A few weeks ago, Mindgruve headed to Online Marketing Summit here in San Diego to embark on some digital education! I participated in the “Scaling Social Brand Engagement” session with Jordan Slabaugh, Director of Social Media at Spredfast, and Michael Bepko, Global Online Community Manager at Whole Foods.
Facebook’s “Like” is one powerful little button, especially when it comes to marketing on social media. Although savvy marketers know it’s not all about the “Like,” there’s no question it still has a big influence over everything we do. Want to dig deeper into this enigmatic Facebook feature? Take a browse through the below Boostlikes.com infographic.
It’s the New Year; full of new budgets, new campaigns, and ultimately, new landing pages. Below are three rules you can apply to your landing pages to achieve success and higher ROI for the coming year.
It seems like each day, this industry of ours is changing and developing. From the start of a mobile revolution to an explosion in crowdfunding, 2012 was one transformative year, and 2013 is bound to be an even more powerful game changer. Although it’s impossible to predict everything that will make its way onto our radars this year, here are some trends that are already ramping up for the New Year. Hint: We’ll be talking about mobile… a lot.
If you’re like most entrepreneurs out there, you use social media to leverage your business—Facebook, Twitter, and even some YouTube here and there. But have you thought about how an online pin board could shake up your business for the better? Kitschy as it may seem at the surface, Pinterest is nothing to sneeze at—this artsy little site packs a major punch when it comes to customer connectivity and driving new business right where you want it—straight to you.
Pinterest is only two years old, but has accomplished quite a bit in its short lifetime. The fastest website of all time to reach 10 million users, Pinterest achieved 4000% growth in just a year and, in January 2012, pushed more referral traffic to business owners than YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+ combined. Over 12 million people visit the site each month, and one can only assume this number will continue to skyrocket as content and contributions grow. With top companies like Nordstrom, Starbucks, and Whole Foods and best-selling publications like Lucky and Vanity Fair on board, this is one social media sensation we think is in for the long haul.
Companies have a growing need to provide an engaging experience for their customers, and incorporating Gamification techniques is becoming an increasingly better way to do that. This concept has been buzzing around for some time now, but a deeper understanding is needed to effectively implement it into a real business; simply putting badges on your website and giving away mediocre prizes isn’t going to cut it.
There are two game mechanics concepts that game designers consider when building games that are also helpful when developing products, services, ideas or businesses. The first is understanding what players or customers crave above all else at the root level. The second is understanding what fundamentally motivates and drives consumers to act. At the end, we’ll tie it all together to show how these concepts need to be taken to the next level in the near future.
The 2011 Consumer Electronics Show has come and gone, leaving behind an array of consumer gadgets hopeful of becoming the next big thing. Among them are smart TVs, also known as connected televisions. Though most are focusing on how the move back to television will improve electronics sales, we believe it is far more important to discuss how this traditional platform will improve the digital marketing arena. The shift to smart TVs will give the digital ad world countless new areas of engagement to explore, increased interaction on larger screens and new functionality in much the same way, if not more, than other smart technologies.
With sales of connected TVs increasing by 38% in 2010 and the home theater market growing at a surprising rate (pre-Super Bowl excitement a contributing factor), the consumer demand is giving agencies good reason to explore new engagement opportunities. The importance consumers are placing on traditional home entertainment (combined with the amount of time spent in front of a television and viewing from multiple screens, such as smartphones or laptops) is creating the perfect scenario for digital advertisers to become a consistent, integral part of the experience.
As 2010 comes to a close, we’re recapping Mindgruve’s Top 3 Predictions for 2010 and looking forward to what 2011 will bring.
First, at the beginning of 2010, we said SEO and social media would be huge and they were. In addition to Google and Bing’s search results that feature Facebook and Twitter posts, Clickz notes that link building through social media can help generate leads, while the recent Facebook-Bing partnership indicates the growing importance of social media’s relationship with search.
In 2008, President Obama’s presidential campaign changed political marketing in various ways, but as a digital media agency we were intrigued with his use of social and mobile media to connect and garner support from the American people. After witnessing the overwhelming amount of success Barack Obama had with his voters, 2010 midterm election candidates on both sides of the aisle are embracing the power of new media, such as geo-targeted mobile ads, social websites and appealing designs that evoke a sense of sociability and openness, to connect with voters in time for election day.
Similar to President Obama’s mobile marketing efforts, candidates running in the 2010 midterm elections have stepped up their mobile advertising through geo-targeted mobile ads. Rep. Michele Bachmann used this tactic to target Minnesotans specifically at the state fair this past summer and as the Star Tribune notes, “campaigns are spending more of their budgets on sophisticated web ads that zero in on specific locations and demographics,” and rightly so. As we discussed in a past blog, mobile phones are a hyper-personal medium. Targeting smart phone users based on age, location, gender, search terms and residence can create awareness among groups of voters that matter most to a campaign’s overall success.
In addition to geo-targeted mobile ads, political parties have increased their social media use (of note, Republicans now hold eight of the top ten Capitol Hill Twitter spots, while 300 members of congress have turned to Facebook to stay in touch with the voting public) and taken steps to create community websites for constituents to interact with the political party and fellow voters. This past May, the GOP did this very thing when launching America Speaking Out. Its purpose is to solicit policy ideas from community members, who then vote for their favorite policy idea in order to create the GOP’s “Pledge to America.” The integration with Facebook and Twitter take this concept a step further as community members are able to share a policy idea and/or vote with their network of friends.
Finally, it doesn’t just end with new media channels. Design now plays an integral role in making sure the brand of a political party is open and inviting, encouraging a stronger social relationship. America Speaking Out moved in this direction with their website design and color palette in order to speak to voters who are unhappy with current leadership. Another intriguing web design change came from the Democratic National Committee. Armed with a new logo (reminiscent of Facebook and Twitter icons) and website redesign, the party’s new look was created to reflect what the DNC wishes to represent to America – “a community.”
Based on our observations of the new social media and mobile methods being used for the 2010 midterm elections quickly approaching, it’s obvious that new media is changing the face of political campaigning. With that said, we are confident that the new media tactics and strategies used today will empower politicians and political parties to expand their social reach by creating a network of supporters who will help spread their message to the American people.
The past few years have seen many innovations in the world of mobile marketing, one of the biggest being the use of digital barcodes. Digital barcodes, or Quick Response codes, are barcodes that, when scanned using a mobile device’s QR code reader, lead users to promotional information designated by the creator. We believe digital barcodes will help mobile marketing finally break into the mainstream. They create a more intimate experience for users as well as increase the effectiveness and response time of opt-in marketing campaigns.
The biggest advantage to a digital barcode campaign is an increase in user engagement. Digital barcodes create a more enticing, personal experience for users that is hard to replicate in other mediums. They also have the ability to quickly show the success of a campaign based on the number of scans per location, which can be measured at any time. Additionally, digital barcodes can drive quality traffic to a company’s website or landing page, allowing for targeted marketing. Finally, consumers that use the bar codes are showing an immediate interest, making it easier for companies to get visitors to interact with their product or service.
This is perfectly demonstrated by a digital barcode campaign that was recently launched by Calvin Klein to support their new lines of X jeans. Billboards were placed in New York and Los Angeles with a digital barcode on them in place of the normally racy billboard. If scanned, the ad promised an uncensored version for private viewing. With the campaign, Calvin Klein enticed consumers to visit its site under their own volition and to engage with their new product in influencer markets.
QR Codes have also been used for other types of campaigns. The nonprofit group Women of the Storm used digital barcodes to rally support for restoration of the Gulf Coast after the BP oil spill. The Be the One Campaign, with the assistance of ScanLife, created a digital barcode that leads to their website. This barcode was then put on display in Times Square as well as printed on stickers and T-shirts. To date, it has resulted in over 120,000 people signing up to support their cause.
While there are many advantages to a digital barcode campaign, there are some drawbacks to be considered. The technology is still very new and in most cases requires a smartphone. Marketers will also need to make sure they have a significant web presence. With this type of campaign, companies must ensure that consumers will remain engaged once they hit the landing page or the campaign is destined to fail.
This technology is an exciting look into the future of marketing. We are currently utilizing one on our building for our Google business listing and believe that digital barcodes offer many options for engaging the audience with creative, versatile opt-in marketing campaigns. While there are still some issues to work around, this technology offers the ability take mobile marketing to a whole new level.