Guest Post: Marketing to Today’s Millennials On Social Media (Infographic)

Guest Post: Marketing to Today’s Millennials On Social Media (Infographic)

There’s no shortage of information on millennials, the elusive generation who seems impossible to engage with. While there’s plenty of marketing tactics out there, today we’re going to focus on where you can find a good majority of them: social media. We’ll look at some ways you can reach them on today’s top platforms, and then I’ll show you an infographic from onblastblog designed to give you the best tips on how to master each of the major platforms. Connecting with Millennials on Social Media With so much content present on social media, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. Tack on the fact that mobile is the primary way millennials consume content, and you have a big obstacle to overcome. The key to understand what this generation prefers, and what they expect. As an example, millennials don’t like anything that looks like an ad, but they don’t mind native ads that appear as sponsored posts on social media. If your posts mimic these types of sponsored ads and focus on a visually appealing and authentic headline, you’ll grab more eyeballs than a standard advertorial post. The key term here is integration. Millennials want your content and your product to seamlessly integrate into, and ultimately benefit, their daily lives. Brands like Starbucks do this by allowing customers to place orders and pay via a mobile app before they arrive. Even something as simple as answering questions and dealing with issues posted on Facebook or Twitter goes a long way towards showing users that you care about more than just their immediate purchase. Beyond integration, authenticity is key. The fact of the matter is that many millennials won’t connect with your brand unless they feel connected to your brand’s image. Social media is the perfect place to create this image. Harnessing Social Media For the Connected Generation (Infographic) Check out the infographic below for a complete guide that will help you create and post content that is visually attractive and eye-catching for the millennial generation. Let us know how it helps you in the comments below! Matt Banner is the author of OnBlastBlog.com. His passion is to help guide and inspire bloggers (and those who have yet to become one!) Follow him on...

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The ABC’s of Ad Blocking

The ABC’s of Ad Blocking

Although ad blocking has been around for years, it has typically been regarded as a nuisance for news media trying to scrape together enough digital dimes to combat the rapid decline in print advertising.  But suddenly it seems to be invoking fear and loathing in the hearts and wallets of online publishers. Taking a look back at where ad blocking began and where it is going, it’s not hard to  understand why ad blocking has stirred up the media frenzy of late… What is ad blocking and why is it suddenly such a problem? Ad blocking extensions originated within online gaming circles, where interruptive pop-ups and other advertisements drastically affected the gamer’s experience. The incentive was two-fold based on basic irritation and poor page loading times. It wasn’t until more recently that these extensions, which place a firewall between the website and the advertisements, began to seep into the average internet user’s browser. Today 198 million people globally  are using ad blocking software; including about half of online users in the US and UK. Thanks to the digital savvy millennial generation, ad blockers are becoming mainstream and the repercussions are becoming more than just a nuisance to advertisers and publishers alike.   Big corporations are poised to rule the world wide web Earlier this year, Google came out with an AdBlock Plus Browser, an Android browser that blocks ads by default. Not to be left out of the ad block party, Apple is about to release its very own ad blocking extension for Safari on iOS alongside its new Apple News app—a replacement to their fallen Newsstand that gives readers the personalized content (ads included) of their choice. Soon publishers and other tech titans will have no choice but to pay the green giant a hefty price to display their ads in Apple News and Safari as they already do  today with Eyeo. News of the proverbial “whitelist” made the struggle to monetize digital advertising feel that much more difficult to, well, everyone else. Adobe estimated that $21.8 billion in global ad revenue will be blocked this year, while The Drum predicts that ad blocking software will cost publishers $40 billion or more by the turn of the calendar. Mauricio Freitas, the Publisher of New Zealand’s Geekzone, has said what most advertisers are thinking: “Viewing ads is part of the deal if users want content to be free.” Unfortunately, a whole lot of internet users would argue that point — one group in particular. Millennials march to a different digital drummer The millennial generation, those currently aged 18-35, are posing a particular problem to the online advertising industry. As the first generation of “digital natives”, having grown up hyper connected with smartphones, tablets, laptops and full time access to the internet and social media, millennials are more discerning, more tech...

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Guest Post: Measuring Your Content Campaign

Guest Post: Measuring Your Content Campaign

These days the tools to measure digital marketing campaigns are developing almost  as quickly as the marketing campaigns themselves, which means that you can truly see how your content is working for you. The trick is knowing where to start. TAKE IT PERSONALLY No matter how sophisticated analytic technology becomes, there will always be ambiguity when it comes to measuring your online marketing force. You likely can’t compare your statistics with Nike, but you can determine if your presence – and sales – are increasing as a result of your content initiatives. START STRONG Before you start measuring growth, determine your starting point and set some relevant goals. Do you want your social media interactions to convert into 5x more sales? Do you want viewers to visit one more page per visit? Do you want to double your database through newsletter sign-up? Do you want 60% of leads to be driven by social media? There are no hard and fast rules about which statistics will be right for you. Take the time to consider company organization, departmental goals, marketing resources and appropriate timeframes up front to establish a solid base for your plan and your analysis. WHY WAIT? Once you’ve started to deploy your content campaign, you can get straight to measuring. The sooner you start seeing patterns (and success!) the sooner you can adjust your campaign to capitalize. One of the best things about content marketing is that you can always make updates along the way. Focus on these three big elements to cover a solid foundation in your analysis. 1. Social Growth “Engagement boils down to interactions between individuals and content.” Evan LePage, Hootsuite It all comes down to reaching more people and engaging them in your brand. Traditionally, reach would have been measured purely in followers, and engagement in likes, comments and shares, however different value can be attributed to different forms of engagement. When analysing your social presence, ask yourself if your audience is truly invested in your content. Are they personally promoting your brand within their own social circles? Are they following you on all platforms, or are there tendencies towards certain accounts? Are they ultimately interested in spending money? Hootsuite suggests several analytics tools, such as Topsy, PeerIndex, and their own uberVU, to help determine who your most valuable followers are. As you start to see where your key engagement is coming from, adapt your investment of time and money accordingly. Are certain accounts stronger? Are certain times more prosperous? Does organic online engagement (ie: actually communicating with your fans) drive traffic? And last, but certainly not least, where are viewers accessing your content? If you still need inspiration to make your web presence mobile-friendly, keep an eye on how many people are viewing your content...

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How to Leverage Your Brand through LinkedIn

How to Leverage Your Brand through LinkedIn

When you think social sharing, you likely don’t think LinkedIn. That’s because the publishing option on this business professionals’ network has only been in effect since February 2014. Before last spring the site – mainly used as an online recruiting platform – didn’t allow users to create their own content. Now that the opportunity exists, it’s one that you should seriously consider in your own content marketing campaign. WHY? First of all, LinkedIn users are unique. 59% of LinkedIn users don’t visit Twitter, meaning that your inclusion of this additional social avenue will help you to reach brand new consumers. Second of all, LinkedIn users are active. 40% of LinkedIn users check the site daily, and 8.33% American users even do so from work. Meaning that your content has a higher likelihood of being viewed more frequently throughout the day. Finally, LinkedIn users are affluent. The average sales value for visitors referred to a company by LinkedIn is measured at $44.24, meaning a small investment (mainly of time) in this low cost marketing platform will have a high rate of return.   WHAT? LinkedIn’s news feed offers a space to a) share updates, spreading what you believe in, and b) publish fresh content, further exploring those topics most meaningful to your brand. Similar to Facebook, published content becomes a part of your personal profile, and gets shared with your network. In her breakdown of LinkedIn tactics, Margeaux Brooks refers to the networking site as the largest group of professionals ever assembled. Sounds like a good group to start with. Which leads us to… HOW? When it comes right down to it, leveraging your brand through LinkedIn requires a similar strategy to most social networks we’ve discussed before. 1. Photos first According to Craig Smith, author of A Small Business Guide to Generating Leads on LinkedIn, having a profile picture on your LinkedIn account will increase the likelihood of views by 11x. The same visual appeal applies to the content you post. Catchy photos are a strong way to inspire viewers’ initial engagement with your posts. Since they’re clearly so important, stop thinking of images as an afterthought and start making them a priority. 2. Headline Hunting A good headline is right up there with a catchy picture when it comes to initial reader attraction. Not only do good titles have SEO strength, they inspire readers to want to learn more. But don’t leave those who delve deeper disappointed.  The content must add value, engage, entertain and encourage readers to click on internal links and hopefully “follow” you. 3. Move to Mobile 47% of LinkedIn visits are made via mobile devices.  With push notifications drawing smartphone users back to the app and mobile sites, this should come as no surprise....

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Mastering Facebook

Mastering Facebook

In an increasingly digital world, where new communication platforms are developed daily, Facebook remains a powerful marketing tool. Why? Well, besides the total measure-ability, low cost and high ROI, Facebook reaches your target audience when they are most susceptible: down time. Facebook users are browsing things that genuinely interest them and building connections with people they care about. Vancouver-based social media management company Hootsuite calls it a relationship network, identifying this as the ideal foundation on which brands can make meaningful, personal connections with their target markets. After all, that’s what the relaxed, open-minded and engaged viewer on the other end is searching for. But Facebook has a multifaceted reputation: one of proven success and constant (frustrating) policy changes. Take the 20% text rule that restricts text appearing in image posts, for instance. The common opinion is that this policy is ridiculous, but these resented restrictions aren’t going anywhere any time soon, so you’d be better off learning how to work around them while your competition gets bent out of shape. For starters, study Facebook’s advertising guidelines regularly. They may not be riveting, but it will be incredibly helpful when it comes to understanding the grounds on which to build your Facebook campaign. And just like our favourite PGA pros grinding it out this week at Augusta, there is a lot more science and preparation than meets the eye when it comes to “Master”-ing the social media game. Staying a Step Ahead As the rules and regulations of Facebook change for advertisers, so do the options of how to share content. We have come a long way from the original status updates and it’s as important as ever to stay ahead of the curve. 1. Videos This one may not come as a surprise. We all know that video content is becoming increasingly valuable to viewers. But did you know that over 1 million videos are viewed on Facebook each day? Or that the average Facebook user watched 75% more videos this year than last year? (Source: Amy Porterfield). Short video clips fit perfectly into the browsing nature of the Facebook platform, offering a great avenue to viral content. And with the new autoplay function causing videos to begin without pressing play, they are more eye-catching than ever before. 2. Video Playlists Facebook has also given users the option of building a personalized video playlist – an individualized portfolio of videos that reflect each user’s own tastes and trends. This means being able to share more engaging videos in a streamlined format, and encouraging fans to spread them in a more user-friendly format. 3. Craft Multi-Product Ads You’ve likely started to see multi-product ads in your News Feed lately. The new interactive ad boxes scroll left and right, showing various companies or...

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Engaging the Elusive Millennial

Engaging the Elusive Millennial

In case you haven’t noticed, Baby Boomers’ babies are gaining increased buying power and market share, inspiring a sense of panic among marketers unsure of how to reach this millennial generation. Our advice: don’t panic, but do read on. SO WHO ARE THESE MILLENNIALS? Millennials are the 18 to 35 year olds deemed to bring an end to the monetization of media. But that’s not all, they’re also lazy, entitled, disconnected and cheap. Or that’s at least how they’ve been widely profiled. Luckily for them, for you, and for the future of media, this generalization is entirely wrong. Millennials are actually: CONNECTED They are dismissed as selfish, rude and disconnected as they remain permanently “plugged-in” to their mobile devices. But for this generation — the first to grow up with, or after, the popularization of the internet — mobile is a means to hyper-connection unattainable offline. Immersed in a sharing community, the mobile internet provides a way to share insights, do research and develop relationships. So far, all signs point to millennials being engaged and caring individuals. PRINCIPLED They are accused of being entitled. Having entered a workforce void of the same opportunity as their parents, they are offered judgement, not sympathy, for their difficulty in landing a job. It’s true: having seen the success of their Baby Boomer parents first hand, they have higher quality-of-life standards. They want to “work to live” not “live to work” and they adhere to a strong set of personal values and beliefs that support this prioritization. Does that sound so bad? CAREFUL Finally, they are categorized as cheap. They were raised through a recession, the effects of which can still be seen in the lean workforce. They are expected to have a post-secondary education, but even a Masters degree won’t guarantee them employment. As a result they are careful and calculating with their money. Constant access to information gives them the ability to research anything and everything. They value peer feedback and seek out brand values that align with their own. Ultimately, once they believe in a product, they are willing to invest.   WHERE ARE THESE MILLENNIALS SPENDING? Millennials are responsible for $430 billion in annual, non-essential spending. They may not be buying traditional media, but consider this: in order to be so constantly connected to their devices, millennials need to make some serious investments. Their principal investment goes into the devices themselves. In fact, if millennials replace each of their tablets, PC’s and game consoles on an average 5-year cycle, they will spend approximately $3,000 per year on technology—devices designed to keep them connected (source: Deloitte’s 2015 Predictions). Once they have the devices, they need the content that fills them—they just might be choosier about where they get it. So, how do...

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