We are living in a new age of influence.
An age where news break around the world in seconds and citizen journalism is on the rise. An era when the majority of the world’s population has now plugged-in to a powerful online platform and where the continuous stream of new content and opinions flow like a river after the floods.
We are living in a time when one word – the internet – stands as the most significant revolution in communication history.
It is now a question of whether or not your business is keeping up to speed with the online metamorphosis.
What’s the difference between online PR and offline PR?
Public relations now has the ability to drive sales and growth and ultimately, revenue through more platforms than ever before.
So let’s define online PR: this involves activities fitted towards influencing media, audiences and communities that exist exclusively on the Internet using online channels. This includes blogs, search engines, news search, forums, social networks, discussion threads, and other online communication tools. Brand reputation monitoring and management is also a focus area for online PR.
Offline PR handles the same things except with radio, print, TV, conferences/events and other “real life” venues. One difference between online and offline PR is in pitching. For example, before pitching a print journalist, the publication’s editorial calendar is researched to see if there are any planned story opportunities. The subsequent pitch is specific to the upcoming story.
Regardless of the medium or the pace at which technology changes, the traditional principles of online public relations will continue to remain the same.
The more PR you do, greater potential for even greater media exposure
PR is not just media relations
- “doing outreach” itself is PR
- Other PR examples include:
- Special Events
- Special Promotions
- Public Affairs
- Internal Relations
- Community Relations
- High Tech PR: blogging, social networking
In order to get individuals to hear you, you must prompt many important influencers that your business, its services or products are worth their time to consider.
Listen, Create and Engage with audiences
Step one: Listen
The first step to successful online public relations is to listen. A business must listen to and monitor what is being said about their company, product or brand online, who is driving these conversations and where these conversations are being held. This research will provide a solid foundation for effective online communications. This ground work is vital in giving your company confidence to enter online conversations with the right content, in the appropriate space, to the correct audience.
Step two: Create
Create relevant content to post online. Regardless of the platform or technology a company decides to use, every piece of information posted by your company online must be relevant and of interest to the target audience. Fresh and new content will draw people continuously back to your company’s blog, website and social media pages. This will assist in raising your company or brand’s profile while also establishing your company as a thought leader in your chosen area of interest.
Step 3: Engage
The most important, a company needs to view online communication as a process of continuous engagement. Without interaction, social media tools can quickly become another broadcasting mechanism. Interact with others online by commenting on blog posts, replying to followers on Twitter, entering forum discussions and responding to tags. Make sure when engaging online to be personable in your approach. Any hint of a ‘sales pitch’ will be easily identified and your company’s presence on the social media platform may be hindered as a result.
The highly interactive world of the Internet has its obvious advantages and disadvantages, so any digital PR strategy requires careful consideration. But with the ability to listen and react to conversations, engage with consumers, provide compelling content and exploit new visibility avenues, the benefits are incredibly far-reaching.
On January 11th 2018, Mark Zuckerberg shook up the world when he announced Facebook will change its algorithm to promote more personal content rather than news. Soon after twitter news feeds flooded with headlines like:
“Facebook Shares Fall”, “Facebook Is Changing”
“Zuckerburg’s Net Worth Has Just Taken A 2.9 Billion Dollar Hit.”
Over the next few weeks, Facebook’s news feed will start showing fewer news articles, and less marketing content and ads, Zuckerberg wrote . Instead, users should start seeing more vacation videos from their friends, photos of family living abroad, and other more family-friendly posts about the people they know. It’s a major change for Facebook, which over the years has shifted from being a social networking service connecting friends and family to one of the world’s largest distributors of news and online ads.
So Why is Facebook changing its news feed?
To hear Zuckerberg explain it, the increase in news articles and marketing has created an imbalance that “is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.” Based on Facebook’s internal research and outside studies, he said that people are generally happier and have a better “well-being” when they use social media to connect “with people we care about.” What “may not be as good,” however, is merely “reading articles or watching videos,” even if they’re informative or entertaining.
Zuckerberg says Facebook has studied academic research and concluded that social media is only good for users’ wellbeing if they use it to “connect with people we care about”. In November, the company published a post that claimed “passive” social media use could be harmful, arguing instead for a more active and communal approach to the site.
As a result, Zuckerberg says, Facebook wants to promote the sorts of posts that encourage those interactions, while demoting those its data shows encourage only surface interactions – likes and shares but little else.
Some of The controversies Facebook has faced in recent years over its relationship with the news industry. For example, critics slammed Facebook (FB, +3.17%) for failing to prevent the spread of misinformation, dubbed fake news, on the news feed during the run up to the U.S. 2016 presidential election.
The change will bring Facebook other benefits. By diminishing the influence of news media, it may be able to avoid a repeat of the bad press it received during the 2016 US election when it became a breeding ground for “fake news”, helping spread stories that misled millions.
And the company has long displayed concern over the decline in “organic sharing” – users posting content about their own lives, rather than simply sharing links to the wider web or professionally produced videos and photos. Users are more likely to share details about their own lives if they see others doing the same, and so promoting organic content begets more organic content.
Did Facebook do something like this before?
In December 2013, Facebook changed its algorithm to promote “high-quality articles” over “a meme photo hosted somewhere other than Facebook”. In the process, it also took aim at publishers who produced content that was too appealing. The social news site Upworthy saw its traffic halve in the month after the algorithm change, a decline it has never quite recovered from.
Similar changes have happened over the years as Facebook decided to focus on promoting “instant articles”, a type of Facebook native content; to pivot to promoting video; to pivot from video to live video; and to pivot from live video to Facebook groups, the company’s most recent attempt to build a stronger sense of community.
How will Facebook’s News Feed change affect your business?
Zuckerberg explains. “As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”
Although this news may be surprising to some people, in reality, organic reach from Facebook Pages has been steadily declining for years. Some sources estimate the current organic reach for Facebook Pages to be as low as 2% (Hubspot).
To put this in context, if you publish a post on a Facebook Page that has 100,000 fans, only 2,000 of those fans are likely to see it.
There are two main reasons for this:
- As Zuckerberg explained, Facebook users generally don’t log in to Facebook to see content from businesses, brands, and media. They want to see posts from their friends and family.
- Facebook’s main source of revenue comes from advertisers. If you’re a business with a Facebook Page, and you want more Facebook users to see your content, you have to pay for that privilege.
It’s also possible that the number of hours people have been using Facebook is declining, and the company is trying to adjust the news feed to get people to stay online for longer than they have been, according to Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser. He analysed Nielsen data about Facebook’s online audience over a 14-month period ending Sept. 2017, and found a small, but general decline in people’s use of Facebook. The report said that “Facebook (including Messenger but excluding Instagram) saw a decline in total person-hours (number of users multiplied by hours of consumption per person) during September of -0.1% year-over-year following a -0.9% decline in August.”
Facebook is about to get more costly
With Facebook clamping down on media within the news feed, these executives have legitimate concerns that it could impact how much money publishers can make from custom and sponsored videos. For instance, the cost models for branded content will likely change. It will cost more to run paid campaigns to seed videos in front of users in the news feed, which will cut into profit margins of every business.
Here are 6 tips to help you become accustomed to this change and continue to build a blossoming business in 2018:
1.Build your audience on multiple platforms.
If you’re building your audience online, make sure you that you’re diversifying that audience across multiple platforms. Our audience on social media, for example, is spread across multiple platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. If any of these platforms decided to restrict our reach (or shut down entirely), it wouldn’t be detrimental to us because we’re not relying on any single one of them to reach our audience.
2. Encourage engagement on your posts.
Facebook favours posts that are getting lots of engagement (likes, shares, reactions, comments). So if you encourage your audience to engage with your post, Facebook will show that post to more people.
Here are a few ways to boost engagement on Facebook:
- Use Facebook Live
- Ask questions to stir discussion
- Respond to comments quickly
- Hire a community manager (Depending on the size of your audience and the amount of engagement you get on Facebook, you may want to hire a community manager to respond to questions, participate in discussions, and moderate comments when necessary.)
- Direct people to your Facebook posts from other platforms
3. Use Facebook ads the Correct Way.
If you’re posting content on your Facebook Page often, wait at least 24-48 hours to see which of your posts get good engagement. Use Facebook’s boost post option to help a post that is already getting engagement get even more engagement.
If you boost a post that no one is engaging with, you will be penalized with high ad costs. Boosted posts and ads that add value to your target audience and get engagement will outperform ads that don’t. Going straight for the sale on Facebook rarely works. Instead, direct your audience to free content, downloadable resources, webinars, etc. Get them off of Facebook and on to a platform that you control (like your website or email list) before you try to sell to them.
4. Create a Facebook Group for your audience.
Instead of trying to get more fans for your Facebook Page, create a private Facebook Group for your audience and/or customers and start directing people to your group instead. Groups are much better environments than pages for engaging with others and building community anyway.
5. Build an asset that you can control.
Despite how much of a presence you establish for your business on social media, it’s important to remember that you do not own or control these platforms. Therefore, changes are beyond your control (like the one that just happened!) can affect your ability to reach your audience using these platforms.
As you build your audience on social media, make sure you are simultaneously building an asset that you can control: your database. Whether by collecting email addresses, phone numbers, or even physical mailing addresses, always be building a database of prospects and customers that you can contact directly.
6. Focus on customer success.
Lastly, never lose sight of what should be your uttermost important priority: helping your customers succeed.
Successful customers are happy customers, and happy customers tell other people about your business. They become your biggest advocates. Word-of-mouth marketing is alive and strong, especially on social media.
Instead of asking: how can you reach more people using Facebook? Ask: what can you do to make your existing customers more successful? How can you make sure they’re getting the result you promised them when they purchased your product or service? How can you make them feel support and a part of a community of like-minded people that share the same interests and want the same results?
As for me, I believe this announcement means that the need to build a true community on Facebook will be more beneficial than ever.
Although this change is going to affect marketing strategies everywhere, the industry as a whole should embrace and mirror the efforts Facebook is making to continually satisfy their customers. Content marketers and people who can create engaging video and content for social media just went up in stock value BIG TIME.
This is also great news for chatbots… They allow brands to create that individualised experience that Facebook is looking to provide.
So, if you’re an advertiser, here’s what you need to do capitalize on these changes:
- Don’t panic or get annoyed. Remember that this change is happening to everyone at the same time, so be appreciative for the opportunity it creates.
- Optimize for Likes and Shares, again, not clicks. (The “sale” can come later with custom audience retargeting.)
- Invest in communities (i.e. Facebook Groups). Like all channels that are originally built on the back of early direct response pioneers, Facebook is making the pivot toward branding.
This is not the first time that Facebook (or any other platform that people use and rely on) has made a momentous change, and it won’t be the final. As the Greek Philosopher Heraclitus famously said: “The only thing that is constant is change.”
A month into this New Year, and we can see some great and dynamic trends hacks and ideas for and innovations emerging for Marketing and Branding in 2018.
Yes, 2018 will see quite a few new trends emerging, although some of them will really be reiterations of some trends we have seem emerge across the last couple of years. Here are some trends you need to follow and keep track of, to stay on top of your brand’s digital marketing game and international game.
1. Phygital marketing
PHYGITAL MARKETING: WHERE THE PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL WORLDS CONVERGE
This is my huge one for 2018. Digital will no longer stand alone as a separate discipline. It really just cannot anymore.
The digital landscape has transformed the way people communicate, share information and receive their advertising. Digital marketing can be integrated into all traditional methods of advertising and PR, making it an engagement marketing essential.
When the physical world taps into the digital world, the “phygital mashups” that are created can really hit your audience in a deeply engaging way. When people interact with a brand in a personal way by participating and engaging, they are far more likely to become brand advocates and word of mouth marketers.
Phygital Marketing engages us by tying into things we do, see and interact with in our everyday life
In order for ‘digital’ to work, it will need to be seamlessly integrated into real-life experiences – and this will really be this whole ‘experiential’ trend that everyone is talking about. In particular, at sporting events, at concerts, we are seeing the online and mobile experience leading into the actual physical – and, as well, blending the two, often with AR and VR playing a key role. This will become big.
2. Augmented reality goes mainstream
Before smartphones existed 10 years ago, most people would consider spending five hours daily staring at your phone as crazy. In 2018, the bent-neck trend will start to reverse itself.
AR will customize in-store experiences with mannequins that match your body type and display enough virtual inventory to rival any online site. Merchants will create AR experiences with their packaging so that demonstration videos can appear when you look at the product on the shelf or celebrity spokespeople can magically stand in the aisle to pitch the product. Virtual pop-up stores can be built to appear anywhere that crowds are gathered (in a stadium, a busy street corner, or even inside a subway). The number of use cases for AR is potentially staggering. Users could place virtual furniture in their homes before they buy to see how well it fits within the actual space (which IKEA have already done). Augmented glasses could highlight only gluten free items to the user when walking around a supermarket, saving people time picking out suitable products. And, more generally, overlaying more information about products as customers walk round physical stores or look at the product in public spaces could prove to be a powerful conversion tool. How much of an impact AR will have to the average brand going forward remains to be seen but, at the end of 2018, we should have a much better idea. AR (Augmented Reality) will be a lead in Social Media -Brands on social media will need to take a serious look at using AR. With our smartphones becoming more powerful, social platforms will start to integrate AR technology, and this will enable brands to use AR and social in interesting new ways.
3. Prominence on quality over quantity
As digital marketing has developed and content marketing has emerged as a leading element of it, the world has unfortunately become awash with second-rate content. Today, any digitally savvy brand is aware that it should be putting out content for its audiences to engage with, but far too many forget that this content should offer legitimate value to those viewing it. Anyone can consistently put out 500-word articles repeating everything their competitors are saying, just to be part of the conversation. Ask any marketer if they plan on producing more content in the coming year and the answer is likely to be a resounding yes.
2018 should see a shift in the mind-set of content marketers. Yes, brands should be creating content that engages and inspires their audiences, but the mentality of ‘more is always more’ needs to change. Instead, organizations should focus on putting out quality, relevant content, even if this comes at the expense of volume. It might be an idealistic cry from commentators in an attempt to slow down the huge tide of unnecessary content but, as poor content will undoubtedly perform badly, 2018 should be the year that brands realize the power of ‘less is more’.
4. Video marketing has arrived and here to dominate.
Video is the most popular and influential form of digital content for digital marketers today, and it holds the power to persuade better than any other content medium. With attention becoming an expensive commodity, what with multi-tasking, brands will need to re-focus energies on video content – to get better search ranking, better engagement and better content recall The demand for video marketing content shows absolutely no signs of slowing and in 2018 video will continue its dominance as the marketers’ favorite medium. 52% of marketing professionals surveyed by Hubspot consider video to be the medium with the best ROI, while 43% of consumers said that they wanted to see more video content from marketers.
This year, Facebook rolled out 6-second ads, which encouraged brands to tell stories within extremely limited time constraints as a way of getting a message across to the user more quickly. The rise of video consumption on mobile means that, while scrolling through a feed, users’ attention spans are minimal. YouTube has been promoting its own 6-second stories to show what can be achieved in that time, and expect to see brands experimenting with playful storytelling in 2018. Video is as ubiquitous as it is effective – 2018 should see brands working hard to stand out among the noise.
– And, make that Live Video. Every social platform now offers some form of live video – and most are trying to out-gun each other will various new features and ways of using live video. To really best utilize the power of live video, it will need to be high quality, delivering content that has value for the consumer, and be structured and organized – while still, of course with the reality of it being live. That’s going to ba a challenge, but with advances in technology, and better pre-planning, I’m convinced good content creators will win this game.
More video? Mobile Video…
Mobile video ad spend will grow 49% to roughly $18 billion in 2018, reports Recode, while non-mobile video ad spend is expected to fall 1.5% to $15 billion. You can expect to see a decline of video consumption on laptops and computers for the first time — while video views on phones and tablets is expected to grow by 25%. The average viewer is expected to watch 36 minutes of online video per day on a mobile device, as opposed to half as much — roughly 19 minutes — on a computer.
5. 2018 is the year of the bots
2018 is the year of the bots
We all have gotten use to speaking with bots whenever we call to make airline reservations or to confirm our bank account balances. The use of natural language bots will expand from use as automated customer service agents to become routine for daily living.
Home bots will do more than just respond to requests, to being able to provide timely information such as, “It’s time to take your medicine.” Imagine a bot whispering in your ear “don’t make that purchase or you will be over your credit limit” or “your parking meter expires in two minutes.” Bots will help with the children, act as financial investment advisors, and be an omnipresent value-add from the brands you trust.
Watch out for more adoption of brand-customer or brand-audience conversations (see voice marketing, later) using platforms like Google Home, Amazon Alexam Microsoft Cortana and more. I’m beting that this aspect will become part and parcel of our lives – and speaking to a connected device in our moment of need (Google calls these micromoments) will be commonplace. As technology better grasps natural language processing, this will make it second nature for us.
6. Micro Influencers
Think of micro-influencers as digital influencers with a total audience size of between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. Surprised with the audience size? There’s data to support it: Micro influencers are 4x more likely to get a comment on a post than are macro-influencers (who usually have ~10 million followers). Micro-influencers are more likely to post about specific niche topics and they have the loyal followings that share their passion and a staggering 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 33% trust ads. With more than 32% of internet users enabling ad blocker in 2017, it’s increasingly harder to reach users and micro influencers can bridge that gap moving into 2018.
7. Voice as marketing tool
With voice search increasingly taking over the way we search, with our mobile phones now almost surgically attached to us, voice as a marketing tool should really come into its own this year. We are increasingly going to ask our phones, our cars, our smart fridges to do things for us, and brands have a huge opportunity to stand by, and become a handy resolution provider at that time of query or need. This will be a whole new kind of content marketing.
8. Augmented Reality Gaming (MORE A.R)
Imagine shooting zombies while walking in your own bedroom! Thus, the biggest use of AR gaming to-date is definitely Pokémon Go, allowing users to catch virtual Pokémon creatures that are hidden throughout a map of the real environment.
- Through mobile devices like smartphones (tablets also), AR acts like a magic window
PC and connected TV players
- Augmented Reality also works through a webcam and broadcast through the screen
Head mounted displays, glasses and lenses
- AR becomes a part of your entire field of view, preparing for more life-like AR experiences – almost feels like Ironman with the help of the intelligent system Jarvis
- What to Expect from Augmented Reality?
- The market is ready to strike hard towards AR. The technology is on a rapid and quick rise thanks to the success of Pokémon GO and some other popular apps as well. The public is hungry for more and more Augmented Reality experiences. Our AR future is at hand, and we are now more than ready. From gaming to research to business, we may be entering a golden period for this technology
9. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Combined with big data and machine learning, AI is expected to make a huge impact on how we market to our consumers. Users can expect highly-customized content delivery, automated based on their persona and lifestyle. Starting an AI strategy can be costly and require specific skill that are often hard to come by as the role is in such high demand. However, the large upfront investment shows promising results for those willing to take the plunge. For example recent data captured from the Salesforce State of the Marketing Report where high-performing marketing teams are more than 2x as likely to use AI in their campaigns than under-performers. 57% of marketers using AI already say it’s absolutely or very essential in helping increase touch points with customers.
10. Organic Food
With nearly 22 million hectares of land used for organic farming, Australia is the world’s leading nation when it comes to the greatest amount, as well as greatest expansion, of land dedicated to organic production. It has more land than Europe, Africa, and North America collectively. The great majority of it is used for breeding grass-fed beef, but Australian organic sector is also producing wine grapes, grains, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and nuts.
The idea of producing healthy, chemical-free food quickly grew into the grow-your-own-food movement, so garden owners started adding edibles to their gardens. Besides veggies, fruits, and herbs, they also keep chickens and bees for eggs and honey. Some are growing hops and grapes to make their own beer and wine, while others have taken things one step further by harvesting rainwater for irrigation purposes. Certain plants are also grown for their medicinal properties.
11. It’s all Natural Beauty
Target has been leading the charge on natural beauty since 2008. Since then they’ve offered natural and “better for you” brands, including Burt’s Bees, Yes To, Pacifica, Seaweed Bath, S.W. Basics, W3LL People and Fig & Yarrow. “This year, we’re rolling out a new beauty store experience and are dedicating prominent space near the centre of the beauty department to natural beauty offerings,” said Courtney Foster, a Target spokesperson. In addition, they’ve launched a natural beauty page to make finding naturals products easier. “Given how important it is for our guests to what is in—or not in—their products, Target recently implemented a new chemical strategy that is one of the most comprehensive chemical policies in US retail. This policy promotes ingredient transparency and bans certain chemicals in beauty, baby, personal care and household cleaning product categories by 2020,” Foster said.
Another example is Unilever. It has emerged as one of the most progressive players in the natural beauty space. Earlier IN 2017, the company promised improved transparency in its ingredient lists, specifically lifting the veil from “fragrance,” one of the most mysterious items on a product’s ingredient list. At present, manufacturers selling products in the United States aren’t required to disclose the ingredients that go into the fragrance under the guise of “trade secrets,” but many natural beauty companies do anyway, and by the end of this year, so will Unilever.
Natural deodorant is another hot topic, which is projected to grow more than 15 percent every year until 2022. Procter & Gamble got a head start and acquired buzzy brand Native, which is aluminum- and paraben-free. Like Unilever, the corporation vowed to disclose the ingredients in “fragrance” by the end of 2019.
12. Work/Life Balance
Webb’s research points out 90% of college grads felt “lost in translation” when they started that first job because boundaries to get tasks done are traditionally much more defined in the real world. Small businesses will continue to move away from the conventional 9 to 5 regiment that comes with a cubicle to a more negotiable looser set of standards that mimic college life.
“College is a 24 hour intersection of work and social interaction and work/life balance is going to be a huge trend in 2018,” Webb says. “College grads are used to working in a specific way and where they want. Give them the ability to get the work done and they will.”
A New Level Of Comfort In The Workplace
Office fit outs are about creating a home away from home feeling. This is done by providing cosy, welcoming lounges, communal canteens, and comfy break-out areas.
This helps make the working environment better which helps to make employees feel more comfortable and valued. Furniture that is used in most residential settings is now being used in office spaces that ultimately create a warm, eclectic, never-want-to-leave-the-office feeling.
Also, Wellness programmes encourage physical and mental health. Work gyms, showers and breakout areas that provide complimentary healthy refreshments are some of the few offerings that can create greater employee satisfaction.
The office space is heading towards exciting things next year as companies get innovative in their way of thinking
That’s just the top trends for 2018and some of these predictions will probably fail to come to fruition as technology and the expectations of consumers change. Nevertheless, many of the trends outlined here are likely to come to pass.
Based on current trends, marketing is likely to become more analytical, and more focused on digital marketing through organic search, voice and social media.
Do share this, and comment below. Thanks. Have a wonderful and meaningful 2018.
You have probably heard of many teens talk about Snap chat or seen those puppy filter’s around other social media platforms, but maybe aren’t sure if it’s for adults let alone a business or what it is or how it works.
Don’t freak out, Snapchat has been around since 2011, it has only started to catch the eye and attention of brands in the last few years. And most small businesses and companies have only now started to explore how to tap into this fast-growing social network.
Snapchat is a mobile messaging application used to share photos or videos that only last for a brief amount of time.
As Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel explains,
“Snapchat really has to do with the way photographs have changed. Historically photos have always been used to save really important memories: major life moments. But today… pictures are being used for talking.”
The social media app offers a sneak peek into the future of mobile marketing. Users can send texts or ‘snaps’ that arrive into the recipient’s inbox with a time limit. The sender decides how long the receiver has to view the content of the message (the time is between 1 to 10 seconds), after which the message self-destructs. This helps brands promote a sense of urgency (a cornerstone of sales) while providing consumers an air of exclusivity.
The urgency, experience, and channel of delivery makes Snapchat real fun to use.
Snapchat has shown that it can be really valuable to businesses who have the audience there and the right strategies in place. Because numbers can speak for themselves, here are some statistics that show the potential value of marketing on Snapchat:
- An estimated 200 million monthly active users send 700 million photos or videos each day, with approximately 500 million views per day (this study is different than Snapchat’s which said there are 8+ billion video views a day).
- Snapchat has approximately 100 million daily active users.
- Snapchat reaches11% of the US’s entire digital population. This might not seem like much, but when you consider how massive that population is, that’s still a decent reach.
- Snapchat was always among the top 13 apps downloaded overall (and sometimes in the top 3 for photo and video apps) throughout the full year of 2015.
- Snapchat was worth $16 billion as of May 2015.
- Snapchat has more users than Twitter, and grew as much in one year as Twitter did in four years total.
- 76% of Snapchat user’s also online shoppers.
- Snapchat’s daily users are spending an average of 30 minutes a day in the app.
Snapchat’s time-limit feature makes it a great platform for giveaways because you can leverage urgency to engage your audience. Apart from promoting the giveaway on other social media platforms to gain new followers, you can use
Snapchat to directly ask your audience to participate by sending in their entries, and then reply to them directly to create one-on-one interaction.
You can create a series of snaps or sponsored stories to build anticipation for a giveaway. This would spread the word about your brand organically. You can ask followers to participate by:
- Submitting their name and email
- Inviting their friends to follow you on Snapchat
- Answering a question
- Entering a contest or scavenger hunt
Don’t forget to use emoji’s, something which is a major part of the texting language of the 18-35s age bracket. If you speak in the right language without seeming condescending or desperate, Snapchat users won’t mind engaging with your brand. You’d also want to use a hashtag to help the content gain traction. That’s because hashtags are easy to share and other users on Snapchat can start following your brand if it starts trending. Taco bell adds where a hit with this. According to AdWeek.com:
“Taco Bell’s Nicholas Tran said Snapchat followers are ‘crazy engaged.’ When the brand sends a Snap, 90 percent of friends who open a message view it in its entirety, and these can be five-minute-long digital photo-video collages, he added.”
In a way, Snapchat echoes the early appeal of social media. Social media provided an avenue to connect with your customers in an unfiltered, unmediated way. Across the most populated platforms, the signal-to-noise ratio has become less favourable for brands, advertising has emerged as the top priority, and algorithms determine how much of your audience you can reach. Snapchat is personal and an intimate way to connect with the people that are interested in what you’re doing.
Businesses should not offer the same content on multiple platforms. The content you create on Facebook will usually be a bit more direct and informational. Instagram tends to be a bit more curated. The evanescent nature of Snapchat allows you to offer a look behind the scenes, or at works in progress, in order for people to get an insider look at how your business runs.
As the platform is mainly used by a young audience, you need to relate to this demographic, many companies aren’t doing yet is to provide real time assistance or interactions in 2-10 second photos or videos.
Let’s say a user snaps you a photo of your product still in its packaging, saying it is too hard to unwrap. If there is a quick way to show them your product’s exclusive opener tab that makes it easy, a photo or video demonstrating it would be a great way to answer their question while also establishing your brand’s trust and dedication toward happy customers. It also doesn’t hurt to be proactive about it
The audience is more likely to engage with behind-the-scenes content because it isn’t planned or polished in advance as the content in a usual campaign. Instead, it shows your slice of life, with “this is who we are” type of snaps.
Behind-the-scenes content could be:
- Images of staff having fun
- Glimpse into the company culture
- Teaser of a product launch
- Guided tour of an event
Snapchat allows you to send Snaps to your friends. Connect with your customers on Snapchat and offer them a coupon in the form of a Snap when they answer a call-to-action. Snapchat’s public facing tool to reach your entire audience is called Stories. Stories you create there will appear for 24 hours, to be replaced by the newest content you create over a 24hour time frame.
This keeps the mix exciting and focuses on spontaneity and moments over timelines and curated feeds. Try creating something for your Snapchat Story where you ask your customers to do something. Ask them to take a snap while using your product, or ask them to send you a snap with a funny doodle or caption with your product. In exchange, send them a coupon in the form of a Snap-send it directly to them. When doing your story, make sure it’s clear they know that they can’t look at it until they’re going to present the coupon to you (it will self-destruct once it’s viewed — though they will probably already know this as snappers). This means that they won’t know what the coupon is offering, so it’s up to you to make sure that it’s not a disappointing offer.
This would also be a great opportunity to cross-promote. You can mention (or even advertise) this offer on your other social media pages in order to grow your Snapchat following.
The most important feature Snapchat has going for it is that not many companies are using it (though the numbers are increasing). If you jump start now, you will not only be a Snapchat pro by the time the rest of those in your field are still learning how to use it, but you’ll be able to exploit the latest features Snapchat releases, like building stories with multiple snaps, chat, and the ability to show breaking news (which is a feature Snapchat is currently working on).
Bonus: Preview new products
Once you have your fans and followers hooked, you have a chance to engage them with sneak peeks of new arrivals.
Generating hype about new collections and or products is a great way to ensure the sales fly high once the product is launched. Your Snapchat followers will be rushing into your store head-first to collect the latest items before anyone else does!
To “Snap” Out
Snapchat is a very different social platform compared to the rest. It provides businesses with a unique of reaching out to their target audience With a user base in the millions and a valuation of $10 billion, Snapchat is a viable social platform that shouldn’t be ignored by most businesses.
Download Snapchat today and get started!
Trends 2018: Omnichannel is the New Normal
As smart technology enters our homes, cars, work and leisure time, marketers have the opportunity to innovate and reach potential customers via ever-expanding touch points. No purchasing decision is too small and omnichannel marketing is the new normal in 2018.
Shopping: Mobile Integration
The future of shopping will be phygital as we see options to purchase in both the physical and digital realms. Mobile is the common denominator between customer retail experiences. Deloitte in the US reports that more than 90% of consumers now use their phones in the shopping process.
According to Think With Google people are also using their phones as an “in-store research adviser” with a massive 82% of smartphone users saying they consult their phones on purchases they’re going to make in a store. Online shopping South Africa is forecasted to grow to over R53 billion in 2018 and it is estimated there will be over 21 million active smartphone users here within the next five years so mobile shopping integration is an imperative for marketers in 2018.
Home: Your Voice is Your Command
The Annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was held recently in Las Vegas and the home of the future is truly something to behold with everything geared towards a technologically integrated lifestyle. The dominant tech feature of 2018 is voice assisted integration, the question is, whose voice- OK Google, Siri, Alexa or Cortana?
For marketers this means relooking at their brand platforms to ensure they are optimised for voice search. For an idea of how big this is and is going to become, Google Assistant is now available on over 400 million devices, and the global predictions, summed up by Branded3 are:
- “50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.” – comscore
- “About 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020.” – Mediapos
- “We estimate there will be 21.4 million smart speakers in the US by 2020.” – Activate
- “By 2019, the voice recognition market will be a $601 million industry.” – Technavio via Skyword.
Social Media: Personalisation
It’s only natural that in 2018 we might start yearning for more “human” interaction. How can social media help? By becoming more personalised. Social is going to need to reassure the user (if they want to keep them) that they know them better than Siri or Alexa does. The days of marketers churning out generic content are almost over.
On the up side, marketers have the skills and tools to create content which is genuinely useful and ads which reach the correct target market. In terms of personalisation, INC.com mentions “Social Listening” as one of the trends this year, and I agree. Analytics need to be more than tracking growth; they need to monitor what people are saying and act on the feedback. Ironically, it’s Chatbots which will give customers some of the personalisation they’re looking for. There are at least 100 000 monthly active bots on Facebook Messenger and a staggering two billion messages are exchanged between brands and audiences each month.
In closing, 2018 is going to be the year of the consumer and by extension, time to make your brand’s omnichannel presence a strategic priority.
Jainita Khatri, Managing Director, Prana Business Consulting
About Prana Business Consulting
Prana Business Consulting is a marketing partner to your business. Using omni-channel principles, Prana builds a connection between your brand and your client. Prana drives high performance and tangible results in Marketing, Branding, CRM and Social Media. Prana leverages industry specialists to deliver customized solutions for baby, beauty, health and wellness brands, locally and internationally. Prana is a level 1 BBBEE certified company.
Phone: +27 (0) 11 794 1409 / + 27 (0) 83 414 9796
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Creativity and innovation are essential to success in business and marketing today. But creativity can never be an endless flow of ideas and outputs. We get tired. We need time to recharge. We need to switch off. And in doing that, counter-intuitively, the creative process actually works during this ‘hibernation’ period. Continually stimulated with meetings, traffic, news and social media, December is a good time to wind down and allow relaxation to engulf our beings.
As the year bids farewell, we have to push through to the holidays, and if you are anything like me you find this merry season stressful too!
It’s all too easy to have a runaway a mind or have it so full of thoughts that you feel like you’re herding goats! There are definitely days when it’s going a million miles per minute in all different directions. Those days make it nearly impossible to shut down the mental chatter or focus on anything. Stress and worry clog up your mental processes.
Many of us are working longer hours for less money and facing all kinds of stress, so it’s no wonder that we find it hard to unwind and relax when this time of the year comes around. Use your holidays to distress As well as getting enough sleep, working out and eating well , spending quality time with the family and yourself .
What the Science Says: why is distressing important to us and our daily living?
One of the most powerful tools a psychologist can use is actually nothing new, said Herbert Benson, MD, at APA’s Annual Convention. In fact, it’s an approach that’s been around for millennia, yet its full potential remains untapped.
Benson was referring to the relaxation response, a physical state of deep rest that changes a person’s physical and emotional responses to stress.
Benson, of Harvard Medical School and the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, discovered the relaxation response’s power to reduce stress in the 1960s. But his subsequent research found that the approach is really no different from what people have done for centuries through prayer, chanting and repetitive motion.
Today, scientists have shown that such practices lower heart rates, blood pressure and oxygen consumption, and they alleviate the symptoms associated with a vast array of conditions, including hypertension, arthritis, insomnia, depression, infertility, cancer, anxiety, even aging.
His latest research, published in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE (July 2), suggests that practicing the relaxation response can actually lead to genomic activity changes. In the study, his team of researchers looked at how the relaxation response affected each of the body’s 40,000 genes and found that, compared with a control group; those who regularly used the relaxation response induced anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory changes that counteracted the effects of stress on the body.
In general, studies show that with consistent practice, relaxation techniques can potentially reduce symptoms or improve outcomes in the following conditions:
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Panic disorders
- Chronic tension headaches
- Labor and child birth
It is extremely important that usual medical care and advice be followed for these conditions as well. Relaxation techniques are meant to complement usual medical
So let me share with you how to distress and relax so that you can start 2018 refreshed and rejuvenated. Here’s 10 tips that are essential to have a relaxed and fulfilling holiday and 2018.
1. BE GRATEFUL
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is. No matter how many pleasant things you do, if you don’t learn to be grateful you will always see things negatively.
2. SLOW DOWN
Life has a lot of simple things you can enjoy. But if you move too fast you will overlook most of them. So don’t be in a hurry. Don’t move too quick. Slow down and pay attention to the world around you. Most of the ways I’m about to share will work well only if you slow down.
3. WORK IT OFF PHYSICALLY
When you’re feeling sad, angry, hurt or upset, physical activity can help relax both your mind and your body. Use physical activities like walking, hiking, stretching, jogging, running, meditation or riding a bicycle to release the pressure. Even a five- or ten-minute movement break can go a long way toward helping your body manage the symptoms of stress.
4. LEARN TIME MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES
Like many people, you may get stressed out when you feel like you don’t have enough time to accomplish what you need to accomplish in a given day. But you can “make” more time for yourself by managing your time better. Time management means different things to different people. For some, it may be as simple as jotting down a “to do” list. For others, it involves using daily planners and organizers to schedule their day. Sometimes you just need to learn how to handle interruptions that tend to devour your time.
5. DELEGATE RESPONSIBILITIES
Are you a perfectionist like me, who doesn’t believe that anyone else could possibly complete a task as well as you do? People with perfectionist tendencies have trouble delegating work, usually because they subscribe to the old adage “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” Perhaps you’re afraid that you’ll lose control of the situation if you let someone else help you. To be able to delegate responsibility, you need to accept that “my way” of doing things is not the only effective one. Besides being a great way to reduce stress, delegating responsibility will help you build more trusting relationships.
6. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
When you’re tense, your body lets you know. Your heart beats faster, your muscles tighten, your breathing becomes shallow, and you experience any of a number of other familiar symptoms, such as a headache or queasy stomach. Start noticing your body’s signs of stress and slow down or take a break when your body is signaling you. You can also take steps to build your physical reserves, such as getting plenty of sleep and eating nutritious, balanced meals.
7. GET MORE SLEEP
Sleep improves your ability to handle stressful situations. Provide an environment that allows you to get enough peaceful sleep each night. If there is a problem that interferes with your sleep, find a way to eliminate it.
For example, if your partners snoring disturb you, either sleep in another room, wear ear plugs or find ways to eliminate or reduce the problem.
8. TAKE A BATH
Baths have been scientifically proven to relieve stress, aid in sleep as well as having numerous health benefits including reducing blood pressure, clearing toxins and relieving muscle and joint pain. Couple a warm bath with a handful Epsom salts, a few drops of essential oils, candles and a relaxation playlist for ultimate relaxation.
9. PRACTICE YOGA
Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years and is known for the numerous benefits it has on the mind and body. If you practice yoga regularly you will find it not only relieves stress but also prevents it as well as reducing depression and anxiety resulting in an overall better mood.
Evening yoga reduces mental and physical tension allowing you to unwind and drift off to sleep that much sooner.
10. LAUGH IT OFF
Laughter is one of the healthiest antidotes to stress. Researchers have discovered that exposure to humor causes a measurable decrease in stress hormones, including epinephrine and dopamine, and an increase in immune system activity. When we laugh, even smile, blood flow to the brain increases and endorphins (painkilling hormones that give us a sense of well-being) are released.
Switch Off For The Holidays
Emerge from your holiday fresh-faced and ready to rumble, by switching off from your online life. Even though you’re on holiday and sunning yourself somewhere beautiful, it can feel impossible to switch off from your work life completely. That’s where a ‘digital detox’ could be a good idea. While it can seem a little daunting at first, it can be done!
Living in the digital age we’re constantly connected whether that be to work or the media. We’re just one quick swipe, one email, one notification or one phone call away, never allowing us to switch off and unwind which is heavily impacting on our mental health. Since the digital age began there has been a dramatic rise in stress, anxiety and depression especially in the younger generations and the corporate world.
So from all of us at Prana have a wonderful and relaxing holiday season!