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.
Targeted advertising, much like everything else, has seen many changes throughout history. It has had to adapt and keep up with transitions in technology and culture. Now, we are living in the middle of a digital media based world. The major trend in this realm today is storytelling, pictures, and visual-based content. Advertising must, once again, adapt its style and targeting to this trend.
Snap Inc., the camera company responsible for Snapchat, is expanding its expertise. Mobile is headed towards the largest online advertising market and Snap needs the advantage of being able to more accurately measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns. For this reason, they bought out Placed for at least $125 million. Placed can track the effectiveness of online ad campaigns and determine if they are responsible for getting consumers into stores and making actual purchases.
When people think “digital marketing” they think the internet. Ads, websites, and social media is all the digital advertising there is right? Wrong. Many companies use digital billboards or digital flyers to promote their brand. Burger King is one of these companies. For their most recent campaign, they are asking consumers to take selfies of themselves eating whoppers. These pictures are then used on digital billboards around the world in cities without a Burger King location with a message along the lines of “too bad this can’t be you.”
Welcome to the The StrataBlog Round Up
Don’t have time scour the entire web and read every blog out there about the digital market today? Don’t worry we have you covered.
Here is everything you should know from this week in the digital marketing industry.
Working around Facebook’s muted auto play subtly with subtitles.
When Facebook stated its auto-play feature for videos at the beginning of the year, marketers rejoiced. View were now bountiful Cost per views were on the drop. Everybody was happy. But there was a catch, the videos were muted unless clicked on by the end users. Some brands have found ways around this, by simply embracing it. With a slight nod to the days of old when subtitles were king.
Facebook now supports .gifs but not for uploading.
Prepare yourself for a gifs galore. Facebook now supports gif in both its desktop versions and mobile versions. If you don’t know, .gif’s aka (Graphics Interchange Format) are short soundless videos that repeat over and over again. They are most commonly used for reactions to digital content and are prevalent on sites such as Imgur.com, Tumblr, or Reddit. You cannot yet upload a .gif as an ad, but they can be posted. Brands however should be wary to post .gifs featuring copyrighted content they do not own themselves, in order to avoid potential legal trouble.
Instagram ads are on the way!
Powered by Facebook targeting abilities, Instagram will soon be available to everyone as a advertising platforms and not just those who can shell out more then $500,000 per ad. While Instagram works out the kinks of their ads serving and buying back end, they have added additional powerful features catering to tech and such as a Buy now and App Install buttons.
Here is a fantastic tech crunch article on the matter. http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/02/adstagram/#.5qbaaa:hCYT
The future of YouTube is mobile. Go small or go home.
YouTube is now more than a decade old. What started as a small site for users to upload videos for other people to watch, has grown to a media powerhouse before being purchased by Google. That’s its past but where is its future? Mobile. More than half if its users are already on some sort of mobile device. Mobile watch time has grown nearly 100% this past year and will continue to rise. The future of video is mobile, and advertisers must embrace it.
Here is The Guardians interview with YouTube’s Head of content and business operations, Robert Kyncl http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jun/02/youtube-future-small-screens-mobile-robert-kyncl
Is the pin mightier than the data? Pinterest buying power vs Instagram data.
Facebook and Instagram both have massive amounts of digital data on their users. This allows extremely relevant ads to be served to audiences. Pinterest, however can allow brands to be part of the planning mode (or skip right down to the bottom of the sales funnel) Users go to Pinterest for inspiration with Pinterest adding “Buy It” buttons, it has the potential to flip the traditional sales process with top of funnel conversions and become am E-commerce powerhouse.
The psychological power of color.
A Picture says 1000 words, what does a color say? We are visual creatures who associated different colors with different meanings for example Red is an exciting or alert color, blue is a calmer, more competent color. Colors have personality just like brands. There are some best practices to use when thinking about what colors to use in everything from call-to-actions, to general branding.
7 Reasons to pay for experiences over things.
We see the past through rose tinted glasses. Giving users more of a brand experience can lead to better recall and better feelings towards that brand or product, than simply seeing an ad scrolling through your news feeds. Here is an example: which is more memorable, a real life recreated Pac-man game, or a picture of a model drinking a beer? A slight exaggeration but you get the idea. There is something to be gained when you offer your customers a unique digital experience online with your brand as opposed to just seeing an ad while scrolling through Facebook.
Want To Know More About How These Ideas Can Help Your Brand?
Ask any digital consumer in the US what the top 5 sites to purchase products online are. Go ahead. I bet Amazon.com one of those sites. Unsurprising as Amazon has practical become a household name. It is an is an E-commerce powerhouse, that has made numerous in headlines in the past few months with their talks of drones, the rollout of the Amazon Dash buttons, and the increasing number of benefits from being a prime member. It is the 3rd most visited site in the US and 7th most visited globally with a staggering estimated 168 million unique visitors every month. The majority of people generally are aware of how big Aamazon is, however, what many people don’t know is, Amazon offers a way to leverage its massive audience, thoughtout various Ad serving platforms.
There are two ways to advertise on Amazon. Which you use depends on your goals.
- Do you already sell on Amazon? Then the Seller Central would be your best bet.
- Do you want to direct traffic from Amazon to your site? Amazon Product Ads is the better choice then.
Today I am going to focus on the later of the two services, and give a beginners step-by-step guide on how to set up your own Amazon Product Ads. It is VERY simple PPC platform, which can leverage Amazon’s that massive audience, and insert your products in a powerful and unique bottom funnel way, when people are searching competitors or similar products.You will have ads up in no time by following these 6 Steps.
Step 1: Register An Amazon Sellers Account.
After you first go to Amazon, scroll down the very bottom of the home page. Under the “Make Money with Us” and click on Advertise Your Products.
The link will lead you here. This is the Amazon services page. Here you can find FAQ’s, tutorials, reviews etc. a standard sales page. If you do not already have a sellers account just click the “Get Started Now” link and the fun begins.
Step 2: The Questionnaire
Now, before the real magic happens, Amazon will ask you three simple questions. As you answer these questions, keep in mind Amazon Product Ads will only allow certain product categories to be advertise with this service. Anyone can advertise in the Baby, Computer, Electronics, Home/Home Improvement, and Musical Instruments, as well as Office, Pet Supplies, Sports, Toys or Wireless categories. It will also allow you to advertise in Apparel, Health and Beauty, Grocery, Shoes, and Watches categories; however it will require approval from the Amazon Gods.
If your product falls into any of those, you will be good to go! Just click the sing up now after answering the questions and we are off!
Step 3: Set Up The Actual Account
This is where you actually begin filling out your account information. It is straightforward so I am going to skip most of this, as it is simply plug and chug. If you are an agency, I suggest doing this under your client’s name. If you are a seller, use your account.
Once you get this all figures out, you will be dropped off at the Amazon Product Ads Dashboard. I warn you, it is not much to look at, but do not let its simplicity discourage you.
If you are familiar with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Adwords… this dashboard is nothing like them. What you see here is what you get. Do not let how basic this is scare you away. Again, getting your products in front of this massive audience searching for similar products can have a great ROI.
Step 4: Upload Your Product Catalog
This is where things can get a little tricky. You need to upload the inventory you want to advertise from your website, but it only accepts certain file formats. Thankfully, Amazon has a very simple template that will generate the necessary file for you. To get started click “Upload your Products” to get started.
This new window will give you a couple options of what to do. If you are familiar with Google or Yahoo selling, you should already have the required files. If you have the necessary file listed in the drop down menu (as seen below), just select the type of file you have and click “Upload Now”. If not, move on to the next step.
As I said, Amazon Product Ads will only accept a few files. Luckily, Amazon provides an easy-to-use template that will generate the file format Amazon Product Ads will accept and will upload the products you want to advertise. Just hit “Download Template”
A window will pop open. Click the “Amazon.com Product Ads tab delimited file (.txt)” link.
On this next window, you can narrow or broaden the details on your products as much as you like. For the purposes of this beginners guide, we will stick to the required fields. As an Example, let us say you are selling a Taco Truck Taco Holder, like this:
A rather unique product, right? No worries, just type the category you believe would be appropriate. For this taco truck, I believe it would best fit under Home & Kitchen category. Begin typing and results will flood the feed.
As you can see, there are hundreds of sub categories. Consider which one would best represent what you are selling. Here some competitor research can come into play. I selected “Kitchen Utensils & Gadgets/Tools & Gadget Sets.” Once you find the category you like, next comes what little creative and optimization you can do.
Things to keep in mind here: no special characters like “&” or “!”. Keep things simple. Straight to the point.
Once you finish these field hit Add item. You can add as many products as you like. When done, click “Generate Feed” at top right and save the ProductAdsFeed to your desktop. Go back to the Add Products via Upload page. Select Amazon Product Ads tab-delimited file from the drop down menu, click “Choose File” and select the file you just saved hit the “Upload now” button.
Congrats that was the hardest part of this whole process. Its all pretty streamlined from here on out.
Step 5: Set Your Budget
Go back to the Product ads. You can check your listing by going to the Manage Inventory section of the dashboard. The next step in the process is to set your daily budget. Figure out what you are willing to spend day-to-day on your advertising. This will require some math because there is no Lifetime feature like on some other platforms. So simply divide your total monthly budget by how many days there are in that month and enter it into the field.
Insert whatever your daily budget would come down to, and then hit update.
Step 6: Set Your Bids
Bare with me this is the LAST step.
Back on the dashboard. Hit the “Set Your Bids” button and the Bids manger will open. Instead of clicking through each and every category again, at the top select the “only Categories I have products in” button. This will filter out all the other unrelated classifications.
Here you have the option of setting the Minimum CPC or the Suggested CPC. There is not too much that you can do here, so the best practice will be to set it to the suggested bid, and let it ride. You can increase the suggested bids by specific percentages if you want. But that is the limit of the optimization you can do.
And that is it! After you hit the “Save changes” button, your ads will be added to the Amazon Product Ads rotation.
What About Optimization?
Amazon currently does not allow for too much in this way. There are a few things to help get the most of your ad dollars. Here are a few suggestions:
•Split test in different categories. There are hundreds out there and if your ads are under performing, maybe try a new category. Need information on A/B testing? We have you covered.
• Use every field in the feeds generation. The more specific your ad is the better.
• Only use your top 10-15 bestselling and/or most profitable products. Utilize your wow factor. This will draw the traffic to your site, and make sure you maintain a healthy ROI.
• You CAN adjust your bid, but it is something you have to play around with for each category.
With Amazon, what you see is what you get; nonetheless, this is a very effective platform for bottom funnel sales. At this point in Amazon Product ads, Amazon determines everything all down to the placement of ads. For more information on that, you can Click Here to learn more.
If you’re in marketing or advertising, you’ve inevitably heard Mad Men references a time or five. Chances are, it’s been a quote by none other than [fictional character] Don Draper. He is the focal point of the series that is in its final season. After binge watching the first few seasons on Nexflix a couple years ago, I became hooked, not only the show, but his character. The writing is simply brilliant. It forces you to pay close attention to subtle nuances and symbolism of events.
In honor of the upcoming series finale, I felt it appropriate to pay tribute to a show that put Madison Ave. advertising from the 50s, 60s, and 70s into perspective. So sit back, pour yourself a rye, neat and enjoy the poetic verses of the one, Don Draper.
The full sentence was: “Everybody else’s tobacco is poisonous. Lucky Strikes’ … is toasted.” How is this important? If you watched season 1, episode 1, you’ll understand the significance of this one-liner. In Don’s first pitch that we see, he’s trying to come up with a new tag line for Sterling Cooper’s largest account, Lucky Strike cigarettes. Fumbling and appearing to have no ideas or confidence in a strategy, he falls silent. As the meeting is about to be adjourned and tabled for another time, Don says wait, and breaks out a piece of chalk to start writing ideas. In an effort to differentiate Lucky Strike from all the other cigarette companies, because they all were fighting the same battle in that cigarettes were said to kill people, he came up with that a key differentiating factor: Lucky Strike Cigarettes: They’re Toasted. They’re all actually toasted during the manufacturing process, but Lucky Strike would be the only ones to advertise them that way.
How does this relate to digital marketing? In a copy-cat world, it’s crucial that we find a way to differentiate ourselves, our company, or our clients we represent. Service offerings, products, processes, etc. can all be very similar (if not exact) but we have to find that key element that sets us apart and makes us unique.
“Make it simple, but significant.”
Skip ahead to season 4, episode 6. There’s not much to elaborate on with this one. Sometimes the most powerful statements come in the simplest of ways. Take Apple for instance. Everything about their brand appears to be so simple. Their website, their products, their advertising… it’s clean and powerful. But most of all, it’s significant.
How does this relate to digital marketing? Strength in message is rooted in brevity. If you complicate your message, your audience will have a difficult time understanding the value. Which in essence loses all significance. Keep your message simple and brief, but powerful.
“It’s not a wheel. It’s a carousel.”
Back tracking to season 1, episode 13, Don and the team get tasked with naming a new product from Kodak. Don gives a pitch that is literally so inspiring that Harry Krane leaves the room in tears. There’s more context as to why he left so emotionally but Don’s pitch was flawless in delivery. He describes the photo wheel as a carousel that spins round and round taking you on life’s journey. It really is a moving scene.
How does this relate to digital marketing? All it takes is a change in the way of thinking. I don’t want to call out millienials here, but I feel like our generation tends to lack critical thinking and problem solving. Myself included. I rely heavily on other people a lot at times and go to the Google well quite often for answers. As Don says, also in season 1, think deeply about something – then forget about it and an idea will come to you.
“What is happiness, it’s a moment before you need more happiness.”
Classic and timeless Don statement. We as humans are constantly seeking happiness and it comes in many different forms. You can be happy in a moment and then it goes away and you’re back to seeking more happiness again.
How does this relate to digital marketing? Isn’t it obvious? We as marketers are constantly running campaigns to try and make people happy. We write and promote content with the hopes of somebody reading or sharing it with others all with the purpose of satisfying a need – which in most cases is happiness. HubSpot refers to it as delightion. What is your strategy for delighting customers? Because everyone is constantly seeking that next best thing that will make them happy. Are you going to be there at the right time?
“If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.”
This might be my all time favorite. Keep this stowed away in the back of your mind whenever you are in the middle of a conversation that’s heading in a bad direction. You have the power to change the tone if you don’t like what’s being said. Words are the most powerful thing we as humans have. Once we learn how to effectively use them, we become dangerous.
How does this relate to digital marketing? One use case I can provide for this quote happened very frequently when I was in healthcare marketing. Patients, if they have a poor experience, can lash out at their doctor via online reputation sources. The best way to combat all the negativity was to simply change the conversation. Ultimately we wanted it to lead to peaceful resolution. But with our words, we had the ability to respond and make sure the doctor’s reputation was not tainted as a result.
Let’s change the conversation
Digital marketing is an interesting beast. There are so many components it can become very overwhelming. The beauty of digital marketing and advertising is the ability to track and prove ROI. If you want to continue the conversation, let’s talk. Or, if you’d like to change it and talk about something else, we’re open to that, as well. Click below to get in touch with us online today.
The New Age of Social Media Video
As social media platforms move away from YouTube and into hosting their own video, we’ve seen the quantity of videos increase, engagement increase and social media users embrace the constant presence of video in their feeds wholeheartedly.
In the age of digital media and online marketing, there are several areas that a company should consider before developing a social media marketing strategy, but the most important aspect always comes back to content. You’ve heard the saying before: content is king. So how do you put a content marketing plan into place?
- Define. The first thing you should do when creating a content strategy is to define your goals. What do you want to gain from creating content? New leads? A better awareness of your product or services? Who is your target audience? Have a clear picture of what your strategy will be and put it into writing. When you feel that you might be veering off course, go back to your defined goals and get back on track.
- Distribute. Great content won’t do you any good if it doesn’t reach anyone. How will customers find your content? There is a wide range of social media channels to distribute your content, so you have to decide what is going to work best for your brand. From YouTube to white papers to Facebook, consider the pros and cons of each platform and pick two to three that you think will best benefit you. Make sure to keep your content fresh by regularly updating your blog and social networks.
- Discover. What kind of content will keep your customers connected? Your brand should have different types of content to help people at any point in their journey. Whether the person is a potential customer or a repeat visitor, you should have content that caters to all sorts of groups. Each of these customer segments is different and should have unique content.
- Develop. Content can take many forms, so try different methods to see what works best for you. Tell stories that are engaging about your employees, founders or even customers to make an emotional connection with your audience. Find relevant information about similar topics to share, including statistics, quotes or funny facts. You can even crowd source and have your customers create content for you by asking them to share stories about themselves and your product/services.
- Design. Make your content visually-appealing by using graphics and videos. Did you know that 90% of information that comes to the brain is visual? Infographics are great ways to get your content distributed in a fun and interesting way. They are eye-catching, they show that you are an expert in a subject and they have a tendency to go viral. 40% of people will respond better to visual information than simply plain text.
Remember: quality always wins over quantity. Yes, there is always a positive spin to being in front of a readers’ eyes when they are scrolling through their feed, but what really makes an impact, is when they stop to read what you have to say. At that given moment, you can effectively make a sale, engage them as a client and keep their interest in the future.