Ad blockers- what does this mean for marketers?

Another new marketing trend that is receiving over 300 million downloads are ad-blocking extensions, are becoming popular to filter or block advertising content on websites. So what does this mean to marketers? Marketers and businesses therefore have to come up with other ways to target their audiences and think beyond advertising and shift marketing dollars into other streams. As Hall. J, 2016, suggests there will be a focus more on earned and amplified media. The creation of branded content that is placed in contextually relevant environments to engage audiences will be more of an emphasis now rather than relying on SEO.

Finding other ways like in-article adverts, reviews or native content to market your business or product is another way as it is providing audiences with value and information. The use of influencer marketing is on the rise as it provides a powerful tool to drive sales to leverage the scale of a personality/persona that consumers follow and admire that is inline with the brands values. Influencer marketing also allows brands to organically speak to their consumers on social platforms and connect with even more potential audiences with that influencer’s social network. While these options may cost more to marketers than buying standard display ads, if done right the value the customers gets back far out ways the costs to marketers as it will hopefully give them greater ROI in return.

So whether marketers think that ad blockers are a nuisance to their overall digital marketing plan, to me this can present an opportunity and challenge to explore other options that can perhaps still deliver the same message straight to its audiences.

 

 

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What makes good content marketing?

With many brands now using content marketing, it got me thinking what exactly makes good content? There is so much around and clutter how does a brand stand out from the rest. Columnist Pratik Dholakiya acknowledges that there are 5 elements that make for good content marketing:

 

  1. Personalisation: Creating content that is personal or individual to the consumer can provide an emotional connection, which can increase engagement. From a research by Econsultancy it has been shown that only 19% of marketers are utilizing this characteristic. Not only that but personalization not only increases conversions, improves customer retention and provides use for consumers (Davies, A. August 2013).
  2. Provide value back to the consumer: Dholakiya goes on to mention that content marketers need to provide value back to the consumer. Whether its information, education or providing a solution potential customers need to be engaged with content that will be useful to them and that provides value into their lives.
  3. Be innovative: Being able to come up with new and exciting ways to connect with your audience will help marketers to stand out from rest. It is said “that brands that are able to be innovative and creative in their content marketing will have a higher probability of success with their campaigns” –Jeff Zelaya. Marketing Professor, Anne Handley comments that the best content has elements of all three: or said more simply: Useful x Inspiraton x Empathy = Innovative Content. Take for example McDonald Canada’s Answers All Food Questions campaign. It had the 3 basic elements that Professor Handley mentioned. The campaign invited Canadians to ask whatever question about Mc Donalds food via twitter or Facebook direct to their website. It resulted in more than 16,000 questions and allowed Mc Donalds to be transparent and honest with its consumers through an innovative and simple campaign.
  4. Story telling: All great stories captivate audiences and pull at the emotions, which allows people to trust more and be easily persuaded. Author and entrepreneur Seth Godin’s rides on the principle of the better stories you tell the better the connection with your audience, the better the connection the stronger the relationship.
  5. Quality over quantity: Less is more, and this is true in content marketing. In a blog written by Erik Schmidt the common mistake marketers make is thinking that “jamming in as much content in hopes that something will resonate with someone”. The problem with this is that creating all this content doesn’t necessarily mean more ‘likes’ or ‘tweets’. It also doesn’t give a business an indication of its outcomes nor does it mean that consumers want more content. If anything consumers want better content that gets them highly engaged and is contextually placed in the right environment. You don’t have to be constantly creating and pushing out content, if the content is great then it can be re-purposed and shared around.

By utilizing any one of the 5 elements, you are on your way to creating good content that hopefully will engage your audience and evoke the emotions needed to take action.

 

Mobile marketing on the rise

Consumers are spending more and more time on their mobiles rather than desktop. When it comes to search 50% of mobile users start their search process on their phones and 46% use their mobile as their primary search tool. They are constantly checking their emails at least once a day on their phones and regularly use social at least once a day and increasingly doing mobile shopping. And it is also the extent and intensity of a consumers interaction with their mobile device that is also worth noting. On average consumers check their phone more than twice an hour and interacting more than 50 times a day (Deloitte, 2014).

In a recent survey by Deloitte, Australia was the sixth most concentrated smartphone market in the world with 76% penetration higher than the US and UK (Deloitte, 2014). What once was a new concept in digital marketing is now one of the first to be considered in many marketing campaigns because of its rapid growth in recent years.

More than ever, marketers have to consider mobile into the mix. A Salesforce report indicated that 31% of Australian marketers plan to shift spend from traditional mass advertising to advertising on digital channels (Marketingmag.com.au, 2015). So what does this mean to marketers?

Marketers need to consider developing content suited for mobile audience, time targeted or location-based campaigns and improving the experience for mobile users.

Content suited for mobile audience and improving mobile experience

With more and more consumers searching on their mobile, marketers should consider to mobile-optimise their content strategy to extend visitor engagement and convert mobile users into customers. Don’t you hate it when you go to a website on your mobile to purchase something only to have a really bad experience trying to check out? The first thing digital marketers need to do is ensure their websites are equipped being mobile friendly. This allows for a positive consumer experience and navigation. Functionality, navigation and content consumption need to be factored in to help convert audiences into potential customers.

Marketers also need to leverage video content on mobile with more than 28% of online consumers watching video on their mobile device (CMI, 2014). Options of short or long form video depend on the platform in which it is being played to make sure the message is catering to their audience within that platform (for example short videos on instagram and long from videos on youtube).

Besides having a mobile friendly site another effective mobile strategy is considering having a mobile app. More and more small to medium sized business are either creating apps or associating themselves with mobile apps. Take for example the mobile app ‘Skip’ which is an order and pay service allowing cafes and other restaurants to reach more customers by associating themselves with this app which allows consumers to ‘jump the cue’ by pre-ordering their coffee at their favourite café. The benefit of having an app based on Haselmayr, 2014 is that:

  • Visible to customers at all times
  • Create a direct marketing channel
  • Provide value to customers
  • Build brand and recognition
  • Improve customer engagement
  • Stand out from competition
  • Cultivate customer loyalty

Time-targeted or location based campaigns

Understanding how your consumers engage with mobile and their usage habits allows marketers insight into their habits and how best to target these consumers at a time that is welcomed and relevant. Bauer Media recently conducted a study about women and their habits and found that in terms of mobile usage there are several times throughout the day where mobile usage is higher and it is what they are consuming as well which is just as important. Early morning, lunchtime and post 8pm is when women were most active and usually consumed social media, shopped or browsed through websites for inspiration. This allowed the major publishing house to tailor their content to be sent out during those time when women were more susceptible to advertising, engaged more relevant content at a time when women are more relaxed and happy. What this tells marketers is that time-targeted campaigns can allow for maximum exposure when it is relevant to the consumer.

Mobile also has the capability to geo-target users. This can allow marketers to target their consumers with relevant information based on their location. For example business’ can send consumers the latest sales event or offerings based on their location.

Marketers need to understand how consumers interact and engage on mobile to ensure that they are utilizing the best formats and connecting with potential customers in an engaging and relevant context.