Five Ways to Slack and Get More Work Done

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Clear communication has always been a challenge for work teams. Especially since everyone seems to have a preferred method of connecting and sharing. How can integrated marketing teams communicate more clearly and efficiently with each other?

Transparency and openness within a group can be difficult to maintain. If you work as part of a team, whether remotely or in an office, threads of conversations can become scattered and hard to track. Files and attachments get misplaced or difficult to locate.

That’s where Slack comes in handy. Slack is a top-rated, cloud-based social network for mobile and desktop use (iOS and Android) designed specifically for work teams. The app (in both free and paid versions) brings all your communication together in one place with real-time messaging, archiving, and integrated search.

Here are five good reasons for integrated marketers and social-media mavens to Slack at work, as adapted from a list by FooPlugins.

1) Keep All Project Messages In One Place
Slack messages happen in one place and can be grouped by topic or project into channels. Team members can be assigned to as many channels as needed. A “Slackbot” automated tool helps users by offering tips on how to use the service, and doubles as a personal notepad.

2) Integrate With Third-Party Services
Slack works with many of the web-based services you may already use, including Twitter and others. More than 70 different integrations are possible, along with the ability to customize your own. File is easily done with Dropbox.

3) Search For Stuff
Say you suddenly need a file attachment and you can’t remember who sent it. Slack scan filter and searches limited to messages from one person, a single channel, or other options.

4) Message Individuals and Groups
Open, transparent team communications is helpful. But some messages don’t need to be shared with everyone. Slack also makes it easy to share private one-on-one messages and files.

5) Go Mobile
Slack also offers a mobile app version for iOS. To get started, open a free Slack account and invite members of your project team. For a nominal per user fee, you can upgrade to a paid account which provides more features.

Can Slack Really Help You Work Smarter?
In a word: Yes, if ‘smarter’ includes getting more done in less time. In its list of 25 Best Apps for Small Business Owners in 2016, NerdWallet said, “Slack users saw 48.6% fewer internal emails and held 25.1% fewer meetings after installing and using the app, leading to a 32% overall increase in productivity, according to a company survey.”

Now Slack just has to watch out for Facebook, which is hot on its heels with the introduction of Facebook Workplace.

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Using Data to Make Video Marketing More Powerful and Relevant

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If you’re on the fence about adding video content to your marketing mix, it’s time to scurry over to where the grass is much, much greener:

With results like that, it’s no surprise that 87% of online marketers use video content – a number that rises to a staggering 96% among B2B marketers.

Integrated marketers understand that when it comes to video, the “if you build it, they will come” days are over. Creating compelling video content doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult.
Hosting services like Vimeo or YouTube, supply more than just views and other basic metrics. They also provide in-depth viewer and behavioral data you can use to inform and fine-tune future video messaging.

Engagement Data Helps You Fine-tune the “What”

Switch Video CEO Brandon Houston warns that view counts only reveal a fraction of the story – this metric doesn’t tell you how many people only watched five seconds of your video and how many people played it until the end. Engagement figures can tell you which portions draw the most eyeballs and which gets skipped, so you can develop your new content accordingly.

Similarly, play rate reveals the percentage of users who find your video on an external page and press play. It’s an indicator of interest, and analyzing this number can help you determine where to place your video and what to use for a splash screen (i.e., the image and the player controls).

Narrowing in on the “Who” and “Where”

Demographic data reveals information that can help local businesses refine their content or rethink where their videos appear. If you sell nationally, this valuable information can help you develop targeted marketing campaigns.

More Powerful Ways to Measure “How Many”

To gain deeper analytic insight, look at enhanced services such as Vidyard, Wistia, or Sprout. Besides seamlessly hosting your videos, some of these services also integrate with your email marketing.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Switch Video’s Houston advises to “always be creating” content to keep your customers engaged and your message fresh. Keeping metrics in mind, successful integrated marketers can “always be creating” the content that doesn’t just get more views, but targets and engages your customers and best prospects.

Five Cardinal Signage Sins and How You Can Avoid Them

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Signage in a retail store is essential: signs help create a unified experience, promote merchandise and guide every phase of the physical customer journey. Getting it right can give an integrated marketer’s business a big boost, while getting it wrong can cost you sales (and even customers). Make sure you’re not committing any of these five signage sins:

Keep Employee Signs Hidden From Customers

Have you ever been seated at a restaurant and then the family next to you starts arguing loudly? That’s what it feels like for customers when they see signs directing employee behavior, dress code, and conduct – and it can undermine customers’ faith in the store. The Retail Doc recommends placing signs discreetly in areas that are off-limits to customers.

Match the Sign to the Merchandise

When it comes to reading signs, customers are scanners who don’t always read the fine print. Make sure the sign syncs up to what’s being offered, and avoid having to make price adjustments when you discover a $19.99 sign was sitting atop a stack of expensive gaming consoles.

Go Easy on the Entrance Signage

The signs on your storefront or entryway should be simple and enticing, with no more than a name, phone number, and hours. And this first impression really counts: in one study, 79% of participants thought they could judge the quality of a business by its signage.

Don’t Recycle Branded Signage

It may seem tempting to reuse an old POP or display, as many of them are colorfully designed and built with high-quality materials. But unless you’re restocking with more of the same, you risk mashing up branding from different products and thus, confusing your customers. Instead, consider investing in a cost-effective custom display. Check out this list of the top 50 POP producers, as rounded up by the experts at Creative.

Keep Signage Current

As a savvy integrated marketer, you know it pays to try new things – like a new logo or color palette. If you make the effort to refresh your branding, carry it through everywhere, including your signage, or you’ll dilute the impact of your brand.

Brush Up On Your Sign Language

It’s true that retail signage is a science, but that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult. For inspiration, read up on essential signs for your business, and winning signage—a must-read even if you don’t have a public-facing retail store.

Beat Idea Fatigue with These 4 Easy Video Marketing Tips

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If recent research is accurate, video marketing is hotter than anyone is letting on.

For example, 96 percent of the 350 B2B integrated marketers and others polled say they currently engage in video-content marketing; 73 percent agree that video has ‘positively impacted’ their results. Sixty percent of marketers and SMB owners interviewed by Animoto call video next year’s ‘must-have’ marketing tactic.

Video, therefore, is definitely a thing. And will grow into an even bigger thing as time goes on.

Keeping Up With Content Demands

The problem is that even highly motivated integrated marketers, sold on video’s many virtues, may struggle with creating a regular, ongoing stream of engaging and watchable content.

One solution? Be brave and branch out.

“If you’re not experimenting with video, you’re simply sitting on the sidelines watching the big game unfold,” observes veteran digital marketer Barry Feldman, writing for MarketingProfs.com.

By ‘experimenting’ Feldman means using resources you already have to economically create ongoing streams of fresh new video. To that end, he offers these and other tips (21 in all) in a detailed infographic featured with his article.

Big Idea: Put Employees on Camera

Sounds obvious, right? But who should it be and what should they say? It depends on your objective, Feldman suggests.

Tip 1) Share and Educate. Subject matter experts (SMEs) are people who, who through experience, longevity or training know more about a subject than anyone else. Put your SMEs on camera and let them share tips, tools and techniques that will interest or benefit your audience.

Tip 2) Lift the Veil. To create or deepen connections, try creating a ‘day in the life’ video montage of a team, department or individual staff member. It’s a fun and inclusive way to humanize your organization.

Big Idea: Involve and Showcase Customers

Tip 3) Solicit Testimonials. Whether you’re a new or well-established company, many who buy from you are more than willing to provide a video testimonial—provided you’re meeting their needs, that is. Tradeshows and events that you mutually attend provide great opportunities for this. Often, all you have to do is ask.

Tip 4) Request UGC. Another way to involve customers in your business is by asking them for user-generated video content (UGC), which you can collect and curate by offering interactive surveys and contests.

Feldman reminds businesses that audiences love videos because they’re engaging and easy to consume, and that simple, down-to-earth spots often beat slick high-budget productions for demonstrating transparency and authenticity.

“Millions of budget-conscious small businesses are making effective marketing videos [and] the truth is that video is perfectly doable for any size business in any field—with any budget.”