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.

Five social media tips for 2018

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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.

 

New Instagram Stories features, Pinterest rolls out hashtags, and e-commerce tips to build customer loyalty

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Welcome to the 12th edition of Three on Thursdays, a series here on our blog devoted to sharing a few of latest marketing and PR insights and tips to help grow your brand and business. Every week, we'll handpick three good-to-know tips or resources that can help educate and inspire your own efforts. Be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter below to get these and other tips delivered to your inbox every month!

Here are this week's highlights:

1.) Instagram releases three new Stories features.

Instagram has unveiled three new features for Stories this week: a sticker to poll your followers, plus a color picker for text and brushes and an alignment tool for text and stickers. Learn more on the Instagram blog

Related: Check out our five tips for using Instagram stories to build your brand or business.

2.) Pinterest rolls out hashtags.

While you could have always hashtagged your Pinterest posts, it was just recently that hashtags became clickable and searchable as a feed on the platform. This is huge for the platform which has long been used for its search capabilities. Pinterest is recommending not more than 20 hashtags per post at this time. Read more on the Pinterest blog.

3.) Eight e-commerce trends brands need to incorporate to ensure customer loyalty

Here at FACTEUR, we are big fans of PR Couture. Currently we're reading this article on e-commerce trends, which actually sound less like trends and more like actionable advice to us! It's all about the sensory and simplicity. Read on!

Related: PR Couture features FACTEUR PR


FACTEUR PR is a boutique integrated marketing and communications studio based in Cleveland, Ohio. We work alongside independent businesses, nonprofits, creative brands, and agencies in making the most of their public relations, social media, content marketing, creative projects, and more. Get in touch to learn more!

The benefits of content marketing, Instagram reveals new comment features, PR spending on the rise

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Welcome to the 11th edition of Three on Thursdays, a series here on our blog devoted to sharing a few of latest marketing and PR insights and tips to help grow your brand and business. Every week, we'll handpick three good-to-know tips or resources that can help educate and inspire your own efforts. Be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter below to get these and other tips delivered to your inbox every month!

Here are this week's highlights:

1.) The measurable benefits of content marketing.

The Content Marketing Institute just released survey results from its recent study on content marketing habits and results. The survey showed that 65% of content marketing programs in 2017 were more successful than in 2016? What is credited for this success? A documented content marketing plan, commitment and delivery, for starters. 

Related: Learn more about our content marketing services.

2.) Instagram announces new comment controls.

Instagram just announced two new ways to control the comments on your posts, whether your account is public or private. This will be particular of use for your business account in helping to block spam bots from posting unrelated or self-promoting comments on your photos and videos.

Related: Check out our five tips for using Instagram stories to build your brand or business.

3.) PR spending will be on the rise for the next five years.

Adweek just reported that based on a recent study, PR and marketing will not only become more closely joined together, but that PR spending will specifically increase over the next five years. Read more.

Related: What is PR, and how can it help your brand or business?

Compiled by Reena Goodwin, Anna Huff, and Julie Hong.


FACTEUR PR is a boutique integrated marketing and communications studio based in Cleveland, Ohio. We work alongside independent businesses, nonprofits, creative brands, and agencies in making the most of their public relations, social media, content marketing, creative projects, and more. Get in touch to learn more!

Changes to Instagram and Twitter, plus a Netflix PR win we can all learn from

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We're back! Welcome to the 10th edition of Three on Thursdays, a series here on our blog devoted to sharing a few of latest marketing and PR insights and tips to help grow your brand and business. Every week, we'll handpick three good-to-know tips or resources that can help educate and inspire your own efforts. Be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter below to get these and other tips delivered to your inbox every month!

Here are this week's highlights:

1.) Twitter announces new 280-character limit.

A select few Twitter accounts now have the ability to tweet up to 280 characters, double-that of its historic 140 character limit. But you can enable the increased word count on your account now

2.) Instagram is allegedly adding one more photo across to your grid.

This one has us scratching our heads a bit. Many of us know all too well how our grids are part art, part science. This would change things. Have you seen four-across grids pop up on the platform yet?

Related: Check out our five tips for using Instagram stories to build your brand or business.

3.) How to legally defend your brand while scoring a PR win.

We are currently loving how Netflix handled a recent legal matter concerning a Stranger Things licensing issue. Talk about staying true to your brand voice!

Compiled by Reena Goodwin, Anna Huff, and Julie Hong.


FACTEUR PR is a boutique integrated marketing and communications studio based in Cleveland, Ohio. We work alongside independent businesses, nonprofits, creative brands, and agencies in making the most of their public relations, social media, content marketing, creative projects, and more. Get in touch to learn more!

Three on Thursdays: Instagram Stories introduces ads, Facebook launches Journalism Project, and more

Welcome to the ninth edition of Three on Thursdays, our new blog series where you'll find a few of latest marketing and PR insights and tips to help grow your brand and business. Every week, we'll handpick three good-to-know tips or resources that can help educate and inspire your own efforts. Be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter below to get these and other tips delivered to your inbox every month!

Here are this weeks highlights from FACTEUR PR:

1.) Instagram Stories is introducing ads.

Instagram announced yesterday that it will begin adding videos ads and more analytics features to its Stories feature. Since its launch over the summer, Stories has an audience of 150 million people using it every day (watch out, Spapchat, whose growth has been surpassed in speed by Instagram). Keep on eye on GM, Nike, and Airbnb, who are just some of the brands that will be testing the new advertising feature before it's unveiled more widely. (Full story from Mashable)

Related: Check out our five tips for using Instagram stories to build your brand or business.

2.) Facebook's "Journalism Project" launching to improve storytelling for media brands.

In an ongoing effort to strengthen ties with news organizations to showcase content in a more user friendly format, numerous stories at a time. Using Instant Articles, Facebook says it will set a feature with 10 media outlets - like Refinery29, USA Today, and more - to present readers with multiple, packaged stories. Time.com has the full story.

3.) How to target generation-specific audiences on social media.

With the rise (rise? more like conquering!) of mobile, it's no surprise that Americans check social media approximately 17 times a day. But who are they, what are they doing, and where are they logging in? This useful infographic courtesy of PR Daily explains more. 

FACTEUR PR is a boutique integrated marketing and communications firm based in Cleveland, Ohio. We work alongside independent businesses, nonprofits, creative brands, and agencies in making the most of their public relations, social media, content marketing, creative projects, and more. 

Three on Thursdays: Instagram snaps up more Snapchat features, Google drops Content Keywords, and more

Welcome to the seventh edition of Three on Thursdays, our new weekly blog series where you'll find a few of latest marketing and PR insights and tips to help grow your brand and business. Every week, we'll handpick three good-to-know tips or resources that can help educate and inspire your own efforts. Be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter below to get these and other tips delivered to your inbox every month!

Here are this weeks highlights from FACTEUR PR:

1.) Why PR is the best kept secret in content marketing

Two weeks ago I linked to an article that talked about the importance of content marketing to PR. This week, I stumbled upon this blog post this week and just had to share that flips that claim, making it mutually beneficial. Writer Frank Strong discusses the importance of the relationship between public relations and content marketing - now more than ever. "The classically trained PR professional knows that markets are conversations. It's an inherent philosophy for being helpful, with a predilection for storytelling, and the patience to build trust and the knowledge that relationships take time. If brands want to put some jet-fuel in content marketing, invite the communicators to the table because PR is the best kept secret in content marketing." Integrating your marketing and communications efforts? We couldn't agree more! 

2.) Google removed Content Keywords report from Search Console

Heads up! Search Console, or once called Webmaster Tools, will no longer feature Content Keywords for your website. Since the introduction of Fetch and Render, which provides a visual reputation your crawled website, having the Content Keywords feature is now virtually obsolete. But don't be confused - Google still stresses the importance of optimizing your website with keywords to help people find your website. Learn more about this change here.

3.) Even more new Instagram Stories features

Two more Instagram Stories features unveiled this week. 
1.) Taking inspiration from Facebook Live, Instagram is rolling out a new live video feature in the coming weeks. Soon, users will be able to stream live for up to an hour, notifying your followers through the Stories bar at the top of the Instagram home feed.
2.) And still not to be outdone by Snapchat, once again Instagram takes a page from its book as well. Now, Instagram users will be able to send disappearing photos and videos with the platform's direct messaging system to one or more (like a curated group) users. Could be a fun way to send out disappearing coupon codes during the holidays, no?

Get the full how-to's on the Instagram blog here.

And in case you missed it, check out our five tips for using Instagram stories to build your brand or business.

*FACTEUR PR will be taking a break for the Thanksgiving holiday and will return with the next Three on Thursdays on December 1.


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> Looking for marketing and PR support? FACTEUR PR can help. 

Get "expirational:" five ways to use Instagram Stories for your brand or business

(Photo: Instagram)

(Photo: Instagram)

Last week, Instagram rolled out its newest feature, Stories, a very Snapchat-inspired offering that allows users to upload quick videos and photos that disappear in 24 hours. It was a bold step for the social network, now opening its doors for more user generated content, not just beautiful user generated content. While Snapchat has had the upper-hand when it comes to reaching and engaging teenage audiences across the world, many ‘grammers are already seeing the Stories feature as a way to deliver content to their Instagram following without having to worry about building an audience on another platform like Snapchat. If Instagram's parent company, Facebook, didn’t feel like it was taking over the world before, it certainly feels more like it now. 

Brooklyn jewelry brand, Catbird, is using Instagram Stories to share a look at products coming soon. (Photo: @Catbird)

Brooklyn jewelry brand, Catbird, is using Instagram Stories to share a look at products coming soon. (Photo: @Catbird)

Recently, too, Instagram also unveiled its new business profile feature: a way for user accounts to transition into a business-minded account that offers analytics, easy-to-access contact information for its followers, and promotional and paid opportunities to reach new audiences. 

Hand-in-hand, these latest Insta-velopments are likely going to be a big boost for brands and businesses, a market that the social network is increasingly trying to monetize from. 

Here are five ways you can start using Instagram Stories for your brand or business. 

1.) Introduce you and your team.

Go beyond the bio and headshot on your website. Introduce a member of your team with a quick series of videos that shares some insights on that person: their name, what they do at work, their hobbies outside of work, projects they are working on, etc. It’s both authentic and transparent, and your followers will appreciate getting you to know a little more. (Disclaimer: This doesn’t replace the a bio and headshot on your website. You still need some kind of visual and story on your website!)

2.) Share a behind-the-scenes look at a product or launch.

This is not only beneficial to your audiences in offering them a sneak peek of what you’re producing, but an important learning opportunity for you and your brand, as well. Want to know if the public will respond more enthusiastically to your new mint green shade of custom planters or the orange ones? Ask them! 

3.) Schedule live Q&A sessions.

On the flip-side, schedule time for your audiences to tune in and ask you questions. Through the direct messaging features on Stories, Instagrammers can send in questions and comments, and you can respond via video. Can't make time to dedicate to a live Q&A? Post a photo on Instagram asking for questions, and let folks know to check their Stories feed at a certain time to see the answers.

4.) Offer special incentives like coupons and discounts

Like Snapchat, the great thing about Stories is that engaging with content suddenly becomes an urgent matter. How can you use that urgency to get your audiences to take action, or make your content “expirational,” as I like to call it (That’s expiration + inspirational!) You could post a photo of a coupon with a code, announce a contest, and more. Either the offer could be good for only that 24 hour period, or folks can screen shot to present it at your business during a limited time period if you have a physical business location.

5.) Partner with influencers.

Just like with Instagram takeovers on your feed, why not offer an influencer, special customer, or blogger into your business or special event to take over your Stories feed? This is a great way to share a brand perspective other than your own and highlight different voices. And best of all, if you’re very particular about the overall aesthetic of your Instagram feed and profile, you won’t have to worry about breaking your cohesive look and feel with dozens of photos on your feed that may become too overwhelming for your followers anyways.

These are just a handful of the ways I see using the new Stories feature on Instagram to the advantage of just about any brand or business, and I hope you found them helpful! If you're interested in instant or committed support with your social media channels, definitely check out our Social Media services page, and sign up below for the FACTEUR e-newsletter for more tips and tricks!

(Photo: Mallory + Justin)