Category Archives: Digital Marketing

What Apple’s iOS 15 means for marketers

Apple’s upcoming privacy changes, including Hide My Email and Private Relay, will make opt-ins more valuable and may complicate already strained efforts to reach target users on iPhones.

Apple last month caused a stir among marketers and their advertising agencies with a preview of a software update that will give its customers more control over their personal data. The planned changes, estimated to launch this fall to coincide with new device announcements, will force marketers to develop alternative ways to find potential customers and engage with existing ones. A key strategy will be to position themselves as direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands that gather first-party data from consenting customers.

“With Apple turning off all these signals and going more privacy-centric, it is more important that brands get data back from the consumer,” Tim Glomb, vice president of content and data at customer engagement firm Cheetah Digital, said in an interview. “They won’t be able to use third-party data from other sources like Facebook, et cetera — it’s going to be blocked.”

The next version of the iOS software for the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac will give Apple’s customers several ways to limit or prevent data-sharing. Those privacy features include technology to mask the email and internet addresses of Apple customers, making them less effective as a unique identifier for online tracking.

Embrace personalized messaging

The Hide My Email feature is an upgraded version of an existing capability that lets Apple users create a randomized email address when they register with an app or website. Any email sent to those new addresses will be forwarded to a personal email account. While the feature prevents tracking the same consumer across different platforms, it still allows for one-to-one communication between brands and customers who opt into receiving promotions and offers with a compelling subject line.

“You have to double down on personalizing emails and SMS messages sent from your own website to reach people,” Glomb said. “An email is basically free to send, but you have to learn about your audience to send the right email or SMS message at the right time. You’ll make more revenue without having to spend for advertising.”

To entice people to share their personal information, marketers need to offer something valuable in return, Glomb said. They can gather information about purchase intent and consumer preferences through short surveys that offer discounts or chances to win a sweepstakes. By collecting the information directly, marketers have a basis for one-to-one connection with consumers that also respects their privacy.

“Being able to say, ‘I’ve got a million people in my database and I have a million contracts with every single one of those consumers,’ is the key to moving forward,” Glomb said.

Moving beyond IP addresses

With iOS 15, Apple also plans to update its premium iCloud storage and cloud computing service to offer an internet privacy service called Private Relay. The service encrypts web browsing data and assigns an anonymous internet protocol (IP) address to a user, making it more difficult for sites to track their browsing activities.

The service will add to the difficulty of reaching consumers across websites and apps. As tech companies respond to growing concerns about privacy, they’re gradually ending support for third-party cookies, a common method of online tracking. Apple blocked all third-party cookies in its Safari browser last year. Google had planned a similar update for its popular Chrome browser for early next year, but last week it delayed the plan until late 2023.

“Marketers need to stop relying on crappy old technology that got them fat and lazy, and they need to start getting creative and thinking like human beings.”

The two-year reprieve gives marketers, media outlets and ad tech firms more time to develop an alternative to cookie tracking. Glomb said the move away from third-party cookies is long overdue.

“Marketers need to stop relying on crappy old technology that got them fat and lazy, and they need to start getting creative and thinking like human beings,” Glomb said. “How do two people meet each other on the street? They ask each other questions. They listen, they learn and then they use that information to continue the conversation and build a relationship. Marketers lost that.”

The effect of Apple’s privacy updates on marketers will depend on how many of its millions of customers use the services. The disruption could be profound, considering that the iPhone has an estimated market share of 47% in the U.S. smartphone market, according to researcher eMarketer.

Popularity follows effort level

Apple’s last major update to its privacy features has proven to be popular. The company in April introduced its controversial App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature that came with an update to iOS 14. The feature notifies Apple users when apps want access to a unique Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) that’s embedded in devices including the iPhone. Marketers use the technology to improve the targeting of online ads, and users who decline to share their identifiers are more anonymous.

As Apple prepared to introduce ATT, it faced criticism from companies including Facebook and app developers that complained the feature would reduce the value of digital advertising when people opted out of tracking. Those concerns were legitimate, considering that only 9% of iPhone users nationwide have consented to share their device identifiers, according to mobile advertising and analytics firm Flurry.

The popularity of ATT is partly attributed to its effortlessness — an Apple user only needs to tap an on-screen button to opt out of tracking. It’s less clear whether the Hide My Email and Private Relay services will be as popular. People who use Hide My Email will have to remember their randomized email addresses while using a non-Apple device such as a Roku set-top box or Windows desktop. The Private Relay service costs extra money as part of Apple”s premium iCloud+ tier.

“If you want to live in the iCloud world — and there are people who do — you can,” Dave Pickles, co-founder and CTO of demand-side platform The Trade Desk, said in a company blog. “Though I believe it’s a fairly fringe activity and don”t see it being adopted at scale.”

 

Source: https://www.marketingdive.com/news/apples-next-round-of-privacy-changes-will-make-opt-ins-more-valuable/602644/

How Brands are Using NFTs

Technology has been advancing at warp speed in the past few years.

One area that has been enjoying some of the most rapid advancements is blockchain.

That doesn’t mean solely cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the slew of other cryptos being peddled on the crypto market.

Let’s look at non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and how brands can use NFTs in their marketing campaigns.

What Are NFTs?
While they’ve been around for a couple of years, NFTs have recently become a hot topic (and even hotter investment).

What are they, and how do they work?

To understand non-fungible tokens (NFTs), we must first define the word “fungible.”

If something is fungible, it can be exchanged for something of equal or similar value. A typical example would be fiat currency (and even cryptocurrency). It’s fungible because you can trade it for goods of an equal value. You can also trade it for another currency if need be.

On the other hand, something that’s non-fungible is unique and therefore can’t be exchanged at equivalency. For example, a diamond is non-fungible as no two diamonds in the world are alike, and thus each has its unique value. You can’t trade one for another at equivalency.

A non-fungible token is a cryptographic asset created using blockchain technology.

What sets NFTs apart from cryptocurrencies (which are fungible tokens as they are identical to each other) is that they have unique identification codes and metadata to distinguish one NFT from another.

Because each NFT is unique, it cannot be traded or exchanged at equivalency with another NFT. The result is that each NFT is a digital collectible, a one-of-a-kind asset that can’t be replicated.

That’s where the craze for NFTs started. In 2017, CryptoKitties, a blend between Tamagotchi and trading cards, exploded onto the scene. Each kitten is unique and can be raised, reproduced, be traded— some for as much as $140,000.

NFT mania was born, and today, the interest in NFTs is only increasing.

Why Are Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) Important to Brands?
One of the main reasons NFTs are important to brands is that they can be used to represent digital files, such as art, audio, and video. They are so versatile, they can be used to represent other forms of creative work like virtual real estate, virtual worlds, fashion, and much more.

What does this have to with your brand and marketing strategy?

Thanks to the global interest they’ve generated, NFTs have opened up new ways of brand storytelling and consumer interaction, which, as you know, are the two main pillars of an effective marketing strategy.

With NFTs, you can:

create unique brand experiences
increase brand awareness
encourage interaction
create interest in your brand and product
Ultimately, NFTs can help you increase conversions and drive revenue.

Here are ways brands are using NFTs to power their marketing.

6 Ways Brands Are Using NFTs
The concept of NFTs in marketing may be a bit difficult to grasp. Like most things that are difficult to understand, the best way is to look at examples.

Here are some nifty ways brands are using NFTs. Hopefully, you’ll get some inspiration from them.

1. Taco Bell GIFs
Research shows that 83 percent of millennials prefer to do business with brands that align with their values. That’s why brands need to support causes they believe in openly (and genuinely).

While Taco Bell has been doing this for years through their foundation, they took it to a whole new level by selling taco-themed NFT GIFs to support the Live Más Scholarship.

Ways Brands Are Using NFTs – Taco Bell GIFs
Within 30 minutes of putting their 25 NFTs (dubbed NFTacoBells) up for sale on Rarible (an NFT marketplace), all the GIFs were gone. Each GIF started at a bidding price of $1. However, they all sold for thousands of dollars each, with one going for as much as $3,646.

Creating and selling NFTs was a clever move on Taco Bell’s part as it generated a lot of buzz on mainstream media and social media; that’s always good for business.

Like Taco Bell, you can use NFTs to kill two birds with one stone:

drive brand awareness
support a good cause
Both are potent factors that can help drum up business for your brand.

2. RTFKT Digital Sneakers
Looking for a way to disrupt the market and make a name for yourself?

NFTs can help you do that.

That’s what happened when a little-known Chinese virtual sneaker brand called RTFKT designed an NFT sneaker for the Chinese New Year and put it up for auction.

The sneaker sold for a whopping $28,000.

Ways Brands Are Using NFTs – RTFKT Digital Sneakers
That’s quite impressive for a brand that’s barely two years old, especially considering they sold a sneaker that can’t be touched, let alone worn. Impressive as this was, it was still way behind the $3 million they generated from another NFT sneaker they designed in collaboration with the 18-year-old artist, FEWOCiOUS.

With NFTs still in their infancy, this is the right time for marketers to join the bandwagon. It’s a great way to grab attention and build a tribe of followers.

As a marketer thinking of ways to leverage NFT technology, you can take a cue from RTFKT. Create limited memorabilia to celebrate special milestones and holidays, and use them in your marketing campaigns around those holiday seasons. You can give them away to the first X number of customers or even auction them off as stand-alone products.

3. Grimes Videos
Six million dollars in 20 minutes.

That’s how much Grimes made from a collection of 10 NFTs auctioned on Nifty Gateway.

Artist, Grimes, sold an NFT collection featuring 10 pieces for $6 million.
It’s clear that people are interested in NFTs, and brands can leverage that interest to market their products. For example, you can:

Partner with artists or auction sites and have your brand present in the auction.
Create an NFT and auction it for charity.
Run a contest (for lead generation) with NFTs being the prize.
Marketing is all about riding current trends and using your creativity to harness the excitement around them to draw attention to your brand.

4. Kings of Leon ‘When You See Yourself’ Album Launch
With so many musicians and bands around, the music industry has become very competitive. Building and keeping a loyal fanbase isn’t as easy as it used to be.

The Kings of Leon found a way to get around that.

They released their album, “When You See Yourself” in the form of an NFT.

The Kings of Leon are using three types of tokens for this first-of-its-kind album release. One type features a special album package, while the second offers live show perks. The third type of token features exclusive audiovisual art.

While the album is available on all music platforms, the NFT version was only available on YellowHeart, priced at $50.

The Kings of Leon are the first band to release an NFT album.
The sale of the NFTs was only open for two weeks, after which no more album tokens were created. This move made the tokens a tradeable collectible.

Being the first band to release an NFT version of an album put the Kings of Leon in the history books.

More than that, it put them in the hearts of their fans by allowing them to own a digital collectible. Now that’s an excellent way of fostering brand loyalty.

5. Beeple Artwork
Virtually unknown in mainstream art circles, Mike Winkelmann has become something of a legend.

He sold a JPG file for $69.3 million, making him the third-most-expensive living artist at the time of the auction.

The file is a piece of art sold as a non-fungible token and is the first digital-only NFT auctioned by Christie’s.

A piece of NFT artwork sold by Beeple for over $69 million.
The two-week timed auction had to be extended by 90 seconds as a flurry of bids came in when the auction was about to close.

What lessons can brands learn from this?

Be quick to embrace new technologies and ideas. With the competition becoming more fierce with each passing day, you must be willing to take risks and be disruptive to outperform.

6. Nyan Cat GIF
A decade ago, the Nyan Cat GIF burst onto the digital scene with a colorful bang. Creator Chris Torres made an NFT version of the GIF that sold for over $500,000 on the crypto auction site, Foundation.

Nyan cat is a GIF turned NFT that sold for close to $500,000.
That’s right. An animated GIF from the past sold for over half a million dollars.

Chris, however, didn’t stop there. He organized an auction where classic memes are being auctioned off as NFTs. One of the memes, Bad Luck Brian, sold for over $34,000 on Foundation.

What can brands take away from this?

The lesson here is that your customers are willing to pay for great experiences. Capitalize on this by turning some of your best ads into NFTs. Create an event where you auction them off and make sure to publicize the event well.

Not only will this boost your brand awareness, but it will also help you reach new audiences in the tech space.

The Future of NFTs
Sure, NFTs are still relatively new, and their practical use is still limited. However, people love them and are willing to spend on them. These are sure indicators that they’re here to stay.

Like blockchain technology powering them, NFTs could play a significant role in the digital landscape of the future. That’s particularly true for marketers as non-fungible tokens have opened up new avenues for interacting with your audience and creating memorable experiences for them.

Remember, most common technologies we use today (like social media) seemed like fads when they started.

Yet today, we depend on them for so many things in life. NFTs may seem like a craze today, but they bring to the table a lot of beneficial features (like transparency coupled with security) that break the limitations of current technologies we’re using.

Conclusion
NFTs are fantastic in creating memorable experiences for your customers. They’re also an excellent way of engaging with and interacting with your target audience.

While the technology is still in its infancy, brands need to pay close attention to it. More specifically, you need to research ways you can leverage NFTs in your marketing strategies. For example, you can mint luxury designs of your product, create memorable ad campaigns, or collaborate with NFT creators.

The bottom line is that NFT technology is here to stay, and it’s undoubtedly set to be a part of digital marketing.

Are NFTs a fad? Or are they here to stay?

 

Content Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/non-fungible-tokens/

How much has consumer behaviour changed in the past year – and how can marketers adapt?

There is no doubt that, in the past year, changes to consumer behaviour have occurred faster and more extreme than ever before. Digital adoption has skyrocketed as consumers and brands alike responded to the new demands of lockdowns and social distancing. That’s bought with it new expectations for shopping, customer service and marketing that will stick around long after the pandemic ends.

It’s critical now that brands are adapting their messaging, strategy and priorities for a new-age of consumers. Read on for a few must-haves for your marketing strategy.

Consider your messaging
There has been a seismic change in what people are buying and how they are buying it. According to Selligent’s most recent consumer survey 60% consumers now focus on buying essential items and almost a third (29%) say their shopping behaviours have changed forever.

These changes have been largely driven by a change in employment, with 75% of global respondents reporting that they have less work. Despite the economy and jobs market recovering, conservative approaches to spending will have a lasting effect, making it more important for brands to cater to cost conscious customers in the long term.

While people do remain optimistic overall with the vast majority (82%) believing they will be employed again in the near future, there will be long term impacts. For example over half respondents believe that working remotely will be part of their future.

Brands must respond to the changing reality of everyday life. More people working at home means greater opportunities to cater to the new work / life balance. That might mean less footfall on the high street, but it also means a new opportunity to target and cater to, consumers everyday life in the 2020s.

64% of consumers for example now want mobile and contactless pick-up or check-in options. Accessible shopping will become the standard, with consumers around the world coming to expect a contactless experience as part of a seamless, efficient, and flexible omnichannel customer approach.

High quality customer service is key
The good news for brands is that with the shift in behaviour, consumers are becoming more patient overall. 38% agree that brands have made a considerable effort to improve their customer experience in the last year.

Don’t underestimate the role of flexible and empathetic customer service – quality products with competitive pricing plus an understanding attitude means customers will stick with brands for the long haul.

Invest in omnichannel offering
Ever changing consumer behaviour means that 75% of consumers now prefer to receive brand communications via email or mobile, and only a third prefer to start customer support interactions via phone or customer service representatives. This underpins the importance of both marketing and customer service being available across channels, including email, website chat, social, and SMS/text.

Brands that can adapt and offer digital and real-life experiences that weave seamlessly together will drive economic recovery for the commerce industry. Omnichannel fluidity and flexibility will allow brands to cater to changing consumer needs addressing things like safety, real-time updates and options in this “new normal” of consumerism.

There is a real opportunity for brands to continue to instill consumer confidence with strong offerings and relevance focusing on delivering what customers truly want and need during this time.

Tangible benefits build loyalty
The meaning of loyalty is changing in this new age of consumerism too – only 8% consumers now say a brand name is important to their loyalty. The real driver for repeat custom is tangible benefits, with over half of consumers saying sales or deals are the most valuable communications from brands, and that buyer perks and freebies show that brands care about consumers. There is a fine balance however; 2 out of 5 respondents unsubscribed from multiple brand emails with 55% citing that they received “too many”.

Privacy builds trust
Privacy is another critical factor for consumers. Our survey showed that for 64% privacy is now more important than online experience. Digital marketers need to build trust with consumers by understanding their needs and preferences more closely. 2021 will see brands collaborate with consumers to create a more personalised online experience combined with greater control and respect for privacy.

Despite the evolving world around us, the tenets of a customer-first focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences remain true. Consumers are changing and it’s up to brands to keep up by understanding what they want, and how to keep up.

Gen Z More Likely to recall adverting

Generation Z — consumers ages 13 to 24 — are more likely to recall advertising than older generations, even when they spend less time watching skippable content.

 

Fifty-nine percent of Gen Zers recalled a brand’s skippable video ad, compared with 57% of millennials and 47% of Gen Xers, per a study by Snap and Kantar emailed to Mobile Marketer.
More than half (55%) of Gen Zers who watched a skippable ad for less than two seconds correctly remembered it, compared with 46% for millennials and 26% for Gen Xers and baby boomers, the study by Kantar found.

Gen Zers also showed higher rates of brand preference, with 65% of younger consumers saying brands help them to express themselves, compared with 40% for Gen Xers and baby boomers. The cohort’s higher rate of brand preference demonstrates a key opportunity for marketers to connect with this valuable audience.

Insight:
While many have argued that Gen Z’s short attention span is a challenge for marketers, Snap wants to show the cohort offers brands an opportunity to achieve higher ROI on their marketing if they tailor it correctly.

“This study proves that Gen Z audiences are far faster at processing information than we might have given them credit for,” according to the study. “This faster speed of cognitive processing means that brands who want to engage Gen Z need to tailor their video creative and focus on communicating brand and product messages as early as possible.”

Gen Z, a consumer group with an estimated yearly spending power of $1.2 trillion, watch less advertising than older groups. On a scale of time spent with advertising, the cohort under-index at 79 compared with the mean of 100. Millennials indexed at 94, while folks over 40 indexed at 151 on time spent with advertising. The shorter attention span suggests marketers must communicate their message more quickly, including through ads that may be viewed for two seconds at the most.

Snap is highlighting the study as part of a broader campaign targeting brands and their ad agencies. The company last month launched its first B2B campaign, “Meet the Snapchat Generation,” to showcase the app’s appeal among Gen Z users. The B2B effort featured testimonials from marketers such as snack maker Frito-Lay and the NFL, which explained why Snapchat’s audience is important to their marketing efforts. Social responsibility, community-building, individuality, nurturing friendships and new ways of communicating were the key themes in connecting with Gen Z.

The campaign followed a prior effort in June to demonstrate how marketers can use Snapchat more effectively. The company’s “Snap Focus” education portal introduced six classes that marketers could take individually or as a complete course to receive a free Snapchat Ads Manager certification. Before that, the company hosted its annual Snap Partners Summit to showcase a variety of new features for developers, marketers and creators.

 

Source: https://www.marketingdive.com/news/gen-z-shows-higher-ad-recall-than-older-age-groups-snap-study-finds/584990/

2 tips quick for ecommerce site search

A good digital experience is more crucial now than it ever was. So how can retailers make sure their on-site search experience is as seamless, effective and easy to use as possible?

 

Search box placement and functionality

There’s more to search box and site search functionality than you may think. Even something as basic as search box placement can make a big difference to usability, and a few seemingly minor additions to functionality can vastly improve the overall experience of searching.

1. Make the search box easy to spot

The prominence of the search box on the page can influence the user’s decision to make use of it to find products – and determine how easily they can find it if they’re looking.

Therefore, if site search is important to your site and you want shoppers to use it, the prominence and visibility of the search field should reflect this.

Some retail websites, intentionally or unintentionally, sideline the search bar in their site design, effectively absorbing it into the background or crowding it out visually with distracting page artefacts and making it difficult to spot.

Take Boohoo, for example, whose business model and site design are much more oriented around customers browsing the site for products than searching for a specific item. There is a search icon in the header, but you practically need a magnifying glass to spot it:

2. Keep the search box placement consistent

While this might seem like a basic tip and one that most ecommerce retailers have mastered, it’s still worth bearing in mind: when you design your pages, make sure that your search box is located in the same place each time, so that customers know where to find it.

Final:

The components of a good digital experience are now more important than ever, and have a major role to play in ensuring that customers who visit your site are united with the products they’re looking for as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

On-site search is a big factor in the customer journey of those consumers who either know exactly what they’re looking for and have come to your site to find it, or who have some idea of what they’re looking to buy but may need some help narrowing it down.

A good site search experience will help them to find that product/those products and maybe several others that they either didn’t know they wanted or hadn’t thought to look for. But a poor site search experience will leave them frustrated, and result in them deciding to shop elsewhere for the product or at best, feeling less inclined to buy anything additional or shop via your website in the future.

Top 3 Marketing Opportunities or Tips During Covid-19

As a premiere digital marketing agency, we have been planning for years for the eventuality of the digital age to consume the old analog economy, but with the spread of covid-19, some of the human behaviors we were expecting to be adopted this decade has already been adopted in just a few short months.

COVID-19 has certainly made an impact on commerce as well as ecommerce over the past couple of weeks here in the Cayman Islands, especially now that isolation and social distancing measures have been put in place.

Not just in the Cayman Islands, but workers in many infected countries have been asked to work from home, countries including the UK, Italy, and France have been placed under lockdown and schools have been shut down just as they have here.

Unsurprisingly, since taken the decision out of consumers’ hands by closing non essential brick and mortar businesses, forcing traditional consumers to adopt ecommerce and social media as more than an alternative, but a necessity.

Many of your competitors are taking their foot off of the marketing pedal, which means you may be able to blow right by them! Think of it like the hare taking a break while in the lead only to let the tortoise win the race with consistent effort. Don’t take your foot off the pedal!

Of course, I realize many businesses are simply not able to invest due to lost revenue and if that’s the case then simply skip this info. However, for everyone else, this is the most important takeaway of this article.

Now is the time to invest more, not less in your marketing. That is how you can gain a competitive advantage in the months and years to come.

We have put together a top 3 opportunities list to assist our clients with maximizing their brand exposure as well as ROI, and felt this would also benefit a wider audience of all businesses, please find below our list of top 3 marketing opportunities during covid-19 thus far.

 

Opportunity #1: Paid ads are really, really cheap
The latest trend we are seeing is that paid ads are becoming cheaper.

It makes sense because the way these big ad networks make money is through an auction system. They need small businesses to drive up the cost per click (CPC) for ads so that way the big, billion-dollar corporations have to spend more money on ads.

If you don’t have as many small businesses advertising (like we are experiencing now) there isn’t as much competition for the inventory, so the cost per click decrease.

But the virus has been causing us to spend more time online, so much so that companies like Netflix have had to reduce their streaming quality to help.

In other words, traffic on the web is up and there are fewer advertisers. This means ads are cheaper.

Now we are also seeing conversions rates dropping in certain industries, but nowhere near at the same rate as the CPCs.

When we average things out per industry and globally, we are seeing paid ads producing a much higher ROI than before the Coronavirus hit.

Our clients, in general, have seen their ROI go from 31% to 53%. That’s a 71% increase in ROI.

If you haven’t tried paid ads yet, you should consider it. If you do, consider ramping up as there is more excess inventory than there has been in years.

 

Opportunity #2: Offer educational based training
If you are looking for a good opportunity, consider selling your audience educational based courses.

With unemployment numbers reaching all-time highs, more people than ever are looking for new opportunities.

Many of these opportunities are in fields like high-tech that not everyone has experience in.

And, of course, going back to school can be expensive and is time-consuming. Plus, let’s face it… you can probably learn more applicable knowledge on YouTube than sitting in a college class for 4 years (at least for most professions).

So, where do people go to learn? Any online education website offering very specific, niche advice and courses.

Whether that is Udemy or you are selling your own courses, people are looking for help.

If you don’t know how to sell online courses in mass quantity, contact us for a free consultation.

 

Opportunity #3: Share Experiences Through Digital PR
Yes, the news is Ubiquitous with COVID-19 stories, but digital PR activity shouldn’t stop during coronavirus.

Now is a great opportunity to maximize social media, with interesting and personnel stories that are a ​distraction from the wider news.

People still want to read good news stories and want escapism from the pandemic currently dominating mainstream media.
Journalists themselves have been quoted on social media multiple times saying they need to put a smile on people’s faces.

If the story is strong, it can still get picked up right now.

If your business can offer comments to help other businesses and people during this tough time, distract them, or put a smile on their faces, that’s a great thing and should be encouraged!

 

Conclusion
Sadly, the next few months are going to get worse. The daily count of new Coronavirus victims is growing.

From a personal standpoint, all you can do is stay indoors and practice social distancing.

But from a marketing, business, and career perspective, you can make a change.

You should have more time now (sadly), so use it to your advantage. Put in the effort so you can grow, that way you’ll come out of the Coronavirus stronger.

So which one of the above opportunities are you going to implement first?

TikTok vs. Snapchat: A guide for marketers

A look at the key differences between Snapchat and TikTok.

TikTok is having a moment. Whether you use the app already or have spotted TikToks popping up on other social platforms, it’s clear that TikTok isn’t just another fleeting trend. It’s here to stay.

Yet it’s easy to see how someone not familiar with TikTok (ahem, your boss) might dismiss it as a Snapchat reboot. Worse, they might assume content from Snapchat can be repurposed on TikTok.

The two platforms share similar features (and yes, similar audiences) but their value offerings are entirely different. TikTok is a video sharing app for short clips set to music while Snapchat is a photo and video messaging app centered on ‘Stories’ and other short-lived formats. Each platform offers unique ways to connect with audiences if used the right way by the right type of brand.

If you’re not sure where your brand fits in – or if it even fits in at all – you’re in the right place. Below is a simple guide that highlights key differences between TikTok and Snapchat along with essential considerations for brands looking at either app as a potential marketing channel.

 

The basics: TikTok


What it is. TikTok is a rapidly growing video-sharing app that launched in 2017 by Chinese tech company ByteDance. In October 2018, TikTok was the most downloaded app in the U.S. and reached a record 1.5 billion downloads globally at the end of 2019.

How it’s used. Users create and post short, looping videos set to TikTok’s massive library of music and sound bites – often with humor or talent as the focal point. TikTok isn’t necessarily the place for serious life updates or connecting with friends. Instead, users rely on TikTok for entertainment and follow creators with quality content. Common TikTok videos include choreographed dances, lip-syncing, hashtag challenges, reaction videos, and cringe-worthy content.

Audience. The app has rapidly become a Gen-Z favorite, with 42% of users between ages 13-16 actively using the app. Users create and post short, looping videos set to TikTok’s massive library of music and sound bites – often with humor or talent as the focal point.

Advertising. TikTok’s ad product is still in its early days. For now, advertising is only offered on a CPM basis (cost per thousand impressions) as TikTok’s self-service ad platform is still in beta. Ad units currently available include:

  • In-feed native video ads
  • Brand takeovers (a full-screen ad that appears when a user first opens the app)
  • Hashtag challenges
  • Branded filters
  • Topview ads (similar to brand takeovers but uses in-feed content)
  • Influencer brand partnerships

The basics: Snapchat


What it is. Snapchat is a mobile messaging app for sharing text, photos, and videos with friends. It launched in 2011 under the premise of sharing photos with a 10-second expiration, but has since evolved to focus on ephemeral video content in the form of Stories and curated ‘Discover’ series.

How it’s used. Snapchat offers a way for users to keep up with friends, relevant news, and popular trends. A big draw is the ability to capture ephemeral content and publish it as a Story for followers to see and engage with for up to 24 hours. Snapchat has been investing heavily in AI and AR capabilities (or ‘Lenses’) to give brands and users more immersive creative abilities – like object scanning, try-on effects, and 3D environment interactions.

Audience. The platform is most popular among millennials and currently claims around 218 million daily active users (DAUs).

Advertising. Snapchat offers a range of advertising options through its self-serve ad platform, from standard Snap Ad units that appear between stories to ads that use branded filters and AR lenses. Snapchat also has an e-commerce component with shoppable ads, personalized targeting, and a native checkout feature.

 

he marketing questions: Which platform is best for my brand?

What’s your objective? Both TikTok and Snapchat offer top-of-funnel opportunities for brands to connect with audiences. Specifically, TikTok can be effective for driving awareness with user-generated content (UGC) in the form of brand challenges, reactions, or filters.

While there are opportunities for brands to take advantage of UGC on Snapchat, the platform is better for sharing fleeting life moments and surfacing relevant content that the user might care about – like original series or Stories.

Plus, Snapchat’s shoppable and native checkout features can be a big draw for retail brands (especially D2C). The platform also has a hold over TikTok with more mature advertising options, while TikTok’s use for brands is still much more experimental. Don’t expect to find instant success marketing on TikTok, especially since it’s driven by users who value humor and fleeting trends (which might not work for all brands).

Consider your audience. Are they young and full of untapped meme energy? Look to TikTok. Tiktok users want a digital experience that’s authentic, homegrown, and downright entertaining. It’s part of the reason why reactions and brand challenges have taken off at warp speed. Instead of standing by and watching social play out from a distance, TikTok users are diving in head-first to leave their mark in near real-time, and brands can lean into that organic content creation process.

Since Snapchat is still a home for the Millenial generation, brands on the platform can capture more conventional, mainstream interests. As a whole, brands with audiences that skew younger should probably be experimenting with both Snapchat and TikTok.

Think about the content. If you’re focused on creating quality content with a traditional brand message, Snapchat is likely the better channel. Brands can get creative with Snapchat’s AR and Lens capabilities while still offering built-in (“swipe-up”) features for a more immersive user experience. TikTok content isn’t concerned with aesthetics or how good something looks, which makes it both a challenge and opportunity for brands. To be successful on TikTok, a brand’s content needs resonate with young users while offering the ability to engage with it.

Brand uses cases

TikTok x Chipotle Mexican Grill. Chipotle’s first viral TikTok challenge kicked off in May 2019 after a customer filmed a video doing a lid flip, which Chipotle then posted to Instagram. The post racked up over a million views, prompting the brand to turn to TikTok to invite customers to try the lid flip trick for themselves with a branded hashtag challenge. The #ChipotleLidFlip challenge received over 104 million views, 111,000 video submissions, and over 59,000 participants during the campaign.

TikTok x e.l.f. cosmetics. Makeup brand e.l.f. also found viral success with TikTok’s hashtag challenge format. With over 3 million organic views of the #elfcosmetics hashtag on Tik Tok, the brand developed its own challenge to engage with the creator-driven community. The brand commissioned a made-for-TikTok music track for its #eyeslipsface campaign, prompting users to showcase their e.l.f. makeup looks set to the song.

Snapchat x Top Gun: Maverick. In December 2019, Paramount Pictures launched an AR-driven UGC campaign with Snapchat’s Cameos feature, in which users could add creative elements to their shots with digital overlays used to promote the film. Snapchat users who were interested in seeing more promo content from the film had the option to watch the entire 2-minute trailer.

Snapchat x Coca-Cola and McDonalds. Snapchat released “Snapchat Scan” in December 2019, and McDonald’s and Coca-Cola were the first brands to jump on board. The feature offers image-recognition so users can scan logos to unlock AR lenses and content. With Coke and Mcdonalds, users simply had to scan the packaging on their food or beverage to gain access to exclusive branded lenses. It’s a key example of how brands on Snapchat can engage users by blending creative content with elements of the physical world. According to Snap’s product marketing manager Carolina Arguelles, “using Scan in this way offers so many possibilities for brands – from creating fun, shareable moments, to sharing product information or offering a virtual trial.”

Source: https://marketingland.com/tiktok-vs-snapchat-a-guide-for-marketers-276820

7 mistakes to avoid when optimizing your Instagram account for SEO

Search engine optimization is a powerful tool for increasing your website traffic. But your Instagram account is also crying out for attention and wants to appear at the top of search results.

Obviously, you work hard to make your website climb to the top of the search engine rankings. But not many entrepreneurs and marketers know that optimization techniques are useful beyond Google, Bing and other search engines.

SEO is also applicable to social media platforms, where it can aid in promoting an account, gaining new followers, boosting engagement rate, and enhancing sales. Instagram is perfect for optimization because it works like a small search engine so SEO is valid there as well.

Instagram ranks well-optimized pages higher and this attracts more active followers, drives engagement and improves page trust score. In turn, all this leads to an even higher ranking.

Though SEO for Instagram pages may seem easy to do, many marketers and business owners make several common mistakes when optimizing a profile. Below, we’ll talk about these missteps in detail and learn how to avoid them in upcoming campaigns.

1. Your Instagram page is not cohesive

One of the unwritten rules of Instagram management is to create a cohesive feed. The posts you upload on the platform should be logical in terms of visual concept, timing, captions, and hashtags.

But consistency isn’t something that can be accomplished overnight. You need to take time and think through each caption, the relevance of tags, the whole grid layout style and posting frequency. To streamline this process and plan your Instagram posts and stories, you can use Combin Scheduler, a tool for Instagram content planning.

With this app, you can create optimized captions, make different groups of hashtags and edit your current Instagram campaign — days and weeks before actual publication.

To meet your business goals, publish as often as you can and maintain a consistent posting frequency. There is no ideal posting occurrence and no perfect time to distribute the content, but you can find yours while testing various approaches.

2. You don’t use relevant hashtags

A typical Instagram optimization challenge is to use hashtags that are appropriate for your post — and business. On social media, they work as search queries.

It appears rather straightforward to choose related hashtags, but in reality, brands and marketers make these two crucial missteps:

They include irrelevant hashtags
As the name implies, these hashtags match neither your business nor a specific post. If you have ever noticed the small number of impressions your post gained from hashtags, you already know what it means: your content is not what people expect to see when they are searching by a specific tag.

If you use hashtags for Instagram optimization (and you should), do some research before placing them under your posts. You can do that with Combin Growth. With this tool, you will find hashtags that reflect your current publication or the whole business and discover tags used by your competitors.

Instagram hashtag tips could fill an article all by themselves, but let us share a small hack with you here: check what hashtags your competitors or accounts with similar content choose. Don’t use popular tags — those with over 100,000 posts. Otherwise, your content will disappear in a changing feed.

3. You don’t change the location tags

Brands that run their businesses online or offer worldwide shipping make this mistake. When your work is bound to a specific area — like the coffee shop from the previous example — you probably don’t have many location tags to choose from, because you’ll attract an irrelevant audience. But still, some creative location will draw people’s attention.

In all other cases, if the business goes beyond a specific place and you’re interested in attracting the audience from different cities or countries, you should change your location tags every so often.

4. Your username is not searchable

Your Instagram username is a major keyword that should be short, readable and distinctive. Help your audience understand what the username implies and don’t include any irrelevant symbols in it. You should write the username in the language your target audience is more likely to search for it.

5. You don’t use Alt Text on Instagram

Another Instagram feature that you can apply for SEO purposes is Alt Text. This function was initially designed to allow visually impaired people to enjoy Instagram content. Yet, marketers now use it for optimization.

To find this tool, scroll down the screen on the page with a caption while posting your new content. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see Advanced Settings. Press it and head over to the bottom of the page until you see Write Alt Text. Tap this button and create a description of what’s in your image, for instance, “brunette long dyed hair.”

Next time, when somebody looks for brunette long dyed hair on Instagram, they will get your content in the results.

6. You don’t include keywords in your bio

This is an additional and necessary part of your Instagram SEO strategy. Your Instagram bio is the right place to put relevant keywords — both primary and secondary. But don’t overwhelm it with too many keywords, and keep it readable.

7. You don’t include keywords in your captions

Aside from your bio and username, place keywords in captions. But again, don’t inundate your posts with them. You can put the keywords randomly throughout the text as well as set them next to your username as title tags.

For instance, your username is Mary Lewis Jeans Store, and your new post starts with Cyber Monday Jeans Sale — up to 70% OFF! The latter part about the sale is your title tag. This is exactly how it will look in the search engine results — a username and then title tags.

The bottom line

Instagram SEO is not rocket science. All you need to master it is to avoid these mistakes and apply your SEO experience to social media marketing.

Whatever goals you have regarding Instagram marketing, you need to remember that SEO is equally significant on social media as it is on websites. The optimization influences overall Instagram page ranking and its visibility on other users’ feeds. And the Combin solutions are ready to help you achieve these goals.

 

Source: https://marketingland.com/7-mistakes-to-avoid-when-optimizing-your-instagram-account-for-seo-275589

What you need to know about mobile engagement in 2020

The mobile mindset

We all know the basics at this point: single column designs, bigger buttons, clearer calls to action and media queries/responsive designs that create as uniform an experience as possible across the seemingly limitless set of platforms and devices used to access email and the mobile shopping experience. However, there are other considerations to be had in the coming months and years regarding the mobile experience. Mobile experiences are about utility and understanding how mobile shoppers open, engage and convert. Questions that need asking include: Are they converting on the mobile, web or through an app? Are emails adequately deep linked into shopping apps to minimize the friction from browse to buy? What percentage of your consumers are using iOS versus Android? These are basic questions that you need to begin asking when the fog of 2019 clears and the sun breaks through the clouds of 2020.

Preparing for a more branded mobile inbox

A cross-industry coalition of companies are working on a new standard for improving the visibility of email in the inbox while providing incentive for the sending community to publish and enforce email authentication. Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) will allow legitimate senders to publish a trademarked logo in DNS that will be displayed by a participating mailbox provider such as Yahoo! or Gmail if they’ve properly set up and aligned their email authentication records.

Why should you care?

The inbox is under regular assault by bad actors who weaponize emails and hijack or phish brands in order to defraud recipients. For as much trust and utility that email has provided the internet, it has also created a massive gap in terms of security. Over the years, companies have tried to help educate and empower recipients through visual trust indicators such as lock icons and colored messages about the identity of a sender. Most of these don’t mean much to the average recipient – at the end of the day most people are not security experts. BIMI has the potential to change that by securing who can and can’t use a logo and then displaying that logo in the native mailbox provider, or next to emails that pass muster.

You have the opportunity to have your logo seen by a recipient before they even open an email, if you take the necessary steps to secure your sending domain through SPF, DKIM and DMARC. Brand impressions are important to stay top of mind—having the brand displayed in the inbox can be a massive differentiator. Consider the struggle of mobile apps on a device: the average mobile user has upwards of 90 apps on their device but barely uses a third of them. Over 20% of apps are abandoned after just one use – but email still remains one of the top three activities done on a smartphone. The inbox’s list view, or the view of all emails in the inbox, has been a completely unbranded experience until now. When that changes, a huge opportunity will open up for brands.

Google AMP for Email comes to mobile

In November of 2019, Google began to roll out the AMP for Email experience on Android and iOS. The interactive mobile inbox presents new challenges and opportunities for bold retailers and e-commerce companies willing to spend the extra time to code and test AMP MIME Parts. Like BIMI, taking advantage of AMP for Email will require senders to publish and align their email authentication records. A new mobile inbox that’s both interactive and more visibly branded will potentially be a more secure inbox, so long as companies understand that email must be protected from a whole host of phishers and cybercriminals actively working to exploit the channel.

Since interactive emails will allow recipients to get status updates, view fresh content, and respond directly in an email to things such as invites and comments, senders will have to begin tracking the efficacy of the new mobile inbox versus native mobile apps and mobile web sites. It’s one thing to deliver a mobile experience – it’s another to understand the impact of the experience versus existing mobile properties. Additionally, there will need to be parity in data that is displayed in emails versus that which is available in an app or on the mobile web. This has always been a requirement but the timing aspect has changed. As recipients, we’ve all experienced a situation where the offer we received, time-sensitive or not, either wasn’t available, had expired or wasn’t quite what we had anticipated when we clicked a link in an email. Now that the recipient’s experience will remain in the mobile inbox, and as it grows and becomes yet another source of truth, senders will have to take extra precautions to ensure that the curious and restless minds that switch liberally between an app and an inbox with dynamic content are given the same up to date information to prevent confusion and disengagement.

Mobile everywhere

Mobile is everywhere – and it’s becoming more challenging. Smartphones introduced an incredibly small screen and format, and if the new Motorola Razr takes off the way its predecessor did in the early 2000s, we may have to tackle the nuances of foldable screens as well. What happens if Motorola decides to add a screen to the front of the device as the original had? Anything is possible in the mobile world, which is why it’s ripe with opportunity.

Mobile’s impact on email is not to be underestimated – we need to understand that mobile email is simply an adaptation of what we’ve been doing all along, but in a compact form that requires channel and platform-specific thinking. Before mobile, we were worried about rendering across desktop and web browsers and how no two mailbox providers would render email quite the same way. Mobile introduced new formats and wrinkles, but it also put email in everyone’s pocket in ways we’d never before imagined. The thing about mobile is that you have to measure it on its own merits and think of it as a unique means of engaging with your customers. Measure, test, iterate, measure, test some more, and make sure that your email isn’t dismissable and forgettable – because if it lacks visibility and usability in the forthcoming mobile inbox, it will be forgotten in this hyper-interactive world.

 

Facebook Adds New Options for Brands to Control Ad Placements

Facebook has announced a new set of brand safety tools which will enable businesses to better control where their ads appear across Facebook’s various ad delivery networks.

The issue of brand placement came to the fore back in 2017 when YouTube lost millions of dollars in revenue after major brands pulled their YouTube spend over concerns that their ads were appearing alongside extremist content and hate speech.

Facebook has been working to provide measures to avoid the same over the last couple of years, and these new options add to that capacity, enabling more in-depth control and specification in ad placement.

Among the various measures, Facebook is adding:

A new, dedicated section within Business Manager/Ads Manager where brands can create block lists, get delivery reports and set account-level inventory filters (as opposed to having to apply them one campaign at a time).

Updated delivery reports which will enable advertisers to search by account ID or publisher without having to download the report. Facebook’s also looking to add content level information to its delivery reports.

A new brand safety partner in Zefr to help improve its brand safety tools. Zefr will join DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science and OpenSlate.
Publisher White Lists for Audience Network and in-stream ads on Facebook. Facebook is also looking to give advertisers the capacity to white-list the types of content they appear on for in-stream video ads.

The new measures will provide additional assurance for advertisers, enabling them to avoid any concerning associations, while also improving targeting options to their focus audiences.

As per Facebook’s vice president of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson:

“The long term goal is to have an incredibly robust ecosystem where businesses can sell their products, [and] consumers have the confidence to buy them and know what they’re getting, and so that’s the long-range plan and these are just a series of steps along that path. It’s a lot that we’re doing to get there.”

Facebook also notes that while it has a zero-tolerance approach for harmful content on its platforms, “that doesn’t mean zero occurrence”. Given that some content can slip through the cracks, additional measures like this will provide advertisers with more options to manage their ad placements, and maintain greater awareness of the same.

As noted, Facebook has been developing its tools on this front for the last few years – earlier this year, Facebook added a new Inventory Filter which enables advertisers to choose a level of protection they want to apply to their ad placements.

Facebook inventory filter
As Facebook’s internal detection tools improve, so will its placement options, and these new elements move further along that line.

You can read more about Facebook’s new brand safety features here.

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