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In the lush landscape of social networking sites, advertisers are left asking themselves which platform will reach their target audience while generating desired business results. It is no secret that Facebook has seen its fair share of scrutiny related to data and security breaches, leading to Mark Zuckerberg answering questions from the Senate commerce and judiciary committees on privacy, data mining, regulations and Cambridge Analytica. Despite recent issues, Facebook advertising usage remains steady among digital buyers.

According to a Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner, small and medium sized businesses continue to focus their social media marketing on Facebook, which is being used by 94% of those surveyed. Along with businesses, Facebook continues to be a leading social media site for U.S adults, according to Pew Research Center. While Facebook is used by around half of America’s teens, the platform ranks fourth in popularity with this demographic. YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat take the top spots for those ages 13-17.

Facebook continues to dominate the social space as a market leader. It’s the first social network to surpass 1 billion registered accounts and currently sits at 2.27 billion monthly active users according to Statista (chart below).

Facebook is focused on a few key initiatives to maximize 2019 ad performance. These include utilizing the budget optimization tool, running multiple placements to increase reach and campaign goals, creating “mobile first” video, which is focused on the user experience while on their mobile device.

Budget Optimization:

Campaign budget optimization gives businesses an easier way to manage their ad budgets and ensure optimal results. Using campaign budget optimization, advertisers can set one central campaign budget to optimize across ad sets by distributing budget to the top performing ad sets in real time. Campaign budget optimization is available for any campaign objective and is best suited for campaigns with multiple ad sets.

4 Placement Efficiency:

Facebook has found that opting into 4+ placements drives the greatest CPM efficiency and continues to signal a competitive bid within the auction. This means Facebook will reach people at a cheaper cost and show ads in ways that better speak to the audience and the brand customers. Facebook offers multiple placements within the platform including newsfeed, instant articles, marketplace, stories, and many more. You can also select Instagram, audience network and messenger to reach your desired audience.

Facebook has communicated that advertisers who select 4+ placements are seeing:

  • 7% higher reach
  • 3.5x incremental conversions
  • 71% lower cost per incremental conversion
  • 1.2x incremental ROAs
Mobile First Video:

As people spend more time on mobile, it’s important for advertisers to understand how viewing habits are changing. Video has become one of the most effective ways to connect with customers on mobile, but in order to capture attention, it’s critical to adopt a mobile-first strategy to create video ads that fit seamlessly into the mobile content consumption experience. Matching consumer’s behavior on mobile can positively impact campaign results. Facebook recommends creating video content that is 15 seconds or less, with the brand message/logo communicated within the first 3 seconds and built for sound off. Facebook has developed video creation tools to enable advertisers to convert existing images and text assets into mobile-first video ads with ease.

Outrage over how Facebook handled consumer data might have served as a road block, but didn’t stop many users from updating their status – nor did it stop brands and advertisers from placing ad spend. Facebook continues to reach a vast audience and is one of the most cost-efficient platforms. With improvements to ads manager, optimization, video content and expanded opportunities to reach target audiences, Facebook will continue to see advertising investments.

Let the team here at Ignite Social Media design your advertising strategy and maximize your media budget.

Let’s Start A Conversation!

Want social content that delivers real business results for your brand? Fill out the form below and let’s chat!


The post Is Facebook Still the Most Effective for Social Advertising? appeared first on Ignite Social Media - The original social media agency.

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Your brand is on multiple social media platforms and posting regularly, but when it comes to engaging your social community, are you giving your audience what they want?

Social media has a very different rhythm than other marketing channels. You can’t just push your brand’s message on your social channels and expect that your audience will care. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but they likely don’t care about your brand’s marketing message. But what they do care about is how what problem it solves for them or what emotion it might evoke.

As marketers, we know how to tell a story, but oftentimes that falls short in our social content. Why? I believe that it starts with the people you are trying to reach, your audience. When creating content for social, community managers should first ask themselves “why would they care?” Start with this level set as a way to ground your brand’s approach to social.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Why do they care / why would they share?
  • How does this benefit them?
  • Will it capture their attention?
  • What is the purpose of this social media post?

Once these preliminary questions are answered and content is created, your social team can start to identify how posts are performing on social. By evaluating the metrics, you’ll start to determine what resonates with your audience and what doesn’t. You’ll get to know THEM — after all, it’s really all about them.

With this in mind, your team can start to create content that your audience cares about. This may be tactical. May your social community doesn’t click through to read link posts, but they may engage in your poll. That’s OK — not all engagement is created equal. Think about ways to tell the story you’re trying to tell on different platforms to reach your desired audience.

Need help with content creation or setting your social strategy? Contact us to start a discussion.

The post Knowing Your Social Community & Why It Matters appeared first on Ignite Social Media - The original social media agency.

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Not only does Pinterest help you find the best ideas from over 2.3 million Pins–it now has the ability to help your content strategy and bottom line. Once a platform for discovering and saving DIY tutorials, home décor and themed recipes, Pinterest has emerged into a visual search and shopping tool, with 84% of Pinners coming to Pinterest when they’re undecided about what to buy.  With more and more advertisers tapping into Pinterest, read on to discover five ways to craft a picture-perfect strategy.
Reach People Early
The early bird may get the worm, but when it comes to Pinterest, it’s the early marketer that gets the sale. That’s because Pinterest is all about planning—so much so that people use Pinterest to plan and search for holiday content 2x earlier than on other platforms. Make the most of this mindset by running your holiday or seasonal campaigns earlier than the competition and watch those sales increase. 
Optimize for Mobile
According to Pinterest, 80% of Pinners use the mobile app. It may seem like a no brainer, but when designing your pins, make sure you’re optimizing them for mobile. That means tailoring your font sizes and styles to make sure they’re legible on small screens and testing graphics and videos to ensure they’re not blurry or cut off by a vertical aspect ratio. The golden rule? Keep your pins 600 pixels by 900 pixels for maximum style and readability.  
Seek to Inspire
When it comes to Pinterest, the best advice is to show—not tell. As a highly visual platform, the best pins are those that are visually compelling, tell a good story and make your audience want to learn more. Develop creative for Pinterest with the user who comes to the platform seeking inspiration in mind. Use lifestyle imagery rather than product shots, and capture people’s attention with creative, organic images that illustrate what your brand has to offer.   
Make Your Brand a Resource
People come to Pinterest looking for tips, tricks, and tutorials on how to improve their everyday life. Use this to your advantage to create informative, engaging creative that simultaneously provides helpful recommendations to your audience. Think of Pins as ideas. They’re the springboard for your audience to gain inspiration and incorporate your brand into their daily life and needs. Implement your brand into users’ daily lives by tapping into the terms they’re searching for. When your Pin appears in their feed, it’ll be a natural and easy fit.
Utilize Keywords
Use keyword targeting to find the platform’s most engaged users. By packing your pin descriptions with relevant keywords and trends, you’ll maximize your exposure to those interested in your brand, as well as increase your visibility in the Pinterest home feed and search results. Just be careful not to overdo things here. The goal is to increase reach–not spam feeds.
 
Want more tips on how to create an effective Pinterest strategy? Contact us to begin developing best-in-class Pinterest campaigns and more.

The post 5 Ways to Drive Sales and Traffic with Pinterest appeared first on Ignite Social Media - The original social media agency.

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The social media industry is extremely fluid, with platforms, algorithms, and features changing at the drop of the hat. As marketers, it can be challenging to keep a finger on the pulse when that pulse is constantly changing pace. That’s where we come in. As a social-first agency, we are constantly analyzing this space and this space only, making sure we are on top of the latest trends. As your marketing team prepares to tackle the rest of this quarter, be on the lookout for social media 2019 trends that will continue to shape the social media marketing landscape this year.

Video Investment Will Be Critical

More and more, we are seeing consumers engage with video content on social media. A recent study from Buffer and Buzzsumo found that video content performs better than all other post types on Facebook. On average, videos receive at least 59% more engagement than other forms of content, and videos accounted for 81% of the top 500 Facebook posts of 2018.

Moreover, 28% of users among the four major networks (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter) engage with live video streams each month. Of these platforms, Facebook sees the highest engagement rates with live video. Facebook has also continued to invest in this content type by adding interactive features like polling to live streams, and they have even developed new forms of live technology in the form of Premieres.

These numbers demonstrate the necessity for marketers to invest in producing social-first video content this year.

Stories Will Continue to Grow

Across multiple social media platforms, more users are migrating to Stories to share and consume content. Just last month, Instagram reported 500 million daily active users on Stories, a 25% jump from the 400 million reported just seven months prior.

While Instagram Stories is the frontrunner across multiple generations, Facebook Stories have seen some pickup among millennials, and Snapchat continues to be the Stories platform of choice for Gen Z.

So, what does this mean for marketers? As users move to Stories, it provides an opportunity to reach them via a new avenue while diversifying media mix. Consider testing ad placements in Facebook or Instagram Stories as it makes sense for your brand. Other ways to reach users via Stories include influencer takeovers, behind the scenes content, or real-time event coverage. When producing Stories for your brand, we recommend between 2-4 frames in order to keep users engaged.

Incorporating Emotion Is Still Imperative

Social media marketing boils down to this: developing connection and encouraging action. You can have an unlimited budget and infinite resources, but all efforts are rendered futile if your audience doesn’t feel anything when consuming content from your brand. Whether you’re providing information that’s useful in your target audience’s daily life or sharing content that inspires them in some way, it is critical for this content to appeal to some emotion, and there is data that backs this up.

In the same study mentioned above from Buffer and Buzzsumo, they found that ‘Love’ and ‘Haha’ were the most common reactions to Facebook posts last year, excluding ‘Like’ which is a more neutral sentiment. Clearly, users are engaging with content that they find inspirational, humorous, or a mix of the two.

When analyzing your marketing efforts on social, sometimes it’s as simple as asking yourself the question, “What does my audience care about, and what can I do better to reach them?”

We’ll continue to share updates on the latest social media marketing trends. In the meantime, let’s chat about how we can help improve your brand’s social media presence.

The post Where Social Media Marketing Is Headed in 2019 appeared first on Ignite Social Media - The original social media agency.

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Whether you are still finalizing your social media strategy or hitting the ground running with execution this year, we’ve compiled the following few social media ad spending trends to help guide and inform your social advertising spending in 2019.

Social Media Ad Spending Predicted to Grow By 19% in 2019

According to eMarketer’s US Social Trends for 2019, Social Ad Spending is predicted to increase by 19% in 2019, an estimated total of $37B in ad spend.

To put this into perspective, eMarketer notes that this will bring social ad spending to nearly 50% of TV ad spending ($69.17 billion) this year.

Brand Implication:  Due to the expected increase in Social Media spending this year, marketers should consider the impact of increased competition into strategies, goals, and budgets in 2019. Maintaining the same media budget for social year-over-year may not be realistic given the nature of the industry and the predicted increases in social advertising spend this year.

Facebook Comprises 84% of Social Network Ad Spend

Perhaps not so surprising is Facebook’s clear dominance when it comes to social network ad spending. With over 84% of marketing dollars allocated to the social giant in 2018, we can see just how reliant marketers have been on this particular platform.

Instagram and Pinterest Ad Revenues Signal Strategic Media Shifts

Looking back at last year’s ad revenues can tell us a lot about the potential media shifts we can expect this year. From the eMarketer research below, we see nearly 90% ad revenue growth on Instagram compared to just 31% ad revenue growth from Facebook. 

This, combined with the 43% growth on Pinterest and nearly 18% growth for Snapchat signal that advertisers are diversifying their ad strategies outside of Facebook (even if they still aren’t yet ready to go completely outside of Facebook’s portfolio).

Brand Implication:  Start considering how to leverage more opportunities outside of Facebook. Before allocating large budgets to unknown and unproven channels, start by carving out a portion of your overall media budget to test and learn opportunities on other platforms and compare against the results you see on Facebook.

Need Social Advertising Help?

If you need help or support with planning or executing your social media advertising and content strategy, we have a new approach we’d love to chat with you about. As a social advertising agency, we have seen impressive results across a variety of industries.

Visit here to learn more about our Content That Converts approach to editorial and paid media planning.

The post Social Ad Spending Report – What You Need to Know appeared first on Ignite Social Media - The original social media agency.

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As Generation Z grows to be a large part of consumers, it’s important to understand what kinds of marketing they are receptive to. It’s much easier to simplify them down to a generation of people who are always on their phones than it is to put the effort in to learn their behaviors. What to know how not to market to Generation Z? We’ve got you covered. Want help with your marketing efforts? Let us know.

Who is Generation Z?

As it happens, the categorization of Gen Z varies depending on who you ask. They are defined as the generation directly following Millennials, born between the years of 1995 and 2010. This is a wide range of ages, which makes creating a one size fits all marketing strategy difficult. People who make up Gen Z fall into many varying life stages – from high school to college to those entering the work force for the first time. Generation Z is growing to be an estimated 25% of the US population, making them a larger group than Baby Boomers or Millennials.

Don’t: Ignore Their Most Used Platforms

Studies have shown that Millennials that are jumping ship from Facebook. Gen Zers spend an average of 2 hours 43 minutes a day on social media. When looking at where Gen Z is spending their time, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram take the top spots, while Facebook Messenger is close behind. Even though Facebook has come under fire in the recent past, they own three of the top four channels that Gen Zers are active on.

Don’t: Be Inauthentic

Those who fall into Generation Z can see through the PR jargon, canned responses and subtle sales tactics. They will call you out and they will drag you. Nothing is off limits when it comes to Generation Z. When it comes to creating content, we create authentic content, leaning away from consistently branded Instagram posts or Tweets. There are ways to incorporate your brand voice & colors in a subtle way to create that thumbstopping content.

Don’t: Stay Silent on Social Issues

In the world we live in, social issues are seeping into every aspect of life, especially social media. While it seems like an idea that goes against the norm, taking firm stances on social issues will help you gain trust with Gen Z. Gen Zers are outspoken activists who are voting for the first time in elections and taking control of the future they want to live in. If your brand stays silent on major issues, you risk falling into obscurity.

Like what you see? We’re experts in the world of social media. We’ve created holiday campaigns that returned increased nearly a 100% increase in engagements and optimized content to drive over 31K clicks. We are here to help you drive real business results!

The post Marketing to Gen Z: What Not to Do appeared first on Ignite Social Media - The original social media agency.

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Since our agency started, back in 2007, social media has evolved drastically. There are social channels that have come and gone, hundreds of algorithm changes and just as many new ad units. One of the most exciting advancements the social channels have made is the metrics associated with paid social ads. These metrics have evolved beyond impressions and likes into metrics that impact the business. We will evaluate a few ways to connect those paid media results to business metrics.

Mapping Paid Social Metrics to the Customer Journey

According to research from GlobalWebIndex, we know that social plays an important role in the customer journey. As a full-service social advertising agency, we are able to integrate analytics and paid seamlessly to map paid social metrics to the customer journey for clients. Customer journeys can look

very different depending on the industry which is why we take a unique approach for each brand. Mapping these metrics is the first step to understanding how to connect your paid social to business metrics. For example, under awareness you should place your total reach and social impressions. We have outlined the map below as a helpful starting point to laying out your social metrics along the journey.

Since it is usually the lowest funnel metrics that gets upper management excited, we will focus on just that for the remaining metrics.

Online and Offline Social Conversion

One of the most exciting ad objectives Facebook has implemented is conversions. To use this objective, you will need to have the Facebook pixel. Online conversions are obviously more straightforward when it comes to attribution because e-commerce analytics platforms can track referral paths via tags, cookies and the pixel.

Offline conversion is more difficult, but it is worth the effort to fill in the large gaps of paid social efforts that come from in-store sales. At a high level, Facebook matches what it knows about the user to sales record data uploaded by the brand. Sales data includes date of purchase, purchase value, and a customer identifier (name and email). To understand the process in more detail, check out our post on What You Need to Know About Facebook Offline Conversions. 

Driving Lead Generation

Another lower funnel objective is driving lead generation. We typically see this as a focus for B2B clients but also some B2C. Lead generation campaigns can be run across just about every social network. The calls-to-action can range from sign-up for a newsletter to follow-ups to receive information via phone or email. These leads can be used for retargeting on social but also passed to other areas of the marketing departments for cultivation. Gathering leads from social can show a direct correlation to business metrics.

Bonus tip—to see the best results with your paid media spend, you need great content. Check out our methodology for creating great content in our Mindset in the Moment™ Whitepaper.

If you need help mapping your metrics and even your social media content to the customer journey, we have come up with a new approach that does just that.

Let’s Start A Conversation!

Want social content that delivers real business results for your brand? Fill out the form below and let’s chat!


The post 3 Ways to Connect Paid Social to Business Metrics appeared first on Ignite Social Media - The original social media agency.

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While social media channels are constantly evolving from algorithm changes to preferred content types, two things in the world of marketing remain tried and true. First, organizations want to drive product sales. Second, they want to acquire new customers. Now that social media is the second-most important channel in the customer journey, we have clients state repeatedly that they are having a hard time justifying the time and [rising] cost of social media. Everyone understands the intrinsic value of social media, yet marketers haven’t been able to find the secret sauce for driving conversions via social media.

Full Funnel Program

Over the past year, we’ve been fine tuning a program called Content That Converts™. This is a full funnel program that ties best in class content with the customer journey. We’ve run this campaign for several clients, one campaign for a fashion retailer saw a 51% increase in impressions and a 76% increase in online revenue!

Another noteworthy campaign was for the 2018 Welcome to the Water campaign for Discover Boating.  The primary purpose of the campaign was to drive referrals to boat manufacturers.

Driving Conversions via Social Media

Using our Content that Converts™ approach we drove 29% more referrals over 2017, using half the budget while lowering the cost per referral by an astounding 62%.

So, what was the secret sauce for these campaigns:

  1. The campaign set-up — everything must start with a strong foundation. The campaign goals must be outlined from the beginning and the targeting and creative must ladder up to those overall goals
  2. Great content that resonates with the target audience and compels them to act
  3. Campaign Optimization — set it and forget it doesn’t work here. You must continually optimize the content and the targeting to find the conversion sweet spot. We’re talking daily and weekly optimizations

If you’re tired of just posting content hoping it sticks, let’s chat, I think we might be able to convert some content for you, too.

Let’s Start A Conversation!

Want social content that delivers real business results for your brand? Fill out the form below and let’s chat!


The post Three Must-Haves for a Successful Conversion Campaign appeared first on Ignite Social Media - The original social media agency.

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I think you’d be lying if you said you haven’t at least tried some type of flavored water. (I’m currently obsessed.) It’s pretty much become the new “thing” as people across the world declare their favorite brands, tweet pictures and even buy bathing suits to show their support. Just like sports teams and fast food chains, sparkling and flavored water brands have been using social media channels to bring the popular drink to their thirsty customers. From La Croix and hint to Bubly, here are a few of the top flavored water brands on social media.

hint:

Hint has created an impressive Instagram feed with a wide variety of content. Stop motion, pictures, UGC and videos fill their channel with bright, simple, and creative content. I’m a sucker for cute stop motions and hint does not disappoint. They have also combined peoples’ love of animals and their flavored water to showcase some great content. Dogs can have an a pretty universal appeal but who knew dogs and water could go hand in hand? Their bright and fun content has helped them gain nearly 772k Facebook fans on top of their popular Instagram and Twitter accounts.

LaCroix:

Can you say UGC?! The majority of flavored water brands use a lot of user generated content on their social channels, and LaCroix is no exception. Nearly all of their content comes from their fans. While this technique won’t work for every brand, the colorful cans and smiling faces have gathered quite the attention. While their content is the same on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – and we typically would recommend each channel be more unique – this hasn’t stopped LaCroix from gaining 160K Instagram followers. I’m thinking its time I start posing with my favorite flavor – Pamplemousse.

Bubly:

Not only did they have an amazing Super Bowl ad with the one and only Michael Bublé, but their content on their social channels has not disappointed. You could describe it as being simply adorable. Bublé has not been the only famous face on their social media channels. Neil Patrick Harris has also made an appearance to create some fun content. The majority consists of cute, animated videos and pictures showcasing their smiling cans. While Bubly hasn’t been around for as long as the others, they’ve still been able to create some great content.

These brands aren’t the only ones out there, but they’ve definitely made a splash on social media. Need help creating the right social content for your brand? Give us a call!

The post Top Flavored Water Brands on Social Media appeared first on Ignite Social Media - The original social media agency.

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They’re cute, cuddly and most of the time, irresistible! Leveraging the power of these furry animals can help your brand in more ways than one on social media. Here are some tips for creating compelling social media campaigns that revolve around your furry friends.

Appeal to Multiple Audiences

Pets have always had a pretty universal appeal. Most of the time, if not always, brands require you to speak to a very specific target. Working with cute animals can help your brand look more appealing to people in general and can also be beneficial when included with the rest of your marketing strategy that is more carefully niched. It also allows you to tap into and discover new followers that you might not have been able to reach before.

Create an Escape

People LOVE animals! Most of the time, people are going to social to escape from reality. What better way to capture their attention through cute photos of animals? Think of ways on how you can add in animals with your product to your upcoming content calendar that will spark interest and create thumb stopping content for your audience.

Get Creative!

With so many animal stars on social media, utilize them for your creative campaigns! Work with pet influencers, but make sure you consider your target audience and what would be appropriate.

Need help coming up with ideas? Let us help!

The post Appeal of Animals on Social Media appeared first on Ignite Social Media - The original social media agency.

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