Category Archives: Mobile Marketing

"The Robin Hood of Algorithms": Why LinkedIn's New Feed Could Be a Game Changer for Marketers

LinkedIn announced today that it plans to overhaul its feed ranking system to help more creators get better engagement on the content they share.

The changes were spurred when the professional networking site discovered that the top 1% of content creators — also known as “power users,” or perhaps influencers — were receiving the vast majority of engagement with their posts.

Meanwhile, the remaining 98%, the site says, was “receiving less [engagement] than ever.”

Here’s how that skew in engagement happened — and how LinkedIn has changed its algorithm to address the problem.

Why LinkedIn Changed Its Feed Ranking Algorithm

Year over year, LinkedIn has experienced noticeable growth in overal engagement with posts appearing in its feed — an average increase of over 50%, the company says. 

Much of the time, that engagement results in a post going viral — that is, LinkedIn members engage with certain posts to the point where the content earns “tens of millions” of likes, comments, and reshares.

On the surface, that seems like a positive development. But, LinkedIn says, there was a problem: The engagement was not evenly distributed, and the site was “in danger of creating an economy where all the gains in viral actions accrued to the top 1% power users.”

Typically, the most popular posts on any social network tend to gain more visibility, which is what was happening to content shared by top influencers.

Emerging brands and content creators, meanwhile, were actually receiving less and less engagement on their posts.

Source: LinkedIn

Besides the obvious issue of this uneven distribution of causing the “richest” content creators on the site — the influencers who already have a large following — to become “richer,” the lack of engagement with the remaining 98% of followers was actually discouraging them from posting again in the future.

That only exacerbated the virality gap, as less content-sharing altogether from the bottom 98% would lead to more eyes on posts from top influencers.

So, LinkedIn formulated a solution.

Why Linkedin’s New Algorithm Could Be a Game-Changer for Marketers

The changes to LinkedIn’s new ranking criteria is multi-fold.

Prior to this overhaul, the feed would prioritize posts according to how likely a given viewer was to engage with it — to like, comment on, or reshare it. That model also took into account the given viewer’s network, and how likely it was to respond to this content in kind.

What was missing was how likely the creator or poster of that content was to “appreciate” the engagement. To put that discrepancy into context, LinkedIn’s Bonnie Barrilleaux and Dylan Wang — who authored the company’s announcement — explain that for major influencers within “the top 1% of creators, one more like or comment from an unknown follower may not mean much.”

For smaller or emerging content creators, however, these likes and comments go a long away. According to Barrilleaux and Wang’s findings, creators who receive 10 or more likes on their content are 17% more likely to post again in the following week. 

That’s why the feed algorithm has been modified to include signals that indicate how much value the creator will place on viewer feedback received on a post. 

“The effect is that we are redistributing a little bit of the attention in the system from the power users to the other creators, so that no one is left behind,” write Barrilleaux and Wang. “This helps ensure that the ‘small’ creators who create high-quality posts can reach out to the community that cares about them.”

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Source: LinkedIn

Additionally, LinkedIn’s algorithm changes appear to be moving in a similar direction as that of Facebook, when the social media giant overhauled its News Feed to prioritize content from family and friends over that from Pages.

We’ve already covered the three pillars that LinkedIn’s new model takes into account when ranking creator content:

  1. How likely a viewer is to engage with a creator’s post
  2. How much that viewer’s network will want to see it
  3. How much the original creator will appreciate the first 10 likes of that post

But there could be a fourth, according to the figure below — which is whether or not the content creator is within the viewer’s network. 

creatoroptimization5

Source: LinkedIn

It’s also possible that these moves from LinkedIn could serve as a subtle nod to the drop in Business Page engagement and reach experienced by brands on Facebook — for some, a decline of 50%. 

LinkedIn’s algorithm change — especially within the context of boosting engagement for smaller, emerging content creators — does spark the question: Is this the company’s way of giving smaller brands and figures a chance to shine on another network, where it may have lost reach on another one?

Perhaps. But more than that, says HubSpot CMO Kipp Bodnar, LinkedIn is also responding to a growing user demand for a relevant, personalized experience.

“LinkedIn’s core job is to great a valuable experience for all users. Once a news feed becomes dominated by a small subset of users, then it starts to become less valuable to the broader community,” Bodnar explains. “The company is trying to deliver more value through more personalization.”

So, what kind of impact will this have on the bigger influencers — the top 1% of content creators on LinkedIn?

According to Barrilleaux and Wang, it won’t be much, pointing back to the overall growth in engagement received by all posts in LinkedIn’s feed.

“Taking 8% of the likes away from the top 0.1% still leaves them better off than they were a year ago,” they write. “These changes just help ensure that the rising tide is lifting all the boats in a fair and equitable fashion.”

But should this trend continue, LinkedIn could move further in the direction of Facebook, and re-allocate a growing amount of post engagement from top creators to emerging ones.

“This might not be a huge impact on top creators today but I think that over time they will continue to push in this direction,” says Bodnar. “The audience for posts from top creators could continue to decrease.”

LinkedIn says it will continue to observe and optimize its algorithm as these changes take effect.

19 of the Best Examples of Mobile Website Design

Now more than ever, businesses are focusing on creating delightful mobile website experiences.

After all, Google has been heavily favoring mobile-friendly websites since 2015 when it updated its ranking algorithm in April 2015, and then started indexing mobile sites in March 2018.

And that’s crucial, seeing as there have been more Google search queries on smartphones than on desktop computers and tablets for over a year now.

Going forward, Google will only continue to raise the bar for what it considers to be mobile-friendly (including page load time) and reflect that in its algorithm updates. So if you haven’t been focusing on improving your mobile experience, you’d better prioritize it now, or your search ranking could really suffer. Additionally, HubSpot Research found that half of US consumers are going online on their phones more than on their computers or tablets.

To help inspire any mobile website design changes you’ll be making, here’s a list of 19 companies who really nailed their mobile web experience.

1. Shutterfly

Shutterfly is an online service that allows users to create photo books, personalized cards and stationary, and more. Because more and more people are taking photos and then accessing them using their smartphones, Shutterfly recognized the need to create a great mobile experience for their customers — and they delivered.

Shutterfly accomplishes two key goals on their mobile website:

  • It’s easy for users to find out information about their offerings.
  • They’re selling that information by way of beautiful imagery.

When you arrive on their mobile site, you’ll see Shutterfly’s latest promotion front and center, as well as a large finger-sized sign-in button for returning members — neither of which overpower the user experience.

shutterfly-mobile-website

Scroll down, and users will see large buttons that make it easy for users to quickly select which type of product they’re interested in. Once users click through to one of those options, they’re greeted with large photos showcasing what Shutterfly is capable of for easy browsing.

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2. Google Maps

Everyone has their favorite map or directions application. Mine is Google Maps, which I use whether I’m walking, driving, biking, or taking public transportation. What’s special about their mobile website is that it’s virtually indistinguishable from their downloadable mobile app.

The screenshots below are taken of their mobile website, but if you’re familiar at all with the app, you’ll notice they look exactly the same. Not only is the appearance identical, but the mobile website has the speed and functionality of the app.

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3. Typeform

Typeform is a Barcelona-based tech company with one simple mission: to “make forms awesome.” Their desktop website is really beautifully designed, greeting visitors with succinct copy, high-definition videos, relevant animations, and other, more complex design components.

But for mobile users, they recognized that complex design components like video and animations could significantly affect page load time, among other difficulties. That’s why they actually removed many of them — which decluttered the site and simplified the overall mobile experience. The mobile website is a simpler version of their desktop website, and it’s still beautifully designed.

typeform-mobile-website

Take note of the large buttons on their menu page — perfect for tapping with your finger on a mobile screen.

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4. Etsy

Etsy is an ecommerce website where people can buy and sell vintage or handmade items. Most buyers who visit Etsy’s website are there to do one of two things: Either they’re searching for a specific item, or they’re browsing items in categories that interest them.

The mobile website caters to both types of visitors from the very beginning. When you first go to their mobile website, you’re greeted with an option to search for specific items, shops, or categories.

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Immediately below the search bar are thumbnail images of trending items that showcase some of the most popular things you can buy on Etsy. Mobile users can view these trending items in a collage format, and the images are big enough for them to easily tap with their finger.

etsy-mobile-site-2.png

5. Adrian Zumbrunnen

This is the personal website of Adrian Zumbrunnen, a UX designer, writer, and speaker. When you visit his website, you’ll notice right away there’s something very unique about it: It’s a conversational website.

It almost looks like a text message conversation you’d normally have on your phone — including the ellipsis to show he’s “typing.” Users are given two response options at the end of every exchange, so it’s kind of like a “choose-your-own-adventure” experience.

While the mobile and desktop experience are very similar, the desktop website feels like it was made primarily for mobile — which could be the direction sites will go in the future.

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And if you’d prefer not to engage in the conversation-like exchange, you can simply scroll down for details.

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6. Elf on the Shelf

Elf on the Shelf is, relatively speaking, a fairly new Christmas tradition based on a children’s book. If you’re unfamiliar, the basic premise is this: The book tells the story of Santa’s scout elves, who are sent by Santa to watch over children in their homes all over the world and report back to Santa.

Along with the book, parents can purchase an elf figurine, which they’ll subtly place somewhere in their house where their kids can see it. Every night leading up to Christmas, parents move the elf to a different location around their house to “prove” to their kids that the scout elves are real and always looking over them.

When you first arrive on Elf on the Shelf’s website, you’ll see there are actually numerous types of Elf on the Shelf products you can purchase. But instead of forcing users to scroll through each product individually, the web designers package each product into a large, enticing tile describing the goal of each buyer’s journey, with the featured item displayed on the front.

You’re not buying your own elf or pup — you’re adopting it. It’s a truly empowering experience on such a small screen.

elf-on-the-shelf-mobile-website

7. BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed is a news company known for it’s viral content and popular quizzes. It also happens to be one of my favorite sources of entertainment during my commute to and from work.

And where do you think I’m checking BuzzFeed during my commute? You guessed it: on my phone. BuzzFeed knows that a lot of their visitors are visiting their site on mobile, so they’ve taken great care to create a smooth experience for their on-the-go readers.

When you arrive at BuzzFeed’s mobile website, the first thing you’ll see is some of their most popular pieces of content displayed in a simple, collage-like format using large images that are easy to tap with your finger.

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For users interested in specific categories, there’s a clickable menu in the top left-hand corner of the screen that lists out all the post categories.

buzzfeed-mobile-site-2.png

8. Evernote

Evernote is an application that allows you to store notes, images, and web articles and then access them across all your devices. Because users tend to download the app or access the website on multiple devices including desktop computer, smartphone, and tablets, it’s essential that Evernote get the mobile experience right.

If you look at Evernote’s homepage on your desktop computer, you’ll notice how clean the design is. The value statements are short and to-the-point, and the graphics add to the brand’s positioning but don’t clutter the page.

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When you look at Evernote’s mobile website, you can see they’ve kept their color palate and general brand style entirely intact. The company’s mobile website is clean, simple, and doesn’t detract at all from the value of the app. Evernote’s conversion path is obvious from the centered call-to-action: “Sign up for free.”

evernote-mobile-website

9. Huffington Post

The Huffington Post is a well-known news outlet that reports from everything from politics and current events to entertainment and technology. What makes their mobile website unique is that they actually alter their headlines slightly for mobile users so their content is more easily scannable.

If you compare the desktop versus mobile websites, you’ll notice that the mobile website has fewer words on the homepage. The headlines are shorter and much more digestible — perfect for someone skimming or reading on a small screen.

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As with BuzzFeed, you’ll find a clickable menu in the top left-hand corner of the screen listing out all the post categories.

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10. Express

Express is a clothing store that caters to young men and women. Because their audience often comes to their website to browse clothing, it’s important for their website to include big, clear images of their clothing — especially on mobile devices, when users will need to tap items on the screen with their fingers to click through for purchase information.

Express takes their mobile experience a step further than most online retail sites. If you slide your finger from left to right across an image showing a piece of clothing, the image will change so you can see the clothing in a different view. In other words, users don’t have to load another page to see multiple pictures of the same article of clothing.

Look at the image on the top right in the following two images to see how it changes when you swipe to one side:

express-mobile-website-designexpress-mobile-website-design-2

11. Nationwide Insurance

Nationwide Insurance provides insurance and financial services. You might think a financial company would have a really complicated website, but on mobile, Nationwide Insurance nails down the simple user experience.

When you arrive on Nationwide’s mobile site, you’ll see two tabs at the top allowing you to identify as one of two types of users right away to customize your experience: Personal or Business. Or, alternatively, you can “Find an Agent” or “Find an financial advisor” to learn more information about their services.

Although limiting the experience to these two options excludes Nationwide’s more in-depth features, it makes for a much easier experience for visitors using small screens. This is a great technique to lead potential customers in the right direction if they’re not yet account-holders and are visiting the website for the first time.

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12. Squaredot

Squaredot is an agency based in Dublin, Ireland that helps marketers build out their inbound marketing strategies. Their mobile website is colorful, simple, and makes for easy navigating.

What sticks out to me most is the visually pleasing color combinations and three-dimensional texture to their homepage — as well as the large clickable dots at the center of each section you can scroll to.

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These dots are animated call-to-action buttons, and the tapping the ones below the home screen will produce a pop-out page with more information on Squaredot’s approach to marketing.

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13. Zappos

Zappos is an online vendor for shoes and clothing known for their stellar customer service. Their top priority on mobile is to help users search easily for the items they’re looking for on their website, so they’ve put a large search bar at both the top and bottom of their mobile website to make it super easy for them.

This is what the top of their mobile site looks like:

zappos-mobile-site-1.png

14. ABC

ABC is a television broadcasting company known for popular shows like “The Bachelorette,” “The Rookie,” and “General Hospital.” Users visiting ABC’s desktop website are greeted with these options and more. View the network’s television schedule, check out the most recent Emmy winners, watch some of your favorite television shows, or even look at entertainment news relating to those shows.

But because nearly every household today is a multi-screen household, ABC knows its experience on a mobile device should be both simple and ready for viewing.

When you visit the ABC website on a mobile device, you’ll see a dark background for a theatre-like experience with tiles for each program you might want to stream. Users can scan through these options and click into any show they want based on genre, alphabetical order, what’s popular, and similar categories you’d also find on your TV’s streaming platform.

abc-mobile-website

15. Lean Labs

Lean Labs is a marketing agency that creates engaging, responsive, and high-conversion web solutions. (They were also featured on ABC’s hit TV series Shark Tank.) The folks over there do a great job of providing a smooth experience for their mobile users, especially with regard to their design techniques and the emphasis they place on their “10x formula” — which is apparent to visitors within seconds of landing on their mobile site.

Notice how Lean Labs’s mobile website uses scale, contrast, and typeface to distinguish certain elements of their page. You can even see the subtle photo of a mountain set to the website’s background, eliciting the heights your brand can reach as a Lean Labs customer.

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And, as explained above, their core “10x” formula is clearly visible and broken down into easy steps for mobile users scrolling through the homepage, with relevant icons to match.

Lean Labs mobile website with circular CTAs to learn about 10x formula

16. SAP

SAP is an enterprise software company that manages business operations and customer relations. The business enhances its mobile experience by condensing information, specifically into one important video case study, playable from the homepage on a mobile device.

sap-mobile-website

SAP also combines some of their calls-to-action into sliders, whereas their desktop website has these CTAs laid out horizontally. This helps keep things simple so mobile users aren’t overwhelmed with a lot of information at once, and it also ensures none of the CTAs are too small to read.

SAP mobile website with call-to-action sliders

17. KISSmetrics

KISSmetrics provides analytics software for businesses. On their homepage, there’s a lot of information explaining what the software does along with a testimonial.

But their mobile site is displayed a little differently: On a mobile device, the information on their site is shown in a list with alternative dark and light modules. This makes it easy for users to skim the page without getting lost in text.

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They’ve also made the text and fields on their forms large and easy to read:

KISSmetrics mobile website with large form fields for users to sign in

18. idig Marketing

idig Marketing is a development and communications provider. Their mobile website is laid out similarly to their desktop website, but I especially liked how they incorporated the interactive heart icons into their blog posts so users can “Like” their posts.

This mimics the “Like” heart icon in Instagram and Twitter, which is easily recognizable for mobile users familiar with those platforms.

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19. IndiaMART

IndiaMART is the largest online B2B marketplace in India, and its simple category-based mobile store makes it one of the best mobile websites we’ve ever seen in the ecommerce industry.

The company’s mobile homepage puts the search bar right at the top so you can always retreat to a custom search if browsing no longer suffices to find the item you’re looking for.

But, IndiaMART makes it easy to peruse its digital aisles by sorting each item by item type, and then sub-types within each item type — a smart design move to encourage users to explore your site further. Under “Apparel & Garments,” for example, you have easily clickable tiles to check out more specific categories of clothings, such as menswear, women’s dresses, and even suits, sarees, and similar garb native to India.

indiamart-mobile-website

Underneath IndiaMART’s browsing tiles, the company has its own trending section specifically for merchandise people are paying most attention to — similar to a trending list of news on a social media platform. Each trending category has a mobile-friendly call-to-action button allowing users to get price quotes for the product they’re interested in.

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Want more information on how to optimize your business for mobile devices? Download the free kit on mobile marketing below.

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New Details Have Emerged on the Facebook Data Attack. Here's What You Need to Know.

Facebook today released new information regarding a data attack that compromised the personal data of 30 million users.

First reported on September 28 — approximately three days after the full issue was allegedly first discovered — a vulnerability in Facebook’s “View As” feature allowed hackers to gain unauthorized access to private account information for personal user accounts.

It was originally estimated that 50 million users were impacted. That number has now been lowered to 30 million.

Here’s the latest on the issue from Facebook, and how marketers should be prepared for what comes next.

The Latest Information From Facebook on the Data Attack

There were two key items in the update from Facebook today:

  1. The number of people affected: Facebook estimates that 30 millions accounts had their private data compromised, which is fewer than the original figure of 50 million.
  2. The nature of the personal data obtained by hackers.

Of the 30 million users affected by the incident, 15 million of them had two sets of information compromised: their names and their contact details. Information within the latter includes user phone numbers, email addresses, or both, depending on what each user disclosed on their profiles.

For another 14 million users, hackers gained those same two sets of information, as well as a plethora of personal details. These include:

  • Username
  • Gender
  • Locale/language
  • Relationship status
  • Religion
  • Hometown
  • Self-reported current city
  • Birthdate
  • Device types used to access Facebook
  • Education
  • Work
  • The last 10 places they checked into or were tagged in
  • Website
  • People or Pages they follow
  • Their 15 most recent searches

Users can see whether or not they were affected by the security issue here.

New York Times tech reporter Mike Isaac was one of the millions impacted back the attack, and shared the details of what affected users might see on Twitter.

Users who were likely not impacted might see this message on the aforementioned link:

Facebook said today that the FBI is investigating the attack — the latter has reportedly requested that the company not publicly discuss who might be behind it.

What Marketers and Businesses Should Know

Perhaps most troubling about the information revealed today is the nature of information scraped by hackers — particularly user search and location history.

This is far from the first time Facebook has dealt with high-profile security issues. Over the past two years, the site has been repeatedly weaponized by foreign actors in coordinated misinformation campaigns. The personal data of 87 million of its users was improperly harvested by an app developer. 

Could this latest data attack be the last straw for users?

While 60% of the users we surveyed when news of it first broke said that the breach has not caused them to stop using Facebook, or delete their accounts — these latest details might change their minds.

That number could remain steady, and we plan to measure it as news of these details continues to reach the public. But in the meantime, marketers might want to re-examine what their plans and strategies could look like with a drop in their Facebook audiences. 

According to earlier reports, Facebook Business Page engagement has dropped by an average of 50% over the past year. Combined with these latest events, some businesses might reevaluate how they use the site.

This is a developing story that we will update as more details emerge.

Using Agility as an Excuse for Indecisiveness

The following is a guest contributed post from Alani Setalsingh, a Mobile Strategist and Business Analyst at Propelics.

Agile is one of the biggest buzzwords in business today. Companies are either starting to utilize Agile methodology as a means to run their businesses or are beginning to explore how to properly “be Agile.” Agile methodology helps business groups show progress and results more quickly and effectively than in the past. Although many companies confidently claim to be Agile, after review it becomes clear that not only are they not properly implementing Agile, but in fact they are using this methodology as a way to justify indecisiveness. Companies need to understand that if a business process is working well, then the entire business may not require adjustment. Many successful companies don’t use Agile yet will continue to be successful-even when compared to Agile businesses.

Agile is often described as “a process based on iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams. Agile methods or Agile processes generally promote a disciplined project management process that encourages frequent inspection and adaptation, a leadership philosophy that encourages teamwork, self-organization and accountability, a set of engineering best practices intended to allow for rapid delivery of high-quality software, and a business approach that aligns development with customer needs and company goals.” 

Agile methodology is a great option if implemented properly. But oftentimes it can lead to longer development cycles and out of scope project specifications that only complicate tasks. It’s not enough for a company to simply decide to use Agile. They must also invest in training their employees to properly understand the benefits. Companies must also be willing to try new tools, invest in training and implementation, and take the time to give the methodology a chance by starting small (versus altering the entire company). That’s not to say these companies have no chance of success once they’ve given Agile a chance and failed, but there are necessary steps and points to keep in mind if being effectively Agile is the end goal.

Though this is only a start, the following points will certainly help companies better utilize all the advantages of an Agile methodology:

Firstly, companies must be willing to try new tools specifically designed to facilitate a more Agile approach. Tools like JIRA exist to better help companies plan their projects and more effectively track things like releases, sprints, bugs and tasks.

Secondly, companies must be willing to train employees on Agile and ensure they know how to implement the lessons they have learned. Without training, people will create their own versions of agility. Sometimes these may work, but more frequently they will be time consuming and costly for the overall business.

Lastly, it is of utmost importance not to give up after your first failed agile project. Process changes take time for people to accept and fully utilize. Rather than giving up, learn from the mistakes made and work to limit these issues in the future. Granted, this is a lot easier said than done. But with the right mindset, many businesses can reap huge benefits and rewards from going Agile.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alani Setalsingh is a Mobile Strategist and Business Analyst at Propelics. Alani earned his MBA from Suffolk University and has guided numerous Fortune 500 Companies on their internal mobile apps programs. Alani helps clients redefine their business processes to support a fertile and robust mobile environment. He is most passionate about Healthcare Mobility and all the myriad benefits it can bring to patients and caregivers alike.

The post Using Agility as an Excuse for Indecisiveness appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

What is the Most Effective Tool in Mobile Marketing?

Back in the old days of marketing, there was really only a limited way of doing things. Having a website that advertised your products and services was enough to direct potential customers to you. But, as the way consumers moved about online changed – and the way digital channels opened up – there became a multitude of ways to attract customers and to try to get customers onto your website. As we tended towards mobile for how we consumed online sites, to the way online content was optimized, to the increase in social media marketing alongside our traditional marketing efforts all affected change in marketing. But, is content as important as social engagement and even responsive mobile sites? Which tactics and strategies should businesses be focusing on to attract the right audiences?

How Useful are Responsive Mobile Sites?

Responsive mobile sites should be the cornerstone of any good marketing strategy. While a solid desktop website can be professional, studies show that the number of visits on mobile between 2016 to 2017 rose from 57 per cent to 63 per cent, the mobile bounce rate dropped from 52 per cent to 47 per cent, and time spent on websites from a mobile grew from 40 per cent to 49 per cent. Responsive mobile sites not only give credibility to a business, but unresponsive sites are the fastest way to turn off potential customers. Responsive mobile sites differ from a mobile-friendly site, which simply means it looks good on mobile. Responsive mobile sites create a seamless experience for mobile users, that they would generally expect on a desktop. Easy navigation and a customer journey focused map of the site means that customers can be directed where you want them to go while also fulfilling the reason they came onto your site. The user focused environment created by the responsive website will also aid the business in its SEO efforts for optimizing the website. SEO in recent years has become crucial in how a business drums up customers. Not only is the end product of the website important, but the breadcrumbs left for customers to find the website also plays a large part in how successful it is.

How Useful is On-Site Content?

Content is one of the biggest marketing buzzwords of recent years, so it stands to reason that there is some importance to it. On-site content not only further shows a customer what your brand is about and what your key marketing messages are, but it also helps position you as an expert in your field through the blog. Infographics and blog posts can be used as references for customers and other likeminded businesses. The more you know about a topic, especially one you purport to be helping a customer with, the more likely they are to choose your business over a competitor. For example, chocolate spread brand Nutella have a segment of their website dedicated to recipes using Nutella as a key ingredient. Wink Bingo offer information on bingo terminology, how to play various styles of bingo, and other tidbits of information on their blog. Construction game brand Lego have a variety of videos on their site showing how the finished models look and how they can be used. Clothing retailer Topshop has a section of their website devoted to articles and blogs about style trends and what people should be wearing. Companies can use their on-site content for SEO purposes too, ensuring keywords that would be searched for are delivered in a way that adds meaning for the customer.

How Useful is Social Engagement?

One of the biggest coups for marketing has been social media. Social media allows marketing messages to be sent out cheaply with a potentially hugely-wide reach. With many different platforms – from Instagram for personal trainers, to Pinterest for wedding planners – businesses can ensure they are showcasing their products and services, sharing their on-site content through posts that deliver meaning and drive engagement. Social engagement can even take on a life of its own if a post goes viral or is linked up with an influencer who can help drive further engagement for the brand. Social engagement can also involve a paid element and entire campaigns can be developed with an objective in mind. These can work effectively to ensure the messages are delivered to consumers, goals are achieved, and the money spent on doing so is far less than what may have been done through more traditional methods of marketing such as print advertisements, billboards, or TV spots.

Should There Be a Holistic Approach to Marketing?

While each approach has its strengths, the only true way to ensure a strong marketing strategy is to implement all aspects. Responsive mobile websites work in tandem with referrals from social media. 61 per cent of people in the United States view social media from their mobile phone, meaning that’s where they are likely to see the link to your website. Complete the customer journey by directing them from the social media with a clever and engaging strategy to the responsive website. If both are engaging and working well enough, they should create a positive business profile in the mind of the customer. This can be furthered through the use of useful and informative content. Good uses of text and graphics, not to mention video, can ensure that any doubts potential customers may have are obliterated and they choose your business to complete their transaction.

When it comes to marketing, there is no single fix solution for a good strategy. While a responsive mobile site – and desktop site – customers get a taste for your business and your professionalism and ability to fulfill their needs. With on-site content, you can position yourself as an expert in your field and provide valuable information to keep the customer happy. With social media marketing you can disseminate your marketing messages further and wider and for little cost. Ultimately, applying all three strategies at once is the best way to create a solid and effective marketing plan.

The post What is the Most Effective Tool in Mobile Marketing? appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

MWCA Wrap Up: How One Brand Drove 60% Higher Click Rates with RCS

The Mobile World Congress Americas (MWCA) event was another great success this year, with over 22,000 attendees coming out to see the newest cutting-edge technology. For us, perhaps the most exciting new technology is RCS (Rich Communication Services). The world’s first hologram conducted by Verizon was pretty cool too, but comes second to RCS for us because it didn’t quite meet our Star Wars expectations.

For those new to RCS, let’s back up. RCS is a term for rich business-to-consumer messages which, unlike SMS, are not limited to just plain text. RCS allows brands to send interactive and engaging messages to their customers, bringing a variety of experiences directly into the users’ messaging application. It hosts conversational features that were historically confined to apps, like rich media, custom branding, and allowing users to find the nearest store location or even place an order without ever leaving the messaging app.

At MWCA, our partner Subway was one of the 20 brands that demonstrated how they are successfully interacting with their customers via RCS. Carissa Ganelli, Chief Digital Officer for Subway took the stage to give the audience her perspective on the evolution of messaging, and the success Subway has seen while using RCS. Already an advocate for using SMS to increase customer loyalty, Carissa is excited about the evolution of SMS with RCS. RCS will finally give Subway the tools to practice fundamental marketing strategies with rich content in the form of images and vides of delicious subs, and simple user flows which make it easy to order and reorder food. To help this evolution to come to fruition quickly, Carissa spoke directly to the carriers like Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T, asking them to begin the process of onboarding RCS with their subscribers.

To further demonstrate the impact RCS is having on her business, Carissa shared the key highlights of the latest Subway RCS campaign on Sprint. Subway RCS subscribers had a 60% higher click rate, and 146% higher intent to purchase than SMS subscribers. Overall, the test group performed three times higher than the results she presented at the MMA CEO & CMO Summit, from the campaign Subway did with Mobivity in February of 2018.

RCS Subscribers Had a 146% Higher Intent to Purchase Than SMS Subscribers

As for us, we’re busy supporting the growing RCS ecosystem by helping to deploy the messaging service globally. Mobivity is working with Google who has now officially partnered with Samsung for additional device and carrier reach. You may remember our prediction that messaging will eventually topple apps as one of the main ways brands will communicate with their customers – and we think that time is drawing nearer!


If your brand is ready to get started with RCS and be at the forefront of business messaging innovation, Mobivity can help get you there. Learn more – schedule your personal call today!

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How Rewarded Video Ads Can Drive In-Game Purchases

The following is a guest contributed post by Fernando Saiz, CMO at Tappx.

The rewarded video ad format is adored by the mobile gaming and advertising worlds. We now finally have an ad format that satisfies the needs of advertisers, publishers and gaming audiences. Rewarded video ads provide gamers with a reward for watching the entire length of a video ad. In the mobile gaming world, this format works extremely well in mobile games. For developers, rewarded video ads offer the potential to increase in-app purchases and lengthen play session times, therefore increasing loyalty and retention. Also, they provide advertisers with advantages that stimulates higher ROI and engagement levels. Finally, many users express greater amenability for watching rewarded video ads over any other ad format.

Can rewarded video ads help drive in-game purchases?

Imagine if you’re playing a game, and you’ve just finished an end-of-level boss with a life remaining. Following this level, you watch a rewarded video ad and you’re then given an extra life. This method of non-disruptive advertising gives players the chance to extend play time, without hassle or interruption to game play. Extending the amount of time spent in a game is perhaps the single most important way players become more invested in games, thus building loyalty. This then translates to increased gaming session times and retention. As players invest more time and energy into their games, this leads to greater levels of excitement, therefore increasing the probability that they will conduct in-game purchases. Also, developers can receive a higher CPM for rewarded video ads than static ads. In addition to earning more, developers benefit from displaying ad formats that positively contribute to the overall user satisfaction within a game.

Facebook commissioned mobile games research has reported that mobile gamers are a staggering 18% more likely to conduct an in-app purchase when served a rewarded video ad, versus non-choice based advertising. See the May 2017 report here.

The key point is to build the right rewards, and to then decide when are the optimum moments to serve rewarded video ads, and balance the timing for delivery of ads during gaming sessions. The main objective is to provide gamers with a taste of all the benefits of a game, whilst earning a remnant revenue. Don’t let these ads eat into your main source of revenue, so be considerate about your content and it’s delivery times.

Constantly review your metrics and decide whether or not to deploy rewarded video ads. What’s the conversion rate from player to paid player? What’s your ARPDAU? Or what are the valuable items that remain unsold and should be promoted? Rewarded video ads can serve as a research A/B machine for testing new features and getting acceptance from your current ones.

How do Rewarded Ads benefit the Advertiser?

The key thing for advertisers to note is that users choose to engage with rewarded video ads. Therefore, the user is engaged with the video and is incentivised to complete watching the video ads. What’s more, the video is guaranteed high viewability. The developers also have the incentive to place as many rewarded video ads as is practical, such as between game levels or during loading screens. This provides the potential for repeat ads within the game, thus promoting brand recall. Some of the key benefits which rewarded video ads offer advertisers include high viewability, engagement, and completion rates, as well as increased brand recall.

Why are users excited about rewarded video ads?

In one survey done, almost 80% of gamers expressed interest for watching rewarded video ads in exchange for in-app benefits. For mobile gamers, these benefits could be in the form of in-app virtual money, extended gameplay life or other in-game assets. All of these examples enhance the quality of the user gaming experiences, which makes gamers increasingly happy. In the best case scenarios, rewarded video ads can deliver rewards that extend the user’s play-time, which benefits both the gamer and the developer.

Secondly, rewarded video ads work best when they give the user the option to engage with them. This way, the user feels that they themselves have made the decision to exchange their time for watching an ad for a reward. Game apps which provide the option to pay or watch ads receive a 10-15% boost in user reviews.

The proportion of mobile users that does conduct in-app purchases is relatively quite small, so it’s advisable to deploy rewarded video ads to convince users about the benefits and value of additional (paid) game features. A comprehensive survey conducted by Facebook reported that 71% of mobile gamers prefer to ‘pay’ for in-game content by watching video ads. The same survey reported that almost half of US gamers prefer rewarded video ad over any other ad format. This all clearly shows that rewarded video ads are hugely popular and effective, as they expose players to paid in-app features, they assist in increasing retention, LTV and more importantly, revenues.

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Driving Customer Frequency for a $2 Billion Casual Dining Chain

The Challenge

With competition in the casual dining industry stronger than ever, and decreasing profits caused by the rising costs of food and labor, one $2 Billion casual dining chain decided it was time to reposition themselves in the forefront of their customer’s mind and drive customer frequency with a new marketing strategy, and came to Mobivity to help.

The Approach

Recently, the brand engaged with Mobivity to launch a 90-day personalized marketing campaign across a 19-location pilot market. The brand needed an easy way to communicate directly with their customers in a place they were sure to hear them. re•ach allowed them to send the right message, to the right person, at the right time through the channel consumers prefer – the phone that travels with them everywhere.

To help launch and promote a successful campaign, Mobivity’s Account Management team worked with the client to devise a simple but effective cross-platform approach for informing customers about how to join the club, and made sure that the offers those customers received were successful in driving customer frequency for the brand.

The Results

To date, the results of the program have surpassed the clients’ expectations, while highlighting how targeted messaging campaigns can increase sales and drive frequency for casual dining concepts. Their goal was to reach 2,850 subscribers across the 19 locations, and they reached 70% of that goal within only the first two weeks of their 90-day campaign.

Driving Customer Frequency with Personalized Results

SMS messages have an average read rate of 98% within the first three minutes of receipt. re•ach proved to be an effective way to communicate with customers as the chain saw a 6% redemption rate on their highly-targeted offers. During these broadcasts, offer landing pages allowed Mobivity to collect deeply integrated redemption data tied back to individual consumers’ phone numbers, creating an opportunity for further personalization in the future.

Delivering Personalized Marketing, Increased Sales, and Frequency at Scale

Mobivity operates re•ach campaigns for some of the largest brands in the world across more than 40,000 locations, engaging millions of consumers each month, resulting in millions of dollars in attributable sales. If you’d like to see what re•ach could do for your business, fill out the form below to start the conversation.


Interested in learning more about how the re•currency suite could help jumpstart your business and drive customer frequency? Give us a call at (877) 282-7660, chat with our team on this page, or fill out the form below to start the conversation today.

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Four Types of Mobile Marketing Campaign You Should Know About

Did you know that the average person spends more time on their smartphone than they do on their desktop? Whether or not this statistic surprises you, what it does do is highlight the importance of mobile marketing to businesses like yours.

Indeed, with the average user engaging with their apps around 15 times a day, there is a whole world of opportunity out there, but the downside to this is that there’s also an awful lot of competing content.

That’s why it’s so important to understand the different mobile marketing techniques and how best to use them. Luckily for you, we’ve created this brief rundown of the big four to help you…

Promotional campaigns

The number one way to spread the word about deals and new content, mobile promotional campaigns should be included in your marketing plans from day dot. An integral means of sharing enticing offers, such methods are used by numerous big name brands to get easy sells, such as the Betfair free casino bonus or the latest two for one from well-known eateries out there. Although they can and should be employed as part of your ongoing lifecycle marketing, they also have a place in highlighting time-limited offers, where a sense of urgency and big flashing letters are invaluable.

Transactional campaigns

Promotional campaigns are an integral part of successful mobile marketing, but so too are their transactional counterparts. Although their branding potential is frequently overlooked, such messages can actually be very useful. The way these messages work is that they pop up following a transaction, such as a sign-up or purchase, or when a confirmation is needed. Going along with the automatic message or email sent out to confirm this action, they’re a great way to communicate your brand values and coordinate your campaigns.

On-boarding campaigns 

If you’re not already familiar with them, on-boarding campaigns are a way of welcoming customers to your company and getting them started on the right track. Although they vary greatly according to the functionality of the individual website or app, the premise behind them is simple: to introduce your brand ideals, help users get the most from your mobile content, and lay the foundations for consistent future engagement. With studies showing that 55 percent of people who are engaged with in the first week after download are retained, such campaigns really are worth pursuing.

Opt-in priming campaigns 

Last but not least, opt-in priming campaigns are your friend. Priming for push notifications or other permissions has been proven to vastly improve a company’s opt-in rates, so you definitely need to know how to do it. Basically, these campaigns focus on finding the very best moment to share the value of opting in with your customers, so a gentle, persuasive nudge can be delivered when they’re most receptive to it. If you need some help with working out how to do that, take a look at this link for eight essential rules of good practice plus examples.

Isn’t it time you improved your techniques and gave your mobile marketing the boost it needs?

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How Your Customers Interact with Offers

In today’s modern era of consumer marketing, it’s all about the offers. There’s an incredible amount of competition in nearly every consumer industry, and for many business owners, the only way to confidently break through this noise is to deliver incentive offers directly into the hands of consumers. A recent industry study from CodeBroker uncovered some interesting insights on the offer preferences of consumers, which can help business leaders better position and optimize offer campaigns.

One overarching theme of the study, and of modern retail thought leadership in general, is that we are now in the mobile-first era of consumer engagement. According to the CodeBroker study, almost half of all consumers prefer receiving and using mobile offers versus paper offers, and those same consumers want to store and redeem those offers directly on their smartphones. Whether you’re a restaurant chain, a retailer, or a specialty services company, it’s all about optimizing the customer experience for mobile. To truly understand and optimize these offers, however, your team must have the resources and tools in place to make confident, strategic decisions.

How can your team optimize offers to better engage with customers?

With industry data available from thought leadership pieces like the CodeBroker study and innovative technological advancement from consumer marketing companies such as Mobivity, retailers, restaurants, and personal care brands can start to optimize the level engagement possible through offers. Here are some creative ways to get started with customer-focused offer solutions:

  • Double-down on text offers: Based on the CodeBroker study, consumers not only prefer mobile offers, they prefer offers delivered via text message. Nearly 60% of consumers say they are likely to use a text offer within one week of receiving it. The average consumer checks their phone every few minutes, and targeted, personalized text messages are the best way to take advantage of this untapped opportunity. Working with a dedicated communication platform such as Mobivity re•ach can help your team deliver SMS messages with personalized offers based on your customers previous buying habits. SMS offers also help drive urgency and increase repeat customer visits.

  • Make offer decisions based on consumer data: According to the CodeBroker study, single-use offers with a higher discount are used more than low-value offers that can be used more than once. Test out different offers with your customers and see which have the best conversion rate. Gathering transactional details from your POS system through a solution such as Mobivity re•capture can also help influence the type of offers and marketing campaigns your team runs. With this data, your team can see how your actual customers are engaging with your offers and campaigns to make better long-term marketing decisions.

  • Start sharing offers with customers instantly: As soon as a customer gives you their contact information, or signs up for your mailing list, it’s time to start sharing offers. According to the CodeBroker study, 68% of consumers are more likely to join a mailing list or share contact information if they know they’ll receive an instant offer in return. Starting off on a good foot with new customers can drive brand loyalty down the road as well as increase revenue in the short term. Think about receipts, for example. These are a necessary part of every transaction, so why not take advantage of receipts as a marketing opportunity? Your team can deliver digital, mobile-optimized receipts with personalized offers via Mobivity re•ceipt, which leverages POS data gathered through re•capture to target offers directly to customers based on their purchase history.

  • 68% of Consumers Are LIkely to Join a Mailing List if They Receive an Instant Offer

  • Optimize and customize offers: As in life, the adage is true that no two customers are the same. While some customers might respond to an online ad (around 23% of consumers, according to CodeBroker) others might be more inclined to respond to an in-store offer (this appeals to a whopping 57% of consumers, according to the CodeBroker study). With the Mobivity re•currency suite of solutions, your team can not only break down how your customers are responding to your offers, you can also modify and update marketing campaigns to better attract new audiences. If you realize that most of your offer redemptions are coming from social media ads, then your team can quickly mobilize new social ads and offers specifically designed to increase customer frequency and profits.


If your team is ready to move into the new era of mobile-optimized customer offers, Mobivity can help get you there. Learn more – schedule your personal call today!

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Cross-Device Isn’t As Adopted As You Think

The following is a guest contributed post by Keith Petri, Chief Strategy Officer, US, at Screen6

Ad tech is struggling to transition to a state of full maturity, and that’s largely due to the continued acceptance of half-truths and inadequate technological shortcuts. As an industry, we need to demand better, and we need to hold vendors accountable to the claims they make. “Cross-device” is not a term that was made up for marketing materials. It’s a legitimate need among marketers today, and the entire supply chain needs to begin treating it as such.

The truth is that cross-device is being inadequately addressed by many players within the marketing industry, and the vast majority of companies that say they’re enabling cross-device are either openly lying or seriously bending the truth. Why are industry players obscuring the truth about cross-device? Quite simply, because they can.

A Culture of Box-Checking

DSPs and SSPs know they need to be able to list “cross-device” among their capabilities. Unfortunately, most platforms right now are only doing the bare minimum to be able to check this box for their clients.

When marketers say “cross-device,” they mean they want to be able to identify an individual across their various devices and tailor their ad experiences based on knowledge of this individual. But this isn’t the idealistic definition that’s being applied to their campaigns.

Most platforms are currently hacking the concept of cross-device. Some of them do this through simple IP matching, where they tie multiple devices to a single profile based on their use of the same IP address. But IP addresses are not identifiers for individuals. Not even close. These addresses can, but rarely, represent a single device, a router or even a cell tower communication channel. Many people and devices—computers, cell phones, streaming video players, etc.—can communicate over a single IP address, even simultaneously. These addresses can’t be used to identify an individual. They can’t even reliably be used to identify a household.

Many platforms also mislead marketers when they claim to have access to certain cross-device audiences. Let’s say a platform claims to have an auto intenders segment across mobile and desktop. That’s cross-device, right? Not necessarily. It’s more likely that this given audience segment includes auto intenders on mobile and auto intenders on desktop—but they’re not the same people. The mobile audience members are entirely distinct from the individuals who are using their desktops.

DSPs and SSPs today don’t have an interest in building out true cross-device capabilities because they’re not being incentivized to do so, nor are they being penalized for not doing so. This brings us to another deficiency in the marketplace: attribution and verification providers that aren’t accurately measuring cross-device activity.

The Attribution Deficiency

Marketers are partnering with any number of attribution and verification providers today in order to understand the effect of their media spends and ensure all of their supply-chain partners are delivering what they say they’re doing. Such third-party monitoring is designed to keep DSPs and SSPs on the straight and narrow, but that’s not happening in the realm of cross-device. That’s because most verification vendors aren’t handling cross-device attribution appropriately – if at all.

Attribution and verification vendors understand that marketers today are looking for multi-touch attribution solutions that account for cross-device activity. But, like the platforms, they’re only taking bare-bones steps to check the right boxes. Most of them do, in fact, measure activity across channels, but they’re not connecting the activity on different channels and devices to an individual. They’re measuring IDs, not people. Unfortunately, every ID represents only a fraction of a given person.

The marketing industry has been talking about the need and the promise of cross-device for a long time, and rightfully so. I think we can all agree that the need to create seamless experiences for customers and prospects across their ever-multiplying devices is a topic worthy of discussion.

But here’s the problem: thanks to the amount of time we’ve spent heralding the importance of cross-device over the past five years, most advertisers have come to believe that we’ve solved for it. And we haven’t. Not by a long shot.

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How re•capture and re•cognition Work Together to Drive Frequency

As a restaurant owner, you’re pulled in a million different directions. Between keeping on top of menu offerings, guest experiences, and making sure your business stays profitable, you don’t have a lot of time to think marketing strategies. What if we told you we have a solution in our re•capture and re•cognition products that will work hard to provide you with insights specific to your business and is proven to increase your bottom line?

That’s where re•capture comes in. re•capture gathers and normalizes the data from every customer transaction, regardless of which POS system you use. Capturing data from your loyal customers is essential in serving them better, but what’s the point of having mass amounts of data if you don’t know what to do with it? You guessed it, we have a solution for that too. re•cognition takes the data from each transaction, and identifies trends that can have a direct effect on your business. re•capture and re•cognition work together seamlessly – gathering and cleaning your data so you can act on these insights to make your business move.

So, How Does It Work?

One of the ways re•cognition drives better marketing decisions is in-depth basket analysis. Simply put, re•cognition takes inventory of the items consumers commonly buy together. Finding these correlations allows marketers to execute offer pairing – if a customer is buying coffee, past purchase behavior could prove that a cookie would be a good offer to pair with it. These insights give business owners a clear view of the increase in average ticket when these commonly paired items are offered as a combo deal. Customer data gathered by re•capture and analyzed by re•cognition can also allow brands to group customers based on how often they visit or how much they spend, allowing for even more targeted communications and avoiding ‘one size fits all’ promotions. And the best part? re•capture works with almost all existing POS systems already, meaning no expensive and timely upgrades for your brand.

But That’s Not All

re•capture and re•cognition allow for business forecasting – predicting sales and transactions for different items and day parts. Forecasting is useful for owners when calculating how much store inventory will be needed week over week, how many employees will be required during a given shift, or how many subs are sold during a typical month. Forecasting allows business owners to find trends that effect their revenue, such as how the rainy weather changes the amount of soup sold.

Why Wait

These two products work together to provide insights that are invaluable to your business. The sooner re•capture starts gathering data from your POS, the sooner re•cognition will deliver the actionable insights you need. Beginning today hastens the results you see next week, next month, and so on. Business outcomes can always be upgraded!


Interested in learning more about how the re•currency suite could help jumpstart your business and drive customer frequency? Give us a call at (877) 282-7660, chat with our team on this page, or fill out the form below to start the conversation today.

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11 Examples of Experiential Marketing Campaigns That'll Give You Serious Event Envy

Work events are really hit or miss. Let’s be honest: How many times have you found yourself anxiously fidgeting with a paper napkin in the corner of a stuffy networking happy hour?

Here’s the thing: It’s not the event itself that prevents you from coming back the following year. It’s the experience you remember having. In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the best experiences brands have ever offered their customers.

I have a big problem with generic trade shows and industry conferences. That’s why I was not only relieved, but surprised and delighted, when I attended a holiday party that featured a live, interactive version of an arcade game.

An entire room had been curated to look like a video game setting, and people were dressed up as characters from it. There was a giant, real-life scoreboard, boppy electronic music, and best of all, there was no tedious small talk.

It wasn’t just another tired work event … it was an experience. And in our line of work, that sort of thing has a name: experiential marketing.

While a surprising number of people haven’t heard of the concept, it’s kind of a big deal — there’s an entire three-day summit dedicated to it, and 65% of brands that use it say that it positively correlates with sales.

But what is it, exactly? And how has it been used effectively? We found 11 of the coolest experiential marketing campaigns that really break down how it works, and how you can apply those lessons to grow your business.

Experiential marketing might sound a bit like event marketing, which makes sense — experiential campaigns do tend to be event-centric. But there are also times when they have nothing to do with a specific event, as you’ll see from the examples we picked.

When an engagement marketing campaign is event-centric, it’s dedicated less to the type of event — like a concert, festival, conference, etc. — and more to interactions between the brand and the customer. (If you already have an event in the works, check out this guide to adding experiential elements to it.)

These campaigns can take an integrated approach. The primary purpose is to experience a brand in a tangible, offline way, but you’ll still want an online dialogue around it. When you consider that 49% of folks create mobile video at branded events39% of which is shared on Twitter — it makes sense to incorporate a digital element. A branded hashtag, for example, can get people talking about the experience.

11 of the Coolest Experiential Marketing Examples We’ve Ever Seen

1. Refinery29: 29Rooms

For about three years now, lifestyle brand Refinery29 has hosted the 29Rooms event: What it calls “an interactive funhouse of style, culture, & technology.” As the name suggests, it consists of 29 individually branded and curated rooms — and attendees can experience something different in each one. The rooms are designed and created with brand partners, who range from personalities like artists and musicians, to consumer-facing companies like Dunkin’ Donuts, Dyson, and Cadillac.

Each year, 29Rooms has a different theme, with this year’s being “Turn It Into Art.” Attendees, it seems, are encouraged to enter each room and use the surroundings to create something — one room, for instance, invites participants to put on punching gloves and hit punching bags that each produce a different sound when contacted to create a symphony of sorts. A truly hands-on experience, indeed.

Takeaways for Marketers

  • Go nuts, but keep it on-brand. An experience should be memorable, but relevant to the people attending.
  • Partner with creators like artists and musicians to create experiences, especially if they are recognizable within the region where you’re trying to build or augment an audience.

2. Red Bull: Stratos

If you were online October 14, 2012, you probably came across a live stream of the “Stratos” jump.

Red Bull has been at the forefront of extreme sports coverage for almost as long as the brand has existed. But in 2012, the company brought its content marketing to new heights — a world-record height, actually.

Affectionately named Stratos, Red Bull’s superterrestrial marketing campaign featured Felix Baumgartner, a skydiver from Austria who partnered with Red Bull to set the world record for highest skydive.

That record: 128,000 feet, about 24 miles above Earth’s surface. Gulp.

To pull off this amazing stunt, Red Bull housed Felix in a small communication capsule and sent him up to the stratosphere using a large helium-filled balloon. And what’s truly remarkable is that his ascent and preparation to jump, alone, allowed him to break another record before landing safely back on Earth (spoiler alert): Red Bull streamed the entire event online, and saw the highest viewing traffic of any live stream ever broadcast on YouTube — at just over 8 million viewers.

Want to see that experience again? Check out Red Bull’s recap video below. I won’t lie, I indulged in a rewatching as I wrote this article.

Takeaways for Marketers

  • Don’t underestimate the power of suspense when hosting an event your audience can own a piece of themselves. Being able to witness something new, and maybe a little scary, is such a personal experience. And the better the result, the longer your audience will remember and reminisce over it.
  • Oh, and if you can put your brand in the record books while you’re at it, that’s pretty cool too.

3. Lean Cuisine: #WeighThis

It’s disconcerting how many commercials today tell women to change something about themselves. Sitting on the couch and watching TV for just two minutes, I had already lost count of the number of times that message came up.

That’s why it’s so refreshing to see brands like Lean Cuisine, whose marketing used to center solely on weight loss, stray from diet-centric messaging. And its #WeighThis campaign is a great example of just that.

As part of the campaign, Lean Cuisine curated a gallery of “scales” in New York’s Grand Central Station, and invited women to “weigh in.” But here’s the catch: The scales were actually small boards where women could write down how they really wanted to be weighed. And rather than focusing on their weight in pounds — or anything pertaining to body image — the women opted to be measured by things like being back in college at 55, caring for 200 homeless children each day, or being the sole provider to four sons.

What’s particularly cool about this experience is that none of the participants actually interact with a Lean Cuisine product. No one was interrupted, asked to sample something, or stopped to answer questions. In fact, no one was really asked to do anything — the display itself was enough to make people stop, observe, and then voluntarily interact.

Lean Cuisine figured out what message it wanted to send: “Sure, we make stuff that fits into a healthy lifestyle. But don’t forget about your accomplishments. That matters more than the number on the scale.” But instead of blatantly advertising that, it created an interactive experience around the message.

Still, the experience was clearly branded, to make sure people associated it with Lean Cuisine. The company’s Twitter handle and a branded hashtag were featured on the display in large text, which made it easy for people to share the experience on social media. And that definitely paid off — the entire #WeighThis campaign led to over 204 million total impressions.

Takeaways for Marketers

  • Don’t interrupt — especially if you’re trying to grab someone’s attention in New York City, like Lean Cuisine was. If you create an experience that provides value to the people who pass by it, they’re more likely to participate.
  • Figure out the message you really want to your brand to send — that may or may not be directly tied to an actual product, and it might be something that your brand hasn’t said before. Then, build an experience around it.

4. Volkwagon: Piano Staircase

Smile, you’re on piano camera!

In 2009, Volkswagen caught people at their most musical by turning a subway staircase in Stockholm, Sweden into a giant piano when nobody was looking. The next day, each step produced the sound of a different piano key as people climbed up and down the stairs. The campaign was a part of “The Fun Theory,” which suggests people are more likely to do something if it looks fun (I happen to agree).

For Volkswagen, however, the message of fun goes a bit further than just catching people discovering a musical staircase on their way to work.

As the automotive industry started to take big leaps into environmentally friendly products, Volkswagen wanted to help make people’s personal habits healthier to go along with it. According to Volkswagen — and its partner, DDB Stockholm, an ad agency — “fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better.”

According to the video below, 66% more people chose the stairs over the escalator at that particular subway terminal, as a result of Volkswagen’s piano staircase.

Takeaways for Marketers

  • With every marketing campaign you launch, find the “fun” factor. It’s easy to get caught up in how much your brand helps solve your customer’s problem. But what about them, as people, would also bring them enjoyment?
  • Once you find your campaign’s “fun” factor, find the “good” factor. Hosting an experience is your chance to make an impact on your community, not just the users of your product.

5. Google: “Building a Better Bay Area”

Corporate philanthropy is definitely on the rise. Between 2012-2014, 56% of companies increased charitable giving, and Google is no exception. But when the search engine giant gave away $5.5 million to Bay Area nonprofits, it let the public decide where that money would go — in an unconventional, interactive way.

Google allowed people to cast their votes online, but they also wanted to involve the Bay Area community in a tangible way. So they installed large, interactive posters — in places like bus shelters, food trucks, and restaurants — that locals could use to vote for a cause.

Women touching an interactive poster by Google, as part of the company's experiential marketing campaign, Building a Better Bay Area

Source: Google

In the video below, the narrator notes that this experience reaches “people when they had the time to make a difference.” That’s a big thing about experiential marketing: It allows people to interact with a brand when they have the time. Maybe that’s why 72% percent of consumers say they positively view brands that provide great experiences.

And that concept works in this experience because it takes advantage of a “you’re-already-there” mentality. In San Francisco, finding people waiting for the bus or going to food trucks is pretty much a given. So while they were “already there,” Google set up a few opportunities:

  1. To learn about and vote for local nonprofits
  2. To interact with the brand in a way that doesn’t require using its products
  3. To indirectly learn about Google’s community outreach

With the help of the online voting integration — and a branded hashtag: #GoogleImpactChallenge — the campaign ended up generating 400,000 votes over the course of about three and a half weeks.

Takeaways for Marketers

  • Create a branded hashtag that participants can use to share the experience on social media. Then, make sure you’ve integrated an online element that allows people to participate when they learn about it this way.
  • Keep it local! It’s always nice when a large corporation gives some love to its community — in fact, 72% of folks say they would tell friends and family about a business’s efforts like these.
  • Remember the “you’re already there” approach. Find out where your audience is already hanging out and engage them there, instead of trying to get them to take action where they don’t usually spend their time.

6. Misereor: Charity Donation Billboard

When was the last time you used cash to pay for something?

Tough to remember, right? We’re kind of a species of “mindless swipers” — globally, an estimated 357 billion non-cash transactions are made each year. And knowing how often we whip out our cards, German relief NGO Misereor decided to put our bad habit to good use with its charitable giving billboard.

It was what they called SocialSwipe. Set up in airports, these digital posters would display images of some problems that Misereor works to resolve — hunger was depicted with a loaf of bread, for example.

But the screen was equipped with a card reader, and when someone went to swipe a card — for a small fee of 2€ — the image moved to make it look like the card was cutting a slice of bread.

Even cooler? On the user’s bank statement, there would be a thank-you note from Misereor, with a link to turn their one-time 2€ donation into a monthly one.

Needless to say, this experience required a lot of coordination — with banks, airports, and a mobile payment platform. Because of that, the experience couldn’t just be a one-time occurrence. The people who interacted with it were later reminded of it during a pretty common occurrence: receiving a bank statement.

Takeaways for Marketers

  • Visually represent the impact of participating in the experience. People interacting with this display were shown exactly where their money was going — like slicing bread for a hungry family. (Infographics work nicely here, too — check out our templates.)
  • Partner with another brand to create an even better experience. In this instance, Misereor worked with Stripe.com for the payment technology, and with financial institutions to get a branded message on users’ bank statements. (And stay tuned — we’ll talk more about the value of co-branding here later.)
  • Don’t be afraid to nurture your leads. Even if you don’t use something like a branded hashtag to integrate the experience with an online element, find a way to remind someone that they participated.

7. Guinness: Guinness Class

One of my favorite types of marketing is the “aspirational” kind — or as the Harvard Business Review defines it, marketing for brands that “fall into the upper-right quadrant.” Think: luxury cars, haute couture, and private jets. Things we aspire to own.

It’s that last one — private jets — that set apart the Guinness Class experience. For a few weeks, ambassadors dressed in Guinness-branded flight attendant uniforms entered bars across the U.K., where they surprised unsuspecting customers with a chance to win all kinds of prizes.

In order to participate, bar-goers had to order a pint of Guinness. After doing that, they would shake a prize-generating mobile tablet that displayed what they won. They could win everything from passport cases to keychains, but one player per night would get the ultimate prize: A free trip to Dublin — via private jet, of course — with four mates.

What we like about this experience was its ability to associate Guinness with something aspirational, like traveling by private jet. And according to Nick Britton, marketing manager for Guinness Western Europe, that held the brand up as one that doesn’t “settle for the ordinary.

That’s important — and can be tricky — for a brand that’s nearly 257 years old: to maintain its authenticity, while also adapting to a changing landscape and audience. But Guinness didn’t have to change anything about its actual products in this case. Instead, it created an experience that addressed changing consumer preferences — for example, the fact that 78% of millennials would rather spend money on a memorable experience or event than buy desirable things.

Takeaways for Marketers

  • Think about the things your target audience might aspire to, and that you’d like to associate with your brand. Then, build an experience around that.
  • If you do require a product purchase in order to participate in the experience, make it convenient. In this case, people had to buy a pint of Guinness to win a prize, but they were already in a bar that served it.

8. GE: Healthymagination

Think experiential marketing is just for B2C brands? Think again — 67% of B2B marketers say that events make for one of the most effective strategies they use.

That’s why it made sense for GE to invite industry professionals to experience its Healthymagination initiative. The point of the campaign was to promote global healthcare solutions, especially in developing parts of the world.

GEHealthymagination

Source: agencyEA

To help people see the impact of this initiative, GE worked with agencyEA to create “movie sets” that represented different healthcare environments where Healthymagination work took place: a rural African clinic, an urban clinic, and an emergency room. The idea was that doctors would share their stories — live, in front of 700 attendees — that illustrated how GE’s healthcare technology played a major role in each setting.

When people measure the success of experiential marketing, one thing they measure is how much of a dialogue it prompted. And that makes sense — 71% of participants share these experiences. In GE’s case, the point ofHealthymagination was to get people talking about a pretty important, but uncomfortable issue: Access to healthcare in impoverished parts of the world.

But when you create a way for people to become physically immersed in the issue, it also allows them to acknowledge a topic that isn’t always easy to talk about. And that can have quite an impact — this particular campaign, in fact, won a Business Marketing Association Tower Award.

But fear not: That concept also works for not-so-serious, but equally uncomfortable discussion topics. Just look at how well it worked for Charmin.

Takeaways for Marketers

  • Experiential marketing does work for B2B brands. Think about who you’re selling to, and create an engagement that would not only attract that audience, but also present an opportunity for them to experience your product or service first-hand.
  • Get uncomfortable. If your business centers around something that’s difficult or “taboo” to talk about, creating an experience around it can prompt a conversation. But make sure you keep it respectful — don’t make people so uncomfortable that they have nothing good to say about your brand.

9. Facebook: Facebook IQ Live

Facebook — who also owns Instagram — has always understood how much data it has on how people use these platforms. For that reason, it created the Facebook IQ Live experience.

For this experience, that data was used to curate live scenes that depicted the data. Among them was the IQ Mart: A “retail” setting that represented the online shopper’s conversion path when using social media for buying decisions. There was also a quintessential Instagram cafe, chock full of millennial-esque photo opportunities and people snapping them — latte art and all.

The campaign wasn’t just memorable. It also proved to be really helpful — 93% of attendees (and there were over 1500 of them) said that the experience provided them with valuable insights on how to use Facebook for business.

But what makes those insights so valuable? Momentum Worldwide, the agency behind Facebook IQ Live, puts it perfectly: “When we understand what matters to people … we can be what matters to them.” In other words, we can shape our messaging around the things that are important to our target audiences.

And by creating this experience, Facebook was able to accomplish that for its own brand. In creating this experience, it also created a positive brand perception for a few audiences — including, for example, the people who might have been unsure of how to use the platform for business.

Takeaways for Marketers

10. Zappos: “Google Cupcake Ambush”

To help promote its new photo app, Google took to the streets of Austin, Texas, with a cupcake truck in tow. But people didn’t pay for the cupcakes with dollars — instead, the only accepted currency was a photo taken with said app.

And really, what’s better than a free-ish cupcake? We’ll tell you what: A free-ish watch or pair of shoes.

That was the answer from Zappos, anyway. That’s why the brand playfully “ambushed” Google’s food truck experience with one of its own: A box-on-feet — strategically placed right next to Google’s setup, of course — that, when fed a cupcake, would dispense a container with one of the aforementioned goodies.

In order to reap the rewards of the Zappos box, people had to have a cupcake. So while only one brand came away from the experience with an epic sugar high, both got plenty of exposure. And since 74% of consumers say a branded experience makes them more likely to buy the products being promoted, Google and Zappos both stood to gain new customers from this crowd.

But what we really like about this example is how much it shows the value of experiential co-branding. Because Google and Zappos pursue two different lines of business, they weren’t sabotaging each other, but rather they were promoting each other (which is what happens when you pick the right co-marketer).

Takeaways for Marketers

  • Use experiential marketing as a co-branding opportunity.
    • Pick a partner with an audience that would be interested in your brand, but might otherwise be difficult to reach.
    • Make sure your partner would benefit from your audience, too — you want the experience to be a win-win-win: for you, your co-brand, and the consumer.
  • When you do pick a marketing partner, build an experience that requires an “exchange” of each brand’s product or service. That way, the audience is more likely to interact with both of you.

11. Docker: Docker Dash

Docker is a software platform that allows developers to make and run apps on different operating systems — a technology known as “containerization.” By some standards, it’s not the sexiest product you can buy. By an enterprise’s standards, it’s not even the easiest product to understand. Enter: Docker Dash.

In partnership with Jack Morton, Docker used its developer conference, DockerCon 2017, to nurture its core enterprise market with a unique product demo called Docker Dash. What made it so unique? It wasn’t a demo — it was a game. And conference guests weren’t guests — they were players.

Docker Dash was a live video game-style simulation of Docker’s application platform, and it recruited 5,000 of its enterprise attendees to create an app together by solving a series of fun challenges inside the game. Each challenge presented in Docker Dash allowed the “players” to engage a feature of Docker’s product and ultimately complete their app. It was a fun, collaborative way to show enterprise software developers why Docker is invested in the containerization market and the value these people can get from Docker’s product.

Docker Dash got the attention of more than 3.6 million people — those who watched and posted about the event from social media, in addition to those who attended DockerCon in person.

Takeaways for Marketers

  • Conference hosts thrive on attendees who network with one another. By creating opportunities for your attendees to collaborate and play together, you allow them to share their ideas — making for more educated customers as a result.
  • “Gamify” your brand. Give people the ability to play and compete for something, and you’ll instill in them a sense of accomplishment that makes them more passionate about your industry.

Clearly, taking some very calculated risks worked out pretty well for these companies. So when it comes to creating an experience with your brand, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box — and don’t be afraid to work together on it with someone else.

Invest some time into thinking about the ways people could interact with you, even if it seems a little nutty. If it’s aligned with what you do and executed thoughtfully, people will be talking — in the best way possible.

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Op-Ed: The Changing Face Of Influencer Marketing

The following is a guest contributed post to MMW from Shawn Arora, the founder of LaunchSpark, a Toronto-based explainer video agency with a focus on ROI.

The consumption of social media has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade. Instagram, the mobile social network that Facebook acquired for one billion dollars in 2012 is now worth hundred times more. In terms of monthly active users too, this social media platform has grown from 500 million in June 2016 to one billion two years later.

This dramatic rise in social media consumption has contributed to the growth of a new breed of influencers and micro-influencers. These are social media users with a large following of users who are interested in specific niches.

For instance, a pastry maker who posts pictures of their desserts is bound to gather a following of users interested in pastries. Similarly, a gym instructor posting videos of their training sessions is likely to gain a following of fitness enthusiasts. Using these users to promote your bakery or fitness equipment is a great way to not only reach a targeted audience, but also win the trust of these prospective customers.

At the outset, influencers are much like celebrities who endorse brands in exchange for money. But as the industry has grown, we are witnessing a noticeable evolution in the way the industry works.

Size is not everything

One of the most noticeable evolution in this space is the follower size commanded by an influencer. Traditionally, influencer or celebrity based endorsements have relied on the overall authority commanded by the endorser. Not surprisingly then, the highest paid athletes or celebrities are often those with the biggest following. Their endorsement carries more value than one made by a low ranking celebrity.

With influencer marketing however, the focus is not on the number of followers, but how niche the following is. Marketers routinely advise their clients to seek influencers with less than 5000 followers or so.

There are two reasons why this is the case. Firstly, such influencers have a high percentage of followers that meet a brand’s target group. Consequently, your campaign is likely to reach a larger chunk of users who are prospective customers. Compare this with a celebrity like Kim Kardashian who enjoys several millions of followers who do not all fall into the same demographic.

Secondly, such influencers also offer better ROI. This is because at a low follower count, influencers tend to be less demanding and offer a more thorough review of your product. This is likely to bring greater exposure to your brand and consequently higher conversions.

Focus on conversions, not branding

Influencer marketing is essentially the social media equivalent of celebrity advertising. The focus in its early days was brand building and media exposure. Not surprisingly then, some of the biggest social media influencers were also those who were media celebrities. However, the objective of influencer marketing has seen a significant shift in recent times.

Like most other forms of digital advertising, influencer marketing today is highly monitored for conversions. One ‘Psychology of Following’ study of over 4000 consumers published by Olapic shows that over 31% of these respondents had purchased a product based on a social media influencer post. This also follows the pattern of other similar studies in the past that showed that an overwhelmingly large number of users rely on social media recommendations while making a purchase.

Focusing on conversions is a better way to gauge the success or failure of an influencer marketing campaign. This is particularly vital for micro-influencer campaigns where brand exposure and visbility is not of much consequence. Measuring the conversion rate also enables a marketer to benchmark an influencer marketing campaign vis-a-vis other forms of digital marketing like paid advertising.

Personalized campaigns

Traditional endorsement campaigns that had branding as their sole objective did not deviate much from their core messaging. But with modern micro-influencing campaigns, marketers have begun experimenting with both influencers and the message that they want to market.

For instance, brands may hire several micro-influencers, each with their own niche following, and market various products and offers to these distinct audiences. There are a few advantages to this strategy. If you are launching a new line or are not sure about the most effective positioning statement for your brand, it makes sense to experiment with different ideas in silos to measure and identify the best path forward for the product.

More importantly, the turnaround time to measure conversion rate is pretty short with micro-influencers. Brand building can take several months, if not years. Small businesses with bootstrapped budgets may have well depleted their marketing budget before they can realize the ROI from their campaigns.

While these changes have made marketing using influencers much more palatable to the bootstrapped marketer, this is not to say that traditional influencer campaigns do not have a place in the industry today. Even on social media, celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Selena Gomez continue to be the biggest influencers. They continue to be popular for brand building campaigns and for those products that do not need a niche audience group.

But at the same time, such campaigns are increasingly being used by startups and small businesses to market their wares and build a following for their brand and business.

The post Op-Ed: The Changing Face Of Influencer Marketing appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

How to Motivate Your Staff in a Way that Benefits Your Business

When it comes to running a successful business, having the right tools and processes in place are a must. But as any business owner knows, your employees and staff are the keys to ensuring these processes run smoothly and operate at the maximum level. Often, all that separates an under-performing staff from a top-performing one is simple motivation. People enjoy being challenged and engaged, and if employees feel ‘stuck’ doing the same thing day in and day out, your customers can tell, and profits will suffer.

This is why many innovative business owners are turning to gamified employee motivation solutions, which take an innovative, real-time approach to employee motivation. With individual, team, and even location performance metrics recorded and showcased in real-time, employees know exactly how their performance stacks up to the rest of their peers, resulting in higher performance outcomes and increased profits.

What are some added benefits of employee motivation?

With happier, more engaged employees, your team can drastically increase customer satisfaction, upsells, and repeat customer visits. Too often, teams can get bogged down by sales targets, weekly quotas, and location comparison charts, and everything just starts to run together, making little to no sense for the staff actually on the floor. With gamified employee motivation solutions, employers are able to turn motivation and competition into the new normal and create an easy-to-understand set of metrics to grade performance and success.

Other benefits of a gamified employee motivation approach include:

  • More Involved, Engaged Employees: When employees understand how their day-to-day performance is impacting the bottom line of an organization, they are more involved and dedicated to that end goal. By tracking employee performance metrics in a live, universally-accessible location, employees are more motivated to make decisions based on the good of the company. Your organization can expect to see more engaged employees offering up more suggestions and opinions to help move your business forward.

  • Better Accountability and Performance: Employees are also more motivated to perform at a higher level across the board. Most everyone enjoys a little competition, and with gamified employee motivation solutions, the competition is exciting and performance-based. When one Subway franchise implemented an innovative employee motivation solution, the team actually saw an incredible increase in inventory accuracy, less food wastage, and increased employee morale.

  • Increased Customer Satisfaction: Your employees are the face of your organization, and they help set the entire tone for a customer’s visit to your place of business. If team spirit is down or if performance has dipped, it can drastically impact your customer satisfaction rates. When employees actually have ‘skin in the game’, so to speak, and are actively aware of how their actions and output are impacting the company as a whole, they’re more likely to be happier – and make customers happier at the same time.

How to get started with employee motivation.

If you’re not thinking about finding new, innovative ways to motivate your staff, you could be giving up the chance to take both your employees and your organization to the next level of performance. More engaged employees means happier customers, which can lead to increased customer frequency and drive higher profits.

To truly increase your bottom line and step up your employee motivation game, Mobivity’s re•up is the only solution that helps organizations monitor, measure, and reward employees to maximize performance and profits. The re•up solution actually displays employee progress and goals on easy-to-read tablets and monitors so every single person — regardless of location or team — knows exactly how your organization is performing as a whole and at the individual employee level. Your employees are your most valuable asset, and an oft-overlooked source of revenue growth. With Mobivity’s re•up, your organization can:

How to get started with employee motivation.


Mobivity’s re•up works in tandem with the rest of the re•currency suite of solutions to collect customer data at the point of sale and leverage it to drive insightful, proactive decision making. Ready to learn more? Schedule your 1-1 call today to hear about how re•up can be used by businesses to motivate higher performance by their staff.

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Here's How to Add a Link to Your Instagram Story [Pro Tip]

Instagram Stories has extended the amount of time people spend in the app by approximately ten additional minutes. But, while that extra time means more attention and focus on your brand, it won’t translate to much if you can’t get that traffic back to your site.

If you have over 10,000 followers or you’re a verified user, you have an incredibly effective tool at your disposal — the swipe up link. This link enables you to post exciting content regarding a new product, service, or event, and then encourage those users to “swipe up for details”.

But with all that power comes some responsibility. How do you add a link to your story, and how can you use it to its fullest advantage? Let’s dive into that now.

How to Add a Link to Your Instagram Story

I used HubSpot’s official Instagram account for these instructions, since my personal account isn’t verified (I also, you’ll be surprised to hear, don’t have 10,000 followers … ).

1. Take a photo or upload one to your Instagram Story, and then click the icon at the top right that looks like a chain.

2. Here, click “+ URL” to add a link to a web page. If you were interested in linking your Story to your IGTV video, you could choose that option, instead.

3. Type the URL into the text box. When you’re finished, click “Done” in the top right.

4. When you’re ready to publish, click the “+ Story” button at the bottom right of your Story. Now, your published Story has a “See More” swipe up link.

 

Instagram Swipe Up Link Examples

1. @Detoxinista Recipes

Food bloggers such as @Detoxinista use Instagram Stories’ swipe up link to embed recipes on the platform. They wisely post images of delicious-looking food, which incentivizes users to swipe up to learn how to make it themselves. The link isn’t a direct advertisement, but users are directed to Detoxinista’s website, where they can find her cookbook and become familiar with her brand.

2. @Alifedotowsky Clothing Items

If you’re a Bachelorette fan, you might’ve noticed the growing trend among Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants to become product influencers and embed swipe up links in their Stories. As a fashion and style blogger, Ali often takes pictures or videos of outfits she’s wearing, with swipe up links so users can buy the items online. She also often incorporates discounts if users swipe up, further incentivizing a user to purchase an item from a brand’s website.

3. @Popsugarfitness Summer Sculpt Series

One of the most effective ways to use the swipe up feature is to offer your followers something of value, for free. @Popsugarfitness, for instance, introduced a Summer Sculpt series with a tempting offer — “Swipe Up for a 10-Minute No-Equipment Booty-Shaping Workout”. Who could say no to that? Ideally, as users obtain more value from your site, they’ll spend longer on it and become stronger brand advocates.

4. @Reebok Be More Human Campaign

Reebok created a powerful and timely campaign called “Be More Human”, celebrating women’s empowerment through fitness. On their Instagram Stories, they raise awareness for the campaign by showing famous women like Gigi Hadid or Danai Gurira, and when you swipe up, you learn more about Reebok’s campaign and how you can get involved. On the site there are opportunities to purchase t-shirts or donate money, but it’s evident Reebok is committed to staying focused on their messaging above all else, a noble pursuit.

30 days of instagram

 
30 days of insta

Improving Customer Engagement with re•currency

In the restaurant industry, customer engagement refers to the connections a business makes with their guests. No matter the communication channel, brands must understand their customers’ preferences to avoid annoying them with repetitive, dull, impersonal, or too frequent messages that do not add value to their lives.

To have truly effective engagement, businesses need to get to know their customers, and their customers’ spending habits. Capturing data at the POS-level has made it easier for restaurants to identify trends that allow them to engage more effectively. To make the best use of the data collected at your restaurant, we’ve identified three ways to enhance the conversations you have with your customers.

1 – Capitalize on Seasonality

It sounds simple, but one of the best ways to stay top-of-mind with your customers is capitalizing on the trends happening during different seasons. Let’s break it down. You know that with summer just around the corner, your customers will be looking to cool off. Why not help them beat the heat with a cold treat? For example, this summer Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt is adding smoothies and shakes as a way to expand beyond the standard self-serve cup. “Summer is the perfect time to launch these new products,” said Orange Leaf Marketing Director Kristen Campbell, “and we’re thrilled to engage our guests in a fun, new way.” The next time the thermostat reads 104 degrees, send a message to your customers reminding them that your slushies are the best (and the biggest) in town. They’ll be thankful for the added value your brand provided on a day when they were already feeling amped for summer.

“Summer is the perfect time to launch these new products,” said Orange Leaf Marketing Director Kristen Campbell, “and we’re thrilled to engage our guests in a fun, new way.”

But this is just one example of the countless ways to drive seasonal engagement. This fall, promote pumpkin-flavored-anything (trust us, it just works). When winter rolls around, people will be wondering what present to buy their loved ones for Christmas. Why not a gift card to your restaurant? Stay relevant and useful for your customers by contacting them when they might need you most.

2 – Understand Time of Day

Updating your marketing offers based on the time of year is an easy way to relate to customers, but you can get even more granular by changing the way you communicate to customers based on time-of-day as well. When executed strategically, the time of day you reach out to your customers could get them to return more frequently.

For example, your customers typically have patterns related to what time of day they visit your restaurant. On weekdays, there’s probably a standard early morning and lunch crowd of busy office employees kicking off their morning with a bagel or grabbing a quick lunch in between meetings. Sending a message to your early morning visitors promoting your lunch special may entice them to stop in again later that day. Or, if you send a weekend promotional message to your weekday lunch visitors, you might be able to get them to come in on a day they normally wouldn’t. Take it even further by attempting to create an entirely new day-part to bring your customers back, like Taco Bell’s since-abandoned Fourth Meal campaign. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding what triggers your customers to visit your locations, even at times that aren’t normally part of their routine.

3 – Be Aware of Buying Patterns

Personalization is powerful in targeting today’s shoppers; in fact, it’s starting to become expected. One easy way to make your customers feel like you’re catering to their needs is by analyzing what they buy to make suggestions based on those preferences.

If you take time to analyze your sales data and notice that your morning customers tend to buy coffee without any of your delicious food offerings, use this knowledge to suggest a muffin with flavor notes that pair well with your most popular roast! The possibilities can seem endless, and data is your friend in finding a way to build customer groups that may be willing to try something new that your brand has to offer.

Now You Try

Implementing one or all of these tactics will undoubtedly help you improve the communications you send to engage with your customers, and ultimately help drive results for your bottom line. Experiment with these ideas and make moves based on what will work best for your brand. The key is to know what message to put out there, and to use data to help you make informed decisions.


Interested in learning more about how the re•currency suite could help jumpstart your business and drive customer frequency? Give us a call at (877) 282-7660, chat with our team on this page, or fill out the form below to start the conversation today.

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8 Things You Should Never Say on Slack (Or Any Other Work Chat)

Many companies these days use Slack or another work chat application to communicate more efficiently and spend less time writing emails. Whether you currently work for a company that uses Slack in place of email, or are about to start a new job and are not sure what the company’s communication tools are, it’s always a good rule of thumb to be cautious about how you behave in front of co-workers both in person and in a digital chat room.

Though most people are used to the fast ways we communicate through texting and chats, learning what’s appropriate and inappropriate behavior in a digital workspace can be tricky to navigate.

Before you become known as the co-worker who drives everyone crazy on Slack, consider avoiding these 8 words or sayings.

8 Things You Should Never Say on Slack

1. “Bro” or “Dude”

Chatting with you co-workers on a work chat can seem harmless, but you are a professional now and, regardless of how laid-back your work office is, you should always address your co-workers by their first names. Referring to someone as “bro” or “dude” gives off major college vibes, and even if you are fresh out of college, you don’t want your co-workers to continually think of you as the unpolished graduate.

2. “That’s not my job.”

If a boss, manager, or co-worker asks you to do something on your work chat and it’s not something you typically do for them, you should either politely decline, or if you have the time to spare, help them out. It’s never a good idea to respond by saying it’s “not your job” to do something, especially on a work chat where tone can be hard to interpret.

3. “Like” and “Literally”

Most people struggle to avoid using these words when speaking and what’s worse than hearing someone say these words at the beginning and end of all their sentences? Reading it on a work chat or in an email. Avoid these filler words.

4. “I’m bored.”

The history of your chat can always come back to haunt you and the last thing you’d want to have your manager see is your chats about how boring your job is, or how not busy you are at work. Beware of leaving a digital trail of your disinterest in your job.

5. “I’m feeling …”

Using Slack to have a significant conversation is not the best course of action. Work chats should be used for action items and professional discussions, any emotional conversations you need to have with a manager or co-worker should happen in person.

6. “Maybe we can …”

Using tentative language has no place in a work chat. Lean in. The point of using Slack is to get answers quickly, so don’t leave the door open for a lot of back and forth. Instead, be assertive in what you’re asking or answering. Give a firm yes if you can do it, or a no if you can’t. Don’t waste time; Slack and other communication apps are supposed to make collaborating easier!

7. “No worries.”

Again, tone can often be hard to read in an e-mail and saying, “no worries” can be read as passive aggressive, or too short and laid-back. Instead of writing something of as “no worries,” be more direct and only apologize if you truly are sorry for something.

8. Cursing

In general, you should avoid cursing at the office. The last thing you want is to be known as the co-worker who is always dropping the f-bomb. Even if you don’t curse out loud in the office, it might be viewed as disrespectful by some co-workers, especially anyone who works above you. Moreover, cursing sets the tone for the chat and if you’re always cursing, you’re creating the volatile tone in the chat.

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Online Trading Has Been Cleverly Marketed and Its Popularity is Increasing

It used to be that market trading was limited to a certain type of investor. For most people, the idea of playing the stock market or trading currencies simply wasn’t an option that they even considered. Of those who tried, only around 6% succeeded in becoming professional traders.

Yet, the arrival of online trading has ensured that just about anyone can do this, now with a better chance of success. How has this method become so popular that it is seen as a mainstream option for just about every type of investor?

A big part of the success of the online approach to trading is how it has been marketed as an easy and enjoyable way of making money. This has blown away the traditional image that many people had about trading.

Clever New Technology

Marketing teams all around the world now know that people love to see great new technology at work. To help convince you that trading can be fun and modern, these sites use slick platforms that are a pleasure to work with.

You can typically pull up interesting graphs, useful statistics and all sorts of other handy information. This makes it is easy to feel like a professional no matter when and how you trade.

Of course, at its heart, this process is still pretty much the same as it ever was. The basic concept of buying and selling stock or other commodities hasn’t really changed but the ways of doing it have definitely moved with the times.

Free Demo Accounts

We all love to try something for free, especially when it could make us money. To this effect, marketing teams have realized that demo trading accounts are an excellent idea. They give newcomers the chance to get comfortable with the idea of trading without risking their own money.

With a demo trading account, it is possible to try trading and choose the level of account you need accordingly. The type of account you choose then determines how much you can trade and the level of support you receive.

Putting your own money at risk is thrilling – but using a demo account first makes it seems like a natural progression rather than a leap into the unknown.

Mobile Trading

Mobile marketing is a huge part of any brand’s approach, shown by the fact that in 2016 just over half of all digital advertising budgets went on mobile ads. And it makes double sense to target potential traders with it: most people now have a mobile device close to them all day long, it makes a lot of sense to trade with one, too, and it is incredibly simple to stay on top of the markets all day.

All of this makes trading more accessible and enjoyable for lots of people who might not have otherwise tried it. Anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to invest in this way now knows that it is simple to give it a try.

The post Online Trading Has Been Cleverly Marketed and Its Popularity is Increasing appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

MMA CEO & CMO Wrap Up

#ShapeTheFuture

The MMA hosted another spectacular show this year, with executives from all over the world gathering to share their knowledge to help define the future of mobile marketing.

In March 2018, we had the pleasure of presenting The Future of Messaging as a Platform with Subway at the Mobile World Congress. This week at the MMA CEO & CMO Summit in Sonoma, CA, we revisited that topic and showcased the actual results of a Rich Communications Services (RCS) trial we launched in partnership with Subway and the Google RBM platform.

The trial took place in February 2018 across several Subway markets. The Subway team wanted to see what kind of impact RCS capabilities could have on their offers, as RCS allows for richer images, branding, and interactions. They were not disappointed as the initial test, which was a price promo offering two Footlong subs for $11.99, showed a staggering 140% higher conversion rate than SMS.

The next test was a meal deal offer. A meal deal is a higher price point when compared to the price promo offer, which gives customers a discounted price on a single item. Because of the nature of the deal, conversion rates were lower, but still remarkable at 51% higher than SMS.

These results are further proof that consumers expect personalization and options. The future of mobile communication and commerce is here, and RCS incorporates rich media and transactions – all from within the messaging app. We are excited about the work we do with Subway, and are proud to help them execute their omnichannel strategy.

Below is the full presentation given by Carissa Ganelli, Chief Digital Officer of Subway and introduced by Mobivity CEO Dennis Becker.

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“What’s next for mobile? I don’t know. I have some ideas. What I do know, is that it’s not going to be a point solution. It’s going to be omnichannel. It has to be everywhere. You have to think broader than just mobile. You have to think consumers, and how consumers like to interact. And you really have to think about all the underlying, supporting systems that are required to deliver on those consumer expectations.”


Interested in learning more about how the re•currency suite could help jumpstart your business and drive customer frequency? Give us a call at (877) 282-7660, chat with our team on this page, or fill out the form below to start the conversation today.

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