Digital content and social media ideas for December

While we're planning for 2019, let's not forget we still have one important and busy month to end the year on, December! Can you believe the holiday season is here? It can definitely be hard to think about making time to curate content for your blog, PR, and social media channels when this month's to-do list seems almost a mile long. Here are just a few opportunities this month to align your brand or business with some already note-worthy happenings online.

December is...

  • Root Vegetables Month

  • Exotic Fruits Month

  • AIDS Awareness Month

  • Universal Human Rights Month

  • Write a Business Plan Month

  • Safe Toys and Gifts Month

Daily opportunities include...

December 1: Day With(Out) Art Day
December 2: National Mutt Day
December 4: National Cookie Day
December 11: International Children's Day
December 13: National Cocoa Day
December 15: National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day
December 18: Free Shipping Day
December 30: Bacon Day
December 31: National Champagne Day
 

Want more content ideas? Check out our curated content calendars specifically for the food & drink, arts & hobbies, health & wellness, and lifestyle industries. You can find them under the Instas tab here on the FACTEUR website (and showcased below). We've pulled together social media, blogging, and PR opportunities based on monthly and daily holidays, hashtags, and high profile events that are related to each of those industries. Also included is a list of story ideas to get you started with developing your editorial plan, as well as space to brainstorm your own ideas. Right now, we're offering each calendar for $9, and if you buy all four with our Blogger Bundle, you basically get one free! Plus, every time we update the calendars, we'll make sure you'll get the newest iteration (at no extra charge, of course). Happy creating!

Pinterest just might be that one thing missing from your marketing plan

Since its launch in 2010, Pinterest has seemingly fallen in and out of popularity over the years. However, all of us at FACTEUR think it is back, and in a big way. Time has proven that Pinterest is a very successful, yet rarely used, marketing tool. They have a great variety of users, mostly made up of millennial women. However, according to Pinterest, 50% of their new sign-ups this year have been men. If your targeted audience is included in this demographic, Pinterest is perfect for your brand! Whether you’re an influencer, blogger, business, etc. you should be using Pinterest in your marketing efforts to drive traffic to your website, increase sales, engagement, and credibility, among other things. Here’s why:


More People Use Pinterest Than You Think

Pew Research Center assembled research in January of 2018 which indicated that 29% of U.S. adults are users on Pinterest, third only to Facebook and Instagram. That is not an insignificant chunk of people.  And, if you’re not on Pinterest, you are missing out on that whole marketing segment.

 Picture via SOCIALBARRELL.COM

Picture via SOCIALBARRELL.COM

Pinterest is more than Wedding Mood Boards and DIY Inspiration

Pinterest is essentially a search engine. People go there to find things they want, so why wouldn’t you put yourself out there for them to find? Once you break in and establish yourself, your experience is totally curated to your relevant fields of interest. Basically, you won’t have to fight with 50 “wedding dress” mood boards if you’re a personal chef, and vice versa! The OG Pinterest user, The Blogger, used Pinterest specifically to drive more interested traffic to their website, and so can you!

Pinterest Will Increase Your Visibility

Specifically, Pinterest can contribute to your site’s ever-so-important SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Newly launched in 2018, there are four different sections of Pinterest that your pins can be found on, making even more opportunities to connect with people. They are:

  • The Hashtag Feed

Relatively new to Pinterest, hashtags allow users to search for specific feeds showing current real-time posts containing their desired content. Adding all relevent hashtags to your pins will get your posts included in each one of those hashtag feeds.

  • The Smart Feed or Home Feed

This is where Pinterest assembles posts from a user’s interests. They are found using a new algorithm that looks at saved, related, and pins relevant to each user’s interest, and assembles a feed that prioritizes “best” over “newest.”

  • Search

The Search Feed shows the best of the best pins in the relevant category. In order to appear near the top in this feed, you need domain, pin, and pinner quality. A good way to get these things is to add as much information and legitimacy to your pins, personal website, and profile as possible.

  • The Following Tab

In the Following Tab, users see content that the people they follow are pinning. This is a one-stop-shop for recommendations from your own curated feed. A good way to appear on this is to increase your presence and consistency in pins to gain followers.


Appearing in all of these feeds will increase your SEO overall, and will lead to increased trust and visibility for your brand. Read here for some more ways to “win” at Pinterest.


You Can Create a Free Business Profile

Because Pinterest will let you create a free business profile, you will be able to see analytics and trends for all of your content, making for easy and streamlined monitoring of your efforts over time. If you already have a Pinterest profile, you can also convert it to a business profile at any time! Follow this guide to learn more.  

 Zaful has created promoted pins with click through purchasing that aren’t an eyesore for the feeds they appear in

Zaful has created promoted pins with click through purchasing that aren’t an eyesore for the feeds they appear in

You can Create Promoted and Buyable Pins

You can also purchase promoted pins, which bump up your placement in feeds, and are shown to increase total engagement.

Pinterest also allows users to create pins which have a feature allowing products to be bought within the Pinterest app itself. This feature is now available to every Pinterest user, via Shopify. Pinterest has indicated that 1 in every 2 people will make a purchase after seeing a promoted pin, and why not make it easier for them with this cool new feature?

Still not convinced? Read on to learn about recent success stories from businesses who have embraced Pinterest.

ThirdLove, an indie bra retailer that makes the “perfect bra” started using promoted pins with one-click access to a landing page from their own website. After six weeks of consistent and new content in promoted pins, they saw a 26% increase in traffic to their site, and a resulting 14% lower cost per acquisition.

Wayfair, a wildly popular furniture retailer, found huge success by creating buyable pins for every single one of their products. Since launching this campaign they have seen increased traffic and revenues, and decreased advertising costs.

Moorea Seal’s Pinterest Boards

Moorea Seal was a recent graduate, who wanted to launch her own business. She gained popularity on Pinterest because of her curated boards. Each one was thoughtfully curated and housed enough appealing content to gain her a mass following. Since joining Pinterest, she has gotten two book deals, opened an online store, and opened a store front, all of which she attributes to her Pinterest success.

Seems pretty easy, right? Pinterest might just be what you’re missing to get your marketing plan really working for you. If you have experience with Pinterest or are going to give Pinterest marketing a shot, let us know how you get on in the comments below. And of course, share this post with your business hustling friends!

Tips to ignite excitement around a product launch: what we learned from Fashion Week

It is always exciting to share new products with your consumers. Along with all of the effort put into external promotion, however, we can’t forget about creating content for our own platforms. As we always say at FACTEUR PR, “own your story to share your story!”

Want a tip for approaching your social media in a potentially different way? Treat the drop of a new item like an event! Who wouldn’t want more customer anticipation building up to the release?

The concept:

A good source of inspiration for this kind of strategy is in the fashion industry, specifically how luxury brands engage followers during the release of their collections each season at Fashion Week. An easy way to look at the shared content is in three parts: before, during, and after the event. Instagram, and particularly Instagram Stories, are becoming increasingly important and utilized for brand engagement. Here are some examples of what to look for and share.

Luxury brands are often known for being the least transparent in the industry, so any glimpse into the process is widely welcomed. The desire for transparency is growing in consumers at all market segments, so it is a good thing for small businesses to keep in mind as well!

Pre-Show:

  • Instagram Story Takeover (example: a show attendee shares the process of getting ready for the show.)

  • Small Detail Posts (example: sneak peeks of the show venue, inspirational quotes or images that contributed to the designs, and glances at the production process catch the attention of followers.)

  • Attendance List (example: if someone cool is showing up or is otherwise involved, let viewers know.)

During the Show:

  • A Garment in Motion (example: choosing a few of the strongest or most unique looks from the collection works well when shown on the model in video or photo form.)

  • The Finale Video (example: even a fraction of the moment when all of the garments can be seen at once provides the observer with a good grasp on elements of the collection.)

Post-Show:

  • Attendees’ Responses (example: a candid interview occurs to capture the emotional responses of a variety of viewers.)

  • Edited Visuals (example: the sharing of final images and/or videos of the looks occurs after they have been sorted and edited to meet the company’s level of quality and aesthetic.)

An elegantly applicable brand to observe is that of Dior, one that is often acknowledged for their extensive social media content. On September 24, the luxury fashion house showed their Spring/Summer 2019 RTW collection in Paris. Its Instagram account utilized the story feature throughout the day. Instead of following the pre-show preparation of a well-known influencer, they featured a fresh-faced model describing each part of the fashion show she experienced (shown above). Luxury brands are often known for being the least transparent in the industry, so any glimpse into the process is widely welcomed. The desire for transparency is growing in consumers at all market segments, so it is a good thing for small businesses to keep in mind as well!

How to apply it:

Each of the kinds of content described can be translated and pared down to your specific products or services before, during, and after a launch. Post a sneak peek of the cool packaging or a video talking through your sources of inspiration. After the product is released, maintain its new position in the market. Though your business likely does not have the ability to make the volume of content that a brand such as Dior has, sharing a handful of quality visuals in the following days is already a significant reminder to your audience! At FACTEUR PR, we can’t say enough about the importance of continuing on after a big brand moment has happened. Keeping up public relations both online and off is a constant endeavor, so keep it fresh and creative!

Looking for assistance with your public relations and social media strategy ahead of your brand or product launch? We can help! Head to our Contact page to get started!

Instagram Story images c/o @dior. Cover image c/o Cleo Glover.

Social media and story ideas for September

September content ideas

September is nearly here, which means summer is almost over (sadly)! But who else thinks fall is the best season? The approaching season has no shortage of great events that can serve as an inspirational source for blogging, and September is no exception. These ideas are also applicable to your social media and media relations pitches. To get you started, here are just a few opportunities this month to align your brand or business with some already note-worthy happenings online.

September is...

  • Better Breakfast Month
  • Whole Grains Month
  • Yoga Month
  • Healthy Aging Month
  • Self Improvement Month
  • Classical Music Month

Daily opportunities include...

September 3: Labor Day
September 6: National Read a Book Day
September 18: National Cheeseburger Day
September 21: International Day of Peace
September 22: First Day of Fall
September 25: One Hit Wonder Day
September 26: National Pancake Day
September 27: Women's Health & Fitness Day
September 28: Drink Beer Day
September 29: National Coffee Day
 

Want more content ideas for the year? These are just a few of the ones we've identified! We have developed four editorial content calendars specifically for the food & drink, arts & hobbies, health & wellness, and lifestyle industries. You can find them under the Instant Resources tab here on the FACTEUR website (and showcased below). We've pulled together social media, blogging, and PR opportunities based on monthly and daily holidays, hashtags, and high profile events that are related to each of those industries. Also included is a list of story ideas to get you started with developing your editorial plan, as well as space to brainstorm your own ideas. We're offering each calendar for $9, and if you buy all four with our Blogger Bundle, you basically get one free! Plus, every time we update the calendars, we'll make sure you'll get the newest iteration (at no extra charge, of course). Happy creating!

 PIN THIS!

PIN THIS!

Yield better results on Instagram with a little curation and cohesiveness

Instagram curation

We all want to create those beautiful Instagram pages that bring in new followers that turn into clients and customers. We know the pages I’m talking about — the ones that have all the pictures that are so beautiful, edited well and content that is well-curated.

Mav Social recently published an article on creating a feed on Instagram that matches your brand and looks cohesive. Their helpful articles explains that while “your photos look brilliant when viewed individually, they could be a jumbled mess when seen together,” which is one reason to create a beautiful feed. Nobody wants their first impression to be a messy one. Brand recognition will also help people remember you! If you have a beautiful page, people won’t have to even look at your handle to know it’s your content, automatically knowing in their mind that this picture belongs to you!

 @FACTEURPR

@FACTEURPR

How do these brands do it?

Well, I wanted to share some insider tips! This blog post was inspired by FACTEUR's own Instagram feed. I am amazed by how well Reena, the founder of FACTEUR, puts together each Instagram post to tie so well into the rest. She makes sure the colors are cohesive and that everything is on-brand and is recognizable for our audience.

Knowing your audience is super important when launching a brand as well as when marketing one. I run a personal blog, and I can definitely attest to this. I run an Instagram page as well, and I know that my audience would be thrown off if I all of the sudden started posting a black and white photo when the rest of my pictures are very colorful and highly saturated. I know my audience enjoys and expects bright colors and through researching other Instagram influencers they follow, they engage with similar pages.

While it may sound boring to post content that all matches, it actually becomes very appealing to the eye of the follower.

In the Mav Social article I mentioned earlier, they shared this photo as an example from Fossil’s Instagram feed. It shows that they choose consistent colors to focus on, but so followers don’t get bored, they switch up the hue every nine photos.

 @FOSSIL

@FOSSIL


While the content may not be exactly the same in each individual photo, overall it still looks cohesive and their photos are always of high quality.

A new website that I recently learned about and saw that was given also as an example in this article is  the blog on Design-seeds.com. This blog offers  a great way to figure out a color palette for your brand/company. Here are some examples of the ways they help inspire you:

 @INSOMNIA

@INSOMNIA

 

As you can see in this photo that @In_somnia_ used on their Instagram, they were able to pull out these beautiful six colors. Out of these six colors, they could decide to continue using a few of them in their upcoming Instagram pictures!

Imagine if this picture was randomly thrown into one of the color schemes from Fossil. It would look out of place and if a follower was looking at the Instagram page, some followers may be turned off by how out of place the picture looks and leave, meaning you would lose out on a new follower, sale or future customer.

A sense of unity, even on your Instagram feed, makes your audience feel part of your brand.

Visual Psychology

Streamlining the look and feel isn't about deceiving your audience. In fact, with so much noise on social media, it's helpful to post things that are only relevant (and save the fun, on the fly stuff for your Stories!). Photos can create an emotional response to your audience, so make sure you are helping to create the right ones!


Apps to help you edit your pictures

There are so many options out there today for you! Choosing the right one for you may take a couple of tries!

My top three suggestions for apps to help you edit your pictures:

  1. VSCO: great for creating each picture with the same filter

  2. Lightroom: awesome for editing details/specific colors in pictures

  3. A Color Story: fun and creative filters as well as editing functions like Structure, Curves, and more

Now, don't forget that photos aren't the only thing you need to developing an engaging Instagram presence. Once you create eye-catching and on-brand visuals, you need relevant and powerful captions, as well! 

Need help on ideas of what to post? Check out FACTEUR's Instant Resources section and get your hands on some content calendar worksheets for a year's worth of ideas to get you inspired and started! 


Danie Minor is a recent graduate of Kent State University, where she studied public relations. She is passionate about all things having to do with social media and influencer relations.

Digital content and story ideas for May

May digital content ideas

Welcome to the month of May! If you're in the northern hemisphere, you are probably welcoming some consistently warmer weather, which always inspires us to create new things. May has no shortage of great events that can serve as an inspirational source for blogging. These ideas are also applicable to your social media and media relations pitches. To get you started, here are just a few opportunities this month to align your brand or business with some already note-worthy happenings online.

May is...

  • Vegan Month
  • National Peanut Butter Lovers Month
  • National Water Safety Month
  • World Stroke Month
  • National Bike Month
  • National Photograph Month
  • National Songwriting Month

Daily opportunities include...

May 2: National Lemonade Day
May 4: National Star Wars Day
May 5: Cinco De Mayo
May 5: Kentucky Derby
May 7: National Packaging Design Day
May 11: National Foam Rolling Day
May 13: Mother's Day
May 18: International Museum Day
May 20: Bike to Work Day
May 25: National Wine Day
May 27: International Jazz Day
May 28: National Hamburger Day
May 31: National Macaroon Day

Want more content ideas for the year? These are just a few of the ones we've identified! We have developed four editorial content calendars specifically for the food & drink, arts & hobbies, health & wellness, and lifestyle industries. You can find them under the Instant Resources tab here on the FACTEUR website (and showcased below). We've pulled together social media, blogging, and PR opportunities based on monthly and daily holidays, hashtags, and high profile events that are related to each of those industries. Also included is a list of story ideas to get you started with developing your editorial plan, as well as space to brainstorm your own ideas. We're offering each calendar for $10, and if you buy all four with our Blogger Bundle, you basically get one free! Plus, every time we update the calendars, we'll make sure you'll get the newest iteration (at no extra charge, of course). Happy creating!

 Save this post to pinterest

Save this post to pinterest

Takeaways and trends from SXSW

Marketing trends from SXSW

Every year, South by Southwest (SXSW) springs upon us, and feels like it flies by. During each conference panel, festival, exhibition and networking opportunity, there is greatness that happens, and new ideas and trends that we in the creative fields need to be aware of!

This year from March 9 through 18, SXSW dedicated itself to helping creatives achieve their goals, whatever they may be. Throughout the conference, there were some definite trends that were talked about that we need to keep our eyes open to and consider so we can stay relevant in this crazy world that we live in.

SXSW covered some of the trends that they thought were most relevant from this past conference, and I want to highlight some that I think are the relevant when it comes to marketing.

The Maturing VR Market

We’ve seen Virtual Reality enter our world fast and mighty, but throughout this past year, it’s really making a name for itself. What may have been thought of as a trend or a fad, was wrong. SXSW reports VR has really matured into a potent tool in the arts, medicine, business and entertainment fields and is really accelerating into mainstream technology now.

So, what’s next after VR, you ask? It’s MR, which is Mixed Reality.

Mixed Reality is going to allow you to created environments and overlays. It is going to give you a really immersed feeling and becoming more of a mainstream technology tool.

Inclusion in Business and The Arts

During a time where the country has never felt more divided, we have seen a rise in inclusion in brands and throughout marketing. It’s 2018, so we should expect this, but now it’s actually happening and is going to continue!

We are seeing a rise of empowerment of women, people with disabilities and people from various backgrounds. It is part of our jobs in PR/marketing to further these messages.

The Rise of the Short Documentaries on Social Media

Social media is the new form of journalism. We get our news and learn new things from social media. For example, on Facebook, there is a page called 60 Second Docs. These short documents do a story about someone/something in 60 seconds.

With our short attentions spans, these short documentaries are a quick way to learn a lot about something! In PR, we are constantly looking for a way to grab someone’s attention through all of the noise, and video content is the way to do it!


Danie Minor is a recent graduate of Kent State University, where she studied public relations. She is passionate about all things having to do with social media and influencer relations.
 

Social media and content ideas for the month of March

Who can believe it's almost March already? While you're gearing up for spring, don't overlook this important month, chock full of great events that can serve as an inspirational source for blogging. These ideas are also applicable to your social media and media relations pitches. To get you started, here are just a few opportunities this month to align your brand or business with some already note-worthy happenings online.

March is...

  • Women's History Month
  • National Nutrition Month
  • National Peanut Month
  • National Craft Month
  • Music in Our Schools Month

Daily opportunities include...

March 1: Peanut Butter Lover's Day
March 3: National Day of Unplugging
March 7: National Cereal Day
March 8: International Women's Day
March 11: Daylight Savings Time Begins
March 13: National Napping Day
March 17: St. Patrick's Day
March 20: First Day of Spring
March 21: National French Bread Day
March 23: National Puppy Day
March 23: National Chia Day
March 26: National Spinach Day
March 28: Singer Lady Gaga's birthday (had to throw that one in!)

Want more content ideas for the year? We have developed four editorial content calendars specifically for the food & drink, arts & hobbies, health & wellness, and lifestyle industries. You can find them under the Downloads tab here on the FACTEUR website (and showcased below). We've pulled together social media, blogging, and PR opportunities based on monthly and daily holidays, hashtags, and high profile events that are related to each of those industries. Also included is a list of story ideas to get you started with developing your editorial plan, as well as space to brainstorm your own ideas. We're offering each calendar for less than $10, and if you buy all four with our Blogger Bundle, you basically get one free! Plus, every time we update the calendars, we'll make sure you'll get the newest iteration (at no extra charge, of course). Happy creating!


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Five social media tips for 2018

Traveling in London (5).png

Every Friday on Instagram, we are answering your marketing and communications-related questions on Stories! That includes topics such as media relations, advertising, social media, influencer relations, blogging, content marketing, planning, pitching, SEO, and more. This week's Q&A notes are below, and be sure to follow @FACTEURPR on Instagram to see our past and present Q&As, too!

Q: How do I grow my social media following?

A: This topic is HUGE. So huge, we spend a minimum of three months with our coaching clients researching, developing a strategy, and working together on creative, narratives, schedules, measurement, and more. (You can learn more about that offering here.) However, that doesn't mean there aren't tactics you can use now to see results. The new year is anticipated to be a tough one for brands on Facebook and Instagram due to algorithmic changes, but all that really means is pivoting our strategy just a bit to focus on conversations around content rather than strictly selling. (Related: Grow your brand or business with content marketing)

1. Post more video content

For several years now, predictions about the mounting impact of video marketing have only escalated. Year-after-year, video content consistently claims the top spots of seemingly every must-have marketing list, and ours is no different. Just take a look at these incredible statistics released by Hubspot just last year:

  • Video will account for 80% of all web traffic by 2019.
  • 90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions.
  • 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.
  • 80% of customers remember a video they’ve watched in the last month. 

If you're looking to gain awareness for your brand and sell products, consider video as part of your marketing strategy this year. And we don't just mean fancy, expensive videos. Platforms like Instagram Stories and Snapchat were set-up to steer users away from uploading rehearsed or professional video content. Instead, consider tip number 2.

2. Go live or go home.

That's live as in live video, not living life (although hey, we should all do that part, too!). Before you changed your notification settings, if you ever did, you may have noticed that many times when a page or person goes live on Instagram or Facebook, you receive a notification. This isn't happenstance. This is a feature these platforms are pushing to encourage meaningful, real-time conversation. Make a date with your audience and take the time on Facebook or Instagram Live to announce a new product or service, or answer questions about a specific topic. (Related: Friday Q&A: Your PR and marketing questions answered)

3. Use hashtags wisely.

People are following you on social media for a reason. Never lose sight of that reason and make it crystal clear for potential followers.

Each Instagram post allows for 30 hashtags to be attached to your photo. That is 3-0 opportunities for people to find your content. Use every opportunity available, meaning all 30 hashtags if you can. Vary them up post-to-post and make sure you are only using hashtags that are pertinent to the content you're posting and/or your brand. Pro-tip: At the end of 2017, Instagram rolled out a new feature where you can follow hashtags. This is a great new way to discover content and interact with it while scrolling through your feed. Follow those hashtags!

4. Focus on relevancy and relationships.

People are following you on social media for a reason. Never lose sight of that reason and make it crystal clear for potential followers. Focus on a strong bio, solid branding, and consistency in your message and voice. For example, if your company offers interior design services, chances are the majority of the people who are following you are interested in seeing and learning more about interior design (but of course, check your analytics to confirm!). That should be the focus of your feed. It's great to break things up with a post here and there from your lunch outing or vacation, but make sure you are balancing that with the content folks signed up to see. We often suggest creating a "social media formula" for your page, and would be happy to help with that. And don't forget, engagement is a two-way street. There's nothing like building valued relationships with returned likes and comments, too! 

5. Remember quality over quantity.

We always say social media is an art as well as a science. The way you present your brand is just as important as the hashtags you use and the frequency you're posting. Be sure to spend extra attention on crafting your creative, prioritizing quality content (photos, captions) over content to post for posting's sake. Pro-tip: Hire a professional photographer once a quarter to take "stock photos" of you, your team, your newest products, your store, etc. to share on social media and use for PR. Need content ideas? Be sure to check out our curated content calendar downloads for story ideas!


Have additional tips to share? Leave them in the comments below!

Do you have a marketing and communications related question you'd like to see answered? Share it in the comments below, send an email, or head to our Instagram page and send us a direct message!

Need more assistance? FACTEUR is here to help. We would love to work with you on a tailored public relations or integrated marketing and communications strategy for your brand and business. From planning to pitching, and consulting to creating, we're as hands on as you need. Learn more here.

 

Friday Q&A: Your PR and marketing questions answered

Friday.png

This new year is off to a busy start, but we want to make sure we take the time to give back with a bit of what we know and have learned! Every Friday on the @FACTEURPR Instagram Stories, we answer a PR or marketing question you've asked. That includes media relations, advertising, social media, influencer engagement, blogging, content marketing, planning, pitching, SEO, etc. The videos will stay live on Stories for 24 hours, and we will add the most recent ones to our Instagram page Highlights. 

To ask a question, send us an email, drop a comment below or leave a comment or DM us on Instagram.  

We look forward to connecting with you and hope you find this series valuable. And as always, we're always here to help with your specific public relations, social media, content marketing, and digital creative needs! Contact us here.