Although I don’t have a ton of friends or contacts on WhatsApp, I continue to use this app and have been now for several years. I like it and now advertisers are starting to see the benefits of WhatsApp. The traffic is less crowded and there is a lot of potential here at lower advertising costs.
Right now, brands are finding that a WhatsApp strategy makes sense for the always-time-strapped consumer. Instead of asking them to seek out the brand’s mobile app for a personalized experience, brands will come to them to talk where they already are. And since only 20 million of WhatsApp’s 1 billion users are projected to be based in the U.S. in 2017, according to Statista, the app serves as a door to an international audience.
On WhatsApp, customers can select items they want to be delivered by scrolling through the latest updated stock. A Reliance Brand representative said in 2015 that conversion rate was as high as 80 percent, and that “cash-rich-time-poor” customers appreciated the convenience of the direct conversation. It helps that that conversation doesn’t cost the brands a lot, either.
“One of the most appealing things about WhatsApp is its success rate. 98 percent of WhatsApp messages are opened and read. “Second, it’s cheap. Cheaper than any customer service or advertising on any traditional media, with the bonus of the automatic opt-in, since the customers gave you their telephone numbers.”
Over the holidays, high-end lingerie brand Agent Provocateur set out on WhatsApp with a goal to help couples buy items. The customer service strategy was aimed at the “time-poor” customer, a brand spokesperson told Digiday, and also the retailer’s VIPs, who are becoming increasingly important in a competitive retail market.
WhatsApp’s current advantage: It’s less crowded by other brands than the Facebooks and Snapchats of the world. “The challenge brands have is finding an uncluttered environment where they can talk to customers,” said David Cooperstein, an advisor to the programmatic platform Pebblepost. “They know people are spending time on WhatsApp, and they’re looking for ways to get visibility.”
Outside of WhatsApp, brands have tested conversational-driven customer service and marketing on apps like WeChat and Facebook Messenger, as customers are becoming more open to the idea of chatting with a brand. So far, WhatsApp’s full potential is still yet to be tapped.
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When it comes to the elements that would make a “perfect” mobile ad, US teen and millennial internet users say they care more about whether they can save and access it later and less about the ad’s relevance to them. In May 2016, Verve Mobile surveyed 3,000 US internet users ages 14 to 29 and asked them which elements would be key to a “perfect” mobile ad experience. The responses were a bit surprising. For instance, more than a third said they wanted to be able to easily share a mobile ad, and nearly half (46%) said they wanted to save the ad and be able to access it later. Given that many users find ads to be annoying, it’s hard to imagine that some would want to save an ad and view it later—unless, of course, it had an offer or incentive attached to it.
Some responses, however, were more typical of consumer attitudes toward ads. Nowadays people crave personalized content, and teens, as well as millennials, expect that from the “perfect” mobile ad. Indeed, 39% of teen and millennial internet users said they wanted the ad to be customized based on products they want to buy, and fewer—said they wanted the “perfect” mobile ad to be relevant in terms of proximity and location. Respondents also wanted to be able to add coupons or offers to their mobile wallet, as well as directly shop for products, via this ideal ad.
Users see a variety of mobile ad types, from interstitial ads to standard mobile banners. Mobile device users are more receptive to ad scrollers than expandable ads. Ad scrollers are a format that appears as a window revealing creative as the user scrolls. More than half of mobile device users who saw ad scrollers viewed a brand more favorably afterward, which was higher than the 46% of respondents who also had the same positive effect after exposure to expandable ads. These are pretty interesting statistics that I found. Mobility, those that use it and advertising itself within those same realms will do nothing but continue to grow in the upcoming years. If you have not sat down and re-thought your advertising budget to include mobile advertising, you really should.
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As video advertising continues to grow across the board, marketers and agencies alike are focusing more and more on social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat and Periscope to launch digital media advertising campaigns.
A June 2016 study by Trusted Media Brands (TMB) and Advertiser Perceptions showed large percentages of US agencies and marketers increasing their budgetary commitments to digital video advertising overall, and to programmatic video advertising specifically. A majority of agency respondents said their video and programmatic video ad budgets would increase in the 12 months following the survey, while nearly all other agency respondents said budgets would stay the same. The numbers were more modest among marketers, with larger percentages keeping budgets at current levels than increasing them.
Another study done by Videology showed that viewability was the most prevalent campaign objective for US digital video advertisers, with 43% of respondents choosing that parameter. Clickthrough and viewthrough rates ranked second and third, respectively.
Those results aren’t surprising, but it’s noteworthy that in the previous quarter VTR registered higher than CTR in Videology’s study. This could be an indication that video advertisers are starting to prioritize direct-response objectives—typically not a forte of video advertising, but increasingly under consideration as advertising shifts to in-feed social environments such as Facebook, Twitter and, most recently, Pinterest.
Their study showed a large and growing amount of digital video advertising campaigns running across all screens: desktop, laptop, mobile and connected TV.
Along with their focus on extending ad buys across screens, marketers are also increasingly interested in social video advertising. A May 2016 study by Animoto found that over 70% of US marketers it polled planned to use social video ads in the coming 12 months, with Facebook leading the way among specific platforms, followed by Google’s YouTube and Facebook-owned Instagram.
While that portion of Animoto’s study was forward-looking, the company also tracked current usage of paid social video ad platforms by US marketers and found, again, that Facebook led by two-thirds representation, followed by YouTube at 39%, Instagram at 21.7% and the others at less than 20% each. While it’s arguable whether or not YouTube is a social ad platform, it’s clear that advertisers see Facebook as the pillar of their social video ad efforts, with YouTube not far behind.
Another area in which Facebook is disrupting the landscape is live video. The TMB/Advertiser Perceptions study cited earlier showed that majorities of US agency and marketing executives were considering investing in live streaming ads. Relatively few were ruling out this platform, so it’s reasonable to expect this to be a hotbed of interest in the coming months. The study didn’t specifically cite Facebook, but the social giant has already emerged as a key player in the live video area, having launched its Facebook Live platform in early 2016.
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While it may be hard to grasp, especially for the small business owner, putting your advertising dollars now into mobility is a reality one can not escape from. Last year 30% of advertising dollars spent went into mobile advertising and that rate will go up this year. (IAB report)
As we spend more time on our smart phones searching for deals, places to eat, movies to see, mobile ads are popping up everywhere. While some businesses it does make sense not to use mobility, most retailers capturing millennials and younger, they would be foolish not to be using mobile advertising. Items included in these platforms include the standard SMS and email. What is new to this platform is the use of 10 to 15 second video bursts. Take a serious look at in-app advertising and see what you could be missing.
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According to Influence Central, kids are getting their first cell phone at about age 10 and one-third of kids have a social media account before they get 12 years of age. 11% of these kids had a social media account before they were 10! While I have strong feelings about kids this young messing around with devices the sad thing is brands are fully aware of these same stats and they are trying to get as much of their advertising toward these young new and bold users. This same study showed kids are using tablets in cars, watching videos on those smartphones, and using basic text messages. They understand Snapchat, clicking on to the internet and off they go. I just hope there is some adult supervision going on. I am in the business of technology and social media and you would think I would all over this a being the cheerleader for mobile devices. But at what price are we enabling our children before they are still in grade school?
I look back at my young life at that age and a Tonka Truck and playing "Mouse Trap" was more than enough entertainment for me along with getting out in the mountain air with my friends. We already know the seriousness of teens using smartphones for private messaging, sexting, and their young minds do not understand the long-term consequences of how much harm can be done from what they think is a fun or private moment with their boy or girlfriend. I strongly urge parents to think hard about when your child is ready to have their own smart phone. Do not cave in to "Well Jacob or Melissa has one! Why can't I?" You not only have to look at the costs associated with an expensive smart phone but those contracts for an extra line and then the monitoring of what your child is doing with them.
The argument can be made "Well my kid having a phone allows me to stay in touch with them." and yes, you can actually track them as to where they are through the GPS but take the time to educate, and know the maturity level of your child for the responsibility that go with it. Like it or not at that young age, you need to check their phones to see what they are doing with it and control what apps they can and can not have. Ahh give me back my Mouse Trap Game!
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Yes, they just keep on coming and not that your smart phone has any more room for another app but this one might just prove to be useful. Google's new "spaces"app is designed to work with mobility and thus can be downloaded by either Google Play Store or the Apple Store for free. I just tested it on the desktop and yes it works there as well. The main purpose of Spaces is to help small groups get more done via collaboration. It integrates Google search, YouTube, and Chrome for quick and flawless look-up. To use it you simply need a Gmail account and hopefully friends or associates you can email to to join you in your new space.
"Why do I need my space for spaces? " you may ask. If you have a hot topic to discuss or a short notice meeting that you need your team on, simply make a space and invite them in. You can tap on a link, a video, a photo, whatever and off you go. For our iPhone users, you may have already messed around with the sister of this app called Gboard. It is very similar.
While our phones continue to get filled with apps this little gem will be cool for high school and college students who have group projects to work on as well as sales staff or committee people from non profits.
Finally the app is very good for the person sitting at the coffee shop discovering something he or she thinks is cool and wants to share it with their 30 or so friends just to get their opinion. Check out Spaces. I just hope you still have the space on your phone for Spaces.
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Social Media continues to astound, fascinate, and evolve as a medium that seems to have no end. Naysayers have said it was a fad and would begin to die on the grapevine this year. So what happened? A new app from Twitter called ironically enough "Vine" appears and is quickly becoming a hot ticket for both consumers and businesses alike.
Yes, social media growth here in the US has slowed a bit to about 10% in 2011, but other countries where technology lags, social media is growing at over 50% in some areas. So where do I see the biggest impacts this year? Mobility and Multimedia. Most others agree. It's a no-brainer. We are on the pathway where these two social platforms will be the social media darlings. Let me explain. I am a news junkie and although I don't subscribe, I love following the Neilson ratings and they also have interesting tidbits of other information. I recently read their 2012 Report On Social Media . Last year, 43% percent of us here in the US now use our smartphones and 16% of us use our tablets to connect to social media (apps). This will continue to grow and I do foresee the desktop to become a secondary if not nearly obsolete computer application for the consumer. (Not so much for businesses) The downside is a greater demand for WI-FI connectivity. Businesses, schools, municipalities and enterprise campuses world-wide will have to deal with the BYOD, (Bring Your Own Device) as we become an almost complete mobile social society.
The other growth segment I see is Multimedia. Video streaming is everywhere. According again to Neilson, we are engaging more with social media while watching TV, on our smartphones, or using gaming devices. Be it You Tube posts, video streaming with Skype or U-Stream, we have tipped the scale with video applications socially. This study also includes chatting socially via embedded video on Facebook or Google +. I will be anxious to see how Twitter's "Vine" will play in 2013. Facebook alone is the dominant leader world-wide with the exception of 10 countries (China and other countries where "Western" communications are hindered. ) Twitter and Linkedin are the Number 2 and 3 leaders respectfully.
Hang on to your hat as we will be in for a wild ride in 2013 as Social Media continues to reinvent itself to keep up with our ever demanding needs for instant networking, and on the spot communication with our friends, business associates, clients, or whatever else we can think of as "We want it now!"
Mobility is no longer a communications utility, but a media distribution hub. Our mobile phones now account for over 10% percent of our media consumption time. So what does this mean? The answer in a nutshell is apps. We spend over 2 hours a day on the average using apps. We don’t even surf the web as much as we use apps on our cell phone. I took a look at the trends users had with apps this past year. For developers and publishers to be successful in mobility, these trends might be helpful for future content as they create apps for mobile devices. Let's take a look at the most popular mobile apps and examine how mobile usage is an addictive activity.
Here's an overview of the top 4 trends with apps.
It is no secret that mobility is fast becoming the standard for social media. Tablets and smart phones are in the consumer's hands and the desktop is taking the back seat. Where we eat, where we are going to travel, where we are going to shop, where are we staying on that next business trip, all decided from the couch or arm-chair. Businesses need to know the methodology of mobility and how the consumer are responding to those wonderful apps and tools in their hands. Some are for business and others are for their personal needs.
I have found however, that many business have been very proactive in predicting this new generation of mobility toward social media. Customer interaction via surveys, on-line communities, tapping their customer's preference levels for contacts and so on. Many have developed interactive apps for easier navigation of their products and services designed specifically for smart phones or tablets.
So what does this all mean? Two words. "Customer Satisfaction" Happy clients or customers means increase profitability. The easier it is for customers to deal with you, the easier it means they will come back. Business value and your ability to connect to the mobile market especially in this next year may determine your bottom line. Large corporations are investing millions into revamping their social strategy to include mobility and making sure their marketing is either including or even better, leading with mobility. So where does your company stand? Think about how you are reaching the mobile marketplace. Is your website mobile friendly? Does your company have an app for downloading? Do you even have a social media plan? Make sure your new year's resolution include social media and mobility!
We just had Pinterest and it has caught on well as a social media tool for business. Now we have Social Cam. Many of us have "played" around with this on our personal Facebook pages and Twitter but then it hit me. How could this app, if at all, be applied for business usage? While it is still kind of new and being used mostly by young people, I do see some possible benefits for business applications.
First if you are not familiar with Social Cam, it is an app that can be intigrated to Facebook and you sign up for it on the web. You basically watch short unedited videos of people and events. Some are silly, some are interesting, some are touching, but most are just kids doing anything and everything and uploading it so their freinds can see where they are in pretty much "real- time". Ironically as of this writing, you only can use Social Cam through your smart phone's camera to shoot videos and upload them from there. They are working to allow desktop publishing of videos or using your web cam that is on your home desktop but as of today, that is not happening. Perhaps that is the whole novelty of Social Cam and to do that would just make it another YouTube sort of experience.
Now for the business aspect. Look at this scenario. Suppose your business is having a huge sale. You pay for live radio remotes or television commercials. You have your smart phone with you and would it not be cool to shoot some quick real-time video of your sale? Why not shoot some crowd action or interview a customer you know personally and get their excitement and upload it to your Twitter or FB fan page site? Wow, you just reached out to your masses! I see other postive uses of Social Cam for businesses as well. Applicants sending short introduction of themselves, maybe answering a question you submitted , new product line introduction, but I digress. Let me know your thoughts. Will Social Cam be a novelty or will it grow into a huge new social media tool?