Brands are Putting More Eggs in the Digital Basket


At the end of each year, brands and agencies are working hard to prepare for Q1 of the next year. And, every year they are adjusting their marketing budgets based on trends in the industry. One major trend going into Q1 of 2018 is upping your digital spend and decreasing spend in traditional marketing areas. Brands are seeing that digital matters more than other efforts today. Let’s take a look at Evian and why they spent 80% of their marketing budget on digital in 2017. 

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Social Media Marketers Compared to Normal People

Social Media Marketers Compared to Normal People

There has been a recent debate about whether social media markers can even relate to normal people. An Australian study titled AdNation 2017 has a lot to say about advertising agencies. Apparently, agencies are “out of touch with the general public”. The survey concluded that people are more likely to trust and get entertainment from a television commercial compared to social media. Let’s look at some other findings of those surveyed.

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Instagram’s Lack of Transparency

Instagram's Lack of Transparency

Instagram is an ideal platform for advertisers due to its lack of transparency and ability to provide native advertising. It can be difficult to differentiate between paid and unpaid content, especially when it comes to the vast number of influencers and sponsors. To be more honest and forthright with consumers, Instagram is testing a feature similar to Facebook’s.

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Amazon’s New Feature: Prime Reload

Amazon's New Feature: Prime Reload

Amazon has added yet another feature to its services, Prime Reload.  Available to Amazon Prime members, it is encouraging you to pay through your checking accounts by offering an incentive. If members fund their Amazon balances with their debit card they are eligible to get back 2% of their purchases.

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Are Your Pictures Really Your Pictures?

If an image is uploaded to the internet, it doesn’t become public property. That’s common knowledge, especially in the business world. These lines seem to have gotten a bit fuzzy on social media though, especially on Instagram.

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3 Hot Summer Social Media Campaigns

Summertime is the perfect time for brands to get social since everyone wants to share their summer experience with the world — whether it’s a week-long vacation or a backyard BBQ. The excitement of summer gives brands the opportunity to have fun with their customers in a personal way.

Here are three hot summer social media campaigns that could not be ignored. By the way, notice they all are hashtagging it!

CoachFromAboveCoach: #CoachFromAbove

I was made aware of this campaign through Jay Baer’s daily newsletter, Convince & Convert. As a woman, the “Coach from Above” campaign really stood out to me. Coach asked customers to share the view of their shoes, from above, by posting photos on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #coachfromabove. As an incentive, fans had a chance for their photso to be featured on the company’s website. This campaign made for some serious user-generated content because, let’s face it, women love showing off their shoes. I love how creative some women were with their photos. Although the campaign started on Instagram and Twitter, it overflowed to the company’s other social platforms, including Facebook and Pinterest. This allowed for increased exposure and helped the campaign gain even more traction. According to Convince & Convert, the campaign generated over 600 users on Instagram alone during the first eight weeks. This is a perfect example of how brands can engage with their customers in a fun and personal way.


BenAndJerrysBen & Jerry’s: #OMGFreeBenJerry’s

And what would summer be without ice cream? Ben & Jerry’s took their ice cream delivery truck to Twitter and gave their followers the opportunity to receive a free ice cream delivery by tweeting the location of where they would like the truck to visit, along with the hashtag #OMGFreeBenJerrys. Opened to consumers in five cities throughout the U.S., the campaign inspired user-generated buzz about the newest Ben & Jerry’s flavors, such as a video-montage created by a student at the Miami Ad School. It also garnered international attention and recognition for the popular Ben & Jerry’s ice cream trucks.

7-Eleven7-Eleven: AweSummer

7-Eleven used the hashtag #Awesummer the last few summers to share specials on food and treats all summer long. Beginning on Memorial Day, 7-Eleven kicked off their summertime campaign by tweeting their .49¢ Slurpee deal. The following week, they offered followers a link to an app for a free Snapple Ice Tea. The campaign promises to share food specials available at 7-Eleven stores with their followers all summer long. Of course, consumers are also encouraged to share their treat-purchases using the #AweSummer hashtag, which will likely  generate a ton of twitter buzz for the weekly summertime specials.


What summertime social media campaigns do you see popping up this summer?

Share examples on our Facebook page or tweet us at @StrataBlue, or  leave us a comment on what kind of social media campaigns you have found to be successful in terms of getting consumers involved.


How Strong is Your Snapchat Game?

You’ve been told over and over again that what you put on social media can haunt you forever. Unless you use Snapchat.

Snapchat, a popular picture-sharing app, shares videos, pictures and drawings with your friends for a pre-determined amount of time before it deletes the content. What started as a service to use among friends is now being leveraged by brands who are looking to target a younger audience. There are 400 million “snaps” sent each day, and 26 million active US users, so of course businesses are looking for ways in. But is Snapchat an application that brands can successfully use to reach their target audiences? And if so, what are some best practices for using it in a social marketing capacity?

While Snapchat’s user base has been growing by the millions, only a small fraction of its active users are brands. This is because Snapchat presents a few unique challenges for brands looking to leverage the app as a marketing tool to reach the coveted teen demographic.

The Challenges

  • Lacks editing capabilities. Marketers cannot edit the images they send out to improve photo quality.

  • Discoverability on the app is limited. Your audience isn’t likely to find you on Snapchat unless they make the choice to add you as a friend. This means that your brand will need to work on heavy promotion in other places to draw in users.

  • Basically no metrics. With a lack of in-app metrics, Snapchat does not allow you to track the success of your campaign.

With these massive obstacles standing in your way, is Snapchat really worth it? Depending on your brand’s audience, it may not be. But for brands looking to catch the eye of the teen demographic, it could be a fun, new way to expand your audience reach.

Your Snapchat Strategy

Having trouble coming up with ideas for your Snapchat marketing campaign? Try taking advantage of someone else’s. Recently, Tongal ran a contest that drew 584 ideas for how top brands can up their Snapchat marketing game. Some ideas included a city naming contest for free airfare through Southwest Airlines and cheat codes for EA Games’ most popular video games.

Will your brand add Snapchat to its social media basket?

Check out this infographic by Marketo to find out more about Snapchat’s user demographics, a few of the brands who are using it successfully, and some best practices for brand communication on Snapchat.


How Ben and Jerry’s Increased Brand Awareness by 17%

Love them or hate them (and by the look of it, people hate them) Instagram ads are here to stay. As of now, the ads are only available to a select group of advertisers and Instagram has yet to reveal any pricing structure. That being said, these few ads have been looking very favorable from the companies.

Levi’s had a nine-day campaign which it was specifically targeting to 18-34 year olds. In that time frame, they were able to reach 7.4 million users. As of today, the ad has over 93,000 likes and almost 2,000 comments. The photo Levi posted before the ad had a total of 2,748 likes and 14 comments, and the photo posted after had only 3148 likes and 15 comments.


“Not only were we able to reach a larger audience with our ads on Instagram, but the metrics clearly show we engaged with them in a memorable and authentic way. We’re pleased with these results.”  –Julie Channing, Director of Digital, Levis

In another instance, the popular ice cream company Ben and Jerry’s promoted four different ads. The first one was an ice cream cone right under a cloud, making it look like ice cream. This ad received 386,546 likes and over 5,700 comments. The next three ads they posted had an average of just over 290,000 likes before dropping back down to the 25-30,000 range. The photo they posted right before the ads had only 20,000 and 324 comments.

One of the ads had the benefit of being associated with the extremely popular viral campaign for the movie “Anchorman 2.” For the movie tie-in, they introduced their new flavor “Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch.” Their ad received over 250,000 likes and over 6,000 comments while reaching 9.8 million people. Because of the sponsored ad, 17% more people became aware of the new flavor.


“Since its launch, Instagram has provided us with an amazing platform to connect with our fans and tell our story visually. Ads on Instagram let us reach and engage with more fans about our flavors, fun and values.”  –Mike Hayes, Digital Marketing Manager, Ben and Jerry’s

One of the reasons these companies achieved success is because ads on Instagram are a novelty as of now. But it’s not all roses and sunshine when it comes to these ads appearing on a person’s timeline. There is a lot of hatred and with most cases regarding social media, people are not afraid to express how they really feel.

With the success of the ads from these companies you can be sure Instagram ads are here to stay. What are your opinions on these ads? Do they bother you or do you even notice them right away?


Branding Fought the Law (And the Law Won)

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office received some national attention last week. The Georgia public office didn’t stop a daring robbery though. Instead, the Sheriff’s Office unofficially cancelled Valentine’s Day.

Oconee Blog 1


While also being really funny, this Facebook post served as a reminder that Oconee County was suffering from an unusually heavy ice storm. The post received 1,199 Likes, 170 comments, and 1,693 Shares. The story also ran on the LA Times, Fox News and various local publications.

If you’re a social media manager, you dream about this sort of engagement. But some of you are probably chalking this up to a random event or luck. That’s where you would be completely wrong. Just a quick look at the Oconee County Facebook page tells you that these fine officers could teach people a thing or two about social media. Below are some of the best things on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. Be prepared to laugh!

Oconee Blog 2


Whimsy: The personnel at Oconee County are funny and that goes a long way. But more than that, this Georgia Sheriff’s Office is approaching their content in a very fun, engaging way. Trust me, I looked at other public and governmental Facebook pages, and most of them were drier than the last piece of leftover Valentine’s Day chocolate. Instead of presenting their content with a “just the facts, ma’am” approach, the officers at Oconee County are adding a bit of whimsy to their content and that’s helping with their brand.

Oconee Blog 3


Engagement: Who hasn’t used the old “post your winter pictures here” status on Facebook? The difference between success and failure is how Oconee County presents their call to action. They already have a built-in following due to their humor and they included the ever-so-tempting second sentence: “ACE News would like to see…” What Facebook Fan could resist possibly getting their own content put on national TV? This is a brilliant way to get more engagement.

Oconee Blog 4


Content: Not everything Oconee County posts is funny (although quite a bit of it is). This is the online mouthpiece for a Sheriff’s Office, after all. They post about murders and disappearances when they happen. There are also earthquakes and fires. But this little government department manages to show some personality in every post. There are also statuses about officers lost in the line of duty and you can feel the humanity there as well. I’m sure most officers feel this way, but Oconee County shares that insight with their fans, and they are rewarded with engagement and positive feedback for it.

It’s hard to find a post on this page that has less than 10 Likes or Shares. That’s pretty impressive for a local brand, no matter who you are. As of today, Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has 11,201 Facebook Fans in a county with a population of 33,619.

Is your local government’s social media amazing or terrible? Have you found incredible engagement in an unlikely place? I’d love to hear about it. Comment below or tell me about it on Twitter.