Data & The Instagram Algorithm

The Instagram algorithm is the bane of some people’s existence. And yes, it is confusing since they moved from a chronological feed. It’s important to know how to best leverage the Instagram algorithm to make sure your content is being seen!

Main instagram feed

According to Instagram, they decide to show your content based on 6 factors:

#1: Interest

#2: Relationship 

#3: Timeliness

#4: Frequency

#5: Following

#6: Usage

The first three are somewhat self-explanatory. Instagram shows you things based on what you’ve liked in the past. They highlight posts from people they’ve decided are close to you: people whose content you most engage with, the people who tag you, the people you DM etc. Instagram also cares about when you post. Keeping track of your analytics can give you a good idea about when the best times to post for you are.

Likes gif

#4 Frequency isn’t about how often you post but instead about how often interact with the app. The more often you check your Instagram feed the more likely your feed will be chronological because they are always trying to show you the newest content available. This is helpful to understand what type of Instagram users your followers are. If they don’t check the app that often, then it will be harder to have your posts seen. Building up the other 5 components to the algorithm will be all the more important.

#5 Following

Instagram assigns value to follower counts in a couple different ways. First, is simple: the more followers you have the more likely your posts will be highlighted in your follower’s feeds. However, they also look at your follower’s engagement levels. If you have a lot of ghost followers that don’t interact with you, then they could actually be hurting you. Another thing to consider, the more people your followers follow the more competition for space in their feed. Do your followers follow a lot of people? Understanding that can help you decide if you need to adjust where you focus your efforts.

Instagram scrolling
#6 Usage

This is how Instagram qualifies the amount of time spent on the app. The more time spent on the app, the deeper into its catalogs they have to pull from to show content. You can use this to your advantage by using hashtags or developing content that matches with the interests of Instagram’s heavy users.

What ways do you try to leverage the Instagram algorithm to work for you?

 
 

A DOOH Overview

Digital Out-Of-Home (DOOH) is a return to old school advertising, combining the classic advertising experience with new technology and programmatic ad delivery. DOOH isn’t just roadside billboards anymore, digital advertisements can found just about anywhere now, elevators, gyms, airports, public transport, office buildings etc. Why is DOOH so popular?

According to MediaPost, DOOH is likely to become a more than $26 billion industry by 2023. Why? DOOH allows marketers to tailor their advertising to location, time of day, weather and traffic conditions, and more, making its reach and engagement highly effective.

DOOH can be split into two main categories: large-format displays and digital place-based media. Large format displays are properly the main thing people think of when it comes to Digital display advertising. These displays are generally large format screens in high traffic areas such as highways and subways.

Digital place-based media are display screens located in “destinations.” These destinations are places that people are going to for a specific reason instead of just passing by.

What are the advantages of DOOH verses traditional out-of-home displays? DOOH allows marketers to update their messaging remotely and in real time. It also allows marketers to pick times of day and other factors when deciding when to show their ad.

Curious to know more about DOOH? Get in touch!


The 4 Keys To Success In This Environment

We know all the ways things have changed this year. We also know how much trends ,such as  relying on digital marketing channels, has sped up. It makes us wonder what we can do to survive and adapt with these changes. Here are four keys to success.  

Chart for 4 Keys To Success In This Environment
  1. Reinforce existing relationships. Which means reaching out and keeping in contact with existing and previous customers. Email and social channels are a great way to do this. Having up to date email and other information in your CRM is therefore, critical. Personalizing messages can help you stand out. It’s also important to figure out what channel your customers prefer to buy from you. Compare the current channels to what they preferred before this year to see the direction you should be focusing.  
  2. Pivot to digital and drive immediate revenue. Without money coming in, it’s very hard to build a strategy for the future. Therefore, make sure your team and any tools or tech you need is ready to go. 
  3. Acquire lower funnel customers. A lot of customers now are skipping the “passing interest” phase. They do research, find you, then buy. Making it easy for customers to find you when they are looking is important. Capitalize on lower funnel customers by knowing exactly how they got to you. One way to do that is by utilizing Pixel data. (Want more information on Pixels? Click here.) 
  4. Position for success as this reverts back to “normal.” Have a plan. One thing to think about when building your plan is to create structures with the shifts in buying habits shift in mind. Test and experiment with different types of engagement now to see what channels to focus on on the future.  

What do you think the key to successfully navigation the new marketing landscape is?  


How To Make Personalized Ads Less Creepy

We all have heard the jokes about how our phones are listening. Our phones, and tablets, and watches, and computers, and smart speakers. Therefore, when we get super personalized ads it can feel a bit creepy. Like, how do they know my name? and I was literally just talking about this? So, how can we find the balance between personalized marketing and creepy personalization?

Why do we need personalized marketing in the first place? In order to stand out in this digital world, brands need to communicate with their customers in a way that shows that the brand cares about the same things their customers do. This is especially true in social media. Social media can feel like customers have 1-on-1 relationships with the brand they follow. They can build relationships that feel personal.

Here’s a few ways to make personalized marketing effective and not jarring:

  • Start with the information you have about your customers. It’s difficult to know what your customers want if you don’t know who they are. Look at your 1st party data. What are your most common demographics? What are their interests? How would they most like to be communicated with?
  • Use the tools available. Marketing automation platforms and CRMs can do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to segmenting data. Many of them are designed to help create simple, personalized messages.
  • Have a well thought out plan. Do you have a mapped-out customer journey? Knowing where in their journey your customers are makes a big difference in the types of personalization that will work for them. Think about nurturing. Pay attention to the details. Make sure that the little things that can be annoying such as, getting an abandoned cart email even though you’ve already come back to purchase it, are gone.Get rid of triggers that are connected to repurchasing products commonly only purchased once. (looking at you, toilet seat.)
  • Know when to walk away. Keep your data clean. If someone has never opened an email it might be a good idea to take them off your list. Their data could skew your demographics and could make understanding what personalization your active customers need difficult.
What’s the creepiest personalized advertising you’ve ever seen?

Can You Use Tracking Pixels On Your Website?

We talk a lot about pixels and pixel data a lot. Pixels, also called tracking pixels or marketing pixels are integral to any marketing strategy. Why?

Pixels are little snippets of code added to a website to create an invisible 1×1 pixel graphic. The pixel graphic captures information about your site’s visitors. Information such as when they visited your website, what type of device and the browser they used, what pages they looked at and how long they stayed on each page. Unlike cookies, pixels do not rely on browsers and instead send the information they’ve collected directly to servers. They cannot be disabled in the same way as cookies and can follow visitors across devices.

There are two main types of pixels: retargeting pixels and conversion pixels. They serve different but equally valuable purposes. If you have ever seen an ad on social media after just Googling the brand, then you’ve encountered a retargeting pixel.  Retargeting pixels track website behavior then put an ad for a relevant product in the path of the user. They offer instant results because of the lack of downtime between your website and the ad. Unlike retargeting pixels, conversion pixels are usually triggered after or during a purchase. They track the path to the purchase and can connect revenue to specific ads. This helps to see what ads are working.

Why do you need a pixel? They provide insight into audiences, user behavior, and ad campaigns. The data provide can be crucial to putting the right ad in front of the right consumer at the right time. As well providing valuable analytics for campaigns.

Pixels are easy to install and use. And can be used across many different platforms.

With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why so many marketers rely on pixels and their data.

Want help setting up a pixel for your site? We can help. Get in touch here.


Customer Identity in the New Normal

We all acknowledge this this year has created a new normal in marketing. (and everything.) We have learned to be adaptable and prepare for the unexpected. Digital is king and therefore, data is more important than ever. However, we also know that Google is phasing out 3rd party cookies and that iOS 14 allows users to opt out of their IDFA (identifier for advertisers.) It’s a perfect storm of conflicting advertising trends. How do follow our audiences online without being able to identify them?  

So, what information do we actually need about our customers? We be able to connect our first party data to the many different advertising personas and IDs that are going to replace cookies. We also need to be able to link personas across different channels. For example, we need to know that the “John” who is currently on our website is the same “John” who is in our CRM, and not another member of “John’s” household. Being able to identify known customers will be crucial to retargeting and analytics.

In order to accomplish this, you are going to need a robust CRM to manger all your first party data. You will also need data provider that is creative and understands how to apply the data.

Pixel data is going to be even more important in identifying customers that are on your website.

Getting consent from customers to use their data is also important, because as soon as someone starts to interact with your brand you should begin to build their profile. We still have over a year before Google starts to phase out cookies, so now is the time to prepare and gather as much 1st party data as possible!


Are Digital Audio Ads Worth The Hype?

Digital Audio Ads have exploded this year. It’s estimated that advertisers will spend $3.72 billion this year on digital audio advertising. So why all the hype?

What is Digital audio advertising? It’s all the ads you get that are just sound. For example, any podcast, Spotify or Pandora ad is Digital Audio. It’s expected that Digital Audio Ads from just podcasts will surpass a BILLION dollars in 2021 and that the average American will spend nearly 90 minutes a day listening to streamed music or podcasts by 2022.

What’s the advantage of using digital audio ads? They are a great way to connect with consumers through a channel that they enjoy. Due to the nature of podcasts and audio ads, it’s easy to target consumers that are likely to be interested in your product. And it is very cost effective, because the ad only plays if they are listening to music or a podcast. Digital Audio Ads are also a great addition to omnichannel campaigns!

Do you think you could incorporate Digital Audio ads into your campaigns?


3 Types of Alternative Black Friday Campaigns

Calling Black Friday the biggest shopping event of the year is an understatement. In 2019, consumers spent $7.4 Billion online alone. This year more than ever, online spending is expected to grow. What are some ways to stand out online this holiday season?

Instead of the usual ‘one-day-only % off’ sale, campaigns focused on other things can be a great way to set you brand apart, gain awareness, and increase conversions. Here are three examples.

#1 – the Anti-Black Friday.

REI 2015

Taking a page from REI’s #OptOutside campaign, focusing on not buying anything on Black Friday can be very effective. Since 2015 REI closes on Black Friday and uses #OptOutside to encourage people to spend the day outside, which goes along perfectly with their brand mission and has helped grow their online community. Due to the longevity of the campaign and community it has created, the Opt Outside campaign helps increase REI sales year-round.

Another company using the Anti-Black Friday approach is the skincare company Deciem. In 2019, closed their stores and blacked out their website to protest the hyper consumerism focused Black Friday. Instead, their holiday campaign focused on “shopping slow.” For the entire month of November, every product was on sale. The longer, inclusive sale increased sales and helped reinforce their brand ideals with their customers.

Deciem 2019

#2 Highlight Your Mission

Many companies use Black Friday as an opportunity to show their customers what their brand ideals are. Donating to charities is a popular way. For example, Patagonia is known for alternative Black Friday campaigns but one especially effective one was 2016. They pledged to donate all their Black Friday sales to grassroot organizations that aligned with their brand goals. The campaign ended up generating $10 million in sales, over 5xs their goal!

Patagonia 2016

The fashion company Kotn did something similar. Instead of sales, they promoted that they were going to donate Black Friday weekend profits to a charity that builds schools in Egypt, where the cotton used in their products is grown.  

Kotn 2016

#3 Make it an event

A great example of this is MeUndies’ 2016 campaign. They promoted a Facebook live event for Black Friday. As more people joined, they unlocked more discounts and promotions. The event ended up with over 13,000 viewers and had a conversion rate of over 25%, which is 13x more than their average!

All of these brands used a day usually clogged with advertising to redirect their customer’s focus. They reminded people of their band mission and goals and helped strength their connection to their customers. What fun ways have you seen company handle Black Friday?


Can you use Geo-Fencing?

We often focus on how to optimize your website and other online presences. There are also many real-world ways to generate online traffic, such as geofencing. What is geofencing? And how can you use it grow your business?

Simply put, geofencing is virtual fence around a location. You can draw out this fence around any area that you think has potential customers. For example, you can geofence your brick and mortar store. You could also put a geofence around your direct competitor’s locations.  

For example, here is a Geofence around our office. If you used this geofence for ad targeting, all of the people who entered our building would get the ad.

What happens after someone enters your fence? You can target that device with an ad, relevant deal, or offer. You can use geofencing to pull people into a location they are already close to. This works great for personal and localized content.

Geofencing is also great for retargeting. We are used to retargeting people who visiting our websites so it makes sense that we would also retarget people who visited us in person. This can increase returning customers and brand awareness.

Does geofencing work? YES! According to a survey done by OuterBox Design, more than 80% of surveyed shoppers said that they used their phones while in physical stores to look for products or to compare prices. That’s a lot of possible people to target! Also, campaigns that incorporate geofencing often show much higher click through rates and engagements.

What locations would you like to geofence?


How Can Data Help Multichannel Marketing?

Quality data and the proper interpretation is the foundation for any campaign. Especially for campaigns using more than one more channel. Customers now want personalized messages and interaction in the channel of their choice. The only way to do that successfully is have ongoing campaigns, spread out of many channels. How can data help?

Step one for any campaign is to know your customer. Dig through all your first party customer data to create personas of your target customers. Knowing about your customers will help you figure out what channel they will mostly like to engage through.

It is helpful to give your customers and potentials multiple touch point options. Encourage your customer to sign up for emails, interact on social media, and any other engagement options. The more data you have on your customers, such as email, phone, social accounts, and their address the easier it will be to engage in a way that reaches them.  

Next, you can collect data and analytics about your customers from the channels you are using to constantly to learn more about your demographics and your customer’s buying habits. The more channels you use the easier it will be to learn about your customer.

Knowing what channels your customers prefer can save you money. For example, there’s no point in sending your target audience direct mail if you know that’s not a channel that works for them. Therefore, collecting data about your customers can help you lower your CPA and give your faster ROIs.

How are you using data to inform your multichannel campaigns?

Want to learn more about how customer data can help your business grow?