Do Your Marketing Right in 2020

Marketing is an ever-changing field and the methods that work aren’t usually long term. Are you having a hard time navigating the latest trends and the most efficient ways to optimize your content? Don’t worry, because most people struggle with the exact same thing. Here are 10 up-to-date tips for online marketing.

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1. Keyword Research

Why keyword research? Because it affects SEO in every way. Beginning with choices of content topics and ending with outreach, keyword research is really the KEY to much more than just searches on Google. It gives you insight into what your potential customers look for and the words they use. Once you know what keyword research means and why it’s important, how do you get started? There are many different tools that can help you. Some of them are the Google classics - Google Trends or Google Ads' Keyword Planner or if you’d like to try something new, take a look at Ubersuggest.

2. Prioritize Your Target Audience

Getting your message to people is crucial, but there are good and bad ways to do it. Maybe you’re not using the right information your audience needs in order to understand your product or service well enough. Maybe the way you’re trying to reach your viewers and visitors doesn’t resonate with them. Whatever you choose to do to promote yourself on social media and other marketing channels, don’t forget who you’re targeting. You should never try to please everyone at the expense of losing your target audience’s attention. Focus on the needs and preferences of your audience. Look at your business from their point of view to analyze the best way to build marketing plans for this particular (target) audience.

3. Become a Storyteller

The storytelling we’re talking about here doesn’t mean writing fairy tales. What I mean is that you should build a story around your product or service. Every product that you launch shouldn’t just be a bare release. There’s work behind it, goals you’re aiming to reach with it, and ways that it betters people's lives…all of these aspects are important and you should work with them. Try to attach them somehow to your posts, include it in the message you’re getting out with your product. Making  the message likable and memorable is one sure step to reaching the right people.

4. Stand Out from Everyone Else

This may sound obvious, but it’s quite difficult sometimes to understand your own distinctiveness. We all have it in ourselves and you should know what makes (or could make) your content different from the millions of other online posts produced daily. Do you have an unusual point of view? Can you make your designs stand out from every other design out there? What makes it remarkable? Think of your strengths, but also perceived weaknesses or oddities and turn them into advantages.

5. The Skyscraper Technique

The Skyscraper Technique was created by Brian Dean from Backlinko. It’s a method for turning content into high quality backlinks and boosting the traffic to your sites. This technique consists of 3 steps: Finding link-worthy content, Creating something better, Sharing what you’ve written. Long story short - You should find content and headings that are so good that people can’t not click on them. Use this content and make it better than it is. Extend it, give it a new design, add something from your own imagination. Then, reach out to people who have already linked similar content. If you want to learn more, you can find Brian Dean’s Skyscraper Method Case Study here.

6. Chatbots

Using chatbots to answer your customers’ questions is just one way to make use of them. With the right setup, a chatbot can power your marketing so much, that you never miss a lead. Simply put, chatbot marketing is the practice of using bots to engage with your customers. Besides answering support messages, you can use chatbots to start conversations with website visitors, qualify leads, and even get new customers. Your chatbot can be programmed to any behavior you need and completely personalized for every user it communicates with. Of course, it is important to know something about the expected content of conversations before you deploy a chatbot to make it fully prepared and ready, e.g., frequently asked questions. But be sure to let the user know that there is a human ready to answer an unexpected set of questions.


(Note: You can use the already mentioned chatbots in social commerce too!)

7. Social Commerce

We say that social commerce is the place where the line between social media and e-commerce is getting thinner and thinner. Retail is being reshaped by social media. Social commerce encourages people to connect with a business through two-way communication. Thanks to this, customers can engage with your business and also use social media as an efficient customer service channel to help them solve problems. Social media platforms are now a place for more personalized and targeted shopping experiences for customers. Social commerce channels are: reviews and ratings, deal sites and deal aggregators, social shopping markets and social storefronts.

8. Invest in Paid Social

It’s true that having organic traffic coming to your sites is better than being dependent on paid ads. Still, paid social is a big thing and it can’t really be forgotten or overlooked. Most businesses on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and other social media sites use paid ads to get more visibility. The quality and depth of targeting on social media has never been as good as it is today and embracing the paid services of social media platforms gives you more options and allows you to try new ways to promote your business and get seen. It is also important to keep in mind that the organic reach is decreasing. That said, even if your content is brilliant and impeccable, you are going to struggle to reach people unless you choose to invest.

9. Customer-centric approach

Customer-centric marketing is a strategy that focuses on the individual customer in terms of marketing design and delivery. There is no “average” customer. Customers have different behaviors and preferences and because now we have the proper tools available, we should move past a “one-size-fits-all” marketing approach. Customer centricity gives us the power to target the right customer with the right channel and right message – at the right time. This approach can also help you to create a brand new strategy that will bring long-term value to your business: acquire high-value customers and keep them coming back.

10. Call-To-Action Buttons

Call-to-action (or CTA) buttons are used to provoke the action you want your visitors to take and to convert them into leads or customers. You can use these tools in your website or your landing pages. It should be a button that makes the user want to click on it, but that doesn’t mean it must be the most eye-catching neon colored button with a slogan in all CAPS. There are many various possibilities of what to put onto the CTA button and each can be used in different cases. They should be visible and stand out from other content on the page, however, their design should be consistent. Some examples of the phrases you could use with your CTAs: Sign up. / Subscribe. / Join us. / Learn more. 


The trends keep changing and evolving. Keeping your marketing strategy up to date will always be a necessity, however, once you feel comfortable using the current tools and methods, you can learn from the process and eventually the evolution of online marketing trends won't seem so complicated and will be easier to keep up with than the Kardashians.


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No Professional Stuff. Be Natural. Leverage INSTASTORIES.

I know, I have been there too… You are about to create a piece of content — a nicely done cappuccino in your café or a beautifully pictured house that you want to sell. But how the heck do you begin? With no professional equipment or experience — you want to produce the best content for your social media profiles, business website or email campaign, right?

Well, how do you go about it? The key is you don’t have to be perfect, in fact, that’s part of the magic of this medium! Be natural, be spontaneous, and be active. Your new audience will expect funny, educational, engaging and UNPROFESSIONAL content. In a world where marketing aims for the ideal, your audience wants someone or something that they can relate to. A picturesque cappuccino is nice to look at, but what about a customer savouring their morning drink, only to burst out laughing because they have foam on their upper lip? Capture it and share it! Sometimes less is more. And something is always better than nothing

In this article, I will show you how you to use a (relatively new) medium that not only allows you to share your unprofessional and spontaneous content, but REQUIRES IT! This medium is called Instagram Stories aka Instastories. As the name says, it can be used on your Instagram profile (both personal and professional). Below see an example of what an Instastory looks like:

AirBnB Instastory
AirBnB Instastory

Let us first clarify what Instastories are. They are vertically shared pictures, videos, animations that were originally used by Snapchat. After some period of time, Instagram and Facebook implemented them and extended their platforms. Instastories disappear after 24 hours which makes them an instant, spontaneous and engaging piece of content.

But why should you actually care about them? How are they relevant to your business? As we regularly discuss in other articles, webinars and private Facebook groups, ask yourself a question before you get started: Can I reach my audience on this channel? Instagram is used daily by one billion users and Instastories by more than 500 million people. That truly means 500.000.000 people. Every. Single. Day.

Going back to where we began. You are probably asking yourself: “Do I need professional equipment, a best-of-breed creative studio with the best of the best?” Not at all. Be natural, be spontaneous, and certainly, go ahead, and be unprofessional! This platform requires it. Your audience expects you to be natural. They expect to see what’s going on behind the scenes and what your daily updates are — share with them the best moments that can describe you or your business. Tell STORIES! Because that is what this platform is about.

Let’s break the stereotype: You do NOT need to be a professional to create great, engaging content for Instastories.

Let’s get practical. How do you really begin?

  1. The premise is: You already have your business/ personal Instagram account (if not, get one).
  2. Visit the Instagram app and tap your icon (with the + sign) on the top panel/ or simply swipe right.
  3. The interface where you create Instastories will open up. Choose either to make a picture, create a video or choose any of your pictures/ videos in your gallery. The options you have when it comes to content creation are hundreds (check out all the features like Boomerang, Live Stream, polls or uploading Gifs to your story).
  4. After you are done, click “Send to” and choose either your Instastory platform (yes, this is the one) or send it to some of your friends/ followers.
  5. Done. Your Instastory will now be public. Make sure to check the results afterwards. You can see who watched your story (within the first 24 hours of posting it) and how they reacted.

You know how to get started. Get inspired before you jump into the content creation. See a series that shows some examples of really nice — BUT STILL UNPROFESSIONAL — Instastories which you can do within a few seconds.

There are plenty of cool features that you can use to make your content visually more appealing. Amongst them, there are live streams (even shared streams with other coworkers, partners, and followers), galleries of Gifs, options such as slow motion or boomerang effects, coloured backgrounds, many text fonts, polls, quizzes and questionnaires (ways to engage with your audience), chat windows and tons of emojis. Again, choose what correlates with your business image (branding). I may be repeating myself, but less is sometimes more…

Key takeways:

  • Instastories offer an opportunity to reach out to your audience — potential customers/ followers.
  • Be yourself! Be natural and spontaneous, when creating Instastories.
  • Do not insist on the best-of-breed equipment — less is sometimes more.
  • Follow the 5 steps stated above to get started with Instastories.
  • Inspire yourself with our Series of great examples of Instastories.
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Why Should Every Realtor Use Instagram?

Are you using Instagram to attract qualified real estate leads? Or are you merely relying on Facebook?


Things changed in the last years and social media platforms as well. Instagram is one of the platforms that has grown dramatically in the last decade. In the beginning of 2012 it started with “just” 15 million users. After 8 years the user base grew to over 1 billion in 2020. Not just these numbers is a reason to consider using Instagram in your business.

37% of American adults use Instagram

In most of 2019, almost forty percent of adults were on Instagram. This number will grow rapidly in the next few years, so it makes IG a great place to reach your potential clients.

Direct communication

Instagram is based on connecting people. It is therefore, very easy to communicate directly with your followers or even potential customers, whether publicly in comments or in private messages. In addition, the Instagram application is very well optimised, so it is comfortable and easy for the person on the other side of your communication.

It's visual

Instagram is based on visual content. People like it and spend a lot of their time looking at a variety of photos, pictures and videos. Embrace it when you have something to show. Photos of houses are very popular on Instagram and this is a huge opportunity for you! Show the properties you are currently offering. 

More engaging than Facebook

Instagram is an engagement powerhouse. Brands see 10x higher engagement here than they do on Facebook. It's because the interaction with the content on instagram is much more natural and convenient for users.

You don't have to compete with Zillow

When you offer your services on Zillow, Realtor, or Trulia, you compete with almost all real estate agents. On the other hand, according to FitSmallBusiness.com, only 14% of agents are on Instagram. It gives you a big advantage. Up to 83% of buyers want to see pictures of properties online.

Precise Ads targeting

Instagram is a part of Facebook. It brings great advantages. Via Facebook Business Manager, you can publish ads on Instagram with very precise targeting. This allows you to reach potential customers using a number of parameters, such as where they live or even whether they are considering buying property. If you are not sure about the Business Manager, try our groost app, that simplifies the whole process to just 7 steps. 

Reach right audience with hashtags

Essentially, hashtags are an SEO on Instagram. It is a tag in the description of your post and it allows users who are not following you, to find your content and, hopefully, follow you. Basically, you have two types of hashtags, global and local. Local hashtags are best if you are running a business account or have a physical location and want to promote locally.

Publishing content is easy and quick

From the very beginning, Instagram was designed to publish visual content. With the official mobile app, it's very easy and fast. You have a variety of tools to edit your photos and videos on the go.

Live streaming

Live streams are becoming more and more popular. It turns out, according to this study, that up to 82% percent of people prefer live videos compared to social media posts. And 80% of users would rather watch live videos from a brand than read a blog. Because it is honest and authentic. Take this opportunity to present the property you are currently selling.

Insights into a business profile

On Instagram, you have basically 2 types of profiles. Personal and Business. The business one offers you more features that are essential for your business. One of the features is called Insights. You can see several charts and numbers here and use this to analyse your audience to find out what is and isn't working.

It’s free

In the end, Instagram is a free platform. Anyone can use its features for free and that is the reason why Instagram has over 111 million active users in the U.S. alone.


What to say at the end? Instagram is apparently a platform that you shouldn't ignore in 2020. It has many benefits for your business and its influence will grow.

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Marketing Funnel Explained (for Non-Marketers)

Have you ever wondered if the journey of your customer is trackable or even viewable? I have good news for you – it is. You can – in many cases – track how many people know about your business, how many of them consider purchasing your goods and, of course, how many already bought and referred your product to a friend. Being able to view the customer journey, optimise its steps and analyze your efforts is crucial for any kind of business. Trust me, the size does not matter (in this case). Every business should do it.


Marketing funnel is a term that resonates with the majority of marketers. They tend to use this model to illustrate the customer journey – from brand discovery to purchase. As stated, measuring every step of the funnel brings you a much better overview of your efforts and, thus, a higher return on investment, which is your goal, isn't it? The more you can get out of every stage of your customer's journey, the better the results are in terms of number count or revenue.


Let's say your customer journey has three main phases:


Three main phases of the customer journey (attention, consideration, decision)
The Three Main Phases of Customer Journey

Please note that in this case we don't cover the scenarios that happen after the purchase is made (retention funnel).


Each stage represents a different behaviour stage of your potential customer. Say she has a problem which she is able to name. She begins to search for a solution – which you offer with your product or service. As soon as she discovers your business – among others – offers the solution she is already in the awareness stage.


Your presentation, product, its price and other factors determine whether she will move further on the journey. The consideration stage, needless to say, is a phase in which a potential customer already considers your product, is comparing it to your competitors and is aware of its pros and cons.


Decision. That's the phase we aim for. We want her to buy our product, right? That's when a decision is made. In this stage, your potential customer has already conducted the research, has chosen you over your competitors and is happy to buy what you have to offer


We just described (in a very simple way) what a customer journey can look like. Sometimes it takes weeks to guide her through all stages of the journey, sometimes it is a matter of minutes. Imagine yourself buying a coffee in the city center. You probably don't do any thorough research, but you certainly look for coffee quality and price. You don't spend days comparing the product to other cafés or bars. You make the decision according to a few key factors. Your journey is fast and your decision is made pretty quickly. But it does not mean the café owner should not pay attention to the key factors, like what the café window looks like, or if their prices are reasonable, as it influences the customer's journey.


The customer journey can easily be viewed as a funnel. Therefore, marketers use it to analyze their efforts. To explain the basic idea behind the marketing funnel, let's use the widely-known model AIDA which stands for attention, interest, desire and action. Each of these phases represent a stage in which you might find your customers. 


Obviously, your ultimate goal is to guide them through the stages without friction and in the shortest time possible. 


Let us look at an example of a basic marketing funnel:


AIDA - Attention, Interest, Desire, Action

People obviously start at the top – marketers call it the top funnel. This represents the awareness stage. As customers move further in the funnel, they know more about you and your offer and start, as well as continue to consider it more and more. 


Here is what a perfect marketing funnel would look like:


Example of a Perfect Marketing Funnel

This would mean that everyone who discovers your product will decide to purchase. Going back to our example, 100% of the people who enter your café will buy a coffee. Of course, that's a seller's utopia. In an ideal world, this would work, not in the real one.


Your task is to carefully measure your funnel and optimize its steps.


Let's finally give a more concrete example of what a marketing funnel can look like in your case. Say you run a real estate business, and aim to attract potential house buyers with your website. That's also where you generate leads that you can then convert. Your main channels would be:

  • social media or ads on Google or Youtube
  • a website
  • a chat or phone call


You would try to attract as many people as possible with your marketing budget and lead them to your website to show all the products or services you have. After they land on the website, ideally you want them to fill out a form, in case, they are interested in a particular offer. As soon as they do so, you connect with them via phone or email and find out whether their interest can lead to a conversion. 


This is what your funnel would look like:

Example of Marketing Funnel

Let's do some math now. Say your marketing efforts help you reach 10,000 people with your ad. 3% of them interact with your ad and visit your website. That would mean you have 300 people on your website, right? 


How many of these people are you able to convert into leads? That depends on how your website attracts its users and how juicy your offer is, doesn't it? Let's say you have a 10% conversion rate (10% of website visitors convert into leads). In this case, you would have 30 leads waiting to be contacted. 


How many of them can you convert into sales? Again, factors like your response time, will play their role now. If you made it to 50%, you just made 15 sales. Now go back and think about what can be improved...


You can see that there are more factors that influence the efficiency of your funnel (and your efforts). One bit of advice would be: measure each step of the funnel, focus on the customer and do your best to improve the areas where it falters! 


Going back to our example, simply by making your ad more appealing, you can increase your outcome from 3% to 6% which (if other metrics don't change) make 30 sales at the end of the day! Improve your website from 10% conversion rate to 15% and you almost hit the sky… You know where I am heading, right?


You may be wondering where you can get all of this data? Tools like Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Business Manager or our own app that simplifies the process of ad management, can give you great insights into how many people you reached, how many of them interacted with your content, how many made it to the website and finally, how many were converted into leads. There is a plethora of ways to measure your marketing funnel – the customer journey. Even a piece of paper and good data sources can create miracles… 


One thing is for sure: if you don't measure your efforts carefully, you may be investing money and energy into something which does not bring you results at all.


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6 TOP Marketing Metrics Every Brand Needs to Track

There are hundreds of metrics you can measure today. That's the biggest advantage, as well as, disadvantage of digital marketing.

The truth is you can measure almost anything.  You can build a detailed report with real time data, refresh and make those business decisions based on precise data, visualize insights in all those bar charts, funnels, pie charts, cohorts, heat maps, numbers, percentages, etc. That's what the theory is about.

And I partially agree with that, but the reality may be a bit different. Yes, this is important for large companies that, thanks to comprehensive measurements and reports, can optimize their processes and save a significant amount of money.

However, at the SMB level, the situation is quite different. You probably don't have an IT department full of specialists and data analysts who are able to invest hundreds of hours to set up your data platform, connect dozens of data sources, transform the given data and from that, build strong reports. Also, you probably don't deal with a billion dollars in revenue, so sophisticated analytics can be counterproductive because you don't have enough quality and precise data to optimize individual processes and earn a significant savings.

I'm not trying to say that you should completely ignore data analytics. Rather, it is about finding the right balance between not getting overwhelmed with data and gaining valuable insights that can help your business.

In this article, I’ll cover the most important metrics that actually give you valuable insights into your business and online marketing efforts. At the same time, I will highlight the metrics that are less effective and easy to misinterpret.

What Are Those 'Marketing Metrics'?

Klipfolio, an analytics tool, says: Marketing Metrics are measurable values used by marketing teams to demonstrate the effectiveness of campaigns across all marketing channels.

Sounds a bit complicated, but in other words, marketing metrics are numbers that tell you how effective your marketing efforts are. You set a goal, and your metrics tell you, whether you have achieved it or not. Based on this you can make a change and try a different approach.

Example: My goal is to get 100 website visits per 50 USD invested in Facebook ads. My metric in this case is Clicks. Two scenarios could take place:

  1. I get 100 clicks and it cost 50 USD. Great! I have achieved my goal.
  2. I get 15 clicks and it cost 50 USD.  It is clear that I have not achieved my goal and I need to fix it. The solution could be to change a description or image.

Why are Social Media Metrics So Important?

Metrics can tell you, how effective your efforts are and help you to make changes before you spend hundreds of dollars.

Digital marketing is unpredictable, and a strategy that worked well the last couple of months could eventually become less effective or stop working entirely. Metrics tell you immediately if your efforts are paying off.

Common Mistakes

Setting the wrong goals and misinterpreting engagement metrics is pretty rife. Let's check out some common scenarios. Maybe you will even spot some of your own mistakes.

Treating All Social Media Platforms the Same

You probably wouldn't speak English in Portugal. The same principle applies when it comes to social media. Every platform works in a slightly different way, has a different user base, and people behave differently. Your message shouldn't be the same for all platforms. We wrote an article about demographics and the specifics of individual social media networks, so make sure you read it to understand how all those platforms work and what makes each one different.

Tip: You don't have to be a marketing PRO to master campaigns across multiple channels. Try tools like groost that simplify this process.


Focusing on Likes

I'm not saying that likes are not important. But in and of itself, they mean nothing. Nowadays, it is possible to buy likes for posts or a page for a few dollars, but it doesn't help your business at all. It usually does the opposite. It is necessary to look at the number of likes in context of the given situation.

Measuring Everything

You can measure almost anything you can think of and probably much more. I understand the allure of this idea, because in the beginning it sounds amazing…the theory about having precise real time data on a beautiful dashboard... but reality is usually different. In most cases, you can end up with an over-complex dashboard where you could easily get lost. It takes a great deal of time and energy to make this work.

Ignoring Analytics Completely

The extreme opposite of measuring everything is measuring nothing. With the vast amount of information around us, it's understandable that one would just want to ignore everything. But with this approach, you are probably losing your money and throwing its potential out of the window. You can't tell if your spending on social media advertising is effective or if you are losing money, if you're not analyzing what is working vs. what is not. You don't need a complex dashboard with many metrics to keep proper tabs on this.

Metrics to Focus On

You know it already, there are hundreds of metrics out there. But you should focus on those that are most important for you and your business. From our perspective, these are the ones which you should be keeping track of:

Reach

Reach tells you, how many people were able to see your content. It doesn't mean real views, rather it refers to potential views. If someone with 1,000 followers retweets your tweet, your reach increases by those 1,000 different people, but not every single one of those people may see it.

A higher reach is better, but if you don't get enough leads or engagement, something could be wrong.

Leads

This metric tells you, how many direct contacts you got. A lead is a person or even a company that is ready for a follow-up. This person has usually reached a stage where they are ready to become your customer.

Engagement

Engagement measures the amount of likes, shares and comments your content or ad received. This metric tells you, how much your content is resonating with your followers. It's an important metric to check when optimizing your content strategy.

The engagement rate is influenced by many factors like platform, number of followers, industry, time of posting, etc.

Tip: See our article on What to Expect from Social Media.

Conversions

This metric is an exact number of how many people targeted, eventually became paying customers. Remember, that this isn't just about this exact number. It has to be compared with the Conversion Rate, which is a percentage metric that shows you a ratio between visitors and converted customers.

Conversion rate may vary across industries and required action.

Tip: See our article on What to Expect from Social Media.

Revenue

This is a monetary metric telling you, how much revenue your ad has generated. At the end of the day, this is what counts.

Return on Investment (ROI)

ROI demonstrates how your marketing time, energy and money spent are contributing to your company growth. You always have to know how much money you spent on advertising and how much money it has brought. It tells you, if and how effective your advertising efforts are.

ROI (%) = (income/spend)*100

Your ROI should always be higher than 100%, otherwise a given strategy was ultimately, a waste of money.

Where to Start with Your Social Media Metrics

Well, now you should understand the basics of Social Media Metrics. But the most important thing to understand is how to implement metrics in real-life scenarios. These are 4 steps to successfully start your measurements.

Step 1: Define Your Goals

In the beginning, find some time to write down your goals. All social media platforms could be used in many ways. What do you want to accomplish? The more specific you can be, the better. 

Here is a list of examples to help you brainstorm:

  • Bring more people to my website
  • Increase views of my social media content
  • Other goals…?

Tip: We made an article about defining goals, where you can read all about the process behind it.

Step 2: Create a Set of Metrics

The next step is to understand which metrics to use, to see if you are achieving your goals or not. This process is quite easy. Basically you are trying to find those numbers, so you can recognize how effective your efforts are. Your goal should fit into the following categories:

Awareness – Use metrics like volume, reach, exposure, and amplification. How far is your message spreading?

Engagement – Look for metrics around retweets, comments, replies, and participants. How many people are participating, how often are they participating, and in what forms are they participating?

Traffic – Track URL shares, clicks and conversions. Are people moving through social media to your external site and what do they do once they’re on your site?

Advocates and fans – Track contributors and influencers. Who is participating and what kind of impact do they have?

Share of voice – Track your volume relative to your closest competitors. How much of the overall conversation around your industry or product category is about your brand?

Step 3: Measure

Social media platforms usually do provide some basic analytics. For most cases it's enough, so if you're new to analytics, start small. In our case, we built groost. analytics right inside the app.

Tip: If you want to see groost in action, sign up here for free.

Keep in  mind that social media interactions happen in real time. Look for a tool that allows you to access data immediately, without delay. You can't afford to wait weeks or even days for a report. Having real time data allows you to react and make quick changes, in order to stay effective.

Step 4: Monitor and Make Changes/Decisions

To make all previous steps valuable, take a data-based action. Don't forget to see data in a wider context and compare it with industry benchmarks. 

Ask yourself…

  • Did I achieve what I was expecting?
  • How are these metrics doing?
  • Am I missing something?

These questions will help you optimize your social media analytics process.

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How to Build Your Personal Brand

We’re all used to connecting the term ‘brand' with relationships to companies and products. However, that’s not what we’re going to talk about right now. A personal brand is kind of like a stamp that defines your persona and how people see it. In the past, personal branding used to be only about business cards, logos and websites. Today, it’s much more diverse. (Although websites are still useful for anyone building their brand and if you'd like to know more, you can read about this topic here.) Anyone who has access to the internet and social media can showcase themselves as an expert, build an audience, and attract clients that might be interested in their business. It’s a connection between how you see yourself, how you communicate with others and how they see you. Now, where do you start and how do you build a brand for yourself?

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Hype vs. Trend – What Really Matters for Your Business?

AI, Chatbots, Blockchain, self-driving cars, cloud-computing... You have probably heard of all of those, right? Do these terms represent trend or a hype? What is the actual difference between those two words? And are they important for you, as an entrepreneur who's just getting started? These are probably the questions that jump to your mind when hearing these buzzwords.


There is a HUGE difference between what stays and what doesn't. In other words, not everything will stick and change our behaviour. This is how we can define our keyword, trend: as a change in the behaviour, habits or ways in which things work. It is a constant change. Let me explain trend in a graph, as I am a visual learner and a numbers freak…

Trend Line
Trend Line

On the contrary, hype is something that simply occurs and fades away… without any lasting impact. If I spoke in graphs, hype would look like this:

Hype Line
Hype Line

When the terms are clarified, let us look at the history and point out some of the trends and hypes we, as humans on this earth, have been through…


  1. 1950 – Year when the first credit card was introduced

Presented by Diner's Club, the very first universal credit card came to use and was accepted by some establishments. Had it been just a hype, no one would be using credit cards today… Non-cash payment instruments play a huge role in our lives today – this trend changed our behaviour for good.


Now, imagine a bank not issuing a credit or debit card after opening an account – a business that did not catch the trend. This bank would for sure not survive in today's world…


  1. 2008 – The word shared economy was loudly spoken for the first time

… and changed the way we travel, transport ourselves and purchase goods. Startups like AirBnB or Uber have shown us there is a new way of ordering a taxi or renting a flat for a few nights. Have classic taxi companies had to react to this change? You bet they have!


You can probably guess where this is heading. There are a plethora of examples of trends that have changed our lives. These are real changes that – if businesses ignored them – could be very harmful... 


  1. Now – Podcasts, home voice assistants and voice orders

Here we go. 2019 and podcasts, home voice assistants, voice search, voice order and – you nailed it – everything that has something to do with voice is slowly changing the way we behave. Is this something you should keep an eye on? I believe so. Is this something that is about to change / threaten / boost your business? That truly depends on your business industry and approach.


On the contrary, hype can calmly be ignored (or shortly leveraged). Do you remember the Bitcoin bubble in late 2017? 


If not, let me briefly explain. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that was invented in January 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. Its price has been slowly rising since then, and in 2017, one Bitcoin was worth around 20,000 USD. With no real value behind it! In other words, so much money was invested in this currency that the price rose rapidly. An easy economic rule: when the demand rises (while the offer is limited), the price goes up. But what is crucial, is the value behind it. There was no value at all. And in January 2018...BOOM!

Bitcoin Chart (2018)

Identifying hype and trend can be crucial for the survival of your business. But no one really tells you how to get started. Well… saying that there is a manual would mean there is a way to predict the future.


But there are some ways to prepare yourself. As Gartner puts it: “Three key factors will ultimately enable you to identify the potential impact of a particular technology trend on people, business, IT and the technology market:

  1. New value. Identify clear business opportunities that this technology trend could help exploit, or challenges that it could help solve to produce better business outcomes.

  2. Level of digital disruption. Decide whether adopting this trend would mean changing your organization’s business model or inventing a new one. Could this new trend replace existing technologies or ways of doing business? How could this trend disrupt the technology market? Although, there will probably be opportunities for new providers, new trends can disrupt the services and performance of existing providers on which your organization may rely.

  3. Type of impact. Investigate whether the trend’s impact will be felt only within your organization, or whether it will have an external impact on your organization." 


Yes, you have to know your business and industry perfectly in order to answer those questions. If you decide to simply ignore everything that goes around you, you may get kicked out of business soon… But if you learn, build on your knowledge and keep an eye on the current trends & hypes (as you may not recognize them at the beginning), your chances will rise.


Build on your knowledge. Do not pay attention to what does not affect your business, but be aware of something that does…

We at groost.com are leveraging online advertising for small businesses, which has shown to be a strong trend that is here to change many industries. In 2018, for the very first time, 50 % of the world's population was online. Never before has the percentage of people with access to the internet been so high. And guess what… The number is rising. Is this a trend or a hype? You are now able to answer the question for yourself.


Are you up to date with what's on trend for 2019? Check the Gartner's research here: https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/5-trends-appear-on-the-gartner-hype-cycle-for-emerging-technologies-2019

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