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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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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Introducing The Social Media Royal Family

Content is king. This is true, especially when it comes to social media. But a kind can’t rule a kingdom alone. He needs a queen. And that queen is community management.

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Mobile Vs Desktop: How To Reach The Consumer On The Go

There are few things in life that actually live up to their hype. For example: The Grand Canyon, The Internet, Tesla cars, Game of Thrones, peeling plastic off of a new electronics… And of course smartphones.

Remember when your grade school math teacher drilled long division into your head because: “You’re not always going to have a calculator in your pocket”?  Guess who has the last laugh now.

I called it a while ago that 2015 would be the year on mobile. It looks like the world is beginning to agree.

Here’s why:

During their 2015 Adwords Performance Summit, Google announced that for the first time, a long time speculation came true: mobile is beating desktop in the search game. Honestly, this should not come as a real surprise to marketers. With the growing number of apps and smartphones available on the market, and the fact people are always on the go has resulted in the growth of a mobile concierge economy. Combine that with the long awaited Mobilegeddon of Google, and you have all the makings of a coup d’etat for the digital crown.

It is an inescapable truth that mobile devices have become a fundamental part of life. It is not only the screen glued Millennial’s that sleep within an arm’s length of their phones. We feel lost and disconnected when we cannot find them. I can’t be the only one who has ever experienced a phantom vibration when I don’t have my phone in my pocket.  The world is of course faster paced today and we are constantly on the move within it. So all of this mobility begs the question:

How do you reach the consumer on the move?

You can see there are numerous trends appearing around the country now if you followed the news from SXSW, or any of the other trade shows marketers frequent. One growing in popularity that I foresee really making a significant impact in the digital world is that a number of retailers have begun installing beacons inside their stores. This technology essentially is the next level of CRM (customer relationship management) device that allows for a unique and personalized bottom funnel sale /remarketing ability exclusively to mobile devices.

For another we can look to an older medium radio for inspiration. Traditional radio is sharply declining. In its place are Internet radio services like Pandora and Spotify which bring in new listeners in droves. Why is this? Simple: mobility and personalization. Consumers want things now, and they want them, the way they want them.

Uber-For-Everything
^Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal

People are commuting farther and more frequent these days, and to help them get where they are going (mad men nod) they are using traffic crowd source apps like Waze and Google Maps to help them get where they are going.  This is an opportunity.

It is said that there is now a Uber for everything. This rise of a concierge economy is powered almost exclusively through the prevalence of mobile. Need a cab? Summon an Uber or Lyft. Want some booze but don’t want to drive? Drizly or Saucey have you covered. Have to get some laundry and dry cleaning done? Washio has your back. You can even order a doctor or a massage using the apps Heal or Zeel.

I bring this up because each of these services has an audience that is on the go. There are advertising opportunities available within each of these, as well. Google Display Advertising can allow you to place your message within these apps giving you the ability to reach people during their commute or free time.

So which is better Mobile or Desktop?

A hard question but to answer it, I’m going to take another page out of radio’s play book. Imagine search as a Hot Clock. There are high traffic times and low traffic times. Times when you know people are more likely to be on desktop, and times when they almost certainly have to be mobile. The folks over at the IDG Knowledge Hub put together a killer graphic that goes into this with a little more detail. Click here to check it out.

It is not just search in which mobile wears the crown. Take a brief look over any campaign reports from Facebook or Twitter to see how mobile your target audience is. If you separate out the placement of your ads I would wager you are likely to see a stark contrast in the CTR and impressions between mobile and desktop.

Mobile IT purchases and when people are most active on their mobile.

So should I drop desktop entirely?

Not by any means. While I am clearly an advocate of the strength of mobile over desktop, “traditional computers” (going to coin the phrase now) will still reach a broad demographic. It depends on who your audience is and what day part you want to hit them. Be honest: how many times have you watched a YouTube video or did a little Amazon shopping while on a computer at work?

When buying things online, there is still some level of distrust from consumers. Google’s Mobilegeddon aimed to relieve some of that hesitation and make the internet a bit more mobile friendly place. The trend is that consumers are doing research on their mobile devices, but when it comes to time to buy, they return to their desktops. A integrated marketing campaign will, as always, produce much better results.

What does this all mean for digital advertisers?

Bottom line? The ability to meet your target audience on the go and where they work was once a luxury, but now, it is  essential. The traditional sales funnel is changing and we as [digital] marketers must change with it.

Looking for more analytical proof about why mobile is important? Check out this blog on StrataBlue to learn more.

Want to talk more about how to advertise inside apps and search to reach your customers while on the go?

Click here now to contact us online!

Bridging the Gap Between Online and Offline Marketing

The effectiveness of traditional offline marketing is hard to measure but there’s no reason why you can’t add online elements to achieve measurable ROI, audience engagement and social sharing.

The Relationship Between Online and Offline

Offline advertising directly affects online marketing initiatives. In order to be successful online, marketers must understand how customers are engaging with their brand offline.

40% of online searches make a purchase after being influenced by an offline channel. Maria Fernandez Guajardo, vice president at RetailNext, notes that 89% of consumers would sign up for mobile messages if they were personalized, citing a 2013 study by Vibes.

In-store promotions no longer need to be planned in advance, but can be triggered in reaction to uncharacteristically low traffic and notify customers via social media, an app or email. For example, if sales are particularly low one week, a mass text can be sent out to those who have opted into mobile notifications that there is a last minute sale at J. C. Penney.

Measuring Online and Offline Metrics

Online marketers typically use metrics like click-through rate, page views and impressions. These metrics can be problematic, however. Marketers are now attempting to use a hybrid of metrics that feature both online and offline metrics.

Offline Metrics

  • Return on Investment (ROI)– A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments.
  • Economic Value- The worth of a good or service as determined by people’s preferences and the tradeoffs they choose to make given their scarce resources, or the value the market places on an item.
  • Customer Loyalty- Customer loyalty is all about attracting the right customer, getting them to buy, buy often, buy in higher quantities and bring you even more customers.

Online Metrics

  • Click Through Rate (CTR)- way of measuring the success of an online advertising campaign for a particular website as well as the effectiveness of an email campaign by the number of users that clicked on a specific link.
  • Conversions- an eCommerce phrase most commonly used to describe the act of converting site visitors into paying customers.
Tracking can be Tricky

Apart from some kind of offer code or coupon system, how can you measure response to your traditional marketing campaign? Services such as Bit.ly provide shortened, tracked URLs that redirect to a page of your choice. Bit.ly in particular offers customized URLs. The only drawback is that it is brand anonymous. Read more about the perks of using Bit.ly.

QR Codes

QR codes are– special pictograms that can be scanned using barcode reading smartphone apps. They– are slightly old-hat but still in popular use. Encoded within these QR Codes are links to websites or web pages. Only smartphone users will ever scan these, therefore the page you send them to must be mobile-optimized.

Metrics Used to Determine Marketing ROI

Preferred Metrics Used to Calculate Digital Marketing ROI

 

Many people think they need to choose either offline marketing or online marketing methods, but the truth is that it is possible to seamlessly integrate both into your marketing strategy.

How does your business bridge the gap between online and offline marketing? Please share your strategies in the comments below. For more information on how you can bridge the gap between online and offline marketing, contact us!

 

 

 

 

How to Ramp Up Creativity in Your Online Marketing

Have you ever stopped to think about how mysterious and awesome creativity is? I mean, how can you really define it? Where does it come from? Why do some individuals have much more of it than others?

Recently I came across a very interesting article in The Huffington Post. In the piece, author Carolyn Gregorie shares 18 traits that highly creative people do a little differently than others.  As a social media account manager, I began relating her insights to my work and the different ways I try to harness my own creativity to benefit the organizations I represent. Here are my thoughts:

1. They daydream.

In any creative field, there is a paradox between two competing necessities. On one hand, you need an inquisitive, nomadic mind that continually sparks new and innovative ideas. At the same time, it’s crucial that those meandering thoughts are organized and managed in a way that maintains productivity and meets deadlines. For creative individuals who struggle with this organization and time management piece, there are multiple apps and tools to help you manage competing priorities, maintain task lists and stay on track. A few good options I’ve come across include Todoist, Mind42 and focus booster.

2. They surround themselves with beauty.

At first, this point may sound a little “fluffy.” However, it’s no secret that the environment a person is surrounded by can greatly impact his/her thoughts, attitude and actions. When working in a field that requires a steady flow of creative content, it helps to have aesthetically-pleasing, positive surroundings that encourage similar content output. Some individuals have the flexibility to work from a park bench on a summer afternoon. Others don’t. Even then, you can add a little paint to your office walls, hang an interesting wall piece or bring in a few plants to liven up the environment. Here are a few other great ideas from my colleague’s recent blog.

3. They observe everything.

I find this trait to be very helpful in identifying campaign and content ideas that clients themselves often don’t recognize. For example, every time I interact with a client or stakeholder, I observe and listen intentionally. I’m searching for clues about things that are going well and items that are causing frustration. Then, I consider how social platforms (or other tool set) can be utilized to help amplify the good and ease the pains associated with the bad.

4. They take risks.

As Forbes contributor, Steven Kotler puts it, “Creativity is the act of making something from nothing. It requires making public those bets first placed by imagination. This is not a job for the timid. Time wasted, reputation tarnished, money not well spent – these are all by-products of creativity gone awry.”

For me, the key here is making my “creative bets” calculated ones. Whenever possible, it’s wise to run ideas by stakeholders prior to delivery. However, this isn’t always possible when an immediate response or post can make the difference in terms of service recovery or customer satisfaction. In these cases, it pays to have team members in place who exercise discretion and tact. Nothing is worse than negative publicity going viral! For more on that subject, be on the lookout for one of my other colleague’s upcoming blogs about incorporating crisis management into your online marketing strategy.

Do you consider yourself a creative type? If so, what do you think about the traits Gregorie presents in her article? Do you find the four that I mention here to be applicable for you as well? Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments below.

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.

 snapchat-infographic

Email Marketing Isn’t Dead, It’s Making a Comeback

Email isn’t dead, it’s making a comeback.

According to a 2012 Blue Kangaroo study, 7 in 10 people say they made use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email in the prior week. Also, 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email.

Social media is a great tool for building your brand, generating a buzz and spreading the word about your product/service. This is at the top of the sales funnel to help spread your company’s mission to reach a large audience. This allows you to share broad topics and build a community around your brand. So what’s the next step?

When you’re ready to move your customers down the funnel through the path of purchase, it’s time to incorporate email marketing. Research shows that 90% of consumers report daily email use, with the largest group being Millennials. Email marketing goes beyond fans and followers, and is accessible to both mobile and desktop users. What is the point of having a large database of “customers” that have no value or won’t make a purchase when you can target high-value customers and drive them to opt in to your email list?

So how can you increase your email database to start reaching more customers? Here are five things you should be doing:

  • Create a contest. Use a third party app such as Wishpond to create a contest on Facebook and require customers to give you their email in order to enter. Make sure that the contest you create has a relevant prize to your company. For example, if you are a store that sells culinary equipment, have a contest to win a gift card or perhaps a free cooking class. This way, you know that the people who are entering (and giving you their email address) are valuable potential customers.
  • Inform your social media fans and followers when a newsletter is going to come out. Give them a sneak peek of what will be included in the newsletter along with with a link they can follow to sign up. the sneak peek should be a teaser into insider information a reader can only get by being subscribed to your email list.
  • Segment your list to personalize your message. Instead of sending out one mass email to your entire database, tailor your emails by looking at customer data such as browsing history, purchase history and click throughs. Create different variations of your email to send a more private and personal message to your customers.
  • Include a popover window on your website. One study has shown that 43 of all deal email sign ups come from popover email registration boxes.
  • Offer an incentive. Just as social media contests are popular due to the incentives offered, you can grow you email list by offering a discount or free sample. Maybe you give your customers a coupon code for 10% off their next purchase, or perhaps a free sample-sized product. Whatever the incentive is, make it worth your customers’ time to sign up.

Need help getting started? Contact us to get an email marketing plan put into place.

Stick to the Point: How to Master Content Marketing

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.

Put the Stage Hook Down, Companies Can be Funny!

When it comes to business, there are several things that one can do to help promote and enhance their interactions with their customers. Now for the time being, it seems that the most effective way to market to clientele is through social media. While sounding like a relatively easy and simple process, there are many facets that go in to effective communication through various social media websites. Humor is a delicate area that should typically be handled with care when engaging with potential customers. One wrong step, and a business can risk damaging their reputation, losing customers, and even worse find themselves in the middle of a controversy.

To some, it may come as a surprise that humor would be considered an effective way to advertise to current and prospective clients. Integrating humor with your social media presence is found to be a highly strategic method of obtaining people’s attention. The logic behind this approach is that if you are able to appeal to one’s emotions, you will be able to find a stronger and longer lasting connection with them. This can be crucial to a business’ success because it will help the customer develop a strengthened understanding of who you are as a company.

There are several areas that a company should consider before taking their stand-up act to Twitter and Facebook. The golden rule when representing a brand and using humor is that what you think is funny, not everyone thinks is funny. If by chance you post an inappropriate response, there is a very real possibility that you can lose clients over it.

In order to protect the success of a business and reputation, you should always consider the fact that humor is a risk. Humor is 100% subjective to its audience, so it is always smarter to take the safe route and keep your posts clean. If you’re about to make a post and it relates to something that people have an opinion on, chances are you will receive negative responses in some degree. This means you should always steer clear of controversial issues such as politics, gender, or religion. It goes without saying that a good rule of thumb when posting something humorous on social media is “when in doubt, always leave it out.”

However, other strategies will make a positive impact on a company’s growth. When responding to people who have engaged with a company’s social media account, wit and banter is a highly overlooked tactic when it comes to online conversations.  As with everything else, the stance of a response needs to be professional because the company’s reputation is still at stake. However it is safe to say that most people will appreciate a slight degree of sarcasm and cleverness in their interaction with a company. The reason it can be appreciated is because users do not typically expect to a personal response from an account that represents something that is more machine than human-like. In a sense, it will catch a user off guard and they will naturally want to interact more to see what a company’s next response will be.

When it comes to selling your brand online, you should always remember that even though you represent a serious business, it doesn’t mean that your marketing has to be. It may not sound like an orthodox business practice, but in some cases, it is more than acceptable to not take yourself so seriously. People will respond to spoofs and parodies in a much more positive way, than if you responded in a way that made the company show a lack of light-hearted nature. People in general are playful, so when it comes to online engagement, it is more than okay to embrace that area of interaction!

While there are many ways that a company can use humor in their online presence, there are three main things they should always keep in mind. Its humor (not comedy), keep it clean and sometimes it’s okay to be silly. Using humor as a strategy can result in a very positive growth for a company in the business world.