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When we talk about local SEO, Google Maps comes to mind. This is because Google Map results show up when a query implies local results are needed, for instance, when you look up something like “Italian restaurants near me”, or “managed IT Services San Diego”. Boosting your Google Maps ranking for relevant searches is becoming all the more important since Google Maps is the preferred navigation app for 67% of consumers. Google Maps listing helps new customers discover you, helps you stand out amongst the local competition, and of course, nurtures more leads and generates higher profits. Since we have already established that ranking high in google maps is another way to get on the first page of Google, here’s how to do it right:
To get started on Google Maps marketing, you need to check whether your business is already listed on Google Maps. Simply type your business name on the search bar and if it shows up with a location next to it, it means you already have a listing. If not, you first need to add your business to Google Maps. If your business name doesn’t appear on Google maps, you will see an option to “add a missing place”. Click on the link provided and add your business name, accurate location, and category. Choosing the right category makes sure your business shows up for relevant search results and allows your target audience to connect more effectively.
Don’t be alarmed if your business has already been added to Google Maps. Remember that anyone can add any business to Google Maps, but doing so doesn’t give them any control over that listing unless you claim your business. Claiming your business on Google Maps allows you to add more details about your business in addition to name, location, and category. Businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches and rank higher. To claim your business on Google Maps, you need to sign up for a free Google My Business account. Once you have created an account, you can choose “Claim this business” or “Own this business?” from the listings. Google will send you a postcard in the mail with a secret verification pin which has to be entered to claim the ownership of your business. After verifying your account, you’ll be able to make changes to your account information, upload new photos, and publish posts. Now that you have linked your Google My Business account with your Google Maps business listing, it is time to work on acquiring top search rankings and appearing in relevant local searches on Google Maps.
To start optimizing your listing for local SEO, your Google Maps listing information should be complete, accurate, and as thorough as possible. From your account dashboard, click on info, and update your business information, making sure to avoid inconsistencies in information across the web. Remember that Google’s algorithm assesses the correctness and integrity of information to gauge your credibility. for instance, let’s say you run a business called “New York coffee express”. Make sure this name appears the same in your Google My Business dashboard as everywhere else online like your business website, Yelp listing, and Facebook profile. Even slight variations, such as “NY coffee Express” can ruin your credibility and trustworthiness.
The same goes for your phone number. Always utilize a local phone number with your area code, and avoid listing a toll-free number since they are often used for spam. This further goes to prove that your business is indeed located at the provided address.
Also, be sure to keep your business hours updated so that people searching for your business will know whether you are open, closed, or opening soon at any time, as well as when your business will be open during holidays and other events. Businesses that update their business hours frequently are seen as active by Google, which helps them rank higher. Not to mention, you don’t want a bad review just because someone visited your store and it was closed despite appearing open on Google Maps. Also, you need to craft a keyword-rich business description that will help customers understand what you do, as well as rank for relevant searches. Make sure to list the unique selling points in your description to sell people on why you are the best.
Furthermore, make sure your business is listed in the appropriate category that matches properly in close context with the main keywords. You need to think this one through and choose a primary category that best reflects the core of your business. For the secondary category, type out your main for other relevant categories too.
Last but not the least, you need to upload photos and videos to boost your Google Maps listing rankings. If right now you were to take a look at where your traffic is coming from, I guarantee you it won’t be from the website or maps. It’s from images or photos. Even Google users can add photos directly to your business or at the time of writing a review. Visitors like a visual appreciation of a product, place, or service, and enjoy looking at pictures of the building, the parking space, photos of your products, peaks inside offices or workspaces, and even pictures of employees at work. Pictures say a lot about a business at a glance and help customers visualize what it is like to be inside. Not to mention, pictures show Google that you are an active business. High-quality images are useful for another purpose as well. Google’s highly advanced photo recognition technology shows up images for local search queries. Don’t let your pictures sit stagnantly. Be sure to upload new pictures frequently. Make sure that your pictures are either in JPG or PNG, sized between 10KB and 5MB, well-lit, and devoid of filters. NEVER use stock photos or videos on your Google My Business listing!
Consumers of today make sure to check out reviews from other customers before choosing a business or making a purchase. Since Google takes the preference of customers into consideration when ranking a business, it doesn’t come as a shock that Google Maps ranking depends upon how many positive reviews your business listing has received. In fact, research shows that Google reviews yield higher conversion rates than local SEO strategies and increase the likelihood that a shopper will visit your location.
Even if you are not getting many reviews, be proactive in asking for reviews from satisfied customers and clients, and be sure to respond to each review separately to encourage others to post reviews as well. Especially responding to those far and between negative reviews shows how proficient you are at solving customer issues and how much you care about your clients. Even better, ask reviewers to use appropriate keywords or city names within their review, which will help you rank above other businesses in your area. You should also use keywords to reply to all your reviews on Google My Business
To boost your rankings on Google Maps, make sure to craft a compelling and visually aesthetic landing page and attach it to your Google My Business listings. In addition to design, write powerful content punctuated with appropriate keywords, geo-tagged images, and related geo modifiers. Even having articles on your site that mention your city helps a lot!
Just like on Facebook, you should regularly publish content that directly appears on your listing page. Businesses that continue to push out compelling articles, photos, and videos appear active to Google algorithms and rank higher as a result. People who are searching on search engines can come across these pages as a result of your content and find your business. GMB posts are also beneficial for “Justifications.” Google might pull up a post to help ‘justify’ why a particular result is a good match for your query. For instance, if you look up “furnace repair bend Oregon”, this is what shows up:
For the first result, the justification is being pulled from the website, while for the second, one of the GMB reviews is used in lieu of justification.
It is not uncommon for users to ask questions about a Google My Business listing. As a business owner, you need to answer their questions and solve their issues. If there are no questions on your listing yet, you should determine the most frequently asked questions about your products and services and populate your page with those queries from a different email ID. Now login from your business email address, click on each question and add an answer. Ask your team members to like all the questions and answers, since the question with the most likes show up on the listing panel
UAE has the most active and sought-after startup ecosystem in the Middle East and efforts are continually underway to attract the brightest talent from around the globe, promote advanced technology, and create a truly knowledge-based economy. Recently, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai launched a plethora of new initiatives in a bid to fuel economic prosperity and help family-owned businesses, start-ups, and small and medium enterprises grow.
Touting the economy to be accelerating and moving in the right direction, His Highness took to Twitter to announce the innovative initiatives he launched at the ministry of economy Abu Dhabi to make sure young talent plays a part in UAE’s thriving economy.
During my visit to the Ministry of Economy where we launched projects to help our national companies access new markets,an economic research institute in collaboration with world leading univeristies and an international conference to be held on March to explore new opportunities pic.twitter.com/Kg3aaIwBLQ
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) June 28, 2021
The new economic initiatives include an accelerator platform for family-owned businesses, geared towards helping startups in UAE tap into global markets, improve performance and build their brands, as well as enhancing their ability to attract investment opportunities, and speed up growth. Among the new initiatives is an economic research institute established in collaboration with leading universities (UAE Growth Lab), namely UAE University, Zayed University, American University of Sharjah, and New York University Abu Dhabi, as well as an entrepreneurial academy (Skill-Up Academy) that seeks to hone the entrepreneurial skills of citizens and residents through educational initiatives. The UAE will also have a scale-Up platform for start-ups looking to grow, and a web portal (Grow in UAE) to provide comprehensive information about policies and investment opportunities in the UAE and create new jobs in UAE. His majesty has also announced an upcoming global investment conference (Investopedia) to be held in March 2022, dedicated to focusing on new economic opportunities in the country.
These initiatives have cemented UAE’s position as the best place for young businesses to set up shop and are a testament to the sincere efforts made by the Government of the UAE to create a supportive ecosystem for the incubation of Gulf talent UAE in the country. This is also evident from the fact that 88 percent are highly optimistic about UAE’s economic growth for the next 50 years.
According to Sheikh Mohammad, “The post-COVID-19 world has brought several new shifts and a changing environment. Our economic work continues rapidly and is in the right direction. Our government team was reformed last summer so that all ministries and institutions work together with a focus on one clear goal, which is the UAE’s economic growth for the next 50 years.”
Apple’s biggest mid-cycle operating system update ever, iOS 14.5 just released yesterday, ready for download. While the iOS update has tons of cool new features in store for you, the one which is bound to ruffle the most feathers is App Tracking Transparency (ATT)— where app developers need a user’s consent in order to track and share their IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) for cross-property ad targeting purposes- and people are going crazy!
The announcement coincides with Data Privacy Day, in addition to a report released by Apple, titled “A Day in the Life of Your Data”, which explains how users are actually tracked and targeted. Apple has repeatedly championed people’s right to their personal data, and this move is geared toward keeping people’s information safe and protected and embed privacy in every piece of technology. Privacy is about choice—ad targeting isn’t all bad, considering that people actually opt-in of their free will. While Limited Ad Tracking (LAT) has been implemented in iOS devices for many years, this iOS update changes things from a privacy perspective.
Apple’s new policy can be construed as the reversal of the old method of opting out of sharing your IDFA with advertisers. IDFA is a unique identifier that is used to track a user’s activity between apps – For instance, if you look up a product on Amazon or Flipkart, chances are you will be bombarded with ads targeting the same or similar products on other apps like Facebook as well. However, under this opt-in method, every app has to seek user’s permission for tracking them across iPhone apps and services and sharing their IDFA with data brokers. Showing targeted advertisements based on user data collected from other apps, sharing address or email IDs with a data broker, or adding third-party SDKs to target advertising without explicit user consent are all considered a breach under the new policy.
After upgrading to iOS 14.5, expect to see a standardized pop-up box for every mobile application at various points of usage, that says “Allow X to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites?” followed by a customized explanation from the developer. You can either opt-in with “allow” or choose “Ask App, not to Track”. If you choose the latter, the mobile application will lose access to the IDFA. The idea is to let users garner a clear understanding of why they are being asked to be tracked across apps and websites and then decide themselves.
It doesn’t only stop at IDFA though; developers will not be able to use any other identifiers, such as hashed email addresses, to track users and share that information with third parties. If a developer attempts to track users who have not opted-in, Apple will take a firm stance and block the app from the App Store. The Tracking transparency policy puts users in the driver’s seat as far as their data is concerned. After, ATT is all about transparency and control.
Almost 70% of IOS users inadvertently share their IDFA with app publishers, sometimes to assess the full capabilities of an app. After this change, it’s estimated that this number will drop to 10% to 15%. Apple will also keep a lookout for developers who try to coax users into complying, such as withholding certain app functionality from users who don’t agree to opt-in or incentivizing users with in-app perks to sway their decision.
While the app makers can still use the information that you have willing divulged to create targeted advertising campaigns even if you opted out of being tracked, this information cannot be shared with a third party, according to Apple’s new policy. You can even toggle IDFA sharing on a by-app basis. Each app that has requested permission to track shows up on the tracking menu and you will be at liberty to toggle app tracking on and off. If you don’t want to keep receiving permission messages, you can even enable app tracking across all apps with a single toggle and bypass the Tracking transparency policy altogether.
There was an initial concern that the new iOS update will push businesses to resort to shadowy techniques such as fingerprinting instead of the IDFA, but Apple has offered a privacy-preserving, transparent replacement. Apple has introduced its SKAdNetwork which keeps track of the number of times a user installed an app after seeing an ad for it, letting advertisers measure which creatives are most effective. Apple has also introduced Private Click Measurement, which gauges the effectiveness of ad clicks in-app that then navigate to the web without linking back to them.
Regarding the pushback received by the company, Apple’s Senior Vice President for Software Development, Craig Federighi says “It wasn’t surprising for us to hear that some people are going to push back on this, but at the same time, we were completely conscious that it is the right thing to give users a choice here. We’re always considering the right things primarily from a customer’s perspective.”
With most people still stuck in the midst of lockdowns or hesitant to leave their homes, online sales have never been higher, but so hasn’t the competition. As the pandemic continues to rage on, the stakes have never been higher for online retailers trying to compete with sellers flooding marketplaces left and right. If you want to increase sales, drive traffic, and inculcate an awareness of your product, you will need to increase your E-commerce marketing effort. If you are willing to go the extra mile to stand out in the crowd, and turn visitors into first-time buyers and customers into brand evangelists, here are a few out-of-the-box eCommerce marketing in UAE tips to try:
Top-of-the-funnel (ToFu) leads are prospects that have expressed an interest in your brand but aren’t ready to engage with you yet. These people are usually your first-time website visitors or new email sign-ups. You need to understand these customers better, create awareness about your product and then try to meet their needs. First things first, you need personal details from these customers, which can prove to be impossible to coax out during signup. One way to get these people to divulge personal information without raising red flags is through lead generation quizzes. Don’t we all love quizzes that say “which Starbucks drink are you?”, “which Olive garden entrée are you?” or “which style of the bag are you?” The purpose of such quizzes is to collect segmented ToFu leads and recommend products that suit their needs. In the middle of the quiz, you can ask users to enter their email addresses so you can save the results. Once the users complete the comprehensive quiz, they are redirected to a landing page with their results, a valid reason, and research-backed product recommendations. This way you are simply recommending which products suit their style/needs/habits, rather than hard-selling your products. Now that you finally understand your customers and their pain points, you can follow up on your leads with paid ads and highly targeted marketing campaigns.
We all know what upselling can do for our revenue. Even though most eCommerce stores are already capitalizing on upselling and cross-selling to boost their average order value, we are going to take it up a notch. We recommend that each of your product pages should incorporate two pricing options: regular price and member price. Offering a too-good-to-overlook price to your members highlights the obvious benefit of membership and pits it against the price of a one-time purchase. Non-subscribers risk passing on an exclusive member price, which I am sure they won’t want to do. Especially if you are selling a product that needs a refill, such as vitamins or medicines, offer your customers the options of one-time purchase as well auto stock. Offer a discounted price as well as free shipping to those who choose the latter. Sounds too good to resist, doesn’t it!
These days, most people want to buy from socially conscious businesses only. In fact, more and more millennials are changing their habits to be more sustainable. A study predicts that by the end of 2021, customers will spend more than $150 billion on sustainable brands. With the increasing demand for green business practices, buyers are willing to pay extra to go green. If you want to appeal to your environment-conscious demographic, start producing, packaging, and selling while keeping the environment in mind and make sure to make it the highlight of your marketing campaign. Whether you are going paperless or saving energy at work or using eco-friendly packagings like biodegradable pouches and compost bags, do make sure to let your customers know.
Don’t we all keep adding items that catch our fancy to our wishlist, never to look at them again? Unless you actually remember to buy a wish list item, which happens once in a blue moon, they simply slip your mind. As an e-commerce business, you have an amazing opportunity to tap into your prospects’ wishlists since they contain items that have already been chosen. Remember that your leads already wish to buy those items, they only need something like a gentle nudge or a little discount to complete the purchase. Wishlist reminder emails remind them of items in their wish list, notify them if their favorite items have gone on sale or if they are low in supply. If you want to convert idle wishlist items into sales, simply display those items against a powerful CTA to help your visitors re-consider the purchase and be redirected straight to them. You can include discount codes in your wishlist reminder emails that only apply to your subscribers’ wishlist items.
Google Shopping is becoming an indispensable part of eCommerce marketing in UAE in 2021 because of its ability to bring better-qualified traffic and higher conversions. Being somewhat of a comparison search engine, Google Shopping ads put your product right in front of potential customers, including their price and your store link. If your product description meets the customer’s search phrase, it will appear in front of the customer. Since they pre-vet potential customers by showing the product image and the price, so advertisers only get highly targeted clicks. Another benefit of showcase ads is that even if a prospect doesn’t immediately make a purchase on your store, you still get to introduce your store to a wide audience, and build a warm audience to remarket to at a lower cost.
All the businesses that appear in the SERPs are credible and authentic, though people may not have heard of them. Customers also trust Google, especially because of the price comparisons, which helps them get the best bang for their bucks. All you need to do to try your hands at Google shopping is to create a Google Merchant account, optimize your product pages, link your Google AdWords account, and create a campaign.
For online shoppers, nothing can be more frustrating than seeing “sold out” on their favorite product pages. While this experience can leave the customer disappointed and exasperated, marketers can leverage this situation to their advantage. You can somewhat lessen their frustration by offering out-of-stock notifications. This allows you to convert leads into customers once the item has been restocked. Meanwhile, try to redirect them to your best sellers or other similar products to get them back on track. This way, you’ll appease angry customers and improve your sold-out-page conversions.
In the world of eCommerce, 60% to 80% of carts get abandoned. If you wish to create an email campaign, make sure it’s around abandoned cars! People add a lot of items to their cart and then leave the website without finalizing the purchase. Whenever you see an abandoned cart, be sure to shoot them an email reminding them to go back. Increase the open rate of your abandoned cart emails by adding irresistible discounts and attention-grabbing headlines. Make sure you remind your shoppers that they have left something behind.
Dynamic retargeting ads are a relatively new trick in the book for marketing your online store. If you are not familiar with retargeting, it is a feature that lets you advertise to people who have previously interacted with your business. For instance, if you visit a website as a one-time thing but keep on receiving ads from the same business consequentially, you have been exposed to retargeting. Now imagine being shown the same product in ads like the one you had checked out; say hello to dynamic retargeting. You may have hundreds of products on your website but a dynamic retargeting ad only displays the product that a person had checked out earlier. So far, this feature is available on all major advertising platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Google. Dynamic advertising lets you capture leads who have already shown an interest in your website and products and are already ripe for the taking.
While you may already have incorporated product reviews and customer testimonials on your eCommerce store homepage or landing pages, only select users will eventually see and engage with them. Why not add them to your email marketing messages to widen their reach. When used right, customer testimonials and product reviews add social proof to your business and help visitors who are hesitant to buy from you. It is also a great idea to let testimonials and product ratings speak for the products/services/company in promotional emails instead of penning down lengthy product descriptions that no one will read. After all, a prospect is more likely to believe the words of an actual user than the brand itself. Start by handpicking your favorite testimonials and customer feedbacks and send out occasional emails to spread the love. This helps you create social proof with every offering.
You need a good eCommerce website to sell online, but building an eCommerce website from scratch can put you in a bit of a pickle. Luckily, the best eCommerce website builders simplify the entire process, all the way from designing your online store to set up product pages to managing inventory and tracking orders, so that anyone can set up their online store and launch their business without knowing a line of code! So, if you’re interested in selling products or services on the web, here are the biggest eCommerce website builders you should know about!
Wix is hands-down one of the most versatile eCommerce website builders on the market today, especially great for building eCommerce sites. With over 160 million satisfied users, Wix can even turn non-designers into web design pros. If you know how to operate Windows 10 or a Mac, you will easily get the hand of Wix.
Wix gives you everything that you need to launch your online store; be it 500+ pre-made templates to choose from for your online store, an intuitive drag-and-drop site builder, App marketplace for custom functions, a free domain name and SSL certificate, cutting-edge design features such as video backgrounds, animations, and scroll effects, multiple modes of payments, and even store management tools. In short, Wix has everything that you need to grow your site and generate leads!
The best part is that Wix is dead easy for anyone to learn and use, even someone with a rudimentary coding sense. Another benefit of using Wix is that it doesn’t charge any commission-free on any transaction, helping you save hundreds (or thousands) of dollars per year. Unlike other eCommerce builders, you can design unlimited products on Wix and there is no cap on the revenue you can generate from your online store.
The SEO tools of Wix also deserve a shout-out. They help you create an automatic mobile-friendly version of your website and optimize it. They also get your site listed on Google within 60 seconds. The Wix store manager makes it a breeze to track inventory, orders, and your product pages. If you want to add a logo or a blog to your site, you can do so without any third-party integrations. Wix is also super-affordable. The cheapest plan offers 20 GB of space, abandoned cart recovery, and integration with social media.
If you are looking for an eCommerce website builder that grows alongside your expanding business, you have chosen the right builder. This industry giant is a great option for people who don’t want to hit annoying limits about their site’s capability and wish to leverage omnichannel sales. What makes it different from others on the list is that this builder focuses more on big commerce. It’s one of the few platforms that offer B2B selling features such as quote management, custom price list, bulk pricing, and customer groups. BigCommerce sets quite a score by multi-channel sales, allowing you to list your products on eBay, Google Shopping, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Amazon, and expand into new sales channels. This platform is great for wholesalers, international eCommerce sites, B2B sellers, and multi-channel sales, thanks to its secure and intuitive platform, WordPress integration, drag-and-drop building tools, custom checkout abilities, cross border fulfillment, built-in faceted search, and multiple currency support. BigCommerce also allows storeowners to integrate blogs into their eCommerce store for content marketing activities.
BigCommerce also offers plenty of optimization features for SEO and page load times. You can leverage robots.txt editing, Google AMP, and Akamai Image Manager, as well as enjoying a global CDN for faster load times. If you want to rapidly and remarkably grow your online store and sell without restrictions, the platform is the right choice for you, but it is not the best option for beginners! It’s not the easiest to use, and its prices reflect the number of tools and features you will probably never use. Plans start at $29.95 per month.
Trusted by 1+ million websites in 175 countries, Shopify is hands down one of the most powerful eCommerce website builders available on the market today. This web-based CMS gives you everything that you need to set up and manage your online store. Boasting 600,000 online stores and over $72 billion in revenue, the platform is usually the first choice of online store owners. Whether you are starting a new eCommerce business from scratch or expanding your physical presence to an online store, leverage Shopify’s Industry-specific templates and Industry-specific templates to get your online store up and running without any technical expertise. Each theme can be fully tailored to suit your needs. Shopify comes with an expansive Shopify App platform where third-party developers offer apps and plug-ins that help you append features and functionality to your store. From email marketing and social media integrations to shipping platforms, you are bound to find an app for anything you want.
What we especially love about Shopify is the world-class customer support you get. Whether you have a general business question or a technical question about the backend of your website, reach out to Shopify’s customer service team via live chat around the clock. You can even seek help from the massive community forum with answers from Shopify experts and current customers alike. On top of that, Shopify also has a robust knowledge base complete with hordes of podcasts, courses, articles, courses, and how-to guides written by Shopify itself.
All plans come with web hosting, unlimited bandwidth, over 100 different payment gateways to choose from, unlimited email forwarding, and a content delivery network for optimal performance. Shopify also gives you access to tons of marketing and SEO tools, mobile optimization, and analytics. With built-in abandoned cart recovery, you can catch incomplete sales. With Shopify, you can set up drop shipping, manage your customer rates, sync with 10 other sales platforms, or customize your checkout with personalized branding. Plans start at just $29 per month. You can try Shopify for free with a 14-day trial.
Weebly is the only free website builder, offering a full-featured platform for no price at all. Don’t let the free plan fool you into thinking that it must be a watered-down version of the real thing; Weebly provides you with a complete list of features that you need to get your online store up and running in no time; be it inventory management, in-store pickup, automatic tax calculation, shopping cart, etc. You also get unlimited products and in-store or delivery options at the checkout. If you want to garner the ability to receive payments through PayPal, add reviews, and abandoned cart emails, you will have to upgrade to the premium performance plan, which only costs $26. Weebly is absolutely perfect for handmade shops, home-based businesses, hobby sellers, small restaurants, breweries, and other local shops. You don’t need to be tech-savvy to be able to use Weebly. Weebly makes it a breeze to add new products, remove out-of-stock products, push updates, and track your inventory levels so that you can put your valuable time towards growing your business.
Since Weebly is powered by Square, you can also integrate the Square POS with your online sales system as well, if you are looking to manage your products and inventory all in one place. The easy-to-use drag and drop site builder allows you to launch your store with minimal effort and no coding. Like other eCommerce builders on our list, Weebly also gives you access to tools for shipping, inventory, SEO, and emails. Add Weebly’s product search to your online store to make sure your customers find what they are looking for. Add badges to products that have limited availability or are on sale. Add language translation, memberships, and other advanced features to your site by upgrading to the paid plans.
Squarespace is a creative’s wish come true. If you’re looking to make your online store as aesthetically attractive as possible, leverage hundreds of award-winning templates, combined with a strong inventory system and tons of high-end features, to create your creative, highly-visual website. When users cannot touch your products or interact with them, let visuals do the talking. Especially if you are a photographer, artist, or creative selling products, services, subscriptions, or digital goods, this platform is all that you need to brand yourself.
Even though the templates are stunning on their own, you can customize your chosen template with the help of Squarespace’s intuitive what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) site editor, with little effort on your part. Use the intuitive and highly-responsive drag-and-drop editor to apply your branding, upload your images and videos, set up your product listings, and voila! Even if you are a beginner, looking for a fantastic-looking website right out of the box, anyone can build a modern and visually appealing eCommerce store using Squarespace.
Squarespace’s social media integrations help you narrate your brand story and sell your products directly within the platform. This makes sure that your customers never have to leave the page to buy something from you.
The Squarespace mobile app allows you to manage and edit your website on the go. Squarespace has built-in SEO tools, blogging tools, and analytics tools to help you manage your online store and make it a huge success. There are hundreds of apps built-in to Squarespace for adding added features and functionality to your online store. The basic plan starts at $12/month but you can upgrade to add commerce functionality or the ability to accept payments.
Even though you only perceive YouTube as a place to watch funny videos of laughing babies and make-up tutorials, YouTube has firmly established itself as a social media website.
Most Social Media Platforms have a few things in common. YouTube shares many elements of a Social Media Platform while also being one of the largest search engines on the web, second only to Google itself.
Like other social media platforms, visitors and logged-in users subscribe to channels that interest them, leave a thumbs up or a thumbs down on the videos they have watched, and even leave comments and share those videos. Content recommendations are based on user behavior and the social graph/connections, akin to how other social networks recommend friends and their content. YouTube even has a “newsfeed” or a “wall”, which displays videos from the channels a user has subscribed to, as well as recommendations on similar content. Visitors can build profiles like on other social media networks, upload/change their display picture, and follow, or subscribe in YouTube-speak, their friends. Not to mention, Ninety-five percent of all views come from user-generated content, and not the official videos. This means that a majority of the time you are watching a clip from a movie or a TV show, it was probably uploaded by a fan and not the official channel. However, YouTube’s proprietary tracking algorithm still makes sure that the copyright owner gets paid. Similarly, 95% of all views of brand-related content come from consumer uploads, not official brand videos.
YouTube has an army of content creators and some of them are even creating active, engaged communities of their own, bringing disparate people from all over the world under one umbrella. One of my favorite YouTubers, has built a community of people who play video games together, build game mods specifically for the type of gameplay their community enjoys playing, fund their own community-run servers, and have even started building new, original video games with development teams from within the community.
When comparing YouTube to other social media platforms, YouTube influences purchase behavior and decisions among more than 53% of all consumers, while 55 percent of respondents engaged with brands on Facebook, only 21 percent do so on Twitter, and 10 percent have done so on Pinterest.
Seeing the proliferation of video content in the past couple of years, it comes as no surprise that video has become the most preferred content format. The best thing about video content is that it is highly shareable on other social media platforms and accounts for almost 74% of all online traffic. Since Search engines have also started displaying video suggestions in search engine results, when you share a video on YouTube with SEO-optimized descriptions, titles, and tags, it can help you improve your search engine rankings. This means that YouTube SEO can really give you more bang for your marketing bucks. People frequently visit YouTube when they want to learn something new or when they wish to be entertained. In addition to cute animal and baby videos circulating the web and super Bowl YouTube videos being passed around on our social media platforms weeks before the actual event, we also see a lot of space for brand advertising. Boasting over a billion users, YouTube is an ideal platform to boost brand awareness, make your brand visible to a wider audience, and build an army of loyal customers. In all this, YouTube SEO plays a pivotal role in marketing; for instance, brands can leverage paid YouTube advertising to drive traffic towards YouTube channels.
People respond well to visual cues, and video is a perfect method for capturing the emotion and physical attributes of what you’re promoting. If you are looking to grab your customers’ attention and keep them hooked, YouTube is hands-down the most robust social media platform. In addition to offering affordability, measurability, customization, and targeting, YouTube advertising also enhances your outreach. YouTube’s 2 billion users visit the platform every month, not to mention another couple billion unregistered users who contribute towards the daily view of five billion videos. Look at each video as a marketing real estate, which can expose your business message and ad to the interested audience. With YouTube’s intelligent marketing tools, you can target videos based on the appropriate categories, topics, and keywords, and increase the chance of the right audience coming across your ad. Also, placement targeting helps you identify YouTube pages you want your ads to appear on. All these advanced features make sure you reach out to the right audience and help you get the word out about your business the right way. YouTube also offers enhanced customization features, which let businesses personalize their ads based on their target audience.
YouTube plays a pivotal role in building up a community on the social media platform. YouTube creators, are not just a part of a video streaming platform, but are much, much more in the greater scheme of things. YouTube takes care of its creators, allows them to hang out with other creators, and fosters a sense of community. YouTube is nothing without its millions of creators who work hand in hand as a team to do great things and share the workload of the platform. Billions of users watch videos of different creators, follow them religiously, learn different things from them, heed their advice, buy their products, etc.
Facebook may be the ultimate face of “social media”, but it can never have the creative firepower of YouTube. Firstly, because it doesn’t pay its influencers for the content they create, and secondly, it does not yet have a standalone product for users to create on. You can look at Facebook as an amalgamation of mountains over mountains of content-driven from third parties across the web. On the other hand, YouTube is a blessing in disguise for those creative minds and aspiring filmmakers who never had the chance to make it big. Not everybody is born with a silver spoon in their mouths and not everyone has connections. For those people, platforms like YouTube give them a chance to show their work to the world.
Similarly, Instagram is full of aspiring photographers who have amazing photography skills but cannot splurge an arm and a leg in equipment. Medium is home to writers who could have published their own books but got into the blogosphere too late to be competitive. This shows how a lot of social media platforms have been designed to let underrepresented talent shine, and give them their well-earned moment in the limelight. Platforms like YouTube make sure to put their users first beyond anything else; what follows next is creativity.
In foresight, it is a really wise move to mobilize this talent: creative minds keep users hooked on platforms. Without these self-proclaimed content creators, social media channels would lack the appeal for brands to invest their dollars into, and no user would want to while away hours on those platforms. Perhaps the biggest asset of YouTube is its creativity and artists, and the platform does make sure to reach out and invest in them.
Last but not the least, another thing we love about YouTube is that it gives its creators gamification and recognition for their efforts. Creators get rewards for completing milestones. For instance, you get a silver play button when you reach 100,000 subscribers, a gold button for hitting a whopping 1 million, and a diamond button for gaining 10 million subscribers. For users and creators, continually using a platform should be fun, but rewarding their hard work and effort boosts usage and brand loyalty. Reddit does a spectacular job at this via their karma reward system.
Customer attention is fleeting and ever waning, and it is getting harder and harder to capture. The amount of time that brands have to capture attention in an advertisement only comes down to a matter of seconds. In their desperation, a lot of brands resort to forcing themselves upon their audience with a bevy of unskippable ads or even sending out unnecessary notifications on mobile apps. But all that intrusive advertising accomplishes is to push your viewers even further away. They can simply delete your app, block your number, or develop what we call “banner blindness.
In the age of fractured attention, your primary goal in writing a sales or marketing message is to distill your business’s pitch into a single, clear marketing message that articulates a brand’s story and narrates it compellingly in the blink of an eye. Remember that all you need is to grab 2 seconds of their attention to increase recall, raise brand awareness, and inspire purchase intent; all with the help of a message that can inspire and draw consumers in a flash. Here’s how you can get your audience to devote a few moments of attention to your message.
Marketers are beginning to comprehend the importance of emotions in marketing and how associating a positive feeling and emotion with your brand helps with the conversion and retention process. According to Harvard Business Review, these emotionally connected customers are much more important for brands than customers who are simply satisfied with their purchase. Today’s consumer is already overwhelmed with choices and it is more vital than ever to gain an edge over your competitor and make sure your audience pays attention to your sales and marketing message in this era of information overload.
A plethora of emotion-induced engagement studies have found out that Surprise and joy are two feelings that effectively grab attention and keep your viewers hooked. Creating one of these emotions keeps a viewer hooked to your ad, especially when you create a sense of surprise, quickly followed by a feeling of joy. Remember that with the decreasing attention span of viewers, seconds matter! Delivering joy quickly is vital to drive the digital sharing that will generate eyeballs and increase brand engagement. People are more willing to pay attention to the brand with which they feel a positive connection. Mobile channels can leverage GIFs for creating succinct, yet emotional messages.
Another way to get people to pay attention to your marketing and sales message is to leverage the power of words. Good copywriting works well to grab a reader’s attention. You can play around with words to narrate your story, or even get people to complete a purchase or sign up for your newsletter. As Leo Burnett said, “Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” You can use copywriting as a selling tool on multiple online channels such as email, website, and social media. Impactful copy, especially one infused with simple and emotional language, helps you resonate with your audience and offer them a solution to some of their persisting pain points.
Another way to get your audience to pay attention to catch their eye with an irresistible headline. A good title sets the expectations for the reader and starts building an emotional connection with them. If you want to generate a measurable response to your Web page or ad, a compelling headline can go a long way towards ensuring success. For instance, some popular headline styles include:
Don’t just tell people how your brand can help them at the moment; also offer something to make them come back for more. For instance, loyalty programs not only keep current customers coming back, but they can also bring in new customers. Most importantly, these programs encourage people to promote the brand via word of mouth and even share their personal data with the company, which in turn helps brands build more accurate customer profiles and offer more targeted marketing. The data received from customers can help you improve the quality of ads and keep the conversation rolling.
With the help of infrared eye-tracking technology, a group of marketing specialists has revealed that people don’t take well to being persuaded. A viewer’s first instinct is to step away from brands with overly prominent branding. In fact, people tend to lose interest in a video ad, the moment they see a brand logo appear on the screen. Brands that highlight their logos in their video ads also scare away viewers. According to branding specialists, this aversion to persuasion seems to be deeply ingrained into people’s subconscious and brands need to be aware of this effect if they wish to get their marketing message across to their audience.
Remember that your primary goal in writing a sales or marketing message is to grab a few seconds of your viewer’s attention. One way that brands can successfully showcase their sales message and increase viewership by as much as 20%, is to unobtrusively weave brand images throughout an ad. Just look at Coca-Cola’s “Happiness Factory” ad to see how they have subtly displayed the brand images well over a dozen times without overwhelming the audience. This strategy can also be applied to your mobile marketing campaign by devoting a bigger chunk of your marketing message to the value you’re offering to the customer and reserving a smaller part of your marketing real estate to promotional stuff. Maintain a 5-to-1 ratio—5 pieces of value-based content to every 1 ask. Similarly, when you are sending push notifications, there is no need to repeat your brand name in your message since the brand’s logo already helps people know where it is from.
Since your primary goal in writing a sales or marketing message is to grab attention and pique the interest of your audience, incorporating a touch of humor in your content will inevitably surely get your marketing message noticed. Remember that people are more prone to share content that’s laughed at than “straight” messaging. Laughter is a reaction, reactions lead to engagement, and engagement lifts the awareness of a brand and typically gets it talked about and remembered. Adding humor will not only grab the attention of your audience but also helps you stay on the top of their mind long after.
We are mostly exhausted these days and can all use an extra chuckle. Hook your audience with something “out-of-the-box” and make them laugh. For instance, Southwest Airlines uses humor all the time to get people to pay attention to safety protocols, instead of using run-of-the-mill presentations that people ignore. For instance, they put out safety instructions like “If the cupcake-looking plastic things drop down in front of you, stop screaming, let go of your neighbor, and put it over your mouth.” Or “If you smoke in this airplane, the FAA will fine you $2,000 [pause], and at those prices, you might as well fly Delta!” Keep in mind that a little imagination and effective use of humor effectively will surely get you noticed!
You have a lot to say, and I am sure your brand deserves a few words, but remember the waning attention span of your audience. The harsh reality is that most consumers don’t have the right disposition to read or hear lengthy, text-intensive ads, and you may lose their attention after a couple of lines at best. Campaigns that confuse consumers or drone on endlessly, do nothing more than convolute your message and quickly push your viewers away. Keep in mind that your advertising efforts boil down to the first five seconds. You have to grab attention and keep your audience hooked in those first five seconds. In these critical seconds, consumers decide whether they’ll buy into your brand or check out completely. After that, engagement drops drastically.
When you are writing your sales or marketing message, remember to stay purposeful with your words, use short, catchy phrases, and try bundling your content ideas into a video or infographic that is a treat for the eyes. Cut out the fluff and get straight down to the key takeaways. Answer their question of “what’s in it for me?” In the age of information overload, a clean, simple, visually aesthetic campaign will be much more appealing and stimulating for your consumers. Send them content that will pique their interest and curiosity enough to give you their undivided attention.
Snapchat is indubitably worth a lot of your marketing dollars, with its 186 million users per day, creating over 3 billion snaps daily. Whether you’re a Snapchat beginner or an experienced digital marketer, it can get rather hard to be noticed on such a busy platform. And as anyone who has a presence on Snapchat knows, Snap views can make all the difference for your brand. From cracking Snapcodes to creating snappy content, here are a few fool-proof ways to get more views on Snapchat in a snap.
While it is good to garner a comprehension of how Snapchat actually works, it also helps to walk in the shoes of your audience and find out what they like. Your audience will only watch Snaps that are of some value to them, and ignore the ones that aren’t. If you want to know what makes your audience tick, you have to develop a robust understanding of your audience first. You can also follow popular brands on Snapchat for a dose of inspiration.
For instance, Taco Bell never stops tinkering around on the platform and uses its snaps to let their followers know about deals and specials, as well as remind them of new products. After all, people follow Taco Bell to hear about all the latest developments and products. Similarly, as one of the earliest adopters of the Story medium, Amazon uses Snapchat to offer promotions and exclusives, while Mashable shares their live reporting on their Snapchat feed. Evarlane uses the app to demonstrate the transparency of their manufacturing operations by showing the customers a live walk-through of their factory.
In addition to keeping your customers up-to-date about your latest products and offers, never forget the power of education when it comes to creating your own Snapchat value proposition. Your brand can give back to the community by teaching the masses and creating awareness. For instance, the UK Department of transport organized a campaign aimed at teaching youth the consequences of reckless driving.
Ghost codes is a great way to reach new people and widen your audience base. Ghostcodes is an online platform that lets you promote your account as well as discover similar Snapchat accounts, based on interests such as makeup or photography. All you have to do is create a short preview describing your business as well as the kind of content you usually post. Profiles are divided into different categories, such as travel, beauty, fitness, etc. If your account appeals to other users, they can give you alike (“kudos”), which in turn, boosts your ranking. The higher your rank, the more visible you become to new users, which helps you in being discovered and grow your authority. Similarly, when you find someone you want to follow, simply download their Snapcode to your camera roll and upload it to Snapchat. They will be encouraged to reciprocate the gesture.
Good content promotes itself, which means that when your content is compelling enough for your users, your stories will most likely end up being shared by followers and end up in the “for you” tab. Brands such as the WWF occasionally launch shows on Snapchat to boost their rankings and views. WWE Snapchat followership experienced a 34% growth when they launched the WWE show last year. There’s a lot that your brand can do to make sure your content is super-gripping. For instance, you can catch more eyeballs with a good headline, and then make sure the rest of the story lives up to the expectations. Similarly, remember to add interesting sounds and catchy music to add interest. Geotags can also come in handy in a high-traffic area. You can also keep your stories interactive by adding polls and quizzes. Stay up-to-date on the latest trends, slang, jargon, and phrases commonly used by your demographic base, so that you resonate with your audience. Whatever you do, remember to keep it short and succinct lest you lose the interest of viewers.
Contests can become an integral part of your Snapchat marketing strategy. Follow-to-enter contests are a great way to gain Snapchat followers. When you promise the right price, these contests can have a leaping frog effect. Not to mention, incentivizing users is a great way to keep followers on board. Even if you are operating on a shoe-string budget, you don’t have to go big;
a modest commentary prize, a discount on your products, or a free product can be enticing enough. The mobile food-ordering company GrubHub’s #SnapHunt contest asked Snappers to respond to a week’s worth of daily challenges with Snaps of their own for a chance to win $50 in free takeout. As a result, the brand saw a 20 percent lift in followers in the light of the contest.
Considering an app that isn’t exactly geared towards discovery, you will find it a hard nut to crack to gain followers through Snapchat itself. Unfortunately, the app only connects you with people you consider to be close friends or with brands and companies that are most important to you, leaving little room for discovery. However, you can use your influence over other social media channels to promote your Snapchat account and promote your brand. As part of your overall digital marketing strategy, keep sharing your Snapchat code on your Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages. You can also leverage other marketing materials to promote your Snapchat as well, for instance via business cards, trade conference handouts, brochures, blogs, email newsletters, etc. You can even use your Snapcode as your profile picture on other accounts.
Remember that people often suffer from what is known as social-media burnout, which means that they may not want to see repetitive content across myriad social media channels. Snapchat’s creative format allows you to have fun and experiment with new content types. To promote your Snapchat, send your social media followers teasers about exclusive content that can only be viewed on Snapchat.
One thing that Snapchat shares with other social media channels is that it favors users who post more often. It doesn’t just show that you are serious about your content, it is also a great way to become visible for your followers. If you want to get more eyeballs on your post, you should post more frequently. The more stories you post, the higher the chance that more users will see and open your story. When planning out your Snapchat marketing strategy, a couple of stories a day should cut the bill just fine. However, over-posting or posting lesser-quality posts just for the sake of posting will bore your users out. Remember that quality trumps quantity, so it’s better to set some time aside to actually plan what you are going to post and create a posting strategy.
Snapchat posts live stories during hot events such as the presidential elections, Independence Day Parade, or the super Bowl. These are in essence a compilation of snaps from people who are present at the event. Since these stories are public to every Snapchat user, you will get massive views for your story if it gets picked up by Snapchat. All you have to do is record your Snap, press the blue arrow like you normally do to post it to your story, and select “Our Story” to enter your Snap to a life story. Snapchat needs to know that you are present at the event, so remember to turn your location services on. The average audience for a Live Story is 10 to 20 million people.
One way to promote your brand is to ask someone famous within your sphere to spread the word about you and put your brand out there in front of their followers. Contact them and give them more details on the kind of partnership you want, as well as, what is in it for them. For instance, you can ask the influencer to give your brand a shout out or even do a takeover. A takeover is when an influencer gets total control of your account for some period of time. Remember Buffy dropping in on Angel? The purpose of these takeovers is to bring new, like-minded audiences to your content. Keep in mind that you will have to pay for this partnership or even give them something in return (a shout out for a shout out, for instance). When choosing an influencer, the number of followers matters a lot, but also keep affinity in mind. Kanye West may have a huge following, but does his audience match your target demo.
Snapchat ads are in essence snaps and stories that are inserted into other Snappers’ snaps and stories, based on your audience’s interests. For Snap Ads to be useful for your Snapchat marketing strategy, be sure to include a direct CTA. The length of your Snap Ad is another factor to keep in consideration. According to Snapchat, 0:03 – 0:05 is the sweet spot for Snap Ad length to drive action.
Coca-Cola has shown us time and again that the key to successful social media marketing is to advertise a particular state of mind, feeling, or emotion, rather than just a product. Sure, your production deserves a moment in the limelight somewhere along the line, but the important thing is to make people feel a certain type of way. Coca-Cola has always emphasized how their products can bring consumers happiness, peace, love, and a number of positive feelings. Coca-Cola’s motto is to build a successful global brand: make human connections, remain innovative, while staying true to simple principles. Let’s deep dive into Coca Cola’s social media strategy and try to decipher the secret sauce of the brand.
Coca-Cola’s social media campaign #VerdaderoAmigo, where they redesigned the logo’s iconic wavy ribbon into the “fist bump sign”, celebrates happiness, teamwork, unity, and true friendship. The extensive campaign pits friendship and kindness against the isolation, loneliness, and cruelty inflicted by its opposite: cyberbullying. Coca-Cola’s previous bid to spread good vibes online felt like a far cry from the severe social difficulties teens have to face these days. However, this social media campaign shows the power of true friendship and loyalty in combatting the cruelty that is prevalent in this world. The campaign features three web films focused on the negative repercussions of social cruelty and how cyberbullying fuels secrets and gossip-mongering. The campaign suggests that empathy, bonds of friendship, and shared moments offer a sense of identity and belonging in these situations. The insight is that a true friend is the most valuable commodity at a time when cruelty is everywhere.
Coca-Cola continues to launch innovative social media marketing campaigns with positive viewpoints in order to directly engage with fans. Teens who are facing, or have ever faced, cruelty, feelings of loneliness, and isolation due to cyberbullying, are empowered to retell stories and real-life moments where kind acts of friendship paved a path to happiness. In essence, Coca-Cola’s social media campaign opened doors for teens to connect with friends through refreshing and unique experiences. Through this campaign, coco-cola hoped to inspire conversation among teens and highlight how we can choose not to be cruel to another human being and step up for a friend in need.
As opposed to Pepsi’s celebrity-led approach, Coca-Cola relies more on content and experiences to push its brand forward. Coca-Cola always enables its consumers to produce original user-generated content.
When Coke launched #RefreshtheFeed in November 2018, it gave its social media accounts a complete overhaul. The revamp was dubbed as a social media strategy rooted in “uplift, optimism, and connection,” and was initially launched to celebrate World Kindness Day. Coca-Cola went dark on all its accounts on the 12th of November, only to re-emerge the next day in celebration of World Kindness Day 2018. The brand made quite a mark by sharing nearly 100 original images sent over by popular street artists the world over, filling the world’s feeds with happiness and uplift. At a time when the internet was a dismal, pessimistic place, Coca-Cola began spreading the messages we all needed to see and hear. As a result, Coca-Cola practically owned #WorldKindnessDay, garnering more than 69 million impressions in one day, sparking unparalleled positive conversation about the brand, leading to 1.4 million engagements.
Following its magnificent success in 2018, Coca-Cola ran a similar social media campaign for World Kindness Day the next year. As part of the campaign #KindnessStartsWith, the brand partnered with hundreds of artists on Instagram to create original Coke-inspired images, all exuding empathy, optimism, and kindness. As most of the artists were tagged, once again the campaign conveyed a feeling of community and reflected the brand’s ultimate purpose of prioritizing optimism, uplift, and connection on social.
Another similar campaign, #shareacoke, focused on ordinary consumers rather than artists. As part of the campaign, the brand replaced the logo on the bottles of its Coke products with popular names. Ever since the campaign went global, the most popular names of people living in each region are emblazoned on cans and bottles. The company encouraged consumers to find them for themselves in-store, with the aim of them sharing their own personalized Coke bottle on social media. The campaign was a massive success, reporting an estimated 330 million impressions on Twitter, with nearly 170,000 tweets from 160,000 fans.
Part of what makes Coca-Cola’s social media strategy so successful is its emphasis on the brand over the product. According to the brand, they sell happiness in a bottle. With a wide array of products and packaging designs that are localized according to the local culture and preferences, it would have been a nightmare to center their global marketing on the products themselves. Instead of selling a drink in a bottle, Coke sells the experience and lifestyle associated with its brand. For instance, Coke launched a packaging campaign where they individualized 2 million bottle designs. The aim was to convey to ‘Diet Coke lovers that they were extraordinary by creating unique one-of-a-kind extraordinary bottles. Though the brand has gone way beyond selling Coke, the experiences they are selling — happiness, friendship — are universally shared all over the globe.
Did you know that fans can Tweet with the hashtag #CokeMyName to have their name & a unique fact about it star on a billboard in Times Square. Coca-Cola’s recent outdoor campaign takes out-of-home advertising to a whole different level by allowing fans to have their name splashed on a big screen, in Times Square. After the mammoth success of Coke’s Share a Coke campaign featuring fan names emblazoned on Coke bottles, the new billboard shows fun facts about the names of people who tweet with the hashtag #CokeMyName. Coke worked in collaboration with Google to pull in facts about at least a thousand names the brand printed on its bottles. As soon as someone tweets with the hashtag, their name gets displayed on the big screen. The best part is that a webcam across the street snaps a picture of your name as soon as it gets displayed on the huge billboard and sends it to you within an hour so that you can enjoy seeing your name in the limelight without actually being physically present.
Can you reminisce the amazing feeling of drinking Coke on a hot summer’s day? Coca-Cola recently launched an ad that stars a pink giant digital tongue to evoke the beverage’s distinctive taste. The ad shows a woman transported down the memory lane, fondly reminiscing enjoying it on the beach, at the movies, on a ski slope and more, with the title song “La La La” playing in the background. The brand has an uncanny ability to evoke positive emotions and feelings associated with special memories.
Coca-Cola has an uncanny ability to evoke positive emotions associated with special memories, and they aspire to do just that with this nostalgic campaign. The ad celebrates the bliss of the Coca-Cola taste through the memories associated with taking that first sip of an ice-cold Coca-Cola on a sultry, summer’s day. Through these ads, the brand has portrayed Coca-Cola as not just a scrumptious and refreshing drink, but that it also has the ability to make you take a trip down memory lane.
In 2016, Coca Cola rolled out the integrated ‘Taste the Feeling’ campaign, which included a wide mix of media, including TV commercials, digital, print, OOH adverts, and shopper initiatives. The social media campaign aimed to offer intimate glimpses into universal stories and everyday moments and feelings that surround taking a sip of Coca Cola. The campaign brings to life the notion that drinking a Coca‑Cola somehow makes everyday moments more special. With the use of universal storytelling and compelling visuals, the campaign captured authentic, unscripted moments in a contemporary way. The images celebrated diversity by portraying people from around the world enjoying “their” Coca‑Cola in simple, everyday moments.
Still banking on nostalgia and experiential marketing, the brand celebrated the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio by launching the #ThatsGold campaign, which was designed to celebrate the feeling that comes with fulfilling your goals and realizing your dreams. Coca-Cola had a dedicated space inside the Olympic Park in Rio, where people could have their photos taken with Coca-Cola memorabilia and merchandise, resulting in a stream of really cool user-generated content for the brand’s social media presence.
Don’t you ever feel like things are changing way too fast? Every day, there seems to be some new piece of technology, social media platform, or streaming service to account for. It’s enough to make any digital marketer’s head spin. And when we talk about programmatic display advertising, things are evolving just as fast. Here’s what 2021 has in store for programmatic advertising.
Who could have imagined that “Netflix and chill” wouldn’t only take over our lives but also become a driver for the growth of programmatic display advertising? It is what it is; in the past four years, over-the-top streaming services, such as Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon prime, have acquired over 20 million new households, while 62 million users have reported using OTT this year. While users constantly find themselves caught in the midst of a streaming war, it goes bigger than this; the reach of ad-supported OTT services is much larger than their no-ads counterparts.
In addition to just media services, a plethora of OTT commerce, household, chat, and video conferencing solutions are popping up and opening doors for digital advertisers. With a proliferation of internet-enabled and 5G devices, such as gaming consoles and smart TVs, OTT advertising is becoming the new face of digital advertising. The best part about investing in OTT advertisements is that they see a stupendous completion rate in comparison with other forms of ads, and OTT users are also more likely to see an ad through to completion.
Connected TV and OTT services are becoming synonymous these days. While OTT video content can be played on any internet-connected device, more often than not, this content is watched on connected TVs. For instance, your Apple TV can directly stream Hulu, Prime Video, and Netflix, and so can your Amazon Fire Stick and Roku.
CTV advertising is becoming an integral part of programmatic buying for several reasons. Firstly, these ads are much more targeted than other forms of advertising, and you can reach different audiences on specific services, devices, and platforms, with a high ad completion rate. Also, OTT ads use videos, which are the most persuasive and engaging content formats. The reason these videos have the highest chance of being watched is that they appear in the midst of the most engaging programs and people watch these ads to continue watching their shows. For instance, if you are watching your favorite show on Hulu, you are served a couple of ads in between that you have no chance but to watch till the end. This is the prime reason why advertisers are flocking to OTT advertising to stay ahead of competitors. According to a study, CTV ad spending is projected to reach $10 billion, come 2021.
Regardless of the success rate of OTT advertising, advertisers need to keep a few factors in consideration; for instance, people barely tolerate ads, and that too, when they absolutely have to. The emergence of more and more ad-free streaming services on the horizon is going to put pressure on CTV services to reduce the frequency of ads they display in between programs. Secondly, there is no one size fits all approach. Advertisers need to dig deep into CTVs, OTT services, and connected devices to tailor their ads according to various devices, locations, and audiences. This will define the ROI you can expect to see from programmatic display advertising.
Millions of people have owned a wearable device at least once, and an even greater number is thinking about buying one. With a marked expected increase in the global proliferation of wearable devices and the growing popularity of connected devices and the Internet of Things (IoT), a rising tech-savvy population is going to enhance the potential for programmatic advertising. In addition to smartwatches, a host of new devices are appearing in the market, such as wearables, smart glasses, and fitness trackers.
Combining wearable technology with programmatic advertising is a recipe for success since the digital interface on wearable technology is perfect for delivering digital ads and content in a wide array of formats. Secondly, these devices are fitted with state-of-the-art sensor technologies, which can be used to gauge the emotions of users, for instance through heart rate. This can pave the way for more personalized and targeted advertisements. Especially brands that find it challenging to connect with a younger audience, can advertise through wearable devices to capture a lion’s share of this elusive segment. Forward-thinking marketers can also use these devices to collect a repository of real-time customer data, such as lifestyle choices, moods, and health metrics. Health companies can promote their health and wellness products to consumers on their smartwatches. Although people are still wary of the data and privacy concerns associated with this medium, we are still going to see a lot of programmatic advertising on wearable devices in 2021.
Out-of-home advertising or Outdoor advertising on digital screens, has become more digitalized than ever and holds massive potential for programmatic advertising. If programmatic advertising is integrated into digital outdoor advertising spaces, it will be easier for advertisers to broadcast their ads so as to reach their target audience wherever they may be at any given time. Digital outdoor advertising not only boosts marketing performance but also brand image, and helps brands maximize their ROI as compared to the run-of-the-mill outdoor advertising billboards. These spaces combine the reach and publicity of classic media with all the benefits of digital advertising, such as targeted delivery control based on showing frequency, location, time, weather conditions. Out of home audio advertising, such as background sound in waiting areas, buses, and shops, is another area that can do with digitalization.
The use of Artificial Intelligence in programmatic advertising is all the rage these days and will continue to thrive. This is because AI can help advertisers get their hands on a deluge of data that will better enable them to target the right people at the right time and deliver the right content pertinent to the right channel. AI and machine learning can move customers forward into their purchase journey by finding patterns in copious volumes of data. With the help of such technologies, advertisers can propose a pertinent action to a customer or even predict an outcome. AI doesn’t only speed up the marketing process; it also offers unparalleled intelligence that can provide a great boost to marketers.
With the help of AI, marketers can use various data points, such as location, gender, age, purchase history, and preferences, to better analyze the behavior of a customer and anticipate action. AI can integrate AD viewing metrics with user data to suggest the best format to place an ad, as well as the best time and place for it. Being able to analyze buyer’s patterns with needlepoint accuracy, AI can enhance the effectiveness of an ad. It places an ad based on where users are most likely to view it and when it is most likely to be viewed, thereby minimizing customer acquisition costs.
The use of AI in programmatic advertising is already making waves and has been the center of attention of marketers since last year. Early adopters of this technology are reporting a positive ROI for their AI efforts, which shows that programmatic advertising will only grow stronger in the next decade. AI-based bot Watson from IBM is being programmed for optimized programmatic media in buying, which is promising a staggering 71% reduction in Cost per Click (CPC).
The arrival of 5G is bound to take connectivity to a whole new level, which will inevitably offer marketers new ways of connecting with customers. With an unprecedented bandwidth, almost 100 times more than its predecessor, 5G will allow advertisers to reach more channels and perform faster, as well as venture into more processing power intensive systems such as programmatic advertising. 5G based adtech will enable faster videos buffering so that users can view ads without any inconveniences. 5G will also allow the incorporation of augmented reality features to open new doors for interactive advertising.
From Amazon’s Alexa to Apple’s Siri, more than eight billion digital voice assistants are expected to be in use by 2023. As innovation in technology continues to improve measurability and audience targeting, voice ads are becoming more and more popular. Since consumers are becoming more accustomed to smart assistants, Spotify and Pandora are currently in the midst of testing out creative voice-activated ad formats for big brands like Nestle and Unilever. These voice ads pop up between songs and ask a couple of questions to the users in order to gauge their interest. These ads are opt-in; if a user says “no”, or fails to respond, the song will resume. If you think of voice ads from a revenue generation standout, automated technologies will allow listeners to engage with voice ads with voice commands, such as “buy now”, or “tell me more.”