It’s a fact that where consumers go, marketers will follow. Television, radio, and newspapers used to be the most popular channels to reach audiences, even though the marketing opportunities were somewhat limited. While the beloved television hasn’t lost it’s glow with consumers, TV sets alone are no longer enough to feed their craving for content. The advancement of digital devices means consumers are now constantly distracted by TV, social media, online content, and more.
With this killer combo comes a new challenge: a consumer’s interactions are becoming shorter as multiple devices often demand their attention at once. As such, brands that want to build an omnipresent online footprint must spread their marketing collateral across a range of channels in a way that engages and captures consumers’ interest.
Google, in collaboration with Sterling Brands and Ipsos, recently released a report “The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-platform Consumer Behavior,” in which they tracked the behaviour of the always-on consumer. They uncovered that 90 percent of the time is spent on screen-based devices such as smartphones, computers, tablets, or television. The other 10 percent is devoted to traditional media such as newspapers or magazines.
However, when it comes to individual sessions, consumers spend on average 26 minutes more watching TV than looking at their smartphone. Below is a breakdown of the amount of time devoted to different device categories.
17 minutes on smartphones
30 minutes on tablets
39 minutes on computers
43 minutes on TV
These timeframes may seem enough to get your message across but remember consumers visit several websites and switch TV channels where many other brands are vying for their attention. This means that when delivering content, brands will have to make every minute count. In content marketing, for example, every article should boil down to the first five seconds as this is a crucial time during which readers decide whether or not to leave the page. Content should therefore be to the point, be meaningful, use catchy headlines, and be visually appealing, especially for smartphone users who are likely to scan through content.
Beyond time spent, the report also uncovered what consumers are looking for on each device, which will further help brands distributing the right content to the right channel. For example:
Computers are used to search for information (and are typically used at home).
Smartphones are used for more bite-sized content consumption — and to keep people connected.
Tablets are used for entertainment purposes such as browsing the net and playing games.
Brands looking to incite consumer interest at all times, regardless of intent and device usage, should take advantage of the multiscreen trend, which is divided into sequential usage and simultaneous usage. Ninety percent of consumers use multiple screens sequentially in order to reach a specific goal, with the top activities per device being:
According to the report, most sequential users start with a smartphone then move on to a PC or a tablet, although fewer people prefer the latter route.
For simultaneous device users, the most common screen combinations are smartphone and television (81%), smartphone and laptop/PC (66%), and laptop/PC and TV (66%). The top activities per device category are:
These trends show that consumers have different needs and preferences when interacting with content. Identifying the channels customers most prominently cycle through is an effective way to connect with customers where they already are. Investing in a single channel might get clicks, but buyers of today require more fluidity with their content consumption. They might hear an ad on TV as they get dressed in the morning, watch the ad on their smartphone as they take the train to work, then visit your online store on their PC during their lunch hour.
And with all the distractions that come with multi screen usage, it’s important to make content easily to discover, share, and save for future use. They might not have time to read a blog post they accidentally stumbled upon during the day, but there should be a way for them to come back to it as they lie in bed that night, even if they use a different device.
Your audiences are everywhere and so should your content be.
Video content is a beneficial tool for any marketer. It’s a worthwhile means of sharing your brand’s message with your audience in an engaging, informative and visually stimulating manner. Video can be especially beneficial for demand generation content. Demand generation refers to the aim of targeted marketing programs to drive awareness around and interest in a brand’s products or services. Here are three reasons why video can be so important for demand generation content.
Video Content Can Be Benchmarked
Many video content platforms feature analytics that help to measure how well that video content is performing. YouTube Analytics is perhaps the most prominent example given how predominant YouTube is among video content sites. The data read by analytics tools such as this can include the number of times a video has been viewed and how long that video was viewed for. Video analytics tools are particularly useful for measuring audience engagement, but it can be difficult for brands to assess the impact of their video content when compared with content produced by their competitors.
Enter benchmarking, a great way for companies to measure just how effectively their marketing plans are progressing against competitors in their relevant industries. Many platforms feature benchmarking analytics, including Google Analytics. Benchmarking is particularly effective when it comes to video content given how prevalent and effective video marketing has become. By making use of benchmarking analytics, a brand can ascertain what metrics are important to creating an effective video marketing strategy. Plus, a brand can assess industry standards in order to find out what elements of their strategy need to be improved.
Video Can Improve Existing Technology
Biju Muduli explains how marketers have a lot to deal with when it comes to producing video campaigns and mentions the almost overwhelming amount of technologies and data insights available to them. The amount can be so overwhelming that it can at times be hard to know which tools are necessary for the creation of an intelligible video strategy. Muduli explains that, by adding video to their current marketing technologies, marketers will be more able to “focus on the creativity that’s driving video content instead of the execution and analytics reporting details.” They will be able to create, optimise and keep track of campaigns from within one application, while also having just one dashboard on which they can collate all necessary information across various campaigns. As Muduli specifies, “it is essential that video be scaled, delivered and measured with just a few clicks.”
Quality Over Quantity
The quality of both your leads and your content go hand in hand with each other. Being at once an engaging, immersive and compelling means of marketing a brand, video content can represent the type of marketing quality that results in leads that are more qualified. This is why brands should harness the power of video content when formulating their marketing strategies.
Video is a powerful tool to make use of within the multifaceted field of marketing. It’s particularly beneficial when used as part of content strategies that are aimed at building awareness around a brand. It can be easily benchmarked, it’s effective in improving existing technologies, and it’s great for producing high-quality content.
Social media marketing is integral to your business for numerous reasons. It is by advertising on social media platforms that you are more capable of reaching a wider audience, enhancing your online visibility, cultivating awareness of your brand and targeting specific demographics. What’s more, you have a variety of options at your disposal, all of which you can use.
The thing is, however, that all social media platforms differ from one another, so you must decide which of them is best suited to your marketing needs. Identify your advertising goals, decide which platforms you’re going to use and then choose which paid social media advertising features you must consider for your company.
You’re able to work with both images and video content when you advertise on Facebook. Image ads are useful for displaying your products, while video ads help to spread content that is both informative and entertaining. You can also make use of carousel ads, which comprise a block of text and numerous images. These are effective for advertising more than one product, a collection of products, or for telling a story through images. Facebook is also useful for generating leads. Create a lead campaign on the platform, either to direct users to your website or to them to sign up for your services.
Instagram is similar to Facebook in that you can advertise on it with images, videos and carousel ads as well. One thing to remember about video ads on this platform is they begin to play, with or without audio, as soon as users to scroll to them. This means that you can’t rely solely on audio to ensure the ad has an immediate effect. Instagram does have a specific feature that you can also use to your advantage, and that is Instagram Stories. It’s a very popular means of attracting the attention of prospective customers and getting them to click through your services.
Twitter is a social media platform on which you can share content that’s catchy and to the point. It also allows for numerous promotional and advertising opportunities. There’s Twitter Promote Mode, with which you are automatically able to promote the first ten of your daily organic Tweets. This feature is for those marketers who have a substantial amount of content to share every day and who want their reach to increase at an impressive rate.
You also have the option of creating individual Twitter campaigns if you want more control over what you post and if you want to spend less on advertising. As with Facebook and Instagram, Twitter ads can also either be video- or image-based.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, LinkedIn is an exclusively professional networking platform that allows to you get recognised by businesses and people searching for employment. When advertising on LinkedIn you have two options at your disposal. There’s the creation of sponsored posts that incorporate punchy wording and imagery, and there’s InMail message ads, which involves sending a personalised message straight to the inbox of a prospective customer.
There are numerous social media advertising opportunities out there. Other platforms you can use include Spotify, Youtube, SnapChat and Pinterest. No matter your choice, always make sure you have the right objective and target audience in mind. By directing your social media ads towards the right audience and for the right purposes, you’ll have a better chance of increasing awareness of your brand and gaining a steady online following.
Many of today’s successful technology companies like Google, Facebook, Netflix and Amazon are focused on building collaborative environments. Why? Because of greater productivity and creativity.
I’ve read somewhere that one of the biggest trends this year and the next in content marketing is more active engagement outside the silo. In an industry that is quickly evolving, this is essential for a culture of continuous improvement.
Far too many marketing agencies still maintain school playground dynamics; the content producers are huddled in one corner, the PPC’ers in the other, and the Display team somewhere in the middle. This tribalism can easily result into either a popularity contest about which department is the “cool kids table” or into a sort of communal disinterest in what others are up to.
This is perhaps unavoidable in large corporates but luckily at TMI, we’ve learned that giving support, input, sharing resources, and approaching others for information has enabled different departments to be creative and solve problems together.
To quote Rick Bosch, Head of Earned at TMI: “At TMI we have a knowledge sharing culture, meaning we work together, closely. This covers more than just a single department or discipline. Besides working closely across numerous departments, we also work closely with our clients. From hotdesking in their offices, to upskilling internal marketing teams in the latest digital trends and techniques, we don’t keep our knowledge to ourselves, we share it.”
The bar for quality continues to rise as the technology used to create and publish campaigns and content improve. Content marketing, for example, becoming more automated, customised and multichannel. This means that where content producers used to think creatively to produce online material, they might also need an analytical input of the Search and Display specialists to offer value to the target audience.
Here’s a very likely scenario: a new client hires us to execute and manage a PPC campaign for their launch. After two years of a successful PPC partnership, the client upgrades to content as well. The content team is ready to woo the client with their creativity, and whilst it’s all good to have them let their imaginations run wild, how can they make sure their content addresses the problems, questions and desires of the brand’s target audience?
The Search and Display specialists have already pinpointed the client’s marketing and advertising needs, which means they have the data to identify content opportunities.
Each marketing department in the agency has different ways of attracting, engage and convert the client’s customers – and will be able to offer varying insights into the requirements and expectations in terms of the content that will communicate value to the audience.
The point is, every client success story isn’t credited only to a few rock stars in the agency or a single, best performing team, but on the objectives that align different departments to work together. When we extend involvement on a campaign to more people, we enable clients to tap into a deeper pool of ideas, knowledge and skills.
Almost like assembling our very own Avengers team of superheroes.
Would you like to know how to write great PPC ads? While there is no one formula for writing an effective PPC ad, there are a number of proven best practices you can apply to make your PPC ads stand out. Apply the following tips to the next set of text ads you write and you’ll get amazing results.
Use emotive language
PPC text ads that are badly written are boring and unmemorable. To avoid writing boring ads you should put more thought into the words you make use of in your PPC ad. A great text ad should make the person reading it feel something. And if you know the needs of your target market, this should be easy to do. Focus on the main problem or want that pulls buyers to you, and brainstorm some ideas to play up the emotion contained in that problem or desire. Some positive emotions you can make use of to get the results you want include relief, hopefulness and the feeling of being admired by others. Negative feelings can actually also be a good stimulus, such as FOMO (the fear of missing out).
Statistics and figures easily get people’s attention, so adding a few numbers is a good way to draw more people to your ads. One way to do this is by adding your product’s price or by advertising a sale. Try to use exact numbers instead of round numbers because people are prone to rely on exact numbers more. Featuring a numerical statistic about your business, such as the number of years you’ve been servicing customers is also a good idea.
Maximize your space
You should try and maximize your ad’s power by using all the space you have available for text. Google Ads now gives you three 30-character headlines and two 90-character descriptions. Also, don’t forget about your display URL and ad extensions. The purpose of your display URL is to show searchers what kind of page they’ve landed on, so it’s wise to create a custom URL that includes your keywords. While you shouldn’t rely on Ad extensions to carry your message, they can be another effective way to get seen in search results.
Highlight what makes you stand out
Making yourself stand out from competitors makes your ad more attractive. You don’t have enough space to pitch all of your unique selling propositions to the people you want to reach, so you should try and break it down into a powerful focus area that will make your audience want to find out more. Ask yourself what’s unique about your business in the industry? Or maybe you have won some great awards that you can brag about? Emphasize what makes you stand out.
Include strong, creative calls to action
Instead of using worn-out cliches such as “Call now” for your calls to action, think of something that can captivate your audience a little bit more. Since you know what they are in search of or need, you can rather emphasize that in your call to action. Starting your call to action with a powerful verb such as “Save,” “Get,” or “Join,” is more effective.
Writing successful text ads requires patience, practice and testing. Incorporate these five best practices in the next batch of ads you have to write, and you might be surprised at the positive responses you get from your audience.
There’s an old saying in the PR world: “any publicity is good publicity.” The belief is that if your company can become the topic of conversation, it’s a good thing because it stimulates product awareness. And, though negative impressions will disappear over time, increased awareness remains. But how much can we rely on this theory when it comes to a brand’s SERP ranking?
Every year, we see some of the world’s biggest brands trash their reputation in the court of public opinion, whether it’s due to the behaviour of corporate leaders or insensitive campaigns by PR and marketing teams.
Global retailer H&M came under fire for a product image featuring a child wearing a hoodie with the slogan “Coolest monkey in the jungle.” Dove drew global backlash for an advertisement that showed a black model transforming into a white woman. US tech company Cynet Systems sparked outrage after they posted a job position that listed the desired candidate as “preferably Caucasian.” Gillette rustled the feathers of its male customers because of an ad about toxic masculinity, referencing the #MeToo movement. Closer to home, insurance company, Momentum, stirred controversy after initially refusing to pay out a life insurance claim to the widow of a shooting victim.
Some of these PR blunders had serious financial ramifications for the companies involved: Gillette may have suffered loss in sales after customers threatened to stop using its products. It is alleged thatMomentum lost 80 000 clients in one day when the company refused settlement.
However, at the same time, some interesting things were happening on the SEO side of these companies’ websites. Brand mentions for “cynet systems” reached peak popularity on Google Trends around the time news of the scandal broke, with the company’s website experiencing an 86% increase in traffic between March and April.
Similarly, the search term “gillette” surged in January 2019, the time the ad was released, with a 33% jump in traffic from the previous month.
As seen in the examples, when these companies were pushed into the media spotlight, it generated both brand awareness and SEO value. Media outlets have linked back to those companies’ websites in their coverage, something that likely boosted their position on search engine rankings and increased the authority of their domain. For Cynet Systems, it meant a sharp increase in backlinks from highly authoritative sites, which included referrals from NBC News and New York Daily News.
According to Alan Sorensen, an economics professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, bad publicity may actually be good for unknown firms as it can increase brand awareness and boost rankings on SERPs. But, it can put the reputation of established brands at stake.
If your site ends up ranking a little higher as a result of the link juice, unsuspecting customers looking for the type of products or services that you offer, might actually click on your site first.
In the end, remember that search engines do not factor positive or negative reactions toward brands as much the number of quality backlinks. This means as long as you earn lots of inbound links and dominate the news headlines, the sentiment behind these doesn’t matter to Google. Yet.
It seems that reputation is becoming a pretty big factor in Google’s updated Search Quality Raters Guidelines. According to marketing expert Jennifer Slegg, “Google wants their raters to not only look at the reputation of the website itself, but also the content creators themselves…if content is created by someone with a great reputation, it makes sense for Google to rank that content higher than from someone with a bad reputation since it is generally a better user experience for the searcher.”
When rating websites, Google will consider things such as financial fraud reports, overwhelmingly negative reviews, negative reviews from watchdog sites and negative news reports.