The 3 Best Strategies for Using CTA in Social Media Posts

As with every good social media post, the author is surely putting a Call To Action (CTA), right? Yes and no, but we have to be smart and sly about it these days. We see it on Instagram everyday. “Like, share, save, comment, use this or that emoji..” etc. Instagram even came out and recently said don’t “hack engagement” or they won’t push it out as much. So what are the best strategies to using CTAs in social media without being pushy?

Provide Value First and Foremost

People are following you for a reason. Whatever that reason is, it is important to remember to give your followers something they value first to get them to want to give back to you in the ways of a CTA. When you post meaningful content, that is when the organic engagement happens. 

The 3 Best Strategies for Using CTAs in Social Media PostsDon’t Have Demanding CTA

There are certainly social media pages that demand engagement. Sometimes there are certain reasons why. Contests come straight to the top of the mind here. But otherwise, demanding likes and comments just gets stale. We know the YouTube phrases of, “Like and subscribe to my channel…” It just goes in one ear and out the other now. Our advice: Use softer phrases such as, “Check out my latest post,” or “Others you know might be interested in this too…” We’ll call these idea prompts instead of CTAs. Still the same concept but just a softer approach.

Highlight How They Can Benefit

The average person truly wants something in return for giving you something. Prime example is an email address. If you are going to provide a company with your email address so that they can email you whatever they want, then you want something of value in return. Companies need to make it clear how taking action will benefit their audience. If the CTA involves downloading a resource, signing up for a newsletter, or making a purchase, explicitly state what they will gain. For instance, “Get our free eBook to learn expert tips on social media marketing,” or “Be a part of our weekly newsletter with social media post templates to help you.”

The Bottom Line 

There are ways to integrate CTAs into your social media content without being pushy but instead organic and respectful. The key is to keep your audience’s needs and preferences at the forefront of your strategy, ensuring that every CTA adds value to their experience. Additionally, continue to test different approaches to see what resonates best with your audience. A/B testing different CTAs can provide insights into what works without overwhelming your audience.

How Social Media Empowers Consumers: Researching Products and Reading Reviews

In today’s digital age, social media has transformed the way consumers interact with brands and make purchasing decisions. No longer limited to traditional avenues of research, such as visiting stores, verbally talking to someone or relying solely on official product websites, potential customers now turn to social media platforms to gather information, read reviews, and make informed choices. From Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube, social media serves as a powerful research tool that empowers consumers in multiple ways. Let’s dive into how potential customers leverage social media for research and review reading.

Gathering Information and Insights

Social media platforms provide a wealth of information about products and brands. Potential customers often follow brands they’re interested in on platforms like Instagram and Facebook to stay updated on new releases, promotions, and company news. By following relevant hashtags or accounts, consumers can access a constant stream of content, including product demonstrations, tutorials, and user-generated content. This firsthand information helps them gain insights into product features, uses, and benefits, guiding their purchasing decisions. If a brand does not have a social media presence, it may lead to negative perceptions and missed opportunities for engagement and relationship-building with its audience. It is important to have a presence on social channels and to navigate them in a way consumers trust.

Reading Reviews and Recommendations

One of the most significant ways consumers use social media for research is by reading reviews and recommendations from peers and influencers. Platforms like Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook groups are hubs for candid discussions and user-generated reviews about products and services. Consumers trust the opinions of fellow users and influencers they follow, often seeking out reviews to gauge product quality, performance, and value for money. Whether it’s a detailed product review on YouTube or a thread of comments discussing personal experiences, social media serves as a valuable source of authentic feedback.

Engaging with Brands and Seeking Support

Social media enables direct communication between consumers and brands, offering a platform for inquiries, feedback, and support. Potential customers have the ability to reach out to brands via comments, direct messages, or mentions to ask questions about products, request assistance, or share concerns. Brands that are responsive and proactive in addressing customer queries and issues on social media can build trust and credibility among their audience. By observing how brands engage with consumers on social media, potential customers can assess their responsiveness, customer service quality, and commitment to customer satisfaction.

Comparing Options and Exploring Alternatives

Social media allows consumers to compare different products and explore alternatives effortlessly. Whether through curated product comparison posts on Instagram, unboxing videos on YouTube, or comparison discussions in online communities, consumers can weigh the pros and cons of various options before making a decision. Additionally, social media advertising often exposes consumers to alternative products and brands based on their interests and browsing behavior, widening their choices and encouraging informed decision-making. It seems these days if you even THINK of a product, it will magically appear on your timeline. You know this happens, don’t deny it!

Seeking Inspiration and Validation

Beyond practical research, social media serves as a source of inspiration and validation for potential customers. Platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are popular destinations for discovering new trends, styles, and uses for products. By browsing through curated content, user-generated photos, and influencer collaborations, consumers can visualize how products fit into their lifestyles and aspirations. Furthermore, receiving validation from peers or influencers through likes, comments, and shares can reinforce consumers’ confidence in their purchasing decisions.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, social media has revolutionized the way consumers research products and read reviews, offering a dynamic and interactive platform for gathering information, seeking recommendations, and engaging with brands and peers. By leveraging social media effectively, potential customers can make more informed choices, connect with brands authentically, and ultimately, enhance their overall shopping experience. As social media continues to evolve, its role as a vital research tool in the consumer journey is set to expand, empowering individuals with greater knowledge and confidence in their purchasing decisions.

Nostalgia Marketing: The Power of Memories

In a fast-paced world where trends come and go in the blink of an eye, nostalgia remains a steadfast beacon of comfort and familiarity. Nostalgia marketing, a powerful tool in the marketer’s arsenal, taps into this timeless emotion to evoke fond memories of the past while promoting present-day products or services. In recent years, it has gained traction as a potent strategy, especially with older audiences who are keen to revisit the cherished moments of their youth or even just from a decade ago.

What is Nostalgia Marketing?

Nostalgia marketing is the art of leveraging sentimental longing for the past to create a connection with consumers. It involves incorporating elements from previous decades or iconic cultural references into advertising campaigns, product designs, or brand messaging. By evoking feelings of nostalgia, marketers aim to establish an emotional bond with their audience, leading to increased brand affinity and consumer engagement.

The Power of Nostalgia

Nostalgia is a uniquely powerful emotion that can transport individuals back in time, eliciting warm feelings of happiness, comfort, and security. Research in psychology suggests that indulging in nostalgic memories can alleviate feelings of loneliness, boost mood, and even enhance self-esteem. Moreover, nostalgia fosters a sense of continuity and belonging, making people more receptive to messages that resonate with their past experiences, thus letting them part with their money and spend it with whoever is advertising to them.

 

Effectiveness with Older Audiences

Older audiences, in particular, hold a treasure trove of nostalgic memories spanning several decades. For them, nostalgia marketing serves as a poignant reminder of their youth, triggering memories associated with significant cultural touchstones, music, fashion, and pop culture icons of their era. By tapping into these shared experiences, brands can forge a deep emotional connection with older consumers, fostering loyalty and trust.

Nostalgia marketing doesn’t necessarily need to span back 50 years. Even marketing from the past decade can prompt the same feelings as memories from years beyond. And even if someone wasn’t born during the initial promotion, they still may be familiar with the advertising and can still relate. Think of advertising with big name athletes and celebrities as those people still may be relevant in today’s world. 

Strategies for Success

To effectively leverage nostalgia marketing with audiences, brands should adopt several key strategies:

  1. Research and Understand the Target Audience: Gain insights into the cultural references, trends, and experiences that resonate most strongly with the target demographic. Understanding their nostalgic triggers, like music, colors, fashion, etc., is crucial for crafting authentic and relatable marketing campaigns.
  2. Tap into Iconic Symbols and References: Identify timeless symbols, icons, and moments from the past that hold enduring appeal. Whether it’s retro packaging, historical symbols, or vintage aesthetics, incorporating these elements into marketing materials can evoke powerful feelings of nostalgia.
  3. Create Authentic and Meaningful Content: Authenticity is paramount in nostalgia marketing. Rather than simply capitalizing on nostalgia for its own sake, brands should strive to create genuine connections by aligning their messaging with the values and sentiments of the target audience.
  4. Strike a Balance Between Past and Present: While nostalgia marketing relies on evoking memories of the past, it’s essential to strike a balance by infusing modern elements into the narrative. By blending the familiar with the contemporary, brands can appeal to older audiences while remaining relevant in today’s market.
  5. Engage Through Multiple Channels: Embrace a multi-channel approach to reach consumers across various touchpoints. From social media platforms to traditional advertising channels, diversifying the marketing mix ensures broader exposure and maximizes engagement.
  6. Use What Previously Worked: If you are using nostalgic marketing, re-brand in a way that you know it worked before. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The Bottom Line

We are sure you are now thinking about the marketing that meant something to you in years past. Nostalgia marketing holds immense potential for brands seeking to connect with audiences on a deeper emotional level. By tapping into cherished memories of the past, brands can evoke feelings of warmth, joy, and belonging, fostering long-lasting relationships with consumers. In the realm of marketing, the power of nostalgia continues to thrive, serving as a timeless beacon of connection in an ever-changing world.

 

Swag Your Way to Success: Leveraging Merchandise for Marketing Impact

Are the days of corporate branded pens, sticky notes, notebooks and t-shirts dead? Do we really have too many travel mugs, coffee mugs and ChapSticks? In marketing, “swag” typically refers to promotional merchandise branded with a company’s logo or messaging. These items are often distributed internally and externally. Overall, the goal of providing swag is to enhance brand recognition, create positive associations, and foster a sense of loyalty among recipients. But does it actually work or are companies just wasting their money on items that go straight to the donation bin, junk drawer or even the trash once at home? 

Does Swag Benefit a Business?

It is the million dollar question! If my company purchases $X amount in swag for external use, what is our return on investment going to be? Unfortunately, there isn’t a math equation that can calculate your ROI when it comes to swag. But what we can tell you is that swag can contribute to other things in the business world.

From a marketing perspective, the optimal swag category typically consists of affordable, practical items that fulfill a specific need without the need to compete with higher-end or sentimental alternatives. For instance, items like inexpensive lens cleaner solutions, which serve a functional purpose without requiring an emotional attachment, fall into this category. But higher end items, like name brand jackets that are practical in everyday living, and cost more than other swag, may end up having a positive impact on the end user’s emotions and experience with the product. Remember, when a logo is on the clothing, they will become a walking billboard and thus part of your advertising team.

When considering swag items, it’s crucial to recognize that the difference between low-cost and high-end alternatives may be marginal for most individuals. Since people generally do not have sentimental attachments to these types of products, opting for cost-effective solutions can offer a favorable cost/benefit ratio. However, does lower cost then relate to the item going straight into the community kitchen cupboard with the rest of the coffee mugs, or in the pen cup to never be the preferred pen?

Purchasing in bulk can make swag items more affordable and can provide excellent value as they offer repeated exposure to individuals. Continued and ongoing exposure reinforces brand visibility and can lead to increased brand recall and engagement over time, making them an effective marketing investment.

What Swag is the Best Swag?

Aha! Another million dollar question! And likely what you truly came to read about. The list of possible swag options is quite endless. From the usual pens, sticky notes, coffee cups and water bottles, to brand name clothing, shoes, electronics and beyond, there is a wide array of options to choose from. Things can also vary from internal employee products to external potential customer products.

Let’s start with the external swag. Think trade shows, events, introductory meetings, or just stuff that you leave in your car to hand out when you meet someone new. These are all items that should leave a lasting impression on potential customers. Popular swag items for this group can include things like: 

  • T-shirts and hats, but many say the t-shirts end up becoming pajamas or gym shirts if they are not comfortable for everyday wear or just are too much branding. Hats are hit or miss because people have preferences. Save the hats for people who you know are hat people.
  • Pens, sticky notes and notepads are always useful, but only if they are quality. Think about pens that write really nice, maybe have a stylus on the other end and are nice to grip. Sticky notes that are small enough to throw in a bag, but are not flimsy, and notepads that people actually want to use. Maybe they have jokes or tips on them. Even better are notepads that have sayings that people like to reshare on them.
  • Tote bags that are insulated or any other branded merchandise that serves as a tangible and useful representation of the company or brand. This could also encompass socks, as this has been known to be a popular item in cold places, along with beanies, hats, hand warmers and scarves. For those warmer climates, branded paddle fans, sunscreen, sunglasses, facial mist, etc. might be really appreciated and used often.
  • Random other items that are useful that people love to get are mini sewing kits, ice gel packs, mints, calendars and badge/ID holders/pulls.

Internal swag typically costs a bit more as it is usually looked at as an investment into the employee. The employee should then feel valued and a part of the team with their inclusion to the swag club. Popular internal employee swag can include:

  • Backpacks and clothing are always the first things we suggest to give out. It is nice to have a designated backpack just for your work items. Make it nice though as you hope that the employee will stay for a long time thus the backpack should last a long time. As far as clothing goes, we suggest actually getting the employees sizes and giving them size-appropriate clothing. There is nothing worse than always just getting XL clothing because that’s all they have (unless you happen to be lucky enough to be that size!) Also, it is really recommended to go big on the quality of the clothing so that your employees will actually want to wear it. Items that will last after weekly washing in hopes they will wear it to and from the office at least once a week. 
  • Useful electronic-themed items portable chargers, branded charging cables, phone stands for the desk or car, pop sockets for the phone.
  • Industry-themed ideas like industry shaped paper clips (you could get really creative with this!), branded Tide to Go pens for lunch accidents, ChapStick since lips always get dry in offices and great for the purse and pockets, and coasters for your desk.
  • And don’t forget that your internal employees may also want the swag for your external people, so let them pick and choose. You may find that some items are liked more than others and this can help determine whether you want to get those items again or not.

The Bottom Line

Obtaining swag can bestow some fraction to sales indirectly by strengthening brand recognition, fostering positive associations with the brand, and increasing customer loyalty. When recipients use or wear swag items, they essentially become walking advertisements and billboards for the brand, exposing it to a wider audience. Additionally, receiving swag can create a sense of reciprocity or goodwill, making potential and current customers more inclined to engage with the brand in various forms or make a purchase in the future.

The impact of swag on sales can be positive or even negative depending on various factors. The quality of the items, how well they align with the brand’s image, the context in which they’re distributed, and the overall effectiveness of the marketing strategy are just some factors we can relate back to sales. While swag and only swag alone may not directly result in immediate sales, it can play a valuable role in building brand awareness and strengthening customer relationships, ultimately contributing to long-term sales growth. And it is even better when swag is personalized, perceived as a wanted item and is something that can be used time and time again. 

Social Media’s Role in the Sales Funnel

Social media plays a vital role in your business’s sales funnel, but it is not the only part of your sales funnel. A sales funnel that involves social media is a strategic process that utilizes social media platforms to attract, engage, and potentially convert prospects to clients. Convert is the key word here as it typically takes multiple touchpoints to complete a sale from diverse media and people. Let’s learn more about social media’s role in the sales funnel and how a team can work together to close the deal.

Typical Stages of a Social Media Sales Funnel

Social media is a bit different than an individual sales funnel in that you are posting to potentially thousands of customers at one time. So while everyone may be at different points of the sales funnel, it is necessary to post for each stage. Below are the stages of the sales funnel that can correlate with social media.

Finding Your Audience

This stage involves creating brand awareness to find your target audience on social media platforms. You can achieve this through various means such as organic content, paid advertising, influencer partnerships, or viral marketing campaigns. The goal is to introduce your brand to potential customers and make them aware of your products or services.

Create Interest/Drive Engagement

Once you’ve captured the attention of your target audience, the next step is to engage with them and spark their interest in your offerings. They started following you for a reason. Is it because they want what you’re selling? They have a need, a want, maybe a desire for your product. Be consistent with sharing valuable content, interacting with your audience through comments and messages, running interactive campaigns like polls, giveaways or quizzes. Sharing of testimonials, case studies, product demonstrations, or offering free trials or samples are also great ideas. The goal is to nurture leads and convince them of the value and benefits of choosing your brand. 

Make Sure There is a Call to Action to Convert

Once leads are sufficiently engaged and interested, you need to remember to guide them toward making a purchase. This could involve directing them to your website to complete a purchase, encouraging them to sign up for a newsletter, webinar or consultation, or offering exclusive discounts or promotions. The aim is to convert interested leads into paying customers.

Customer Advocacy

Satisfied customers can become powerful advocates for your brand. Encourage them to share their positive experiences on social media, write reviews, or refer friends and family. User-generated content and word-of-mouth recommendations can significantly impact your brand’s credibility and attract new customers to your sales funnel.

The Bottom Line

Throughout each stage of the sales funnel, it’s essential to work with your sales team to ask what is and isn’t working for them, what their potential and current clients want to know about and what their favorite ways of maintaining a relationship is. Adjustments to your social media marketing may be needed based on this feedback, market trends, or changes in social media algorithms to ensure the effectiveness of this part of your sales funnel. Remember that social media is just a part of the sales process. When everyone recognizes this, your social media can grow!