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Why You Should Be Integrating More Storytelling Into Your Strategy

Bold & Pop : Why You Should Be Integrating More Storytelling Into Your Strategy

We've all grown up listening to stories and as we grow older, we start to tell stories to connect and interact with others in our everyday lives. But we don't always do it when it comes to our brands! Here's the thing though, it's one of the best tools you can use when it comes to building a connection with and growing a community for your brand.

Just think about some of your favorite brands or business owners... Why are you drawn to them? Most likely because they're telling stories you can relate to. And this makes storytelling one of the most powerful connectors in life and it's no different when it comes to brands. 

There's a story behind the name of your company, what brought you to start your brand, the project you're working on, etc. which means there's always a story to share. These are the stories that build your brand and create strong genuine connections. They show the person (or in our case, people) behind the brand. People get to know your personality. They get an idea of what it's like to work with you. It brings that human element that brands so desperately need nowadays. 

For as long as Bold & Pop's been around, we've had notebooks, graphics, mugs, you name it with the term "get shit done" on them. And while that's fun, it has a little more meaning to us. You see, before starting Bold & Pop, we worked together and we used to call ourselves Team Get Shit Done (Team GSD for short). So one day, we decided to share that little tidbit on Instagram and made so many new and stronger connections with our followers! 

As you can see, you don't always have to share a big deep story. You can make connections with something short and sweet too. But there are definitely a few things to keep in mind when it comes to successful storytelling for your brand. 

Grab their attention right up front

Since storytelling typically requires a longer than usual post (especially on social media), you want to make sure you grab your audience's attention in the first sentence or two. There's nothing worse than starting to read a post only to want to take a snooze. Hook them immediately so they want to continue reading (and keep coming back for more). This may be getting right to the point or saying something a little controversial. It's totally up to you and your brand how you grab their attention but make sure you do it or they'll move right along. 

(Pro tip from our Facebook group: Add a #longpost warning at the beginning so people know there's a story to be told!)

Be authentic

The point of storytelling is to connect with your audience in a new and genuine way. If you're not being authentic, there is absolutely NO way you can make this genuine connection. 

For example, if you're talking about being motivated on Monday but really you're grumbling, procrastinating and wishing for Friday, your audience will notice this and be immediately turned off. 

Your audience isn't stupid. They can tell if what you're saying is authentic and aligned with your true brand. Don't worry about what others are doing. Do you and you'll see many, many more valuable connections with your audience! 

Have a strategy with a bigger point

Don't tell a story just to tell a story. There should always, always, always be a point to the story. And this point should align with your brand. 

Before sharing ask yourself, why am I telling this story? What do I want people to get out of it? A laugh? Some motivation? A heartfelt connection? All of it matters but make sure it is very clear. You don't want anyone in your audience saying, "what was that about?"

Use data to back-up any claims

If you can use scientific evidence, studies, or any relevant data in your stories, do it! This will help provide a solid foundation to build your story off of. These are facts to help prove any claims you're making are actually legit. Don't believe us? Here's some proof. (See what we did there?!) 

So who's ready to take on some storytelling? One thing we like to do is mix in our stories with other posts so there's a health mix of content. So while planning out your content see if there's a way to add a story here and there. Then let us know how it goes in the comments! 

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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How to Create a Custom Instagram Landing Page on Squarespace

Bold & Pop : How to Create a Custom Instagram Landing Page on Squarespace

As a business owner or blogger on Instagram you learn really fast that the "link in your bio" is prime real estate. Whether you're directing your followers to your services or products, leading them to your blog, or to read more of an article, your Instagram bio is where they're headed for more info! Back in the olden days i.e. a year or so ago, we only had the option to direct our followers to one link and we had to swap them every time we wanted to direct people somewhere else. Then services popped up that allowed you to create landing pages that highlighted multiple links and it was a GAME CHANGER! Suddenly, we didn't have to remember to swap out the link and options really opened up.

Enter today, and we're going to take that option a step further by building a custom landing page right inside your website. While these services are great, a lot of them don't allow too much customization and since we're in the branding industry, you know what we're going to say about brand consistency... it's important! So today, we're going to teach you how to build your own using Squarespace, because you know that is our thang! Helloooo customization and creativity options! So read on or scroll a little bit further down to watch the screenshare video.

Step 1:

Create a new page under the "Not Linked" section and give your page a title.

Step 2:

Add your first block, whether that be a text intro or adding buttons. I suggest thinking of this landing page with the inverted pyramid style in mind, which means you have the most important info up top and continue down with less urgent info. While you have a lot more flexibility with your own custom landing page you also don't want your followers to have to scroll all the way to the bottom to find what they're looking for. Keep your user experience at top of mind!

Step 3:

Add spacers to each side. While this step isn't totally necessary because all templates are responsive, it is a little easier to visualize how the page will look by adding spacers and pushing the content to the center of the page. You can see this step in the video below.

Step 4:

If you used stacked buttons on your landing page and would like to make the widths even, then I have a code for you! You can copy and paste the code below into the advanced settings of your page. To do this, you need to hover over the name of your page in your website panel and click settings, then click advanced, and then paste the code in the Page Header Code Injection. 

<style>
 .sqs-block-button-element--small {width: 250px !important;}
</style>

The code above targets small-sized buttons so be sure to make sure the size correlates with the size you used on your page. So if you used small, use the code as is, or if you used medium or large swap out the text "small" in the code and add the applicable size. This is set for button widths of 250px, which I found worked well but you can also adjust if you'd like.

Step 5:

Once you have finished adding in blocks to your liking, publish your page! Then be sure to find out what your URL slug is, so that you can add the full url into your browser and then copy and paste that link into your Instagram profile!

You can also watch this full process below:

And that's it! A fully customized landing page for your Instagram account that you can edit any time you'd like. Have any questions? Drop us a comment below or shoot us a note and we're happy to help!

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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The 3 Keys to a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign

Bold & Pop : The 3 Keys to a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign

You know the Instagram influencers or bloggers who always seem to be trying out new products or services? That’s influencer marketing and the category has exploded over the last few years! 💥 Traditional PR, advertising and celebrity endorsements used to be the key ways to get the message out about your business, but as social media and blogging has continued to grow, brands have paid attention to how they can capitalize on that change. For good reason too! In an Internet-driven world, it has become easier than ever to research new products and weigh your options for which brand or products to try. So what better way to get in front of your potential customers than targeting the bloggers and people who follow them on social media? Even better when those influencers try your product, love it and will share their experiences with all of their followers. We call that social media and PR gold in our industry!

So now that you see why it's valuable, what is the key to getting these influencers to check out your business? Well, there's a few things and lucky for you I've seen the industry from both sides. Some of you may already know, but in addition to helping biz owners at Bold & Pop, I've also had my own lifestyle blog for most of the last decade. During which time, I've had the opportunity to partner up with some really amazing brands and you could say I've seen my fair share of campaign pitches. So what is the key to creating a successful influencer marketing campaign? Today I'm breaking down what I've learned from both ends of the fence -- leading campaigns and being apart of them.

Do Your Research and Plan Ahead

Whether you're executing the strategy yourself or you've partnered up with an agency like Bold & Pop, every successful campaign starts with some serious research. That starts with nailing down what you are trying to do with your campaign and who you are trying to reach. On the what end, you're usually looking to:

  • Increase awareness of your product or service

  • Collect user-generated content to use in marketing efforts

  • Increase your social media audiences

  • Drive sales from reviews of product

Every campaign usually has a mix of the above goals, but GREAT campaigns focus on the research first and foremost. This involves taking the time to research those you want to reach out to. If you're working with an agency, they will likely already have a list of contacts they've worked together prior (one of the key perks to working with an agency), if you're on your own there will just be a little more legwork involved though. Start a list of the different influencers you want to reach out to. You can find them based on people you already follow, through targeted hashtags, or if you really want to put in some time, past campaigns they've worked on. While you're doing this research, be sure to take personalized notes about each account and why you think they would enjoy your product too. This will save you time in the next step.

Once you have a base list for those you want to reach out to, you can begin to work on your pitch. Here's where those personalized notes come into play. While some components of your pitch may remain the same like your product overview, other sections should be completely customized. This is the number one thing that will set your pitch apart from the masses and let me tell you from personal experience, it's really easy to spot those who have looked at my accounts and blog before vs those sending mass pitches. Sending mass pitches out to every lifestyle blogger who you can track down their email address to is not a strategy... Do you need to read every blog post or look through every Instagram photo they've posted? Of course not, but take the time to actually do your research and see if it could be a good fit and then make sure your pitch reflects that. It may take more time upfront, but quality is definitely more important that quantity when it comes to successful influencer marketing campaigns. Especially because there's no point in pitching people that would neverrrr be interested in your product or service... it's a waste of everyone's time. So get strategic and do your research.

Keep Things Simple

Onto the next key factor... keeping it simple! This goes for your pitch as well as your campaign as a whole. Your pitch should be no longer than a few short paragraphs. Anything longer than that you will lose your audience. Plus, if you have to write 10 paragraphs to explain your product and campaign then you need to go back to the drawing board and simply it some more.. and then some more. Your pitch should include these things:

  • Brief intro on who you are and why you're reaching out

  • Intro on product/service and campaign overview

  • Reasons why you think the campaign could be a good fit

  • Call to action for next steps

The simpler the better! I want to put an emphasis on that last component about ending with a call-to-action too. This simple step can save you at least 1 set of back and forth from interested influencers telling you they're interested and asking for the next steps. Instead, wrap your pitch up with, "If you are interested, I will need x,y, and z and I can send a sample your direction/set up a time for you to try the service." BOOM! Easy peasy for both ends. 

Beyond your pitch, make sure your campaign is also simple. As a blogger and influencer, I will say the biggest turn-off for me for campaigns is when they're overly complicated. Guidelines for campaigns can be great, but sometimes when you narrow things down too much you end up just boxing your influencers in. Plus, if you make it super specific, you take out the flexibility for them to be creative and customize their messages to connect with their audiences -- which they do know best afterall. Yes, it really can be as simple as telling your influencers a little about the product, sending it out, and letting them post their honest experience. You don't have to create a whole packet of deadlines for mentions and how they have to post on their Facebook page 3 times within 2 weeks, change their Instagram link for a full week, and run an Instagram contest. Simpler is ALWAYS better in my opinion. This advice doubles down if you are not offering a collaboration fee. You may think you have a really awesome product worthy of doing a review on (and you totally might) but the reality is creating content takes time so the more steps you include generally the less likely people will be to agree to your terms.

Follow-up

Then last, but definitely not least is be sure to follow-up! This is one is a biggy but also comes with a little asterisk. Following up with your influencers is so key 1.) because you want to make sure they received the sample -- we've all fallen victim to packages delivered to the wrong location or ones that said they arrived but get stuck in the mailroom. 2.) you want to make sure you're available to answer any questions should they have any and 3.) it's a nice reminder to your influencer that you're looking forward to seeing what they think. Now the asterisk here is you don't need to follow-up the second the package is delivered... you don't want to be the annoying PR rep that comes across as pushy (they are helping you out afterall) but you do want to stay on top of the mentions actually being posted. I like to give them a few days with the product first and then check-in. The only time I think it's ok to fudge that advice a little is when there is both monetary compensation being given for the campaign or you have a written agreement. Larger collabs are a different ballgame. If you're doing something on the smaller scale though, try to keep that balance of being helpful but not chasing them down.

To be honest, I'm surprised by how many reps don't check in with me about mentions and blog posts. Personally, I like it when brands follow-up with me because it shows that they're invested in making sure I have everything I need and is also a nice reminder to schedule it into my content calendar if I haven't already. A lot of these influencers are working with multiple brands at one time so having a little nudge is a great way to make sure your mention gets bumped up. On the other end of things, as a campaign manager, I'm invested in actually building relationships with the bloggers and influencers we work with. I did spend all that time hand-picking the people I wanted to reach out to on behalf of my clients didn't I?! I always look at influencer marketing on a long-term scale -- even if we're only working on a 3-month campaign. Just like anything in your life, when you connect with awesome people, you generally want to keep going back to them! This is beneficial not only to my current clients but also future clients -- so it's worth taking the extra time. It's that relationship aspect that really sets your agency apart and will help leave a positive impression to the influencer for your brand.

So there you have it! Enact these 3 pieces of advice and I can promise you that you'll have a very successful campaign! If you have more questions about influencer marketing, feel free to leave a comment below or shoot us a message!

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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