People love presents. Birthday presents wrapped nicely, the first price in a lottery or an unexpected goodie bag stuffed with lots of free stuff. Presents spike serotonin levels and make you feel good. So what better way for your business to make your audience and fans happy? Right: giveaways.
I mean who can resist free stuff?
Advertising through social media giveaways
Giveaways are an easy way to gain email subscribers, increase engagement and promote brand awareness. All to establish a positive relationship with your community.
With social media in our lives it has never been easier to advertise your business with a giveaway campaign. You can run a product giveaway with a social media influencer to boost your exposure instantly. But social media is also a great tool for brands to collaborate with each other.
The more presents the merrier, right?
We’ll help you to get the most our of your co-branded giveaway campaign with these 5 tips – and they’re free, too!
1. Pick a memorable theme
Everyone loves a good theme! But choose wisely – be bold, creative and on topic. Don’t just choose special dates for your giveaway, like back-to-school, Valentine’s Day or Thanksgiving.
Kudos if you create your giveaway campaign around dates that are related to your goals, mission or choose events that stir up discussion. What you think about World Meat Free Day, Blue Monday or Carrot Cake Day – yes, this is a thing!
2. Find the right brands
Now choose a brand that works with this theme. Keep the brand’s social media following and audience in mind.
Some questions to consider:
How many followers do they have?
Would their audience be interested in your product, too?
Will they post about the giveaway on their social media accounts?
Are they a non-competitive brand? You’ll want to find complementary brands, not those that would take business from you.
Keep in mind that if your brand hasn’t reached social media super star status – yet! – certain brands may not be interested in collaborating with you.
Don’t lose hope!
It may take some time to become that go to brand that everyone wants to work with. Start with reaching out to local or small family owned business.
3. Create a partnership deck
You prefer to work with professional brands that have it all together, right? Then be that brand. Make sure your brand is just as appealing to other brands as you expect them to be.
A solid way to do it is by creating a social brand partnership tool kit. A perfect way to showcase what your brand has to offer.
Include general information like:
A brief yet captivating introduction to your business
Your social media following and stats
Your brand’s number of email subscribers
Add information specific to the giveaway campaign:
Goals for the giveaway
A step by step process on how the giveaway works
Explain how each brand will promote the giveaway
It’s not rocket science. If all brands participating in the giveaway actively promote it, too, it will increase entries, engagement and so on.
Sky is the limit here.
For optimal collaboration remember that every brand has their own guidelines and approval process for social media copy and content. Be sure to discuss this far in advance so you’re all ready, set, go.
4. Create a timeline
If you are hosting a huge giveaway campaign with several brands it can feel like you’re herding cats.
Save yourself time and headache by creating and sharing a timeline with your brand partners that includes specific deadlines. Also not a biggie:
Start and end dates for the giveaway
What date you’d like all of the items for photos
Due dates for landing pages or any other platforms that will be used during the giveaway
A social media calendar
Dates for email blasts to promote the giveaway
Pick a date when the winners will be selected
Dates for prized to be shipped to the winners
5. Emphasize benefits of the collaboration
Of course, the first thing brands will wonder when you invite them to your giveaway campaign is: “What’s in it for me?” Up to you to make them an offer they can’t refuse.
Amongst working with you, there are plentiful of amazing benefits for any collaboration between brands:
Sharing email lists that are collected during the campaign
Including brand partner’s coupon codes or ads in your post-giveaway emails
Make it a requirement for entrants to Like or Follow the other brand’s social account
It’s a quid pro quo. Working with other brands on giveaways should be beneficial for all parties involved. Increase the chance of brands working with you by communicating benefits and setting expectations. In this way everyone will reap the benefits with smiles on their faces!
Spread some co-branded love
So there you have it! Social media giveaways can be one of the most powerful tools to use in digital marketing.Once you find the right partnerships with the right brands, it can make a giveaway even better.
Most importantly, though, co-branded giveaways are a wonderful way to give back and show some love to your loyal following.
You know an Instagram presence is important for your brand, but how do you create the right brand presence to get your audience excited about using your products?
Successful brands go beyond just talking about features and benefits because they know brand storytelling is about more than the retail value of their products–it’s about how people feel using them. Think of Instagram as a content platform for generating high perceived value.
A good example of brand success is the energy bar company, Clif Bar. The company was founded by a cyclist who had trouble finding a high-performance bar that tasted good. You’re probably already familiar with their protein bars and associate their brand with outdoor adventure. Super fans also know their stance on preserving the environment and sustainable food production practices.
If you go to Clif Bar’s Instagram account, you barely see their product. You might even mistake it for a nature photographer’s personal account.
Clif Bar’s Instagram has 150,000 followers and counting, with high engagement on each post.
Let’s take a look at why it does so well:
Showcase the Lifestyle, Not the Product
These days, especially with Millennial customers, transparently showing who you are and your values is essential. Clif Bar is great at showing, rather than telling why they exist and who they exist for. One way is by capturing where their fans use their products and what kind of lifestyle they enjoy. If you want to have a long runway with your target audience, look beyond simply selling a product. Capture a few core values you can convey visually to tell a consistent story.
Understand Your Style Principles
A quick way to get a sense of a brand’s style is to scroll through all the thumbnails on the page.
What kind of colors pop out at you?
Is the style very minimalist, or is it bright and colorful with a lot going on?
Are there more photos of objects or people?
Do you see a lot of text overlay or do the images speak for themselves?
A glance at Clif Bar’s page and it’s clear they are all about the outdoors. You see different seasons, mostly colors found in nature, saturated hues, and a stillness that is found only in nature. When you do see people they are often very small in the photo surrounded by wilderness, or they’re captured in action in an outdoor environment.
Just like any marketing communication channel you should have a plan before you post. Discuss what color schemes represent your brand well. Understand what themes tell your brand’s story. And, don’t forget that the words you use should be chosen carefully (even sounds!). Create a basic style guide that defines your brand’s voice. Is it playful, sarcastic, serious, or youthful? This will make your audience feel it’s consistently engaging with a single character, not a corporation.
Engage Your Audience with User Generated Content
There are many great ways to engage your audience, like posting tutorials or generating buzz with user-generated content contests. Something you can do with regularity is repost content from your already happy customers. Many of Clif Bar’s stunning Instagram photos come from their fans. This is a great way to establish a sense of community that remains true both online and out in the real world. Pro tip: remember to always credit the photographer!
Show Your Product as It’s Meant to be Used
A genius way to show value is to post content from your happy customers that show them using your products in the way you want them to be used. In Clif Bar’s case, it’s out in nature, having fun.
Use A Unique Brand Hashtag to Curate the Conversation
Clif Bar’s tagline is “Feed Your Adventure” and they use it as a hashtag. Doing this helps with a couple things. First, it makes their tagline stick. Second, it helps direct traffic back to their page when their fans use it. Creating a long-form hashtag is a not only a useful way to find fans who are engaging with your product, but you can also find great fan-generated content to then repost on your own page.
Be sure to use a hashtag that people can easily associate with your brand, rather than settling on something generic.
Remember that your Instagram page is an opportunity to visually translate the story you want your brand to tell your audience. Your content should always be answering the question of why you exist, who you’re here for, and how you want your customers to feel when they use your products and engage with your brand.
Take a look at the ChuckJoe and Vegetarian Dude Instagram accounts for additional inspiration, and reach out to us with questions at any time!
Have you been thinking about using Pinterest to market your food brand but not sure where to start? The Pinterest visual search engine has grown to become one of the most important mobile platforms for both men and women. Recent polls show that men consist of at least 40% new signupsproving that the platform isn’t just for women.
Millennials use the platform more than anyone else for food inspiration. Despite all stereotypes of Millennials and their access to money (or lack thereof), Millennial Pinners plan to spend more money on food than people who don’t use Pinterest. Why? That’s because Millennials say that Pinterest helps them easily find ways to use different ingredients. The more that you get to visually see the outcome of a recipe makes chefs everywhere more inspired to cook!
Ready to get your food brand noticed on social media? Here’s how you can take your presence to the next level on Pinterest.
1. Promote your pins
To get the most ROI, you can advertise on Pinterest through “Promoted Pins.” Promoted Pins look natural and are less disruptive to users than traditional ads. According to Pinterest, 73% of users say content from brands make the site more useful. 61% of users say that they have made a purchase after viewing a Promoted Pin. In other words, Pinterest drives sales.
2. Optimize for re-pins
According to Curalate, you’ll get 23% more re-pins if you don’t use a face in your image. And, pins with less whitespace get re-pinned more.
3. Recipes and DIY tutorials are most popular
Tutorial content really resonates with people. Include recipes or smart tips that incorporate your food products.
4. Pin for a broader audience
Your followers on Pinterest will view your pins, but you must remember how re-pins work. When a follower re-pins your content, their followers will also view it and possibly re-pin it, and so on. Your reach on Pinterest is bigger than you might think. Pins on pins on pins!
5. Long form video is on trend
A longer form video is taking off! 60-90 second videos are being saved 50% more than short form videos. Try creating more detailed videos for your “how-to” segments. Crack a joke or give an interesting fact about the recipe. Followers will enjoy the little extras you’ll have time to reveal versus racing through instructions. This also gives you time to let your followers get to know your personality, so be upbeat and bubbly!
6. Pin for search engine optimization (SEO)
Think of Pinterest as a search engine. First, find the right keywords for your business using a search tool like Google Keyword Planner or Moz. Next, use these keywords for your Pinterest content. You don’t want to stuff keywords everywhere and be spammy. With just a little effort, using the right keywords in your board titles, captions, pin image file names, and descriptions will help your pins show up in search results. Get creative with your titles and captions. This is a sure way to draw users to your Pins.
7. Share Pins across your owned channels
Be sure to include your popular pins in emails to customers, and connect your other social media accounts to your Pinterest page. Make your own website Pinterest friendly so that others can pin images directly from it.
8. Time your posts
According to research by CoSchedule, the best day to post food-related pins is Sunday, and the best overall time to post is Saturday after 8 pm. Generally, late afternoon by 4 pm, late in the evening, or even in the middle of the night is a great time to post. Perfect for any night-owls out there! There is no better time to engage your audience than at these peak times.
Always remember to include a call to action. What do you want the user to do after they see your pin? Give them some direction that will either get them to your website or share your pin across social media to help promote your brand.
9. Post frequently
Keep a schedule for your posts so your audience can build a relationship with you over time and receive fresh content at a regular pace. Doing this keeps engagement high, rather than dumping content all at once.
10. Post your own content
Re-pinning other people’s content is a great way to engage with them, but putting in the effort to create your own inspiring, pinnable content will give you the most bang for your buck.
11. Keep up the relationship
Just like on your other social platforms, remember to respond to comments and follow other popular boards. Use your brand voice on Pinterest in every interaction! Commenting on other Pins is another way to get your brand out there and get users to follow you. Be courteous and kind when commenting while establishing yourself as an expert.
12. Connect with relevant influencers
Knowing and connecting with influencers is important to building relationships on Pinterest. Invite them to post on your boards or partner with them to post some of your original content. Key influencers who have a big following on Pinterest, and whose aesthetic and values align with your brand, can have an explosive effect on brand awareness and website traffic.
13. Always use high-quality images
The agency Omnicore has a great cheat sheet infographic that you can use for various social media platforms. Pinterest also goes in-depth into how to make great pins here. Generally, Pinterest says the ideal ratio for your pins is 2:3 (600px wide x 900px high). You’ll want to use photos with light colors as they are more likely to get more pins than dark ones. Find high-resolution photos that really show off your products and make mouths water!
14. Use text overlays
Get straight to the point by overlaying text on your image. Pins with text overlay tend to perform better, especially when the text provides clarity. The purpose of your text and any descriptions is to be immediately helpful, not overly promotional. You don’t need to be a graphic designer to add text to an image. Canva is a free program with templates to help you do so. It’s user-friendly and you’ll be able to create eye-catching Pins in no time!
15. Test, test, test
Remember that you won’t always have the answers right away, and that’s okay. Experiment and use Pinterest analytics to see which images perform the best. Be sure to place your most popular boards at the top of your business page on Pinterest where people will be able to see them easier.
That’s a wrap! We hope this starts you off on getting the most out of Pinterest for your brand. Check the ChuckJoe Blog for more tips and tricks!
Does this sound like you? You are wondering what you should be doing to increase your email subscribers. You feel like you have tried everything but haven’t seen growth. Before you go spending thousands of dollars on advertising or buying lists (please don’t do that) there are a few simple adjustments you can make to change this outcome.
First, what value are you offering?
First, why should people sign up to receive your company’s email? This might sound simple, but at the very baseline, you need to give them something for subscribing.
Think about it as a simple value exchange. They’re giving you their email, which has value. What are you giving them in return? Ideally, whatever you’re giving them in return should have significantly more value than their email address.
Give Subscribers Coupons
One example of what you can do here is giving them a coupon. This is a very common and efficient tactic that food brands use. Include a coupon that is good to get $1 off, get $2 off, buy-one-get-one-free, whatever it might be.
If it’s eCommerce, give them an instant coupon, so as the subscribers sign up for the list, they get a coupon code delivered that they can use right away.
Create a Recipe or Tip Ebook
If you have a product that can be put into recipes, create an ebook that can be downloaded immediately. In general, with this approach, you want to have the delivery happen in the email. You don’t want them to fill out the subscription form and then they have to go to a page to get it or be redirected right away.
The reason for this is that if they get it in their email, then they have to go and actually pull up your email, open it, click it to download it, or view the video or whatever it might be. That will help with your deliverability. It also gets them comfortable with the behavior of opening emails that are coming from your brand.
Depending on the product, a few other ideas along these lines are:
Meal prepping tips
Healthy cooking tips
Video series that helps the subscriber create kid-friendly meals
Create an Informative Email Series
An alternative idea to the single ebook is creating an email series that is delivered over a few days. For example, it could be something around clean eating. You’d have a series of emails revolving around a five-day kickstart to a cleaner-eating diet. Once the potential customer submits their email, they get a welcome email, then one email per day for the next five days covering different ways to incorporate clean eating into their life.
This is great tactic because it gets people into the habit of checking their inbox to get the next email in the series. The subscriber is getting used to engaging with your brand, and you in return are providing a value to their life.
Use a Signup Form Pop-Up Box
An easily overlooked way to increase email signups is by simply having your signup box be prominent. A lot of brands that we are in the early stages of working with will have a signup in the footer or on the sidebar somewhere. Using a tool such as a lightbox pop-up to design and time your popups, works really well. Sumo and OptinMonster are great resources for that. You can also get fancier with things like Exit Intent Popups, so when somebody’s leaving your website they actually get a pop-up to subscribe.
Focus on putting that call-to-action front and center. Often you will only get one chance to hook people when they come to your site. Give them a reason to sign up! This is also where a compelling offer can come into play with that popup, so don’t hide it.
Embed A Signup Call-To-Action within Your Blog Posts
If you have written content on your website that people are finding through search or social, strategically include a call-to-action to sign up for your email list. Remind people while they are looking at your content, that if they like the content, and if they want to get more content or a premium version, then they should sign up for the email list. This is an incredibly easy and natural way to add some more subscribers to your email list!
These are just a few ways that you can increase your conversions and get more email subscribers, but there is a multitude of additional tactics that you can implement. To set up a free consultation on building your email list, reach out to us at email@example.com!
User Generated Content (UGC) Contests are a powerful strategy to drive brand awareness. These are campaigns that people run when they want to have certain products shared on social media, posts shared using a hashtag, as well as generate engagement from the general public. They usually include actions such as “share a post/photo, tag a friend, or use a hashtag for a chance to win”.
So why do so many of them go wrong?
Fear not! Here are 5 of the most common mistakes that are made throughout these campaigns and strategies to rectify them.
1. Asking Too Much
The most common mistake that brands make is asking a ridiculous amount from contest participants. The best approach to finding an appropriate ask is to think about the bare minimum entry.
While setting up UGC campaigns, try to think about what people are already doing throughout their day. Where could they easily include a hashtag to have it be a part of the campaign or conversation? Does it only require a slight tweak or variation in their day-to-day activities?
For example: You are a food brand that has a beverage that you want to promote. You decide to run a UGC contest where the goal is to have people share photos for a chance to win a month’s supply of your beverage.
One approach for entry requirement could be, “Build a birdhouse using 30 empty bottles of our brand’s beverage”. However, no one is going to do that. Would you? It’s too much work and takes too much time out of their busy day.
Assuming that you have product on shelves, an alternative approach would be reaching out to existing customers and say, “Share a photo of how you enjoy your fill-in-the-blank beverage during your day, using hashtag “#blank”, for a chance to win something amazing”.
In that example, people are already using the product at some point during the day, so asking them to take a photo and use the hashtag is a simple way to incentivize them to create user-generated content.
The point is, step back and think about who your target customers are. What is their day-to-day like? How can you integrate your campaign so that it’s not forcing them to do a bunch of other work?
2. Giving Too Little
An additional mistake that people make is not completely thinking about the prize value in relation to what you’re asking participants to do. Flashback to my first example. You have decided that you really want someone to build that birdhouse out of the beverage bottles. If you were giving them much larger value, like a car, for example, it is much more likely that they’re going to put in extra effort for a chance to win.
Take time to think through the prize to ask ratio:
What are you asking people to do?
What is the value of the prize that they can win?
Do those things make sense together?
Does the prize balance out the ask?
Is it worth their time?
People are willing to do a lot more work for a much higher prize value. Keep in mind that value is not just a dollar amount. It can also be how valuable this is perceived in their life. Is this going to make their life better? Is it something that you know your target audience really wants? These are all things to think about while crafting these campaigns.
3. Flying Solo
During UGC contests, brands often make the mistake of exclusively using their product as the prize. This especially rings true for food brands that have a lower priced product but are trying to create a higher prize value. If you are aiming to create a $250 prize and your product costs $5, do people really want 50 products? This result might be overkill for most people.
Get out of the mindset that your product is the only thing that you can give away as part of a UGC campaign. For example, you can partner with other non-competitive brands or offer gift cards. There are a wide variety of things that you can do but at the end of the day, you want to get your audience to engage. Collaborations are a great way to incentivize participation, especially if you are asking your audience to do more work than sharing a photo and hashtag.
4. Expecting An Immediate Viral Sensation
If you build it, they will not come.
Forgetting to pre-seed content for UGC campaigns is a costly mistake. When your UGC contest goes live and people check the hashtag, there needs to be something for them absorb.
All too often, companies will launch contests while thinking, “Okay, everybody share, using our hashtag, it’s going to be great, look at all these entries,” and then there aren’t any entries to show the type of content you want.
Before you make the competition public, pre-seed your social media accounts by having posts 100% ready to go live as soon as the campaign launches. At the very lowest end, this could mean working with your team to create a few initial posts that help give participants a sense of what you want them to submit.
Another great way to pre-seed content is by working with influencers. This could mean paying influencers or you could be offering them exposure, but whatever the exchange is there are a few steps to remember before you launch the contest:
Connect with a variety of influencers and get them on board for the campaign.
Confirm that they are clear about the campaign launch date.
Confirm the day, time, and platforms that they are going to be posting their content.
Structure what you ask of influencers so that they are calling out what the contest is, what participants need to share, the rules and requirements, when the deadline is, etc.
The influencer strategy is powerful because you are going to get awesome content from those influencers while simultaneously reaching their fanbase. Your brand will instantly have an audience that’s seeing the contest, getting them excited to participate, and have great content created to seed your overall campaign. Using this strategy, anywhere the campaign is announced, people can go to their feed, check the hashtag and immediately absorb content.
5. Setting and Forgetting
Don’t anticipate launching your campaign and then leaving it unattended until the final date. Setting and forgetting can bring any UGC momentum to a screeching halt. There are a few ways to stay on top of the process and ensure a successful contest.
No one likes a one-sided conversation. Engage with participants by checking brand mentions and uses of your hashtag. Like photos and comment on their posts, letting them know that you love their entry and appreciate them taking time to participate in the contest.
Tied into the above tip is sharing more than just the winner’s post. Throughout the entire contest, share a variety of UGC content as it is posted. Often the photos that you share encourages the user to re-share saying “Look, this brand re-posted my photo! How cool!”.
Also by engaging, you are able to control the conversations around your contest and turn potentially negative situations into a positive customer service experience.
Double check that your influencers are posting when and where they are supposed to be. Influencers are human beings and sometimes even the best-intentioned people get distracted with life and occasionally forget. If they do forget a post, it usually only takes a friendly reminder to have them get the post out.
When influencers share a photo, be sure to comment on their post, thanking them and letting their audience how excited you are about the collaboration.
Turning a campaign to auto-pilot can turn into a disaster quickly. The results from engagement and spot checking will be worth every moment of extra effort.
Didn’t read the entire post? To recap:
Don’t ask too much or give too little.
Pre-seed by collaborating with non-competitive brands and influencers.
Stay on top of your contest as it progresses!
By avoiding these 5 mistakes, you will be well on the way to running a successful UGC contest. Any tips that we missed? Let us know in the comments!
Running a product giveaway with a social media Influencer is a simple and very effective way to increase your social followers, email list, website traffic, establish a relationship with your community, and so much more. 10 years ago, Social Media Influencers weren’t even a thing. The word “Influencer” is still flagged as misspelled by spell check. So let’s start with what an Influencer is.
What is an influencer?
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, an Influencer is an individual who has the power to affect decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience. They tend to have a following in a particular niche, with whom they actively engage. Basically, they can be a positive voice for your brand, and a link to potential customers.
There are many ways to utilize a relationship with an influencer. These include, but are not limited to:
As the title of this article alludes, we’re here to talk about running giveaways with influencers!
Tip #1: Identify your brands’ goals for a giveaway
Before you do anything at all, decide what is the purpose for wanting to run a giveaway? Are you looking to expand name recognition? Are you wanting to collect new contacts for an email marketing campaign? Are you looking to increase your social following? How will you measure your results to know if it worked or not?
Starting with the end in mind is always a good idea!
Tip #2: Identify what you need from an influencer
This step is to make sure you understand your needs and expectations. Decide what type of service you would like from the influencer. What kind of budget do you have to pay for an influencer? Does their location matter? What type of content do you want? How do you want to use that content (on your social, website, in ads, etc.)?
Tip #3: Decide how to run the giveaway
There are a few ways to go about running your giveaway. Do you want to use a giveaway program, like Gleam or RaffleCopter, where you can collect emails from the entrants and leverage other entry options? Or would you rather this be a strictly social based giveaway, where entrants have to follow, like, comment, and/or share the post to enter to win?
Depending on your goal you should select the type of giveaway that will directly tie back into that objective. Using a giveaway platform also gives you the added benefit of easier reporting and picking winners.
Tip #4: Find the right influencer(s) for your brand
Each influencer has their own style and type of audience. You want to connect with an influencer who would be sure to help you reach your target customers, and who fits the style and voice of your brand. If you are promoting a vegan product, it wouldn’t make much sense to connect with a “meat-loving grill master” influencer. Their audience is not who you’re trying to reach.
Tip #5: Research your influencer
This is a step that is regularly passed over. It’s very easy to see that someone has 65k followers on Instagram, but the real question needs to be how engaged those 65k followers are. Post engagement is a really big deal. They can have all the followers in the world, but if no one likes or comments on their posts, then no one cares about what they’re posting!
Some other questions to ask:
What other brands have they worked with in the past?
Are they regularly posting on their page?
What social platforms are they on? You might want them to post on all platforms.
What past giveaways have they run? If their past giveaways have had good engagement, odds are your giveaway will do well too!
Tip #6: Communicate, communicate, communicate
And when you think you’ve communicated enough – communicate one more time. It all begins with your initial outreach. Your first contact with the influencer should be clear, friendly, and intimate. No need to be overly formal, but be sure to show them that you’ve looked into who they are, and you think they’d be a great match for your company.
Then, once you’ve established a relationship with them, be ABUNDANTLY clear with what you want. Some things you’ll want to establish are:
Which products you would like them to give away
How many posts you would like from them (before or after the giveaway)
The platforms you would like them to use for the giveaway
How to reference your brand
Hashtags and key speaking points to include in the post
How many images they will provide
What will the images include
Preparation of the product
Product in use
The specific entry requirements (US only, or must be 18 to enter, etc.)
Come to an agreement, and set very clear dates for when you need things to be done. Be sure to give yourself a couple days buffer for edits and unexpected issues.
Tip #7: Stay Flexible
As important as it is to know what you want/need from your influencer, it’s equally important to stay flexible. If you’re paying your influencer for their work, then you can be a bit more rigid in what you want and when you want it. However, if you’re partnering with an influencer and trading product or collected emails (non-monetary goods), you may need to relax a little on the specifics. Things may need to change or be moved last minute, and that’s okay – your influencer is going to know what works best for their audience. And that brings us to tip #8…
Tip #8: Trust your influencer
The influencer is going to know their audience better than anyone else. They’ll know what things work and what doesn’t. And remember that their followers are there because they enjoy this specific style. It is usually a good idea to tell them the message you’d like them to get across, but to let them run with it in their own voice.
Tip #9: Evaluate the results of the giveaway.
This step is crucial to your future success. Did the giveaway go well? Did it have the reach and engagement you were hoping for? Would it be worth it to partner with this influencer again? Once you establish what worked and what didn’t, you will able to further the success of future giveaways.
With a little strategic thinking, these giveaways can have a huge impact. The people who follow influencers trust their thoughts and opinions and are very likely to be interested in a product they have endorsed.
So go out there, find yourself a like-minded influencer, and run a giveaway!
The welcome email you send to your newly subscribed customers is an opportunity to make a great first impression–one that you don’t get to make twice.
When you meet a new customer in person, you probably want to show your best self, and you want them to get to know you. As in any good business relationship, you follow-up quickly and deliver on your promise.
You want to aim to do the same with your emails. Once someone submits their email on your website to subscribe to your newsletter or offer, be sure your welcome email reaches their inbox within ten minutes. Make that first impression count.
But what about the content of the email? How do you start the relationship? Here are 5 great examples of email templates from socially conscious food brands big and small, along with breakdowns of why their ideas are worth stealing.
1. Amy’s Kitchen
Amy’s uses beautiful design and earthy colors, which helps shape their warm, friendly personality created by the copy. Words like “family” and “we’re so happy to have you join us” work together to invite you to further engage with them with clear calls to action to follow them on social media and to “start cooking” with recipes.
2. Organic Valley
Discounts or coupons are great first impressions too. But first, be sure to make it clear on your website what your customer will get before they sign up.
You also want to set expectations for your customer by telling them in your email how often you’ll be emailing them and about what. It’s a better idea to set these expectations on the website so customers aren’t worried about whether they’ll get too many emails.
Here, Organic Valley lets you know they’ll email you about 2-4 times a month about various topics, including coupons exclusive to subscribers.
3. Erewhon Grocer & Cafe
This local grocer does a great job by thanking you first, both in their subject line and in their email. According to research by the marketing automation platform MailChimp, word pairings like “thank you” have a positive impact on email open rates. Surprise! People love to be thanked.
At the top of their welcome email, they ask subscribers to add them to their contacts. This helps make sure the emails get delivered to the subscriber’s inbox and do not get flagged as spam.
Erewhon also has a nice CTA calling attention to learn more about its loyalty membership without pressuring signup.
4. Bob’s Red Mill
The best traits of Bob’s welcome email is how personal and personalized it is in its first message. You’re greeted by name in the subject line and email, there’s a photo of Bob, he tells you his story, and he signs off personally. In the same research by MailChimp, the team found this type of personalization works well, especially for open rates.
5. Santa Cruz Organic
When you write your subject line, it doesn’t pay to be too cute. Say what’s in the email, if you want to decrease the chances it’ll be trashed without being opened at all. Build trust. Deliver what the customer thinks they signed up for.
Bonus: These days you have to make sure your emails are mobile-friendly. This means they don’t just look good on a desktop computer, they are also formatted for and easily readable on a smartphone.
Your welcome email is an essential part of your marketing communications and can be the first impression someone has of your brand.
Key Points to Remember
Get your customer excited about joining.
Take the time to create the look and feel of your design, and make sure the content matches the substance of your offering and the flow of the customer experience.
Automate your email to be in the customer’s inbox within ten minutes of signup.
Set expectations. Before asking for emails, let customers know what you’ll be emailing them and how often. In your subject lines, say what’s in the email.
Thank your customers for signing up.
Personalize with your customer’s name.
Use these welcome emails as inspiration to create your own campaign and you’ll be on your way to building a beautiful relationship with your new customers!
You have a great product but is your website successfully representing your brand?
Your customers are on a mission when they land on your website: they want the answers to their questions without straining to navigate your site. The typical customer is goal-oriented and searching for something, so it’s important that you don’t distract them with content that doesn’t help them. Rather, keep their attention by surfacing the answers they’re looking for in a way that’s pleasant for your customer.
That’s a lot of pressure, but the good news is you can learn from the mistakes of others. Here are 10 common mistakes to avoid when designing your website.
1. Talking about yourself instead of your customer
Your business needs to sell in order to make money, but if all you’re doing is selling and talking at people, or talking too much about yourself, you’re not adding value and your potential customers will walk away. The trick is to position the customer as the hero and your brand as the guide to help them get what they want.
2. Not capturing customer emails when they visit
You want to get useful customer data or you miss a huge opportunity to reach your audience and generate more revenue. One of the most effective ways to do this is to build your email list, and offer something of value to your customers so they’ll feel comfortable giving you their contact information. Creating a loyalty program, an informative ebook, coupons, or a newsletter that announces new products and special discounts, are all possible value propositions when asking customers to subscribe.
3. Shaming customers into subscribing
When you do ask for their emails, be sure to do it politely and in the right context. Don’t make people feel bad if they want to say no, don’t force people to sign up, and don’t make it difficult for them to opt-out. Manipulative tactics like the one below are not only shameful, they’re not effective in the long run.
One beautiful example of a call to action to subscribe comes from socially conscious yogurt brand Chobani. The company offers a discount with a “Get your coupon” button, then directs you to a page to submit your email.
4. Not including links to social media
Once you have your relevant social media pages set up, make sure you display links or calls to action clearly on your website and emails so that you generate multiple paths for customers to engage with your brand and get to know what you offer.
5. Only using one type of content
Don’t overload on one type of content or your customers will get bored and may not stay long enough to convert. People also prefer to consume different types of content at different times and on different devices so variety is key.
Create a balance of text, images, video, audio, and infographics where appropriate. Remember to use high-quality photos to show your product. Recipes using your products as ingredients are really effective and can engage your customers in different ways.
Berry Bunny “Cereal Shakes” from Annie’s
Nature’s Path Organic is another example of a great website that speaks to their customer’s needs, has clear calls to action to capture email and links to social media, and has a good balance of colors, images, textual content, and motion graphics at the top.
6. Content overload
Plan your content carefully, and use customer feedback and data to understand how much information is just enough. Are people coming to your site and leaving right away without looking at other pages? Are there pages that almost no one ever visits? Are there too many colors and not enough white space on your homepage like the one below?
Your goal is to provide just enough information and at the right time and place. Let it be easy for your customers to find what they need. And remember: white is a color, too.
7. Poor navigation
According to a usability study, drop-down menus are small annoyances that create friction for the user. Menus can get particularly unwieldy when there are too many items to choose from. Make your navigation easy to find, to the point and clear, and try not to have more than a few items for your customers to choose from. As mentioned in mistake #1, make sure you’re thinking of this navigation from the user’s perspective to help them find what they are looking for as fast as possible.
8. Font is difficult to read
Don’t let poor font size and style be the reason you’re not growing your customer base. You may have good products and services, but they need to be findable at a glance. Think of the diversity of your audience as well, and make sure the font you use is easy on the eyes.
9. No pricing
Especially for specialty products where the price can vary, even if your answer to the question, “How much do you charge?” is “It depends,” customers often come to websites to find out pricing information and get annoyed when it isn’t there. If you can’t give exact pricing, consider giving enough information about what goes into deciding what you charge, so that potential customers trust where you’re coming from before they commit.
10. No contact info
Don’t hide your contact information! All relevant information should be clearly displayed on your website, including where to buy your products locally if possible. If you have limited ability to provide support through one channel, set expectations immediately. For example, if it takes you 48 hours to get to email inquiries, mention it at the top of your contact form.
You can also use this as an opportunity to direct people to your social media channels to connect with someone on your team or other members of the community to help answer questions.
What are some problems you’ve had with your web design or seen on others? Are there other mistakes you see a lot that we missed? Let us know in the comments!
Most customers will stay loyal to a brand they admire even in a sea of competitive products. Businesses that achieve this relationship with their customers also enjoy more financial reward when they prioritize retention. According to one study, even a 5% increase in the rate of customers you retain can increase profits by more than 25%.
How can your marketing strategy turn your customers into superfans? Here are three digital strategies these social impact food brands have used successfully to do just that.
Customer-Informed Content Can Refine Your Target Audience
In 2017, top baby food brand Plum Organics surveyed their core audience of parents and found that intimacy was a common concern. Plum Organics created a bold digital campaign around this problem, which included an online well-being pledge with high conversion rates, as well as a cheeky video that racked up over 11 million views. The company took something that felt very true but hard to talk about and gave it an edge that resonated with people, as seen from the video comments.
In 2012, food photo sharing was becoming increasingly popular. Plum Organics discovered that their customers were incorporating their food products into recipes and sharing them on the company’s Facebook page. Seeing an opportunity, Plum created a four-week Facebook campaign posting recipes written by influential mom bloggers that featured their products. By the end of the campaign, they had gained an “over 900% increase in fans and a 500% engagement.” It was an incredibly effective platform for their existing customers to share how they creatively use Plum Organics products to improve their families’ lives.
At the core of building trust in customer relationships, is a consistency of trustworthy information that’s easy to find. Customers trust people and values more than brand names; knowing who you are as a business, what you do, and being able to convey this to your customers is crucial.
Numi Tea is one food brand whose identity often transcends that of a simple tea company. On their website, their core values of celebrating people, the planet, and tea, are thoughtfully built onto every page. It has well-organized categories showcasing not only their products but their social impact methods and results.
Numi highlights their business partners and how they work together to fulfill Numi’s commitment to a sustainable farming community. If you’re building a conscious food brand, your target customer’s values should align with yours. Full transparency about your business practices, wherever you talk to your customers, is a great way to build trust. Strategically laying out information about how your product is made, who you partner with, and how you operate helps your current customers believe in your message, and potential customers learn more about your brand.
Stand Up For What You Believe In
People respond best when everything you communicate has a unifying, original voice. What you put on your website should have the same style and voice as your Twitter page, your customer support channels and any other place you’re communicating with current or potential customers.
Ben and Jerry’s is one socially conscious brand famous for its unorthodox marketing and loyal fan base. Everything they do feels authentic because they understand their core values, and they use the same light-hearted quirky style in all their campaigns.
During the 2016 presidential election year, Ben and Jerry’s launched their “Democracy is in Your Hands” campaign. It proved to be controversial since they were taking a political stance, but it also received plenty of press for their creative spin taking on a political issue using their core product: ice cream. To bring awareness to issues like voting rights, they launched a new flavor called Empower Mint. As the company put it, “Sometimes when we’re passionate about something, we express it through ice cream. It’s our own special way of showing how much we care.”
Ben and Jerry’s utilized several social media channels to bring awareness to their campaign to register at least 30,000 new voters. This included Facebook for events, and Instagram (one post getting over 15,000 likes).
Not everyone believes in Ben and Jerry’s message, but the people who share their values, and love their ice cream, are likely to become even more invested in their brand.
The most successful socially conscious businesses have a lot of these digital strategies in common. They are good at reaching their target audience by tapping into their customer community. They build trust through transparent communication that shows clearly how they operate according to their values. And they always stay true to themselves and their beliefs through every social media interaction. Implementing these three strategies into your natural food product marketing campaigns can also help you create a solid foundation for a loyal fanbase.
Over 185 million dollars. That is the amount of money Patagonia donated to nonprofit environmental groups and conservation efforts since the company was founded in 1973. Additionally, 38 million dollars have been invested in socially responsible companies and ventures. This doesn’t even begin to include countless volunteer hours and priceless results of their activism. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been built into their DNA since day one.
What a bunch of granola eating hippies, right? As generous as this company is, there is no way that Patagonia is profiting! Actually, this could not be farther from the truth. The company has scaled to nearly $1 BILLION dollars and shows no signs of stopping. Let’s break down some of their social good marketing strategies and why they work.
First and foremost, Patagonia’s CSR efforts are transparent. What good is transparency when it comes sales? It creates trust. If your customers don’t trust you, you don’t have customers.
Today’s consumer is well-educated with limitless investigative resources. If they detect that your company’s CSR isn’t all you’ve hyped it up to be, they will not only walk away from you, but they will also be sure to announce it to the world.
How Patagonia Tells The Story of Their CSR Efforts
It is easy to pinpoint Patagonia’s textile mills, factories, and farms, via their FootPrint Chronicles, an interactive map which gives a detailed description of each location. The company also publishes an Environmental and Social Initiative Report, as well as provides an online database which gives the breakdown of grants, campaigns, events, sustainability and fair trade efforts, materials selection, etc.
This gives transparency to Patagonia, but also doubles as creative content and establishes them as an authority on corporate social responsibility; driving people to look at their business for answers. Patagonia has honed in on social media and grown a strong online community to deliver this content. They utilize hashtags, such as #ProtectBearsEars, to create awareness for their company, the activism that they are involved in, and ethics that they stand for.
Rose Marcario, CEO and President of Patagonia, is even engaged in content creation. She writes articles on movements that she is passionate about. This is a brilliant way for their customers to emotionally connect at the highest level of the company.
Telling Customers to Buy Less Drives Sales?
Patagonia has developed their Common Threads Initiative, which promises that they will “make great stuff, fix it when it breaks, and recycle it when you’re done with it” free of charge. Patagonia asks for a pledge in return to “buy only what you need, repair it when it breaks, and recycle it when you’re through.” They started this initiative because they know that by keeping their clothing in use for 9 additional months that they can reduce their carbon, waste and water footprint by 20-30%.
This seems counter intuitive, to ask your customers to buy less of your product, but Patagonia debunked that when they ran their “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign around Thanksgiving 2011. The ad prompted consumers to not buy their wares if they truly didn’t need them, then went on to discuss the environmental cost of producing these products. The next year, the company saw its revenue grow around 30%, and an additional 6% in 2013.
It’s All About The Why
Why did this work? It reinforces the fact that Patagonia stands behind it’s product and gives a sense of ease to their customers that if something breaks on their product it will be repaired. After they have received excellent customer service and gotten more usage out of the product, they can turn in their used clothing for credit, to buy more Patagonia product!
Patagonia has done all these things (and many, many more!) while being sincere about their commitment to change. This is the key to corporate social responsibility. Sincerity instantaneously strengthens the connection with customers, as well as global communities. It instills a sense of loyalty and camaraderie. In his TedTalk, Simon Sinek summed this up beautifully:
“People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. The goal
is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have,
the goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe”.
These strategies work because people are willing to pay for a high-quality product that aligns with their values, resulting in an engaged loyal community and repeat buyers. When people rally behind what you sincerely believe in, you can’t fail. How are you communicating the values you believe in?