Marketing Strategy: Tell a Story Pinterest Style

Pinterest Marketing Strategy

Hi. I’m Ronii. And I have a Pinterest obsession.

also have an elephant obsession, flamingo obsession and everyone knows about my crazy cat lady obsession, which you can find on my, you guessed it… Pinterest boards  There is no 12 step program for these addictions and I’m super excited about that. But I digress.

Recently I won this amazing Alesya Bag. How did I do that? My Pinterest obsession of course.

So Alesya Bags ran a contest on social media to tell them in 140 characters where you are going on your summer vacation and why you need an Alesya Bag for your trip. The top 5 most creative entries would win a bag and you can enter everyday until the finish of the contest. I’m sure that you are painfully aware as much as I am that 140 characters is short. Like Daisy Dukes kinda short. How am I going to tell my summer adventure in this short format and get the emotion I want across? Oh, and did I mention that you had a hashtag to use as well taking up even more precious characters? Yeah, that too. But...

Challenge Accepted.

Pinterest obsession rears its beautiful winning head with storytelling.

At B&A we have been using Pinterest for a variety of initiatives over the years. We use it as a collaboration and content distribution tool. Branding and vision boards are big for us and our clients and it’s an amazing collaboration tool for us to gather visuals that drive art direction. And like everyone else we use it to distribute our content like blog posts, products and ideas.

Since on Pinterest you can tweet your pins (or post to Facebook), I decided I wanted to use it. One because I wanted to tell a story and not just a tweet and two because I freakin’ love me some Pinterest. I figured why can’t I use Pinterest more like a storyboard rather than as a vision board and then tweet out each pin with a teaser to read that piece of the story?

I will admit this storyboard idea took some planning and definitely time, but I WON! And if I can utilize this strategy to win an amazing bag (which by the way I’ve been carrying for a couple of months now and want to marry it) then I’m sure I can use the same strategy to win audience engagement and hopefully customers. 

Tweetable: Utilizing Pinterest in multiple ways for business is a good strategy for winning audience engagement and potential customers

Tell a story with a Pinterest Storyboard  

Here’s how I did it:

  1. I planned out the days of the contest and knew that I needed about a post a day because I got an entry per day.
  2. I created a separate board that was named the hashtag and wrote a short description about what my story was about.
  3. I outlined the story by day so each piece of the story had one post. I started my story with an overview of everyone needs an adventure and why I needed an Alesya Bag for that adventure. Then everyday you got a little piece of the adventure until we got to the final days and I revealed where I was going on my summer vacation. I put these all in a doc so that it could make the daily task of posting a bit quicker.
  4. Everyday I pinned an image that correlated with that day’s piece of the story and used the pin description to write that day’s adventure. It was longer than 140 characters but it gave an expanded detail of the adventure and then I used the tweet this pin on my Pinterest app to submit via Twitter with a shortened version or teaser of that day’s adventure.
  5. The last day I gave the big reveal. But then after I found out I won. I did do a final post to conclude my story that I did actually win the bag because that was the goal of that board.

This strategy was so much fun to plan and do and it worked. We can translate this same strategy into a marketing campaign that tells a story rather than just pretty pictures and distributing content. It's a great way to engage your audience and then get them hooked on following the story and engaging with your brand. It could work for as a story countdown on a product launch (watch for this from us in the fall) or leading into a big announcement or sale. The one thing that I found to be a disadvantage is that if you go to the board because pins post by day the story on the board is backwards and you have to read the whole story from the bottom up. But the point is to get people to follow daily so that shouldn't have a huge impact. 

What do you think about this strategy? How will you use it? Do you have any other cool tips for using Pinterest as a business or marketing tool? Let us know in the comments and if you decide to run a story, post it here so we can follow it. I’d love to know your results. 

Facebook Engagement Down? Our Tip for Getting Your Brand Loyalists to see You

Navigating the new Facebook Engagement for Marketing using Facebook Lists.png

Social media marketing (big sigh). This segment of the marketing industry stands alone in its enormity. There is so much information out there that it’s overwhelming for a marketer. And it changes so much that it’s hard to keep up with. And Facebook is the elephant in the room (haha, get it? Elephant? Don’t judge.). It is the one that businesses are either totally rocking it or getting an #epicfail. Recently, Ad Age published an article where Facebook has admitted that business pages are its redheaded stepchild.

Reaching Brand Loyalist on Facebook Pages

Social media is here to stay, whether you’re into it or over it. Honestly, I’m kinda over it. A little insight into the mind of Ronii is that I’m a social butterfly and I love interacting with people but I’m a terrible networker because I hate to just walk up to someone and say, “Hey, I’m Ronii. Let’s try and get to know each other in this awkward situation.” And I’m the same way with my online presence. I just find it weird that you pick random people to start conversations with. I realize that social media is all about engagement and conversations but it’s just odd to me. As extroverted as I am it’s really easy for me to be an introvert when it comes to meeting strangers on or off line. So there. Now, you know. I’m totally fucked up. I don’t deny this. But if I’m going to favor one platform over another I still prefer Facebook. It doesn’t overwhelm me like Twitter and some of the others. But lately the engagement on our B&A Facebook Page has consisted of me and Jenn just talking to each other with no one else paying any attention. And that doesn’t help my business.

Organic engagement on Facebook business pages has decreased and small businesses are finding it hard to justify buying ‘views’. Click to Tweet

1 Facebook Trick that will Increase Engagement

As soon as Facebook changed the newsfeed algorithm for business pages I noticed our views decrease by 90%. That’s right. Where we were getting 100 views on a post, now we are getting 10. While Facebook has never been a great marketing tool for us now it’s totally a waste of time (which is money). Even I wasn’t getting our updates in my newsfeed and I own the damn company. Jenn would be like, “How was yesterday’s Facebook post?” And my response usually was, “What post?” It’s as though now to get in people’s newsfeed you need to pay for it and for a small business unless you’re getting ROI or can directly relate that cost to a sale, the budget just isn’t there.

Anyway, I’m goofing around one day getting sucked into the time vortex that is Facebook and I’m adding some people to my friends’ list. I find I have to use lists to keep up with everyone I want to keep up with and I’m sure I’m not the only one out there that does this. And I start typing someone’s name in the ‘add to list’ block and guess what pops up as a suggestion when I put the letter B. Ha! You guessed it. Bartles & Associates. I can add business pages to lists! Mind blown!

Do you know what this means? Other people can do this too. So I figured out a way to combat the ‘you have to pay to play’ on Facebook. Ask your fans to add your business page to one of their lists. Preferably their friends list. Your loyal fans will definitely do it and then you will be getting to the people that matter the most, that you want to see your posts. Behold, the power of the Facebook list.

How is your Facebook engagement? What tips and tricks are you using for the new Facebook newsfeed? Are you budgeting for Facebook advertising or trying to get organic engagement?

To Post, Or Not to Post: The Social Media Conundrum

To Post or Not To Post - Social Media Marketing.png

Ever wonder if your friends actually read your social media posts? Do the people that you associate with on a daily basis know what you do for a living?

Over the past several months I have pondered on these questions a lot. It could be because some of my friends will ask me “What is Bartles & Associates?” “Are you in sales?” “What type of marketing do you do?” “Why couldn’t you come to lunch on Friday?” “Who is Ronii?” and the list goes on and on and on…. Sometimes I want to just look at them and say “REALY?!?!?! HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT? ARE YOU LIVING UNDER A ROCK?”

I am pretty sure the answer to all those questions is somewhere on my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn page. #Justsaying…

It makes me wonder, do people get on social media just to post what they are doing and don’t care to see what their network is up too? Are people really that self-centered that they want you to know what they are doing but don’t care about what is going with you?

And then I have those friends, that are like…”Didn’t you see her status this morning?” Or “How could you not know what B&A is, just look at the post from yesterday?” This makes me feel better. Because obviously someone did read what I took the time to write and let the world know. You guys ROCK!!!!

In today’s society, we post everything from what we had for dinner, to who we ran into at the store, to how our job is going, to…. (you fill in the blank here) as a status on our social media pages. So you would think that everyone around you knows what is going or what you do. Right? Or is this just my thinking? Because working for B&A, selling Premier Designs Jewelry, being a Mom and just being me… I post A LOT about my day, from pics of my boys to what is going on at B&A and my life, on FB, Instagram and Twitter, and I have many friends that do that same thing.

I mean come on… running a business and working for a business I need to get my information out there, right? Plus as a Mom, I need to vent and know that I am not the only one dealing with the crap my 4 and 6 year olds do. It’s a way of being heard and understood. So it only makes sense that my peeps should know what B&A is and what I do there. (Cause really I talk about it ALL THE DAMNED time). Or why I couldn’t make lunch on Friday… because I was reading to my son’s class and tutoring a child that needs some extra help. If you read my FB post you would know that. Thank you to my peeps that know and call everyone else out on it. ;)

Being a business owner, I am sure you have similar concerns whether or not people are reading your posts on your social media pages. We have that same concern at B&A too. My advice is to not give up and keep telling people about your business and about yourself. Eventually it will catch on. That’s what we do at B&A because someone somewhere is reading them and passing on our content. Today’s life revolves around social media. Your information is out there and is being read by someone (probably us, we read a lot). Everyone else will catch on. Be yourself and it will pay off!

What are some of your social media concerns? Or how have you combated the social media battles of do they see/read it? What are some of your best social media tips or tricks to spread the word about that great thing you do?



The New Marketing Craze: Content Marketing

Have you heard? Content marketing is all the craze!

How so very hipster-ish of us to share valuable information with the world. But I thought I was already doing that? Wait, what? You mean I have to spend more time doing more stuff to get people interested in working with me?

Why, yes. Yes, you do.

What is content marketing you ask? Well, honestly, it's a lot of writing. Taking your thoughts and ideas and opinions and putting them out into the world for everyone to see and use if they so choose. Really, the concept of content marketing is quiet simple. You write a piece (articles, blogs, white papers, etc.) that is valuable and useful to the reader and the you promote the hell out of it. Easy peasy.

The theory is that as if you write good content you begin to gain trust from your audience because they view you as a thought leader beginning that ever important marketing tool called the relationship. I know what your going to say, 'but Ronii, then I give all my secrets way and no one will hire me because they have all the information to do it themselves.' Of course you know me and I have an answer to that. Yes, they do and they can go do it themselves BUT ... they won't. And even if they do, their not the kind of client you want to work with. 

The fact of the matter is, all the information for any of us in business is laying right in front of us on The Google. All we have to do is search for it. But if you are anything like me (and I know most of you probably are) you don't have the time or the energy to put all those pieces together. You don't want to plan your marketing campaign, write you copy, design your ad, negotiate and buy ad space, or promote the hell out of your content. You can. You have all the information and know how to do it. But you won't. You will hire us.

That's why it works. You gain trust with your audience and they say, 'i don't have time for this. Here's some cash. Can you take care of everything?' Why, yes. Yes, I can.

Take this blog for instance. I'm telling you that you write a 3 to 5 paragraph blog post on your area expertise. Mine is marketing, hence this article on content marketing. Then you promote it. You share it on all your social media platforms, you comment on other's social media about your great tips, you send it out in an email to your database, you talk about it with everyone you meet and tell them to check out your blog for all kinds of great tips. You know how to do all that. That's good information on telling you exactly how to do content marketing. Maybe a little over simplified but you get my drift. But will you do it? Maybe, at first.

But eventually, you'll get busy and that will go to the back burner because you don't have time or inspiration. BUT, you may remember this article from me and say, 'I know I need to do this and it's important to drive traffic, I'll call Ronii. She can take care of it. That's what she does everyday.' Voila! Content marketing!

See how easy that was? Now, call me, maybe!

Thinking Outside The Box

In today’s market, you have to stand out from the rest to grab the attention of your target audience. Marketing is no longer just about print ads, radio blurps, or commercials. With today’s economy it just isn’t as cost effective to go the traditional routes, so businesses are getting creative. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying to cut out the traditional methods of marketing. I am talking about thinking outside the box. Be creative and find something that separates you from the rest.

Anymore, social media is playing a HUGE part in marketing for small businesses. Small businesses can’t afford to run print ads or commercials all the time to grab their target audience’s attention, but posting products and information on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc. is a way to have a little fun with your marketing and create a buzz. Now this doesn’t mean to solely put all your marketing eggs into the social media basket. It means to diversify, branch out…BE CREATIVE. Create a BUZZ. Maybe do a print ad in a popular magazine and provide product information or catchy phrases to your Facebook fans.

Having a catchy tagline or gimmick would work too. Get business cards that stand out from the rest. Start walking the streets handing out business cards or product brochures to everyone you meet. They may not need the information but might know someone who does. Get involved in community activities to spread your name and what you do. Partner up with another company that isn’t in direct competition with you and help promote one another. The list just goes on and on and on…

Ronii thought outside the box and has proclaimed herself to be the Rockstar of Bartles & Associates. It’s catchy and creative. BE CREATIVE! HAVE FUN WITH IT! THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!

All the Rage

I'm peer pressuring you into joining Pinterest! Go ahead. Do it! But seriously, all kinding aside, Pinterest is all the rage right now in the social media world. And your probably wondering what the big deal is and why should your business be aware of it and/or use it. Well, let me tell you. 

Pinterest is basically an online pin board. Kind of like you cork board you have above your desk that you put quotes and pictures of your family and kids on, this is a digital version that for the whole world to see. Why is this so important? WELL... the whole world can see it, duh. No, not really. But there are several different reasons as to why you might want to consider integrating Pinterest into your social media strategy.

First, it creates links back to your website. Let me explain this a little more in depth. We all know that links out in the interwebs are good for your SEO and driving traffic back to your site. If you are a business with a website and images on that website, you will want to create a pin board for your site and pin your website images to it so that if someone likes that image and clicks on it then they are taken to your website and hopefully will read it and/or buy from you. Score!

Second, people work with businesses they know, like and trust. Pinterest is a great platform to build personality around you and your brand. You can create different pin boards for all your and your teams interest and start pinning images you like to those pin boards and building your persona around those interests. For example, I have a pin board called I might be the crazy cat lady where I pin cute pictures of kittens because I just can't resist a cute kitten. My crazy cat lady pin boardI mean seriously, how can you resist? I also have other boards with my interests such as My Style, which is all the stuff that personifies me. And Inspirations that are all the sayings that I love. All of this gives you a little more insight into what kind of person I am and what kind of business I run.

On other application that has been great us here at B&A is utlizing pin boards as vision boards for clients' projects that we are working on. Vision boards have been in the marketing world for a long time and we utlize them for inspiration on projects. Generally, we have always went out to the web and captured pictures we want and put them in a document that ended up being huge because of all the images in it or printed them all out and put them on an actual bulletin board in the office. At B&A we have been using Pinterest insead because with everything being so virtual it is easy for anyone of us to pin an image on the board that inspires us from anywhere. Also, I can send that link to anyone I'm working with on the project whether they have an account or not and they can see the direction we are going with the project. I have a B&A Vision Board that is full of elephants and champagne. How freakin' cool is that!

B&A Vision BoardClient Vision Board for Logo and Website

We are obsessed with Pinterest. But we want to know, how are you using it?