What is a Google Ads Smart Display Campaign?

Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, recently launched beta testing for its new Smart Display campaigns. But what is this new type of campaign, and how can your company leverage the new campaign type to boost your CTR and lower your CPA?

Read on to find out if a Smart Display Campaign is a good idea for your company.

Smart Display vs. Display Campaigns

Charts and analytical data on the tablet screen with a cup of coffee on a wooden vintage table.

Google Ads already has its regular Display Network campaign option, which is still available—and will probably remain available even after Smart Display campaigns are rolled out to every Google Ads account.

But what exactly is a display campaign?

Well, display advertising takes the visual content in your Display Network campaign and targets various websites based on the keywords, topics, or sites you chose. The visual content shows up on a network of websites that Google deems relevant to the content you’re promoting.

So what’s the difference between a regular Display Network and a Smart Display campaign?

Smart Display campaigns automate a lot of targeting options that you have to manually set in regular Display Network campaigns, which can save time and improve performance. For starters, you no longer have to build dozens of ads in different sizes and formats—Smart Display campaigns have one creative size.

It’s important to remember that Google doesn’t care about you. It cares about the consumer and providing them with the most relevant results to their query. That’s where Smart Display campaigns can become super effective—the campaign allows you to plug in multiple images, headlines, and descriptions as one dynamic ad.

This means that Google can constantly mix and match your content to give consumers the most relevant ad based on their query.

Basically, Smart Display campaigns seem to be the next level of display advertising. While we don’t anticipate Display Network campaigns going anywhere soon, utilizing Smart Display campaigns can breathe new life into your PPC campaigns.

How To Set Up a Smart Display Campaign

Setting up a Smart Display campaign is fairly easy, even though the layout isn’t exactly similar to Display Network campaigns.

First, select which type of campaign you’d like to create. For a Smart Display campaign, we would select “Display.”

Then select the goal you’ve decided to focus your campaign around.

If you have beta access to Smart Display campaigns, you’ll then have the option to select that type of campaign.

At this point, the campaign set up should look pretty familiar. Name your campaign, set your location(s), bidding type, and budget.

Once you’ve filled out your campaign settings, you’ll be directed to build your first ad. Here’s what the layout should look like.

You can upload a maximum of 15 images, five headlines, and five descriptions. We encourage filling out as much information as possible to give Google Ads the best chance to optimize your ads.

Hit save and you’re done! Congratulations, you are now a Smart Display campaign master. Have any questions? Feel free to ask us in the comments below.

And if you’re looking to take advantage of Google Ads but you don’t know where to start, contact us today! We are Google Ads certified and would love to help your business grow.

Snap Ads – The Complete Guide

The Complete Guide to Snap Ads

This is a concise, but complete, guide to the ins and out of Snap Ads. We are an OFFICIAL Snapchat Advertising Partner (verify here). We share minimum ad spend numbers, fees, targeting, formats, etc. If you have any questions, contact us today!

Last updated: August 6, 2018.

snap ads management

Snap Ads Details:

*Minimum Ad Spend – $1,500/month (month to month contract) [Note: Geofilters and other options are available for budgets under $1.5k – contact us to learn more]

    • Snap Ads Management Fee – % of total ad spend with $1,500/month minimum retainer
    • Countries Available – United States, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, Austria, Chile, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Belgium, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, and Switzerland and more being added every day.
    • Target by mobile OS (Android or iOS), cell service carrier, connection type (WiFi or mobile data), device make, etc.
    • Demographic Targeting Options – Snapchat allows targeting using both 1st and 3rd party data. Some of these options include Location, Past Location, Gender, Age, Household Income, Household Makeup (presence of children, etc.), Education Level, Life events, Occupation, Marital Status, Interests, and more.
    • Targeting Options – Goal-based bidding awareness, consideration (app installs, website visits, app engagement, web engagements, video views, and lead generation), and website conversions (purchases and lead generation). We can create lookalike, exact match, and engagement audiences to advance campaigns to the next level.
    • Ad Reporting Metrics – Impressions, click rate, swipe-up rate, video views (reporting views to 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%), average screen time, installs, internal app actions, conversions such as add to cart, add billing info, searches, page views, checkout, etc., and ‘cost-per’ metrics associated with each of those categories.
    • Tracking Options – Snapchat pixel (user-based tracking), 3rd-party analytics (site-based tracking)
    • Ad-Type Options – Snap Ads (engageable 3-10 second video ad with CTA), Story Ads (multi-content engagement ad with multiple attachments/CTAs), Geo-filters (National, Local, and Multi-location), Lenses (both world lenses and face lenses are available)
    • Types of Engagements and Calls to Action – Awareness Growth, Video views, App installs (swipe-up leads to app install page), Web views (swipe-up leads to landing page of your choice – can be gamified, show content, collect information, etc.), App Engagement, and Website Conversions.
    • Ad Creative Options – Full-screen mobile video, image, gif, options with audio. Filter and lens options without audio. Snapchat provides a full sight, sound, and motion experience for your users.  (click here for video specs)
    • Are you interested in starting a campaign on Snapchat? Then you’ve come to the right place. We’re your team from creative and strategy, to execution and management. Click the the link below and let’s get you started on making more money. It’s a snap!
  • Snap Ad interest targeting options:
    “Activities/Sports”
    Adventure Sports, Fitness, Snow Sports, Running, Sports, Motor Sports, Football, Baseball, Basketball, Golf, College Football, Hockey, Combat Sports, Soccer, Tennis, Beach & Watersports, Skates/Bikes/Boards
     
    “Lifestyles/Hobbies”
    Arts & Culture, Beauty, Reading, Fashion & Style, Autos & Vehicles, Nightlife, Investing & Entrepreneurship, Food, Technology & Gadgets, Travel, Women’s Lifestyle, Math & Science, Home Decor, Men’s Lifestyle, Outdoors & Nature, College Life, Streaming Video, DIY, Hip Trends, Pets & Animals, Fast Food Junkies, Cooking, Parenting & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Green Living, Photography
     
    “Music”
    Music, Country Music, Concerts & Festivals, Indie Music, Dance & EDM Music, Pop Music, Urban & Hip-Hop Music
     
    “News/Entertainment”
    Film & TV, Comedy, Reality TV, News, Business News, Celebrity News, Political News, Video Games, Console Games
More on Snap Ads types:
Snapchat recently added a new reach/frequency targeting type akin to TV advertising. It’s in beta, but brands are loving it thus far. Read more about it here.
“Snap to Store” offline conversions: The new ad format is performing very well. Wendy’s used these new ads in their U.S. stores and promoted the Jalapeño Fresco Chicken Sandwich. The ads drove 42,000 visitors to a Wendy’s within seven days of viewing it. “Foot traffic into our restaurants is the best measurement of short-term sales success for any program. ‘Snap to Store’ is a big win for Wendy’s for this reason — we want more ad tech like this,” Brandon Rhoten, Wendy’s head of advertising, digital/social and media, said in a statement to Mashable.
Snapchat recently introduced ‘Max Reach’ as a new ad unit within Snap Ads campaigns. Max Reach is a way to basically do a full ad takeover of an entire country, ensuring that anyone who logs in to Snapchat on a given day would see your ad. To learn more about Max Reach click here.
snap to store snapchat ads

New ads dashboard from Snapchat

Check out two Snap Ads case studies below!

snap ads case studies

Reddit – The Overlooked Social Network With Massive Upside

Reddit Has Almost 300 Million Active Users Who LOVE The Platform – Here’s Why You Need to Be Actively Marketing There NOW

LAST UPDATED: July 9, 2018

Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit, recently released the following statistics: 270 million unique visitors/month, 18 billion pageviews/month, 16 minutes spent per site visit, 53% men, 47% women, and 87% under the age of 35. And it’s about to become a full-fledged social network.

UNIQLO – A large retail brand, received 5% of ALL THEIR TRAFFIC over the last 12 months from a SINGLE THREAD on the /frugalmalefashion subreddit. Insane numbers. Reddit has real power, and it should not be neglected.

From its inception until current day, Reddit has always been a place to share links. You can browse said links, up- or down-vote them, and discuss them. But Reddit just made a HUGE announcement. They’re creating user profiles, reminiscent of Facebook and Twitter, that will allow users to share posts/links directly to their own profiles. Reddit also announced that you will now be able to follow the profiles of different users. These moves mark a pivot for Reddit from the “front page of the Internet” to a true social network (and one that is larger than Pinterest and almost as big as Twitter).

So, now more than ever, you need to be marketing and sharing content on Reddit. At Wallaroo Media, we do a lot of content creation and content marketing. We always try to share content that we create on relevant subreddits. We’ve had pieces of content get hundreds of thousands of visits from Reddit by sharing them at the right time and the right place. Reddit can drive real results and impactful revenue. But you really need to know the ins and outs of the platform, the users and their behavior, and how to share content without devaluing your brand or getting a backlash from power Redditors. This post will teach you how…

reddit marketing advice

How to Market on Reddit

The best place to start with Reddit marketing is by identifying the best subreddit for your content, and by doing keyword research on the platform.

Keyword Research on Reddit

Keyword research on Reddit can be an in-depth project that takes several hours. There are some nice shortcuts you can take. This piece is not meant to be an in-depth article on keyword research, so I will link to the piece I recommend on the subject, here. That link takes you to a nice 7-step Reddit keyword research process using the tool Keyworddit, which is a tool I explain more below.

Subreddit Research on Reddit

To find which subreddits make the most sense for your brand to be sharing content on, use RedditMetrics and Redditlist (I explain these tools more below). The other way to do subreddit research is quite simple: Google it. For example, if your company sells nail polish, Google “nail polish subreddit” to see which ones come up. You can also search for subreddits that would be tangentially related to nail polish, like fashion or accessories or style.

Curating Social Media Content with Reddit

There are many different ways to curate social media content for a brand. One very effective but under-utilized technique is to create a private “Multi-reddit”. A multi-reddit can be created by combining relevant subreddits into one. So if I was running a nail polish company, I would combine subreddits related to nail polish, fashion, accessories, style, and perhaps a few more into one multi-reddit. Then, each morning, I would check my private multi-reddit to see what content is trending the most in my space. Then I would create social media content based off those trending items. To learn more about this awesome strategy, click here.

Building Karma and Finding What Works

Reddit Karma is a form of gamification that the platform employs that allows users to gain points for posting popular links and comments. The higher your Karma, the higher your links appear when they’re initially submitted. So building up personal or company Reddit profiles is a must.

As mentioned above, it is crucial to do subreddit research to find what type of content works on the subreddits that you are interested in posting on. Some subreddits only allow comments. Others prefer images. The majority prefer links. But knowing how to posture the link correctly so as not to be overly promotional is important. Reddit users are notoriously anti-advertising/anti-marketing. So be careful here. Again, you need to analyze content that has performed well on your desired subreddit(s) to inform your own posting strategy.

reddit karma

Essential Reddit Tools & Resources

There are a few key tools and resources that are essential for a truly effective marketing campaign on Reddit. Below is a list of our favorites. Feel free to let us know if we missed some!

  • TrackReddit.com – Social listening tool that offers real-time tracking and alerts when your phrase is mentioned.
  • RedditMetrics.com – Leaderboards of the fastest growing, top, or new trending subreddits.
  • RedditInsight.com – Tool that offers user tracking, post tracking, interaction data, and more.
  • Reddit Submission Time – A tool that shows you when the most successful posts are submitted to each subreddit.
  • Redditlist.com – Similar to RedditMetrics, but this site offers some different data as well as subscriber growth and totals by subreddits.
  • How The Internet Talks – Fun tool that shows how keywords have trended on Reddit over the last decade.
  • Reddit Web Scraper – Tool that allows you to scrape data from Reddit.
  • Which Subreddits Send the Most Traffic – A deep dive into which subreddits send the most traffic to websites.
  • Top Posts All Time – Interactive about the top Reddit posts of all time in different categories.
  • Posting Times – Discover the best times to post on Reddit.

Also, here is a quick intro to Reddit’s new self-serve advertising platform.

Our Favorite Subreddits

Reddit is full of incredible and interesting subreddits. Below are some of our favorites.

InternetIsBeautiful

DataIsBeautiful

Photography

80’s Design

Retro Futurism

Ask Me Anything

fast and furious data is beautiful

Fast & Furious content on Reddit

Summary

Reddit should be an integral part of every content marketing campaign. It can be used to place content, learn about your target demographic and what they like, social media research, and more. Good luck!

 

 

 

Facebook Groups – A Social Media Marketing Goldmine

Facebook Groups are still under-utilized by brands of all sizes. That should end soon. Groups are the future. Here’s why.

facebook groups marketing

200 Million+ Groups

There are over 200 million groups on Facebook. That’s a lot. Facebook now has 2.2 Billion monthly active users. That’s also a lot. Facebook Groups are growing fast, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg thinks that meaningful groups and communities are the future of social. So the emphasis internally at Facebook (and down the road at Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.) is going to be growing these meaningful groups and communities. That’s why your brand needs to have an effective Facebook Groups strategy.

10X Organic Reach

The Facebook Newsfeed algorithm changes often. Between the recent issues related to privacy/ads/GDPR/etc., there’s been more flux than usual of late. Organic reach of posts by Facebook Pages has been steadily decreasing for years now (it currently sits around 3%-5% and Instagram is following the same trajectory). Through internal testing, we’ve found that posts by Facebook Groups have average organic reach numbers ranging from 30%-50% – a 10X improvement over Pages. So if you have a Page with 1,000 fans and a Group with 100 followers, the organic reach of a post on each will be roughly the same.

Innovative Tools

In an effort to supercharge the growth of Groups, Facebook has recently introduced some powerful tools. Everything from paid subscriptions to guides to third party analytics. Facebook also recently re-introduced apps for Groups. Expect more tools and resources to come in the near future.

Low Competition

Right now, brands are hesitant to go all in on Facebook Groups. At Wallaroo, when we see data like 200 million users and 40% organic reach, combined with low competition, we get excited.

Some brands, however, are getting into the action. Check out the snippet below from a recent Digiday article:

At Facebook’s F8 conference, the social platform … brought indoor cycling workout company Peloton onstage as a success story. Peloton has nearly 88,000 members in its closed group, Official Peloton Member Page. The company has had time to cultivate the group because it started it three years ago, and community is core to what the company does, said Brad Olson, SVP of Member Experience at Peloton. He said the Facebook group receives 300 posts, 5,000 comments and 20,000 reactions every day. “It’s a great way for our members to engage with one another between workouts, and share their goals and hold each other accountable,” he said.

Other brands are having success as well.

Facebook Groups Strategy

We recommend that companies have their own groups that they run, as well as tangentially related groups. For example, a hypothetical women’s ecommerce clothing brand named “Bleu Cheese Boutique” would have a group dedicated to die-hard fans that get early access to new releases through the group (perhaps it’s even a subscription group), titled “Bleu Cheese Boutique Lovers”. They’d also have a separate group that’s titled “Hot Fashion Trends” where they would post content related to the latest fashion trends (while seeding their own products in there every now and then). They could have another group titled “Rom-Com Die-Hards” where they would post content related to outfits worn on rom-coms (while fitting in relevant posts from their brand when applicable).

That’s a quick/high-level strategy that can work for most companies. If you have more in-depth questions, feel free to tweet me @travelintweeter, or email me here: brandon@wallaroomedia.com.

Why Instagram is the Future of the Mobile Web

instagram future of the mobile web

Image via TechCrunch

Instagram is the present, especially for consumer-facing brands. We all know this. It just surpassed 1 Billion users.

Not only is Instagram the present, and the most popular/hottest social app, but it’s also the future of the mobile web.

Dom Hofmann, the founder of Vine, shared a tweetstorm to this point over the weekend. Check it out below for his thoughts on Instagram:

If you don’t have an Instagram strategy, now’s the time to get one. Have any questions? Email us at info@wallaroomedia.com!

How We Utilized Evergreen Content to Increase Our Traffic 1,800% in 14 Months

SEO Has Been The Single Largest Driver of Business for Wallaroo Since Our Inception

Last updated: June 23, 2018.

Through our evergreen content strategy we’ve grown our traffic over 1,800% in 14 months. The first half of this article will show you how we did it. The second half will teach you how to do it for your company.

Wallaroo Media was founded in mid-2012. When we formed our company, we wanted a name that was unique, fun, and brand-able. We also wanted it to have a word in it that got a lot of monthly searches that we felt we could rank for fairly quickly. So we chose Wallaroo. Soon enough, we got to #1 for the word “Wallaroo” and could tell all our prospective clients that we knew how to do SEO  :). This keyword targeting strategy also reflected the types of clients we were going after. With a resume like this, and with no case studies and little experience, we could really only get local clients like restaurants, dentists, auto repair shops, etc. And when we did get those types of companies as clients, we hustled hard to do everything we could to help them succeed.

how to use SEO to grow business

That was back in the early days. We don’t care about ranking for “Wallaroo” anymore (although we’re still on page one); we moved on to bigger and better things. Like most SEO companies, we started by targeting localized keyword phrases related to “SEO”, or “Utah SEO company“, or “Provo Utah SEO”. This keyword strategy also reflected the types of clients we were able to get. If someone Googled “Utah SEO Company” and found us, chances were that they were interested in SEO, maybe some content marketing, and not much else. We got a lot of great clients this way, and still do, but we wanted to level up as a company. Once we achieved amazing rankings for those keywords, we continued to set our sights on higher revenue-generating keywords and bigger clients…

Enter: The “Evergreen Content” Strategy

With a firm hold on SEO-related keywords in our market, we wanted to expand our services and offerings at our company. We wanted to diversify. We wanted to get more into social media advertising management and PR. So we created a content marketing plan.

There were three key steps in our approach to our Evergreen Content Strategy:

Step 1: Evergreen Content 

evergreen content seo strategy

We wanted evergreen content to be the backbone of our strategy. What is evergreen content you ask? We define it as timeless content that continually stays fresh for readers. We felt that this was an under-utilized tactic with the keywords we wanted to rank for. We wanted to get more clients who wanted to hire us to manage Facebook Ads. So we took a page out of Moz’s book (with their Google Algorithm Change History piece) and decided to create the Facebook Algorithm Change History with the purpose of using it as a Trojan horse to get social ads clients. We created the Facebook Algorithm piece over 2 years ago, and have been updating it every month or so since. That content ranks #1 for “Facebook algorithm change”, #3 for “Facebook algorithm”, #4 for “Facebook changes”, and #5 for “New Facebook update”. It also ranks on page one of Google for another ~100 keyword phrases! The content piece has had almost 60,000 visits since its launch with an average time on page of about 4 minutes.

Step 2: Consistent Updates

As I briefly mentioned in Step 1, we have been updating that Facebook Algorithm piece every month or so for over two years now. Every time we update it, we do three things: Change the publish date in WordPress, change the “Last updated” phrase at the beginning of the piece, and share it on Google Plus (and other social networks as well). It is also good to use the “Fetch as Google” tool. Correlation does not equal causation, but we have found this sequence to be crucial in our rankings.

A little more on “evergreen content”: I would highly recommend that unless you are writing on a topic that is time-sensitive or newsworthy in nature, that all your content is evergreen. We update our Facebook piece all the time (because it needs to be updated constantly). But if you publish a piece titled, “How to do SEO for B2B Companies,” update it all the time! Seek out ways to do so. Update the case studies you cite. If you figure out new, applicable strategies, add those. Did Google or Facebook or something else change since you first wrote the piece that now changes things? Add that and update it! Be creative, it shouldn’t be difficult to add to a piece every couple months and thus make it evergreen.

Step 3: Being The First-Mover Helps

Being the first-mover to go after a keyword helps with future ranking ability. It is by no means a requirement, though. But in our experience, being the first to publish an in-depth, well-optimized piece on the subject can do wonders. And if you are consistently updating it, you can stay ahead of the competition. There isn’t any more secret sauce here.

utah seo growth at wallaroo media

Note: Some here may bring up the “Skypscraper Technique” from Brian Dean (who is awesome and whom I greatly respect). Yes, that strategy works very well, and yes, the Skyscraper Technique is designed to overtake first-movers. But if you follow steps 1 and 2 well enough, then being the first-mover will obviously help you. And if you’re always working to build links to your content, then you should be immune to competitors. Theoretically, they wouldn’t want to compete. Who would want to compete with amazing content that’s always being added to and has a consistent flow of quality backlinks pouring in?

Case Study: “Snapchat Advertising”

We shared a mini case study in Step 1 with our Facebook piece. Now we’ll spill the beans on what we’ve been up to lately: targeting all keyword phrases related to Snapchat Advertising, and using the Evergreen SEO strategy to do so.

We were early adopters internally of all things Snapchat. We have a team that skews toward the younger side, and many of us have thoroughly enjoyed the popular social network since its inception.

When Snapchat started rolling out ads last year, we began thinking about offering ads management for the social app as a service. One problem though: Snapchat wasn’t letting anyone in. No agencies, no public access, nothing. They were working directly with brands to create and run the ad campaigns. So we dragged our feet.

snap ads campaign management

But in November of 2016 we published version 1.0 of “Snapchat Advertising Costs” on our website. From there, we continued to update that piece according to steps 1-3 outlined above. We also wrote a lot about Snapchat marketing strategies in general. What are the results you ask? Here they are:

  • “Snapchat advertising” – #2 (after Snapchat.com)
  • “Snapchat ads” – #2 (after Snapchat.com)
  • “Snapchat cost” – #1
  • “Advertise on Snapchat” – #2 (after Snapchat.com)
  • “Ads on Snapchat” – #3 (after Snapchat.com and Snap.com)
  • “Advertising on Snapchat” – #2 (after Snapchat.com)
  • And over 200 more keyword phrases

If you pull up the search volume for those phrases, you will see that none are huge (each phrase ranges from a few hundred to the low thousands in monthly searches). But, as you can imagine, they convert to actual business for us very well. And with SEO, the true measure of success is conversion (at least in our minds). Does your SEO strategy get your website the right traffic and interested users/customers/clients in the target demographic? This is a key component for any effective SEO campaign. For most of our website visitors that come to our site through these keywords, we’re the first agency they come in contact with that does Snapchat advertising. Our content, combined with some retargeting ads every now and then (we spend less than $100/month in paid advertising for ourselves), helps convert these visitors into paying clients.

Take a look at our website traffic in the screenshot below. In an 14-month period, we’ve increased our traffic from under 400 visitors per week to over 8,000 visitors per week. That’s an increase of over 1,800%! Evergreen content works very well  :).

evergreen content example

Evergreen content marketing in action

Here’s an update on our website traffic as of February 1, 2018:

evergreen content marketing 2018

Each time we wanted to “level up” as an agency, we leveled up the keywords we targeted. Consequently, our client roster has evolved from local clients to larger, but largely unknown, nationwide clients, to publicly-traded companies and household brands.

At Wallaroo, we absolutely love SEO. It was the first service we ever offered, and it will always be part of our core. It has helped grow our business immensely. If you do it right, SEO can do the same for your brand. Want to grow your business through SEO? Contact us today!

Step by Step Process for Creating Evergreen Content

Now that you see how we used the evergreen content strategy to grow our business, let us show you how to do the same for yours.

First, you need to decide which type of evergreen content you want to create. There are many different types of evergreen content. Here’s a quick list:

  • Original research
  • Collection of timeless statistics
  • In-depth case studies or white papers
  • Checklist
  • Resource content (see our content marketing resource)
  • List of free/paid tools
  • Top influencers/experts in a niche (only if done in evergreen fashion)
  • Best books for your niche
  • Glossary of terms in a niche
  • “Everything you need to know” style
  • History of a topic/product (see our Facebook algorithm history)
  • How to do something over time
  • How-to article or tutorial (or a series of)
  • Storytelling (Kindra Hall is the master of this)
  • Pros and cons of X
  • Success stories
  • History of a certain topic
  • Beginner guides (or any in-depth guide)
  • Answers to industry FAQs
  • Curate a list of blogs in a niche
  • Think of an ongoing offer to promote
  • Create annually updatable survey-based or data-based content
  • Create a training course
  • Create a buying guide for specific products or services
  • Annual events database listing of your industry
  • Offer a $500-$1000 scholarship every year

Keep in mind for whichever type you choose – it either needs to be written in a way to where it will never go out of date, or you need to be consistently updating the piece over time.

Another key component of successful evergreen content is constant promotion. Many forget to do this. Once your content is live, you need to be promoting it on a consistent basis. Not every day, but at least a couple times a month. And for sure every time you update it. Promote it on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Depending on the purpose of the content, paid advertising can be a good solution as well.

Five Thirty Eight

FiveThirtyEight is a website ran by Nate Silver, a quasi-famous political statistician. In late 2013, ESPN purchased his website and provided him the funding to build a team. In March 2014, he launched what could be considered a site-wide evergreen content strategy. Take a look at what’s happened since:

538 evergreen content

They rank for over 700,000 keyword phrases, and the vast majority of their traffic drivers are evergreen content terms. That is how it’s done!

Compounding Returns of Evergreen Content

When you effectively utilize the evergreen content marketing strategy consistently, it generates compounding returns. Tomaasz Tunguz wrote about this a couple years ago. He stated: “Like a bank account that starts out small and earns incremental gains, but over time becomes quite large, content marketing efforts require consistent investment but ultimately can yield enormous results.” Tunguz then contrasted two hypothetical blogs. One that employs evergreen content, and one that focuses on temporal content. Here’s the visualization for the evergreen content blog:

evergreen content compounding returns

Evergreen Content Produces Compounding Returns

As Tunguz explains, in this evergreen content example, each post generates about 150 views on day one, and about 20 each subsequent day. And due to the evergreen nature of the content, it decays very slowly. You can clearly see the compounding effect. In a year, the blog is generating more than 250k visitors per month. Remember, this is a hypothetical example, with perfect execution. But the idea still holds. Content marketing value compounds.

Now, here is the visualization for the temporal content blog:

temporal content marketing

Temporal Content – Slow Growth

In this example, each (temporal) blog post generates about 150 posts on the first day, 20 on the second day, but the decay function is much more aggressive. By the end of the year, each post generates 1 view per day. This blog’s traffic caps out at about 70k visitors, less than a third of the previous one. (Again, thanks to Tunguz for these examples and data).

So, as we have established, evergreen content is the way to go. The long term ROI is tremendous, and the required output is not significantly larger to produce said content.

Resources

Want to learn more about the evergreen content strategy? I’ve got you covered:

Do you have any questions about the evergreen content strategy? Don’t hesitate to contact us!

Ads, Ads, and More Ads – Social Media is Blowing Up

instagram shopping tags ad

There’s a reason we’re focusing on social media advertising at Wallaroo. That’s because the space is blowing up, and budgets are shifting to digital at an exponential rate.

In order to keep up with demand, social platforms are iterating faster than ever before on their respective advertising platforms. In the last week, there have been significant improvements and new features from every major player. Here are the highlights:

Instagram

Instagram’s shoppable tags are popping up in Stories, first reported by TechCrunch. Beginning last week, hitting a little shopping bag sticker in a Story will lead you to more details on the product and allow you to buy it quickly.

In a press release about the new feature, Instagram shared the following:

“With 300M using Instagram Stories everyday, people are increasingly finding new products from brands they love. In a recent survey, Instagrammers said they often watch stories to stay in the-know with brands they’re interested in, get an insider view of products they like, and find out about new products that are relevant to them.”

Reddit

On the heels of officially becoming the 3rd most popular website in the US, Reddit announced it’s bringing autoplay native video ads to desktop and mobile. The social network has 330 million monthly active users and video is growing at a 23% month-over-month clip, so the site should not be ignored by advertisers. “We have an opportunity to business-build,” Reddit VP of Brand Partnerships Zubair Jandali told TechCrunch. “Reddit has remarkable product-market fit on the consumer side and we’ve not layered a business on top of it. There aren’t a lot of opportunities that tend to come around like that.”

Pinterest

Pinterest recently held a big event with the purpose of wooing more ad buyers. They are beefing up their insights and analytics offerings. The head of market development Vikram Bhaskaran had this to say:

“This data is not abstract. It’s real data on people’s lives. This is the database on identity and intent. Amazon might know about intent, but they don’t know who you are.”

A slide in his presentation described Facebook and Instagram as “I hosted a party,” Twitter and Snapchat as “I am currently hosting a party,” and Pinterest as “I am going to host a party.”

Snapchat

Snapchat is working hard to build out its commerce offering within the platform. Its partnering with SeatGeek, Nike, and other brands to allow Snapchat users to check out right in the app. This new offering will surely increase conversion rates for products (and hopefully ad buys for Snapchat).

Google

Not to be outdone, Google recently flexed its muscles as well. It has introduced a handful of new advertising options. Get the full rundown here. The new offerings include online-to-offline ads, location extensions on YouTube, local catalog ads in Display, local feed partnership program, and more.

google adwords options

 

Understanding What Your Company Marketing Strategy Really Needs

Written by Jeff Rose, VP at Wallaroo Media.

I was recently contacted by a university professor looking for a marketing expert. He had written a textbook along with corresponding coursework for students who were trying to determine their emphasis in BYU’s undergraduate business program. Yet, he still needed feedback from an industry professional. We sat, we talked, we enjoyed some of the amazing variety of ethnic food that Provo, Utah, has to offer, and through the conversations we came to a few very important conclusions that seem applicable to students, professionals, and business owners alike.

Understand the Big Picture (and I don’t just mean marketing as a whole… I mean the BIG picture)

We’re not talking about the meaning of life here; simply understanding all of the moving pieces that can affect your business and how your campaigns and initiatives perform. Perhaps it’s too broad to say EVERY PART OF YOUR BUSINESS, since as a marketer I don’t focus much on 3PL systems or sourcing materials, but I do care what those things mean for the product, its marketability, its cost, its retail value.

But let’s move on from there and say we just want to understand the bigger marketing landscape: what each piece of the puzzle means and how it affects every other piece. I’m referring to SEO, SEM, etc. Drilling down deeper, we have subsets — search, display, social. Even further subsets — within social you have a number of useful platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat (one of my personal favorites). We could go more granular, but let’s focus on Social v. Search v. Content v. Website v. Design, or what I like to call the ‘Interaction Level’ (working title, folks).

It’s imperative that you understand how the social presence you create is affected by or affects your website, what role content has to play in all of it, and what analytical data you can gather along the way. I recall a local business owner telling me, “I’ve allocated a certain budget that I would like you to use on a monthly basis to promote my business. What are the next steps?”

The immediate answer was to see what he was working with: his website, his content, etc. It didn’t take long before I realized that he didn’t have a landing page that was optimized by many standards, thus my advice to him was that the landing page should be improved before money was spent driving traffic to a page that would be unlikely to convert.

His response? “I didn’t even think about the fact that the website would play that large of a role in the success of the campaign, and I certainly didn’t think about the order of operations here.”

Order of Operations

In a world of multitasking — drinking coffee while riding a bike and selling the biggest contract of your life all while dodging through traffic like you’re in Fate of the Furious (or whatever sequel we’re currently on) — I’m not about to tell you to take things one at a time. What I WILL say is don’t get ahead of yourself. There may be 71 different action items and deliverables on your carefully written marketing plan, and 70 of those may have to wait until the first is completed. Again, this is not always the case, but let me give a prime example:

You can’t drive traffic to a website… unless a website exists to drive traffic to. Simple, right? But so many people get ahead of themselves and forget to ensure that the infrastructure is there. There is more to be learned than the fact that you can’t drive traffic to a non-existent website, or if you do you won’t get sales, sign-ups, kudos [fill-in-the-blank]. Some deeper questions you should be asking yourself are “What about the call-to-action?”, “What about the content?”, “What about the design?”

We want the experience to be cohesive and seamless, right? If so, how can we design an ad or piece of content that will drive a consumer to a landing page where they can buy our widgets when we don’t know what the messaging on that page will sound like or what it will look like aesthetically? Maybe you have a style guide already created. Great! Maybe you nailed the messaging down in a brainstorm. Awesome! But unless you do things in the right order, or at least something close, time can be wasted and success can be lost.

Get the order of operations right, then you can focus on the fun task of diving into the myriad of options available to execute your strategy

Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe (Let Your Customer Inform Your Strategy, Not the Other Way Around)

Back to the original premise of proofreading a university textbook. I thought that perhaps the most difficult part was editing the vast amount of information on each and every social platform and content dispersion channel that exists in order to give a strong fundamental understanding of what options are available. What I realized was that the quantity of information was not the burden, but rather finding a way for these young people to understand what tools were appropriate at what times, and which ones should stay tucked away in their Social Media Superhero utility belt for another day.

I found myself advising the same way that I have advised numerous clients over the years: “Don’t choose how you are going to market your brand until you understand your customer and how they want to be marketed to.”

It does little good to spend 90% (or even 1%) of your media budget on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or other platforms, if you know your audience isn’t active on those platforms. Similarly, if nobody has heard of your product, and would have no idea of what to search for online to find it, perhaps you should rethink your strategy of running search ads.

However you come to understand your audience, whether through the development of a persona or three, or through market research and surveys, if you choose to sell something to those you are convinced needs/wants/can’t live without it and you are wrong, success is unlikely to be just over the horizon.

TL;DR

There are countless ways you can build, market, present, sell, and promote your product/service/business. So how do you know what to do? The better your understanding of the options available to you and how those options affect everything else you are doing, the more effective your strategy. Know your business, know your customer, and know the marketing (or hire someone who does).

How Instagram’s Algorithm Works – A Step by Step Breakdown

Instagram recently held a town hall meeting with journalists at their headquarters in San Francisco where they explained how their algorithm works. Julian Gutman, product lead at Instagram, led the meeting and detailed the specifics. Multiple outlets reported what they learned, with the first being TechCrunch. We aggregated what we found below, and added some nice visuals as well. Enjoy!

It’s important to understand how Instagram’s algorithm works, since the platform now has over 800 million active users. It’s also the go-to app for B2C brands to market their content and engage with their fans/ambassadors. B2B is growing fast on the platform as well.

Instagram’s Algorithmic Feed Ranking Criteria:

Instagram utilizes machine learning and A.I., combined with your past behavior, to create a unique feed for everyone. That means that even if you follow the exact same accounts as someone else, you’ll get a personalized feed based on how you engage with the content of those accounts.

There are 3 primary factors that determine what you see in your feed:

1. Interest: How much Instagram predicts you’ll care about a post, with higher ranking for what matters to you, determined by past behavior on similar content and potentially machine vision analyzing the actual content of the post.

2. Recency: How recently the post was shared, with prioritization for timely posts over weeks-old ones.

3. Relationship: How close you are to the person who shared it, with higher ranking for people you’ve interacted with a lot in the past on Instagram, such as by commenting on their posts or being tagged together in photos.

In addition to those core factors, there are 3 additional signals that influence rankings:

1. Frequency: How often you open Instagram, as it will try to show you the best posts since your last visit.

2. Following: If you follow a lot of people, Instagram will be picking from a wider breadth of authors so you might see less of any specific person.

3. Usage: How long you spend on Instagram determines if you’re just seeing the best posts during short sessions, or it’s digging deeper into its catalog if you spend more total time browsing.

So there you have it. The six primary factors that make up the Instagram algorithm are: Interest, Recency, Relationship, Frequency, Following, and Usage.

how Instagram algorithm works

Additional Instagram Facts:

In the same meeting with journalists, Instagram also shared the following information:

  • Instagram is not at this time considering an option for users to opt into the old reverse chronological feed
  • Instagram does not hide any posts in the feed
  • Feed ranking does not favor the photo or video format necessarily, but is weighted towards what each user engages with
  • Instagram’s feed doesn’t favor users who use Stories, Live, or other features of the app
  • Instagram does not downrank users for posting too frequently or any other unique behaviors
  • Instagram doesn’t give extra feed presence to personal accounts or business accounts, so switching won’t help your reach (this has been a big topic of discussion among our clients)
  • Instagram is working on a video hub competitor to Snapchat Discover – learn more here

As we all know – increased competition reduces reach. As more users and businesses join Instagram and post more often, but feed browsing time stays stable per user, the average post will get drowned out and receive fewer views. If you want help with strategy to stand out from your competition, or if you’d like to scale your brand via effective social media advertising, contact us today!

Why Your Company Needs a GIF Strategy

GIFs Are Exploding, and You Need a GIF Strategy

Last updated: June 6, 2018.

Years ago, I wrote a blog post titled “Why Your Company Needs a Hashtag Strategy“. That post hasn’t been updated in quite a while (I’ll have to remedy that soon), but the core of that post still holds true. Your company, every brand, needs to have a hashtag strategy. Well, it’s now time that you also have a GIF strategy. Let me explain…

70% of Americans use emojis, GIFs, and stickers to communicate daily. There are a handful of GIF platforms, with Giphy being the largest. And Giphy is HUGE. It has raised $150M and is valued at over $600M. It claims 300 Million daily active users (more than Snapchat, Pinterest, and Twitter), which is up from 200 Million in July. Their users share more than 2 Billion GIFs a day across Giphy.com and the many other platforms where Giphy is embedded (Facebook, Twitter, Tinder, iMessage, Slack, and more). Also, here’s a list of brands that have recently announce marketing/advertising partnerships with Giphy: Absolut Vodka, Red Bull, Jolly Rancher, Gucci, T-Mobile, Malibu Rum, Benefit Cosmetics, Essie and PepsiCo.Giphy actually just launched Giphy Studios, and is teaming up with Hollywood talent and influencers to create GIF content around movies/tv shows, branded content, and more.

Gfycat, another GIF platform, just hit 180 Million monthly active users, up from 130 million in October 2017 and 56 million in September 2016. They also recently announced new 360 degree GIFs. Imgur has 250 Million active users. Google just acquired Tenor, which gets 12 Billion GIF searches every month. These GIF platforms are growing extremely fast. There are several smaller platforms/apps that each have millions of users themselves.

More recently, Instagram and Snapchat added GIFs to their products.

I could stop there, and tell you that that is why you need a GIF strategy.

But let’s continue…

What is a GIF strategy exactly?
To start, let’s check out what some brands are doing on Giphy.

1. Gap – https://giphy.com/gap

GAP’s Giphy profile

GAP has 66 GIF uploads and 160 million GIF views. That’s insane.

2. Game of Thrones – https://giphy.com/gameofthrones/

Game of Thrones’ Giphy profile

Game of Thrones has 769 GIF uploads and 663 million GIF views. It’s an incredibly popular show, but those are still amazing numbers.

3. Buzzfeed – https://giphy.com/buzzfeed

Buzzfeed’s Giphy profile

Buzzfeed has 482 GIF uploads and 33 million GIF views. Very solid.

So, how can you apply this strategy to your company? Here are four simple tips that you can implement:

1. Create your brand’s Giphy and Gfycat profiles

This one is easy. Make a profile, add an image/bio/link/header, and upload at least a few GIFs! Over time, continue to build onto your profiles and grow them. Make sure you tag your GIFs appropriately so they can be found in the platforms’ search engines.

2. Create tangentially related Giphy and Gfycat profiles

Let’s say you run a women’s ecommerce boutique, and that dresses are some of your popular products. If that’s the case, you should create profiles on Giphy and Gfycat with the username of something like “summerdresses”. So the link to your account would look be giphy.com/summerdress. Then, on that account, upload myriads of different types of GIFs related to summer dresses. Some of these GIFs could contain your products of course, while others would just be GIFs you find of perhaps a girl in a dress in a meadow, or a scene from La La Land, etc. On some of these GIFs, put your brand’s logo in the bottom right of the GIF, to promote some brand recognition. Continuously add to these profiles.

3. Create a GIF hub on your own website

If you’re spending all this time to build your GIF profiles on sites like Giphy and Gfycat, you should also build out a GIF hub page on your own website! Here’s an example of how it could look (from the comedian Conan O’ Brien): http://teamcoco.com/gifs

4. Promote your GIF accounts externally

Once you have your profiles built out, share those GIFs! Share them on social media, share them on Reddit when/where appropriate, share them in your blog posts, you can even add them to your product pages (and measure to see if it increases conversion rates).

GIF Resources:

Below is a list we’ve compiled of GIF-related resources. We will continuously add to this list.

Tools to create GIFs:
GIF inspiration:
Interesting content piece built with GIFs: https://www.justpark.com/creative/over-the-top-gear/
A startup launch style video, but a GIF: https://twitter.com/LukesBeard/status/920349923366920192
Have any questions? Contact us today!