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Social Media Content Calendar Template: Our Gift to You!

Social Media Content Calendar Template: Our Gift to You!

Social media content calendar: it’s the brain of your small business social media marketing operation. A lot of people have been hesitant to add social media to their overall marketing plan for many different reasons. 

For one, if you’re newer to the social media game, it’s a major undertaking to learn all of the platforms. Even social media marketing experts have to dedicate substantial effort to stay up to date with trends. There’s a constant learning curve no matter what your level of proficiency is when you start.

Another common barrier many companies face with social media marketing is the time it takes to create and manage content. Imagine the best-case scenario– let’s say, you’re a small business owner who knows how to use social media very well. There’s still a major element of time needed to keep your social media running.

Yet another issue businesses face when integrating social media is the pressure of keeping their presence up to date. In other words, content creation. Social Media Managers (myself included!) experience lack of inspiration from time to time when they create a batch of content.

Social Media Content Calendar to the Rescue

That’s where the content calendar comes in. A content calendar is invaluable as you get your company’s social media up and running. When you plan ahead, you never have to scramble and just throw something up on your feed. 

At Purplegator, we’re big fans of helping folks and we take pride in being experts in our field. That’s why we’re offering our Content Calendar Template as a free gift to you this holiday season!

With that said, don’t expect the content calendar template to fix all of your social media woes. It’s not going to do the work automatically for you, so keep that in mind. If you realize you’re in over your head, don’t worry! Maybe you’re ready to hand your social media marketing initiatives to the experts. So contact us now! We’d love to learn more about your business and goals.


NOTE: Once you open the Google Sheet, click “File”, then “Make a copy” and you’re all set to save a version of the template for yourself and ✏️ begin tailoring it for your content! 🐊 +We hope you have a fantastic & safe holiday season ❄️

Reddit Advertising: 7 Things You Should Know Before Digging In

Reddit Advertising: 7 Things You Should Know Before Digging In

Reddit Advertising: It’s Easy to Get Started!

So you’re here to learn about Reddit Advertising. You’ve come to the right spot! I promise we’ll cover much of what you need to know to learn to basics of getting started with Reddit Advertising.

My Current Ads Aren’t Performing 😩

Let’s face it, sometimes advertising on the usual giant social media platforms gets stale. You can build loads of different audiences, lookalikes, do retargeting, and run A/B test after A/B test. At some point, though, you’ll hit a roadblock. What is an advertiser to do? 

Reddit Advertising by Purplegator

Diversify. Try new advertising platforms!

The good news is that there are plenty of other advertising platforms out there. It might seem overwhelming, but the expansiveness of the digital ads-mosphere is awesome for advertisers. As long as you know who your audience is, you’ll be able to find the right platform where they’ll see your ads. 

In this article, I’d like to educate you on the exciting world of Reddit Advertising. By the time you’ve finished reading this list of things you need to know about Reddit Ads, I hope you’re able to decide if the platform makes sense for you. If not, no biggie, at least now you know!

1. What is Reddit?

Reddit is a content sharing and discovery platform. The platform is organized into a series of categories (or communities) called subreddits. There are broad and popular subreddits as well as niche and targeted subreddits. Subreddits are comprised of links to stories, photos, or videos that Reddit users (otherwise known as Redditors) submit to the community. Depending on the subreddit, you can find text posts such as questions and sometimes even just statements and observations.

2. Reddit Demographics: Why Advertise Here?

Of course, knowing who is on the platform is the best place to start. Reddit is predominantly used by men, but if your brand has more of a female user-base, don’t be so quick to write off Reddit Ads. First and foremost, because I’m a female and an avid Redditor. The other reason I’d encourage female-focused brands to consider Reddit Ads is because there are plenty of subreddits filled with active female Redditors on a variety of topics. More on that later.

Reddit advertising graphic showing demographics of Reddit users

As you can see in this demographics chart, at 33%, the largest share of Redditors are in the 25-34-year-old age bracket. The next greatest share at 26% is the 18-24-year-olds, followed closely at 22% are the 35-44-year-old Redditors. Finally, at 14% of the Reddit user base, we have 45-54-year-olds and the 55-64-year-olds rounding out the final 5% share of the user base.

3. Reddit Advertising Cost: How Much? 💰

If you’ve advertised on other platforms, you already know many of the usual suspects have a minimum required ad spend. Reddit Advertising is no different. Fortunately, at $5 a day to meet the required minimum, you’re likely not going to break the bank if you just want to take Reddit Ads for a test drive.

4. Reddit Ad Campaign Setup ⚙️

Reddit Advertising Objectives

Reddit Auction units are self-serve, and probably the starting point for anyone new to advertising on the platform. The Brand Awareness objective Reddit Ads are available to buy on a cost-per-mille (CPM) basis–or every 1,000 impressions. Other objectives include Traffic, Conversions, and App Installs (all cost-per-click) and Video Views (cost-per-view).

Audiences

Just like any modern digital platform, Reddit has a pixel retargeting audience option. Obviously, if it’s your first campaign on Reddit Ads, you won’t be able to use this option. Installing the Reddit pixel and gathering that data is always a smart idea, though, because you can always work towards building retargeting campaigns in the future once you obtain enough data.

What’s really exciting about Reddit Advertising is the Reddit Audience feature. When it comes to advertising on Reddit, you can get outstanding results. There’s a caveat to that statement though. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you must know your audience!
(Puts soap box away) So here’s a list of all of the different interests you can target on Reddit Ads:

  • Animals & Pets
  • Art & Design
  • Automotive
  • Business & Finance
  • Entertainment
  • Family & Relationships
  • Food & Drink
  • Gaming
  • Healthy Living
  • News & Education
  • Sports
  • Style & Fashion
  • Technology & Computing
  • Television
  • Travel

But wait, there’s more! Within each of those interest categories, there are subcategories. You can get really granular with the interest targeting on Reddit Ads. For example, under the Gaming category, there are subcategories: Video Gaming, eSports, PC Games, and Tabletop Games. What’s great is if any of those subcategories don’t apply to your brand, you can easily delete them from your targeting and only target the subcategory that makes sense for you.

You can also target your audience by way of device, location (only at the state/country and DMA level at this time), and time of day. If you have a minimum of 1000 records, you can get into custom audiences–but this is definitely not advisable for beginners.

5. Creative for Reddit Advertising: Best Practices & Tips 🎨

When you’re just starting out with Reddit, it might take a little bit of testing to get a hang of what the proper approach is for the platform. That’s nothing to worry about! In fact, it can potentially enlighten you about your audience in ways you might not otherwise have expected!

An effective way to kick off your testing efforts is to launch the same ad with vastly different headlines. Reddit recommends in this testing phase that you experiment with tone, length, attitude, and offering when coming up with various headlines to consider.

Another method of testing your creative is to use the same headline, but launch a few ads with vastly different visuals. Play around with color, shapes, formatting, and styles.

If you want to test something really eye-catching, try a cinemagraph!

6. Reddit Ad Placements: How They Look 🏷

What do ads on Reddit look like and where do they show up? Well, there are a couple of different options to choose from when doing self-serve auction ads. If you want to make a big splash and you have a six-figure budget to match, Reddit Takeover Ads are always an option.

But for those of us who aren’t ready to sink a hundred thousand dollars on a Takeover placement, there are Feed Placements and Conversation Placements. With either of these placements, you can get super granular with your targeting, which is the dream for most advertisers! 

Example of Reddit Advertising format "Feed Placement"

Reddit Advertising Feed Placements

Display your ads to Redditors who are scrolling through their Home and Popular feeds, as well as individual community subreddits.

Example of Reddit Advertising format "conversation placement"

Reddit Conversation Placement Ads

Get your ads in front of Redditors who are joining the conversation with others on a specific post. The ad appears in a fixed spot between the post and the first comment.

Want to reach even more users than those you’d find in the Feed? Everybody who makes it as far as actually clicking on a post has gone beyond scrolling to engage with ideas, questions, and answers they’re genuinely curious about or interested in. This means your ad could be a part of the buzz, driving incremental campaign results for your brand.

7. Reddit Ads Reporting: Results 📊

What good is trying a new ad platform without reporting? That’s obviously a silly question, but my point is that, of course, there’s a Reddit Ads dashboard. The Reddit Ads dashboard has features like Breakdowns, Success Metrics, and Filtering.

Breakdowns

You can better comprehend your ad performance and optimize your targeting by using breakdowns. With breakdowns, you’re able to dive into performance within different Subreddits & Interests, Geography, Platform, and Date.

Success Metrics

Another way to customize your reporting view is by choosing to see only the metrics you care about. Certainly, if you have installed the Reddit Pixel (which you should do!), you can view multiple types of conversions as a success metric. Other success metrics include engagement (such as Upvotes and Downvotes), and video-related metrics, like video views, full video views, video plays with sound, and so on.

Filtering

Filtering is fairly common in advertising reporting, so naturally, the Reddit Ads dashboard supports a solid filtering function. Drill down on your campaigns further by selecting your campaign name, ad group name, or ad name. Then, search by “is” or “contains”, enter a partial name in the box a voila, your very specific reporting view!

Summary

There you have it, a crash course on all the things you should know before digging into Reddit Advertising. In this post, we covered some pretty important topics, like why you should consider Reddit Advertising, what Reddit is, who uses Reddit, and how much it costs to advertise on Reddit. We also talked about setting up a campaign on Reddit, what kinds of creatives work on Reddit Ads, Reddit Ad placements, and Reddit Ads reporting functionality. It might have seemed like a long and overwhelming post, but if you’re anything like me, once you jump into the platform yourself, you’ll get the hang of it. If you don’t have the time or desire to do all of that legwork, please don’t hesitate to reach out! We’d love to hear from you and learn about what your advertising goals are for Reddit Ads.

Your COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Strategy

Your COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Strategy

How to Inform the Public About Your COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Plan Using Digital and Social Media Platforms

How will your local government build awareness of your COVID-19 vaccine communication plan? You already know that your Department of Public Health needs to disseminate assets in your COVID-19 vaccine communications toolkit quickly and effectively. Further, the challenge of getting community members vaccinated and keeping them informed is no small feat.

Firstly, we want to do our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19. How exactly can a mobile and digital ad agency help health care professionals like you? For starters, we’re digital advertising experts. In other words, we can help you distribute vaccination information on channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. All of these channels can help you accomplish your goals effectively. Most importantly, a multichannel approach will ensure you reach them more than once with important and accurate information wherever they are – often on their mobile device.

Our technology and social media capabilities will enable you to meet your COVID-19 vaccination outreach toolkit objectives. 

Further, armed with data, insight, and technology, we’ll make sure you reach your key audiences with precise & granular targeting. Certainly, it’s a complicated process to deliver a two-dose vaccination. That’s for sure–but we’re all in this together. However, we get that you need an army (and arsenal) to execute your in-depth strategy. Moreover, we also get that you are rushed, short-staffed and mildly frustrated. While we can’t distribute the vaccine for you, we can distribute the right message to the right people at the right time. 

COVID-19 Vaccination PR Toolkit | The Best Ways to Reach Your Target Audiences:

  • Targeted paid media campaign across digital & social platforms
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Instagram
    • YouTube
    • Snapchat
    • Google
    • Streaming TV
    • Pinterest
    • Native Display
    • Microsoft
  • Text messaging (broadcast & interactive campaigns)
  • Direct to voicemail
  • Robocalls
  • Automated outbound telemarketing
  • Automated inbound telemarketing
  • Custom landing pages
  • Integration with your COVID-19 microsite
  • Email marketing
  • Influencer marketing

However, an agency with all the bells and whistles isn’t worth much if they don’t understand you. What’s more, they need to understand your audiences and know how to target them. In regards to messaging for public health–disease control and prevention–a sophisticated approach is necessary. 

Purplegator | We’re Here to Help

Our team is made up of empathetic, tactically-minded professionals. Above all, we are skilled at devising & implementing creative strategies to reach all sorts of audiences. For example, some of our projects that demonstrate our abilities include:

  • Mobile & digital ad campaign in partnership with the state of Maryland
    •  increased awareness of the opioid crisis and
    •  informed the public of available resources for help & info in Maryland
    • Early COVID-19 campaign to advise people to stay at home

For instance, here are real ads from the campaign we did for Maryland targeting healthcare workers. In short, to do this, we used geo-conquesting to target senior citizen homes and other healthcare facilities in Maryland.

COVID-19 education campaign by Purplegator
Coronavirus education and awareness campaign for the state of Maryland by Purplegator

For example, here is one of the Instagram ads we ran for that campaign.

Government awareness campaign by Purplegator

References available upon request.

Your mission to get key messages out about the COVID-19 vaccines’ safety and efficacy is vital. Certainly, at Purplegator, purposeful projects drive us. We’re ready to rise to this critical challenge with you. 

In summary, we all want the same outcome: a safe & well-informed public. It is no easy mountain to climb. However, the tools you’ll need to ascend this summit are within reach. When you reach out to Purplegator as a partner and support system, we’ll answer the call.

Content Marketing Best Practices [+ Planning Tips for Video]

Content Marketing Best Practices [+ Planning Tips for Video]

We know that content marketing, by design, is a technique of marketing built on the creation and distribution of relevant content to attract our desired audience – to influence customer action. 

Switching gears a bit, if I ask you to think of the top industry with the heaviest hand of influence, reaching the broadest audience, what would you say? 

Perhaps what comes to mind is the entertainment industry, bolstered by visual genius juggernauts of Hollywood. 

When I posed the question, if you didn’t think of the entertainment industry, maybe your mind went to the news & information industry. If neither the entertainment nor news & information industries were top of mind for you, I am curious to know what industry came to mind. The next question I pose is this: what are some commonalities between the entertainment and news & information industries? 

purplegator wally

They’re storytelling Outlets.

They both have a high level of influence and some level of control over messaging. 

They both use video as the richest means of communication. 

Video allows for an experience of showing, not telling. Furthermore, it encourages showing, not selling. No matter what you’re selling, product or service, video needs to be in your content marketing. It will massively enhance the results of your marketing efforts. 

Case Study: How Video Ads Perform Versus Display & Search

 While I know what we’re talking about is content marketing, I want to share some data from some ad campaigns Purplegator has run. 

The video ad below ran for two weeks. As this table illustrates, the video ad garnered 313, 200 impressions. It had a view rate of 49.95% (sometimes known as interaction rate) and an average cost per view (CPV) of $0.02. 

content marketing storytelling through video ad

 

 

To further drive this point, allow me to use this data to draw some comparisons.  

Below is a table with data from three types of campaigns: display, search, and video.

seachvideodisplayads

The display ad, which ran for two months, garnered 165,788 impressions and an interaction rate of 1.37%. It had an average cost of $0.30. 

The search ad, which has been continually running since December of 2018, has garnered 19,769 impressions and an interaction rate of 2.54%.  Its average cost was $3.09. 

With these numbers in mind, wouldn’t you agree that whether we’re talking about advertising and content marketing, video is a top performer? 

Video in Content Marketing Versus Organic Social Media

 To show some numbers in content marketing, let’s take a look at some data from a few posts Purplegator shared on Facebook. 

As you can see, the video reached a higher number of people and also received more engagements. The image got ~11% of the number of people the video did and ~10% of engagements that the video did. 

Start Doing Your Videos for Content Marketing | Helpful questions to help you plan

As far as best practices for content marketing through video, I like to ask myself the following questions: 

  • Big picture first, what is the goal or marketing objective of this video?
    • Awareness?
    • Conversions?
    • Traffic?
  • With the goal in mind, who is my perfect viewer, or target audience?
    • Do I have a good handle on their buyer persona?
    • Do I understand where they are in their buyer journey?
  • What kind of video is this?
    • Interview
    • Review
    • Vlog
    • Tutorial
    • Case Study
    • Presentation
  • What’s the story? Does the story have all three parts of a well-developed story:
    • Beginning
    • Middle
    • End
  • Is there an opportunity to make this video a part of a series, or is it truly a standalone story?
  • On which platform(s) will I be sharing this video?
  • Do I have accompanying content planned or already composed for diversification and atomization purposes?

Reach for the Stars!

When thinking of answering these questions, I like to filter my thoughts and planning perspective through a Hollywood lens. I’m by no way saying that any video content I produce is Hollywood-worthy. I mean that if Hollywood exemplifies the highest standard of storytelling through video, then that’s the process I’m going to try to replicate. The level of quality I’m aiming for, proportionately, to what is realistically achievable within my industry. 

Brands & Companies to Watch

If you’re curious to explore some examples of brands and industry giants that are leveraging video content exceptionally well, look at Lululemon, Red Bull, Lana Del Rey, Blendtec, and Chef Adam Kenworthy.  


 The inspiration for this post came from a prompt for an expert roundup called “9 Video Marketing Tips to Level Up Your Content Strategy,” compiled and written by Jordan Stella, SEO & Social Media Manager for UpCity

 

 

Best Food Photography: A How-To Guide

Best Food Photography: A How-To Guide

Food Photography Simplified!

Food photography is quite an in-depth niche. Whether you are a food blogger looking to improve your photo content or you are a restaurant owner in need of some new menu pictures, there are so many tips to learn to get the best results in your food photography efforts. To attract your audience through social media, especially, your food must not only look appetizing, but you should execute the photography carefully and wisely. From having the perfect lighting to getting the best angle, this guide will teach you the ins and outs of successful food photography. After all, using food photographs in your advertising will help bring people to your restaurant or page. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Consider Lighting 💡 🕯 ☀️

Food Photography Example of Natural Light of an image depicting apples and a clear glass bottle of apple cider on a light surface

This is an example of natural light.

Food Photography Example of Soft Light of an image depicting toast, a knife, butter, cheese and a glass of milk on a white cutting board and a light background

Here’s an example of what soft light looks like.

Firstly, you must assess your lighting situation. When it comes to choosing lighting for your food pictures, there is no one correct choice. Natural and soft lighting can both come in handy, but soft is the popular choice for food pictures. Soft light consists of a soft shadow. It is a complimentary light for food and helps to enhance texture and details. To create the best soft light for your photographs, you should use something that will reflect the light with you. Boards, sheets, and curtains are some examples. Place the food item between the light and the reflector object. Soft light works for any mood. Natural light is also common when photographing outside and at restaurants. This lighting will ensure that the food, dishes, and background appear accurate in color.

Ensure Clarity 💎 💎 💎

Equally important, is clarity. Even with all the edits and filters out there, fixing a blurry photo is nearly impossible. Make sure to check your camera’s focused before releasing the shutter. If you are taking pictures on a phone, tap on the food object that you want to capture before taking the photo. This will help to make sure that the object is as sharp and clear as possible. The clearer the food looks, the more appealing it will be to your audience so keep that in mind during your next photoshoot.

Utilize Color 🔺 🔶  🟡  🟩  🔹  💜

Color plays a big role in the composition of your photos and can influence the feel of the image as well. Using similar color choices like green and yellow create feelings of comfort. Contrasting colors like green and red create a more exciting and vibrant image. You can use similarity or color contrast when setting up the food itself, utensils, dishes, and background displays. Elevate an image of a bowl with yellow pasta by placing a red napkin next to it. Topping a few pieces of colorful fruit onto pieces of bread can really make the photo appear much more appealing.

Food Photography scene with light diffusers and a bright blue shutter background while shooting a table of fruit as the subject

This bright blue background makes the food pop!

Set Up The Perfect Background 🌫  🌌  🌅

Certainly, the food is the star of the shoot, but don’t forget the background. When having a food photoshoot, the background is just as important as the food is. Having unnecessary cluttered objects in the background can draw the viewer’s attention away from the food. Remove any extra dishes, rags, or food pieces in the background. Using a neutral background will help your viewers concentrate on the actual food better. To boost the appearance of food, experiment with dark and light backgrounds. Dark food tends to look better with dark backgrounds and lighter food tends to look better with lighter backgrounds. Wood, tablecloths, tiles, and trays are some other background images that food looks good on. Backgrounds do not have to be completely plain, but they should still compliment the food instead of taking away from it.

Try Multiple Angles 👇 👉 👆

Different types of dishes and foods look better at different angles. Play around with a variety of angles to see which make your images look best. For instance, foods that are flatter like a tray of quesadillas might look better with a shot from above. However, it would be best to shoot from in front of a tray of cupcakes so you can see the entire shape and size. Shooting from the front helps to capture the details and layers of objects like bread, cakes, or a smoothie. To capture the top layers of food and emphasizes the shape of the dish, try shooting from above.

Decorate The Set 🥄 🥣  🍃

Depending on the visual story you are going for, you may want to include additional props or decorations to the scene. This will make the photos seem more interesting and visually appealing. Adding some of the ingredients to the set can help your audience visualize the recipe. Scooping spices up with a spoon or pouring some herbs, berries, or nuts onto the frame can make a great addition. Non-food decorations like utensils, napkins, flowers, or books can also heighten the image. These help to create a story behind your image and create a certain mood.

Food Photography Guide example depicting an African American woman holding a pair of chopsticks with noodles

Looks pretty tasty!

Incorporate Human Actions 🍜 🍝

By incorporating actions, it will make your photo come more alive and can help to tell a story. Having a fork twirl within the pasta or showing a hand holding chopsticks with sushi can be very appealing to an audience. Pouring cream into coffee or placing an ice cream cone within someone’s hand can also look nice. If you are going to use a hand, make sure it is clean and moisturized. Only incorporate actions if they add to the photo. Do not force actions if they are out of context.

Present Food Neatly  🍡  🥧  🍱

The positioning and arrangement of the food you are capturing should be carefully thought out. Food should be arranged uniquely and in an organized manner, which creates balance and visual interest. Slices of vegetables or fruit should be cut in similar sizes and evenly distributed. Make sure that plates and trays are clean of spillages. There should not be any messes or unintentional food specks in the image.

Edit Smartly 🤓  🧐  🤫

Finally, at the step when we do finishing touches. Using filters and other editing tools can truly improve the appearance of your photos. Brightness, color, and exposure can all be adjusted with some simple web tools. Certain filters can enhance the excitement and vibrancy while others can make the colors more muted and softer. There are numerous applications and software products that help you edit as little or much as you need. Just make sure that you do not overdo your editing.

In summary, photography food can be fun, it is not always simple. There are many elements involved when executing great food photography. Whether you use a professional-grade camera or a phone, with the information shared in this guide, you have the potential to capture some delicious meals!