As a marketing agency representing a number of CPG (consumer packaged goods) brands, it’s vital we stay agile when crafting content, keeping our clients a cut above the rest. Through this series of blog posts, we’ll share our why behind creative tooling and how-tos to keep your creative process flowing.
It’s been a process finding the right tools for our team.
For one, there’s the commitment factor – you get the cheapest rates if you sign up for a year-long payment plan, but then you’re stuck with whatever you get. Good or not.
Obviously try (by free trial offers) before you buy, if it’s an option. But, we’re here to save you time and money.
Here’s the comprehensive list of tools we rely on for day-to-day management; social media planning, posting, and engaging; as well as reporting + the pros and cons behind each one.
Cloud-based spreadsheet program
We use it for:
Those looking to save time would benefit from using the additional programs listed below.
Kanban-style list-making application
We use it for:
If you need a place to store and share multiple drafts, Trello is a great asset. If you’re in need of a system where you can queue up posts weeks in advance and aren’t afraid to put a little money down, read on.
Project management system
We use it for:
Software app for managing, posting, & reporting across social media accounts
We use it for:
Sprout Social, $99-$249/month
Social media management software
We use it for:
Honorable Mention – Planoly
free resources online
We use it for:
There it is! A list of tools that we currently use for social media planning, execution, and client communication.
You may gather that Sprout Social is our favorite software – against Buffer, it does have a few additional features that we prefer.
For big-picture planning, a combination of Google Sheets, Trello, and Basecamp may serve your team best. If you have to pick just one, how about Google Sheets as it’s cheap, diverse, and collaborative.
With Turkey Day right around the corner, it’s time to execute a killer Black Friday, Cyber Monday (BFCM) marketing plan. That’s right – it’s not too late to improve upon any existing plans you have in the queue or start a campaign from scratch sourcing some inspo from the ideas we’ve collected for you below.
In any case, you need to take part in the sales madness to some extent: “In 2018 the average adult spent $483.18 over the shopping holiday, making a total spend across the US of $90.14 billion,” (Oberlo). Yeah, that’s a chunk of change.
Okay, time to share our favorite BFCM examples.
1. Promote Giving Tuesday Instead, Ivory Ella
Ivory Ella is an online for-profit clothing store affiliated with Save the Elephants, an organization specializing in wildlife conservation. So, it only makes sense for this cause-based brand to lean into Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday following Thanksgiving) rather than Black Friday.
For every customer who purchased a beanie on Giving Tuesday, Ivory Ella donated 100% of the proceeds towards buying coats for children in need. By holding their sale on a day outside of the Black Friday rush, the competition had certainly simmered down.
It’s awesome that this campaign reconnected their audience with the meaning of the season – giving! – while spreading the word about their brand. Users were encouraged to snap and share a photo wearing that hat online with the #GivingTuesday, seamlessly spreading the brand’s reach for the foreseeable future.
2. Create a Gift Guide, Trouva
“Gift guide themed emails see a 48% higher transaction rate than purely promotional emails,” (Campaign Monitor). This!
Put together a compelling gift guide based on any number of details, like gender, price point, or product color. Don’t forget to have fun with it to set your post apart from the crowd! Here’s a short list of some of our favorite gift guide titles from PopSugar:
Here’s an example from Trouva (a curated marketplace for brick and mortar independent shops) of a gift guide based on sustainable products.
They sent this email out with the subject line “Gifts with a Conscience.” A little serious, but clearly targeting an eco-minded audience.
It’s this idea of specificity paired with a curation model that differentiates Trouva’s platform and overall marketing efforts. And, with notable success: “[In 2018, Trouva] was recognised for the second year running as The Next Web’s Tech5 list of five fastest growing technology companies in the UK, as well as the 8th fastest in Europe, with revenue growth of 3,332 per cent over the past two years.”
3. Make a Statement, Cards Against Humanity
Okay – this one’s a little crazy, but hear us out!
Back in 2013, Cards Against Humanity took the opposite approach to BFCM. Instead of decreasing their prices, they increased them by $5 across the board.
“Amazon [was] hesitant, but green-lit the price-rise and sat back incredulous as the card game’s sales actually increased year-on-year. The ‘sale’ was widely shared on Twitter and Tumblr, was the top post on Reddit and was widely covered in news outlets the world over,” (Our Social Times).
CAH continued to profit off this absurdist approach: In 2016, they crowdsourced over $100k so they could dig a hole for as long as people could pay to keep the backhoe running.
In 2018, they had a 99% Off Sale: “Every ten minutes, a new deal will go live on this page. Don’t be frightened by the deals. Just click and let the savings wash over you.”
“The sale started off by offering 99% off of a twenty dollar bill, and then REALLY got creative. A 17th-century halberd, a slightly used car, a 30ft inflatable bald eagle, and a sort of “Royal Throne” soon followed the initial offer,” (IMPACT). Users actually bought and received these items – wild.
If it weren’t already obvious, CAH aren’t fans of Black Friday and would rather uplift anti-consumerist culture. This move ultimately fosters brand loyalty. So, don’t be afraid to go against the grain if you’ve got a niche audience or especially fun product line + service.
4. Time Is Running Out, Lou and Grey
It doesn’t take much to get your audience on the edge of their seats – convey a clear sense of urgency with a short-term + significantly discounted sale and the purchases will roll right in.
When it comes to emails, you can’t go wrong employing minimalist imagery + a dynamic element (see: this clock’s minute hand ticking away). Remember to be super intentional with what you draw attention to in this way – here, it is very clear that time is of the essence.
We recommend running a 3-day promo with a series of automated emails: Email 1, 72 hours prior (introduce your super short sale); Email 2, 48 hours prior (increase intensity of language); and Email 3, 12 hours left (harp on scarcity: “almost completely sold out of our stock, better hurry!”).
That’s it – four of our favorite BFCM campaigns! Did you have a favorite? Or, are you planning something totally different that you’d like our thoughts on? Shoot us a DM on Instagram sometime – we’d love to hear about it.
Looking for a little something more to fuel your BFCM marketing plan? We’ve got a guide to help you out from start to finish: check out our Black Friday, Cyber Monday Total Execution Plan now.
Earlier this year, Instagram announced a new tool for business-influencer collaborations: branded content ads. Now, “advertisers have the ability to promote creators’ organic branded content posts as feed and stories ads,” (Instagram Business).
We love this because –
As these ads appear across feeds and stories, people will see “Paid partnership with” along with the brand name on each post. This not only abides by FTC (Federal Trade Commission) guidelines, but adds an element of transparency which empowers users to knowingly support the influencers or brands of their choice.
“Influencer marketing works because it uses tactics like word-of-mouth marketing and social proof, which are now critical aspects of any successful marketing strategy. Customers trust their peers, friends, and people they admire more than the companies selling the products and services they buy and use.” (HubSpot)
Imagine this – you’re minding your own business, scrolling through your IG feed and two ads come up. One is a standard skincare ad with a SKU of beauty products. This is shortly followed by another skincare ad, but this one feature Chrissy Teigen – you love how authentic Chrissy seems online (her tweets are gold).
It’s a no brainer – the second ad resonates with you more. At best, you purchase the skincare product that Chrissy endorses. At least, you engage with the ad in some way, could be as simple as liking the post or clicking through.
This type of influential ad is much more likely to get your audience to engage in some way, which warms them up for a potential purchase in the future.
We’re excited this option is available. Already got an idea on how you’ll leverage it for your next influencer partnership or looking for advice on how to do so? Schedule a free strategy call with our team.