Tag Archives: Media

How to Craft the Perfect Instagram Story Strategy to Promote Your Business

Instagram-Story-Ads

Instagram introduced the Story function to their platform in August 2016. Replicating Snapchat, the Instagram Story offers ephemeral visual content that disappears 24 hours after posting it.

As with the introduction of any new tool on social media, the first question a business must ask itself is: How can we leverage this new platform to promote our company, product or services?

Here are some tips to help you craft the perfect Instagram Story strategy:

GIVE A BEHIND-THE-SCENES LOOK

Instagram users expect the most touched-up and polished visual content to show up on the feed. Part of the appeal of the Instagram Story is that it offers a deeper, less polished look into the day-to-day life of the account.

Musicians take advantage of Instagram Stories by previewing snippets of new music on their stories. The fact that these stories will disappear activates a fan’s FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). If they see one of their favorite artists post to their story, they feel obligated to watch it or else they will miss out on exclusive music, otherwise they may have to wait months for an official release. Thus, it both offers a behind the scenes look and incites users to return to view more stories.

FOMO

FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out, is a form of anxiety triggered by missing an opportunity. For example, when considering whether to go to an office party or a concert, one may be more driven to go because one doesn’t want to miss out on fun than wanting to enjoy the experience.

The ephemeral nature of the Instagram Story makes FOMO a major psychological factor determining whether a user elects to watch a story or not. If the user does not watch the story, they will never see the content. Businesses want to offer exclusive deals and content through their story that are not available anywhere else. Consumers who watch stories with exclusive deals and content are thereby rewarded and are more likely to watch them in the future to get more deals.

Incorporating exclusive deals will draw more users to watch your business’s Story because—well, it’ll make them afraid of missing out. Check out Psychology Today’s deep dive into FOMO.

KEEP IT FUN, KEEP IT LIGHT, KEEP IT MOVING

Take your Instagram Story on the road. Vary up the locations where you post and it will create more excitement as users will know to expect the unexpected when they view your story. Keep it light, give it some humor. Your Instagram Story should contain content that lightens the mood and makes viewers want to return.

MAKE IT A REAL STORY

Stories have a beginning, middle and end. Instagram Stories can conform to that structure as well! If an employee is going to a convention, have them document it in their story with an introduction post explaining their agenda for the day (beginning), videos of the most salient moments of the convention (middle), and a final post that wraps everything up and summarizes what they’ve gleaned (end).

Using storytelling techniques will keep users engaged in your feed and help Stories retain viewers from beginning to end.

ANALYTICS

Reviewing analytics and evaluating the metrics is a key process in evaluating your Story’s success. Use the Insights tab to see how many views your story received, how many shares, replies, profile visits, and how long users are watching your story to evaluate its success.

One of the key analytics is Completion Rate: what percentage of users watched your story from beginning to end? Evaluating completion rate, as well as Taps Forward, which shows when users tapped forward on a slide to see the next image, will help you determine whether your ideal posts per day are 2 or 12.

BE CONSISTENT

Consistency is key in social media. It takes time to develop a voice and even more time and effort to develop an audience. With a combination of a good strategy, solid content, and consistency, your business can leverage Instagram Stories to entice your customers and expand its reach.

Mobile Game Monetization Methods for Bartle Types: Achieve Exponential Growth Through Social Gaming

The Mystic Media Blog is currently engaged in a series of articles examining each of the Bartle types and how to acquire, retain and monetize them according to their desires. Check out last week’s article on Killers. In this, our concluding article, we will explore Socializers.

Socializers are perhaps the most important Bartle type for generating growth in a userbase. The Internet makes it easier than ever for players to share their experience with other users. Socializers aim to form connections through interactions with other players. Like the Explorer, they are focused on the internal qualities of the world and its inhabitants, while Achievers and Killers treat other users and the world as external objects.

In multiplayer games, Socializers enhance the gaming experience for all of the Bartle types. Achievers see any addition to the userbase as competition,  an elevation of the stakes, enriching their accomplishments. Killers see them as easy prey. Explorers see them as eager to communicate, join and help them on their quests. Socializers see other Socializers as people with whom they can socialize. Thus, Socializers appease all Bartle types and can trigger major growth in the ecosystem.

When developing games, mobile developers are often hampered with budgetary constraints which entail a single-player experience. Some turn-based games are able to counter that norm on a relatively small budget. However, in single-player games, the importance of social integration is absolutely vital in the current app landscape. In a world where Yelp rules and people are bombarded with an inordinate amount of daily advertising, many consumers rely on references from friends, family and trusted content curators to decide what they should pursue. Not only having a social presence, but giving players the opportunity to share in a variety of methods is a tactic which will enrich retainment on not only Socializers, but all of your userbase.

Profile creation satisfies both the Socializers desire to create a persona and connect with other users, while offering opportunities to entice Achievers with an opportunity to share their achievements.

Offering a variety of methods of communication is key to retaining Socializers. A “Social Prod” represents the lowest form of communication, such as the “Poke” button on Facebook, in which one user offers another user the minimum acknowledgement.

A “Brag Button” which allows you to easily shares your score and/or a video of your game to social networks is another method of communication which makes social sharing easy and entices the Achiever to share.

Creating a chat interface will encourage users to communicate with one another and allow them to share in-game secrets. A chat interface can function as a social network or discussion board for your users to congregate. When properly designed, chat interfaces can even help solve some of your customer service problems. Users feel more of a connection to other users, so setting up a kind of mentor system in your game where experienced players are rewarded for helping out newbies can go a long way in enhancing the intimacy of the experience while saving game developers money on maintaining Customer Service.

The presence of both a user’s outside friends playing the game and a community of friends existing within the game validates the game’s role in the user’s life and increases the sense of intimacy in the same way inside jokes with friends do.

Social Treasures are game items which a user can only get from another player. Candy Crush limits daily play, but lets players give their friends lives which enable them to play for longer as social treasure. Strategies like Social Treasure create a courtesy economy which encourages users to get their friends to play.

Rewarded Social Sharing gives users in-game currency or bonus items in exchange for sharing the game or their high score on social media, a method for encouraging sharing while also potentially previewing in-game in-app purchases.

Leaderboards factor into a number of single player games as the primary form of social integration, but Leaderboards can be intimidating and useless to new users when experienced players lord over the top ten spots and don’t give up. Offering a micro-leaderboard for in-game or social friends and/or monthly leaderboards will ensure new users are actually encouraged to become competitive through leaderboards and don’t feel left out.

When it comes to monetization, Socializers are best used as a tool to grow a userbase and thus enhance competition, increasing advertising and in-app purchases. Each of the above tactics applies to monetization in the sense that social sharing is in itself a currency. Freemium games can offer subscription-based online integration with a monthly fee.

Erwin Andreasen and Brandon Downey created the “Bartle Test” without collaboration or input from Richard Bartle. The test classifies users with a “Bartle Quotient.” The Bartle Quotient is calculated based on answers to a series of 30 random questions and totals 200% across all categories, with no single category exceeding 100%. So you can be 100% Socializer, 50% Explorer, 30% Achiever and 20% Killer. In other words, each of the Bartle types represents an urge within the gamer, but no gamer is 100% one of those categories.

Everyone has an Achiever, Explorer, Killer and Socializer in them. By isolating each archetype and analyzing their behavior, game designers can ensure they are making fully-formed, well-rounded games with a variety of appeal. And any mobile app developer will tell you the best monetization method is a well-built app.

A Guide to Promotional Writing Part 3: Generate Publicity by Writing an Effective Press Release

In the coming weeks, the Mystic Media Blog will be devoting our expertise into a series of articles detailing the ins and outs of Promotional Writing. The series will cover several topics, from general techniques and suggested processes, to press releases, website copy writing, and social media.

Last week, we gave you a thorough how-to guide about Perfecting the Method of Promotional Writing. This week, we’ll go in-depth into the format and process of writing a press release.

A press release is a published written announcement addressed to the media regarding a development in a business. The purpose of a press release is not only to announce the basics of exactly what is being released and when, but also to generate publicity. A press release is the quickest, easiest way to get an important promotional message out into the world and can result in multiple published articles.

The subject of a press release can be a new product, an upgrade, a new service, an upcoming event, a merger of two companies, anything NEW. The audience of a press release is not only consumers of your brand and consumers in your industry, but also reporters, editors and other members of the media looking for content relevant to their readers.

In order to garner the attention of the media, the writer must ensure that the announcement within the press release is in and of itself newsworthy. A newsworthy story contains information relevant to the general public. Relevant information can be a new rate on car insurance, or a new app which helps you organize your closet, or a new company intent on taking over the world – anything about which people would want to know. An effective press release properly explores the ins and outs of its subject (the new service or product or event), as well as the ramifications of its release in the context of the industry to maximize the reader’s knowledge of how the decision to buy or solicit could affect them.

An excellent press release not only informs the reader as to what is being announced, it also functions as an article written by a reporter in and of itself. The media isn’t going to publish your press release unless they are convinced it’s relevant to them and their readers. The press release shouldn’t just be an ad for your product or service, it should have an angle or point of view beyond trying to get the consumer to buy whatever is being sold. It should provide context on the industry in which the product or service is sold to further validate the importance of the unique contribution of the new product or service. If you can sell your product in the context of a news article about a specific subject relevant to readers, the media will pick up the story.

Check out this great example of a press release functioning as a standalone article issued by Microsoft about Windows Phone 7.

The Windows Phone 7 press release explores the negative impact of smartphones, then distances its new product from the negative, thereby selling a smartphone. The subject of the article, the negative impact of smartphones, could feasibly be found in any magazine. It indirectly attacks their competitors (namely the iPhone) by claiming people use their phones recreationally too much to avoid the real world. The Windows Phone 7, on the other hand, is optimized for efficiently managing tasks necessary for work so that the user can get off their phone and focus on the real world. The marketing department perfectly crafted an article which is newsworthy, including specific statistics, while simultaneously using the issue to provide a context for their product to stand out as a solution.

When structuring a press release, begin with a headline which captures attention. We went in-depth into how to attract attention with a title in Perfecting the Method. After your title, always front-load the logistics (the “what” and the “when”), then explore the significance of the release and the impact on the industry.

The second paragraph of a press release often contains a quote from the CEO or one of the higher-ups in the company. The quote personalizes the message and gives the executives of the company an opportunity to showcase their intellect with insight into both what makes the product special, and into the company’s relationship to the product. A memorable quote can be a news story in and of itself, so try to procure a quote which is significant, personal and precise.

The final paragraph of a press release often connects the new product or service being announced to the company’s other products and services.

When sending a press release out, always end with a line of continuous periods or number signs to show where the printed text ends. This makes it easy for journalists to insert their comments below your official press release, facilitating the readers’ ability to distinguish between your company’s official words and those of the commentator.

A press release should come with a press kit of some kind. A press kit is a collection of company information and articles put together to address questions the media might have on your release. It should catch the eye and include a gallery of photos to compliment your article. It’s recommended you invest money into the photography and visual presentation of the press kit to further validate the importance of the announcement by  attracting attention through crisp presentation.

For more information on creating a press kit, check this informative article out over at Entrepreneur.

Once your press release is complete, you will also want to attract attention to it and generate additional publicity. There are several techniques to approaching this.

First, you should start by publishing the press release on your website. Promote the link on your site to your consumers through social media accounts.

When it comes to generating external publicity, you can craft a query letter addressed directly to relevant members of the media who may want to pick up your story, and/or you can utilize external sites such as PR Newswire, Business Wire, PRWeb, and eReleases which offer distribution services, effectively promoting your press release for you at a cost.

The goal of a query letter is to entice members of the media to read your press release and consider publishing the release itself and/or an article on it. Keep the letter simple, personal, and persuasive. Address the recipient by name, state your purpose (to promote the press release), introduce yourself and your company in separate paragraphs. The goal is to tease them into reading your whole press release, so keep it brief and entertaining.

Be sure to know your audience and only address query letters to members of the media in your industry who will be interested in your product or service. You should begin by compiling a contact list of key media outlets where you can reach your audience.

If you can write a smart, effective press release complete with eye-catching photos and a press kit, then entice members of the media to check out the press release with a tight query letter, all that’s left to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the publicity.

At Mystic Media, through our vast experience in strategic marketing  and application development, we have accumulated expertise on all formats of promotional writing: from copy writing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, web design, and more. Learn more by clicking here or by contacting us by phone at 801.994.6815