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Our industry is ever-changing. Get insights and perspective from our experts as we share our knowledge and experience on how to successfully navigate the marketing landscape.

Sara Whiteleather, AMP Agency VP of Media, Speaks on Global Digital Ad Spending in Latest eMarketer Report

Our own Sara Whiteleather, VP of Media, was recently interviewed for eMarketer's latest report on Global Digital Ad Spending by Jasmine Enberg. The report details fascinating findings, like the fact that for the first time, digital will account for >50% of total global media ad spending. Sara spoke with Jasmine in depth about the shifting media landscape and AMP Agency’s focus on driving greater efficiency and a stronger customer experience through the convergence of digital and traditional channels. In the report, Sara shares, “Brands are continuing to break down the traditional marketing silos and think about customer experience first and foremost. That applies to traditional vs. digital and paid vs. owned. They’re thinking holistically about how to reach consumers across all the different touchpoints in the full marketing ecosystem.” Check out the full report from eMarketer here: https://www.emarketer.com/content/us-digital-ad-spending-2019

What to Do When Your Brand Can't Exactly 'Pay-to-Play' on Facebook

As social media marketers, we've heard that Facebook is undoubtedly moving towards a 'pay-to-play' model for businesses. But what exactly does that mean? And what exactly does that mean for your brand? It means that Facebook has changed its algorithm to limit the reach of organic content posted by brand pages in an effort to encourage businesses to invest media dollars in paid Facebook advertising and post promotion. Facebook is going head to head in competition with Google to lead in online advertising revenue, which means we can only expect organic reach on the platform to continue to decline as this initiative evolves. That said, the reality is that not every brand has the room in their budget to invest in media dollars on Facebook. So, how do you break through the barriers of this potentially threatening algorithm change with your organic content? Be Real Approximately 63% of consumers say that they are highly annoyed with repeated, generic advertising messages. For Millennials, that percentage is higher. As a result, consumers crave authentic communication and transparent relationships with the brands they love or are interested it. Establish a human voice with your Facebook content. Use the language that your audience uses and responds to. This approach will help you break through the clutter of other annoying posts pushed out by brands who haven't gotten the memo yet and will help you more easily engage in a two-way conversation with your audience. Jump on Real Time Moments Similarly to being real, be relevant. One of the best ways to gain traction with your organic content is to join conversations about viral internet topics that your audience is already discussing and searching on Facebook. When it makes sense, act fast and find ways to naturally insert your brand into these conversations in a fun and interesting manner. When you do this, be sure to use the most popular hashtags and key phrases that your audience is using. Creating real time content shows that you're actively engaged in the Facebook community and culturally relevant conversations, as opposed to simply pumping out evergreen content on a predetermined schedule. Not only will your reach exponentially increase, your audience will appreciate it'leaving them wanting more. It's proven to ring true with our own social media work at AMP Agency. Here are some great examples of other marketers and brands that get it. Like the time that Twix lit a fire under #TheDress debate: And when Arby's asked Pharrell for their hat back during the GRAMMYs: Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs ' Arby's (@Arbys) January 27, 2014 Let's not forget about the time Oreo saved the day during the Super Bowl XLVII power outage: Power out? No problem. pic.twitter.com/dnQ7pOgC ' Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013 Shares, shares, shares When you're relying on organic reach, shares are your best friend. A share extends beyond a like, not only in the expanded reach potential it holds, but also in what it says about the way your audience is engaging with your content. When someone shares your content, they are really saying 'I enjoy or related to this post so much that I wish I had made it myself. I want everyone else to see it and enjoy it as much as I did.'Your ability to relate to your audience is key here. For example When Bud Light read their audience's mind: Or when Forever 21 shared #WordsofWisdom with their millennial audience, 75% of which would like to travel abroad as much as possible: Designing 'sharable'? content is where you'll need to think very critically about the psychographic profile of your target audience. Think to yourself, 'Is this message something that a member of my target audience would actually feel, say, or think themselves and want to share with their friends?'? Also don't forget to ask, 'Does it tie into my brand's core messaging in some way?' It's important not to lose your brand essence or voice in trying to be relatable or funny to gain shares. Use Video Content As Facebook continues to compete with Google owned YouTube to be the number one video uploading and viewing platform, native video content on Facebook has proven to reach nearly double the amount of people that images do, with 65% of that video content being viewed on mobile. Use this to your advantage! Create short, simple yet interesting video content that will engage your audience and let Facebook's video-favoring algorithm do the rest. source: http://www.beet.tv/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Slide09.jpg Next Steps Now, when planning future budgets, should paid social media get a piece of the pie? Yes, absolutely. But in the meantime, you can experiment with these approaches to optimizing your organic content on Facebook to stay afloat in a 'pay-to-play' world. Your turn: What other strategies have you found to be successful?

Get 'Gramming

As a user, I see Instagramming as a true art form. I love how the social platform allows users to display snippets of everyday life in a unique and artistic way. Scrolling through my newsfeed brightens my day, as I get to peek into the beautiful little moments that those I follow are experiencing. With such emotional pull, it's no wonder that marketers and advertisers are instinctively drawn to Instagram. The platform offers an array of opportunity for brand promotion and consumer engagement. Further, due to Instagram's social nature, it's also a great tool to use for real-time marketing and campaigns. So, with all of its branding glory, why do marketers and advertisers still struggle to use Instagram effectively? The conundrum lies in a few areas: Everything's Manual: Instagram offers no APIs to schedule or monitor posts. Although marketers can use APIs to receive hashtag and location parameters, there's still nothing akin to HootSuite or Facebook's scheduling feature on the app. Their New Native Ads are Risky: With the limited launch of Instagram's advertising program (with companies including Ben and Jerry's and Levi's), it's still unclear how users will receive these in-stream ads. The ads are disruptive and, within an app that can be deeply personal and connective, could dissuade users if not done correctly. Hard to Connect: It can be markedly difficult for brands to gain followers and interest on Instagram. If a brand lacks unique content, consistency, and/or fluency in Instagram tagging, an Instagram account can quickly become an afterthought in a brand's social arsenal. Even with these hang-ups, Instagram can still be a great social tool for brands to leverage. The platform is highly engaging, as it offers brands the chance to further cultivate their identity and integrate into users' everyday lives. But, with such barriers, how can marketers move forward? Here are a few Instagramming tips: Stay Consistent: Content and timing are key for Instagram success. To truly engage, brands need to actively post throughout the week. Brands also need to keep content aesthetically consistent and appealing. Make it Special: Simply recycling content from Facebook or Twitter will not do. To truly engage users on Instagram, brands need to actually spend time creating content unique for the platform. Thankfully, Instagram is a simple app in nature, so once themes are in place, feeds can easily be filled with meaningful and unique images. Remember the Point: Let's face it. We all want to see pretty pictures at the end of the day, and brands need to keep this in mind when 'gramming. Posting bland product shots or boring office photos just for the sake of content won't engage a consumer. Overall, the best Instagram accounts offer unique images that capture special moments, big and small. There is no one formula for success; however, as with any successful campaign, brands need to first know their consumers, their brand story, and how these two things align. Then, brands can deliver consistent and thoughtful content that stays true to both of these points. When good branding and Instagram-savvy align, marketers can create meaningful connections that simply cannot be found on other social platforms. Have any tips for Instagram success? We'd love to hear! Share your comments.

Why Social Media Ads are like Dating

Being targeted with an ad on social media is a lot like meeting a potential suitor. It is very much about perfect compatibility. A brand can have intriguing and eye-catching content, but without the right targeting, the message is going to get lost in the sea of potential suitors vying for their attention. Engage in Interesting Conversation Just like someone may call a best friend to divulge details of a perfect date of conversation and craft beers, a user will gladly share content they find interesting with their social networks. Good marketers smear the lines between organic content, sponsored stories and promoted posts. A promoted, unpublished page post blocking up your newsfeed with a boring call to action and a lackluster image is like spending two hours with Mr. Know It All or Sally 'Like' is the only word in my vocabulary. It's important to keep the advertising buyers close to the content creators to ensure the most interesting content is shared. Pay Attention to What He/She Likes Why keep repeating the old dating patterns that have left you single in the first place? I'm talking about the disruptive space fillers and low hanging fruit. Instead, leverage content that has already resonated with your fan base to attract new suitors. Then, your efforts will stay focused on the quality of the content and start of the relationship rather than the quantity produced (unless quantity is your modus operandi). The advantage of social advertising is the ability to select highly targeted audiences and share with them relevant content based on their lifestyle and precise interests. So, be selective (or picky) and execute multiple campaigns. Bring her roses if she likes roses or daisies if she likes daises. Again, Be Interesting. Social media advertising should be a layer to your existing content strategy. A distribution channel that works in two directions ' pushing content out and channeling potential customers on those networks back onto the site, ideally that houses other intriguing content. Do not fill the air space with noise, especially if you want the person to ask for a second date. Answer the question 'Do I have a story worth telling?'? When you answer 'yes' to this question, social media advertising becomes easier and that single ad engagement can be the start of a loyal and engaged customer. And, do not be afraid to ask a friend to put in a good word for you. Sponsored stories convert users into an ad shown to their friends. It says 'you can trust me before you know me'. Not all brands will be able to scale content worth sharing, and some may be able to produce but not quickly. Brands that are able to do both of these will garner the results of a content focused, social media second strategy. This leads to the perfect marriage (yes, this has come full circle).

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