Category : Advertising

Read More
2019 trends

Social Media Marketing Trends in 2019

Depending on how you look at it, social media marketing (SMM) has been evolving for more than 20 years. Ever since the 1997 launch of the very first social media site, Six Degrees, marketers have considered how (or if) they can use platforms to engage target audiences. For the first decade, SMM was primarily organic, as marketers tried to connect the way we do with personal friends. It still works to a degree, if done correctly, but in the last 10 years paid advertising has taken hold and continues to grow.

Yes, SMM presents opportunities for brands and businesses, but also tough challenges. The many platforms evolve independently, with changing algorithms, technologies, audience behaviors and preferences, and the occasional government regulation. That pace can be head-spinning, at times occurring abruptly or within a short span of months

Of the many resources that help us understand the SMM landscape, one of the most insightful is the 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, directed by Michael Stelzner, co-founder of Social Media Examiner. The longest-running study of its kind, this 11thannual edition surveys how more than 4,800 marketers worldwide—representing all industry sectors and organizational sizes—currently use or plan to use social media.

The 2019 report is available to download, and we’d like to share here some of the interesting trends that it reveals, as discussed by Michael Stelzner on the Social Media Marketing Talk Show…

Facebook is trending down for the first time in five years. In 2013, Facebook was the most important marketing channel for 52% of survey participants, steadily rising to 67% in 2018 before slipping back to 61% this year. Why? Stelzner suggests that almost all organic activity is being repressed, perhaps in response to Facebook’s privacy and politics concerns of the last few years. According to 77% of survey participants, the platform is getting more complicated and providing diminishing returns on the effort.

Instagram continues to grow. In 2015, only 2% of marketers said it was their single most important marketing platform. Since then it has climbed respectively to 4%, 7%, 10% and now 14%, earning a rank only slightly above LinkedIn. Moreover, 69% plan to increase their use of Instagram. Marketers are especially interested in the popular Stories feature (reportedly, 100 million are consumed each day). Yet they are also still learning that Stories require well-planned, consistent, attention-getting content. Time will tell whether organic content continues to be effective on Instagram, or whether algorithms shift, pushing marketers to rely increasingly on paid content, as they have on Facebook.

Live video is weak, and will remain so without planning and investment. Much like Stories, the effective use of Facebook’s live video requires significant resources, time and patience to realize a return on investment. Meanwhile, the algorithms appear to be repressing the content. No surprise then that only 35% of survey participants use it, and 44% want nothing to do with it. Conversely, Stelzner notes, low utilization rates may create opportunities for those who can do it the right way.

Interest in Messenger bots is fading. Facebook launched Messenger’s chatbot feature in 2016 and by 2018, 70% of the survey pool wanted to learn more about them. This year, just 14% actually use them, 45% care to learn more, and 53% have no plans to use Messenger bots. As it turns out, the programming them is quite complicated, and marketers still question whether their audiences seek or expect meaningful engagement with bots, at least with current AI technology.

Diversification is critical.Some businesses may do well by marketing on just one or two social media platforms, but that is becoming increasingly difficult, especially on Facebook. Stelzner says the future there about privacy and groups, as exposure and reach become harder for those who don’t invest heavily. Thus, as they have since long before the dawn of social media, marketers must continue to innovate, strategize and discover the channels where they can best engage and serve their target audience.

Read More

Marketing with Merch: The Customized Experience

Merch BrosThe interwebz has given the world a whole new lease on life in terms of marketing. There’s impressions, cost per clicks, and Search, BUT the only thing that can’t be replicated is a physical experience. Many companies these days may have cut back on print ads and billboards, but promotional merchandise is still a strong multi-million dollar industry. Just take a look at any company you’ve worked for or a charity you’ve participated in. There are branded pens, thumb drives, wristbands, and of course, the mighty mighty branded t-shirt. A t-shirt goes a long way – even in 2015.

Today we want to focus on the need to promote your business, but not just in the online world; in the real world. We’ve all seen companies on Shark Tank innovating picture books, custom sneakers, and so much more. If you don’t have customized goods, how will you ensure that people can “take” you home with them? We’ve found a local company based in both Massachusetts and New York that takes the web and promotional merch to new heights. Introducing our friends at Merch Bro! With one look at their website and their blog, you’ll see that they take the efficiency of web technology and the popularity of customized t-shirts, wristbands, and other merch and combine the two in a unique supply company. They’ve worked with some big names our there in the band merchandising front, as well as many popular charities. Follow their guided merch app or just let them do the designing for you – either way it’s a win-win in your search for great customized merch!

Read More

Ad Fatigue – What is it and how to fight it!?

ServicesYou’re so excited that you finally have been given a budget for ad spend (either on Facebook or wherever you’ve been dying to test out display ads!) After a few days you’re heart stops because there is a drop-off in the ad performance and you lose confidence in your ad skills. This happens every time you run ads. Have you given up yet?

You may have heard of Ad Fatigue, but if not “AD FATIGUE!” See, now you’ve heard about it. Don’t dismiss your skills in display advertising or the power of great creative just because you’ve fallen victim. We’re going to show you how to implement some measures to fix what us experts call Ad Fatigue.

Let’s discuss What Ad Fatigue is

Ad Fatigue is what happens when your target audience has been shown your ad too many times and your CTR (click-through-rate) falls while the frequency your ad being shown keeps increasing. It makes you think your ad is starting to flail and you definitely don’t want your stats to suffer before you show your boss.

This happens for a few reasons. The first being that users are shown your ad a lot. Just about every time they sign on to Facebook. Not to mention your ad is up against photos and fun statuses in their news-feed. So, in the end, people are accustomed to your image and just stop clicking.

How to fight Ad Fatigue?

Creative rotation! Change up your creative and stop users from being desensitized to your ad. As soon as it begins to drop, don’t be afraid to throw up a different version. Pay attention to using different colors and try not to put any text on your creative. As you already know, ads should be eye-catching whether small or in a bigger layout. This also means, keep it simple. The busier the image the worse it does, but it’s all about testing and what you see for yourself.

Ad rotation also includes demographics, so if you have multiple demos to work with changes them out. This has become much easier to accomplish on Facebook with the improvements to the Ad Manager area. Finally, you should rotate your ads weekly or bi-weekly.

If you have any questions or comments, or want to walk through some ad creation with Social Drive just let us know. Write a comment or witty joke below – or drop us a line via email.

Read More

Facebook: Sneaky Ad Updates!

YIKES! Facebook is rolling out more and more monetizing opportunities on users newsfeeds. When you work everyday in Online Marketing like us, you can easily spot updates to a social platform that haven’t yet been announced.  A few times recently, I’ve noticed that Facebook has a way to identify if a congrats is in order to your friends… and subsequently prompts a gift purchase. Not only am I assuming that algorithm is triggered to surprise your friend who is mentioning a life event (without technically adding a  life event to their profile), but it’s also surprising the end-user because it isn’t technically your typical ad location seen on Facebook.

We’d like to see the stats of which Facebook users have taken advantage of this prompt or even the conversion rates of that oh-so-convenient “Birthday” gift.  Amazon, Starbucks, and Target are all mainstays in these monetizing strategies, but do you eventually thing this will get more niche?

We also surmise that the opposite will occur when a tragic event has happened:

“I hate men – single life here I come again!”

—-> surprise your friend with flowers from Edible Arrangements!  <—-

Check out an example below:

Facebook Advertising

Read More

Things to know about Adwords: Round 2

In the discussion of Google Adwords and Paid Search, we still have so much more to talk about!

Creative: This is advertising just in case you were confused! AND Google doesn’t give you a lot of characters or space to work with, so you HAVE to be creative.  You have to give people a reason to click on your ad! Think as creatively as you can to what would draw those clicks: it could be free shipping, a gift with purchase, or drop that you are a small or local business. These little tactics will result in higher click through rates. Although Paid Search is a numbers game, this is still Marketing! Another video to help you along the way thanks to Google.

Conversions:  The best feeling is to know that you are paying for a click and YOU can see it and track it. You can find out what word attracted the visitor and what they bought. If you want to calculate your return, install the conversion tracking pixel.  What is more important to you: the traffic or the sales? Reminiscent of what we said in Round 1, data helps you make decisions!

Broad Match: If you do not know what this is, Google has two options for keyword targeting; these would be: Broad Match and Exact Match. Broad match allows Google to match your query to things that are similar to your keyword.  If you company is selling something very niche, then your ads will then we displayed to a more broad audience. So, they may be similar, but in what sense? and is there enough of a distinction to change your audience to less qualified leads?  The only thing that would make you think Broad Match is better is because you will be getting more impressions and although that looks great, and more clicks will look great, but your conversion rate will be low. The reason you have Paid Search having the brunt of your Marketing Budget is because it is highly target and efficient, don’t forget that! If you are going to use Broad Match, it is then unnecessary to add plural or misspelled versions of a given keyword as duplicate entries.

As Google Adwords evolves, I’m sure we will have a round 3 help list for you within a few months! Until next time, godspeed on your campaigns!

Example AdWords Ad

Read More

Online Advertising in 2013: Mobile Mania

The biggest prediction for 2013 in Online Marketing? Mobile. We have to harness increased mobile engagement through all of the new smart phone interfaces. Controlling, monetizing, and …dare I say maintain branding? Advertisers know how online consumption works, but figuring out your phone is not easy or fun.

Graphic Design ServicesA recent study by RadiumOne presented findings of: 47% of consumers using their phone between the ages of 18 through 34 stated that they have clicked on an ad in the past 3 months and 54% of respondents made a purchase from their mobile device in the last 6 months. As devices get more and more sophisticated and augment the online and mobile UX, there will no doubt be advertisers throwing all their notes out the window and starting over.  We hope this means that, as marketers, we can connect even better with consumers and be given more in-depth insights to their preferences.

Read More

Things to know about Google Adwords: Round 1

Every small business wants to understand Adwords Paid Search and it is generally where all small businesses now put their focus in their Marketing Budget.  Although Paid Search, looks simple and straight forward it is not.  Here are some things that are important before you begin a new Paid Search campaign!

Keywords: Spend more than a few minutes figuring out your keyword because this part is much more important than you can imagine. A good place to start would be to come up with basic search terms that summarize your business or website and then branch out under your basic categories. You also need to think from the perspective of your customer.  There are brands who use keywords that are too technical and are not the first thing their customer would be searching, as they would not think that way. The customer will be not be broad in there search, but nor will they be super detailed.

I know it is hard to not view keyword selection in terms of just search volume v. competition. Although those are big priorities, always keep your focus on the relevance of the word. A high volume searches won’t do you good if they are not highly qualified leads — it just means they most likely won’t convert. So, be specific and not too technical (unless that’s your product!)

Bidding: First things first, please don’t let Google set your bids. It is not because they aren’t honest, they wouldn’t try to do anything crooked with your money if they wanted to keep you as a customer. According to the algorithms, bidding is not easy.  Google guesses in lower volume keywords because the data isn’t significant enough so what we recommend you do is manage the bids yourself! For more about bidding, just watch this Google tutorial!

Data: Paid Search is something you have to constantly monitor and this also means you have to test too! You should test keywords, bidding, creative, and geo-location targeting too. When you gather enough data for a judgement call — then you optimize!  The data always will be your best indicator of what to do next and how efficient your campaign can be.