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How did you make your business’ social channels unique?

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Woman setting up social media on a PC
Failing to make social media unique and part of a marketing strategy in 2021 can seriously affect sales performance. Photo: Jenny Ueberberg

Businesses throwing tons of random content on social media are more likely to alienate their hard-earned followers than being of any help. And although brands and companies are not scared of trying the content tools available on social platforms to create fun places where clients and prospects will hang around, the truth is that most businesses accounts will fail to build entertaining online spaces to spend time in.

Regardless of niche – or if a business is selling rainbow cakes, tailored suits or a miniature wacky waving inflatable tube man – failing to make a social media channel part of a marketing strategy in 2021 can seriously affect sales performance. 57% of consumers will follow a brand to learn about new products or services while 47% will follow to stay up to date on company news – and 50% of all of them increased their social media usage in 2020, a Sprout Social Index report revealed earlier this year.

Here, seven entrepreneurs and creatives reveal how they managed to make the social channels of their businesses unique and engaging.

 

Make it hard for others to replicate your content

“The perfect social media content that promotes both engagement and enquiries requires two key factors: 1) Your content must make the viewer immediately think ‘WOW’, followed by ‘I want to do that or visit there’. 2) The second aspect is that your content must be unique and placed within the context of your business; if you can make your content difficult to replicate, it will remain uniquely yours for longer.”

Iain Miller – Entrepreneur at www.uniqueascent.ie

 

Leverage the power of animated infographics

“One of the biggest weaknesses I generally find in business social media pages, whether on Facebook or Instagram, is that they generally do not use the power of animated infographics.

Infographics can be extremely useful for delivering your message by complementing what you have to say. With everything in life, to make things fun and interesting you have to put in some hard work. And with content it is no different.”

Hitesh Agarwal – Director at mobile app development company  www.techexactly.co

 

Use natural images instead of oversaturated filters

“My business social channel is about my travels and maintain uniqueness by being relatable and maintaining social connections.

I like to keep it real by making sure my Instagram photos are clear and natural – I don’t use filters or overly pre-planned layouts. I also give a quick run-through of my experience and include some related interesting facts.”

Yulia Saf – Travel blogger at www.misstourist.com

 

Provide educational value

“A typical fitness studio social media account posts pictures of members and motivational quotes. We did not want to take this route because it gives people no reason to follow – what value does it provide them? We made our Instagram profile unique by posting graphics made in Canva using our colours with unique texture overlays and providing educational content, giving people a reason to follow even if they don’t attend our
studio.”

Emily Stork – Co-Founder at fitness studio www.wtfboxing.com

 

Make your account fun

“For me, the key to keeping my audience engaged, entertained and, of course coming back, is about one thing: Making it fun. I don’t use social media as a place to complain or bitch about things (well, maybe Twitter occasionally). But rather, my Insta feed is all about fun parts of my life. Need a pick-me-up? Chances are I have a post that’ll make you smile. Need to feel encouraged? I have got you covered. Need some excitement? All set. My social media is driven by the overarching theme of fun, enjoyment, and knowing you can do anything you want to.”

Peter Shankman – Best-selling author and content creator

 

Provide perks for your target audience

“I regularly provide clickable information like bonus points, free upgrades, discounts, and other travel hacks through my Facebook and Instagram accounts to excite my followers. And I always stick to my brand voice by using photos that tell a story to make them feel like they’ve been to that destination or make them yearn to go there.

Immanuel Debeer – Founder at www.flighthacks.com.au

 

Share photos of unique milestones
“To keep our social channels unique, we do not only use them to advertise our services. We also use them to share our stories. We make our content engaging by sharing photos and videos of team lunches, recipients of our scholarship grants, and even work anniversary celebrations. This way, we know our content is unique because our feed is truly curated for us alone.”

Andrew Raso – Co-founder at digital agency www.onlinemarketinggurus.com.au

 

Marketing

David Beckham partners with Stella Artois for new campaign

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A billboard featuring English footballer David Beckham
The first commercial for the new partnership, featuring David Beckham, was released earlier this month

Stella Artois has enlisted global sport and lifestyle icon David Beckham as an official ambassador for the new “A Taste Worth More” campaign, celebrating our premium brand’s distinctive taste and genuine moments of connection with friends.

The “Worth More” platform builds on Stella Artois’ famous “Reassuringly Expensive” advertising campaign that helped define the international premium beer segment globally from 1982 until 2007.

“While the Reassuringly Expensive line was pure creative genius – a great example of understanding consumer behavior and then transforming it into powerful advertising with an irreverent twist – it was almost three decades ago and the codes of premium have changed,” says Tim Ovadia, Global Vice President of Marketing for Stella Artois. “Being ‘premium’ is no longer just about the price tag, brands now have to prove their worth to consumers at both an emotional and functional level.”

Richard Oppy, Global Vice President of the Premium Co. at AB InBev, said David Beckham was tapped as an official ambassador for the brand because, “Not only does he embody modern premium values, but he is also a beer consumer and Stella Artois lover – an authentic connection that builds strong partnership. This is a big moment for the Stella Artois brand that we believe can kick off a powerful wave of growth around the world.”

The partnership is also a key pillar in AB InBev’s global megabrand strategy and mega-platform approach that hones in on relevant consumer passion points and developing meaningful consumer connections through rich occasions to fuel love for our brands and drive growth.

“I’m pleased to partner with Stella Artois and excited to celebrate the importance of genuine moments with family and friends. The brand and its distinctive taste has been a favourite for years,” said David. 

The first commercial for the “A Taste Worth More” campaign was released earlier this month, which satirically positions the taste of Stella Artois as worth more than a chance encounter to meet David, one of the world’s most recognizable men. The commercial is part of a new year-long campaign and will run alongside digital and out-of-home advertising in the U.S., Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, South Korea and South Africa. 

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Marketing

Samy Alliance enters Nordic market with social media agency acquisition

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Samy Alliance enters Nordic market with social media agency acquisition
With new acquisition, Samy Alliance continues its international expansion that started in 2019

SAMY Alliance, an integrated, social-first technology and data-enabled digital marketing company, has begun a new chapter on its tenth anniversary with the acquisition of Kurio, a social-first creative agency, headquartered in Helsinki, Finland.

Since being founded in 2013 SAMY Alliance has experienced sustained growth year-on-year, consolidating its position as a leading global player in its sector. The company is currently present in Europe, the United Kingdom and the Americas.

Kurio was founded in 2012 by Jari Lähdevuori and Elli Tuominen, is a social-first creative agency which has worked with brands such as Microsoft, Unilever, Accenture, and Fazer.

“Our goals align perfectly with SAMY’s in both ambition and direction. We share a common desire to serve our clients both locally and globally as a leading ‘social-first’ agency, leveraging data and technology to enhance our offering. This partnership marks a significant milestone in our journey, and we are excited about the possibilities it opens up for us and our existing and new clients in the Nordics and globally,” says Tommi Opas, CEO at Kurio.

With this operation, Samy Alliance continues its international expansion that started in 2019 with the acquisition of the British company SHARE Creative – an agency with over 50 employees. Additionally, Samy Alliance acquired AnyGivenDay and Nobox, creative agencies specialized in social media based in Miami. These acquisitions brought a portfolio of highly relevant clients, including Netflix, Reebok, Microsoft, Diageo, and The North Face, among others.

The founders and the international management team will continue to lead this new growth phase, now hand in hand with Kurio, with the objective of attaining over €100 million in revenues in the coming months.

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Marketing

How to become a news outlet contributor

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A reader flicking through pages of a special feature printed on a magazine
Consider your areas of expertise and unique perspectives when approaching a publication to become a contributor writer | Photo: Austin Distel

With the risk of sounding old and grumpy: a writer or blogger who can’t even put together a half-decent pitch to introduce themselves to a publication they want to contribute to should not be allowed anywhere near a brand or a newsroom.

Pitching to write for a publication requires time to craft a compelling proposal that showcases your expertise, aligns with the publication’s audience and content, and highlights the value you can bring as a contributor. It is also about being transparent with your intentions: do you want to become a contributor writer to share your knowledge and enhance your digital authority, or are you simply after a venue to plug a client’s press release and get free publicity?

Here are six key things to consider before reaching out to any publication to try to become a news outlet contributor.

Research the publication

Before reaching out to a publication, it’s crucial to thoroughly research what they do and how they do it. Take time to dive into their website, read recent articles, and get a feel for their tone, style, and audience. Understanding the publication’s preferences and audience demographics will help you tailor your pitch to fit seamlessly into their content lineup.

Identify your niche

Consider your areas of expertise, passions, and unique perspectives that you can bring to the table before approaching a publication. Your pitch should reflect your knowledge in a specific field or topic area while also aligning with the interests of the publication’s audience. But narrow things down even within a niche; For example, if you are a travel writer, keep in mind that travel is a massive field to cover. Unless you suggest some specific articles that you genuinely want to work on for a publication (and they are truly unique), it is unlikely you will stand a chance.

Be clear and concise

Crafting a compelling pitch is the key to grabbing the editor’s attention. Start with a captivating subject line that entices the editor to open your email. Introduce yourself briefly, highlighting relevant experience or credentials that make you well-suited to write for the publication. Then, present your article ideas concisely, focusing on topics that align with the publication’s content and audience. Be sure to include a unique angle or perspective that sets your pitch apart from others.

Personalize Your Pitch

The trick of referencing a specific article or sections of the publication that resonate with you is an old one, so make sure you mean it. Personalizing your pitch is essential for building rapport with the editor and demonstrating your genuine interest in contributing to their publication. However, editors receive hundreds of pitches on a monthly basis from people wanting the same chance to become a contributor writer, so publications can be choosy. Never use a template that sounds too perfect or desperate. Write your own copy, well-tailored to the publication you want to be working on.

Say who you are

Anyone can pitch an idea for an article. But you are unique and that is what editors will look at in the first place. Make sure to introduce yourself and to provide your social media handle and things you have written about within the niche you are pitching for. When signing a message as a potential writer, also add your surname and LinkedIn. The only three people on the planet allowed to sign a message to a stranger with a single name are Madonna, Rihanna, and Adele – and none of them are writers.

Provide Samples

Show straightway that you can deliver a good copy by providing links to, at least, three of your best and most recent articles online. Very important: work samples that don’t feature your name, as the writer, have zero value.

If you don’t have published samples, consider writing a whole article to give the editor any editor a sense of your writing style, knowledge and approach. Regardless of the format, your samples should align with the topics and tone of the publication you are pitching for.

Be transparent and upfront

When offering a writing service, even if at no charge and with the intention of creating a writing portfolio, be clear about what you expect in return and how it will benefit you. If you have a flat fee for every 1000 words, highlight it and also mention how many revisions are allowed within the fee. If you work for a brand and the brand is likely to be featured within your content, you must disclose it at the very start of the negotiations to become a contributor writer.

Flexibility is key when pitching to write for a publication. Be open to feedback and revisions from the editor, who may have suggestions for refining your pitch or article ideas.

One thing that very few people remember to mention when applying to become a contributor writer for a publication is how flexible their schedule are. Willingness to negotiate terms such as deadlines, word count, and compensation if a pitch is accepted should be highlighted as part of your initial outreach if you want to increase your chances of establishing a successful partnership with a publication.

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