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6 Effective Ways to Use Short Video for Social Marketing

Short video apps are on the trend currently. After the ban of Tiktok in India, so many social platforms for short videos came out.

For example, Instagram has introduced the feature “Reelsâ€� of showcasing short videos. I really like an app called Doston to make short video clips. It’s good at offering amusing, trendy, and entertaining content.

However, if you have thought that short videos are only for fun, then you probably need to change your view.

Because short videos can be informative, they can be used to represent a business, and as well as used for multiple purposes.

And if you do not know how many other ways you can use short videos, then you’re in the right place to find it out.

Here are the six ways in which you can use short videos for social marketing effectively.

  1. How-To Videos

    how-to-video-doston
    Source: pexels

YES, it is possible to make “how-to” videos in 30 to 60 seconds.

If you are good at making food or decorating a food plate, then you can catch the eye of thousands of users.

It will be a kind of real quick video in which you can create a healthy meal by showing step-by-step instructions; you can also give the voiceover in it.

Follow your passion because you can get loads of traffic by putting that kind of video on platforms like Doston, Instagram reels, etc.

You can do it using the inbuilt editing features in many apps that you can find in the app store — or look up a vid on YouTube that will teach you how to add visual effects and magical filters.

2. Product Unveiling

how-to-videos-for-marketing
source: Pexels

If you want to showcase your product, it would be great to create a 30-second clip to show whatever you are selling.

Whenever you are demonstrating your product, you don’t have to be overly promotional.

You have to convince your customer so that they can buy after watching your video. So keep it up to the mark, simple, and clean.

Remember that you do not have to solely focus on explaining the product, but you also have to emphasize what kind of benefits your viewers could get after spending 30-60 seconds on your video.

3. Behind The Scenes

behind the scene video for marketing
source: Pexels

Creating short videos of behind the scenes is a fun way to let your viewers see the people behind the business or show what is going on behind closed doors.

People want to see funny stuff more and behind the scenes is the best to get engagement and gain attention.

Wondering what could be your behind the scenes?

The scenes could be anything like your office tour, personal things, funny content, (think: a funny photobomb, and do that in your vid — on purpose.

4. Show Off Your Skills

show off your skills for marketing
source: Pexels

You can go master in showing off your skills by posting the real quick short videos.

You can create and edit your videos in it with its inbuilt editor that will help you to make more polished content.

It offers loads of features like easy editing, add music, quick downloads, and more that would help make your best short video.

5. Event Showcase

behind the scene video for marketing
source: Pexels

If there is an event around, many brands will share the relevant content in your industry.

For instance, if you post a video on your site related to a particular event like a holiday, and if your video has the potential, it will be more likely to be shared around other media networks especially by friends and family.

6. Share What You Have

share what you have for marketing
source: Pexels

You are not required to be more creative or professional — you just want to share what you are good at doing and creating.

Professional videos look fantastic. However, to make an impact you don’t need a huge budget. With basic props and ordinary objects, you can do spectacular stuff — take a look on YouTube at the Holderness family vids — hilarious.

Some of the best short videos are not focused on the design and animation of big budgets and they are the ones using everyday objects.

Also read: 5 best short video app

Top Image Credit: anna shvets; pexels

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Word-of-Mouth Marketing in 2020: The Power of Social Media Influencers

social media influencers

The power of influencer marketing is multidimensional, as it simultaneously affects different aspects of brand success: exposure, reputation, audience engagement, customer loyalty, and conversions. Influencer marketing is a way to tell your company’s story to the millions simultaneously through the mouths of those who already have the ear of your target audience. Here is word-of-mouth marketing in 2020 and beyond.

There is power in social media influencers.

The power in social media is generated by influencers individuals whose content resonates with broad audiences, impacts their lives, changes their mindset, and even affects their purchasing decisions because of their authority, knowledge, or position.

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make but about the stories you tell.” — Seth Godin

Influencer Marketing: What Is It and Why You Need It?

Influencer marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing tactics to enter the trust circle of potential customers. These people are an automatically loyal community since your brand is introduced to them by a person they already trust. Customer loyalty is the primary factor impacting the buying decision, particularly in times of a recession, when uncertainty toward the future is soaring in the air. That’s why it’s so crucial for companies to invest in building trust and give customers more confidence.

Influencer marketing is fueled by an ancient but still actionable word-of-mouth method. It allows you to accelerate online brand expansion by partnering with a thought leader who can be the first to start the word-of-mouth chain nourished by helpful content instead of ads. According to McKinsey, word-of-mouth marketing generates two times the sales of paid advertising. At the same time, Deloitte reports that customers acquired through word-of-mouth have a 37 percent higher retention rate than by any other means. 

Customers come and return to a brand trusted by influencers. They are considered experts who always keep abreast of the latest industry trends and recommend something really worth attention. To drive brand growth and success, businesses should learn more about influencer marketing and actively leverage it in the digital age.

Benefits of Influencer Marketing: a New View

Image Credit: helena lopes; pexels

Influencers build friendships, not “brand� relationships

If you ask customers what kind of relationships with a brand they’d like to have, you will likely hear about something similar to friendship. People want to feel appreciated and know that brands care about selling and empowering and inspiring them. Influencer marketing is the key to building human connections between a brand and its target audience. 

Interacting with a brand through a prism of the influencer’s positive feedback, customers feel more value in what the brand does and creates. They start associating its products and services with authoritativeness and reliability as they are recommended by the leading niche experts, aka thought leaders. Influencer marketing transits brand-customer relationships to a more personal level and makes them friends.

It allows you to discover what resonates with your customers.

When partnering with influencers, you can explore what types of content, messages, and visuals work best with your target audience. Influencer marketing allows you to promote your brand and conduct “field studies� on the influencer’s social media pages, investigate how they are interacting with potential customers, and what drives audience engagement. 

By monitoring and analyzing influencer-audience relationships, you can learn more about your customers, define better strategies for your future marketing campaigns, and improve products.

It helps provide anticipated WOW & emotion-driven engagement.

Leveraging the benefits of influencer marketing, you can introduce your brand engagingly and creatively. Influencers are mostly driven by creativity, curiosity about getting new experiences, and desire to bring value to their followers. They invest time and effort in producing highly engaging content that targets people who might be your potential customers. 

Making your brand intro a part of the influencer’s amazing content, you significantly raise chances of making the WOW effect, creating an unforgettable first impression, and driving continuous customer engagement. It helps provoke the person’s thoughts about a product and forths the first emotional interaction with it. 

Companies should care about creating emotional bonds with a target audience because they are fertile soil for growing customer loyalty. Consumer loyalty is a significant business value since it helps smooth sharp edges of customer experience and keeps conversions up. When emotional connections are damaged, rational (or even critical) thinking rears up again, and it may negatively impact sales in the future.

It promotes a brand through useful content instead of ads.

People trust advertising much less than before. On the contrary, word of mouth still is relevant and actionable even today. The sunrise of new digital innovations has just given it a new boost. Today, most of our words are digital and can spread at wind speed across the web. You can add your brand more significance and amplify word of mouth arising around it by producing quality content that inspires people and helps them tackle the most actual problems. 

At the same time, you can also save time on content production and reach a new audience with the help of influencer marketing. Influencers may endorse your brand and introduce it to their followers, involving your brand information in their own content. 

It is a highly cost-effective digital marketing channel.

Social media influencer marketing is becoming one of the most actionable digital marketing channels, even if compared to email marketing, paid search, display advertising, and affiliate marketing. According to Convince & Convert, 22% of digital marketing managers find influencer marketing the most cost-effective customer acquisition channel. As reported in a study conducted by Tomoson, influencer marketing brings a $6.50 return on investment for every dollar spent.

Is Influencer Marketing Worth It? 

Influencer marketing is a goldmine that may help companies keep the target audience’s attention in the highly competitive digital world. Is it worth investing in? Only you can answer it for sure. However, before you do it, just look through the above-mentioned values arising when someone influential talks about your brand once again. 

A successful collaboration with thought leaders can help you increase brand awareness, conquer the hearts of a new audience, gain its loyalty, grow brand popularity, and multiply revenue. It’s a powerful machine producing new, exciting human-brand interactions bringing plenty of benefits for both of them.

The post Word-of-Mouth Marketing in 2020: The Power of Social Media Influencers appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Exploring the Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2021

Exploring the Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2021

If there’s one niche of the business world that never stops evolving, it’s marketing. Digital marketing is highly dependent on the maturation of online technologies and is continuously pivoting and responding to new developments. Having said that, are you prepared for 2021?

The Digital Marketing Trends Set to Define 2021

Now is the time to begin planning ahead to account for the digital marketing trends of 2021. By staying current, you can develop a digital marketing strategy that takes the latest tips, trends, and frameworks into account.

“A good digital marketing strategy gives your company a cohesive plan that is consistent through your many online and offline channels,� Marcel Digital explains. “After all, you want your branding and message to be the same on your point-of-purchase advertising in your stores as it is on your social media pages and website. A cohesive message saves time and effort by not having employees recreate a marketing message for every channel.�

But our focus is not to discuss how to create a cohesive message. While important, we want to dig into the how. In other words, how do you execute once you’ve zeroed in on your message?

Though classic marketing principles and approaches will always prove effective, sometimes it’s helpful to study the latest trends to get a feel for innovative opportunities that can take marketing to the next level. And in this article, we want to focus on a few of the top trends for 2021. Take a look:

1. Live Video

Live video streaming has exploded over the past three years (and will continue to do so over the next decade). Powered by social media platforms, live streaming is available to the masses and provides an avenue for the continued democratization of content. Just consider the following data points as curated by HubSpot:

  • Internet users watched approximately 1.1 billion hours of live video in 2019.
  • By 2027, the live video streaming market is expected to hit $184.3 billion.
  • By 2020, live streaming is expected to account for 82% of all internet traffic.

Those are significant numbers – too significant to ignore. And there are plenty of reasons why businesses are making the jump to live video, including:

  • There’s almost no learning curve to record live video. There’s no need for a script, props, or post production. You hit the record button and push out live content. It’s casual, relaxed, and relatable.
  • There’s no requirement for advanced technology. While you can certainly enhance quality with some tech upgrades, a smartphone is all that’s needed to get started.
  • Live video feels exclusive and commands longer average view times when compared to pre-recorded videos. (There’s a sense of urgency from the viewer that they might not be able to see the content later.)

Live streaming video is used in a variety of capacities and is highly dependent on your brand, goals, and content strategy. However, it’s ideal for things like Q&As with an audience, customer support, special announcements, interviews with influencers, live events, and backstage events.

If you’re new to live video but want to get started, the best piece of advice is to jump in and do it. Try a couple of videos and see what happens. Were you comfortable? Did you enjoy it? Did the audience engage? What can you learn?

Your first shot at live streaming won’t be perfect, but you can always optimize over time.

2. Programmatic Advertising

Another sweeping trend is the growth of programmatic advertising. If paid traffic is part of your strategy for 2021, you need to gain some understanding and proficiency in this area.

As MarTech Advisor explains, “Programmatic advertising is the process of automating the buying and selling of ad inventory in real-time through an automated bidding system. Programmatic advertising enables brands or agencies to purchase ad impressions on publisher sites or apps within milliseconds through a sophisticated ecosystem.�

Over the past couple of years, programmatic advertising has become the preferred method of running ad campaigns. It offers real-time insights, enhanced targeting capabilities, increased transparency, better budget utilization, and provides a way to combat ad fraud effectively.

Programmatic advertising can be deployed in a variety of channels and formats, including display ads, video ads, social ads, audio ads, native ads, and digital out-of-home (DOOH) ads.

Contrary to how traditional media buying works, programmatic advertising doesn’t usually involve publishers and advertising working together in a one-to-one fashion. The type of programmatic deal – such as real-time bidding, private marketplaces, preferred deals, or programmatic guaranteed – determines how they’re delivered.

3. Voice Search

Would it surprise you to learn that approximately 27 percent of the online global population uses voice search on mobile? Or that more than 1 in 3 US internet users use a voice assistant monthly (up from just 9.5 percent in 2018).

Consider that by the end of 2020, roughly 30 percent of all internet browsing sessions will include voice search. And that more than half of adults use voice search on a semi-regular basis.

The writing is on the wall. Voice search will soon become the preferred method of browsing the internet. It’s faster, hands-free, and ultimately more convenient.

So what does that mean for digital marketing? Well, it changes everything, particularly on the content strategy side of things. People speak differently than they write. Consider, for example, someone searching for a pizza restaurant. Their queries might look like this:

Typed: pizza restaurant Bronx

Spoken: What’s the best pizza restaurant in the Bronx?

Voice search is ushering in a new age of SEO and content creation where long-tail keywords are the focus. Natural, conversational language wins the day. Brands that adapt to this style will see their SEO rankings improve and search traffic scale.

In terms of blogging strategy, brands should focus on developing content that answers questions. People go to Google when they have a question and the search engine knows this. So in an effort to satisfy their users, they’re elevating content that answers very specific questions.

4. Interactive Content

Online users are growing bored with basic blog posts and static content. They want to be stimulated. They also want control over their experiences. And these desires are currently culminating in the rise of interactive content.

Research shows that interactive content gains 2X more engagement than static content. This has led 34 percent of marketers to include interactive content in at least 10 percent of their strategies.

The most popular types of interactive content include quizzes, polls, interactive infographics, AR, VR, and online calculators.

Interactive content is typically just a subsegment of the larger content strategy. But in 2021 and beyond, it’s going to become an even bigger portion. While many brands are currently developing one piece of interactive content for every nine pieces of static content, that number will likely increase to 20 percent.

5. Shifts in Influencer Marketing

In 2016, the influencer marketing industry was worth an estimated $1.7 billion. By the end of this year, it’s projected to be worth somewhere north of $9.7 billion.

People like to hate on influencers, but they’re effective. The earned media value for money spent on influencer marketing was roughly $18 for every dollar spent in 2019. And over the last three years, there’s been a 1500% increase in brands searching for “influencer marketing� on Google. In other words, it’s effective and here to stay. But as we enter into 2021, this industry will undergo significant shifts that will ultimately change the way businesses approach marketing and advertising.

One of the biggest shifts will be the rise in micro influencers. These are influencers who have small yet loyal followings (anything less than 10,000 followers). And what they lack in reach (compared to large influencers), they make up for with high engagement and affordability.

It’s also possible that we’ll see an increase in performance-based influencer marketing. In the past, it’s always been sort of a flat fee deal. Businesses pay per post and the influencer gets the same amount of money no matter what happens on the engagement front. But as the influencer arena gets more competitive, brands will gain more leverage. Soon, we could see payment based on the number of clicks, comments, or even sales.

Ultimately, the changes in this space will be dictated by consumers. Followers make it clear what they do and don’t respond to by the type of engagement they offer. As brands and influencers gather more data and analytics from these types of posts, they’ll iterate and zero in on what works best.

Hit the Refresh Button on Your Digital Marketing

No digital marketing strategy is set in stone. As you approach 2021, take the time to understand the new trends so that you can shift your strategy into a direction that aligns with the trajectory of the larger consumer marketplace. Whether it’s live video, programmatic advertising, voice search, interactive content, or shifts in influencer marketing, there’s ample opportunity for growth and expansion.

The post Exploring the Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2021 appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Could Social Media Be Facing a Wave of Backlash?

social media backlash

For many years, social media was heralded as a universally beneficial new technology. It was seen as something that could keep us connected with our friends and family members, a tool to meet new people and support important causes, and a platform that could potentially allow us to redefine work and personal relationships forever.

To an extent, social media platforms have revolutionized the way we live and interact with others. Between 2006 and 2020, we’ve seen the rise and fall of dozens of platforms, with a few mainstays that have evolved over the years (for better and for worse). But where does social media go from here?

It seems like cultural attitudes toward social media are beginning to change, and if this trend continues, social media could feel the force of a full-fledged societal backlash. What would that mean for the future of social media? And how could this unfold?

Increased Attention on Social Media

Part of the reason that social media is getting more negative attention is because it’s being scrutinized more heavily. Some of this is due to social media platforms attracting more users and becoming more embedded in our daily lives; naturally, more impactful platforms tend to get more attention.

Casting doubt.

But this is also due to a growing number of experts, celebrities, and other high-profile individuals casting doubt on the idea that social media is doing good for our society.

As a recent example, the Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma has gotten significant attention for its insinuations that social media platforms are dividing us and making us miserable.

There have been hundreds of books published in the past few years studying the correlations between social media use and mental health issues. Millions of people, including reputable authorities, have pledged to delete their social media accounts, or claim to periodically “detox� by not using these social channels (or using them in different ways).

The social media scrutiny.

It’s also worth noting that social media companies are facing increased scrutiny from politicians and policymakers all over the world.

CEOs are being interrogated by members of Congress, and leaders across the globe are questioning whether it’s important to impose new limitations on what social media companies can do—or even nationalize these platforms.

…miserable!

Collectively, all this attention is making users more aware of the dangers and drawbacks of the platforms they use. And this isn’t exactly new information; if you talk to the people in your social circle who seem to use social media the most, they’ll likely acknowledge that it harms their mental health or makes them miserable, at least in some way.

The Issues With Social Media

There are a number of negative issues associated with social media, which users are becoming increasingly aware of. For example:

  • Depression, loneliness, and anxiety.Many people who use social media platforms excessively, or even regularly, suffer from mental health afflictions like loneliness, depression, and anxiety.

    There are many reasons for this. For example, social media tends to put pressure on people to keep up with their friends; images of people you know going out and having fun while you’re home alone can make you feel like you’re missing out, or that you’re unimportant.

    Similarly, social media newsfeeds tend to favor emotionally charged stories, making it more likely for you to read bad or infuriating news on your timeline, rather than seeing more positive stories.

    On top of that, social media gives you the illusion of connectedness, making you less likely to reach out to the important people in your life in meaningful ways.

  • Data privacy issues.

    Social media companies, especially Facebook, have been criticized for their lack of data privacy and lack of transparency and user control. For example, most social media platforms openly collect millions of data points on their users, selling them to advertisers as a way to generate revenue.The data-point-selling is why most social media platforms are free. But what happens when third-party apps can collect this information, or even more information on you, without your consent?

    You may have your profile set to private, but are you sure that other people or organizations can’t find meaningful data on you? Social media platforms have earned a reputation for neglecting privacy.

  • Censorship and information control.Social media companies also have the power to censor or remove stories they don’t like; they have some degree of control over the information that circulates on their platforms. In some ways, this is a good thing for users.

    For example, Google is known for penalizing sites that violate its terms of service, leading to search users having a better all-around experience when trying to find valuable content online (incidentally it’s one of the reasons rankings fluctuate frequently as well).

    Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms take a proactive role in removing content from circulation that could be harmful or disturbing to its users, such as violent or pornographic material.

    This is a form of censorship most people are fine with. But what about deliberately removing mentions of a story that could harm a favored political candidate?

  • Echo chambers and bubbles.Most of us have fallen into echo chambers and bubbles, whether we realize it or not. We tend to seek out and engage with like-minded people, who reinforce our opinions and our own worldviews.

    In small numbers, this isn’t a terrible consequence, but it can lead to increased polarization across society and lead to distorted facts and information.

  • Misinformation and disinformation.Speaking of inaccurate information, social media platforms are also rife with misinformation and disinformation. It’s incredibly easy to post and circulate “fake newsâ€� or misleading headlines on social media, and individuals and organizations all over the world use this to their advantage.

    Even if the story isn’t true, a circulating headline can do an incredible amount of damage if enough people see it.

  • Addiction potential.

    It’s also worth noting the potential for addiction, or at least compulsive behaviors associated with social media apps. Social apps tend to be designed in a way that encourages repetitive, or even constant use.There are bright red alerts and noisy notifications that demand your attention constantly. There is a never-ending infinite scroll of content to discover. And there are always new channels to find and new people to reach out to.

    In extreme cases, this can lead to tech addiction.

  • Use by children.Many adults have the maturity and cognitive potential to be aware of these issues and overcome them, but children may not be in a similar position.

    Increasingly, preteens and teenagers are using social media on a daily basis, and they’re being subjected to heightened versions of all these issues due to their vulnerabilities.

Can We Reach the Tipping Point?

Most of the issues listed above will be familiar to you, yet you probably still use at least one social media platform on a regular basis. What’s stopping you? Do you think you get more positive effects than negative effects when using this platform?

Or do you feel social pressure to keep using these apps because everyone else in your social circles are using them? Perhaps the tailored content is more meaningful there and other avenues are therefore lackluster?

What about the global social media scene?

Globally, social media user numbers aren’t declining; they’re increasing. And the more people using social media on a regular basis, the harder it is for any individual to voluntarily remove themselves from it.

That’s why, even though there are short-term pushes to “#deletefacebook� or “#deletetwitter,� these moments appear to be temporary. The waves of backlash a social media company can face are somewhat limited, because sooner or later, users want to come back and see what their friends or followed channels are saying.

Is there a way the backlash could grow so extreme and so powerful that it actually leads to a meaningful change?

After this long with the social media challenges—can there be a purposeful, worthwhile change??? We have to ask — is there even a chance that existing social media companies are capable to change how they operate or new social media companies rising to challenge the social media scene? That remains to be seen.

Facebook now has nearly 3 billion monthly active users, Instagram has more than 1 billion, and Twitter has more than 330 million. And many of those users, despite consciously acknowledging the drawbacks of these platforms, continue using them willingly, and following each change presented by the companies in charge of their management.

What’s Up?

Overall, despite increased attention on the negative aspects of social media and countless books, podcasts, and documentaries covering the topic, there probably won’t be a significant wave of backlash to put increased pressure on social media companies.

That said, if these problems get worse before they get better — it could motivate action.

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4 Principles for Salespeople to Access the Flow of Elite Athletes

sales in flow state

There are enormous gains still to be had in sales performance. I am sure you agree; salespeople are athletes. For instance, everyday salespeople step into a world where all that matters is performance. If an elite athlete such as Tiger Woods labeled his tools as short of very effective and said that he only spent 23% of his time was spent on golf-related activities, there would likely be a massive shake-up in his environment. Our startup *Touch is on a mission to transform the status quo.

Two staggering statistics make it clear that there are issues in the sales field. We need to get salespeople back into flow.

  1. Just 15% of salespeople describe their sales tools as very effective.
  2. 77% of a salesperson’s day is spent not selling.

How can we expand sales performance?

First, it really helps to understand peak performance before you aim to make improvements.

Peak performance is a state that is also known as apeak experience, the zone of optimal functioning and flow. (Brain performance center – a literature review.)

Secondly, there are a few useful questions leaders and salespeople should start asking themselves. It’s critical to become curious about creating a peak performance environment for salespeople:

  • Where and with whom can we observe this state being accessed most often?
  • What are the conditions and factors that create this state?
  • What is currently blocking salespeople from reaching this state?

Understanding and implementing the conditions for peak performance in your own life — in particular the concept of flow — will help your sales ability and many other business related issues.

Observe elite athletes that understand flow.

Tiger Woods and other elite athletes describe the state or experience of flow (or being in the zone) extremely well.

Tiger Woods, Golfing Legend describing being in the zone – watch a video.

“I tend to have these blackout moments when I don’t remember, I know I was there, but I don’t actually rememberperforming the golf shot. The mind gets so entrenched at the moment; I guess my subconscious takes over.”

“Who knows what the terminology is, but there are many putts or many shots where I don’t remember hitting. I remember the ball flight, I remember preparing for the shot and once I hit the shot I don’t remember the ball leaving. It’s a weird sensation. The more intense the situation gets the more calmer I feel the more things slow down. For some reason, the last few holes take forever, but they may be happening a lot faster. A lot of times I don’t hear the noise, I don’t hear anything. I become so enthralled in that particular moment, hitting a shot, performing a task being mentally prepared for that shot. It’s almost as if I get out of the way.”

It is likely after watching this video or reading the transcript you can wind back to times where you experienced this state in your career, hobbies, or social life.

Athletes have long known being in flow is the key to their performance, and we should learn what we can from them.

Delving deeper into the concept of Flow.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is known as the ‘The godfather of flow’ and describes the state as follows:

A state in which people are so immersed in an activity that nothing else matters. One is so happily absorbed in what they are doing, that their thoughts and actions flow freely.

Interestingly, his research and findings led him to see that flow seems to occur most frequently in athletes. Other researchers like Jackson and Marsh (1996) further describe the flow state as:

A situation where personal skills equal or exceed the required challenges of the sport, and this experience is perceived as enjoyable, free from distractions, and typically leads to overall good performance.

In the Sales Industry with much talk of positive thinking — obscenely large goal setting, and forcing action (The 5 am club) in Salespeople to achieve results — generally — this concept flies in the face of the concept of flow.

Flow is critical to sales performance.

There is an enormous variance of performance in sales — much like sports. Sport is an industry that has high failure rates and requires deep psychological resilience. And like Al Pacino reminds us in the film Any Given Sunday, it’s “the inches that make the yards.”

Marginal gains can be the difference between the average and the elite increases in sales, as well.

Achieving the state of flow consistently has the potential to unlock massive positive changes in Salespeople. In general, humans are all inclined toward experiences that promote happiness, creativity, and productivity; achieving a flow state just represents a natural objective of life.

One thought that arises, with the amount of money spent on self-development and growth within the Sales Industry, it’s surprising how few out there talk about the concept of flow.

Sales leaders need to understand the Challenge/Skills Matrix.

Consider great mentors of elite athletes like Butch Harmon, Pep Guardiola, and Phil Jackson. Is it likely to hear them draw focus on wild goals or focus on one game/shot at a time? To focus on just trying harder or increasing the efficiency of the body and equipment?

At the core of the principle of achieving flow is the Challenge/Skill balance. Leaders of top athletes understand the challenge and skill balance. It is far more subtle than most sales ideologies that encourage you to set or attract wild goals.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has discovered from his 40 years of study how the skills/challenge matrix affects performance and flow. If you are presented with a highly mismatched challenge with the skill set, see below the results of this.

 

 

(source –https://uxdesign.cc/getting-into-the-flow-what-does-that-even-mean-58b16642ef1d)

Take some time to look at this and think about the goals you or your sales team have in mind.

Sales leaders and salespeople need to think of the Skills/Challenge matrix as a critical mechanism for achieving flow. Achieving goals then becomes a byproduct of being in flow more consistently. We need to make sure we move sales teams away fromfeelings of anxiety and boredom and towards those associated with flow.

The 3 pre-requisite conditions for being in flow.

Thankfully, due to the extensive research, tools and learning are available for salespeople to understand the conditions to access the flow state:

  1. Clarity of goal and immediate feedback.
  2. A high level of concentration on a limited field.
  3. The balance between skills and challenge.

If a salesperson is in flow, they experience these beautiful benefits.

  1. Effortlessness – The greatest athletes look effortless and so should salespeople. Over time every unit of energy poured in should produce additional output.
  2. The Feeling of Control – A state of security and relaxation in the sales environment. Confidence that you will take the right action in any situation presented.
  3. An altered perception of time – The prefrontal cortex, parts of the brain associated with time, inner voice, ego become less active. This creates the time distortion experienced when in a state of flow.
  4. The union of action and consciousness – Feeling at one with your sales performance, there is no thinking involved, the inner voice quiets, and you trust actions to take place.
  5. Love of the process – You will love the process of seeking the goal as much as the achievement of the goal itself.

Here are the 4 principles that you need to adapt to perform like an elite athlete.

Principle 1 – An immersive sales stack

The definition of IMMERSIVE is – “characterized by deep absorption or immersion in something (such as an activity or a real or artificial environment).”

The term “immersive experience� refers to pulling a person into a new reality, enhancing their everyday life (by making it more engaging or satisfying) via technology.

High performers are in immersive environments. Unfortunately, the salesperson is removing themselves from flow and peak performance as their sales stack may not be fit for purpose.

There are 3 major factors that are taking almost all salespeople out of flow on a daily basis:

  • Some salespeople hate CRM’s as they can reduce speed and efficiency.
  • The explosion in the requirement for data entry/CRM hygiene from management.
  • Managing multiple communication and productivity software applications.

The average salesperson spends most of the day not, approximately 77%. Thus, it’s critical to spend time procuring your sales stack to optimize for immersion.

Principle 2 – Find and remove distractions.

To create immersion, you first to remove distractionsions. From many research bodies into the subject of focus and productivity, it’s clear distractions lower the quality of work and increase the error rate. To reach a state of flow, you need digital minimalism.

A salesperson needs access to all tools instantly. Currently, salespeople work from multiple channels, the CRM and productivity apps creating too much distraction in their day.

Leaders need to make sure that salespeople clearly know what the next action is in every workflow and it’s accessible instantly. Investing time, money, and training to ensure that the sales stack enables superfast workflows with minimal energy expended is a priority.

Principle 3 – Find a way to measure flow.

Measuring if their salespeople are in a state of flow should be a part of the performance management process. From this measure and an understanding of the factors that affect the state of their teams’ flow, they can then tweak levers. This allows salespeople to achieve the state more often.

Many flow-based questionnaires offer an assessment of how often you are accessing the state of flow. I am a fan of the Flow Genome Project and their questionnaire; you can use it to understand your flow profile and implement steps to access the state faster.

From this critical information, you will naturally brainstorm ideas to adjust your sales stack, environment, and culture to optimize for flow.

Principle 4 – Focus on Jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) speed.

What is JTBD?

Jobs-to-be-done was a concept created by Clayton Christensen back in 2003 and has become refined by Anthony Ulwick in a more recent book, surprisingly titled“Job to be Done.�

Ulwick defines a job-to-be-done as a task, goal, or objective a person is trying to accomplish — or a problem they are trying to resolve. These jobs can be functional, emotional, or associated with product consumption.

The efficiency in how a person completes a JBTD is critical to their performance.

Watching Athletes at the highest level, whether that’s Roger Federer playing tennis, David Beckham taking a free-kick, or Tiger Woods driving, you will notice the effortless efficiency. Extreme amounts of force and power are generated, pushing the limits of what the human body is capable of.

Thinks as an F1 engineering team does for their driver.

 

 

Being efficient is essentially “taking the shortest path toward attaining the desired goals.� Two, in other words, it describes the number of outputs gained from a given input.

Efficiency = output/input

If you increase your efficiency, you get more output for every unit of energy you spend. Here is our definition:

The time it takes to complete a workflow, without any sacrifice of quality at all.

This is JTBD speed and it’s critical to access or remain inflow. All workflows related to your performance should feel almost instantaneous, but this is not the case right now for most Salespeople.

Conclusion

It’s time to bring flow to the world of salespeople. There is a natural and deep-seated need for humans to experience happiness, creativity, and productivity and flow is the way to meet this need.

Whether you are a salesperson or a salespeople leader, it’s critical to understand the issue of flow further. When you gain a deeper understanding, you can not only transform sales performance of yourself and your company — but you will change the entire experience of any task you decide to undertake in your life.

Top Image Credit: fede roveda; pexels

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How to Get Maximum Social Media Exposure by Scheduling Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

social media marketing

Do you know the best times to post in social media marketing? Has COVID-19 caused a drop in your engagement rate or the number of followers? It’s essential to be scheduling your posts and doing your social media marketing — especially during the coronavirus outbreak.

Digital marketing on social media.

Traditional methods of advertising and reaching out to potential customers have changed by the internet.

Digital marketing has opened a new window for businesses by which they can easily target their audiences. Now, social media is king in the world of digital marketing and is the best way of building brand awareness.

Of course, being successful in social media marketing is not easy. Getting organic followers, increasing the engagement rate, generating leads, and boosting sales need time, effort, expertise, and even money.

Countless marketers across the world are promoting their brands on all social media platforms. There is a hot competition in getting the attention of social users. So you need to perform efficiently to get ahead of the competition.

One of the most important factors in improving the results of social media marketing is posting times.

Why scheduling?

A consistent and efficient social media presence is essential for all businesses and marketers. If you want to be remembered, you need to constantly show your message to the public.

Even social media influencers who want to be recognized by niche audiences try to be constantly active. But remember, it doesn’t mean that the more posts, the better!

If you post too often, not only will you not get acceptable results, but your audience might also be bothered, and stop following you.

In fact, you have to find the best times to post on social media so that you can get maximum exposure.

Different social networks have various peak usage times. Some platforms are used mostly during business work hours, but others are often popular outside working times. Peak times also change by location and the type of industry so it’s important for both global and local businesses to post timely.

Most social users won’t take the time to check all posts in their timeline. So, you need to post exactly when they’re online to put your content right in front of them. If you want to get as higher engagement rates as possible, you don’t have a choice but to post at peak times.

COVID-19 and social media marketing.

COVID-19 has led to the greatest financial crisis in recent years. Lockdowns and social distancing regulations have cut the income of the majority of businesses, especially those that need a physical presence in workplaces.

Even influencers in such niches have faced a significant drop in followers or engagement rates. Many of them have decided to trade their accounts or offer unprecedented discounted prices.

Since people #Stay_at_Home more than any time in the past, the usage of social media has increased. Experts claim that marketers should make the most out of this change to increase their social presence and build their brand identity.

Of course, sales for many products and services, especially unnecessary ones, have decreased. But social media marketing can reduce the financial losses of companies or at least help them maintain their identity in the digital world.

Different scheduling for posting is a must during such a crisis and this is exactly what I’m going to say in the following sentences.

The best times to post before and after the corona crisis.

As we said earlier, optimum scheduling depends on your industry, location, platform, etc. For example, Later.com has offered this general scheduling by analyzing more than 12 million Instagram posts.

Scheduling
Best posting times.

Of course, other platform’s results will lead to a different time table. Many references like Later, Sprout Social, and Crowdfire have suggested new sets of posting times with a very slight difference.

Here are the optimum posting times for different platforms before and after the outbreak of COVID-19:

Facebook

Before the corona crisis, the optimum time for posting on Facebook was at 10-11 a.m. and 12-13 on Wednesday. Wednesday was actually the best day of every week to post with peak visits.

That’s now changed to 9-10 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Generally, 10 a.m. on each day of every week is the peak time and is best for interaction.

Instagram

Analyzers have observed a similar trend on Instagram. Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Friday between 10-11 a.m. were the best times to post.

But during the COVID-19 pandemic, Monday, Tuesday, and Friday at 11 a.m. and also Tuesday at 2 p.m. are best to post on Instagram.

As you can see, Instagram users have also stretched out their usage and this is an opportunity for Instagram marketers.

Twitter

There has been less change in Twitter’s optimum posting times in surveys compared to Facebook and Instagram. The current peak time for posting on Twitter is Friday between 6-9 a.m. Before the pandemic, the optimum time was 9 a.m. on Wednesday and Friday.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn might seem a bit different since it’s a professional social network used by employers, marketers, engineers, and managers. As a result, it’s mostly used in work hours.

The best time for posting on LinkedIn was between 10-11 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

But, the best times during the pandemic are Wednesday at 3 p.m., Thursday between 9–10 a.m., and also Friday from 11 a.m. till the night.

Best social media scheduling tools during the pandemic.

Thanks to smartphones, there is a tool for everything out there. Scheduling on social networking sites is no exception and there are a handful of tools for this purpose.

Here are 6 top social media scheduling tools:

AgoraPulse

You can easily schedule your posts, get results, and engage with your audiences with this simple tool. Agora Pulse is being used by more than 17,000 social media marketing managers each day.

Various scheduling options have made it a popular tool to schedule, repurpose, queue, or upload content.

AgoraPulse

Hootsuite

When you combine all your marketing campaigns on one single dashboard, everything will be possible for you.

Hootsuite allows you to schedule and posts your content to several channels simultaneously. You can also track the results in real-time and find your best-performing posts.

Hootsuite

Buffer

As they say on their website, they’re more than just a scheduling software.

They claim that Buffer can offer you useful features to beat the algorithm. You can devise a plan and schedule your Instagram Stories using both the website and the mobile application.

Hashtag Planner, Shop Grid, and Instagram Tagging are other features of Buffer.

Buffer

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is trusted by more than twenty thousand brands and organizations worldwide.

It’s a unique brand in customer service in the world so you can definitely build and maintain your relationships using it.

Planning, organizing, scheduling, and delivering content using cross-network publishing is a great feature Sprout Social offers you.

Sprout Social

Crowdfire

Crowdfire is another social media management tool covering top social platforms. It’s also the first social management tool that supports TikTok in its dashboard.

Crowdfire offers both manual and automated scheduling keeping a queue of posts to be shared at the optimal times.

Later

Although Later allows you to post to various social platforms, its main focus is on Instagram. You just need to upload an image to Later and then decide about the caption to be posted on Instagram.

You can easily plan your Instagram posts for the next week just within 20 Minutes. A visual content calendar is an easy-to-use feature on this app by which you can start scheduling Instagram posts in minutes.

Also, it shows you a preview of your feed before publishing.

Takeaway

Now that you know the changes in posting times, you can enhance your social presence accordingly. Remember that the engagement rate is much more important compared to the number of posts or even the number of followers. The best time for engagement is right after posting.

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Why PewDiePie Sees New Opportunities in Live Video’s New Features

PewDiePie live video

PewDiePie is coming back to YouTube. The Swedish video star, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, was once the platform’s biggest creator. He left in 2019, taking his live videos to rival upstart DLive. Here is why PewDiePie sees new opportunities in live video’s new features.

PewDiePie has had a volatile relationship with Google’s video property.

Accusations of anti-Semitism and racism in his video content led to an advertiser backlash, prompting YouTube to temporarily remove ads from his channel. Dlive, a blockchain-powered video site, had promised him a fairer payment system and higher rewards.

So what brought him back? Why would one of the world’s biggest influencers leave a platform that now gives him complete freedom and a full 75 percent revenue-share? Why would he go back exclusively to a site that’s shown a willingness to exert control and even cut off ad revenues if it doesn’t like his jokes?

The simple answer is likely to be that YouTube will give him more money.

On Dlive, PewDiePie had attracted 822,000 followers. On YouTube, his account had more than 102 million subscribers. Even with a higher revenue share, PewDiePie would have been earning much less on the blockchain site than he could make on YouTube.

But money wasn’t the reason that PewDiePie cited. Instead, he argued that both he and YouTube were putting more investments in live streaming. “Live-streaming is something I’m focusing a lot on in 2020 and beyond,â€� he said, “so to be able to partner with YouTube and be at the forefront of new product features is special and exciting for the future.â€�

Live streaming offers a number of benefits that aren’t available to recorded video.

Live streaming has an urgency — a live video is only live once. It’s interactive: viewers can ask questions and make comments that the broadcaster can answer during the stream. And it’s a format that platforms like Netflix and Hulu just can’t offer. Brands, even personal brands like PewDiePie, can use live streaming to attract an engaged audience and interact with it in real-time.

YouTube is now in the process of rolling out new features that will help live video streamers.

Content creators can separate audience figures, allowing them to see how many people watched a video live and how many saw it after the recording was uploaded. Smart replies, like suggested responses in Gmail, let broadcasters shoot back thanks to compliments in the comment stream while they broadcast.

The Live Control Room, which launched officially late last year, makes it easy for streamers to create highlight reels and track viewer activity.

All of those features are useful but when it comes to live video, YouTube isn’t the only game in town, and even those new features won’t give it an edge.

Viewers are more accustomed to interacting with others on social media platforms than they are on a video platform like YouTube.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Facebook has seen a 50 percent increase in live video audiences as people stuck at home look for real-time interaction. The company will soon let people watch live videos without a Facebook account. The options will include automatic closed captioning and digital tipping, and provide toll-free phone numbers for charity streams.

There’s more in Live Video!

Other companies have gone even further — to everyone’s delight. Be.Live, a third-party provider, lets streamers on both Facebook and YouTube brand their broadcasts. You can highlight comments and questions on the screen, and even promote specific products. Think: complete with pictures, description, and price — and you have a general idea.

Live streaming has always had a value that recorded video just can’t match.

No other format lets audiences interact with broadcasters in real-time, ask questions, influence content, and engage with creators. At a time when live concerts are out of bounds, live videos are the closest audiences can currently get to a real-time event.

It’s no wonder that both YouTube and Facebook are investing in this format — and it’s no wonder that PewDiePie is looking for the platform that will give him the biggest live audience.

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