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April 24, 2018

STP Template

So, you have a great and innovative idea that you are sure people will absolutely love and would be willing to part with their hard earned money for. Well just having an idea isn’t usually enough. How well do you understand the logistics of your product? Who are these people who will buy your product? Where do they live? What are they like; their interests, hobbies, lifestyle, income, how often will your product offer value to them? How are you planning to attract their attention in the most effective way possible? Why is your product unique? By the end of this, you should have a better idea of how to answer these questions.

When performing an analysis for a business or product you go through many different checks to understand what your goals actually are. Many templates and processes exist with different purposes, whether it be to understand the marketplace or economic environment that you would like to introduce your product or service into, how your product will be utilized by the consumer, or how you will get your product in the hands of your consumers.

An STP analysis is an excellent first step in understanding the steps that need to be taken and where you are in the process of developing a product. STP stands for Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning. Each of the sections are broken down into subsections that will help guide you to be able to understand who you will market towards, how you will do it, what exactly your product is, and how it will compare to products which already exist within your market.

Understanding the market segment that you will be focusing on for your product is imperative to knowing how you will market it. Who are these people? How old are they, where do they live, what is their education level, how many people are in their household? These are just a few questions to get started that you need to ask yourself. Where will your product be made available? What makes the people in this geographic area unique that will make your product have the greatest purpose and usability? Why would the people in your segment buy your product? What habits do they have, what are they asking for, what problems do they encounter that need to be solved? What are the market segment’s buying behaviors? Why do they make purchases – need, luxury, a mix? All these questions will help you understand the people you are selling to and how what challenges or benefits that might be presented when you introduce your product in this marketing and whether or not it’s a viable market.

At this point you know a lot of about your potential consumer, to dive in further, how will you use your product to target the market segment that you have defined? What niche market exists where your product would thrive? Who within your market segment would best benefit from your product? What strategy will you apply using the information about your market to penetrate it and make your product a solution for them? Having a viable strategy on how you will define your target market and focus in on the most willing and ready consumer is priceless.

So you REALLY understand your consumer now; you know who they are, their preferences, and what they appear to need.  How are you going to position your product to them? What is your product and its unique value proposition (UVP)? What problem will it solve for your market? How will your product affect your consumer and add value to their lives? Along those lines, who is your competition? What do you offer that is different or better than your competition? What channels does your competition use to distribute and market their product? What can your product do that will offer more value than the current options available to the consumer? If there isn’t much competition in your space are your prepared for the innovation that tends to be driven by competition within the same space?

Finally, what conclusions can you draw from going through these questions that will help you improve upon your already amazing idea? What changes need to be made? How can your scope we redefined so that you have clearer objectives? How will you be affected from all business perspectives by the changes that could be made to improve upon your idea?

After going through all these questions and suggestions you should have a stronger grasp on your target market and how you will position your product.

Word Swag picture

Word Swag

The Mobile Ad Design App for the Social Media Novice

Picture this. Your boss is wanting to start some social media posting for the company because they think it will be an awesome idea. They only have a couple problems, first… budget . Second, they don’t know hardly anything about social media posting. He looks out his office window to see you, the awesome, Instagram posting, Facebook liking, re-tweeting machine he assumes you are. So your boss decides to come ask you to start posting for them and because you are an awesome person you gladly proclaim, “Sure! I’d love to!”. Now the problem torch has been passed to you. Oops! You don’t know what you are doing! You aren’t a graphic designer! Oh, let’s not forget about keeping budget down. What to do, what to do? Lucky for you, I’ve got a social media tool that is going to make you look like a social media genius. Your welcome.

Word Swag is the tool for you. Why? Let me give you a couple reasons. First, you will make your boss super happy when your budget for the posts consists of a whopping $5. That’s right, $5. That’s all it takes to download this app on your phone. $5 for the app and you’ve got access to all that it does for you. Which leads me to my second reason, Word Swag is super user friendly mobile ad design app that allows you to quickly create some awesome posts for multiple platforms.

When you open the app, you have two options, you can use your phone camera to take a picture you want to use, or you can select to look through a library of photos. The library consists of your photos on your camera roll and also a ton of stock photos Word Swag provides for you to use. Once you choose the picture you’d like to use, you are then brought to a page that allows you to crop the photo to fit different sizes. Some of the preset sizes are set to optimize for different social media platforms, such as for Instagram stories, Facebook posts, a pin on Pinterest, or even a LinkedIn Post. This feature saves you a lot of time and headache trying to make sure your posts will even fit on the platform you are trying to use.

Once you’ve cropped your image to the size you need, you can then add whatever text you want to show on your photo. That’s where the “Word Swag” really comes into play. The app has programmed text layouts to choose from. You enter the words you want, and the app allows you to add some swag to the text. You can also change the color, alignment, and size of the text. When you’re done, just finish and share, easy as that.

Word Swag just solved your problems. Budget? Forget about it, how about $5? Not a designer? Let the app take care of that for you.

In order to show you how easy it really is to make an ad or a new social media post, I created a quick walk through that shows just how fast and easy it can be. Watch it, share it with your peers who have found themselves in a similar situation, or maybe just need to spice their social media up a little bit.

bitly home page

Bitly: The URL Shortener For You

Bitly is a tool that can be used to shorten a websites URL. You can use bitly to save and share links from around the internet on many different channels of communication such as social media sites and emails. Bitly is the world’s largest URL shortener. Bitly does this by replacing a big link with a shorter one containing a series of numbers and letters. You can use Bitly to test your content and improve your content strategy.

Bitly is a free program which offers many different advantages just for signing up for it. You can use Bit.ly service to customize your URLs. This can be used if you are wanting to market something and for branding purposes. For every Bitly link that you create it comes with its own page of statistics. On the page where you access the statistical information it shows you information such as the number of clicks that your Bit.ly link gets, the percentage of total clicks that came from the link, and the total clicks on all Bitly links that direct you to the same information or content as your link.

Using Bitly you can see the performance of all the links you have shortened over an hour, day, week, or month. You can use all this data gathered from Bitly to develop a better content strategy. This works because you can see which content is getting more clicks over time. By using a bar graph Bitly shows you the amount of incoming traffic that is going to the link you have created on any given day. Like I mentioned earlier it is not just days, but hours, weeks, and months.

Bitly is a great at improving your content strategy because it provides you with information to identify trends and popular stories that attract your target audience in real time. Bitly also helps you to filter stories by topic, language, social platform, and geographical area.

I did mention that Bitly is free, but there is an enterprise version which is available for small and medium businesses and large enterprises and it costs $995/month. With Bitly enterprise it gives you access to the dashboard, custom bitlinks, and oneview. I am not sure why you would ever need to pay for Bitly if there is a free version of it.

Bitly is used by so many people. I see it all the time as I walk around campus. I see links that people have made using Bitly because it saves space. A great example of why you should use it is when you have a limited number of characters that you can use in a social media post. When you use a social media platform such as Twitter you are limited to 280 characters. As I mentioned before a nice feature of Bitly is that you can personalize the link. In one of the pictures it shows a Bitlink that I made for Professor Przybyla’s page. I personalized the Bitlink to bit.ly/Przybyla because before I changed the link it had a bunch of letters and numbers in it. It is really easy to copy, share, and edit the Bitlinks you create.

Enjoy this amazing tool!

Twitter Analytics

Twitter Analytics as a Social Media Marketing Tool

Most Twitter users are not aware that they have access to utilize their accounts analytics. On each person’s Twitter account there is an analytics tab that gives you access to information on your viewers. This is a very helpful social media marketing tool because you can track your follower’s behavior and amount of views on your page.

The best feature about Twitter Analytics is that it is free and fully accessible to each account user. It shows you impressions, engagements, and the number of views for each tweet you post. It also tells you how many retweets, average likes, and link clicks you get per day. At the top of the home page, it shows you what your top tweets currently are and an overview of how many followers, tweet impressions, and profile visits your account has received over a 28-day period. What is helpful about this is you can see what tweets are getting the most attention and use that information to create similar content. This will allow you to figure out what your audience is responding to the most and use this to adjust your social media content.

 

 

Another great feature about Twitter Analytics is the Audiences tab. This is very useful because it shows your audiences demographics and psychographics. It shows their top interest and aspects of their lifestyle. It gives lists of your viewers favorite movies, music, news interests and more. It also shows the level of income your viewers make, what languages they speak, what their buying habits are, and even who their wireless carrier is. This seems like a lot of personal information and is questionable how ethical it is for people’s privacy. However, it is a very useful content marketing tool for marketers because it gives your free access to a lot of information. All this information can be used to figure out what your target market will like and respond to the most.

While Twitter Analytics is very helpful, you do have to pay for Twitter advertisements. This can be setup by selecting the “Sign Up for Twitter Ads” button. The problem with Twitter Ads is the price for advertising ranges from $0.50-$4.00 per engagement. This can add up to be very costly because it is hard to track how much of an engagement the user had with the ad. It is difficult to track how far the user clicked or interacted with the advertisement. Regardless if the advertisement was successful or not in attracting a customer or making a sale, you still must pay for the engagement. This type of advertising is debatable on how effective it is, so it may not be worth the investment.

Overall, Twitter Analytics is a useful tool for social media marketing. It allows you to analyze your audience and gear your content towards your target market. If you found this post helpful, subscribe to my blog so you can get notified of more product reviews in the future. Also, let me know in the comments if you found Twitter Analytics helpful and how you used it to improve your Twitter content.

Man looking at mountains

Magisto Product Review

The product that I reviewed is called Magisto. Magisto is a quick video editing software that can be used to combine photos and videos into a presentation style format for any occasion. In the free version, you are able to utilize a select variety of their video templates and music to go along with your video. However, you are only given a few of the free templates for each of them, so it is a freemium version of the app that is a bit restrictive. Below are the steps to creating your video:

Step 1: Select your photos and videos
In this step, you are able to select the photos and videos that you would like to be put together in a video for your final product. You can use a combination of photos and videos, and you can upload them in the order that you would want them to be shown. Then you are on to the next step.

Step 2: Select Editing Style
In this step, you select the style that you would like your video to portray. They have different themes, such as spring, love, extreme, caring, travel, food, and so many more. The only downside is that with the freemium version, you are again restricted with the choices that you are given. Once you have your style selected, you are on to your final step.

Step 3: Choose Your Soundtrack
The soundtracks that you can choose from are based on the style that you chose in the previous step. Once you have your style and soundtrack created, you just add a title, push the magic button, and you are off to the races.

The quality of video that is produced is pretty good. Cuts are made in your videos and photos are shown at different lengths of time to match up with the style of the movie and the length of time that you select for your video. If you are looking for professional editing, this isn’t the program for you, but if you are looking for a quick and easy way to turn an event or a quick scenario into a fun video that you can share on social media, this is a great way to go.

The Magisto platform itself is created as a type of social media feed. You can post your videos and search for other videos by the styles of videos that can be created. You are able to follow other people’s profiles and see the new content that they are producing. You can like/engage with their content as well as browse other content looking for ideas that you can utilize as well.

Pricing is sold in premium, professional, and business packages with prices of $4.99, $14.99, and $34.99 per month respectively. With each new level you are given a higher volume of photos and videos that you can upload and longer videos that you can produce. You are also given more styles, editing features, and stock images/videos that you can utilize as well.

The downside that I felt I had with the application was not having any control as to how the content was edited. It seems that this style carries throughout the different levels of packages as well, but you are given a lot more themes as you pay more. Huge surprise there.

I enjoyed the program and feel it is a good way to be able to quickly and easily create engaging video content.

sprout social graph

Sprout Social

Why Every Digital Marketer is Re-thinking Their Strategy…

In the social media and digital marketing world, we are constantly inundated with the latest and greatest tools that will “increase your conversions by 20% or more.” Then, once we sign up for the free trial and use the tool for a couple days, we find out that it’s not as special as they advertised. Well, I’m here to tell you that what I’m about to present to you today, isn’t one of those falsely advertised or overhyped social media tools.

There are many different social media management softwares that offer many different features but each one always seems to be some very important features. For example, most of these softwares allow you to schedule your organic posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. The only issue is that these social media tools will autopost on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn but still require you to manually post on Instagram. So basically, the tool only reminds you of your scheduled post time and then has you manually push the post to your Instagram profile. For a company managing hundreds or thousands of posts, this can be very inefficient and tedious. The tool that solves this problem is Sprout Social. It is one of few tools that will successfully post any and every post to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and especially Instagram.

The second biggest selling point of Sprout Social is its ability to compare your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram profiles to your potential competitors. Their tool gives you an in-depth breakdown of each platform with the most important metrics. For example, on Twitter, it shows you your engagement, influence, followers lost or gained, and mentions of your page. This is a great feature because it allows you to get a good benchmark of your industry and see in which areas your page may need to improve. With this type of available information, it also allows you to see if your page growth is below average, on par with your competitors, or above average.

One of the coolest features of Sprout Social is the ability to search for keywords and see who’s currently talking about them. This type of feature is usually offered on expensive platforms like NUVI or other “reputation management” softwares. Sprout Social did an amazing job by including this feature in their tool so that you can not only monitor your brand and relevant keywords to see what people are saying about your company but also figure out who your ideal target audience is and how to best advertise to them. One of the biggest struggles that marketers have always faced is getting feedback from their campaigns and the products associated with them. Thanks to technology and social media tools like Sprout Social, we as marketers can monitor relevant topics to make better and more informed decisions based on data.
Regardless of how awesome I think this social media management tool is, you need to try it for yourself. Everyone has their own preference and it’s important to use the tool, see how it works and put it to the test. So, now it’s time to go to SproutSocial.com and get your free trial today. Once you setup your account and use it for a week or so, leave a comment below telling me what you think of it from 1 to 10.

Pictochart screenshot

Pick Piktochart – The Top Content Marketing Tool

Piktochart is an online content marketing tool used mostly for creating infographics, flyers, posters, presentations and reports. There are a bunch of different online applications out there that are similar to Piktochart that claim to be the top content marketing apps, so why pick Piktochart? Allow me to explain why Piktochart the best content marketing tool of them all.

One of the best features that comes with Piktochart is it’s huge variety of templates for different projects. There are more than enough people out there that are searching for a way to create an exceptional piece of content to market but have little to no content marketing experience. The collection of top content marketing tools, templates, and features that Piktochart has makes it very simple–even for people with no skills in creating marketing content–to create a piece of content that draws attention and that the user is pleased with. Everyone has different tastes and different ideas of how they want their projects to look and Piktochart provides a great variety of templates for a number of categories that are bound to satisfy each user’s needs and tastes.

So what are some of the biggest drawbacks of Piktochart, you ask? It’s as simple as this: everything I just explained comes with a price. That’s right, all the amazing content marketing templates and features I’ve outlined come with a price. While it’s not the most expensive price in the world, it’s still going to cost you a fair amount of money. Even though it can be a costly program to use, it is 100% worth it if you want to create the best marketing content and plan on creating top marketing content for many years to come.

Another drawback that I’ve found, even with my experience in using content marketing tools, is that it can be difficult to create and design a custom piece of marketing content that you’ve maybe thought of on your own. Like I said, I was very impressed with the functionality that the templates provided, but it was a bit more challenging to navigate when I wanted to create something on my own.

The only other drawback that I had with Piktochart was that it was difficult to sort through the large selection of templates and search for and filter out any templates that I may not have been as interested in. There is a search feature that may be helpful for some, but I just didn’t feel like it was as effective as I wanted it to be. However, I thought that scrolling through the many different designs that they had come up with was enjoyable and actually gave me more ideas on other projects that I could work on later down the road.

So there you have it. I pick Piktochart because it offers many clean-looking, professional templates that can help you become a top content marketer. Not only that, but creating the best marketing content requires minimal effort and experience with marketing. Become the best content marketer around in no time at all with Piktochart.

Buffer screenshot

Never Forget to Post on Social Media Ever Again!

Do you constantly forget to post on Instagram for your personal business or company? Do you hate having to go out of your way at different times every day just to make a post on Facebook? Do you constantly have to switch between social media platforms to look at and make posts? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then Buffer is the thing for you!
Buffer is a social media management platform used to schedule and keep track of social media posts.
How it works:
You simply create a post for any connected platform(s) by uploading a picture (if you want to include a picture) and the copy/text. You then choose a date and time from the drop menu in the bottom right hand corner of the post creation box and select “add to queue.” You can even schedule a different day and time for each individual platform, even with the same post content. It will then show up in the queue(s) for each of platform that you schedule, and that’s it. Your content will be posted at the scheduled times, and you don’t have to worry about it.
Plans & Pricing:
Free Plan: Free (with no limited trial period!). Connects to three social accounts and includes 10 scheduled posts per account. Posts to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google Plus (Pinterest not included in Free Plan).
Pro Plan: $15/month or $144/year. Connects to up to eight social accounts and includes 100 social media posts per account. Posts to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Pinterest. Also includes a calendar overview of scheduled posts, bitly link shortening, and basic social analytics.
Business Plan: $99-$399/month (based on size). Connects to between 25 and 150 social accounts and includes 2,000 posts per account. Includes everything in the Pro plan along with advanced social analytics.
Pros:
The price is great, especially for personal accounts and small businesses that only need the free or pro version. It is a cheap way to stay organized and make sure posts get out there when you want them to. Buffer also will post directly to all social media (instead of sending reminders to post) and has a simple layout, which makes it very easy to use. Even without the calendar (if you are using the free version) it is easy to see posts and when they are scheduled to post. Since it connects directly to platforms, past posts can also be viewed in Buffer, so there is no need to switch between sites to look at posts in every platform.
Cons:
Buffer only has the most basic features and uses (even with pro or business versions). You can only create posts and schedule them for social media accounts and get some analytics (with the upgraded versions).
Bottom Line:
If you want the most basic and affordable platform manager that is easy to use, this is it. If you want something more advanced with more than basic features, you might want to try something like Sprout Social.

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The Only Social Media Monitoring You’ll Need | Brand 24

Have you heard of Brand 24 the Social Media Monitoring Platform? Well, they’ve certainly heard of you. We’ve reviewed some of the key aspects of this platform from a marketers point of view. We’ve picked out some important qualities and how to best utilize brand 24 to monitor your social media.

Social Media Monitoring Solution

Brand 24 is a social media monitoring solution that allows businesses to monitor various keyword usage across the internet. A company or individual can choose to monitor their products, services, brand, or even their competitor’s key terms. The monitoring is happening in real time with immediate results and you are even able to set up notifications so you can act quickly.

A Truly User-Friendly Platform:

The interface is extremely user-friendly and simplistic. The company is constantly making efforts to improve the platform. There is even a detailed tutorial video to watch as you familiarize yourself with all the features of what Brand 24 has to offer. Setting up your first campaign is very straightforward and they provide an ample amount of criteria to segment by.

What Can You Monitor with Brand 24?

As you set up your campaigns you can segment by different sources. It allows you to segment by the social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It also draws from blogs, forums, news, video, and web. You can even exclude specific sites and authors.

How To Best Utilize Brand 24

Competition:

I found that an effective way to use Brand 24 is to monitor your competitors. By having this real-time information you can react quickly. By setting up a campaign to watch users negative interactions with your competitors you can capitalize on this opportunity to win over new customers. With the way the interface is set up you can simply click on the negative comment to immediately be redirected to the source of the comment. If you are able to provide a quick solution for the disgruntled customer you might not just win a new customer, but you might be winning a new loyal advocate for your company.

Social Media Analytics & Reporting:

The platform allows you to visually see the highlights of your most important KPI’s. You can immediately see the real-time most popular mentions as well as the most influential profiles. With the reporting section you can set up an email notification section to notify you on a daily and weekly schedule. There is also a feature called “Storm Alerts” which allows you to set up an emergency email that alerts you when there is a major percentage change in your mentions or social media reach. The Storm Alert essentially notifies you if something viral happens regarding your brand or key terms. At the professional pricing plans you also get access to PDF reports and excel file exporting.

How much does Brand 24 Cost?

They offer a 14-day free trail where you can test out the interface and a few projects to get a feel for what the platform can do. If you are looking into expanding your usage and collection of keywords, mentions and users then you can upgrade to a larger plan. The plans are broken into 3 tiers: Plus, Premium, and Max.
The plans vary on a variety of added features and benefits. Some notable changes are the amount of keyword, mentions, users. The most important increases are in the frequency of updates to your data and the history length of your archives.
Check out Brand 24 for yourself. It might just be the last social media monitoring platform you ever have to use! Comment below a competing social media monitoring platform and we’ll do a comparison!

The All-In-One Social Media Manager Tool

The Best Social Media Manager Tool: Better Than Hootsuite
Later.com was made for social media managers, and more specifically, the social media manager who works better with visual software. Using Later for your social media scheduling will save you time and help you better manage your social media accounts.

Later.com is a social media management platform that allows content marketers to manage Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Unlike many other social media schedulers in this space, Later allows its users to visually see scheduled posts in organized weekly and monthly views, allowing you to see exactly which posts are going to what platform at what time. One of the biggest time-saving functions of Later is the media library. Users can upload a batch of images into the media library, add searchable labels if desired, and filter by used and unused photos to speed up the scheduling process. Gone are the days of adding images to each individual post and starting over for the next one. Later also allows content marketers to schedule posts to multiple social media accounts at once while editing the crop and caption wording for each platform individually for better social media targeting. Users can also manage conversations from Instagram directly from the Later website.

If your business runs an ecommerce site, Later.com’s paid plans offer a Link In Bio feature to make every post shopable via the single link Instagram allows in the bio. Paid accounts also allow social media managers access to basic, more advanced, and Link In Bio analytics for Instagram. The analytics offered on Later.come are useful, but also lacking compared to the social media analytics of other social media softwares like Iconosquare and Buffer. Another limitation of the Later social media scheduler is the number of posts available to use each month depending on the pricing plan you are subscribed to.

Later was created as an Instagram focused social media scheduler that has branched into Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. There is an Instagram Preview function that allows users to preview the layout of their scheduled posts. Later goes beyond the functionality of their social media manager to add value to their users through the Later blog. Later sends weekly content emails to their users to boost their social media strategies in regards to Instagram. These content emails send readers to blog posts full of information and tips for increasing engagement, changes to algorithms, and more.

Overall, the interface, usability, and visual functionality make the Later social media manager the perfect tool content marketers and those managing social media. With pricing ranging from free to $50, Later.com is an affordable tool for personal and business use. If you’ve been looking for an all-in-one social media manager, Later.com is the tool for you. Do you need a social media scheduler for personal use? Are you a large business? Leave which plan you would use and why in the comments below.

Image placement: file:///C:/Users/Sierra/Downloads/Later%20Blog%20Post%20(1).pdf

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