Why Isn’t Emerging Media Fixing All of My Problems?

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The truth is… it won’t. While social media and emerging media can have a huge impact on a campaign, they should not be the only form of marketing your brand uses. Brands need to use a strategic combination or traditional and emerging media to be sure they connect with consumers and continue to reinforce the brand message.

Traditional Media usually refers to mass media – the use of TV, radio and newspapers. Emerging media usually refers to online marketing including SEO, blogs, podcasts, social media, online TV, email and pay-per-click. Using a healthy combination of these tactics can mean the difference between success and white noise.

Your consumer and how they consume media will play a big role in where you invest marketing dollars. Social based campaigns should still leverage traditional television ads to support the message, keeping it at the top of the consumer’s mind, just as traditional based campaigns should use emerging media to connect with consumers on a deeper level.

Most importantly marketers need to keep in mind the differences between traditional and social media in order to make an educated decision as to where to invest marketing dollars. Again the use of one over the other will be based on the target consumer, how and where they consume media and how they communicate with one another.

The difference between social media and traditional media:

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5 Need to Knows about Voice Search

Voice search has become a staple in the iPhone operating system and has made its way to other IOT items we encounter everyday. Considering this, it is important to understand how the consumer uses voices search and how marketers can use this insight to better their SEO. As of 2014 we know 55% of teens and 41% of adults use voice search on a daily basis and virtual assistants and voice recognition technology is increasing in intelligence.

  1. It is an adaptive technology:
    1. Most voice search applications use a combination of Natural Language Processing, and Text-To-Speech to listen to and understand the question. The combination of these two platforms enables the system to learn the intent of various search questions. The more consumers use it the more powerful it will become.
  2. Increase SEO by humanizing content:
    1. Consumers are more likely to use this platform conversationally. They will ask questions like “ What is the nearest nail salon?” Rather then a string of key words “nail salon, Baltimore” or “Best nail places in Baltimore.” Reevaluate the content and change the tone to be more conversational by focusing on natural phrases and sentence structures, rather than keywords, will help the visibility in voice-activated search.
  3. Go Local:
    1. 22% of voice searches request local information described as restaurants; shopping; directions; home services; pizza; weather; reviews; local events; traffic. Optimizing search results to show where a brand’s products or services are offered based on geographic area will prove to be a big win in connecting with more consumers via voice search.
  4. User Experience:
    1. While voice search is improving it is still not as sophisticated as consumers would like, thus resulting in frustration. Accuracy in voice search will make the difference between consumers using and not using it. In 2013, Google’s platform had a word recognition accuracy rate of below 80% and has since rose to above 90%. In the meantime brands can improve their conversational key terms and online presence can improve the user experience.
  5. Content should be a direct answer:
    1. Content that results from voice search should be direct and easy to understand. The consumer is using this application because they do not have time to open a browser and search the Internet. Marketers need to keep this in mind as they choose what content to optimize.

Snapchat : A Marketing Revolution or A Teen Fad?

The social media landscape is ever changing and it is vital that marketers stay up to date on what the current trends are. While teens may not be a brand’s target market, these young consumers are a great group to watch for developing social trends because 90% of teens use social media. While Facebook is still king of the social castle, 4-in-10 teens use snapchat.

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Increasingly, teens are turning to instant messaging types of communication. Snapchat as has to married the image and video sharing concept of Instagram with twitter’s limited content concept. Snapchat allows users to send videos and images to friends that show for a maximum of 10 seconds. Businesses are jumping on board with Snapchat and beginning to realize its ability to connect with consumers in an innovative way. Snapchat can be utilized to promote products, send coupons and give consumers exclusive insight into product development and brand content. Check out these Top 10 Brands using snapchat.  What makes them successful? CONTENT, CONTENT CONTENT. They are using Snapchat to communicate in real time with consumers using interesting as well as platform appropriate content. This content is generally humorous or informative. But, beware; this content should match the personality of the business. Keep in mind it is ok to in-fact show personality and show a new side of the brand however it should still make sense with the type of business.

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Social Media : It’s a 3 Ring Circus

Ask anyone who has attempted a serious social media campaign and they will tell you it’s more than just writing a few posts here and there. You have to be engaged with your consumer constantly, and not just in one place. The 3 rings of social media, as we know it are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you want your consumers to come to the show you have to give them what they want. Consumers are expecting all legitimate companies to have a presence on Facebook and either Instagram and/or Twitter depending on the personality of the company. In fact “74% of consumers cited relying on social media to make purchasing decisions, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Facebook was a big part of that.” As I mentioned use of Twitter and Instagram will depend heavily on the persona the company is trying to convey. (This article has some great information about the age old Twitter vs. Instagram battle that is very valuable in deciding which is right for the brand.)

While the 3 rings of the social media circus are the main act, we all know people come for the sideshows. Youtube, Snapchat, Pinterest, Foursquare and Linkedin are just a few of the many sideshow acts that support the social media circus and drive the most authentic counsumer engagement. These sites allow businesses to connect with a very specific subset of consumer who may not be connected to the business through “traditional social media”. However, it is important to remember that these social media side shows should never replace the main act. They are best when used to support and share the message conveyed during the main event. Cross promotion of the same message across these sideshows enables the main campaign message to reach that coveted specific subset of users in a way that is authentic to them. Using a unified message and design, yet altered to fit the social media channel, is the best way to show you belong on the platform, while attempting to send everyone the same message. Social media makes it easy to do this through hashtags. So when creating a hashtag be sure it suits multiple platforms to both unify your message and allow all sideshow acts to participate.

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Ummm excuse me … could I have my experience personalized please?

Emerging media is the wave of the future; there is no disputing that. But what will separate the boys from the men in the race to connecting with consumers? Emerging media provides the marketer with a wealth of data that is valuable not only for future campaigns but also in the ability of the marketer to connect with the consumer. Personalization uses data to make “every brand interaction highly relevant and tailored to a specific individual, based on his or her online, social or app behavior, shopping history, preferences, tastes, family and lifestyle details.” This is especially the case in the retail industries as big brands seek to connect with consumers on a personal level to drive purchase. While this may seem easy enough with customers willingly giving their information to retailers in exchange for coupons and future savings, it has proven to be very difficult for brands to execute.

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(Marketingland)

 

This is mainly due to the risk of crossing from the gray area of ethics and into the black area of wrongness, where lawsuits await businesses like sharks circling a lost raft. Using big data to connect with consumers can be very beneficial but it also very dangerous. Using this data wisely is important for both the consumer and the business. Consider these tips:

Give the Customer Clear Benefits for Opting In:

Loyalty programs should provide very clear and easily interpreted benefits for the consumer in exchange for valuable information about the consumer for use by the business.

Never, Ever Penalize the Customer for Not Participating

Forcing customers to opt-in in order to avoid additional fines or for any other reason is unethical. The brand should be the friend of the consumer not the playground bully beating you up for lunch money.

Focus on Improving the Overall Customer Experience

At the end of the day all of this data should strive to enrich the lives of the consumer. Using data and information as a value add will lead to a deeper relationship between consumer and brand, leading to an increase in sales.

Apps are the new black; what is the 5-step purchasing experience?

Shopping was forever changed in 1952 when the first shopping mall was built in Minnesota. Shoppers no longer frequented the main streets of their towns and big box stores became the anchors of the shopping experience.  (Minnesota History Library, 2016) The shopping experience was revolutionized again in 1971 when the first ecommerce site was launched and shopping has never been the same since. (Miva, 2011) Customers now want to be entertained and wooed into purchase. Mobile shopping apps and social media serve to communicate with the consumer on a daily basis, enriching the customer experience.  As the customer embarks on a 5-step purchasing journey, mobile and social interactions heavily influence their decision. While not all retailers need a full blown shopping app, it is important to understand the customer purchasing journey so they can engage with the consumer where possible. These 5 steps include: Discovery, Evaluation, Purchase, Experience and Loyalty. The info graphic below explains these as they relate to a mobile and in-store purchasing experience.

So, just how valuable is mobile marketing and social engagement in connecting with consumers in an effort to influence their purchasing decisions?

 

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https://marketingtechblog.com/retail-customer-journey/

Minnesota History Library. (2016). LibGuides: Southdale Center: The First Indoor Shopping Mall: Overview. Retrieved September 05, 2016, from http://libguides.mnhs.org/southdale

Miva. (2011, October 26). The History Of Ecommerce: How Did It All Begin? – Miva Blog. Retrieved September 05, 2016, from http://www.miva.com/blog/the-history-of-ecommerce-how-did-it-all-begin/

Come one come all: Social Media is Right for All Businesses

Once upon a time social media was reserved for businesses and organizations with big marketing budgets and dedicated social media departments. However, those days are long gone and now small businesses and niche organizations have capitalized on social media to bring customers through their doors. But lets be clear. Not all platforms of social media are right for all businesses. It is vital for a business to understand where their consumer is and how they connect with one another. Additionally, there will be social media platforms that work better based on what message you are trying to communicate. For example, a small dentist’s office might be looking to connect with their current patients as well as advertise their services to new patients. For this small company, I would recommend two primary platforms, Facebook and Instagram. Facebook establishes the brands legitimacy and gives the business a place to connect to their patient. This is a great platform to use as a version of a less formal website while still providing contact information and hours. Facebook would allow them to upload content more frequently as websites can be hard to update. Content, like before and after images of patients would showcase the dental practice’s abilities in cosmetic work. Facebook would also enable the business to give real time updates to closures and delays. It can also serve as an open forum for questions thus opening the lines of communication between the doctor and patient. Instagram is also a great way to showcase before and after images but could also be used to recognize employees. I would not recommend this company use Snapchat, however, because of the nature of the platform. You want your dentist to pay attention to what he is doing, not filming you say funny things while on laughing gas and sharing it with all of his followers. #lawsuit.

Check out these tips for small businesses looking to use social media.

Social media isn’t just for for-profit businesses. Non-profit organizations can also connect with their audience on line as well. For example, churches can extend their existing sense of community online to platforms like Facebook and Instagram. I would also recommend they use platforms like Snapchat and twitter to connect with younger congregation members and connect with their audience on a more consistent basis. Youtube is especially beneficial for larger churches to live stream their service to anyone who is not able to physically attend.

Check out these tips for non-profits looking to use social media:

 

What it comes down to is knowing the personality of your business or organization and picking the right channels that allow you to express that personality.