Social Media Trends 2021: Live Audio and Clubhouse Marketing

Podcasts have exploded in popularity. In turn, almost every content marketing agency has explored the power of this audio-only format to engage audiences. As a next step, imagine combining an audio podcast with the conversational ability of a traditional social site, like Twitter. Enter: Clubhouse, the social media wunderkind that everyone is either talking about or copying.

That’s how a Clubhouse marketing agency might describe this new and increasingly visible social app. Find out how Clubhouse works, some ways to use it for marketing, and what the future of interactive audio might offer.

How Does Clubhouse Work?

Clubhouse app users can choose from a selection of rooms to enter. Some examples of influencers who run Clubhouse rooms include philanthropists, entertainers, venture capitalists, and perhaps unsurprisingly, digital marketers. Entering the room automatically turns on audio, and visitors can “raise their hands” to ask for the moderator’s permission to speak.

Clubhouse’s exclusivity partly explains its mystique. While anybody can download the app, potential users must register a username and wait for an invitation to activate it. This controlled growth limits the app’s current user base; however, it also gives users a chance to gain access to even the most popular influencers.

According to Digiday, a few million people use Clubhouse at least once each week. That may pale when compared to the billions of logins to Facebook each day. At the same time, Clubhouse’s enjoys a very concentrated population of influencers, which offers businesses a fantastic way to make connections.

How to Benefit From Clubhouse Advertising and Marketing

Right now, Clubhouse does not offer any program for paid social advertising. It’s based upon networking and content marketing. On the other hand, businesses and individuals do have an opportunity to earn money from the app. Just a few examples include paid room memberships, sponsorships, and of course, marketing brands.

Of course, businesses could advertise their rooms on other platforms; however, since not everybody has a Clubhouse invitation, targeting can present a challenge. Instead, consider these examples of best practices for getting established on Clubhouse:

  • Organically develop an engaged community: Start by developing a profile that can motivate the right users to follow it. Engage in relevant conversations for visibility. Marketers new to Clubhouse may want to begin by networking with influencers who complement their own message. Compare this to getting established on any other social site by gaining the attention of influencers and their audiences.
  • Consider creating a room to solicit feedback: Whether it’s a new business idea or an established part of daily operations, try creating a room to ask for feedback. Very often, other entrepreneurs will stop by to offer opinions, and this provides a great networking opportunity for everybody involved. Also, don’t overlook the chance to provide feedback to others to gain attention.
  • Use Clubhouse to make company announcements: Connect an audience even more with a brand by using the site as a way to release your own audio press releases and bulletins. Clubhouse can work particularly well as a place to announce upcoming launches and even to ask for pre-launch feedback.

Instead of just using Clubhouse as a platform to network and promote new products or services, also consider it a potential source of finance connections. Since it’s grown quite popular with venture capitalist, Clubhouse can provide the perfect place to gain an investor’s notice. Even if all investors won’t offer to write checks, most will provide feedback that can help improve pitches and products.

Finally, is waiting for an invitation presenting an obstacle to getting started with Clubhouse? Putting out a call for one on LinkedIn or Twitter can yield positive results.

Forecasting the Future for Clubhouse

If nothing else, Clubhouse has already introduced a new digital media in the form of a social network based upon interactive audio. It combines some of the best features of social sites and podcasts. As an example, it’s interactive, and unlike with live video, nobody needs to fix their hair.

On the other hand, larger social networks have already begun to respond with their own versions. As an example, Twitter’s beta testing Audio Spaces. They want to give users a place to gather for live, spoken conversations. Also, Twitter already has some features that Clubhouse lacks, including transcriptions, reactions, and a report feature.

While Clubhouse’s premise appears promising, they may fade into obscurity or remain a niche platform if established social networks can deliver a similar environment with important upgrades.

Current Alternatives to Clubhouse

Since Clubhouse still has limited membership, not all brands will not find their target audience there. Others may feel the platform just doesn’t conform to their marketing style. Sadly, some entrepreneurs might even still be waiting for their invite.

In any case, it’s always prudent to explore some other alternative social networking platforms:

  • Discord: People probably mostly associate Discord with chat servers; however, it also offers video and audio chat capabilities. That means a business could turn a Discord audio channel into something very similar to a Clubhouse room.
  • Riffr: This platform lets users upload short podcast recordings, so that part isn’t live. However, Riffr also has social networking features, so both listeners and content producers can follow and interact with each other.
  • Traditional podcasts: At first, people might think of podcasts as more like one-way broadcasts. At the same time, it’s possible to receive voice, text, or video calls from the audience or guests, so in that way, they can be interactive.
  • Webinar: A webinar functions something like a podcast with the addition of video. Also similar, it first seems like a one-way medium. At the same time, it’s possible to accept chats and calls from participants, so a webinar can provide an interactive experience.

Is Clubhouse Marketing Worth Pursuing?

Clubhouse offers businesses a chance to interact with a relatively small but influential group. Some examples of Clubhouse participants include Oprah, Elon Musk, and Chris Rock. Less well known, but possibly just as important, venture capitalists hang out on Clubhouse to monitor trends and sometimes, find new ventures to fund.

If networking with powerful influencers, business funders, and other ambitious peers can offer benefits, good content marketers should find plenty of fertile ground to network and spread their message.

At the same time, Clubhouse has only existed for a couple of years and lacks the established brand, features, and membership of either the largest social sites or the most competitive alternatives. While investing effort into Clubhouse may offer opportunities, it’s also probably prudent to explore similar opportunities offered by other platforms.

Telehealth Digital Strategies for Mental Health Providers

Recently, more people have suffered from mental health issues; the right digital strategy can help mental health and telehealth marketing help more patients.

In the United States, past studies have suggested that almost 20 percent of adults coped with some form of mental illness. During the recent coronavirus pandemic, the CDC doubled that figure when they reported that 40 percent of American adults said they recently struggled with mental illness or substance abuse  — and sometimes, both.

This crisis only increased the need for mental health professionals to reach out to patients with their beneficial services. Some telepsychiatry and other mental health services had engaged in both online marketing and services in the past. Pandemic-related social distancing has increased the urgency for providers to use technology to connect with and serve more patients. 

Telehealth helps providers reach more patients by allowing people to login from their home or office computer. At the same time, the right telehealth marketing tactics will help mental health professionals find more people who need their help.

How a mental healthcare marketing agency can help practices reach out online

Pew Research found that four out of five Americans get online each day. Over 28 percent of these people say they’re almost always connected to the internet through their computers and mobile devices. Most of the rest say they login to the internet several times a day.

Thus, the web provides one of the best ways to strengthen all sorts of health and wellness marketing. Not only can the right mix of digital marketing find a large audience, it’s also possible to provide people with the information they need 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Of course, it’s likely that people who seek telehealth already feel comfortable with getting online.

Consider some examples of the kinds of in-person or telehealth marketing tactics that will introduce mental health professionals to more people that they can help:

  • Content: Good content can educate people about relevant topics, introduce them to a provider’s practice, and help build authority. Examples of kind of content might include blog articles, social media posts, or even uploads to video channels. For an example of a psychologist with engaging and topical mental health videos, see Dr. Grande on YouTube.
  • Social media pages: Not only will social media pages help distribute content, they can also give a mental health practice a way to connect with a wider audience and display that all-important social proof. Social proof refers to the idea that people tend to accept the ideas of those they can relate to or admire, which can prove important in engaging potential clients.
  • Email and text subscriptions: Health and wellness marketing can use email and/or text subscriptions to send out newsletters, alert subscribers to new content, and promote additional services. Subscriptions keep prospects connected and can serve as valuable leads.
  • Search engine optimization: Search engine optimization, usually called SEO, helps make websites and other online platforms easier for people to find when they search online. Even a decade ago, NBC reported that most adults began looking for mental health information online, and the number of internet searches has grown rapidly since them.
  • Paid ads: Search engines, social media sites, and other media platforms offer paid search engines. It takes time to gain a good position with social media, content, subscriptions, and SEO. Paid ads can produce faster results. Today’s advertising platforms allow a mental health marketing agency to target their ads to reach an audience with a likely interest in their services.

How online mental health and wellness marketing benefits patients and providers

Obviously, mental health providers offer services that help people cope with mental illness. In turn, digital marketing can ensure that these providers reach the people that need the help. At the same time, digital marketing gives mental health providers a chance to increase their own business. In particular these days, reaching as many people as possible only makes sense as good business and good medicine.

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Does Social Influencer Marketing Actually Work?

By finding the right influencer, social influencer marketing can deliver authentic messaging, a targeted audience, and more profits to your business.

Almost everybody has made at least one purchase because somebody they knew — or at least, knew of — introduced them to a product or service. Today’s social media influencer marketing just takes old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing online to active social platforms. After all, such social sites as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are one of the first places today’s consumers turn to look for advice about purchases. Learn more about potential benefits of developing an influencer marketing strategy and how to go about finding the right influencer for your brand.

How social media influencer marketing works

Traditionally, marketers might have found a celebrity or authority on a topic to mention or promote products. Today’s social platforms have given birth to an entire new industry filled with people who attract a large audience through their own content. Finding the right influencer means having a spokesperson who has already attracted an ideal audience for your brand.

For instance, sales of your exercise bike or nutritional shake mix might benefit from the exposure a popular online fitness guru could offer by reviewing it for an Instagram or YouTube video. Similarly, a beauty company might look for a popular model or beauty expert to demonstrate their products.

Since there are so many social sites and influencers online these days, you might also benefit by working with an influencer marketing agency instead of trying to handle everything on your own. These are some of the tasks that an influencer marketing agency can help with:

  • Understanding your brand and products to determine the ideal audience
  • Helping to develop an influencer marketing strategy, including the choice of goals and metrics
  • Selecting and vetting social influencers and negotiating terms and rates 
  • Running and monitoring campaigns
  • Reporting upon the outcome and suggesting the next steps

According to HubSpot, an overwhelming 94 percent of marketers had a positive opinion about influencer marketings. On the other hand, almost 80 percent admitted that determining the actual ROI of their campaigns has proven challenging. That’s why you should not skip the second step that includes setting goals and figuring out how to measure them.

Can influencers help drive sales?

Influencers don’t always need to have massive audiences to benefit your company. For instance, some businesses have enjoyed great success with so-called micro-influencers who have less than 10,000 followers. Most important, any representative for your brand should have a good reputation and a loyal and targeted audience. In addition, your small business or startup may find that influencers with smaller audiences will work within your budget, increasing the chance of earning a profit. In fact, HubSpot highlighted one study that found micro-influencers tend to command more engagment than big-name celebrities.

No matter how big of a following an influencer has, it’s important to make certain they’re credible, possess a positive reputation, and won’t engage in any tactics that can do more harm than good. According to Neil Patel, millenials still tend to trust influencers but less than they did a few years ago. He says that most campaigns tend to earn decent returns, but a little less than one in five make nothing at all or even lose money.

In particular, influencers with millions of fans may charge tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for just one post or video. This underscores the point that some businesses may want to begin by looking for microinfluencers who may lack massive reach but can deliver a good return for a few hundred dollars instead of several thousand per post. Once you’re certain you know how to use influencers to deliver your marketing message and make a profit, you can always scale up by either finding more small influencers or a big-name celebrity.

As a note, Patel also agreed that marketers he had spoken with said the biggest challenge was measuring ROI. Testing with a smaller, budget-friendly audience can give you the confidence you need to pursue bigger audiences.

Yes, social media influencer marketing still works

A thoughtful influencer marketing strategy can deliver many benefits to your business. Some examples include brand recognition, exposure to a targeted audience, an authentic delivery of your message, and valuable word-of-mouth advertising. If you’re new to influencer marketing, you should make sure you have clear, measurable goals and choose your influencers wisely.

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Using Digital Marketing to Increase Group Dining Bookings

Group dining bookings are an essential source of revenue for many restaurants. Here’s how to maximize group bookings through smart restaurant marketing.

The restaurant game isn’t for the faint of heart. Roughly 60% of new restaurants fail in the first year, and 80% fail within five years. That’s the kind of math that will momentarily subdue even the giddiest new restaurant industry entrepreneur.

Developing a significant and sustainable pipeline of corporate and group bookings is one of the best methods for ensuring your restaurant beats these grim odds. Yet, many restaurant owners simply have no idea how to implement this strategy.

Let’s take a closer look at how smart digital restaurant marketing can jumpstart your group bookings business.

The Power and Reach of Digital Restaurant Marketing

Digital technology has radically disrupted countless industries and altered consumer behavior in innumerable ways. Streaming services, for example, allow people to enjoy on-demand films in the privacy of their living room — something that has led to US movie theater attendance dropping to a 25-year low.

Restaurants, however, have been insulated from this trend. While there have been efforts to let consumers have meals prepared by chefs in their own homes, these concepts haven’t gained much traction. Right now, people still enjoy eating in a communal setting.

Digital tools, however, have changed the playing field for how restaurants secure business. Major platforms such as OpenTable transformed how reservations are handled; Yelp now acts as a critical guide for consumers looking for new places to dine; platforms such as Instagram are bursting with photos and videos of plated food.

Savvy marketers take advantage of the new digital paradigm by doing the following:

  • Building a robust online presence. This includes a dedicated website and accounts with major reservation and aggregation sites.
  • Social media outreach. Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat are all critical channels for engaging with customers and advertising and marketing new menu items, discounts and specials, etc. 
  • The creation of a valuable online brand. Today’s diners are looking for experiences, rather than just meals, when they visit higher-end eateries. Digital branding plays a key role is promoting awareness and establishing cachet in a local market.
  • Taking advantage of the latest digital marketing tools. One example is geo-fencing, a mobile marketing technique that allows restaurants to push notifications to the smartphones of people within a pre-defined geographical distance.

Gobbling Up Group Booking Revenue

Most of the above techniques are also useful in terms of stimulating more group bookings. Digital marketing plays a crucial role in surfacing your restaurant to the people who determine where to schedule their bookings.

Another sound idea: Designating a dedicated person to help with group dining outreach. Many restaurants use a similar model for organizing group meals onsite by hiring an event planner. Should you designate someone to handle group business development, that person can use digital marketing tools to identify corporate decision-makers, and to engage with regular restaurant patrons prior to birthdays and other celebratory milestones.

Taking an active approach and contacting potential group clients in advance of these milestones is a great way to increase bookings, as people generally dislike having to search for group dinner locations. By taking the initiative through digital outreach, you can remove this task from their plate.

One note: When reaching out to corporate customers for holiday-related group dinners or other special events, it’s essential to do this well ahead of time. Corporations often begin planning such affairs weeks, if not months, ahead of time.

Why Bigeye is the Perfect Restaurant Marketing Partner

At Bigeye, we have an insatiable appetite for designing compelling group dining marketing campaigns — and we have all the right ingredients on staff to make it happen. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your grow your group dining business.

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7 Ways to incorporate media buying into your business plan

One of the most common questions we get from small and medium-sized businesses is how to craft a media buying plan tailored to their services. There is an unnecessary air of mystery around the process that can make media buying feel inaccessible to the average business owner. We have an entire department dedicated to business services marketing that can either handle the process for you, or empower you to do it yourself. To get you started, here are 7 quick and easy ways to begin incorporating media buying into your existing business services marketing plan.

1.Who are your personas and target audience: Media buying for business services starts with knowing your audience and the personas most likely to need your services. Before you invest a single dollar in a media buying spend, get clear on who you are talking to and where they are listening. By knowing your audience, you can spend less money on your campaigns, but maximize their effectiveness because your placements will be answering questions and directly targeting the right people.

2. Focus on time- and location-based targeting: Once you know who your audience is, you need to understand how to reach them. This is especially true when marketing business services. Understand whether your customers are shopping during business hours for their own companies, or whether they are confusing research at home, after hours. If your ads aren’t reaching them at the right time, they are going to waste. Tailor your media spend around the times and geographic areas that are most likely to yield results. The more you know about your target audience, the more effective you can be.

3. Set clear, measurable primary goals: Realize what you are trying to accomplish. Are you looking for leads? Trials? Sales? Brand awareness? The list goes on. Understand how your media buying fits into the marketing mix and what you hope to accomplish. We believe that if you can’t measure it, you shouldn’t do it — and this is no exception. Establish clear, time-bound, and trackable performance indicators. We encourage all of our clients to set up omni-channel marketing strategies that work together seamlessly to accomplish different goals. If you’re unsure how to do this, our services might be for you.

4. Understand your unpaid marketing potential: It might sound counterintuitive, but a good media buying strategy starts with knowing what you don’t need. Evaluate how your natural search results are performing and how your unpaid media on blogs and social media is impacting your brand, then only use paid media to fill in necessary gaps. Your media buying spend should work smarter, not harder for your dollar, which is why tracking everything is so important.

5. Understand how media fits into your creative, branding and content strategies: Anything you choose to invest in media buying should complement and support your work across other channels. A true omni-channel marketing strategy acknowledges that the customer journey doesn’t happen in silos. Customers move across devices, between content types, and through the purchase cycle more seamlessly than ever, so each of your marketing efforts should mirror and support each other — and ideally drive customers to other platforms to complete their journey.

6. Know the lingo: Take time to debunk any jargon, lingo, and marketing-speak surrounding your media buy. Even if you use an agency to support your business services marketing plan, it pays to understand what they are talking about. Knowing the difference between CPC and CPI can mean the difference in being over or under budget depending on how much money you have to spend. Never be afraid to ask questions. As a multi-platform agency, we are here to support your business — and that means helping you understand your marketing needs.

7. Programmatic and automated media buying: Last, but certainly not least, we encourage you explore programmatic or automated media buying opportunities. These emerging tools adapt your media spend to real-time data about your clients, campaigns and performance so you are spending just the right amount — not a penny more, or less. Click here to learn more about how these programs can support a more seamless and cost-efficient media buying experience.

New year, new trends: Break through social media noise in 2017

It seems there is always another trend to chase, another metric to follow, and another golden rule to adhere to, so we try to consolidate the most important pieces of information to help you make strong social media marketing decisions. Without further ado, here are our top five recommendations to break through the social media noise and clutter in 2017.
   1. Know your audience: Some brands are best suited for image-based social platforms (e.g., travel, retail). Some brands are best suited for education- or networking-based social platforms (e.g., financial services, education). You get the idea. It’s important to understand your audience so you can effectively choose which platforms to invest in and which platforms to steer away from. You don’t need to be everywhere for everyone to effectively use social media — you just need to be in front of the right people at the right time.

   2. Use every tool available: Once you pick a platform, use every single tool available to you. Facebook recently released a “donate” button for nonprofit organizations that can be added to event tags and fan pages, Snapchat just released customizable event filters to promote local and geo-based marketing efforts, and Instagram’s native image advertising seamlessly blends user-generated content with ads so effectively users don’t even know they are being served a campaign … just to name a few. Each platform has certain strengths, so carefully consider how you can use every tool int our toolbox to maximize your reach and customer engagement.

   3. Promote customer content: One of the most effective forms of social advertising — that also happens to be free — is promoting customer content. Simply sharing, commenting on, and promoting blog entries, social posts, and photos from past customers or potential customers can make your audience feel deeply connected to your brand and dramatically increase their likelihood to buy. For example, Nike is notorious for retweeting and liking budding athlete’s posts. When a first-time runner gets real-time social interaction as they post to the Nike+ app or Tweet about their run, they instantly feel connected to and supported by the brand in a real and authentic way that inspires action, it makes them feel good as an athlete, and will likely result in future goodwill and purchases.

   4. Test to invest: Because social media gives marketers access to such a large body of people, it’s an easy place to begin testing and targeting your marketing campaigns. Don’t invest in any type of social media campaign without testing it first. Almost every platform has built-in testing tools that allow you to run multiple variations at once, track KPIs, and measure your success over time. Ignore these at your own risk. Testing allows you to verify what content speaks to your audience and helps you break through the competition and clutter.

   4. A small part of the whole: Realize that social media needs to be part of your larger multi-channel marketing strategy that should ideally extend on- and offline, across traditional and non-traditional marketing platforms, and seamlessly support your customer no matter what information they need. Social media often links one channel to another, making it an integral part of cross-channel marketing strategy. Social media drives people from one platform to another and pushes people naturally toward the point of sale or call to action, so choose your success metrics accordingly. Social media can be very effective at driving customers into certain parts of the funnel, rather than simply going for the sale.

To understand where your brand fits into the world of social media, and how we can help you break through the clutter, check out our capabilities as a social media marketing agency. We believe that social media is a strong foundation in any marketing campaign and want to get social with you today.