Social media has been a key communication channel for as long as digital marketing has been around—but social media use, especially with mobile apps is declining. For marketers and digital advertisers, they are in disbelief. But it is true.
Since the word social media has been coined, young adults from 14 on up to the early 30’s have ruled the social platforms but now things are changing.
Social Media Usage Is Down
The recent findings regarding Americans age 12-34 are crazy when you look at trends over the past two years. This study that I found was a real eye opener. Check these facts out:
The bottom line: Social media usage is dropping at a very alarming rate among Gen Z and Millennials. Kind of surprising isn’t it? Who would ever thought?
Tags: #socialmedia, #marketing, #advertising, #genz, #millinials
I just had to share some high points from an article I found about older folks using smartphones and engaging in social media. While it is no secret that the younger 20 somethings mostly think that anyone over 40 has no business being on social media or digital apps like Instagram or Tik-Tok, they are there and having fun doing it. Older consumers are finding their comfort zone using high tech smartphones and engaging on social platforms.
When it comes to tech and new-media adoption, older generations of Americans continue to gain on millennials. That’s according to the Pew Research Center.
For example, while the share of millennials who say they use social media (86%) has remained largely unchanged since 2012, the shares of Gen Xers, boomers and the “Silent Generation” who use social media have all increased by at least 10 percentage points during this period.
This year, millennials will turn somewhere between 23 and 38; Gen Xers will turn 39 to 54; baby boomers will turn 55 to 73; while “Silents” will turn 74 to 91.
In terms of specific platforms, around three-fourths or more of both millennials and Gen Xers now report using Facebook (84% vs. 74%, respectively).
Boomers and Silents have both increased their Facebook use by double digits since 2015. In fact, the share of Silents using Facebook has nearly doubled in the past four years, from 22% to 37%, Pew reports.
In recent years, older consumers have also increased their usage of consumer technology in a huge way. Among Baby Boomers for example, smartphone usage has increased from 25% in 2011 to 68% today.
Despite a narrowing of the gap between generations, smartphone ownership still clearly declines with age.
Per Pew, more than 90% of millennials count themselves as smartphone owners; followed by 90% of Gen Xers; 68% of boomers; and 40% of Silents.
As for smartphone-only Web users, 19% of millennials fit into this category, along with 17% of Gen Xers; 11% of boomers and 15% of Silents.
Consumer opinion about the role of technology also continues to vary with age.
For instance, 73% of online millennials said the Web has been mostly a good thing for society, compared with 63% of Silents.
Across the board, American's take on the societal impact of the Web has recently become less positive, according to Pew.
Among Gen Xers, for example, those who believe the Web has been mostly a positive force in society declined from 80% in 2014 to 69% in 2018. These are interesting stats!
Tags: #babyboomers, #socialmedia, #smartphones
So we all know marketing can help you grow your business and take it to new heights — if you do it right. Unfortunately, most marketers make the same few mistakes again and again. When everyone around you is making the same mistakes with marketing, it can be extremely difficult from going down the same rabbit hole.
After doing some reading and research, I found some of the most common marketing mistakes businesses tend to make. Here are the five mistakes and how to fix them:
1. Relying on your gut Instinct over data
Making assumptions about what will work and what won’t can be a costly mistake, and is one that's also fairly common — even experienced marketers make this mistake.
With so many data gathering and analytics tools readily available to businesses these days, there’s really no excuse for marketers to make decisions based on intuition.
The deeper you go into data, the better your marketing performance will be. You certainly don't want to make your next move based on your intuition or third-party gossip or “their facts”. You want to see the hard facts about what’s working and what’s not.
This doesn't mean you should stop experimenting or stop doing what you believe is right, you should just be as informed as possible. The problem is when marketers rely 80% on the gut and 20% on data. When it comes to marketing, it should be the other way around.
2. Follow the sheep mentality
If everyone is adding emoticons in their subject lines, would you use them too?
Well, chances are high that you will. In the world of marketing, we all can’t help but be the sheep that follow the rest of the herd around. If our fellow marketers use a marketing channel, then we will use it too. If other marketers are using a marketing tactic, then we will use it too. So, instead of using our rational mind we are more likely to deviate where the majority of the mass is going.
Now I am not saying exploring what’s working is wrong. But copying what’s already working is not always the best way either. Think before you leap and become a sheep.
3. Trying every marketing channel but not giving them enough time to produce results
Most marketers these days are distracted by the latest shiny object — they try every new channel as quickly as possible. And when they don’t get immediate results, they pull out quickly too. This is a quick and easy way to burn your marketing budget.
Just because the digital world is moving at a fast pace doesn’t mean you will get instant returns from your marketing investment, too. Because, no matter the channel — whether it’s Instagram, YouTube, or web push notifications — the audience you’re trying to reach are humans. And, it takes time to build a connection with them and engage them.
Also, most marketers keep their focus on trying new channels instead of providing customers with a seamless shopping experience. But if you want to get good returns from marketing you should focus on providing customers an omnichannel experience.
4. Improve your strategy consistently
With marketing, no matter how successful or knowledgeable you may be, you cannot afford to rest on past wins and stop learning and experimenting. Especially in today’s world where technology and AI are changing the way marketing is done.
Are you following this approach? Are you trying to improve, and if you are, are you doing it consistently? Remember: consistency is key to successful marketing.
5. Forgetting their number one audience
When it comes to boosting marketing ROI, marketers are often focused on what they can do get new customers and business. So much energy is poured into bringing more visitors on the site and converting them into customers that it’s easy to forget about your number one audience: Those same customers you already have!
There they are. So, do any of these make you clear your throat a bit?
Tags: #marketing, #socialmedia, #advertising, #business
Ahhh, all those branded online video content. In no other medium is the divide between compelling and worthless more pronounced.
Why is this? There’s no question that we’re visual creatures. With over half of our brand being directly devoted to visual processing and with the internet generation’s voracious appetite for video – demonstrated by all those years of content being uploaded to YouTube every day - one would expect video marketing efforts to go down in frenzy.
In the vast majority of unsuccessful cases, it is a combination of misjudged messaging and the general feeling evoked by the video. With our heightened perception for this medium, getting the emotional pitch of your branded videos correct is absolutely essential.
The power of emotion
The power of emotions and stories is long-established, from both a psychological point of view and in marketing. So, is there any science to back this up? Counter-intuitively, human decisions are nearly always based on emotion, not logic.
From emotion to logic: The Marketing Video
It has been shown that top-of-the-funnel efforts should appeal emotionally. From a marketing perspective, it is simply about getting as many eyes on your content as possible—vetting and nurturing starts further down.
While viral videos aren’t right for some brands, a great study into a internet virality confirms the importance of emotion at the awareness stage. Additionally, we are 22 times more likely to remember information when it’s wrapped up in an emotional story than laid out bare. Most of the time, awareness-stage content barely mentions the brand. Appealing to positivity and self-examination is another common tool for emotionally driven awareness videos.
The Middle of The Video Message
Once you’ve attracted the attention of your viewers, the middle stage is essentially about proving yourself to those who are showing interest. We want to begin appealing to their rational side. We’ve found that brand videos demonstrating company values and their differences from the competition - all while showing a human face and compassion - are a powerful catalyst at this point. Videos need to instill trust and confidence to their potential customers or clients. This is exactly the kind of reassurance people are looking for when deciding between options.
The Last Few Seconds…. Your CTA
Product videos are the most common type found at this level, and for good reason. Using a product video on say, a landing page can increase conversion rates up to 80%! A recent study showed that one in four consumers actually lose interest in a company if it doesn’t have product videos. Additionally, the many SEO experts out there will know that this will also improve your visibility - indirectly through improved user metrics and directly through video search.
But does video content at this stage have to be clinical and serious? The contrast between one over the other gives an indication of the directions you can go. Also, product videos are not the only effective content at this stage. Customer testimonials are powerful hooks to drag customers towards conversion - and usually provide a better opportunity to include emotional nuance. Setting aside the immense engagement received by both videos, these are just two examples of how to inject a bit of life and humanity into practical CTA video content.
Keeping emotion in mind
Many of these techniques are known by marketers and salespeople, but they are without question worth bringing to the surface and re-examining every once in a while.
The power of both emotion and logic as forces of persuasion can be illustrated in a hypothetical social context. When someone discovers a new company, they’ll take delight in explaining to others its powerful branding, creative approach to the marketplace and pleasing social values. We marketers simply need to be aware of this phenomenon, provide the pieces, and then, for once, we can sit back and let the consumers do the work.
Tags: #video, #marketing, #socialmedia, #branding, #advertising, #digialmedia
Video an incredibly powerful tool for B2B businesses. YouTube has approximately 2 billion monthly active users. Aberdeen Group recently reported that video marketers generate about 60% more qualified leads than marketers who don’t use video. And according to Wyzowl, 83% of marketers say that video gives them a significant ROI.
But it isn’t enough to simply create videos. You need to create videos that will make your brand stand out from the crowd. Here’s some ways I found reading as well as our own practices that can work for you if you plan on doing your own videos.
Using Video to Personalize Your Brand And You!
Creating customized or personalized videos as part of a customer based marketing campaign can be incredibly effective to help generate leads and land new businiess. This is especially the case when you create a one-off video for a target company or individual.
For example, let’s say that you sell some kind of software for businesses. You could create a personalized video for a prospect, walking them through an initial analysis you’ve done on the company’s actual website traffic, with tips for how to respond to different types of site visitors based on the behavior displayed.
Shooting videos that are specifically directed at a company or person is a powerful way to grab their attention and get them to engage with you. It’s also an effective way to differentiate yourself and your brand from your competition.
Increasing LinkedIn Engagement
Like most social media platforms, LinkedIn has been giving more exposure to videos of late. Additionally, 84% of marketers and advertisers who have created videos for LinkedIn have found the channel to be a highly effective strategy for generating results. This presents a unique opportunity for marketers.
Sharing videos is one of the most effective ways to cut through all the noise on LinkedIn. You need to generate hundreds or thousands of engagement events for a single LinkedIn video.
Highlighting Customer Stories
It is a given fact that social proof is critical when it comes to building your brand and landing new clients. Getting clients to tell their stories is one of the most powerful forms of social proof your brand can deliver, especially when it’s on video. But get creative when getting your clients to tell their story. Don’t simply have a talking head giving a simple testimonial.
HubSpot recently created an outstanding customer success story around their work for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I saw it on-line. They crafted a highly engaging success story, featuring a rock soundtrack in the background, MTV-style quick-changing shots, brief interviews, lots of zooming in and out, etc. The result is powerful and compelling.
Another example is a Slack and a cool Sandwich Video collaboration that highlights the power of Slack. The video was presented as a story, with some hilarious cuts to employees giving their commentary. Not only is the video enjoyable to watch, but it also shows why Slack is such an effective tool for businesses. It had more than 1.1 million views, the video has generated a good amount of visibility and social proof for Slack. We use slack for a networking group here in our city.
B2B businesses are increasingly seeing the value of working with influencers, but it’s still new enough in the B2B space that it may enable you to jump ahead of your competitors. Using influencers in your video brand can potentially generate thousands of shares and leads for your brand. Use influencers who really care about your brand and you know will work for your and will promote.
Showcasing Your Personality
Video is also a highly effective way to turn something mundane like you’re not here right now (I’m out of the office or on site) into something funny and show off your personality. Take the time to create something “out of the box” and showcase yourself and in turn, your brand. This is a situation where a video can be longer than the standard norm of 2 minutes.
Take the time to figure out your game-plan for your next marketing video. Have fun with it but most importantly, make sure it is creative enough to gain viewers, be shared, and gain likes.
Tags: #video, #marketing, #videoproduction, #advertising, #socialmedia
So how many of you with businesses are using Instagram to promote your products or services or just send out "feel good" messages? If you are NOT using Instagram by now, you really should. In fact, more than 60 percent of people said they use Instagram to find things that they want to purchase or obtain in real life. One thing that you can do to promote your pro Instagram place in marketing is start by making your business exactly that. Pro-Instagram!
In some cases, you can do this without even creating a single post. If you’re able to create an experience that your customers want to share on their own Instagram accounts, they can do much of the work for you. By setting up pro-Instagram places and creating products that people would love to post on their feeds, your customers can help your brand gain more buzz on Instagram.
How to Make Your Small Business Pro-Instagram
Here are some of the specific strategies I have found that you can use to create a pro-Instagram business.
Set Up Instagram Walls
Every great Instagram photo needs a good backdrop. If you have a unique mural or interesting color on any of your interior or exterior walls, customers will be tempted to take photos in front of it. They might simply take a photo of their group and post it with their location, or showcase your product in front of a visually pleasing backdrop.
Integrate Unique Decor
Aside from your walls, people also want to include photos of decor items that are unique or interesting in some way. You can put up a neon sign, include a statement light fixture, or have an interesting patterned floor installed. All of the decor elements you choose should fit with your overall brand image and should catch people’s eye right when they walk through the door.
Keep Everything Neat and Tidy
However, one thing customers don’t want to capture for their Instagram feeds is clutter. You might be tempted to try and fit as many decor elements into your store or restaurant as possible. But a ton of different items in one space can look messy when included in one photo frame. Try to keep things fairly minimal and neat so your unique decor can really stand out and look great in photos.
Improve Your Lighting
Even the coolest decor won’t show up well in photos if your lighting is poor. You need to have high quality light fixtures that create an even look throughout your interior. It also helps to have plenty of natural light during the day. So, try to keep shades open and consider even adding some skylights or extra windows if your space is especially dark.
Mirrors allow customers to easily take photos of themselves and their groups with your space featured prominently. If you’re a clothing retailer, customers might even use mirrors to show off items they’re trying on. But even in restaurants or cafes, including mirrors in the entryway or bathroom could offer customers some prime selfie opportunities. (Don't get kinky on me now)
Pay Attention to Presentation
Your actual products can also be the subject of your customers’ Instagram posts. But they need to be visually appealing in some way. People would rather post a photo of some interesting latte art than they would of a plain old cup of coffee. For food and drink items, simply put a little extra care into the plating and visual accents. For other products, some well-designed packaging can go a long way.
Host Special Events
People love sharing their fun experiences on Instagram. So, if you host some special events, it could bring more people to your business and also encourage them to share in their Instagram posts and stories. Some interesting event signage and decor can also go a long way. If you want to take it a step further, you might even encourage people to wear costumes or dress up so they’ll want to take photos of themselves.
Set Up a Photo Booth
If you really want people to take photos at your business, make it really easy for them by setting up a designated area for them to do just that. Set up a cool backdrop and include some props or signs that people can use to spice up their photos. You might even include some subtle branding elements in your props.
Repost Customer Photos
Customers appreciate interaction on Instagram. So, if you do have your own Instagram account, show them how much you appreciate when they post photos taken at your business by reposting them. Always offer credit and say thank you or share a fun sentiment. Then your other followers may be more likely to think about posting their own images the next time they visit.
Create Contests or Incentives
You might even consider rewarding customers who post photos from your business in some way. Offer a discount code to customers who share product photos or host a giveaway asking people to share photos from your location, tagging your business, within a specific time period. I hope these ideas help get you and your business Instagram Ready.
Tags: #instagram, #socialmedia, #marketing, #business, #images
We all enjoy posting videos on Facebook. If you are a business however, taking extra time to post eye catching content that will really enhance your brand is important. Facebook has some guidelines and tips that they make available and I thought I would share the highlights with you.
Make sure your video is actually video!
Give your viewers a true video experience through storytelling.
Do not do:
Slideshows, ongoing text messages or montages, and avoid loop videos. They are annoying!
Size does matter!
It is a myth that only short videos work well on the Facebook platform but it is generally the norm. The truth is both short and long videos well IF the content makes sense and will keep your audience engaged. Very important key factor.
If you must do longer videos keep these guidelines in mind. Is your show episodic, an ongoing storyline, or are you live streaming? Thus, longer video content may be suitable here.
For shorter videos are great for fun and interesting moments, teasers, and announcements, ads, polls, and the like. Lengths should be under one minute and if you are using the “Story” feature of Facebook, keep it at 20 seconds.
Is It Mobile Friendly?
Vertical or Horizontal?
Most of your viewers will be looking at your video via their mobile devices. So you need to ask yourself how should I shoot the video? Landscape gives you more area but vertical is how most hold their phones and this format has become a more popular format for shooting. (Selfies and profile)
Adding subtext to your videos is important to capture your main message as most watching video on their smart phones may not have the volume up as not to distract others. Think of commuters on busses or trains. So it is important that you have subtitles or at the very least highlight subtitles so the viewer knows what you are trying to convey. Finally, make sure you are shooting at the very least in 720p HD to capture the best video! Good luck!
Tags: #facebook, #video, #contentmarketing, #socialmedia
With each passing day, it seems Pinterest and Instagram are looking more and more alike. Recently, went public with their new exciting video features. Pinterest has incorporated new tools to make it easier for creators and brands to upload videos directly to the visual search engine. The company says they’ve observed a 31% increase in searches for “inspirational videos” since 2018 and that “Pinners are 54% more likely to say they’re inspired to action by videos on Pinterest compared to videos on other media platforms.”
As a result, Pinterest has introduced a new and improved video uploader, a video tab on business profiles that allows brands to feature all their videos in one place, an analytics tool to help businesses better understand and analyze their traffic and get insights into performance over time and, finally, Pinterest is allowing creators and businesses to schedule videos ahead of time with a new Pin Scheduler tool.
With these new features, the company is encouraging paying users to post actionable and inspirational how-to videos and tutorials tailored to Pinterest users. Because videos on Pinterest surface and resurface over time, the company explained, videos uploaded directly to Pinterest will have a longer shelf life and, in theory, more engagement than if posted to other platforms.
The brand is hopeful new tools intended to support brands and businesses will increase engagement and ad revenue on the platform.
Now a public company, Pinterest has its work cut out for it. Instagram, once just a photo-sharing application, is making it easier for its users to make purchases directly on its app. The Facebook-owned business introduced “Checkout with Instagram” earlier this year, allowing users who tap its product tags on shopping posts to buy items without leaving the app. Pinterest, for its part, introduced features to facilitate in-app shopping late last year.
In order to simplify the in-app shopping experience, Pinterest rebuilt the infrastructure behind its product pins to include up-to-date pricing and stock information, links that take pinners to the retailer’s website and a new “Products like this” category under each fashion and home decor pin. It has also been recently discovered that Instagram is also toying with the idea of launching a Pinterest-like public content curation feature called “Collections.” This back and forth battle between apps is sadly going to come up with a loser and we already know that Pinterest and Snapchat are playing “catch-up” to the Kings like Instagram and the fast hot popular Tik-Tok app.
Tags: #video, #socialmedia, #pinterest, #apps, #marketing
If you have not already heard, Google recently launched a new website that will suggest its products that seem like the best fit for a specific business.
The Google for Small Business portal will give your business a quick overview and see how well it can effectively perform to market whatever it is your business is attempting to do. It gives everyone a place to start with Google products.
On this new site, you simply enter your company name and website (assuming you have one), then answer a few questions about your business and your goals. Google will then create a customized, prioritized list of actions, which may involve launching ad campaigns, or building up your online presence, or installing Google Analytics.
Some of these things are pretty cool particularly for small businesses that are “just getting started,” as well as more established business that are starting to develop a digital strategy. You can even create your own free Google website.
While Google for Small Business can recommend a wide range of products, there are two “hero tools” that are part of the lineup — Google my Business, which allows business owners to create their own profiles and websites, and is “a complete free product from start to finish,” as well as Smart Campaigns, which Google had out last year to automate the ad-buying process for small businesses. While obviously the site is free to use, Google does pitch their paid services such as ad sense but you are under no pressure to purchase this or any other of its paid services. It will even check your mobile version of your website for load speed. Check it out!
Tags: #smallbusiness, #marketing, #google, #smbs
Video advertising is not a new practice in the marketing tool belt. From commercials to moving billboards, most of us don’t realize how often we come in contact with video ads. A new age is emerging online, as more and more users turn to their favorite apps and sites to consume the latest video content. For today’s tech savvy marketers, it will be pivotal to look beyond sites like YouTube and focus on the entire web to keep up. I recently came across some great information that I wanted to share with you.
The rise of video
With the rise of social media sites like Instagram and the continued dominance of content platforms like YouTube, using video to advertise online has never been more popular. In fact, it’s been shown that more video content has been uploaded in the past month than the major U.S. television networks created in the previous 30 years. Video is so popular that Cisco reports 2019 will see traffic to video accounting for over 80% of all consumer internet traffic. In other words, the age of online video has officially arrived.
If you’re not already taking advantage of advertising with video online, the time to start is now. Unlike more traditional types of online advertising, like display or search, consumers actually want to interact with video ads. For instance, Hubspot found that 85% of people say they want to consume more video from brands willing to offer it to them. We decided to look into this and noticed that video advertising campaigns running from November 2018 through January 2019 saw click-through rates more than 3x higher than campaigns that included no video ads whatsoever.
The industry takes notice
With all of this in mind, it’s easy to see why marketers are beginning to take notice. In fact, 97% of all marketers reported video as helping increase user understanding of their products or services. Beyond this, a poll of marketers and agency executives showed that they are making big bets on digital video, by allocating nearly 60% of their media budget to this strategy—with half of buyers specifically increasing their social media video spend.
Strategies for success: running video campaigns
The rise in video advertising has also led to rapidly-advancing capabilities to reach your target audience using this visual strategy. In the past, marketers were forced to confine their video ads to limiting, single platforms, like YouTube or Facebook. This hurt campaign performance by hindering the potential reach these ads had. In today’s market, platforms allow marketers to serve video ads across platforms and devices, reaching users with relevant video ads, wherever they browse online.
With this increased reach have come better strategies for marketers to target key users with video ads, depending on where they are within the buying journey. For example, running ads directly through platforms like YouTube can hurt advertisers, as it only allows you to optimize campaigns based on that one site’s specific content experience. This doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, the most effective campaigns will employ a healthy mix of both retargeting and prospecting strategies that target users across the web and social media.
Strategies for success: creative best practices
Like all things in digital advertising, video has seen recent advancements that mean new creative best practices will need to be taken into account, to ensure the highest results for your 2019 campaigns. Let’s take a look at some of the most important tips and tricks to follow:
Tags: #video, #socialmedia, #marketing, #advertising, #videoproduction