Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Newly Released: Facebook At Work

Soon Facebook activity at work may actually be encouraged. 

Facebook has just released its newest product called "Facebook At Work", as reported by Tech Crunch the company is launching new iOS and Android apps along with a version of Facebook At Work accessible through their main site. The new product allows businesses to create their own social networks amongst their employees, designed to act and look like Facebook itself.

Facebook At Work was created to act as an "enterprise social network" competing directly with Microsoft's Yammer, Slack, Convo, Socialcast among others.

Initially aimed at companies with 100 or more employees, Facebook At Work allows staff to collaborate using the same familiar interface they use to connect with their social contacts. It allows employers to create separate log-ins to use with their work accounts, or users can link it to their personal profiles and have everything in one place.

However, as Lars Rasmussen the head of the Facebook project promises, "Even if the employee chooses to link, there is no crossover. The content stays entirely within your personal or work Facebook".

"We have found that using Facebook as a work tool makes our work day more efficient" stated Rasmussen, "You can get more stuff done with Facebook than any other tool that we know of, and we'd like to make that available to the whole world."

The product is still in its pilot stage and there are a lot of details that have not been released. Making us wonder what is the main use for this new product? Perhaps allowing employers to capitalize on what most employees are doing  anyways: Spending a lot of time at work on Facebook.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

7 Interactive Channels you must use NOW

Agencies are constantly embracing changes in web marketing in order to deliver ROI for their clients. Digital marketing offers plenty of opportunities to increase the profitability of a client's business from branding, search marketing, lead generation, email and social marketing. At a minimum your interactive campaign should deliver significant return in the following seven channels:

1. Display Advertising and Retargeting

Display advertising, often referred to as banners, are graphical advertising that appear next to content on web pages, IM applications, email etc. They come in standardized sizes and can include text, logos, pictures, or videos. Retargeting works by keeping track of people who visit your site and displaying your retargeting ads to them as they visit other sites online.

To create an effective display and retargeting campaign your agency should be able to select appropriate topics and interests and place inspiring visual and media that serves a specific call to action. Retargeting campaigns provide tremendous opportunities for branding and converting interested prospects by bringing them back to your site for a second look. Your agency should be able to serve targeted media to consumers based on their interests and behavior to get more out of paid search spend. Retargeting platforms like AdRoll, Criteo, MediaForge and Google Display Network should be part of your agency's toolkit.

2. Mobile Optimization

Long-gone are the days of mobile compatibility, we are slowly but surely becoming a mobile world. Nearly everyone is on their phone and smart phones have taken over the market to the point of saturation. It does not matter what your brand is or what it sells, but you can be sure that your audience is visiting your site on their mobile phones.

Responsive site design, that is a website that easily adapts to any screen wether it is a desktop, tablet or mobile phone, is the easiest way to stay on top of your game. An agency should be capable of delivering a website experience tailored specifically to the device being used to access the domain. There is no excuse for not having a mobile-optimized site experience, your website should be built on a content management system (CMS) to support responsive design.

3. Content Marketing & SEO

SEO focuses on finding the keywords utilized by consumers to find your products or services, your agency should be able to conduct deep research and discover the most commonly used language that your target audience uses in your industry. After the keywords have been found the next step is to optimize the information architecture of your site, this is done by integrating the keywords within the content of your website. In short SEO makes your site relevant.

Content marketing, on the other hand, makes your site become an authority. This is done by defining and creating compelling, creative, and potentially viral content that adheres to your core strategy. Content marketing has three main purposes, one is to expand the size of a domain by publishing new pages within a site's architecture, attracts backlinks  that are critical for SEO, and provides information to be shared on social media channels.

4. Email Marketing

Must be handled with precision or it becomes an annoying tool that drives customers away. However common it has become, it is still an essential tool in building a digital brand. When your agency designs an email marketing campaign, it should be created to provide a service to your users. Simply crying "buy my brand" creates the opposite intended effect. Your email campaigns should effectively engage your audience and their frequency should be carefully monitored so that it is always welcomed. Email marketing should be seen as a way to communicate, interact and offer service to your client, not a tool to push your offerings down your client's throats.

5. Conversion Rate Optimization

Testing and design are at the core of CRO. Continuous tests and methodical analysis of traffic flow must be done in order to improve conversions. The purpose of CRO is to effectively improving the capabilities of a website or a landing page to capture more leads and convert prospects into sales. Your agency should be able to understand where and why conversion is taking place on a domain, and then optimize the experience. Ultimately CRO should improve the quantity and quality of new business being captured digitally.

6. Social Media Marketing

Promoting relevant, valuable, and entertaining content through social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest is a top priority. This is a free channel that is effective for building brands, promoting products, engaging the public, driving sales and generating leads. Your agency should be able to provide customer support, promote exclusive offers/promotions, and facilitate the development of brand ambassadors who can ultimately emerge as champions for your brand.

7. Online Reputation Management 

Online conversation tend to degrade over time, it is part of human nature. Taking control and improving the quality of your brand's online identity is a top priority. Your agency should be constantly monitoring your reputation and quickly responding to reviews or criticism. A very important point is that you must be open to any conversation either positive or negative and use it to improve your product offering. Reputation management is all about creating a relationship of trust and an open forum for your consumers to voice their honest opinions.

Your agency should be able to take full advantage of interactive marketing and at a minimum implement all the strategies we have mentioned. Even if you are focusing all of your efforts on traditional media such as print or broadcast, your consumers will eventually find their way to your digital brand space. Arm yourself with the best team to make sure your brand is properly positioned and managed digitally.

To learn more about the latest in digital marketing contact us at 305.454.4106, or visit a full service advertising agency in Miami, FL. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Marketing Game Changers for 2015

Fellow Robot autonomous employee
Autonomous Robot Employee

If you thought 2014 was thrilling, here is a look at what we are most excited about for 2015. Our top 5 trends and technologies for 2015 in the marketing and advertising world:

1. Virtual Reality
Expect a lot more action on the virtual and augmented reality front. 2014 saw the $2B acquisition of Oculus Rift by Facebook. In 2015, we'll see action from companies like High Fidelity, Immersive 3D 360-degree cameras from Immersive Media, Jaunt, and Giroptic. There are also game changers like Magic Leap (in which Google just invested over $500 million) that are developing augmented reality images that are indistinguishable from real world objects, and are placing them in real world settings. Oculus Rift will be presenting its latest Crescent Bay prototype and how it will interact with hand-and-finger-tracking. Also, this year will see virtual reality in film where you will be able to "feel" what it would be for a human to fly through a full "flying" simulator. Are you feeling a shark coming out of a billboard vibe a-la-back to the future?

2. Mass-market robots
This babies are set to improve the customer service experience. The acquisition of Google of eight robotic companies in 2014 means that 2015 will see the introduction of consumer-friendly robots in a store near you. In a Lowe's store near you, you may soon be seeing autonomous "employees" called Oshbots roaming the floors and helping you find and order items in their store. 2015 will also see the robot Pepper hailing from Japan to enter US retail stores. Pepper uses an emotion engine and computer vision, to detect smiles, frowns, and surprise, and it uses speech recognition to sense the tone of voice and to detect certain words indicative of strong feelings, like "love" and "hate". Pepper then quantifies the person's overall emotion as positive or negative to help the store make a sale.

3. Data & Machine learning
2014 saw data and algorithm driven companies like Uber and AirBnb skyrocket. There is gold in your data. And data-driven companies are the most successful exponential organizations around. In 2015, data collection and mining that data will become more turn-key. Platfroms like Experfy, for example, allow you to find data scientists who will develop algorithms or machine learning solutions for your business/project. This means highly tailored and customized advertising which is set to reduce costs and become more effective.

4. Sensor Explosion
In 2015, expect "everything" to be "smart". The so-called internet of things means that a combination of sensors and wearables, increased connectivity, new manufacturing methods like 3D printing, and improved data mining capabilities will create a smart, connected world - where our objects, clothes, appliances, homes, streets, cars, etc. will be constantly communicating with one another. Among the many applications a device can automatically track how many calories you consume, and another device can even diagnose disease. This also means that marketers will gain a deeper understanding of their brand's audience, going beyond traditional demographics and segmentation to focus on individual people's interests and preferences. 2015 will be all about creating and delivering the right content, for the right person, at the right time, every time.

5. Millennials is the name of the game
Millennials are the independent generation, a generation of wolves, not sheep. Despite popular stereotypes of all millennials being lumped into a single demographic, in 2015, marketers will embrace their individuality. Using new technologies will make it easier to marketers to tailor content to individual cultural interests, location, price ranges and more. This ultra personalized approach will be the only way to achieve true loyalty for millennials.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments section.

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