Make your business stand OUT on LinkedIn

Make your business stand OUT on LinkedIn

By Janine Langheim

Posted on 13th March 2019

Since its start in 2002, LinkedIn has grown in fame for connecting professionals all over the world. You might see it as an online tool to find your next position or advance your career. However, it can also be invaluable for growing your brand and expanding networks for your business.

Companies, particularly those with a B2B focus, can use LinkedIn to access a target audience that is not found on other social media platforms.

Here are seven sure-fire (tried and tested) ways to market your business through LinkedIn:

1. Start with your own profile

Yes, we are still focussing on how to market your business on LinkedIn, but the reality is that people do business with people, not companies. Your personal profile, and that of every team member within your company, all form part of the collective perception of your brand and is where first impressions are formed. When looking at someone’s profile, people silently answer the question “Do I want to work with this person?”.

 

Do your best to make sure your profile stands out from that of others in your industry (competitors). Make sure your profile image, qualifications, experience, skill set is always up to date and that your profile is 100% completed.

2. Create a complete LinkedIn company page

Now that your personal profile is set-up correctly, you can focus on your LinkedIn company page. A LinkedIn company page is different to a personal profile and is set up to represent a business or brand to potential customers, investors and partners. The page allows you to post updates and add information that comes across more effectively from a brand name than from an individual.

As with your personal profile, make sure you complete your company page 100%. According to LinkedIn, companies with complete information get 30% more weekly views.

 

A complete page is made up of:

 

  • Your company logo: Upload a quality version of your logo, positioned and sized accordingly.
  • Page cover: A lifestyle image that complements the core messaging of your brand and works aesthetically with your company’s CI.
  • Company info: This includes your website URL, location, company size and type.
  • Description: Include relevant keywords and phrases that best describe your company’s mission and purpose.  This will help LinkedIn members who search by keywords, find you.

Also make sure that you and all your team members link their personal profiles to the company page.

3. Clarify your company goals and audience

You can’t reach your goals if you don’t know what they are. Make sure you know exactly
what you want to achieve with your LinkedIn marketing. Common marketing goals include
generating leads, making sales and/ or creating branding awareness.

 

Understanding what ‘success’ looks like will make it easier for you to identify your audience, strategically populate your profile, target your adverts and decide on what content to share.

4. Share content that matters

Always share quality content that your audience will find interesting, that will help them to perform better in their jobs or help solve their pain points.

 

Although you would naturally want to only focus on promoting your business,  include a good dose of ‘curated content’, which is content posted by other individuals or businesses that might be of value to your followers.

 

According to LinkedIn, their members love a fresh idea. And that is why publishing thought leadership content is one of the most powerful ways to grow your LinkedIn audience. As Laura Ramos from Forrester says, “Business buyers don’t buy your product; they buy into your approach to solving their problems.”

 

Regularity is another key element to success. LinkedIn recently shared that companies that post weekly see a 2x lift in engagement with their content. Posting daily will increase that number even more, however make sure quality is always maintained.

 

Finally, the golden thread should be that all your content must align with, and aid, your company in achieving its business goals (as mentioned in the previous point).

5. Use rich media to increase engagement

We process images much faster than text. So, it makes sense that posts with images garner over six times more engagement than text-only content.

Meet your audience’s craving for visual content by adding images, YouTube videos, and GIFs to your updates. To keep things interesting, alternate between these three to best suit the content shared.

6. Amplify your offering

You don’t have to spend thousands of Rands on LinkedIn advertising each month to effectively reach your target audience. We have been surprised at how a conservative budget of between R200-R500 a month can make a remarkable difference to the effectiveness of brand’s marketing campaign.

 

Choose between ‘boosting a post’ or ‘creating an advert’, and set everything from your target audience’s occupation, age and location to their interests.

7. Regularly audit your page

Make it a priority to audit your business page once a quarter to make sure it always reflects your brand accurately. It should include posts about your latest achievements, service offering and team members.

 

Although it is simple enough to audit your profile yourself most times, we suggest that you get a third party in to do an external audit once a year to make sure there are no blind spots that might be keeping you from that growth you desire.

As with all social media platforms, change seems to be the only constant on growing platforms such as LinkedIn, so make sure you regularly read industry related articles to familiarise yourself with changes or add-ons. However, if you’d rather spend that time on your business directly, it might be time to source a digital agency like Yellow Door to manage your business page for you! Pop me an email at janine@theyellowdoor.co.za if you’d like to take the conversation further.

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5 ways to create a world-class social media content calendar for your brand

5 ways to create a world-class social media content calendar for your brand

By Abdul Govender

Posted on 5th December 2018

As social media becomes more prominent for businesses, it has become that much harder to communicate with your audience due to over saturation. To stand out from the crowd, it is crucial that your content is engaging – to the point where people want to share it with their friends and family.

But before you start creating content, sit down and develop a content calendar and plan out your content for all platforms for a month, quarter or potentially six months ahead. Your content calendar could be really simple, using an Excel spreadsheet or a Google document, or you can use a specific app or template.

 

If you’re not yet convinced that you need a contact calendar as part of your content marketing strategy, read on and let us weigh in! You can include your newsletter, blog posts, activations and PR too – but this article will focus on social media.

The importance of date(ing)

Is it important to celebrate days such as #NationalBraaiDay or #StarWarsDay? It depends on your brand, your industry and your audience.

 

A social media content calendar can help you stay ahead of all the relevant social media holidays (not to mention ‘real’ holidays like Good Friday and Youth Day). You won’t miss any opportunities to elevate your brand and engage with followers on special dates. Here is an example of an Instagram grid we created leading up to #StarWarsDay – this was for our client hi-online

hi-StarWarsDay-IG

Consistency is king

Posting consistently is one of the best ways to grow your brand’s social presence — as no one will want to follow you if the most recent post on your profile is from a couple of months (or worse – a year ago!). A consistent posting schedule shows potential followers you are invested in the channel—meaning a follow will be worth their time.

 

Better yet, consistency trains your current followers to expect and engage with your content on a regular basis, nurturing long-lasting relationships that could ultimately lead to sales.

A social media content calendar will help you post consistently across all platforms by ensuring that content is planned and scheduled in advance.

Mix it up

No one enjoys friends who only talk about themselves – the same goes for brands online.

If you only post when you have a sale on, or a new product to offer, you’re not going to attain nearly enough engagement; and with the constant change in the social media algorithms, it’s guaranteed your once-in-while posts will get lost amongst the many brands who post consistently.

 

Of course followers will want to know when you’re having a sale, but they also want to see other types of content from you, such as curated articles, videos, user-generated content, personal interactions/ responses to questions and news from your industry.

 

There’s always the rule of thirds to remember:

–  1/3 of your content should promote your business or generates leads

–  1/3 can come from other sources that align with your business

–  1/3 should engage with followers directly, either through answering questions, responding to comments, or reposting user-generate content.

Time is always of the essence

People may ask: “Won’t it take more time to keep a content calendar up to date?” While it may seem so, the answer is “not at all”.

 

In the long run, making use of a social media content calendar (and keeping up to date) will surely save you time, especially when working on multiple campaigns at once. If you have a plan for your future social content, you can schedule your posts in advance (with tools like Business FacebookHootsuite or Planoly). Then, you won’t constantly be watching the clock. You may even be able to take a vacation.

Avoid cross platform slip-ups

It is known as a grave sin to post the exact same message on all your social media channels. Let’s be honest, we’ve all experienced it – asking your Facebook followers to ‘retweet’ you or tagging a brand on Twitter who only has Instagram – but it’s less likely to happen if you plan ahead.

 

As you can see, a social media content calendar is a continual work in progress. Always ensure that it’s up to date and that whatever you add is strategic and aligns with your overall business objectives. Also, don’t forget to have some fun!

 

Not sure where to start? Get in touch with us. We’d love to help you put your brand’s best foot forward and develop a sound social media strategy for your business.

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From feeds to stories: what’s new in the world of Instagram

Instagram has undoubtedly become the queen of social media apps, while Facebook still remains King. As of June 2018, Instagram proudly announced that they’d reached a whopping 1 billion active users per month – which increased by 25% over the past year!

Earlier in the year we shared tips on Instagram Stories. This time round I’d like to take you through the best new features, which will help you get the most of out of your digital marketing.

The need for a longer feed – IGTV

The most notable feature added to Instagram recently (20 June 2018) was IGTV, a new platform for longer videos that is designed to function like social-media based television. The new feature supports longform video – up to an hour long – shot in vertical orientation.

The videos take up the entire smartphone screen, like Instagram Stories, and they’re accessible not only within the Instagram app, but via a separate IGTV app which you’ll find on the Android and Apple stores respectively.

Instagram Stories 102

Did you know that Instagram Stories recently celebrated its second birthday? Jeez, how time flies. And there are a couple of nifty new features to try out.

First up we have emoji sliders – which are similar to a poll, allowing you to indicate how much you like or dislike something. For example, “How much do you love coffee?” could have anything from a sad face to a beaming one, with a slider that has a lot more emojis in between. The emoji sliders can be placed within your Instagram Stories.

Next up is that you now have the ability to share posts from your newsfeed directly to Stories. Remember the days where Stories were Stories and posts were posts on Instagram? Well now you can share your posts — and other people’s posts — directly to your Instagram story. This allows you to promote brands you like on your own story, making it easier to share a new product launch with your followers for example.

One of Instagram’s latest features allows you to ask your followers questions in Stories. Your question will appear in a little rectangular sticker in your story, followed by a text box that your followers can fill to their heart’s content, whether they’re providing some insight about a new product, or just to let you know what they think about your service.

More face time – video chat

Looking to video chat with a fellow Instagrammer or pal? You can now do so effortlessly through the app itself. One of the best features with this new video chat option is the ability to continue to scroll through your newsfeed whilst chatting! You can even have 4-way chats with friends at the tap of a button.

If all of these updates to Instagram seem overwhelming you are welcome to contact us and we can either show you how it’s done, create a strategy for you, or run your brand’s Instagram account on your behalf.

4 ways to create a world class online survey

There are dozens of different ways to put together a survey in order to investigate a potential market, but they have all one thing in common – the ultimate purpose.

In this blog post I delve into the world of online surveys and share a few tips that we keep in mind when creating surveys for our own brand, and our clients.

Identify your purpose

Before you start with your online survey, make sure you understand why you are doing it. Firstly, ask yourself, what am I trying to discover? And secondly, what actions do I want to take as a result of the survey? These are extremely important to know beforehand as they will ultimately define the effectiveness of your survey.

Engage with your audience

Keep questions as straightforward as possible. This sounds simple, but writing questions with the right wording is one of the most difficult parts of creating surveys. Asking a question doesn’t sound that complicated, but remember that collecting information online removes the ability to explain your meaning or offer additional information.

If your questions are not clear enough, or perhaps you’ve used highly technical words, your respondents may not be willing (or able) to provide answers. This defeats the purpose. It’s also vital to avoid asking two questions at once for example, “Please rate your experience of the food AND drink”. It just won’t work. Trying to provide clear instructions without nudging people toward one answer or another is a delicate balancing act.

Know when to ask what

Each survey question should follow a logical flow. Jumping around from topic to topic may confuse your respondents and cause them to skip questions or abandon the survey altogether.

Survey questions have three distinct parts, and each must work in harmony with the others to capture high quality data. For example, for the question “What is your age?”, additional instructions would be “Select one answer”, and response options would be “Under 18, 19-24, 25+”. The wrong combination can leave respondents confused about how to answer a question. Confused respondents lead to confusing survey results.

Visuals that matter

The verbal part of your survey is crucial, but if you’re using survey design elements in an inconsistent way, this can increase the burden on your respondents and prevent them from fully understanding your survey’s meaning.

For example, using different font sizes, colours, and strengths across questions forces the respondent to relearn their meaning each time they’re used. Also, presenting scale questions with different directions (positive to negative on one question, then negative to positive on the next) within the same survey, dramatically increases measurement error.

Respondents may assume that all rating questions are consistent even if individual question instructions explain the meaning of the scale’s end points.

To sum up, if you take each of these aspects of survey design into consideration, you’ll be well on your way to creating useful online surveys. They will have the potential to produce valid data to allow you to make tactical and strategic business decisions with confidence. Luckily, we do all of this for you at Yellow Door, so why not contact us today to help you make the right decision for your business.

The art of engagement – how to engage with your target audience

Every brand these days has some form of social media following, whether they like it or not. So, it’s best for the brand to utilise this opportunity to tap into your market. This could help you discover new markets that you never even thought of or help you expand the one you already have. If used wisely and creatively, your online community can be your biggest inspiration when creating strategic campaigns and brainstorming what your next move should be. Let us explore some ways that we can get the best out of our audience in order to benefit them and us.

Create content that speaks to your consumers and not at them

Most of the time brands are stuck on what they want to say and what they want their consumers to think about them, forgetting that consumers will think what they want to . That’s what gives them the power over brands. So, why not create content that inspires them to think and engage more with your brand. Why not invite them to join in your conversation and hear what they think about issues that are beyond your brand. Don’t fall into the trap that most brands find themselves in – talking about how great the product is and all the features, forgetting that people want to know how your product or service will benefit their lives.

The only way to continuously stay ahead of your consumers is to constantly invest in research about your consumer. With the way information is vastly consumed, by the time you talk about a trendy topic, they have already engaged with it amongst themselves many times. So, pick your topics carefully: find topics that are relevant to your brand. Even unrelated topics will at least give you insight on what your audience wants to talk about. Find a different angle to approach every situation, a way that your audience will come to understand as your way.

Encourage user-generated content

There is nothing people of this time like more than talking or sharing stories about themselves – hello selfies! That is why it is important for a brand to encourage their users to share their own content. Your audience does not just want to be spectators, they want to be a part of the shift in your business, whether you have considered them or not. They want to feel and know that you care – and trust me, they are smart enough to know when you don’t. Look at the shift in how influencers have taken over as the voice of the people; how reviews on YouTube about your product are where people will likely go to search for the ‘truth’ as opposed to what you sell them. Get people to talk about your product without you pushing it yourself and see how truthful people will be, which in turn will help you perfect your product/service.

Look at how Nike has done this with their running app – how they manage to get people to trial their products, talk about them and form communities about them too. In this case, events work best where people get to test out their senses and see your product in real life. For new products, gauge their initial reactions and monitor what they have told their friends on social media! In this regard a social gathering with your audience takes first prize. Have pop up ‘demos’ where you are most likely to find your audience and get their initial reaction on your product – the best research you can pay for.

No, you can’t be everything to everyone. As much as you don’t want to limit yourself to one platform, it is also best to find the social platform that your audience most connects with or at least choose one which best describes what your brand is about to build on as your consumers change through the years. You want to stay relevant and engaging as a brand, but you also don’t want to run the risk of being seen as fluffy and all over the place.

It has never been more relevant than it is now to have clear direction on what you want to say and how. You don’t want to be another brand in the midst of all that noise. And that is what we at Yellow Door Collective are good at – helping brands form a distinct voice and communicating better with their consumers on all social platforms. If you need help with this, let us show you how.

Branding in the age of experience

In today’s digital world your brand, and your competitors, are constantly at the fingertips of potential customers. Interaction and user experience is the new currency, as your brand constantly converses, engages and interacts with the consumers on a diverse range of platforms.

In the past the importance of interaction, for forming a brand positive image, was only highlighted in service-based industries. What’s new? As all brands now have a digital presence, customers have frequent interactive experiences with all categories of companies. What a company looks like, sounds like, and how it behaves all become factors of what a brand means to a consumer; but with so much noise, how can a brand stand out? Brands are now defined by the sum of their communications and interactions so, in order to stand out, marketers must understand the main components that make up a consumer’s perception of a brand.

1. Visuals:

Visuals comprise the graphic elements used to communicate the brand; including the logo, typeface, images, and other elements of a style guide.

2. Tone:

Tone is used to express the brand’s feelings or thoughts. In other words, it’s the style of communication the brand uses; from the text on a website and the messaging developed and used in targeted advertisements to the manner in which staff speak to customers.

3. Behaviour:

Behaviour represents how the company acts in certain situations. Does the company reflect the morals and values of their customers? Do they actively express those values through their actions?

Only when all three components are present and aligned to a core brand message, do customers have a consistent enough experience to form a clear brand image. In the digital world we live in today, customers interact with the representation of the brand in the form of websites, social media accounts, and other interactive services, making behaviour a crucial attribute of the brand.

The granularity of behaviour as a brand attribute does vary as it can be expressed holistically, at the level of entire processes and interactions on a site, or at a finer level, in more specific behavioural guidelines for a brand’s various touchpoints.

Why User Experience (UX) is a brand differentiator

Most people can’t differentiate how they feel about a brand from how they feel about the experiences they have with that brand, so in many situations, UX becomes the brand differentiator. It can be part of, or all of, the reason a customer chooses to engage with a company or its products.

Brands that are, at the core of their business, addressing an unmet user need are regularly disrupting industries by focusing on UX and, specifically, on unmet user needs as brand differentiators and succeeding in oversaturated markets by doing so. Examples are not hard to find: Uber, Airbnb, and Netflix are all based on this philosophy of making their branded service as easy to use a possible. Check out our client OPEN who has hit the mark by focusing on user experience with their newly launched app that is bound to make the life of any homeowner that much less stressful.

With more competition in the market, and consumers having access to a range of competitors through digital platforms, it’s more important than ever to stand out. In order to do so the entire experience of a consumer looking for, finding, and interacting with your brand must deliver a consistent and seamless user experience.

Interested to find out more? Chat to us about how we can differentiate your brand.