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Using Instagram Stories for your social media marketing and overall digital brand marketing strategy has some unique benefits for your online brand presence. With this feature, you have an opportunity to give your online marketing a storybook ending that ends at the stroke of midnight, or after the sun sets on the next day, or, er, 24 hours after you post it.

Instagram Stories is a feature that the social media platform added back in 2013. It allows you to publish videos that drop off the site after 24 hours. (And for those of you keeping track at home, Facebook Stories is the same concept.)

Anyone can make an Instagram Story, and you can watch one—provided you are part of their privacy settings—by tapping their profile photo. The feature will then play the videos posted in the past 24 hours from oldest to newest. Per Buffer, a collaborative social media marketing tool, the ideal aspect ratio for Instagram Stories is 9:16, or 1080px by 1920px (or “vertical” for those of us who don’t speak geek).

A few tips will help you make the most of your Instagram Stories:





1. Use all the bells and whistles. Hootsuite, a social media marketing and management dashboard, suggests using many of the tools the feature includes to maximize your potential reach with your videos. They recommend adding Hashtags to the video, and although you can add as many as 30, they report that the engagement level drops after five hashtags. Also, adding location is essential because many cities will feature locally tagged videos on their feed, which increases your reach. Polls are another way to boost engagement, and as Hootsuite points out, an excellent way to collect quantitative data about your audience.


2. Choose your content wisely. Creativity is vital to your success with Instagram Stories. Buffer offers some great ideas, including Behind-the-Scenes content that allows you to showcase your operations, Takeovers that have you switch audiences with another brand to cross-market to your followers, or live video of an event. All three are excellent ways to tell your story in an engaging way without needing a lot of know-how or equipment.


3. Understand your metrics. If you don’t measure engagement with your Instagram Stories, you are missing out on valuable feedback, and perhaps most importantly, leads. As Entrepreneur points out, starting with the “view completion rate” is a critical metric to determine what content your audience engages with most. This data helps you adjust and capitalize on your successful stories and secure the best possible return on investment for your time.

If you haven’t already, watch some Instagram Stories in your feed to see what’s possible with this engaging online marketing strategy. Instagram Stories is an innovative way to approach social media marketing that can help you take your social media marketing for your digital brand to a new happily ever after.

Contact me at CarverMedia if you want to highlight your brand’s community involvement with your online marketing, social media marketing, or any other digital marketing goals.



Sources:

Reed, Ash. “Instagram Stories: The Complete Guide to Using Stories. “ Buffer.com. 2 August 2016. Web. 11 July 2019. < https://buffer.com/library/instagram-stories>

Shleyner, Eddie. “Instagram Stories: How to Use It Like a Pro and Build Your Audience.” Blog.hootsuite.com. 25 June 2018. Web. 11 July 2019. < https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-use-instagram-stories/>.

Horowitz, John. “3 Ways to Use Instagram Stories to Boost Your Brand.” www.enterpreneur.com. 25 June 2019. Web. 11 July 2019. < https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/335824>

Keywords: Digital Brand Marketing, online marketing, social media marketing, digital marketing

When you think of social media, my guess is you think of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But have you forgotten about the other social network?

No, not Google+. Everyone forgot about that.

LinkedIn has surprising benefits for your digital marketing. From its company page to its content marketing opportunities, to the group’s functionality, it affords you many opportunities to build your digital brand awareness. Plus, if you happen to recruit some incredible talent at the same time, then all the better.




Company Pages on LinkedIn

Your company page is like your individual profile page. You use it as a base of operations. You also encourage your team to link and post to it as well.

A great bonus is that once you decide to make a company page, LinkedIn does the heavy lifting for you. The company page is mostly designed; you only fill in the details. By the way, a complete company page gets 30% more weekly views, per LinkedIn, so fill all of the details in.



Important Tips about LinkedIn Company Pages:

· Per Hootsuite, the companies that use a logo (300 x 300 pixels) in the header get six times more traffic.

· Don’t pass up the opportunity to add some style to an otherwise standard layout with your banner (1536 x 768 pixels).

· The first 156 characters are what Google shows from your company page, so make sure yours are outstanding.


Want more tips? This article from Hootsuite has many helpful tips for setting up your LinkedIn company page.


Content Marketing on LinkedIn

Content marketing is a crucial component of your digital brand strategy. (Hint: You are currently reading some of mine.) Sharing what you know to people who want the information is a vital part of attracting leads for your business.

When you position yourself as an expert or a thought leader, prospective clients remember you when they need help in your industry. Content marketing on LinkedIn is a great way to market to your potential clients. (Reminder: I am Joe Carver at Carver Media).


Tips for Content Marketing on LinkedIn:

· Images attract more attention than a text-only post, to the tune of two times more per LinkedIn.

· Videos get more shares, five times more says LinkedIn, so embed them.

· Publishing on LinkedIn’s platform gets more love than external links. (If you want to know why, then read this article).

Want some more guidance about content marketing on LinkedIn, this article from Social Media Examiner has some more info.


What Are LinkedIn Groups?

Remember chat rooms in the 90s? Well, LinkedIn Groups do that, but by industry or job type or sometimes even both. Most people join groups, but few put them to good use.

However, you can use the networking opportunities in groups to promote your company and make additions to your network. If you feel the call, you can also create your own group.

Tips for Making Groups Worth Your Time:

· The search feature allows you to sort through and find groups that fit your interests and expertise.

· Participating in group discussions attract views to your company page, per Hootsuite.

· Adding featured groups to your company page adds credibility to your positioning as a thought-leader.


Groups have a lot of ways to leverage their power, and this article from The Muse covers a lot of them.

LinkedIn can be an excellent resource for your digital marketing strategy. For starters, set up a company page, craft a content marketing plan, and leverage the power of networking with groups. With all of this functionality, it would be a shame to forget about this resource when you divvy up your social media marketing efforts.


Contact me at CarverMedia if you want to step up your digital brand awareness efforts on LinkedIn with your online marketing, social media marketing or any other digital marketing goals.

Sources:

Newberry, Christina. “LinkedIn for Business: The Ultimate Marketing Guide.” Blog.hootsuite.com. 13 August 2018. Web. 29 January 2019. < https://blog.hootsuite.com/linkedin-for-business/>.

Deering, Sophie. “How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Company Page for SEO.” Theundercoverrecruiter.com. 29 January 2019. < https://theundercoverrecruiter.com/optimise-linkedin-page/>.

Simmonds, Ross. “How Does the LinkedIn Algorithm Determine What Goes Viral?” rosssimonds.com. Web. 29 January 2019. < https://rosssimmonds.com/linkedin-algorithm/>.

Queen, Tim. “How to Make a Content Marketing Plan Using LinkedIn.” www.socialmediaexaminer.com. 18 October 2019. Web. 30 January 2019. < https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-linkedin-groups>.

Foss, Jenny. “5 Ways to Get the Most Out of LinkedIn Groups.” www.themuse.com. Web. 30 January 2019. < https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-linkedin-groups>.

  • Joe Carver

Google My Business is not a hip new phrase used by the young kids these days. It’s a great tool Google provides to showcase your business for your customers—and your future customers.


What is it?

Per Forbes, it’s a way for you to control how your business presents throughout the entire Google ecosystem. Your despotic rule over your digital brand marketing extends to your search engine results, reviews, and content you provide. It also works on Maps, meaning your business name, location, and hours.


How do I use it?

It is easy to set up. First, you create an account and connect it to your business. Once you verify your business (by mail, phone, email, or instant or bulk verification), you optimize your details, including your description, hours, phone, URL, and other pertinent information. You can also add photos and any special offers here too.

Hubspot has a great step-by-step article that walks you through the process.


How much?

It is free.

Now before you think, “Wow! Google is so generous!”, remember that it benefits Google to have the most accurate information possible. It helps them have revenue growth that looks like this:


Why should I bother?

When it comes to your online marketing strategy, having an accurate and consistent message is vital to building your digital brand. Plus, it’s super frustrating when people get the wrong number or show up at your location on the one day it’s closed.

There are other great benefits, too. Google My Business can help you book appointments online if that’s a thing for your business. It also can help you stay on top of reviews, which is a crucial part of your social media marketing strategy. Furthermore, you have the opportunity to present special offers or content that might entice some prospective customers to take a closer look at what you have to offer.

But perhaps even most importantly, as Forbes points out, you get the platform “insights,” which is Google’s way of saying they show you where customers see you—and where they aren’t. It helps you optimize your online marketing efforts and maximize your digital marketing budget.

Google My Business is an excellent way to boost your digital brand without draining your digital marketing budget dollars.

And if you haven’t already, you should get to work on your Google My Business by clicking here.



Sources:

DeMers, Jayson. “Is Google My Business Worth the Effort for Local SEO?” www.forbes.comm. 25 May 2018. Web. 12 October 2018. <https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2018/05/25/is-google-my-business-worth-the-effort-for-local-seo/#37986883d1ac >.

Frost, Aja. “The Ultimate Guide to Google My Business.” Blog.hubspot.com. Web. October 12, 2018. < https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/google-my-business

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