Last month ScribbleLive set up shop at the 2015 ClickZ Live Conference in Toronto, a cutting-edge digital marketing expo that provides the latest tips, tricks, and tools to help companies and brands enhance their marketing campaigns. The conference brings some of digital marketing’s biggest names together, including Anastassia ‘Stacey’ Boguslavskaya of ShopBake.com.
Anastassia is the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at ShopBake.com where she helps connect bakeries with customers and “develops global ventures that profit from an effective, online presence.” With almost a decade of experience crafting innovative and successful digital marketing strategies, Anastassia is well versed in what it takes to be at the top of your game in today’s evolving content marketing landscape.
At the conference Anastassia spoke on creating loyalty and community through Instagram and how to develop content that works with an integrated social campaign across channels. Jen Taylor, Content Specialist at ScribbleLive, caught up with Anastassia after her talk to discuss brand awareness, understanding your audience, mistaking views for engagement, and the challenges behind defining ‘modern’ marketing. Below we’ve compiled this interview into several actionable tips for content marketers looking to boost customer loyalty and understand the modern marketing landscape.
1. Keep Up With How Consumers Are Using Social Channels
How are people using new social channels (such as Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram) to connect with customers? Do you think blog posts, Facebook, and Twitter are being phased out? Is ‘traditional’ advertising dead?
“I don’t think they’re being phased out but I do think the way that brands are communicating is changing because customers, or potential customers, are changing what they want to consume,” explains Anastassia. For Anastassia, thought leaders and influential bloggers are still very relevant in the marketing sphere. It’s important to feature content on sites that have become trusted sources of information in a specific field or realm. Anastassia uses the example of “Mommy brands” to illustrate this point. If you’re selling products to Moms “you’re going to go find some good Mommy bloggers.” However, “the Mommy bloggers shouldn’t be talking about your brand” instead these bloggers should be positioning your product or service as “the solution to the problem they’re having.” For Anastassia, specific channels aren’t necessarily being phased out, they’re just evolving in response to consumer’s tastes and needs.
In a highly visual culture, “I think there’s still a lot of power in the written word,” responds Anastassia. Even though she primarily pushes visual content when she talks about marketing, Anastassia still sees value in more ‘traditional’ forms of advertising. “It’s just tweaked a little bit,” explains Anastassia. “So for example, if you think about news and articles – these news articles are written but [now] they also have a short video that comes with the article that sort of gives you the gist of what’s going on, and then, if you didn’t get enough [information] in that video, you can read on.” For Anastassia, marketers should be thinking about tweaking or changing the way we approach ‘traditional’ mediums. Instead of eliminating it from our marketing toolbox, we should question how it’s being used.
2. Raise Brand Awareness With Visual Content
What strategies do you use to connect with customers at ShopBake.com? How often do you update your social channels? How do you negotiate quantity versus quality when publishing content?
ShopBake.com specializes in the sale of baked goods and treats, a product that is typically only consumed when people either have a special event or a craving. Baked goods are typically not “top of mind,” explains Anastassia, “so what we’re trying to do in our strategy is to visually push out content that makes ShopBake and the product that we’re pushing top of mind.” For example, ShopBake takes advantage of certain events, such as National Donut Day, to push out visual content on their social media channels. They also provide information, such as this infographic explaining the difference between a macaron and a macaroon, on baking-related topics. This content does not overtly encourage people to use ShopBake, but it does help plant the seed in their mind. “It’s a lot of visual content that stimulates a consumer’s taste buds…and eyeballs to want and to crave something.”
Visual social media channels are especially useful right now as ShopBake is currently going through a transitional period explains Anastassia. “We have a website but we’re going through a website redesign…and we’re trying not to send as much traffic to our site for the next two to three months. So what we’re doing is, instead of posting things that are going to bring people back to the site, we’re posting things that are going to build up our brand and make our presence online represent our vision and our mission.” The goal is to use visual content to raise brand awareness so that ShopBake comes to mind when people are looking to find a birthday cake or a treat for an event. “So it’s not about like quantity or quality, it’s more about really getting our brand to be recognized,” explains Anastassia, “and have a clear vision so people understand exactly what it is.”
3. Don’t Mistake Views For Engagement
What are the top challenges facing marketers today?
For Anastassia, “the number one challenge that all marketers are facing today is to not only get eyeballs on their marketing or their brand, but to actually get people to care.” Anastassia doesn’t just want the audience’s attention, she wants them to become active, and “do something.” Getting someone to watch your video or view your Instagram photo is easy in Anastassia’s opinion. “But what’s not easy is for them to actually care and do something. So if you posted a video that asks them to go and get off the couch, go to the store, pick up this item, do something about it – that’s the hard part,” explains Anastassia. “It’s not just [about] the amount of views.”
“There’s so much content and so much stuff being pushed at us that at the end of the day, it could just go in one ear and come out the next. And you might count that as engagement or you might count that as a view or you might count that as something.” But is it really engagement?, asks Anastassia. “Are they actually going to go and buy your product or go and tell their friends about how awesome your product is?
4. Social Media And Content Marketing Go Hand In Hand
Do you think social media and content marketing are two different spheres or are they colliding?
“Personally, I think some of the best campaigns that I’ve seen are integrating social media and content marketing together,” explains Anastassia. “So they’re using maybe some call to actions on Instagram and on Twitter…but they are also using some content in order to dig deeper.”
Realistically, “you might get 2 million people to see your video. Out of those 2 million people let’s say 300,000 of them then go look at your Instagram, and then from those 300,000 say only 1000 end up going to this article that you wrote for your website. Well, those people who are actually going the extra step to the content, those are the people who are most likely going to be your loyal fans, and followers, and really promote your brand.” For this reason, Anastassia believes that a good marketing strategy should incorporate both social media and content marketing.
5. A ‘Modern’ Marketer Gets To Know Their Audience
What defines a modern marketer in our new technological landscape? Would you consider yourself to be a modern marketer?
“It’s a very hard question to answer,” replies Anastassia. While completing her Masters in Digital Marketing, the Director changed the program’s title to simply, ‘Marketing,’ Anastassia recalls that some of her colleagues were upset, but the head of the program explained that the motivation behind the name change was due to the fact that today all marketing incorporates some type of digital component.
For Anastassia, a modern day marketer is not someone who is necessarily just digital – “it’s a person who is keeping up with what their target or their consumers are doing, what they’re potentially going to be doing in the near future, where they’re engaging, and what content they’re consuming.” Anastassia is also careful to point out that a modern marketer isn’t just using Snapchat and Instagram because they’re trendy – they use the mediums and social channels that make sense for their product or brand. Even if new technologies or social channels don’t fit within the scope of a specific target or aren’t utilized in a brand’s marketing strategy, “they’re still a modern day marketer in my opinion.”
When asked what social channels Anastassia uses most often for ShopBake.com’s marketing strategy, Anastassia responds without hesitation – “Right now, Instagram.” “I think that Instagram and Pinterest are two of the [social channels] where we’re seeing the most engagement, so those are the ones that we’re putting a lot more effort and time into.” Anastassia also puts a significant amount of time into Facebook, but she typically sees more people sharing ShopBake’s products and images on Pinterest and Instagram. “We’re a very visual brand, so we do have blogs where we feature our bakeries or [offer] customers different recipes,” explains Anastassia, but the primary focus is to build an image of ShopBake in the consumer’s mind before the company launches their new website.
Is your brand evolving to add content marketing into your marketing funnel? Contact us to learn how ScribbleLive can help!