Summer Interns: Vanessa Bermeo & Catherine Guerra

Summer Interns: Vanessa Bermeo & Catherine Guerra

Hey, everyone! My name’s Vanessa Bermeo, and I’m from Mount Kisco, New York. I’m a senior at Fox Lane High School in Bedford, New York, and I plan on attending The University of Iowa for the next four years. I plan to major in Journalism and Mass Communications. I’ve always been fascinated with social media marketing because I’m really into Instagram and other social media platforms.  I’m an avid Instagram user, and the idea of being able to manage other people’s Instagrams for them piques my interest!

My parents are from Ecuador and haven’t gone to college so I’m excited to be the first in my family! Growing up as a minority, in Westchester County was tough, to say the least. There was always the stigma that Hispanics wouldn’t succeed at my school, and I’m proud to say that I’ve defeated that stereotype and am going to well-recognized university. As a first generation student, I’m looking forward to the entire college experience! I’m not exactly sure what my college years will entail but I’m psyched to be living on my own. One thing I am sure I am doing during my college years is joining their local newspaper, The Daily Iowan.

Besides being a minority and enduring the hardships that come along with it, I was also raised around machismo culture. This meant having my dad repeatedly tell me that in order to find a husband, I had to be the perfect housewife. Most of my childhood years were spent cleaning the house so I wouldn’t be scolded. Also, if I ever wanted to leave the house, I had to make sure I cleaned or else I wouldn’t be allowed out for the day. This is another reason why I am excited to go off to school because I want to prove to my dad that I can do more than just clean.

Some of you may be wondering how I’m interning during the school year. Luckily, my school offers a program called ASPIRE, in which students from the senior class are exempt from class and finals, if they find an internship. The point of this program is to allow students to explore careers they might want to pursue in the future and gain experience. As of now, I do not have any marketing or communications experience, but with this internship, I’m looking forward to working with a team and gaining more knowledge about the communication industry. I’m excited to meet actual clients, and learn about what Texter Communications does for others!

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Hello! I'm Catherine Guerra. I’m from Bedford Hills, New York, just a short train ride away from NYC. Currently, I'm a senior at Fox Lane High School and excited to be heading off to Lafayette College this fall.

I'm a first generation student with Guatemalan parents. They've taught me to be the driven, optimistic, and quick-witted person I am. They also taught me Spanish growing up, so that may be why I'm a self-proclaimed polyglot. I love learning new languages. I've been studying French in school since I was 12, and I’ve recently been trying to teach myself Korean.

As fun as communicating with people is, connecting with animals is even better. I grew up with three rabbits, a dog, and I even used to feed neighborhood cats with the local “cat lady.” I moved often until high school, but two things always stayed the same: my family (pets included) and my school district.

I’ve always been drawn to languages and psychology, and most recently, it has been digital marketing. Since I’m very interested in marketing, I hope to double major in that and Psychology. I might explore the option of designing my own major because a marketing major isn’t offered at Lafayette.

This is my first internship, but I am really excited to be a part of the team! I have experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint because of the Mastering Microsoft course offered at my school, but being a teenager in today’s world requires me to have knowledge about most social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr too.

This being my first internship, I have a few expectations. First off, I know I will be taking on more responsibility. I will have to be self-sufficient in getting things done well and on time since I am not just representing myself anymore. My goal is to be more independent when it comes to that sort of stuff. I don't want to have a future employer constantly remind me of what to do or when to do it. Most importantly, I expect this internship to help me determine if this is a career path I will want to keep pursuing.

I want to learn more about marketing in general. If it bores me, then I guess I have to look for something else to do with my life, but I really hope it doesn't! I know this internship will show me how to use social media for a purpose other than personal. That being said, I want to gain self-control and not get distracted by temptations on my phone and laptop.

This is a lot of information to take in, but please feel free to reach out to me or fellow Texter Team members!

How to Boost Your Revenue Using Facebook Video Ads

How to Boost Your Revenue Using Facebook Video Ads

Consumers are 27 times more likely to click on a video ad than a regular text ad. But, how many times have you watched a video ad for an unrelated product or service? As video ads are still relatively new, sites like Facebook that use them need a much wider inventory. That’s great news for businesses who are already on board with video!

In this post, we discuss how to use Facebook’s video ads to target different types of customers, the best way to make a successful ad, and the importance of sound.

 

BRING YOUR A(/B)-GAME

Of course, every video you make should be the best you can possibly produce. But, you need to use videos for Facebook ads that you’re certain will get engagement.

The only way to know for sure whether your video is the best it can possibly be is to use a/b testing. Produce a few variations of a video, upload them to your social media platforms and carry out some basic split-testing to see which one is getting the best engagement. Look for:

  • Number of views

  • How long people watch each video for

  • How many leads and conversions each video generated

Split testing might take a little longer than just uploading your video ad to Facebook, but will get much better results. The results will give you confidence that you’re promoting video content that your target audience respond to.

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GET TO THE POINT!

A successful Facebook video ad introduction is punchy and attention-grabbing. There’s no time for a lengthy intro. You’re not just competing against other businesses, but the users’ friends and family too. Your objective is make an introduction so engaging that users have no choice but to stop scrolling and watch the video.

There’s no magic formula to making a killer video intro, but one thing that’s for sure is that you need a great script. It’s the foundation on which your ad is built. Try filling out a creative brief. This will help you focus on what really matters about your organization and your message.

 

GET FAMILIAR WITH CUSTOM AUDIENCE OPTIONS

Facebook video ads will perform better that are targeted at people with an interest in your product or service. By way of example, which video ad for your new range of baby organic baby food would generate more leads?

The video ad shown before a video about spotting a reliable used car

OR

The video ad shown before a video about techniques for helping your baby to self soothe

It doesn’t matter how engaging your video is - the person waiting to see content about used cars will skip past your ad featuring organic baby food ASAP. To avoid a mismatch between your video ad and viewers, work out what interests your prospects, how they think, and how you can connect with them. It helps to categorize your audience into two groups:

Viewers who are already aware of your brand. It’s easier to sell to people who are already interested in your brand, so be sure to target people who have already ‘liked’ your Facebook page. Try producing a video that shows your product making a difference to someone. A strong call to action encouraging them to buy today is essential.

Viewers who aren’t aware of your organization, but who will be interested in your message. This group needs some information about your service. The goal of your video ad for this group isn’t to generate revenue immediately, but to educate them. Use it to show how you’re different to other companies in your sector. Or, share some helpful advice that will help make a difference to their business, and then link to your organization at the end.

You’ll notice the language option in the Facebook custom audience option box. This is another great way to connect with viewers and boost your revenue. If you’re selling to countries with viewers who speak two languages, we suggest making videos in each language. Each video ad can be targeted by language.

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USE THE RIGHT MUSIC (BUT BE PREPARED FOR SILENCE) 

Although 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, it’s still advisable to spend time selecting the right music. If you want your viewers to feel a certain way - happy, sad, excited - music will help achieve this. The marketing team at Red Bull made a bold choice with their soundtrack for this video featuring trials rider Julien Dupont:

Although this music is noticeable, it doesn’t distract from the message. In fact, it drives the video’s message. The right music will also help your audience to focus on your video ad. Split test videos with various soundtracks to see which is most effective.

CONCLUSION

Facebook video ads are an exciting aspect of video marketing. Most videomakers haven’t attempted it, so the market is far from over-saturated. This means they’re an ideal way to connect with existing and new customers. Split testing and a deep understanding of the audience are two elements of successful video making that apply equally well to video ads. Even experienced videographers should spend time familiarizing themselves with the custom audience options offered by Facebook.

Once a campaign is successful, it can be scaled up. Start making video ads now so you can start testing, then uploading, then making money!

If you want to learn more about how we can help you boost revenue using our digital marketing expertise, get in contact with the Texter Communications team at info@texter.io.

Why Blogging Isn’t as Important as You Think

Why Blogging Isn’t as Important as You Think

A blog can be a fantastic resource but is it right for you? It is a great way to document your growing business, to get specialist expertise to your customers and to announce yourself as an authority within your sector.

I also know many people who have set up a blog, released a few short and sweet articles than never returned. In this post, I have laid out four important questions you should ask yourself before starting a blog.

Do you have the time?

I’m sure you’ll recognise the biggest problem any business owner encounters: There’s so much to do, yet so little time. Blogs can be a great way to reach out to your customers but they can also be a huge drain on your time.

Ask yourself if you are able to commit to this undertaking. If so, how much time are you willing to spend on your blog? Two hours a week? Four? A day? Would this time be better spent elsewhere - phoning up potential clients for example?

Your business requires a lot of your time so decide which areas of marketing will provide you the most value and which areas are simply tools for procrastination. Streamlining your marketing in this way will allow you to target lots of potential clients with much less effort. There’s no point filming beautiful videos for YouTube if your client base rarely uses the internet.

Try writing a list of the various types of marketing you are interested in: Facebook, flyers, a radio advertisement and of course the blog. Now put stars by the tools you feel are most valuable for reaching your customers and demonstrating your brand. Does a blog come into the top three?

If the answer is ‘yes’ then a blog may be a smart marketing strategy for your business.

How much useful content can you produce?

We are a big advocates for writing lists, so this time try writing a list of potential posts. What areas would you cover? What tips could you provide for your audience that they might not find elsewhere?

As part of your marketing strategy, you should have a messaging strategy, allowing you to organize where to post different types of content. Not all content belongs in blog posts. Short tips and tricks may belong on Twitter, competitions and giveaways often thrive on Facebook, and information about your event would do well in the local newspaper.

If you’re full of ideas for blog posts then that’s great! Go for it! But if you are struggling to think of useful information then perhaps posting on a blog would quickly become a struggle too.

Could your advice be summed up in one long list of tips and tricks on your website? Or could it be gradually doled out on other media platforms, like Twitter? After all, social media is free marketing but a blog may be another area of your site that needs to be marketed.

Why do you even need a blog?

Is it to drive traffic to your website? Or inform people about your company or your professional identity? Will you use a blog to test out campaigns, record important business events, or to build partnerships with industry peers?

A blog can do all kinds of things. A common aim of starting a blog is to effectively position you or your company as an authority in your sector. Do you need a blog to prove this? Possibly not. This is where a bit of market research comes in handy.

Ask around. Approach colleagues, clients, people standing outside your store, and ask them for honest feedback about your brand. In this way you can find out if you are viewed as an authority in your industry.

Another common aim is to connect with customers, show behind-the-scenes and prove that your company cares. Again, do you need a blog to prove this? Picking up the phone or travelling to visit people might be a more effective way of connecting with potential clients.

Part of your initial research should include figuring out if your target market is online. If they are then a blog may prove a useful way to keep clients up-to-date. But if they aren’t online or if they don’t read blogs, then a blog is of no use.

Can you write well and do you enjoy it?

If you hate writing or don’t feel you are particularly good at it, then writing a regular blog will become the bane of your life.

You always have the option of paying others to write for you, and this can turn out to be extremely worthwhile, even profitable. For example, the changes Texter Communications made to James Sexton’s marketing plan more than covered (by a factor of ten) the cost of our services.

Again, make lists! Many, many lists! Then decide whether or not you should bring in a third party to handle the blog.

If you haven’t talked yourself out of a blog by this point, then you are probably someone who will actually truly benefit from having one.

And as it is so simple to get one started, you can always dip your toe in the water by beginning a monthly blog unconnected to your business and see how that goes first.

If some of your answers suggested a blog would be good for your company but you just hate writing or don’t have time, Texter Communications might be a good option for you. Why not check out the blogs on SproutVideo and Get Invited, two businesses we have already helped by successfully streamlining their marketing campaigns.

Market research is essential before you commit to a blog or to any marketing strategy. At Texter Communications, our services include providing market research and a marketing strategy for your business. Why not try us out by taking advantage of our complementary social media audit?

How to Write Content that Works for your Business

We’ve all stared at that blank page with no idea where to start...

Do you begin by giving customers advice? Do you lay out what your business does? Should you rely on listicles and quizzes to engage your audience? Or write complex informative content?

Content provides you with the chance to position yourself (and your business) as an authoritative voice through useful advice and thought leadership. It also allows you to entertain and connect with potential clients, provides opportunities to co-promote with other brands, and gives you a chance to be creative. There are so many reasons why content is great for your business.

That is why it’s important to get your content right. Start by asking: what are your customers looking for?

Solve a Problem

Ever wondered why so many posts start with a question? That question is implanting into your mind the need for an answer.

Obstacles are a part of life. Every single person on the internet has an issue that they want to deal with, and you can help them overcome it.

Consider your unique area of expertise. Now, consider how much good you could do by using that knowledge to advise others.

Perhaps you work in a grocery store and are health conscious. Start a blog suggesting healthy and simple recipes for people who are too busy to cook complicated recipes.

Or maybe you are a pediatrician trying to promote your surgery. Create a simple infographic for your website, explaining the symptoms of chickenpox and ways to lessen the itching and soreness.

 

Consider Your Audience and Your Voice

I have coupled these two points together because they are intrinsically linked. Your audience determines your content’s tone of voice, and vice versa.

Think about your company’s aims. Write them down if you have to. Are you trying to reduce humanity’s carbon footprint? Are you helping professionals succeed in business? Or are you encouraging parents to invest in their children’s future?

Now describe your target audience. Old or young? What are their interests? What are their priorities?

For example, an eco-friendly company may be talking to scientists and researchers therefore the language will be complex and delve into complicated theories.

This fictional company may also be trying to inspire families to recycle. The language used in this case will be far less formal and far more simple and chatty.

Somehow this company must find a way to approach both markets. They will need a strong brand identity which appeals to both. This could mean using simple videos and infographics to deconstruct complicated scientific theories.

The audience will affect your marketing strategy and to support this, your brand voice must be both strong and versatile.

 

 

Be Visual

Research shows that Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement, tweets with images receive 150% more retweets and Cisco projects that global internet traffic from videos will make up 80% of all online traffic by 2019. Need more proof?

If an image is paired with information, people are likely to remember 65% of that information, compared with 10% if there is no image.

 

 

Call to Action

You are writing for a reason. You ultimately want your readers to use your service or buy your product, right? That’s why you are putting in the hard work now.

So which is it? Hire your services? Buy your products? Visit your cafe? Link to it.

The customer goes on a journey which begins with hearing about a product or service for the first time, and ends with them buying it (or even providing feedback). Content is vital as it determines whether a customer will continue on this journey with your company, or whether they will abandon it. With any content you put out into the world, you must be aware of what you want the customer’s next step to be.

For example, at Texter Communications we want to help you improve your marketing strategy. That is why I am now sending you over to this post we’ve written about the ever-changing world of SEO, showing you how to further optimize your content. Enjoy!

New Texter Teammate: Kate Williams

New Texter Teammate: Kate Williams

 

Hi, I’m Kate and I am the new intern on the Texter Communications team!

 

I’m here to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about me. I am from a tiny village in the rolling hills of Devon, UK and am in the final year of my English and Creative Writing degree.

My first professional experience was with Penguin Random House, which triggered my interest in all things marketing and communications.

These days, I write content for a new global finance company called Brickcoin and have been involved in three student-led publishing projects: Grub Street, Penryn Press and an ongoing project for the National Trust. We are publishing a book written by Man Booker long-listed author, Wyl Menmuir, which will be revealed at the South West Outdoor Festival.

I grew up surrounded by animals. We have alpacas, sheep, Shetland ponies, a beautiful collie dog, two cats and some chickens. Each time I head off to University I find I am loaded down with fresh chicken eggs. It was eggcellent for Pancake Day! My apologies, I promise not to use any more bad puns. Do you have Pancake Day in the US? It’s basically a great excuse to eat pancakes.

My family also runs a pottery studio named Tarka Pottery, after the famous story of Tarka the Otter, as well as a holiday cottage.

Kids have the biggest imaginations so I tend to read and enjoy a lot of children’s books. One of my long-term favourite authors is the great and terrible Darren Shan (who also happens to be brilliant at marketing!). I’m also a huge fan of Patrick Ness and Michelle Paver, who I have only recently discovered.

I think I’ve told you more than enough for now, feel free to get in touch if you want to chat to me or anyone else on the Texter Team. As I've almost finished my third and final year of university, it won’t be long until I’m released into the real world and I hope I get to work with you soon!

You can find me on: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Goodreads.

Old Search vs New Search: What's Changed about SEO

The tricky thing about search engine algorithms is that they just keep changing. This is great for us as internet users, because as they change they improve our experience of the world wide web, helping us to find ever more useful and engaging content.

But for brands, these changing algorithms present a challenge: brands are constantly trying to figure out how to get a leg up on the competition by manipulating their web content to "trick" search engines into ranking them more highly, and this has been a problem for making sure that the best brands and products get air time.

The rise of social media as a way for consumers to engage with brands has in many ways mitigated this issue, and now social is a major factor in SEO, meaning that if your content is getting a good reaction in the social marketplace, that will be reflected in your search ranking.

But it doesn't solve the whole problem. The structure, content, conversion and engagement on your website are all extremely important in determining whether search engines judge it "good" enough to rank highly.

So how do you achieve that?

In this infographic, we lay out the basics of old vs new SEO--and if you want more detail, we are always up for a chat via Twitter or Facebook.

Clients in the News: GitLab and Docker Launch Native Integration

Our client GitLab has launched an exciting new integration with Docker that allows applications to be built, tested and deployed in container registries with GitLab's continuous integration tools, a development recently covered by InfoWorld and others.

We're thrilled as always to be a part of GitLab's amazing team, setting the pace in the world of open source. We're excited to see what amazing work this new partnership will make possible! Awesome job, guys.

What's a Content Strategy, and Do You Need One?

Sometimes when we ask a new client about his or her previous content strategy, we get a blank stare that says, quite simply, "I have no idea what you mean by 'content strategy'."

Chances are, you probably have a content strategy if you've been in business for any length of time--a vague one, at least--but it never hurts to try to make it better.

To help you get a handle on your own content strategy, we put together this infographic explaining exactly what a content strategy is, what it should do, and how to make yours better.

As always, if you need help creating one, we are always ready! Get in touch here or give us a shout on Twitter!

Clients in the News: Chris Cabanillas Speaks to Joe Torres

This week our client Chris Cabanillas of Cabanillas and Associates was on Tiempo with Joe Torres discussing the implications of the recent Supreme Court decision to review President Obama's executive action on immigration. 

We're proud of Chris for the work he's doing, and thanks so much to ABC New York for having him on!

We Have a New Location!

Woohoo!

TC has finally finished moving boxes, and we are (almost) settled in at our new office in the East Village, and we could not be happier. Photos coming soon!

Deciding Whether You Need a Social Media Pro ... Or Not.

One of the biggest decisions you will have to make about your marketing strategy is whether you should hire someone, bring someone in-house, or try to do it yourself.

At TC we don’t believe in selling people services they don’t need: it doesn’t benefit our clients, it doesn’t benefit our reputation, and in our opinion it doesn’t lead to success in the longer term. Part of what we do is help potential clients determine whether they need to hire our team to help build and execute a digital strategy, or whether they would be better served in another way.

One thing we’ve learned is that there are actually a few simple, straightforward questions that can help you make this decision. To help make your life easier, we’ve put those questions into a handy infographic. Click here to download the full infographic

Know someone who’s wrestling with this question? Feel free to share this post with friends! You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

6 Things Millennials Know About Brand Communications That You Don’t

Ever feel like you're falling behind in the ever-changing milieu of the digital? Well, you might be. Don't worry, you're not alone--Millennials are the rulers of the digital world, and we're all just living in it.

In this recent article in Social Media Week, our founder Laci talks about why millennials are ahead of the curve when it comes to effective branding, and what you need to know to reach them effectively.