The Science of Instagram: How to Drive More Traffic

The Science of Instagram: How to Drive More Traffic

Instagram is one of the hottest visual social media platforms, on which brands tell their stories and bring into their brand personality. Photos and videos are popular forms on Instagram and brands usually use them to drive traffic and gain the most engagement on that. We all know that Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest could drive traffic to the websites and contribute to online sale as well. Does Instagram have better ability to help increase online sales? In fact, Instagram brings many different advantages to all types of business, including increase awareness and engagement, help to build interactive customer relationships and create a buzz for the new product launch or other events.

Before a brand wants to take the best use of Instagram, it needs to make sure to have a mobile-friendly website first. Personally speaking, I found many websites are not mobile friendly and it’s an awful experience. Most people say Instagram is less informative compared to Facebook or blog and it’s really hard to use it tell a story. But it is admittedly a good opportunity for a company to create compelling original pictures which match the overall theme of the brand. The link to blog post, the photo description and a call to action which could encourage people to visit the company websites are all good ways for Instagram to help business. But make sure to watermark each of the photos with brand name and let anyone who see them know who post them, thereby increasing awareness of the brand.

One of the best thing of Instagram is you can use great hashtags attract lots of views to your updates. Compared with Twitter, hashtags on Instagram are more important because that’s the thing allows most pictures to be discovered. You may notice that most photos contain no description but for several hashtags. You can check out the TagsForLikes website or phone applications for lists of the most popular hashtags in a given category and apply them to your pictures. More hashtags would add more chances of getting your images discovered and liked by more people.

After got awareness you should engage with audience by liking your pictures, following your account and leaving comments. If your are not like Starbuck with millions of hashtagged photos of your brand on Instagram, you’ll need to launch a photo contest to get your audience jazzed about sharing relevant photos. If you are in clothing industry and a brand targeting millennial girls, you can feature your brand with music festival around a theme of “stand out in the festival and capture your best summer moments for a chance to win a $150 gift card and the ticket for festival.” After having the theme, you can create appropriate campaign hashtag to create a buzz among audience. In addition, remember to reach out to bloggers, press or Instagram influencers to enlarge size of your audience. The best way to find bloggers is just looking on Google.

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Since a store can only gets launched once, it’s not easy to have powerful excuses to reach out to a lot of people. So doing everything you can to get traffic and convert them into customers are key to business. You can achieve your objective by creating a good content strategy, mastering SEO and engaging with audience through contests, etc.

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Coca-Cola Is Taking Paid Social Seriously

Coca-Cola Is Taking Paid Social Seriously

A majority of people are heavy social media users nowadays and every brand knows the great significance of targeting consumers on social media. Companies constantly rely on growing impressions from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and also try their best to engage customers through these media. However, the problem is most of companies depend primarily on organic growth on social media and achieve less results on targeting right audience with the right message. Recently, Coca-Cola is trying paid media to strengthen its brand and company image because their 96 percent of views come from mobile and the days of organic reach died a long time ago. They are exploring where the strength in their stories and trying to find a new way to start a conversation about the good things they do.

Coca-Cola has been seeing robust growth in impressions and engagement on social, said Tim Goudie, social media director for Coca-Cola, and the secret weapon for their success is paid media, a channel neglected by a majority of companies. Here is a video interview of Tim Goudie, in which he shared his insights about how the brand can leverage paid social to increase awareness and drive engagement. Actually, Goudie strongly believes that “pay to play’ is perfect philosophy applied into marketing and regarding to paid social, the most important part is to deliver the right message to the right consumer. One way to achieve is to push compelling sustainability stories to highly targeted audiences. According to Goudie, Coca-Cola spent $10,000 at the end of 2013 to push its sustainability report via paid social. After seeing impressive returns in 2014, Coca-Cola spent $400,000 on paid social and it gained three times impressions as achieved in 2013 and its fans grew by more than 20,000. Goudie also reported that the company has won 10 percent increase in brand perception.

http://content.bitsontherun.com/previews/MyUn36lZ-18A23Q9h

According to Guodie, “a successful social media campaign is both an art and a science.” In other words, it is about facts, data and details, and at the same time, it’s must be creative enough to appeal and engage people. More importantly, paid media should encourage further discovery. For example, each piece of paid creative shared by Coca-Cola includes a link to a microsite, providing further reading, information and videos about the project. Goudie stressed that, they are targeting instead of pushing out contents. They deliver message to those who are actually interested, inclined to share and spread. The links provided on their paid social gives an opportunity to go back to a larger destination. Besides, separating the brand’s voice from company’s voice is also very important in inviting consumer engagement. “The company message appeals to scientists and the media, while the brand message appeals to the consumer”, said Goudie.

Admittedly, social should not simply serves as a platform, it should be consistent in everything a business does and be incorporated into contents, emails, events and even brick-and-mortar stores. In order to better utilize paid social and make it a better match for businesses, companies need to ensure brand message and company message to be highly consistent. In addition, determine appropriate method to measure success is also key to utilizing paid social. Companies need to understand what’s working and what’s not in order to optimize efforts and concentrate more on high-impact tactics. Metrics to look at include: likes, follows, shares, and impressions.

Related links:

http://www.clickz.com/clickz/news/2402334/coca-cola-shares-story-of-sustainability-across-paid-social-czlny

http://www.clickz.com/clickz/news/2402572/video-coca-cola-says-to-take-paid-social-seriously-czlny

The Truth Behind Jetsetter’s Virtual Reality Hotel Experience

The Truth Behind Jetsetter’s Virtual Reality Hotel Experience

Every year, marketers and agencies take a stab at April Fools’ Day. It’s a great opportunity to convey good and funny messages. Some brands—notably Google—inserted a playable Pac Man game into its map. This isn’t the first time Google bring a childhood game to life especially for April Fools’ Day. At the same time, Reebok is unwilling to left behind to taken this opportunity to go viral. Since Reebok always celebrates the athletes who pour their sweat and tears into workouts, this time it made a difference with a novel signature fragrance—Swět, a distinctive blend of human sweat acquired from the actual drop of fitness enthusiasts. Will the smell of fitness go in vogue? Who knows, but it is really funny.

Here is a brand early on the action and I think is the most interesting one. Travel portal Jetsetter utilized Virtual Reality technology to create the world’s first virtual reality hotel, offering culinary, immersive spa and nightlife experience. Actually, it has recreated the virtual experience by creating a microsite with its best features, Guests can experience snorkel dive under the crystal-clear waters, bathe in the sunshine and chat up other guests at the same time. Surprisingly, they can also enjoy cocktail in the e-bar. Just imaging the majestic experience lures people to try.

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On April first’s morning, Jetsetter released a new sale for this kind, even though the hotel’s booking site has already known for its great deals on luxury hotels. As the sale advertises, purchasers will “be among the first in the world to experience a virtual reality vacation” with “levels of personalization not available at traditional hotels” and “the best design elements and amenities curated from among Jetsetter hotels and distilled into one hotel experience.” It still sounds fantabulous regardless the fact that the VR hotel experience ended up of being completely different from what has been advertised.

What do you think of when you hear the words virtual reality (VR)? Is that mysterious or sophisticated? As the matter of face, the virtual reality uses computer technology to create a simulated three-dimensional world, in which a user can explore and manipulate with a ‘illusion’ that what he experience is happening in the real world. Generally speaking, VR experience consists of two constitutes, say three-dimensional life-sized images and the ability to track a user’s motions, particularly the head and eye movements, and the capability to adjust images correspondingly to reflect the change in user’s perspective.

Currently, a majority of virtual reality experience prioritizes audio and visual components over other sensory factors. However, stimulating all senses of a user will enable him/her to have a wider breadth of information, particularly the sense of touch. In the VR environment, a user would experience immersion, a feeling of being a part of the virtual world and is able to have interactions with the surroundings in a meaningful way. The terminology describing this combination of the sense of immersion and interactivity is telepresence. According to the computer scientist Jonathan Steuer, telepresence is “the extent to which one feels present in the mediated environment, rather than in the immediate physical environment.” Simply speaking, an effective VR experience leads user hardly to being aware of his/her real surroundings and just focusing on the virtual environment attentively.

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For immersion to be effective, a user must be able to explore a life-sized virtual world and also able to change perspectives and have interactions constantly. True interactivity requires the capability to modify the environment and timely and appropriate respond to users’ actions. If a virtual environment changes in an unpredictable way, it risks disrupting the user’s sense of telepresence.

 

Related links:

http://digiday.com/brands/jokes-brands-play-fool-april-1/

http://www.oyster.com/articles/45689-exposed-we-reveal-the-truth-behind-jetsetters-virtual-reality/

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/other-gadgets/virtual-reality3.htm

Durex’s Secret Tech Contributing to Sexual Orgasm

Durex’s Secret Tech Contributing to Sexual Orgasm

The world’s leading sexual wellbeing brand Durex was reported to build partnership with CEO from Siren Mobile in order to develop a revolutionary technological product to help couples live better sexual lives. The release is actually the first movement Durex steps into the digital marketplace.

Head of R&D department of Durex Richard Arnold stated that: “We were inspired by modern people’s behaviors, the ever growing dependence on mobile technology for virtually everything in day to day life, and our market research has identified a genuine desire for this technology in our sex lives.”

The launch of the tech arouses mass speculation and leads to hundreds of thousands of people visiting the ‘Durexlabs’ website to find out more with excitement and expectation on how the tech would help users to achieve an orgasm. In the enlightening and moving video released last week, couples who are willingly to witness mysterious of the tech were surprised to learn the answer—the simplest way to give people’s lives an uplift—swiping the off button. Here are some of the quotes from interviewees, reflecting general problems in establishing healthy couple relationships:

   “In the last few months, I’ve tried to have a ban on her using her phone in the bedroom … We’re now trying to use the bedroom for just sleeping and sex.”

   “When the first iPhone was purchased by him I used to call it the third person in our marriage and I hated her with a passion, she used to sit between us, and I really disliked her… it has become a third arm for a lot of people.”

This video received 765,025 views in its first 24 hours and it did spark people’s reflection that people are becoming enslaved to technology. A study reveals that the pervasive use of technology has seriously influenced how often people have sex, cut intercourse short and caused tensions in relationships. There are also other researches conducted to testify the detrimental effects caused by technology. For example, researchers from Durham’s Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities demonstrated that 40% of those interviewers have delayed sex because of technology, largely because of smart phones and tablets. Moreover, a third of the couples interviewed admitted that they often interrupt sex to answer their phone.

“Sometimes I’ll be on Facebook and he’ll be on a sporting app while we are both in bed; we realize that we are literally sitting in bed together, but living in different worlds.” Quote from one participant.

There is no denying that smartphones have revolutionized the way people communicate with each other and digital technology has facilitated the exchange feelings of intimacy, enable us to literally remain distant. In the U.S., more than half of Americans own a smartphone and are pretty obsessive with it. According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, only 20 percent of participants said they couldn’t live without sex and many of them said they would rather skip sex than give up phones, tablets or televisions.

Phones occupy the time couples staying together in the bedroom, and thereby making a difficult transition to sex afterward as a result of distraction. It is non-organic and even a little awkward to initiate sex immediately after playing a game or checking an email because it is difficult to switch from one mindset to another. As stated in a study, there are more than a quarter of women admit email and Internet disturb their love lives and it is the mobile devices that particularly need to blame. Two-thirds of the participants said their partners do not take enough initiatives to have sex.

Durex’s product aims to “amplify human connection in the bedroom and improve our sex lives,” said Susie Lee, CEO of Siren. In fact, unlocking the passion with the smartphone has actually become a heated debate among many brands and Durex just one of them.

Related links:

http://www.medicaldaily.com/durex-aims-bring-phone-sex-life-digital-technology-324206

http://www.geekwire.com/2015/siren-partners-with-durex-to-improve-your-sex-life/

http://www.bellanaija.com/2015/03/26/durex-promises-a-better-love-life-for-you-yours-with-one-simple-free-universal-step/

Data—Shaping the Future of Marketing

Data—Shaping the Future of Marketing

As we wind down the first quarter of 2015, the discussion around data continues to grow in volume and especially in 2015, productizing data becomes more and more significant in marketing. The importance of turning data into actionable insights for marketers is also undeniable. According to AdWeek, WPP’s media agency Mindshare launched The Loop in 2013. With the help of this real-time marketing hub, marketers can glean insights relevant to their client partners by processing over 100 data streams.

No matter in which industry, collecting data and turning it into insights is of the same importance. For example, one of the world’s largest mall operators—Westfield is trying hard to keep the pace of cultural and technological changes and to deal with the data. They are exploring services that incorporate both physical and digital worlds to further learn and engage customers. Virtually, they are testing not only WiFi and beacons, but also 4G technology, Bluetooth as well as social platforms like Snapchat to glean customers data.

In taking all these high-tech measures, mall operators are gaining access to a mass of data which offer insights on mall-goers shopping habits. At the meantime, they utilize those data to enhance their advertising and traffic monitoring process. Free WiFi, for example, is good way to collect customers’ basic information like email address, age, ZIP code or even shopping preference upon log-in. If not, search histories complementarily provide a snapshot of shopping habits and preference. In addition, free WiFi also helps mall owners collect consumers’ behavioral information, such as how frequently they visit or which area they visit most. It is also an effective way to monitor traffic.

But there are limitations of applying WiFi because of the difficulty to distinguishing between visitors and mall employees who use the network without shopping. Privacy is another major issue. According to Ms. Kaminkow: “Privacy is of utmost importance. We’re getting the data … but we’re still in the early days of being able to get true value from that.” Under this circumstance, third-parties like StepsAway are bridging the gap by turning the data into useful actionable insights and helping retailers act on the information collected. Mall owners and national retailers like Express and Sephora make use of the WiFi network to offer deals. Users open their browsers to get organized by categories such as women’s, men’s and kids or by store and more alluring thing is to gain promotions. Besides, mall apps incorporate other tools like interactive maps, giving step-by-step directions which designed to particularly encourage the download.

Data gathering is only one part of the equation and another great challenge and opportunity is mall owners and retailers’ ability to seamlessly share those data. If operators know a guest who purchased something for in-store pickup when entering the mall, they can guide them to the nearest parking spot and remind retailer to prepare the item. If the visitor is a loyal customer, he/she can be greeted by a personal shopper. Even though mall operators are just beginning to negotiate with retailers on sharing data, once that gateway is opened, there will be more likely to engage with retailers and shoppers at a deeper level.

Related links:

http://adage.com/article/digital/salesforce-trigger-ads-based-crm-data/297684/

http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/data-save-mall/297697/

How Does BuzzFeed Think the Color of the Dress

How Does BuzzFeed Think the Color of the Dress

If you stay online on Thursday night, you must feel overwhelmed under a heated debate on a woman’s dress. At the beginning, I see it an ordinary black and blue dress without any distinguished feature and from my personal perspective, there’s no aesthetics about the dress. So I am wandering why this dress deserves such attention. Until some of my friends said it is a white and gold dress, I realize the mysterious behind this dress and then I repost the picture on my social media account, which is overrun with comments about the colors of the dress.

The picture and debate are originated from a girl called Swiked, who post the picture on Tumblr out of curiosity, trying to figure out what is the exact color of this dress. It may be surprising for the girl that her post arose such a great disturbance on social media, but it is not astonishing for BuzzFeed to spot this story on Tumblr and make use this post to drive significant traffics. By the next day’s midnight, the dress story is still a hot topic both online and offline. The website claims that this debate drew more visitors to the site at one time than ever before.

On Twitter hashtag #TheDress has maintain the No.1 trending topic for almost 24 hours. Also, according to BuzzFeed, the dress debate driven more than 670,000 people to the site and there are 500,000 of them visit through mobile devices, and half of those visitors read and comment about the dress.

Admittedly, the word “viral marketing” is not a commendatory term and people will take two steps back when they heard about virus. But you cannot deny its strong adaptability which makes them thrive in the right environment and the great marketing influence exerting by viral marketing. Just like virus, viral marketing strategy take advantage of rapid multiplication to spread massages to millions of people. According to the viral marketing definition, it describes a strategy encouraging audience to pass on marketing messages to one another and creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence. Viral marketing is also referred to as word-of-mouth or buzz creation. In the dress case, the debate was an effective format of viral marketing and BuzzFeed is a big winner benefiting from it. Adam Shlachter, chief investment officer at DigitasLBi, said “The brilliance of Buzzfeed is its ability to spot topics and content on the rise, before they tip, and use all their channels and modes of distribution to spread them to a massive audience.” Apparently, BuzzFeed was overwhelmed with traffic brought by the fervently discussed debate. The debate has engaged fashionistas, color scientists, and a-list celebrities.

If we think more deeply, we may find the dress story serves as bait for advertisers. Buzzfeed consistently perfected the story by adding creative plus content and scientific explanation and consequently, owned the Internet for hours. Gian LaVecchia, managing partner-digital content marketing at media agency MEC, said in an email “We could begin to witness some interesting creative applications emerge”. BuzzFeed actually wins himself new business. Imagine ads buyers sit down and talk with their clients and the client asks for something viral, and then the ad buyers will think of the dress, and thus think of BuzzFeed. Since advertising is how BuzzFeed makes all its money, it is absolutely a big winner thanks to the ugly dress.

Related links:

http://money.cnn.com/2015/02/27/media/the-dress-buzzfeed-traffic/

http://adage.com/article/media/dress-buzzfeed-s-business-model/297347/

http://digiday.com/publishers/its-white-and-gold-dummy/

Is Facebook a threat to YouTube?

Is Facebook a threat to YouTube?

With Facebook intensifying its ability to upload and share videos, fashion brands brought forth a mix of short and long videos on New York Fashion Week. Exclusive data from Socialbakers tracked video activities across the designers’ pages on Fashion Week and the social vendor counted the number of videos uploaded and tried to find out which brands’ posts interacted with audience most based on the number of likes, shares and comments of the video.

There were a total of 55 videos posted to designers’ pages during the week between Feb. 11 and Feb. 18, among which 89 percent were uploaded directly from Facebook, 7 percent were posted from YouTube and 4 percent came from Vimeo. (Adweek 2015)

As a matter of fact, YouTube has reigned as a primary video platform for years. However, with the emergence of Facebook, YouTube began to encounter serious threats in terms of its digital video advertising business. Apart from its social network role, Facebook also acts as an important video ads platform growing alongside YouTube. Brands came to experiment uploading video directly to Facebook instead of via YouTube and because of its unprecedented reach and targets, Facebook grew as a distribution channel and is becoming the Web’s second most significant video platform.

George Hammer from DigitasLBi said some brands are trying to post videos straightly to Facebook and witnessing higher engagement rates than when publish YouTube videos to the social network. A statistical facts from New York Fashion Week back up his statement. A Spanish fashion brand Desigual showing its new spring collection grabbed the No. 1 spot on Socialbakers’ chart and the short clips induced a total of 6,324 interactions. Additionally, Michael Kors’ 15-second video taking Fashion Week as a theme generated 5,466 interactions. To be fair, BCBG Max Azria has nearly 471,000 Facebook fans compared to Desigual’s more than 3.5 million, Michael Kors’ 16.6 million and Carolina Herrera’s 1 million.

Due to the sharp increase of video uploaded to Facebook, YouTube’s share of the number of brand videos published on Facebook was diminishing, meaning that Facebook is gaining the traffic at the expense of YouTube. Socialbakers’ head of North American marketing talked about the data on a blog, saying that “This is a serious threat to YouTube as marketers are going to continue to use the network that is most effective for gaining engagement. Basically, there are no signs of the trend reversing from its current path.” (Digiday 2014)

Since marketers make efforts to get audience engaged and get interactions with them, have you considered why engagement matters on Facebook? Virtually, there are more than 15 million business pages on Facebook, and more often than not, many page owners find it difficult to maintain news feed visibility, with fans hardly seeing all updates from every page they like in their news feed. But every time a fan likes or interacts with a particular form of post on the page, Facebook determines what content fans like most and makes that content more prominent in their news feed based on that information. So if fans are mainly interacting with text posts, they’ll see more of the text posts; if they’re mainly engaging with images or videos, they’ll see more of the images or videos.

Related links:

http://digiday.com/platforms/facebook-isnt-killing-youtube-yet/

http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/these-fashion-week-designers-created-dazzling-facebook-videos-well-clothes-163045