Placed: Snap Inc.’s Newest Investment

Placed

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. 

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Marketing Lessons from Unicorn Drinks

Starbucks Unicorn Drink

If you’re in tune with social media on any level, odds are you’ve seen pictures of Starbucks latest craze, the Unicorn Frappuccino. You’ll find posts raging about the unhealthy nutrition facts to selfies of Starbucks lovers everywhere showing off their flavor-changing, color-changing magical drink. Whether you’re a fan or not, there’s one thing you can’t deny: Starbucks covered the internet with Unicorn Drinks. But how? Here’s what you can learn from this short craze

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Maximize Your Brand Presence on Instagram

Marketing is no longer one size fits all for social content. Companies must approach each network with unique content and must be tailored to a target audience. Infographic and template wizards Venngage offer some tips for Instagram success that can be applied to any campaign in any industry.

Share some of your Instagram success stories with us!

Organic vs. Paid Reach

Organic vs. Paid Reach

Should your company be using organic or paid content to reach your social media objectives? Well, it depends on your marketing objective. Are you trying to engage your current audience or reach new users? While organic reach could have been possible a couple years ago, the algorithm changes on social media make organic reach success more difficult. Reach is not free anymore. 

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Digital Marketing trends in 2017

Digital Marketing

These Digital Marketing trends are expected to rule to 2017. Which ones will you be following? 

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The Joy of Canvas

Facebook Canvas lets you combine images, video, text, and call-to-action buttons in a single, fully immersive mobile ad experience. Want to learn how to create Facebook Canvas ads? Click below and watch my demo of Canvas.

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The Year Of Snapchat

social media platform 2015

It’s no secret that Snapchat was the hottest topic of conversation in 2015. It saw tremendous growth in users, views, and advertising. It became part of users’ everyday lives and caused a panic when experiencing technical difficulties. As if that isn’t enough here is more proof that Snapchat was THE social media platform of 2015.

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Optimize and Utilize Houzz for Brands

There’s a new social media platform in town and it’s called Houzz. With 15 million users a month, the Pinterest-type network attracts people searching for home improvement ideas and those in the industry. If your brand falls into the home improvement, contracting or interior design industry, this tool is for you.

Why Houzz?

So why should you be using Houzz? How about this statistic. In the next two years, 84% of homeowners plan to decorate or redecorate their home and 48% plan to remodel, build-on or build a custom home. And If you have done and remodeling on your own, you know what people don’t take process too lightly. Homeowners spendlots of time online researching companies to help their dreams a reality. Whether it be searching for reviews of a company or perusing previous projects completed by a company, Houzz offers this service and more all in one place.

Getting Started

Setting up a Houzz account is simple for both homeowners and business owners. The first step is to create an official profile here on the Houzz website. You also download the extremely user-friendly app, which I find a lot easier to use than the desktop version. The more detail you put into your profile, the easier people will be able to find you. Here are some other helpful hints to getting your Houzz profile started:

  • Use high resolution photos
  • Add all contact information
  • List services you provide
  • Be strategic when creating keywords
  • Share your Houzz profile on all other social networks

Keys to Successfully Marketing on Houzz

Just like other social media platforms, you want your Houzz profile to reflect the “best version” of your business. Here are a few ways you can create a successful marketing campaign using Houzz for your brand.

  1. Engage and Connect

Although Houzz is a sales-driven platform, there is also that opportunity to connect with users and engage in different activities throughout the network. Create Ideabooks and fill them with your own photos or even photos that aren’t necessarily yours, but they inspire you. Just lie Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, if you aren’t active outside of your own profile, you will fall to the wayside.

Optimize and Utilize Houzz for Brands

  1. Be Prompt

Because this is a sales-driven platform, users are constantly asking questions to gain more information about companies via Houzz. It’s very important to respond promptly and professional to questions you receive through your inbox or comments on photos. Houzz does a great job of making sure you receive notifications when someone makes a comment. You can also change your notification settings to best suit your business. And remember on social media, users expect an answer within 24 hours of sending their question.

  1. Be Visual

The industry of interior design and contracting is very visual. Make sure your Houzz profile reflects that. The more photos you can upload the better. If a user wants to hire you, that obviously will want more than three photos of your work. Be creative with the photos you upload by creating Before & After shots. But keep in mind, when creating Before & After include both images in the same photo. This way users won’t get confused. Houzz does allow you to put a Before & After watermark on photos. Last, but not least make sure your photos are professional. If photography isn’t a strong skill for you, it wouldn’t hurt to hire a professional to take pictures for you. Cellphone photos are a definite NO-NO on Houzz.

Optimize and Utilize Houzz for Brands

Now that you have all the tools you are ready to tackle Houzz! Remember to have fun with it and show off your creative skills. While still new to the game, Houzz is taking great strides and will be a top contender among other social media platforms in the near future.

Are you already on Houzz? What tips do you have for optimizing and utilizing Houzz for brands?

Facebook Advertising: Clicks to Website vs. Page Post Engagement

Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes I find myself torn between choosing the Website Clicks or Post Engagement Facebook ad objectives. Even though Facebook clearly spells out which one you should use for different advertising situations, I think that there is a grey area not covered.

Which objective is right for your Facebook advertising campaign? Let’s do a little more digging to find out…

Post Engagement Facebook Ads

According to Facebook, Page Post Engagement objectives are meant to reach more people when you boost a post. Engagements on a post include Likes on your post or page, post clicks, comments, and shares. When determining overall engagement rate, you combine all points of engagement and divide by the total reach of the post. These ads can be in the form of photos, videos or text.

Facebook Advertising: Page Post Engagement
Post Engagement Ads using a Photo should be high quality and measure 1,200 x 900 pixels for a news feed image. Remember also; the graphic must be within the 20% text rule. Facebook provides this helpful grid tool to make sure your ads are within the guidelines.

Video Post Engagement Ads (different from Video Views objective) engage your audience with a video spot for up to 40 minutes (which I don’t recommend using the full time). The objective allows for 90 characters of text (body) and 25 characters in the headline. Although Video Post Engagement and Video View objectives may seem similar, I would recommend using the Video View option to get the most for your money. It will be better at measuring views and it includes a call to action button.

Text Page Post Engagement is simply boosted text. Facebook gives a maximum of 500 characters. What’s recommended for running an ad like this is to keep it to 150 characters or less for a clear and concise message. An example of a Text Page Post Engagement could be an endearing thought from your brand or a thank you note. In other words, stick to this objective when you want your audience to focus on your words at not a photo.

Clicks to Website Facebook Ads

Next up are the Website Click Ads. This objective is meant to send people to certain pages on your website. This could be a sign-up sheet, restaurant menu or really anything lead generation specific. Facebook recommends an image size of 1,200 x 628 pixels with 90 characters of text (body), 25 character headline, and 30 character link description.

More importantly, Clicks to Website Facebook Ads are meant to evoke your audience to take an action. The call to action options within this objective include:

  • Shop Now
  • Book Now
  • Learn More
  • Sign Up
  • Download

Facebook Ads: Website Clicks Ad
Recently, Facebook ads also rolled out the Clicks To Website: Multi Product option which allows you to showcase 3-5 images and links within a single ad to direct your audience to specific pages on your website. This option works best for those working with an e-commerce website.

NOTE: Clicks To Website are Dark Posts that appear nowhere on your page; unlike Page Post Engagement Ads that are posted to your Facebook page.

So which one should you choose?

When it comes to choosing which objective you should use, my major piece of advice is to hone in on what action you really want people to take when viewing your ad.

Clicking To Your Website

We would like to expect that everyone seeing a Page Post Engagement Ad would click on the link within the text, but most of the time, that isn’t the case. If your number one goal is to have people click on a link within your ad, I would strongly suggest going the Website Clicks route. This objective ensures that any action taken on the ad will track back to the link you provide. More importantly, the call to action button is the make or break feature with this objective. Here are a few examples when this ad would be best:

  • Working with an e-commerce website and promoting products on your website
  • Promoting booking reservations for a restaurant or similar establishment
  • Increasing clicks to a blog post or similar content
  • Encourage email sign-up
  • Increase e-book downloads

Use the Google URL Builder for website click Facebook ads.

Encouraging Post Engagement

When it comes down to choosing between Website Clicks and Page Post Engagement, it’s best to choose the Post Engagement engagement when you want the maximum reach and amount of engagement on a post. These ads are also ideal for getting the most shares on a post. I think using this type of objective for advertising an event works the best. Here are a few more situations in which Post Engagement Ads are the way to go:

  • Advertising a sale or special discount
  • Announcing a grand opening
  • Political campaigns
  • Special brand announcements

Use the Facebook Ads Manager as opposed to simply boosting a post.

How can we help you manage your Facebook ads?

And there’s my side to the story and I help clients drive website clicks and post engagement on a daily basis! What advice do you have for choosing between Clicks to Website and Page Post Engagement ads?

If your interested in running Facebook Ads to increase your brand awareness, increase sales or generate leads, click on the button below to set up a free Facebook Ads consultation with our expert team of social media gurus.

Click here for a free Facebook ads consultation!

Canva: A Social Media Expert’s Best Kept Secret

The key to becoming a successful social marketer is to constantly be thinking of innovative ideas and always work creatively. Enter Canva: a graphic design tool for everyone. Canva is an Australian based start-up that sky-rocketed back in August 2013, when they raised over $3 million from distinguished technology-based investors. It has a major emphasis on creating graphics that are friendly for all social media platforms including, but not limited to: Facebook and Facebook Advertising, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube.

Recently, I’ve discovered how to use Canva as an essential social media tool for anyone wanting to enhance their digital presence.

Canva’s Top Features

Customized Dimensions: Canva offers several types of social dimensions including ads, cards and blog post headers.

Pre-made Content: Templates make creating designs easy but you can also have a creative guide.

FREE Stock Images: Choose from several FREE stock images from a variety of categories. There are also images available for purchase.

Fonts Galore: Several fonts make creating unique designs.

Drag & Drop Tool: Users can easily place their graphics using an easy-to-use drag and drop tool.

Simple User Interface: Canva makes creating your designs easy by not including all the extraneous editing tools other photoshop tools have. This saves time because users can’t constantly second guess themselves with several filters and other art tools.

Creative Stream: Designers block? Click the Stream tab to view in real time other Canva user’s designs.

Accessibility: Canva is available for desktop and iPhone/iPad mobile apps.

Getting Started with Canva

Like I mentioned, Canva is extremely user friendly. Follow these steps to begin your first design.

  • Choose Dimension
  • Choose a Template
  • Create Content or Insert Photos
  • Let your creativity run wild!
  • Download as a PDF or Image File

How Can You Use Canva?

Canva is perfect for creating images for a client or even for personal social platforms. Even with a full-time graphic design team on your side, sometimes it’s nice to take a shot at creating your own designs. Below are some of my personal ideas for using Canva in my career as a digital media account manager:

Holiday Graphics for Social Media

Holiday Graphics for Social Media

Blog Post Headers

 

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads

Pinterest

Pinterest Graphics

Expand Your Skills

In all honesty, one of my major future goals is to develop design skills so I can be a triple threat in the industry. Canva allows me to do that. I get to use my way with words and turn them into a visual piece of art. As every social media expert knows, imagery is essential for creating top-notch campaigns: especially professional looking imagery. Using this tool can help you stand out in a crowd and even impress your clients.

What are you waiting for? Sign up for Canva NOW… It’s free!

Or, if you’re interested in other social media tools I keep in my back pocket, check out this blog on Instagram Marketing Tools or this one on Optimal Social Media Posting Times.