Busting 5 Common Social Media Marketing Myths

Well, myths are common. And social media has been around long enough for marketers to have believed and shared some myths about it. 

 

There is no question that social media plays a key role in boosting the success of your business. While some myths are harmless, others have a great potential to negatively affect your success. That’s why marketers need to keep themselves updated to avoid falling for the traps. 

 

Let’s put our Mythbusters glasses on and dispel some widely believed myths about social media in this article.

Myth #1 “Our business should have an online presence on every single social media platform.”

We know you want to stay ahead of the competition, but it doesn’t mean your business needs have a presence on all networks. This notion is pretty harmful to businesses. It takes time, effort and money to maintain accounts on multiple platforms. 

 

Instead what you need is a meaningful presence on networks that lets you connect with your target audience and engage them. We suggest researching pros and cons of all social media platforms. Maybe even try exploring them. Surely, some of them might not be worth your time. This will help you know where to invest your time and resources to get the best results. 

 

Common practices for many local businesses is to have an online presence on Facebook and B2B companies usually expand to LinkedIn as well. For companies with products or services, Instagram and Pinterest are highly recommended. 

 

Like we said before – research and try till you find your sweet spot!

Myth #2 “Why do we need a budget for social media marketing? Isn’t it free?”

While it is free to join and post on any social media, the chances of you getting good results without spending any money are slim to none. On Facebook, the organic reach for posts is in decline, only around 5.20%. 

 

It is vital to have a budget for social media marketing. Boosting your posts is a surefire way of getting more attention. Running social media marketing requires an investment of resources. In addition to an online spend budget, you need to hire a strong team to build strategies according to data metrics. 

 

The good news is that social media still won’t burn a hole in your pocket. It is still one of the most affordable ways to boost brand awareness, lead generation and ultimately customer acquisition/retention. All this makes your investment worthwhile.

Myth #3 “More Followers = More Success”

Remember the golden rule “Quality over quantity”. It isn’t the 2010s anymore where buying followers in bulk was in trend. After all, a high follower count is worthless if your engagement is low. 

 

Brands that know their target audience well are more likely to gain success on social media. Social Sprout’s index data shows that 91% of consumers visit the brand’s website and 90% of consumers buy from that brand they are following on social media whereas 86% choose that brand over their competitor. 

Myth #4 “More Hashtags = Higher Reach”

We all have seen posts like, 

 

Our #employees had some #fun on #Friday with #IceBucketChallenge. Watch the video below. #officefun #socialmedia #officeculture #teambuilding #behndthescenes #peopleinmarketing 

 

All we can say is No! More hashtags don’t mean your post gets more reach. Plus, it makes you look amateurish and spammy. Research shows that if you use more than 2 hashtags on Twitter, you will see a 17% drop in engagement

 

Take some time out to discover relevant hashtags in the community and don’t overuse them.

Myth #5 “Social Media is merely a sales tool.”

There is a huge misconception is that social media is a marketplace for your products and services. Being overly promotional will make your followers run away. Put yourself in their shoes. Do you want to see sales content on your social media all the time? 

 

Marketers need to tap into social data as a valuable resource. 47% of businesses use social data as a multi-team strategy resource. It can answer questions on how to manage and expand business across every department. 

 

Start by focussing on areas of your business that could benefit from social data, and build your social listening strategy based on it. 

 

It is hard for marketers to keep track of falsehoods behind social media. We hope this article helps you bust some of those myths and push you to tap into the power of social media fearlessly. 


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Best Practices for Email Marketing

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is still the most effective marketing channel, leaving behind newer marketing channels like social media. 

Data suggests that the number of email users increases every year, making it is a great way to generate more leads for your business and build a community for your brand. This is why email marketing should be the key pillar of your strategy. 

Serving a purpose in the buyer journey, emails can be promotional or informational. You can announce special offers, new products, sales or discounts with a clear call-to-action (CTA) through promotional emails. 

Informational emails are typically company announcements, newsletters, etc. Imagine your company reached a milestone or there are some issues with shipping, the best way to reach your contacts at once is through an email. 

But if you’re confused about where to begin, that’s absolutely normal. We’ve put together a list of best practices for email marketing to spruce up your emails. 

Don’t Buy Contact Lists

Well, the reason behind this is two-fold. First is the GDPR. These regulations restrict marketers to send emails to unsubscribed consumers. 

Secondly, there is no point in sending emails to a person whose contact you bought rather than an interested customer through a previous interaction. You will see the results drop instantly. 

Clean Your Mail List Regularly

Following the previous point, it is equally important to review your subscribers and remove the ones who haven’t engaged with your emails for a long time. We know it could be extremely satisfying to see a huge senders list, but sending out emails to non-engaged users will affect the open rate.

The key is to analyse your campaign quality against your loyal customer base.

Personalise Greetings

How often do you come across an email that reads, “Dear Member”?

Terms like members, subscribers, VIP or others should be for internal use. Using a personalised greeting gets the attention of the reader right away. And you don’t need to write 50 names and send out 50 emails manually anymore. Marketing tools help configure the greeting and automatically send the emails to the names on your list. 

Incentivise the Subject Line

Want to increase your open rates? Include the offer in your subject line. 

Free shipping”, “$25 off on your first purchase” or “Earn referral bonus” are examples of some incentive focussed subject lines that could work wonders. 

Great practice for subject lines is to keep it between 30 to 50 characters. Why? Email services often cut off lengthy subject lines and your readers won’t be able to read it fully without opening it. 

You aren’t writing a story in the subject line; create a sense of urgency for them.

Make your CTA the Hero

If your user has to scroll down to find the main message and CTA of your email, chances are you’ve already lost him. 

Research suggests that 57% of the time is spent on above-the-fold content which is the information that’s visible to readers before they scroll down. To increase your conversion rate, the first thing your recipient should see is the main message and CTA. 

Email Signature and Logo - A Must

41% of marketers said they use email signatures for branding and visibility. 

Even if you are sending an email to all contacts in the database on behalf of your company, it should include a signature of a specific person. The reason for this is to there is a human behind the email. People tend to read emails more when they see it is from a person rather than the marketing team. 

The chances of a customer making a purchase goes up 34% when logos are included. The best way to leverage it is to include your company logo in the email signature.

Build a Cohesive Look

Your webpage should match the emails – headline, copy, and look. Consistency is the key to email marketing. 

The look and feel of your emails shouldn’t be far different from your other assets like the website, landing page, social ads, etc. Not only does it help build your brand visibility, but it also increases trust in your customers. 

Say No to “No-Reply” Emails

What is the point of your email marketing campaign if your customers can’t even interact with you when you send them promotional materials? Personally, I don’t even bother to open emails with the words “no reply” or if the sender’s address is noreply@xyz.com

As previously mentioned, your customers are far more likely to open an email when they see it is from a human being. Marketing tools allow you to set automated emails from a specific email address. Set it to your first name to give your emails a human touch

There you have it! You can use the above practices to add a competitive edge to your email marketing campaigns. 

Marketers today have many channels to promote their business, but the challenge is learning how to prioritise your efforts for the best results. 


Want to prepare an email marketing campaign for your business? Contact us to learn more.


An Introduction to Influencer Marketing Guide

With so many social media platforms, one surefire way to expand your online presence is influencer marketing. 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to influencer marketing, but you could make it work for your business with proper research and planning.

What is Influencer Marketing?

When an influential person known as an influencer collaborates with a business to promote their products or services, it is known as influencer marketing. 

In the past, brands only had celebrity endorsements. But in the digital age we live in, online content creators with dedicated and engaged groups of followers have changed the game of influencer marketing.

It is common to find yourself asking, “Does influencer marketing bring any positive results?”. Well, Civic Science reported that 14% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 11% of millennials in the U.S had bought some products or services in the last six months because an influencer recommended it. 

When it comes to influencer marketing campaigns on social media platforms, Instagram currently tops the list, but it seems like TikTok is catching up. With 68% of U.S marketers planning to use TikTok for influencer campaigns, it is becoming as popular as Facebook to be the preferred platform. 

Types of Social Media Influencers

When we say social media influencers, usually celebrities come to your mind. As we said earlier, while celebrities are the top influencers, not all influencers are celebrities. 

On the contrary, influencers with a niche follower base could be more effective for brands as they have a higher engagement rate than celebrities. Plus, it won’t burn a hole in your pockets. 

Usually, influencers are grouped based on their audience size. Let’s look at different types of influencers.

Nano-influencers

These are the ones who have just started out and have less than 10,000 followers

While their reach is low, their influence on their small, tight-knit community is enormous. Nano-influencers may know most of their followers on some level. 

It could be beneficial for a brand because we are more likely to buy a product on family or friends’ recommendation than some celebrity. Nano-influencers bring a sense of relatability and trust that is rarely seen with celebrity influencers. 

Micro-influencers

The most common influencers you will find are micro-influencers who have between 10,000 and 100,000 followers

Micro-influencers are more specialised and have a more engaged audience than their bigger counterparts, thus bringing in more qualified leads for your business.

Macro-influencers

With followers between 100,000 to 1 million, macro-influencers have a celebrity status of their own.

Since macro-influencers have grown their follower base from scratch, they know their audience well. The strong connection with the audience makes macro-influencers a preferred choice for brands with more major marketing campaigns. 

Mega-influencers

With more than 1 million followers, mega-influencers have a following outside the social media world. They are usually celebrities, actors, singers or internet personalities who have risen to fame recently. 

However, mega-influencers don’t have a personal connection to their followers, so they could be considered less trustworthy. 

Tips for Creating an Influencer Marketing Strategy

Know Your Audience

The first step is to define who your audience is for your campaign. To make your strategy effective, you need to target the right people. 

So how do you know who the right people are? Through buyer personas

Developing your buyer personas is a great way to know your audience. Defining your audience helps you understand the kind of influencers you should collaborate with.

Establish Your Goals

For marketers, the number one goal of influencer marketing is to reach a new audience. Your brand visibility increases when your products or services reach the influencers’ followers. 

Usually, the top goal for brands is to reach potential customers, while bringing an actual sale is lower on the list. It is essential to create measurable goals that you can track. 

Shortlist Influencers

Trust is the most significant factor when it comes to choosing influencers. If your audience doesn’t trust or respect this person’s opinions, you will find yourself scrambling to get tangible results. 

One way of finding out if your potential influencer is trusted is through their engagement. You should check if their posts have plenty of views, comments, likes and shares. 

When an influencer has a reasonable engagement rate, they have a loyal following. So check if their follower count is inflated through bots or fake accounts. 

Do Your Research

Now that you’ve compiled a list of influencers you would like to work with, the next step is to find out how often they share sponsored content. 

Check how they are keeping their audiences engaged – do they post a lot of organic, non-sponsored content, or is there a ton of paid posts on their page? Posting paid content often affects the engagement rate. 

Before you approach an influencer, make sure you do your homework. Know what channels they post, their audience, the frequency of sponsored content. 

Track Results

It is pretty normal to get impressed by the sheer number of likes and comments on the influencers’ posts. But to measure the campaign results, you must figure out its return on investment. 

One of the most effective ways to measure results is UTM parameters. Prepare unique links with UTM codes for each influencer. This way, you can know how many sales you made through an influencer and get a clear idea of how your campaign is performing. 

Don’t forget to request your influencers to send you insights and detailed reports on their posts’ reach and engagement levels. 

So there you go, a starter guide to help you start working on your influencer marketing strategy. If you find the right approach, you will soon be inundated with many new customers and sales. 


Do you want marketing services? GoViral Digital has a whole decade of experience specialising in inbound marketing, and we are taking clients for 2022. Request a proposal to help you improve your business.


Content Strategies for Different Stages of the Buyer Journey

What is a Buyer Journey?

We usually don’t make purchases on a whim, and instead, there is a whole process of research and consideration before anyone shells out those bucks. So in simple terms, a buyer journey is your buyer’s path to purchase

Buyer Journey gives marketers an insight into the pains and problems experienced by their customers and the influencing factors that push them to make a decision. It allows you to better empathise with the buyer and position your products or services along the process. 

With the aftermath of the pandemic, around 57% of the buyer journey happens without any human interaction even taking place. So how do you engage your buyers without actively interacting with them? 

Content strategy is your answer. It is essential to prepare a content strategy for each stage as it will be easier for you to motivate the buyer to make a purchase when they hit the human interaction part of their journey. 

Let’s dig in a little further to understand better the different stages of a Buyer Journey and the types of content for each stage. 

There are five stages to a Buyer Journey:

Awareness Stage

Example: “I am thirsty.”

This stage is where the buyer realises that they have a problem. They don’t know how to meet or solve the problem yet. Their goal is to alleviate the pain, but this is only an information-gathering step. 

They are looking to get a better idea and give a name to their problem. They are not ready to make any decision. 

Your content strategy should focus on the pain and problems of your buyers and provide them with big-picture industry-focus resources that can help them define their problems. Your best choice is press releases, social media promotions, or advertorial content that leads them to the next stage.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What is the priority of the challenges for buyers? 
  • How do buyers talk about their goals or challenges?
  • Are there any misconceptions buyers have about addressing their problems? If so, what are they?
  • What are the consequences of buyers’ inaction? 

Research Stage

Example: “Where can I find some drink?”

Once buyers have a little understanding of their problem, they get interested in finding a solution. They start discovering products, brands, and trends. 

The goal of your content plan is to educate and help buyers evaluate buying criteria. Usually, buyers trust videos, webinars, events, or ebooks in the research stage.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How do buyers educate themselves on these goals and challenges?
  • What are the symptoms that bring their attention to the problem?
  • What will help them identify the problem and push them to your products or services designed to help them?
  • What online or offline sources do they find reliable?

Consideration stage

Example: “The vending machine has water, soda and juice. What should I buy?”

Now that your buyers have clearly defined the problem and are committed to solving it, the next step is to guide them through different approaches or methods available to them. Your content strategy should help them make a decision

While case studies or data sheets can prove helpful in this stage, offering demos or leading them to trusted reviews will motivate buyers to solve their challenges. 

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What are the different categories of solutions available to the buyers?
  • In what way do buyers educate themselves on the various categories?
  • Are there any pros and cons for each category? If so, how do buyers perceive them? 
  • What factors influence the buyers’ decision for the right solution for their needs?

Purchase Stage

Example: “I will buy a soda.”

When your buyers reach this stage, they are ready to make the final decision and has a solid reason for their choice. They have already decided on the solution and evaluated providers. As a marketer, you should focus on learning if they have any objections before making the purchase. 

Your content should not only validate their decision but also make the purchase process easy. You need to cater to their every question and provide the best service to them. This stage could be where your buyer makes his first human contact with your business. 

Your sales approach must highlight a unique selling proposition that provides value and set you apart from the rest. While they are talking to sales, your content strategy offers support to keep their attention. Engage them in live training, demos, user guides or kick-off events

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What do buyers know about your products and services? 
  • What do they like about your products and services compared to your competitors? 
  • Do they have any concerns?
  • Do buyers want to test the products or services before making a purchase? 
  • Do buyers need any additional information, such as user guides or manuals? 

Post-Purchase

Example: “The soda is flat. I should have got water.”

Excellent customer service leads to brand loyalty. In this stage, your buyers expect an exceptional product or service performance and excellent customer service. Play your cards right, and you get a loyal customer base. Who knows, they could turn into an advocate for your brand. After all, word-of-mouth is one of the only forms of marketing that comes from your buyers. 

To keep them coming back, offer loyalty programs, build customer communities (online and offline), send newsletters, or even check in through phone calls. The goal is to make them feel cared for. 

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How are buyers expecting to receive post-purchase support and guidance?
  • What obstacles could buyers face in your products or services?
  • What are buyers’ expectations of your products or services?
  • What actions do buyers need to take to achieve the best result?
  • How do buyers rate your product or service, its value, and their satisfaction?

So there you have it – The buyer Journey and all its stages. 

Before you jump on creating your buyer journey, make sure you know your buyer personas. Be sure to read our article, “The Importance of Buyer Personas“. 

Don’t forget that the primary goal of Buyer Journey is to build a more customer-centric strategy to meet the needs of your target audience. 


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What’s better for your business: Facebook or LinkedIn?

As a marketer, choosing which social media channel to focus on is always a puzzle. Many are left scrambling their heads with a multitude of doubts like “Where do I start?”, “Which platform gives me the best ROI on my efforts?” or “Is one platform better than the other?”

 

While asking questions about different platforms is normal, it isn’t smart to gamble your way out. The key to a successful marketing campaign is identifying your target audience and your marketing goals.

Among dozens of social media platforms, Facebook and LinkedIn are popular choices with marketers. Let’s break down what works best for your business. 

 

LinkedIn is a professional network that was initially founded as a recruitment platform. Over the years, it developed to mimic many features similar to other social networking sites. For example, you can share status updates, send private messages, and connect with people. 

 

On the other hand, Facebook was intended to be a platform for people to share and communicate. However, you can now find plenty of new features that let businesses reach their target audience. One survey by the company found that 74% of American consumers use Facebook to discover new products and brands.

 

So what are the differences between the two platforms?

Statistics

When it comes to numbers, Facebook is the clear winner. 

 

There are 2.8 billion monthly active users worldwide on Facebook, while LinkedIn’s number stands at 64.7 million

 

According to reports, the most active age group on both platforms is 25 to 34-year-olds. However, due to its popularity, Facebook has a broader range of users. 10% of Facebook users are under 18 or over 64. The reason behind this is that Facebook is for everyday users, but LinkedIn caters mainly to professionals.

B2B or B2C?

Undoubtedly, LinkedIn is a more robust B2B platform. Since the platform was designed for networking, it is a go-to place for business-driven individuals. Which also makes it easy to identify key decision-makers and target them directly.

Social selling is embedded into the platform. Reports suggest that LinkedIn has the largest share of B2B display ad spending. 

 

While Facebook can be B2B, it is recognised more as a B2C platform. If you want to reach consumers directly, Facebook is the preferred choice. Not only it is a perfect place to generate brand awareness and engagement, but it also provides you 10X more prospects. 

 

According to reports, marketers see the highest return on investment on Facebook. The networking site wins in numbers hands down, but LinkedIn generates tangible leads. 

Thought Leadership

When it comes to thought leadership, LinkedIn beats Facebook relatively easy. The platform promotes business conversations, and one of the ways brands gain credibility and visibility organically is by thought leadership.

Through thought leadership articles, brands can educate, prompt conversations, and push to action. These programs increase website traffic and subscribers, thus helping with lead generation and brand awareness. 

 

Marketers see more success with thought leadership content on LinkedIn compared to Facebook.

LinkedIn Groups vs Facebook Groups

On both platforms, groups are where businesses can connect with prospects and other like-minded users. Before engaging in groups, marketers need to ask themselves –

 

“Which platform is my target audience mostly active on?”

 

Keep in mind that users engage on different platforms with different motives. On LinkedIn, conversations revolve around work-related topics, whereas on Facebook, users connect to share their personal opinions on various topics like food, lifestyles, hobbies, etc. 

 

Let’s look at an example. If you want to create awareness about your latest blender, targeting users in cooking groups on Facebook will get you the best results. 

 

However, LinkedIn is a better bet if you’re providing a high-priced service like personnel management.

Facebook Ads Vs. LinkedIn Ads

In terms of variety, Facebook and LinkedIn fair equally. Both platforms offer a diverse range of ads types like carousel, video, dynamic and lead ads

Targeting capabilities for ads on both sites rely on user input and content relevant to the information provided by them. So, you can easily target users based on basic information like job title, company, age, location, etc. However, Facebook also targets based on their life milestones, behaviour, and other personalized information. 

Who wins? Facebook or LinkedIn?

You decide!

Our verdict is that despite sharing standard features, Facebook and LinkedIn have different audiences and intentions. 

Which platform you want to use for marketing depends on your industry, target audience and goals. 

Another essential thing to remind every marketer is – you don’t have to choose. You can always select Facebook for user engagement and LinkedIn for targeted lead generation. 

All we can say is the winner lies in the eyes of the marketer!


Do you want professional guidance? GoViral has now a whole decade of experience specialising in inbound marketing and we can help you improve your business. Contact us to learn more! 


Best Marketing Practices for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The world-famous shopping weekend – Black Friday and Cyber Monday has always been an excellent opportunity for businesses to maximise profits. Along with boosting your revenue, it is also an opportunity to build brand awareness and visibility. 

However, it can be challenging to get noticed when you are practically competing against every other business out there. And this year, we only expect it to be busier. Online shopping is a preferred option for more and more buyers in the pandemic. 

A clear and thoughtful campaign with the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) strategies will ensure that your brand stands out this holiday season. But no matter how great deals you offer, buyers won’t know about them without a solid marketing strategy. 

To help you get ready for BFCM, we put together a few best practices for marketing your sale this year.

Stand Out by Giving Away “Extra Perks”

We always say that content is your biggest weapon to hold your audience’s attention. But with 116.5 million emails sent out on Black Friday, your email will likely get lost in the endless space of offers and promotions.  

To stand out against your competitors, you need to offer your buyers better deals. Consumers expect businesses to put out the best deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, you can get in the game earlier with “early access” Black Friday deals. Promoting deals a week early as an “exclusive offer” is a popular strategy to increase visibility. 

Some companies have already started promoting Black Friday deals along with Thanksgiving offers. Another clever tactic used by businesses like Levi’s is giving extra perks like “Free Shipping” if you subscribe to their emails.

Not only does it increase sales, but it also helps you grow your database of engaged customers. 

Target Engaged Contacts More Often

An engaged contact is someone who has interactions with your marketing emails. Interactions could be actions like opening the emails, checking out the offers on your websites, or purchasing. 

For example, only send multiple emails to contacts that previously opened your email but didn’t buy anything. The chances of these contacts making a purchase are higher than someone who never opened your email. 

Emailing only engaged contacts more often results in higher open-rate, click-through rate and increase in sales. Tools like Mailchimp lets you keep track of the engagement data of your marketing emails.

 

Leverage All Your Social Media Channels and Website Pop-ups

Even though email marketing is the highest-converting channel, social media is your best friend for faster visibility of your BFCM campaign. Promote your offers on every channel, including paid ads. 

Sometimes, just a social media post can create a huge impact. Take a look at how this simple Instagram picture posted by fashion brand ASOS to promote their Black Friday deal was well received by their audience.  

The key to boosting sales for the website is to have your promotion take all the attention instantly. One of the ways to do this is through pop-ups. Usually, businesses use pop-ups to garner more engaged contacts. Still, many users often find them to be intrusive to their experience. 

However, buyers don’t seem to mind when pop-ups include special offers. An important thing to remember is to set up the signup offer in the pop-up is the same as your most significant sale of the year, so your customers aren’t confused. 

Send Multiple Emails on High-Volume Days

One of the basics of email marketing is “don’t spam your contacts”. But as we mentioned earlier, customers get inundated with emails on high-volume days – Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Your subscribers will most certainly miss it if you send only one email on these days. Send multiple emails to avoid getting buried in the inbox and make the most out of your email marketing campaign. 

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Revamp Your Product Pages

Ask yourself: “Is my products display compelling buyers to make a purchase?”

Check your product pages and categories, and make sure the images are attractive and the descriptions are accurate. Invest time in beautifying, simplifying or adding detail to product pages to make them more compelling and streamline the buying process.

Elevating the design and look of your page reflects the value and increases the conversion rate.

Make the Checkout Process Simpler

Bringing attention to your webpage is only half the battle. Your buyer journey is complete when the buyer purchases your products or services. 

You are responsible for providing a better user experience, especially when your buyer wants to cross the finish line. One of the areas to focus on is the checkout page, and making checkout faster and easier will lead to high conversion rates. 

One way to make checkout easier is enabling Google Address Auto-filler, and it makes the process seamless and eliminates unnecessary distractions. Making buying process easy for your customers will help them focus on completing their purchase faster.

More Offers Throughout the Sale Season

With the holiday shopping experience extended into Cyber Monday, you must offer discounts consistently throughout the season. Sales continue to spike when businesses keep offering more compelling offers throughout the week. 

Let’s take a look at how Amazon does it. The company has created segments like “Deals of the Day”, further split into ‘Available’, ‘Upcoming’, ‘Missed’ and ‘Watching’. In doing so, it pushes a sense of urgency amongst buyers and attracts more customers.

The key is to give consistent offers shoppers can’t get enough of!

In conclusion, ready or not, Black Friday and Cyber Monday e-commerce is coming. There is no ‘one size fits all’ campaign for it. Look around, see what others are doing and figure out what works best for your marketing plan. We hope you found some strategies you can apply to your business this year. 


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Keeping Up with Instagram Updates in 2021

Instagram never stops to surprise us. While the world is trying to stay positive through these challenging times, it is exciting to see how Instagram rapidly develops new features and functionalities to tackle main business issues and help users support their favourite brands.

And now, more than ever, keeping up with what’s new on Instagram can be quite a challenge. There are new Instagram features almost every week. We know it is essential to stay up to date with the latest changes on Instagram, so we put together a list of important updates announced by Instagram in 2021 so far.

More Security for Users Under 18

The world of the internet can sometimes be overwhelming for young users. Providing them with protection online is the real need of the hour. 

Here are some latest safety features for young users by Instagram:

  • Private account by default for everyone under 16

Instagram’s main priority is to stop strangers from making unwanted contact with young users. Private accounts for users under 16 is the best way to deal with it. It lets you control who can see and comment on their content, and it won’t be possible for unwanted users to see their content on Explore or Hashtags.

  • No unwanted contact

Having a private account is the first step to avoid unwanted contact. But that’s not all! Instagram goes above and beyond to ensure young users aren’t exposed to unwanted contact from adults they don’t want to hear from. 

Instagram has developed a new technology to keep “potentially suspicious behaviour” away from users under 16. Accounts belonging to adults that may have recently been blocked or reported by a young user is defined as potentially suspicious behaviour. 

With this technology, these accounts won’t be able to see any young users’ accounts or content in Explore, Reels or ‘Accounts Suggested for You’. They won’t be able to follow them even if they find these accounts by searching their usernames. So much so that they won’t be able to see comments from young users and won’t be able to leave comments on their posts. 

We think this is one of the best features Instagram has introduced so far!

  • Advertising limitations for targeting young people

Another game-changing feature that Instagram introduced is how advertisers can target young users with ads. The platform now allows targeting ads based only on their age, gender and location, which means that advertisers no longer have the options to target based on their interests or activities. 

When these users turn 18, Instagram will inform them about the advertising policy change and the tools to control their ad experience. 

No Place for Hate Speech

Protecting its users from abusive comments and DMs has been of the biggest concerns for Instagram for a long time. It seems like Instagram is working hard to deal with the situation, and the company rolled out an excellent feature called Limits

With this feature, you can now limit or hide comments and messages from users that are not on your followers’ list or have recently started following you. The purpose of Limits is to help protect public figures from offensive comments and DMs. 

It is no ‘Breaking News’ that Instagram creators and influencers often receive hateful comments from random profiles. Since the pandemic, it only seems to have gotten worse. A step in the right direction, we say!

A New Tab - Audio

Instagram is looking to lean into video-form after seeing the success of competitors like TikTok and YouTube. The company announced that it is no longer a photo-sharing app and promotes users to use reels and short-video form posts. 

 

Recently, a new audio tab has appeared in the app. This tool gives users the ability to search for reels by song. Like any other music app, Instagram will provide a list of songs when users swipe and search. 

Users will then be able to see 30-second reels with the song. Users can save any music they like for later, or there is also an option “use audio” to create a reel if they wish.

Translation Features

The company announced that a new accessibility feature would be added on Instagram – Translation. This feature supports 90 languages right now, and however, it is only possible to translate written text. 

This new update will translate the text in Instagram Stories. Instagram will give you a “See Translation” option to translate the overlayed text in Stories. When the users click on it, they will be presented with a translation panel. 

Brands in global markets will love this new update as users globally don’t have to miss stories from their favourite international brands. A similar option is also available for feed, comments and profiles.

Exciting News for Businesses

Data Tracking is made easy with the latest update. Instagram expanded the data tracking period for insights from 30 days to 90 days. Companies can quickly analyse their quarterly insights on the platform to create a better strategy. Something to look forward to for small businesses!

Additionally, the company announced testing a new feature that provides businesses options to display ads in the shopping tab. The ads can vary from a single image to a carousel. 

Marketers can even use Reels as ads that look no different than any usual Reel, with a difference of ‘sponsored’ tab on it. 

Research shows that users on Instagram are looking for more video, messaging and shopping content rather than images. There is no doubt that the platform will be making many changes to entertain its users more. 


As the world of digital marketing continues to change and evolve rapidly, make sure to stay current with the latest trends and keep your marketing strategy fresh. Sign up for our newsletter below to stay in-the-know.


5 Tips for Creating a Strong Company Culture

A strong company culture is essential in creating success for your business. 

What is company culture and why is it important?

Company culture can be defined as the shared values that a company believes in and implements on a whole; ideally on a daily level. It is reflected in the environment and behavior of all employees. It can motivate and hold everyone together to work as a team. It can also attract new members to the company, and keep the momentum going during tough times.

Think of the company culture as the driving force and mindset that is shared among the team members. It’s the shared value system that employees can refer to and it can motivate the entire company. Why is company culture so important? It often can be what makes or breaks a great workplace. Weak company culture can be a big reason why employees leave.

People sometimes need more reasons to stay at a workplace other than just company benefits, like a free gym membership. Sometimes who you work with and the relationships you have among colleagues are the main reasons why you enjoy coming to work every day, and company culture can greatly influence this. Do you feel like your company could strengthen its company culture? We gathered our five tips on how you can move your team positively forward, and even shared GoViral’s 5 Company Ethos to demonstrate how we keep our strong company culture alive.

Five Tips on How to Create Strong Company Culture

1. Create a company culture vision as a team.

Mission statements and ethos can be updated annually, and having your team directly input ideas can make everyone feel a part of something larger. This, of course, depends on the size of your company. It probably won’t be easy for a large business with 100+ employees to all take part in creating the company vision. Having ideas written by employees and then voting for them, or changing one together could be an alternative.

For smaller businesses, having your employees actively refresh or change the company vision once a year can be a great way to connect. If you already have a company vision, you could refresh it once in a while with your employees. Companies can continue to grow and change together along with their employees. After all, a successful company is driven by the successes of its employees. When those working for a company take part in building the ethos/vision/mission, they feel more of a part of the greater whole.

2. Offer benefits that employees love.

Make sure the benefits align with your company culture and add value to your employees. If your company values health and wellness, offering yoga classes once a week makes sense. Offering an option to work from home is another benefit that team members might value if your company is driven by the idea of working remotely and giving employees some freedom. The pandemic has changed remote working like never before, so this is becoming the new norm. Again, it depends on your company’s vision and values, which should be aligned with the benefits on offer.

3. Create meaningful team-building sessions. 

Don’t just host team-building sessions as a routine. Make sure that your employees are having fun and creating stronger relationships with colleagues. Mixing up the events to include formal and informal events can keep things interesting. Having diverse team-building activities offers various ways for your employees to connect. 

Some ideas for team-building sessions can include joining a fitness challenge, having a casual drink after work, having an annual retreat with the team or going to an escape game together. Aligning your team-building sessions with your values offers another way to keep the momentum going helps build a company culture.

4. Create a safe place for employee feedback.

Creating space for your employees where they can be honest can provide value by finding ways to improve working conditions. When employees feel like they have been listened to, and conditions are improved, it is more likely that these employees will feel more attached to a company, and productivity goes up. 

If employees are scared to voice their needs, they might be stating them when they’re resigning. You could ask employees to write suggestions anonymously, or make sure that managers are creating an environment where needs can be openly expressed and respected.

5. Invest in your employees' education.

When employees feel like they are progressing and learning something new at work, they often have a sense of moving forward as individuals and with the company. Investing in a company’s development includes investing in employee education. This can be in the form of workshops, training courses and even attending interesting events where various professional speakers talk about their expertise. Ask your employees what they want to learn to best meet their needs – if they’re growing in areas they’re enthusiastic about, your business will reap the benefits.

GoViral's 5 Company Ethos

Belinda here! I’m the Managing Director of GoViral Digital and after 10 years of running this agency I wanted to share a personal look into our own company culture and how we developed it.

One of the main things that define our culture is our 5 GoViral Ethos. These are a kind of internal mission statement. Nothing that needs to be on our website, not a promise to our clients, but a personal and internal commitment we have to the way we work. Everyone knows it by heart, and we sometimes print them on the wall to inspire us.

1. Always Be Learning

You may have heard the famous sales mantra ALWAYS BE CLOSING but here at GoViral they leave the sales to me, what I want my employees to be doing is LEARNING. I started GoViral in 2011 with very little education in the area (my MBA course had no digital marketing in the curriculum in 2005) so everything I learned from courses and whitepapers and different experiences online. If an employee says to me “well I don’t know how to do xyz” as if it’s just a given, then I know they are probably not a good match for GoViral. I want my employees to be curious, to want to learn new things, to be inspired by the areas of their knowledge they haven’t developed instead of just avoiding it. And as a result – I INVEST in their education and development. 

2. We Share What We Learn

There’s nothing that brings me more joy than overhearing one of my employees say to the other, hey have you tried this new listening app? It seems really great and it’s been helping me find more opportunities to engage, etc. I don’t want anyone working in a silo. I want them to share their learnings, their achievements, as well as their mistakes and failures. The more that we share what we learn together, the better and faster we grow in our expertise. 

3. Don't Say "Can't" Until You Try

Living in the Czech Republic for so many years, you’d think I’d get used to someone nodding their head no before I finish the question. But no, my American “yes I can” attitude is still alive so my team knows that if you say you can’t, I’m GOING to test that. Saying something isn’t possible before trying to find a solution is almost like giving up before understanding the possibilities. Especially when it comes to social and online marketing, things change SO QUICKLY that you can’t rely on the knowledge you had even last month. Always try first. THEN state the limitations you found. 

4. We Look Each Other in the Eyes

This was one that was added later, when I realized that my employees were sometimes so glued to what was happening on their computer that they forgot the importance of human interaction. I’d notice that they wouldn’t look up when someone else was speaking and it bothered me. So we make the promise to look up and engage because we are listening, because we care, and because human connection matters. Clients feel it too because they know we are connected with them. Also, our eye contact is with a smile, so it’s kind of hard to resist!

5. We Treat Our Clients Like Relationships

This is an important and deeply ingrained part of our business that clearly sets us apart from most agencies, and can be seen when you read our testimonials – we treat our clients as relationships. This means there is no blanket way to treat them. We go into each new partnership with a client like we would a love partner. We learn what are their hopes and dreams. What are the things that keep them up at night? What matters to them? For example, in the beginning, we’d have a template for reporting. Now we customize it to each client depending on what they care about and what matters to them. 

 

We also have really fun, and maybe “different” rituals. For example, we have the “Consequence Box” where we all put in different secret consequences, everything from having to sing us a song, rap a verse about their childhood, make us all coffee, or change your profile pic to one of our dog mascots for the day. These consequences are taken for different things like coming to a meeting late or making a mistake on a post. And we love it. We also highly recommend one song dance parties during times of stress or celebration. Here’s one that’s great for air punching, trust me it feels awesome.


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How to Get Inspired When You Feel Like Giving Up

There are many reasons why you might feel down. Maybe you don’t love your job, or you might feel like you’re lacking creativity lately. There can be plenty of personal reasons that life isn’t going your way. Do you need an extra boost of inspiration in your life? Are you running a project or business but seem to be getting suck and giving up? Try out these tips that might help you to get in the right mindset so that you can start performing your best.

1. Practice mindfulness - Stay in the present moment

What is mindfulness? According to Mindful.org, “Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” Staying present and learning how to enjoy the moment instead of stressing about the past or future can be strengthened through practising meditation. It also helps you to get focused at the task at hand so you can be more productive when procrastinating.

Are you new to meditation? There are various meditation apps that can help you get started on your mindful journey. Apps like Headspace, Calm and Balance can give you a great intro to guided meditation. You can even read a book on Mindfulness, like The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment is a book by Eckhart Tolle to help you better understand this concept a bit better. 

2. Go to your support circle - friends, family or anyone that can listen

Did you ever feel down and then vented to a friend and end up feeling better? Releasing your inner worries to those close to you can help you through tough times. Having a strong support group comes in various forms, but knowing that you can lean on someone when you are stressed or worried can do wonders. 

Surround yourself with people that lift you up and make you feel good. Pay attention to your emotions and energy when you are around certain people. Sometimes you can’t put your finger on why you feel bad around a certain someone, but the fact that you repeatedly do might be a sign to distance yourself from them. Sometimes the people you hang out with the most reflect on who you are as a person. If you keep seeing people that are lost or depressed, it won’t be surprising if you feel the same. Try to surround yourself with those that make you feel better. We all have our ups and downs, but monitor yourself to become aware of how you really feel.

3. Get professional help - find a coach or therapist

Sometimes when the going gets tough, finding professional help can help. Having this type of support can help anyone, but it’s likely that people reach for a therapist when confronted by a tough situation or hitting a new low (not when everything is going well). 

Long-term therapy often helps you see changes that you might miss. You can sometimes get through situations and cycle with time and experience, but professional help can often provide an extra boost and quicken healthy changes. Your therapist can also point out your progress when you’re mixed up in the middle of a mental battle. Just like having support from a friend, having professional guidance can provide immense support without a biased view from someone close to you.

Or you can try joining a support group therapy session if you don’t want a one-on-one meeting or have a tight budget. There are plenty of therapists that will do online sessions now more than ever given the pandemic.

4. Find your “why” - a purpose

Do you often feel lost and without a purpose? Sometimes you might feel demotivated because you don’t have an energetic pull in a certain direction. When you have a reason why you’re doing something and fully feel connected to it, it oftentimes organically adds inspiration and motivation. Simon Sinek wrote a few books on this topic, and he believes that you can create your “why,” which drives purpose. Knowing your “why” helps you to filter out decisions and even adds a strong sense of purpose to your life.

Simon Sinek has written two books, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action and Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team, which can help you get motivated if you are feeling lost. Finding purpose is of course quite beneficial, but finding out HOW to find purpose is another story. These books may help you find your “why.”

5. Embrace failure and build resilience during tough times

Life can’t always be so rosy. There are ups and downs, and the tough times teach us some important lessons. It’s hard to understand that when in the middle of something painful or negative. Sometimes our emotions get the best of us and we feel hopeless, but it’s our responsibility to act differently rather than react and feel like a victim. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everything, but many times our thinking habits can become a downward spiral that is hard to control, and before you know it, you’re down in the dumps. Learning how to calm down during a storm is an important tool. You can also refer to 1. Practice mindfulness for tough times.

Building resilience can greatly help when you’re feeling down. What does it mean to have resilience?  According to the Mayo Clinic, “Resilience won’t make your problems go away — but resilience can give you the ability to see past them, find enjoyment in life and better handle stress.” Building resilience can be learned, just like meditation. 

The Mayo Clinic suggests taking these measures to strengthen your resilience:

– Build strong relationships with others

– Making every day meaningful

– Learn from hard times and continue to improve your coping skills

– Stay hopeful for a brighter future 

– Take proper care of yourself (and your mental health)

– Be proactive and actively change things instead of being reactive

How can you change your dread when everything seems to be falling apart? Take a moment to breathe, meditate, exercise, or do something you love to feel inspired. Spend time with loved ones, or find professional support if you feel like you need some extra support. All of the previously mentioned tips can help you to feel better again.


Want to put all these tips to practice while expanding your network and bettering your business, all while having a support system to hold you accountable? Head over to GoViral’s founder, Belinda’s free program goviralin90.com to learn how you can start building relationships to better your business today.