What Brands Can Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Pivot your marketing strategy to handle coronavirus by producing digital content, airing television ads and OTT ads, and a communication strategy.

Shift focus from events to digital

On top of major events like NBA games and Coachella being cancelled or postponed indefinitely, conferences, expos, and trade shows have also been cancelled. According to a Demand Gen Report, 53% of B2B marketers say in-person events are the most effective channel for driving conversions, so many marketers are now searching for new channels to connect with target audiences. 

Google Cloud Next, Adobe Summit, Y Combinator Demo Day and more have opted for a digital-only approach. Although digital-only events do not offer the same traditional networking opportunities as in-person events, marketers can experiment with their event strategies to still capture those audiences. Consider these tactics: 

  • Produce digital content that can still influence your intended audience. Even though your company will not be able to interact with your audience in person, you can still reach them through digital channels. 
  • Target attendees with email campaigns or direct-mail. These channels provide the personal messaging that audiences look for while attending events. 
  • A/B test everything to measure the effectiveness of attending events in the future. You could find valuable insights from changing your strategy this year. 

Opportunity for television and OTT advertising

Social distancing and work from home mandates mean more people will be at home watching television and streaming content. Audiences are tuning in to reporting on the coronavirus pandemic and searching for ways to stay entertained while limiting contact with potentially affected areas. 

Although ad spending is projected to slump across the board, reallocating budget to television and OTT advertising could pay off. Many brands are cutting ad spend in preparation for lower sales projections, which means there could more inventory available. Between self-quarantines, cancelled events, and precautionary measures, potential consumers are on the couch in front of the television as a captive audience.

Communicate any service disruptions to the customer

In the event your supply chain is disrupted, you have to cancel your event, or any other major changes, clearly communicate to your consumers why your regular service may be affected. Your customer will understand if your company has to make changes in the current situation as long as you are clear on why the package is taking longer to arrive or you are issuing a refund. The last thing the consumer wants is to be left in the dark and without the proper information.

Dispel misinformation about your brand

Misinformation about COVID-19 is multiplying across all social media channels. In-depth social listening for mentions about your brand will help you monitor untrue information that could be harmful to many people. 

For example, some people are attempting to make their own hand sanitizer using Tito’s Handmade Vodka and aloe. However, the CDC recommends that hand sanitizer needs to contain at least 60% alcohol and Tito’s only has 40%. To stop this unsafe information from spreading, Tito’s is replying to all tweets with a statement disproving it and recommendations from the CDC. 

Don’t sacrifice safety for the bottom line

It’s hard to predict what kind of long-term impact coronavirus will have on our economy, but it’s important to keep acting with brand values in mind. At the end of the day, the safety of the public is the most important thing and companies should act accordingly.

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Video Marketing: Still As Important As Ever

As we pass over into a new decade, video marketing continues to produce exceptional results for businesses around the world.

In 2020, the overwhelming majority of industry authorities confirm that video marketing remains a key driver of advertising and branding efforts in the United States and around the world.

Now in its sixth year, the annual State of Video Marketing Survey by Wyzowl determined that 85 percent of businesses currently use video as a marketing tool. These results show a 24 percent increase from 2016 when Wyzowl first included this question on its survey.

Additionally, Wyzowl determined that 92 percent of marketers who use video call it “an important part of their marketing strategy.” Only 78 percent of surveyed marketing professionals agreed with this sentiment just five years ago.

Video is popular

Quoting figures from another longstanding annual marketing study by Promo.com, the independent online news source Grit Daily shows that the high value placed on video by marketers is fueled by a ravenous appetite for video among consumers.

Grit Daily reports that, in 2019, 36 percent of the public watched two to five videos per day and nearly half of all people watched more than five videos per day. An astonishing 10 percent said that they watch “too many videos to count.” Summing the situation up, Promo.com CEO Tom More cited booming consumer demand for the flood of video content that businesses are current creating.

What’s more, this trend is expected to continue into the near future. The digital technology company Cisco projects that global IP video traffic will account for 82 percent of all IP traffic by 2022, up considerably from just 75 percent in 2017. This represents a fourfold rise in total Internet video traffic over a period of five years.

What, exactly, makes video so popular among consumers? Here are just a few reasons for video’s rise to prominence and continuing success in the modern marketplace.

1. Video is versatile  

From traditional commercial spots to informative presentations and “how to” videos, there is nothing that moving pictures can’t do. Consumers turn to the video medium daily for a range of practical and not-so-practical concerns.

2. Video is engaging and easy to digest

It has held true since the Golden Age of Hollywood: when it comes to entertainment and relaxation, motion pictures just can’t be beat! Today, video gives viewers a welcome respite from the excess of textual information that seems to flow endlessly from every online website.

3. Video is accessible

Anyone with Internet access or a wireless data plan can easily get online to watch a video with a single click of the mouse or touch of the screen. And businesses can easily supply video content to their target audiences thanks to incredible advances in video technology, both at the professional and amateur levels.

Video is effective

For all of the reasons listed above and more, businesses are turning to video in increasing numbers. The State of Video Marketing Survey reports that, of the 99 percent of video marketers who will continue using video in 2020, 95 percent plan to increase or maintain their spend. Even more remarkable, among businesses that don’t currently use video, nearly three out of five plan to launch their first video marketing efforts in 2020.


The reason for this is simple. Video boosts your bottom line. 88 percent of video marketers report that video gives them a positive return on investment. This figure is quite striking in light of the fact that only 33 percent felt similarly in 2015.

Examining the effectiveness of video from the consumer’s point of view, Grit Daily reports that more than 60 percent of Internet users visit a publisher’s website after watching a video, confirming that video’s ability to drive online traffic is simply unparalleled. Furthermore, nearly 60 percent of people stated that they “sometimes” remember a brand after viewing a video, and approximately 13 percent of people stated that they “very often” remember brands after viewing a video.

Even better, video skews to a decidedly younger audience demographic, allowing businesses to reach consumers with disposable income who have proven exceedingly difficult to reach using traditional marketing channels and techniques. And thanks to modern digital analytics, the effectiveness of video marketing is amazingly easy to track and quantify.

To learn more

In light of the overwhelming importance of video marketing, wise companies will seek the guidance of a full-service marketing agency with considerable video expertise. Bigeye can answer any questions that you might have about everything from video planning and production to online video distribution and analytics.

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How to Find Success on Shopify

Shopify, one of the world’s fastest-growing e-commerce platforms, is growing at such a rapid rate that it’s projected to overtake eBay as the second-largest e-commerce platform in 2020, according to CNBC.

While that kind of growth offers massive opportunity for Shopify retailers, it’s also quickly becoming a much more competitive space. Shopify now has more than 1 million merchants active on its platform, all of whom are working to differentiate themselves and outsell the competition.

So what’s the secret to gaining more traction with your Shopify store? Let’s take a closer look at seven key tips for better Shopify store development.

1. Prioritize customer service — and outsource if necessary

E-commerce doesn’t have to mean minimal customer service. In fact, it was Jeff Bezos’ famous “customer obsession” that helped Amazon become a global heavyweight. Yet for most people operating Shopify businesses, dealing with customers is an enormous time suck. While keeping your clients happy is critical, most people simply lack the bandwidth for the task.

Instead, it makes sense to outsource customer service functions. The international call center business is booming, and you can find qualified customer service freelancers on just about any major Gig Economy marketplace. It’s important to ensure that the workers you contract with have first-class fluency in English. Adding live chat is another element that can really improve the customer experience.

2. Focus on the right design

Great design is crucial to the success of any Shopify site. This begins with choosing an appropriate theme. Find one that fits the look and feel of your brand or signature products. The right theme can have a dramatic impact on the visual atmosphere and overall user experience of your site.

While Shopify offers some free design templates, you can also choose to pay for some of the premium designs the company offers. Unsurprisingly, the premium templates tend to be more eye-catching, which can help your site stand out with a fresh look. In addition to the look and feel of your site, you’ll also need to consider how design impacts functionality. Do you want larger images? A wider Instagram feed? These small decisions can have a significant impact on how your products are browsed and purchased, so weigh these decisions carefully.

Generally speaking, it’s also a smart idea to design with certain principles in mind. Your site should feel clean and uncluttered. An overabundance of design elements or products can confuse or irritate visitors and encourage them to depart without buying.

3. Incorporate and optimize elements stressing your originality

Templatized websites run the risk of appearing a bit cookie-cutter, but there are a few steps you can take to make your site appear fresh and original. First, commission striking, original photography and avoid over-reliance on stock imagery. This can go a long way toward giving your site some visual panache that makes it stand out from other e-commerce offerings.

Second, create copy that is truly creative and that engages the reader. Too often Shopify copy is bland and boilerplate. By coming up with lively product descriptions and other copy, you can help convert buyers and differentiate your approach. You’ll also want to choose headlines that stand out from the crowd and that are calibrated to resonate with your target demographics. Figure out why people would be interested in your products and use that as a guide for creating catchy headlines. Humor — in the appropriate contexts — is also a big plus.

4. Check out the competition and test your approach

Auditing other e-commerce sites is a smart way to evaluate your own approach. You can take what they are doing well and adapt it for your own purposes, while also identifying any deficiencies in their approach and capitalizing on them.

Incorporating some simple A/B testing into your site can also help you learn what people are really responding to. These tests allow you to take two versions of a screen, headline or some other element and evaluate how visitors interact with each version. This can be an invaluable tool for learning what converts and what causes people to disengage.

5. Build your social proof

There’s no debating it: Reviews are the lifeblood of any e-commerce store. This means it is critical to monitor your reviews and respond in a timely fashion. If there was a legitimate issue, be transparent and forthcoming rather than defensive, and offer to make it right. This will often disarm even the most dissatisfied customers and help turn negative interactions into positive ones.

Encourage your customers to leave photo reviews whenever possible. Visitors enjoy these and they often seem more credible than text reviews. The more smiling and happy customers you can showcase on Shopify the stronger your business will be.

6. Tread carefully with shipping costs

Excessive shipping costs are one of the most common reasons why customers do not follow through with e-commerce orders. For online retailers, nothing is more frustrating than getting a customer all the way to the checkout page…only to have the product deleted from the cart because of elevated shipping charges.

E-commerce consumers have been conditioned to expect low or no-cost shipping by Amazon Prime, so it’s a wise idea to either build the cost of shipping into your products or figure out an alternative method for defraying costs.

7. Use a well-designed SEO and programmatic ad strategy

An up to date Search optimization strategy plays an essential role in helping people locate you. Most site owners aren’t experts at search, so it often makes sense to bring a marketing agency or SEO expert into the mix. The rules governing SEO are always evolving, so working with an expert can save you the hassle of trying to master search and remain perennially current on the latest changes to Google’s ranking algorithm. It also makes sense to work with a Shopify agency that specializes in this kind of overall site development.

Pay-per-click ad strategies are easier to learn, as you can get a lot of traction by researching keywords and slowly refining your approach over time. Taken together, both strategies can go a long way toward jumpstarting your Shopify revenue.

The takeaway

Shopify is second only to Amazon in terms of the opportunity it offers e-commerce retailers. By following these seven tips and practicing smart Shopify development, you can get faster traction, differentiate your site and generate more revenue.

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Will 2020 Be the Breakout Year for Voice Marketing?

Chances are good that you’ve used Siri, Alexa, or a similar AI voice assistant over the recent months or years, but have you stopped to consider the tremendous potential of voice marketing?

Leveraging the power of voice user interfaces such as Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant, voice marketing is poised the become the next big thing in the worlds of digital advertising and branding.

As the average consumer leaves typing, clicking, tapping, and swiping behind to embrace the future of hands-free, voice-activated computer use, wise marketers are quickly following suit. In the words of high-tech consultants Deepa Naik and Nikhil Karkhanis

“Consumers are adding voice to their shopping cycle using voice agents and interfaces like voice-enabled virtual assistants, voice search, and smart speakers. Brands and marketing professionals are finding innovative ways to respond to these newly opened channels.”

The popularity of voice user interfaces

Both in the home and the mobile space, a rapidly increasing number of people are interacting with digital devices and navigating the Internet using only their voices. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center and several other reputable sources, nearly half of all mobile users employ voice technology while operating their smartphone devices.

And the growing popularity of voice user interfaces shows no signs of slowing or abating, with more and more people transmitting and receiving key information by voice/audio means alone. The leading global high-tech research and advisory company Gartner contends that 30 percent of online searches will be entirely screenless by the end of 2020. Gartner credits the ubiquitous use of portable and wearable audio components such as Apple AirPods and Echo Buds as well as household devices such as the Google Home and the Amazon Echo for the rise of screenless Internet surfing.

Just how far will voice user interfaces take us in the near future? A recent study by Juniper Research predicts exponential growth in the use of digital voice assistants thanks to advances in the smart speaker, smart television, and smart wearable markets. Juniper expects that consumers will be using more than 8 billion digital voice assistants by 2023. This figure represents an estimated 2.5 billion increase from the number of digital voice assistants in use at the end of 2018.

The marketing potential of audio content and voice-enabled devices

So how can businesses tap into the incredible marketing capacity of voice user interfaces? Here are just a few tips ad tactics that you might want to consider. 

1. Build a Custom Voice-Activated App

Akin to the physical apps that you know from your smartphone touch screen, Alexa Skills, Google Actions, and Siri Shortcuts all allow users to connect directly with your company and its goods/services simply by speaking a few words. According to the most recent numbers from Amazon, there are more than 70,000 Skills currently available.

2. Launch a Podcast or Flash Briefing

One of the great things about a podcast is that it can be both accessed and enjoyed through a single device using only your voice and your ears. No need to trouble your eyes or your fingertips for a thing, thanks to the voice user interface. Marketers also encourage companies to create and distribute flash briefings – short, prerecorded audio pieces that offer news and other informative content via one or more voice-enabled devices.

3. Invest in Sonic Branding.

Although the rise of voice-enabled devices and digital personal assistants has recently reinvigorated this tried and true marketing approach, there is certainly nothing new about sonic branding. Encompassing any auditory element that might be described as a defining sonic mark or an audio logo, sonic branding has long been a common practice in traditional television and radio advertising. The three-note deodorant jingle “by Mennen” and the Apple computer boot-up chime immediately spring to mind!

4. Leverage the Power of Voice Search Optimization

The art and science of getting your company to the top of online searches by your key consumer demographic, search engine optimization (SEO) has long been a (if not the) key component of any effective digital marketing campaign. In the era of spoken searches, voice search optimization (VSO) has evolved as a natural offshoot of traditional SEO practices. An investment in VSO is essential if you want to optimize your branding and products/services content for searches made using voice-enabled devices.

To learn more

For more information about the power of voice marketing in 2020 and beyond, contact a representative of Bigeye today. In addition to its status as a leading voice marketing agency, Bigeye can help you with all manner of digital outreach in the modern marketing landscape.

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The Benefits of Testing Your Packaging Design

As high-tech digital analytics continues to rule the virtual marketing world, don’t forget to collect real-world marketing data including the valuable information gleaned from packaging design testing.

Make no mistake: product packaging is integral to product sales. In fact, a recent study by the leading corrugated packaging company WestRock determined that more than four out of five consumers in the United States have tried a new product because its packaging caught their eye. Furthermore, 63 percent of consumers have purchased a product a second time due to its packaging appearance/aesthetics, and 52 percent of consumers have changed brands as a result of new packaging.

With these figures in mind, businesses are universally committed to optimizing their packaging design. But how can you tell if your packaging is truly connecting with your key consumer demographic?

Packaging design testing basics

Briefly defined, packaging design testing involves presenting several packaging designs to your target audience and asking them to provide honest feedback on each of them. This feedback should ultimately determine which design is the most appealing to consumers and which design its most likely to encourage sales.

By testing their deigns, companies are far more able to wrap their product in external packaging that both sets it apart from the competition and communicates its unique value in a succinct and compelling manner. Companies that incorporate testing into their general packaging design processes have solid data that can readily guide team operations and facilitate coordinated company decision-making.

In addition to helping to bring brand new packaging designs to market, packaging design testing is key when optimizing or otherwise altering your existing packaging. The testing process is also extremely valuable when it comes to reaching out to new or alternative target audiences/consumer demographics.

Types of packaging design testing

Any good consumer marketing agency or packaging design company will tailor packaging design testing processes to meet the specific wants and needs of the client. In order to produce the specific benefits that are most important to their clients, these organizations may employ a wide range of techniques both in controlled study groups and in the marketplace at large.

The venerable packaging products organization Performance Packaging of Nevada suggests A/B testing as an easy and inexpensive way to determine the better of two different packaging designs. This method of testing involves gathering together one or more test groups that are (hopefully!) representative of your larger consumer/audience base. Test group leaders present these groups with two packaging choices and then ask each group member to pick their favorite.

Of course, this relatively restricted form of testing is limited when it comes to assessing multiple design variables (color, size, substance, etc.,). Therefore, depending on its particular goals, a company may choose other approaches to gathering feedback such as filling out comprehensive surveys or participating in thorough interview processes.

Although careful sampling methodology can compile study groups that closely match larger target audiences/consumer demographics, there is no substitute for marketing testing in the field. This method is, of course, far more expensive, than study group testing, but companies can benefit greatly from releasing two or more packaging designs into the marketplace and then collecting data on which design the general public prefers.

Getting the most out of your packaging design testing endeavors

As we have seen, your ideal methods and techniques of packaging design testing will depend entirely upon your unique and specific goals. Do you want to ensure that your product catches the eye of the casual consumer as he/she walks down the supermarket aisle? Or is it more important that your packaging reflects the core attributes and values that consumers associate with your brand?

After determining the aspects of your packaging that are most likely to influence your overall success or failure, you can develop packaging design testing procedures that are right for you. A key metric that you will certainly want to consider is purchase intent, which measures the likelihood that your packaging will motivate people to buy the product that it contains. Secondary metrics will depend on the specific results you hope to achieve and the marketplace in which you operate. These metrics might include appeal (how enticing your packaging is), relevance (how effectively your packaging reflects the wants/needs of your audience), uniqueness (how your packaging differs from that of your competitors), and ease of finding (how well your packaging stands out on the average retail shelf/website).

For more information

To learn more about the importance of packaging design testing, contact a skilled and knowledgeable representative at Bigeye today. In addition to excelling at the art and science of packaging design, Bigeye offers a broad range of comprehensive marketing services with an eye on innovation and customized service.

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Is Influencer Marketing Finally Out of Its Infancy?

Influencer marketing continues to grow at an extraordinary rate. Yet the field is on the verge of an even greater transformation. Here’s why.

Influencer marketing as a general concept stretches back to early 20th century consumer advertising, when athletes, actors and astronauts were turned into pitchmen extraordinaire. Yet influencer marketing in the modern sense has been around for little more than a decade. Despite its relative youth, influencer marketing has proven remarkably popular — and successful.

Total spend on Influencer marketing grew to $6.5 billion in 2019, a significant hike over the $1.6 billion spent in 2016. The industry is expected to crest $10 billion within the next two years, as roughly 70% of marketers expect to increase their spending in this category in 2020.

To earn a competitive advantage, however, you can’t just throw money at influencers — you need to ensure resources are deployed wisely. This means divesting yourself of older influencer techniques that have lost their ability to engage and convert, and deploying new strategies that earn instant attention and cultivate meaningful brand loyalty.

Understanding the evolution of the influencer market

To help you develop a winning influencer marketing strategy, let’s take a look at a few techniques that have lost their relevance:

  • Not giving your influencer the latitude to be creative. At one time, giving an influencer a fairly restrictive project brief made sense: Influencer marketing was new, and brands were taking a gamble by allowing non-traditional advocates to speak for their enterprises. Influencers, most of whom are used to engaging with audiences in an intimate and interactive setting, weren’t always shining examples of brand safety or caution, so it made sense to stick to a tight creative script. Today, however, most leading influencers are old pros and more than capable of adding value by stretching the creative bounds of a campaign.
  • Focusing too much on size. In the early days, the size of an influencer’s following was the most important metric. Today, however, we understand that engagement is just as critical (if no more so). Audience engagement also tends to drop as size grows, so it makes sense for brands to try to hit the sweet spot that pairs wide reach with active engagement. Brands are also increasingly targeting the micro-influencer space. Even an account with a few thousand followers can deliver an exceptional ROI if those are the right few thousand people.
  • Only using influencers within your niche. Again, this may have been entirely logical at one time, but you’re going to activate the Law of Diminishing Returns very quickly. To maximize the power of your influencer marketing strategy, reach beyond your niche or your industry and you can vastly widen the talent pool at your disposal. Great brand ambassadors can be found in the most unlikely places.

I’ve retired my obsolete techniques…tell me what’s next?

If you’re ready to refresh and recalibrate your influencer marketing approach, we think the following ideas are worth pursuing.

  • Drop the one-off engagements and build long-term relationships. Finding great talent is the eternal battle for any business. You should view influencers through the same prism. People with engaged followings who can sell your brand in a compelling way that’s consistent with its values…those people are not easy to replace. If you want your influencer marketing efforts to be a sustainable driver of marketing ROI, it’s important to cultivate long-lasting links.
  • Don’t get hung up on celebrities. Influencers sometimes get a bad name for being vapid or transactional. Brands that can avoid this and create influencer campaigns that deliver real value will have a great differentiator. Avoid shallow, celebrity-driven engagements and create something with more organic appeal and real value.
  • Insist that your influencers use every tool at their disposal. The best influencers stay ahead of the curve on the formats they use (whether video or AR) and the creative approaches they take. Your influencers should be as eager to push the envelope as you are — it’s the only way to remain relevant in a saturated market.

Finding the right influencer marketing agency

At Bigeye, we’ve been harnessing the power of creatively inspired influencer marketing since the earliest days of the form. If you’re looking for an influencer marketing agency that can help you create the kind of campaigns that engage and convert, reach out to Bigeye today.

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