What is TikTok? – A quick intro to TikTok

What is TikTok? – A quick intro to TikTok

In this blog post I will give you a quick introduction to TikTok. First I will explain to you what TikTok is, second I will share with you what I love about it, and third I will share with you its the biggest downside in my opinion.

I have been managing TikTok profiles for about a year. This blog post is based on my experience managing TikTok profiles. I decided to write this blog post because many of my clients have become increasingly more interested in developing a presence on the platform.

1. Introduction to TikTok

TikTok is an app that is available in the AppStore and on GooglePlay. It is also the hottest new social media network! According to a report published by Sensor Tower, the leading provider of market intelligence and insights for global apps, TikTok was the second most downloaded app worldwide in 2019. It was second only after WhatsApp. So, in 2019 it was downloaded more than Facebook or Instagram!

Profile Example

The profile layout in TikTok is very similar to the profile layout in Instagram. Your profile picture and you user ID are at the top. Then there is a row of numbers that includes the number of people who you follow, the number of people who follow you and the total number of likes that you have received on the platform.

Under the row of numbers there is a row of buttons. The row of buttons consists of an“Edit Profile” button, a button to link your TikTok profile to YouTube and Instagram, and a button to view your saved posts. The middle button is the most important in my opinion. You can use this button to help people find you on Instagram or YouTube.

 

Content

TikTok is unique because it is a platform for short videos. Other well established social media networks are mostly focused on pictures. More specifically, on TikTok you can post videos up to 1 minute long. It is very important to pair those short videos with appropriate music from TikTok’s extensive audio library. In addition to music, the app offers a variety of other features such as special effects, filters, stickers, transitions etc. You can turn your ordinary videos into very interesting videos on TikTok. Those features are a lot of fun to use, but be careful to not over-use them.

2. What I Love About TikTok

Organic reach vs. paid reach on social media

Marketers like to use social media networks to drive brand awareness and reach potential new customers. There are two ways to reach people on social media, through organic or paid reach.

Organic reach is the number of people who see your content without paying for distribution. When you post something good on Facebook you would expect the Facebook algorithm to work well and show that content to a bunch of people who would be interested in seeing it. But, that is not how the well-established social media networks work nowadays. When you post something on your business page on Facebook, that post will be shown only to people who have already liked your page and a few of their friends. When you post something on your business profile on Instagram that post will be shown primarily to people who already follow you and only a few additional new people.

Paid reach includes the people who see your content as a result of paid promotions. As Facebook and Instagram have grown over the years the organic reach on those networks has been decreasing and it is almost non-existent bow. Therefore, in order to reach new people on those well-established social media networks nowadays you have to pay for it.

Organic reach on TikTok

The thing that I love the most about TikTok is the fact that it is not as greedy as Facebook and Instagram. If you post something on TikTok that post will be shown organically to a good number of people. If you post something really good on TikTok it will be shown to many people on the platform.

Marketers work very hard to create good-quality engaging posts for clients. It is very satisfying when our good work is rewarded with good organic reach. I love the fact that TikTok still does that, you can still achieve good organic reach for your posts on TikTok!

3. The Biggest Downside of TikTok

TikTok is different than other social media networks because it is a platform for sharing short-videos, not pictures, text or links. In my opinion, the fact that TikTok requires a different content type is the biggest downside of the platform.

Most of my clients struggle with creating content for TikTok. Brands are just not used to thinking about creating videos for social media. They are not there yet! My team has also struggled with creating short, authentic, videos for clients for TikTok.

I hope you found this blog post helpful! I have also recorded a video about this topic for my YouTube channel. Click here to watch the video. If you need help with social media for your brand, click here to learn more about the social media services that we provide.

Coronavirus Crisis? – Save Your Business From Corona

Coronavirus Crisis? – Save Your Business From Corona

The Coronavirus pandemic has created a major economic crisis and has put many businesses in survival mode. In this blog post I will give you some advice on how you can help your business survive the Coronavirus crisis.

I have an MBA from the University of Michigan, one of the best business schools in the world. After business school I worked as a business consultant for a Fortune 500 company in NYC. As a business consultant I helped executives deal with a variety of different business crisis. Therefore, I decided to write this blog post today with some basic steps that you can take to save your business the unprecedented global economic crisis caused by the Coronavirus.

ADVICE #1: RESEARCH FINANCING OPPORTUNITIES

If your business has any physical locations  your revenues must be way down this month. It is difficult to generate sales when most people have been asked to stay at home. Even if your business is an online business you probably have not been spared from the global economic crisis. I run a digital marketing agency and my revenues are way down this month too. When people are not allowed to go outside money doesn’t circulate and there is less money for everyone.

On the positive side, governments worldwide have been very proactive about helping businesses overcome this challenging situation. Governments from countries impacted by the Coronavirus have put together huge business support packages for local businesses of all sizes. In the USA president Trump signed a $2 trillion virus bill, the largest stimulus bill in USA history. While the UK government announced a £330 billion business loan package, the largest peacetime business support effort in UK history!

If you are a business owner, my first advice for you is to perform an extensive research about business financing! Try to find all the government financial support programs that your business is eligible for. Then, you should also research financial support programs at business-related governmental agencies (e.g. the Small Business Administration in the USA), charity organizations and even commercial banks.

However, before you apply for any program, please make sure that you thoroughly review their terms and conditions. Governments and banks have announced very “creative” financial support programs to help local business survive, but those programs have very non-standard, terms and conditions too. Therefore, it is very important that you review the fine print for those programs before signing up.

ADVICE #2 NEGOTIATE

You know that good negotiation skills are very important for success in business. The Coronavirus crisis has has totally flipped our world upside down! As a result, everything is up for negotiation and re-negotiation right now.

I have experienced this in my business too. Some of my clients have asked for discounts during the Coronavirus crisis. Also, I have offered discounts to some of my long-term clients too. I value my relationships with my long-term clients, and since some of them are struggling right now I have proactively offered them discounts.

If you are a business owner, the second advice that I have for you today is to re-negotiate your expenses! Make a list of all your reoccurring expenses and then call the suppliers/vendors to negotiate. You should be able to get many deals and discounts in the current economic climate.

ADVICE #3 WORK ON YOUR BUSINESS

As business owners normally we are very busy working “in our business”, and we don’t spend a lot of time working “on our business”. What does that mean? Working “in your business” means doing specific and repetitive daily tasks for your business like an employee would. For example, if you are a fitness coach,when you have sessions with your clients you are working “in your business”. As business owners we are also employees of our businesses, therefore it is understandable that we have to spend some time working “in our businesses”.

On the other hand there is the concept of working “on your business”. When you work “on your business” you look at your business as the boss and you think about how to improve the business entity as a whole. When you work “on your business” you think about new processes that you can introduce to run the business more efficiently, you think about new products to introduce to the marketplace, and you think about the skills that you need to develop or acquire in order to grow your business.

If you are a business owner, the third advice that I have for you today is to spend the additional free time that you have during the lockdown to work “on your business”. Think about how to reorganize and improve your business now sot that it will not only survive the Coronavirus crisis but will thrive after the pandemic ends.

I hope that the advice that I shared with you in this blog post was helpful. I have also recorded a video on this topic that you can watch on my YouTube channel. Also, please subscribe to my newsletter to get monthly updates on hot topics in marketing and business.

How to Limit the Impact of the Coronavirus Crisis on Your Life

How to Limit the Impact of the Coronavirus Crisis on Your Life

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed our world in the last couple of months. Of course our health is the most important thing during this pandemic. However, many people have let the Coronavirus crisis impact on other areas of their lives, beyond their health. In this blog post I will share with you three pieces of advice about how to limit the impact of the Coronavirus crisis on your life. Let’s first stay healthy and then say no to the Coronavirus when it comes to other areas of our lives.

I am not a doctor, therefore I cannot give you medical advice on how to protect yourself from the virus. But, I have experience in dealing with crisis in the business world. l worked as a business consultant at a Fortune 500 company in NYC for a few years in the early 2010’s. As a business consultant I helped executives deal with many business crisis. So, I decided to write a blog post about how to deal with the current Coronavirus crisis, and how to limit its impact on your life.

ADVICE #1: DON’T FOCUS ON IT

When we are in a crisis situation it is very natural to completely focus on the crisis, to try to find all the information that is available about it online, and to constantly follow the news. I must admit that I am guilty of this too when it comes to the current Coronavirus crisis. I spend about 3-4 hours per day watching news from all around the world about the Coronavirus pandemic! And, I realized that obsessively gathering information about the Coronavirus is not helpful at all. Such behavior is expanding, not limiting the impact of this Coronavirus crisis on my life.

The first piece of advice that I have for you today is to not focus on the Coronavirus crisis so much! It is ok to watch news about the pandemic for 30 minutes to an hour each day. Of course it is very important to be aware of all the preventive measures that your government is taking to limit the spread of the virus. But, you definitely don’t need to watch several hours of Coronavirus coverage on TV every day. Say no to the Coronavirus by not focusing on it so much!

ADVICE #2: KEEP YOUR DAILY ROUTINE

Crisis situations cause disruption to our daily routine. Due to the recommended social distancing measures we are forced to stay at home for extended periods of time. Normally we spend a lot of time in the office and outside. So, the Coronavirus has definitely turned out daily lives upside down!

In order to minimize the disruption caused by this crisis on your life you should try to maintain normalcy as much as possible. Even though you are not allowed to go outside, or go to work, you should try to maintain your daily routine as much as possible inside your home. Even though you don’t have to commute to work now, you should try to wake up at the same time that you normally wake up. Then, you should try to work from home during normal business hours. And, you should try to have dinner at normal time too. Let’s say no to the Coronavirus trying to maintain our daily routine!

ADVICE #3: THINK LONG TERM

When you are in a crisis situation it is very normal to spend the majority of your day thinking about how to get out of the crisis. During the Coronavirus crisis many people are concerned about potentially contracting the virus. But, many people are also panicking about the economy, about losing their job or about bankrupting their business.

Earlier this year I decided to start a YouTube channel for marketers and entrepreneurs. I must admit I was very concerned about the future of my YouTube channel when the Coronavirus outbreak started. Just as I was starting to upload videos to my channel the Coronavirus outbreak started to develop and everyone became obsessed with the Coronavirus. My videos were not getting many views which was very disappointing. So, I debated whether to continue making videos during the Coronavirus pandemic.

After some serious thought I decided to not give up! I decided to keep making videos because the videos that I will create over the following couple of months will live on YouTube forever, well after the Coronavirus pandemic is over. Hopefully people will start discovering my videos after their current obsession with the Coronavirus. I know many of you are facing similar decisions about whether or not to continue certain activities during the Coronavirus pandemic. My advice to you is to think long-term when making those decision. Say no to the Coronavirus by thinking long-term and continuing to do things that could be helpful for your brand or your business in the long term!

Thank you for reading this blog post! Click here to watch a video about this topic that I created for my new YouTube channel.

Tips for Working From Home

Tips for Working From Home

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has changed the world that we live in. Currently about one half of the world is quarantined at home. So, many people around the world are trying to continue with their jobs and work from home. Working from home is different in many ways from working from the office. I run a digital marketing agency and I have extensive experience working from home because digital marketing is done via the internet. In this blog post I will share with you some advice about working from home. I hope that this information will be helpful for many people who have had to adjust to working from home in the last month or so.

1. Team Communication

Communication is very important in the business world. Many surveys have shown that the number one skill that employers look for when they hire new people is communication skills.

Good communication is even more important when the team works from home. It is a lot easier to work together with your team when everyone is together in the same office. When your team is physically together you can just walk over and ask people a question any time. However, when everyone works from home it is a lot more difficult to get in touch with people.

Teams that are new to remote work often try to communicate via email or ad-hoc call to other team members during work hours. In order to improve team communications while working from home I suggest using one online communication tool for the team, such as Skype, and asking everyone to be “online” on that communication tool during work hours. On Skype you can have several different statuses, such as: online, away, offline. Therefore, my suggestion is to ask everyone to be “online” on Skype during work hours. This will make it a lot easier for team members to reach out to each other when they need help.

2. Stay Focused

It is a lot more difficult to stay focused when working from home. At home we have many distractions such as: the TV, music, neighbors, children, pets etc. I have a cat and she is my biggest distraction when I work from home.

Therefore, when you work from home you need to make more of an effort to stay focused. Please do not think that because your boss cannot see you while working from home you can slack off. If you do not take your job seriously while you work from home that will show in the deliverables that you prepare and will have an impact on the results of the team.

Even though it is a lot more difficult to stay focused when you work from home you really need to make an effort! My suggestion is to designate one area of your home as “work area” and try to remove all distractions from that area in order to make it easier to focus on work.

3. Team Management

Another topic that is important to discuss when talking about working from home is team management. It is a lot easier for team managers to manage the team when everyone works together in the same office. Normally there is a lot of informal communication going on the office and therefore it is a lot easier to make everyone is aware of upcoming deadlines, milestones and project activities.

When the team works from home team communication needs to become a lot more intentional. Therefore team managers need to schedule more virtual team meetings in which they will talk with the team about upcoming deadlines, milestones and project activities. This also means that in a work from home environment team meetings become a lot more essential.

I hope the information that I shared with you in this blog post is helpful! You can also watch a video on this topic on my YouTube channel. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions when you work from home during the coronavirus outbreak. Stay safe, stay home!

What Do Digital Marketing Agencies Do?

What Do Digital Marketing Agencies Do?

In this blog post I will discuss the top 3 marketing channels that digital marketing agencies serve. Hopefully, through this blog post you will gain a better understanding of what digital marketing agencies do.

Why I Decided to Write About This Topic

I run a digital marketing agency and my friends and family keep asking me to clarify what I do. The clarification questions were quite surprising to me at first, but then I realized that many people actually do not know what digital marketing agencies do.

I think it is very important that all the readers of my blog have a very good understanding of what digital marketing agencies do, therefore I decided to write on this topic today.

Important Digital Marketing Terms

There are a couple of important terms that I would like to clarify before I dive into today’s topic.

  • What is Digital Marketing?: Digital marketing is any marketing activity that can be done online or by using an electronic device. So, for example, when you use your computer (an electronic device) to send an email you are performing a digital marketing activity.
  • What is a Marketing Channel? In simple terms, a marketing channel is a category of marketing activities. In this blog post I will discuss the top 3 marketing channels that digital marketing agencies serve, so that means that in this blog post I will actually discuss the top 3 categories of marketing activities that digital marketing agencies do.

Channel #1: Social Media

Social Media is definitely the biggest channel for my team. We spend the most of our time on social media activities because it takes a lot of time and effort to manage client’s social media profiles.

When we get a new client for social media services the first thing that we do is we create a content plan. In the content plan we talk about the following:

  • Social Media Networks: What social media networks we will cover.
  • Themes: The themes that we will develop content on.
  • Format: The format of each post (video, picture, carousel, etc.)
  • Frequency of posting: How frequently we will post (once per day, two times per day, three times per week, etc.)

Then, after we have finished the content plan the next step is to develop the content. This means to develop the graphics and the captions for every post. Also, we perform hashtag research to find the best hashtags for every post!

The next step after developing the content is very important, the next step is to send the content to the client for approval. It is very important that the client has an opportunity to review the content and provide feedback before you post anything on his/her social media profiles! At my marketing agency we have developed a Google Sheet template that we use to collect the content in and send it to the client. Click here to see the template.

Then, after the client has approved the content the next step is to schedule the posts. We use social media management tools such as Buffer, Hootsuite or Loomly to schedule the posts. Then the posts get published automatically on the scheduled date and time.

In addition to those standard social media service, for clients who have bigger budgets we can also provide additional services such as responding to comments (on posts) or direct messages. Also, we frequently run paid ads for clients. Paid ads are a totally different world, therefore I will write a separate blog posts about paid ads in the future.

Channel #2: Email

The second digital marketing channel that I would like to talk about is email. I love email! In my opinion email is the most effective digital marketing channel. Many people still open their emails, and the average email open rate for email is over 15% percent. While, when you target people via other digital marketing channels normally only a few percent of your targeted audience will see the content that you are trying to present to them.

When we get a new client for email marketing services first we discuss their current email marketing list. We want to understand how the client has obtained their existing list of email contacts. Then, we talk with the client about different strategies that we can use to add new contacts to their email list. For email marketing it is very important to have a long and growing list of contacts.

Then we discuss with the client their desired mailing frequency. Most clients want to do monthly newsletters. So, the mailing frequency is normally once per month. Then we proceed to creating and scheduling the emails. We use the email marketing tool Mailchimp to create, schedule and distribute the email.

In addition to those standard email marketing services we can also provide more advanced email marketing services, such as email automation, to clients with bigger budgets. Email automation mean sending emails to people based on their behavior. A simple example of email automation is when you send a “welcome email” to everyone who signs up for your monthly newsletter. A more complicated example of email automation is when you create multi-step email cadences based on people’s behavior. Email automaton is an advanced topic, therefore I will write a separate blog post on this topic in the future.

Channel #3: Website

Yes, your website is a very important marketing channel! We help clients with the marketing aspects of websites such as color, text and graphics. It is very important to remember that we are not programmers, therefore we cannot do complicated, customized website elements. For more complicated website related tasks we work with the client’s IT team, or the vendor that is maintaining their website.

More specifically we help clients with the following aspects of their websites

  • Making sure that the content on the website is structured in the right way so that the website can be easily found by search engines. This is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  • Making sure that the website looks attractive to potential clients and that all the colors and text work well together.
  • Making sure that everything on the website is on-brand so that the website represents the client’s brand in the best possible way.

Thank you!

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. English is my second language so I apologize if there are any grammar mistakes in this blog post. If you enjoyed this content please click here to subscribe to my monthly newsletter.

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Aneta