Understanding the 7 Most Popular Social Media Platforms

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Understanding the 7 Most Popular Social Media Platforms

Social media is an elegant answer to small business success. When done right, it can become a free lead generating machine. Internet marketer Chris Farrell, for example, attributes much of his success to Facebook.

How do you use social media marketing to find your target audience? How do you use it to talk to them about how your brand resolves their pressing problems?

Defining Social Media Marketing

 A discussion is only meaningful if everyone defines words in the same way. “If you want to converse with me,” said French philosopher Voltaire, “first define your terms.” 

With that in mind, here is one workable definition for Social Media Marketing (SMM):

Social Media Marketing is a form of Internet marketing that addresses the needs of modern SEO. It leverages the power of social media networks to communicate marketing messages. Sending these messages to a target audience over a period of time helps a business achieve predetermined goals that may include increased website traffic, more newsletter subscribers, higher product conversion, and better brand recognition.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

How you communicate a marketing message depends on the platform itself. On Twitter, links to content work best. On Facebook, images with text work well. And on YouTube, of course, you have to share videos. While some platforms allow you to use many types of media some forms get a better response than others. On Facebook, for example, posts with embedded text in images get more likes than images or text alone.

The Most Popular Social Media Platforms

According to research by Small Biz Trends, these are the top 10 social media websites:

  1. Facebook. Biggest and has the most users.
  2. Twitter. Popular because it offers bite-sized content.
  3. LinkedIn. Most popular site for professional networking.
  4. Google +. Has 300 million active monthly users. It’s popular with those interested in relationship marketing.
  5. YouTube. Projected to gross about $5.6 billion by 2016. Each month, viewers watch 6 billion hours of videos. Each day, mobile users watch 1 billion videos.
  6. Pinterest. Has 70 million users. Its viewers fall in line with the Pareto principle—80% are women, 20% men.
  7. Instagram. Has 300 million active users a month. People here use visual media to share their story.
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The Art of Engagement: The Coca-Cola Difference

Ultimately, a good viral guerrilla marketing campaign promotes a brand or product in an unconventional way that engages customers outside of ineffective, outdated traditional media which has saturated the market and which the general populous has learned to tune out. It needs to make the brand attractive to old and new customers alike, and needs to set itself apart from the competition as distinctively different.

One company that particularly excels at this is Coca-Cola. I’m sure most people can remember the last time a Coke advertisement put a smile on their face or got them a little choked up. But can you remember the last time that Pepsi did that? The main difference is that Coke connects, it makes an emotional impact, and it engages its market-base.

Knowing that your website is completely optimized for search engine visibility is one thing, however, engagement is another. Engagement not only promotes brand awareness, but also builds brand loyalty. These days, in order for an advertisement to capture our attention, we need to be shocked, surprised, and impressed.

Of course Red Bull’s Stratosphere Jump is one of the best examples of viral marketing, attracting a record-breaking 7.1+ million viewers watching the jump live. That is the best record of engagement that any brand and marketing stunt has ever had to date. However, although it is certainly guerrilla marketing, it is a one-time only approach that is in general expensive and not feasible. Viewers were engaged to watch the jump, but are they still engaged with the brand several years later?

Coca-Cola on the other hand, with their “open happiness” campaigns, have found a guerrilla marketing technique that continues to work over and over again, with repeatedly increasing engagement. It may not be a record breaking 7.1 million, but still achieving over a million views on each video is nothing to look down on. Normally, guerrilla marketing campaigns are “High Impact, Low Investment.”

Of course something like Coca-Cola’s “Happiness Machine” and “Happiness Truck” campaigns do include a financial investment because of the free giveaways (which a huge company like Coca-Cola can obviously afford), the outcome far exceeds the invested cost. Not only do people walk away branded in Coke gear, but they have an unforgettable experience with the brand that hits home on an emotional and personal level. This is something that not only these consumers will remember, but also all of the viewers who have watched the campaign the world over.

The Coca-Cola “Open Happiness” campaign is so effective precisely because it is unexpected and it gets people excited about engaging with the brand. Additionally, it helps them form a personal and emotional history with the brand that develops loyalty. Unlike Red Bull, which was most certainly engaging, what Coca-Cola does is it reaches people on a personal level and keeps them engaged for years to come.

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Some of The Most Powerful Advertisement Campaigns of 2015

Visual advertising captures our attention in unique ways. However, as the general demographic has been bombarded with so many advertisements on a daily basis, we have become somewhat immune to straight-forward advertising. Because of this, many marketing companies have had to get particularly creative, whether with wisecrack jokes, something interactive, something completely unexpected, or an element of ambiguity that really makes you think.

From creative bus stop advertisements that make the wait a whole lot more interesting, to magazine advertisements that make you linger on the page, print and other visual advertising is still working wonders all around us.

There were a few particularly powerful outdoor advertisement campaigns this year, however, that went beyond the interactive and unconventional elements iconic of guerilla advertising, which really left an impression with us. Intricate and beautiful prints on online galleries deserve to be seen in their own right, yet some digital billboards and slapdash posters pasted up around the city are undeniably attention grabbing and impossible not to interact with.

28 Too Many Print Advertisement

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One of the most memorable campaigns was the 28 Too Many campaign to raise awareness for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The campaign aimed to confront the fact that FGM isn’t something that just happens in Africa or the Middle East, but that women are at risk in Europe as well. The campaign was simple and effective; they took the flag of several EU countries, such as UK, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and imposed them on a hard, leather-like material and showed it stitched closed with hints of what appear to be blood residue. The effect is that each flag takes on the appearance of an FGM victim; a relatively simply idea with a very powerful and effective message.

Women’s Aid’s “Look at Me” Interactive Billboard

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This digital advertisement campaign by Women’s Aid appears rather simple when you first look at it. You see a woman covered in bruises, clearly a victim of abuse, with the urgent phrase “look at me” posted to the left of her head, and the phrase “we can stop it” posted to the right. However, this billboard implemented facial recognition technology that scanned the crowd to see when people actually looked at the billboard. When people maintained eye contact with the billboard, the woman’s bruises and cuts started to heal. This interactive campaign was incredibly effective in getting people to stop and take notice.

Abrinq Foundation Save The Children Campaign

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One of the most striking print campaigns that we have ever seen, Abrinq Foundation’s Save The Children campaign is absolutely jarring. At first the print ad appears to be like any other populating a fashion magazine, depicting high-fashion clothing articles. However, each garment is striped, and peeking through the stripes of the garment is the sad face of a child that appears to be behind bars. The visual effect is stunning, and the small line of text at the bottom merely mentions that no garment should cost a childhood.

This ad campaign really brings to the forefront the prison of child labor and how our consumerist behavior perpetuates the problem. It ensures that the nagging truth that everyone knows lies behind the fashion industry is not out of sight and out of mind. We think this was a brilliant campaign that leaves a lasting impact.

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5 Strategies to Effectively Manage Your Company Finances

One of the most common mistakes made by small business owners is the failure to properly manage their finances. The trouble with improper money management in business is that cash flow is the lifeline of the business. Even the simplest mistakes or lack of knowledge and resources could cause serious issues for your business in the near future. That’s why it is important to not only learn tactics to effectively manage your finances, but also to employ people and invest in resources that can assist you. Check out this list of tips and resources complied below:

1) Work with a Mentor

Though you may not have thought of a mentor as a resource for financial education, they can be very helpful in this aspect of business. By linking up with business professionals in your industry, they can help you in setting up finances and give guidance as to which resources are best for referencing in the future. There are plenty of platforms you can utilize to find a mentor that best fits your personal and professional needs including the Association of Small Business Development Center.

2) Invest in Accounting and Finance Software

When you’re unable to allocate the funds to hire a full time accountant, the use of certain financial software can aid you in keeping track of your company’s finances. While it may be necessary to consult with an accountant or bookkeeper on a periodic basis, software is a great platform to start with. It will however, be important to select the right programs for your financial needs. For instance, if you’re interested in receiving help with taxes, working with programs like ADP business tax credits and incentives can help you with complying with tax laws while also finding savings on your annual returns. 

If you need assistance with day to day financial record keeping, then going with accounting software like QuickBooks would also be beneficial.

3) Outsource or Consult with an Accountant

Depending upon your company budget, you may not have the financial means to hire an accountant or bookkeeper, but there are ways to still invest in these services. Outsourcing or consulting with a financial expert on the periodic basis can help to keep your finances in order. Accountants are able to record and manage your cash flow, help you in making informed decisions, and ensure that you’re in compliance with any business regulations. However, because you’ve hired them on an as needed basis it won’t cost as much as having someone on staff full time.

4) Invest in Accounting Education

While you may have software and consulting services in place as it pertains to managing your finances, it can hurt to educate yourself as well. Taking accounting courses or trainings as they become available can keep you current on new trends, laws, and regulations within your industry. When considering trainings and educational courses, be sure that you only register with reliable sources as learning the wrong information could prove problematic for your business. Checking out reviews or searching social media pages can be a great way to determine the reputation of a particular instructor or training program.

5) Periodic Measurements and Analysis

It is important to measure your company’s performance and conduct analysis based on your budget. By reviewing financial statements and reports you can ascertain how to better utilize company funds. Is the cost of vendors going up? Do you need to scale back on the cost of operations? All of these questions and more can be answered by thoroughly and honestly measuring your financial performance.

Your company’s finances are too important to overlook or complete haphazardly. Whether you’re just starting out in business or you’ve been at it for a while, you should continue to look for solutions that will help to improve your ability to properly manage your finances. Investing in software, working with financial professionals, educating yourself, and conducting honest audits is certainly a great place to start and will ultimately reveal things about your company that you didn’t know.

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6 Programs for Making Your Ads More Creative

It seems like everywhere you look, you see some sort of advertising. The age-old question is how to make your ads stand out above all the other advertising and noise your customers deal with. Luckily, there are plenty of computer programs that help in you in creating engaging and striking ads that are sure to get the attention of potential consumers.

CyberLink PowerDirector

This top-rated video editing software has key features to take your ads and videos to the next level. The Ultimate edition offers basic video editing and assisted movie making features, which allow you to fill a template with videos and photos, and the program will use the footage to create a movie. What really makes CyberLink PowerDirector a must-have, however, is its ability to edit videos from GoPro and action cameras. Because this footage is sometimes distorted, this software can help edit and correct these issues.

Magix Movie Edit Pro

Magix is well-known in the movie-editing arena, and its latest version offers all the tools you need with an easy-to-use interface. Magix also provides competitive audio and music editing tools along with its video editing. This affordable editing software is rated only slightly behind CyberLink PowerDirector and offers plenty of effects and titling tools to make your ads and videos unique and engaging. The program also comes with cloud technology so you can work on your projects on multiple computers.

Layar

Creating engaging ads involves more than just videos. One of the newest trends in advertising is augmented reality. Augmented reality involves adding more elements to a photo, movie, or website, providing artificial information to a picture or scene. Layar is a program that allows you to create appealing ads even if you don’t have much experience with augmented reality. The drag and drop system offers an opportunity to create interactive ads for your consumers without having to spend a lot of money outsourcing these projects. 

Serif DrawPlus X8

Whether you’re creating a new logo, editing photos, or creating illustrations for your print ads, Serif DrawPlus will handle all these needs. The software is simple enough for those new to graphic design, but offers plenty of features to appease the most experienced designers. You can even use the program to create moving animations for your online ads. Although it lacks some editing features of other graphic design software, it makes up for this with its illustration tools and robust help and support.

Corel PaintShop Pro X8

Corel PaintShop Pro was specifically designed to work with Windows and is highly rated by its users. Many creative minds prefer to use a full-featured Windows laptop, such as those from Lenovo, that they can tote with them and work wherever is convenient. Corel PaintShop is powerful enough for your designs, but won’t slow down or take up too much space on your laptop. This graphic design software leads the way with almost 90 different photo filters and its ability to create panoramas and HDR images. The versatile program is easy to use but has enough capabilities for experienced graphic designers as well. The program has also been rated highly for its help and support options.

Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe Creative Suite has long been the go-to for many graphic designers. The suite offers a wide range of graphic design, photo editing, and video editing capabilities and is constantly evolving with new features. Although the entire suite is expensive, there are different pricing options that include only certain programs. Adobe Creative Cloud also provides users the ability to log in to Adobe from any computer or laptop, instead of being stuck using just one device.

Your imagination is the limit with these designing programs, which give you the ability to create print and online ads, videos for your YouTube channel or website, illustrations, interactive media, and video advertising. If you are fairly new to graphic design, you can find a program that is geared more toward beginners. If you are a pro, these programs won’t hold you back on what you can create with your imagination. Some of them may even spark ideas with their included templates and designs. 

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Social Media Marketing Musts: Equip Your Team with the Tools They Need

Most companies today don’t meet social media consumer needs with a designated social media specialist. Instead companies dedicate this task to an entire social media team and even department. Why? Because consumers expect companies to have an active social media presence. Social media is where consumers go to interact and connect with brands, learn about the latest products and services and engage in a digital customer experience. Dedicating a team to manage this community? It’s essential.

Communicating with your audience or customers on social media channels is also nonstop. Whether your marketing team is in the office or at an offsite event, social media marketers need to be informed and available to connect. Publishing content, interacting and keeping customers up-to-date in real-time is a major part for why social media remains so impactful. Proper preparation and equipment, including the best tools on the market, ensure your brand can stay connected, credible and competitive all the time.

With so many mobile devices, computers and social media marketing apps out there, which will make your social media team the most efficient and effective? Here’s a look at the best tech for your team.

Hardware

First determine exactly what your marketing team uses tech for. Are they mobile social media warriors or stationary office dwellers? What other tasks might they be assigned through the course of a workday or during out-of-the-office events?

  • Tablet: If your social media team is frequently on the go, equip them with a tablet, like the iPad. The iPad mini in particular is travel-friendly and flexible. You can easily and comfortably use it to post, update and share without having to create an entire set up. While iPads are popular, sleek and user-friendly, the gadget doesn’t have all the capabilities of a computer. If your team needs those reliable computer-old capabilities, consider a hybrid computer/tablet.
  • Hybrid computer/tablet: Equipped with a swivel screen, the Lenovo Yoga can stack as a tent or stand. Lenovo designs Yogas in a variety of sizes, so your team gets exactly what fits their needs. Larger screens are easier for navigation among apps and social media websites, while the smaller options are best for those team members who are always out and about. No matter which model your team picks, you’ll get the latest Intel Core i7 processor, or with the premier option, Intel’s Core M processor.
  • Office desktop: If your team isn’t constantly mobile and remote, an in-office desktop might be the best option. Set up two side-by-side screens for maximum viewing space and a full keyboard to keep up with tweets and trends. Reserve one screen for social media strategizing and the other for managing all your networks. Top it off with a wireless mouse. Your marketers can also outfit their desks with desktop monitors and a laptop for even more digital working space. A laptop that can easily be detached from its docking station for a quick meeting offers ease of mobility.

Apps & Programs

The hardware is just the beginning. Without the right apps and programs, your team won’t be able to delegate their social media endeavors properly. There’s much more than daily tweets and Facebook posts if you want your business to flourish. Your business needs a social media calendar, a way to keep track of what has been promoted and how well each tweet, Facebook, blog and Tumblr post has performed. Reports and analysis are just as crucial as your content and strategy.

  • Google Analytics: If you have a website or blog, you’ve likely heard about Google Analytics. This tool provides valuable information for your marketing team and your business executives. It’s a free service that, when linked with a domain, tracks the visitors and how they use your site. Google Analytics tells you where visitors came from, what they look at and even how long they are there. If you don’t track your progress on social media, how do you know if your strategy and messaging are effective? Hootsuite offers a step-by-step guide for tracking social media in Google Analytics. Start off by establishing social media objectives and goals. Then the guide walks you through the setup process, including signing up and adding the tracking code. Then the guide explores how to understand social analytic reporting and using the data to improve the strategy for increased performance.
  • Social Listening Apps: Entrepreneur emphasizes “social listening” as a top marketing priority for performing well in today’s social media environment. Listening to your audience measures your outreach, keeps you well-informed, updates you on trends and notifies you when you need to act immediately. Enhance your social listening with Buzzsumo for an in-depth look on trends and popular content being shared, Mention to receive alerts and manage content that’s posted about your brand in real-time and Cyfe for customizing your dashboard to monitor data from one central location.
  • Sendible: With so many social networking sites — Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Flickr, YouTube, Google+ — how can a single team manage all of these sites? With Sendible, it’s simple. Sendible syncs with the platforms your company has chosen and then creates one simple dashboard for all your post, blog and tweet needs. From the interface, write one post and disperse the content over all your platforms with a click of a button. With Sendible, there’s no clutter of windows as your team tries to juggle different sites. Instead, they have everything at their fingertips.

Social media continues to serve as the preferred platform of connection — a space where people and businesses meet and disseminate information. In September, Instagram hit 400 million monthly active users, according to Marketingland. It’s the second biggest social network next to the giant Facebook, which has a total of 3.5 billion monthly users. If you lack a strong presence on these platforms, you’re excluding yourself from millions and billions of users who could potentially interact with (and boost) your brand on a daily basis. Invest in your social media marketing—be active, consistent, responsive and most importantly, engaging.

Coop Creates The Secret Coffee Shop and Pranks Coffee Lovers

Some people may think that Coop, a grocery store chain, doesn’t serve great coffee. They wanted to prove to the Norwegian people that you can actually buy delicious coffee at your local Coop grocery store and that you don’t have to pay outrageous prices at hipster coffee joints. How did they do this? They hired Norwegian agency We Are Live and created a secret pop-up coffee shop.

For a month, they opened up shop and received over 4,000 patrons to the coffee shop. 67% of people really liked the coffee, 32% found it to be good, and only 1% did not care for it.

After the 30 days, they revealed that the secret coffee shop actually used Coop brand coffee beans. The press went wild after finding out that they were fooled! It just goes to show that perceived value actually works.

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Credits

Advertising Agency: We Are Live, Norway

Tesco Lotus Express Delivers Delicious Beverages via Balloons and Drones

Two popular names, one goal

Here is an advertisement created by Bangkok’s mlnteraction for Tesco Lotus Express, a grocery store chain in Thailand and a subsidiary of the British Tesco chain.

What the eyes see

We are greeted with many different people in Thailand doing their daily activities, which vary from sweeping the streets to studying or selling food. After that, we see messages getting attached to mugs with Doraemon on them, and then these are delivered to the people we saw earlier in the video through different methods of transportation, from RC cars to even drones.

All of this is done to show the viewers and participants that there are small things which make us open up a smile, and also supports the hashtag #welovedoraemon.

The ad can be taken both ways. One of the marking features about it is that it’s rather confusing as unless you know the Tesco Lotus brand, you won’t understand that the product they are selling is the supermarket, even if the promotion of the Doraemon character is understandable enough. Doraemon’s presence is very straightforward as the mugs and the video both show Doraemon nearly as a logo, just like big brands such as Coca-Cola or Pepsi usually do, so when it comes to the character it was advertised very well and showed how much people were happy to get a mug with his cute face on it. This aspect affected the campaign very well. On the other hand, having such a prominence of Doraemon is what instantly makes the Tesco Lotus advertisement fall behind.

Tesco Lotus Express Mug With Doraemon

It’s always very important to create a straight-forward ad, or if there is a mystery around what the product is, it should be revealed in a clear manner at the end since this will then rely on the viewer’s curiosity to stick to their memory. In this case, the Tesco Lotus Express brand was not very visible for the audience, thus wasting a good chance to bring a good name to the company on an even bigger scale.

A mixed balance

Of course, the advertisement did do what it said it would do: bring a smile to the people, which was of course a great treat to the people who participated in the campaign. On top of that, it is sure to bring smiles to the viewers faces, but the fact is that the people exposed to it will most likely just remember it for Doraemon or for the fact that people were happy about getting a beverage in a cute mug. It’s always important to show a satisfied customer, so the ad achieved that and will most likely be remembered for its impact, but nonetheless it has its short comings as mentioned above.

On the positive side is also the factor that just like a supermarket environment it shows the daily life of an average customer who easily would choose to shop at Tesco Lotus Express whenever they are on the go.

It is very hard to do a great ad and sometimes it will be a miss – when there are two products and brans involved it will be harder to keep both shining equally, and often one will fall through, in this case Tesco Lotus Express, while Doraemon succeeded with flying colours.

Credits

Advertising Agency: mlnteraction, Bangkok, Thailand
CEO: Siwat Chawareewong
Executive Creative Director: Jirat Arinrith
Creative Director: Anjawin Shinkhem
Copywriter: Greepol Boonsrangsom
Art Director: Unnopp Nirathon
Interactive Designers: Kitworawej Phongsuwankul, Pornchai Rungsirijaratthong, Keetapol Boonprachak
Animator: Pawitwong Prasitchoke
Client Service Director: Thitirat Tantirittisak
Account Director: Wannaporn Osiriphan
Head of Strategy & Insights: Neil Mavichak
Associate Strategic Planning Dir: Worawin Soncharoen
Strategic Planner: Kwankaow Koosakulnirund
Insights Manager: Pan Jroongtanapibarn
Producers: Sukhontha Jantawong, Akirawat Maneerattanachose

Pepsi Max Creates Vending Machine Where You Pay with Enthusiam at NFL Wembley

In this video, we can see that British agency AMV BBDO installed an unusual Pepsi vending machine vending machine geared towards the NFL match held in London’s Wembley Stadium. Instead of paying with coins, cash or credit card, here you pay by showing your enthusiasm as the machine asks you to scream “there is no party like an NFL party” while dancing, jumping up and down or tackling the machine. There are different ways to get the Pepsi Max can, but all involve being excited about the game the vending machine was installed for. As the video shows, many people approach it and once they pass the test they get a free Pepsi Max can.

NFL Wembley Pepsi Oomph O Meter Ad

Active branding

Throughout the advertisement, just like in any other other Pepsi Max ad we can see the logo very vividly and throughout the video’s duration, which is a good thing as you have to remind customers of the product and never leave the audience wondering what the product is. It also raises the chances of people buying their products, just like seeing the ad over and over again (unless the exposure reaches annoying levels, of course).

The idea itself is very good as it is greatly linked to PepsiCo’s main product via the vending machine through which you can usually get a Pepsi Max can. People will always pay attention to vending machines if they are interested in buying a soft drink, so it only attracts more attention. If to evaluate the advertising method, giving away free stuff is always a bonus as long as the company can afford to do so, which in Pepsi’s case they most surely can.

Give, and you shall receive

It’s a great bonus to advertise with freebies because people love free items, as they don’t have to pay to be exposed to your campaign and then they will surely give their entire attention to the product. Pepsi is quite a known brand, so it’s most that the people there have tried Pepsi but after seeing the advertisement they will choose it over any other soft drink because they have just had one and might be feeling like more throughout the game through the simple mechanism of wanting more after having one nice refreshing can.
The advertisement is also effective because it will leave the customers satisfied by having this unique interaction and people are more likely to discuss campaigns which are fun, unique and catch their eye, so this one will also get the royal treatment of word of mouth. By and large there are no flaws in this campaign – it is creative, straight-forward, free to experience and attention-grabbing from what we see on the video. There you have a huge amount of people approaching the vending machine and participating for their free Pepsi can.

The Pepsi brand itself is associated with its great adverts, and this is another example of how good their marketing agency selection is – props to AMV BBDO!

Credits

Advertising Agency: AMV BBDO, London, UK

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5 Secrets for a Successful Retargeting Campaign

As we all know by now, retargeting has given itself a bit of a reputation, and not the good kind. To avoid this situation and to use retargeting to its true potential, here are some secrets you need to know.

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First things first… what is retargeting?

Retargeting is a method by which you can communicate more effectively with consumers who already visited your site. By inserting a cookie in site, you can retarget consumers with ads around the web, live messages on your site and even through personalized emails.

Retargeting  is an extremely popular marketing technique that many big and small companies are using for one simple reason: it works!

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How retargeting can help you grow your business?

Only about 5-8% of your website visitors will convert on your page, and retargeting (also known as remarketing) can be a very effective way to recover the 95% of leads you thought were lost forever. Now you have access to a simple method to convince users that have already shown interest in your products, to buy from you.

If you want to achieve those amazing results that you have read about in marketing communities, here are some secrets that you need to know.

1. Target customers that have abandoned their shopping cart

If you’re experiencing this problem, like most marketeers do, then you will have a big surprise if you try retargeting. According to a study by Wishpond, 26% of users who abandon their shopping cart  are convinced to purchase, using this method.

Try offering a 5% discount or free shipping to convince customers to come back and complete the checkout process.

2. Cross-sell to existing customers

Retargeting is not only an effective method of communication with potential customers, but also with current customers. To these, you can recommend products that are related to what they already bought. For example, if a customer has purchased a hat from your site, you can send an email to convince him to buy also a pair of gloves.

3. Behavioral retargeting to gain more customers

Behavioral retargeting is a method used by marketeers to send triggered emails to users, based on their browsing behavior.

Behavioral retargeting allow you to test different landing pages to your potential customers across the sales funnel, to maintain the relationship with your potential customers and build brand awareness.

4. Surprise your customers with the top three most popular products

Retargeting allows you to send your customers the top three most popular products on your site. It can be a way to maximize your ROI and communicate effectively with existing customers. There is probably a reason why these products are top choices. If you know this information, why not take advantage of it?

5. Win new subscribers through dynamic subscription

While a user is still browsing on your website, you can display a pop-up to convince him subscribe to your newsletter. Sign up pop-ups are a strong way to keep your prospects engaged at the right time and get them to opt-in to your email list.

Moreover, when you send him an email confirmation, you can take advantage of this opportunity to suggest some products and offer him a discount.

Retargeting can really help you increase sales and improve ROI. If you haven`t tried yet, maybe it`s time to do it!

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Rares Banescu is the CEO and Founder of Retargeting.Biz (https://retargeting.biz/) with an experience of over 8 years in Online Marketing, especially in Email Management. He launched Retargeting.Biz in 2013, a unique tool that does retargeting from a different approach, other than the one we are used to from Facebook and Google AdWords. His software helps online stores grow their revenues through personalized and automated communication with their clients. Retargeting.Biz has now over 170 clients worldwide and it generated over 2.5 million euros.

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7 Killer Twitter Tactics for 2016

The way we use social media is changing, and for brands it’s no longer about having the most followers – it’s all about engagement. If nobody sees your tweets or interacts with them, then what’s the point in twittering at all? 

We recently carved out a new social media strategy that has seen our Twitter reach grow by over 80%. We’re now achieving more than 100,000 monthly impressions, and engagement levels are rising accordingly.

Social media marketing can be a mixed bag, but following these tips should put you on the path to a successful 2016…

1. Find out who’s following you

If you’ve managed to build a decent following but you’re struggling to engage with them, perhaps you simply don’t understand your audience or know when they’re active. Initially, you should focus efforts on learning more about your existing followers rather than chasing new ones.

Followerwonk from Moz is a brilliant tool for getting a firm idea of who’s tracking your every move. You can use most of the features for free, but there’s a premium version with added functionality that’s particularly useful if you manage more than one account.

One of the best features is the word cloud it generates, allowing you to visualize the keywords in your followers’ bios – giving you a better understanding of who they are and the type of content they’re thirsty for. You can also analyse when they’re most active, allowing you to schedule tweets for when people are watching.

2. Content is king

Once you know who you’re targeting, you can tailor your output so that people will actually want to read and share it. Producing regular, enlightening and relevant content on your company blog is a fantastic way to engage people, and you can use your social media accounts to direct them to your work, thus forming a strategic inbound marketing campaign.

Your Twitter account should also offer more than just self-promotion, so share useful content from other sources too. Look at what’s trending and perhaps put your own spin on news stories, alongside a link to a trusted source that has already covered the story in detail.

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3. Reference the right people

When linking to outside content, make sure to include the author in your tweet as there’s a chance they’ll retweet your comment. The same goes for including influencers – people who have a large following and are prominent within your field – who might be interested in what you’re doing. You can get thousands more impressions by including the right people in your tweets, but don’t spam them!

4. Use imagery

Tweets with images get more clicks, more favourites and more retweets so you should start making your Twitter much more graphically appealing. No matter your niche there will be images relevant to what you’re doing, even if you haven’t taken them yourself. Don’t brazenly start stealing images from around the net, use a source like Unsplash to find beautiful copyright-free pictures for your social media channels.

Share images of what you’re doing, and think about creating graphics with text to do some of the hard work for you too. Adding text to an image is simple yet effective.

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5. Use hashtags in the right way

For years we’ve been told that hashtags are our friends, but so many people are over-using them. It’s fine to include one or two in a tweet but make sure that they’re tags that people will actually take notice of. Ritetag is a great resource for finding out exactly how popular hashtags are, giving you an amazing insight into which keywords will work best for you.

6. Keep it short and sweet

According to research by social media powerhouses Buffer, the best length for a tweet is between 71-100 characters. You’ve only got 140 characters to play with in the first place, so Twitter is designed to be a snappy medium and being concise leaves room for people to quote your tweet and respond – expanding your reach again.

7. Get shooting

Twitter Video is a seriously underused feature, but we live in a visual world and audiences crave video content. You may be limited to 140 characters with your messages, but you can say so much more in video because it’s so immediate – you can show rather tell.

Think about live tweeting short clips from events, or showing the world a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your work space. Uploading a 30-second video, whether shot directly through the app or pre-recorded, is a great way to make your account more personal.

Shaking things up with a broad range of content targeted at the right audience is key to boosting your engagement and making social media work for you. It worked for us, and continues to do so.

Emily Waddell is a Marketing and PR Executive at digital marketing agency, e3. Using her expertise, she’s raised the company’s profile on social media. You can check out her work by following @e3_media on Twitter.

Apple Fans Didn’t See This One Coming…

It’s quite common that people will wait for several hours to days for the opening of Apple stores in hopes to be the first to get their hands on the latest Apple products. This was also the case at the Apple store in Belgium, Brussels. What is normally a very consumeristic thing to do, turned into a very heartwarming campaign by Duval Guillaume who helped a local association that tries to get people to become organ donors. Reborn-to-be-alive wanted to spread awareness of their cause and let people know that they need help getting organ donors.

People waiting in line would be taken aside and asked a simple question, “how long have you been waiting?” People responded with long wait times that varied from a couple hours to several days. The person asking the question was actually someone who needed an organ donor. Watch what happens next!

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10 Best Twitter Tools for a Leading Twitter Marketing Campaign

Almost every other blogger, social media manager, or a marketer, is running the rat race by using various social media platforms to promote a brand. Twitter is the 2nd most visited social media platform all over the world (2015).However, many of Twitter’s features makes it slightly complicated to use, or let’s just say time-consuming.

This is why a great many developers have created awesome Twitter tools to go with your Twitter account and make the promoting process seamless. Today, we present to you a list of the top tools that can work as “add-ons” to your Twitter marketing campaigns. Try them out!

1) Paper.li

With paper.li you can curate the best and most relevant tweets and share it with your audience in a newspaper-style format. You can choose which accounts, lists, keywords, or hashtags to follow, based on which you’ll receive top content daily. You can also use it to track your competitors every move and respond.

2) Bit.ly

This web service is a little more than a URL shortening service. Apart from being able to shorten links and making them easy to share, Bitly also allows you to analyze your follower-engagement and other marketing efforts. With a dashboard, you can get stats on your audience and target your best followers.

3) Manage Flitter

This is a fabulous Twitter tool that makes profile management so much simpler! This tool currently has over 3 million users which it has gathered over the past five years. What does it do? Manage flitter allow you sort and filter who to follow, manage multiple accounts, find relevant people to connect with, track your progress, and post at optimal times based on location.

4) HootSuite

HootSuite is without doubt one of the best social media management tools. There’s no reason not to include this on the list. This tool currently has more than 10 million users and is always recommended for use alongside your Twitter marketing campaign. It allows you to manage all your social media profiles from on platform and to schedule posts, analyze statistics of your campaign and much more.

5) Socialoomph

This is a great tool that has LOTS of useful features for free. Socialoomph ensures that you keep you Twitter accounts neat and tidy. So, it almost works like a Twitter maid. It allows you to schedule tweets, track keywords, save and reuse drafts, shorten URLS, view mentions and re-tweets, clean your DM box, clean your Twitter tweets, send DMs to new followers, enable self-destruct on updates, filter timelines (very useful!), secure access to your account(s), and manage up to five accounts.

6) Triberr

This is a very unique tool to use along with your Twitter account. This works if you get invited to a “tribe” which could be group of bloggers, marketers, influencers, or social media gurus. These people will share top content constantly. Once you’re a member, you can trust your “tribe” to tweet away (after you have reviewed and approved the posts) or add them to your schedule.

7) Tweet Deck

Tweet Deck is another tool that tops the list of best tools to use with your Twitter account—especially if you’re a marketer or social media manager. With Tweet Deck, you can track, organize, and manage your Twitter account in a way that best suits your audience. Like other tools, it allows you to schedule posts, add multiple accounts, track stats through Bitly, and get alerts or notifications. However, Tweet Deck has one of the most advanced filtering options that will allow you to curate content. Once of the best features is the keyboard shortcuts that make managing columns much more efficient.

8) Social Bro

Have you heard of Social Bro before? We’re pretty sure you have. This is by far one of the best Twitter tools to use to optimize your strategy. It gives you everything you need to know about your audience. It has a comprehensive suite of tools for marketing and campaign workflows on Twitter. For this reason, it is the go-to tool for marketers, advertisers, and social media strategists on Twitter. The free plan includes analytics, follow/unfollow tools, best time to tweet, and community segmentation.

10) My Top Tweet

Sometimes, even the smallest features come in handy! All you have to do is sign in with Twitter and discover your top ten tweets. There’s no reason not to re-share popular old content! You can also tweak it a bit by adding an update or new viewpoints. Furthermore, your top ten tweets will give you insight on what type of content/tweets your audience prefers.

11) Topsy

Topsy is basically a Twitter search tool. You can find a wealth of information that has been gathered by the service since 2006. The search bar will let you choose whether you want to find something on Twitter that is in the form of a tweet, link, photo, video, or profile (influencer). Being able to find influencers this way is also a useful feature one can’t overlook. You can also find what you’re looking for in a different language since it supports five other languages besides English.

Preston Pierce is a creative head at Logo Ping, a UK based company that offers custom logo design service. He also freelance as a brand identity and UI designer. He is also a blogger who likes to write on topics related to designing, marketing and freelancing. You can follow him on Twitter.

Jaguar Pranks Audience In the Most Realistic “Virtual Reality” Simulator for Their F-type

It’s hard to create a realistic virtual reality experience, that is unless you’re Jaguar. Jaguar New Zealand partnered with Y&R agency to create the most realistic “virtual reality” experience for the new Jaguar F-Type. The catch? It wasn’t exactly virtual reality.

Instead they told people interested that the vehicle was on a platform and that they would wear a virtual reality headset to complete the experience. Unfortunately they put in a couple little white lies as a professional driver actually took the wheel and took the passenger for a test ride. It wasn’t till after the ride did they find out that they were actually taken for a real ride in the vehicle.

Was it successful? Watch and see!

Jaguar Actual Reality Prank

Credits

Advertising Agency: Y&R, Auckland, New Zealand
Chief Creative Officer: Josh Moore
Creative Directors: Gavin Siakimotu, Guy Denniston
Creatives: Gavin Siakimotu, Guy Denniston
Account Director: Victoria Meo
Agency Producer: Liz Rosby
Production Company: 8com
Director: Michael Humphrey
Producer: Gene Keelan
Executive Producer: Katie Millington
Sound Studio: Liquid
Post production: Toy Box
Editor: Jarrod Wright
Lead Animator: Amanda Sasano
Account managers: Mike Keen, Mel Cutfield

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Which Social Network is Right for Your Company?

Social media has grown to be the greatest advertising space in the business for two reasons:

  • It’s (essentially) free
  • Its content is organic, which means users will engage more than traditional advertising

But you can’t take the same message and blast it across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. In fact, some industries shouldn’t even be touching all four of the major social networks. Identifying your audience and knowing where they live (what social network they use) is crucial. Then you have to craft the message to specifically fit that network. Luckily, hundreds of companies have done this already, and there is definitely a blueprint for the process.

Facebook: Broader, Older Audience

Facebook controls a huge percentage of the social media market. According to a 2014 Pew study, 71 percent of online adults use Facebook, and they are more likely to be trusting and have closer relationships compared to users of other networks.

Facebook users are also getting older. As our parents, and even grandparents, use the service, their kids want nothing to do with it. That’s bad news for Facebook’s future, but great news for marketers who want a large audience with lots of purchasing power. For example, identity theft protection service LifeLock puts a lot of content on its Facebook page, not necessarily selling its services, but educating adults about the risks of identity theft.

Twitter: Media & Quick Coverage

Websites that rely on constant updates, like blogs and the media, thrive on Twitter. While most news sites are equipped to post live updates, users will always look to Twitter first for second-by-second coverage of major events—from political debates to major sporting events.

The New York Times uses Twitter on two fronts—it links to its website for major news stories, but will also tweet live coverage of major events before writing a more in-depth article for its online or print publications. That gives readers a chance to know the story as its happening, and then follow up with a well-researched analysis.

Pinterest: Design, Fashion, and Lifestyle

Clothing brands, especially independent labels, have a good thing going with Pinterest boards. Pinterest has an overwhelmingly female user base, so brands creating yoga clothing to indie dresses have a space to show off the latest trends. Pinterest is also a beacon for home improvement ideas, so lifestyle companies can thrive here too, sharing anything from wall designs to cool kitchen ideas.

Instagram: Photographers & QSRT

Instagram is an ironic place for photographers because its pictures are small and low-resolution, but they just can’t beat the exposure. Instagram has more than 300 million uses around the world and every photographer worth knowing posts their content to the social media app. Even National Geographic posts some of its best award-winning work to Instagram to help promote its name.

Restaurants and coffee shops have also made great use of the photo-sharing service, as it’s the perfect landscape to show off dishes and lattes. Websites might still be the best place to see hours of operation, location, and menus, but Instagram will always be where the best pics of food and drink live.

Fiat Creates Unique Interactive Billboard That Helps You Park Your Car

Parking is always very troublesome to everyone, and it becomes an actual daily life head ache. That’s why Fiat decided to help drivers in the streets of a huge German city, Frankfurt. In the video above we see that Fiat installed a specially developed software that works with sensors which tracks where the car is to then further help the drivers park, keeping them from hitting neighboring cars.

To aid drivers, the Fiat billboard uses different people who motion in the screen how much space is left for the car to move in order to safely park in the spot. Fiat uses different actors, from a security guard to a sexy dressed woman and a happy child, all motioning with their hands to indicate the distance left for the driver to work their way in.

Great parking directions, few first impressions

The first thing that is evident from the ad is a problem in terms of clarity. Throughout the images in the billboard, nothing in particular is advertised besides the fact that ‘this interactive billboard was brought to you by Fiat’, leaving the viewer to wonder – were they advertising the Fiat brand as a whole, a specific car or even a feature their new models have? Unfortunately, despite the cool idea the billboard was perhaps too vague at the beginning and didn’t explain how exactly are Fiat solving the parking problem in big cities except for the interactive billboards in Frankfurt, which aren’t a product Fiat is selling either.

Fiat Interactive Billboard, Frankfurt, Germany

Turning it around

On the other hand, once you’re past the confusion and understand that it’s just a small nudge to buy Fiat cars, it becomes clear that the advertising campaign is actually really good. It focuses on an actual problem their customers face, making it clear to the viewer that Fiat are together with you on this daily problem. It’s always important to make sure that an advertisement finds focus in the field where their products are being sold. This is where this campaign really hit the nail on the head.

Also, they made sure that every single one of the actors who were helping were unique, which made it a great touch. Starting from the little girl, who is a child in a world where children will always sell with their cuteness, the sexy woman who just confirmed that sex sells, the security guard who was a clever touch with some humor as he was there to make sure that you’re safe, and the stylish man in sunglasses giving it a trendy touch – each one of them came with their own body language tagline making parking ‘ child’s play’, sexy, safe and stylish.

The verdict

The advert is effective because it focuses on the Fiat brand and problems which car owners face every day, making them question if perhaps they should change their car to a Fiat instead.

On the other hand, the ad by itself is also rather vague, causing confusion and being just a general advertisement to the brand rather than anything else, which is a good and a bad thing at the same time.

Either way, Leo Burnett Germany have found a very unique and creative way to advertise cars, one which will surely be memorable a interesting ideas and interactive ones specifically tent to stick to people for long.

Credits

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett Germany, Frankfurt, Germany
Creative Director: Andreas Pauli
Art Directors: Daniela Ewald, Helge Knees
Copywriter: Benjamin Merkel
Creative Technologist: Viktor Kislovskij
Client Service Director: Kirstin Schmitt
Account Director: Alessia Bellini
Agency Producers: Claudia Müller, Thorsten Zeh

Xbox 'Rise of the Tomb Raider' Survival Stunt Tortures Fans Strapped To A Billboard 3

Xbox ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’ Survival Stunt Tortures Fans Strapped To A Billboard

Microsoft Xbox stepped up their marketing game in their latest campaign where they are celebrating the launch of ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’ video game by strapping 8 Lara Croft fans to a billboard. Yes, you heard that right.

For 24 hours, 8 contestants were strapped to a billboard in London where the contestants were subjected to harsh weather conditions, as voted for by the public.

The public could tune in online at www.survivalbillboard.com and on Twitch. They could also then suggest what kind of weather conditions the contestants should go through. The billboard would then take the contestants though these harsh conditions such as arctic cold, strong winds, snowstorms and intense heat.

The person who stayed on the billboard the longest won an all-expenses-paid trip inspired by the Rise of the Tomb Raider, with the opportunity to explore some of the world’s most exotic places.

Learn more about this campaign at www.survivalbillboard.com

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Credits

Agency: m:united\McCann, m:united\Momentum, m:united\CRAFT, m:united\MRM, media agency EMT and PR agency Edelman

Mog the Cat Stars in Viral Sainsbury’s Christmas Ad

Mog the Cat Stars in Viral Christmas Ad for Sainsbury’s

It’s that time of the year again when brands try to create the perfect Christmas ad and as it seems, they never run out of creativity.

Sainsbury’s along with AMV BBDO have revived the famous children’s character of Mog the Cat, the protagonist of 16 books that were written and illustrated by Judith Kerr. The narration of Emma Thompson introduces us to another story of Mog, the clumsy cat that almost ruined Christmas for the Thomas family, after a series of unfortunate events. A burning turkey along with Mog’s clumsiness led to a burnt house, which left the family devastated, almost convinced that they wouldn’t celebrate Christmas this year. However, the neighbours appeared at that time to help them, with the power of the community serving perfectly as the the actual message of the ad, ‘Christmas is for sharing.’

#ChristmasIsForSharing was also the hashtag that Sainsbury’s used to promote the campaign through social media and it instantly turned viral, while the Youtube video reached 5.5 million views in just 2 days!

James Rouse through Outsider was the director of the TV ad, with Framestore animating Mog and Judith Kerr also appearing in the ad. After all, her books raised many generations of children for more than 30 years, with Sainsbury’s and AMV BBDO extending the power of the family tradition to the Christmas spirit, leading to brand new story with Mog the cat.

What’s more, Sainsbury’s partnered with HarperCollins Children’s Books and Judith Kerr, selling the new story of Mog the Cat for a good reason, since the sales will be donated to Save the Children, in an attempt to improve child literacy in the UK. “Mog’s Christmas calamity” will be sold for £3 in every Sainsbury’s store, while there will also be a Mog soft toy on sale (£10), hoping to use the reach of the campaign to promote a good cause.

The message of the campaign served as a reminder to its audience that Christmas is indeed for sharing, with families and friends coming together and it was this cute, funny and heartwarming mix that led to the success of the ad, appealing to a wide range of customers that already consider this the ‘Christmas ad of the year.’

What do you think? Is this a successful case of a great Christmas ad?

Credits

Client: Sainsbury’s
Advertising Agency: AMV BBDO
Author: Judith Kerr
Director: James Rouse, Outsider
Media: PHD
Narration: Emma Thompson
Animation: Framestore

48 Fresh And Creative Bus Stop Advertisements That Will Blow Your Mind 48

48 Fresh And Creative Bus Stop Advertisements That Will Blow Your Mind

Waiting for the bus is rarely a fun use of your time, unless you’re waiting in one of these cool bus stop shelters. Below are 48 fresh and creative bus stop advertisements that will make waiting for the bus a lot less painful. Some of these advertisements are pretty interactive which makes waiting for the bus actually fun. Brands will even completely transform a bus stop shelter to provide a very unique experience.

Although bus stop advertising isn’t always the cheapest form of advertising, these bus stop shelter designs and ads will hopefully get your mind going and inspire you on ways to think outside of the box.

Enjoy!

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7 Mistakes To Avoid For A Smashing E-commerce Business Success 6

7 Mistakes To Avoid For A Smashing E-commerce Business Success

One doesn’t have to be a marketer to realize that online business is on fire more than ever nowadays. Ecommerce is growing at a breakneck pace and estimated numbers show promising future ahead! Just to give you an idea, ecommerce sales are estimated to reach around $434 billion in 2017! Hold on…didn’t I mention it is only in US? However, don’t get trapped into thinking that online business is a low-hanging fruit! Simply setting an online platform and expecting your business to turn into smashing success is not going to end up good. To have a profitable online business you have to be “digitally ready” and avoid making below mentioned mistakes:

1) Not making a superb first impression

It takes 50 milliseconds for users to scan your page and decide whether they want to stay! So you gotta go bold or go home! Your ultimate goal here is to create the best possible website design and deliver unique user experience. Just like Only does it!

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2) Missing out on photo opportunities

Want to have eye-candy e-commerce platform and keep users glued to your website? Then web design along with massive photos is your secret weapon. The fact: customers remember 80% of what they read and only 20% of what they see! (E-commerce Platforms, 2015). Check out the example from Suitsupply! and keep in mind: “A picture is worth a thousand words!”

7 Mistakes To Avoid For A Smashing E-commerce Business Success 6

3) Not offering good navigation system

Aim to develop a stress free navigation on your website. You should make it easier for customers to find exactly what they need! At the end it all comes up to creating an extreme convenience for your users. Break your products into categories and don’t forget to add sections like New Arrivals, Most Popular, Favourites, Sales/Offers, Gifts etc. Also be open about your activities: make contact information, location and other company details easily accessible. Pandora nails it!

7 Mistakes To Avoid For A Smashing E-commerce Business Success 7

4) Not having a blog

Statistics time! Blogging allows increasing the number of visitors by 50% and gaining 885 more leads per month! (E-commerce Platforms, 2015). You don’t wanna miss out on that! Take it slow at the beginning: start with one post a week. Write about new products/collections, product reviews, industry trends etc. Later, aim for around 3 articles a week – in fashion retailing it’s very important! Check out, Gaastra got it!

7 Mistakes To Avoid For A Smashing E-commerce Business Success 4

5) Not using a Live Chat!

Nothing can beat human interaction in offline store, but Live Chat is the perfect way to help potential clients make faster decisions. Mind blowing statistics again (don’t you just love it?):

  • 44% of users care about live chat option
  • 31% shoppers tend to buy from online shops that offer live chats
  • 62% of those who have tried a live chat are more likely to buy from the same website again (E-commerce Platforms, 2015)

Do it like Nordstrom!

7 Mistakes To Avoid For A Smashing E-commerce Business Success 3

6) Asking for delivery costs!

Believe it or not but free shipping is the most important feature that encourages customer loyalty. Not offering a free delivery or free after a certain amount delivery can really harm your online reputation. The research showed that 78% of customers tend to search for the cheapest available shipping option. Your task is to not only provide customers with this option but also make them aware of it from the fist seconds they land on you page. Take Tommy Hilfiger’s example: free deliver on orders above £50 that is clearly stated at the top of the home page!

7 Mistakes To Avoid For A Smashing E-commerce Business Success 2

7) Not asking for review or feedback

Do you even realise how important customer reviews are for e-commerce site? This statistics will prove (“Not again” – I know…. that’s the last one for today, I promise).

  • 77% of customers bother to check product reviews before buying.
  • 90% of them make a purchasing decision based on what they read.
  • Are being afraid of bad reviews? No need! 68% of customers trust website more if it has both good and bad reviews. (Ecommerce Platforms, 2015).

Scotch and Soda does it! You should too!

7 Mistakes To Avoid For A Smashing E-commerce Business Success 1

Even though it seems easy at the first glance, keeping an online store can be quite tough. So if you want your e-commerce business to rise and shine, you better keep above-mentioned points in mind. Have a feeling you gonna struggle with handling it on your own? Colourcake is here to help! We have highly-specialized experts who can support with developing and maintaining you online platform! Find out more about our webshop consultancy services or get in touch to discuss more details.

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