This month we’re delivering ideas on how to enhance your digital communication strategies during the global pandemic and in a time that seasonally calls for margaritas, tacos and mom. Our goal? To give you a boost in communication with topics designed to provide your audience a more enjoyable, connected & timely experience.
(Warning: This improvement may call for less siestas & more virtual fiestas).
May is typically a turning point about things we love the most, like mom & tacos. But this month, our world is still battling the global pandemic, from increasing COVID-19 infections to joblessness and community spread. Businesses ranging from small local shops, retailers, nonprofits to large organizations are finding themselves reliant on their digital marketing strategy more than ever before. People are choosing who they connect with now more than ever simply because they have more time and opportunity to do so. Brands who are taking the time to bring their A-game when it comes to authenticity, conversation, & storytelling are receiving positive sentiment and customer loyalty. Local businesses who are putting in endless time and energy to make their brick and mortar stand-out in the crowd by being more accessible are receiving accolades for standing out in the crowd. Not to mention, publications and news outlets who are taking the time to stay true to their morals, beliefs and values while providing helpful updates and resources are at the top of our feeds for a reason.
So how can you use content marketing to connect with your audience faster than DoorDash-ing an order of carne asada tacos? Here are five pertinent and helpful ways to “taco ‘bout” latest happenings in May – outside of Cinco de Mayo and Take Out Tuesday, we promise.
Five Ways To Create Conversation That Counts
Account for a shift in digital content consumption
The U.S. in this moment is variable, some states are re-opening in phases while closures & stay-at-home orders have been extended for others. Regardless, most companies have shifted marketing budget & advertising spend to support increased online communication. We are all on our smartphones daily including your followers: “87% of US consumers, and 80% of UK consumers say they’re consuming more content. And they are doing so mostly via broadcast TV, online videos, and online TV streaming.” (source) Use your time & resources towards ensuring your social media & digital platforms are refreshed, up-to-date and keeping your audience informed – first and foremost. Everything from store hours, current website information or latest company news or updates are vital in keeping people informed. Every little form of digital communication is necessary!
Engage through creativity
Social media engagement by definition measures the public shares, likes and comments for an online business. Look at your company’s social media accounts that are currently in use and determine the most active platform from this engagement standpoint. Whether it’s Instagram or Linkedin, begin to think through how or what you can share that will communicate best with this audience. In a recent report from Unruly.com they tested a number of brands who took the leap in creating campaigns during COVID-19, what they found is that, “it seems the best thing to do right now for brands is to be brave and to acknowledge the impact that COVID-19 is having on their customers and how they can help and offer support.” Get creative – use your tools to the best of your ability from live videos, stories, sharing blogs or promoting email sign-ups, right now a thoughtful, authentic idea is a good one!
Stay virtually connected
A recent report came out that the video conference platform Zoom had roughly “300 million daily meeting participants.” Connectivity is ingrained in our culture. We found personally that our teams are more apt to join a video conference on a weekly basis to meet and keep up with one another. A company can also look to this form of marketing as a way to drive conversation in the place of canceled events. Internally, businesses can use it to keep employee morale up by hosting “virtual” group events or gatherings.
Spread the hype of hyperlocal marketing.
If you were to drive around your local town this very moment things might look a lot different from the way they were two months ago. In our community of Encinitas, a coastal town of San Diego County, restaurants are open for take-out but the streets are quiet & the usual bars, retailers & boutiques are all closed. As a marketer, we know a thing or two on how to keep our business in the public eye, but make sure you also fine-tune your listings and channels with “hyperlocal marketing” in mind.“ The term refers to the situation where sellers target buyers according to their area. If you ever searched a word in Google like tacos, the search bar definitely filled in the blank with: “tacos near me.” For many, this is exactly what we are looking for – once you searched the phrase you were given a list of local open restaurants nearby, this was all thanks to hyperlocal marketing. Ramp up your business information on platforms like Google, Facebook and even Yelp. Make sure you are also cross-promoting your business information on channels like Instagram and Twitter, too.
Tacos loving care, that’s what TLC means right? Well sorta. Right now, people want to hear about things they enjoy. What makes your audience happy? For us, we sure hope it’s content! For your business, what are some of the top ways your audience connects with you most? Holidays, hashtag dates, new products or promos and even uplifting quotes are all excellent ways to keep your fans responsive with your feed. Upcoming dates range from Star Wars Day, Mother’s Day to Memorial Day and we’ve comprised a list to help you out below.
May Hashtag Holidays
Here’s a list of May holidays & hashtag dates to guide your social journey:
National Burger, Salsa, BBQ & Strawberry Month
Cinco de Mayo – 5/5
Mother’s Day – 5/10
#InternationalMuseumDay – 5/18
Memorial Day – 5/27 (and #NationalWineDay)
National Burger Day – 5/28
Need help crafting messaging or coming up with content for your social feed? We are offering a free 30-minute consultation with our team until May 31st, 2020. Click here to set-up a call now.
This month we are sharing April ideas on how to work through the COVID-19 pandemic with useful content strategies designed to help your brand grow as it goes through this unprecedented moment in time.
To start, we are with you. We understand what you, your family or small business is going through.
In the midst of planning for our April content in mid-March, the world changed. The spread of the novel coronavirus was officially defined as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020 – this required people’s lives to drastically come to a staggering halt. In places like California, where we are located, the majority of employees including ours have been confined to working from home & restricted from traveling — unless the need to do so is essential. Since then, the sweeping changes we’re seeing in response to the coronavirus are having massive social and economic impacts.
Now in April, as stay-at-home orders are in place and some even extending past the month deadline, many businesses are at a standstill but hoping a bright light from this “new normal”. As small business owners ourselves, we have spent countless hours since mid-March strategizing how to help our clients through this difficult time. That’s why we’ve decided to share a list of topics that have worked for our clients and that we hope work for you.
Growing Stronger, Together.
Introducing April theme of “grow through what you go through”, an effort to help you share thoughtful, authentic content that the world desires right now. Here’s what you can do for your business online to confront situations & make light of this moment in time we are living in.
Five Ways To Support Your Audience During April, the Global Pandemic & Onward
Opt for Authenticity
Amongst the crowded local, state and national news – people are still looking for companies they follow to keep them informed through open, honest & helpful information. They want to know the truth of where a business stands in terms of its employees, infrastructure, customers and day-to-day. Releasing timely blog, social media posts or press releases will help you get the word out so that people you need to reach can see your content in a timely manner amongst the crowded social feeds.
Ramp Up Reliability
Yale Medicine recently wrote, “The U.S., which declared a national emergency in mid-March, now has the most detected cases in the world. Americans are still adjusting to strict guidelines urging them to stay home, avoid unnecessary travel, and stay 6 feet away from other people.”People across the world and in our country are living daily with the fear of the unknown. Therefore, ramping up your efforts to ease their mind, stress or fear is key. If your business is open & fully operational, for example – Walmart (shown below), express the efforts you are taking to make safety, reliability & accountability top of mind. If you have a small business or service, we encourage you to educate your audience – good, humble advice is key. Recently, we saw a tax accountant offering his educational business accounting video series for just $99 versus his normal $1,000 rate. What’s great is that he chose to do this through Facebook Live by hosting a free webinar. Do you have a business that is shut down by the government or forced to have limited hours like a restaurant? Express the efforts you are staying open, discuss cleanliness and food safety and ensure to mention promotions or discounts, if you can provide any! Every little bit counts.
There are a lot of local businesses that are especially hard-hit by the coronavirus. Forbes recently wrote, “as marketers, one of our jobs is uncovering opportunities in any situation. And while a global crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, businesses can take steps to help see customers through these dark times.” We must work together in our communities to promote or endorse people, businesses or brands who are doing the best they can at this time. Acknowledging the hard work of essential workers who are on the frontlines is above all, encouraging. Here’s an example of our local community organization, Encinitas 101 Main Street, creating a custom list of restaurants accepting curbside or takeout. The cost is minimal, but the message is impactful and far reaching!
Tok it Out
Travel, restaurants, entertainment and events have all been postponed. This makes online content a glimmer of hope in a dark hour. Reveal your brand’s personality by testing out TikTok or even Instagram IGTV. According to Social Media Today, “While the global economy is taking a massive hit, which will have long-reaching implications, digital platforms are seeing higher engagement rates than ever, with more people looking to information and entertainment online, and focusing their attention on social platforms and other apps.” You can connect with your audience by creating funny, satirical or creative images or videos as a form of positive communication, like this video from Chipotle below. (Plus, it’s a way to find a common ground to connect with people near and far!)
Coverage With Compassion
It is our innate human nature to connect with others. If you are able to lead the conversation, cover real, compassionate moments or even tell your own, we promise people will recognize this and the storytelling will go far. Right now more than ever people want empathy and passion in their feeds.
April Hashtag Holidays
April seems like years rather than days. Capitalize on April holidays & hashtags with lighthearted, fun or educational content where it matters most. Here’s a list of important hashtags
Stress Awareness Month
National Garden Month
National Humor Month
Easter Sunday – 4/12
420 “Weed Day” – 4/20
Administrative Professionals Day – 4/22
Earth Day – 4/22
National Picnic Day – 4/23
National Arbor Day – 4/24
Need help crafting messaging or coming up with content for your social feed? We are offering a free 30-minute consultation with our team until May 31st, 2020. Click here to set-up a call now.
March is National Nutrition Month, it is also the beginning of springtime & a chance to revitalize your plans for the upcoming quarter ahead. This month, we celebrate a new month with airy hues of light blue & orange to embrace our theme of “content cardio.” This idea that content is fast-paced & nonstop is true. It is surely a mental, creative marathon where online stamina is driven through consistency, perseverance & community. This month, we invite you to embrace the results of pushing your content to the limit by looking at how the health & fitness industry just, well, does it. In the next 30 days our experts will share their take on how to take your content up a notch with high impact social media concepts for results your audience will love to see. Take a look below!
Creative Ways to Make Content “Workout” For You
Before & After
Think of fitness transformation before & afters, they involve time, effort & perseverance by each individual to arrive at their destination. At VCA, our strategic content process is similar to a thoughtful workout plan. In order to get started, we recommend initiating a goal, acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses, and thinking through the types of results (on your social feed) that you want to see.
Train Your Content for Endurance
Mental strength is just as effective and important as physical strength. Thinking through your content before distributing it to each social channel is like training for a marathon before the actually race day. Our Director of Strategy, Amy Hadrys shared one of her favorite “race day” moments in content. Back in 2014, she helped global shoe & athletic wear brand ASICS America plan their strategy for the TCS New York City Marathon – it was quite the extensive feet! “The intricacy and level of pre-planning and ideation was almost as intuitive as the days & moments leading up to the event” she said. As we mentioned above, always refer back to your big goal – whether its to launch a new campaign or create a brand video. The endurance in content becomes the day-to-day actionable steps of creating content around your goal & getting production done!
Run Laps Around Your Competitors
Learn from the best & do it better! Take a look at what your competitors, fellow colleagues or like-minded publications and influencers are up to. See what is working online from content with the most shares to blogs that have views or comments. Review user-generated content, what influencers or advertisers are partnering with their content? All questions will help lead you to the content finish line.
Thrive With Your Social Tribe
No matter the size of your company, we encourage you to ask your community to share, engage and speak positively about your business. From a review to mentioning your company in an Insta-Story post, these are all ways to show the positive energy offline. We recently asked Katie Attebery of Rush Cycle in our city of Encinitas what social media means for her business, she said “We’re able to connect with our riders through social media. We celebrate their successes, show new riders what they can expect in our community and share news with them like hiring announcements, sales and promotions and other important studio news.” This is huge! In turn, her members show the ways they thrive not only from Katie’s classes but their experience at Rush Cycle, too. Do you have a company that does a great job of making content come full circle in your town?
Brand Muscle Memory
In each workout you focus on one main action – repetition. By repeatedly enforcing reps with your waits or activities, your body is getting stronger. This muscle memory is the same feeling when it comes to advertising your brand or product. The countless ways you prove and show value of your product helps gain you brand loyalty that triggers engagement and potential sales.
A good brand has a mantra, a mission and a motive for existence. Dig deep into your brands internal psyche, otherwise known as your “why.” Look for ways to bring the purpose to life – whether it be through helpful & motivating quotes, your employees and their testimonies or interactive events where fans can flock to. Creating spiritual, emotional and thoughtful content to express your brand will help your content thrive.
March Hashtag Holidays
Here’s a list at shareable March hashtag holidays to energize your feed:
3/6 – #EmployeeAppreciationDay
3/8 – #DaylightSavings
3/9 – #IWD2019 (International Women’s Day)
3/17 – #StPatricksDay
3/19 – #FirstDayofSpring
3/23 – #NationalPuppyDay
3/24 – #NationalAgricultureDay
3/26 – #NationalSpinachDay
Get ready for March – we are taking you into a whole new theme that will pick up the pace and make those hearts on your social feed beat a little faster. Stay tuned!
Having kicked off our Visual Content Marketer campaign with an ode to the Wizard of Oz, it’s rightfully so that we take you along our content road with ruby slippers to guide you home!
This month’s color is red & our theme is all about love, connection & hospitality. We invite you to love content with all your heart by expressing it on your feed. Join us in ramping up your feed & following along the content journey by choosing to incorporate these creative feed concepts into your social media, below.
Four Creative Ways to Express Content Love in February
1. Content Makes Hearts Content
Always remember, there’s no place like your (content) home – this is your feed, the hub that makes your personality, brand or voice come to life! This month share information that is meaningful; from your inner thoughts on life, devotion, connection & memories. Look at your content strategy as an opportunity to look beyond the norm. Use your social feed as an outlet to feel inspired and express yourself & brand with your heart & soul. See things you’ve never seen and challenge yourself, followers & clients to admire life with a hopeful perspective.
2. Life Is Like a Box of Content.
Our social feeds are as serendipitous as a box chocolates! Use your stories, feed & blog as a way to celebrate and enjoy life (not just on Valentine’s Day!. If you are a marketer, influencer or managing a brand remember that content has the ability to be created in many forms: we must strive to create a sense of surprise with new ideas and expression. This will keep your audience coming back for more. Stay tuned as this month, Amy & Vincent tour the home of Chauo Chocolatier in San Diego, California.
3.A life well traveled.
“Je vois la vie en rose” means to see life with rose colored glasses. Is that what social media depicts for brands? Perhaps it’s uniqueness, a facade or simply a striving for endless perfection. This February, look at sharing authentic online travels, experiences, products & services on your feed as an expression of love & connection.
There is no better niche today that does this better than the travel & hospitality industry. To show you how to create a truthful feed your audience will love – take a look at our newest blog, “5 Social Media Strategy for Hospitality & Travel brands”, here.
4. Do What You Love
Lastly, in February, ensure you do what you love! Starting on February 16th is Entrepreneurship Week, celebrate by showcasing the reason you do what you – and why you enjoy doing it.
February Hashtag Holidays
Here’s a list at shareable February hashtag holidays your feed will love:
It’s an avocado’s world and we are all just living in it. This video from our client West Pak Avocado’s new Avo Effect campaign shares the digital, social and artistic influence the avocado has in our daily lives from online engagement, entrepreneurship to real-life experiences. Titled, “Humanizing Avocado Love”, the video shares the ways the superfruit has stimulated more influence than you could even imagine. It’s no surprise, people love avocados so much they are willing to revolve how they eat, work & thrive around them. What about you? Take a look at the new video on IGTV below and spot our founders, Amy & Vincent sharing their avocado love.
To help spread the love further, our team, who monthly support’s the organization monthly with their content marketing – took the creativity an extra step. Since, we know there is no doubting the avocado excitement, our team created an infographic to promote the campaign called “Avocado Love By The Numbers”. Here’s a look at the ripe data that proves the universal love language of the avocado, below:
The launch of Humanizing Avocado Love has been well received. Press mentions include a statement from our co-founder, Amy Hadrys on the impact of the avocado to the mention of our co-founder, Vincent Apodaca’s production efforts! With over six press pickups for this Avo Effect video from top publications in the produce industry which have included: AndNowUKnow Produce Industry News, Fresh Plaza, The Packer News, Produce Market Guide, we couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of a campaign that spreads so much love & excitement.
We are proud to introduce The Avo Effect – a 2020 video series for client, West Pak Avocado that will bring to light the phenomenon the avocado has sparked within the produce industry worldwide. The series covers the global organization’s avocado footprint along with the significant reach the avocado holds on the company’s core industries like avocado growers, retailers, restauranteurs, distributors, trade commissions, nonprofits, and influencers.
The Avo Effect campaign launched in mid-October at Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in Anaheim, California. The idea was developed by our team at Visual Content Agency alongside West Pak’s sales and marketing team. With an exclusive voiceover from their Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing Doug Meyer, the initial trailer set the precedence for the future pieces – sharing how the time is intrinsically “ripe” for the company’s customers and the industry to hone in on the endless opportunities the avocado brings and the “domino-like” success that extends from it. The goal of each video brings to life topics that show the impact the avocado has on various industries while also capturing real-life testimonies of how the avocado has had a positive effect on businesses, customers and consumers among others. The avocado truly has created an epiphany like no other.
Since October, three of the Avo Effect episodes have been released online at the Avo Effect landing page & on the company’s social media. The first video, titled Avo Affinity at PMA Fresh Summit (below) launched in November 2019. This video captured the Avo Effect of excitement the avocado has in the produce industry & during key events like Fresh Summit – one of the largest produce marketing shows in the world. Our team had a front row seat to the Fresh Summit show; capturing interviews, b-roll and footage of the entire shows events and mingling with avocado aficionados from around the world. Take a look below:
In January 2020, the second episode for the Avo Effect released in time for football (and guacamole’s) biggest day of the year, the Big Game. This video focused on the importance the avocado from the grove, to marketing & in consumer’s homes – let’s just say it truly has become the real MVP of the produce aisle with its undoubted ability to drives sales.
“For the big game, the consumption on that day is the equivalent of every American eating one avocado.” – Doug Meyer, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing at West Pak Avocado, Inc.
Next up, West Pak will release the next Avo Effect video called, ‘Humanizing Avocado Love” in time for Valentine’s Day. Our founder, Amy Hadrys & Vincent Apodaca will be sharing what the avocado means to them, too. Stay tuned as we help to spread the impact of the avocado throughout 2020.