Mobile advertising is still in the beginning stages of infancy, but SMS text messaging is by far one of the fastest growing sectors in mobile advertising with 9.6 trillion messages sent and revenue leaping to $8.9 billion in 2012.  With these amazing numbers, is it safe to say that text message marketing is effective for increasing brand loyalty?  Let’s examine some facts to answer this question.

Accurate Targeting

Customers can sign up for SMS text messaging advertising by giving permission to brands to add their phone number to their marketing list.  This allows brands to send out information more accurately making the message that they send out to their target audience more targeted and effective.  Customers who are receiving accurately targeted SMS text messages are more likely to remain loyal to the brand because they are being sent information that is of interest and is relatable to their physical location, and it does not feel like it is spam like email tends to be.  Customers are more likely to buy from a brand if the messaging is relevant and personal which is one of the features that makes SMS text messaging so powerful.

Cost Effective Campaigns

Another reason brands are starting to use SMS text messaging is because it is an affordable investment with the opportunity to scale to larger audiences overtime.  This gives business the chance to better support a campaign on this channel and ensures that it can lead to an increase in customer retention by offering incentives and offers.

Here are some other statistics about SMS text messaging marketing.

text-messaging-marketing

There are a few things that brands need to keep in mind to not turn such a positive resource into a mobile nuisance.  First thing to remember is to not text too much.  Customers do not want their inbox flooded with texts from your business, so the best thing to do is to send between 2 – 4 text messages a month.

Secondly, always give the customer a chance to opt-out any time.  By informing customers of how and when they can stop receiving text messages establishes trust and credibility.

Thirdly, a brand needs to be mindful to send text messages during business hours to not annoy their customers.  Sending out text messages when customers can take advantage of the offer is not only common sense but common courtesy.

Lastly, make sure you send valuable information to the customers that gave you permission to send them text messages.  Do not send them useless vague ads every week.  Instead send them announcements about exclusive savings, important announcements, and event alerts.  If a brand is not providing their customers with valuable information, then this increases the chances of them unsubscribing to the text messages.

Based on the information given, do you think SMS text messages increases brand loyalty or just a pain in the …?

Web content is the main reason a person visits your social media or website.  They are seeking information for personal consumption and to gain more knowledge about a particular subject.  As far as web content pertains to social media, a question to ponder about is whether or not the content is what brings people to your social media outlet, or is it the interactivity (conversation) that people so desire.  This has been an ongoing debate, so we will determine between content and conversation: which one of the two brings forth the most web traffic.

conversation

To help make this determination, one must first know the difference between content and conversation.  Web content can be looked at as writing an article for a publication with its main function is to convey information.  According to the article, What Is the Difference Between An Article and a Blog Post?, “Although an article may sometimes seek to sway the reader’s opinion or move them to action–most often the purpose of an article is simply to report news of facts.  Freelance writer Laura Spencer noted that there are three main characteristics of an article are: factual, less familiar language, and no comments.

An article (web content) is factual in that it seeks to present information in a more objective form and fashion.  The author of the article opinion of the topic at hand. Is often not immediately evident.  An article uses less familiar language because they are not necessarily addressed directly to the reader and is typically written in third person.  Lastly, articles (web content) typically do not allow for viewers comments.  The reason for this is because there is no real reason to comment on what is essentially factual information.

She goes on and notes the three main characteristics of a blog are: conversational language, comments, and opinionated.  Blogs are known as content that uses a conversational (user-friendly) casual tone to it. Each blog post is usually addressed directly to the reader and it invites the reader to participate.  This is where making comments comes into play.  The ability to comment on blog posts gives the reader the opportunity to interact with others about the content on hand.  Lastly, the content of a blog posting is usually opinionated or based on a theory and not necessarily based on facts and figures.

So based off of the information presented above, does web content or conversation bring forth more web traffic?  The real question is does the two have to be enemies?  Can the two of them work together as one to increase web traffic?  Can we all agree that the two need to work together because content without conversation is just broadcasting, or just advertising?  It goes to the listener/reader/viewer/visitor… and pretty much just stops there. Or should they remain separate because they are used on different platforms to do different things?

In the world of online advertising, there are many online advertising tools that a marketer or a promoter can utilize for promotions.  The two most popular ones are Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.  Both tools will give you the results you desire, but each tool functions differently.  Which one is the best to use all depends on what the end goal is and how specific and targeted you want your advertising to be tailored.

According to the article, What is Google AdWords?, “Google AdWords is the system Google has developed to assist you in marketing your products or services in the Google Search Engine, and its affiliate sites, via the use of a placed text ad that appears when people search for phrases related to your offering, this appears as a “sponsored link.” The system is a “pay per click” system, this means you can dictate where your ad appears through bidding for a series of phrases, but you only pay the amount you have bid for if someone clicks on your ad as a result of a web search, i.e. pay per click.”

According to the article, Facebook Ads Guide, “Facebook Ads are targeted according to your Facebook Profile information: Your age, location, education, relationship status, interests like favorite movies, music and much more are available to advertisers that can access to aggregate data and reach the right audience for their ads.  Depending on their goals and the product that they are advertising, advertisers can set a targeting filter to select which group of people will see their ad. This makes it possible to focus on or target the people most likely to be interested in the product, amongst the 500 million worldwide Facebook users.”

In order to determine which online advertising tool is the best one to use, a marketer should first weight out the pros and cons for each.  Both Google AdWords and Facebook Ads have a massive audience, and they both offer PPC (pay per click) advertising.  The main difference between the two lies in the purpose of the advertisement: are you trying to increase brand awareness or sell a product or service?

Facebook sessions tend to last longer than Google searches, which gives Facebook the advantage of increasing brand awareness or sending out a specific message.  Facebook also allows for unique targeting options for creating messages specifically for an intended audience.  Google AdWords is the better choice for displaying advertising because it has a far more superior CPC (cost per click) performance, improved ad targeting options, and an enormous array of ad formats that Facebook lacks.  The objective for the advertisement will determine which online advertising tool will work best, but ultimately, it’s best to try both and discover which fits best with your brand.  Check out the infographic below, and then decide which digital marketing platform shall reign supreme as king!

google-vs-facebook-advertising

On February 3, 2014, Facebook launched its latest emerging trend that capitalizes on the importance of web content.  Facebook Paper is the new mobile app designed to change the way users experience the world’s biggest social media network.  Facebook Paper focuses on full screen, bold images, with a flip board type interface, with the familiar looking mosaic style posts that appear on the bottom.

Facebook Paper will re-dub users posts to look more like stories, text updates become full screen black text on a white background, and images will now be displayed full screen and will have the option to scroll panoramically by tilting the phone.

So what does this new interface look like?  According to the article, A New Way To Look At Facebook, “The main screen is divided into two squares stacked on top of each other. The top square is a full-bleed photo overlaid with the word “Facebook” and a headline, in crisp white text. Swiping left or right on the top square moves between customizable “sections”: in addition to your friends’ updates, the traditional Facebook content, there are categories such as news, photography, sports, and food. Each is reportedly curated by editors at Facebook—real, human editors who pick articles from select publications, and Facebook posts from well-known people, to feature in each section.”  Check out the video below for more details.

Can Brands Take Advantage of Facebook Paper?

The answer is yes if companies know that rich content is more important than ever.  Utilizing Facebook Paper will not only give a brand more attention grabbing content on the traditional Facebook mobile app platform, but it will be the only way to get users on Facebook Paper to stay there.  Facebook Paper will not replace the existing Facebook mobile app, but it will be a separate offering allowing users a richer more fluid way to connect with their friends and with brands.

Some things to keep in mind when using Facebook Paper is that a brand needs to have resources who are trained in storytelling, image creation, and video editing in order to be successful.  The brand’s content strategy will also need to be reviewed since Facebook Paper will have sections on multiple topics and if their content doesn’t fit into one of those sections, the chances are they are not going to get in.  If a brand creates dedicated, high-quality social content, then this increases the maximum exposure on Facebook Paper.  Lastly, it is important for a brand to make a plan to post content in advance so it is consistent, complementary, and of the highest quality.  Planning ahead is the best way to ensure that the brand’s is seen as a publisher of consistent top-quality content.

With all this to consider, is it worth a brand’s time and effort to have a presence on this new Facebook platform that may or may not be excepted by consumers?  Only time will tell.  What are your thoughts and opinions on the new Facebook Paper app?

If you have ever seen the futuristic computer technology that was in such movies as Iron Man and the Matrix series, you can only hope that one day this will be a reality.  The glass manufacturer Corning (best known for making the Gorilla Glass that Apple uses on its products to make them more durable), envisions that this technology can one day be possible.

corning-small

In the video done by Corning titled, “A Day Made of Glass” it shows you a world where information is delivered seamlessly through a virtual world that is powered by the users fingertips.  Every day household and common surfaces are transformed from one-dimensional utilities into sophisticated electronic devices.  It is a life changing experience that is done through mobile communication, mobile connections, and of course through glass.

How Can Marketers Use the Technology to Their Advantage?

If successful, Interactive Glass will change the way we see, touch, transmit, and process information.  It will ultimately transform the way people experience the world.  Towards the end of the video it shows Jennifer on a personalized shopping trip.  This is a perfect opportunity for retailers to let consumers get an up-close in person view of their products without physically touching it.  It is more or less like visual window shopping with the ability to try on clothes without having to take yours off.  What are your thoughts as to the other possibilities that Interactive Glass can be used for that was not shown in the video?

If you are among those who are addicted to social media, then you are probably aware of the newest social media trends that have the potential of becoming a part of our daily life routines.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest will still have a dominate presence in social media, but there are at least three new, unique and niched social media networks that are predicted to make a big splash in 2014.

Medium

If you are on Twitter and happen to come across a viral blog, then it most likely had to been published on Medium.  According to Medium’s website, “Medium is a new place on the Internet where people share ideas and stories that are longer than 140 characters and not just for friends. It’s designed for little stories that make your day better and manifestos that change the world.”

I do not see Medium being used as a social media platform that marketers can use to help advertising purposes, but I do see this being utilized more by consumers.  Medium is designed for consumers to share their bright ideas or short stories.  If you are interested in using Medium, start using it today.

medium

impossible

impossible is a combination of Instagram and Quora put together.  According to the website for impossible, “impossible is a new website and app that encourages people to do things for others for free. People can post wishes of things that they want or need help with and offer what they can give – can be things or skills. Impossible shows these wishes and offers and people can connect with one another. You can also create thank you posts to send people.”

I also do not see impossible as a social media platform that marketers can use to help for advertising purposes, but I do see consumers using this for motivation, help, and assistance.  It has been hinted that savvy marketers and freelancers may be able to mine leads and find vendors on impossible, but it’s probably built more for humanity than business.  If you are interested in using impossible, start using it today.

impossible

Mobli

Mobli is an Instagram competitor that also portrays itself as a “visual search engine.”  A full description of Mobil according to their website states that “Mobli is a real-time visual media platform made up of subject-based and geo-based (hashtag, location) channels as well as individual accounts. You can follow all of these entities and enjoy a richer, more interesting feed than you’ve grown accustomed to. Mobli enables users to see the world through other people’s eyes!”

Mobil maybe the next social media platform that will become the latest craze.  It allows users to build communities where they are able to share photos (not limited to square photos), video (no limits on video length), and incorporate the best visual effects out there.  Brands can use Mobli as a way to create the personalization of using their products and services.  For example, real product demonstrations using real customers using a cellphone camera can be shared on Mobli.  This approach makes the experience more relatable and influential.  If you are interested in using Mobli, start using it today.

mobli

It may take a few years for people to catch on to these new social media sites or be used as a marketing tool, but social media users need to be aware of their existence as their benefits can be useful.

There is a new technology called “augmented reality” that is projected to make a huge impact in the way consumers and brands interact with each other. According to Mashable.com, “Augmented Reality is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.” Or to put it more in simpler terms, augmented reality is like real-life virtual reality. Unlike virtual reality which main purpose is to replace the real world with a simulated computer generated one, the functionality of augmented reality adds to one’s current perception of reality through technology. Information presented in this format becomes interactive and digitally manipulable. Artificial information about any given environment or situation and its objects can be overlaid on the real world.

How are Brands Using Augmented Reality?

The ice cream giant Häagen-Dazs has launched an augmented reality iPhone app called the Concerto Timer. Whenever an iPhone user launches this app and points their camera at the lid of any pint of Häagen-Dazs ice cream, they will hear a “virtual violin concerto.” The reason for Häagen-Dazs to create an augmented reality app is to allow musicians to entertain users for two minutes, because that is how long it takes for ice cream to reach the ideal consistency for eating. See the video below for a sample of how this augmented reality app works.

Swedish furniture maker IKEA has also jumped on the augmented reality bandwagon.  IKEA’s 2014 catalog features this new interactive technology that aims to ease the pain of furniture shopping by letting users plan ahead.  To use IKEA’s new interactive catalog, simply place the catalog in the spot where you are considering adding a new piece of furniture by using the augmented realty app on your smartphone or tablet, and select the desired item.  The app then projects the item into your home by layering it over a real-time view of your room.  See the video below for a sample of how this augmented reality app works.

Even brands like Coca-Cola in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) teamed up to use augmented reality to bring the Artic closer to home. See the video below to see this amazing interactive adventure.

Why Brands Should Use Augmented Reality

Since engagement in creating emotional bonds with their customers is the number one metric that brands are striving to achieve, augmented reality is the best technology to suite this need. What brand would not want to engage their customers with their messages literally overlaid on a customer’s view of the world? Marketers can start using augmented reality technology now since it is made readily available through consumer smartphones.

Augmented reality is a huge opportunity for marketers especially for brands whose success depends on motivation consumers. It is a chance for brands to get their message literally on real-life objects and experiences in order to create emotional connections. It is not suited for every brand to use, but for those brands that can take advantage of augmented reality, it will be a fun and engaging experience for the brand to communicate to its consumers.

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