Here are all of the posts tagged ‘marketing’.

An Apple a day – the healthier option for branded apps

by Paul Napier in News

Marketing Magazine recently published an article by me on the newest addition to iOS8 – HealthKit. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below:

New health tracking features of Apple iOS 8 present opportunities for brands in industries from healthcare and insurance, to FMCG and travel, writes Paul Napier.

The new iOS8 is now available for users to download. As an iOS developer I have had several months to play around and come to understand the new features that come with this version of the operating system. As always with the new release of iOS, there are a suite of changes, some major and some minor.

One of the most exciting  additions to come out is HealthKit. So, what is it and how could it be used within your brand’s digital portfolio?

What is HealthKit?

HealthKit is the product of a two-year collaborative endeavour between Apple and Mayo Clinics, which services around 1.2 million patients every year. Their combined goal is to put iPhones and iPads at the centre of the self-health movement that has seen traction of the last few years.

At its core, HealthKit is a central hub/repository for gathering all the intelligence apps collect about a user’s fitness and health. Apps are able to upload their information about a user’s health and fitness activities into HealthKit, and in instances where users grant them permission, download this information and manipulate it to gather a better picture of the person currently signed into the app.

Users can see all their information at a glance, as it tracks their fitness activities such as running, walking and cycling from apps and associated wearable technology. Additionally, adapters such as glucometers, ECG devices, blood pressure monitors and even ultrasound have been created to give greater knowledge to users about their overall health, all of which can be stored in HealthKit and accessed by users through the simple interface.

In essence, HealthKit has removed the silo mentality that comes from having multiple apps for individual purposes, and encourages greater communication between health and fitness experts.

How can it help me?

At this stage, since the technology is in its infancy, it is difficult to predict where it could lead. The obvious beneficiaries of this technology, at least in the first instance, are companies such as Nike, Adidas and other fitness specialists or wearable producers. However, beyond the obvious, this technology opens an exciting avenue that could allow more diverse industries to begin working on a more intimate level with their customers:

Medical: There could be long-term benefits to the medical industry, which will have a huge database of reliable, or at least semi-reliable, information about people’s fitness and health. This information can be used to begin reviewing trends in health statistics against medical complications.

Healthcare: State medical facilities can build apps that can hook into a patient’s profile and read their medical data alongside health and fitness activities, giving the doctors and immediate understanding of the patients well-being prior to any medical appointment. Taking this even further, the patients activities could be tracked and the patient sent a notification when certain thresholds are reached, meaning that doctors can start to focus more on prevention rather than the cure.

Financial services: Insurance companies could look at the health and fitness of their customers to provide accurate quotes, or provide incentives to those who follow a healthy regime.

FMCG: Food and beverage companies could build apps that tracked users consumption and offered better nutritional options on food and beverages could be tracked against the user’s health needs, allergy requirements, blood sugar levels, fitness activities or goals.

Travel: Airlines could be made aware of any medical needs for passengers, or be alerted to dietary requirements, while encouraging their passengers with medical conditions to continue tracking throughout the journey to ensure the crew are alerted in the event of any pressing concern. Travel companies could track for potential changes in stress to enable bespoke packages to engage health focused customers.

Retail: Clothing and apparel companies could track clothing sizes using measurements given by the users then look at targeting them with the newest ranges in sizes that match the user’s statistics or intended goals.

This information on its own is but one facet of a potential medical breakthroughs in both the literal and mobile sense. We are seeing a swell in the information being gathered around individuals: location, behavioural, social, economic, psychological, physiological, etc. I recently wrote an article outlining the benefits of looking at implementing a social strategy within your mobile application, and with the advent of this new technology, never has there been a greater time to review this strategy.

The power of integrating social alongside this medical and fitness information could seem overwhelming, and it is most certainly not for every company. However, for those companies that have a legitimate reason to access this information, the potential options for improving user experience and engagement are greater than ever before.

On a final note, any idea should have a benefit for both sides, and provide information about the user back into HealthKit before drawing information in return. This way, HealthKit can provide ongoing advancements and the information you receive can become a more detailed and richer experience for both you and the user.

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-up #109

by Dan Goodswen in News

Social ad spending on the up
eMarketer has reported that marketers’ budgets for social are set to increase. In August 2013, social ad spending made up, on average, around 6.6% of marketers’ budgets – it’s set to increase to 9.1% in the next year, then zoom to 15.8% within five.

Play.com reaps the rewards from social discovery
Electronics website play.com has noticed a large increase in traffic from social sites in the last year. A study of 300 consumers noted that, year-on-year, the traffic driven from social discovery sites, such as Pinterest, was up 200%, while that from social networks such as Facebook was up 80%. Mobile had grown too, with 23% of sales taking place via a mobile device, up 53% in the same amount of time.

Companies respond faster in social media than offline
Two separate studies from last week, when taken together, show that companies respond faster to consumer queries in social media than they do offline. The first, a survey of Call Centre Association members (whatever they are), found that 59% of organisations take over eight hours to respond to email communication, with 26.5% extending that to 24 hours or more. Meanwhile, a study by Simply Measured concluded that the average response time on Twitter was 5.1 hours, while 10% of organisations got a reply out within an hour. So, if you want your question answered on line, Twitter is the place to be.

Spam on the increase in social media
Social media spam has grown by 355% in the first half of 2013, according to analysis of 60m pieces of content from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn. The research has found that one in every 200 pieces of social content is now spam, which could start to become a real problem if it continues to grow at the same rate. For illustrative purposes, here is a picture of everyone’s favourite processed meat.

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The rise and rise of tablet usage
This year, an estimated 20 million people in the UK will use a tablet, accounting for roughly 1/3 of the population. This is set to grow every year until at least 2017, when 34.8 million UK residents will make use of such a device. Over this period, though, the percentage growth is set to decrease, already down from 165.3% in 2012 to 41.5% this year, it will have fallen to 9.4% by 2017 as the market approaches saturation.

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Facebook using free wifi to obtain location data
Facebook is set to offer the opportunity for business to attain free wifi for their customers through its partner, Cisco, in a bid to attain further location data. The system will be available to businesses of all sizes, as the network is using cloud-based wifi firm Meraki to connect with small and medium establishments. Facebook can then use the data to create more accurately targeted ads.

Facebook Home to add content from other social networks
Facebook Home, the homescreen created by the network for Android phones, will begin to pull in content from other social networks including Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram in its latest version. The move sees Facebook adapting to a lukewarm user reception; if it genuinely intends to create a socially-led option for phones, allowing greater access to all platforms may well prove a necessary addition.

Post search now available in Facebook’s Graph Search
Graph Search, Facebook’s social search tool, now includes the ability to search for specific posts by what content they contain, when they were posted, where and by whom. In a blog post on the subject, Facebook said:

Starting today, Graph Search will include posts and status updates. Now you will be able to search for status updates, photo captions, check-ins and comments to find things shared with you.

Search for the topics you’re interested in and see what your friends are saying, like “Dancing with the Stars” or “Posts about Dancing with the Stars by my friends.

Post search

Facebook introduces new mobile ad unit aimed at app engagement
Facebook has introduced a new ad unit for mobile, which aims ad increasing engagement with apps, once a user has already downloaded them. The ads will encourage people to head back to specific features of the app, which could well be very useful for marketers looking to maintain high levels of engagement with a particular part of an app. The video below gives more detail about the new feature.

Growth in users, ad revenue and losses at Twitter
Leading up to Twitter’s stock market IPO, there have been a fair few stories about it this week. The network has released figures on its huge international growth, as its US user growth begins to slow; in March 2010, US monthly active users amounted to 10 million, while their international equivalent were 20 million; these figures have grown at disparate rates to 49 million and 169 million respectively.

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This international user base could prove important for Twitter’s advertising base, as they have seen an increase in both ad revenue and overall losses. In the first half of 2013, revenue was up 101% year-on-year to $253.6m, with 87% coming from adverts, but an increase in personnel had accounted for an increase in net losses by 41% to $69.3m in the same period. And after reports of up to 20% of the network’s users being fake, it has been forced to deny the claims, arguing that the figure is actually more like 5% and that there will be a purge of these before the IPO takes place. All hands on deck at Twitter HQ.

New Snapchat stories
Snapchat has introduced ‘stories’, their equivalent of the Facebook newsfeed. Taking a series of photos and videos, you add the various captions/graffiti and publish, at which point the ‘story’ appears to all your friends for 24 hours, before self-destructing in classic Snapchat style. You can get more information on the changes from the video below, or this in-depth analysis by We Are Social’s own Tom Ollerton.

Spotify introduces ‘follow’ button
Spotify, which has up until now been fairly self-contained as social networks go, hasintroduced a new ‘follow’ button that can appear on any desktop or mobile site, available in 39 countries. When users see the button, shown below, they can instantly follow them and receive updates in their Spotify activity stream, whether they be an artist, user, label, blog or magazine. The button aims to increase engagement on the network, as well as to introduce new people from external sources. Click below and you can even follow Avicii! (You can’t really, it’s a screenshot).

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US government shutdown closes their social channels
It’s not just the national parks that have closed down because of the US government shutdown – their social channels have done so, too. Sign-off tweets, like the below, have been seen, but since then it’s been eerily quiet in some parts of social media.

Twitter’s alert sounds in Washington DC
Last week we brought you news of Twitter’s new alert system: if you sign up to an account’s alerts, you’ll get an SMS whenever it posts one. Well, we’ve already seen an instance of its use, when the Capitol was shut down after shots were fired last week. A stream of tweets, starting with the below, were sent out, showing the potential that the new system has.

Diane von Furstenberg’s shoppable Google+ hangout
Google+ had a first last week: designer Diane von Furstenberg hosted a shoppable hangout on the network. Those who took part watched the designer talk through various items from her catalogue, whilst simultaneously able to browse and shop the collection. The video below gives some more detail about what went on.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ Features It’s Top Twitter Fans in New Ads
Dunkin’ Donuts has been on fire with social media recently, launching one of the first Vine-based TV spots in history last month. Now John Costello, the brand’s Marketing Chief, has given a sneak preview of two socially led video ads that will be released on 14th October at the Masters of Marketing Annual Conference. Two consumers were chosen to appear in each advert, based on their positive tweets about Dunkin’ Donuts. It is presumed that the adverts will run on ESPN, aligning with Dunkin’ Donuts sponsorship of the channel’s Monday Night Football pre-game show.

Confused.com launches Brian on Instagram
Confused.com has premiered 10-seconds of its new TV advert, starring current campaign figure Brian the Robot, on Instagram. Joby Russell, Marketing Director, explained that Confused.com decided to jump on the bandwagon, and accompany the many brands that are already getting creative on video sharing.

Instagram is a great place for us to engage with our customers, as many people will comment and like Instagram photos/ videos as well as share content, and this is an essential engagement tool for us as a brand

The brand’s Instagram followers are given the chance to win speakers featured in the advert, simply by liking the video.

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Cancer Research UK unveils ‘Every Moment Counts’ platform
Cancer Research UK has launched an online platform called ‘Every Moment Counts’, as it seeks to engage with the public and use survivors’ experiences to communicate the urgency of beating cancer sooner. The platform contains a crowd-sourced gallery of images where cancer survivors are asked to identify moments in their lives that are of particular significance. It also hosts a film shot by Finn McGough, which draws on the understanding that those who have been affected by cancer value time more than anything else. Viewers are then encouraged to submit their own moments to the Every Moment Counts site. Clips of the film are being used across Cancer Research UK’s social presences, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Webuyanycar.com launches WebuyanyTOYcar.com
Webuyanycar.com has launched a campaign around a hoax letter which went viral at the weekend, after being tweeted by @JamieDMJ. The bamboozler tweeted a fake letter supposedly sent by the company, claiming it had refused to buy a child’s plastic car, and that he was “wasting their time”. The tweet has since been retweeted over 33,000 times. Not wanting to be beaten, Webuyanycar.com unveiled webuyanyTOYcar.com and is “offering to buy the first 100 Tikes in good working order” that are presented to their branches around the country. In return, webuyanycar.com has offered £10 per Little Tike, with all the money raised donated to the road safety charity, Brake.

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The 1.2 billion faces of Facebook (including yours)
A new website designed by Natalia Rojas compiles the 1.2 billion profile pictures on Facebook, all in one place. ‘The Faces of Facebook’ depicts each user by a teeny tiny dot. Click anywhere amidst the multitude of dots, and the page filters down to reveal thumbnails of the faces of a handful of Facebook users. Click on any one, and their public profile pops up. Many people have privacy concerns surrounding Facebook, but Rojas claims that the site doesn’t store anyone’s private information, pictures, or names. The very first thumbnail? Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg.

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The tragedy of disaster marketing

by Dan Goodswen in News

Marketing Magazine recently published an article by me on using tragedy as content. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below:

the tragedy of disaster marketing

12 years ago, two planes were hijacked and flown into the World Trade Centre in New York, collapsing both towers.

A plane was also crashed into the Pentagon, and a fourth hijacked plane, supposedly heading for the White House, was brought down before it reached its target. 2996 people died.

The date was September 11, 2001. I’m sure you haven’t forgotten.

Nor have you forgotten those who died in the subsequent bombings in Bali. Nor the events in London on July 7, 2005. You will clearly remember the horrific tsunami that struck the Indian Ocean in 2004, and Hurricane Katrina, which decimated New Orleans, also in 2005.

Closer to home, you will no doubt remember the date of the Port Arthur Massacre in which 35 people died and 23 were injured. The annual flooding in Queensland and the bush fires that afflict much of the country in the hotter months – both claiming property, livelihoods and lives each year – will be fresh in your memory.

It probably hasn’t escaped your attention that next year, 2014, is the centenary of the outbreak of World War One – The Great War – a war that claimed over 37 million lives.

These are tragedies and disasters that affect us all, both personally and on a wider cultural scale. These are times to commemorate and reflect, commiserate and mourn.

However you choose to remember or forget such events, let us be clear on this: tragedies and disasters are not marketing opportunities.

Last week in the US, brands as large as GE and Verizon sent out reminders to ‘honour the memory of those we lost’ using the hashtag #neverforget, which many Tweeps were using to commemorate the 9/11 attacks.

Businesses as diverse as golf courses, plumbers, restaurants, sports nutritionists and tanning salons used 9/11 to give out discounts on their products.

‘Remembering the fallen heroes’ claimed one tweet, right before peddling their wares on the trending hashtag.

Much has been written before about how brands on social media are not friends with their customers, but it’s a point worth re-iterating, because brands need to understand their place – you are not people.

When a person likes or follows your brand they are giving you permission to talk to them. You are being invited into their newsfeed and their timeline along with their friends and family, but you are not one of them. You do not have permission to cross that line.

That line applies to topics such as sex, religion and politics – as it would when conversing with any customer – and it also applies to tragedies and disasters.

While social media has changed the way brands communicate with their customers, it has not changed the fundamental brand/customer relationship. You are still the brand. They are still the customer. The reason you are on social media is to sell things.

Never forget that.

The topics you have permission to talk about should be outlined in your social content strategy. They should be things that are valuable to your customer, and relevant to both your customer’s interests and to your brand.

When there is cause for national celebration, you may find some room in your content to reference it in a valuable, relevant way. But there is no valuable, relevant way to talk about tragedy.

I’ve said before that your social content strategy is as much about what you choose not to post, because everything you say as a brand on social media is marketing. Every post or tweet is branded content. You can’t brand grief.

Where I grew up, in the UK, tragedies were marked by an act of collective silence. At times like these staying silent will say more about your grief, and will sound a lot more sincere, than saying anything at all.

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The 6 Ws of social content

by Dan Goodswen in News

Marketing Magazine recently published an article by me on social content strategy. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below:

the 6 Ws of social content

In 2013, brands are posting an average of 36 times per month on Facebook. Over a year that adds up to 432 posts. That’s a lot of content.

With the average Facebook user liking 40 pages each, they’re now seeing a whopping 1440 updates every month. A solid social strategy will help you jump out of the murky newsfeed pond, but strategy is only half the battle. What we really need to talk about is quality.

It’s hard to maintain consistency in your content when you’re producing it at scale, especially with limited resources. But quantity shouldn’t mean a sacrifice in quality.

Here are six questions to ask yourself before you post anything on social platforms:

 

Why am I posting this?

Your social strategy needs to start with why and repeat on loop  ad infinitum. If you’re not constantly asking why, you need to drink more coffee and develop some anxieties. Same goes for your content.

Social content is not an afterthought. It is not filler. It isn’t a box to tick. Posting content because it’s funny or because you have to post something isn’t good enough. Neither is posting because the CEO asked you to, or because it got a lot of engagement when ‘Brand Y’ did it.

The answer you’re looking for is this: ‘because it is relevant to the community and provides value.’

And by value I don’t mean it saves them money. I’m talking about entertainment, information, advice. Value is what makes your content special. Value is what makes content shareable. Value is a customer insight, not a brand insight, and it’s the reason people want to engage with you on social platforms.

If you just do the same thing as everyone else, then you aren’t providing any value at all. If your content isn’t valuable and relevant, post something else. Better yet, don’t post anything. Go back to the drawing board and ask why you’re on social platforms in the first place.

 

Who is it for?

Your community is not your customers. Sure, your customers are in there, coiled in anticipation for the chance to click on a link to your latest product, but they aren’t going to do that unless your content speaks to them directly.

A consistent tone of voice will help. Your brand on social should sound like your brand everywhere else. Hopefully it sounds like someone your customers want to talk to. If not, fix that first, then come back. The post can wait.

It’s no good developing a fun, irreverent tone in order to ‘talk to the kids’ if your brand doesn’t always talk like that and your customers aren’t those same kids. It’s also no good being too sales-focused. You need to talk to your community, not at them. Think about the way your customers speak, think about the dialect and jargon specific to your location or industry. Make the content speak to your target audience. Rewrite or redesign until you get it right. Review and optimise your tone and style regularly.

You’ll reach more people talking to the right people than trying to reach more people by talking to everyone.

 

What do I want to achieve?

Most social content is confused. The call to action isn’t clear and it fails by trying to do too much.

Recently I saw this update: ‘How was your weekend? What are you going to do today?’

Two questions, two calls to action, low engagement. The questions cancel each other out. This should have been two separate posts, if it was the right thing to post in the first place. Remembering to put one call to action per post will save your engagement rate along with your blushes.

The type of update you post also affects engagement. Take Facebook for example. If you’re asking a question, then the goal of the post is comments. A simple status update will generate more comments than an image, but an image will generate more shares. So if you’re looking for amplification, post an image.

Everything you post should want to achieve something. If it doesn’t, then don’t post.

 

When am I posting this?

When you schedule a TV ad, chances are you try and do it at a time when your target audience are sitting down in front of the TV. Your social content strategy needs to take time into account also.

When are your audience online? When are they on Facebook? Check the data, find out. The days of ‘this has to go on out immediately’ should be well in the past. Your audience dictates when you post.

The half-life of a tweet is seven minutes. Depending on your engagement, the half-life of a Facebook post averages at around two hours (much less if you post poor content). Post at the wrong time and you’ll turn an urgent message into an unread one.

 

Where am I posting this?

A tweet has room for 140 of your finest characters. A Facebook status however, has room for 63,206 characters. That’s around 10,000 words, depending on the words.

Should you post a 10,000 word status update? Probably not.

The point is this: not all content works on all platforms, not all platforms engage with content in the same way, and each platform is home to a different community.

On Tumblr, 60% of all reflags are images, and using animated GIFs will ensure you get more of those reblogs. On Instagram, emotive images get more likes. On Pinterest, adding a price to your image leads to more click-throughs.

Each platform you choose to operate in needs its own content strategy. If the piece of content you want to post isn’t right for a particular platform, don’t post it there.

The platform-specific optimisations are many and minute, but it’s these one-percents that will give your content an extra boost, not a blanket of platform-agnostic mediocrity.

 

How else can I say this?

Ernest Hemingway once said, ‘The first draft of anything is shit’. He probably wasn’t talking about Facebook posts, but still. Too many updates are written once and posted first time.

The first thing you write might be adequate, but if adequate isn’t good enough for your product design, for your television ads or your customer service, then adequate shouldn’t be good enough for your social content.

Adequate is a failure. Be better.

Good copy is as little copy as possible. Can you say it in fewer words? Can you say it visually?

Think about your own news feed. What do you like to see? What would you click on?

Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. And when you’re done, write it again.

Once you’ve asked yourself these six questions, you should be confident that you’ve got a solid, valuable piece of social content on your hands.

But there is a final variable in the social content equation that is just as important: you.

If you wouldn’t read it, if you wouldn’t comment or share or click, don’t post it.

Your community won’t tolerate bad content. You shouldn’t either.

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We Are Hiring: Sydney!

by Dan Goodswen in News

We Are Hiring Sydney

It’s been 5 years since We Are Social opened our doors in London – and just over 3 here in Sydney.

In that time we’ve grown a lot; we now have 8 offices and over 340 passionate social specialists worldwide. And we’re still growing.

This is why we need you.

We are looking for the experienced and the talented among you to come and work with us in Sydney, with opportunities available for Account Directors, Senior Account Managers, Account Managers, Community Managers, Developers and more.

Both globally and locally, we work with some of the world’s biggest companies to help tell their stories and communicate with their customers via social media, brands such as Jaguar, Heinz, adidas, Kia, Sony, eBay, Roadshow Films and Expedia.

To our UK and US friends; we will happily provide sponsorship for the right candidates, allowing you to live and work in our Central Sydney offices and become an integral part of our passionate, diverse team.

The past three years in Sydney have been a long and rewarding journey, while we worked hard to develop and educate the industry on the potential and power of social media, and now we’re looking for the right people to help us facilitate that shift from the traditional agency model to our forward thinking, integrated approach.

The opportunity is clear; a market ready for world class social thinking and a team comprising the best social strategists, designers and developers globally, capable of delivering award winning brand campaigns.

We want you to be a part of that team.

Ideally, we want you to have your own team and your own clients, and to create and implement campaigns that get the world talking; whether that’s something you’re ready for now, or a goal to work towards, we want you to grow with us.

So, if you’re looking for your next professional challenge, want the opportunity to progress quickly and influence social thinking on a broad scale, or you just want a change of scenery, we can offer you the best of all three.

Get in touch now.

We look forward to chatting about what’s next for you, and how we can help get you there.

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