Touching the consumer via social media

Brands are rightly worried about the fast forward button on TiVo and the demise of print ads as attention gets tougher to capture. What’s the anecdote to the short attention span virus?

Experiential marketing and block buster events are the two most powerful cures.

McKinsey says “Experiential word of mouth is the most common and powerful form, typically accounting for 50 to 80 percent of word-of-mouth activity in any given product category.”

Since not everyone can plan a SkyDive from outer space – let’s look at experiential marketing for every day events; which is what major brands are focused on optimizing and measuring. Budgets for experiential marketing and events are up more than 15% in 2013.

Experiential marketing isn’t new, but proper measurement tools are.

Brands have hosted events and given guests tours and tricks for years. The goal used to be to get PR coverage. The experiential success was measured on traditional PR impressions. That’s the old way of measuring experiential the new way is Facebook engagement and creating native advertising for your brand.

Native advertising simply means that your guests create an informal loyalty loop that identifies your brand in their experience. Look at the recent event we did for So Delicious. Every photo that made it to the News Feed was a native ad:

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Each guest was able to not just interact but to share with their social graph, where they have real buying influence. PR in print can’t match the word-of-mouth influence of social.

In a world where Facebook is making sure corporate posts don’t appear at all on News Feeds the only value outside of buying ads is creating native ads on social media, or a subtle form ofsocial media product placement. The trick is make it easy enough so your guests at experiential can do it frictionlessly. That’s where dwinQ can help, call or email us today (sales@dwinq.com) to find out more. 

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Facebook and TV – is it a real marketing mix?

The second screen phenomenon is growing at an incredible pace thanks to the proliferation of Facebook’s mobile platform. More and more Facebook users are watching their favorite television programs along with their social network. This is either a great opportunity for brands, or a nightmare they don’t understand.

Some of the key take always are:

  • Real-time engagement: 60% of TV-related Facebook interactions occur during a show’s airing.
  • Mobile viewing: 80% of TV-related chatter on Facebook is generated from mobile devices.
  • Wide reach: The scale of TV-related chatter on Facebook corresponds to the overall number of people on Facebook.
  • 25% of viewers are posting on Facebook

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To maximize TV advertising you need to have a social media strategy. Specifically you should figure out how to catalyze conversation on Facebook from the TV presence. The notion of creating native advertising in the news feed and getting your brand in the newsfeed is critical to influence buying behavior. I predicted in my 2014 predictions that the leading shows will start to sell key plot details to the highest bidder so they can have social media tee’d up and ready to publish to ignite a conversation. Are you ready for that reality?

 

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Facebook testing new video ads

Since September of this year Facebook has been quietly testing an easier way to watch video shared by friends, without having to touch play or start the video. Facebook’s latest innovation as reported to the Facebook PMD partners this week has been leading to a 10% increase in the number of people who watch videos in the News Feed.

The News Feed is the most valuable piece of real estate on the web and in marketing and companies are struggling with how to optimize the native advertising they put I the News Feed.

Brands must not be too obtrusive because it creates negative brand sentiment, but they want people to be influenced- it’s a delicate balance. It’s only recently that bandwidth on mobile devices (i.e 4G) has emerged with high enough capacity to make video a viable alternative to photos. High mobile bandwidth will start to proliferate in the end of 2014 making video more widespread.

The video test facebook has underway is an upcoming movie .There are some key features to these videos:

  • Content plays as the video appears on the News Feed – no action required by the viewer. This video plays without sounds. If you don’t want to watch it you just scroll past it, if you want to hear the sound you need to tap on it and enable sound.
  • At the end of the video a carousel showing two more videos shows up for people who want to engage further
  • For mobile the videos will only download when there is WiFi connectivity for now – saving people data charges and not restricting bandwidth

This could be a very interesting advertising product in the coming six months – we’ll continue to keep an eye on it and give you more news, so check back on the blog or sign up to get updates automatically via email. 

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Some frictionless sharing from the Hobbit Premiere in Berlin

This shows how a social media operating system at events can create frictionless sharing of professional grade photos for guest and at the same time very effective native advertising for the clients (in this case Facebook and Warner Brothers)

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What’s big news for marketers? Facebook changes the EdgeRank algorithm

Buzzfeed saw referrals from Facebook go up by 855% over the last month. Many people were wondering why. The answer lies in a change to the algorithm that determines what goes up on user’s newsfeed and timelines. Facebook has decided to make links (especially to news sites and items) more heavily weighted in the EdgeRank algorithm. This means more people will see links to news items in their timeline. Brands can use this knowledge to maximize results on Facebook.

What does this mean for businesses trying to optimize Facebook impressions? Your PR, new releases and blogs – basically your timely and valuable content will be even more precious now. Facebook is migrating from baby pictures and puppy videos to a place where people can gather more useful information. You need to take advantage of this change immediately.

Bad news for business on Facebook

More brands are putting up Facebook pages, which means individuals will like more and more brand pages. As more pages are liked competition goes up for how much information can be consumed by a single person. That means brands are facing declining odds that their posts will be seen. Competition comes not just from more brands but also average friend count is increasing so businesses are competing with more friends and more brands to get on the News Feed.

Facebook creates a personalized Newspaper

From Facebook directly:

“To make peoples’ News Feeds read like a personalized newspaper curated by the family, friends, and businesses they care about we continually prioritize content based on a variety of factors including (but not limited to):

  • The number of times they engage with that friend or brand Page posting a piece of content
  • The number of likes, shares and comments a post has created”

Brands can create a Facebook strategy based on these changes

Capturing user-generated content that is fun, unique and sharable is what brands should strive for. If you can make it easy for a person to post on their own newsfeed with a brand association that will have the greatest impact on your brand impressions – the product placement on Facebook. If you can add a link to relevant content on your blog or website you will have a highly optimized post.

The key is to come up with a creative way of getting people to like, comment and share a picture or video of one of your guests directly on their own page. The key is not just reaching people who are already your fans on Facebook but expanding out to capture people who are not your fans. You can do this by capturing them at live events, and adding links to posts you create for your guests so their friends have a reason to now like your brand, and read your content.

Keep in mind that anything you can do to get in a users news feed is the Holy Grail over 90% of US Smartphone users check the News Feed at least once a day. To get that very valuable product placement on Facebook that’s where you need to be.

 

 

 

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#EventTech deck on Doubling Social Media Reach from Events

This is the first of two talks I gave in Las Vegas last week to a sold out crowd at EventTech – EventMarketer magazine’s big fall conference on technology for event marketing.

I gave the talk to a standing-room-only crowd which was great fun and it was voted one of the best talks of the show! I was really excited by the engagement and feed back so I thought I would add some more text to the slides and post up here for blog followers. I’d love your feedback and thoughts – is anything missing, anything need to be added, etc?

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The God Particle, Flying Upside Down and Facebook Ad Strategy

I’ve been a pilot for a number of years and recently started training for an aerobatics competition. It’s one of my life goals and it gives me a whole new perspective on things and the importance of real time information. I was upside down last weekend looking at the ground 3,000 feet “above” me through the plane’s clear ceiling, and thought about how much perspective (and gravity) can change everything. My instructor said I needed one key element to be successful. It dawned on me that was the same element for success in social media marketing.Image

If you remember last year there were two monumental announcements: one was that physics found the “God particle” and would explain the entire universe and second was that the Facebook IPO would be the biggest in history.  Both were wrong. Guess who had the biggest IPO*?

The hysteria around both the Higgs Boson “God” particle and the first social media company to go public created a classic hype cycle that has taken over a year to sort out. There was no solid data to back up either massive claim.  In the mean time, LinkedIn and Yelp have quietly obliterated the stock market by increasing in value 400% since their IPO and out performing expectations. Largely because they have specific value and data to back it up; in Yelp’s case to local businesses who have seen footfall double when they run Yelp Ads.

Many advertisers still look at the Facebook advertising  through an overhyped lens – not giving serious analysis to the data available around advertising in socia media. Too many brands are buying Facebook ads without serious consideration for what makes Facebook a successful marketing medium. Word of mouth advertising is much more than paying for an ad to interrupt someone’s browsing experience.

The biggest brands  know they need to invest money to make social media work – what they all may not realize is that user-generated content that creates a social media product placement can be 5-8x more effective than regular Facebook ads in creating buying influence.

Here is what Lucas Herscovici Anheuser-Busch InBev‘s VP for digital marketing in North America said about social media  spending in a recent interview with Ad Age:

Mr. Herscovici: “In today’s world with Facebook you need [paid] media in order to reach consumers at scale. We have 17 million fans across our brands, but we know when we post something in our pages we are not reaching all of our fans, we are only reaching a certain percentage of our fans because Facebook has algorithms that control that. So if you really want to reach a bigger audience, you need to put money behind it.”

The algorithm he is talking about is called EdgeRank and it means only about 15% of those 17 million fans will see any one post.

With user generated content and good creative we have regularly documented OpenGraph actions appearing on 40-50% of a users social graph, and then being shared virally to friends of friends even more. At the 2012 Olympics Cadbury used a social media operating system to obtain over 600 earned impressions per photo posted. No wonder the project was nominated for 14 awards and won eight of them!

So by now you have probably figured out that what I need to be successful in aerobatics is data and real time information. Things like airspeed, altitude, pitch and bank angle, weight and balance, cross wind component, etc all effect how well and how safely aerobatics are performed. The right data can be the difference between life and death in an airplane. The right data can mean the difference between life and death of your career in social media. Use information and data as much as you can to make buying decisions and you’ll always be flying the friendly skies even if you seem a bit upside down at times.

Make your marketing as well hyped as the God Particle and put some sound logic behind those dollars you spend by creating user generated content with a social media operating system for events.

*The largest IPO of all time was AT&T in 2000Image

 

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