Why Video is the True Content King

Image by Bianca Eyre via Pexels

With the ever-increasing amount of content being produced and published on social media platforms, you may be wondering how best to capture your target audience’s attention. A simple answer, video.  

A 2017 HubSport survey reported that users are more likely to consume video content thoroughly instead of skimming or multitasking while engaging with the media. Additionally, video generated 12 times more shares over social than text and image content combined. Beyond awareness campaigns, consumers are also looking for brands to utilize videos to demonstrate product features and help with the purchase decision.  

With YouTube gaining the second most traffic out of all websites and over 1 billion users, it is obvious that the social media platform dedicated specifically to video has been a success. However, video has also been a successful at driving engagement across a variety of platforms.

Facebook

On Facebook, videos gain 135% more organic reach when compared to photos. This will become increasingly important for marketers as organic content reach has decreased across social media platforms. Facebook has capitalized on the trend by launched multiple video options, such as direct upload for native videos, which can result in higher engagement rates.

Facebook has also launched Facebook Live, which allows viewers to connect and engage with your content. This can be a great way to provide more impromptu interactions and allow for behind the scenes videos and other informal content.

Image by Dwayne The Rock Johnson via Facebook

Videos can also be incorporated into the ad space you purchase on the platform and can be shown to consumers as in-stream, feed or in story content. These different video formats provide marketers with options to best reach their target market.    

Instagram

Although photos still rain supreme for engagement on Instagram, time spent watching videos on the platform increased by 40% in 2016. Similar to Facebook, Instagram also offers a variety of options for video content. Instagram stories allow for videos up to 15 seconds, which can include organic content or paid advertisement.

Since launching in 2016, Instagram stories have been a huge success and are used by more than half a billion people. Additionally, businesses have also made use of stories “with one-third of the most viewed stories coming from businesses.”

Instagram Story Example
Image by Instagram via Andrew Macarthy

Instagram’s most recent addition, IGTV allows for longer video up to 60 minutes and the company boost that the feature is built for mobile viewership stating that “longer vertical video in Instagram makes it even easier to get closer to your audience and be discovered by new people.”

Instagram IGTV Example
Image by Instagram via Instagram

Twitter

Video has also resulted in more engagement on Twitter as well gaining 10x more engagement than tweets that only use text and are 6x more likely to be retweeted.

In addition to allowing for videos to be uploaded to the platform, Twitter has also launched live videos through a Periscope integration.

Example of Twitter Live
Image by Jared Leto via Twitter

Like all social media platforms, Twitter enables for promoted videos and allows marketers to choose different delivery options including in-stream video ads, which provides the ability “to target people while they’re already viewing related video content,” as well as prominent locations on users Twitter feed.

Videos can also be integrated into Twitters conversational ads, which build upon Twitters focus on hashtags to include call to actions that can be tweeted by users in order to increase brand engagement.

Example of Twitter Conversational Ads
Image by Twitter via AdWeek

Given videos current success in gaining consumers attention and engagement, I believe that social media companies will continue to innovate and find new ways to further integrate videos on their platforms. How has your organization used videos in your marketing strategy? What opportunities and limitations has the medium presented to you?

Facebook: Learn why video is the true content king and how it can help you connect with your audience http://bit.ly/35SSQVi

Twitter: Learn why video is the true content king http://bit.ly/35SSQVi #marketingtips #socialmedia #contentmarketing #videomarketing

How Social Media Can Help Promote Women’s Sports

How Social Media Can Help Promote Women’s Sports

Social media has created a unique environment for individuals to form connections over niche interest and has provided a platform for individuals to promote themselves. This has been increasingly important for women’s sports.

Image by Noelle Otto via Pexels

Gaining Attention & Creating Community

Gaining media attention has become a hurdle for the development of women’s sports. In the U.S. for example women’s sports receive only 4% of sports media coverage from traditional outlets. This has led to more people turning to social media, blogging and podcast to create their own media coverage. Social media in particular allows for fan engagement and discussion, and the formation of a digital community. One example of this is the use of Twitter for live tweeting of games which has become a great way to allow for fan participation as well as promote the game to others through trending hashtags and generating sharable content such as game highlights.

WNBA highlight video for the final championship game
Tweet by WNBA via Twitter

Not all social media activity and discussion is positive though, as one study out of Australia found that female athletes receive three times more social media abuse than male athletes. However, the ability to form a digital community has led fans and organizers to demand better coverage of individual women’s sports leagues. This can be seen in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) where, after a Chicago news outlet did not acknowledge that Solider Field was home to the Chicago Red Stars in a recent tweet, fans banded together to buy tickets to the upcoming semi-finals match to send other fans to the game.

Tweet by Meg Linehan via Twitter

Broadcasting

In order to reach cord cutters, many of the major sport’s leagues have signed broadcasting deals with social media channels. Major League Soccer has signed a deal with Twitter, Facebook is home to Major League Baseball, and the Thursday Night Football from the NFL is available on Amazon (Source). Women’s sports leagues have also tried alternative broadcast as a way to increase accessibility for fans and to encourage product trial. Recently the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) signed a three-year deal with Twitch, but in the past has used Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to stream games. The NWSL has also experimented with streaming, formerly having streams available on YouTube, and currently YahooSports in the U.S. However, given difference in knowledge and existing brand awareness between the women’s and men’s sports leagues, many women’s leagues will have to decide whether broadcasting on social media is the right decision to help grow the league’s popularity. This was recently seen in the NWSL who, after the U.S. win of the Women’s World Cup this past summer, signed a multi-year deal with ESPN for their domestic and international broadcasting rights. Social media presents the opportunity to lower the cost to access a sport and encourage viewership for fans who are already aware of the league, however without the investment provided by large broadcasters to legitimize leagues it is yet to be seen if leagues can truly grow without broadcaster infrastructure.

Image by David McEachan via Pexel

Personal Promotion and Branding

Individual athletes have also benefited from social media, acting as influencers for their sport, leagues or for other brands through paid endorsements. By creating their own content these athletes are able to create their own personal brand in order to gain an additional stream of revenue to support their athletic pursuits. This is important as women are often underpaid compared to their male counterparts, which can often lead to them retiring early. By having social media platforms athletes are able to capitalize and retain interest in themselves and their sports following major competitions such as the Olympics or World Cup.

Following their World Cup victory many U.S. Women’s National Team players received sponsorship opportunities, with brands also using their platform to drive support for their league the NWSL
Image by Emily Sonnett via Instagram

These platforms can also be used by athletes to promotes their team or leagues. The individual athletes’ platforms can also be used to push for greater change, such as with the U.S. Women’s National Team fight for equal pay. Another example is in women’s hockey where players have created The Dream Gap Tour, consisting of Team Canada and Team U.S.A players, to push for a “single, viable professional women’s ice hockey league in North America,” following the failure of the CWHL. While, personal platforms have given players a voice across women’s and men’s sports, the need for superstars to promote individual leagues, teams and events in women’s sports is crucial for the growth of game.

Example of promotional post for the Dream Gap Tour by Hilary Knight member of the U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team
Image by Hilary Knight via Instagram

Final Thoughts

As an individual who wants to see women’s sports succeed outside of the Olympics or international platforms, I believe the era of social media provides some of the tools for success. What are your thoughts on the role that social media can play in promoting women’s sports and female athletes? Do you believe a league needs major broadcasting to be successful?

Facebook: Women’s sports are having a moment, here’s how social media can help. http://bit.ly/35EAuHN

Twitter: Beyond live-tweeting, how social media can help promote women’s sports http://bit.ly/35EAuHN #sportsmarketing #Wontstopwatching #socialmedia

Four Ways Instagram Is Facilitating E-commerce

Four Ways Instagram Is Facilitating E-commerce

Image by Freestocks.org via Pexels

Instagram’s integration of polished photos, videos and continued story expansion means that the platform may be the next e-commerce hot spot for your business. One key factor in driving Instagram’s e-commerce capabilities is that users on the platform are looking to engage with brands, with 80% of users following a business on Instagram. Additionally, more than 72% of users have made purchases on the platform and through continued improvement the number of people and frequency of purchase could continue to increase. In recent years Instagram has launched new e-commerce enabling features which could be beneficial to your business

1. Shopping Posts

Shopping posts give businesses the ability to tag products. This allows consumers to see product information directly in the app and helps to streamline the sales process by removing extra work for the potential customer. Additionally, it allows businesses to get more accurate analytics by showing which images lead to further website interactions and sales conversions. Later has an excellent article detailing How to Track Traffic from Instagram and gather the most data from shoppable content.  

Posts that include the product tag will also appear under the shopping section on the explore page. Users can search for products of brands that they follow in a separate tab, indicated by the storefront icon. As well, users can create their own wish list of shoppable products under the save tab in the upper right corner.

Instagram shopping page | Screenshot from personal Instagram

2. Shopping Stickers

Instagram has also released a similar feature for stories, by allowing companies to tag products through stickers. Although it was possible to shop through stories before with website integration, this is limited to business accounts with a minimum of 10,000 followers. The shopping stickers are available for all businesses, provided you have turned on Instagram Shopping in the app and have a Facebook catalog with Facebook Business Manager.

Image by Madewell on Instagram via Instagram

3. Instagram Checkout

Launched in March 2019, Instagram’s checkout feature builds upon their shopping stickers and allows consumers to purchase products without leaving the Instagram app. Consumers information will also be saved within the app, in order to increase efficiency for other in-app purchases, and they will receive notifications regarding their purchase through Instagram. However, this new feature is currently going through beta testing in the U.S., with no exact timeline for further roll out.

Image by ColourPop Cosmetics on Instagram via Instagram

4. Product Launch Reminders

Instagram has continued their e-commerce beta testing with product launch reminders for stories through the form of stickers and product launch tag options on posts. These new features will allow brands to set the date for product launches, and consumers who opt in will receive a reminder. This feature capitalizes on the trend of “creator collaborations and limited releases, [which] are now being adopted by fashion, beauty and luxury brands.” Although still in beta testing this feature would work similarly to the current countdown sticker and businesses could implement this tactic to generate hype for new product launches in advance of the official roll out.

BONUS: Instagram Donations

Non-profits can also benefit from Instagram’s push towards further payment integration. By launching donations stickers individual users can launch donation initiatives for a charity of their choice, and is also available for business accounts. Currently only available in the U.S., the feature demonstrates Instagram’s continued expansion of their platform’s integrations and their ability to notice and provide features based on user trends.

Image by American Cancer Society on Instagram via Later

What do you think of Instagrams further payment integration? Given Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, history with data privacy do you think consumers will trust Instagram with their payment integration? Let me know your thoughts or if you have any questions about these new features!

Promotional Posts

Facebook: As Instagram continues to innovate with e-commerce integration is it the right move for your business? Find out current feature options and new beta tests to inform your businesses Instagram strategy. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/31NJic0

Twitter: Learn the Four Ways Instagram is Facilitating E-Commerce, is it right for your business? http://bit.ly/31NJic0 #ecommerce #instagram #marketingtips

How Micro-Influencers Can Benefit Your Brand in 2020

How Micro-Influencers Can Benefit Your Brand in 2020

It’s no secret, brands have been using actors, musicians, athletes and other, pardon the term, influencers for decades now. Think of Pepsi’s use of musicians such as Michael Jackson, Britney Spears and Ray Charles, or Jennifer Aniston’s work with Aveeno or SmartWater. Why? Because it works. Not only can celebrity endorsements generate positive brand associations or increase overall brand awareness, a study by Harvard professor Anita Elberse found that “high-profile endorsements ‘generate a 4 percent increase in sales’,” as reported by Adweek. This demonstrates that these campaigns can translate into an increase in sales. However, endorsements are expensive, with Nike spending $475 million annually on their strategy. Social media though has opened up a new avenue for marketers looking to gain brand endorsements. As such, more companies are using this strategy to reach and connect with their target market – and it just might be the right move for your brand.

“This is the Pepsi official packaging and creative for Pepsi Generations Summer campaign (PRNewsfoto/PepsiCo)
Image by PepsiCo

Who is a Micro-Influencer?

Anyone can be a micro-influencer for a specific genera – its all about finding the right fit for your brand!
Image by Ryan McGuire via Gratisography

A micro-influencer are individuals that are viewed as expertise within their respective communities or genera, and have a social media following between 10,000 to 1 million. As these individuals are viewed as experts, they have a loyal following and are able to engage more with their audience than the traditional large scale celebrity influencer. Although micro-influencers are available on a variety of platforms, Instagram is where influencing marketing reigns supreme with “92% of marketers in the Linqia study chose it as the most important social platform for influencer marketing.”

Why Should You Use a Micro-Influencer?

Using micro-influencers can help get your ad campaign or product in front of the people who really care about it – helping to increase your ROI on marketing dollars spent
Image by Ryan McGuire via Gratisography

Cost Efficiency

Although cost can depend on many factors, including the size of the following and platform chosen, micro-influencers can be more cost efficient per engagement. Additionally, the variety of posting available on a platform, such as Instagram with post and story options, allows for more customization of engagement to meet the specific needs of the campaign.

Increase Engagement

Mirco-influencers tend to have a highly loyal audience and are more likely to engage directly with them through their platform. This engagement forms a level of trust between the influencers and the audience. This trust can translate to sales with one study finding that “82% of survey respondents said they were highly likely to follow a micro-influencers’ recommendation.”

Access to Target Market

As micro-influencers’ following are individuals interested in a specific area of expertise, brands can choose influencers with audiences that align with their target market. In her blog post, Myriah Anderson highlights this points and discusses how using the components of a segmentation analysis can help narrow the field of potential influencers to match your target market. This allows for a more targeted campaign then the traditional mass-media awareness campaigns highlighted at the beginning of this post

Micro-Influencer Example

@missfenderr is a Canadian influencer who recently partnered with Tom’s of Maine to promote their toothpaste. Aa @missfenderr’s lifestyle content surrounds veganism and outdoor exploration her audience would fit Tom’s target market. This is highlight in the post as it mentions that the product is cruelty-free and the company donates 10% of profits to social and environmental initiatives. As such, Tom’s benefits from increase brand awareness in their target market while forming a relationship with the audience through the influencer. Overall, this demonstrates a great alignment between the brand and influencer  

Image by missfenderr via Instagram

Final Thoughts

Although using micro-influencers can come with its pitfalls it can be a great way to reach and meaningfully engage with your desired target market. In the end, the right partnership can go a long way in furthering your brands success!

Have you tried this strategy before? Do you think it would work for your brand? Let me know!

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Twitter: Ready for 2020? See how Micro-Influencers can benefit your brand #marketingtips #growyourbrand http://bit.ly/2m2kM6S