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Your Biggest Digital Marketing Opportunities in 2017

We did it: we made it one more rotation around the sun, which means that it’s time for annual industry predictions roundups.
We’re most interested in what we can expect as digital marketers, and what will make brands the most successful at growing their content audiences and consumer bases in 2017.
You’ll probably hear a lot of the same things—content is still king, social is still growing, and marketers are looking forward to the future of virtual technologies, but we’re here with some actionable items that you can use today to kick off your wildly successful 2017 digital marketing strategy.
Use video to capture your audience’s attention.
In 2016, we almost heard about nothing else but video marketing. That’s because it works. The use of video as a content medium for marketers to leverage is only going to grow.
Video adoption is increasing at a higher rate than any other platform simply because marketers are seeing a good return. According to Forrester, including video in an email leads to a 200-300% increase in click-trough-rate (CTR). Not only that, but one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words as it relates to content value.
It also gets you in front of more consumers than other types of content—According to ComScore, 45.5% of users viewed at least one video online over the course of the month.
The impact of video is growing—but let’s talk about the elephant in the room. It’s expensive to create quality produced videos for marketing purposes. The trick isn’t to max out your budget to make as many videos as possible, but to use your budget to make the highest quality, largest lead generating videos you can, even if you release them less frequently.
Genuine testimonials are a huge SEO opportunity now.
Testimonials definitely aren’t a new concept—getting your successful customers to talk about their experiences with you publicly will be key when it comes to marketing strategy success.
But it’s no longer adequate to just gather as many reviews as you can. Now, testimonials can be coded so that search engines recognize them as genuine, meaning they’re even more valuable than ever.
The more reviews on your website, the better your search engine optimization (SEO) will be—and they should be everywhere, including home page, contact page, and any other page in which a quote is relevant.
Wearables are the newest emerging market to reach consumers right now.
As marketers, we hear a lot about the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) when we talk about trends—but these mediums aren’t large enough yet to give you a realistic ROI. ‘Wearables’ is the new medium you should be focusing on right now.
In 2016, 72% of the US population owned a smartphone. Smartphones aren’t going the way of the mixed tape anytime soon, but wearables will start to catch up in popularity very quickly.
Industry experts predict that by 2018, the global wearables market will reach $19 billion. A lot of people will have jumped on board the wearables bandwagon, and the medium won’t be saturated with content.
Consider adding a wearables marketing strategy to your 2017 planning, for an opportunity to reach a new set of customers with little competition.
Augmented reality is coming back.
Remember Pokémon Go? It seems like it was a flash in the pan in 2016 when it started, and then quickly died out. The success of the augmented reality game means it will be coming back—whereas this latest game was just a test, its success means there’s a huge opportunity for the gaming market, and therefore for marketers as a segway to the virtual reality environments of the future.
2017 is your opportunity to experiment with augmented reality campaigning, partnerships and lead generation from a medium that’s still brand new.
If you’re going to get ahead this year, you’ll need to be looking towards all sorts of technologies of the future.
Whether it’s video, SEO, wearables or augmented reality, the world of marketing campaigns is taking a step towards some futuristic mediums, which means it may be time to rethink how you’ll reach and influence your customers this year – and beyond.
Image Sources:
Shutterstock

Social Media Advertising on the Rise

Companies are now realising they can use social media to their advantage when it comes to business.
 
One such aspect is advertising. This goes double for small companies that cannot rival big ones when it comes to widespread advertising campaigns, and by the look of things, advertising with social media is just picking up.
By the numbers
Global revenue for social networks was estimated at $7.7 billion last year.  It is estimated to hit $10.2 billion this year and $11.8 billion next year.  This year 64% of advertisers are expected to increase their social media budget, in the US alone this figure is estimated at $4.1 billion.
Of a number of business owners recently surveyed, 97% said they are currently using social media to advertise.  The numbers are lower for small businesses, with only 66% saying they are advertising with online platforms.
“It’s encouraging that a majority of small businesses recognize that their customers are relying more than ever on their mobile devices to find information, look for deals and even to make purchases,” Joel Hughes, senior vice president of strategy and corporate development at Constant Contact told Fox Business.
There are still those who feel social media should stick with relationships and be kept away from business.  The remaining 34% of small business surveyed said they have plans to turn to social media as part of their business strategy.
“Generally speaking, small business owners have very little spare time on their hands, so learning how to use mobile technology for their business is not necessarily tops on their to-do list,” Hughes further explained.
The current undisputed king of social media, Facebook, is taking most of the social media advertising budget with an estimated 57% followed by YouTube and Twitter both sharing 13 percent, Pinterest is at 2% and the remaining 15% shared by other social media.
What social media ads can do
What are the benefits to advertising with social media anyway?  There are several, but the most important one that experts agree on is its ability to target specific audiences.  Unlike traditional print, TV and radio ads where the message is cast across a wide audience, social media sites have information on niches of interest where their users are concerned.  In short, social media agencies can send the right ads to the people with the highest likelihood of interest in these ads.
Mobile marketing to fewer but the right people is more strategically sound than raining a ton of ads on many people who cannot relate to or have no particular interest whatsoever for that product.
Here are some of the most watched ads on YouTube last month.
• Nestlé – Learning to share.  A Spanish ad about a boy and his grandfather learning how to compromise and sharing everything from the TV to food at the table.
• Sauza Tequila – Make it with a lifeguard.  So what does being a lifeguard have to do with tequila?  Nothing really, it’s just the fireman of the last tequila ad posing as a lifeguard and telling us how awesome that tequila is.
• Old Spice – Shower.  Use Old Spice shower bar. It’s so fresh it’s like you never left the shower even after your bath.  Don’t believe me?  Take a look.
• Call of Duty Black Ops 2 – The replacers.  Need more time to play CoD BO2?  Two guys have been sent by “mutual friends” to take over your daily life so you can have more game time.  The things these two end up doing are hilarious.
• Pepsi – Mirrors.  Beyoncé rehearses for a gig then takes a Pepsi break, only to be joined by different concert personas of herself in each of the mirrors she has been practicing in front of.
• Dove – Real beauty sketches.  An artist sits down to draw some women he never sees, only working by their description of themselves. Then other people are called in to describe same said women for another drawing. The drawings are then placed side-by-side. Reactions of said women are priceless.
 
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