Repurpose content to reach new audiences. We’re continually improving on our content repurposing. We currently use videos on YouTube, Facebook and IGTV. We turn them into blog posts and announce those blog posts as stories on Instagram. We also have plans to turn all of that content into bite-sized videos and posts for Instagram and Instagram Stories in the future. Your audience is diverse, and they each prefer specific types of content, so diversify to reach everyone!
I had the pleasure to interview Frank Kerner, of Pelican State Credit Union. Frank got his start in digital marketing by running and subsequently selling, a blog-turned-website called Geek Preview. He has been featured in Inc Magazine, Facebook Boost Your Business and The Financial Brand. As the Content and Digital Strategist, he oversees all digital, social and content marketing for Pelican State Credit Union, the largest state-chartered credit union in the state of Louisiana.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Sure! I got my start in high school by creating a blog. I wanted to talk about video games and film as an art form. It grew quite a bit, and I got to interview some pretty high profile composers and art directors in the entertainment industry. I found myself getting more enthralled in growing my readership and increasing my retention and fanbase.
As I entered college, I thought film would be a great major for me since I loved the art form so much. However, I increasingly enjoyed writing blogs and newsletters, running and researching ad campaigns, finding new ways to attract people to the business. I ended up getting an offer for my website, so I sold it, changed my major and focused my efforts on marketing for businesses.
Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?
I’ve been doing marketing within social media for almost 10 years now, which is crazy to think about. Growing up and realizing the potential of the internet early on has allowed my skill set to grow with the platforms. I teach classes and do one-on-one coaching for people that need help with their personal branding on social media.
I’ve helped develop strategies for a huge assortment of businesses — software development companies, authors, mechanics and even rodeo queens! At Pelican State Credit Union, we’re currently ranked pretty high on the “Power 100” rankings for financial institutions on The Financial Brand. We’re #62 for overall social media, #61 on Facebook and #48 on Youtube — no small feat!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
I’d say the most interesting thing that’s happened is when I was personally invited to speak at Facebook’s official Boost Your Business tour in Baton Rouge. It was kind of surreal to get contacted from Facebook about a really awesome experience. Being able to get in front of a large audience and share my experience using social media for business was one of my best professional memories.
We talked about growing your online community, ways to reach your target market and how to get the most return for your money on the platform.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
One of the funniest mistakes I’ve ever made is actually pretty embarrassing, but I enjoy telling it. It was years back when hashtag strategies were essentially “add them to get exposure.” Well, it was a picture taken at an event with a celebrity impersonator, and there was a joke that they made at the event to go with the picture.
Without thinking, I’m in the middle of laughing at this caption, and I decide to leave a hashtag for the followers to be more personable: #ImDead. In all of the laughter, I forgot that the celebrity is actually deceased, so the hashtag may have seemed a little tasteless when it wasn’t meant as so. I still cringe when I think about it. I always tell the story to remind people to re-read your hashtags and captions once more before you post. It could come across pretty bad when it’s not meant to.
Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?
Lately, this one’s been a tie. Facebook is still slightly ahead at increasing revenue, but YouTube has been really growing for us lately. A lot of this depends on your content and strategy, but they both have their perks.
When we launch a campaign, Facebook and Google Display Ads are the main conversion drivers. People come to our website, visit a location or call when those ads are running. With YouTube, there are a lot of perks that marketers and business owners forget about. The view rate for ads is high, as is the retention rate. What it does for awareness and product/brand consideration are incredible.
We ran a campaign back in 2017 called Fall Into Savings to promote our share certificate rates and get more deposits. It was a simple concept: we’d tie into the current season, put some fall leaves and fall-esque sounds to appeal to all of the senses, and then created Display and Bumper ads for Google, YouTube and Facebook. Our highest lift came from YouTube and Facebook, which reached hundreds of thousands of people for 7 seconds each. We saw a huge bump in organic search traffic during the promotional period, and referred almost 16,000 people to our landing page.
We increased our deposits by $7,000,000 in a very short amount of time, and we spent a tiny fraction of that. We got views on Facebook and YouTube for less than a penny a view! You really can’t beat those kinds of returns on investment.
Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.
· Strategize, strategize, strategize! You can’t improve your business without a strategy, so why should you approach Instagram any differently? When I first approached social media marketing years ago, I didn’t really think about strategizing. It was always, “What will I post today?” By knowing your voice, content and approach on Instagram, you’re taking guesswork out of the equation and are able to make more of an impact with consistency.
· Create a calendar and stick to it. I used to use a tool called Trello to keep organized, but our entire marketing team has been using Wrike, which has been outstanding for social media calendars. We can see upcoming and current content at a glance on the calendar, including previous and future Stories and IGTV videos.
· Repurpose content to reach new audiences. We’re continually improving on our content repurposing. We currently use videos on YouTube, Facebook and IGTV. We turn them into blog posts and announce those blog posts as stories on Instagram. We also have plans to turn all of that content into bite-sized videos and posts for Instagram and Instagram Stories in the future. Your audience is diverse, and they each prefer specific types of content, so diversify to reach everyone!
· Make content because you have something to say, not because you have to say something. This goes back to “What will I post today?” There are days where we don’t have something to say, so we don’t post. Guess what? That’s completely fine. Posting just to say something can do more damage to your brand than saying nothing at all.
· Be real. I see a lot of marketers that want to look like “big brands.” I’ve found that they will forego being their own “real” brand. Being real is a great differentiator — add some personality in your posts! Use pictures, stories and videos of real people to show that you’re not some stuffy, corporate brand page. Being polished is great, but losing all personality to look clean doesn’t do well. Spend time honing in on that brand voice, and you can remain real and look polished at the same time.
· Don’t forget that it’s not about you. One of the biggest problems businesses have with Instagram is that they forget about their followers’ needs, wants and dreams. Keeping these in mind can help you craft content and posts that can make an impact in your followers’ lives. When’s the last time you polled your customers/followers to see why they follow you?
Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I’d really like people to know that within social media and on the internet they have the power to create their own happiness. You can choose to see what you want, and there are algorithms in place to show you more of that. If you took just a minute out of each day to like, share and choose happiness and growth instead of engaging in negativity, you’d see more of that.
We are in a unique position with the internet to create the world that we want to live in. If you don’t want to see negative news, don’t read it or seek it out, and it will not be shown to you. If you want to be a better artist, you can surround yourself with other artists and get live, real-time feedback on your work. If your dream is to only see cute pictures of baby animals day in and day out, you can live in that world.
It’s actually easier to do this than most other things. You simply have to not click or read things you do not want to. Hide them from your internet if you wish. Do that enough times in one small week and you will see a huge increase in your happiness. Create the world in which you live well.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Ooh, that’s a tough one. It’d probably be Pete Docter. His storytelling skillset is out of this world, and the movies he’s directed and worked on at PIXAR have been very impactful and inspirational in the way I approach content and marketing.
Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!