Demographics Don’t Gauge Your Target Market’s Mood – Why That Matters

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Unknown-1In a climate ripe with data gathering and advanced analytics, the mood of our prospects isn’t often considered. We’ve come so far since the early days of advertising, yet in many ways we still rely on the yesteryear approach to marketing. Think about how we price advertising, which is archaic when you consider it’s best to buy ads one at a time based on analytic analysis. Equally outdated is the basic premise of demographics – a practice that begun in the 1920s – and it’s enduring focus on greater segmentation and third-party data collection with disregard to how we consume media in today’s economy.

In all of our advances, we seem to have missed the boat. Social media is the closest we’ve come to hitting the mark. Only in that arena do we realize that we have the means to speak to our prospects in real time. But, that’s where we tend to stop. We don’t acknowledge that that means we can advertise to prospects frequently, optimizing campaigns around prospects’ given moods.

If You Want a Personal Connection With Prospects, You Can’t Discount Mood

Much (if not all) of our segmenting is hard fact centered; we never consider mood. Yet, we increasingly want to use our technological advances to make a more meaningful, personal connection. It seems counterintuitive, and I’m not alone in this thinking.

We should be putting more emphasis on prospects’ given mood and optimizing from that vantage point. Media buys would then be adjusted to the content that speaks to the prospects’ moods, using real-time reactions. Traditional, long-held demographic segmenting practices alone will not get us where we want to go. We have to dig deeper and consider the moods of our prospects to reach them in a meaningful way.

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7 Marketing Trends You Should Be Watching In 2018

 

fb_bannerWhile I realize we are quickly approaching May, we can still use the remaining eight months of 2018 to consider these marketing trends and their impact on our strategy going forward.

How the Use of Emojis Can Improve Social Engagement

The beauty of emojis is that they enable us to communicate in ways we just can’t do with words. They also allow us to make an emotional connection, no matter how fleeting. This is why marketers are increasingly implement strategic (and restrained!) use of emojis in their communications to prospects.

And studies show they are making a smart move. In a recent study by All Academic Research, participants who were sent messages with emojis scored higher on memory than those who were sent messages without emojis. This indicates emojis are an effective marketing tool. The study also went on to report that the use of emojis works to portray businesses as friendlier.

In case you weren’t sold on the use of emojis in your marketing, check out these facts:

  • Emojis in a tweet can increase engagement by 4 percent
  • Emojis in a Facebook post can increase the number of likes by 57 percent
  • Emojis in a Facebook post can increase the number of comments and shares by 33 percent

There’s no reason you shouldn’t be using emojis to increase engagement. Here’s where it can get tricky. There are literally thousands of emojis to choose from, so choose wisely and use them judiciously. According to a study by HubSpot that looked at 19,617,281 HubSpot published posts across all social platforms, here are the top 10 emojis most likely to increase click-throughs:

At first glance, this is an odd selection, right? I’m sure you noticed that none of these emojis are faces, which really surprised me. This could mean it’s productive to use less popular emojis in your marketing strategy, for the novelty factor, which may be what helps drive engagement. So, pick unusual emojis that are relative to your content and use them sparingly.

 

Understanding Google’s Search Engine Results Page and Why It Matters

Marketers understand that in order to have a strong online presence, a website has to rank high on Google (or any other search engine) or prospects will likely have a hard time finding it. This is where Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP) comes in. The SERP is the page of options that comes up when you do a search. Each SERP is unique depending on the keywords and search engine used. It contains two types of content: organic and paid results. It also includes featured snippets, images, videos, and location-specific results.

This is Google’s way of trying to make users’ search experiences easier and more relevant. The SERP enables users to see on-page content without having to click into an organic result. This is great for users, but it can be problematic for marketers looking to capture attention in organic search results.

Marketers need to stay current with SERP features to learn how to rank higher. Search engines are increasingly more sophisticated. A few years ago if you searched the word “pizza” you would get a listing of pizza restaurant websites, a directory listing, review sites, and maybe some blog posts. Today that same search provides so much more. You’ll see an ad, a map with the closest pizza location to you, a Wikipedia page with pizza nutritional information, etc. This makes it harder for even the #1 ranked pizza place to be visible. There are ways around this.

Rich Snippets Enable You to Share More Info Before A Click

Rich snippets allow you to include images, reviews, descriptions, pricing, etc. that will come up in the search so users are more enticed to click.

Paid Search Results Put Your Site At The Top Of The Page

These are the ads and sponsored posts that you see at the very top of the SERP. Google differentiates paid searches from organic using visual cues that include providing a “sponsored” or “ad” label or by boxing off the paid search results.

Organic Search Lists Your Site Below Paid Search Results

In an organic search your site will appear in the order Google ranks it based on your SEO. It will be listed below the paid search results. Ensuring your site has engaging, relevant, keyword-rich content will help boost SEO to keep your ranking high and your site visible in organic search.

Here’s a visual for what each of these options looks like on Google.

Facebook is Removing Third-Party Targeting: What This Means for Marketers

You are likely aware that Facebook, under heightened scrutiny and mounting regulatory pressure, has announced it will be removing access to data provided by third-party data brokers for its advertising system. This includes all third-party targeting capabilities – both private and public. Currently in Facebook under the Partner Categories by Request option, advertisers can request access to private data from vendors like Oracle and Experian or access public data categories that include behavioral targeting parameters – like purchasing behavior and household income. Facebook does not disclose the source(s) it uses for this data.

Nearly half of Facebook’s 1,200 targeting criteria come from third-party data sources, all of which will be impacted by this change. Facebook is making this move as a result of its Cambridge Analytica data breech crisis. Facebook is also doing it to be compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will go into effect May 25, 2018.

In an unprecedented move, this broad-reaching GDPR provides governmental guidance regarding how European Union (EU) member states handle users’ personal information. But this doesn’t just affect EU companies. GDPR will apply to all companies that process personal data of EU citizens, regardless of where they reside. That means it applies to US companies that process data of EU citizens, whether they live in the States or not.

The GDPR requires companies to provide the highest levels of privacy protection or suffer dire financial consequences. Violators may face a fine up to four percent of their company’s global revenue. This will affect how third-party data is used throughout the digital advertising world regardless of location.

Facebook released the following 2018 timeline for its GDPR compliance and its impact on advertisers:

May 10: After this date, you will no longer be able to create or edit campaign using Partner Categories built on audiences from the UK, Germany, and France; however, they will be allowed to continue running until May 24.

 May 25: Facebook will no longer deliver to Partner Categories built on audiences from the UK, Germany, and France, and these targeting options will no longer be available for use on the platform. You will notified to update any targeting containing impacted Partner Categories before this date.

June 30: Last day for creating new or editing existing campaigns using non-EU Partner Categories; they will be allowed to run until September 30.

October 1: All other Partner Categories will no longer be available as targeting options and Facebook will stop delivering against these audiences. You will be notified to update your targeting by this date.

Many marketers who use third-party Facebook data to reach their prospects are likely shaken by this news. But keep in mind that while US advertisers have had access to third-party data, that hasn’t been true everywhere – like in Canada, for example. Canada hasn’t had access, yet advertisers have still had the ability to scale and deliver successful Facebook campaigns.

It’s very difficult to predict what comes next. It’s possible that advertisers will buy audiences directly from data brokers and layer it into their own data before importing it as a Custom Audience in Facebook. Or Facebook may find alternative ways to incorporate third-party data. Facebook could also bring these data fields in-house and begin to re-release them to advertisers. Read my blog for updates.

 

 

8 LinkedIn Changes That Help With Your Marketing


A year ago LinkedIn revamped its system in an attempt to increase functionality and make it more user friendly, a move that came after its acquisition by Microsoft in 2016. The changes are evident from the moment you sign in to your account. The new app-like home page has been streamlined, giving you quick and easy access to the information you want to see – with the goal for you to use LinkedIn more often and stay engaged longer.

If you’re like me, you haven’t taken the time (until now) to investigate all of the changes. Here are the top eight changes that marketers should know about.

  1. More Content

Your LinkedIn home page now features more organic, sponsored, and native advertising content users may be interested in reading. And shortcuts like the “Work” button in the top navigation bar next to your profile picture make it easy to manage your company page as well as your groups.

  1. Easy Messaging

The new and improved LinkedIn makes it even easier to private message contacts. Now there’s a pop-up “Messaging” window on the bottom right of your home page screen that allows you to quickly and easily select one of your contacts and shoot them off a message without leaving the LinkedIn homepage feed. And, when you receive messages, new “smart replies” automation provides three automated replies you can select – no typing required. Adding personalization to the automated message – like: Thanks, Jane – is coming soon.

  1. Easy Searching

New search features offer a universal search box that lets users search by people, jobs, companies, groups and schools. You can search all of these LinkedIn categories with a single, unified keyword(s) – all of the relevant items will come up on one page, and you can toggle between different categories. Before this change, you had to search in each category separately.

  1. Trending Topics At A Glance

LinkedIn is taking its cue from Facebook, adding an algorithm that selects trending stories for this news feed on the top right of your home page. This move makes it easier for users to engage within the system.

  1. More Analytics

 This one is really good. LinkedIn now provides more analytics so you know how other users interact with your content you post. LinkedIn now shows you things like who liked your content, the company they work for, their job title, where they are located, and where they found your content. If that weren’t enough, the system will also suggest additional articles to share with your network to increase engagement.

  1. Native Videos

Remember how frustrating it used to be to try to embed video into LinkedIn?! Now LinkedIn lets you upload native videos directly to LinkedIn using its mobile app. In addition to being convenient, this enhancement also helps the videos on company pages appear more authentic/organic and less “corporate.”

  1. Blogging Interface

Now you can create a blog post from your home page by clicking on the “Write An Article” link in the top box on your home screen. Before you had to navigate to another page called LinkedIn Pulse and write your post there.

  1. Learning Center

The new “Learning” option in your top navigation bar enables you to enter a skill set that are of interest to you and then access pertinent content that informs you on a multitude of subjects that meet your criteria.

With these changes, it’s likely LinkedIn users could start using this platform even more, which would definitely capture the attention of marketers wanting to reach prospects where they are. You may want to consider creating more LinkedIn campaigns and content for the site.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve checked out LinkedIn, I suggest you log on and see how this platform can help your business.

How Recent Changes to Facebook May Affect Your Marketing Efforts

Recent changes at Facebook may affect how we market to prospects using this social media. Facebook has decided to show less news articles, marketing content, and ads to make way for more personal content from each user’s personal connections. Here are the highlights of this news feed change that you should know:

Changing Its Image

At the heart of this change is the controversy Facebook has had over the years regarding its somewhat tumultuous relationship with the news industry. By showing more personal content and less news and advertising content, Facebook eliminates some of their headaches.

Responding To Numbers

Nielsen data shows a small decline in the number of hours people are spending on Facebook. By increasing the amount of personal content that directly pertains to each user, Facebook likely hopes to stop this decline.

Time Will Tell

For those of us who use Facebook for organic distribution by posting content in prospect’s news feeds, it seems we’ll have to wait and see how far reaching these changes are. There may need to be a shift to purchasing online ads on Facebook if content posts are no longer enabled. Facebook seems to be banking on this, hoping advertisers won’t mind paying for ads if they are seen by “happier” Facebook users.

I’m sure you’ll join me in closely monitoring these Facebook changes and their impact on marketers.