Tim Richard, Co-founder of Weever Apps (@WeeverApps) discusses importance of ensuring that your company has a mobile marketing strategy in place in this video by McMaster Innovation Park (@MIP_Hamilton):
Tim Richard, Co-founder of Weever Apps (@WeeverApps) discusses importance of ensuring that your company has a mobile marketing strategy in place in this video by McMaster Innovation Park (@MIP_Hamilton):
Unsurprisingly, entrepreneurs tend to be busy people.
In the hustle and bustle of a startup environment, finding the time to focus on brand building can be a challenge. But the simple truth is that startup branding matters.
A startupâs brand is the space it is able to rent in their customersâ or prospectsâ minds. Itâs their reputation. Itâs a promise. Often times, itâs why a startup wins with a customer or prospect.
Especially as a new business without much of (if any) a proven track record, a great brand can be the difference between ânot interestedâ and âI want to learn moreâ.
The key to building a great brand as a startup? Telling great stories. In the 1980s, Apple set the bar by making the world think different. More recently, Facebook has helped people connect and share with the people in your life. And closer to home, Desire2Learn is helping transform the way the world learns.
Here are 5 things to remember when thinking about your startupâs brand story.
Ultimately, storytelling is the key to building your startupâs brand because people connect with stories. Stories provide context. They are personal and command attention in ways that business-speak doesnât. They are memorable and help build trust with your audience. From a sales perspective, you canât ask for much more.
Like all entrepreneurs, you are undoubtedly passionate about what you do. Thinking about why you want to do it will ensure you have a great story to tell and not just a great product or service to sell.
Social media management is far from an easy job.
Being a great social media manager often means lots of effort and longer hours than you had expected. For entrepreneurs with already limited time, this can be a major problem. Thankfully, there are some great tools and strategies out there â many of them free â which can help you out.
Here’s a few tips that can make social media management a little easier.
1. Whatâs Your Social Media Strategy?
As with everything related to sales and marketing, you should always have a strategy. What you hope to accomplish and how you plan to achieve it will help you set the parameters for the work that lies ahead. When it comes to managing social media for a business, you need to create a detailed map and navigate your initiatives accordingly.
2. Content Calendar
This is your map of all your ideas and you should be following it closely. It will help you stay organized and keep you on top of all the different channels you may be looking after. Use a traditional calendar or an Excel spreadsheet to map out all the types of posts you want to make, on what channel, and when. Ideally, this will keep you posting regularly on all your social media platforms for all the targets in your strategy.
If youâre already on it, great! If not, HootSuite is a social media management system that allows users to preschedule posts, shorten links, and utilize basic analytics to see how well theyâre doing. It will save you having to manually update your accounts at various times throughout the day, and can help you prepare for weekends and holidays when you still want to be active. There is a free and paid version depending on the amount youâre willing to allocate to the tool. We made the leap from Tweetdeck to HootSuite a year ago and havenât looked back.
4. Twitter Lists
Twitter is one of the most commonly used social media platforms, whether youâre a B2B or B2C business. Youâre likely following many great accounts that relate to your industry (at least you should be) that can provide you with great content. If you havenât already, organize these accounts into groups and create lists for them. The next time youâre searching for new content on something in your industry, it will already be there and easy to find.
5. A Clipping Service
FindingÂ great content to share can become a time consuming challenge. What are known as clipping services can help.Â They can provide you with all the relevant information that fits a defined category of keywords. Three services come to mind: Google Alerts, TrendSpottr and Mention. These clipping services will automatically email you content that fits your criteria so youâre always in the loop. They can also act as a great tool for media monitoring!
If youâd like to learn moreÂ easy ways you canÂ solve your social media management challenges, feel free to reach out to me.
According to HubSpot, 56% of B2B marketers are planning to increase their social media spend in 2013. But what does the customer-facing sales team think? Do they see the value of social media for sales?
Despite the fact that âsocial sellingâ is a pretty popular concept right now, there still seems to be a good chunk of salespeople out there that remain reluctant to embrace business to business social media as a sales tool. Why is this?
In a business world where the average buyer is now 70% of the way through the decision-making process before they even engage with a sales rep, itâs just crazy to ignore the potential of social media on the buying process.
At its core, marketing is about education and influence, and marketers should view the task of onboarding their sales teams no differently than any other campaign they run. As marketers, we need to do a better job of selling B2B social media to sales. And since we all know salespeople love quantifiable benefits, hereâs a few statistics that should help your case.
Here are 4 ways that marketers can make social media easier for sales teams:
Ultimately, integrating social media into the business to business sales process should be a key objective of forward-thinking startups and growing B2B organizations. If youâre a marketer looking for help getting your sales team onboard with business to business social media, Iâd love to talk about your challenges. Feel free to reach out to meÂ at any time.
Historically, marketing has always been thought of as a cost-centre. But thanks to the phenomenal rise of inbound marketing and marketing analytics tools, marketers are now able to take credit for the lead generation they are responsible for.
As of 2013, 60% of companies have integrated some form of inbound marketing into their marketing strategy. While there are many moving parts to an inbound marketing program, here are three tactics all startups should emphasize to create an online lead generation machine.
As with any marketing program, your lead generation machine wonât be successful if you arenât constantly monitoring, analyzing and adapting your efforts. The key to generating inbound leads is great content. Without it, your SEO and social media efforts wonât be as useful. If youâre interested in finding out more about how to generate inbound leads or inbound marketing, feel free to connect with me at any time.
What do hundred-dollar cheesesteaks, a golf ball destroying blender and a phone booth with a trick door have to do with creating great B2B marketing content?
In his book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, Jonah Berger uses each of these viral marketing sensations to help explore the question of why some products, ideas and behaviours succeed while others fail (a question at the heart of all marketing). While there isnât a formula to ensure your B2B marketing content willÂ be widely shared, thereÂ are six key ingredients that make up a recipe for contagious content. Collectively, Berger calls these the STEPPS.
The STEPPS framework is aÂ good tool for B2B marketers to validate and develop marketing content ideas. If youâd like to understand more about marketing strategy and tactics, or need help developing great B2B marketing content, feel free to reach out to me.
Anyone who’s studied startup marketing or is trying to growÂ a startupÂ knows about the adoption cycle and theÂ potential of ‘early adopters’. This blog post will share with you some of the key highlights ofÂ a recent LeanCoffeeTOÂ meetup on how to maximize the value of your early adopters.Â It will alsoÂ touch on the pitfalls to watch out for, sinceÂ early adopters present both challenges and opportunities.
Here are 3 ways to maximize the value of earlyÂ adopters:
Here are 3 things to watch out for when attracting early adopters:
Attracting early adopters can be an exciting time for any startup. Apply these tips to grow with confidence by getting the most out of your early adopters while avoiding overlooked obstacles and easy-to-make mistakes.
KITESTRING (@KITESTRING) multiplies creativity with strategic thinking for resonating branding results. Creative Director Chris Farias (@ChrisPaulFarias) talks about KITESTRING, branding, Hamilton and the upcoming The Right Angle event being put on by KITESTRING on May 21st.
My name is Chris Farias and I am both Creative Director and partner at KITESTRING. We’re an agency comprised of strategists and creative inventors who solve brand equations.
Why did KITESTRING rebrand itself recently?
The agency is now in its sixth year, and just like the world around us, weâve changed a lot in that time. The evolution of our brand reflects the caliber of work our team is creating for our clients.
What happened to Ben?
His internship came to an end and he moved on to a career in theatre. He came to visit recently and told us he was working with Hammer Entertainment on a production of Avenue Q. You can find out more by visiting: http://www.kitestring.ca/social/blog/community/ben-follows-his-dreams-and-hits-stage
What is The Right Angle?
The Right Angle is a KITESTRING event focused on strategies to help communicators and business owners engage in the conversation on social media. Attendees will learn from experts in the field how to manage your message online, protect your brand image, and problem-solve with confidence and creativity.
Why should web, mobile, and video game companies in particular care about social media management?
Itâs up to innovative businesses to lead the way in terms of adopting and understanding new technology. Web, mobile and video game companies need to lead by example. If youâre positioned as a knowledgeable expert, your clients are more likely to follow suit.
What are you most hoping participants take away from The Right Angle?
Weâve noticed a big shift in attitudes about the relevance of social media in the eyes of regional organizational leaders. Leading up to this shift, we were often asked in a presentation or workshop, âWhy is social media relevant?â
Now weâre consistently being asked, âHow do I make my brand relevant on social media?â Iâm hoping participants leave with an idea about how to accomplish that for their brand.
Hamilton in particular seems to have really embraced social media, between the popularity of the #HamOnt hashtag and the relevant communications and business courses at McMaster. Why do you think this is, and are there ways our community should be taking advantage of this strength?
There is a groundswell of citizens doing some amazing things in support of their city within our community. Of course, engaging communications are a part of making these incredible ideas sprout into mini-movements. The reason for this is complex; the perfect storm of timing, economics, culture and spirit.
Last summer we did an experiential meets social campaign at Art Crawl involving a new hashtag. We were shocked by just how encouraging the flood of response was. Three years ago, doing a similar self-promo campaign at Supercrawl garnered completely different levels of engagement. Itâs clear to us that this city is now ready for more.
What trends have you noticed lately in social media marketing and branding and where do you see it going next?
I donât have a crystal ball (Although some days I wish I did!). So, it wouldnât be prudent for me to guess what the future holds. Whatâs really got me excited about the industry lately is a turn towards elements of social good becoming a natural part of any organizationâs marketing mix. When a brand can create a hybrid of social good, digital engagement and a relevant connection to the everyday lives of its target audience, thatâs something to take notice of. These principles have been guiding a few of our newest campaign strategies for our top clients.
Some people in the tech / startup community believe that the best product development talent is in Waterloo, and that the best sales and marketing talent in Toronto. Google has followed this sort of model, with a development studio in Waterloo and advertising / sales in Toronto. I think it’s great for the different cities in Southern Ontario to specialize and have strengths, but it’s concerning to me when it leads to people thinking there is a magic wall that somehow stops world class product development from being done in Hamilton. Is there a similar concern for somebody working in creative branding?
Of course! That may be a tired perception, but that hasnât stopped us from working with the regionâs top health care, education and innovation technology clients. A lot of people are surprised to know that weâve also created campaigns for international clients. KITESTRING has created a niche for itself, and more and more our location is being viewed as something that is in our favour.
Can “big league” world class marketing be done out of Hamilton?
Yes. We have a close-knit community of talented marketers in this city. Weâre a fierce bunch who isnât afraid to change the landscape for local organizations and make a name for ourselves beyond the 905 area code. Itâs going to be our ability to support one another and be proud of one anotherâs successes that will define the next while in terms of local progress for our industry.
Has KITESTRING worked with any tech companies in particular?
Weâve collaborated with Innovation Factory, the local technology SME hub, on a really neat integrated campaign. The STARTOFF campaign was a contest for local Innovation Factory clients, which involved videogame themed digital engagement in collaboration with Orbital, and pop-up 8 bit art installations around the city. We also work with EllisDon, an innovative, international construction company, helping them to define a new software launch set for the summer of 2013.
How did that work out for them?
Innovation Factoryâs campaign has come to a close, so I can share these results. Combined with the engagement campaign, STARTOFFâs digital execution in mobile, social and desktop online developments were explored by laptops and computers, by iPhone, Blackberry, Android smartphones, and had been accessed through 2913 social media buzz mentions on Twitter and 17,102 visits from Facebook.
Where do you see Hamilton in 5 years? 10 years?
I know I would like to see Hamilton become a more walkable city. It would be great to see more people living and working downtown. Iâd love to see a Yogen FrĂŒz in walking distance from my house. Thatâs just me.
Hamilton has a lot of hidden gems. There’s different blogs and websites devoted to spotlighting them. What’s your favourite hidden Hamilton gem?
Itâs hard to keep hidden gems a secret in Hamilton because of the widespread adoption of the #HamOnt hashtag on Twitter. Iâm not complaining, itâs actually a good thing. I think a great hidden gem is the Ottawa Street strolling district. The Ottawa Street BIA is a client of mine and I love when I get to get down there for a visit. There are great restaurants, a farmers market, fabric and crafting outlets, antique stores and clothing boutiques.
KITESTRING presents a morning focused on social strategies to help you engage in the conversation. Learn from experts in the field how to manage your message online, protect your brand image, and problem-solve with confidence and creativity.
Learn about how engaging your online community can make your business thrive from Scott Stratten (President, Un-Marketing) as he shares his expertise in Viral, Social, and Authentic Marketing which he calls Un-Marketing. Itâs all about positioning yourself as a trusted expert in front of your target market, so when they have the need, they choose you.
You ask, they’ll answer! This panel is a powerhouse of crisis resolution and this audience-led session is your chance to ask the experts everything you ever wanted to know about social media management but were afraid to ask.
Formerly a music industry marketer, national sales training manager and a College Professor, he ran his âUnAgencyâ for a nearly a decade before solely focusing on speaking at events for companies like PepsiCo, Adobe, Red Cross, Hard Rock CafĂ©, Cirque du Soleil, Saks Fifth Avenue and Fidelity Investments when they need help guiding their way through the viral/social media and relationship marketing landscape.
He now has over 145,000 people follow his daily rantings on Twitter and was just named one of the top 5 social media influencers in the world on Forbes.com. Itâs the only time heâs felt comfortable being compared to Ashton Kutcher, P Diddy and Justin Bieber.
His book âUnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engagingâ became a national best-seller before it was released and was also named one of the top business books of the year by 1-800-CEO READ and a top 10 book by Under30CEO.com.
His new book entitled âThe Book Of Business Awesome: How Engaging Your Customers and Employees Can Make Your Business Thriveâ is also a best-seller, breaking the rules of how companies are truly marketed and grown through the current online/offline world.
Recognizing a growing market for web design, video, and social media support, Kyle founded New Motto in the Summer of 2010. Kyleâs versatile background in digital technologies as well as his passion for creative collaboration shapes the direction of New Motto. He strives to bring his clientsâ vision to reality, by finding the right teammates and technologies for the right project. Kyle also believes firmly in strong client support and delivering effective solutions for any budget.
Kyle spent five years at McMaster Universityâs Alumni Advancement department, where he lead digital communications initiatives including web, video, email, and social media campaigns, to engage the universityâs 150,000+ alumni. He also co-chaired the Social Media Working Group, tasked with developing and evolving McMasterâs social media and mobile app development guidelines. During his tenure, Kyle and his teammates received several industry awards for outstanding university advancement communications from CCAE (Canada) and CASE (International), including categories such as Best Online Video and Creativity on a Shoestring.
Kyle believes every organization and individual can benefit from using social media, by finding the right platforms and the right motivations.
With her bold natured personality, and innovative thinking Michelle Dias has successfully lead social media, and public relations campaigns for leading Canadian brands. As a communications professional Michelle sharpened her expertise in developing and executing strategic communications campaigns through her consulting roles at Hill + Knowlton Strategies Canada, and as an Account Executive at NKPR, in Toronto. She currently holds her dream job of Social Media Specialist with GoodLife Fitness.
At GoodLife Fitness Michelle manages and executes digital marketing efforts on the companyâs multiple social media channels. This includes the engagement, education and communication of the benefits of exercise to all Canadians.
Michelle has earned a reputation for driving sales through online marketing efforts, building strong online community cultivation and, creative thinking. Since working in the field of public relations, Michelle has worked with numerous consumer lifestyle brands in developing marketing communications programs, clients include: Loblaw Companies Ltd.,Reckitt Benckiser (Lysol, Clearasil, Air Wick, Finish Quantumatic), New York Fries & South St. Burger Co., and Kiehl’s Canada.
As an active fitness enthusiast Michelle maintains a health and fitness blog that promotes simple diet changes and easy fitness tips. (http://eatcleanfitnesslean.wordpress.com). She gives back to the field by participating as a member of Sheridan College’s Program Advisory Committee.
Christine Zakrajsek is EllisDonâs Web and Social Media Manager with a growing responsibility for mobile usage and applications within the enterprise. EllisDon is a values driven employee-owned company that delivers construction expertise with a growing range of construction services in risk management, sustainability and technology. Given the inherently public nature of EllisDonâs business coupled with the publicâs interest in their built environment Ms. Zakrajsek has connected people from coast to coast with EllisDonâs values, career opportunities, senior leaders and latest news and updates via social media.
One of the most rewarding aspects of Ms. Zakrajsekâs role at EllisDon is reaching out to industry partners and associations to help foster social media adoption within their own organization. To this end, Ms. Zakrajsek authored a series of articles titled âSocial Media Masterclassâ for the Daily Commercial News, the industryâs leading trade publication in Canada. In the coming months, EllisDon will be rolling out an internal social network and Ms. Zakrajsek is extremely excited to see what happens when you get 1,500 building technology experts, engineers, MBAs, accountants, and sustainability experts talking with each other irrespective of corporate hierarchy and geography.
Jaime Stein is recognized as an industry leader for his expertise in digital marketing. He currently manages the social media team and strategy for ING DIRECT, Canadaâs leading direct bank. He delivers a proven record of success from his four seasons as the Canadian Football Leagueâs head of digital and social media where he redefined the content strategy for CFL.ca and launched the CFLâs involvement in social media. A journalist by training, Jaime has worked in the SPORTSCENTRE newsroom at TSN and served as radio play-by-play voice of the Toronto Argonauts Football Club.
Jaime is a graduate of the Rotman School of Management in Toronto where he was selected valedictorian of the Morning MBA Class of 2011. He has a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University in Montreal and a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto.
Born and raised in Vancouver, B.C., Jaime currently serves as a member of the fundraising cabinet for the Canadian Blood Services campaign âFor All Canadiansâ that is dedicated to building Canadaâs new national public cord blood bank.
Jaime lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons.
Indulge in morning marche stations featuring crepes, mini waffles, fresh fruit, parfaits and pastries. Of course, no brunch is complete without a bubbly bar!
Meet other creative professionals in marketing, corporate communications, not-for-profit, and innovative industries – just like you. Share your strategies for integrating social media in your brand.
Join KITESTRING for an exclusive morning at the Art Gallery of Hamilton – Tickets are limited
Before becoming an avid coffee drinker, I couldnât grasp why the alternative atmosphere, odd ordering system, or premium (sometimes crazy) pricing was so appealing to so many coffee loving consumers. It all seemed like a bit much.
Everything changed for me while at university. A lack of in-school study space and a need for caffeine suddenly made Starbucks a whole lot more appealing. As both a newfound coffee connoisseur and a marketing student, I spent a lot of time thinking about what makes Starbucks so successful. Howard Schultz is also a favourite of a lot of business school professors. Here a few of the top things I feel B2B marketing professionals can learn from the phenomenal success of Starbucks:
If youâre interested in learning more about how Venture Accelerator Partners can help your growing business with B2B marketing or startup marketing, please donât hesitate to contact me or download one of our marketing white papersÂ to continue learning.