Tag Archives: digital marketing

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.

 

How to Create a Social Media Content Strategy

Content is the heart of any social media strategy – neglecting to create valuable and engaging social media content will leave you extremely frustrated with your results.

And while creating a social media content strategy isn’t rocket science, many brands miss the mark, and fail to deliver on what users are seeking from companies when engaging on social channels. To create a social media content strategy, brands absolutely need to create content that users want to consume.

So, what do consumers want from brands on social media? A recent study has interesting findings:

72% of consumers want discounts or sales
60% of consumers want posts that showcase new products/services
59% of consumers want posts that inform
56% of consumers want posts that entertain
49% of consumers want posts that inspire
41% of consumers want posts about company happenings

By understanding what users want to see in their feeds, brands can create more effective content strategies, which will help to maximize your social media success and business impact.

When building out a content strategy, we recommend approaching it in three defined phases: ‘Planning’, ‘Publishing’ and ‘Measuring’.

1. Planning
In the planning phase, brands should keep in mind what they have to offer as an entity, and present those elements through the lens of what consumers want. In short, process what makes your brand special and present that story with elements of education, entertainment inspiration and provide value.

You should always align your social media content strategy with these concepts. While it’s tempting to always talk about what you offer, be conscious that there’s much more to the conversation than just your brand.

Consider the third party sources you might want to include in your content plan, and don’t be shy to showcase like-minded (and non-competitive) branded content.

2. Publishing
Once your planning is wrapped up and you know what your overarching messaging will be, you’ll next want to draft content in an organized way.

We highly recommend employing a Social Media Content Calendar. A content calendar enables you to set a visible plan on what kind of content is going to be published and when.

When building your calendar, there are a few elements we highly recommend:

Day – This tells you which day of the week the content will be published
Date – This tells you the date the content will be published
Topic – This tells you the topic of the content piece – very useful when trying to ensure your content strategy is dynamic and diverse (it’s easy to accidentally be repetitive)
Message – This is the copy of your post – be sure to spell check
Notes – This section is where you can include reminders, hashtags or anything else that you might need to remember when it comes to publishing your content
Image – Place the link to the image that goes with your copy here. We typically use Google Drive to host these files, but you may store the images locally, which is fine. Just place that location here
Once your social media content calendar is set, you can then begin to publish. We recommend a social media management platform like Sprout Social to schedule content in advance. Very useful.

It also goes without saying, but after your content is published, you’ll want to keep an eye on engagement, and reply appropriately.

3. Measuring
Sure, Planning and Publishing might seem like the only two actual steps in a social media content strategy, however, in order to optimize your efforts, you have to also measure as much as possible.

In this phase, you’ll want to take a top-level view of your data for a set time period, in order to determine which performed the best. A key thing to keep in mind here is that different content pieces might have different objectives – for example, a meme that’s intended to entertain should be judged by engagement, whereas a post that links to a blog post should be judged by clicks.

For those new to social media measurement, here are the key performance indicators we recommend tracking when it comes to analyzing your social media content strategy:

Impressions – The amount of times people saw your content.
Engagements – The amount of reactions, comments and shares your content wins.
Clicks – The amount of times links in your content get clicked
To improve anything, in work or life, we must measure it. Measuring your social media content strategy gives you the ability to optimize against what is working well and remove content that isn’t resonating with your audience.

These are the basic, fundamental steps you need to have in place for an effective social media content strategy. There’s obviously a lot of depth to each, and you can take it as far as you need, but without some level of planning in place, you’re simply not going to maximize your social media marketing results.

Digital Marketing Agencies’ Rates and Services Are More Affordable Than You Think

Every entrepreneur at some point hires an SEO, PPC (pay-per-click) or SMM (social media marketing) expert — which generally means an agency or freelancer. But money is tight, so how do startups evaluate whether the candidates they’re considering offer reasonable rates? Is gut instinct enough?

Your own answer to the question is likely, “No, gut instinct is not enough, but what are my options? I don’t have sufficient data about price rates in the digital marketing industry.” And you’re not alone in that thinking: Those of us hiring outside professionals for digital marketing work haven’t had a clear idea of the average costs being asked for monthly retainers and hourly rates.

Until now. In recent months, I’ve conducted fresh research on the current state of digital-marketing agency services and costs, to help entrepreneurs orient themselves in the digital marketing sphere. My (nonscientific) survey, which brought in more than 1,000 responses from digital marketing agencies and freelancers, spanning 16 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and several European regions, included queries about services covered, prices and payment models. Among the biggest takeaways:

Freelancers’ hourly rates in the digital marketing industry start at $50 (all cost figures given here are U.S. dollar amounts).
The most commonly used payment models are monthly retainer contracts and project-based fees.
Agencies typically prefer monthly-retainer contracts, while freelancers service clients mostly on a project-based fee payment model.

In the United States, the hourly model is the most popular, vs. the monthly retainer contracts and project based fees that UK and other European respondents said they preferred. The average industry fee for a monthly retainer contract (across all studied regions) starts at $1,000.

Here are the details:

1. Freelancers’ monthly retainer contracts start from $251, and their project-based fees, from $5,000.
You can expect to hire a freelancer on a monthly retainer contract at a cost that starts as low as $251 — though the $1,000 noted in the last bullet above is the average. You can expect freelancers’ project-based fees to start at $5,000.

2. Freelancers’ hourly rates range between $50 and $200.
The average hourly rate for a freelancer is more than $100. But the majority of freelancers charge less than $50 per hour. Also, the hourly fee model is quite popular, regardless of agency size.

3. The average industry fee for a monthly retainer contract doesn’t go beyond $3,000.
The average fee across all U.S. regions for a monthly-retainer contract ranges between $1,000 and $3,000. However, in Europe, it is a bit lower, around $951.

4. Agencies mostly prefer monthly retainer contracts, while freelancers prefer a project-based fee-payment model
A payment models chart I created (see this infographic) shows that a majority of agencies are using the monthly retainer payment model, which helps businesses regulate their cash flow. Freelancers are also now using this model quite often, and most freelancers have a good number of clients on a project-based fee.

5. Small- and medium-sized businesses are the best clients.
The general trend shows that small- and medium-sized businesses are the best clients for the freelancers and agencies surveyed. The reason is that the digital marketing industry is still quite a new market, and most agencies aren’t experienced enough or big enough to deal with enterprise customers.

However, according to the survey, a percentage of agencies do already prefer to deal only with big businesses, so the industry is moving in this direction — it’s only a matter of time until this trend spreads.

6. Freelancers deal mostly with hyper-local, local and small businesses.
Hyper-local, local and small businesses have limited budgets, which is why they prefer to deal with freelancers who will charge significantly less than the average agency.

7. Agency clients are seeking mostly SEO and PPC services.
The survey revealed that the following services were the top five — in the following order — that survey respondents across all regions said they preferred:

  • SEO
  • PPC management
  • Social media
  • Content marketing
  • Analytics and UX

However, the survey also showed that social media were less popular in the United Kingdom than in the United States or the rest of Europe. I assumed that the reasons revolve around differences in market demand or the inclusion of social media in other services.

8. The bigger the agency, the more ‘other services’ they offer.
The survey reflected the obvious correlation between the growth of the “other services” tier and agency size. That made sense: The bigger the company, the more customized solutions it provides, and the higher the average price per customer.

9. Analytics and UX is a growing trend.
It was great to see analytics and user experience design (UX) among the most popular services agencies said they needed, because this data correlated perfectly with the current worldwide trend. As an active speaker and contributor, I have observed a significant increase in various types of content related to this topic. And that makes the analytics/UX niche an extremely promising one.

On the other hand, these statistics clearly showed that business owners should consider setting up the proper analytics needed, and developing a quality user experience from the very beginning of their projects, which would entail an increase in their startup investments. This matters, because web users have become more experienced, and business websites must meet those users’ expectations.

Source / Author: https://www.entrepreneur.com/author/alexandra-tachalova

Please share your thoughts, ideas and feedback in the comment section below.

The psychological perspective: Can video size affect campaign success?

It’s Saturday night. You’re on your couch under the blankets watching that new romantic drama that came out. The man and woman fall in love, but then something happens and everything gets messed up. At a certain point you find yourself sobbing until they finally make up and she runs into his arms and they kiss and live happily ever after.

Have you ever experienced a similar feeling, be it with a romantic film, a horror film, action or even a sponsored ad? That feeling of watching something and becoming so engrossed in a scene that you actually have an emotional reaction to it: you start crying or your heart starts beating fast or you jump in horror when the bad guy appears out of nowhere?

If you take a minute to think about it, this behaviour is totally irrational. You know that you’re not in danger. You know that the bad guy isn’t real and cannot harm you. So why is your body reacting like it’s in trouble? Does your body think, even just for a moment, that it is present in the scene?

The physical sense of ‘being there’ while watching a video is actually called ‘presence’ in psychological literature and it’s been identified as an important concept in the video viewing experience.

Advertisers want to increase the ‘presence’ of their viewers. Why? For a few reasons:

Because when users were present they were highly involved, viewers became emotionally involved as well
Users who are present report higher enjoyment levels
Present people have positive attitudes towards the characters in the film
Are easily persuaded, presence can enhance the persuasiveness of media content
People who are present can remember more about the video
So what affects presence when watching a video? One of the things is the video size, or, to be more exact, the proportion of the participant’s visual field that’s occupied by the video.

Have you ever wondered why we pay money to go to the cinema instead of just watching the film at home? It’s because in some way, watching the film on a big screen increases our sense of being present in the scene.

Studies that measured skin reactivity, which is indicative of anxiety and nervousness have actually tested the difference between big and small screens. They found that when participants watched a video on a big screen, their skin reactivity levels were found to be significantly higher than when participants were watching the same exact video on a small screen.

So next time you plan to distribute your video – keep ‘presence’ in mind and make sure you’re choosing platforms that will ensure your video display in the largest format possible, as this will ensure the highest engagement rates from your viewers.

Facebook is removing 20 outdated, redundant ad metrics; adding methodology labels

Facebook has made several changes to how and what advertising metrics it reports in an effort to improve transparency and clear up advertiser confusion.

The changes come after the company admitted a series of measurement problems in a span of nearly two years and has heard from advertisers that they want more clarity around how its metrics are calculated.

Removing reporting metrics
Among the announcements made Thursday is the removal of roughly 20 reporting metrics that the social networks says were either redundant, outdated, not actionable or rarely used.

Facebook has provided a full list of these metrics along with reason for removal and suggested metrics to look at instead.

For example, the Button Clicks metric is on the chopping block. Facebook explains:

The Button Clicks metric shows the number of times people clicked the call-to-action button on your ad. Button Clicks is redundant because these clicks are also either reflected in the Link Clicks metric or other distinct metrics like the Event Responses metric and the Offers Saved metric. We recommend using Link Clicks, Event Responses or Offers Saved instead of Button Clicks.

The metric clean up will occur at some point in July.

Metric labels
To add more clarity about how metrics are calculated, some metrics will be explicitly labeled “estimated” and/or “in development”.

Metrics labeled as “estimated” are calculated using data modeling or sampling. While that’s not a new concept for marketers, not having the metrics clearly labeled as being estimates has caused confusion, Facebook found.

From the blog post:

These types of metrics are helpful because they can provide insights for outcomes that may be hard to precisely measure, such as the estimated ad recall lift or the number of unique people your campaign reached. These metrics are meant to provide directional insights into the value of your marketing results and can factor into your businesses’ strategic planning.

Metrics labeled as “in development” are being tested or rolling, which means their results may change as Facebook adjusts the methodologies used in these metrics.

New metrics are often developed for new ad features. Facebook says that new metrics are typically in development for 60 days, though sometimes longer.

Advertisers won’t get any notifications if Facebook fixes errors, bugs or makes changes to metrics labeled as “in development”.

Measurement training
Facebook is launching a program called “Measure What Matters” in March to help marketers learn more about measurement principles. One track will offer programming for branding oriented campaigns and another will focus on measurement for direct response campaigns.

The programming will be offered on the Facebook Business website and on Facebook Live and in-person events.

 

source: https://marketingland.com/facebook-removing-20-outdated-redundant-ad-metrics-adding-methodology-labels-234977