The VPM Blog

How to Create an Effective Instagram Ad

Posted by Melissa Cook on Jun 6, 2018 8:01:00 AM

You’re scrolling through Instagram, looking at pictures of dogs or friends and family on vacation, and then all of a sudden, you see an image that makes you stop and take notice. It isn’t until you click on the profile or the image that you realize it was an ad.

Good or bad, effective or not, they exist, and their usage is on the rise. But why? For a few simple reasons:

  1. Instagram/Facebook Integration
    1. As a business, you can (and should!) integrate your Facebook and Instagram pages (read more on this below). This allows you to take previously curated audiences, interests, forms, etc., and carry them over into Instagram ads.
  2. Aesthetic and Organic Feel
    1. Instagram ads tend to perform better because they flow naturally in your audience’s feed. They don’t feel disruptive and if done right will appear as natural and organic content, and not an ad.
  3. Audience and Engagement Rates
    1. Did you know that 80% of Instagram users follow a business? That means your business is more likely to have high engagement rates with your ads. 

Think you’re ready to learn how to create an effective Instagram ad? Let’s get started!

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Topics: Social Media, Inbound Marketing, social media analytics

Content Creation: Creativity or Strategy?

Posted by Melissa Cook on Apr 30, 2018 9:30:00 AM

Content creation has changed drastically over the years, as have all things in marketing. And it’s not just the content that has changed, it’s the way it is crafted and presented. Here’s a quick example: In the Mad Men age, companies needed a creative to come up with a witty slogan, a risqué image to accompany it, and bada-bing, bada-boom, you have a 5-star ad and your content is ready to roll out for the general public to see. Fast forward to 2007, the year that Facebook ads were introduced. Now, companies no longer had to buy an expensive billboard and hope people saw it and called, (all while driving…) but could now meet their customers where they were. Radical, I know. Fast forward a little bit more to 2018. The average consumer now sees as many as 5,000 ads per day, and I guarantee that few stand out enough to make an impact. So, what’s changed? In 2007, Facebook ads changed the game, but now the game changers are you. That’s right, it’s that guy 2 cubicles down from you who takes the time to research the subject, determine buyer personas, creates a plan, and uses a mixture of strategy and creativity.

Content creation is no longer just for the creatives, but the strategists as well.

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Topics: Social Media Strategy, Inbound Marketing

Profits for Nonprofits: Inbound Marketing 101

Posted by Melissa Cook on Mar 20, 2018 5:00:00 AM

If you're a nonprofit or government-funded entity and I asked you what you are selling, could you answer? You might think practically and say tickets to get into a National Park or t-shirts to support a cause. You may even tell me that you aren’t selling anything and try to explain to me how a nonprofit works. Depending on how you answer, you are doing one of two things: 1) thinking too small or 2) ignoring the fact that everyone is selling something, whether you realize it or not.

Don’t believe me?

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

Don't Take December Off: Starting the First Quarter Strong

Posted by Nikki Butler on Dec 5, 2017 12:00:00 AM

 

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

What a Job in Inbound Marketing Can Teach You Regardless of Major

Posted by Melissa Cook on Nov 9, 2017 12:00:00 AM

As someone who has always answered the cliché “so what is your major” question with a sigh and a long explanation, I’m used to having to explain the value in having such an interdisciplinary major. For a little background on myself, I am studying Natural Resource Management, Communication, and Hunger Studies. (Which according to @CodyLunsford_ means I’m the mayor of Zootopia or a professional tree hugger with a few other things mixed in…) So where does marketing fit in? To most people, I would appear to be vastly underqualified to work in marketing as I have no formal education on it, but a job in social media and inbound marketing is about so much more than formal marketing education.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Internships

Why Your Business NEEDS to be on Facebook

Posted by Nikki Butler on Jul 25, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Finding the best platform to market your business on can be overwhelming with the vast selection of always expanding social media platforms available, but it is a proven fact that business owners who use social networking are on top. Especially those businesses who use Facebook and use it well. Facebook influences our daily lives. Whether it be for personal or for business purposes, it's always prominent, it promotes results, and the possibilities to generate leads are endless. If you don't want to take my word for it, here are just a few reasons why your business NEEDS to be on Facebook. 


1. Market access. 
Facebook grants you access to the largest social media market available. 

  • Over 2 billion monthly active users and growing. 
  • 1.15 billion mobile users daily who on average spend a total of 55 minutes on Facebook. 
  • Facebook is by far the most popular networking site with YouTube coming in at second place.
  • Facebook did a survey of adults in the US and found that people who use Facebook more than five times a day are more likely to be brand loyal. 

2. Results. Facebook produces positive results by putting your business in front of your clients and customers every single day. 

  • You can increase web traffic through ads and by regularly publishing engaging content. 
  • By setting up your business as a local business you can collect testimonials and reviews and embed them onto your business web page. 
  • You can manage your reputation by seeing what your customers or clients are saying about your business. It is easier to raise brand awareness and promote positive word of mouth when you know what is being said. 
  • Setting up your business page and engaging customers cost absolutely nothing and advertising is affordable. 
  • You can also use Facebook as a customer support/technical outlet, which will make your customers happy since it is more efficent and convenient for them. Also you can respond quickly to their questions and complaints. 

3. Facebook Insights. Insights is a powerful tool that helps  you track page performance and user interaction. It will break  down each of the following categories:

  • Demographics (Buyer Persona)
  • Page likes
  • Reach
  • Visits
  • Posts

4. SEO. Optimizing your business page for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will help you reach even more potential clients. 

  • Access to a larger audience sharing your content 
  • More exposure = more people clicking on links.
  • High CTR translates into increased traffic. 
  • Facebook can analyze all the information that millions of users enter into their profiles. You can pay to use this information    to help reach out to potential customers by knowing who your current audience is and target similar buyer personas. 
  • Google may be looking at social media as a sign of a  particular article's relevance and trustworthiness. 

 

Social media marketing helps businesses find new leads everyday. Facebook is a free tool everyone should take advantage of to help with their inbound marketing plan. If your business needs help in learning how to use social media to prospect and convert new leads, download our FREE eBook below.  

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Topics: Social Media, Inbound Marketing, Facebook

A Day in the Life: Junior Account Manager

Posted by Catherine Andrews on Jul 18, 2017 9:00:00 AM

It’s Monday morning and you wake up to find that you already have four work emails waiting for you. You decide to give them a glance before heading into the office, but only a glance because the work day hasn’t really started yet…right? Wrong. It’s a new day and your clients need you!

Welcome to a day in the life of a junior account manager.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

A Day in the Life: Community Manager

Posted by Melissa Cook on Jul 5, 2017 9:00:00 AM

According to adweek.com, the average person will spend 5 years of their lifetime on social media. Shocking? (Let's be honest, not really...) We all spend hours scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, watching YouTube videos, and laughing at memes, so what we consume matters. But who is the mastermind behind the content you are consuming? If you follow a business, or even a college or university, there is a good chance that the content you see is from a community manager.

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Topics: Social Media, Inbound Marketing, Content Building

Inbound Approach to Higher Ed

Posted by Nikki Butler on Jun 27, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Higher education has evolved. Traditional marketing is no longer producing results like it used to. While researching different marketing types, you come across Inbound Marketing. What is Inbound? It is a type of marketing that focuses on attracting customers through content and interactions by publishing the right content, in the right place, at the right time. Overall, making your marketing become relevant and helpful to your customers, rather than interrupting their lives. Inbound Marketing has been the proven methodology since 2006.

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Topics: Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing is a Marathon, not a Sprint

Posted by Don Crow on Jun 6, 2017 9:00:00 AM

If you've never run a marathon, and I have not, the whole thing seems like torture. The training, the diet, the race itself, and let's be real - the recovery - all seem like exercises in bodily pain all for the sake of a t-shirt.

Sprinting by comparison seems easy. You can see the start and finish line clearly, the other runners aren't stacked on top of one another, and you'll sometimes see runners - albeit well trained ones - sprint in several races per day.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

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