Future Implications

If you are a brand that has a loyal following of consumers, it’s safe to say that they will follow you wherever you go. Whether you began your #socialmedia existence on Myspace and quickly transitioned to Facebook, and soon integrated Twitter, Instagram, or even Snapchat into the mix – it’s often that your following will continue. With social media adding features such as sharing, liking, commenting, etc. it allows consumers to also share your information with their followers. This is why it’s imperative that your message and clear and concise across platforms and that you aren’t posting conflicting information.

Social Media

Humans are busier than ever, who really has time to sit on social media anymore? My routine is pretty standard; work, gym, family, bed, and repeat. My “social media” time typically consists of me lying in bed scrolling through one of my social media feeds. Social media ad spend has doubled worldwide, from $16bn in 2014 to $31bn in 2016. This means that even though humans are extremely busy, they are still somehow finding the time to get on social media, proving that marketers wouldn’t be spending this kind of money if they weren’t seeing results.

Social media platforms are also forever changing. 10 years ago Myspace was the popular platform of teens and young adults, then it transitioned to Facebook being on top. Slowly but surely Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms came into the spotlight. The phrase “here today, gone tomorrow” comes to mind. You never know what platforms may run the social media world in the future. Myspace was primarily for high school aged kids, whereas Facebook began as a place for college students to connect with one another. The demographic of social media keeps growing older, now we have parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents logging into social media every day. 72% of US adults are on at least one social media platform and people ages 55-64 are more than twice as likely to engage with a brand via social media over a younger generation.

Mobile applications are more rampant than ever. Many businesses have now introduced mobile apps into their marketing strategies. These mobile apps have promotional offers, coupons, and sometimes message boards. This allows consumers to get the best deals on products / goods as well stay engage with the company, they are also able to voice their concerns. Some of these apps are a social media platform in itself and can possible steer traffic away from a company’s Facebook or Twitter profile. In 2017 alone, Apple’s App Store had over 2 million mobile apps available for download. This number will also be expected to increase over time, so companies need to take this into consideration in the future.

What future implications do you see taking a toll on social media strategies?

 

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Viral Marketing Initiatives

Why do certain marketing initiatives go viral? Typically because the content of the marketing campaign is worthy of being shared among viewers. But how does one make sure their content is worthy of this? To start, it’s imperative to look at what type of information you are providing. Are you trying to get a video, blog post, or even infographic to go viral? Once that has been narrowed down, then you need to think long and hard about the reasons why consumers share content and make campaigns go viral.

Viral Marketing

Top five characterizes of a viral campaign

    • Trends – A campaign can go viral very easily if they capitalize on a current trend. Does anyone remember #TheDress controversy? Some viewers saw the infamous dress as blue & black, while others saw it as white & gold. Regardless of which way you saw it, Dunkin Donuts wanted you to know that they saw it too.

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  • Emotional –  Emotional content allow us to connect with one another, even if it is just over the internet. If a video makes the viewer feel a certain type of way they want to share that feeling with others. Whether it is happiness, shock, sadness, or even anger, you want to feel emotion when you are watching a video. Since it’s release, Always’s #LikeAGirl campaign videos received millions of views. When I think of doing something “like a girl” it can seem insulting and like the video states “limiting” as well. This video really surprised me and became uplifting by the end.
  • Call to action – Creating a demand for a specific action from your audience can be captivating for them. Encourage sharing by using “share” buttons and widgets on multiple social media platforms. Even requesting something from your audience can obtain results if done properly – “For every re-tweet, we will donate $.05 to x charity”.  This is a great way to get your audience engaged. Take a look at the #IceBucketChallenge for instance, within the first few weeks of this challenge, the ALS organization gained more than 700,000 new Facebook fans. It seems like every single celebrity in existence got involved in this campaign, this campaign raised awareness of ALS as well as raised money for a very deserving charity. Here you can watch Bill Gates get in on the action.
  • Story telling – It’s imperative to tell a great story for viewers. Storytelling can get a brand recognized easily without having a product placed right in front of the consumers face. This is where the Dove “Real Beauty Sketches” comes in. Dove wanted their message to be heard worldwide, so they uploaded their video in 25 languages and were able to reach consumers in over 110 countries across the globe. Their campaign revealed that women are often their worst critic, they wanted to showcase how women see themselves versus how others see them. This was very raw for many viewers. In the first month of the campaign, their video received almost 3.8 million shares. As an active member of social media, I tend to make sure I am only sharing content that I agree with and that paints a story of what I would want to see.
  • Comedy – Everything is better with laughter! Old Spice began their viral campaigning back in 2010 with The Man Your Man Could Smell Like video, and hasn’t looked back. Old spice has been very successful thus far, and they have all the criteria of a viral campaign. Old spice utilized humor and consumer engagement, along with catchy songs in more recent years. To date, Old Spice has one of the most viral marketing campaigns, with 6.7 million views after just 24 hours and 23 million views after 36 hours after it launching.

Viral marketing can be cheap as you are reaching such a broad audience. Every re-tweet, share, like, and comment is helping you reach consumers that you may not have reached organically, or even paid for that matter.

What do you think it takes to make a marketing initiative go viral?

 

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Differentiation

This week’s blog post will be a change from what my readers may be used to in the past. We are switching things up from the world of higher education and focusing on the #fashion industry.

The fashion industry is forever growing and there are so many ways that companies can utilize social media to engage with consumers. Two companies that have gone above and beyond in the realm of social media are #H&M and #Zara recently. The choose to promote their brand in different ways, both proving to be successful thus far.

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Instagram

They both go neck and neck with followers – H&M having an impressive 23.6 million followers, and Zara having 23.3 million. These Instagram feeds are primarily a “look book” which includes photos of models sporting their latest fashions. According to Business Insider, “consumers want a front row seat to the runway and want the styles they see immediately, and at a sweet price point, too. Zara is able to do that.” They differentiate their brand by allowing consumers to get this backstage access from fashion shows and they can purchase the item directly from one click within Instagram.

It’s imperative for successful companies in the fashion industry to provide consumers with a sense of urgency for their styles. Trends can change on an instant so by showcasing these styles on Instagram it allows consumer to click the “shop now” link and purchase these styles immediately.

Facebook

We all know that social media comes with the public being able to read and post company reviews. Zara has 26 million likes on Facebook but they don’t have the best reputation on this platform it seems. They have a 2.2 star rating out of 5 stars . Most of the reviews posted are stating how horrible of a company they are, and that their customer service isn’t much help to disgruntled shoppers. On the flip side, H&M has 33 million followers and have a little better of a reputation. H&M uses Facebook to show their latest styles and promote their sales.

Twitter

Both H&M and Zara are very active on Twitter and have a main Twitter handle along with a separate one for their customer service teams. The benefit in having a customer service Twitter is that it can give followers very specific information rather than trying to deal with customer service claims among the sea of compliments and marketing.

H&M has segmented their Twitter handles by location for relevance purposes. This is very convenient and helps narrow down the amount of information that is being dispersed to consumers.  Zara on the other hand has segmented their Twitter by section – @Zara,  @ZaraHome, and @Zara_Care.

 

Both of these brands are ahead of their time in both the fashion and the social media game. Their goods are trendy, their customer service skills are top notch, and their interaction with followers is very personable. Each of these companies utilize their social media platforms in different ways, but together they connect with millions of consumers worldwide on a daily basis.

 

Do you think that these companies set the stage for the fashion industry to engage with consumers on a more personalize level?

 

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Etsy and its unique features

One of my personal favorite websites happens to be Etsy. This is a website that allows users to buy and sell handmade items from one another. The great thing about this website is that its design flows smoothly whether it’s on a desktop, mobile browser, or mobile app.

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Etsy has two main features; the search bar and the category list. The search bar at the top of the page allows users to easily search for a specific item. The category list is accessible for users who want to browse the site. Users can shop by holiday (Christmas, Father’s Day, Valentines, etc.) and even by person (husband, mother, friend, etc.).  Towards the bottom of the homepage you see “Recently viewed” and “You might also like” items. They use your in site browsing history to list out items relevant to your previous searches as well as items that you may have clicked on but didn’t buy. As you scroll towards the bottom of the site there are blog posts and reviews for customers with a star rating system as well. The site layout itself is aesthetically pleasing and the unique features it offers makes users wanting to come back again and again.

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In the past year, I have used Etsy for many different occasions. I was able to purchase my daughters first birthday invitations off of their mobile sit while sitting at work one day, as well as this onesie. The mobile site allowed me to communicate directly with the seller to determine that she had all of the necessary information to personalize the invites. I also purchased a custom made stuffed elephant for my best friend who just had her baby girl. I have never had a bad experience with the mobile site navigation or offerings.

Interesting statistics
  • First, to put things into perspective – there are 54 million members as of 2015.
  • 65% of Etsy visits come from mobile rather than desktops.
  • 49% of Etsy’s gross merchandise sales (GMS) comes from mobile devices. Etsy began tracking mobile GMS back in 2013 when their mobile website traffic got increasingly popular.
  • 31.8 million app downloads.
  • The mobile website is available in 83 countries and offers 12 different currencies at checkout.

The amount of mobile visitors that Etsy has proves that its unique features are both appealing and easy to navigate. There is something for almost everyone on the site.

What are some things that you look for in a mobile website?

To remarket or not to remarket?

 

Remarketing can be either creepy and beneficial, depending on who you ask. How many times have you been “window shopping” online and closed out your browser with a cart full of goodies? For me it’s been too many times to count! Now how many times have you gotten an automated email reminding you of this, sometimes even with a promotional code or coupon? This is a type of #remarketing that is becoming more popular lately.

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When a company is interested in developing a remarketing campaign, it’s important for them to determine their key performance indicators (KPIs). Some that I find very informative are:

  • Positive return on investment – this is a must! Are you expecting the same RIO as your other campaigns? That’s a question that will need to be answered first and foremost.
  • Cost per conversion / lead conversions – look at the conversions and see if your campaign is bringing the ROI you’re striving for. The more conversions you have, the higher your sales will soar.
  • Click through rates – you’ll want to take into consideration the price of your remarketing campaign and then look at the amount of leads that actually turned into impressions.
  • Number of site visits – keeping track of the traffic on your website will help establish if the campaign was reached its goal of getting people back to the source.
  • Revenue per email – specifically if your remarketing happens to be in the form of emails, then this will be a beneficial KPI to be aware of. The remarketing report explains remarketing emails that contain offers provide 57% increase in revenue per email over those that don’t.

 

These are just a few of the important KPIs a that can help measure success of a remarketing campaign. Like any advertising campaign, remarketing is meant to be successful so it’s imperative that these performances are closely monitored. According to Liz Mallett, remarketing allows companies to convert the over 95% of consumers who leave their site on the first visit without filling out a single piece of information. Her blog post on Oracle also lists six key metrics of her own. There are countless KPIs to keep in mind when developing a remarketing campaign.

What are some ways that you would measure success of your next remarketing campaign?

 

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Building an Email Marketing Database

According to Digital Marketing Institute’s Co-founder Ian Dodson,

“Email marketing is a cost-effective and easily-accessible marketing technique that delivers real revenue results for business’ regardless of budget. It’s also a great way to keep customers clued into new deals and offers, a powerful way to keep prospects engaged and it’s super easy to track the results.”

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I believe that email marketing can be both effective and resourceful. It can get your point across to a wide audience with little effort and can potentially provide exclusive information that may not be found elsewhere. There are many ways to create a high-quality email marketing database, a few ways are to:

  • Create unique content – The more unique and informative content you provide consumers with, there’s a higher chance they may forward your emails to a friend or family member who may in turn subscribe. A button such as “Share now with a friend” would easily allow email recipients to forward the email.
  • Promote your brand on social media – Contests and giveaways are a great way to get consumers involved with your brand. They can sign up with their email address to win prizes and be entered into giveaways. This can easily build your list!
  • Call to action – Closing out emails, blog posts, and social media posts with a call to action can be beneficial in getting users to subscribe to your email list.
  • High quality subscribers – Some users may opt-out of your marketing emails due to them receiving too many in a short amount of time. Allow users to have different options in regards to subscribing. The options can be something as simple as one a week, once a month, only coupons and/or promotions, etc. This gives them a little more freedom to determine how and when they want to receive your content.
  • FREE stuff – Companies can entice users to sign up for their marketing emails by offering a free e-book or other free downloads when putting in an email address. This could be something that the company themselves own/offer, or it could be a partnership with another company. On the other hand, avoid the word “free” in the subject line, as that can come off as spam right away.

These are all important to remember for any company looking to market their brand. The 2015 State of Marketing Report shows that “one fifth of marketers say their business’ primary revenue source is directly linked to email operations.”

What are some things that would catch your attention and make you want to subscribe to an email list?

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The social media ecosystem

Twitter and Facebook are two social media platforms that have greatly impacted today’s business world. They have shaped the way that companies connect with and market to consumers. The current social ecosystem is actively growing and forever changing. There are multiple platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram that allows businesses and consumers to connect. With today’s technology, there are also multiple devices that users will connect on whether it’s their smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

Marketing departments within businesses need to realize that social media is a major player in getting themselves out there. Just having the social platform isn’t enough for a business, they must also have the audience willing to listen. In order to grab the attention of consumers, the businesses must give a more transparent look into their world and what their business has to offer potential consumers.

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Twitter

  • Allows users to engage with one another on a more personalized level. Although there is a 140-character limit when constructing a tweet, users are often still able to get their points across. Many Twitter users will reach out to a brand or company in regards to complaints, questions, concerns, and even positivity. Having this real time connection is beneficial to businesses. Mark Schaefer details that 42% of Twitter users learn about a new product or service from Twitter and 41% of those users provide opinions on said products or services. Businesses are then able to turn the opinions they receive into actions. There are so many amazing business benefits to using Twitter. When a business uses Twitter they are able to enhance their customer service, gather business intelligence, discover problems, break through communication barriers with tweets, and can build their brand. This social media platform is something that every business should strive to be active on.

Facebook

  • More of an open platform for businesses. Without having the 140-character limit that Twitter has, they have more freedom to get their word out. With 1.550 million monthly active Facebook users worldwide, Facebook is the most popular social media platform where online users engage with each others and brands. Advertising on Facebook can be done organically within the brands page or through paid advertisements on the platform and can get a company’s word out to a large population at once. By using a social media platform such as Facebook, businesses are able to fine tune their products and services using the feedback they receive from their followers. Facebook is not only great for advertising, but it’s also beneficial for businesses to connect with their consumers and provide exceptional customer service. Brian Honigman let’s us know that customers end up spending 20% and 40% more with a business when they have great customer service conversations. The social ecosystem will always grow and change, but Facebook is an important social platform for businesses to take advantage of in this day and age.

Social Behaviors 

There are five different types of social behaviors that businesses must take into consideration;

  • Creators
  • Critics
  • Collectors
  • Joiners
  • Spectators.

Due to consumers having those different types of social behaviors, it’s imperative for businesses to put their focus on multiple platforms. If a business was to be selective in its social media platforms then they have the chance to not reach their intended market, they need to be as versatile as possible. Overall, I think that Facebook and Twitter are two great platforms for businesses to run an advertisement campaign, these are also great platforms for word-of-mouth advertising to begin its course. When hearing the phrase word-of-mouth I typically think of social media as they go hand in hand. A social media marketing study proved that the word-of-mouth effect created by users increased the impact of messages, but at the same time transformed them.

Facebook and Twitter have largely impacted today’s business world in their own highly successful ways. Do you have a preference between the two social platforms to get your point across?

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