According to Pew Research, 72 percent of U.S. adults use at least one type of social media, and 23 percent of these use Twitter, making Twitter the 7th most used social media platform in the United States in 2021.
Twitter is a free social networking site that houses over 300 million active users, allowing people to post ‘tweets’ to engage, socialize and connect with users on the same platform.
While the purpose of Twitter for each person or organization remains the same, the ‘hows’ of using the platform vary for regular Twitter individuals or organizations using Twitter as a marketing platform.
Twitter might seem like a daunting platform to venture into for marketing, mainly because, unlike Tiktok, YouTube, or Facebook, Twitter’s main algorithm focuses more on conversations rather than visuals.
We’ll look at this tweet from the Climbing House as an example:
Alejandra Leyva, a Content Manager working with Climbing House emphasizes, “Different social media platforms require different techniques for marketing. In this case, we tried to spark a lighthearted conversation around climbing as a go-to activity for a first date. This makes it easier for us to converse on Twitter and grab the attention of young or old people looking for exciting date alternatives while leading them to our website.”
This is what the magic of Twitter marketing is—conversations. As a social media platform, Twitter is well-known for its ‘trending’ lists, be it words or hashtags. This trending list shows Twitter users the most talked about topic at a given moment for a specific location or worldwide. This is one of the best ways to clue into what’s happening in the zeitgeist quickly and understand what topical conversations your team should pay attention to in relation to your industry.
Benefits of Twitter Marketing
Because the charm of Twitter is centered around conversations, the benefits of using this platform as a marketing tool are centered around this as well.
The benefit of Twitter marketing is that because people are used to conversations, tweeting multiple times a day is normal and is not annoying for most users. However, Twitter is heavily chronological in the sense that it could take a nanosecond for one tweet to be buried among the tweets of the other people your followers follow, so making the best out of your content that would make people stop scrolling should be one of your top priorities.
There are endless benefits to Twitter than you might think, and these benefits have become successful strategies that marketers have utilized over the years.
Strategies for Twitter Marketing
Establish a Brand Voice
Twitter is one of the most excellent platforms for establishing a company’s brand voice. While selecting a brand voice and reputation takes time and effort, Twitter as a platform makes this easy.
A company’s brand voice can either come off as lighthearted and casual or serious and professional, and you can establish this through your tweets and interaction on Twitter.
Take, for example, this tweet from Felix:
Kyle Zien, Director of Growth Marketing at Felix, says, “We aim to reimagine the Canadian healthcare experience, and we believe it starts with how we interact with our audiences. We try to build our brand voice in a casual, friendly way where people feel like they’re taking advice from a friend rather than an organization.”
Make a Content Calendar
Social media marketers often have a lot on their hands, juggling three to four social platforms simultaneously. Using a social media content calendar allows you to plan and organize content ahead of time, making strategic content posts rather than just winging whatever content at any moment.
What’s more, most social media content calendars let you schedule posts even without logging in to the platform, so you don’t have to fear forgetting to post your marketing content.
Create and Join Trends and Conversations Through Hashtags
If you ask any person who uses Twitter what’s the most significant feature of Twitter that’s most attractive to them, at least three out of five will have one thing in common—hashtags.
While other social media platforms also use hashtags, Twitter makes the most use of this feature through its trending tags list immediately visible when you log in to the website.
An important aspect of Twitter's marketing campaign is that it utilizes hashtags to join conversations or create and invite discussions surrounding its product and services.
An example is this tweet from Prize Rebel:
A person who does not necessarily follow Prize Rebel will discover this tweet because it has joined in on the conversation about making money online or earning extra cash.
According to Jerry Han, CMO of PrizeRebel, “Ever since we established our Twitter account, the use of hashtags has proven how easily people can see us when they search for the same tag on Twitter. We sometimes supplement this with a “retweet to win” CTA as a condition for the prize, which also gives us more visibility to our audience.”
This tweet from PluginHive about their FedEx WooCommerce plugin also uses several hashtags to help increase the tweet’s visibility among those looking for information on shipping through FedEx.
Get Verified and Increase Your Follower Count
Before the great Twitter overhaul by Elon Musk, getting the tiny blue checkmark beside your profile name meant that your profile was your ‘proof of authenticity. Today, two forms of verification badges exist on Twitter—the old blue checkmark (which can now be bought on Twitter Blue by any user) and the ‘Official’ badge found at the bottom of your profile name.
Technicalities of these verification badges aside, there is a sense of authority emitted by accounts with blue or official verified badges, making them more reliable to Twitter users. Working to increase your follower count also helps in marketing and spreading your content throughout the platform and also helps establish you as a reliable content creator and organization.
You should be able to see a “promoted” tag at the bottommost part of the post for a paid advertisement. Having a promoted tweet increases the visibility of a tweet and is just basically paid advertising, taking your tweet to users who might be interested in your products and services.
In the case above, BPI utilizes Twitter advertising to encourage more people to apply for a credit card with the bank. Not only are they getting more credit card applications, but they are also generating more leads using the information users input through the application.
Stay Human and Interactive
The best way to ‘attack’ Twitter as a marketing platform is to stay human. You may be thinking, “But wait…what does that even mean?”
To put it frankly, in many cases marketing posts sound like they were extracted from an AI machine and then copy-pasted to the platform. This is the last thing you want to do if you wish to engage and convert your Twitter campaigns.
Twitterverse loves conversations. So go ahead, converse! Just like this tweet from Fig Loans:
Jeff Zhou, CEO of Fig Loans, says, “Our Twitter marketing campaigns don’t only rely on regularly creating or posting content for our follower’s timelines. We interact and reply to our customers or anyone interested in our products and services. That way, they know they will get top-notch customer service with us.”
Take another look at this Snickers-UNO interraction:
There is a more lighthearted approach present here for both organizations. Engaging in conversation for your followers to see an unusual interaction between two verified accounts is a fun way to tickle and grab the attention of Twitter users. Not only is Snickers bringing fun to their initial post, but they’re also subtly implying how your next pre-football tailgate isn’t complete without Snickers. UNO calling them out on the typo was really the cherry on top to reaffirming that both companies are made up of real people behind the brands, having real conversations.
Why and How Twitter Marketing Matters
It should be no surprise that digital and social media marketing has been all the rave in the last few years. As humankind fixates on digital technology, marketers must adapt to these changes and be interacting where their target audience likes to hang out virtually.
These social media platforms are different in their ways and should be dealt with differently. Twitter, as a marketing platform, should center around conversations and engagement. This allows marketers to establish a brand voice and take valuable information and data about consumer behavior in return.
During the research phase of the user journey, your brand can easily turn off a consumer due to a slow loading page or a pixelated product image that’s not designed for mobile. Trust is an important aspect of any purchase, whether online or offline, and without it, you run the risk of a negative user experience, or worse—a lost sale.
Here are three tips to heighten the effectiveness of your mobile ads.
1. Build Initial Trust and Maintain It
When consumers are on their mobile devices, they’re still tentatively in the m-commerce sphere. At this research stage, trust building and nurturing the consumer relationship are often at the highest point. Create relevant, useful, interactive content to build and maintain your reputation. Also make sure the information you’re delivering is timely and accurate.
2. Make It Easy and Attractive
When you create your ads, place yourself in the shoes—and palm—of the customer, and check your site experience from this perspective to ensure a smooth ride for them. If you’re a social advertiser who’s looking to tackle slow-loading pages, consider Facebook Instant Articles, a simple way to deliver fast, interactive content.
3. Think Beyond the Ad
Make sure your landing page is also designed for ease of use. Use short copy, plus stats and bullets for scalability and to drive more engagement. And, while you have their attention, ensure your payment gateway is completely mobile-compatible, offer a smooth payment path, and don’t let them abandon the cart. If they do, don’t let them get away!
Are you looking for a career in social? Or perhaps you’re already in the crazy world of social media marketing and want to upskill, but aren’t too sure where to start?
In this ever-changing world of social, it’s imperative that you keep up with the latest trends. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have firmly established a foothold in the digital world, with Snapchat and Pinterest starting to gain ground and innovation happening quickly. And, we’re sure to see some newer platforms emerging in 2017.
Social media advertising budgets have doubled worldwide over the past two years—going from $16 billion in the U.S. in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016. Along with this, hundreds of roles are popping up in social media. How do you get your foot in the door?
Start by building your own community.
Create a thriving social media presence of your own, and familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of each. Build up your own personal brand—if you can’t market yourself, how will you do this for others?
Familiarize yourself with different industries, attend conferences and industry events, and contribute where possible. You never know—it could be your awesome skills that get you noticed by a potential employer. Your professional relationships may be your most important asset, so engage with key influencers in the industry that you want to get into.
Don’t limit your knowledge to just social.
To really stand out, you’ll need more advanced skills, since your customers will more than likely manage search, social, and display. Take a 360-degree approach to your learning—to succeed and excel, keep your training up to date, and subscribe to and read as many social and digital marketing blogs as you can manage. (Be sure you’ve subscribed to this one!)
You’ll be required to have a more rounded skill set, as social teams are now being integrated across departments, companies, and agencies alike. In job description parlance, a successful candidate will possess technical, analytical, communication, and digital skills.
It’s not just about posting a few updates on Facebook.
If you pursue a role in social media, be sure to put in great time and effort from the beginning. Applying to hiring platforms like Lensa and making sure to position yourself as a job seeker is essential, but you should first become proficient in all social channels and prove your knowledge of each one. Know the full particulars of every existing and new channel, and be expected to wax eloquent about all of them when the opportunity arises.
Know that once you dig into the details, you’ll find a whole new world of advanced features to learn and master (such as creating paid ads, upselling, cross-selling, and much more).
Keep your social channels clean and professional. Remember that potential employers always check! There’s nothing as disappointing as a dormant Twitter account.
A good rule of thumb is to not post anything on your social media channels that you wouldn’t want to see published on the front page of a newspaper. This shows that you’re professional and can write well. (It never hurts to do a spell-check, either.)
You’re always learning.
If you’re thinking a quick course in social media will be enough, think again. The world of social is changing constantly, and it’s up to you to keep yourself in the loop.
If you’re just starting out, it’s all about getting that initial experience. Be prepared to help a business free of charge—look specifically for opportunities to help businesses build and grow their social presence. Whether it’s paid or unpaid, take on an internship, as this is by far the best hands-on experience you’ll get. If you decide to pursue a digital course, make sure it’s fully accredited.
Stick with it—social media marketing is a profession where you never stop learning. Be persistent and believe in your abilities. It requires a lot of effort but you’ll get there. To summarize:
Build your own community.
Don’t limit your knowledge to just social.
Gain knowledge in all areas of social and not just Facebook.
If you’re a retail advertiser, you have one, overarching goal each holiday season—drive sales. Every ad campaign launched, tracked, and optimized works holistically toward this goal.
Now that fall’s here, it’s time to gear your social campaigns to the rigors of Q4 and this quarter’s particular idiosyncrasies. The October to December timeframe is your most important business period of the year. You have your work cut out for you leveraging insights and audiences from your pre-holiday preparation to maximize sales. For optimal efficiency, retargeting users who’ve demonstrated interest is a key tactic.
Here are some tips to drive sales during the soon-to-be busiest, most competitive time of the year. To sum it all up in a single directive—focus on people familiar with your brand.
Audience: Build your campaigns around high-intent customer segments such as recent purchasers, loyalty members, and past holiday purchasers—and try to plan for a specific conversion path for each of them.
Targeting: Use Custom and Website Custom Audiences of people who’ve visited your website recently or purchased from you before.
Ad formats: Focus on ad formats that’ll allow you to showcase your products and services, such as Video Link Ads, Carousel Ads, and Canvas Ads.
Creative: Showcase your best-selling products to your audience segments and highlight USPs. Create urgency with limited-time offers, shipping deadlines, or discounts, and timely promotions such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday %-off.
Optimization: Optimize for conversions to maximize the delivery of your ads to people likely to purchase. Once again, make sure your conversion volume is enough for Facebook’s algorithm to be effective (especially if you're selling high-value products with costs above $200).
For more tips to stay ahead this holiday season—plus extra guidance designed specifically for Marin Software customers—download our Social Advertiser’s Holiday Guide.
Online gambling is one of the most profitable digital industries, and it's constantly expanding. Yet, it’s also one of the most challenging markets for digital advertisers. As technologies improve and strategies develop, the competition grows fiercer each day.
At the same time, the rise of social media forms a perfect marriage between a gaming industry that’s exploded and an advertising channel perfectly suited to what online gambling providers want to achieve—an even larger market and more players.
Advertising strategy for online gambling depends on many factors, differs according to specific brand requirements and goals, and requires a lot of testing to determine what works best. The key to success is to have a clear strategy and apply a few general best practices.
In this article, we look at an example of a robust gambling strategy, discuss challenges, and offer recommendations for campaign optimization.
A Four-Pronged Strategy for Online Gambling Providers
You should include four essential phases in your strategy:
To make sure you’re staying ahead of the competition, it’s important your strategy covers all phases of the typical online gambler journey, from the branding to retention, and that you use ads and targeting tactics that are the most useful in each phase. Any tweaks to the strategy will depend on your budget and resources, but having a clear structure makes planning easier and your ad campaigns more successful.
Further, there are a few things to note in order to maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns:
Facebook provides plenty of options for each step of the user journey. Determine what would be suitable for your core strategy, and consider others as appropriate. Make sure each option has a clear rationale.
Prepare the creative assets in advance for each ad type you’re launching and align it to the right steps in the user journey.
Define your preparation plan in great detail and always have a plan B. Build your targeting audiences and have a few additional ones built in case the core ones aren’t performing. Your preparation plan should include testing, and that plan should easily and efficiently allow you to determine the best performing demographics, ad types, placements, etc.
What are the Benefits of This Strategy?
Here are several great advantages from using this strategy, plus a few more tips for how to get the most out of it.
Facebook video ads: Facebook video ads are approximately 7x cheaper compared to YouTube, and open up an opportunity to reengage users who viewed your video.
Reach and frequency: Reach a significant number of people and control message frequency through reach and frequency campaigns, ideal for brand awareness.
Ad types and segmentation: Test different ad types to make sure you’re covering all available opportunities, and segment your audience to make sure you’re targeting high-value users. Audience segmentation and exclusion can significantly improve delivery and performance.
Instagram ads: Because of the image-driven nature of Instagram and the fact that users are more likely to connect with interactive content, these ads maximize the value of your creative and increase user engagement. This is a great option to leverage your content and increase the number of conversions.
Video reengagement: Use this to reengage with users who are familiar with and have shown interest in your brand. This is a good option for increasing the number of conversions and driving more high-value players.
Custom audiences: Make use of all ad types and optimize accordingly. Target audiences using Website Custom Audiences. Also create custom audiences of people who’ve registered but haven't made a purchase, and target with an alternative offer.
Search intent retargeting: This allows you to improve audience targeting and lower the CPA on your retargeting campaigns. Cross-channel retargeting ensures you’re reaching all of the most relevant, high-value users.
Dynamic Ads (DAs): Use Facebook DAs on different games to automate retargeting, and to show the most relevant game to your engaged users, driving them to convert.
Segmentation: Segment your custom audience and make use of ad types and messaging accordingly. Apply a “softer” method of engagement with these users by leveraging blog content, different offers, upgrades, and photo albums from user events. Also use Facebook’s immersive Canvas ads to get users more involved in the life of your brand.
Once your strategy’s clear and your campaigns are live, you’ll likely run into a few challenges. Here are a few common ones and how to handle them.
Your ad images, text, and targeting affects CTR—the lower the CTR, the higher the CPC: Stop any ads that aren’t meeting targets and have very low CTR.
Targeting or product affect CVR—the lower the CVR, the higher the CPA: Review your targeting strategy, your website, and your user funnel.
Campaigns have poor delivery: Check audience overlap and make sure to use exclusions. Also make sure you’ve allocated sufficient budget.
For a real-life example of how an online gambling site hit the jackpot with their CTR and saved big on CPAs, read our Leo Vegas case study.
Between the distant frenzy of the Q4 shopping season and the rising calm of midyear, Q2 tends to be the quietest quarter. However, this doesn’t mean there’s nothing happening. Among other things we found in our research, mobile display played a larger role this Q2—but overall, the ubiquitous move to mobile is actually slowing down. And, tablet usage continues to drop.
To create our quarterly benchmark reports, we sample the Marin Global Online Advertising Index, composed of advertisers who invest more than $7 billion in annualized ad spend on the Marin platform. We analyze data from around the world to create our report. For Q2 2016, key findings include:
The move to mobile is slowing down. Across search and social, the shift away from desktop has been slowing for the last two quarters. Device share is decelerating and seems to be approaching a stability point. Display is the only channel that’s still seeing strong shifts toward mobile over the past quarter for both advertisers and users.
Smartphone and desktop are the devices of choice. The tablet revolution never took off and continues to shrink. Instead, it was co-opted by its sibling device, the smartphone. For the foreseeable future, smartphone and desktop are the two largest winners.
Advertisers should continue to prioritize cross-channel, cross-device targeting. In order for advertisers to employ a robust cross-channel, cross-device marketing approach, they should continue to learn the strengths and weaknesses of these channels and devices.
This is a guest post from Daniel Rohsler, Digital Marketing Account Manager at 3Q Digital.
Brands are finally investing heavily in videos for social platforms. Although the attention is now there, clients often ask about best practices for making a “good” video for social.
Facebook has been making a slow but steady switch to showing more videos in users’ News Feeds—I just did a quick count on my personal page, and 10 out of the first 18 posts (55.5%) were videos. With this switch, it‘s essential to incorporate video into your brand’s creative strategy. And, it’s even more important to make sure your videos are “right” for the platform they’ll be served on.
For this post, I’ll stick to Facebook best practices, but most of these guidelines will work nicely for Twitter, too. Here are common questions clients often ask regarding video—and some answers.
How long should it be?
The ideal length of a video ad should be somewhere between 30 seconds and a minute. Ideally, the video should provide the necessary context to the user with or without sound—taking advantage of the auto-play feature in Facebook’s News Feed.
If the message or purpose can’t be shown with a 1-minute video, it’s okay to make it a bit longer. Just make sure the message is still concise and engaging enough to keep users interested (short attention spans and all).
Can we use our TV commercial?
You can, but you shouldn’t. If your TV commercial has run its course, it likely won’t be well-received on social platforms. Diversity is often as important as frequency when it comes to reaching your audience, so try not to serve the exact same asset across different channels.
However, a social video that shares the same theme or feel as your commercial can be incredibly beneficial. Building familiarity across channels by using the same actors, music, or visuals is a good way to grab attention, but be sure that the videos are differentiated enough to keep users engaged and interested.
Does it need actors? A voiceover?
Your video doesn’t “need” actors or a voiceover—but if you’re going to have either one, it’s important to caption the video or use large image text throughout. Remember, videos will auto-play in users’ News Feeds, so the first few seconds will likely be seen but not heard. This is where image text and captioning are essential.
It’s always recommended that the video have lots of large image text, taking up a good portion of the screen so that the text is easily readable regardless of whether the user is viewing the video on mobile or desktop. Image text is particularly important in the first 3-5 seconds of the video—good text can make users more inclined to click for sound or expand the video.
Can you show us some examples?
Here are a couple videos I often share with clients when they ask for some good examples…
Facebook Tips: When Facebook unveils a new feature, they’ll often promote how-to videos like this one for Facebook Stickers.
While the subject matter itself isn’t particularly exciting, it does execute on the essentials well—image text that matches the voiceover, branded logos throughout, and artistic visuals. This is just one video in a series of how-tos that all have the same look and feel. You can view the series here.
Dear Sophie: A personal favorite for what makes a great social video is Google’s Dear Sophie. It’s a little bit longer than the recommended 30 seconds to a minute, but it does a great job of providing all the necessary context with and without sound, by using large image text and visually engaging imagery throughout.
WARNING: You might cry, even with the sound off!
Have fun creating your videos, and may you discover more best practices that work for you.
This is a guest post from Brionna Lewis, Marketing and Public Relations Assistant at Kiip.
All trends are leaning towards mobile first. Americans are spending 51% of their time consuming online media through a mobile device. In the years to come, everything will have to be mobile first, including your marketing strategy.
Chances are you’ve at least started thinking about how your brand is going to leverage the mobile space, if you’re not already doing so. But are you doing it right? Here are 5 telltale signs you’re not and, in fact, dropping the ball completely.
1. You think all impressions are created equal.
This is the key to mobile advertising placements. Too many brands are striving for mass brand awareness instead of focusing on strategic ways to reach their target audience. It’ll always be quality over quantity in mobile. One thousand impressions from your target demographic are better than one million from an audience that isn’t interested in your brand at all.
A 2013 study showed that only 2.8% of mobile users thought the ads in apps and mobile websites ads were relevant to them. So, if you’re still investing in mass display advertising, stop. Contextual advertising, based on relevance to the content of the app or web page, location, or time of day and are much more effective.
The Brand Aid survey found that when people view brand ads alongside relevant content, they’re 10% more likely to pick up new information, nearly 20% more likely to feel more positive about the advertiser and, crucially, 23% more likely to think that the ad is relevant to them.
An excellent example is a mobile campaign ran by Samsung on the mobile site for TV.com. TV.com is a website people visit to see what’s on TV, read up on television industry news, and catch up on what’s happening on their favorite shows. An oh-so-fitting place for a Samsung TV ad.
2. You’re marketing to “millennials”.
If you’re claiming “millennials” as your target audience, you’re effectively saying “everyone.” Using stereotypes to target 80 million Americans is not an effective marketing strategy. It’s like saying everything living in the ocean is a fish—it’s entirely false.
Millennials are a large group of people within a 20-year age range of varying genders, ethnicities, nationalities, interests, and lifestyles. Instead of looking for easy ways to clump people together, focus on the ways that separate them. The more specific you can be about who your target audience is, the more tailored and effective your brand strategy can be.
3. You’re not reaching email inboxes.
Even in 2016, email is still king when it comes to effective marketing. A study found that 91% of consumers check their email every day, and 48% say it’s their preferred channel of communication with brands.
So, if you don’t have a means of collecting email addresses from your potential customers and a strategy for maintaining contact through email, you’re missing out on a lot of potential business.
The trouble with collecting emails is that most consumers try to avoid giving their email out, so that they don’t have an inbox full of spam. The only way to combat this is to offer your customers something in return for access to their inbox. Many companies offer discounts and other member perks to customers who provide their email address.
An example of this is The Barista Bar’s Coffee Club, which they promoted through a Twitter ad placement.
4. You’re not offering value to your customer.
No one loves banner ads and intrusive pop-up videos, but you know what people do love? Free stuff—discounts, trials, and useful content. If you’re going to ask for someone’s time, attention and ultimately, money, be prepared to offer them something of value in return. The key to both customer acquisition and retention is to offer something that people actually want when advertising.
Through Kiip, Smartwater was able to give Runkeeper, a fitness app, users a coupon for a free bottle of Smartwater for after they complete their workout. This is an excellent way for brands to surprise and delight their potential customers by letting them try their product for free.
5. You’re not establishing loyalty.
Loyalty is more than complicated point systems and exclusive sales. Loyalty is building a relationship with your customers. The best ways to establish that relationship is to hear them out and respond. Social media is a great opportunity to do that. If you’re not responding to comments and tweets, you’re missing out on the opportunity to build a relationship.
Another way to establish loyalty is to offer customers something for their mobile wallets. Apple Pay and Google Wallets are a place where consumers store virtual coupons that they can redeem IRL (in real life). A coupon from your brand in their mobile wallet keeps you front of mind and with them as often as their phone is (all the time).
You can also build loyalty with mobile customers by creating an app where users can get more perks, find out about sales, and interact with your brand seamlessly. One company that executes this amazingly is Target, through their app Cartwheel. Customers can check for sales, clip virtual coupons, scan items to see if they are on sale and simply scan their barcode at check-out to get all the saving. Target killed it.
So, if you’re currently dropping the ball on mobile, it’s not too late to turn it around. With this new insight, you can develop a winning mobile marketing strategy in no time.
Global mobile trends all point to the same conclusion – operating in channel-specific silos no longer works, and now’s the time for marketers to implement a strong cross-channel marketing strategy.
If you subscribe to this blog (and if you don’t, see that second little box on the right), you already know we’ve been evangelizing the message of “cross-device, cross-channel.” There’s a good reason for that.
Data Are Fundamental to Consumer Engagement
As we approach the halfway point of 2016, it’s more important than ever that marketers not only use data to understand customer behavior, but also to act on that behavior to deliver engaging, personalized experiences.
On May 25, Nitin Rabadia – our Director of Audience Marketing EMEA, APAC – will explain how to use data to win the online battle for attention and revenue. Gleaning insights from our 2016 Global Mobile Report (available with webinar registration), Nitin will field your questions and discuss:
How consumer behavior is affecting desktop and mobile spend
Recommendations for optimizing advertising across channels
Tactics to take advantage of customer signals
How to improve budgeting, bidding, and targeting decisions with full transparency
When we looked at performance marketing data from the first quarter of 2016, one thing became clear: cross-channel, cross-device targeting remains the most powerful differentiator for profitable marketing strategies.
To create our quarterly benchmark reports, we sample the Marin Global Online Advertising Index, composed of advertisers who invest more than $7 billion in annualized ad spend on the Marin platform. We analyze data from around the world to create our report. For Q1 2016, key findings include:
All mobile, all the time. Advertisers and consumers are continuing to shift towards a more mobile ecosystem.
Cross-channel and cross device remain important. It’s important for marketers to adopt and maintain a more holistic and complete approach to digital marketing that targets across all channels and devices.
Every channel has its strengths and weaknesses. Not only should marketers become adept at recognizing each channel’s weaknesses, but even more importantly, they should start using all three channels and devices to their best strengths.
Mother’s Day is almost here! With flowers, cards, and family visits close at hand, many brick and mortar retailers are gearing up for the shopping spike. The season of maternal appreciation extends to online retailers, who are also gussying up their search, social, and display campaigns to attract consumers around the world.
How did online retailers do in 2015, and what to expect this year?
Mother’s Day 2015 – Clicks, Spend, and Conversions
In the week leading up to Mother’s Day 2015 (May 10th), clicks increased an average of 15% across retailers as click-through rates rose 6%. In addition, spend increased 9% during the same time period, peaking a few days before Mother’s Day.
Most notably, conversions saw a bump of 12%, peaking on the 5th at 18% above the monthly average. This noticeable bump for all retailers was more pronounced among those specialty retailers that Mother’s Day particularly impacts.
CPCs actually dropped slightly during this period, except for two days where they spiked, the 4th and 5th. The 5th proved to be a particularly important day for consumers and advertisers, showing abnormal surges along all metrics.
Perhaps consumers took account delivery times and the looming holiday date into account, giving themselves a few buffer days in case of delays in delivery and arrival.
These numbers dropped dramatically on Mother’s Day itself, and returned slowly to roughly average afterwards. Click-through rates remained elevated for Mother’s Day and a few days afterwards before returning to seasonal norms.
Recommendations for 2016
For retailers looking to maximize their Mother’s Day sales, here are a few key takeaways:
Start campaigns at least a week before Mother’s Day to capture the online shopping market, especially those looking to have a gift arrive in time for the occasion.
In particular, focus attention on five or six days beforehand, as this is when consumer interest peaked last year.
Expect similar trends to 2015, as people power down for the actual day to celebrate a mom!
Continuing its ascent into the status of omnipresent being, global smartphone adoption reached an all-time high last year and shows no signs of slowing down. Thanks to this rapid expansion of smartphone usage around the world, advertisers now have an opportunity to reach consumers even more easily.
We sampled the Marin Global Online Advertising Index, composed of advertisers who invest more than $7 billion in annualized ad spend on the Marin platform, to analyze data from around the world to create our latest annual benchmark report.
We uncovered three key findings:
Clicks and spend have gone mobile. In 2015, mobile devices represented the majority of consumer online usage for the first time. Consumers are now spending more time and attention on mobile devices than desktop – as a result, advertisers have been shifting spend away from desktop towards smartphones and tablets to catch consumer attention and generate clicks. We predict this trend will continue.
Desktop is becoming more like mobile. As the mobile format gains traction with consumers and advertisers, publishers are innovating. While mobile ad formats formerly took cues from desktop, publishers are now swapping the formula, making desktop ad formats and pages more similar to mobile.
Mobile conversion is gaining traction. Desktops are still the primary conversion-driving device; however, within the past year, conversion rates have been growing on mobile devices. While mobile devices have historically been used for product research or upper-funnel activities, this is changing, as better mobile attribution and ad formats are released. Expect this trend to continue.
This is a guest post from Sarah Burns, Content Manager at Boost Media.
With more than 2 billion active social media users worldwide, the influence of social on brand perception, customer relationships, and purchase decisions is indisputable. But, there’s a major shift happening in the way people interact socially, and it’s a trend marketers need to stay on top of.
Social media is becoming more visual
Social media is becoming more visual, with image and video-focused platforms seeing hockey stick growth. In fact, Snapchat had a purported 100 million daily active users only two years after its launch.
Users are also voting for more image and video content with their clicks. Posts that include images produce 650% higher engagement rates than text-only posts and simply using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%.
The influence of image and video content is expected to continue. An estimated 84% of communication will be visual by 2018, and by 2019, 80-90% of global consumer Internet traffic will be video.
There are long-term returns on investing in image and video production
Figuring out how to get more images and videos in your repertoire is a “today” problem and there are immediate, compelling gains to be realized from investing in visual content. Marketers can expect several positive results:
A stronger connection with existing customers who may be more likely to make repeat purchases and talk about your brand
Establishing a system for how your brand produces images and videos will also pay off in the long run, put you ahead of the competition curve, and help your brand build and grow profitable customer relationships now and in the future.
Putting it all together
Marketers used to say “brands are the new publishers,” but perhaps now it’s time to think about brands as the new creative shops. To engage with customers, you’ll need great image and video content, and a lot of it. Don’t wait to ramp up your image and video production and distribution efforts. Now is the time to invest in solutions to scale visual content production and create an effective system for your brand.
About the Author
Sarah manages Content Marketing at Boost Media and leads a team of marketing professionals to drive revenue through complex B2B marketing campaigns in the ad tech industry. Prior to joining Boost, Sarah developed marketing and sales strategy at BNY Mellon, a top 10 private wealth management firm. In a former life, Sarah worked in journalism writing for magazines including Boston Magazine, The Improper Bostonian, and Luxury Travel. When she’s not writing engaging content, Sarah enjoys cooking, running, and yoga.
About Boost Media
Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale. The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.
Quick recap: Twitter announced a new algorithmically sorted way to view the timeline, although it’s not yet turned on by default. Consider it the “while you were away” feature on steroids.
What it means for advertisers: Advertisers have come to expect lower Facebook engagement on organic content, so the same fears may come into play here. Twitter representatives have said that ads will appear in the newly sorted timeline, but that the best content will rise to the top regardless of whether or not it’s paid. Expect Twitter to continue evolving in its quest to revive shareholder value.
Quick recap: Instagram rolled out support for 60-second video ads, a big change from the previous limit of 30 seconds. T-Mobile (did you catch the Drake commercial?) and Warner Bros. were among the first brands to test the extended video ad type.
What it means for advertisers: Instagram video ads can now be anywhere from three to 60 seconds, giving advertisers lots of room to creatively tell a story. Support is already available on Marin Social for advertisers who want to get started right away.
Quick recap: Viacom and Snapchat announced a major partnership deal, which will give Viacom exclusive rights to sell Snapchat advertising.
What it means for advertisers: Viacom’s core investment in broadcasting and cable, combined with this new focus on social, hints at just how important cross-channel advertising is becoming. If Snapchat’s not your cup of tea, consider other tactics such as triggering social ads based on TV commercials, or running similar video content across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TV.
Quick recap: Free Basics by Facebook is a free, zero-rated platform that provides access to basic Internet services (news, health, education, sports, etc.) in developing parts of the world. Net neutrality concerns have made it controversial, and India recently passed legislation that caused Facebook to shutter Free Basics in the country.
What it means for advertisers: Free Basics will still exist in over 30 other countries, and Facebook plans to continue efforts to connect people in India. There are no ads in the Free Basics version of Facebook. However, international advertisers should consider taking advantage of new Facebook ad types (like Slideshow Ads) to reach users with slow connections in high-growth areas.
Quick recap: Facebook announced plans to roll out an automated video caption tool, coming soon.
What it means for advertisers: Once the feature is rolled out, advertisers will no longer need to embed captions or upload their own caption files. Facebook’s internal tests show that video ads with captions increase video view times by about 12%!
Quick recap: Instagram users will now be able to quickly switch between multiple accounts, without having to log out.
What it means for advertisers: This is an exciting change for social media managers who run multiple Instagram accounts. However, larger advertisers who use a tool to manage their accounts won’t see much of an impact.
Super Bowl 50 is here, and the cost to advertise is heating up faster than the Broncos/Panthers rivalry. In fact, CBS is charging up to $5 million for a 30-second ad spot during the big game. According to eMarketer, the top five Super Bowl advertisers have spent a total of $745.1 million for the privilege over the past 10 years.
While the Super Bowl is a great time to drive awareness with cute Budweiser puppies and ridiculous Doritos commercials, most advertisers can’t afford to shell out that kind of money. Here are four strategies to help marketers of all sizes take advantage of the Super Bowl without breaking the bank.
1. Start with a good content strategy
Make sure you have a cohesive plan in advance of the big day that includes organic and paid teams, and all marketing channels where you have a presence (search, social, display, etc.). With a solid strategy in place, you’ll have a good foundation to help you capitalize on any spontaneous moments that may occur, such as Oreo’s quick “dunk in the dark” reaction in 2013.
Here are a few recommended tactics:
Plan your gameday creative and messaging in advance
Use a tool like Marin Social’s Message Booster to improve coordination between organic and paid teams, and to ease the workload by automatically promoting top-performing content according to pre-defined rules
Make sure your social media team is at the ready with immediate, relevant, branded content, in case a big and unexpected moment occurs
2. Take a mobile-first approach
During the Super Bowl, millions of Americans are watching more than just the TV screen. They’re grabbing recipes from Pinterest, posting photos of their gameday garb on Facebook, and sharing their real-time reactions on Twitter. Advertisers who understand this second-screen behavior are in the best position to take advantage using a mobile-first approach.
Use mobile device and carrier targeting to maximize ad relevance
Make sure your website or landing page is optimized for mobile viewing
Consider extending your ads beyond the publishers and into mobile apps, via the Facebook Audience Network and the Twitter Audience Platform
3. Run your commercial without the hefty price tag
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all offer top-notch video advertising formats, so you can run your commercial without dropping $5 million. Captivating video formats provide an exciting way to engage with users who skim through their phones while watching the game. Other things to consider:
Use Reach & Frequency targeting with your Facebook video ads to generate awareness at scale
Make sure your creative attracts attention with autoplay and no sound
Run video that’s specifically relevant to Super Bowl viewers, and consider unveiling fresh, never-seen-before content
4. Up the ante with TV Sync technology
If you already have a good baseline social advertising strategy, take things to the next level using TV Sync technology. TV Sync allows you to automatically activate your social ads based on customizable offline events like television flight schedules, live programming, weather changes, or sporting events – all in real time. It’s a powerful way to amplify your reach and drive engagement across screens.
TV Sync allows you to:
Trigger your social ads whenever your competitor’s commercial airs
Launch social ads automatically based on weather status or key sporting events such as touchdowns and timing
Push social ads live during other related TV events (Pro Bowl, Puppy Bowl, etc.)
Last but not least, consider using these strategies beyond Super Bowl Sunday. Every day is a great chance to extend your advertising beyond TV, onto the second screen and into the virtual living room.
Consider applying these ideas during primetime TV shows, live awards events, college or national sporting events, the World Cup, the Lumberjack World Championships, or any time at all.