Pay Attention to the End-User: What Are They Paying Attention to?

Pay attention to the end consumer. Watch your target audience and notice their interests and behaviors. 👀

Let go of the past. Adapt to the new mediums where people increasingly spend their time. 📱

Let’s get real. 🤔

– When is the last time you read a print magazine and looked at the ads?

– Do you use ad-block when you browse the Internet?

– Do you hit fast-forward or reach for your phone whenever a TV commercial comes on?

– Do you click on search engine or banner ads?

Thought so.

It’s not just “kids” spending all their time on their phones or social media. It’s you too.

And, even if it’s not “you,” it’s very dangerous to operate by a 1-person focus group. Open your eyes. Look at the world 🌎 around you.

We live online now, primarily through our phones. And, social media IS the Internet. It’s where we talk, listen, and watch.

The same people who in their everyday life know the above to be true, still market to people as if it’s 10-20 years ago, tone-deaf to the new reality.

They barely invest in social media, influencers, or Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn ads, or write them off completely, But they still blow 💰 on overpriced channels like print ads, TV commercials, and Google AdWords.

You have it reversed. Adapt or fade from relevance.

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The Social Mobile Mind-Shift: Time to Put Social First

Have you made the shift? There is a major shift we all have to make in our minds.

We often call the offline world the “real world” while dismissing our social/mobile activity as something that is separate and apart from “real life.”

The “real world” where people now spend their time is on 📱. This is where it’s at, and the sooner we understand this as marketers or business owners, the better.

Mobile devices, the Internet, and the platforms built on top of those channels like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook are now the dominant places where people are spending their time and attention.

And the younger the person, the more likely these are the ONLY places where they spend time. It’s not an escape from real life. THIS is real life.

And, we need to adapt our marketing and messaging accordingly if we hope to remain relevant and get anyone’s attention.

People are blocking your banner ads and fast forwarding interruptive commercials. If anyone under 30 — and it’s not just “kids,” it’s most of you now too — even sees an ad, they reach for the phone.

Social media isn’t something extra. Social media is just a name for “the Internet.”

And the Internet is where we now live. It’s where we watch, where we listen, where we communicate, and where we transact.

No one is seeing your billboard or listening to your radio ad.

This may not be true for everyone yet but the trend is rapidly moving in this direction and most already spend more attention on mobile and social than on anything else.

We’re transitioning from a “mobile-first” world to a “mobile-only” world. And, what’s coming next (VR) is going to make the current situation look old fashioned in the next 15-20 years. If you can’t keep up now, you’ll really have a problem once things get even crazier.

We live in a mobile world, but the platforms where we spend time in that mobile environment are social networks like Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. If your business is not creating content for those platforms and engaging with people in those places, your business is totally irrelevant.

Time to put social first.

If you’d like to learn more, leave a comment or send me an email: info@zevmedia.com.

Don’t become an Influencer for the Wrong Reasons

Don’t try to be an influencer for the sake of being an influencer.

Don’t become a personal brand for the sake of becoming a personal brand.

Rather, focus on providing value to others. Let the influence come to you as a result.

I think that’s a recipe for failure and a losing strategy. Perhaps, it will bring you short-term success, but you’ll lose in the long-term because the people who become truly influential and remain relevant are the ones who have a message, who stand for something, and who bring unique value to the table.

That means they say “no” to things as much or more often as they say “yes.” They make conscious decisions based on their values and will turn down quick cash if it means maintaining the health and integrity of their brand.

There is a lot of money in the influencer space right now and we have influencers on all platforms — bloggers, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and more. Almost every kid nowadays wants to be one and thinks they can do it relatively quickly.

I have worked with influencers, primarily on Instagram. It concerns me that many people are not focused first and foremost on providing value to their audience. They simply want to be an influencer and get all the rewards that come with it. But an influencer or a personal brand will only engage and inspire if there is substance and authenticity behind it.

If you’re only doing it for the fame or money and you’re willing to collaborate with any brand as long as it pays, you will eventually lose credibility with your audience.

When you’re not being authentic and genuine and true to your brand values or if you don’t actually believe in the products you’re promoting, people will catch on and get turned off.

People can smell a faker. So, make sure you’re becoming an influencer for the right reasons.

Social Media and Content Marketing Is Not A Quick-Fix Solution

What is the ROI of content marketing and social media? How quickly will it take to start generating leads or sales for my new business?

This is an important subject that frequently comes up and one that I want to address and unpack over a series of posts.

Content marketing and organic social media marketing help a business establish a brand. Branding is the purest form of marketing. And, it’s a long-term investment. You’re putting out value and creating a community of interested followers with the hopes that eventually, you won’t have to do as much selling.

Instead, your audience will come to you.

It will cost less to acquire new customers and strengthen the loyalty of current customers. This usually corresponds to the “top of the funnel” brand awareness and engagement. Or, as marketing nerds call it: “First touch attribution.”

The one caveat is that it takes time to get people to know about, care about, and trust you. It often takes a number of interactions over a period of time before people will pay attention and remember you. The results are cumulative. If you’re a new startup or small business, it’s a good investment to make. But, you also need short-term ca$h flow.

How Do You Do Social Media Marketing for a Boring Business?

What do you do when your business or your client doesn’t have a “story” or anything interesting to share on their blog or social media?

“We sell garbage bags. What are we supposed to talk about?” “Nothing exciting happens here.”

Sure, you understand that stories sell. But, how do you story-tell when you’re in a “boring” business? How do you turn people on when your business isn’t sexy? 💋

My advice:

Go beyond WHAT you do when creating content on social. When coming up with content to share on social media, dig deeper into your WHY — the reason you exist, the problems you solve, and the role you fulfill in the lives of others. 🤔

And, then expand beyond what it is you do for a living. Because the truth is we’re all short on time and attention spans. Your target audience doesn’t want to hear only about you, your industry, or what you do.

They’re interested in themselves and the things they care about.

So, when crafting content, you don’t have to make it all about your business, product, or service.

In fact, you should focus primarily on what will educate, inspire, or entertain the audience. That will give you the attention equity you need before you can ever hope to generate a lead or make a sale. 🌈

It can be as simple as sharing an article about something relevant to your audience and featuring your take on it in the caption.

It might be simple tips, pieces of advice, or short funny clips that relate to your audience’s pain points. 🎥

Your blog, social pages, vlog, or podcast can be the trade journal, TV show, or radio show of your industry. 📺

Regarding the example above, you can feature content that highlights neighborhood heroes who are cleaning up their communities.

Think outside the box and have some fun with it! 😀

Are You Thinking About Short-term Cash or Long-term Legacy?

The other day, a client asked us to do something that requires a bit extra effort and time on our part than is required by our arrangement.

“How much will it cost?” he asked. I was a bit surprised.

Until this moment, I hadn’t even thought to charge him extra for this service. “No extra charge at all!” I told him happily.

Thinking about it the next day, I realized that some people might have used that experience as an opportunity to make a little extra easy money. 💰 And, yet here I was feeling so great that I was able to tell him that it was no charge.

I realized that I genuinely feel happier providing value by giving the client a little surprise and delight than I do getting some quick cash. Obviously, we need to make a living and provide for ourselves and our families. I don’t work for free or on the cheap. But, I’m focused on the long-term. I strive to build positive values and long-term thinking into my company. Now, I don’t expect that this client will necessarily stay with us or refer us or even give us a good review, because of this event. But, I do think by doing good and putting out good into the world, we will earn a reputation and a legacy which will pay off greatly in the future.

 

Riding the Rollercoaster of Entrepreneurship

Expect the unexpected. That old phrase rings especially true for entrepreneurs. 🛎

One day things are cruising. 🚢 The next, you may be in crisis mode. And then the next moment you may experience unprecedented levels of growth! 📈

Yesterday morning: Closed a new deal and followed up with two leads.

This afternoon: One client still deciding if they are staying or going. Signed a renewal with a current client.📝

This morning: Lost an account and gained a new one in the span of an hour.

Some leads take months of negotiation and nothing happens. At other times, I’ll receive a message or phone call out of the blue and we start right away. 📱 Sure, some will insist on the importance of process and develop a system to minimize the unpredictability. And I’m certainly a fan of having a process. But, at the end of the day, business is business and in the real world 🌎 , not everything can be reduced to a neat little academic formulaic system.

This line of work is certainly not for the faint of heart ❤️ who enjoy stability and predictability. For those who don’t mind or even enjoy the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship, it’s the ride of a lifetime. 🎢 😀 #entrepreneurship