Focusing Your Digital Advertising on Top Ten Smartphone Apps of 2015

When planning a mobile marketing strategy you need to make sure that any ads or posts that you make are going to be seen by as many people as possible.  While there is an almost endless list of apps and mobile ad networks that you can use to get your message out in front of an audience, it is important to make sure that you focus a significant amount of effort on the biggest players in the game.

Nielsen has just released their latest report that lists the top ten smartphone apps of 2015 based on average unique users.  This is an important report whether you’re in the app marketing industry or you’re just trying to get your ads displayed where they will be seen by the largest number of people possible.

smartphone app report

You can see in the above chart from Nielsen that Facebook and Google owned apps are dominating this list.  In fact, other than #9 and 10 which are run by Apple, there are no other companies involved.  This this may seem like a bad thing at first, it can actually make marketing a little easier for the average person.

If you want to get in front of the millions of users that are accessing these apps each day, all you have to do is run ads on either the Google ad network, the Facebook ad network or both.  When you do this you can take advantage of their advanced targeted options as well, which will help you to not only get your ads displayed but also ensure they are shown to the right people.

Also included in this report is that the total smartphone use in the US has reached 80% of adults.  This is a 2% uptick over the September report from ComScore.  It seems that this saturation level is starting to level out, which is not surprising at all.  The fact that it is growing at all is really quite impressive.  In the report you will see that 53% of smartphone users are on Android devices, and 43% on iOS devices.  Three percent are using a Windows phone and .7% are still on BlackBerry smartphones.

This report is widely seen as the most accurate and effective on this topic available.  The data is gathered from a monthly survey of 30,000 mobile subscribers in the US.  They also gather data from a measurement app installed on about 9000 users handsets (with their permission of course). You can see the full report from Nielsen HERE.

You’re Screwing Up Your Black Friday Marketing!

Black Friday 2015 is quickly approaching and marketers are really starting to look closely at what types of things they can do to attract as much business as possible.  Unfortunately, if prior years are any indication, the chances are that most marketers will mess it up quite significantly and lose out on a lot of potential profit.

YesMail has looked at data from the last couple years regarding email marketing, Facebook ads and Twitter ads to see what people are doing and which ones are getting the best conversion rates.  The results might just surprise you.  Don’t worry though, there is still time to adjust your marketing strategy for this year if you act quickly.

Email Marketing Efforts

Over the past couple years most people have been sending out emails to their lists mostly on Thanksgiving day and Black Friday itself.  While this may seem to make sense, it actually isn’t going to get you the results you’re looking for.  According to the study, the best days in terms of open rates are going to be the Monday and Tuesday prior to thanksgiving.  The Wednesday is by far the worst performance day.

Look at the numbers for deviation from the daily average open rate during the week of Thanksgiving and you will be able to easily see just how important sending out your messages on the right day can be.  This is data from 2014:

  • Sunday Before Thanksgiving – 2% Greater than a Typical Sunday
  • Monday Before Thanksgiving – 10% Greater than a Typical Monday
  • Tuesday Before Thanksgiving – 9% Greater than a Typical Tuesday
  • Wednesday Before Thanksgiving – 23% LOWER than a typical Wednesday
  • Thanksgiving Day – 6% LOWER than a typical Thursday
  • Black Friday – 8% Greater than a typical Friday

Facebook Posts & Ads

Similarly, you can see a significant difference in engagement with Facebook posts during the week of Thanksgiving.  The report found that unlike email marketing, Facebook peaked on the Sunday before and went down significantly from there:

  • Sunday Prior – 157% Increase
  • Monday Prior – 24% Decrease
  • Tuesday Prior – 4% Increase
  • Wednesday Prior – 15% Decrease
  • Thanksgiving Day – 53% Decrease
  • Black Friday – 69% Decrease

It is quite clear that when discussing Black Friday sales during Thanksgiving week, you want to focus on Sunday to get the best results.

Small Changes – Big Impacts

The bottom line here is that marketers need to be taking this type of data into account when planning their Black Friday marketing campaigns.  Depending on the size of your email lists or Facebook followers you can get dramatically improved results by simply making sure you are sending out your messages on the right days.  Take some time to go over your marketing plans now to make sure you are maximizing your results.

Study: Marketers Don’t Understand Social Media ROI

Simply Measured has recently published the results of a new study that provides a lot of information and insight into the way marketers are using social media. The study looked at things such as what marketers hope to get out of social media programs, where they feel they are successful and where their struggles are.

Measuring Social Media Effectiveness

One key area that the study covered is how effective a social media campaign really is.  When asking marketers what the most challenging part of running these types of advertising campaigns, there were quite a few interesting answers.  You can see the results from the chart below.

As you can see, measuring the return on investment for this type of marketing is clearly the most difficult thing for marketers. While this is a big problem for marketers, there are others that may be even harder to overcome.  Tying social activities and business outcomes, for example, is often going to be a bigger challenge, even though fewer people are reporting that as a problem.  This may be because this issue is either a big concern or not at all.

Some companies, for example, naturally fit in with social media so tying their activities to their business outcomes is very simple.  Other companies, however, don’t naturally fit into a social media platform. This can make it more difficult to get the results you’re looking for or even plan out an effective strategy (which is the third most difficult area according to the study).

Social Media Marketing Goals

Setting proper goals is a big part of running a social media campaign.  If you don’t have the right goals in place, you’ll never be able to accurately access the return on investment.  For 71% of brands in the study, building a stronger brand awareness is their number one goal.  This makes since because social media is an ideal place to do just that.

Driving website traffic came in second place with just 48% of businesses reporting that as a ‘top three goal.’  You can see how the different companies in the survey responded to this question in the chart below:

There are certainly quite a few different goals listed here and getting a good understanding of them all is important.  While the question only asks about the top three goals, most marketers will have many other things in mind when developing a social media strategy as well.  Getting the best results out of each campaign will rely heavily on understanding the most important areas that you’re looking to make progress.

If you are interested in learning more about marketers and social media, you can view the entire report by clicking HERE.  You will undoubtedly find a lot of useful information that can help you develop a better and more successful long term social media strategy for your brand.

Social Media & SEO – A Marketers Mystery

Many marketers spend a significant amount of time working on SEO and Social Media.  These are two essential marketing practices that can help bring in many new potential customers and take your business to the next level.  For most, these are two equally important efforts but they are entirely separate.

Figuring out how and why SEO and Social Media are interlinked, however, could help you to really get the best out of both of these strategies.  In fact, there was an article on Entrepreneur recently that covered this specific topic quite nicely.  It is linked below and well worth the read for anyone who is involved with digital marketing in any way.  Before you do that, however, I’d like to pull out a few key insights from the article and touch on them briefly.

Social Media & SEO – What’s the Link?

One of the first things the article discusses is the relationship that exists between SEO and social media.  It really illustrates the fact that while almost everyone agrees that a good social media campaign can have positive benefits on SEO, it is impossible to figure out what the true link between the two is.  There is a lot of debate about whether it is the activity on the social media, the number of followers, how much traffic is sent or something else entirely.

While nobody knows how or why social media can help your website rank better (and anyone who claims to know with any level of certainty should be looked at with caution), there is no doubt that the two are linked somehow.  Fortunately, just knowing that there is a real link between the two is enough in most cases.  The article digs into some of the more developed theories out there, and they are worth reading to get a better understanding.

Do You Need all Social Media?

Another important point that the post hinted at but did not address directly is that you may not need an account on every social media site.  Sure, all businesses should have a Facebook account.  Most should have a Twitter account as well.  Whether or not you want to invest the time or money into getting an account on all the other options like Google+, Pinterest and others, however, is a matter of priorities.

If your site doesn’t naturally fit into an image focused social media page like Pinterest, for example, it is likely best to just skip over that one and invest your time else ware.  As with all marketing, you need to balance your limited resources, whether that is time or money, to get the best results.  As long as you are active on the social media platforms you are on, you’ll see the SEO results you want.

Take a minute to read through the full article on Entrepreneur and see what you think.  Post your comments below and let us know about your SEO & Social Media strategy.  You can read the full article on Entrepreneur HERE.

Headlines Essential to Driving Traffic from Search & Social

While it might not be surprising to many, the headline of a story is the most important factor when attempting to drive traffic to it from either social sites or search engines.  This is according to a new study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.  The study analyzed the habits of 20,000 people in 12 different countries and learned a lot of important information.  The following are some of the key points that are covered in the study, and how they can be used by marketers.

Headlines More Important for Search than Social

While a good headline is essential for a successful story no matter where it is published, the study found that it is significantly more important when people see it on search results compared to social media.  For search results, the study showed that more than 50% of people in each country (well more than 50% in some countries) said that the headline was the most important factor when determining which stories they click on.  For social, on the other hand, that number dropped to an average of 37% for most countries, with the highest being just under 50% in Ireland.

Other Factors that Encourage Clicks

The other factors that were ranked were ‘content that comes from a site I know and trust’ which was the second most popular option and ‘content that comes from a person I know and trust.’  For search, not surprisingly, content that comes from a person I know and trust only got a few percentage of the people.  On social, however, it was nearly 25% in most countries.  This is, of course, because people see their friends and family sharing a post so they assume it is going to be interesting or engaging.

For search, having a site that is from a trusted site that people recognize is far more important than having a site that comes from people they trust.  In most cases, Google and the other search engines will rank trusted and/or recognizable sites such as well known news sites, YouTube, WikiPedia and things like that.  For marketers, building a brand can help drive traffic by building trust in the brand name.  Of course, that takes time.

Using Proper Headlines

While it may be obvious that using great headlines is essential to driving the most traffic you can, it isn’t always as easy as people would like.  Figuring out what types of headlines work best for your specific site or product can be difficult.  Some things are proven to drive traffic, but they don’t convert very well.  On the other hand, some types of headlines may not get as much traffic but will convert at higher rates because of the fact that it attracts more motivated buyers.

Finding the right balance can take some experimentation and learning about your target customers.  This is well worth the effort and over time will allow you to write high quality headlines for your posts, videos and other types of content.  If you are interested in seeing the full study from Reuters, you can see it HERE.

Pinterest Launching “Buyable Pins”

Pinterest has finally made the long awaited announcement that they will be adding a new button for ‘buyable pins.’  The feature will first launch in the United States only, but most people expect that it will then roll out globally over the coming months.  The feature is in response to one of the most popular requests the site got, which is the ability to buy items that people pin.

Pin it!

Pin it!

In fact, in the announcement Pinterest Co-Founder and CEO Ben Silbermann read a tweet from a users who said, “I wish Pinterest was as store.  Like how great would it be to walk in and buy all those clothes, and food and shoes and puppies and boys?”  He went on to comically say, “People have been asking for this stuff a lot and while we can’t promise puppies and boys, I’m really excited to announce today Buyable Pins.”

The new feature will allow certain companies and partners to add a ‘buy it’ button, which will be blue and appear next to the existing red ‘Pin It’ button.  When clicked, users will be able to buy the items featured in the pins, paying through ApplePay and traditional credit cards at first.  There are plans in place to add additional payment options in the near future.

One of the most surprising parts of this announcement is that Pinterest won’t be taking a cut of each sale.  They are allowing the brands and marketers to retain all their profits.  Pinterest will benefit from the fact that this will make their ‘sponsored pins’ more attractive, which should increase revenue.

The program is going to start with only a few selected brands, but they are big names and will make it so over 2 million buyable pins will be active at launch.  The initial companies include Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom as well as Shopify.  Marketers can list their own products on Shopify, which can then have them on Pinterest so there are options for individual marketers.

It is expected that the program will open up to all marketers in the future, which will generate a lot of opportunity for affiliate marketers who can list their products on this very popular site.  Whether they will have limits on the types of products and affiliate links that are permitted or not isn’t known yet.

The bottom line with this announcement is that it is going to turn Pinterest from a great traffic generating tool for marketers into an actual eCommerce site where marketers can begin generating great revenue directly.

Should you be using LinkedIn in Your Marketing

Just about all marketers know that social media is an essential piece of their marketing playbook.  Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others can help to drive a significant amount of traffic very quickly.  This traffic is also often very targeted and can convert at surprisingly high rates.  Whether using it for organic traffic or paying for ads, social media is a key tool for marketers today.

Conversion rate concept word cloud background

Conversion rate concept word cloud background

One social media platform that is often overlooked, however, is LinkedIn.  This business based platform is used by millions of members, almost all of which are already working professionals or those looking to improve their career opportunities.  In most cases, this means they are the type of people who will most likely have extra money to spend on product.

In addition, LinkedIn is used by millions of businesses, making it an excellent platform for those who are looking to provide products or services to other businesses.

Different Usage Goals

Another big benefit that LinkedIn brings to the table is that many people using this platform are actually looking for ways to improve their business or their careers.  When this is the case, they are much more likely to click links or even buy products that can help them meet these goals.  With Facebook, Twitter and other platforms, on the other hand, people are typically looking just to get updates and go.  While they can still drive traffic, it is less likely that they will be already in a ‘buying’ mood.

New Report on LinkedIn

If you’re still not convinced, consider a new report that was released concerning people in the Washington D.C. area, LinkedIn is used by more than 79% of business professionals.  This makes it the most used platform in the area.  Facebook is in second place at 77% and 62% use Twitter.  Of course, this is a very local report, but it does show just how large LinkedIn has become in the past several years.

Even in other parts of the country, and around the world, LinkedIn has become an essential tool for businesses and those looking to improve their careers.  These number may even grow going forward since most people today see LinkedIn as an important part of their job search or running their business.

How to Market on LinkedIn

Getting your products or services out there on LinkedIn is not always as hard as some might think.  First, there is the option to run advertising on the site.  This can be very effective and it is quite easy to set up.  LinkedIn has similar targeting options to the other social media networks as well, which can make this an excellent option.

For organic traffic, you can post links to blog posts or other important pages on your website.  To get additional exposure, you can join LinkedIn groups that have sometimes thousands of members.  These groups are segmented by topics, industries and more so you can get your message in front of the exact type of people who will be most interested in what you’re promoting.

The bottom line is you need to make sure you have LinkedIn as a part of your overall social media marketing strategy or you could potentially be missing out on a huge amount of traffic and sales.

Survey Shows Facebook will be the Dominant Social Network for the Super Bowl

With the super bowl just days away most people are as excited about the commercials and marketing opportunities as they are about the actual football game. In recent years, one of the biggest points of interest for many in the digital marketing industry has been on how people will be talking about the game online. For years the two main options have been Twitter and Facebook, and that certainly won’t be changing for Super Bowl XSLIX.

Super Bowl

According to a recent online survey run by Salesforce Marketing Cloud, 66% of viewers plan on posting about the game on Facebook. Twitter, on the other hand, will be getting just 56% of the total conversation. Obviously this shows that there will be many people who are using both social media options throughout the game.

In third place will be Instagram, at 31% and fourth place is Snapchat at just 11%.

These numbers were then broken down by age and other factors as well. Some interesting statistics include the following:

  • 78% of females will be using Facebook vs. 45% using Twitter
  • For males, 55% use Facebook and 68% use Twitter
  • Viewers who are 18-24 years old will be the biggest users of Snapchat, at 43%
  • The older age groups, those aged 35-44 will stick with Facebook, at 76%

The survey wasn’t just about what platforms people will be using to discuss the game, however. It also looked at how they would be accessing these social networks. Of all the Super Bowl viewers, the survey found that 61% of them will have their smartphone in their hand throughout the game to post on social media. 24% will be using a tablet, and just 20% will have their laptop. Again, many people will be using two or more devices during the game.

Of course, millions of people will be sharing their thoughts and emotions about the game, but millions more will be talking about and sharing their favorite commercials of the day. Given the millions of dollars many companies are spending to get their ads run during the game, this will be most welcomed by all the marketers.

It is expected by many that whichever commercials turn out to be ‘fan favorites’ this year will actually be seen far more on YouTube and other online sites than they will during the actual game. In fact, some of the companies have already published their commercials themselves online, or started hyping up their Super Bowl ads.

If you are a marketer of any type, make sure you take advantage of this huge event. Even if you can’t afford the multi-million dollar price tag to advertise on the actual game, you can get a lot of attention by posting from your brand’s social media accounts. Make sure you use the proper hashtags and share other popular posts frequently to get the most out of this game for your company.

Whether you are watching for the Football game, the advertisements or a little of both, the chances are that you’ll be talking about it with people from throughout the country on your favorite social media platform. In fact, brands and marketers are banking on it.

Tweet Your Coupons with new Feature on Twitter

Twitter has been really working on improving their ability to generate revenue over the past year, and they have just announced a major new feature that will likely help in that area. In addition, it will give advertisers an extremely easy option for targeting their customers with useful and actionable Tweets that will directly drive sales.

twitter

The feature is called, “Twitter Offers,” and it gives advertisers the ability to send out digital coupons within their tweets. Twitter users will be able to link any major credit or debit card directly to their account, which they can then use to claim the offer.

When the Tweet’s go out, anyone who doesn’t already have a credit or debit card attached to their account will be given the option to set it up immediately. This will be very important during the initial phases of this program because without a large percentage of users having the ability to make the purchase, it can’t be effective.

The coupons can either be for digital products, online purchases or even purchased completed in a retail store. This gives the users plenty of options on how they will claim their money saving coupon, and allows advertisers to target their audience in a very effective way.

Twitter’s Product Manager, Tarun Jain, wrote the following in a post about this new feature:

With Twitter Offers, advertisers will be able to attribute redemptions directly to their campaigns on Twitter, so that they can effectively measure the ROI from their promotions, even when redemption happens offline. Additionally, we make it easy for merchants to get up and running because they can use their existing payment network, there’s no change to the customer purchase process, no employee training and no new hardware or software to install. By leveraging Twitter’s robust targeting capabilities, advertisers can tailor their promotions and campaigns to the right audience, while optimizing for performance.

This new feature may have actually been inspired by a campaign that American Express came up with some time ago. The credit card company allowed users to enjoy discounts on certain things when they tweeted a specific hastag. This new feature from Twitter, of course, really pushes this to the next level and gives advertisers a lot more control over the entire process.

If this feature sounds like something you will be interested in using for your company or clients, you will still have to wait a little while before you can use it. Twitter is currently only rolling it out in the United States, and only to a number of pre-selected brands who will be doing some final beta testing. Once any bugs are worked out and Twitter decides it is ready for increased adoption, they will open it up to all US companies, and then likely companies around the world.

Don’t fret, however, this type of testing doesn’t typically take too long to complete, and this is something that Twitter will likely want to get rolled out quickly before other social media platforms are able to develop a competing version of the same idea.

Steps To Always Win Your Audience’s Attention On Twitter

Winning your audience’s attention on Twitter is quite difficult to do. Your audience’s Twitter timeline is always updated with new tweets every minute. Your tweet will appear for a brief moment before it is replaced by other tweets. So, how can you catch your audience’s attention during such a brief moment? The answer is that you need to write a tweet that will catch your audience’s attention immediately. Here are 5 steps to always win your audience’s attention on Twitter:

twitter

Turn Your Tweet Into An Irresistible Headline

On Twitter, there are several types of tweets that get ignored automatically. The first type is the selfie type. It’s like tweeting “Just got home!” or “Hmm… delicious” or something similar. The second type is the spam type. This is the type of tweet which is only a blatant advertisement of a shady product or service. The third type is the tweet with unclear message. It usually consists of several words without any useful meaning at all. All those types of tweets are selfish tweets that people will naturally ignore. The only type of tweet that gets attention is the tweet that contains an irresistible headline. Moreover, the tweet should be aimed for your followers, not for yourself. For example: “The 13 Deadly Reasons Why Your Twitter Account Will Get Closed Down Tomorrow.” People will pay more attention to this type of tweet and they will usually click on the link on that tweet in order to get the complete information.

Quote Some Inspiring Words From Your Blog Post

Another way to correctly beg for attention on Twitter is to give inspiration for your audience. In other words, you are writing tweet to inspire your followers. Twitter platform allows only a maximum of 140 characters to be written per tweet, and what are the best words that you can write on a single tweet? Inspiration! Yes, either the inspiration from yourself or from others, you can write a great tweet simply by aiming to inspire others. But, a better way to do this would be to quote an inspiring part of your blog post and tweet it. Then, of course, add the link to the blog post so that your followers can read the full post immediately. It’s a perfect give and take that you can do on Twitter.

Add Meaningful Image To Your Tweet

You can only write two or three sentences on a single tweet, but did you know that you can also insert an image on your tweet? I guess you already know about it, but unfortunately, many people are not using this feature much. Did you know that you can get more positive response if you add a meaningful image to your tweet? By adding a meaningful image or an inspiring image to your tweet, you will be able to make your tweet more meaningful, and in so doing, you will be able to engage more with your Twitter followers. But remember, it’s not your selfie photo. You should add an image that can give valuable benefit for your followers, not a boost on your ego.

Be Honest With Yourself

What will be the benefit that you get when you are honest with yourself? The benefit that you get is that you will become unique, and your uniqueness will shine on Twitter. Too many people are trying to mislead and lie to their followers. They lie that they have a good time, while actually they have a worse time. They try to mislead their followers by promoting shady products that are actually look pretty scammy. But you, if you try to be honest, will tweet without any exaggeration or hype, which will make you look more genuine and reputable. On Twitter, reputation and your unique selling point are important if you want to grow your followers. By being honest with yourself, you will be able to get those important elements for your Twitter marketing.

Tweet About The Same Content Several Times

You can’t catch the attention of most of your Twitter followers just by a single tweet. That’s why you need to tweet about the same content several times in order to increase their awareness about your content. Of course, you must not do it by spamming your Twitter timeline. You are not going to retweet the same tweet over and over again. In fact, you are going to change the combination of your tweet each time you publish a new tweet. In other words, though you are promoting the same content, you will use different headline as well as different image for your tweet. Beside helping you to increase your followers’ awareness about your tweet, you can also track and analyze which combination will work best to attract their attention. Thus, you can use the working combination for your subsequent tweets.

 

Those are the steps that you need to take in order to win your audience’s attention on Twitter. Whether you have a small blog or a big blog, it is better for you to keep your audience feel interested with you on Twitter. Those steps will guide you all the way into a successful Twitter promotion that will help you to attract more leads and customers back to your business.
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Combination of Social Media & SEO – A Perfect Mix

SEO and Social mediaDue to the stiff competition in the online industry, the success of any digital marketing campaign of any website is now completely dependent on its wider digital presence. SEO is considered to be the best method for increasing the popularity and web presence of your online business and success can be achieved by simply interlinking your company`s website to its different social media properties. It is said that the more links, retweets and likes you receive, the better your presence and chances of getting noticed would be, this will also help in increasing your rankings in the SERPs.
SEO is no longer enough for your company to stay online and get noticed (especially when Google is launching one update after another). A solid social media campaign can work well along with SEO for the production of great results for your online business in the long run. Once you add social media into your SEO campaign, you can see a dramatic improvement in your rankings and overall traffic. The reason for this quick improvement in the rankings is the constant sharing and redistribution of your content via these social platforms, which makes the search engine think that your website provides high quality content and the audience is actually appreciating the content.
Today almost all of the online businesses have their social media accounts and they are aggressively using them for the promotion and sharing of their content. Google+1s along with Facebook likes, Pinterest and tweets are proving to be the best sources of increasing SEO rankings and referral traffic. The reason for this quick effect to rankings by these social media hubs is that Google has started giving sufficient weightage to the social shares a particular website has in its search algorithm.

Social platforms and activities on them are now being incorporated by the search engines within their respective ranking systems. The result of these modern SEO strategies along with effective social media campaigns is simply amazing. This fact has given birth to the use of quality and engaging content which has the potential of going viral on social media. Now if your content is of high quality and is interesting enough to engage the readers then sharing of this content via social media would automatically boost up. If it is readable, relevant, and interesting, then people will go for it, read it and would surely share it at different social media platforms to let their family and friends know about it as well.

Your SEO strategy will automatically turn into success if you keep your company’s social presence maintained. The more socially active you are; the better you can spread awareness among your targeted audience and grab their attention. Similarly attention of people towards your content would result in more reviews and social shares. The quality of the content is much worth as compared to the quantity. All you have to do is to generate high quality engaging content. The number of shares, likes and tweets to your content is highly dependent upon the quality of your content and once you start producing quality stuff, believe me, sharing would be an automatic process then due to the viral nature of most of the social networking sites. This way you can achieve higher search engine rankings that will ultimately result into a solid clientele looking for your business both on social media and through Search Engines as well.