Category Archives: Social Media

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/

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.

 

Why the Future of Influencer Marketing will be Organic Influencers

Influence has long been at the core of marketing – seeking it, amassing it, then effectively wielding it to achieve your goals. It’s also, uncoincidentally, what gave rise to the influencer marketing industry.

But after riding high on the growing ubiquity of social platforms and the democratization of celebrity over the past decade, it seems influencer marketing – in the traditional sense – is in the midst of an irreversible fail from grace.

As Casey Ferrell, Vice President and Head of U.S. Monitor (owned by Kantar) said in a recent Media Post interview:

“We are at peak influencer, and it’s beginning to run its course”

And if you’ve been paying attention to the news at all this past year, it’s easy to see why.

The (Lack of) Trust Factor
As an industry, influencer marketing has become over-saturated and beleaguered by a heavy barrage of high-profile scandals and rampant reports of fraud.

We’ve seen everything from reality TV stars accidentally posting brand instructions into their promotional posts, to a beloved social influencer admitting she’s actually a CGI robot, to brands like Payless fooling influencers into paying $640 for $20 shoes and not one but two documentaries on the absolute dumpster fire that was (or wasn’t) the Fyre Festival.

And that’s not to mention the numerous reports of influencers paying for fake followers or inflating engagement rates. In fact, CNBC has reported that fake followers will cost brands $1.3 billion in influencer campaigns this year alone.

Naturally, all of this has led to a dramatic loss in consumer confidence, with only 4% of people now trusting what influencers say online. Since trust is essential to establishing credibility, which is foundational to cultivating influence, you can see why there is cause for alarm.

Real People = Real Influence
While traditional influencers may have been able to deliver the initial eyeballs brands have sought, impressions don’t equal purchases – and ‘influencers’ are far from the most influential people online.

A recent Stackla study found that people are 9.8x more likely to make a purchase after seeing a peer’s social post, as opposed to that of a traditional social media influencer.

That’s right, 79% of people say that user-generated content (UGC) highly impacts their purchasing decisions, while only 8% say influencer-created content would do the same.

Traditional influencers also fall short when it comes to engagement metrics – studies show that the greater the number of followers someone has, the lower their average engagement rates tend to be. Conversely, posts from everyday consumers tend to garner greater engagement, are seen as more authentic and more significantly influence others’ buying decisions.

Looking at all of these converging trends, I believe the influencer industry is undergoing a major shift towards not just micro-influencers, but organic influencers.

Organic influencers are the real people who already buy your products and services and create content about your brand – they’re your genuine brand advocates. They may have 5,000 Instagram followers, or they may have 50, but the size of their social followings aren’t as important as their passion, authenticity and collective influence.

By re-imagining your existing influencer programs with organic influencers instead, your brand can bypass the risk of mistrust that a growing majority of consumers feel towards paid influencers, while building loyal communities and rich libraries of impactful visuals that can really move the needle for your brand.

The Quality of Content You Want with the Quantity of Content You Need
One of the reasons why influencer marketing has become so popular with marketers is that they need content. But not just any content, they need high-quality content that fits within their brand aesthetic, while also looking authentic, and social media influencers were a great way to get it.

Except that the minute you pay someone for content, it becomes inherently inauthentic. And influencers typically only create and share a small amount of photos per campaign.

With organic influencers, the content is earned, not paid, so you never lose that authenticity factor. However, your advocates don’t always naturally create the exact type of content your brand may be seeking. By inviting your advocates into an organic influencer community, you can not only cultivate a 1:1 connection with them, but you can also open the lines of communication to help guide the types of content that they post about your brand.

For example, you could ask your organic influencers to post some winter-themed images in advance of a holiday campaign you may be preparing to launch. Want them to feature a specific product or take a selfie vs a scenic shot? Just ask, and provide examples of the types of images you want.

Many of your advocates will be excited to have direct interactions with their favorite brand, and you’ll have authentic, high-quality content to leverage in your marketing – just remember to get the rights to that content first. Plus, Stackla’s research shows that over half of consumers would be more likely to continue engaging with and/or purchasing from a brand if it shared their photos in its marketing.

By developing a passionate and engaged community of organic advocates, you can get the quality and the quantity of visuals you need for all your marketing channels — not just social profiles.

Amplify Influence Beyond Social
An often ignored but critical fact of influencer marketing is that your brand doesn’t own the influencer content.

Unless it’s explicitly agreed to during contract negotiations, brands don’t have the right to the content they just paid an influencer to create – and they can’t use it outside of the third-party platform the influencer originally posted it in. Typically, if a brand wants to use the influencer’s content outside of simply regramming or reposting it on their social channels, they need to license or purchase the copyright for that content from the influencer at an additional cost.

In today’s omnichannel marketing environment, where 63% of marketers feel pressure to continually produce greater amounts of content at higher frequencies, this is not a sustainable marketing strategy. Since modern marketers are already operating at a content deficit – every new channel, medium and niche audience requires a new set of relevant and compelling visuals – the scalability and reusability of content has become an increasingly important factor of long-term success.

Instead of paying for just one post from a traditional influencer that can only live on Instagram, tapping into your brand’s organic influencers can help you continually generate and gain the rights to a multitude of assets from a larger pool of authentic creators. Once you have permission to use your organic influencers’ content, you can exponentially increase the reach and impact of that content by featuring it across all your marketing channels.

And by putting that influential content to work at every point in the buyer’s journey, you can improve all your conversion metrics, not just at the point of inspiration.

Achieving 2020 Success with Organic Influencers
For too long, influencer marketing has been focused on the wrong influencers. Today’s largest group of consumers – Millennials and Gen Z – prioritize authenticity above all else when choosing which brands they support, and their trust in traditional influencers is at an all-time low.

Smartphones and social networks have made your brand’s advocates the greatest content creators the world has ever seen. Brands that adopt an organic influencer strategy as part of their 2020 plans will be able to build loyal communities, while also creating scalable, authentic content experiences that deliver a real return on investment.

 

Source: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/why-the-future-of-influencer-marketing-will-be-organic-influencers/567463/

Instagram Growths Outpaces Facebook & SnapChat

eMarketer reports the average amount of time people will spend each day on Facebook this year will remain unchanged from last year at 38-minutes. That number is expected to drop to 37-minutes per day by next year. This is a downgrade from the figures eMarketer released during the third quarter of 2018.

“Facebook’s continued loss of younger adult users, along with its focus on downranking clickbait posts and videos in favor of those that create ‘time well spent,’ resulted in less daily time spent on the platform in 2018 than we had previously expected,” said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson.

Facebook and Snapchat usage hits a plateau. After dropping from 41-minutes per day in 2017 to 38-minutest per day in 2018, the average amount of time spent on Facebook has flattened for now. The average amount of time spent on Snapchat has also plateaued according to eMarketer’s forecasts, with adult users projected to spend 26-minutes per day on the app through 2021. (This is also a downgrade from the 28-minutes per day eMarketer originally estimated for Snapchat’s 2019 usage.)

It’s worth noting eMarketer’s numbers are based on users age 18-years and older — meanwhile, Snapchat says it now reaches 90% of all 13 to 24-year-olds and in the U.S. There’s an entire group of users — 13- to 17-year-olds — that eMarketer isn’t including in its data.

Instagram’s expected growth. eMarketer predicts Instagram users will spend an average 27-minutes per day on the app, up a minute from last year. This number will keep growing a minute per year through 2021, according to the research firm. Even with that growth, the average amount of time on Instagram will still lag at least eight-minutes behind the average amount of time users are expected to spend on Facebook two years from now.

Why we should care. Overall, eMarketer reports the average amount of time people spent per day on social networks in the U.S. dropped by nearly 1.5 minutes last year, a number that will remain “virtually” unchanged this year according to eMarketer’s forecasts.

“Gains in digital video viewing are putting pressure on social time,” said Williamson, “And gaming is also creating new competition for user attention.” Williamson said eMarketer cannot confirm if there is a direct cause-effect relationship between the growth in these activities and social media usage, but there does appear to be a threat in terms of user engagement among the channels.

These estimates most likely will have little immediate impact on ad campaign budgeting or results. Social media usage may be flattening, but people are still showing up. And while Facebook growth looks to be flat, the average amount of time users are spending on the site still outperforms the average amount of time users are on Instagram.

For marketers targeting a younger demographic, eMarketer’s report offers little guidance as it is not tracking usage by anyone younger than 18-years old.

 

Source; https://marketingland.com/time-spent-on-facebook-snapchat-remains-flat-but-instagram-sees-growth-261705

Facebook contractors categorize your private posts to train AI

The practice raises a few privacy concerns.

At any given time, Facebook has thousands of third-party staffers around the world looking at and labeling Facebook and Instagram posts. The work is meant to help train AI and to inform new products. But because the contractors see users’ public and private posts, some view it as a violation of privacy.

According to Reuters, as many as 260 contract workers in Hyderabad, India have spent more than a year labeling millions of Facebook posts dating back to 2014. They look for the subject of the post, the occasion and the author’s intent, and Facebook told Reuters, the company uses that information to develop new features and to potentially increase usage and ad revenue.

Around the globe, Facebook has as many as 200 similar content labeling projects, many of which are used to train the company’s AI. As Reuterspoints out, that’s not uncommon. Many companies hire staff for “data annotation” — like helping AI identify traffic lights or pedestrians in videos.

But that probably won’t make Facebook users feel any better. The contractors working in Hyderabad told Reuters they see everything from text-based status updates to videos, photos and Stories across Facebook and Instagram — including those that are shared privately. And even as Facebook embarks on its “the future is private” platform, one Facebook employee told Reuters he can’t imagine the practice going away. It’s a core part of training AI and developing the company’s products.

Instagram test visualizes hiding ‘Like’ counts from viewers

This photo of an egg published on the social network Instagram via the account ‘world_record_egg’ became, over ten days, the most liked photo in the world with more than 33 million ‘likes’, which makes it the the most ‘liked’ image in the history of the social network.

Everyone has their own opinion about what specifically is wrong with social media, but the currency of likes is a commonly-cited issue. The latest grab bag of Instagram test features dug up by Jane Manchun Wongincludes a version that doesn’t let the audience see how many likes a post gets. The person who posted it still does, but as the app describes it, “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get. During this test, only the person who share a post will see the total number of likes it gets.”

Maybe that would help spread out the love on social media instead of people simply liking what others like, or maybe it wouldn’t have much of an impact at all. Instagram confirmed to TechCrunch that it’s an internal test the public can’t see — yet. It also didn’t hide follower counts, which more commonly measure one’s popularity, nor did it appear to impact the way posts are ranked by Instagram’s inescapable algorithmic feed. Still, at least we’d never have to hear about the ‘most-liked post ever’ ever again (even it was ultimately for a good cause).

Source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/04/19/instagram-likes-disappear/

Facebook gives you more control over what you see in your News Feed

It’s also getting more transparent about the ads you come across on the site.

Facebook has announced a new feature called “Why am I seeing this post?” which will help you better understand the content that shows up on your News Feed from friends, Pages and Groups you follow. Not only that, but this will also give you more control over what you see in the News Feed, letting you easily manage the posts you interact with on the site. The company says this is the first time it has built information on how News Feed ranking works directly into the Facebook app, noting that it is part of its efforts to be more transparent with users about how its algorithms target you.

To get access to the new tool, first reported by The Telegraph, all you have to do is click or tap the drop-down menu on the right hand corner of a post. From there, you’ll be able to view info at a glance on why you’re seeing certain posts on your News Feed — e.g. because you’re a member of X Group or Page on Facebook — as well as manage the content you’d like to see more or less of. You’ll get shortcuts to controls to help you further personalize your News Feed too, including See First, Unfollow, News Feed Preferences and Privacy Shortcuts.

Facebook says that during its research for the “Why am I seeing this post” feature, which is available starting today, it learned that people wanted more than transparency on its News Feed algorithms. They wanted more control, and that’s why it decided to roll out the tools to make it simpler for users to manage the posts they see on their feed.

In addition to these changes, Facebook is updating its “Why am I seeing this ad?” tool to make it even more transparent than before. Now, on top of showing you factors like basic demographics or interests that may have contributed to an ad you came across on the site, Facebook will let you know when information on an advertiser’s list matches your profile. What’s more, Facebook is providing details if an advertiser uploaded your personal data to its database, such as email and phone number, or whether it worked with another marketing partner to try to target you with an ad.

“Both of these updates are part of our ongoing investment in giving people more context and control across Facebook,” the company said in a blog post. “We will continue to listen to your feedback and evolve these features over time.”

At a time when Facebook is under heavy scrutiny by the public and governments, it needs to be as transparent as possible with users. The new features certainly don’t solve all of its problems, but at least they’re a step in the right direction.

Source: Engaget & Facebook

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