February 8, 2018

by Debra Wang and Vladimir Bradic, 26 Jan 2018

In a world of digital giants, it seems impossible that anyone could topple behemoths like Google and Microsoft. But in the words of Jurassic Park, “Life expands to new territories…life (always) finds a way.” Lately, it seems some new players are taking that to heart and jockeying for a seat at the top.

Here are three advertising search engines that are doing just that. While they may not be on your PPC marketing plan, you may want to consider them, because they’re not going extinct anytime soon.

1. Amazon: eCommerce Powerhouse and PPC Goldmine

It’s no secret that Amazon has terrorized the retail and literary world for years with its mere existence. Its ability to tackle and disrupt any industry was back on display last year, as it sent shockwaves through Wall Street and sent grocery stores scrambling when it picked up Whole Foods for a cool $13.7 billion.

At its core, the fuel to Amazon’s success is its Prime membership option. Prime members are not only growing in numbers, but cementing purchase behavior that starts and ends without ever leaving the Amazon ecosystem.

There are 182 million self-reported Active Prime Users in the U.S. who made a confirmed purchase in the past 12 months, with an additional 4 million subscribers signing up just this past holiday season.

92% of users who start their journey on Amazon will end up purchasing on Amazon; studies have also shown Prime members spend more with every subsequent year and are less likely to shop anywhere else vs. non-Prime users.

image: https://drumagency.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Search1.jpg

To state it clearly, ignoring Amazon would be ignoring a large swath of customers and revenue.

 

Due to Amazon’s unique nature and structure, advertisers that want to link up with it will quickly find several notable differences. The two biggest differences are that, first, Amazon requires all paid media advertisers to be Amazon vendors (with a 2-4 week waitlist to become a vendor). Second, and perhaps most important, Amazon is an ecosystem that lives and dies off of good reviews…a LOT of good reviews. These criteria can be time-consuming to achieve.

Here are some other differences to contend with after you’re in with Amazon versus other search engine marketing platforms:

  • Currently, there are only three different ad units, two for search and one for display, with character limits up to 50.
  • Targeting, campaign management and reporting options are still rudimentary. We expect Amazon to quickly adapt and evolve their offerings, but for now, targeting is limited to keyword, interest, category or product. Once created, campaign settings, like budget management, cannot be changed — a new campaign would need to be created. And reporting is based on Amazon click trackers only.
  • Double-listing: Amazon allows advertisers to submit their listings into auction for each placement within one user search. This means that with the right keyword, product and search bid combination, one could own all three sponsored placements at the top of the page. Given the relatively low number of advertisers, the ability to own the page is high, and will only decrease as more advertisers jump on board.

As Amazon continues to refine its advertising capabilities, advertisers need to follow wherever consumers are shopping, which ultimately could drive a larger hole in Google and Bing’s wallet.

 

2. Pinterest: Strong Visuals Lead to Big Purchases

Where Amazon is formidable, Pinterest is visually beautiful and impactful. Never before has one channel been the inspiration (and motivation) to move, act and, ultimately, purchase.

Industry critics were skeptical about Pinterest’s ability to monetize their user base, but since its paid search launch in late 2017, it’s proven to have true advertising, and staying, power. An eMarketer study supports Pinterest’s claim that visuals are key, saying 75% of U.S. internet searchers look for visuals before making a purchase.

Pinners are a fanatical and engaged lot, contributing to over 2 billion monthly searchers. 93% of Pinners use it to plan for things they want to buy and start shopping on Pinterest for up to two months before using other platforms.

Pinterest is the perfect ecosystem for advertisers to find consumers that are still open to suggestions and highlight which non-brand keywords have the highest potential to carry over into their other keyword-driven media channels. 87% of Pinners purchase because of Pinterest; 97% of searches are non-brand; and only 69% of brands purchased were a part of the initial consideration set.

These are consumers who are willing to invest the time to research and root out the obscure but perfect solution to their searches, long ahead of the intended purchase date.

image: https://drumagency.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/search2.jpg

Advertising options on Pinterest are more robust than Amazon’s, as they have looked to find seamless ways to integrate paid advertising and sponsorships without disrupting the current user experience; however, both a product SKU minimum and a monthly spend minimum are required to advertise.

Ad formats on Pinterest are more varied, too, with Promoted Pins, Google Shopping feed integrations and even promoted videos targeted through a wide range of audience segmentation, such as Location, Demographics, Device, Keyword, Interests, Look-A-Likes, Customer List and Remarketing.

Performances from these early Pinterest adopters are music to digital marketers’ ears. Studies are not only showing that these sponsored ad placements are driving positive ROAS, but also as much as a 30% lift in incremental sales versus the next best performing channel. They also show users exposed to Pins had a larger shopping cart purchase versus purchases not exposed to Pins and that 70% of incremental sales were generated from new customers.

As Pinners are used to investing the time to find the “Pinterest perfect” item, advertisers should take a hard look and see if Pinterest would be perfect for their PPC media plans, too.

 

3. YouTube: How Video Ads and Personal Branding Make Meaningful Impressions

According to Alexa, YouTube is the second most visited site not only in the U.S., but worldwide, and is the second largest search engine on the web. With more than 1 billion users, YouTube is available in 70+ countries and 60+ languages. Given its geographical reach and pure volume, it’s surprising that YouTube is sometimes an afterthought in a PPC marketing campaign instead of an active part of every consideration set.

While one of the most obvious barriers to YouTube is the need for video content, YouTube is and has been evolving to offer marketers better capabilities to match the right message to the desired action. These various implementations can be seen in its key features for targeting, video ad formats and measurement options:

  • Targeting – In addition to standard demographic, interest and behavioral targeting, YouTube is also segmenting visitor engagement based on their purchase intent through Custom Affinity Audience tools – this allows you to create your own audience by adding interest groups and URLs that match the relevant group of potential clients. Moreover, brands will have an option for a personalized approach to audience targeting by bringing their own data to be included or excluded from a specific campaign, as well as layer on Similar Audiences to find new, qualified consumers who resemble your current highest value customers. In this sense, audience segmentation rivals that of any display plan, uncommon for most PPC partners.

As Google continues to explore ways to capitalize on all the data and learnings captured across all of their different arms (ie Gmail, Google, Youtube, Maps etc…), we expect even more advanced audience targeting to be released in the near future.

  • Video Ad Formats – YouTube offers three types of formats—:06, :15 and :30+ videos, each designed to target specific audiences based on device. Each format plays to different strengths and weakness and, as anything in media, should require constant and ongoing testing. In one study, Google showed that even with its longest ad format, as long as the viewer watched at least 30 seconds of the video, he/she was 23x more likely to visit or subscribe to the brand channel. In order to enhance users’ engagement with video ads, YouTube offers a variety of interactive features specifically designed with your brand’s goal in mind. From an increase in visits to your website, to making the shopping experience more efficient, YouTube’s Interactive elements help ensure customers are just one click away from making a purchase on your site.
  • Measurement – View counts alone are not enough to measure the full success of any campaign. Backed by Google, YouTube has robust partnerships with various other reporting tools that can drive a deeper understanding of the customer journey, like Brand Lift, Google Analytics and YouTube Analytics. KPIs can be segmented into three different buckets: awareness, consideration and action to align with whatever brand goals are needed.

Similar to Amazon and Pinterest, YouTube has the audience size combined with the ability to target customers in a visually engaging format while also measuring each step of a customer’s journey. As these digital giants continue to try gaining and maintaining their edge over the others, existing partnerships are changing in an attempt to force users to stay within one platform/universe. Amazon recently removed Google products from its e-commerce platform, and Google dropped support for YouTube on Amazon’s online platforms. In a telling sign of the times, Jeff Bezos of Amazon recently toppled Bill Gates as the richest man on the planet, with an estimated net worth of $105 billion, a solid 13% higher than Gates’ $93 billion. Pay-per-click ad plans that only partner with Google and Bing are soon to be a thing of the past, so make sure you’re not overlooking these niche universes of consumers and their purchasing journey.

December 22, 2017

By Jessica Neville, Senior Strategist at Dagger, @Jess_Nev

#1

In today’s ever-expanding digital landscape, it’s easy for brands to create and distribute content, but harder than ever to be heard. With the holiday season in full swing, many brands think the key to breaking through the noise is investing in new technologies like virtual reality or artificial intelligence, but is their audience even using the technology? Does your message solve the customer’s problems? Is your brand adding any value to their life? If marketers aren’t already asking themselves these questions, they should be. Especially, if they’re interested in connecting with Generation Z, more commonly known as Gen Z.

Gen Z makes up 25% of the U.S. population and is estimated to have $44B in purchasing power, a significant figure for retail brands to consider this holiday season and in the new year. However, Gen Z is not like other generations, and treating them as such would be a mistake. Here’s why:

  1. They live and breathe digital but still love the in-store shopping experience.

A whopping 98% of Gen Z are walking into stores to find what they’re looking for, making the in-store experience more important than ever before. They expect brick and mortars to be interactive and personalized, as well as for brands to be technologically savvy. Marketers can drive Gen Z into stores using localized beacon technology when they’re within walking distance of storefronts and use personalized offers to bring them inside — or brands can bring the in-store experience to Gen Z with pop-up stores. For in-store shopping, marketers can integrate technology that helps Gen Z find the right products for their personal needs like digital assistants or connected fitting rooms.

  1. They align with brands that share their values.

This group looks at personal value rather than demographics, with 85% of Gen Z reporting that they aren’t concerned with things like gender orientation. They consider themselves to be more open-minded than other generations and expect brands to get on the same page. As they begin to reject gender and sexual norms more openly, it is important for brands to understand and accept their stance, and prove they are aligned if they wish to gain Gen Z as loyal customers.

  1. They are a group of makers, creators and self-starters.

Gen Z are digital natives who learned how to build websites and create videos before they graduated high school, making them incredibly independent and entrepreneurial. Traditional marketing tactics don’t appeal to them. They prefer to be a part of the creation process so consider ways to let them be involved in your brand, whether through crowd-sourced content or products, or contests that involve problem-solving and creative thinking. Starbucks is a master of this strategy, demonstrated most recently with their holiday cups which are designed to encourage customers to create and share their own.

  1. They are innately distrustful, but value corporate social responsibility.

Gen Z is deeply distrustful of establishment with only 6% of them indicating they trust big corporations to do the right thing, as opposed to 60% of adults. However, 79% said they would engage with a brand that could help them make a difference, so consider how you can demonstrate an authentic desire to give back this holiday season to causes Gen Z cares about to earn their trust.

  1. They cherish the chance for human connection.

 Despite all the time they spend on digital, Gen Z enjoys activities that bring them together with other people. 80% of those surveyed prefer spending time with their friends in person rather than on the phone or online, as face-to-face interactions are harder and harder to come by. As we head into 2018, create ways for your brand to bring people together physically within the in-store experience, and plan events designed to build new relationships and connect people in emotional, innovative ways.

Brands who do not meet the demanding, tailored needs of this generation this holiday season and into 2018 will simply not be considered. Brands who get it right and demonstrate they understand Gen Z’s needs can gain valuable brand champions and create relationships that last far beyond the new year.

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December 14, 2017

Our Signature Luncheon series had another successful networking, lunch and presentation at Maggiano’s Buckhead in November.

As always, parking and access to Maggiano’s is easy. We received feedback from the previous luncheon that there wasn’t enough time to network before the lunch and presentation. In order to give everyone ample opportunity to both network and to find a seat, doors remained closed until lunch was ready to be served.

Lunch was delicious with something for everyone’s taste:

Freshly Baked Bread

Mozzarella Marinara

Maggiano’s Salad

Rigatoni in Pomodoro Sauce

Chicken Piccata

Vera’s Lemon Cookies

Once everyone was settled Mark O’Brien began his presentation, The Sport of Business: Everyone Wins When Marketing Teams Up with the C-Suite. Mark, former President and CEO of Mizuno USA, began the presentation by stepping down from the podium to walk around and be closer to the crowd.

This engaging and active presentation style connected him with the audience and was reflective of the insights of connecting with the C-Suite. He provided some big take home ideas:

CEOS DON’T TRUST MARKETERS.

One cause is we don’t speak the same language, and our jargon makes them distrustful. We don’t talk in terms of business goals.

ALIGN MARKETING GOALS WITH BUSINESS GOALS.

This creates results. This creates success for everyone.

HOW

Understand the organization’s mission & vision. Align your purpose with the organization’s purpose. Listen to, leverage and lead your people. And finally, always be a coach.

Don’t miss the next Signature Luncheon on January 23rd, also at Maggiano’s Buckhead. Speaker Holly Wasson (Senior Vice President of Brand and Marketing Communications at SunTrust Banks) will be discussing SunTrust’s journey to becoming an iconic American brand. You’ll learn how to:

  • Define and guide better brand business decisions
  • Transform your marketing strategy to achieve iconic brand status
  • Take your brand to the next level through widespread loyalty

Register today! http://www.ama-atlanta.com/events/

November 15, 2017

by: Marcus Varner, Senior Content Marketing Manager at Workfront

The most successful marketers spend 39 percent of their budget on content marketing and 70 percent of marketers say they are creating more content than they have in recent years.

Content marketing is effective and it’s here to stay, even though what it looks like is constantly shifting.

Review and approval is one of the biggest hurdles many marketers face, because it’s a part of the process they don’t have complete control over. From planning to setting goals and assigning tasks, marketers can, for the most part, drive a project through each step.

But, once it’s time for content to be approved, things can slow down and even come to a standstill, jeopardizing campaigns and inhibiting returns on investments. Miranda Barnard, communications director at Sorenson Media, can testify to the dangers of the review and approval process. “If there’s a roadblock involved with the approvals, it can stall the project to the point it’s no longer relevant,” she says.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.

In 2015, Workfront polled Content Marketing World attendees and found that 92 percent confessed to being victims of the review and approval phase. That’s a huge majority, and things likely haven’t changed since then.

Instead of letting your projects get bogged down, use these seven steps to accelerate your review and approval process to speed things up and keep projects on track.

  1. Make a Template

Create and follow a template to establish the structure necessary to avoid roadblocks during review and approval.

A typical template might outline exactly how many days should be spent on pre-review, review round one, revision round one, review round two, revision round two, and distribution.

Keep in mind your template will be based on your company’s specific needs and will likely evolve over time.

  1. Avoid Reviewer/Approver Bloat

Too many businesses operate under the assumption that including more reviewers will increase quality of content. This can lead to including people who are unqualified, un-invested, or unavailable to review content, holding your project back and even causing damage.

Instead, limit the number of reviewers and approvers to those who are qualified, available, and can provide valuable and helpful feedback.

  1. Reduce Rounds

Having too many rounds of reviews usually signals a problem in the process, not the content. Avoid this slowdown by making sure teams have all the details they need before they start content creation so fewer rounds of revision will be needed.

Jonathan Burgoyne, marketing director at NOMATIC, would agree. About his team’s efforts to improve their content creation processes, he says, “We have tried to get folks to think through the entire process by using a creative/project brief. Though not perfect, this has helped get things moving in the right direction.”

  1. Get Commitments on Deadlines

Sometimes reviewers see themselves as casual observers rather than active participants, so they aren’t invested in the content and struggle to make deadlines.

Change this by sitting down with reviewers before you start a project to discuss what the project will entail, help them understand their input is crucial, illustrate the necessity of deadlines, check their availability, and then get them to commit to meeting specific deadlines.

  1. Educate Reviewers/Approvers on Consequences

If reviewers aren’t aware of the consequences of missed deadlines, they won’t feel the sense of urgency that keeps projects moving. Communicate to reviewers how missed deadlines or requested changes will have an impact on the current project, future deadlines, and other goals.

For example, tell reviewers that if they request a specific change to an ebook, it won’t be ready in time for the company’s big trade show.

  1. Enable More Specific, Informed Feedback

You’ve heard it before: “the layout needs to be changed,” “please rewrite this paragraph,” “edit the video to remove the part where she laughs.”

Vague, non-specific feedback isn’t helpful. It slows things down and definitely doesn’t improve the quality of content.

Burgoyne says, “Having to redo work because of poor communication is de-motivating to the team. And the project typically turns into, ‘Let’s just do what we need to to get so-and-so off our backs,’ instead of, ‘Let’s create something amazing.’”

Help reviewers give better feedback by providing context for content and making sure they have the tools they need, like a work management platform and a digital proofing solution.

  1. Perform a Post-Mortem

Take some time after each project to diagnose what worked, what didn’t, and what actions you can take to improve your next project. Included in this discussion should be an assessment of your review and approval process.

It’s easy to keep moving on to the next project without ever improving the way we work, which quickly becomes a recipe for mediocrity and chronic underperformance. Take the time for a post-mortem, and you’ll be surprised how, over time, many of the problems within your content creation process begin to vanish.

With these seven tips, you will find many of the roadblocks you used to face are no longer issues and your content creation is streamlined, efficient, and capable of supporting an overall marketing strategy.

About Workfront

Workfront is a cloud-based Enterprise Work Management solution that helps marketing, IT and other enterprise teams conquer the chaos of excessive email, redundant status meetings and disconnected tools. Unlike other tools, Workfront Enterprise Work Cloud is a centralized, easy-to-adopt solution for managing and collaborating on all types of work through the entire work lifecycle, which improves team productivity and executive visibility. Workfront is trusted by thousands of global enterprises, like Cars.com, Cisco Systems, Comcast, iProspect, Schneider Electric and Trek. To learn more, visit www.workfront.com or follow us on Twitter @Workfront

October 9, 2017

By Jerelle Gainey on October 6th, 2017

What happened?

Today, the default setting of all Safari browsers is to block third-party cookies that are dropped by domains other than the domain of the URL to which the user browsed. However, when a user clicks on an ad, the cookie dropped is treated as a first-party cookie. This is because a click gets routed through the ad network domain and therefore is treated as a first-party cookie.

iOS 11 will change the concept of a first-party cookie. Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) puts restrictions on whether advertisers can continue to read or update first-party cookies when the user is not directly on the business’s site. In other words, it affects whether a company can access first-party cookies in a third-party context. In the first 24 hours, the cookie acts exactly like it used to – and can be used for retargeting and conversion tracking. So, if you click on ad, you can be retargeted and your conversions tracked for exactly 24 hours. For the next 30 days, the cookie lets you login on-site, but cannot be used for retargeting or conversion tracking. After 30 days, the cookie is purged from the browser.

Why is Apple doing this?

A blog post by Apple WebKit security engineer John Wilander explains that ITP builds on Safari’s existing default blocking of third-party cookies and “reduces cross-site tracking by further limiting cookies and other website data.” ITP is aimed largely at limiting pervasive (according to Apple) retargeting practices rather than disrupting advertisers’ ability to track ad campaign performance.

Apple’s new technology tightens Safari’s restrictions on the management of third-party cookies. It does not block ads online but does prematurely delete third-party cookies for advertising retargeting and measurement, and so it obstructs conversion attribution, as well as the recording of user behavioral histories (i.e., it blocks the formation of cookie-based audiences).

How will this impact digital measurement?

This change impacts mobile Safari (some sources state over 50% market share) and desktop Safari (around 10% market share) in the U.S.

We’re currently monitoring the actual impact of this development very closely, but below are some common expectations by various advertising organizations:

  • This will affect most ad buying platforms
  • Retargeting ability will be limited to 24 hours post first-party interaction with the browser
  • The cost of impressions on Safari will drop, while the cost on other browsers will increase
  • There will be a net loss of conversions so CPAs could increase
  • Walled gardens will not be affected as they are dropping first-party cookies on users frequently
  • Organizations and tools that use cookie-less measurement will not be impacted as much, as they typically derive insights from other attributes and user behaviors
  • Solutions that use first- party cookies in first-party context, such as Google Analytics, will not be impacted
  • Platforms leveraging cross-device graphs will mitigate the impact of this development.
  • Google has implemented a solution to maintain measurement in Google Adwords by connecting Google Analytics to your Adwords account
  • Google will use modeling based on historical conversion activity to record conversions from Safari in AdWords if you do not connect your Google Analytics account to Adwords
  • DoubleClick Search will begin using statistical modeling to estimate website conversions that could not be measured from Safari, and include them in your DoubleClick Search reporting

All BKV media teams are currently monitoring this change very closely and will make the necessary adjustments to campaigns to mitigate the impact of this change. Want to learn more? CONTACT OUR EXPERTS.

August 23, 2017

51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI, according to Adobe. But in order to maximize that ROI, it’s important to keep your video project on budget. With a lot of moving parts, video can sometimes be an intimidating project to manage. However, there are four easy and actionable best practices to keep in mind in order to make sure your video production stays on track and gives you the best results.

Understand The Goal For Your Video

The first key idea to understand in managing your video production budget is that the scope of work is the most important factor in determining the price of your video. Therefore, before you even approach production companies or your internal video manager about your video, you must understand what you want to achieve.

To understand your goals, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is my key takeaway message/messages?
  2. Where will my video be distributed?
  3. Who is my audience?
  4. What metrics will determine my success?
  5. Are there any ideal visuals or audio that must be included for branding purposes?

Once you are able to answer these questions, you and your video team will be able to work together to determine the ideal length of your video (longer videos are typically more expensive) and the exact strategies that will best suit your messages. With these clear expectations of your scope of work, you will save time and money.

Finding the Right Production Techniques to Match Your Budget

If you are working with an experienced video production team, you will have a lot of choices when it comes to the production techniques that will make your video stand out from your competition. Some of these techniques come at a cost, so with that in mind, you and your production partner will need to invest in the right styles to make the impression on your audience that you’re looking for.

For example, any sort of smooth motion in the video’s frame is made with a piece of equipment like a jib or dolly. In the video below for the Urban Land Institute, sweeping views contrast with fast-paced whip pans to highlight the immense impact Dr. Cheong Koon had on Singapore’s Urban Plan. These techniques work really well to emphasize the goal of ULI’s video, but it was a conscious choice to make an investment in moving frames. Read the full video production case study here.

Purely Motion Graphic videos tend to have less overhead than on-site productions, and can be a cost-effective way to create an entirely new environment to express your message. With a scripted voiceover and visuals that tightly match your message, they are a great option to create a cohesive video that stays completely on target. In motion graphics, you can also swap out a voiceover and make minor adjustments to the animation to create a new but similar video customized to each of your different markets – saving you time and money later. Blackboard did this with the video below; it was made in several languages for each country their campaign spanned across. Read the full video production case study here.

 

Hammer Out Production Logistics before your Production Day

Be sure to figure out logistical details prior to production day, not during. This will make a big difference in the long run, allowing for a smooth day of shooting to go as planned. Schedule your interviews all on the same day and condense your production schedule wherever possible. It’s best to interview individuals back-to-back instead of taking long breaks between each. This avoids wasting time to break down equipment just to set it back up later.

That being said, don’t overbook your team. You want to get the best bang for your buck by finding that perfect balance of planning for the time budgeted for. If you schedule too many responsibilities in one day, the team is likely to feel rushed to complete everything and hectic actions may produce less than stellar results. Flaws during production can lead to more work and greater expenses later. Learn from past experiences in regards to timing to figure out what works for you—what your team excels at, struggles with, as well as tasks that require more time to accomplish.

Choose and test all filming locations beforehand. By sending an informed location scout prior to the production day to check out your setting, you will limit distractions and issues such as audio problems by planning ahead. Ask important questions like “how will it sound?” and “will there be privacy?” to get the full picture.

Carefully consider and prepare people who will be in the video, especially those being interviewed. It is vital that people react well when the film is rolling to avoid extended production days or labor in post-production to account for hard-to-fix problems. Choose the right individuals who are comfortable with being filmed and give media training beforehand. Without preparation, elements like nervousness or a stutter can hinder progress while filming. This may extend interviews and push others back, creating more work and a longer production day.

Although you want everyone to be prepared, never give your talent the questions beforehand. By encouraging off-the-cuff answers, you create credible authenticity in your video. Interviewees are more likely to struggle to remember answers they have prepared as opposed to just talking openly on the spot. Allow for unique personalities and feelings to shine through and let your talent speak. You can always edit out pieces that don’t fit later in post-production.

Giving Feedback and Involving Decision Makers

Many people may have a stake in your video production. Although it can be great to collaborate with others,this can create a challenge as multiple revisions and phases may be added to the production process in order to accommodate everyone’s point of view.

To avoid this, dedicate one member of your team to confer with your video partner. That way, there is no confusion on who’s direction to follow. That person should be skilled at synthesizing ideas and distilling them down to the essentials, as well as making compromises between the visions of many coworkers.

On the other hand, no one’s ideas should be discounted. In fact, according to the University of Ottowa, 33% of projects fail because senior management was not involved. That’s why this point of contact must share the video with their committee at each phase of production, especially during the post-production rough cut phase. While a rough cut is not a finished video, it is the point where changes can be easily addressed. If your VP of Marketing doesn’t see your video until the fine cut and wants to make major adjustments, it may come at an extra price. This budget increase can be easily avoided by getting approval before the work progresses to a final draft.

In the end, your video production team should feel like your partner. If you and your video crew can keep communication about goals and feedback clear, identify the best techniques, minimize issues on production day, and seek feedback from key decision makers, you won’t have any trouble sticking to your budget. The result? Greater ROI. And what does that mean? A bigger budget for next time!

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A leading voice in digital video content, Tod Plotkin is Principal and Founder of Green Buzz Agency, where he oversees video content creation for iconic advertising campaigns, including Ad Council’s #1 Campaign: Love Has No Labels. Additionally, His agency created the most viewed/shared branded video on Facebook in November 2016 for Cricket Wireless + Upworthy. Tod is (2x) Emmy winner for best short format program and a (2x) Webby Honoree.

July 1, 2017

from: Rocket Fuel

Rocket Fuel, Inc., a leading demand-side platform in advertising technology, is a Leader in Forrester’s independent research report, “The Forrester Wave™: Omnichannel Demand-Side Platforms, Q2 2017.”

2017-forrester-dsp-report.pngThe report, subtitled, “People-Based Data, New Paths To Inventory, And Even More Transparency Drive Innovation Amidst Consolidation” assessed top platforms in the space, and further outlined how Rocket Fuel is enabling artificial intelligence (AI) to self-service users at scale: “Rocket Fuel’s future is self-service and bringing AI to marketers.”

Vendors in the report were evaluated based on various, deep criteria across three main categories: Current Offering, Strategy, and Market Presence. Additionally,  Rocket Fuel believes it stands out with its strength in expanding the implications of AI, and driving continuous value for users.  The report notes “Rocket Fuel sees the investment in AI and ML approaches evolving to bring AI-as-a-service to its clients in the future.”

Download to learn more!

May 3, 2017

by Alice Oh, Content Marketing Specialist at MP Modern, Division of MarketPro

In a highly digitized world, how do brands cut through the noise and set themselves apart from the competition? As technology penetrates nearly every aspect of how brands and consumers connect and interact, it’s important for brands to focus on satisfying consumers’ needs by delivering a valuable user experience (UX).

New marketing technologies give marketers access to a pool of resources that can be employed to enhance UX like never before. Sure your website looks pretty, but what’s the point if it doesn’t serve any real value to your users? Optimize your UX by following the tips below and you will see key points of measurement like SEO, conversion, and lead generation significantly improve.

  1. Know Your Customer

First things first, understanding your consumers and what they’re looking for is essential in creating excellent UX. If your site doesn’t serve the needs of your users, it’s essentially pointless.

Understand who your customer is and what they’re looking for. Tools like Google Analytics can help provide insights into your customers. Use information extracted from this data to thoroughly understand the customer journey and how your site effectively serves the different stages.

Create an enjoyable browsing experience your users will come back to by focusing on their needs. Recognizing the customer journey and being able to relieve any pain points the user might encounter while on your site are key in designing optimal UX. Always remember to build every component of your marketing strategy with your consumers in mind.

  1. A Well-Thought Out Website Design

The initial impression users get when they first visit your site will be a lasting one. It will determine if they choose to stay or bounce, and possibly never come back.

Sure, your website traffic may be high but it means nothing if your bounce rate is too. Combat this by optimizing your site’s landing pages. This entails equipping your site with pages that are easy to navigate and have quick loading time.

If your pages take too long to load, people will leave. They don’t have the patience and are certainly not willing to wait when they can go seek information from an alternative source.

Keep your website simple and accessible. Don’t overwhelm your consumers to the point where it drives them away. Stay consistent with your design throughout your site! A well-designed website lays the solid foundation for your brand’s digital presence, and is essentially your digital home base.

 

  1. Optimize for Mobile

The use of mobile is now commonplace, as more people browse the web on their mobile devices than computers. With over 4 billion mobile phone users, it’s imperative to equip your site with mobile-apt capabilities. Not doing so will severely hinder your KPIs like SEO and conversion.

We’re diving heads-first into a mobile-first world, so it’s necessary to optimize UX by adopting an omni-channel perspective. By creating a seamless experience across all channels, you make the customer experience and journey as smooth as possible – something that will ultimately drive your bottom-line.

  1. Content Reigns

Along with a well-designed site, content is the other half that builds a solid foundation for your digital presence. Without good content, your site serves no real value to your users.

Build your credibility up by blogging and creating engaging content. One of the most compelling forms of content is infographics and video. Video is the most engaging type of visual content and can increase conversion by 80%!

Focus on user intent and relevant topics to create quality content and drive on-page optimization – content is king when it serves the user best.

Content is the most forceful factor in driving a superb user experience. You can have a well-designed site armed with quick loading time but without substantial content, it’s virtually meaningless.

  1. Don’t Intrude

The worst way to turn a customer or lead off is by placing all sorts of spammy content like pop-up ads on your site. Instead, evaluate ways you can subliminally promote your products or services and drive conversion, such as placing recommended items on the side of your page based on their search history. This is a tactic to drive sales, but not too obvious.

Don’t be aggressive – let your users have a choice of whether they want to add that extra item in their cart or not. No one likes to be bombarded with sales promotions and advertisements. Don’t disrupt the customer journey or intrude their user experience. You want to create a seamless, enjoyable experience that will make them come back.

Parting Words

Take a holistic approach when leveraging all your resources to create an optimal user experience. Being able to deliver an unforgettable experience can be the differentiating factor between your brand and your competitor. Set yourself apart from the competition in the heavily penetrated world of marketing.

Delivering a superior user experience is no longer an option. Ramp up the customer journey and UX by following these fundamental tips and enlisting the help of an experienced digital agency! While I can’t promise you guaranteed results, I can assure you that your bottom-line will significantly improve over time.

March 15, 2017

By Ashley Reed, Social Media Director at BKV

In late January, Instagram introduced live videos as part of its Stories feature. This move comes as little surprise, given that parent company Facebook has helped propel the trend toward live video streaming. This move by Instagram meshes the live video trend with the quick-hitting presentation and disappearing act popularized by Snapchat.

The following is a look at the basics of the Instagram live video feature and some ideas on how your brand can leverage this opportunity for enhanced social media marketing.

Basic Live Video Features

The Instagram live video feature is part of a platform of tools the company calls Instagram direct. You can record live videos for up to 60 seconds to connect with users or to deliver targeted messages to followers. After the video ends, it disappears from the app. If your messages offer real value to your followers, this process helps drive interest and scarcity motivation for your messages.

More Details on Instagram Live Video

You can go live at any point by selecting “Start Live Video” on your camera after swiping right from your feed. After you select this option, you have a 3-second countdown before the recording actually begins. If you want to target particular users while leaving some out, you can identify specific people you don’t want to see the video.

As part of video engagement, you have significant control over comments, including whether to keep them on and to “Pin” your favorite messages. You can also preset your comments’ preferences to prevent messages with particular words and phrases from making it into the conversation during your video. This ability helps combat negative or crude messages from distracting from your video.

How to Leverage Instagram Live

Snapchat has done a great job establishing a tool that allows users to interact authentically. This approach has created opportunities for marketers to brand these interactions with influencers and filters. Instagram is attempting to enhance its engagement and connections for the same purpose.

The only limitation for brands is their level of creativity. You could have influencers at industry events or in other particular settings go live to show off their experiences. Promote this planned event on your social channels.

Show off behind-the-scenes happenings at your company or in the field to tease new product launches or exciting activities. Invite users to post live videos documenting their experiences with your products. You could even hold competitions for the best videos.

digital advertising, marketing, social media

Conclusion

With Instagram live video, you can leverage authentic interactions on a popular social media platform to promote your brand. Build a fan following and utilize influencers to help spread the word.

As a top social media agency, BKV can help your company take advantage of Instagram live video and other popular social media tools. Contact us to discuss how!

February 18, 2017

By BKV

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Personalization in ad messaging is one of the most important trends in marketing in 2017. Therefore, to optimize your advertising and direct marketing investments, your business must deliver personalized ads that resonate with the intended target market.

The following is a look at several strategies to help you improve the level of personalization in your advertising efforts.

Know Thy Audience

The only way to optimize ad personalization is to target your messages to the right audience. In 2017, top marketers develop detailed buyer personas that represent the ideal customer profile for each brand or solution they sell.

Deep data dives allow you to build clear pictures of your target based on existing customer behaviors. Generate reports through CRM and analytics tools that tell you the traits and behaviors of your most profitable customers for a given solution. Figure out what these people have in common, and build your customer profile around the most critical shared traits or values.

Segment Your Segments

Another benefit of data-driven targeting is the ability to get more precise with market segmentation. You can get more refined in your segments knowing that digital strategies allow greater affordability and flexibility to tailor messages to distinct segments.

In your online campaigns, use filters to deliver your ads to people based on demographic and behavioral data. Create images and video ads with characters and stories that resonate with distinct groups of customers. The more your segment relates to the message, the greater the ability to connect with your brand’s story.

Integrate Social Media

Few communication platforms offer greater opportunities to personalize your message than social media, and all major social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, have significant paid ad opportunities. Each of these tools has a large audience that relies on text, image and video content to share ideas and feelings and to connect with other users.

Your brand can obviously leverage social personalization organically. However, paid posts allow you to expand your reach and to pinpoint messages to filtered audiences. Snapchat filters are an authentic opportunity to get your brand in front of a young audience. Amp up the impact by including your background image or design on personal photos.

Align with Passions

Certain markets have customers with shared passions or interests. Millennials, for instance, tend to have heightened passion for social justice and environmental causes. Including these causes or relevant themes in your messages can earn you favor with buyers of this generation.

Depicting family values or settings, like with a backyard barbecue scene, could resonate with young parents who prioritize family life. Including these lifestyle interests with your brands embedded in the story can have a powerful effect.

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Conclusion

Personalized ads affect the emotions and behaviors of customers more than general message strategies. To personalize your ads, balance thorough data-driven research to put together precise customer profiles and segmented messages. Leverage communication channels like social media that are structured for personalized message delivery. Align your brand with passions important to typical buyers.

BKV can help your company enhance personalization in advertising. Contact us now to get started!

 

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