggest to business' whether or not Snapchat is an effective tool for their brand. If your company does cater to this age group, exposure for your business through Snapchat is imperative to experience with, as the numbers of active users is there and growing.

SPRINGTIME (1)
SPRINGTIME (1)

Snapchat Stories

The Story feature on Snapchat lets users create a loop of 'snaps' compiled over the day to be viewed by followers. Unlike regular snaps, Snapchat Stories can be viewed multiple times a day without disappearing and can be viewed anytime for 24 hours. This method can help a business create a brand narrative, as the compilation of snaps acts as your company's advertising. This gives your audience a better picture of what your brand is all about, while keeping them engaged and updated as you add new snaps to your story.

Untitled design (1)
Untitled design (1)

Tips For Using Snapchat With Your Business

There are many ways utilizing Snapchat can strengthen a business' social marketing campaign. The fact is, Snapchat provides the immediacy other social media platforms can't deliver.

  1. Provide behind-the-scene content for your audience: Having the ability to see what goes on other than what's apparent, is a good way to keep users engaged in your advertising and willing to come back to your business' Snapchat content. 
  2. Live events are intimate and immediate:Who isn't a fan of live interaction via your mobile device? It's free engagement between your business and your potential consumer audience. This strategy can build relationships with users because of the 'realness' factor of live interaction.
  3. Introduce your new product through Snapchat: Consumers appreciate being able to see a pre-launch product before anyone else. Show off what you're working on live and unedited, as you create interest from followers about the new product.
Untitled design (2)
Untitled design (2)

These are just a few features Snapchat can provide your business' social media marketing campaign. Just remember, we all love the immediacy of photos, videos, and content created in realtime. So for your business, experiment with Snapchat, find that perfect demographic for your product and brand, and snap away with your bad self!

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6 Inspiring Brands on Social Media

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 2.27.18 PM
Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 2.27.18 PM

Finding your company's place in the realm of social media can sometimes seem impossible. With technology advancing within the time it takes to blink your eye, the key to staying up with the cool trends is to be inspired by the other successful brands trying new things and helping fun tidbits you find to create something unique to your brand! This week we decided it would be a cool to show you a few different brands to keep an eye on when that moment comes and you need a little inspirational push.

1) LOFT

Loft uses creative ways of using stop motion animation when advertising their adorable and affordable clothing. We've had our eye on their social media when we need inspiration for stop motion animation. There are plenty go free apps you can use to create these stop motion videos and all you'll need is your product, props, and decent lighting to make it happen. We use Stop Motion available in the Apple app store to make our stop motion videos.

loft 2
loft 2

2) WENDY'S

We have to be honest when I say we're normally McDonald's people, but on social media Wendy's has stolen our hearts with their witty humor. They've recently created and successfully executed a campaign called #AskEileen that has taken the Twitter world by storm. The backstory behind #AskEileen consists of a grandson asking Wendy's if his grandmother, being a die hard lover of Wendy's, could take over the Wendy's Twitter account for her 99th birthday. When Wendy's said Yes to this comical endeavor, it went viral and #AskEileen became a slogan that Wendy's lovers won't forget! The whole day of 1/10 was documented on Twitter via Periscope and photos of Eileen's birthday surrounded around Wendy's. With this long winded story in mind, think outside the box when coming up with campaigns to promote your business. This doesn't have to mean executing a  Twitter takeover from a 99 year old woman, but it could be something different that would encourage other followers to follow along.  (To read more about #AskEileen, click HERE)

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Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 9.57.46 AM

3) CHARMIN

Although their slogan is Charmin Ultra, Less is More  (We all know you sang that in your head), their Twitter account has more laughs and ironic humor than most. Charming is sure to use relevant topics in the news to promote their business in a humorous way. By using puns and relevant material related to toilet paper, they incorporate the trending hashtags into their daily content. Create a fun graphic or comical Twitter poll to get users involved with your brand during a time when everyone has an opinion.

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Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 10.19.22 AM
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Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 10.19.30 AM

4) DOVE

If there's one brand that knows how to effectively tap into their audience, it's Dove. Although they sell products to men AND women, they're conscious to use a feminine voice when delivering their message via social media. Dove is aware that the majority of their consumer base is women; therefore, their social media presence is heavily geared towards women. Take a tip from Dove's rule book and get to know your audience. Post with them in mind rather than posting to just acquire likes.

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Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 10.46.19 AM

5) CHOBANI

You know your brand more than anyone else does. Think outside the box on how consumers view and use your brand. This is what Chobani did by posting different ways to use their yogurt products beyond just eating it with a spoon and granola. This approach inspires their consumers to try their product in a new way. (We even tried greek yogurt on chili the other night... and it was delicious). Don't miss out on the opportunity to reinvent your brand on social media by showing it in a new way that your followers may not be used to.

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Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 11.12.09 AM
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Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 11.12.25 AM

6) NIKELAB

If you love the clean look that is so popular right now on social media, we suggest being inspired by the NikeLab account on Instagram. They deliver their branding in a clean way while still being bada**. Perhaps you could attempt to create your own version of this look by using color blocking with your brand colors and specific product placement or even using only black and white products.

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Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 11.28.38 AM

We hope that this blogpost has inspired you to innovate your social media accounts using unique content! Share your inspiration with us by tagging us at @SocialApeMKTG on Twitter!

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Personal Branding and Marketing Yourself on Social Media

PERSONAL BRANDING
PERSONAL BRANDING

Whether you're looking for a job or not, showcasing your social media accounts is a great way to show others who you are, professional and personally. Here are several key ingredients to branding yourself through social media:

1. Be Professional

Unfortunately, we can't go on without saying that posting things like offensive content, taking a strong political stance, or cursing are not things that you should be posting on social media to better promote yourself. Use common sense when posting updates and content. Don't post anything that you wouldn't want your boss to see.

2. Be Personable

personal_branding
personal_branding

Don't just self-promote. Mix in fun, interesting content with the professional, here's-what-I-do type stuff. People get tired of seeing too much self promotion. Above all, show your personality. Whether it's humor or smarts, let your personality shine through social media.

3. Respond & Engage

This one might be one of the most important. Social media is all about being social. Respond to the people who reach out to you and engage with others, especially like-minded people, to better establish yourself on social networks. Here's an example of a good, engaging tweet from @JenLeighCLT, a local business owner here in Charlotte:

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Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 10.14.08 AM

4. Upload a Photo of Yourself for Your Profile Photo

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Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 10.20.21 AM

Having a clear, high-quality photo of yourself as your profile photo (on all social networks) will show others who you are and help them to relate to you better than they would a photo of Kermit the frog. This also applies to your Twitter or Instagram bio as well. Take some time to come up with something short and sweet that sums up who YOU are better than the boring "Name, Location, Job Title." Social Ape's boss lady knows all about personal branding as seen on her Twitter account (see good photo and bio below)!

5. Establish Your Niche & Authority Of Your Industry

Show people what interests you, what you're good at and like-minded people will follow and engage with you. Whatever it is that you do, there's a way to show-off your skills and interests without constantly self-promoting. Find that niche. Here's an example of Brian's personal Twitter account, @factandfitness, where he does a great job promoting his niche - fitness - and establishing himself as an authority in the industry

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Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 10.20.10 AM

Establishing a personal brand is extremely important in a digital world where employers and clients alike can easily discover you online within seconds. Be sure to represent yourself in a professional and approachable manner as well as showcase your skills and knowledge. Personal branding can do wonders for helping you to land that big promotion or sign a new client.

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