1. Social Media: Under Armour’s “I Will What I Want” Campaign
Under Armour came up with the hashtag “I Will What I Want” to encourage powerful athletic women to achieve their dreams despite any opposition they might face. The hashtag, first used by American Ballet Theatre ballerina soloist Misty Copeland, blew up on Facebook after supermodel Gisele Bündchen used it in one of her Facebook posts. Many other female athletes have also used the hashtag.
The campaign spreads a positive message of female empowerment, while also highlighting Under Armour’s women apparel. The campaign reached five billion media impressions, increased Under Armour’s women’s sales by 28 percent, and pulled in an additional 42 percent of traffic to their website.
Image courtesy of Giselle Bündchen’s Facebook account.
2. Email: JetBlue
Companies often use email marketing to re-engage past customers, but a “Where’d You Go? Want To Buy This?” message can come across as aggressive, and you want to be careful with your wording to cultivate a long-term email subscriber. This is why JetBlue’s one year re-engagement email works so well — it uses humor to convey a sense of friendliness and fun, while simultaneously reminding an old email subscriber they might want to check out some of JetBlue’s new flight deals.
3. Social Media: Disney and Make-A-Wish’s “Share Your Ears” Campaign
Disney and Make-A-Wish, long standing partners, created a #ShareYourEars campaign to raise money for the Make-A-Wish foundation — every time someone posted a picture on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag, Disney would donate five dollars.
Disney initially stated they wouldn’t exceed one million in donations, but ended up donating two million after the campaign blew up. #ShareYourEars campaign garnered 420 million social media impressions, and increased Make-A-Wish’s social media reach by 330%. The campaign is a powerful example of using an internet marketing strategy for a good cause. #ShareYourEars raised brand awareness, cultivated a connected online community, and positively affected Disney’s brand image.
Image courtesy of ABC7 News.
4. SEO: Moz’s case study for Pipedrive, a sales CRM
Using a content marketing strategy that included content creation, outreach, and guest posting, Pipedrive, a sales CRM, was able to rank #1 for a high-volume keyword — “sales management” (9,900 search volume). They were able to outrank SalesManagement.org, InsightSquared, and even US News and Wikipedia. They published their strategy on Moz.
Image courtesy of Moz.
5. SEO: Brian Dean’s YouTube strategy
Brian Dean, an SEO expert and the creator of BackLinko, uses SEO tactics to rank #1 on YouTube for keywords like “on page SEO” and “video SEO”. Initially, Dean admits his YouTube account struggled to get any views. Employing SEO methods like keyword optimization has enabled Dean to rise to #1 on YouTube for search results related to his business. He published his full strategy on Backlinko.
6. Web Design: DisabledGO
DisabledGO, an information provider for people with disabilities in the UK and Ireland, hired Agency51 to implement an SEO migration strategy to move DisabledGO from an old platform to a new one. By applying 301 redirects to old URLS, transferring metadata, setting up Google webmaster tools, and creating a new sitemap, Agency 51 was able to successfully transfer DisabledGO to a new platform while keeping their previous SEO power alive. Additionally, they were able to boost visitor numbers by 21% year over year, and the site restructuring allowed DisabledGO to rank higher than competitors. Their case study is available on SingleGrain.com.
According to the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), social media spending will account for almost 20% of marketing budgets in the next 5 years.
Social is an important part of every business’s marketing strategy. It allows brands to connect authentically with their audience and provides a fun, informal outlet to let brand personality and character to shine through.
It’s also an ever-changing medium, and it’s important to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing trends and best practices.
Permanent vs. Ephemeral Content
Not all social media is created equal. Different content types and lengths perform better on Facebook than Twitter, and some platforms encourage hashtags while others don’t.
And now, in 2018, Instagram and Facebook Stories have created another new type of content: temporary. Instagram and Facebook Stories are photos and videos that live for 24 hours then disappear “forever”. (Not really … there’s an Instagram Archive where all your Stories reside after they expire. But you get the gist.)
Kelly Hendrickson, a social media marketer at Hubspot, says: “Ephemeral content versus permanent content is often dictated by the social platform, as well as by the audience’s behavior on the platform.”
Take Instagram, for example. “Stories are soaring in popularity, and the user behavior on Stories leans toward playful, low-fi, quick content with heavy use of features within the UX (gifs, boomerangs, polls, etc). Their fleeting design isn’t the only differentiating factor. Instagram Stories can be heavily edited, too, with filters, GIFs, colored text, and more. Because of these fun additions, brands have added a brand new strategy for producing and publishing ephemeral content that varies from their other social media content.”
Permanent content is a little different. “Instagram can organically serve up a wall post across a wide span of time, so there is less of an opportunity for brands to be timely (who wants to see New Year’s post when they’ve already given up on their resolutions?!). Since Instagram users are more active on weekdays, during the standard workday, it seems users are looking for a break! It’s critical to use your brand voice and point-of-view to find how you can serve your audience during that break. Should your presence be inspirational? Beautiful? Informative? Playful? Trendy? They all have a place on Instagram’s permanent wall, it just needs to match your brand’s message.”
What does this mean for your business? Instagram and Facebook stories are a chance to showcase a little more of your brand’s personality and flair. Kelly says, “The combo of a running clock and a lively audience is a huge opportunity for brands to lean into quick, in-the-moment content that showcases the more light-hearted elements of their brand. Succinctness and clarity are key in content.”
Don’t shy away from adding new content just because you haven’t done so before … it’ll expire in 24 hours, anyway! For more information on creating Instagram (and Facebook) Stories, read our guide here.
Influencers play a major role in modern marketing, but their influence isn’t limited to major celebrities and big brand names. Micro-influencers have found their niche in the social media world, too.
Micro-influencers are social media promoters that have smaller following, typically between 100,000 and 1 million. These folks might have a smaller follower base, but their posts pack more punch due to their engagement levels. Also, because they’re considered “average” and “everyday” people (unlike hard-to-reach celebrities), people view micro-influencers like friends and family — in that they’re more likely to trust their recommendations.
Rosie, known as The Londoner, is a popular travel and lifestyle influencer on Instagram. She only has 340,000 followers, but they’re fiercely loyal and engaged with her posts. The below image shows that: with almost 36,000 likes, Rosie is garnering almost 11% engagement.
Here’s another example: Non-celebrity beauty influencer @ling.kt only has 1.2 million followers … but it’s a much more dedicated, engaged follower base. In the below image, Ling mentions a brand partnership and receives over 103,000 likes — which is almost 10% engagement.
Micro-influencers are the future of influencer marketing. It’s tempting to look at the number of followers to determine how influential a user is, but the true influence lives in engagement rates. Micro-influencers deliver engagement (read: clicks, subscribes, and purchases), drive social buzz through more personal posts, and are much more cost effective.
What does this mean for your business? Don’t be swayed by high follower numbers. Instead, hop on Instagram and do some research on who’s active in your industry or niche. Search your brand hashtag and any generic hashtags related to your product or brand. A micro-influencers follower base might be small, but they’re loyal and interested in what that influencer has to say. Paying for a post or two will go a long way with those users.
Video as a marketing tactic isn’t a new idea, but its effectiveness and popularity have definitely skyrocketed in the last year. In fact, YouTube is the second most popular social network behind Facebook. Also, when both video and text are available on the same page, 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service.
The heightened impact of and interest in video means that the investment you put into video will pay off — literally. In the past, companies would create video and hope it reached and influenced its audience. Now, consumers and followers are literally begging for more video from their favorite organizations.
Alicia Collins and Megan Conley, video producers and editors at HubSpot, weigh in: “This [consumer behavior] also indicates that video can be used throughout all parts of the flywheel — not just as an asset for marketing. When incorporating video, businesses have historically used it as a means of introducing their brand and product or service offerings. But that’s not the case anymore. Video can be a valuable addition to both sales and customer service efforts.”
In the past, video was limited due to costly resources and production. Today, it’s much more accessible. With a lower cost barrier, video has become less intimidating to incorporate into your marketing efforts. You don’t have to hire a production team or marketing agency; all you need is a smartphone and editing software.
What does this mean for your business? Create video! Start at the bottom-of-the-funnel and create video assets for your sales and service representatives. “Video as a conversion asset versus a brand awareness asset is much more valuable and yields a higher ROI,” Alicia and Megan report.
More than half of consumers expect a response within 10 minutes to any marketing, sales, or customer service inquiry. How can this be humanly possible?
It’s not … for humans, anyway. Enter: Bots.
Bots are powered by a computer program that automates certain tasks, typically by chatting with a user through a conversational interface. Bots are made possible by artificial intelligence, which helps it to understand complex requests, personalize responses, and improve interactions over time.
Bots provide quick, easy solutions to problems — no matter how complex. No longer is the need for live chat or a literal one-to-one digital conversation. Bots provide the perception and dedication of a 1:1 service experience while working with hundreds of customers — something that no customer service representative or team would ever be able to do.
To the consumers who hate repeating themselves to multiple sales or service representatives (33%, to be exact), listen up. Chatbots are and will be making your lives much easier. If employed correctly, they manage conversations at scale and aggregate data from multiple sources of data — from calendars to knowledge bases to blog posts and videos.
What does mean for your business? Jon Dick, VP of Marketing at HubSpot, says: “It’s on you to make things as easy as possible. Your buyers want to use live chat? You should give it to them. They’ve had the same problem three times in the last month? You should already know, and have a plan to fix it.”
In general terms, artificial intelligence refers to a subset of computer science that teaches machines to do things that would require intelligence if done by a human. Think of tasks like learning, seeing, talking, socializing, reasoning, or problem-solving. When completed by computers, they’re considered AI.
AI has completely infiltrated our daily lives and tasks. When Spotify recommends a song, Facebook recognizes and tags a person, or you text a friend using Siri, you’re tapping into AI. As we utilize AI more and more (especially as consumers), marketers and businesses will need to respond.
The point of AI isn’t to replace humans or the need for a human touch. It’s to improve and expand our ability to connect with our audience and help them solve their problems quicker and more thoroughly. In fact, authenticity in marketing is more important than ever to consumers. AI is also incredibly helpful when collecting and analyzing data and making data-driven decisions.
What does this mean for your business? Research ways you can incorporate AI into your business and marketing operations — not only to better serve your consumers but to also make your life easier.
Brands make sound everywhere they are present. Any tone, voice, noise and racket that springs up from your form or function counts. For example, Harley Davidson motorbikes’ iconic engine roar or the rustling of a Doritos chips packet are, whether intended or not, sound advertisements that are included in their brand experiences.
Are your customers treated with music while waiting to get through to your service number? Does your company make frequent trade fair appearances or pop-up events? Does your website user interface make sounds to enhance the browsing experience? Or perhaps none of these? Even silence is a branding choice.
The entirety of a brand’s aural output forms a concept called audio identity, and yes, you have it, too.
Make strategic musical choices
Audio branding is more than just making approachable, nice-sounding music. It is an extensive strategy that objectifies music and voice to create guidelines for building the brand’s own sound. Similarly, to visual guidelines, an audio brand absorbs a strategical and cohesive approach to representing the values, mission and reason for a company’s existence. This creates a visual interpretation, the mental image about the brand.
Since we experience brands with multiple senses, it makes sense to include sound into consideration as well. When your brand is present, which notation, key, instrumentation, tone or frequency rings your audiences’ bells?
Give your audio theme a facelift
Selecting branding theme music doesn’t mean you are doomed to being a one-hit wonder. Visual brand campaigns, for instance, are rarely 100 percent identical since fonts, colors and features are bound to evolve. Even though the appearance undergoes facelifts, the end result still embodies “our brand.”
An effective audio strategy plays along these notes, as the audio theme also has to survive the ravages of time and consumption. Instead of sticking to the same earworm on every touchpoint or campaign, cultivating the song helps the audio brand become timeless yet allows for variation in the musical context. For instance, the McDonalds audio logo has appeared in various styles without losing the company’s audio identity.
Start from objective
Interpreting brand attributes into music and sound can be tricky since music is a subjective experience. Some people enjoy acoustic singer/songwriter warmth while others connect emotionally to pompous, upbeat pop tunes. It’s understandable that the range of individual preferences can throw a wrench in the works of any decision-making process.
Audio branding strives to remove the difficulty of choice by objectifying sound, music and voice and aligning their use and placement to represent brand values. Once the original elements of a branded sound are there, personal preferences become relevant yet less contingent because the analyses have provided the crème de la crème to choose from. The only thing left for the decision makers is to choose the sweetest piece of the musical pie.
Fill this new world of audio friendly space
In the past, visual branding methods and guidelines have developed hand-in-hand with new and therefore necessary channels that have emerged with time. The last such instance occurred as the world shifted from under the domination of TV and print to the age of smartphones and online streaming. The appearance of new platforms, channels and mediums created a whole new void of visual content, which brands have since filled commendably.
Now the ball of yarn has started to unravel with audio, too, as Amazon’s Alexa and Echo, along with Google Assistant, are taking audio marketing to new, uncharted territories of unheard-of customer experiences. In fact, the current trajectory of technology is lavishing new voice- and sound-driven apps, devices and services at our feet on a daily basis.
We are living in a time where the growth of multisensory marketing with audio in the forefront is giving the visual world a run for its money. As audio is liberating us from staring at screens, it is becoming an integral part of our daily life. Consequently, crafting an audio strategy will be the key to better interacting with customers in the coming future.