Five Miracle Moves For 2016 Digital Impact

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According to Carat’s Ad spend report the forecast for 2016 for Digital, states a significant increase in Mobile and online video with Programmatic being a key media technique. By the end of 2015 US market Programmatic transactions will account for 52 percent of non-search digital advertising spend, with predicted growth of 20 percent to continue for the next few years. Overall, Mobile is experiencing the greatest spend growth across all media and Carat predicts year-on-year growth in Mobile spend at +51.2 percent in 2015 and +44.5 percent in 2016.

Plan Your Mobile First Play

With Mobile emerging as the key channel for online sales, reaching mobile first consumers requires knowing the users content influence eco-system. According to GlobalWebIndex, 80 percent of Internet users own a smartphone and 71 percent of marketers believe mobile marketing is core to their business. 

Your Mobile first Play could mean leveraging the publisher influence or choosing the right social media partners for reaching your campaign engagement goals. According to Shareablee, Social Media posts on Facebook and Twitter for Top Five brands on Twitter and Facebook, generated monumental buzz during Q3 2015, whereas social media actions on Instagram for National Geographic was nearly double the Total Facebook Actions for Top Five Brands.

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Mobile Search marketing is likely to get more personalized in 2016, moving beyond search engines, to incorporate signals from location aware, predictive intelligence powered search tools. Designing a content experience for mobile audience where the content journey is planned around the intent of search will require brands to take the stress out of the mobile audience’s life by presenting the right type of content that matches the searchers’ intent with Brand offers.

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Planning your mobile-first play requires you to attribute the content creation and publishing effort on the channel your audiences are most engaged on. Explore content partnerships that extend beyond content publishing. Analyze feasibility of content partnerships that allow you to source content for your customers with media partnerships that can be showcased in featured branded properties.

Another example could be a partnership where brands can give a Behind the scenes story with an exclusive feature as can be seen from Nat Geo’s Tweet below.

 

Co-brand With Publishers For Content Discovery and Content Amplification

Identify Content Publishers that can get your content seen. Co-branding Content with publishers increases engagement by nearly 8X. According to Contently, In a survey of 745 marketers, a quarter of respondents are devoting more than 50 percent of their budgets to content. 

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Planning your Co-branding content strategy requires you to identify publishing partners that are likely to give a lift  to your campaigns for brand performance goals i.e. favorability, affinity and advocacy. At a campaign level the metrics could vary for campaign objective from awareness, engagement and conversion.

Use Location and Mobile To Engage Audiences

Store Locators and Omni-channel capabilities are some of the must have to engage Mobile audiences. What content publishing and publishers do for your audience engagement, location aware channel and mobile capabilities do for your conversion and sales. With more referrals arising from Social Media and customers preferring campaigns that are personalized, location awareness takes center stage with audiences requiring brands to make offers taking their location into account. Some of the location aware sites customize offers for audiences in the area the customers are located in. Store locators are being increasingly used by brands for personalized offers based on location. Brands also use store locations to gain insights and build offers based on what customers prefer. Louis Vuitton’s updated app that is location aware uses adaptive mobile design to serve city specific content for global audiences.

As important as it is to build location-awareness for engaging mobile user, it is equally important to define the omni-channel customer journey for allowing maximum retail touch-points.

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Start with mapping gaps in your buyer journey. Identify any gaps that exist and plan to change processes that can create a seamless experience across retail touch-points.

Take The Always-On Approach For Content Marketing

75 percent of content marketers release new content at least monthly, and 16.52 percent put new content out daily. Publishers and Brands that are winning the Content game are the ones that have successfully driven traffic to their sites and video content with Search Engine Optimization and InBound Marketing. Creating effective email marketing campaigns to build subscriber lists, blog posts and social media posts can help you up your content marketing game. Content Amplification with Shares on Social media has grown by 27 percent in 2015 over 2014, making audience engagement with shareable content a priority for publishers and brands. Likes and comments make for 86 percent of the overall social media actions.  Social Media posts sharing grew by  27 percent as compared to likes and comments that grew by 14 percent YOY, making shareable campaign content as a lead engagement tactic for Holiday season. Brands that are active with festive themed campaigns evoke emotions from consumers that is viewed as one of the key motivators for content sharing according to a study by Shareablee.

Quick-Start Tips For Content Marketing

Quickstart Tip 1 – Making Your Posts Go Viral

According to BuzzSumo, that analyzed the posts that go viral, some of the elements that are observed often engage audiences evoking an emotion with engaging content that is relatable in a preferred content format. An example of Viral Post is  51 Beautiful Sentences in Literature (1.4m shares), on Buzzfeed.
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Visual Content with Images have the power of a thousand words and have the highest impact in content sharing. According to BuzzSumo, “Image posts on Facebook get 179 percent more interactions than the average Facebook post. Twitter posts with an image and summary are 78 percent more likely to be shared”.

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Consumers look at an average of 11.4 pieces of Content before making a purchase decision. For consumers to discover content, one of the key metrics chased by Content Marketers is Shares and Referral Traffic. According to the BuzzSumo and Moz Study, the shares and referral links are positively correlated for only a few publishers and limited to certain content formats, showing an upward trend in both shares and domain referring links. The study was based on a sample of  1 Million posts with 750,000 well shared posts, however at an overall basis there was no correlation in shares and links. However, the sweet-spot for Content Marketing as found by the study was Opinion forming and research based content. According to BuzzSumo, the posts that received higher shares and links are  “research backed posts, opinion pieces, and authoritative, opinion forming journalism“. Thus as a publisher or a brand content marketer one cannot assume that the content which is shared will also get the requisite referral traffic with other domains linking to your site. According to BuzzSumo, “Shares are also much easier to acquire than links. Link building is hard work that requires appropriate authoritative, evergreen and intrinsically valuable content”.

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Quick Start Tip 2 – Choose The Right Content Format

Content Format that is most shared and referred to is list Posts and Video posts. The correlation for List Posts referrals and shares is highest. However, other post types such as “Why” and “How To” posts obtain high Average Referring Domain links than other content formats.

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QuickStart Tip 3 – Focus on Long-Form Content for Shares and Referring Domain Links

Long-Form Content is likely to garner higher shares and referring domain links as can be seen from the data shared by BuzzSumo.

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QuickStart Tip 4 – Choose the Content Format For Your Campaign Objective

Depending on your campaign objective, Content Marketing effort for you campaign can make use of different elements as can be seen from BuzzSumo’s recommendation. For awareness building campaigns, brands can choose to combine the  entertaining and educating approach. For different stages of Consumer Life Cycle, Content Marketing objective may differ right from acquisition to retention.

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QuickStart Tip 5 – Influencers are Important for Content Distribution and Amplification

Start your Influencer campaign, with campaign goals and how the influencer fits with your campaign structure and who the most important influencers are likely to be. Some of the metrics that can be used for measuring your campaign performance.

  • Number of conversations on the campaign or subject of interest.
  • Comments on the content created by the influencer.
  • Total number of influencers we interact with / Total number of influencers who publish about our brand.
  • Referred traffic from influencer content. (*This can be seen on Google Analytics, observing the source of traffic. Referred traffic is traffic that lands on our page directly from a link on another page. Referred traffic from social media is in the Social section).
  • Conversions (purchases, registrations) attributed to the influencer’s posts.

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Plan your Content with a view to engage your audiences through the Content Influence Eco-system. Making posts go viral with the content that has the right buzz value increases the chances of your content being discovered.  For content amplification, identify the right influencers that amplify content and increase engagement for your brands  leading to more conversions.

Use Video For Brand Affinity

Brands need to  create Excess Affinity for ongoing engagement. Millward Brown recommends brands supercharge the emotional connect with their audiences by humanizing brands and strengthening the emotional bond. For Brands, to create an excess affinity bond, consumer experiences will play a strong role. “Research conducted by Millward Brown for BRANDsense confirmed that the more positive and distinctive sensory impressions come to mind the more loyal people are to a brand. People are not one-dimensional beings, and the better brands engage with all five of our senses the stronger the impression they’ll make”.

According to Unruly Study Sharing of brand content fosters Brand Affinity. As shared by Ebiquity,  people who watched a video following a recommendation or because a friend shared a link were far more likely to enjoy it than those who had discovered it by browsing or were forced to view it as they landed on a website.Viewers who enjoyed the video they watched and shared a videodemonstrated a much higher brand affinity, purchase intent, and brand favorability than their counterparts who did not share the video.

 

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Video Engagement has increased at the fastest rate and shares make for 38 percent of all actions on Video posts making it the most effective content marketing tactic. Plan a minimum number of video posts in your content marketing plan to ensure content amplification.

For Brand Affinity go with creative treatment and emotions that are likely to  work for your category.

Targeting In-Store Shoppers With Mobile Ad Campaigns

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According to Google, Shopping-related searches on mobile have grown more than 120 percent year-over-year. The interest for Gifts and Holiday Shopping is sustained through till Christmas, in place of prominent peaks during Cyber Monday and Black Friday only.

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Target found that three-quarters of their customers start their shopping experience on a mobile device and Walmart has seen doubling of mobile traffic to their retail site during the Thanksgiving weekend. Video plays a significant role in omni-channel customer journey and mobile searches increase by 18 percent  for Holiday shopping on Sundays.

“Google data shows that Sunday is the biggest day of the week for mobile shopping. Shopping searches on mobile are 18 percent higher on Sundays, on average, than during the rest of the week.”

As high as 32 percent Shoppers plan to use Online video for holiday shopping. According to Google, “Americans have watched 60 million hours of unboxing videos on YouTube, totaling 1.1 billion views.”

Google’s report on foot traffic during the holiday season represents aggregated data from mobile users with location history turned on. The data shows the highest incidence of Foot traffic for the last weekend before Christmas making it important for retailers to add location extensions to search ads.

Using AdWords extensions can help customers find your business location and call your business, for the last-minute orders.

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For Bing including Location Extensions, can give customers directions to your business that is closest to the customer.

“A particularly powerful feature of Location Extensions is that the address shown to the customer is typically the business location that is closest to them. If you have multiple business locations set up for your campaign, Bing Ads will display the address and phone number for the location that is closest to the customer. The radius for the location display is about 50 miles. If you don’t have a business location entered that is within 50 miles of the customer, no location will be shown in your ad”, as per Bing Advertising.

Locations that you create apply to all of your campaigns within a particular Customer ID. Also note that you enable Location Extensions at the campaign level and they get applied to all ad groups and ads in the campaign.

Similar to location extensions, using a call extension, you can provide a phone number that is not associated with a particular location, but is appropriate for all locations where your ads display. Here is an explainer video for adding locations to your ad campaigns.

Facebook Launches Location Based Insights And New Ad Objectives

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FbFacebook’s revenues from Mobile are at 78 percent in Q3, 2015 up from 66 percent in Q2, 2015. With Mobile playing an increasingly important role in Holiday shopper’s path to purchase Facebook has upped the game with advertising options tailored for targeting the mobile shopper. Brands and  Local businesses now have a number of options available to them for targeting audiences at a location with the option of customizing ads with a suitable call-to-action and customizing offers as well as creative.

Facebook’s new campaign objectives allow advertisers to set up campaigns for offer claims that allow advertisers to promote timely offers ensuring that their best customers can get relevant offers. This is a new level of response driven marketing that is bound to engage loyal customers for a store where the right offer is available to the deal seeking shopper at the right time.

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Facebook Insights  now give information about the audiences that are in the vicinity of the local store. Furthermore, the data available to marketers will also feature if the audiences in the local area zone have seen any of the ads, allowing Brand Marketers to retarget audiences and sequence creative accordingly.

The Insights available to marketers will also feature the age demographic of the audience, and the distance from the store. The data is reported at an aggregate level under the location settings tab in account settings from the More section in Facebook mobile App. Read More about insights on AdAge.com

According to Facebook For Business page, Local Awareness Ads allow Businesses to set up ads for local business and creatives with Calls to action customized for each business.
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“Local awareness ads allow businesses using Locations for Pages—a tool for connecting and managing business Pages with multiple store locations—to use information from each of their Pages to add dynamic ad copy, links and call-to-action buttons to their ads, so each ad is localised for its corresponding store.
For example, if a cafe with multiple locations in the San Francisco Bay Area decides to run local awareness ads, they could choose to automatically populate the city name in their ad copy, depending on where the people seeing the ad are. So, people in Menlo Park would see “Join us for lunch in Menlo Park,” while people in San Francisco would see “Join us for lunch in San Francisco.” Call-to-action buttons are also dynamic, so when someone clicks on the “Call Now” or “Get Directions” button, they’re connected to the store currently closest to them. This helps advertisers spend more efficiently, since they’re only connecting with people likely to visit the store and the information they share is hyper-local and relevant”. Continue reading

Key Holiday Season Shopping Trends and Infographic

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National Retail Foundation is projecting 2015 holiday sales to rise 3.7 percent, reaching USD 630.5 Billion dollars, of which USD 105 Billion Dollars is going to be online sales.  Retailers report seeing more than 20 percent of sales being generated in the last 61 Days with Jewelry stores stating as high as 26 percent of the sales are generated during the holiday season. On average Holiday Shopping has seen an upward trend, with Holiday shoppers in 2014 spending an average of USD 802 on gifts, decorations, food and more, compared to USD 767 spent in 2013. Mobile sales reached a new high of 27 percent of online retail sales.
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Research shows that free shipping at 86 percent is the most sought after offer from retailers, after price-offs, According to Shop.org’s 2014 e-Holiday Survey  92 percent of retailers surveyed form of free standard shipping during the holiday season with guaranteed Christmas delivery. Among consumers looking for Holiday season Deals 25 Million Consumers stated they would use Mobile only for shopping on Cyber Monday. It,s not surprising that 58 percent of marketers increasing spend on Mobile are planning to invest advertising dollars in paid search to drive mobile shopping (52 percent), mobile email optimization (46 percent) and paid search to drive store shopping (37 percent).
Continue reading