Instagram Adds In-App Payments Feature

The ‘Gram is Open for Business

Folks, this is big. Real big. Instagram just officially added a payments option inside the app. This has been rumored for a while, and its finally come to fruition. If you head over to the Settings section of the app and scroll down, you will most likely find a “Payments” tab in which you can enter your credit card information to prepare to shop.

Old version (required to click through to website to purchase):

instagram payments feature

New version (complete payment within Instagram):

instagram native booking

Why is this huge?! There are many reasons…

1) As marketers, we are constantly trying to optimize campaigns for peak conversion. This includes endlessly testing landing page design. With the new Instagram payments feature, you don’t have to worry about this. Instagram is now the landing page (if desired).

2) Related to the point above, expect metrics across the board to improve. If users don’t have to leave the app to buy what they want, drop-off will decrease and conversions will increase. Users won’t have to get up and grab their credit card to type in their info and checkout anymore, since it’ll already be saved in the app, so conversions will increase. Instagram’s built in trust is higher than your brand’s – yet another improvement.

3) Expect Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and ROI to increase for all campaigns. As an agency, our clients consistently achieve 5X-20X on the ad spend. We’re excited to see this number increase even further in the near future.

This is a natural extension of Instagram Shoppable Tags, which debuted about two years ago. If Facebook truly wants to cut down on advertising due to the recent Cambridge Analytica fiasco, getting into payments (and taking a cut in the future) is a great way to increase revenue.

We will keep you updated as the feature gets rolled out to more advertisers.

Interested in social advertising? Contact us today!

Huge Updates from Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat…

Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat Announce Important Changes

Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat have all announced important changes and updates to their platforms over the past few days. Here are the highlights:

Facebook:

nike ar marketing

Twitter:

twitter newfronts 2018

Snapchat:

snappables ar selfie games

That’s all for now! A lot to digest, but some pretty significant changes across the board. Make sure you’re on top of it to stay ahead of the competition!

7 Optimizations for Your AdWords Search Campaign

Optimizing your AdWords campaigns might seem complex and daunting. If you’re new to AdWords, it can take a lot of time just to figure out the interface before you can start optimizing your campaigns. But don’t worry! Here are some easy optimizations you can make to your AdWords campaigns to improve your CTR and conversion rate.

Before you start, you should know that these optimizations are recommended for Search campaigns with all features and may not necessarily apply to other campaigns.

1. Adjust Location Settings

Many companies have location-specific products and services. Whether you want to target a whole country or just one zipcode, AdWords gives you the freedom to choose where you want your ads shown and where you don’t.

When setting up your AdWords campaigns, be as specific as you can when filling out the location settings to ensure that you only show ads to users in relevant locations.

For example, if your business wants to target the entire United States, don’t just add the United States. Instead, select each state individually. Or if your company only provides service in San Diego, refine your location settings to San Diego zip codes, instead of just listing the city alone.

Being specific in your location settings will help you see where exactly your traffic is coming from and what areas are getting the most conversions.

After your campaign has been running for a few weeks, check the user locations. This information can be found in the “Dimensions” tab of your AdWords campaign. Once on the tab, “User locations” can be found in the “View” drop-down menu.

The locations listed here are the actual locations from which your users performed their Google searches. Check to make sure your ads are being shown to the areas you want.

Most likely, you will find a few countries, states, or zip codes that you don’t want to target. Just exclude those locations in your location settings to narrow the geographic area in which your ads are shown.  

2. Make Bid Adjustments

While most of the instructions for the optimizations in this list are intended for the traditional AdWords interface, the new AdWords interface makes it extremely easy for users to make bid adjustments on user demographics—so go there to make bid adjustments!

In the new AdWords interface, select the option for “Demographics” on the left-hand menu. You can set bid adjustments for gender, household income, and age. You can also set bid adjustments for devices and other options by referring to the “Devices” and “Advanced Bid Adj.” respectively.  

Bid adjustments are especially useful to ensure you are targeting the right demographic. For example, if your company sells high-end products, you might not want to market to individuals with a low household income. Or if you want to target young males, don’t bid on females. These bid adjustments help you get more conversions by bidding on the right audience.

Generally, a bid adjustment (increase or decrease) of 10% to 20% is sufficient to get results without excluding large portions of your audience.

3. Refine Keywords

A big part of your success in AdWords is bidding on the right keywords. Why waste time and money on your ads if they aren’t even being shown to the right users? Review your keywords and refine them to make sure your ads get shown to your target audience.

Here are some easy optimizations to make to your keyword list:

  • Increase bid to be on the first page. In the “Status” column, AdWords will tell you if you are bidding below the first page bid. If you are, click on the keyword’s Max CPC to adjust your bid. AdWords will also tell you what you need to bid to be on the first page. However, don’t forget your daily budget. It’s pointless to bid more than your daily budget or a significant part of it on just one keyword.  
  • Pause keywords with low search volumes. AdWords will also let you know in the “Status” column if your keywords have a low search volume. Having too many keywords with low search volumes means that your keywords aren’t going to drive much traffic to your site. If your campaign is intended to increase brand awareness or increase conversions, you want keywords that users are actually searching.

  • Check quality scores. Adwords assigns each keyword a quality score, which is determined by the keyword’s relevance to your ad and your landing page (among other factors). This number is also found in the “Status” column. Ideally, you want each keyword to have a quality score of 9 or 10. If a keyword has a quality score of 1 or 2, you’ll see this message in the “Status” column: “Rarely shown due to low quality score.” To boost the quality score of these ads, consider writing a new ad with that keyword in the headline or descriptions. Or simply pause these keywords.
  • Add new keywords. Users are constantly searching on Google, which means there are always new phrases being introduced. Use the Keyword Planner to come up with new ideas for keywords. And make sure you have a mix of broad match, phrase match, and exact match keywords. If your keywords focus too much on one type of keyword (like broad match), you may be missing out on valuable traffic.
  • Pause keywords that aren’t performing well. Keywords should have a CTR and conversion rate above 1%, at least. If not, you are wasting your money. Pause keywords that don’t have a high CTR and that don’t have many conversions.

4. Analyze Search Terms

Analyzing the “Search Terms” is a great way to see what users who clicked on your ad were searching for. You can discover new keywords and gain insights about your keywords and what users are looking for when your ads are shown on Google.

Additionally, by seeing what people have searched, you can find keywords that you don’t actually want to bid on. Use your search terms list to add negative keywords. Negative keywords can be especially helpful to make sure you aren’t wasting money on searches that don’t have anything to do with your brand.

And AdWords makes it easy to add keywords or negative keywords directly from the search terms list.

5. Enable Ad Extensions

Ad extensions help expand your ads so they take up more real estate on SERPs. And they are FREE! Ad extensions are found below the “Bidding and budget” section when you create a new campaign. If you’ve already created a campaign, you can add or edit ad extensions in the “Ad Extensions” tab.

There are several types of ad extensions, but all help expand your ad and provide more information to users. AdWords approves each extension, but they are a great way to use more keywords, expand your ad, and help users see your company first.

The extensions available on AdWords include:

  • Sitelink extensions
  • Structured snippet extensions
  • Call extensions
  • Message extensions
  • Location extensions
  • Affiliate location extensions
  • Price extensions
  • App extensions
  • Review extensions

We recommend adding as many extensions as you can.

6. Pause Poorly Performing Ads

This tip is fairly straightforward. If an ad isn’t performing quite as well as the others, pause it!

Here are some metrics to consider when determining how well your ad is performing:

  • % Served (any ad less than 5% served should be paused)
  • CTR
  • Average Position
  • Conversion Rate

Feel free to replace the ads you paused with new ads, but don’t continue to waste money on ads that Google isn’t showing or that aren’t performing well.

7. Create an Ad Schedule

In addition to targeting the right audience, you need to find the right time. You can increase your CTR and conversion rate by bidding during times when you actually get results. If your users aren’t online during the night, there’s no point in running your ads then.

Create an ad schedule to make sure you are running your ads during the most effective part of the day.

The default in AdWords is to run your ads 24/7. However, if you go to the “Settings” tab and select “Ad Schedule” you can change the times that your ads run. Click “+Ad Schedule” to create a schedule that you can customize for your business. Add an increased bid adjustment to the hours in which you get the most traffic and conversions, and turn your ads off or add a decreased bid adjustment to hours when you don’t get much traffic.

If you want more specific optimizations for your AdWords campaign, contact Wallaroo Media. Our certified AdWords team can help optimize your AdWords account for the best results.

Why AdWords Should Be an Essential Part of Your Paid Ads Strategy

Last updated: March 26, 2018

AdWords, also known as paid search, is more important to your company’s paid social ads strategy than ever before. Why? Because it’s an easy way to drive quality users to your site. And you can do it for very little money and effort. If you want to get ahead of the competition, you’ll need integrate AdWords into your paid ads strategy.

What Is AdWords?

Google AdWords is the largest pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform in the world. While Bing and Yahoo! also have paid search platforms, Google AdWords is widely accepted as the most dynamic and best paid search platform on the web.

Google fields more than 3.5 billion search queries every single day, and each one of those queries is an opportunity for you to advertise to potential customers.

But what does that mean?

Basically, companies (like yours) pick keywords they want to bid on. Keywords are specific words or phrases that you deem important to your business—and you can pick as many as you want. For instance, a mechanic shop might bid on keywords such as “oil change near me,” “mechanic,” or “new tires.”

As long as users search for those words or phrases in the location you’ve selected in your AdWords campaign, your company will be entered in the bidding war for that specific query.

In a matter of milliseconds, Google hosts an auction with you and everyone else who has decided to bid on that specific keyword. The winning bid is showed at the top of the SERP with a small green text box that says “Ad” to let users know it’s a sponsored link.

The best part? You don’t pay for Google to show your ads until a user clicks on it. You can generate a significant amount of brand awareness without having to pay a penny unless someone clicks on your ad.

In other words, AdWords is an easy and affordable way to get your company listed at the top of SERPs for specific keywords that you deem relevant to your business.

Why Choose AdWords?

The simple answer is that AdWords complements the paid advertising your company is already running. Adding an AdWords campaign to your strategy is an attractive option to any business, regardless of your marketing budget. A company’s budget doesn’t have to be very big at all to generate real results.

But what makes AdWords so great?

1. Options, Options, Options

You can build a variety of flexible, dynamic campaigns with AdWords. There are options for search network, display network, shopping, video, and universal app campaigns, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. And, after your ads have been running for a few weeks, you can launch retargeting campaigns to target users who didn’t convert the first time they saw your ad.

Because there are so many options on AdWords, you’re able to build campaigns that will run exactly as you want them to.

2. Build Flexible, Dynamic Campaigns

AdWords gives you almost full control over your campaign (which is any marketer’s dream!).

You have the power to edit the location, time, and budget of your ads, giving you the best possible chance to reach the audience to which you’re truly interested in showing your ads.

Is a certain keyword garnering more conversions than others? Great! You can adjust your bidding for that specific word or phrase, meaning that it will be shown more often than some of your less successful keywords.

3. Easy to Maintain

Once your AdWords campaign is set up, maintenance and optimization is very simple. You can spend as little as 30 minutes a week on your account and still see huge results. Editing ad text, keywords, and final URLs can be done in a few minutes or less, making it easier than ever to stay relevant to your consumers.

4. Up Your Organic Game

It’s pretty simple math: you’re paying Google to place your ads at the top of a SERP. This means your business name is one of the first things a user will see after searching, so they are more likely to visit your site.

In fact, you can run campaigns that are directly focused on increasing traffic. Campaigns focused on a high CTR and low CPC are a great first step in driving interested traffic to your site.

Once the campaign is live, monitor your clicks, CTR, keywords, and search terms to ensure you’re getting as much traffic to your site as possible. By targeting certain keywords and writing relevant, interesting text ads to match your keywords, paid search ads can increase traffic to your site and lead to more conversions.

If you’re looking for an easy, inexpensive way to boost traffic to your site, AdWords is the answer.

5. Increase the Quality of Your Web Page Visitors

Here’s the thing: Google doesn’t care about you. Google is focused on keeping users happy, so it will only show ads that are relevant to a user’s query.

How does this benefit you?

Well, since you’re bidding on high-quality users who are actively searching for someone like YOU, they are much more likely to convert.

The more your ads and landing page relate to a search query, the happier a consumer will be when they click on your site. Google recognizes when users consistently click your ad, and in turn, it will show your ads even more. All because Google wants to keep its users happy.

To illustrate this point, let’s refer back to the mechanic metaphor. If someone searches “fix a flat tire near me,” they are actively searching for a mechanic to take their car with a flat tire. While your company’s name may show up in the organic results, you have a much better chance of snagging this conversion by bidding on the keyword “flat tire.” Your ad will show at the top of the screen, and the person looking for a new tire will come to your mechanic shop instead of your competitor’s shop.

6. Measurable

The most exciting part about AdWords is how much you can measure and how easy it is to read and understand the metrics Google provides.

Does your boss care about your CPA? CPC? CTR? Conversion rate? Average position? No problem! AdWords tracks all of those metrics, and more.

You can even customize your metrics bar to show whatever metrics are most important to you.

It’s easy to see how successful your campaigns are doing because you can track metrics day by day, week by week, or look at the lifetime success of the campaign.

Why Should YOU Use AdWords?

You might be thinking, “This is all very interesting, but why do I need to jump on the AdWords train?”

Well, there’s an easy explanation: because your competitors are.

AdWords has become such a prevalent part of paid ad strategy that your company is already behind if you’re not using it.

If you’re interested in using AdWords to increase your paid ad success, get in touch with Wallaroo Media. We are AdWords certified for every type of campaign and are happy to help you reach your paid ad goals!

23 Creative Snapchat Campaigns from Brands to Inspire Your Snap Strategy

Last updated: February 22, 2018.

Snapchat is blowing up right now. Their recent IPO filing stated that they have over 160 million daily active users. And these users are HIGHLY engaged. Most users consume every post they see. Snap also announced that their average user spends 25-30 minutes on the app every day. And they command 41% of the coveted 18-34 age demographic. Humans only have enough time to dedicate to 5-7 apps a day, and Snapchat is quickly rising to the top. To stand out on Snap, you must be fun, creative, and engaging. To help get you started, here are 22 creative Snapchat campaigns from different brands to inspire your strategy! Want to get started with Snap Ads? Contact us today!

  1. Taco Bell – Cinco de Mayo

Taco Bell got a lot of press when they created a filter for Cinco de Mayo. Here’s what that looked like:

taco bell snapchat

The filter performed extremely well. It was viewed 224 Million times. That’s an absolutely incredible number. They paid an estimated $750,000 for 24 hours of that filter. That works out to be 0.3 cents per view. Not three cents. Three tenths of one cent! That’s insane. It paid off though. People thoroughly enjoyed playing with the filter and it surely helped increase Taco Bell’s sales.

  1. X-Men: Apocalypse – Movie Promotion

X-Men did a massive takeover on May 23, to help promote the release of the new X-Men: Apocalypse movie. They didn’t just create one sponsored filter, they created ALL of them. Every filter, for the entire day on Snapchat, was related to X-Men. Analytics haven’t been released yet, but if their numbers mirror those of Taco Bell, they would have received around 1.5 Billion views!

xmen

 

  1. Sphero from Star Wars – Toy Launch

Star Wars utilized influencers on Snapchat to promote their new toy, Sphero, during the holiday season. One of the influencers they worked with, Shaun McBride, gets 2 million Snapchat views every day. According to the Wall Street Journal, the toy sold out in a matter of hours and their campaign got 10 million views. Check out one of their stories here:

Working with influencers on Snapchat is a must. They know their followers best and can often help your brand create fun, engaging content that delivers results.

  1. Terminator: Genisys – Movie Promotion

To promote the release of the new Terminator movie last year, a custom filter was created. Users were able to overlay the filter onto themselves or their pets. Smartly, Arnold Schwarzenegger also promoted this on Facebook. His Facebook post about the custom Snapchat filter received 3,000 shares and 55,000 likes. Cross-promoting onto other platforms is a good way to increase your organic reach with not much extra effort.

terminator-snapchat

 

  1. The MTV VMAs – Behind the Scenes

During the 2015 VMAs, MTV did a Live Story on Snapchat. This allowed anyone in the area to post pictures and videos to that Live Story, for all to see. Celebrities and audience members shared hilarious behind-the-scenes footage onto the story. About 10 million people tuned in to watch the VMAs on TV, and about 12 million people viewed the story on Snapchat! And at a much cheaper production cost.

       6. Mondelez – A Candy Competition

Mondelez makes delectable candy bars. To increase brand awareness and sales, they created a competition on Snapchat. To enter the contest you had to snap a photo of their chocolate bar, modify it using Snapchat’s drawing tools, and send it to the TIMEOUTAU Snapchat account. The winner of the competition won $10,000! Mondelez also showcased some of the best creations on a website. Mondelez’s idea to create a microsite to enhance the competition was a great way to increase awareness and increase customer loyalty (and product sales).

mondelez

 

  1. GrubHub – Hiring

GrubHub is a cool online food ordering company. They used Snapchat to look for an intern with “Snapchat Skillz”. They used the image sequence below to recruit applicants to grow their company. Very creative!

grubhub snapchat hiring

 

  1. World Wildlife Fund – #LastSelfie

The World Wildlife Fund used a Snapchat campaign to raise awareness about different endangered species. They came up with the creative #LastSelfie hashtag campaign that also allowed them to promote the cause on other social platforms. Check out the video here:

  1. DJ Khaled – Snapchat All-Star

DJ Khaled is a Snapchat all-star. He’s not your typical brand, but he is increasing his celebrity presence on Snapchat, and brands can learn A TON from what he’s doing on the platform. His snaps are attracting 3-4 million viewers each. He has coined some fun mantras like “bless up” and “keys to wisdom”. His content is extremely shareable. Check out a compilation here:

  1. Burberry – Spring Sneak Peak

To create some extra hype for their Spring 2016 Fashion Show, Burberry revealed their newest line of clothes through a series of snaps. They also produced pictures and videos featuring their designers and models. They also live-snapped the actual show, piggybacking off the hype they previously created.

burberry snapchat

 

  1. Major League Soccer – Player Takeovers

MLS dedicated an entire week to Snapchat takeovers. A “takeover” is when someone else takes over and runs your Snapchat account. So each day, MLS handed over their account to a new soccer star. The stars promoted this on their own accounts leading up to their turn, and then created fun, engaging content on the MLS account on their day. Takeovers are a great way to build your Snapchat following.

  1. Target – Holiday Geofilters

Target has been using geofilters around different holiday events. They target these geofilters around their physical stores to help increase brand awareness and sales. This is an easy, fun campaign idea that any brand can use to succeed on Snapchat.

target-geofilters

 

    13. Chubbies Shorts – Behind the Scenes

Chubbies Shorts is one of the most engaging brands on Snapchat (and all of social media and email, really). They constantly make me laugh out loud. They have an ongoing Behind the Scenes type campaign going. They mix in giveaways, stop motion, jokes, pranks, and more. They show how to effectively make content fun and memorable on a consistent basis. Check them out!

IMG_4457IMG_4458

 

14. Rocky Horror Picture Show

Fox recently did a remake of the classic, “Rocky Horror Picture Show”. Fox partnered with Snapchat to create a trio of Snapcode activations that went live during the telecast. This is the first time anything like this has ever been done. The two companies partnered directly on this project. Fox ran Snap ads and a custom lens leading up to the telecast, and then offered more on the day of. Take a look below…

rocky-horror

15. Netflix and Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls is launching four new episodes exclusively on Netflix in a few weeks. To build awareness for the launch, Netflix printed actual cups and distributed a total of 10,000 cups to a group of 200 coffee shops around the country. Each cup had a snap code, and when scanned pulled up the image below. The logistics behind a campaign like this can be complicated, but there are great lessons to learn here. A campaign with a smaller budget can still produce similar results with targeted geofilters around brick and mortar locations.

netflix-snap

16. Budweiser Super Bowl Ad

Budweiser, always on the cutting edge when it comes to advertising, launched a Snapchat advertising campaign for the 24 hours leading up to the Super Bowl. The Snap Ad was actually a game you could play, and it was amazing. It was a mini-football game within the app. You could run different plays with funny, on-brand names. If you won, you unlocked an exclusive filter to use. This level of innovation and ingenuity isn’t possible for all brands. But if you have the budget for this type of advertising, it is incredibly effective. See more here.

17. Lucky Charms

Lucky Charms just ran this Snap Ad campaign during The Bachelor episode on Snapchat Discover. It was a short video ad that showed a woman fall in love with a man based on a relationship of Lucky Charms. Very on-brand, and very targeted placement as well. A great example of how to do effective marketing on Snapchat.

 

18. Walmart

Walmart ran this campaign leading up to Easter to promote its festive treats. Take a look at the fun screenshots below!

 

19. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Musical

This is an innovative new Snapchat marketing campaign we haven’t seen before. Below is a screenshot from the Facebook page of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Musical. They have “hidden” Snapchat geofilters all over New York City. If you find them and send the account a snap, you can win free tickets, swag, and more. Fantastic idea!

 

charlie chocolate factory snapchat campaign

20. Equinox

Equinox is a high end gym with locations around the country. Below is a screenshot of a Snapchat geofilter that they are running at their competitors’ locations (this one is at a 24 Hour Fitness). Fantastic idea here. Hat tip to Ryan Hoover on Twitter for catching this one.

equinox snapchat filter ad

 

21. Gatorade’s #GatoradeDunk Lens

During Super Bowl 50, Gatorade created a customized sponsored Snapchat lens aimed at football fans. The “#GatoradeDunk” lens allowed users to simulate being “dunked” with their drink. Gatorade promoted the lens using an ad starring Serena Williams – one of the company’s sponsored athletes. The campaign performed very well, getting more than 100 million views over Super Bowl weekend, and 170 million total.

gatorade snapchat campaign

22. Stranger Things Season 2 by Netflix

Netflix went all out to promote Season 2 of Stranger Things on Snapchat. First of all, they had a world lens available, and it was epic (see below).

Here’s the kicker though – to unlock this unique lens, you had to either use a special Snapcode (see below) or Shazam in Snapchat whenever you hear the Stranger Things theme song (for instance, while watching the season 2 opening credits).

stranger things snapchat lens

Stranger Things Snapchat code

Second of all, they had an “Eleven face” filter available to everyone. Check it out here:

snapchat eleven face filter stranger things

Snapchat “Eleven Face” filter – Image via Netimperative

23. Air Jordan Ecommerce Campaign

The latest campaign on Snapchat focused on a life-size Michael Jordan augmented-reality lens promoting the new, unreleased Air Jordan III Tinker sneakers, which went on sale exclusively via a special QR code within the app. This occurred during the NBA All-Star Weekend. What we launched with Snapchat and the Jordan Brand was a preview of what will become a paradigm,” said Lee Hnetinka, CEO of Darkstore. “Imagine an ad on a bus stop with a Snapcode or a Snapcode on an advertisement or next to a product in a store, and it is delivered within hours. That’s what Snapchat enables.”

air jordan snapchat filter

When the user scanned the snapcode or used the filter, they were taken to the ecommerce experience below, within the Snapchat app. They were able to fully purchase the shoes and checkout inside of Snapchat. How did the campaign perform? The sneakers sold out in 23 minutes. The special world lens averaged more than 80 seconds of play time per user, compared with a national average play time of 15 to 20 seconds for sponsored lenses.

Have any questions? Tweet me! Want custom Snapchat geofilters for your company? Contact us today!

 

Facebook’s Newsfeed, Content, and Social Media Algorithms…

Facebook Makes Sweeping Changes – Here’s What it Means for Ads and Content

Last updated: February 13, 2018.

Facebook has made some huge changes to its Newsfeed algorithm in 2018. Facebook has stated that it wants to “increase meaningful interactions between people“. To accomplish this, there will be less video and news. Facebook makes a TON of changes to its product, on a constant basis. And although they said less news, they also created caveats for “trusted news” and “local news”. They’re also increasing their Stories product on desktop and mobile.

Facebook Advertising

First, let’s briefly address how all these changes are affecting Facebook Ads. In two words: they’re not. Facebook Ads are here to stay, and potentially stronger than ever. Below is a note from a Facebook Ads representative:

facebook algorithm changes on facebook ads

Now that that’s out of the way (although it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add some influencer marketing strategies into your mix)…

Facebook Newsfeed and Content

Businesses, both large and small, have been built off Facebook and its algorithm. Those times have officially come to an end. Organic reach of posts has been declining for years (it’s now around 2-4%, sometimes much less). Facebook DOES NOT CARE if you use their platform. Still, some well-known publishers are doing everything they can:

While others seem to finally feel free:

A sage tweet from Matthew Ingram of Columbia Journalism Review sums up the thoughts of many:

I think we can all agree on this: Facebook is done with quality journalism. They’re tired of fake news and bad PR. Controlling it would be too costly. So they’re just phasing it out. Here’s a quote from Mark Zuckerberg:

“The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good. Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”

Still want news on Facebook? Go to the Watch tab.

Anyone who counted on website traffic from organic Facebook posts needs to move on, especially publishers. Internally, we’ve adjusted how we manage our clients’ Facebook pages. Instead of doing 10 posts/week (years ago) or 5 posts/week (last year), we just try and do 1-2 high quality, engaging posts each week.

You know what’s not going down in the midst of all these updates? Facebook’s profits:

Image via mondaynote.com

Why is that the case? Facebook (and Instagram) ads of course. Those will still be growing strong.

What You Should Do

With the new and future landscape set in stone, I recommend four things:

  1. Post less, but make every post as high quality as possible
  2. Facebook Ads (which include Instagram and Messenger) are still gold mines – focus on those
  3. As Facebook increases human relationships, utilize influencers more
  4. Invest heavily in Groups (Facebook continues to prioritize Groups content)

Also, NEVER build your business in a way that it’s dependent on a singular social platform. First off, focus on all social platforms. Secondly, create consistent, quality content on your website. Lastly, build your email list. Those last two tips are things that cannot be taken away from you.

Finally, good luck! Need help with marketing strategy? Contact us today!

Why Your Marketing Mix NEEDS Influencers in 2018

Influencer Marketing Can Produce Incredible Results, if Properly Managed

Despite the recent New York Times article exposing celebrities, athletes, and media personalities purchasing hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers, influencer marketing is more important than ever.

As RACKED recently stated, Instagram ads are basically infomercials for millennials. But they aren’t just infomercials for millennials, they’re infomercials for everyone. I was in a meeting with a client last week, and she shared the following statement, verbatim: “I go on Instagram to be told what to buy.” Think about that for a second…

“I go on Instagram to be told what to buy.”

Now, I can confirm that I, and pretty much everyone at Wallaroo, share this sentiment. Instagram (and other social platforms like Snapchat, Pinterest, and sometimes Twitter) has effectively replaced the ‘As Seen on TV’ infomercials of late night television. Priceonomics analyzed the 5 steps of an infomercial:

  1. Create Awareness
  2. Create Need
  3. Create Urgency
  4. Evaluate Choices
  5. Resolve Final Risk

An effective influencer marketing strategy follows the same rubric. From tummy tea to sugarbear hair, from moons to fitness gear to makeup brands, the first time you’ll hear about most of the new products these days is via social media. Why? Because it works. It works very well.

Brands are Flocking To Influencer Marketing

Interest in influencer marketing has grown a ton of the last year.

influencer marketing growth

While we still believe strongly in content marketing (and SEO – check this out!!!), the rise of influencer marketing cannot be denied. According to a recent study by Linqia, 94% of marketers who used influencer marketing last year found the channel to be effective, and budgets are set to double this year. Research firm L2 found that 70% of brands are working with influencers on Instagram. The rise of ad blocking and ad costs provide an additional reason to utilize influencers. Another study found that an influencer marketing campaign earned an average of $6.85 in media value for every $1 spent on paid media. Bloglovin (the largest conglomerate of bloggers/influencers) predicts that the industry will continue to skyrocket:

influencer marketing industry growth

How to Run a Campaign, and What to Measure

Tracking ROI can be tricky with influencer marketing campaigns if you haven’t established goals/KPIs/metrics beforehand. But that goes for any type of marketing campaign. Tracking things like Cost Per Click, Cost Per Acquisition, and Cost Per Engagement can be measured effectively. Calculating your overall ROI is going to depend on your cost for the campaign, sales generated, sponsorship costs, product/giveaway costs (if applicable), etc. Having a strong analytics team/agency in place is key.

At Wallaroo, we prefer to work with what we call “Micro influencers“. We define micro influencers as an influencer that has less than 100,000 followers, and preferably under 50,000. What we’ve seen from these types of influencers is higher levels of engagement, more targeted followings, and better overall ROI. They’re also generally easier to get a hold of and easier to work with.

Ideally, an influencer campaign integrates with your existing social media campaign, your advertising campaign, and your content campaigns. Creating and running a cohesive strategy will set everything up for success. We’ve done many influencer campaigns for our clients, consistently seeing ROI’s of 10X+.

If you’re interested in learning more or want to use Wallaroo for your own influencer campaigns, contact us today!

influencer marketing campaigns

Image via digitalreview.co

Instagram Adds Hashtag Following; Facebook Opens Up AR Platform

Facebook/Instagram Make Big Changes (and What Those Mean for Marketers)

Facebook made three important announcements today…

  1. The Facebook AR Studio is now open to all

Facebook now has over 2,000 creators using AR Studio. They are using the platform to build fun, animated frames, masks, and interactive augmented reality experiences.

facebook ar studio

As of today, the AR Studio creative tools are open to everyone. In the next week or so, Facebook will also enable ‘world effect technology’ within AR Studio. Creators will soon be able to develop 3D digital objects for people to place onto surfaces and interact with in their physical space. This tech is akin to what Snapchat has been doing for quite a while now.

2. Hashtag followings on Instagram

Today Instagram introduced the ability to follow hashtags in the app. Below is a statement from the announcement:

“Now it’s even easier to stay connected with the interests, hobbies, passions and communities you care about. Every day, millions of people share photos and videos and tag them with relevant hashtags. #onthetable#slime and #floralnails are just a few examples of hashtags that represent the many interests and passions of our community. To make these posts even more discoverable, we’re introducing hashtags you can follow.

Following a hashtag is just like following a friend. To get started, search for a topic you’re interested in or tap on a hashtag from any post. You’ll see relevant hashtags displayed in your search results along with related accounts. When you find a hashtag you like, open the hashtag page and tap on the follow button. You’ll begin seeing top posts from that hashtag in your feed and some of the latest stories in your stories bar. You can always unfollow a hashtag at any time.”

instagram hashtag followings

To us, this is big news for Instagram. Incorporating hashtags has been crucial aspect of marketing strategy. They’ve been very effective for organically growing your following. With this new feature, that strategy can be accelerated if done correctly.

From an advertising perspective, expect to see ads in these hashtag sections by the end of 2018.

3. Update to the Facebook Newsfeed algorithm

According to Mashable, it was confirmed that Facebook quietly killed an old feature that gave users the choice to somewhat control the order of posts in the Newsfeed. News Ticker, the official feature introduced alongside Facebook’s algorithmic feed years ago, is no more. Get the full breakdown of Facebook’s latest Newsfeed algorithm changes here.

Facebook is Going All In on High Quality Video and Content Creators

Facebook Launches “Facebook for Creators”; Renewed Focus on High-Quality Video

Facebook is going all in on high-quality video and is doing its best to take on YouTube. Facebook officially launches a new app last week called “Facebook for Creators”. The app allows creators/influencers to make and promote videos, as well as the ability to connect with their viewers and fans.

There is a new website as well.

The app is open to everyone. Facebook is encouraging all to create high-quality video content.

“It has never been a better time to be a creator on Facebook,” Facebook product director Daniel Danker said at VidCon this year. “With Facebook we can connect and create community with your audience and tell stories that are social, personal, and authentic.”

The app lets users easily add intros and outros to live videos as well as stickers and frames. The community tab in the app pulls together comments from Facebook and Instagram and messages from Messenger into one inbox. The app even includes analytics about a user’s Page and individual videos. Additional features will be released soon.

“We’ve gathered feedback from creators as we’ve built these resources, and will continue to take cues from the community as we try to make the Facebook experience fun and easy for creators – so they can do what they do best,” wrote Fidji Simo, Facebook’s VP of Product.

facebook creators

Facebook for Creators

As a brand, this is definitely something to keep an eye on. Facebook has put a lot of effort behind this venture, and they’re marketing the heck out of it. Creators will be pushing content through this new app onto Facebook (a platform that creators have neglected for a while). Creators always test new apps/platforms, and stick with what works best. If Facebook for Creators can do that, then creators/influencers will add it to their repertoire.

From an ads perspective, expect Facebook to monetize these quickly. They’ve already begun testing mid-roll video ads, and rumor has it that they’ll be adding pre-roll ads soon too.

Keep an eye on this app…

Snapchat Launches Huge Redesign; New Ad Units

Snapchat Separates the “Social” (friends) from the “Media” (publishers)

Snapchat just launched a huge redesign today. They officially, according to their CEO in the video below, separated “social” from “media”. Check out the video demo here:

Here’s an official statement from Snap:

Until now, social media has always mixed photos and videos from your friends with content from publishers and creators. While blurring the lines between professional content creators and your friends has been an interesting Internet experiment, it has also produced some strange side-effects (like fake news) and made us feel like we have to perform for our friends rather than just express ourselves.

The new Snapchat separates the social from the media. This means that the Chats and Stories from your friends are on the left side of Snapchat, and the Stories from publishers, creators, and the community are on the right.

With this big change, Snapchat is simultaneously trying to appeal to its loyal users and newbies. We think that there is a lot of potential here. Snapchat may really be on to something…

Separately, Snap announced new filters based on what you’re snapping, promoted stories ad units, and long-form, hands-on AR ads. Keep an eye on their growth!