Marketing That Connects with Younger Audiences in Three Letters

Get connected with your target market through the power of reaction GIFs and a motion graphics design company to carry your voice in a new dimension.

Here’s one rule about online communication: Over time, it will always trend toward the simplest and least work-intensive mode possible. That’s why reaction GIFs have supplanted witty one-liners as the Internet’s retort of choice. For brands seeking to update their marketing efforts with a fresher look (perhaps by hiring a motion graphics design company) it also represents a big opportunity.

Why GIFs and motion graphics connect with today’s audiences

Just in case you’ve been on a multi-year social media detox, let’s take a moment to explain how GIFs work. If you’ve ever been on Twitter or another social media platform and witnessed someone reply to a questionable comment with a looping video clip of someone else doing an astonished double-take, you’ve seen a reaction GIF in action.

GIFs (short for Graphics Interchange Format) have become a dominant mode of expression in social media settings, text applications, and other mediums. The reason is simple: With virtually no effort, you can express a complex (and often quite amusing) message.

In a development that should surprise exactly no one, younger people are especially fond of GIFs. In a Time magazine survey, a full two-thirds of millennials claimed that GIFs represent their feelings and thoughts better than written communication.

While that is undoubtedly a major blow for idealistic English teachers across the globe, it’s also an opportunity for savvy marketers.

Let’s face it: Marketers have been told ad nauseam that appealing to millennials and Generation Z is imperative. And that’s true — there’s no arguing with demographics. Yet despite this urgent task, brands haven’t always covered themselves in glory when it comes to targeting millennials. Even an otherwise sharp outfit like Google stumbled while negotiating this tricky terrain.

The search giant created a report advising other businesses on appealing to millennials. This report, hilariously titled “It’s Lit,” featured a design that made it look like an especially flashy Macy’s catalog. Inside things were even direr — Google’s Millennial Research Team maintained that Gen Z members think that Chick-fil-A is the world’s “coolest brand” — ranking higher than famously ultra-cool brands like Vice and Supreme. Much media derision, of course, ensued.

So how can a business with fewer resources than Google negotiate this millennial minefield?

Through partnering with a motion graphic design company. And GIFs, of course.

Integrating GIFs into your marketing

GIFs have value because they allow brands to transmit their messages in what is essentially the lingua franca of the youth Internet. Brands that can deploy GIFs in a clever manner will seem more relatable.

GIFs have the benefit of being simple to use and hard to misuse. Younger audiences may scorn a business using “It’s lit” non-ironically, but they won’t think twice about a clever GIF deployed via social media marketing.

Young people aren’t the only market to target, of course, GIFs can be used to entice customers within marketing messages. Blue Apron uses GIFs in its email marketing campaigns to show consumers the delicious meals they could be making. GIFs can be used in digital ads or integrated into blog posts as instructional elements. They have far more utility than simply being deployed as a witty rejoinder in a social media conversation.

Working with a motion graphics design company can help brands optimize their GIF strategy. The right company can help a brand derive maximum value from a small — but powerful — visual message.

The takeaway

At BIGEYE, we like a great reaction GIF — but we love helping brands develop exceptional marketing campaigns featuring motion graphics. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

What is OpenAP and how it can help you reach your target market

For several years, we’ve been reticent to encourage clients to invest big bucks in television ads because the audience simply isn’t narrow enough to make the return on investment — which is often quite low after you factor in production overhead and distribution costs — worthwhile. While television was once a premium medium for advertisers thanks to high levels of viewer engagement, we have seen a sharp decline in effectiveness because viewers can easily tune out commercials when content isn’t relevant to them by turning their attention to their mobile phones, tablets, or laptops. For the digital marketer, this was an opportunity to prove why relevant and timely content is so important … and cash in along the way. For media distributors, it was nearly a death sentence.
The good news is that many major television companies have been aware of this issue and actively seeking ways to revitalize one of the most hallowed marketing channels in history. This spring, Viacom, Fox Networks Group, and Time Warner Cable finally came up with a viable solution. Instead of banking on the few big-ticket commercial opportunities to keep their coffers afloat (think: multi-million dollar placements during the Super Bowl), they have banned together to help small- and medium-sized businesses affordably reach their target audience.

Together, they launched, “OpenAP” – a new data platform that aggregates information from a variety of providers so advertisers can securely and collaboratively place ads within desirable demographics. Think: first-time home buyers, urban couples, pet owners, and more. Executive Vice President of Data Strategy for Viacom, Bryson Gordon explained the vision to Media Village in a recent interview: “It’s about the secure sharing of those consistent audience segments across publishers.  The advertiser or the agency will be able decide who can see the segment and how it gets shared with the publisher before activating it across their inventory.  It also gives the individual networks the independence to use their own proprietary datasets in conjunction with industry accepted measurement services, such as Nielsen and comScore.”

His vision is important for two main reasons.

First and foremost, it makes television advertising relevant again. For example, CNN historically runs advertisements focused on Baby Boomers because this generation comprises the majority of their viewership. Young professionals watching the news while getting ready for work yawn through advertisements for retirement planning, bladder control medication, and 55+ residential communities. The network’s blanket approach to advertising makes it easy for one of the most valuable, growing sources of disposable income in the market to simply tune out. OpenAP makes it possible to tailor these ads so Baby Boomers still enjoy relevant content, without alienating new or emerging demographics. Targeted content for targeted segments finally makes television advertising relevant for the individual, not the majority.

Second, because networks can merge their own data with shared data and link to other measurement tools, television ads will be measurable in a new and important way. Because advertisers previously had to rely on the “spray and pray” model when exposing content on television, it was hard to quantify how effective an advertisement really was because only a fraction of viewers might actually represent qualified leads. By limiting exposure and tracking performance, planning and measurement will naturally improve.

This is one of the first exciting breakthroughs the television ad space has seen in years, and it perfectly complements our belief that the future of customer-centric marketing hinges on a robust and choiceful cross-channel marketing approach. We’re excited to see TV getting back in the game and are here to help you craft your first segmented, trackable television ad. Get in touch with our media and strategy teams to learn more!

What you should know about Snapchat advertising and teens

I won’t lie: I wasn’t an early adopter of Snapchat when the disappearing-photo app first arrived on the scene. Call me a smidge shallow, but my rationale was always that if I’m going to take the time to capture a picture of my oh-so-perfectly arranged lunch in lighting so undeniably”#nofilter needed” good, then I’d like to at least think that I’ll score a few “likes” out of the deal.  But with Snapchat, I find myself a bit perplexed. I mean, what’s with all this “disappearing” photo business? Where’s the recognition for my impressive food photography skills, and how on earth will my glorious meal live on in infamy?
Slowly, (and after receiving plenty of Snapchats from friends), I came around to adopt the idea. I figured, what the heck- it’s catching on, so there must be something behind the phenomenon. Stories I’ve heard repeatedly speak to it’s benefits, and I’m not the only one getting in on the Snapchat game. In fact, the app has topped 100 million monthly users. And as large of an audience as that is, you may be surprised to discover that national brands are willing to shell out $750,000 a day (!!) on disappearing ads featured in the “Recent Updates” section. Seriously. Over half a million big ones for ads that only last for 24 hours? That’s mind blowing.

…Or is it?

[quote] The reasoning behind Snapchat’s high price tag for advertising is that it’s not merely reaching a sizable audience — it just so happens to be the largest audience –  made up of the most challenging demographic for advertisers to reach effectively: teens and tweens. [/quote] As young adults move away from Facebook, and toward picture and video-heavy social media formats like Vine and Instagram, Snapchat makes a excellent case for the logic behind a heightened minimum cost per ad. In addition, it’s immediate, and since users are required to click directly on these ads to view them, there are some pretty strong opportunities for engagement. On the other hand, there are no analytics for advertising on Snapchat like we find on  Facebook, which understandably leaves plenty of brands a bit leery at the prospect of paying such a high cost without numerical data to effectively back it up. Brands such as McDonald’s are currently reaping the rewards of Snapchat advertising (even without the analytics support), and other companies – such as HBO, Nars, Macy’s, and even the New Orleans Saints – are following suit by using the app. While not all companies have the budget required to shell out a pretty penny per ad, there is always an opportunity to reach the teen audience organically as a low-to-no-cost alternative. This method may not have nearly as much reach, but it does include limited analytics (you have the opportunity to view who has seen your post – although often only during the specified 24 hour time period in which your ad appeared).

Personally, I’m not surprised that brands are forking over that kind of dough (pun absolutely intended when thinking back to my photogenic lunch) to advertise on Snapchat. If all the kids are doing it, it’s only a matter of time until companies are following suit. The question now is, “Is it there long-term value?”

Looking for some digital know-how, or have questions regarding how to best enhance your brand’s presence via social media advertising? The team of experts at our Florida digital marketing agency stands ready to provide ongoing support and strategic direction – advice we promise will last longer than your most recent Snapchat. Contact us today to start the conversation!

For the love (of everything Valentine’s Day marketing)

Ah, Valentine’s Day. It brings to mind candlelit dinners, flowers sent to the office, and eating entirely too much chocolate. For some, it might even rehash haunting memories of good ol’ Johnny from third grade who gave his handmade valentine to Sarah – while going steady with you.
But as it turns out, most of the world isn’t jaded from mourning relationships of grade-school’s past; Valentine’s Day marketing should account for spending expected to reach $18.9 billion this year, up from $17.3 billion in 2014, according to the National Retail Foundation. To break it down: $1.7 billion will be spent on candy; $3.6 billion on a special meal or date; $4.8 billion toward jewelry; $2 billion on clothing; and $2.1 billion for flowers. Oh, and let us not forget the ever-popular, last-minute present: the gift card (at $1.5 billion). These numbers are significantly higher than 2014, ensuring a pretty stellar start for 2015 holiday spending. In fact, nine out of ten consumers expect to spend money on their spouse this February 14th – (leaving us to deduce that one out of those ten consumers apparently likes sleeping on the couch.)

For curiosity’s sake, just how much of an affect does advertising truly have on Valentine’s Day spending? The biggest trends in 2015 V-Day marketing seem to be the use of promotions, interactive marketing, and naturally, those familiar “I’m not crying, there’s just something in my eye!” television commercials. (I know you don’t want to admit that you had to reapply your mascara after viewing another lovey-dovey ad, right?)

If you haven’t already noticed, brands are getting extra cute – and especially creative – this season. McDonald’s announced February 2nd that their stores would be accepting an alternative form of payment now through Valentine’s Day: hugs! You’ll have to be chosen by the cashier, though, so we suggest batting a few eyelashes and perfecting that “James Dean-esque” wink to be one of the “chosen few.”

While Valentine’s Day is typically celebrated by couples (some of my friends choose to celebrate February 15th: the day holiday candy goes on sale), dating site Match.com and Starbucks are making it even easier for singles to couple up at the coffee shop. Match’s mobile app now includes a section entitled, “Meet at Starbucks,” where users can click a call-to-action button, and email one another to arrange a coffee date. So, what was the impetus for this nifty idea? Well, it was sparked by none other than the 3 million members who use coffee-related keywords to describe themselves. Additionally, Starbucks will be offering a few special coffee and pastry deals (such as a cookie and raspberry mocha – for the bargain price of $5) in conjunction with their “World’s Largest Starbucks Date” event.

Of course, our list of prime Valentine’s Day ads that convey the power of the holiday wouldn’t be complete without your quintessential Hallmark tearjerker. The greeting card company’s campaign, “Put Your Heart to Paper” features real-life couples describing their feelings without speaking the word “love.” The goal of the campaign is “to celebrate all types of relationships and the type of things anyone would appreciate hearing on Valentine’s Day.” Hard not to let that line of love notes tug on your proverbial heartstrings.

So, what does Valentine’s Day marketing mean to you as a consumer? Are you driven to purchase items for your sweetie solely based upon your reaction to a specific ad’s sentimental messaging? [quote] Does “warm and fuzzy” content – be it print, video, or otherwise, have an impact on your spending habits on this “most loved” of holidays? [/quote]

And, if you’re looking for creative ways for your business to reach a targeted and highly-responsive audience of consumers, contact the experts at our Florida advertising agency today. We’re perfectly positioned to help you develop a strategy that will generate an uptick in brand awareness and engagement that you’re certain to love. After all, who doesn’t “heart” a well-executed campaign?

Steps to Defining A Competitive Advantage In Your Market

When operating in a highly saturated market, it is especially important for a business to have a competitive advantage that sets the company apart from the others. Finding that one thing that makes a business unique involves being innovative and thinking strategically about an industry. For example, Coca-Cola operates in the soda market with PepsiCo, but many customers choose to buy a Coke because of its perceived value.

In the business world, strategy is all about creating and implementing a competitive advantage that is unique, profitable, and sustainable. The goal is to provide direction that allows your business to perform in a way that is superior to your competitors. And while it may be easy to develop a strategy, it isn’t easy to develop a successful strategy… Here at BIGEYE, our marketing solutions are rooted in strategy to ensure that our clients see superior financial results.

[quote]Check out how BIGEYE applied these steps to give Ability Wood Flooring a competitive edge within their market.[/quote]

Is your competitive advantage unique? If not, maybe it’s time to rethink it. Here are the two fundamental steps to finding your business’s true competitive advantage.

  1. Have a complete understanding of your business environment or landscape. This includes defining the forces that shape competition, the key players in your market, the drivers of your industry’s future, and where your firm interacts in the industry.
  2. Next, choose where to compete. How will your business position itself? Evaluate the industry using Michael Porter’s “Five Forces Framework” as a tool to choose your positioning. The positioning should speak to the value perceived by your target market.

These two steps should result in finding a competitive advantage that results in customers choosing your firm over competitors. Does your business need assistance in implementing strategic marketing processes that result in financial returns? Let our team of creative minds and strategic thinkers help! Contact us today and let’s get started.

Source: Casadesus-Masanell, Ramon. September 4, 2014. “Introduction to Strategy”. Retrieved from Harvard Business School.

How to Maximize Budgets with Website Testing Tools

If you’ve been working in marketing for a while, you probably understand the importance of testing, at least on a theoretical level. When it comes to all things digital, website testing can help you optimize all your processes. But in the real world, when is there ever time to test? Unfortunately, failing to test means you’re relying on blind chance that your marketing plan will work. By failing to take the time to test your strategy in order to improve it, you could be costing your company tons of time and resources.

At our Orlando marketing agency, we believe testing is one of the most important aspects of marketing, yet I see many marketers that allocate only a fraction of their budgeted resources to testing. If you’re not testing your marketing strategies, then you are missing out on chances to greatly optimize and improve your marketing and advertising activities.

If you haven’t already, I implore you to sign your business up for Google Analytics. It is incredibly easy to sign up for Google Analytics, and companies that have not already implemented this data are at a disadvantage in understanding their audiences, user activities and the effectiveness of their marketing strategy. Then, start changing things on your websites to see if you can notice improvements. Does simply changing the verbiage of a call to action increase your site’s conversion rate? You’ll never know unless you test!

Engagement metrics such as pages-per-visit, time on page and micro-conversions are great for measuring your whether people are investing their time and energy into your content strategy. Setting up goals is a great way to help track what you’re doing. This can be an email metric, an actual financial conversion or filling out a lead form. And, if you aren’t seeing results, then try making minor adjustments to the site content to see what helps.[quote]Sometimes something as simple as changing the color of a call to action button on a landing page can help to increase clicks.[/quote]

Facebook also shares data about the demographics of your users, and by pulling out the demographic data from Facebook it becomes easier to design a comprehensive content strategy. Sharing metrics can also help gage the effectiveness of individual pieces of content. Compare something humorous to something simply informative. Do you see a difference in response? If so, then perhaps you’re learning that your readers’tastes, and knowing what resonates with your audience can help improve your conversions over time.

You can also help boost the reach of your content by investing in your content marketing. Promoted tweets and sponsored stories are great ways to amplify your efforts. Extremely focused keywords can be very cheap, leading to a very cheep per-visit rate. These stories should be interesting, rather than self-promotional. As much as possible, it should seem thoughtful and organic. Test these by trying variations of different posts, and see which ones maximize results. Most platforms that offer promoted options also offer analytics to help review the effectiveness of your paid media.

In testing the effectiveness of your marketing, marketers should also plan to invest in A/B testing. A/B testing involves replicating the exact same test, with a single variable that looks different to different audiences. Ideally, it works best to try only one variable at a time, but we know that in the fast-paced world of marketing, that’s not always possible. Still, any insights you glean from A/B testing can help validate ideas about how your audience reacts to different messaging and imagery. One of the easiest places to start A/B testing is with email marketing. MailChimp.com and ConstantContact.com both make A/B testing easy.

Failure to test can cost companies thousands of dollars per year. By making sure you content is optimized for your audience, you can persuade even more people to use your product or invest in your service. At our averting agency in Orlando, we believe that if you want to be the best, you have to test! The resources it takes to test early on can help save your company money in the long-term.

BIGEYE offers a plethora of website testing services including website conversion optimization where we can help you to establish goals, launch A/B testing, deliver monthly reporting and analysis and more. Contact us today to get started!