Your Basic Guide To Influencer Marketing

Companies have used influencers for their advertisements since the dawn of businesses. We're sure that when the first cavewoman that started selling produce to her fellow cave-dwelling friends, used the influence of a powerful caveperson in the community. Maybe it was the buffest, most athletic mammoth slayer who loved getting a boost from her freshly picked veg, or the Regina George of the village who wore the coolest sabertooth necklaces and ate only the crispiest produce. Having a spokesperson who had used the product, enjoyed it, and had the prominence to get others involved really does help boost a business. An influencer connects the audience to the product. It allows the audience to see themselves using it. If it worked for the influencer, they believe it can work for them too.

Even if you have a small business, you can still obtain an influencer and boost your sales. The influencer you use might not have a major celebrity reputation like Beyonce or Justin Bieber, but they can still hit the target market that you need. Think like that cavewoman and pick out someone from your area who fits your target market. Using a local social media influencer can truly help to up your reach as well as your sales. Luckily enough, we live in the 21st Century. So influencing a wide audience it very possible through the channel of social media.

Take Parabo Press for example. They are a small photo printing service located in California, who ship printed images to their customers. They recognize who their target market is and found a clever way to make their audience become their influencers. A large chunk of their target market included millennial girls who use the prints to decorate their space. Most millennials are heavily involved in imagery, as they are consistently on social media sharing pictures. Instagram itself is specifically designed with photos in mind and allows a printing service to be strongly relevant. A customer can use their service to print their Instagram photos. This opened up a perfect opportunity for Parabo Press to sell their service through their own audience of Instagram users. Why not make the young people who already use the service into influencers? That's just what they did. The post below shows how they even advertised to their audience to become a Parabo Campus Rep.
Here's an example of using an influncer account to promote your local business. If you click the tags in the image, you can see that this young influencer is hosting a giveaway for a variety of small businesses. She's wearing the swimsuit, using the wall hangings, and therefore proving that these products are just as cool as she is. She's local and gets tens of thousands of views, which makes her perfect for small businesses in the area to get a spotlight. This post shows that a real person uses these products, and so should you.
Even larger companies use local Instagram influencers to promote their services. The Von family from Salt Lake City uses their high follower account to post about their vacations. Royal Carribean uses the Von's real-life life experiences to promote their cruise services. Other moms scrolling through their social media will see this average everyday family having a blast at sea, and it could influence them to prep their own family vacation with Royal Carribean.

Still curious about how the big shots make it work? Here's an example from Puma's partnership with model/actress Cara Delevigne. It almost seems like a print ad, but it's casual enough that it looks like Cara just posted about it herself. (We personally think adding the hashtag #ad is a little tacky, but mentioning that it's a partnership is necessary. A better way to do so is just to casually talk about the brand and tag them in the post. A paid partnership location option is also available at the top of the post.) This post collected millions of likes, proving its success. It's a relatable picture and quote, which is exactly what an influencer post needs to be.

Be your own #Muse. #ad

A post shared by Cara Delevingne (@caradelevingne) on

Ready to start influencing? Contact us at Avant8 and we'll match you to the perfect influencer for your business!  Head to our contact page to get started.

iHob: International House of Bad Marketing Decisions??

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you know that the American icon of the International House of Pancakes has changed its name…and therefore its catchy acronym. IHOP is now IHOb, the International House of Burgers. The internet went wild. Which is just what the breakfast (now, burger) chain wanted.

They started their marketing tactic by announcing the ‘p’ in IHOP would be flipped into a ‘b’ and asking their followers to guess what the ‘b’ could stand for. 30k people responded and the brand left people hanging for a few days before the big reveal.

The change from pancakes to burgers created a buzz of both positive and negative reactions.

Initial reactions around our own office were along the lines of the tweet below. IHOb stood for the International House of Bad Marketing Decisions. Many of our employees still think that. But researching into the brand’s reasoning may help the haters realize that the idea isn’t as bad as they think.

IHOb is circulating a storm of media, both positive and negative. But here’s the thing, it got people talking. How often were crowds mentioning IHOP before? It’s all they can talk about now. Even other brands are jumping on the virality of the pancake house’s big announcement. Burger joints like White Castle, Whataburger, Burger King, and Wendy’s all attached themselves to the marketing hit from IHOP.

Here’s our two favorite IHOb memes:

IHOP has had burgers on the menu since they opened in the 1950s, but how many people actually knew about them or actually ordered these burgers? According to AdWeek, “IHOP accomplished exactly what they were after: drawing attention to an increasingly popular non-breakfast item that’s always been on their menu.” The new “steakburgers” are the centerpiece to this marketing ploy, and the brand wants to emphasize people to come and try them during lunch and dinner, when less customers enter the store.

The burger business is growing. At least by 3 percent a year, and ‘burgers’ have a high clout score…a much higher score than pancakes. IHOP jumped on the trend not only to increase it’s own social media engagement, but to sell more of its lesser popular menu item.

According to an article by CNBC “the name change isn’t permanent. The same day the meaning behind the “b” was revealed, the chain restaurant announced in a press release that the move was “just for the time being.” The marketing strategy will promote the seven new burgers that the restaurant is adding to its menu.”

This name-changing marketing tactic is no new strategy. Pizza Hut once changed its name to Pasta Hut in 2008 to promote their new kinds of pasta.

Stephen Anderson of the Maxim Group claimed that despite its mixed reviews from audiences, the pasta sales at Pizza Hut increased by 1.5 percent.

If nothing else, IHOPs popularity and mentions have skyrocketed since the announcement on June 11th. But will it translate to sales is the big question. Only time will tell.

What do you think about IHOPs temporary name change??

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you know that the American icon of the International House of Pancakes has changed its name…and therefore its catchy acronym. IHOP is now IHOb, the International House of Burgers. The internet went wild. Which is just what the breakfast (now, burger) chain wanted.

They started their marketing tactic by announcing the ‘p’ in IHOP would be flipped into a ‘b’ and asking their followers to guess what the ‘b’ could stand for. 30k people responded and the brand left people hanging for a few days before the big reveal.

BOO! Using Prank Videos in Marketing

Audiences consume viral video content like a fat kid in a candy store. It's no wonder brands and businesses are wanting to satisfy this craving. A viral video means an enormous audience reach and marketers are looking to take advantage by filling social media feeds with promotional prank videos.

This prank approach fits right in with the entertainment content consumed on social media. Audiences will laugh, tag their friends with phrases like "This is so funny!" or maybe "You'd totally fall for this!", and the best of these videos will be shared to personal profiles to show all their followers/friends. Sharability skyrockets with a viral video. Comedy is universal feel-good content that can be shared across age-groups, demographics, psychographics, etc. which is why brands have utilized pranks to create this shareable social media content.

The brands that seem to use the viral prank video approach the most are movies. Usually, action or horror films use this tactic. They have an exact goal in mind of turning the movie's element of fear into a funny prank. They ask the question, "What would you do if you were in this situation?" If you witnessed a telekinetic teen attack bystanders, or if you saw that a flash freeze was imminent via the news, how would you react?

This first video gathered over 68 million hits to promote the remake of the famous classic horror film, Carrie.

Here, the action film Geostorm (which depicts crazy weather events destroying cities) tries its hand at the viral prank trend.

Besides films, products have also fit strongly into this trend. LG, the electronics company, used two prank videos in two different countries to promote the 'realness' of their tv screens. The first was placing their TV screens on the floor of an elevator to mimic falling tiles.

The second video by LG involved using their TV as a fake window and simulated a meteor falling on the city. Reactions to this one are golden.

One of our personal favorites is a prank video geared to understanding the design and marketing process of ad agencies.  What if the ridiculous questions bad clients asked of creatives was also asked of everyday business-owners, park-goers, taxi-drivers, and the like? It's funny, but also teaches customer's how to better work with marketers.

Prank videos have always been popular, and they bring a brand right to the forefront of a customer's mind. Many brands are using prank viral video marketing to boost exposure and sales. Is your brand suited to this humor-based marketing tactic?

The Success of Wendy's Twitter Roasts

It seems like all fast food chains have social media on lock these days. Brands are getting smarter on the internet and learning to become "one of the guys" with their followers. Wendy's is uber successful in employing this tactic of fitting in with social media culture.  They've become one of the most popular brand accounts on the internet, and it's all about their unique customer engagement.

The Wendy's Twitter Roasts all started with their Twitter account responding to negative comments from internet trolls in ironic and tongue-in-cheek ways.

Audiences began to crave receiving the honor of being roasted by Wendy's so much, that Wendy's now answers hundreds of questions and comments a day.

The tweets between Wendy's and their followers became so massive in number, that it became popular for YouTubers to film reaction videos to the tweets.


This brought the conversation to a whole new social media platform, and it became just as trendy to react to Wendy's tweets via YouTube. The video above has 9 million views, and many of the other popular Wendy's tweets videos each have millions as well.

Wendy's has even responded to the YouTube videos, poking fun at the comments YouTubers made towards their Twitter content.

Perhaps what brought Wendy's the biggest Twitter fame was the accidental success of #NuggsForCarter. It all started as a classic Wendy's Roast towards a follower who wanted free nuggets from the restaurant.

The tweet became so popular that Ellen Degeneres herself met with Carter. She joked that she'd ask her audience to keep retweeting her Oscar's selfie, which was crowned the most retweeted tweet ever at the time. But despite that "threat", Carter's nugget tweet beat the all-time retweet record...even though it didn't make it to the highly improbable 18 million.

No brand could have asked for better social media publicity.

Other brands have attempted to step foot into Wendy's spotlight. Some have also gotten that classic roast:

And others have played along and drawn in more followers:

Wendy's achieved the seemingly impossible and achieved mega-internet popularity as a brand. And it's all because of this: Wendy's social media marketing strategy connects the brand to the new generation by making their content personal. It creates that one-on-one conversation between customer and restaurant, that draws more and more people to click that follow button. Audiences on Twitter were excited to be engaged with by someone who spoke their cultural language and liked to make jokes just as much as they do.

The Wendy's Twitter account hooks younger audiences to their brand all by being funny and ironic. But how many brands could go this far? It's all about understanding your audience. Many young people eat at fast food restaurants because it's affordable for them. So, Wendy's reached out to these young people through a channel young people media.

Maybe we'll be next and have the honor of being roasted on Twitter by Wendy's.

How to Improve COCA and Social Media Traffic

Have more questions about your company’s KPIs? We’ve got you covered on two really big KPIs including the cost of customer acquisition (COCA) and social media. In this blog, we delve deeper into information that can help you improve. For all you startup newbies, this is the article for you.

Cost of Customer Acquisition (COCA):

The Cost of Customer Acquisition is always higher than first expected. The most successful and revenue-driving businesses have discovered a way for their particular brand to achieve low-cost customer acquisition. Through plenty of company KPI research, getting to that sweet spot of low COCA is possible. However, if you have the funds to obtain tons of customers, you'll be the top dog of your competitors. That’s why bigger brands with more money usually dominate the competition. It's because they can afford to. A smaller company can get there, but these startups should still remember that it’s going to cost some dough. The low-cost acquisition takes some time to achieve, so don't be afraid to spend what's necessary when you're starting out.

The COCA KPI is imperative for any business, especially startups. As any business owner knows, if your COCA is higher than the amount of money you earn (monetization), your business model is out of balance. To get it in balance, monetization must outweigh your cost of customer acquisition. So why wouldn't you keep up on tracking it?

Do you know how much it currently costs you to obtain a customer? Now is the time to find out and track it.

Social Media KPIs:

There’s more to the metrics than simply “likes” and “follows”. It’s time to delve into more important metrics. Your social media needs to be utilized through KPIs.

Here are the top social media KPIs you should track.

  • Engagement

-Clicks: Clicks are great indicators of how your content resonated with the audience. It takes a lot for new people to visit your profile and click your content. The higher your click count, the more successful your content was in engaging your audience. Making it a great indicator.

-Shares: It takes more for your audience to share (or retweet) your post rather than only like it. When they share, they want their friends and family to see it. They inherently become a brand ambassador for you. Shares are a metric that will really determine how popular your content was.

-Comments and Mentions: What’s the purpose of social media? To get social! Many companies underutilize the interactions they can have with their audience. If a follower feels the need to say something about your content, your company should strike up a conversation. No matter if the comment is negative or positive, adding your own comment to it will be beneficial. Being silent won’t improve anything. Mentions also show that your company is striking up a conversation. Check these mentions to respond and see how your brand is being perceived by those who mentioned you.

  • Leads

-Is your social media generating leads? When charting social media KPIs, tracking leads will help a business discover how many of these followers are interested in purchasing your product? Depending on the social media channel, followers might react in a different way. Some social networks might get more likes and fewer leads, while another could have fewer likes but more leads. But how will you know if you don’t track it? Help yourself with COCA by generating leads with social media.

Arby's Is Slaying The Social Media Game (Literally)

Don't worry about being plagued by ad after ad of sandwiches and fries, Arby's has found a new crowd to please: The Gamers. Equipped with cardboard to-go boxes and a wildly creative animation team, Arby's is dominating social media.

With the majority of marketing and advertising now directed through social media, many brands are not only attempting to be seen but also stand out. For a long time, brands followed the same pattern of posting ads and trying to fit in with the young social media community by maybe posting a joke or two.  But this isn't enough. Audiences often know when they're being advertised to, and they'll scroll past most of the ads they see. Arby's has found a way to combat this oversaturated way of using social channels.

Arby's became another fan on the internet, someone that the audience could connect with. Their posts have viral qualities, pairing pop culture, artwork, and fast food all into one. It's a combo that's bringing in the customers like crazy.

Some of their most popular posts are videos. Here's an example that combines Kirby the Nintendo game character and the Arby's product, curly fries. Stop motion animation makes the social post fun to watch and draws the eye. It's also very clever, as Kirby's power is to vacuum everything into his mouth. Talk about an enagaging post!

It's been 25 years and he's still hungry

A post shared by Arby's (@arbys) on

After scrolling through the comments on both Twitter and Instagram, there was a massive influx of positive comments. Many saying that these posts by Arby's literally drew them to the store. One fan commented:

"...Who ever thought of these things please atleast give them a raise. In fact give the marketing team a raise please cuz imma go to arbys just cuz of this. Never had arbys but this finna be a first." @idkamfam

The posts are also inspiring their audience. Not only do they want to come in and eat the food, but they want to recreate the art too. This is a perfect example of the right way to build a niche and social community for a brand. Look how many likes and retweets!

"Yup definitely eating at arbys and doing this on there Table from now on" -@luis.f.corona

The Arby's Team takes advantage of game releases and tv show finales, working the topics into their posts. This tactic of content creation is driving trending topics, right into their own social media.

In an interview with gaming website, senior director of digital and social at Arby's, Josh Martin, discussed why Arby's changed their content so drastically. “We decided that we should be focused more on engaging an audience on social that selling,” said Martin. “So we went all-in on that premise. Focused on putting stuff out on the news feed that people would react to and find interesting and worry less about trying to push a product.”

This was one idea that truly paid off. Arby's now boasts over 808k followers on Twitter and 222k on Instagram, with tens of thousands of likes. They're drawing in a crowd, and it's made them stand out in the fast food industry. For marketers, this content creation is truly inspiring. Creativity takes the driver's seat for their social. It might be time for more brands to catch on.

7 KPIs Your Company NEEDS To Be Tracking

Are you aware of what makes your marketing campaigns successful or unsuccessful? Do you have the power of KPI in your marketing toolbelt? This knowledge is imperative and crucial to running a business. You need to know what is and what isn’t working in your marketing efforts. This data is known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and they are essential to reaching your goals. Living in the social media age makes it so easy to measure analytics to chart your successes and failures. If you don’t already track KPIs, then it’s time to get started.

Measuring your company’s KPIs will not only allow you to understand your company better but to help you improve your success.

“If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it” -Chuck McMahon

Here are 7 KPIs your company needs to track:

  • Website Traffic to Website Lead

The people that visit your website are prospects to become paying customers. Understanding your website traffic allows you to discover what type of people are drawn to your site and how many of them return to it to make a purchase. Improving these conversion rates is a common goal for businesses. Tracking the ratio between website traffic and conversion rates (that then become leads) helps you understand who’s interested in your company and how you can hook them to your brand.

Website Traffic Analytics can include:

-Number of Sessions

-Number of Users

-Number of Page Views

-Average Session Duration

-Bounce Rate

The funnel from website traffic to customers is listed below.

Visitors - Leads - MQLs (Marketing Qualified Lead= more engaged) - SQLs (Sales Qualified Lead= worthy of a sales call follow-up) - Quotes - Customers

  • Blog Post Visits

Do your customers like the blog content you create? Researching which of your articles received a higher click-through rate and even what time of day they usually visit your blog is extremely helpful. Curating your content towards what your visitors want will drive more people to your site and invite them to return more often.

Blog posts are a huge traffic driver, which is why almost every online business has a blog page on their site. Don’t forget to remind your audience when your newest blog is live, either through an email newsletter or social media. If you don’t post about it, most people won’t know it’s there.

Keep up with writing your blog. Many companies fail to maintain consistent blog writing and lose traffic because of it.

  • Sales Growth and Leads

Be sure to chart your sales revenue. It will take time to compile, but the results will be well worth it. Recognizing what marketing tactics caused dips or rising in the amount of money made will help you understand what worked and what didn’t.

No company wants to pay for something that isn’t earning them money. Charting revenue allows a company to recognize where they should and shouldn’t put their funds.

  • Cost of Customer Acquisition (COCA)

Cost of customer acquisition is when a company has convinced a prospective customer to officially make a purchase. To calculate the cost of obtaining customers through marketing tactics, divide the total marketing investment (the amount of money you spent on sales) by the number of customers acquired. The numbers don’t lie. They’ll tell you how your marketing campaign really went.

  • Customer Lifetime Value

To maintain customer value and extend their connection with your company, reach out to your current customers. Keeping up communication with these customers will increase their satisfaction, help you discover new leads, and retain your customers even longer. After all, the biggest goal for a business should be converting average buyers into lifetime customers.

To calculate the lifetime value of a customer, multiply the average sale per customer by the average number of times a customer buys per year and by the average retention time in months or years for a general customer.

  • Landing Page Conversion Rates

No matter how attractive your landing page, if it isn’t increasing conversion rates, it isn’t working. Make sure that the content and design you’ve crafted for your landing page is driving more than simply traffic, but customer purchases as well. Be sure to monitor your landing page’s conversion rate as often as possible. If a campaign doesn’t seem to be doing as well, update the page with either more persuasive copy, clearer, and more navigable design, or with positive customer testimonials.

  • Social Media Traffic:

Tracking the metrics from your social media can prove just how much (or how little) traffic it’s bringing your business. Social media is a free tool that all companies should utilize and maintain. No matter the social media accounts you use, don’t forget to chart the leads, customers, and percentage of traffic to see how it’s improving your sales.

Mobile is now one of the most popular ways that people visit sites on the internet. Be sure that if a customer clicks to a landing page from your social media, that your website is optimized for mobile and still easy to navigate.

Want to learn more about COCA and Social Media? Keep an eye out for our upcoming blog! We’ll get into the nitty-gritty on how to utilize these.

4 Steps to Dominate Your Social Media Strategy

It’s 2018, and social media is king of the marketing world. No longer can companies simply make a Facebook page, add their info, and maybe post a few times a year. A strategy is essential to a brand’s social media. Being present is simply not enough anymore. Social media accounts must also be engageable. No one will follow any company that never posts or only provides uninteresting content. With this in mind here are 4 Steps to Dominate Your Social Media Strategy:

  • Set Social Media Goals

What exactly do you want to accomplish for your company? Do you want to drive more sales? Are you trying to stand out in the market? Whatever it may be, your social media should reflect what you want your company to improve on. Here are some ideas on possible goals you should strive for.

-Better Targeting

Social media allows a brand to find exactly the audience they’re looking for. The ideal customer for your product/service is simply a click away. Facebook’s algorithm makes this process easy. You can search for specific demographics for your social media ad. Maybe you’re a wedding videographer and are interested in marketing to females who have recently been engaged in your area. You can input these stats while you’re making the ad. Your target market is then reached right from the get-go. Using Instagram, you can search for hashtags that you think define your brand. People who have used that hashtag will pop-up in your search, allowing you to see people who are interested in that topic. Be sure to follow them, and the user will have to check you out.

-Increase Brand Awareness

If you’re a small business just entering the market, this is probably one of your biggest goals. Starting to advertise your brand from scratch may be tricky, but it can also be very fun. Chip, the late-night cookie company, in Utah County has done an excellent job in using their social media to gain brand awareness. They were a brand new store entering the food service market just over a year ago. Now, they boast 26.2k followers. So what launched them from newcomer status to having such a large following? Social media. Chip emphasized its uniqueness to its audience. They catered to their niche of late-night cookies through their posts. For their social media, they hired a photographer to take professional images of their cookies, they posted every day, they hosted giveaways, and they catered to their audience. They went from 40 likes a post to 1,000. Proof that social media spreads awareness!

-Easier to Watch Competitors

When you’re involved in social media, you can see what your competitors are posting every day. Their marketing tactics are on full public display. Take advantage! See what type of content they’re posting and how successful those types of posts have been. Check out what wasn’t successful as well and be sure to avoid their mistakes. However, don’t specifically copy them in their content. Your fans will notice that you’re mimicking someone else and will unfollow you. Be original, but don’t be afraid to get inspired.

-Build a Loyal Fanbase

GoPro and Anthropologie are great examples of building a loyal fanbase. GoPro lets their customers market the product themselves by submitting photos and videos to the GoPro marketing team. The best of these pictures are featured, and audiences get to see the camera’s real results. Anthropologie also highlights the lifestyle of its customers. Not only do they post images of women wearing their clothes, but they also post pictures of centerpieces with flowers, the exterior of a cabin on a snowy day, and even a stack of blueberry pancakes are featured on their social accounts. Both brands know who their fans are, and they post images that they know they’ll like.

  • Who’s Your Audience?

Rather than just posting loads of content right off the bat, you need to know who you’re marketing to. It would be pointless to use millennial jargon and images when you’re advertising an old folks home. Do your research, and find the types of people who are using similar products and services. Get inspired by the big brands and try to learn from what they may be doing right or wrong. Find out what intrigues your audience, and incorporate it into your social media. Stir up an emotion for them, and show that there is a person and a message behind the brand. Intermix these posts with your product or service. Why does your audience care about your line of toothbrushes? Give them content that will make them remember you and give them a reason to follow you.

  • Build Up Content

Daily content is getting more and more common. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to post every day, still try to post as often as you can. As I stated above, use the interests of your audience to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to post something that isn’t an exact picture of your product or service. However, do make sure that it fits the feel of your company and the lifestyle of your audience. For example, Monster Energy Drink uses both posts of their energy drinks and images of BMX bikers that they sponsor. Their audience is interested in extreme sports, and it fits in with the message of an extreme drink.

Try to do more than just write a blog. Give them quizzes, host a poll, maybe even curate a slideshow. The more engageable and enjoyable your content is, the better.

  • Engage With Your Audience

If a customer talks with you in person, you’re going to answer them. Same goes for social media. If they engage with you, be sure to answer them! Even if you simply ‘like’ their comment, engaging with your audience will definitely build up brand loyalty. However, don’t engage hate with more hate. Of course, if they have a complaint use PR to fix the problem as best you can. Maybe comment asking what you can do better next time or send them a free product for them to try. But if they are spiteful and can’t be persuaded, ignore them. You’ll never change their mind. So instead, you should focus on those who love your brand as well as your swing group. Netflix does a great job with social media engagement. They often host a discussion like “what was the first show you ever binge-watched?” and they are sure to respond to the customers' answers. They act just like a friend, and their followers eat it up. Be that source of interest for your customers. Since they are on their phones all the time, make sure that your posts are engageable not only for them but for you too.

Market With YOUR Origin Story

How do you make your company stand out? Is there a secret formula for finding success and triumphing over the competition? Truth is, there really is a way to market yourself without using up all your dough and resources (so you don't need to seek out a magic genie to grant your wish for a profitable brand). The process is so simple and sadly, not enough small businesses take advantage of it. The secret is this: Tell your company's story.

No one has the same unique story as you. Utilize that! Think like a skilled movie producer. What attracts us to a film is not how many (or how few) awards it's gotten, but it's the plot that draws us in.

A great example comes from superheroes. Every superhero has an origin story. Would you be as drawn to Spiderman if you had never heard how he got his powers? Would he seem very relatable if we never learned about Gwen Stacy or Uncle Ben? No. You wouldn't feel as interested in what happens because he seems too distant from your own life. It's important to bridge that gap between the brand and their audience.

Now let's transfer that to your business.

Let's say you own a dog food company called "KibbleBits". You're starting a marketing campaign and planning on using TV ads, along with social media, to increase customer awareness.

Which of these ads stands out more to you? "Buy my dog food, KibbleBits! It has real, fresh ingredients for your beloved pet." OR  "I've grown up with pets my whole life, and when I saw that my collie, Scooter, was hardly eating his food. I decided to make a change in his diet. Then my company KibbleBits was born."

Which ad do you think a customer would connect with more? The second one! It shows a person behind the product and a reason for what they do. It creates a human connection between businessman and customer.

Use your social media to connect with your customers. If you do own a dog food company, share videos of cute dogs running around, discuss trending topics like the Olympics (maybe add that dog-sledding should be included this year), and of course share pictures of your dog and how you came up with the idea for your business.

Whatever your business is, it has a story. Tell people how your company came to be. Your brand's story is unique to you and no one else can claim it as their own. Show your customers what you're all about and why they should listen to what you have to say. Give them a story to latch onto.

Extra, Extra...Social, Tech, Creative, Insight, Success FYI!.... Click for links that stick.

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