Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Social media advertising examples

social media examples of successful ad campaigns

3 examples of effective social media advertising

Social media advertising is a challenge and many brands try to create a memorable campaign, yet few stand out. Running a TV advert and putting a few posts on social media isn’t enough anymore, and pushing the boundaries of social media marketing is only going to continue. Here are three examples of effective social media marketing campaigns.


1. John Lewis, Man on the Moon Omni channel advertisement


John Lewis Man on the Moon

Rather than blatantly selling or showcasing their products, John Lewis understood that telling a story and appealing to their audience on an emotional level is far more powerful; not just through a TV advert, but via social media as well.

They dispensed with creating Twitter accounts for their campaign’s characters as they have done in previous years, and instead focused solely on their main Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages, illuminating products’ stories and directly connecting with their audience through videos related to their TV advert.


2. Lexus, Beyond Utility

Lexus beyond utility


Lexus launched their ‘Beyond Utility’ campaign and whilst this was on YouTube they used Facebook to create 1,000 unique adverts in order to appeal to users on a more personal level; a specific advert was targeted towards an individual based on their likes, interests and age. This was an innovative approach to social media advertising by Lexus, and a futuristic one at that, signifying that the days of creating one single advert for mass appeal are numbered.


3. Oreo, #OreoEclipse

oreo cookie

Last year, Oreo’s UK media team used the solar eclipse to their advantage, going a lot further than many other brands who simply tweeted about the event on the day. They took a humorous approach by offering the chance for those who couldn’t see the eclipse due to poor weather to view it in real time on digital billboards located around the UK, but with a catch: an Oreo took centre stage, instead of the sun. They created time lapse videos of their digital billboards and posted them on social media within an hour of the end of the eclipse to generate discussion and excitement about their campaign.


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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Instagram marketing for beginners

Instagram ads - getting started

Mystified with social media like Instagram?


How to get started with Instagram

Not sure about marketing with Instagram? Most marketing practitioners agree that social media is a core element of the current advertising and marketing landscape, but they also tend to have their favourites. A marketer’s favourite social networking platform in their professional life is often the same as it is in their personal life, simply because they already understand how it works, and how to get results. However, we suggest that whether or not you use Instagram socially, it’s worth familiarising yourself with the app for business purposes and integrating it into your digital marketing strategy.


Mobile first for Instagram

First and foremost, Instagram is a mobile application. It is ideally suited to being used on a smartphone. Start by downloading the free app, which can be found on either the Apple Store or Google Play. You will be prompted to create an account; take your time when doing so, and remember that your profile will represent your brand. Ensure that your brand name on Instagram is consistent with other instances where consumers may interact with your brand. The last thing you want to do is create confusion regarding who you are, or what your business does.

Consistent brand identity

On that note, aim for consistency throughout your Instagram use; choose filters which highlight your brand values, and ensure that the objects of your photos are closely related to either the products and services you sell, or an associated lifestyle. Depending on what you sell, it may be helpful to consider your brand through the lens of Kapferer’s Brand Identity Prism (Kapferer, 1992) when deciding what to post to ensure coherence.

Push on Instagram to maximise engagement

When setting up your profile, make sure that you enable push notifications. Once you have done so, you will receive a notification whenever another user interacts with your profile, allowing you to maximise your engagement with other users. Don’t forget that this is not a traditional advertising channel – engagement is key. Instagram provides an excellent opportunity to interact with consumers and potential customers with regard to specific images.

Start posting and discover what’s new on Instagram

Once your account is set up, there’s still lots to do, aside from starting to post photos. Create a brand hashtag, and start following other users! Hoping that others will miraculously find you simply isn’t an option; find similar brands and influential people in your industry, and follow them. They may even provide a little inspiration!


Which businesses are using Instagram?

For engagement through high quality, three examples of FMCG and fashion brands using Instagram are:

  • Innocent (the smoothie people) have developed a highly entertaining and usually non-sales focused voice using images of fruit. They only occasionally mention their product, using the channel more for brand awareness.
  • ASOS, the fashion retailer, is another great example. Instead of just one account they have several, each run by one of their stylists. This focuses on their audience’s desire for fashion information while presenting a human face from their company.
  • BrewDog, the craft beer brewer, uses highly stylised imagery to maintain their audience’s engagement. Focusing on the ‘craft’ part of their business helps maintain their audience’s perception of the brand.

Who uses Instagram for Advertising?

Brands with larger budgets are using Instagram’s targeting ability (it runs off Facebook’s famously good ad targeting platform) to reach a younger audience on Facebook.  Here are two UK brands using Instagram ads:

  • British Airways are big on Instagram Ads, usually during a BA Holidays sale. Taking Instagram’s highly visual style, BA use photos of sunsets and holidays to generate desire and wanderlust, with the option of clicking through to the sale pages.
  • John Lewis has also adopted Instagram Ads for its fashion lines. Especially around new products, John Lewis uses ads to boost organic reach.

Brand Identify Prism – see: Kapferer, J.-N. (1992) ‘Strategic Brand Management’, Free Press, New York, NY and Kogan Page, London

Also Prof Kapferer’s home page

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Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Mobile marketing 101

Mobile phone ads

Discover changes in mobile marketing.

The need for businesses to be successful in their mobile marketing and advertising efforts is currently greater than it has ever been. With last year marking the very first occasion that mobile searches have actually managed to surpass those made on desktop devices, it has become clear how the battlefield of online marketing has shifted.
We’ve written about mobile marketing as well as mobile marketing with ads and with the constant increase of social media platforms, combined with their ability to perforate and reshape the daily habits of most Generation Xers, Yers and Zers, the demand for information to be available in the palm of one’s hand has continued to increase year on year. It was only an amount of time before ‘supply’ decided to catch up.

In the same way that social media advertising has led to countless amounts of successful conversions within the B2C market, mobile marketing campaigns have been integral to targeting these same customers – those who thrive on multi-tasking and fast results, either shopping impulsively, or on the go.

If your business does not generate conversions on the go, ask why not? Conversion rate optimisation (read more about CRO here) via mobile sites is a factor in search engine rankings. Google now favours sites that are mobile-optimised in terms of search rankings, so if the majority of your digital marketing strategy isn’t aimed at mobile users, shooting for a mobile-first website design improves your ROI.

Key tips in mobile marketing

  1. Mobile by design – Create long scrolling pages and flexible page templates as these transfer well to mobile devices.
  2. Relevant content – Ensure the right content can be found easily.
  3. Easy to use websites – Don’t make me think! Remember how impatient you are when browsing on your phone.
  4. Make your calls to action bold and clear – Any calls to action (CTA) should be obvious and not require translation.
  5. Fewer clicks please – review your customer journey and if it is possible to take fewer than three clicks, adapt your website.

Also worth noting are the recent changes to Google SERPs – up to four of the first results you see for a given keyword can be paid ads now, which for many mobile devices, comprises the entire first page that a customer will see. This means paid ads could benefit your digital strategy more now than they could in the past.

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Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Programmatic advertising for beginners

programmatic ads


Learn about programmatic advertising.


What is programmatic advertising?

Programmatic advertising (also known as automated guaranteed or programmatic guaranteed advertising) is any online marketing strategy which uses software to purchase digital advertising space.

Why do I need to know this?

It is estimated that programmatic advertising will account for 80% of marketing spend by 2018.

Benefits of programmatic advertising

Programmatic advertising is more efficient than traditional ad purchasing processes. In the past, the process involved lengthy human negotiations and manual insertion orders, and the chain of transactions involved from an advert’s conception to its eventual publishing made it a hugely inefficient process.

Plus, programmatic advertising solutions such as Real Time Bidding (RTB) and Google AdWords have sped up the process. Businesses can have instant access to ad inventories, total pricing control, immediate delivery and results, as well as access to in-depth performance analytics.

Millisecond auctions

Programmatic advertising allows software to bid for ad space on a webpage as it loads. That means that the auction takes place in milliseconds. Advertisers can use DSPs (Demand Side Platforms), which is fully automated software to work out which ads are valuable to their business.

Perfect your campaign using data analytics

Programmatic buying provides in-depth analytics which advertisers can use to evaluate what’s working best (e.g. times of day, locations and audience). Advertisers can make alternations mid-campaign to get the results they want by narrowing their target in response to the data they’re receiving, and making sure that they only pay for highly effective advertising. This is a big change from traditional ad buying, where businesses were locked in to ineffective contracts.

Social media ads

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all make extensive use of programmatic advertising. These social media giants have huge amounts of data, and have the ability to connect to people across devices. Adverts can be targeted at individuals over various platforms to encourage click-throughs. If someone sees a Facebook ad, a Twitter ad, and then a mobile ad, the chances of them clicking through are much higher.

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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Key metrics of conversion rate optimisation

conversion rate optimization metrics

Learn more about the key metrics of conversion rate optimization.

When measuring the success of your conversion rate optimization (CRO) efforts, the most vital metric is also the easiest to track. You should know exactly how many of your visitors you are successfully converting into customers. As a general rule, it is beneficial for your business to have an increasing conversion rate. Meanwhile, a decreasing conversion means your business may be in trouble. However, there are other important metrics that you need to track if you want to understand the success of your conversion rate optimization strategy. Read more about the essentials of CRO here.


1. The cost of converting a visitor

Calculating how much it costs to convert a visitor to a customer is easy: simply divide the cost of your conversion rate optimisation strategy for a month by the number of visitors you converted in that time period. This information is vital because you can compare it with the other metrics to work out whether your conversion rate optimization strategy is cost-effective.


2. The approximate value of each visitor

You can calculate how much each visitor is worth to you by simply dividing your total profits for a given month by the number of customers who used your business in that month. Ideally, you should use the previous month, as this will give you the most up-to-date figure. The calculation will tell you the average amount of profit each customer generated for your business in the space of a month and therefore indicate how much each visitor to your site is potentially worth.

Once you know this figure, you can compare it to the amount it costs to convert a viewer into a customer and therefore work out if your conversion rate optimization strategy is delivering value for money in the short-term.


3. The life-time value of a customer

If you know the per-month value of a customer (as described in point one) and you know how long each customer tends to stay with your business, you can calculate how much profit that customer is likely to generate throughout the course of their relationship with your business. When you compare this figure to the amount it costs to convert a viewer into a customer, it will tell you whether your conversion rate optimization strategy is delivering value for money in the long-term. It will also allow you to decide how much money to invest in converting each viewer in future.

Do remember that not every customer stays with your business for the expected length of time! So there is always an element of risk in over-investing in each conversion.

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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

What is crowdfunding and how does it work?

crowdfundingCrowdfunding – read more about what this is and how it works

For many start-ups and aspiring businesses, it can be difficult to get the required capital to pursue customers and get the operation up and running.

Until recently, small companies and entrepreneurs were at the mercy of big investors or the few willing to take a risk and invest a lump sum.

However, the internet has allowed small companies to reach out to the thousands, nay, millions, of potential investors thanks to a concept known as crowdfunding.

Businesses can use crowdfunding to pitch about their idea or their product on a crowdfunding site and ask for money to turn the product or business into a reality. Once you have published your pitch, investors and users of the site can read about their idea and opt to invest or not.

The idea of the premise is simple. Rather than have one or two investors putting up the vast majority of the cash needed, crowdfunding looks to take a small amount of capital from thousands, or even millions of people, offering small investments in a company or idea. While people take less risk with what they wish to invest, the business can still get the cash it requires.

Simply put, businesses can get investment by attracting a crowd of investors.

Crowdfunding, perhaps naturally, is exceptionally popular with those working in digital marketing and online, especially for start-ups. With companies such as Kickstarter helping people get access to the concept, it is certainly a growing trend that many companies are embracing.

How does crowdfunding work?

While the concept of crowdfunding sounds relatively simple, the practice can be somewhat confusing. There are three types of crowdfunding, all offering different options. Crowdfunding can come in the form of donations, with people offering money with no return. However, as there is often no financial reward for the investor, such a funding type can be difficult.

Debt funding or peer-to-peer funding is the second type of crowdfunding and often results in those who have donated getting their money back with interest, effectively bypassing what a bank would do.

The final type of investment is equity crowdfunding. Under such a deal capital is exchanged for a stake in a business, project or idea. If the business is successful, those who invested get more; conversely, if not, the value goes down.


Who provides crowdfunding?

Many companies are USA based, others are UK based. People on both sides of the Atlantic generate results, based on their presentations.

Crowdfunder – UK based, claims to be the biggest in the UK

Growth Deck – UK based equity crowdfunding

GoFundMe – US based

Kickstarter – US based, well established

Indiegogo – US based

Regardless of which type of crowdfunding you opt to use, it is worth noting that as well as posting your pitch on a crowdfunding site, it is worth putting together a digital strategy to promote your pitch. This will maximise the audience reach to increase the likelihood of achieving your target.


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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Conversion rate optimisation essentials

Conversion rate optimisation


Discover 3 methods of Conversion rate optimisation.

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is a key aspect of digital marketing strategy. It is a system which aims to increase the number of visitors to a webpage who take the action desired by that site. It is particularly useful for sites that get lot of traffic but which aren’t getting the desired effects. For example, if you visit a shopping site but do not buy anything, you have not ‘converted’. CRO seeks to maximise the amount of visitors who do convert. This can be for whatever purpose the website exists for; attracting sales, the completion of a survey, e-mail sign up, or anything else. CRO optimises the site so that visitors ‘convert’ in whatever form the page intends.

There are many different CRO methods in use; the following are examples of some methods of conversion rate optimisation and how they work.

A/B or multivariate testing

In A/B or multivariate testing, two different versions of the page are presented, with 50% of traffic seeing one version and 50% another. It can then be seen which version produces the highest conversion rate. This has recently been the most popular CRO method.

Customer journey analysis

Customer journey analysis (CJA) is the study of how people become a ‘converted’ visitor. Did most come directly to your site from a Facebook ad? Or did they research your brand first; did they contact your customer service or call into a store? CJA collects and analyses this data from online and offline sources to reveal what kind of journey most commonly produces a ‘converted’ visitor.

NPS scale

Customer feedback

CRO also makes use of direct feedback from customers. A popular version of this is the Net Promoter Score(R) (NPS), which asks the customer how likely they would be to recommend the website in question.


The number of detractors subtracted from the promoters gives the NPS. Many successful companies have an NPS of 50 to 80%. Sites falling below this percentage can ask further questions to identify how to raise their score.

These are some examples of CRO tactics, which used alone or in combination can increase conversion rates and achieve better customer visitor experience.


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