5 Important Digital Marketing Buzzwords

Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.

Theodore Roosevelt

What’s the difference between branding and a campaign? Or content creation and social media? The world of digital marketing is constantly evolving, meaning there are always new puzzle pieces to fit into a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Some companies hire an expert to handle all or part of their digital marketing, like we do social media for our industrial clients (and we love it!). Others might handle all of it in-house. And others still might be interested in learning more, in order to feel that they’re taking a fully hands-on approach to their marketing.

No matter which category you fit into – or maybe it’s a different one altogether – we wanted to provide a refresher on some of these common digital marketing buzzwords.

Branding

Branding is what your company or product looks like in the eyes of your customers. As we say, “your brand is your message.” Your brand is the message that you’re sending out into the world.

Think about your own favorite brands. What images pop into your mind? More than just physical features of the product being offered, branding can also be about an emotional connection. What words do you associate with the brand? How does it make you feel? What does your association with the brand say about you as the consumer?

When you create your brand strategy, you’re breathing life into your product or business. You’re establishing its personality, its likes and dislikes, its values, and more. While other aspects of your company may change with the seasons, your branding should be less temporary. It should only become stronger and more consistent with time.

Content Creation

This one may be the biggest buzzword of the past few years. And how can it not be, given the influx of Instagram influencers who call themselves “content creators” as their job titles? Regardless of whether you find that to be superficial, content creation is very much a legitimate need for many businesses, and a crucial part of a comprehensive strategy.

Almost anything we consume is considered to be content. How-to articles, news articles, blogs, gifs, memes, social media posts, YouTube videos – that’s all content. And the point of this content is to have someone reading, watching, or interacting with it.

That’s where the need for content creation comes in. When brands are able to create meaningful content for their consumers, they’re more likely to bring that consumer to them, rather than needing to go looking for them. Good content has the ability to gain repeat visits from those consumers, and it accomplishes another important goal: building trust with the target audience.

Campaigns

Remember how during the branding section, we mentioned that some aspects of marketing are more temporary? Well, campaigns were one of those temporary things. Simply put, a campaign is generally an activity outside of your daily marketing tasks with a fixed timeframe that aims to accomplish specific goals.

Whether it’s a new product launch, a contest, or just a new perspective on the brand, campaigns generally seek to augment customer interaction with the brand, bolster brand awareness and positive impressions of the brand, and convert new leads.

One recently memorable campaign was U.S. feminine hygiene brand, Always. Using the hashtag #LikeAGirl, they got the world talking about their campaign as they endeavored to change the negative connotation of this phrase into a powerful mantra. You can learn more about how their campaign got started, and find out the numbers behind the campaign’s success.

Social Media

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat. Pinterest. LinkedIn. YouTube. Tumblr. Reddit.

At Brieffin, we’re firm believers in the power of social media. It’s a great way for brands to magnify reach, enhance relationships, and exchange knowledge with others. But we’re on the topic of definitions today, so let’s stick to what social media actually is.

Since “social media” was added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 2011, let’s see what they had to say:

social media (noun): forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos)

Long definition short, it’s where users go to share content they’ve created with each other. And of course, brands entered this space long ago. There’s a lot of outreach that can be done on social media, but you have to remember: consumers want human connection.

SEO

Can you remember the last time you Googled something? (We’ll guess it was probably today.) Now, can you remember the last time you went to the 10th page of search results? What about the fifth page? The second?

And here we have in essence the importance of SEO, or search engine optimization, for your brand or business – no matter how amazing your content is, if it’s not showing up as close to the top as search results as possible, you’re not going to get the consumer engagement you want.

When you create an SEO strategy, it’s all about keeping the almighty Google in mind. Google arranges its search results with a very specific algorithm. It takes into account your keywords, but not only that – your snippets, your images, and even your site speed! Even if you have the best keywords in the world, your site won’t rank highly if it’s slow.

There are many ways you can improve your search engine optimization. From hiring a professional, to taking advantage of the tools your content management platform offers, SEO is something worth investing in.

At Brieffin, we understand that these topics can be confusing or even overwhelming, but they don’t have to be. We’re always here if you need us.

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Why Your Brand Should Be Using Hashtags

Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem and a big idea turn into an innovation.

Dean Kamen

For our industrial brands – and Brieffin, as well – we utilize a variety of social media channels. The type of message we focus on for each channel is different. Some social channels, like Twitter, are where we focus on a high volume of information. Others, like Instagram, are great for sharing visual content, like photos and videos.

But no matter the platform – whether it’s one of these, or even LinkedIn, lately – you’re likely to see one thing in common: the presence of hashtags.

The hashtag got its start on Twitter, back in 2007. A social technology expert named Chris Messina is credited for inventing it when he posted this Tweet:

When Messina shared his idea with Twitter founder Evan Williams, Williams didn’t really care for the idea. He doubted it would be very popular.

But the uses and popularity of hashtags grew. 12 years later, there are 125 million hashtags used every single day.

So why should brands use hashtags? Though some may see them merely as a gimmick, we believe hashtags provide value when used with good judgment. Here are 5 reasons why brands should be using hashtags.

1. To create community

Just as Messina intended in his Tweet containing the original suggestion, hashtags are very efficient when used for a group. In fact, for many of my college courses, we would have a class hashtag listed on our syllabus along with the professor’s office hours and the course textbook name. When my classmates and I would use that hashtag – such as “COMM441” – it was a way for us to share interesting thoughts or information related to the class, with each other. It gave us a group identity in a social space.

2. To help your target audience find you

Hashtags have evolved beyond a way to identify groups. Now, they serve another very important purpose: they are basically their own version of a search engine. Since hashtags are links, clicking on a hashtag on any social channel will bring the user to a new page showing all the recent posts with the same hashtag. Or, they can simply type the hashtag into any search field – even Google! When your brand is using the right hashtags, it makes it easy for the people who are interested in that hashtag to find you. You don’t even have to go looking for them!

3. To build excitement

Maybe your brand wants to announce a new promotion, product, contest, or campaign. The perfect hashtag can go a long way to generate buzz as you share the news with your audience. That hashtag can ensure consistency with your messaging. Even more than that, you can encourage your audience to use the same hashtag – to share their feedback or even enter the contest. Not only are you building excitement, but also fostering the sense of community (just like in #1.)

4. To improve engagement rates

Everyone is looking for the magic formula that improves engagement. It turns out, hashtags might be part of that formula. According to a study by Linchpin SEO, Tweets with hashtags receive twice as much engagement as Tweets without hashtags. While there are varying opinions and statistics on the exact number of hashtags that works best, it can depend on industry and audience. Brands should experiment to find that perfect number.

5. To build connections within your industry

Most of us know the power of networking, and surprisingly, hashtags can even be good for that! Using the same hashtag as others in your industry can lead to connections made – especially in niche industries. Also, it’s quite common for industry events or conferences to have an “official” event hashtag. (Like #METEC2019, which we recently attended.) Make sure to include it while sharing content from the event, and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to meet and connect with others in attendance, even if just virtually.

Looking for more advice about navigating the ever-evolving world of social media? Get in contact with us, and we’ll be happy to connect and point you in the right direction.

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Our Story of Industrial Branding all Through the Years

REVISITING: INTERVIEW SESSIONS WITH WORLD CEMENT

How did you come into the role and how has your position changed since the opening of your own agency?

Leading an online branding project for a traditional engineering firm has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences in my career. I have to thank the Corporate Marketing team at Loesche GmbH for their invaluable support and their complete devotion to making this project a reality, and the Management of Loesche GmbH for trusting us completely to represent and promote the Loesche brand worldwide on social channels.

Online branding requires a series of skills to foster the image of a brand in a professional manner while keeping the content relevant and interesting. In addition to having knowledge of the fundamental marketing concepts, I would highlight creativity, time management, decision-making, curiosity and fast learning to keep up with the constant updates on social networking user experiences, market knowledge, brand’s culture, products, and services knowledge, data interpretation, and SEO tactics, among the skills that I consider to be the most relevant for successfully developing online branding campaigns on social media platforms. These platforms are focused on delivering experiences to their users in a leisurely manner, so claiming a spot on each of these platforms is a demanding task that puts our creativity to the test day after day, in order to keep the followers engaged with the brand.

After four years as the in-house social media manager of Loesche GmbH, I had the possibility to open my own online branding agency in Madrid, Brieffin Consulting, and only one year after we were able to offer an integration of online branding services within our portfolio, in collaboration with our team partners. As part of this amazing opportunity, we continued to manage the social media activities for the Loesche brand as external consultants, and eventually, we were able to work with other companies from the industrial market such as A TEC Group, Refratechnik Group, and PrimeTec. [Edited]

As external consultants, we have worked with companies having backgrounds ranging from food to leisure, to technology, to digital agencies, but all through these years we have become closely identified with companies featuring industrial backgrounds, mixing the technical and human experience aspects to establish industrial personalities.

Social media is a constantly changing phenomenon, and the online scene is now very different to what it was in 2014. How have you responded to changes in approach to online platforms and the introduction of new ones? Has your focus changed?

The approach of delivering relevant and helpful content, being consistent and being accessible by opening new channels of communication, has remained over the years. The changes have come in terms of tools and networking strategies, adapting and growing alongside the evolution of the social networks and the new experiences and solutions that each one of them offers.

Although new social networking alternatives appear, the major ones have solidified over the years, offering a reliable place where communities can grow steadily and feel comfortable. This allows for a brand to focus their efforts on the experiences that they wish to create for their communities and to offer specific values.

However, as online branding consultants, we need to keep up with the online marketing trends and stay on top of any changes to improve the promotional and networking experiences of brands and their online communities, developing new ideas, and always being ready to tackle new challenges.

Extract from the interview published on World Cement “World Cement Interview: Loesche – part one”.

Losing Control, Making Peace

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.

Havelock Ellis

In a previous blog post, I shared a story about a great social media interaction I had with a popular U.S. airline a few years ago. Today, I’m here to share a not-so-great story about that same airline.

I’ve been back in the U.S. for a visit, and I was flying from my hometown of Kansas City to Spokane, Washington for a vacation, with a short layover in Denver. Before even leaving Kansas City, I learned that my connecting flight from Denver had been delayed three hours. I would be landing in Spokane at 3 a.m. – which was 5 a.m. in my home time zone.

I was angry. I felt helpless. And when the flight attendant asked me what I wanted to drink, I had to stop myself from saying “An on-time departure from Denver, please.” Instead, I took a deep breath and politely ordered a Sprite.

Later, I decided to check the plane’s location and see how much time until landing. When I looked at the map, the image I saw threw me for another loop. Literally, the plane had made a looping zig-zag, and I could tell we weren’t headed toward Denver anymore. Instead, we were backtracking away in the opposite direction. Bad weather in the Denver area meant that we were being diverted to Wichita to re-fuel – Wichita being a city I could have driven to faster. I wasn’t sure if we’d even make it to Denver at all.

At some point, I finally started to understand: there was really nothing I could do. Confined to my window seat on that Boeing-737, all I could do was keep breathing and try to remember that there was nothing I could do. Really, the only option available to me was making peace with the fact that it was going to be a long night.

There are so many points throughout our lives – from plane rides, to the workplace – that we want to have control. We all have a deep need for control. We want things the way we want them, without other people meddling or messing things up for us. Not having control makes us feel insecure, uncomfortable, and threatened.

Most of us strive for that control, sometimes to the point of unhealthiness. This can be particularly true in career-focused societies, and even more so in the entrepreneurial lifestyle. When you feel entirely responsible for every aspect of your business, it’s especially hard to relinquish control in any capacity. Worst-case scenarios flash through your head.

According to Cheryl Cran, author of The Control Freak Revolution, you might have some control issues in your professional life if you answer yes to any of the following statements:

  • You’re proud of never taking vacation time.
  • You feel angry when others let you down.
  • You’re always “swamped.”
  • People ask you a lot of questions (because they’re afraid they’re not doing it right).
  • You actually believe that no one else can do what you do.

A lot of it comes down to the idea of trust. You may believe that you can’t trust anyone else as much as you trust yourself. This isn’t an inherently bad trait, but it certainly can lead to a lot of additional stress in the workplace.

Learning to delegate effectively is an art, and it may come more naturally to some people than others. But surrounding yourself with those you trust might help make the transition to delegation easier. Little by little, learning to lean on the people you trust can help alleviate some of the discomfort that comes along with feeling like you’re letting go.

At Brieffin, we also use the practice of mindfulness to guide our professional work. Being mindful of when we’re feeling “out of control” can also help to re-center us. It can turn an anxious feeling into an accepted one (even if it’s not entirely welcomed).

Even just acknowledging how you’re feeling can help take some of the feeling’s power away. Recognize that feeling without judging yourself. The need for control is not a character flaw or a weakness – it just is. When you’re not sure what to do, breathing more is always a good solution. Breathe and focus on what’s around you.

Mindfulness is about focusing on what’s real in the here and now. And while you can’t control everything – or, let’s face it, much of anything – in life, you can control your breathing.

And in the end, I was “lucky” that my flight to Spokane was delayed. After arriving super late in Denver, I was still able to make my connecting flight. And while the whole ordeal to get halfway across my own country took longer than it would have for me to fly back to Madrid, I took a deep breath, stepped off the plane, and felt grateful that I’d made it. Even if it was 3 a.m.

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Social Media Marketing And Industrial Brands

No niche is too small if it’s yours.

Seth Godin

Industrial engineering brands might be the last type of brand you’d expect to have a social media presence. For a long time, that was true. But back in 2012, we entered the social media space for our first industrial client, and we haven’t looked back since.

In the beginning, it certainly wasn’t easy. With the continually shifting technological landscape, it seemed like a new social media platform was popping up every month. After getting a handle on those, the next step was deciding WHAT to share. Our clients already had plenty of interesting and informative content available on their websites: photos, technical brochures, presentations, videos, news, press releases, career opportunities, and more.

Little by little, with trial and error came experience. Seven years later, we’ve become more confident in our digital marketing and online branding strategies for our clients. But social media has never stopped changing, and it probably never will. We’re ready to keep learning, keep evolving, and keep tackling the challenges that come our way.

When considering social media for industrial brands, keep the following topics in mind.

Different platforms, different strategies

On social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, it’s all about visuals. With Facebook, we also focus on the stories, trivia, and human-interest aspect of our brands. We want our community members to be involved in the experience. Twitter, on the other hand, is where we really focus on sharing technical information. We can connect with other companies in the industry and answer questions from our customers. For this reason, we often focus on Twitter with a high level of communication every day. We’ve also got touchpoints on other platforms such as YouTube and SlideShare, where our clients can share very technical information for engineers or clients of their own.

Magnifying reach

An important aspect of any type of marketing campaign is identifying the target audience and the message. After that, we can focus on actually reaching that audience. Social media is one of the best ways to broadcast a message directly to a selected audience – and much of the time, it’s completely free! On top of that, it’s easy to track and quantify the metrics of how well a certain post or campaign is performing. With access to this data, marketers and brands can receive valuable insight to audience attitudes, feelings, and behaviors. From there, messages can be reinforced or re-adjusted.

Enhancing relationships

Connection is an essential part of the human experience. That doesn’t change just because we start talking about a relationship involving a brand. With social media, the brand is able to change from an “it” to an “us” – which includes the people who make the brand, as well as the people who engage with it.  Not only that, brands have a way to listen to and learn from their customers in real time. It’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be ignored. Brands can offer better and enhanced user experiences from their products and services, thanks to the live feedback from the target audience.

Exchanging knowledge

What better way to stay on top of market trends than being a part of the conversation? By following and engaging with others in the same industry, brands on social media can get front-row access to what’s happening elsewhere. It’s a great way to keep on top of industry trends. Not only that, but there can be a high-quality information exchange with consumers. We mentioned before that we often share very technical content with our followers on platforms such as Twitter. When they ask us a question, we as the social media managers may not necessarily be able to answer right away – we need to call in an expert. But once that expert does respond with the answer, the customer walks away with new industry knowledge and (hopefully) a reinforced positive image of the brand.

Social media marketing – no matter the industry – is so much more than just spamming your followers with links and endless self-promotion. It should be a conversation, carefully thought-out; an investment of time and effort.

Whether you’re a beginner looking for a place to start, or just looking for a more hands-on approach to your digital marketing strategy, we can help. We offer coaching and consulting services, to exchange our own knowledge with others and build a stronger community of social media marketers.

Let’s find your communication destiny – together.

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Industrial social media specialists of the year 2020 - Spain