Tag: Marketing

Video Marketing In 2019

Video Marketing In 2019

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5 Strategies for Your 2020 Gen Z Marketing Plan

Throughout the past decade, we’ve marketed to millennials and simultaneously made predictions and projections about the next generation: Gen Z.

With $44 billion in purchasing power and devoting nearly 75 percentof their free time online, it is critical to have a social media strategy to target them. Not to mention, come next year they’ll make account for 40 percent of all consumers in the U.S.

To help prepare you, here are 5 key strategies you’ll want to keep in mind:

Capitalize on blasts from the past

Brands steeped in the past are increasingly becoming awakened to the numerous opportunities of nostalgia marketing. Movies, including Disney remakes of Aladdin and the Lion King, TV shows such as Stranger Things, are proven successes for one reason: in an era of impersonal digital media, nostalgia is the tried-and-true avenue for forging sustainable consumer ties.

Digital natives are constantly measuring themselves up to the perfectly contoured, curated Instagram photos. When a brand can forge meaningful connections between past and present, they not only deliver the euphoria of taking that trip down memory lane, but they satisfy a hunger for relatability, authenticity, and trust.

A recent example of a brand that did just this is Nokia. In a major throwback to the early 2000s, the company recently released a 2019 version of the classic flip phone updated with the social media needs of users today like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Google Assistant. “[This] phone is ideal for you if you are looking for a digital detox,” said Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer at HMD Global (Nokia’s parent company), at the launch event.

Champion is yet another example. Through collaborations with trendy products like Supreme and Undefeated that received widespread media attention, paired with celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Chance the Rapper rocking the clothes, it wasn’t long before the brand hit full-blown come back mode.

Don’t try too hard

Being authentic to your communities and audience members means above all, being true to yourself. It truly is that simple, yet something that carries a profound impact with respect to being able to establish and maintain meaningful engagement.

When National Geographic made its first attempt at Snapchat it went in with tremendous efforts to be “young,” “cool,” and “hip.” After finding this felt too forced and was unsuccessful, the brand reassessed and made the more effective move to lean back into who the brand truly was at its core and shift its priority towards emphasizing first-party storytelling.

White Claw, also known as the alcoholic beverage of summer 2019, employed the approach of letting its consumers do the marketing. Aside from a few appearances, including being a sponsor at this year’s Kentucky Derby, the company doesn’t push itself onto the public.

“We want to let consumers have the conversation they want to have,” said Sanjiv Gajiwala, 39, the senior vice president of marketing at White Claw. “I’m not interested in forcing myself into a conversation they’re already having about me. I’m grateful they’re having that conversation.”

Doritos, too, is taking note of such trends and is running a new ad campaign sans its own logo. The “Anti-Ad” called “Another Level” relies on its familiar, triangular shape and red and blue bags for familiarity but the marketing stops there. “The following is a paid message for a chip so iconic we don’t need to name it, cause this is an ad with no logos, no jingles, no gimmicks, just those red and blue bags with the stuff you love in it,” the video opens. Added to this, the company created a Snapchat lens encouraging users to turn their face into a triangle.

Adopt a mobile-first strategy

With smartphones being Gen Z’s device of choice it’s not shocking that 53 percent of the demographic are using these devices to make purchases. Platforms are recognizing this and making moves to incorporate ways to make in-app purchases and enhancing the quality of their content boosting its appearances on mobile screens.

Instagram, for instance, recently unveiled “shopping tags,” giving users the ability to tag brands in their photos to promote their apparel and their followers the opportunity to check out the brand themselves. Additionally, a “Swipe up” feature takes individuals directly to that specific product page if they decide to make a purchase.

Forty-percent of consumers report they won’t recommend a business to a friend or relative that they had a bad experience with, so the moral here is making the social shopping process as positive and painless as possible. A few easy ways to do this are:

  • Make sure your site operates as fast as possible
  • Break up large chunks of text with subheads so they’re digestible on mobile screens
  • Design mobile-friendly forms, pop-ups, and opt-ins

Notions of speed aside, videos have become a viral way to communicate on mobile. In 2019, 70 percent of consumers have shared a brand’s video on social media and more than 70 percent of businesses credit video with boosting their conversion rate. Fifty-two percent of consumers say watching product promos instills them with confidence when making online purchase decisions.

Be socially responsible

Per a recent Marketing Dive report, Gen Z is three times more likely to say that the purpose of business is to “serve communities and society.” Whatever environmental or social cause resonates with your brand, identify authentic ways to share this story in your messaging that will encourage your followers to get involved. These positive values are reliable indicators that your brand will stand out in a sea of competition and set the stage for long-term relationships with your audience.

S’well’s Million Bottle Project is a great example. The initiative aims to displace 100 million single-use plastic bottles by 2020. The company recently launched a Million Bottle Corporate Challenge to work with other brands to create positive change and uses the hashtag #reducetheuse to promote positive practices and spread the word.

Similarly, TOMS’ campaign “Stand for Tomorrow” allows its customers to pick an issue area that they stand for and have the money from their purchase of a TOMS product go directly to supporting that cause. Mental health, equality, safe water, and homelessness are a few examples.

Use influencer marketing

Gen Z is notorious for exerting caution when choosing what they buy and who they buy it from. They tend to do a lot of research and are less likely to trust a brand from the get-go. They prefer endorsements from celebrities compared to traditional ads, but only if they come across as genuine.

That said, as marketers, we have a due diligence to ensure our influencer partnerships are the result of a process in which we ascertain the message comes from the right person. In other words, the influencer’s views and values should map onto what you stand for. You may come to find a traditional A-lister won’t fit these criteria and that is totally fine. That’s where micro-influencers are coming into play.

These social-media users typically boast a smaller, yet more impactful following of roughly several thousand to 100,000 followers. Unlike the larger names, micro-influencers could be someone we know and are more likely to facilitate sentiments of likability. Per recent Nielsen research, 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know.

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PODCAST: How to Massively Scale Your Business through Customer-Centricity with Penny Wilson, Chief Marketing Officer at Hootsuite

This week’s episode of Social Media Week’s Leads2Scale podcast features Penny Wilson, Chief Marketing Officer at Hootsuite.

As CMO, Penny leads Hootsuite’s global marketing strategy, driving market leadership, awareness and demand generation.

During the conversation, Penny discussed:

  • How can neuroscience be used to develop marketing content in various communications
  • Why Hootsuite is so obsessed with being customer and community-centric in their approach
  • And how she sees the social media market evolving over the next few years

Listen to the full episode below:

Subscribe to Leads2Scale on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify, Castbox, Overcast, or Stitcher.

If you have suggestions for who we should interview or what topics you would like us to cover, please reach out to us at leads2scale@socialmediaweek.org.

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WATCH THE SMWLDN 2019 PROMO

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The Audio Revolution: The Essential Podcasting Tools Every Marketer Needs

According to Podcast Insights, 51 percent (144 million) of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast up from 64 percent just last year. 80 percent of the podcast audience listens to all or most of each episode and tunes into an average of seven shows per week.

Podcasting continues to grow in prominence at a steady and substantial rate and those recognizing this are taking steps to innovate and bring their podcasts to platforms not even intended for audio as a strategic way for moving built-in audiences over to new channels.

For instance, a number of influencers including Logan Paul and Emma Chamberlain have launched podcasts within the past year. While they’re all available through traditional audio platforms—like Apple Podcasts and Spotify—they’ve taken steps to translate their programs into video versions that live on YouTube, a move that’s proven successful in growing awareness of their shows. For general reference, some of the top podcasts on YouTube are recording millions of views every few days or weeks.

If you’ve launched a podcast in 2019 and are looking to up your game, or perhaps you’ve made it a goal to launch a podcast in 2020, look no further. Here’s are a list of tools and best practices to help you produce your best podcast.

1. All-in-one hosting platforms

Anchor is a free app with a plethora of features that make hosting your podcast seamless including unlimited hosting and one-tap distribution. You can also customize your shows with background tracks and transitions with Anchor’s built-in audio library, or embed voice messages from your listeners and include them in your episodes. Finally, you can track performance with cross-platform analytics and monetize your programs with sponsorships or by dropping in a button for donations.

Cast and Podbean are other all-encompassing hosting platforms that are easy to navigate for all your recording, editing, publishing and hosting necessities.

With Cast, engage with listeners through live text chat and show notes, easily store and access your audio in the cloud, and edit your shows more effortlessly with presets like dynamic compression.

Similarly, Podbean is targeted to be a one-stop providing both beginners and experts with customizable themes, reliable cloud hosting, unlimited storage and bandwidth, a website builder and an array of analysis tools to track your progress.

2. Record your episodes remotely & on the go

RINGR makes it possible and easy to record high-quality conversations using your smartphone. That’s right, no expensive equipment necessary. A few key features include conference-call capability, which can record up to four guests at a time. With the Green Room, you can opt to talk to your speakers before you begin recording.

Squadcast and Zencastr are additional noteworthy tools if your podcasts center on remote interviews. With their features, you can easily record interviews with guests and co-hosts from anywhere captured in studio quality.

Zencastr, for instance, grabs each voice locally via a separate track to avoid dropped connections. It also offers users the option to generate a single mixed track with curated audio enhancements applied to turn their recording into a professional mix, ready for publishing directly after they’re finished with the episode. Recordings are then delivered automatically to a user’s Dropbox or Google Drive account for easy editing and sharing.

3. Edit your episodes with professional audio platforms

For recording, mixing, and exporting audio, look no further than Audacity and Adobe Audition.

Adobe Audition serves as a professional audio platform for creating, mixing, editing, and restoring audio content. Remix audio to any duration that fits your needs and repair and restore audio with features spanning spectral display, Diagnostics panel, effects, and more.

Audacity is also a multi-track editor with functionality to record live audio through a microphone or mixer, or digitize recordings from other media. You can also easily edit and manipulate your audio through cut, copy, paste, delete, or undo/redo, and export across a variety of supported file formats depending on what operating system you’re using.

4. Turn your podcasts into engaging social videos

Tools including Wavve give podcasters the ability to turn audio clips from podcasts into shareable video highlights for social media. The benefits here are two-fold. Primarily, you’ll be able to attract new listeners to download your show and, secondly, encourage current fans to promote your content.

Eight-five percent of Instagram videos are viewed without sound. With Headliner, you can automatically transcribe your audio into captions that can be shared on social and add some flare to your podcasts with text or waveform animations. Use an audio clipper to create smaller promotional videos, or publish your whole episode to YouTube.

5. Showcase your podcast with creativity imagery

Regardless of where you’re showcasing your podcast, you’ll likely want to do so with images that are professional, polished and appealing. And no, you don’t have to be an expert graphic designer here.

Image creations tools like Canva and Stencil allow for easy design of logos, social media graphics, and much more. Both offer free and paid subscriptions depending on your specific needs and give you access to thousands of fonts, illustrations, stock photos, and templates to guide you.

A standout feature of Stencil is that it’s integrated with the social media management platform, Buffer. This integration allows you to schedule the publishing of images that you’ve created directly through Buffer.

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http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/09/the-audio-revolution-the-essential-podcasting-tools-every-marketer-needs/

WEBINAR: Prepare Your Brand for e-Commerce Success This Holiday Season with MikMak

Shoppers spent $120B online in the U.S. during the 2018 holiday season, and analysts predict that this 2019 holiday season will see continued growth.

In the spirit of helping your brand prepare early, MikMak CEO Rachel Tipograph and Social Media Week have teamed up to host a webinar Thursday, September 19th, to answer all of your 2019 Holiday eCommerce key questions based on results MikMak saw last holiday season with Fortune 1000 brands:

Topics to be discussed during the webinar include:

  • Fundamental insights for your September – December planning guide across creative, media and merchandise
  • Identifying which social platforms yield the highest conversation rates
  • How you can optimize your brand creative for eComm
  • How you can grow and gain more control over your brand presence on Amazon

You can download the full MikMak holiday e-commerce guide here. As a high-level overview, here are a few of the key findings:

  • Instagram saw the strongest add-to-cart conversion rates (9.5%), while Snap had the lowest (0.9%)
  • The highest add-to-cart rates and time spent on product details pages occurred before Black Friday underscoring a trend to get ahead of the holiday shopping curve
  • Add-to-cart rates were higher in early December versus Black Friday and Cyber Monday indicating people are opting to invest early.

Don’t miss your chance to attend the free webinar taking place on Thursday, September 19th, at 1pm EST. Fill out the form below to join.

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Marketing Agency Wales from Welsh Marketing Agency MA Consultancy

Marketing Agency Wales & Marketing Wales Services | Welsh Marketing Agency MA Consultancy in Cardiff

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Business Growth / Sales & Marketing Consultancy & Mentorship…

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10 Tips on Personal Branding

10 Tips on Personal Branding

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PODCAST: Getting to the Humanity of a Brand with Josh Dean, Chief Marketing Officer at S’well

This week’s episode of Social Media Week’s Leads2Scale podcast features Josh Dean, Chief Marketing Officer at S’well.

Josh is an award-winning, seasoned marketing executive with over 15 years experience across CPG, Apparel, and Direct-to-Consumer at brands like Unilever, Chobani, and Tommy John.

During the conversation, Josh discussed:

  • What it takes to transition from a major CPG company like Unilever to the fast paced and somewhat chaotic world of brand-startup
  • Why brand purpose should be about getting to the soul of a brand and not just a phrase we use to talk about brands who attach themselves to the latest cause.
  • Where are we at as an industry today and how does social media fit in the broader marketing landscape.

Listen to the full episode below:

Subscribe to Leads2Scale on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify, Castbox, Overcast, or Stitcher.

If you have suggestions for who we should interview or what topics you would like us to cover, please reach out to us at leads2scale@socialmediaweek.org.

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5 Influencer Marketing Tips and Insights You’ll Need for 2019

Influencer marketing is expected to be a $15 billion industry by 2022, up from an anticipated $10 billion by 2020 and $2 billion in 2017. Every year additional brands, agencies, and influencers join the party, and with additional traction and investment, the industry is becoming more accessible and measurable than ever before.

Nonetheless, these statistics don’t offer all of the answers with regards to the space. For instance, how is influencer marketing changing and how does it need to change further? What do we really know about influencers? How can we optimize them for our broader digital tactics?

Take Our Influencer Marketing Trends Survey!

As we look to navigate the complexities, new players and cross-platform storytelling strategies that enter onto the scene, here are a few key themes and tips to keep in mind:

Followers aren’t everything

Companies are beginning to grasp the notion that rather than tossing a giant amount of money at a single celebrity, distributing that spending to a series of people with smaller but active and engaged followings can be a much better use of a budget. Why? Because their perspectives, tone of voice, and interests have the tendency to mesh more meaningfully and powerfully with the message of the campaign. In turn, followers have a stronger desire to engage around these topics.

This is supported by the fact that 59 percent of brands are using influencers with 50 to 25,000 followers and 66 percent are using influencers with 25,001 to 100,000 followers. Fewer brands, 44 percent, are using “macro-influencers” with larger followings.

Focus on authentic storytelling

Marketing is about the stories we tell in context, that meet people where they are and solve real-world problems for consumers.

As marketers take the time to analyze their efforts – and implement influencer marketing in a more likely to drive ROI – they should keep in mind the impact behind stories that achieve this end. The authenticity and intimacy that influencers have in their communities can be meaningful and impactful, but only when followers sense that influencers mean what they’re saying.

Conversely, when you partner with an influencer who is not legitimately and genuinely excited about a product or campaign, your tactic in utilizing them can backfire, particularly with media-savvy millennials who can often easily detect when an authentic relationship exists and when it doesn’t.

The key is to empower influencers to tell stories in the style their followers have come to expect. As one academic study exploring social influencers in the beauty space described it: “These self-made social media celebrities are vital to brand storytelling, and their thoughts and opinions may actually be more persuasive than messaging straight from the cosmetic brands themselves.”

Once businesses learn this, they can develop trust in the partnership and allow influencers to exhibit the freedom to develop creative stories that serve the foundation for successful campaigns.

Don’t stick to only one channel

Beyond understanding your audience’s interests and values, it is important to have a keen awareness as to where they’re interacting. While a recent report by Linqia found that 68 percent of marketers cite Instagram as the most important social network for influencer marketing, this doesn’t negate the fact that every medium that exists presents an opportunity to engage.

It is important to acknowledge that the channel that offers value for your brand may not be the same channel or combination of channels that offer value for another. Use this knowledge to your competitive advantage and identify ways to approach audience development and shape how you view content across platforms where the next generation of audience members, Gen Zers, are spending their time. TikTok is a prime example of an emerging place that is gaining traction.

Amplifying & measuring your influencer content

Before you can amplify your influencer content, a good practice is to qualify your content. Per Forbes, for leading platforms, this typically takes the shape of automating the creation of ad units from the top-performing influencer content, then testing a variety of permutations to determine the highest performing ads. In turn, you’re left with qualified ads with supportive engagement data that back up their performance against brand creative.

A few ways to amplify these assets with paid social include tapping into the influencer’s own audience by using their handle, using qualified ads on brand handles, or buying qualified ads programmatically.

To measure your results, it is crucial to consider not only the performance of the influencers themselves but also to how the content drives brand and sales lift. This will not only allow you to assess key KPIs spanning likes, engagements, clicks, and conversions but more broadly, how the content played a role in driving overall brand awareness, including audience favorability and purchase intent

Influencer fraud is a billion-dollar problem

According to new research, fake followers in influencer marketing will cost advertisers a whopping $1.3 billion in 2019 and, if left unchecked, $1.5 billion by 2020. In partnership with the University of Baltimore, Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity firm Cheq found that as influencer marketing spending by brands is expected to reach $8.5 billion in 2019, such “growing popularity [has brought about] greater opportunities for fraud.”

Dubbed the “Economic Cost of Bad Actors on the Internet,” the study recently analyzed the impact that fake influencer marketing will have on trust and overall brand health.

“We’re seeing an almost institutionalized fraud industry within influencer marketing, with standard market rates for purchasing fake followers on leading platforms like Youtube, Instagram and Twitter ranging from $15-$50 per 1,000 followers,” said Daniel Avital, CHEQ’s chief strategy officer.

A few ways the report identified this achieved is through inflation of follower accounts through bots or click farms and use of automated services to act on their behalf “to follow people, unfollow them again to grow in a turbo-charged way. Further, there are less clear tactics including ‘influencer pods’ which allow influencers to trade engagement back and forth amongst themselves.

For more insights into influencer marketing, take our Influencer Marketing Survey, created in partnership with Collective Bias, an Inmar Platform. Each person who fills out the survey will receive a copy of the results report 24 hours before it’s publicly released, a 30-day free trial to SMW Insider, and an entry into a drawing to win a $200 Amazon Gift Card.

Fill out the survey by August 31st, and look out for the results, which are scheduled to be released at the end of the summer.

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YouTube’s Dropping Its Paywall for Originals – Here’s What It Means for Marketers

With just over 30 days notice, YouTube Premium subscribers got an email from the company: when it came to Originals, they’d no longer be alone.

Delivering upon the promise they made to consumers at Brandcast in May, YouTube shared their plans to drop the paywall on YouTube Original programming beginning on September 24th. On that date, YouTube’s original shows, movies, and exclusive live events will become available to all YouTube users—regardless of subscription status. While this move has been viewed by many as a capitulation to the pressure of the highly competitive streaming wars, YouTube Chief Brand Officer Robert Kyncl views it another way: it aligns their Originals with the rest of YouTube’s strategy. “Everything is available free, and everything is available behind a paywall if there are certain features that you value in order to pay a subscription.”

For marketers, this is an opportunity to take advantage of ad support to target fans of these programs who previously may not have been paying for them. Fans of content creators like Liza Koshy and Gigi Gorgeous—who were creating both free and paywalled content for the site—will likely flock to these “new to them” series and films. Already popular offerings like Cobra Kai and Step Up: High Water can garner new viewers (and potential buyers, for you) with less of a commitment to the platform. And especially in light of many marketers’ voiced desire to increase their ad spends on YouTube, the fact that a new audience segment is opening should the decision even more attractive.

With that said, although Kyncl says that the strategy with Originals has “gone from being focused on driving subscriptions to aligning with our core business,” there are still perks to Premium access for these shows. When new shows are dropped, Premium viewers will have access to a full season at once, while ad-supported users will have to wait for weekly releases. Additionally, any director’s cut and other bonus content that shows opt to release, will be exclusive to Premium subscribers. But for those who elect to access these new shows with ads, the move confirms YouTube’s prevailing model…and, in the process, clarifies a new segment of prospective customers for marketers.

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6 Platforms to Add to Your 2019 Paid Social Toolkit

Paid social is becoming a crowded space, with 97% of marketers reportedly dedicating money to advertising through social media. Between the growing audiences of these platforms, and the rising cost of similar ads in search, ad spends across social make far more sense to the budget-conscious and the efficiency-obsessed. To that end, Hanapin Marketing takes time every year to assess the state of the paid social marketing landscape, and this week they shared their latest learnings with the world.

Where is most of the crowd congregating? To the surprise of no one: Facebook, who has garnered the attention of 91% of the surveyed population. Brand managers and agency reps aside have grown to depend on it for reliable reach and sophisticated analytics. But in a number of ways, new platforms are rising to rival its dominance…especially as 26% of marketers reported they plan to spend less on the platform throughout 2019.

Who stands to benefit from this shift in spending? Depending on your area of comfort with content creation, the age and engagement of your audience, or your “why” for advertising on social, the following spaces could be yours in which to shine.

The Video Villages: YouTube and Instagram

“We are becoming conditioned to favor video as a means of communication,” Hanapin reported in their study, “and it is unsurprising that social media consumption would reflect that behavior.” Moreover, it is unsurprising that platforms who are friendly to video – both algorithmically and in terms of features – will rise quickly as this conditioning takes root. As such, Instagram and YouTube were the two platforms Hanapin found that have the biggest chance of rivaling Facebook.

On each platform, highly dynamic ad formats were found to be both incredibly popular and highly effective. For YouTube, pre-roll (skippable) ads are far and away the most frequently used format; even when skipped, they do play a role in consumer decisions. And for Instagram, compelling Story Ads have fast become the most effective form. Not only has each become more hospitable to how we regularly consume content, but the interfaces that allow us to craft and place ads have grown in sophistication—making our time and energy in these spaces ever more worthwhile.

The Comeback Kids: LinkedIn and Snapchat

LinkedIn and Snapchat are working hard to reclaim their onetime glory not just by improving the offerings on their sites for users, but also growing and improving the ad experience for marketers. And while these ads don’t necessarily do the blockbuster numbers that the top three platforms get, you can get results in a highly specific market if you use these spaces wisely.

Hanapin cites LinkedIn as the platform that currently “pays [most] attention to the needs and priorities of their advertisers.” For the site, a recent overhaul of their Campaign Manager has allowed for highly specific ad targeting. And as more users flock to the platform to take advantage of their live video, document sharing, and educational offerings, those seeking to reach a business-minded client will do well in the space. Meanwhile, Snapchat’s burst of new features and partnerships make it a highly attractive option for those seeking to reach a younger audience. 71% of users are under 24, and 45% are 18-24. This means that spending your time in this once-again booming ecosystem means crafting ads that appeal to that age group: compelling, captivating, and befitting of the space Snap has cultivated there. As with LinkedIn, the clientele is considerably more specific; your approach there should adapt accordingly.

The Dark Horses: Quora and Reddit

“Quora was predicted in last year’s report to be an up and coming platform for advertising,” Hanapin shared in this year’s report, “and it sure has proven itself.” While numbers are still small for paid social, investment in ads on the question-and-answer based platform has quadrupled in 2019. Much of this can be attributed to the attention Quora itself has given to advertising; they’ve released 5 beta programs to target and place ads, and stand to release several more before year’s end. You’d be wise to explore the platform before it too gets crowded; 27% of marketers want to up their spend there (compared to 9% the year before).

For the fringe treatment that Reddit often gets, Hanapin rightfully points out the highly engaged and authentic nature of its users, additionally sharing that its average use and engagement outpaces other outlets we look to more readily for advertisement—including Twitter, Pinterest, and the aforementioned Snapchat and Pinterest. As with Quora, their ad targeting, reporting, and campaign management tools are continuing to evolve, likely to anticipate more advertisers wanting to be there. For brand managers and agencies hoping to help clients stand apart, this pair of rising platforms could be worth your time, energy…and ad dollars.

The full report is worth a read for all marketers, whether you’re actively looking to reconsider your paid social approach, or if something in this rundown caught your eye. How will you let Hanapin’s insight frame the future of paid social for your organization?

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Is Your Brand’s Social Media Strategy Anti-Social?

How do you define your brand’s social media strategy? Do the words “community” or “conversation” come to mind? If they aren’t immediately a part of your answer, it might be time to reevaluate.

This year, LUSH Cosmetics UK announced their move from multiple social handles to a single brand hashtag, #LUSHCommunity. This news quickly became a topic of office conversation. How would LUSH contact their audiences? How would they share updates? Make announcements?

But then, we stopped. We took a second look.

Traditionally, brands have treated social media as a megaphone. But, by using social media as just another tool to expand reach, brands overlook the reason that social media exists in the first place: to cultivate a community for conversation.

For brands, social media should be a starting point. Brands need to remember that social media is a shared space, and for consumers, its value isn’t monetary. It’s the social currency users gain when they engage with each other that matters more.

If the people using social media care more about content, conversation and clout than they do about click-through rates, then brands should care more about those elements as well.

So, what if we started treating brands on social media as communities?

What if we decentralized the brand’s social media presence to let its community curate its story?

Would we cultivate more human connections?

Building customer content into the brand’s social media strategy

Sabine Schwirtz, Community Manager at LUSH Cosmetics North America, discusses a shift in brand identity. She states, “I think many marketers who have been in the industry for a long time are worried about maintaining the voice of the brand. But, the voice of the brand is not always the same as the voice of the customers. We’re moving closer to times where a brand’s identity is the same as their customers’ identity.”

And, Stephanie Buscemi, CMO at Salesforce, recently reiterated that sentiment. She states, “In the future, the content won’t come from the brands. It will come from the communities.”

LUSH has simply given customers a place to discuss, ask questions and interact with each other. The community becomes a place for customers to lean into their passion for the brand and its products.

It’s a disruptive decision. There’s no denying that releasing control of your brand’s narrative in this way is a risk. But, it’s undoubtedly a trend. If you’re too nervous to let your customers take some control of the conversation, it’s possible that you actually don’t know them as well as you think.

Shifting from social listening to social understanding

When a brand shifts from driving the conversation to letting customers take the wheel, the brand’s social media strategy moves from communication to collaboration. In doing so, the brand moves from social listening to social understanding.

Social media isn’t the only place where a marked shift to understanding is happening. Up and coming technologies, like voice search, artificial intelligence and voice robots also require a deeper level of understanding to be effective. It’s a trait that has always differentiated the computer from the human. A computer can listen to provide output, but a human can understand to provide input.

By cultivating community, brands can listen and contribute, but more importantly, they can understand. They can act accordingly.

Creating a community-driven roadmap

When brands better understand customer needs, they can shape their R&D and product roadmaps to solve for those pain points. That level of personalization nurtures loyal customers that in turn organically advocate for your brand.

When a brand’s social media strategy focuses on community, brands acknowledge customers as content creators. This shift replaces a brand’s inauthentic social presence with a content strategy driven by real, lasting relationships.

By recognizing social media as a gateway, brands tap into the world of possibilities that the user-generated content created there provides — and the immense amount of value it adds to brand identity.

The post Is Your Brand’s Social Media Strategy Anti-Social? appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/08/is-your-brands-social-media-strategy-anti-social/

3 Steps to “Instant” Ad Placement on Snapchat

In the last couple of years, Snapchat has gone to great lengths to recapture its onetime dominance…and its efforts are finally paying off. Their next step? Bringing advertisers back in full force, and their latest tactic wants to make their return as easy as possible.

Instant Create ads (available at this time only for Snap Ads) are designed to “make Snapchat advertisers accessible to smaller advertisers who may not have the time or resources to try to understand new ad formats.” Those wanting to do more elaborate work can use “Advanced Create,” but this streamlined format aims to capture those looking for a low barrier to entry.

What will you need to take advantage of this new format?

A Defined Objective

What do you want users to do as a result of seeing your ad? For an Instant Create ad, you have three choices: web visits (traffic directed to your website), app installs, or app visits. Users can select which one is the most appropriate goal for the ad they’re building, and the tool will adjust accordingly.

This initial definition not only guides Snap on how to position later parts of the ad building process, but it forces the ideal user of this Instant Create tool—smaller, overtaxed, or inexperienced social media managers—to think through the objective of their campaigns. Once you know what the ad is supposed to do, the rest of the process (copy crafting, calls to action, targeting, and even design) becomes considerably easier.

Your Desired URL

For web visits, you’ll only need to submit the URL you want to drive users to. App installs and app visits are only slightly more complicated, requiring you to include an app icon and links to where the app can be found in the App Store or on Google Play. Along with this, you can include a headline, call to action, caption, or logo.

A benefit of designating these URLs upfront is that images can be pulled from your site. In the event that an advertiser didn’t have the time or capacity to create graphics, Instant Create would pull from where these assets already exist on the Web. Want to add your own assets? This is easy to do at this stage, and will populate an ad with more sophistication than the plug-and-play version.

Targeting Goals

Instant Create requires you to define, at a minimum, your target demographic, location, budget, and duration of visibility. If you’d like to break your prospective audience down further, Advanced Targeting lets you define a smaller goal winnowed by interests, custom audiences, or type of device.

Given Snapchat’s resurgence in the market, the audience you’d be targeting is now considerably larger than many doomsayers would have you believe. After three consecutive quarters of negative growth, they grew their user base by 4 million people earlier this year, and are even raising a new $1 billion to address debt and eye additional acquisitions. So if you moved away from the platform when its base started to atrophy, or have never explored it as a space for promotion before, there’s no better time to explore the platform.

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The post 3 Steps to “Instant” Ad Placement on Snapchat appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/08/3-steps-to-instant-ad-placement-on-snapchat/

PODCAST: Reddit’s Community Approach to Brand Marketing with Will Cady, Head of Brand Strategy at Reddit

This week’s episode of Social Media Week’s Leads2Scale podcast features Will Cady, Head of Brand Strategy at Reddit.

At Reddit, Will oversees a team built to find homes for brands amidst Reddit’s vast ecosystem of every online community imaginable.

During the conversation, Will discussed:

  • Will’s background as a musician and what lead him to join Reddit
  • The parallels between the music industry, social media and building community
  • The growth of subreddits and the role they have played in driving community engagement
  • And how they work with brands and the role they play on the platform

Listen to the full episode below:

Subscribe to Leads2Scale on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify, Castbox, Overcast, or Stitcher.

If you have suggestions for who we should interview or what topics you would like us to cover, please reach out to us at leads2scale@socialmediaweek.org.

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The post PODCAST: Reddit’s Community Approach to Brand Marketing with Will Cady, Head of Brand Strategy at Reddit appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/07/podcast-reddits-community-approach-to-brand-marketing-with-will-cady-head-of-brand-strategy-at-reddit/

PODCAST: Reddit’s Community Approach to Brand Marketing with Will Cady, Head of Brand Strategy at Reddit

This week’s episode of Social Media Week’s Leads2Scale podcast features Will Cady, Head of Brand Strategy at Reddit.

At Reddit, Will oversees a team built to find homes for brands amidst Reddit’s vast ecosystem of every online community imaginable.

During the conversation, Will discussed:

  • Will’s background as a musician and what lead him to join Reddit
  • The parallels between the music industry, social media and building community
  • The growth of subreddits and the role they have played in driving community engagement
  • And how they work with brands and the role they play on the platform

Listen to the full episode below:

Subscribe to Leads2Scale on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify, Castbox, Overcast, or Stitcher.

If you have suggestions for who we should interview or what topics you would like us to cover, please reach out to us at leads2scale@socialmediaweek.org.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH THE SMWLDN 2019 PROMO

The post PODCAST: Reddit’s Community Approach to Brand Marketing with Will Cady, Head of Brand Strategy at Reddit appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/07/podcast-reddits-community-approach-to-brand-marketing-with-will-cady-head-of-brand-strategy-at-reddit/

4 Revenue-Generating Platforms to Find Your Next Impactful Influencer

More and more companies are relying on the relatability and star power of influencers to lift their brand. In seeking out “social proof” of their ability to create impact, we may have a few go-to metrics: followers across social media, perhaps quality of interactions. But we can also look to their influencer status all across the internet.

Today, that proving ground extends far beyond YouTube ad revenue. Here, we’re providing an overview of all the places your current or prospective influencers may have a presence—along with the benefits and drawbacks of each platform.

The Original Proving Ground: YouTube

“YouTube creators are living proof that an open and responsible internet can change the world for the better […] we’re going to continue to give them the tools they need to do that,” said Chief Product Office for YouTube Neal Moran in a recent blog post. In many ways, YouTube was the original proving ground for influencers and rising internet stars. Famous beneficiaries of their model include impending late night host Lilly Singh, Epic Rap Battle stars Lloyd Ahlquist and Peter Shukoff, and countless others across the entertainment, beauty, and comedy landscape.

However, in recent years the platform has waned in its stability, and creators are looking to other opportunities to maintain steady income—including influencer posts with brands and organizations. “The algorithm can change, your channel could get hacked, a million things could happen,” said YouTube star Samery Moras to CNN. “Never rely on YouTube ad revenue if you want to make a living.” The company has responded to the hesitance of creators with a host of additional revenue streams, including SuperChat (where fans can pay for their question or comment to be moved to the front of an online queue), merchandise partnerships, and multiple tiers of fan support (likely mimicking virtual support rival Patreon).

Benefits: stable infrastructure, and ever-increasing revenue streams
Drawbacks: a changed algorithm or update to Terms of Service could threaten livelihood without warning

The Rising Star: Facebook

At this year’s VidCon, Facebook unveiled a host of utilities for creators that are clearly designed to take on YouTube’s dominance in the influencer space. Facebook Creators can join the program if they have 10,000 followers and 30,000 minutes of video watched from videos that are at least three minutes long, according to USA Today. Once they reach that threshhold, they’ll have access to strong analytics, a new digital “tip jap” called Fan Subscriptions, and the opportunity to earn Stars during Live Streams, each amounting to $0.01 of revenue.

Facebook has a number of spaces in which creators can earn revenue, including Facebook, Instagram, and IGTV. The Monetization Overview tool that’s newly been made available to creators allows them to see their earnings aggregated in one place. The accompanying Brand Collabs Manager “lets creators better manage audience engagement and improve ad targeting.” In total, Facebook sees an opportunity to expand its already massive influence into creator support, and has a built-in rapt audience that may make it worth the while of a number of makers.

Benefits: a massive existing user base already using the associated platforms
Drawbacks: the user agreement includes a lifetime license to use content developed as a creator, even if the user leaves the program

The Newcomer: Snapchat

Earlier this week, Snapchat unveiled its Creator Shows initiative, an opportunity for celebrities and high-level influencers to develop and produce shows that would be “aired” alongside Snap’s 80+ original shows. It’s an opportunity to take content that these creators are already sharing on their Stories, and put it under a marquee of sorts. After a dip in usership and popularity, the company is on its way back to prominence—in large part because of its focus on original programming—with 4 million new users in 2019, and an estimated reach to 90% of all 13-24-year-olds.

The lineup, when it debuts later this summer, will feature outings from celebrities like Serena Williams, Kevin Hart, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but will also highlight the work of social influencers like Emma Chamberlain, Maddie Ziegler, Loren Gray, and Rickey Thompson. Given the growing popularity of Snapchat’s programming, the ability to participate in this program could do wonders for an influencer’s visibility.

Benefits: Snapchat’s considerable investment in programming means that influencers in this program will be well supported, and their talent properly fostered.
Drawbacks: the threshold to participate in the program is quite high, so only influencers in an upper echelon can take part.

Moving Toward Mainstream: Twitch

Frequently thought of as a platform primarily for gamers, Twitch is rapidly outgrowing its niche reputation. “Nowadays,” says Powerspike, “you can watch ‘streamers’ (the influencers who stream on Twitch) do anything—painting, cooking, podcasting, camping, and more—and if you like their content, you can follow them to receive updates any time they go live.” And viewers are taking advantage of that opportunity; where the platform saw 590,000 daily concurrent views in 2016, 2019 saw 1.2 million at the press time of this article…23 days into the year.

The average Twitch user spends 1.5 hours watching their favorite Twitch streamers, eager to communicate with them via online chat and listen for shout-outs, giveaways, and other engagement strategies. More to the point, users are open and ready for the monetization of the site. 80% are reportedly open to sponsorship of their favorite streamers and esports teams, and companies like KFC, Mobil1, and Gillette are taking advantage of this audience readiness.

Benefits: rapid growth of the platform and diversification of its users means more opportunities to get in on a ground floor of sorts.
Drawbacks: it is still generally perceived as a niche avenue, and may take some time to more fully emerge as a safe bet.

Influencer marketing will only continue to grow, as brands and companies seek new ways to make their wares feel familiar and relatable. And the opportunity to find new faces that match your brand will only grow…if you know where to look. These platforms are only the start, and yet they could yield a great new connection when explored thoughtfully.

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The post 4 Revenue-Generating Platforms to Find Your Next Impactful Influencer appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/07/4-revenue-generating-platforms-to-find-your-next-impactful-influencer/

Sales & Marketing Tips & Advice Videos via #KingofMarketing YouTube Channel…

Sales & Marketing Tips & Advice Videos via #KingofMarketing YouTube Channel…

https://matrainingwales.wordpress.com/2019/06/05/sales-marketing-tips-advice-videos-via-kingofmarketing-youtube-channel/
— Read on matrainingwales.wordpress.com/2019/06/05/sales-marketing-tips-advice-videos-via-kingofmarketing-youtube-channel/

https://mikearmstrongnews.wordpress.com/2019/06/12/sales-marketing-tips-advice-videos-via-kingofmarketing-youtube-channel/

5 Tips for Brands Looking to Capitalize On Facebook Marketplace

You’ve probably heard of Craigslist. The barebones classified ad killer is easily the most recognized name in the game when it comes to local sales of used goods.

But what about Facebook Marketplace?

Marketplace is a fairly recent development in the social media giant’s portfolio, but it already boasts over 800 million monthly users. Facebook has been able to leverage its already-giant footprint to dig into Craigslist’s imprint a little bit. And now Facebook has one thing that Craigslist doesn’t: the Facebook Marketplace ad network.

Companies can now sponsor advertising placement in Facebook Marketplace, making it a great tool for reaching an audience with high buying intent while leveraging Facebook’s incredible targeting and massive user base. Are you using these ads to drive traffic to your business? If you’re not you might be missing out.

To get the most out of Facebook Marketplace, you need to understand how it works. And with only a few handy tips and tricks, you can put Marketplace to work for you, too.

1. Focus On Intent

With Facebook Marketplace ads, specificity is your friend. You’re dealing with an audience that already has high buying intent—just like you would do with long-tail keywords on Google, you’re going to have to get specific. Tailor your ads to a very specific subset of consumers instead of going for a scattershot approach.

Ubisoft’s campaign for The Division 2 used this carefully by using its own purchase data for targeting. They were able to find people who’d recently bought similar types of games on their own site, then target those customers with an attractive ad that grabbed their attention.

The result? According to Facebook, a 67 percent increase in purchases.

2. Use the Carousel

Ad creative matters, and it’s no different on Facebook Marketplace. One of the biggest things that can catch attention is utilizing Facebook’s carousel format for your sponsored post.

When Apartment Guide was trying to figure out a way to drive more rentals, they turned to Marketplace. Apartment Guide was able to use the carousel to showcase multiple different apartment complexes in one listing, allowing them to maximize their ad spend and engagement.

It paid off for them, too. With a combination of News Feed ads and Marketplace ads, they doubled their conversions.

3. Use Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences are the backbone of Facebook’s powerful advertising platform, allowing you to upload a Custom Audience and find people that look like that. It’s no different in Marketplace. When wallet and accessory company Thread Wallets needed to boost their sales, they decided to try Facebook Marketplace.

After uploading a Custom Audience, they formed a lookalike audience based on the people that had visited their site. Using the Facebook tracking pixel they were able to form a picture of these people, and that made their Custom Audience more effective.

In fact, that alone allowed them to increase the year-over-year effectiveness of their ad spend by forty-one percent. Facebook Marketplace is now the company’s preferred platform for advertising.

4. Get Detailed

Most auto dealerships tend to be fairly old-school about their advertising, relying more on traditional marketing channels than newer ones. That’s starting to change, as—pulled straight from Facebook Business’ own website—Toyota of Greenville continues to demonstrate. Their success illustrates one more aspect of Facebook Marketplace advertising that’s absolutely key: get detailed in your listing.

When this dealership decided to use Marketplace ads, they didn’t just throw something up there and call it a day. They created listings for all of their vehicles that had detailed information and plenty of photos, treating it like an extension of their showroom floor. These listings paid dividends, doubling their sales leads per month.

Impressively enough, twenty percent of their Marketplace leads turned into a sale.

5. Try Dynamic Ads

Depending on your line of business, you may want to use Dynamic Ads, which automatically pull from your product catalog to create Marketplace ads without you having to do anything but monitor occasionally.

Several of the companies mentioned here used Dynamic Ads in conjunction with other strategies. For companies with a lot of products that are very similar (for example, Thread Wallets, one such user), Dynamic Ads can be a great way to maximize efficiency.

You probably don’t want to use Dynamic Ads for very differentiated products, as you’re better off just customizing those individually. You can create different product sets for your catalog to control which products are shown to which audience, but there’s some work that goes into setting up Dynamic Ads initially on the back end, and it’s not necessarily worth it for every business. Facebook’s guide can help you decide which direction to go.

If you’ve been running ads on the News Feed for a while, you’re probably very familiar with the Facebook advertising platform. Facebook Marketplace uses similar tools, but captures an audience with higher intent while still allowing you to use Facebook’s fantastic targeting and broad reach.

Have you tried using Marketplace ads yet? No matter what your line of business, you might be able to tap into a vein of customers you haven’t been able to reach—or catch your current audience at a different stage of the sales funnel.

These companies have reaped dividends. So can you.

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