The Covid-19 pandemic has forced sudden, unexpected and massive shifts into the online strategies of most organizations. Even companies with extensive Business Continuity Planning are struggling to come to grips with how to approach such a crisis. Everything from the most practical considerations such as budget to more existential factors like the "why" and "who are we now" have come into question. We have compiled some of the top reflections on advertising post Covid-19 from a variety of sources to help our clients and colleagues approach this time.
The first thing we are seeing is people trying to exploit fear.
What I mean by this is supplies are running low around the world. From masks and toilet paper to hand sanitizer and other basic necessities… I am seeing marketers buying them and then reselling them on eBay or running ads and selling them for 10-50x the price.
This isn’t entrepreneurship and this isn’t marketing. I highly recommend that you avoid exploiting the Coronavirus situation to make a quick buck.
Not only is it wrong but it is also very short-sighted. Sure you may be able to make a quick buck, but it won’t last… you are better off spending your time on anything that is long term.
So now that we got that out of the way, what does the Coronavirus mean for marketers?
With most businesses closed, and most people staying at home in order to reduce the potential spread of the virus, social media usage is surging.
Since people aren’t going out to bars or engaging in outdoor activities, they're turning to Facebook and Instagram much more than normal - which means that the amount of available impressions is also on the increase, and the capacity for your ads to reach your target audience is equally on the rise. This will lead to lower overall operating costs for your campaigns.
We wouldn't necessarily recommend the testing of any new initiatives during this time, however those who can afford to keep their campaigns running for the next 30, 60 or 90 days will be doing so in a more favorable market for attention.
Proactively share important information with your customers using email, your website, Facebook Page, Instagram Business Profile, or however you typically connect. Remember that you can pin important posts to the top of your Facebook Page for quick viewing. You might include information about the measures you’re taking to make your premises or products safe, or how you will handle customer inquiries if there are expected shipping delays.
You can also update your Page hours to show your customers how and when you’re available for business. Notify customers of any changes or modifications to your availability or services by updating your Page Info and selecting Open With Service Changes or Temporarily Closed, depending on your situation.
Demand is likely to remain subdued during the height of the COVID-19 crisis, but that doesn’t mean it's going away. Indeed, financial experts expect a spike in shopping and product demand once a vaccine is developed or a solid treatment is found.
As an advertiser, you can prepare for that pent-up interest by building your brand and creating bonds with your community. From helping out with local needs to being visible and active on social media and other online channels, there are things you can do to enhance your brand awareness and be ready for the shopping spree to come.
The COVID-19 crisis has created a new landscape for businesses everywhere, with some firms prohibited from operating and others working harder than ever to meet demands. Advertising in the heart of all this has created its own set of challenges.
Stay up to date on local conditions. The Google Trends page can help you better understand the context in local markets and your customers’ frame of mind.
Review your performance metrics, and be willing to pivot. For example, significant shifts in conversion rate may require adjustments to your Smart Bidding targets.
Pause ad groups or ads if needed. Review products and services that are affected by demand issues and adjust accordingly. For example, mark online or local products as “out of stock” across channels if you’re unsure of real-time inventory or restocking times.
Consider tools that can help you adapt. For example, the Google Ads mobile app (iOS, Android) can help keep you connected to your campaigns.
If you need any help with your marketing and advertising strategy, contact us today.
Add a countdown sticker to your story by selecting it from the sticker tray after taking a photo or video. Name your countdown, add an end date or time and customize the color before sharing to your story. After you’ve created a countdown, it will be available in your sticker tray to reuse in new stories until the countdown ends. Your friends can tap on your countdown to follow or share it to their own story; anyone who follows or shares your countdown will get a notification when the countdown ends. The countdown sticker is available globally on iOS and Android – you can learn more about it in the Instagram Help Center here.
That’s the question isn’t it.
According to a new report from the founder of SocialMediaExaminer.com, the results are a mixed bag:
While 90 percent of marketers now say that social media-related marketing is important for their business, nearly 25 percent are still in the dark when it comes to measuring its effect, according to the third annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Michael A. Stelzner, founder of SocialMediaExaminer.com.
Knowing whether your online marketing is working for your bottom line is what’s important. Companies can have all the flashy facebook and twitter pages in the world but if customers aren’t following the links and buying something, it’s kind of pointless. Style is one thing but style without substance is, unfortunately, an all-too-common occurrence for small businesses. It also may be one of the biggest reasons why small businesses are hesitant to “justify plowing resources into something that you’re not sure is working”.
At Cote, LLC we work with your web team to determine whether your online ad dollars are translating into exposure, sales and both. There are several different ways to do this depending on your company’s web sophistication and we can tailor our approach to any of them.
One of the six key takeaways from the Stelzner study is that company’s are considering outsourcing their new media marketing:
Twenty-eight percent of businesses plan to outsource part of their social media marketing efforts in 2011. That number has doubled since last year’s report when 14 percent said they outsourced such tasks as design and development, content creation and analytics to others outside the company.
Cote, LLC can accomplish this either way and often without you spending a new dime on marketing. We can train your people to accomplish this effectively or we can do it for you. Again, new media marketing is not a one-size-fits-all game as many of the larger marketing service providers would have you believe.
Read the points from the study and give us a call. We’ll see what fits for you.
“Cote, LLC…New Media Marketing for the rest of us”
Building a site and not promoting it (through SEO, social media, PPC and all the various methods out there) is the same as opening a store on a street no one ever walks or drives down and then keeping the lights off, not having a sign and putting paper over the windows.
Believe it or not, which means you should believe it, ask a seasoned internet junkie like me and they’ll tell you that Facebook is littered with pages exactly like this. A company starts a facebook page, throws up a couple of quick posts and then doesn’t touch the page again for a year, or two years, or longer.
It’s depressing. Kind of like an online Detroit…all due respect to Detroit, of course.
Not doing proper keyword research.
Listen, this isn’t rocket science and quite frankly, way too much effort is devoted to “researching” effective keywords. You know your business. You know how your customers define your business. You know what you want people to search for…that’s how you tag your business. If you want people to buy wrenches from you, you don’t tag your stuff ‘lollipops’.
Read the rest of the report as it’s quite good.
At Cote, LLC we seamlessly meld your business acumen with new media opportunities, specially tailored to your budget and your goals.
Call or email us today and let us tell you more.
If you’re one of the three people reading this then no, you probably haven’t. We haven’t either.
We’re not trying to specifically knock the magazine industry, but rather we only point out that this battle, for the immediate future, has a pretty clear winner:
Perhaps the editors and publishers once figured that they could get their way because Apple chief Steve Jobs needed classy aggregated content for the iPad. If so, the magazine industry had its head in the sand. They need the iPad more than the iPad needs them.ReutersSo, this seeming marriage made in heaven of new and old media is getting off to an uninspiring start. As The Wall Street Journal noted on Monday, while an increasing number of magazines are edging toward permitting subscriptions on the iPad, “relations between the publishing industry and Apple remain icy.” Read Wall Street Journal’s “More Magazines Try iPad.”Don’t look for the iPad to offer consumers much of a break. The Economist, for instance, carries a price tag of $110 a year, and the New Yorker costs $4.99 an issue on the iPad. Magazine publishers fret that by playing ball with Apple, they’ll eventually lose control of the customer data that they need for related marketing programs. Bloomberg BusinessWeek this week began offering subscriptions to an iPad variation of its publication for $2.99 a month. Elle and Maxim are among what the Journal called “a small but growing number of magazines willing to sign despite industry-wide concerns about Apple’s reluctance to share customer data.”
The now age-old war between ‘old’ and ‘new’ media will continue until there are a half dozen newspapers and even less magazines on the shelves. In other words, the new media is going to win. The numbers don’t lie.
We point out this battle between the iPad and the magazine publishers still holding out on compromising with Apple as a microcosm of the larger decline of the print industry as a whole. And with that decline, corresponding to millions of fewer eyes viewing print advertising, comes the inevitable rise of new media marketing.
Like most sea changes in marketing and advertising and anything else, the big guys with the cash get into the game first and establish an edge over smaller competitors.
But unlike most other such changes in the past, the internet allows for smaller players to get in and get heard alongside the big guys; the trick is being smart about it.
We can show you how to be smart about it, often with little to no additional investment needed to start your new media marketing campaign.
We are “New Media Marketing for the rest of us“.
Let’s get in the game, together.
While the theory may not have worked out all that well for Gabriel Byrne and Kim Basinger in “Cool World”, syncing your classic marketing with your new media marketing is an increasingly important tool in your arsenal. We preach the fact that “old” media is in a steep and steady decline and yet we would be remiss not to recognize that a substantial percentage of people still get their news and views from television, radio and print media.
Because the trend toward a more online-centric marketing platform will continue into the forseeable future, however, why not help your present customers along in that process by making the transition as seamless as possible?
BlogHer’s 2011 Social Media Matters report reveals that social media and blog marketing are increasingly important in influencing purchase decisions – especially among women.
The report found that both blog readership and social media use are rising in the United States. This year, 87 percent of online Americans surveyed said they use Facebook (up from 80 percent in 2010). This almost matches the number of consumers who watch offline television (93 percent).
Additionally, more than half of internet-using consumers (55 percent) read online news – supporting suggestions at the recent ad:tech SF conference that custom news marketing’s moment is here. BlogHer also found that 40 percent of online Americans read blogs (up from 37 percent in 2010) and 22 percent use Twitter (up from 16 percent last year).
When asked about the impact blogs have on their online shopping, 53 percent of respondents (88 percent of active blog readers) indicated that they trust the information in blogs they visit regularly. Nearly one-quarter of the U.S. population (24 percent) said they make purchases based on blogs – that’s 53 percent of active blog readers.
The bottom line is that you know your business better than anyone else so why wouldn’t you want to educate consumers? It is our contention here at Cote, LLC that an educated consumer is a better consumer and one who is more inclined to practice brand loyalty once they’ve fixed on a product they find useful and affordable.
Cote, LLC has partnered with BPI Brand Marketing, Inc. for just this reason. BPI has been in the classic brand marketing industry for over 20 years and is fluent in sales representation, branding, packaging and on-site club roadshows. Together, we will dramatically increase the visibility of your company and your product by integrating your existing classic marketing strategy with a customized new media project. Give your customers as many ways to find your business as possible.
We’ll show you how.
In other words, there is no “secret” to Twitter. Like any other communication medium, the ‘key’ to success in that medium is hard work coupled with a more sophisticated understanding of that medium.
Nonetheless, MediaBistro put together their top 5 Twitter secrets list:
Understand Twitter search
Now that you’ve set up your dashboard, bookmark this link immediately: search.twitter.com/advanced.This is Twitter’s own advanced search tool, and it is absolutely essential if you want to get into the conversation happening right now in your niche.It is similar to Google’s advanced search, in that you can define keywords to include, exclude and target exact phrases. But because Twitter is a social information network, its search includes social queries too: you can search tweets from, to, or referencing a particular person, tweets from a particular location, or tweets with only a negative sentiment.Twitter search is a powerful way to find out exactly what people are saying within your niche right now. For instance, you could search for “dogs” and “grooming” and “hair cut” in only your state to see if there are any potential clients who might need your services. Or you can use it to discover the most popular hashtags in your niche, the Twitter thought leaders, and more.
The report is based on a survey which polled 900 client-side advertisers and agencies. It found that the number of companies handling SEO exclusively in-house fell from 51% in 2010 to 44% in 2011, and the number handling paid search in a similar fashion dropped from 47% to 38% over the same time period.Even in the realm of social media, where companies are often encouraged to empower the voices within their companies, outsourcing is on the rise. In 2010, 62% of companies kept social media in-house. In twelve months, that has dropped to just 55%.
Those twin 7% drops represent the harsh truth; small businesses simply do not have the time to make new media work for them.
Here at Cote, LLC we understand this perfectly well. We also understand that your bottom line, like your time, is of the utmost importance. Contact us today so we can figure out how to make new media work for you without making a dent in your marketing budget.
We love data. Data makes the world go ’round as far as we’re concerned here. You could listen to a thousand marketers give you a thousand reasons why you should pay them to do your SEO and New Media marketing and all of it could be complete bunk at the end of the day.
But show a small business owner the numbers and they’re more likely to take you seriously.
MarketingSherpa, a research firm and publisher of marketing know-how, recently released and presented the results of their Search Marketing Benchmark Report that included 2,200 survey respondents and reviewed best practices to improve search and social media marketing integration. The key finding of the survey per the Company is “search and social media have incredible synergy”.
The survey showed that 64 percent of the organizations surveyed do indeed integrate social media with search engine marketing, with those organizations in the strategic phases being much more likely to integrate the two. Also, the report indicates that social impacts organic search performance where “search marketers who integrate social media achieve a 59 percent better rate of conversion”. This is far from insignificant. In fact, it’s quite significant.
That’s the point, isn’t it? Of the nearly 600 million Facebook users, for example, not all of them are your potential consumers, despite the fantasy pronouncements of many New Media marketers. It’s building, solidifying and increasing that ROI that matters. The successful shopkeeper of old who came out from behind the counter to meet, greet and assist his customers in any way he could laid the groundwork for today’s succesful online marketing.
What’s new is old again.
Come out from around your New Media network counters and meet, greet and assist your online customers with the same zeal and enthusiasm as your Grandmother did. Answer their questions, make them smile and they’ll remember to tell their friends about you when it comes time to make their decisions about purchasing a product.
If you’re a small business that’s hesitant about getting your feet wet in the global splash pool that is New Media, give us a ring and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.
It sounds so simple: The key to effective social media marketing is connecting with your customer.
But some businesses mistakenly believe that means the literal connection – the Twitter “follow”, or the coveted Facebook “like”. They think just getting the customer to click that button in the first place is the goal.
As we’ve pointed out, that’s actually just the beginning. Keeping that connection – and engaging your customers with a human voice – is the key to using social media to successfully develop your brand. And while we hate to say “We told you so…” (Who are we kidding? We love to be right!)
MediaPost has an interesting piece on New Jersey-based Snack Factory, one of the fastest-growing snack companies in the country. Despite a nationwide recession, they saw sales grow by 15% last year. And while their success is driven by hard work and a quality product, their tagline “Rethink Your Pretzel!” applies not only to their snack, but their social media presence.
Their Facebook page, for example, offers everything from recipes and the occasional coupon… to humor. They’ve picked up over 60,000 fans in a matter of months, a fact their VP of marketing attributes to the brand’s “voice”.
“We engage consumers with a fun brand personality… For instance, we posted humorous ‘updates’ and comments around the royal wedding, which generated large numbers of fan postings and new fans. We’re not just constantly selling the products, which endears the brand to consumers.”
Their Twitter campaign is even more interesting. Their team members spend part of each day monitoring tweets for keywords like “snack”, “pretzel”, or “hungry”. They contact prime tweeters and deliver Pretzel Crisp samples.
“These tweeters of course then tweet about how cool it was that Pretzel Crisps just brought them free bags of our snacks, and how good they are, and those positive messages are reaching hundreds of thousands of their followers.”
And what about the all-important ROI?
“…dollar for dollar, we’re finding that social media is the best investment, because once a consumer ‘likes’ us, we can continue to engage with and market to that person, at very small additional or incremental cost… We don’t have the marketing budgets of the biggest brands, but we’re producing extremely cost-effective results through strategic social media efforts.”
Remember what we’ve told you? Answer their questions, make them smile and they’ll remember to tell their friends about you when it comes time to make their decisions about purchasing a product.
And we get it… we do. Not every business can dedicate team members to monitoring tweets for keywords, or keeping enough of the human element in your Facebook page to make people actually “like” you, not just click the dang button. Small businesses have work to do!
That’s where we come in.
Contact Cote LLC today to learn how we can take you past the initial connection (there’s that button again!) to the kind of engaged, human connection your customers, fans, and followers will reward with loyalty and recommendations to others.
It’s not like Pinterest is just gaining traction now, but recently, it has been getting quite a bit of special attention. In case you happen to only be online to read this blog, and have missed it, Pinterest is a site where users can create online bulletin boards where they “Pin” things they’d like to remember. So, if you’d like to remember that recipe for homemade hot sauce or a particularly helpful pin – how to keep your zipper from falling down (It actually works!) – you can pin it to your online bulletin boards where all of your followers can then see what you’ve selected and check it out for themselves.
Think of Pinterest like a connection of ideas, tips, places, products and inventions and you have all of these nifty boards to organize your findings. The idea of Pinterest hits the epitome of social. It’s an online gathering of your friend’s best ideas created by their friends and so on. We think Pinterest has the potential to stick around and become a social staple (or… thumbtack – get it?)
But, why the special attention? For starters, Pinterest has been generating a great deal of this attention on its own, but perhaps it is with good reason. Businesses have hit the Pinterest waves in an effort to get their services and products out there to all of those pinners. Effective, or no?
Well, here is a little breakdown, from Soshable, of just what happens on Pinterest:
According to Design Week, just a couple of weeks ago, Pinterest released a new look to a select number of users in an effort to maximize visual space as well as the information that goes along with a pin. This change will make it easier for users to see prices and descriptions at a glance as well as other related pins. It will also increase the size of the photos – and pinners really like their visual stimulation – most photos on the site are creative and well shot (so, we don’t really mind seeing them a little bit bigger.)
Earlier last month, Pinterest made its first acquisition of a site called Punchfork. The site is used for recipe sharing – which we know pinners love! Hopes are that this will boost the popular category within Pinterest and also eliminate a potential competitor.
It goes without saying that Pinterest has been moving and shaking in recent months, and we’re curious to see where it goes…